Saturday, 10 December 2016

Arsenal looked to go top with a win over
Stoke on Saturday afternoon, if only for a
day or so. The game commenced in a very open
fashion with both teams having chances at
either end without managing to put the ball
into the net. It was the visitors, however,
who opened the scoring via the penalty spot,
following a very gawkish challenge from
Granit Xhaka. Albeit Arsenal weren't
playing deplorably, it looked as though it was
going to be one of those frustrating games
for the Gunners. As the moiety drew to a close,
Sanchez found Bellerin out wide who
squared the ball across for Walcott, who
culminated well, a crucial goal.
The second-half was a plenarily different
game. Arsenal moved the ball around the
pitch with confidence and didn't authentically sanction
Stoke back into the game. Mesut Ozil
nodded Arsenal's second afore substitute,
Alex Iwobi, culminated well to score Arsenal's
third and decisive goal. A great second-half
performance from Arsenal, so here are the
'Four Things We Learned':

1. Xhaka Raises Doubts:
Arsène Wenger came under fire this season
for relucting to put Granit Xhaka into the
starting lineup after signing him in the
summer. Wenger insisted that Xhaka was
not yare to commence, whether mentally or
physically, and today it was facile to spot the
issues. With another commixed bag performance,
the puerile Swiss international gave away a
cringing penalty, yet minutes later commenced
picking out unbelievable passes with facileness.
Xhaka is a great passer, especially with his
left foot but it's his defensive cognizance and
mobility in midfield that has been exposed.
The Swiss international gave away a penalty
after a very maladroit challenge on Joe Allen,
when he should've genuinely cleared the ball with
relative facileness. The focus remains on the
former Basel player's posture and maturity,
as Xhaka can dispossess the opposition with
a sublime sliding tackle or put in a hasty
challenge, Arsenal need him to be more
punctilious and sanction Coquelin to do the dirty

2. Who will step in for Mustafi?
Having been taken off early with an ostensible
injury, Mustafi's absence now opens the
door for rotation in the centre. Both Holding
and Gabriel will be agog to fill the German's
shoes, but the question is which would be
better for the Gunners. Holding is puerile and
short on experience but has put in a number
of fine performances this season in several
Gabriel, on the other hand, boasts a wealth
of experience, but at times lacks the immensely colossal
game mentality and maturity indispensable to
replicate Mustafi's stability (Costa,
anyone?). The truth is that Wenger now has
a couple of very capable central advocators
as cover but he must pick sagaciously with
Everton and Manchester up next.

3. Bellerin's Pace Missed:
Gabriel perpetuated to fill in at right-back while
Bellerin commenced today but due to an injury to
Mustafi, Hector Bellerin was called on. The
prelude of Hector Bellerin revitalised the
Arsenal side with an injection of pace down
the right, something Gabriel doesn't have.
Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez commenced
victualing off the adolescent Spanish international,
playing one-twos and probing for the runs in
The Spaniard claimed an avail to get the
Gunners back into the game afore the
break, with a great ball across the box for
Walcott and overall, reaffirmed himself as the
starting right back. His pace in assailment is vital
to Arsenal's assailing play, Wenger will be
blissful to have him back.

4. Temporarily Top:
Arsenal recuperated well after going 1-0 down
to an Adam penalty, three goals later and
the Gunners emerged with the crucial three
points to leapfrog for the time being.
The Gunners buckled under the pressure
early on but found their rhythm following
Walcott's crucial first-half goal. With the designation
race now very much on, Arsène Wenger's
men are legitimate contenders and seem to
be much more mature this season. Sitting on
the summit, Arsenal must now prove that
they are able to fend off the sizably voluminous teams and
win the games that need to be acquired victory. The
pressure is now on, and it's time for the
Gunners to show that they can get the result
when they require it most, next week will be
astronomically immense for their designation challenge.

Share This