Arsenal’s 6-game winning streak ended with a frustrating draw at the Emirates against Middlesbrough. Arsenal were lucky not to go behind against an organized Middlesbrough time as Alexis, Walcott, Ozil and Koscielny all missed chances to give The Gunners the lead.
That said, here are the 5 things we learnt fron the game:
Santi Cazorla is indispensable to this team
Santi Cazorla may be 31, but to Arsenal, age is just a number. The Little Magician got kicked a bit in the game against Ludogorets which forced him to sit out this game. His influence in this team cannot be quantified and it was obvious he was sorely missed in today’s game. The Elneny-Coquelin partnership didn’t create much going forward and that is where the Spaniard would have excelled. We can’t wait to have you back, Santi.
Olivier Giroud is important to Arsenal’s title push
It’s funny when Arsenal fans get carried away by the team’s current attacking set-up, thus forgetting that Olivier Giroud is as important to this team as the other players. True, he misses chances, but, games like this is where Olivier Giroud excels. Despite all the good works done by Arsenal with possession, there was nobody to aim at in the area because all our attacking options are midgets. Giroud would have made the difference against a very organized Boro defence.
Shoot Arsenal, shoot!
Against teams where there are 11 players behind the ball, shooting at goal can be the deal breaker. Not always will we walk the ball into the neat. When shots are taken, it could be parried to the direction of any player in the area, it could take a wicked deflection and end the back of the net. Today, none of our players was brave enough to aim at goal which is a bit disappointing. Wenger’s philosophy is to play beautifully, but we need to always play ugly aginst teams like this.
Koscielny – Mustafi need to tighten up more at the back
It is true we have our best centre back pairings in years but KOSTAFI need to tighten up more. At a point in the game, Boro had had 8 chances. EIGHT. The funny thing was Arsenal were dominating possessions but you wouldn’t have thought that. Mustafi and Koscielny would have been punished if that was against a tough side. We can’t keep letting opponents come at us that way.
A draw is not the end of the world
When Arsenal wins, all is well with the world. When they lose, the fans undergo a melt down. The team will not win every game. No team will! Not in the Premier League. Every team will have their own fair share of draws and defeats and since it is still early days, we cannot allow this draw determine how the season will go. Arsenal fans need to understand that.