Martin Keown believes balance is the key to winning the Premier League, and Arsene Wenger must find that at Arsenal before he sees us lift the trophy again. The ex-Gunner claims Mesut Özil will be key to our campaign, but just as important will be the defensive duties Francis Coquelin and Laurent Koscielny perform.
Alexis Sanchez has surprisingly not been named as one of the “key” stars of the season, despite being our top scorer during his debut campaign.
“The way Arsenal attack and play football is key to all their success – that’s their brand, attacking football,” he wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“Özil getting all these assists is very key to that, but just as important is the number of tackles Francis Coquelin might make, or the number of clearances and blocks Laurent Koscielny might make.
“You have to demonstrate both sides of the game and I feel Arsenal are at a crossroads.
“We’ve seen them outbattled and outplayed in the space of a week, and this tells me there needs to be a better balance in both areas.
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“The team that finds that balance will win the Premier League.”
You could argue that despite Keown’s comments, we actually have an excellent balance this season. When the squad is fully fit we appear to have a fantastic balance throughout the team, but our problem once again has been keeping players fit and the depth we lack when we do suffer our usual glut of injuries.
We’ve struggled significantly when certain players have been absent, showing just how badly we need to strengthen in the transfer window. When we’ve utilised Mathieu Debuchy instead of Hector Bellerin it has been particularly noticeable, as this season we’ve relied on the Spaniard to not only defend, but to create width going forward on the right.
Equally, without someone like Aaron Ramsey on the right flank, we’ve been unable to overload other areas of the pitch as we usually do.
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Keown is not wrong about the importance of Özil, Coquelin, and Koscielny, but there are other players in other areas who are likely to prove equally as key.