Arsene Wenger believes that his decision to play three central defenders in the win over Middlesbrough shows he is capable of change.

Arsenal beat relegation-embattled Boro 2-1 on Monday to keep alive their faint hopes of a top-four finish.

Wenger fielded a three-man central defence for the first time in 20 years as manager, and while the new formation was not wholly convincing, Arsenal secured their first Premier League away win since January 14.

The Frenchman’s contract with the club expires this summer, and while it is not yet announced he will extend his stay, that is the expectation.

However, it has been reported that the Arsenal board has demanded to see that Wenger is capable of change, and the 67-year-old believes Monday’s performance is indicative of that.

“The first time in 20 years,” he said of the formation switch. “That shows you that even in my age you can change.

“But sometimes when a team lacks confidence, just to add something new to believe helps to focus and overall the fact that we conceded three at West Brom, three at Crystal Palace, I felt it was needed.

“I felt that we were recently a bit vulnerable defensively and to give a bit more reassurance to the team. Recently we faced many direct games, I thought before the game maybe they’d play with Gestede and Negredo and go for a very direct game. Those are the reasons.

“It worked well in the first half, we didn’t give any chances away and we were quite solid on set-pieces. In the second half on one or two occasions, I felt we could have been a bit more dominant in the air, but overall yes.”

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