Arsenal’s attacking transition holds the key to EPL glory next season.
In a period where strikers are tagged with astronomical figures, Arsenal go into the season with a real possibility of having an attacking unit devoid of late changes in the transfer market.
With Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott looking as comfortable as they’ve ever been in the Premier League, as well as Alexis completing a successful first season, the attacking core looks settled and set to have a campaign, especially with the current belief in the dressing room.
And the Gunners will need all the self belief in their armory to remain clinical in front of goal in 2015/2016.
Arsene has the most difficult decision to make this season. The trio of Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud have the best chemistry at the club in attacking transitions but Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez are currently playing the best football of their respective careers.
This especially comes after le boss finally found a system capable of breaking down the qualities of his last complete striker – Robin Van Persie.
The Dutch man’s awareness earned him a complete understanding with just about everyone who played around him, and he took full advantage of that due to his intelligent powerful shooting technique, first touch and hold-up play, as well as his artistic creativity.
However in Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott, Arsenal have a technical core who are beginning to show a penchant for delicious final balls and piledrivers.
Throw in the beautiful strikes Oxlade Chamberlain has scored in the past year and it’s clear to see how this side have improved their technical prowess in and around the box.
Ozil’s chance conversion plea
For some reason, the Press can’t run out of words for continuously reviewing the shortcomings they’ve created in Mesut Ozil’s game.
Granted, he should be contributing more to the attack in the area of assisting and goal scoring, but it should also be noted that he still ranked as one of the top 10 chance creators in the league last season, despite missing three months of the campaign through injury.
In his first season in England (and like we’ve seen so far in pre-season), Ozil struck a sublime partnership with Ramsey, with the duo also regularly dragging Olivier Giroud into the equation, by playing off the Frenchman.
That happened less in 14/15 due to serious injuries the trio suffered at different points of the season. Nonetheless, Giroud’s opener in the 3-0 win over West Ham in March showcased the bond between the trio. I couldn’t find a better goal combination from this team, throughout the season, although Ozil’s strike against Lyon came close.
Meanwhile, heading into 2015/2016, Mesut Ozil is going to experience series of partnerships with his front three. A dynamism of this nature in attack suits no one better than the German International, who was used almost like a second striker last weekend.
Having Ramsey behind him also gives him a central outlet through the midfield, with Ozil also occasionally benefiting from the vision and final ball of the Welshman. More so, the understanding the German has with Theo will always remain, especially when Alexis Sanchez returns.
Healthy attacking competition
The last time Theo ended the season on a high he was the team’s most important striker. These days however, Alexis plies his trade in north London, while the clinical progress of Ramsey & Giroud means Arsenal’s no.14 has more competitive company to grapple with, especially with just two spots allocated to three strikers.
Nonetheless, it’s the best possible scenario for the club. While Theo epitomizes a striker who worked his way to the top, his strike partner, Alexis strikes me as the one with the natural talent.
I’m not sure you would find better distinct abilities to partner and compete with Giroud. Looks to me like the club have finally attained the position they always looked forward to, especially with all three strikers hitting the target in Arsenal’s last game of the 2014/2015 campaign at Wembley.
Ox marking his territory.
Considering the promising way Chamberlain has started the season, it’s safe to say the English man is slowly but surely getting ‘there’. The 21 year old has looked extremely sharp in pre-season and seems like a man on a mission, blossoming in his improved understanding with Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil.
It is only a matter of time to see him carve his best range and attacking territory. The bulky attacker could profit from healthy competition with Jack, with both also naturally gifted with the ability to burst past markers.
The Welbeck Project
Danny maybe a lot of things, but he’s certainly not a forgotten man. Quick, sharp and elusive, the English man wouldn’t find a better club to fine-tune his technical quality.
However, with the 24-year old slowly regaining some level of fitness, it is difficult to see him being selected for the opening two-three games of the season. Such a decision could benefit the ex-Mancunian, as it affords him the time and dedication to work on his shooting and killer instinct.
Arséne has also shown little hesitancy to include Danny in the big games, which only highlights how the boss believes in his work rate and potential. This gives the necessary confidence the England International needs to seize every opportunity he’s given, especially heading into an Euro year.
Last time Arsenal finished in third, the team was built around the Dutchman and it’s a shame he won’t be in the EPL to experience the climax of the team he allowed Arsene to build in the wake of his departure.
For the first time since his exit, Arsenal have assembled a threatening striking force, capable of doubling 30 premier League goals in 2011/2012, emulating the great Arsenal strikers of seasons past, in the process.
Similar to those past striking options of the 2006/2007 campaign, where Arsenal’s last three strikers (RVP, Emmanuel Adebayor, Thierry Henry and further down, Julio Baptista) partnered one another, Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott (with Welbeck a little further down) can be comfortably partnered with each other, as Arsene rotates and recycles the triumvirate to a fresh attacking glory.
A young Nigerian columnist who loves to spot a hidden link. There’s no such thing as coincidence in football. Massive fan of The Arsenal and a little obsessed with tactics.