“Behind what hills does happiness hide, to lurk and plot its return?” Andrew Greig.
With Lucas Perez Arsenal have added a very interesting player. This is a bit of a Wenger gamble but if Lucas can add similar league goals (17) and assists (8) per game as he did in Spain, he could make the difference this season… and the difference is not finishing second but first.
We missed about 10 goals last season to clinch the title, and although I am aware that every season has its own dynamics, I feel we will go one higher if we keep our defence as tight as last season, or ideally a bit tighter, and score about a dozen more goals.
Wenger can now mix and match his attack per game if he so wishes, only to get to a regular strongest three up front eventually. Will it be Alexis – Perez – Theo, or Perez – Alexis – Theo, or will it be Perez – Giroud – Alexis?
It is also quite possible that the likes of Iwobi, Welbeck (once he is back), Akpom, the Ox or even Willock will play themselves in to the starting three up front. And then regular blogger Shard will, quite rightly so, point out that we also have Sanogo who seems to be good cover for Giroud’s holding/enabling CF role.
I know some wanted a super CF up front but I am really happy with the options we have in attack now. For sure, Wenger will change the starting three sometimes to deal with the tactics and strengths of the opposition and to keep everybody happy, but he will also be keen to combine the strongest three as much as possible. I reckon that would have to be Alexis, Ollie and Perez, and if together they can get 45-50 PL goals we will win the league this season. The rest will come from the other attackers, midfielders and defenders.
Although this firepower up front has the mouth water running, I am just as excited about the service they will be receiving from four super midfielders: Xhaka, Cazorla, Rambo and Ozil.
Normally only three of these four midfield maestros will play, unless Wenger opts to play one of them on the wing in tight games against strong opponents. With these midfielders anything is possible, and Coquelin and Elneny will add the necessary steel and composure if and when required.
Xhaka can turn the game from defence to counter attack with one diagonal long distance pass from deep. Rambo and/or Santi can add the integrate play to dominate the midfield and creatively find the gaps and passes to launch deadly attacks. Furthermore, Rambo adds his engine to connect the defence with midfield, and midfield with the attack. And Mesut is our third dimension of finding space and time to instigate the winning attacking formula time and again. Which other team has such a talented group of creative, visionary midfielders that add a number of dimensions to our attacking play?
Of course we will have to see how this will work out in practice now. But I reckon our options up front and in midfield are now very strong and will make us very unpredictable and thus hard to play against. Rather than a predictable, one-dimensional feed the super striker game like they prefer in Manchester, we will go for the title by spreading the goals amongst three or four attackers and feeding them from all angles.
Whether it will work out remains to be seen, but that is what the seasonal football journey is all about! 😉