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 top central midfielder, no question. But the most important thing is the bigger picture and the bigger picture is the team. Arsène tried to fit Ramsey back into the middle against West Ham and pushing Santi Cazorla wider but the balance was not correct. Maybe it would have improved over time, maybe Coquelin and Ramsey could develop together but we did not really have the time or room for error to allow that to play out. The introduction of Francis Coquelin into the side means we
For all the exciting attacking players we have at our disposal, I am actually quite excited about how we will do defensively. Petr Cech will not only bring experience but a willingness to keep clean sheets. Hector Bellerin aside, we have plenty of experienced defenders at the back. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have a wonderful partnership together and if those two can stay fit for 70%+ of the season then those two along with Cech behind them can provide a terrific spine for the team at the heart of the defence, not to mention the tenacious Coquelin or even further more experience in Arteta when called upon
Will Arsène choose this back four against Chelsea? Will we start the season with Monreal and Bellerin on the bench? It could be purely down to the balance of the team. Arsène prefers one conservative full back with a more attacking option on the other side. The Bellerin/Monreal option gives that same balance but maybe Arsène wants to go with the more experienced Debuchy over Bellerin so selecting Gibbs seems the natural selection. It would be very harsh on Nacho Monreal who was one of our most consistent performers last season. Maybe I am imagining things I don't know, but we will see what our first choice back four is on Sunday for sure
Do you remember when Aaron Ramsey played against Cardiff in a cup game a long while back. He was bloody awful that day, compare that kid to the Ramsey of two seasons back. Remember the Alex Song at Fulham before he was dragged off at half time, compare him to the player that Barcelona, the best team in the world at the time came in and bought him to be part of their squad. There are too many examples of players making giant strides when they are fit, confident and happy. The last time Abou Diaby had a run of games for Arsenal was in 2010 and he was consistently good alongside Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song I think. The 2010 Diaby was still nowhere near the player he would have become had he avoided such horrific luck
It was never that straight forward and Francis Coquelin didn't come and make everything alright. Without wanting to go into it too much, I think the turning point came in November when we lost at home to Manchester United. We were trying to juggle far too much earlier in the season. A change of system from 4231 to 4141, new offensive players in Alexis and Welbeck while losing our focal point in Giroud. Players such as Mertesacker struggling after the world cup and of course constant injuries. There was a period of time back then when I remember us losing a new player at least every game. While much of the focus was on our defending mainly because we did not buy a centre back when in fact Nacho Monreal was arguably our most consistent defender at the time our offensive
You can see what Arsène was thinking early last season with the 4-1-4-1. There were complaints that Arsène was trying to shoehorn Ramsey and Wilshere into the same team for the sake of it but I'm not sure that it was the individuals that were the issue, rather a case of the development of the team was at an early stage and many players were not yet at the level they were post Christmas. I wouldn't bet against that system working much better after a good pre season if that was the way Arsène wanted to go. The obvious obstacle to that system is the quality of Mesut Özil in a central position and I suspect Arsène would like to build his attack around the German's genius
More My Vision
- Why Wilshere could well be the right guy + Competition
- If Theo Walcott is Heisenberg who will be Jesse Pinkman?
- Welbeck has tools to become a top level striker
- Why not give two points for Premier League away score draws then?
- Why should we call Michael Oliver brave?
- Performance at QPR could have large say in season run-in