Hull for us, is a must win game. After losing at Chelsea, questions have been raised over some players and their inputs to the team. With a number of absentees expected, the replacements come in with a chance to claim a constant spot. We sample 6 who will tun out on Saturday with a point to prove.
- Santi Cazorla
‘The happiest man in the world’ was certainly not happy about the injury to Mesut Ozil, being one of the first to wish him a speedy return. As classy as that sounds, Cazorla is the one player sure to benefit from Ozil’s long absence. The German has assumed the role of the main focus in the team since his arrival, being the favoured for the Number 10 role. This has led to many quickly forgetting just how good Cazorla was in his first season back in 2012. In the course of the next three months, Santi will have the freedom to influence proceedings a bit more and the onus is on him to improve on his indifferent start so far this seasoon. We want to see again, that Santi who hit that amazing edge-of-the-box strike into the top corner away at West Ham and the hat-trick at Reading.
- Nacho Monreal
Will Monreal be Mertesacker’s partner against Hull? I don’t know. Should he be? Maybe not. But if the manager believes he “can play central defence”, it’s on Monreal to reward his manager’s confidence, or drag it through the mud. It won’t be easy against Jelavic but he’s got to make sure it doesn’t appear too obvious.
- Hector Bellerin
After 2 first-team games this season, Bellerin’s best performance in an Arsenal shirt still is in the Emirates Cup win over Benfica. He may be the fastest Arsenal player ever but he must prove how much he could use it to help the defence better this campaign. To be fair, the League Cup game was an improvement on what he’d seen at Dortmund, so there’s hope he’ll get better if Wenger picks him for Hull.
In other matters, Francis Coquelin will probably leave at the end of the season if he’s not considered good enough to feature in this kind of games.
- Jack Wilshere
Jack has started fulfilling his potentials, to the delight of all the happy people in the world. Arteta’s return means Jack will not be the deepest-lying player against Hull. Indeed, he prefers to play a more advanced role with Arsenal, and with Ramsey to return soon, he may want to show he could do as much as the Welshman to warrant retaining his place in the team.
- Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain
Walcott’s return is welcome news for all gooners and gunners, except maybe Chamberlain. The Ox has been a very solid performer for us since the start of the season, his space and power proving very useful in running at opponents, giving us much needed width and balance in our play. Theo is unarguably a more direct player in that right-forward role, being significantly more threathening in front of goal. But the fact he doesn’t return this weekend means Chambo still has the chance to stake a claim for a sustained place in the starting XI in the games when Theo becomes available. He would do well to show Wenger his ability to be useful in some other position, most likely central midfield where many believe his long-term future lies. Ramsey’s to return soon meaning even that position is under threat, but the one thing you want in a team is for players to compete for all slots.
- Danny Welbeck
He may not now be under as much pressure to announce himself to the Arsenal faithful as he was after going scoreless in his first two games, but Welbz has not quite established himself in the League. Just the one goal againts Villa in his four League games, Welbeck has played against City, Spurs and Chelsea withou hitting a single shot on target. However, his 8 goals for club and country since his deadline day move from United should give him enough confidence to grab a couple against Hull.
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