Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas believes Arsene Wenger should drop the underperforming Alexis Sanchez for our clash with Barcelona, and has his own ideas about how we can go about getting the win over the La Liga giants, as reported by Sky Sports.
Alexis has unquestionably been poor for large parts of this season, and has been relatively ineffective since his return from injury. There have already been calls for the Chilean to be dropped, but the injuries we’ve sustained and the game changing potential Alexis possesses has seen him keep his place.
Nicholas believes Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott, and Mesut Özil, should start as a front three, with more focus on the midfield to stifle Barcelona’s attack.
“This isn’t the Arsenal team of previous seasons. It is more like one of the bottom teams in the Premier League taking on one of the top sides,” he said.
“I would play Danny Welbeck up front and Theo Walcott on the right in the very slim hope that they could expose the lack of pace that Barca have at the back.
“Leave Alexis Sanchez out, as he’s been a non-event since his return from injury – except for the goal against Tottenham – and then have Mesut Ozil on the left and flood the midfield.”
While there are definitely arguments to suggest Alexis should be dropped, our current situation makes it pretty difficult. Nicholas suggests we pack the midfield, but who exactly does Arsene Wenger pack it with?
Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny are likely to start as a pair in the centre of the park, but who else is there? Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Tomas Rosicky are all out injured (via Arsenal.com), while Calum Chambers appears to have been left out of the travelling squad completely. The only other real options would be Mikel Arteta or Mathieu Flamini, and is it really worth dropping Alexis Sanchez for one of those two?
If Mesut Özil continues in the No.10 spot then we could always replace Alexis with Joel Campbell or Alex Iwobi, but it’s hard to see Wenger dropping the former Barcelona man.
Arsenal transfer news
Our injuries and lack of depth is once again limiting us, and when a player has no fear of being dropped there is often nothing pushing them to improve.