There are plenty of examples of AW’s non-linear thinking, but this is most obvious in his attitude to player position. Where to start? Well, off the top if my head, George Weah was a winger, Thierry Henry was a winger, so was Ashley Cole, Kolo Toure was a midfielder, that Dutch bloke was a winger, Lauren was a wide-midfielder, Vito Mannone was a playmaker, Petit was a left-back, Gibbs was a central midfielder.
I was tempted to say Per, but that would be unfair because the reason we won was down to one man's energy and determination. Alexis Sanchez is World Class (my definition being they'd get into a World Squad of 25) and he is so perfectly suited to the Premier League. I actually saw an increased work rate from some of our players today and I think that is down to Alexis Sanchez leading by example. The media and Sunderland fans will probably be harsh on Wes Brown and Don Vito, but Alexis Sanchez accelerating at you at that pace will scare the best of defenders. When the free flowing football isn't working, the result will usually come if you get your head down, work hard and grind it out, and luckily for us Alexis has it all.
So Theo Walcott makes the Arsenal bench but there are more pressing changes that the team will have to deal with. Arsene Wenger is protecting Aaron Ramsey from playing two games in four days after injury, so the Welshman is on the bench. Mikel Arteta comes back into the side in the Welshman's place. Monreal continues at centre back with Chambers at right back. Oxlade-Chamberlain comes back into the starting 11 after missing out in midweek.
Definitely our attacking play, our defensive display has been absolutely shocking too though. However, defensively we did not have our strongest players on the pitch, instead we had 4 players who weren't used to each other working as hard as they could, most of then anyway. Attacking wise, we have incredible attacking midfielders and forwards, but they seem to have forgotten how to shoot and look obsessed with trying to pass and dribble the ball into the net
The back line changes for the umteenth time tonight. Calum Chambers comes back into the team. We were not quite sure which position he would play but we now have it confirmed that Monreal will be starting which means a dropping to the bench for Bellerin. Mathieu Flamini keeps his place in the side ahead of Mikel Arteta who waits for his chance from the bench.
But Alexis was the big bright point of the game and I've a good idea that's what all the respondents will say in this article! His passing was a concern early in the season, often he was a tad careless with the ball which left us open to counter attack. But his completion rate was 82% v Chelsea and 86% yesterday. That shows he's listening and working on it. He's making better decisions now and his ability to beat players is such a boon against teams that sit deep like Hull. Quite simply, without him, we lose the game and probably don't muster more than a handful of shots.
The rest of the team is as you would expect with the injuries we have. The one shock is that one Aaron Ramsey has taken his place on the bench. He seems to be back a lot sooner than we thought. Perhaps Shad is spreading magic. I doubt we'll even see him on the pitch today but having him back is a massive boost. Let's hope he finds his form quickly and kicks us on.
- Squad depth not the issue, long term injuries are
- Is Aggression Key to Progression?
- Chelsea (a) "Despite our prodding, we lacked penetration" - Q&A
- Chelsea (a) Confirmed Line up: Wilshere replaces Ox as Arsene reverts to 4141
- Galatasaray (h) "You can't but be excited after a performance like tonight's" - Q&A
- Galatasaray (h) Confirmed Line Up: Alexis & Santi back in for injured duo
- Tottenham (h) "He just seems to shout and point a lot but not actually do anything" - Q&A