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However, beyond the Emirates pitch becoming centre-stage for Alexis’ salsa show, it is his fiery tenacious side that has really hit it off with the fans. Relentless pressure on the opponent and his unfaltering energy and determination to have the ball as much as possible has started to somewhat set a tone amongst this year’s Arsenal side. This Alexis osmosis was most evident at the second leg vs Besiktas when, with Alexis leading the line by example, the whole team adopted a fighting spirit in order to see the game out.


Mesut Ozil for me is the best number 10 in the world, his eye for a defence cutting pass is 2nd to none and I'm at a loss to why he is on the left/right. Now I know that our wide players have freedom to drift into the centre to overload that area but it means that he gets on the ball later in the play and by then the defence is deeper and the run by our striker has finished. It also means he is on the ball less and therefore has less of an effect on the game. Another strength of his, is the ability to

When he’s unfit this game is rendered ineffective. He’ll be tackled or fouled cheaply by the first man, or the defence will have time to get organised and close off the space. Because he’s off-rhythm he won’t time his distribution properly. Adjusting to the extra pressure of facing a defensive line that can see him coming, his passing in behind is wayward. Then, apparently mindful of his performance, he overcompensates and ends up trying to force opportunities that aren’t there. It all adds up to more cul-de-sacs and possession lost.

When he joined the club, he was greeted as a saviour as he was the replacement to the fish and chip addict that is Andre Santos, and had a more than solid start to his career here. However over time I've seen people slate him more and more to the point where some see him as a joke of a player. Which simply isn't true. In my opinion I don't think there is much difference between him and Gibbs(I'm looking forward to people angrily reacting to that sentence). I feel that Gibbs's dribbling ability and pace make him appear a better player, and yes he is a better one-on-one tackler. However Monreal has his own


in this case they seem to even be better than the players they replaced. Debuchy good going forward and very good with crosses and has surprisingly put in a good shift in the defensive side of his game. I consider him an upgrade on Sagna. Calum Chambers has clearly been a revelation at centre back. He has shown that he is ready to cut it with the best in the big stage so he is a good replacement for Vermaelen. Ospina, from the little I saw of him in the world cup, is a brilliant buy who can give Chezzer an effective competition

 His defensive instincts are very solid, particularly for someone who plays in an attacking position and I think this has sometimes had a detrimental effect because it has encouraged managers to use him in a wide role with a defensive remit, which is something he can do well but doesn't really show him at his best. He also has a superb attitude and work ethic, which makes me think he will thrive under a development-minded manager like Wenger.

With Giroud unlikely to return for a while it is down, to Alexis and Sanogo to fill the void. Alexis is not naturally a centre forward and has spent most of his career playing behind them as a 10 or out wide. However as has been discussed at length he could be turned into one; this however will take time as it means that not only does he, and his team mates have to get used to each other to create the, almost telepathic understanding needed with Wenger’s Arsenal, he needs to adapt to a new position and the different challenges it poses. Whilst it is true that the idea of a fixed centre forward, and thus the fixed idea of the skills they must have, is an anachronism it does pose different challenges to a player such as holding the ball up for team mates and providing more runs into the box.

  • 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