I don’t normally write analysis pieces, but a couple of graphics I’ve seen recently by the genius analyst @11tegen11 have inspired me, so here goes.
Arsene has a decision to make; does he go with Le Coq Blocker or the Stone Cold Kosovan as Santi’s sidekick.
Both players have different outlooks to the game with differing outcomes to the overall team performance.
Francis plays more of a destroyer role, get the ball (or man) and get rid, mostly to Santi. The tends to a more compact team shape , requiring more work from the centre backs to initiate the forward motion.
Needed in tight niggle games when you need to fight fire with fire.
Pretty much the fulcrum of the team. Picking the ball up from the back four, in a deeper lying position and providing the start point for most or the attacking moves. This allows Santi to be further up the field to affect the forward movement of the team and Hector and Nacho more freedom to get forward providing an attacking 7. He also gives a greater opportunity to start a counter attack as he is picking the ball up in space rather than in the crowed central area.
I think my mumbling makes sense, but I know the pictures explain much better than I ever could.
To state the bleeding obvious Boom Xhaka Lakah is Santi’s perfect foil and provides a better balance to the team.
Le Coq has his role, when opposition is tough and the shop needs to be shut.
Feel sorry for Elneny, he done nothing wrong and seems to be on the periphery already.