When Mathieu Debuchy first came to Arsenal, I watched him closely and one thing that stood out was the defensive stability that he brought to the team. His positioning was excellent and his tackling was first class. He was definitely not the quickest player on the pitch and for that reason no one expected him to go bombing up and down the pitch. He chose his moments to aid in Arsenal’s attack carefully and was always watchful to make sure there was cover when he was in the opposition half.
Of course this meant that Arsenal’s attack suffered as a result due to the fact that we rely on our fullbacks to make overlapping runs as much as possible. However, while not so potent in our attack, our defence was resolute with the opposition having very few goal scoring opportunities.
Hector Bellerin was tasked with protecting the right wing after Debuchy’s injury and after a few mishaps has gone on to make the position his own. While Bellerin gives us forward impetus due to his pace, his positioning has always been suspect. His pace definitely helps him to recover when the opposition gets behind him.
Watching Debuchy earlier on against Tottenham Hotspur, I could not believe what I was seeing as the space he afforded Tottenham was shocking to say the least. Such was his dismal performance, he might as well not have been on the pitch. However, as the game wore on, he noticeably improved and that is when I realized that he just needs a couple of games before he is back to producing the assured displays we all know he is capable of producing.
It will be unbelievable when we have Debuchy back to his swashbuckling best as to have two top right backs to choose from only helps increase our strength in depth.