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All good things must come to an end…

Alexis Sanchez Arsenal

Arsenal were playing the same squad for the longest consecutive period of games in a row since 1994 and slumped to their first defeat in 11 league games. All good things must indeed come to an end.

What has been most refreshing about Arsenal’s recent upturn in form is the way that Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have finally established a starting 11 that can push us on to title success next season.
Chelsea, are of course the Champions, and it is now possible that we don’t finish second. But it has been a great second half of the season for us regardless.

The Gunners have allowed the trio of David Ospina, Francis Coquelin and Hector Bellerin to rescue our season and it has paid off handsomely. We’re heading to the FA Cup Final and although yesterday’s defeat to Swansea City leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, we’ve a lot to look forward to for 2015/16.

In terms of the game itself, Arsenal were of course dominant throughout but Swansea City and their manager Garry Monk outsmarted us. That six man midfield proved a problem for us for the entire evening. I indeed hope that Tim Sherwood doesn’t learn anything from that performance by the Swans.

Arsenal need to now regroup and finish on the best possible note for the last two league games of the season. Wenger will need to rotate to keep his freshest legs fresh for the FA Cup Final.

Important WBA win; we must buy a defensive midfielder

Danny Welbeck Olivier Giroud

That was a big win for us yesterday. WBA made it difficult for Arsenal at the end, but a goal from Welbz was enough to secure an important 3 points and push us a little further up the Premier League table. All in all, that was a pretty good week. A 2-0 home win against Borussia Dortmund was of course the highlight. However, we’ve had the additional setback of further injuries. Jack Wilshere had to have surgery and will miss three months of action. Mikel Arteta picked up a knock. Yesterday, Nacho Monreal had to come off for Gibbs and also it is possible the Ox might miss a game or two. I know many people are questioning our medical team and training, but I think it’s really bad luck. I think a lot of it is to do with the types of players Arsene Wenger recruits. Buying players like Yaya Sanogo, Thomas Eisfeld and Abou Diaby, young players with certain question marks over their fitness, shows Arsene Wenger tends to take a bit of a risk when purchasing players.
Anyway, we now move on to our next game. Six points from our last two games is a big boost for the team.
In terms of yesterday’s performance against West Brom, it was crucial having Laurent Koscielny back in the side. He and Per Mertesacker really complement each other well at the back and it’s good to have our two recognised players back at the heart of defence. I know people were asking why we sold Thomas Vermaelen, but I think it is obvious that Calum Chambers could end up being a centre back and the Belgian’s replacement. By the way, Vermaelen is out until April next year through injury and hasn’t yet played a game for Barca…
Aaron Ramsey is having a worrying spell of form recently. I know I’m not the only one who transferred him out of their fantasy team more than a month ago. Yesterday was the same. He’s not making his usua runs into the box and he doesn’t track back efficiently enough. Good performances on the whole came from Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud did his thing pretty well, Santi Cazorla got stuck in to continue his great performance after the Dortmund game and at the back pretty good too. Martinez seems a decent backup for us in goal, but I can’t imagine he’ll keep the number 1 jersey for long. I want to see Ospina in between the sticks as soon as possible.
On to the January transfer window. One thing I’ve noticed from all top European sides such as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich is that their formation seems to all have a similar setup.
Take Bayern for example: Lewandowski up front, has three men behind him at all times. Robben, Ribery and Muller. Goetze can sit behind those four. Bayern then sit an anchorman behind those 5. Xabi Alonso. Or even Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Real Madrid have Benzema up top, Ronaldo playing loose behind him; Rodriguez and Bale on the flanks. Behind that, Toni Kroos sits in the middle of midfield. Behind him? an anchorman. Sami Khedira.

Let’s look at Arsenal’s formation. You can easily put Olivier Giroud up front and he’ll do a job. On the flanks, you can choose your pick between Welbeck, Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski, Sanchez. Behind him, I’d like to see us play Ramsey in that Kroos/Goetze role. But where is our anchorman? We’re currently playing Arteta alongside a Ramsey/Wilshere combo. That’s not really doing the job. Arteta tries to play the water carrier alongside those players, but he’s not quick enough, not strong enough and not a defensive midfielder. I think in January Arsene Wenger needs to buy a central defensive midfielder. Who would I like to see? It’s difficult to say because I don’t know who is on the market. Who do I like? Well, Matic at Chelsea is the type of player I think we need. We could’ve had Luiz Gustavo, we turned him down. We chased Xabi Alonso for years, he’s at Bayern now. We’re apparently chasing Sami Khedira. Not sure he’ll join us, though.
Personally, I think Arturo Vidal is the best in the world. Maybe with the Chilean connection of Alexis Sanchez at the club, we have a chance?
In terms of market availability, it is clear there is one man who Arsenal should sign. He’s French, he plays at Southampton, with whom we have an excellent relationship… Morgan Schneiderlin.
But the price wouldn’t come cheap… but he did want to leave for Spurs last summer, so maybe we have a chance.