As countless Real Madrid sides of the past can testify, when it comes to attacking players, too many cooks spoil the broth. Without a balance within a starting eleven, sides leave themselves horribly exposed to opposition attacks.
Arsene Wenger will now feel burdened to squeeze, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Mkhitaryan and Ozil into an effective fighting force. You'd be lucky to get some good odds with the William Hill promo code 2018 on Arsenal finishing in the top four due partly to this reason.
From an Arsenal point of view, the latest transfer window is hard to asses. On one hand they managed to recover well from losing their best player, attracting two extremely talented players to fill the Alexis Sanchez-shaped hole, as well as tying Ozil down to a new contract when for all the world he looked to be joining the Chilean in heading for the exit. The opposing view is that Arsenal have merely made cosmetic changes to their side, failing to address the structural problems that have blighted the team for so long.
If huge sums of money were to be dispensed, surely it would have been more prudent to splurge on a much-needed holding midfielder, or a top-quality centre-back capable of operating in either a back three, or four?
Without a real rugged, intelligent, midfield-enforcer able to negate Arsenal’s imbalance, there seems to be no cogent way for all four of Arsenal’s attacking gems to thrive.
So, who then should Arsenal consign to the bench?
Clearly, it cannot be Aubameyang. The Gabon international, while offering little in terms of link-up play, is one of the most natural finishers in the game. The penalty box is his natural habitat, at ease within those white-lined confines as any lion skulking the Serengeti.
Ozil too looks to be un-droppable. His lackadaisical demeanour may stoke the ire of many a fan, but when the little German is at his languid best, there are very few players in the game capable of matching his creativity. A fact relayed best when you consider he has almost fifty assists for the Gunners – a number that should be higher, were his teammates not so profligate.
Lastly, we have the man who was swapped for Sanchez, Mkhitaryan. It would be wasteful not to utilise the Armenian in tandem with Aubameyang, considering how fruitful a partnership they formed while playing together for Borussia Dortmund. Then, of course, you must factor how determined he will be to restore his once glistening reputation, tarnished through Jose Mourinho’s continued misuse.
This leaves Lacazette as the odd man out. It is a real shame for the Frenchman. Despite impressing hugely in the last few seasons for Lyon, he has never really looked to be trusted by Arsene Wenger.
Going forward Arsenal would look best in a 4-3-2-1.
Cech in goal. A back four of Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal, with the fullbacks expected to get forward regularly to offer the otherwise narrow side some width. Sead Kolašinac would be a better fit than Monreal, yet sadly, looks to have been permanently cast into the wilderness by his manager.
A midfield three of Elneny, Xhaka and Ramsey. Elneny and Xhaka trying their utmost to provide a secure base, simultaneously covering either attacking fullback and allowing Ramsey to make his trademark late runs into the box.
This then allows Ozil and Mkhitaryan to roam freely, pulling apart compact defences, and threading Aubameyang the through balls his pace can exploit. This forces Lacazette to operate in an auxiliary capacity, coming on late to menace weary defenders.
It is far from the ideal line up, both holding midfielders have deficiencies, Elneny too slow, and Xhaka far too erratic, while Monreal lacks the guile to full thrive going forward.
Yet, in a season where the top five clubs are steadily widening the gap between themselves and Arsene Wenger’s men, it may just be the stable line-up needed to string a few wins together and surge themselves back into Champions League contention.