“PICK OF THE BUNCH.”
From match-day to match-day there are certain individuals in the Arsenal team whose performance leaves them standing head and shoulders above the rest. The ones whose blood, sweat and tears are shed to ensure the team wins or at least makes a good attempt doing that. This weekly feature is going to make an attempt at picking the best player from each phase of play; DEFENCE, MIDFIELD and ATTACK. A simple, uncluttered review of the top players in each phase, with a shout to notable mentions in each phase, if there are any.
NB: WINGBACKS ARE A PART OF THE MIDFIELD, ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS ARE A PART OF THE ATTACK.
P.S: Here’s to hoping we do not have any match-days like we did against Liverpool, when there was no player worthy of praise.
ARSENAL v WEST BROMWICH ALBION.
NACHO MONREAL (B+)
It goes to show the state of the Arsenal defence when for three match-days in a row, our defence has arguably been marshalled expertly by a left back. Nacho Monreal, ever since his stint at center back a few years ago, has played incredibly when he has been called upon. Many shouted from the rooftops for the manager to bring in an experienced centre back this summer and though this was warranted, Nacho has kinda reduced the impact we should have felt from the lack of strengthening in that position.
His clearance off the line last night was a huge moment in the game, as we looked likely to crumble any moment West Brom scored like we did last season at Crystal Palace. He did two things better than his partners at the back last night; was very vocal with his teammates and demanded better of them (unlike CAPTAIN Koscielny) and was calm yet firm when he found himself in a defensive situation (unlike Mustafi).
NOTABLE MENTION: PETR CECH
That tip on to the post of Jay Rodriguez’s shot after THAT unnecessary Mustafi tackle was class.
MOHAMMED EL NENY (B+)
The Pharaoh of North London. El Neny has shown flashes of brilliance since he moved to London, but just like most of the players who have stripped up for The Arsenal in the last decade, consistency has failed him.
Yesterday, he showed again why Arsene Wenger has so much faith in him. Running everywhere across the field like a Duracell fueled man with a chip on his shoulder, El Neny bossed the midfield, especially in the second half. Drifting in between the defence and midfield of West Brom, he made a nuisance of himself to Tony Pulis’ “Saints” and won the freekick which led to the goal from the top attacking player from last night.
NOTABLE MENTION: SEAD KOLASINAC
Get used to seeing his name on these pages. The man is a beast, yet easily loveable, because he always plays with his heart on his sleeve.
ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE (A-)
We finally got ourselves the finisher our beautiful play has deserved. Laca has taken to the Emirates like fish to water, and enjoys playing in front of the Gooners. He took his goals yesterday like a proper marksman but that is not all his game is about, as his smart moevemnts and hold up play are sometimes breathtaking.
He is still getting used to the intensity of the League, and is sure to set it ablaze when he does. Let’s hope he lives up to even half of what Wrighty was for us.
NOTABLE MENTION: AARON RAMSEY
I have been a huge defender of Mesut Ozil, but it is clear now we are structured better with him out of the lineup. Chance creation flows through several players in our squad, and Ramsey showed this with his play last night. He is coming in to his own again this season, yet like El Neny all we pray for is consistency and with Ramsey, a clean bill of health.