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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.

A prime example of this was Everton on Saturday. Mathieu Debuchy is very capable going forwards and backwards, despite not being as quick as some people had hoped. His eagerness is admirable, although it does leave a few gaps on the right hand side, which on Saturday, Everton were happy to try and exploit. For the first 20 minutes in particular, Debuchy seemed very hungry to get forward. I was a bit concerned about this, as I’ve only seen Chambers play a couple of times in our system, and wondered how he’d cope with having to cover so much ground and make such important challenges against a high calibre of opponent. He coped with it

However, reliably informed BBC journalist, David Ornstein, has suggested that a striker still isn't a priority for Arsenal. Uh-oh. The fear and angst amongst the fans is palpable. The prospect of giving Alexis TIME to adapt, or giving Sanogo TIME to develop, or waiting a little more TIME for Walcott to return to full fitness is working up a collective cold sweat. Of course, this is understandable and not for one minute am I suggesting not signing striker cover is a wise move for Arsenal, but the manic scramble that is often affiliated with Arsenal at the end of a window seems to be more synonymous with the fans and media than the club itself

To start with we have Debuchy. He has a slightly different style to the player he replaced, in that when we have the ball his positioning is much higher up the pitch. This has led us to switch the majority of our play from the left to the right but has also had an affect on how we switch the play to that side. With Sagna when one of our midfielders had the ball, he was usually level with play, where as Debuchy is usually looking for a diagonal ball which saw a lot of passes going out of play on the right hand side as our player's instincts were to play it square. It seems like a small factor but we use our fullbacks for width and they are important in

 

On the days Giroud has a bad game, that performance is taken to be his “usual level” and the general opinion on whether or not he’s a good or bad player is taken usually using that game as the sample. Take Giroud vs Besiktas. To be fair, that’s probably his worst game for us. Is it coincidence that his worst games are the same games where our midfield is totally disconnected from him and he’s isolated? Giroud is still building his match fitness but the Giroud treatment allows for us to disregard the fitness and the fact that he was isolated and get at him. It’s happened with Arteta before. Remember the New York Redbulls friendly? Arteta had been injured in preseason training and played his first game in 3 months against NYRB. He’s 32, of course he was going to be off the pace seeing as he clearly wasn’t fit. Twitter used this as a reason to justify us “needing a beast

Özil is criminally underrated for a player who allows the Arsenal to tick. He may not be the direct route to goal but his scenic route tends to get us there quicker when the motorway is jammed.  And it is not only in our players in which he influences, his movement impinges on the shape of the opposition, gently swaying them from side to side with his pendulum like grace until a hole is found and punished by our onrushing midfielders or our forward options.

The often maligned Frenchman has a chance to show what he can do with a compliment of players around him that he simply did not have enough of last season. An isolated Giroud is a different Giroud to the one who has players to combine with and with Alexis added and hopefully Theo returning to add to the lung bursting runs of Ramsey, this could be a big season for the handsome Frenchman. But before any of that he needs to shine and surpass a hungry and confident Yaya Sanogo.

 

  • 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