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Further forward we have our most expensive player in the club’s history, Mesut Özil. Despite what his critics would have you believe, Mesut is a hugely important cog in this Arsenal team. His nonchalance is juxtaposed by his pinpoint precision. He conducts the play like a musical conductor, swaying the passing from left to right, probing for that crescendo moment. He has adjusted to the pace and physicality of the league exceptionally well and has cast aspersions aside through some pretty impressive statistics. NB: Only in Britain would distance covered statistics pacify fans’ unrest at a player who is clearly exceptionally talented.

Mikel and our BFG are both leaders, powerhouses in a previously fragile environment, but they don’t require an authoritative armband to maintain that. Their presence will remain central. Elevating a younger, more consistent and long-term thinking option into the role is exactly what we need. For long periods, Jack was lobbied as that individual but he has much to establish including an understanding of his best position and a search for tactical discipline seemingly lost. Laurent Koscielny doesn’t have the persona despite his borderline world-class technical attributes. Ozil, our other World Cup winner, needn’t apply. Alexis, perhaps the most inspirational to others, offers a different brand of leadership and under his helm, injuries would surely mount further with his unquenchable thirst regardless of positioning within the infamous ‘red zone’. Beyond that, the options dwindle.

Despite our improved recent financial clout, Wenger is still determined to nurture talent and introduce it on the biggest stage. There are a number of candidates in this current Arsenal team alone; Koscielny who arrived from Ligue 2 in France is one of the best centre backs in the league, Ramsey who was once the target of much derision proved his value last year with some unplayable performances and Santi Cazorla, who stepped into the centre midfield berth this year, is directing play much like a musical conductor. However, it is the continued improvement of Olivier Giroud that excites my nether region more than any other. The handsome Frenchman, bought at a reasonable £12 million from Montpeillier, arrived with little in the way of expectations. We had signed Podolski and

Sterling has been in the papers for the last few days having told Rodgers that anything short of £180k a week is a slap in the face; which has sparked a number of transfer rumours, with Arsenal apparently at the head of the queue. He is an interesting prospect but one that Arsenal need not pursue. There is little doubt that Sterling has the potential to be an exceptional player; his role in Liverpool’s title bid was significant and, from a neutral’s point of view, interesting to watch. He’s a valuable commodity, his talent and nationality confirm it. He is quick thinking, agile, possesses incredible close control and can change a game. He has proven himself in arguably the toughest league in the world and will continue to improve. Yet I somehow don’t feel as enthusiastic about a potential signing as I would have done in the past. It could be that I’m aware that his current stance could simply be a bargaining tool or it could be that I sympathise with Liverpool having gone through the same with

Mourinho is the master of ruthless efficiency, Alex Ferguson often cut marquee players loose long before seemingly merited. Both managers bonded by the grandest of successes on a consistent level. If there was ever a recipe for achievement in a sport notoriously fickle, the age old tagline of ‘what’s best of business’ should be the modus operandi. Jose famously disposed of two time player of the year, awards established amidst multi European trophy winning campaigns, Juan Mata and the greatest heist that Paris has laid witness to - £50 million in exchange for David Luiz, although in fairness the sideshow (bob) that follows him is surely tantamount to PR platinum. Alex Ferguson famously ejected star after star just when each approached, (note: approached) their waning. Jaap Stam, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Paul Ince, Mark Hughes and, of course, David Beckham

It’s hard not to like someone who knows their limits, or put another way, it’s difficult to like someone who is unaware of their limitations. That mate who has one too many and offends every person in the bar or that guy who tries to talk to every 8/10 that he sees. Alex Song springs to mind, a player who was tasked with patrolling the Arsenal midfield, protecting our often maligned back four and acting as our safety net when our attacks broke down. He did none of these things. In fact looking at his statistics this season, he wins a measly 0.8 aerial duels a game compared to Coquelin’s 3.1. In fact, despite his affection for joining in on the attack, his pass completion rate stands at a shocking 76% behind Coquelin’s 83%; whilst a fair amount of that is down to long ball tactics, it is also Song attempting through passes that not even Ozil would dare try. No, it is Coquelin’s limitations that make him so valuable to this Arsenal squad. He rarely joins the attacks, preferring to either sit back between

Whereas leadership is regularly bandied around as the core vacant ingredient, perhaps the generalisation of such a theory is unfair. A positional assessment, however, tells another story. At the back, Per and Laurent Le Rock continue to lead an increasingly miserly defence. Nacho has added to this stewardship and it’s fair to suggest, Debuchy shall do likewise. It’s between the sticks where questions bubble most. Whereas David Ospina is enjoying a current purple patch, there’s little concrete evidence to suggest this could elevate him to the pantheon currently housed with multiple Chelsea recruits, the red half of Manchester’s player of the season and the recently

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more