After a difficult opening day of the 2016/17 season, a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool after what was a promising first half for Arsenal, the Gunners have gone from strength to strength. The likes of Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have come through a summer of International football and have caught up with their team mates on the fitness and sharpness front.
Arsene Wenger has made some tactical and positional adjustments to his troops, one of those being the conversion of Alexis Sanchez into a central striker while instructing his players to push higher up the pitch and squeeze the opposition closer to their goal, knowing that the pace of Bellerin, Koscielny and new boy Mustafi gives the team the platform to perform those jobs with safety.
Arsenal’s 3-2 victory against Swansea City was the Gunners six straight victory on the spin, propelling them level on points with title favourites Manchester City on 19 points, only sitting second by one goal. After the Liverpool defeat I really should have checked out Free Super Tips Twitter and placed a bet on the Gunners as they have proved what a quality outfit they really are.
Arsene has understandably stuck with his first eleven players during this period. Petr Cech in goal, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi and Monreal at the back with a midfield of Cazorla, Coquelin/Xhaka and Mesut Ozil in midfield with his front line consisting of Alex Iwobi, Alexis Sanchez and the rejuvenated Theo Walcott as a right sided forward.
Injury has often come along and swiped aside half of Arsene Wenger’s teams season after season, even before a ball was kicked in anger, the manager had to deal with the loss of Per Mertesacker on top of the already suffering Danny Welbeck. This time injuries should be less of a factor as the squad is deeper than ever before but it does not matter how deep your squad is because if you lose your best players for a long period you will replace them with lesser players even if the quality has improved over seasons past.
Arsene Wenger must protect the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez because if the Gunners want to make a full run at the title they will need to be managed well.
So far those players have had a lot of minutes under their belts on top of recent International football so now has to be the time where Arsene takes a dip into his very talented squad and rotates sufficiently.
Rob Holding has not put much of a foot wrong since he signed for the club from Bolton. Mohamed Elneny has been kicking his heals on the bench while new signing Lucas Perez has not been seen since his brace in the league cup against Nottingham Forest.
Arsenal had to play with ten men for a good chunk of the season half against bogey team Swansea and had to dig in deep so perhaps a home match against Champions League newcomers Ludogorets is just the ticket to rest some tired legs as the games come thick and fast.