It was a massive game as Arsenal had the chance of topping the Premier League table and it started on the right track with an early goal from our French striker Olivier Giroud. However it didn’t take much time for it to derail as the Baggies found the back of the net twice in quick succession.
The Gunners fought back in the second half and frankly speaking dominated the whole second half with couple of great chances coming their way. But all through the half it looked that it is gonna one of those days where nothing goes our way and this gut feeling turned into reality when Cazorla missed the penalty with 6 minutes left on the clock. The loss was coupled with injuries to Coquelin and Arteta which leaves is well short in that area.
All in all, it was a bad day for Arsenal but there was some reprieve later in the day as Liverpool stunned the Citizens at the Ethiad which still keeps us in close proximity to the Leaders. Here are the five things that we learned from the loss.
1. Coquelin’s injury will impact Arsenal’s title challenge:
Coquelin’s rose to prominence late last year when Arsenal started their tremendous winning run in the second half of last season and that’s no coincidence, as the Frenchman has been the fulcrum for those performances. Many thought he would be a one season wonder but this season he has matured even more and loosing him to injury will be a huge blow, particularly as there are no like to like backups available. It would be interesting to see what is the extent of the injury, as it holds a huge prominence in the Gunners title bid.
2. Arteta doesn’t have the edge anymore to compete at this level:
The Spaniard had a real bad day, as he had a part in both the goals. He was unlucky to be involved in the first as it wasn’t actually a foul and for the second he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. But his overall play hasn’t been up to the level, I understand the whole argument that he is not a defensive midfielder. I do and I agree with it. There lies my point that he cannot play at this level for full 90 minutes, as he is too old for this especially in this position. So, Wenger needs to look at other options
3. Right wing has beem a problem for Arsenal:
The right wing has been a problem for the Gunners in the past few weeks with Ramsey, Chamberlain and Walcott out injured. Wenger has tried different combinations in the form of Campbell and even deploying Gibbs there against Baggies, but neither of which worked. Campbell has played well in the games he got, but he needs more time at this level to have an impact. Hopefully this won’t be an issue in the coming weeks with most of the injured players expected to return.
4. Sanchez needs rest:
The Chilean is the most hard working athlete you will find on this planet and there won’t be many people who might disagree with this statement. He played twice with Chile during the international break with a reported niggle and started for Arsenal against West Brom. He was buzzing and running as usual and gave all he has, but frankly he needs some rest to find his goal scoring form back. If we play him week in week out, he will definitely give his best but the body can only take a certain amount of strain.
5. Ozil is having a dream season:
There have been several questions on Ozil since his move to the Emirates, with some people even suggesting that he has lost his magical touch. But this season, he has again and again proved his worth stepping up when the situation demands. This seasons form proves that the past two seasons was a transition period for the German to get to know his team mates and once he has done that, he is now starting to show his true colors. If he continues this form throughout the season then Arsenal will definitely one step closer to the title.
What do you say Gooners?