Arsenal — December now and still in the title race

ramsey meme sanchez goal vs west ham

Arsenal's 2016/2017 season so far...

Review & rants by a Malaysian Gooner


I thought I wasn't gonna do a blog post about the Gunners until closer to the holiday season but after yesterday's entertaining win against West Ham United, I'm feeling great again about the club despite crappy performances in November. Sure, we got knocked out of the League Cup at home by Southampton, will finish second again in the Champions League group stage and couldn't be Man United or Tottenham Hotspurs but at least we weren't beaten in the cursed month.

There were a lot of downsides in the past several weeks, fans must admit. The little wizard, Santi Cazorla, is out injured again and it was dejavu. The team's midfield badly misses his creativity and the ability to control games. We were horrible in midfield in November, relied on a lot of luck to score (or not concede) with only 1-2 shots created in the whole of a few games in November, and the praises for the Koscielny-Mustafi defensive partnership has stopped as the team has failed to get a clean sheet since October, if I'm not mistaken. The injured Hector Bellerin's contributions on both ends of the pitch are missed now, especially with the unfortunate Matthieu Debuchy out again after playing just a few minutes coming back, and Carl Jenkinson being shit. The always-passionate centreback Gabriel now has to play rightback for the team and luckily he hasn't been too bad.

Alexis Sanchez's hat-trick + one assist yesterday were simply glorious. All three of his goals were highlight reels, especially the last one where fakes the goalkeeper with a defender on him before chipping the other side and scored. Thierry Henry had a fake like that but it's a pass. Sanchez is absolutely brilliant and it makes one wonder, where would Arsenal be this season without him 'cause nobody else is really performing as much as he is so far. If Sanchez gets injured, it would be the end of the season for the club, I feel. However, despite all that said, I think Olivier Giroud can still be a better choice in the striker position when tactics require a target man for headers and hold-up plays. There will be games where Sanchez will struggle in the central forward position and le boss Arsenal Wenger needs to know that.

Ozil meme west ham carroll goal vs arsenal

Congrats to Theo Walcott on his newborn. Hopefully he'll get his early season goal-scoring form back. If not, he's still a waste of space. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been lacking of confidence. But the thing about him is that he's one of those who could play poorly and suddenly pull a miracle cross or goal. I think he's certainly a better starting option now compared to Aaron Ramsey who's been shit since his one-season wonder and Alex Iwobi who was brilliant at the beginning of the season but hasn't been able to keep it up.

With Cazorla out, le boss seems to still have a headache to choose between Elneny and Xhaka to play along side Mesut Ozil and Francis Coquelin in central midfield. Elneny seems to have more drive and plays short-passing well while Xhaka could be dangerous with long range shots and he's tough on tackles though he does get penalised with cards often. To me, I feel that both of them have been pretty equal in terms of performance.

------------Sanchez/Giroud------------
Ox/Sanchez---Ozil---Walcott/Iwobi
--Xhaka/Elneny---Coquelin/Xhaka--
Monreal-Koscielny-Mustafi-Gabriel
-------------------Cech-------------------

Last resorts: Ramsey, Lucas Perez, Kieran Gibbs, David Ospina, Rob Holding, Jenkinson

Please hurry back ASAP: Cazorla, Bellerin, Danny Welbeck

Now fingers crossed that we can remain the the title race after the holiday season. It's going to be tough with Everton and Manchester City in December but I am slightly more optimistic than the previous season despite the dejavu of losing Cazorla and having typical defensive woes.

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