Through the first five league games this season, Arsenal have started a little shaky. With a record of 2-0-3, Arsenal need to get things together and string together some wins. With Tottenham coming down this weekend for a crucial North London Darby, the Gunners will need to take three points and establish themselves as the dominant force they should be.
With a loss in the Capital One Cup, Arsenal fans are bittersweet. Arsenal were beaten by lesser force Southampton, which is something that shouldn’t happen, as well as leaves Arsenal out of the tournament. The loss means though, that Arsenal will not have to worry about these games of little importance, and keep their energy for winning the League and the Champions League. Beating Tottenham on Saturday is just a small step for Arsenal to be the team that everyone expects them to be.
Goalkeeper – Wojeick Szczesny
Szczesny came up with some big saves against Aston Villa last weekend, and that won’t go unnoticed. In a week that saw David Ospina finally get his first Arsenal start, his performance was underwhelming to say the least. While he didn’t play horribly by any means, he let in two goals against a lesser opponent, and will need some sharpening up before testing Szczesny for the starting role. Szczesny will need to have another solid performance against a greater attack in Tottenham to continue hold Ospina off.
Outside Backs – Calum Chambers and Kieran Gibbs
Chambers has been great so far after being forced into a starting role at right back. A player as raw and inexperienced as him was not expected to make such an impact this season, but has left fans and coaches alike to give nothing but praise to the young man.
Kieran Gibbs has returned from minor injury in full force it seems. Gibbs is a huge attacking presence, as his runs and crosses are vitally important, as you as against Aston Villa. Gibbs is also a great defender, and an immense help to Oezil, or whoever else, down the left flank.
Centre Backs – Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny
This is just about the most obvious pick in the squad, as these two are clearly the best pair or centre backs, and also due to the fact that there simply isn’t anyone else. Nacho Monreal is the only replacement with any experience, and will be the life line of the defense when called upon.
Central Midfield – Arteta, Ramsey, Oezil
Mikel Arteta is again the obvious choice to anchor the midfield in the holding role. There is speculation that since Abou Diaby finally appears to be healthy, Arsene Wenger plans to mold him into his new defensive midfielder. As this is just now emerging an option, whether or not we see Diaby play there this year is still a wonder.
Aaron Ramsey I think will start over Wilshere here due to his fitness. Wilshere says he is fine from an ankle knock last weekend, but I think could benefit from a game off, especially after Mesut Oezil showed that he deserves to play through the middle for the foreseeable future. Ramsey is due for a great performance against one of the biggest of rivals this Saturday.
Mesut Oezil had by far one of his best performances in Arsenals 3-0 win over Villa last weekend. He was played through the middle in the ‘number 10’ role, as he likes and has played most of his career. He was utilized a lot in the wing role at the world cup, but had a few quiet games before breaking out in the final. If Mesut could just get his form back, I think he can be a huge player this year for Arsenal. Oezil had a goal and an assist against Villa, which is a great stat line. If he could keep that up, especially the assists, Arsenal won’t be stopped.
Wingers – Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla
Alexis has been in fine form recently, and is a no brainer to start a huge game for Arsenal. His free kick against Southampton in the Capital One Cup was superb, and his movement has been nothing short of spectacular. He is in line for yet another great performance. The return of Theo Walcott is coming, and with it will being immediate danger. This would allow Sanchez to play on the left, with Walcott retutning to his post on the right. Alexis and Theo will be arguably the most dangerous pair of wingers in the league.
Santi Cazorla has seen a lot of the bench lately and is due for a start. If Mesut is indeed slid over to the middle, Cazorla is the obvious choice at backup. Cazorla is very quick and shifty and has been causing stirs coming off the bench lately, so hopefully he can translate that into his start.
Forward – Danny Welbeck
Welbeck has netted his first goal as a Gunner, and don’t expect Wenger to bench him now. The young Englishman seems to finally be finding his form as he also had an assist to Oezil for the first goal last weekend. Yaya Sanogo has almost disappeared since Arsenal acquired Welbeck, and Joel Campbell has yet to crack the starting squad. Arsenal will lean heavily on Welbeck until Giroud can return, and he will look to ripple the net a few more times this year.