Having looked again at our victory against the Spudsskins, one of the questions that popped up was: Do Arsenal have a Beast of a CF?
Our wing-play was so good, both from the left and the right. ESR, Tierney and Xhaka controlled the left wing throughout the game and many fine crosses and passes were produced from there. On the right, Saka/Pepe, Soares and Partey played well and a few fine chances were created from there too. Both sets of ‘wing-players’ were aided by the very mobile, energetic and intelligent Odegaard. It really was very good the way we got through the Spuddies’ defence at will several times during the match. There was real sting from our butterflies.
Some have pointed out that our high crosses were a waste of time.
I agree with this to some extent. I thought the boys mixed it up well, and a high cross that is not met by a Gunner’s head is still harder to defend than a low cross that can be kicked much easier out of danger. High crosses can lead to misplaced headers and thus follow up chances for us – and we had always enough players in and around the box to make the Spuds restless. I thought we never allowed them to take control of their defending, and that was some achievement.
But we are currently weak in the air when it comes to non set-pieces. I have written on here before that letting Giroud go was a big mistake by Arsene. Not that I would still see him as a regular starter, but his aerial presence is missed and we have not replaced him. Auba cannot head the ball well and Laca misses height to be as effective as he would need to be. Just imagine that half -moon face Kane would have been in attack for us rather than for them on Sunday, and how much more threat, and probably goals, we would have had in the box.
I love both Auba and Laca and they are very valuable members of the team. They do not need to be in the CF position necessarily to play in our team. Either of them can play somewhere else alongside a ‘proper’ CF and they would still add value to the team. But with such good wing-play now, are we not desperate for a beast of a CF?
What do you think?