Arsenal fell to their first defeat in 7 Premier league games on Saturday to West Brom. With James Morrison’s strike and Mikel Arteta’s own goal overturning Olivier Giroud’s opener.
We now look at some things we learnt from that game.
1. Wenger should take the risk in youth
Keiran Gibbs played at on the left side of attack against West Brom, obviously because of our limited options in attack and the disappointing showing of Joel Campbell, which was even compounded when he missed a sitter after coming on, to the disgust of his manager. But limited options don’t mean total lack of options.
This is where Wenger has a problem, we still have youngsters Alex Iwobi and Jeff Reine-Adelaide, both of whom are wonderful talents. Accepted they might not be physically ready for teams like West Brom (which I don’t think is the case for Adelaide as he showed against Wolfsburg during pre-season) but recent happenings show that you never know what you have till you test them, take Jese Lingard for example, if he hadn’t been given a run of games, who would have thought him good enough to merit a national team call up or closer enough, the case of Chambers and Bellerin, Arsenal spent 16 million pounds buying a right back who was the same age as Bellerin, only because he had gotten the opportunity to play a full season when Bellerin wasn’t given the same, when Bellerin finally got games, we see how far he has gotten.
Against West Brom for example, even if Iwobi wouldn’t have been physical (which Gibbs also wasn’t) he would have brought the directness that was lacking in Gibbs game and would have been an addition to our attacking threat. If Chamberlain and Ramsey are not fully fit by the next game, rather than risking them its time Wenger turned back to his faith in youth, he has nothing to lose as it stands, with neither Campbell or Gibbs looking like better options.
2. Arsenal need Flamini more than they think
Flamini was almost left Arsenal during the summer, but it seems the Frenchman was insistent on staying at Arsenal, a decision which is turning out to be hugely to Arsenal’s benefit, he has been more than a worthy backup for the excellent Francis Coquelin, being a safe engine room whenever played and even has an added side to his game that Coquelin hasn’t developed yet, and that’s the eye for goal.
His two goals against Tottenham in the league cup typified that. Against West Brom, after Coquelin got injured, Wenger most likely out of respect opted for his captain Mikel Arteta, a decision which proved costly as it lost him the game, and when Arteta went down with his own injury Flamini came on and stabilized the midfield. Coquelin is expected to miss the next game, but there will be no fears, with the knowledge that Flamini has our back covered.
3. Joel Campbell doesn’t fit at Arsenal
The wonder kid Arsenal bought some years ago just isn’t suited for them, when he signed for the club as a 19-year-old, he was quickly loaned out due to work permit issues and remained on loan to different clubs in different countries until last season, after a wonderful loan spell at Olympiakos and a similarly impressive world cup performance with Costa Rica proved he was ready for big things, Wenger was forced to finally give him a chance.
But his performances since then shows he isn’t ready and might never be ready for Arsenal, when he came back earlier, there were reports that Wenger and the coaches at Arsenal weren’t impressed with his response to training, and his performances have been telling the story, the winger totally lacks team work, which has seen him either lost or chasing shadows in otherwise hardworking performances, he is either out of position, or picking the wrong passes or mistiming his teammates runs.
And worst of all his surprising profligacy seems to be the final straw, the look on Wenger’s face after his miss against West Brom and his decision to start Keiran Gibbs ahead of him just shows how bad he sees him. He is obviously talented, but he is more suited for a team that is built around him, not Arsenal.
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