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Gibbs in for Monreal, Chamberlain moved centrally with Arteta and I'd use Gnabry wide right with Cazorla wide left, Özil at 10 and Giroud up top, Jack seems to lack the positional awareness in defensive areas when playing as the no8 in our system, Ramsey is far more positionally aware and responsible when he plays there, I appreciate Jack tried to take the game to Liverpool but he really needs others further ahead of him to take that responsibility and he

 

 

At just 20 years old, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s prodigious talent suggests that as the years pass, he could end up being a huge star at the club. Personally, I was never convinced by the manager’s commitment to ‘Project Youth’ given how few young players, either purchased or promoted, have gone on to be a success. In fact, following Emmanuel Frimpong’s sale to Barnsley on Friday, only two members of the 2009 FA Youth Cup winning squad are still at the club; Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin (who himself is currently out on loan). For years too there always seemed to be the contradictory viewpoint from some quarters which would argue that certain young players were ‘ready’ for first team action yet then use their youth/inexperience

Firstly, Higuain’s numbers are almost identical to Giroud’s this season. Sure it’s hard to compare different leagues and different team set ups, but I’ve seen nothing to suggest that as an overall package he is a wildly better option. Higuain may be the more clinical striker, but Giroud brings a lot more to the table. In fact, some of his most valuable qualities don’t register in his own stats at all. He is, in my opinion, every bit as responsible for the drop in ‘goals conceded from set pieces’ as Mertesecker and Koscielny. (And given our record in that particular department in past seasons you could argue that it is THE key change that has put us top of the league for the past few months). Also, his link up play is also still hugely underrated. I’d love to see his stats for pre-assists, because I have a feeling they’d be telling. Look at the goal that finally opened up Fulham the other day. There was lots of pretty play, and the stats say ‘Cazorla goal, Wilshere assist’

With Rosicky’s nose currently busted, Ramsey’s worrying hamstring knack and Jack’s ankle giving way again coupled with the foolishness of Flamini’s tackle; of which I have to echo Iron Man’s disappointment (Iron Man's thoughts here) at the hypocrisy of Wenger describing it as ‘harsh’. I understand he wants to defend his players but if the roles were reversed Wenger would be the first to bemoan that type of challenge, it doesn’t seem outrageous to believe that Oxlade Chamberlain will start in the centre of the pitch this weekend. Firstly, I will state that he is rusty at the moment, he has spent the first half of the season on the physio table and it will take him a few more games before his confidence and match fitness returns; but if you can stretch your memories back to preseason

 

If there were any positives to take then it would be the performances of certain players in the back line. Koscileny and Mertesacker were manful in the face of something of an onslaught. Both completed numerous clearances and interceptions, showing exactly why they have received so many plaudits this season. Behind them, Wojciech Szczesny was Arsenal’s man of the match after pulling off a string of key saves in both halves to preserve the point. The Pole in goal recovered well having been largely at fault the opening goal after allowing Fonte’s header to beat him at his near post. Again, it’s a sign of his growing maturity that he doesn’t allow mistakes to affect his performances.

After Arsenal predictably dominated the opening exchanges, chances of on a upset looked less and less likely with each passing moment and the match was over as a contest as quickly as the half hour mark as the Gunners were soon two goals to the good thanks to Lukas Podolski's brace. His first came as he latched on to a delightful Mesut Ozil pass before taking the ball around Joe Murphy in the Coventry goal and sliding home with his left foot. The German made it two after stealing in at the far post to head in from close range following Per Mertesacker's flicked header from a corner kick. 'Poldi' could have even had a third soon after but his right-footed effort from the edge of the box went skyward, denying him what would have been a 'perfect Hat trick'.

He doesn't play as a centre forward for Schalke obviously but he has appeared as a number 10, in some instances he is pushed higher up the pitch and you can get a sneaky peak at what he might be able to offer for the short but most probably long term. He is 6ft2in and technically fantastic. Look at this clip. He has so many players around him and finds his man. He gets the ball back and is charged down by four players but has the technique to turn them and still have the vision to slip in one of his players. It is hard to gage how much stronger he will get but his game is based on superb technique. That short snippet really reminds me of Robin van Persie.

  • 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