- Ruthless and Relentless
We have played back to back games at home which, though ended differently, have a similarity – chances, chances and chances. We could afford the luxury of missing so many against Burnley but still finishing comfortable. It won’t be the same at Swansea and I dare say that unless we are ruthless, we will have a great challenge of walking away with the whole bounty. However, it could be very tight to breakdown Gary Monk’s experienced back four, in which case we would have to keep pressing and keep probing.
- Finding the balance
It’s all good about insisting on playing the right way, but there must be something called a balance between knowing when to get more and holding to what you have. At 3 – 1 against Anderlecht, it is the opinion of most experts that the wise thing to do was to have shut up shop rather still hit the nail so hard with the hammer. As it happened, we lost the whole lot in the process – hammer, nail and furniture – and it will be desperately disappointing if same were to happen on Sunday at the Liberty.
- Tuck in, Ramsey
Finding the balance as a team will depend largely on the ability of our players to mind their roles and put the team first. It is perfectly understandable that when you set a standard, you do all to beat it at every challenge but for Aaron Ramsey, he must consider last season as an over-achievement, the exception and not the rule. No one will give him stick for not scoring 16 goals this season if he plays his role as a midfielder and that means helping the team keep control of possession and not aspiring for glory further forward. The ballooned free kick against Anderlecht was just a poor exhibition of how much understanding he has of the game until now, choosing to give away possession in so crass a fashion when what we really needed was to keep the ball. Swansea have a pretty good collection of holding and creative players in Shelvey and Siggurdsson and if Flamini is not to be overawed, Ramsey must focus more on his primary assignment.
Since his deadline day move on the first evening of September, Danny Welbeck has been fearured in every Arsenal game except the League Cup. The pressure of proving to the World, to van Gaal especially, that he was indeed a goal scorer meant he had the drive and motivation to work and strive in his first few games and though it didn’t happen in the first two despite coming so close, outstanding showings against Aston Villa and Galatasaray silenced all his critics. But now, it appears Welbz has began t o sink again and this is not due to a loss in confidence but a need to do some recovery on the strength already burnt. Never before has he been a striker for so long a stretch, perhaps it wasn’t as easy as he had always imagined.
Perhaps Sanogo… or Campbell, Wenger?
- To Alexis… and the Ox
Alexis Sanchez is Arsenal’s undoubted hero of the season and if we are to go all the way to have a say in May, he will be the one to take us there. But he won’t do it alone, as we saw against Anderlecht. The other Alex, Oxlade-Chamberlain must be the other ‘bull’ in the jungle. He needs not imitate Alexis actually as the ‘Ox’ has his own special set of skills which are quite unique from the other quick powerful players in the team. Perhaps he’ll benefit more from having Giroud for his crosses as he seems not have any stress blitzing past defenders. His goal in midweek shows he is also good at getting the goals and could be the secret midfield weapon we unleash this season.
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