If you have as many equally talented players on the bench as there are on the pitch, it’s a nice problem to have. Yet, as Wenger knows, you can’t keep everyone happy so it’s hardly worth trying, just ask Olivier Giroud who was often the fall guy for either Sanchez or Lacazette.
The Arsenal boss now has a predicament in a number of areas but none more so than attack where it seems to be getting crowded for the limited position of striker.
Record signings Aubameyang and Lacazette, are it seems, in a duel for a starting role because it appears Wenger has doubts about the Frenchman leading the line.
Lacazette has done absolutely nothing wrong, the previous record signing had been drafted into an unsettled side due to the Sanchez fiasco and made way for Olivier Giroud on a number of occasions, which surely knocked his confidence.
The Frenchman had been scoring for fun at Lyon and if given the right service and played for a full 90 minutes, he would surely have 20 goals by now but opportunities to stay the distance have been scarce.
We’ve already compared Lacazette to Lukas Podolski, who was often ignored, overlooked and under-utilized and with the addition of Aubameyang, things could get much, much worse for the French hotshot.
However, it may be that the Arsenal boss is toying with the idea of going with a front two. Years ago, he admitted that it was once his plan to play Anelka and Henry together before ‘Le Sulk’ decided the grass was greener elsewhere.
Aubameyang can get behind the defence with his pace and strength whilst Lacazette can weave his way into the box assisting in the attack as it develops. Both are athletic, both have an eye for goal and if Arsenal are going to go for broke and turn this season on its head, it may require drastic measures.
It is possible to play them on the same team but it will mean some adjustments and their inclusion would obviously be at the expense of Ramsey, Welbeck and either Xhaka or Elneny. This scenario also means a straight choice between Wilshere or Iwobi and although some will advocate the use of different systems which may work in Iwobi’s favour, 98% of the fans would rather pay to see Jack Wilshere plying his trade in or out of position.
Iwobi has pace and is more likely to get goals but Wilshere’s vision makes him the irresistible choice. One perfectly weighted pass, sublime flick or one precision cross-field ball, makes it worth the price of the ticket and Wilshere hasn’t looked this good for some time.
Perhaps, Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang could cut in from the flanks whilst Ozil and Wilshere remain central. If the pair are put in a duel forward role, then Ozil and Wilshere could again be the anchor, with Iwobi and Mkhitaryan in a roaming wing role.
Yes, it’s not ideal and Mkhitaryan seems much more penetrative in a more central role but it’s about trying to maximise the quality available. It’s easier to change the structure than it is to see £50 Million plus worth of talent sitting on the bench.
Wenger has much to ponder including a cup final with the marauding Manchester City and if they are to beat the odds they may need to go for broke. Whatever happens for the rest of the season, fans can look forward to their usual brand of attacking football, played the Arsenal way.
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