As you may have noticed Arsenal are getting better week by week. If the match against City was a tactical masterclass, Sunday’s demolition of Aston Villa was a lesson in attacking football. Arsenal play has improved and in the process of our fifth straight win in all competitions we haven’t conceded a goal for 280 minutes in the league.
Arsenal also boast 14 different goal scorers this season (best in the league) and they say we are a one man team (insert your own joke here). Even in our 5-0 thrashing of Villa we had five different scorers and Alexis Sanchez didn’t even play at all. Based on the form of the players and without affecting the balance, here is my starting XI for the Spurs game:
The Colombian may not have produced eye catchy saves so far but there are enough indications to suggest that he is our No1. A sign of a great goalkeeper is to stay alert even when he has very little to do, to make saves when called upon. In the game against Villa, Ospina was virtually a spectator but in the dying seconds of both the halves he had to make two top class saves to stop Villa getting an absolutely undeserving goal.
What a month the kid has had. He has taken his game to a new level and although he will have some bad games given his inexperience the signs are that we have a gem in our hands. His attacking play was always fantastic but it’s his defensive nous that has improved so remarkably in the last month. The silver lining to the Debuchy injury cloud has been the emergence of Bellerin.
The BFG is our captain, our leader, our general. He was terrific against Aston Villa, winning everything in the box.
Harry Kane is already being dubbed as England’s next big thing. While I am not sure whether he can reach the heights of Aguero, Suarez and Messi, he can definitely join the trio in the list of “Missing persons found in Koscielny’s pocket”.
There will be a piece on Allarsenal about Monreal later this week. The man has been simply excellent and is certainly ahead of Gibbs in the team at present. Solid and reliable.
Francis Coquelin could turn out to be the beast of a defensive midfielder we have been craving for years. His presence in the centre allows more creative players around him to flourish, and it is no coincidence that we have looked better defensively with him. Deserves a contract and hopefully he signs it.
A scintillating player at the top of his game. Few players in world football boast his incredible technique.
The German will have a big impact on the second half of the season. He looks fitter, stronger and more importantly hungrier than he has ever been. His flick to set up Giroud’s goal was sheer genius and anyone still doubting the former Real Madrid man should be made to share a room with John Terry. He now has two goals and an assist in his last two games.
Presuming that Sanchez will be fit for the weekend, he should certainly start against Spurs. The Chilean is that kind of a player who wants to play even when he’s blinded, his legs severed from his body and every inch of his body oozing blood. His omission from the starting lineup against Spurs at the Emirates earlier in the season was a baffling decision to say the least from the manager and I don’t think he will do that again. Indispensable.
He may not have the greatest of first touches or the nous to dribble past people but a fit Theo in the side is always a worry for the opposition. He has always done extremely well against Spurs and there are few better ways to complete his return than by scoring a goal against that lot down the road.
The Frenchman’s form since returning from injury has been nothing short of sensational and it’s quite surprising that he isn’t getting the adulation he deserves. Probably because of Alexis’s superhuman efforts or by his stupid red card against QPR but Giroud’s stats are looking richer by the day. He has now scored against Everton, Liverpool, City and United. Splendid if he gets one at WHL.
This would be my starting XI for the weekend. But what I think and Arsene thinks are entirely different and he will likely opt for Ramsey in the midfield instead of Cazorla playing deeper. That probably means either Walcott or Ozil will be sacrificed – unless Sanchez gets injured.
Of course, until we get the team sheet, we will never know, but the above team would be a good one based on form and fitness.