Monday, August 31, 2015

Huff, puff, Theo and points on board

The defenses that Arsenal have played against this season have demonstrated a greater propensity to find the back of the net than our strikers. Our strikers could do well looking at the videos demonstrating able finishes from Damien Delaney (a neat dash into the goalkeeper’s box with a hooked finish giving the goalkeeper no chance) and the subtle guided back heel deflection from Coloccini.

True to my hopes last week, Giroud was dropped from the starting lineup. However, we started with Walcott upfront and Sanchez left, against my hopes of it being the other way around.

It became pretty clear to me that

WENGER DOES NOT TRUST WALCOTT IN THE MIDFIELD because of how wasteful he can be with possession.

If we look since Walcott has regained fitness, Walcott has been allowed to enter the XI as a striker alone. Remember, how Wenger has played Welbeck, Ramsey and everyone else in the wings, but Walcott. It is understandable considering how assured in possession the rest of the midfield is. He is not great defensively, as well.


Do not expect to start much, do not expect him to link up much, will be brought on to score goals.
The only problem is Walcott does not seem to be finishing chances off, as well. I would still continue with Walcott to be honest. I believe that we have given Giroud enough of a chance to fail in his auditions. If nothing else, Theo, atleast deserves that chance. If and when Giroud finds form, he can find a place in the team.

Part of the reason for my belief is borne from the run of upcoming games. After the international break, we have Chelsea on the horizon. We have a greater chance to beat Chelsea with Walcott, than with Giroud in the team. If in the meanwhile, one of them finds form, while the other does not, we can revisit the Walcott- Giroud question later. Also, with Welbeck firmly in the hat (hopefully!) by then, we may have a better question to pose and answer. Welbeck has the touch and strength of Giroud, pace of Walcott and better movement than both of them. If he stays fit and starts to find the net, he will transform our attack. Till then, we have to do with Walcott, unless the Transfer Gods decide otherwise.

Amidst all this gloom, our defensive unit looks well settled. Our full backs are in top form. Aside from the West Ham disaster, our center backs and Cech have not put much of a foot wrong.

Our start to the season is not as gloomy as the press would have you believe. If Ferguson or Mourinho were grinding out this “one-nil” with no semblance of fluidity, the media would be going ga-ga over how great teams win even when they are not so good. West Ham aside, our results have been above average if nothing else. Crystal Palace, whom we beat, is not going to be an easy fixture of anyone. Teams will drop points at Anfield. And this Newcastle is not a rollover team in turmoil anymore. We have put some well-earned points on the board.

It is not many a time that I would say this, but the international break has come at a good time for us. We can refresh ourselves and start with a clean slate thereafter.