2013/2014 was an eye-opener for Arsenal in many ways. The requirements for winning a trophy were clearly understood, while the elements to mount and successfully end a title assault were acutely made manifest.
Eventually, the Gunners lost that league battle to Manchester City, who in my opinion, began a new era of dominance through endless attacking football. A strategy the top seven Premier League clubs, including the once defensive Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea seek to adopt this season. Let the system glorify its players.
With the competition in the Premier League now at an unprecedented level, perhaps it’s time for Arsene Wenger to adopt a system which glorifies his players. A philosophy which worked wonders in his first eight years at the club. The Premier League is all about pace and Arsenal looked out of place in the title race, during the period where they lacked it last season.
Now, they’ve got it in abundance and there should be no hesitation to adopt a fast paced system to get the best out of Arsenal’s best legs. The benefits are endless.
Theo is no longer Arsenal’s only fast forward
Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey built a strong chemistry last season and so can the duo of Alexis Sanchez and Jack Wilshere, as well as Theo Walcott and latest recruit, Danny Welbeck.
We’ve already seen Sanchez and Jack combine well already, and the mobile understanding between Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck should add more dynamism to Arsenal’s speedy approach.
These six players are all at an age bracket well suited to make them the core of the team this season and beyond, and I see no reason why Arsene should dither in forming a system which glorifies the sextet.
If I were to single one of these players as the one who would benefit most significantly from these series of combinations, it would be Danny Welbeck. The Englishman has a lot to prove, having gotten his chance to take his game to the next level.
Welbeck is at Crossroads
He can draw confidence from Arsene’s history of moulding strikers. At 23, Arsenal’s new no. 23 finds himself at the same age when Thierry Henry joined the Gunners, and at the same age when Emmanuel Adebayor was given the mantle to lead the line. And unlike the Togolese who occasionally lacked the required hunger and desire to produce consistent top level performances, Welbeck possesses the necessary work rate and determination needed, to become what Arsene labels as ‘top quality’.
Already quick and strong, the England International has chosen the right move to fine-tune his technical skills and clinical tendencies. An art which Theo Walcott began to exhibit at the same age of 23.
For me, the positives of signing Danny Welbeck clearly outweigh the refutation of his arrival. Career defining period for Olivier? In the 2010/2011 season, Arsenal profited from the freshness of Robin van Persie in the second half of that campaign, and same could be the case as regards Olivier Giroud this season.
The Frenchman returns during the winter, at a time when Arsenal would probably need freshness upfront, as was the case in 2013/2014.
Can Oli do a ‘Persie’?
Giroud has his sizeable share of baggage. And he could be highly frustrating but when the 27-year old is well rested, his interesting qualities outshine whatever baggage he’s got. This was quite evident at the start of last season, and with Welbeck’s arrival, the Frenchman would not be unfairly used. Perhaps he can also use his time out on the sidelines to reflect on his Arsenal career so far and deduce ways to do away with most of those baggages.
Surprisingly, three of Arsenal’s five summer deals came from the Premier League, which ensures a seamless adjustment to the rigours of the English game. The Non-EPL arrivals in Alexis and David Ospina also possess qualities which perfectly suit the style of play in England.
Having identified and corrected Arsenal’s sluggish problems in the transfer market, it’s time for Arsene to transfer those solutions to the pitch, with a speedy system quick enough to properly challenge the Premier League elite.