When people analyse Arsenal, they often barely look at our midfield as its always assumed to be our strongest area, and often it is. In terms of depth and talent it still is. However, right now our midfield is the most frustrating part of our side due to the changes made by the manger.
I've been trying to justify the alterations to our midfield shape, and they have ranged from fitness, to our full back's positioning. But despite all of that I'm still hoping we revert to the 4-2-3-1 formation that we deployed last season as it allows our team to revolve around Ramsey and Ozil. Furthermore it helps keep the balance of the team right when it comes to defending as a unit and linking up to the front 3. This flatter 4-1-4-1 has resulted in us looking vulnerable on the counter attack while sometimes leaving our striker very isolated. Now Arsene, clearly knows more than me and will have his reasons for the change but right now I'm in disagreement.
I'm worried that, after my first post, and the start to this one I seem very negative, but with the talent we have, and I have a lot of faith in this squad, I feel that we haven't got out of 2nd gear yet. But have seem some positives. One of them has been the form of Nacho Monreal.
When he joined the club, he was greeted as a saviour as he was the replacement to the fish and chip addict that is Andre Santos, and had a more than solid start to his career here. However over time I've seen people slate him more and more to the point where some see him as a joke of a player. Which simply isn't true. In my opinion I don't think there is much difference between him and Gibbs(I'm looking forward to people angrily reacting to that sentence). I feel that Gibbs's dribbling ability and pace make him appear a better player, and yes he is a better one-on-one tackler. However Monreal has his own strengths, I feel he is a superior passer, his crossing is on another planet compared to Gibbs and his position is superior.
Last season he was unfortunate to play in two of our big defeats where he was given no protection and our midfield was all over the place. He became one of the scapegoats for those defeats however when Gibbs started vs Chelsea, we saw that the way the team was set up was the main culprit and not who played at LB.
But this season, with Gibbs's leg once again falling off, he has been our best player in our first 5 games of the season, which is very impressive considering the 2 changes to our defence and how our midfield is struggling. I hope soon he will once again become universally appreciated.