by Patrick Esenwa
With a rejuvenated Arsenal team; and a massive run of form from the Gunners, they seem to have gotten their rhythm just at the appropriate time. Some might argue and say it is just West ham.
Of course, we all know, no team is a push over in the English Premier League. Just this weekend, Burnley defeated Manchester City.
Here are 5 things we learnt from the game between Arsenal vs West-Ham.
1. Santi Carzola (the magician), is the engine of the team, not Alexis
This season, Arsenal has been dubbed a one-man team, it was said, Sanchez was the main man in the team. On Saturday, against the hammers, it was clearly not so. Before the magician’s entry, the game lacked excitement and the usual Arsenal efficiency, the Gunners were only ahead with a slim 1 – 0 lead.
Immediately he came on, the game lit up, his touches, trickery and brilliance on the ball were second to none, and Arsenal were up on confidence again. The Spaniards
impact this season has been immensely felt by the Arsenal team this season. It is now up to Wenger to make him keep his head up and help shoot the Gunners to EPL glory next season.
2. There are two (2) types of Olivier Giroud
The French play maker and the English Premier League’s Most handsome (according to a poll), actually have two sides to his football. Arsenal and its fans could sing Giroud’s praise in a particular match, and utterly express their disgust with his style in the next match.
The Giroud who played against Monaco in the Champions League and the one who played against West ham should actually sit down to talk. The Giroud we saw against the hammers can be tagged as one of the kings of one-two football, his delightful touches with Walcott and Ozil were cool to watch, and he capped it up with a brilliant goal. With 9 Goalsto his credit since his return back from injury, he could be arguably one of the best strikers in the EPL.
3. Monreal is the new ”Cool” left-back.
For a player who has been drenched with the rain of criticism, he has risen to become the new epitome of the ideal left-back. In every facet of life, competition is key. Kirean Gibbs, has directly and indirectly, brought out the best of the Spanish player, Nacho Monreal.
Since his arrival at arsenal, I have never seen him pick up such an impeccable form. His crosses and tackles have been spot on, and his defensive abilities have been top-notch. His goal agains Manchester United in the FA cup sums it all up. If the gaffer could accord Nacho more playing time, he could rise to be one of the best left-back in the EPL.
4. Arsenal can win the League next season
Arsenal is currently one point behind Manchester city, and seven points behind leaders, Chelsea. Some critics will say, Arsenal always hope to win the league every other season. Realistically, Arsenal has the potential to win the EPL next season. Recall, Arsenal were close to winning last season, but a dip in form in January and February, and a re-occurring injury crisis, coupled with the lack of squad depth, cost them the league last season, and later slipped to its now traditional 4th place.
It has been a different tale this season, they started poorly and are about to finish strong. The major set back with the Arsenal team in the past few seasons has not been the lack of quality players, but the lack of enough quality players. Things are quite different this season, there is a little bit of squad depth and balance in the team. There is a quality replacement for every position, if any player gets injured. With the addition of two or three more quality players in the summer, and players like Sanogo are offloaded. Expect the gunners to lift the EPL next season.
5. Coquelin is the new Makalele.
I call him Makalele, not because of his diminutive nature or resemblance in stature to the legendary Frenchman, but because of his tactical discipline, tackles, resilience and awareness all through a game. I refuse to compare him with Vieira, because he is a different player from the Arsenal Legend. Vieira, in his playing days, had a penchant for going forward, and scoring goals.
Coq on the other hand, doesn’t delight in leaving the centre circle and covering massively for the full backs. He won majority of the personal duels with Marouane Fellini in the Fa cup against Manchester United. For a player, who was on the verge of leaving Arsenal at the end of this season, he has shown what a good player he is. Some might argue that it is still too early to call, the truth is, the lad has got potentials. Barring any major injury, if he keeps his discipline, he can play a core part in the success of Wenger’s team in the nearest future.
This writer tweets from @PatrickEsenwa