- Per Mertesacker
The last time Mertesacker was beaten to a cross by a player to score, we went on a three game winning run. But that doesn’t mask the frustration of most fans that our supposed best defender is letting us down game after game. But knowing him, he is not one who wouldn’t produce a strong response and he has made the rallying cry to his teammates to help out in the defensive duties. That’s all good and well, but when it comes to Bony in the box, it’ll be his chief duty to keep the big Ivorian at bay.
- Nacho Monreal
It’s been five games for Nacho in the middle of the defence and, to be fair, it hasn’t been all too gloomy. Except that he gave a needless gift to Anderlecht on Tuesday which was the final help to what would become an inevitable comeback. With news that Koscielny might not even be a certain returnee after the International break, one still sees the Number 18 as one of the pillars of our team. No need to remind ourselves how we made it through with Mikael Silvestre and Sebastian Squilacci (our former Number 18s).
- Mattiue Flamini
For all the criticism we render to Arteta for his deficiency in playing that role, he has never quite been as bad as we have portrayed it. For one, he was not a trained defensive midfielder but took it up in difficult times for the club’s sake, doing a pretty decent job of it. Flamini has always been nothing other than a defensive minded player but you argue that Arteta has done a better job than he, at least since his return a year ago. In the captain’s absence, Flamini must show that he is not just all flames which ends up burning teammates, but one who can co-ordinate as well as lead. He says he works hard for the team; against Gary Monk’s pass masters, we’ll know just how hard.
- Alexis Sanchez
Game after game, Alexis has been the real force of this team and it’s already something quite unimaginable that Arsenal finish a game without a goal or assist from the Chilean machine. Yet, there could be a slight blip to his game which he may want to improve upon in the next game – taking the team on his own. Granted that he has the power and pace to take on defenders and beat them but it is fair to say that there have been times when taking that option has been the wrong one. The Arsenal way is based on the beauty of play coming from the combination of the team, never from one man. That is why through Viera, Bergkamp and Henry, Fabregas, Van Persie and Ozil, we have never been known to suffer a detrimental of any one player. At times a team has to rely on one man, but he must never make it too obvious, or try to make it compulsory.
- Danny Welbeck
Sorry Danny but this could be your very dear chance to show that you did not just flatter us in October, especially with Giroud scheduled to return after the International break. Every striker hits a mini drought – even Diego Costa has – but when you remember you came in as a last minute attempt because of Giroud’s injury, you must know your chance at the Liberty will be to prove that you haven’t moved to the Emirates to be a bit part player. It was good of you to get the penalty against Anderlecht but don’t you think you could do a little more to make better use of Chamberlain’s crosses? Scoring a hat-trick against Slovenia and Scotland won’t matter as much as one odd goal against Swansea.
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