Arsene Wenger has surprisingly not been too rigid to experiment during the start of a crucial season, with new systems and new players given time to strike a balance, and the dividends seem to be paying off now.
Unlike last season’s chemistry between Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud which got the best out of Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil seems to have found new company in Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez. The new signings, as well as Oxlade Chamberlain have begun the season on the front foot.
I predicted Arsenal would find their swagger immediately after the next International break, but they seem to have struck gold together, just before they join their respective national teams.
More astonishingly, Arsenal showcased their best display of the season which came against Galatasaray, without some notable key figures like Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere.
Now facing Chelsea on Sunday, and a couple of winnable games after the International break, Arsene finds himself in a delicate situation. Does he use the next month to build the team around his attackers, or bring back his midfield maestros once they become available?
Therefore, it might seem more plausible to pair Flamini with Coquelin to deal with the central threat of Cesc especially when we give the ball away. After all, a front four of Ozil, Alexis, Ox & Welbeck have the quality and tactical balance to harm Chelsea’s back four right?
Well Cazorla showed how disciplined (apart from given the ball away a few times) he could be in central midfield. He tried to never leave Flamini isolated in the middle of the park and switched play quite admirably, much quicker than Arteta would/should.
And that switch blade move of his would always be useful in the middle of the park, especially when the opposition are beginning to show signs of fatigue later in the game. Super sub then? Well his style compliments the current front four a lot. It will also be nice to see him use the switch blade move to expose Cesc, who ironically will be playing in the same role as Santi.
That front four would also be crucial when defending from the front, due to their energy levels and tracking back abilities. They try to close the lines of opposing penetration as quick as possible. Another reason why I think they should be given a longer run to play together.
It is also not a coincidence that Welbeck’s goals so far have been created by the trio of Ozil, Sanchez and Chamberlain, three players who compliment the English man’s tireless running.
Injuries to key players ensured that the team picked itself for the visit of Galatasaray but perhaps that was what was needed for Arsene to realize that this year, its the attackers that hold the key to offensive and defensive success.