Is it five things to do to get February off to a great start? Or five things to do to lift the Gunners off fifth spot? How about five things to do to stay five unbeaten? No.
Its five things to do to get a fifth straight win.
Szczesny was not at fault for the two goals conceded at Brighton last weekend but there were still scratches of that rashness that has not seen him convince many Arsenal fans of his long-term future at the Emirates. Ospina has played three games this year and they have all ended in clean sheet victories; it does seem only reasonable to keep going with him.
Gibbs on Gil
Carles Gill is the hot new sensation at Villa Park, announcing himself with a scorching 25-year beauty against Bournemouth in the FA Cup last weekend. He will need someone to keep him quiet and while Monreal has been very solid of late, he may not have the pace to check the swift and swiveling Spaniard. In fairness, Gibbs did not have the greatest of games against Brighton but that was just one game, as he has been one of the better players in the team as a whole. The challenge of Spurs next weekend brings the idea of using one as a rest for the other, but I say play the best, one game at a time. As far as the Arsenal left-back role is concerned, it has to be Gibbs.
Wenger would have loved to play his best, surely, but Alexis will not be available. Yet, there are still enough options in Ozil, Cazorla and Rosicky to mould a team capable of doing sufficient damage. The trio are at their best in central roles but only one can be chosen to rover in front of Ramsey and Coquelin? The Brighton game should provide the answer. Ozil, Rosicky and Walcott continued to rotate positions throughout the game, evidenced by the fact that all three goals were scored from central positions.
After several good games without scoring, the last game must now be seen as the turning point and Walcott should become a major player in the Arsenal team. There is so much in him in terms of movement and a keen eye for goal that Wenger cannot fail to exploit. Especially without Alexis and Chamberlain, both of whom have done most of the running duties, Theo’s pace must now be seen as a vital part of this team. Those long awaited combination through balls from Ozil have to start coming. Villa’s defence could be tough to break but not with the two in tango.
Rest Rosicky for Tottenham
With his man-of-the-match display last time, you would expect he plays, but we all know what his favourite game of the season is. Maybe he will get some minutes towards the end of this to prepare himself for that.
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