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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.

 

Leadership is something that Mertesacker has become renowned for, so much so that he was most Arsenal fans’ pick to become the new captain following Vermaelen’s departure to Barcelona. Alas, Per will have to settle for vice and Arteta was duly given the armband. Returning to my point, there is no doubt that Mertesacker’s leadership qualities and organisational skills are mainly down to experience, and experience is something that Chambers currently lacks. Despite this, Calum still demonstrates the assertiveness and awareness of an organiser and, quite rightly, doesn’t let his age or short time spent at the club stop him barking orders to teammates. His time as captain of England’s U19s side has certainly helped in that respect. Eventually, I can see Chamber’s maturing into a very competent and intelligent defensive leader.

 

Furthermore, Yaya Sanogo finally unearthed his shooting boots. Usually I don’t judge on a pre-season game – as they’re focused on assessing current squad players, and building up match fitness. Sanogo took his goals very well the other day, but previous performances against Bayern Munich and Liverpool assured to me that was always going to be a handful for opposition defences. I’m just glad he’s finally off the mark, and is not viewed as such a comical player now. So on paper; that’s Giroud, Sanchez and Sanogo. A healthy trio, and a fairly consistent injury record (excluding Yaya) between them

As an Arsenal fan, you simply can’t underestimate the importance of keeping your team together. For too long we’ve had the foundation of our team ripped out from underneath us; every year in which it seems like we are beginning to grow and learn from our mistakes, our leaders and most valuable players are lured away by big bucks, trophies and bacon sarnies. And yet there seems to be something different about this team, there is no doubt that we’ve had unified teams in the past but it seems to me that we have a squad that are generally delighted to play with each other. There is a strong British

  • 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