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It’s over 20 years since Arsenal resided under an alternative manager. The club has been developed, stabilised and revolutionised under one of the most forward thinking and innovative managers of our generation. In fact, it’s hard to fathom Arsenal football club without Wenger at the helm – and it seems that Mesut Ozil considers his future entwined with the Frenchman’s own

 

Arsenal are no longer a team of kids. They have title winners, European Champions and World Champions amongst their ranks and still this team lack the mental fortitude to challenge for a league title. On a number of occasions, in both the Everton and City game, Alexis could be seen berating his colleagues for not supporting him in pressing the opponents. He was constantly trying to cajole Oxlade Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and the midfield pairing to put pressure on the opposition’s defence. Yet each time he was left out to dry.

Gabriel is also a front-footed defender. He often marks his opponents touch tight and is more than willing to battle for possession and challenge strikers on the turn. However, does his prowess for stealing possession match that of the exceptional Mustafi? Doubted. The Brazilian has been waiting for his chance to play and it has come but only through injuries to Bellerin and Debuchy and a decimation of confidence of Jenkinson. Now with Mustafi suffering from a hamstring strain it seems that Gabriel will get an opportunity to compete in his favoured position

Without Sanchez and with Iwobi struggling in his current capacity, Arsene may choose to adapt his preferred starting eleven and include the hot and cold Oxlade Chamberlain in place of the young Nigerian. Despite the England manager being a firm admirer of Oxlade Chamberlain, the wide man has been left at home by Gareth Southgate. Recent ups and downs have probably cost him a place in this current England squad but the Ox’s capacity for the unpredictable is akin to Sanchez’s explosiveness. Both players, to their credit boast an ability to beat a man

 

Despite his poor form and his lack of playing time, there still seemed to be an acceptance that Walcott would be picked at national level. His finishing prowess, when given little time to think, has always been exceptional. His speed, with the exception of the port swilling, skittle flavoured vodka drinking Jamie Vardy was considered a precious commodity. Even his image rights seemed to be in line with England’s 3 Lions-respect the ref, kick-it out and Marks and Spencer’s school boy image. However, Theo spent the summer at home watching on as the England team suffered at the hands of the media and were plundered by the bearded Icelandic Vikings

Whilst the goals of Sanchez have temporarily relieved Wenger of any uncomfortable centre forward questions, resentment surrounding Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder intensifies as fans cast longing glances at the inclusion of Gundongan, Pogba and Kante at three of their closest rivals. Additionally, the two long range efforts that have found the back of the net in both of Xhaka’s previous outings have caused fans to question Wenger’s decision to leave the Swiss midfielder on the bench. Like a Donald Trump rally, it doesn’t take much in this current Wenger era to incite hatred or riot and it feels like both the PSG

What seems clear to me is the fact that most of our moves come from that left/central position. There is a little box of switching players and it is not just down to Walcott to move into those spaces but also Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi. It must be a nightmare for defenders to have to try and mark this rotating circle of attacking players all popping up in between the lines and then whoosh someone is running into the space that Alexis has left behind. This looks planned and choreographed to me. We got a hint of it last season when Welbeck came into the team with Iwobi and Alexis on the right and our attacking play improved considerably. It's the way Arsene wants to play football and it's probably why a player like Lucas Perez has been signed. A player who is comfortable in both positions on the flank and centrally. He can join the circle of fun. Maybe this is why we have seen little of Giroud so far this season

  • 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