“PICK OF THE BUNCH.”
BATE Borisov (2) Arsenal (4)
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.
With all due respect to our Belarusian opponents, there was no way we should have conceded two goals against them last night, when they are experiencing their ‘relatively’ worst league form in 11 seasons or so, especially goals of this nature when we should have been cruising. We seem to be the Liverpool of London and aim to press the panic button when things are going and should be going smoothly. Mustafi for his national team seems a world beater, but for us he is rash and utterly annoying with some of the tackles he makes. Holding still shows teething problems despite his good start last season and Per is showing he really should have stayed retired longer than the day or two he was during the summer. Ospina showed.. Oh what the heck Ospina makes the difficult saves seem easy and the easiest seem Herculean, I still do not get how he does that so easily. Sums up Arsenal of the last decade really the Colombian shot stopper.
JOE WILLOCK & REISS LUKE NELSON (B+)
I expected Wenger to start a ton of youngsters based on the number he took and honestly, I expected that to affect our rhythm and performance, but arguably two of our three top players on the night were some of our youngsters who did not look their age at all. Reiss Nelson despite being played in an unfamiliar role amazes every time he touches the ball. He left his defensive duties unattended sometimes, but going forward which is his when he is at his strongest, Nelson looks like he is going to be a wonderful football player, better than Ox and Theo have been as long as he keeps his feet on the ground and stays working hard.
Joe Willock. A bull of a young man. One of the rare powerful midfielders to be produced by the Arsenal Academy. He did not look out of place in the midfield. Intercepting and playing forward passes of quality at every turn, he took control of the midfield even better than his older colleague whose consistency came into question again after his good display on Monday, Mohammed El Neny. Joe and Reiss should get more opportunities in the first team and it is my hope and it also should be that of Gooners worldwide that their growth keeps heading skywards.
JACK WILSHERE (B+)
Jack is back. Hopefully. The turns, the turn of pace, the passing, the one-two passing, all reminiscent of his form in 2011 before luck shone poorly on him in the form of terrible injuries. It is too quick to say if he is at his best, especially since his top performances have not come against ‘top’ clubs, with all due respect, but it is impressive that he is showing flashes and signs that continued increase in game time will also lead to an incredible return in high quality performances. Hopefully, luck is kind to this man who loves to play the game and we can finally reap the benefits.
Theo some may claim should have been selected but I am tired of the ‘score a brace in 1 game, be terrible in the next 10 games attitude of his.’ Especially considering the opportunities he missed when he could have had 4 or more goals. Talking about giving Olivier the penalty to reach 100 goals. Urgh! Despicable! Oli G though! Congratulations to the dashing matador of a man. Highly doubted, but always comes up good. Long may his exploits continue, off the bench though behind our new Wrighty when we need him.
FEEL FREE TO LEAVE COMMENTS AND OPINIONS ON WHOM YOU BELIEVE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SELECTED, IN WHICH PHASE, AND WHY. TA!