What Did Wednesday Night Teach Us?
Wednesday night was a great buzz if you were around Highbury and Islington during, it was a great night out for me personally I must say. We’ve finally been able to witness our most fluent display and it came at the expense of a racing heart.
We were an awful lot quicker than we have been and I’ve said before that as long we have at least two quick players in the team, against Besiktas of which were Alexis and The Ox, we can get on the front foot, we started the game brightly.
A lot of positives to take from last night no doubt, I do want to speak on what I believe we have learnt based on Wednesday night however.
Jack Wilshere was fantastic for me, something I was delighted to see as I keep finding ways to justify his lack of form but in the build-up to this week I was always certain this game was going to be decisive for Wilshere and it’s obvious why he performed a lot better, due to Aaron Ramsey’s absence.
Now I do believe they will work well together in the future for us eventually, I’m fully convinced of that but for now our best formation is the 4-2-3-1 it’s where we’re most comfortable and where we can utilise the vast majority of No. 10’s at the club.
Wilshere and Ramsey both operate best sitting at the base of that midfield placed with a more defensive-minded player. This allows them to both be the deeper ball carriers driving into the final third. Wilshere’s link up play is better than Ramsey in deeper areas of the pitch but Ramsey is a lot cuter than Jack in the final third….. pause.
Jack was sensational there, he seems to have gathered his burst back, and his agility in tight spaces, he lost the ball an awful lot of times of course and you’d have to believe he can only improve from now and start to reach the potential we all know he possesses.
I’m curious to see how he carries this form on to the weekend when Ramsey’s back in the team.
SANTI CAZORLA IS BEST IN THE MIDDLE! Come on how long have I been screaming about this it was absolutely no coincidence Santi dictated the game a lot more than he has for about a year and a half. He also pressed quite well and got stuck in which was good to see.
This raises an issue for Ozil however. To see the best of him we really need to play him in the No. 10 role this is a fact. He’s way too good never mind expensive to just ‘squeeze him in somewhere’ the team needs to be built around him I believe and it’s best to do even at Santi’s expense simply because Ozil is a lot more gifted.
It was awfully strange seeing Ozil trying to drive at defenders at the byline, he’s very good at drifting out there and retaining possession whilst taking on opponents but primarily basing his game on wing play is a pure waste.
Unfortunately this could see Jack dropped too but with our injury record he’ll play more than enough, well unless he’s out himself of course.
Alexis the answer up top? No.
He was very good last night he was absolutely everywhere. I’m so excited that we finally have a player cut from the same cloth as your Luis Suarez’s and Seregio Aguero’s, basically your modern day top class South American forward.
The thing is with these players is that they thrive off a partner, Aguero has starred alongside Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo whilst the SAS partnership was well documented. We don’t play with two up top and actually can’t afford to with the amount of No. 10’s at the club.
Alexis was brilliant last night because of his all round game not particularly his centre forward play because he doesn’t quite hold the line for us.
For me his best position should end up on our long-term luxury left wing, the throwaway position where No. 10’s have been forced out there in order to have their presence compensated. Tomas Rosicky, Samir Nasri, Andrey Arshavin and Santi just to name a few.
Sanchez can make this role his and I think it’d be his best for us. His two most positive displays were from Wednesday night and the first leg of this tie. He was great last at the Emirates because he played as a false 9 and was able to link up with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere in attacking areas as well as travel with the ball.
In the first tie he was solid because he could drive at full-backs but his distribution was limited in having to assist Olivier Giroud. On the left he’d have the opportunity to link up with our No. 10 and main striker as well as coming inside and troubling defences, being able to shoot on sight as he’s scored some remarkable goals in the past.
This would give him a lot of attacking freedom and we’d be more dynamic with a direct player as opposed to usually having a creative player there.
Our best attacking quartet overall at the moment I’d say would be Giroud through the middle with Ozil behind him, people are unconvinced on the effects they have on each other but the thing they both have in common is they thrive off pace and direct players besides them, therefore Theo Walcott, our most productive attacker (assists and goals) don’t forget comes back on the right whilst Alexis can offer threat on the left I think our attack would be great.
It’s just a shame we won’t see them together at the same time at least until New Year.
To conclude, I’ll recap on what I believe we have learnt then from last night.
- Our best formation is the 4-2-3-1, Arsene Wenger must make bold decisions if he wants to maintain our fluency.
- Ozil is NOT a winger. People will point at the World Cup but Germany are a lot more functioned than us to allow Mesut more freedom to stay forward and drift into other areas.
- Wilshere and Ramsey are at their best in the same position of a 4-2-3-1
- Alexis may do a job but is not a lone striker
- Santi is best in the middle
- We still need a forward