Arsenal's Professor Faced With Critical Decisions
Arsenal head into their match verse Chelsea supercharged off a resounding 4-1 Champions League victory against a discombobulated Galatasaray.
Arsene Wenger must chose a calculated starting eleven for the Derby against the Blues if he wishes to avoid defeat.
The midfield selection is where it hinges.
Wenger is forced to go with Matheiu Flamini as the only true holding player to protect the back four.
The Frenchman must chug from the fountain of youth if he’s to avoid getting embarrassed by the lighting-quick Chelsea counter-attack.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a key selection to be partnered with Flamini, and counter balance the former Milan man’s lack of pace, in the second holding role of the 4-2-3-1 formation Wenger is likely to employ.
The buoyant Englishman has the engine to deter, repel, and build out of a deeper holding role.
Let the Ox set a tempo of crisp, fluid, Arsenal possession.
The attacking central midfield player, for better or for worse, better recently it has to be said, must be Mesut Ozil.
Ozil needs to gain a comfort level playing in the middle of the park for Arsenal; the freedom allowed recently, to roam and pop up anywher he likes on the pitch, can continue, but only if at the core of the shape is Mesut Ozil central.
Cutting in sharply from the left flank, as he did verse Galatasary, must be the electric Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean was brilliant in the Champions League on Wednesday, providing an assist for Danny Welbeck’s first goal, and then dispatching a surgical finish of his own some ten minutes later.
Rumours of Wenger being disenchanted with Alexis dwelling on the ball and effecting Arsenal’s passing rhythm must be quashed and sent to pasture.
Alexis Sanchez is the first Arsenal signing in recent years to have the confident swagger, and more importantly, the ability to back it up, of a marquee player, a difference maker who can shine in the face of the moment.
Alexis Sanchez unequivocally put to rest any doubt in the manager’s mind about his importance to the Club.
Positioned out wide on the right has to be the two-footed pass master, Santiago Cazorla. The Spaniard was pivotal in the mid-week win; asked to play deeper alongside Flamini, the diminutive playmaker sprayed clockwork balls all over the pitch and did the job with aplomb; Cazorla, at the weekend, should be pushed further up the pitch swapping roles with Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The striking duties once again fall to the newly minted Arsenal hero Danny Welbeck.
The hat-trick was sublimely taken thanks to the young Englishman’s pace, athleticism, finishing, and some fantastic vision and passing from his new Arsenal colleagues; time for Welbeck to do it domestically now that he’s broken the duck on the European scene.
Wenger’s back-four offers less debate.
Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs, and Calum Chambers look to be penciled in.
Wojciech Szczesny to deputise.
The Professor has made questionable decision about his midfield player selection on recent match days, and baring in mind the humiliation inflicted at Chelsea last season on the anniversary of the manager’s 1,000th game in charge of Arsenal Football Club, Arsene Wenger would do well to choose his team wisely…