After a well earned victory against resilient opponents midweek, we find ourselves up against tough opposition in the form of newly promoted Leicester City.
In what was a crucial tie, Arsenal managed to improve on previous performances and approached something resembling the form they are known for. Although much of the post match analysis centred around the last fifteen minutes and an apparent struggle, I saw the game far more positively and saw a wealth of opportunities created as well as relationships improving in the attacking third too.
Sanchez got off the mark and this clearly lifted him and the team as well. This is vital considering the injury to Giroud but also because it is becoming more apparent that a new striker will not be signed this transfer window. A lot of people are angry about this fact and the world of the internet has exploded in the usual preposterous way with calls for Wenger to be fired. The world is becoming more and more crazy and what seemed like a minority of people is slowly feeling like it is taking over. The same fans that have been clamouring for us to sign Balotelli are probably at this time lambasting his performance following a series of misses in the first half. Fickle doesn't even begin to describe some people. I think the media perpetuates this and for that I hate them.
Anyway I digress. Point being; Sanchez is likely to feature up front in the majority of games and I personally feel that this is why Sanchez was bought in the first place. There is going to be an acclimatisation period both for Sanchez himself but also the players around him. Giroud, for all his faults of which there are many, became the focal point of our attacks. We became reliant on him at times to hold the ball up, something he does very well. *UPDATE - NOPE SANOGO IS GOING TO START UP FRONT*
The players need to change their style now to suit a very different type of forward. I do think this will actually benefit our attacking play in the long run this season but in the interim we may need to be patient. The attack could look very exciting and extremely quick when things settle down and the teething problems are resolved. The thought of an attack containing the pace of Walcott and Sanchez is truly mouth watering especially when complimented by the passing and creativity of Ozil and Cazorla.
However with all these players fast becoming available, the manager has quite the challenge on his hands to pick the best team. Already you can see there are some issues in terms of fitting in all the players we have.
For this afternoon we have Ramsey returning after his suspension midweek. This in itself is great news but will surely mean that either Wilshere or Cazorla will have to be sacrificed to facilitate him despite both these players having their best individual performances in quite some time. Also there is the question of where to play Ozil? It is obvious that his best position is the number 10 role but some of the criticism for his performances on the left have been (surprise, surprise) ridiculously over the top. He created the goal for Sanchez and was tidy in possession throughout. He is still finding match fitness which could explain the position he is being played in at the moment.
I think it will be Wilshere that gets rested/dropped today which is a shame as this could be a game where perhaps Flamini will not be needed as we are likely to keep the ball for longer periods. It would also be good for both Ramsey and Wilshere to practice adapting their game in deeper positions.
Prediction: Leicester 0 - 2 Arsenal
Come on The Arsenal.