Good day guys, hope you enjoyed the matches served in the second week of the Premier League. Our darling team, Arsenal gave a better showing this time around against champions, Leicester City and I will be sharing my thoughts on the game in similar fashion as I did last week. Enjoy as you read.
This week we saw a change in Arsenal’s starting 11. We saw The Ox, Santi, Xhaka and Koscielny all come into the side after their exclusion from the starting 11 last week. This change makes one wonder if Arsene learnt from last week’s flaws or the changes were due to the injuries sustained. The return of Koscielny no doubt gave the much needed stability to the defence and his partnership with Holding was an improvement. No doubt Holding will be a good center back, he played with courage and composure.
The pairing of Xhaka and Coquelin in the middle of the pack gave us the steel we have missed in recent years. We won the midfield battle with this pairing. It gave Santi the needed freedom. Ox was direct in his approach and that was what we got from him towards the end of the Liverpool game.
Overall the team is still bleeding for a striker. Sanchez played upfront, and as usual he didn’t get much action.If we had returned Sanchez to the wing and played a decent man up front, then we would have gotten results from the first two games of the season.
Leicester’s approach to the game was direct and physical. This approach won them the title last season. Arsenal meanwhile went with technique. Xhaka and Coquelin in the middle of the pack gave us the physical edge. Xhaka’s substitution later on meant we lost that physical presence in the closing moment of the game.
Impact of Substitutes
Leicester brought on Ulloa and Musa for Okazaki and Albrighton respectively in a bid to increase the pressure on the Arsenal defense and it almost paid off. Musa was denied a penalty in a controversial manner after a challenge from Bellerin. Ranieri’s substitution almost gave the needed result.
Arsenal introduced Ozil, Wilshere and Giroud for Xhaka, Santi and Ox respectively. The changes shuffled the team a bit with Sanchez going back to the wing and Giroud playing up front. Ozil was involved in few moves but wasn’t able to fashion out any meaningful chance for his team mates to exploit. Wenger got away with one as he left the reckless Coquelin on the pitch even after he was cautioned.
Other notable things.
The injury to Leicester’s new boy Mendy affected the team’s defensive capability, Mendy was very physical and fought hard in the middle of the park. Is he a good replacement for Kante? Only time will tell.
On a lighter note, I wouldn’t know if I was the only one who noticed that the Arsenal players stopped making crosses into the box after Giroud came on. Before that we had crosses in the box, I don’t know if it was a deliberate attempt not to get the ball to Giroud [Never mind, that’s just a theory I concocted in my head]. Anyway the Arsenal team is in a dire need of a striker and I realy do hope Mr Wenger gets one in ASAP.
Don’t forget you can use the comment box below to air your view on my thoughts of the game. See you soon [literarily].