I have been trying to put my finger on it, trying to work out what is going wrong? I have watched two competitive games now and don’t quite understand why we are playing like spluttering diesel vans rather than the slick Ferraris that we all surely expected? Didn’t we?
The club have brought in four quality players, justifiably raising our hopes. We addressed the main problem that most people identified last season; that being, the need for a player with pin point accuracy and superb close control; you know, the one we all thought would bring out the best in Özil? I am obviously talking about Sanchez. We all saw how good he was on telly in the World Cup; in fact, we watched a month’s worth of good players and a month’s worth of high quality football.
It was this thought that made me realise where the problem may lie. Having been fed a diet of high quality football for a longer period than we are used to, it has been hard to readjust to the more pedestrian fare of the EPL and the qualification stage of the Champions League.
It obviously follows that things will improve with the return of Özil to the starting line up or at least I certainly expect things to. This should, as I suggested on Monday, herald the start of the new system of a collective front line who all have superb close control and are all capable of super quick passing as a means of finding its way round tall lumbering defences – Palace being the prime example.
Would it have worked against Beşiktaş, even though no one can accuse them of parking the bus? I certainly think so.
The Giroud doubters have been out in force and are letting everyone know who will listen that they are not surprised by his performance in the CL. I slightly disagree with Kelsey who said (and I paraphrase) that he doesn’t think that Giroud has the natural instinct of a number nine. I think he does, he just doesn’t have the speed or close control to carry it off.
Giroud’s performance, I would suggest, is also the reason why Wenger is trying to fast track Sanogo. Arsenal could have got an early goal against Palace which would have forced them to come out, this in turn would have created space for Sanogo in which he would have run amuck and could quite possibly have got a hat full. (think Benfica)
In my opinion, if fit, Sanogo would have been a better choice than Giroud against Beşiktaş. Right now, the younger Frenchman has the same level of close control but his age still gives him the possibility of improving this skill; where as, Giroud is too old in the tooth for such a possibility. This I can imagine is debatable to some but the one thing that cannot be denied is that Sanogo is quicker and that attribute would have been very useful against Beşiktaş.
And on the subject of speed: Theo would have been a better choice as CF than either Giroud or Sanogo, the defenders were lumbering giants and there was ocean’s of space behind them for him to exploit.
This all points to the obvious fact that we have more possibilities up front than we have had in years: Giroud has a place; he was a major factor in our win against Palace. Sanogo will have another Benfica day, Walcott will return as will Özil.
Memories of the World Cup are starting to take a back seat as the EPL and the CL come into sharper focus. I don’t expect Arsenal to be playing Ferrari football this weekend but a trade up from diesel vans would be a step in the right direction.
Written by LB