Brady WHL 1978

Brady WHL 1978

Monday, 29 December 2014

28 December 2014: West Ham 1 Arsenal 2: Best performance of the season?

1. Interesting set up
I loved the way Liverpool played last season, basically with no midfield to speak of other than winning the ball and passing quickly forward to their front three. Our play today put me in mind of that - we broke quickly and almost played a 4-2-4 without wingers, those four being Welbz, Santi, Ox, Sanchez. It required all four to work hard and cover a lot of ground but they did it well. It's a system I like and although Flamini and Coquelin played well today surely we could improve the team in those positions?

2. Santi - developing into a new breed of midfielder?
Santi had in my opinion one of his best games for Arsenal. Driving. He was the master of the transition from defence to attack, very much (as I have pointed out before) in the mould of Pires. What really stood out was his strength and burst of pace in breaking out of defense time and time again, although I would never have previously seen him as a strong  type of player. From thinking we were a lightweight team of number 10s, watching Sanchez, Santi and the Ox yesterday made me wonder of Wenger is favouring a stronger, more bullish attacking midfielder.

3. Other individual performances
Welbeck's runs down the wing put me in mind of Adebayor at his best, and Szcezney really grasped the nettle of high balls to come time and time again. Sanchez goes without saying. I like the way when he misses his focus back on the game to have another crack is instant - no ground banging and looking up at the screens for him...we are lucky to have him. Our Coq played well. In particular, there was the Downing attempt just before half time, where I naturally assumed that the dervish who had flung himself to block the shot was Sanchez, but was in fact Cocquelin. Surely justification that a DM would be a good idea?