Over the last few weeks Arsenal have been a complete shambles defensively. Against Anderlecht, we unbelievably threw away a 3-0 lead (something no English team has done in 101 games where a team has been 3-0 up) and then against Swansea, we let a 1 goal lead slip away and managed to lose the game 2-1.
In terms of defending, our team is all over the place.
Nacho Monreal just isn’t cutting it in the middle. It’s sad really because the bottom line is he is not a central defender and it’s completely unfair for Arsene Wenger to ask him to play there – and the ridiculous thing is that Arsene already has a player who likes playing in that position – Calum Chambers. But Arsene is adamant on playing the young Englishman on the right, which also comes with its own problems. The end result is a massively disjointed back four which is leaking goals at an alarming rate.
So that’s why Calum Chambers should partner Per Mertesacker in the middle and Hector Bellerin should play on the right.
In midfield, we have another strange scenario. While it seems we have an embarrassment of riches, we can’t put out a midfield that competes any more.
When fully fit, we have the choice from the following; Flamini, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Podolski, Walcott, Gnabry and Diaby. Even with 3 or 4 injured, we should be able to field a competent midfield.
Tomas Rosicky cannot get a look in, despite being one of our best performers which is completely baffling to me. Lukas Podolski is another player that has been frozen out which again is crazy because he’s a player who can do a job for us – which he showed in his brief cameo against Anderlecht where he scored the vital winner.
What we have is a situation where we over play certain players (Cazorla, Ramsey and Wilshere in particular) and end up having a disjointed midfield who don’t play as a team and can’t collectively defend.
The only bright sparks of our season are the two new boys, Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez. Welbeck is a player who never gives up and is improving all the time, and a player who can score goals for us. Alexis Sanchez is a revelation and one of the best signings we’ve made in a long, long time. His passion and desire are phenomenal, as are his work-rate and ability to make things happen – a rest of the team could learn from his influence.
And the sad thing is, we should be lauding Sanchez as the player who is taking us to the next level – but the sad fact is we’re sitting 6th in the Premier League table. Without Alexis Sanchez in the team, I have no idea where we would be right now.
We certainly wouldn’t be higher than 6th in the table and we would probably be struggling to progress from our Champions League group.
So after taking everything into account, this is the line-up Arsene Wenger must use against Manchester United (unless he wants another embarrassing display):
Also, if you haven’t already seen it, check out the video below. Alongside YouTube channel YeeHD, we created a “preview” video of what would happen at the weekend with our suggested line-ups.
What happens in the game may or may not be a surprise!