North London Derby
On Saturday, Arsenal sent Tottenham back to White Hart Lane with their tails between their legs. Many had predicted a Tottenham win, or at least for Spurs to claim a point, but very few thought Arsenal had enough about them to win the game.
Since the 2-0 victory, there has been much discussion regarding refereeing decisions, Daily Mail journalists and the poor performances of Kane and Alli. All of these discussions have been incredibly successful in taking all of the talking points away from the fact that Arsenal totally dominated Spurs this weekend.
One of the other popular points has been that Ozil and Sanchez, both superb in the derby, are on their way out of the club, and Arsenal can wave goodbye to such performances when that happens.
Last Season/This Season
Of course they were both great at the weekend, but people are starting to wonder, would Arsenal actually miss them?
In ten games this season, Sanchez has scored three, in all competitions, and assisted two. Ozil has contributed to four goals in ten games. Combined, this is 0.45 goals a game. In 2016-17, they combined to contribute 64 goals in all competitions. This equates to 0.74 goals per game.
That is a staggering decline, albeit at an early stage of the season. Pundits and non-Arsenal fans will question why we malign Ozil and Sanchez after a game such as the NLD. We say Ozil doesn’t work hard, pundits will point to his 12km distance covered against Spurs. We say Sanchez loses the ball too often, other fans will call Arsenal a one-man team.
Pundits will suggest that the loss of Sanchez and Ozil would mean that results like this would be few and far between for Arsenal. Despite the fact that Spurs had their world-class attack duo of Kane and Alli, and have not beaten a top-6 side this season.
Similarly, Arsenal have had no problem dispatching Spurs in the past, such as the 5-2 victory, post Van Persie, in which Tottenham had Player of the Year Gareth Bale in their ranks.
The stats show, Sanchez and Ozil are not putting in the effort or the quality, so far, this season. Contrast them to the likes of Lacazette, who has contributed to 0.5 goals a game this year, or Ramsey who’s provided 0.55. It is simplistic to suggest that Arsenal are still reliant on Sanchez and Ozil.
Still World Class
Don’t get me wrong. They are the most talented players at the club. There’s a reason Ozil has the most assists of any Premier League player since his Arsenal debut (36). There’s a reason it was Sanchez’s goal against Cologne from 20 yards that won the game.
But if both were to walk out in January, I can assure you, they can be replaced. We have playmakers coming out of our ears, all of which would love to take Mesut’s place each week. And while they don’t have quite the same talent, youngsters like Iwobi and Nelson wouldn’t mind a bite at Sanchez’s spot.
So, while they’re here, lets enjoy the wins our whole team provides, and respect the rest of our players. Because they can, and would, put their lives on the line for this team, so let’s kickstart our season.