Thursday, 29 September 2016

FIVE - THINGS WENGER HAS GOT RIGHT THIS SEASON.


Criticism of Arsene Wenger quickly bubbled back up following an opening 4-3 defeat to Liverpool at Emirate.
Fast forward a couple of months and Arsenal look better than they have in years. As Wenger approaches his 20th anniversary at the club this weekend month end, even his most fervent critics will have to admit there is cause for optimism.

And since the Arsenal boss tends to get chastised after every decision that doesn't work out, it's time to give some credit for the ones he has got right so far this season campaign.

HERE'S A LOOK AT FIVE THINGS WENGER HAS GOT RIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN.



1. MOVING SANCHEZ UP FRONT.

Two games into the season, there was little reason for fans to stop shouting for Wenger to sign a new striker. Olivier Giroud wasn't fit enough to play, The Walcott no longer wanted to be up front and Alexis Sanchez looked sluggish in the role.

But Wenger stuck with the Chilean and it has paid off handsomely. Sanchez is fluorishing now, with five goals and four assists in his last five starts.
The Sanchez solution was born out of necessity rather than planning. Wenger had every intention of buying a top class striker this summer but just wasn't able to do so. He eventually settled for Lucas Perez, but the Spaniard has yet to established himself in the team and now faces a tough task trying to displace the Chilean.



2. GIVING WALCOTT ANOTHER CHANCE.

Walcott's career seemed to reach a new low last season after his short-lived stint as striker failed and he found himself a regular on the bench.
But now the forward is fluorishing, with four goals in his last three games. Arsenal fans have waited for years to see Walcott to fulfill his potential and he is finally showing real signs of doing so, Wenger insists the player deserves all the credit for his turnaround, but it should be remembered the Frenchman has had plenty of opportunities to give up on the former prodigy.
He refused to do so -- much to the chargin of some fans -- and he's now seeing his faith in Walcott repaid.



3. TRUSTING DAVID OSPINA.

Seeing David Ospina's name on the team sheet for Arsenal's champions league opener at Paris Saint-Germain caused plenty of organs before the game. Typical Wenger, repeating the same mistake again, clearly unable to learn from last year's blunder against Olympiakos, when Ospina let in three in a 3-2 defeat against the Greek side. Was Wenger not taking the Champions League seriously?

Ospina, of course, went on to have one of his best performance in an Arsenal shirt and was a major reason for why the visitors came away with a valuable 1-1 draw. Credit to Wenger, said the same pundits who had criticised the selection before the game, for sticking to his philosophy.

Wenger knows the importance of having two top class goalkeepers at the club, and only way to keep Ospina is to give him playing time. And if Cech ever get injured, that decision will look even smarter.



4. EASING GRANIT XHAKA IN SLOWLY.

Having spent £30million on Granit Xhaka this summer, it was bewildering why Wenger kept putting him on the bench for much of September. After starting Xhaka in two straight league games, Wenger reverted to using Francis Coquelin next to Santi Cazorla after the international break even after the newcomer netted spectacular long-range strikes in consecutive games.

Wenger said he wanted a more established partnership in central midfield after a shaky start to the season, and Coquelin kept producing performances that warranted a continued run in the side. Now that Coqueline is injured, Xhaka will finally get his chance to start regularly, and chances are he will prove he was worth the big transfer fee.
But the results clearly show Wenger's confidence in Coqueline was not misplaced, and his selections have given Xhaka added time to adapt to the faster pace of the Premier League.



5. SPENDING BIG ON SHKODRAN MUSTAFI

Spending £35million on a centre-back must not have been easy for Wenger, who had never splashed even half that amount on a defender before.
While it's still too early to say for sure, that money seems to have been well spent. Mustafi has already formed an excellent partnership with Laurent Koscielny, and together they are giving Arsenal a defensive solidity they haven't had for years.

They totally neutralised Chelsea's Diego Costa in last Saturday's 3-0 win and Arsenal have only conceded three goals in the five games the German has started. Wenger has long been accused of neglecting the team's defence, but the signing of Mustafi shows he is finally getting the balance of the team right.



Arsene Wenger will lead his team to face Burnley on Sunday 2nd of September for their Game-Week-Seven of the Premier League campaign in a hope to continue with their clean sheet performance from their last three games against Basel FC at the Champions League, Chelsea FC at the Premier League and Nottingham Forest at the EFL cup respectively.



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