Watford’s Troy Deeney may have done Arsenal a huge favour by questioning their lack of maracas…or something like that! The Spanish word that Deeney used is generally thought of as vulgar, so I thought I’d use a euphemism. To me, if Arsenal had maracas, they would be playing to a rhythm, which should involve chasing back as well as racing forward.
Since that comment following the Gunners’ defeat at Watford, two away wins back to back tell us that Arsenal do have something about them. The problems are still there, but there is a certain amount of fighting spirit in a squad that is not the worse that Wenger has presided over.
In terms of talent, this squad is head and shoulders above the team that included Diaby and Denilson on a regular basis. That midfield pairing was one of the worst I’d ever seen playing centrally for Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Xhaka, who impresses one moment and disappoints the next, is a liability and a blessing all at once. He’s got to stop giving the ball away in his own third, as Arsenal can’t afford to give goals away like they did against Everton. Gueye, who closed him down effectively with the hint of a foul, fed Rooney, who scored a beauty. It was a worry how the visitors would recover from the blow.
Another sloppy goal was conceded late on, when Arsenal had effectively won the game. Monreal’s sloppy backpass was too short for Cech and Niasse nipped in to score. It was too easy for Everton and Arsenal must do better.
However, we have to hand it to Monreal at the other end, for scoring such a decisive goal. In the mood that Pickford was in, it was hard to see Arsenal scoring, but Nacho had different ideas, spanking home a rebound.
Meanwhile Ozil, actually looked up for it for once. He scored a brilliant header and set a goal up, so we can’t ask for much more.
In fact, it was an inspired attacking performance with Lacazette scoring again, and Ramsey, who joined him on the scoresheet, always looking a threat going forward. However, Rambo didn’t offer much defensively, which might be a reason why Xhaka seems prone to defensive errors.
Of course, Sánchez wins all the plaudits for the fifth goal, which was almost Diego Maradona-like. If the Chilean can continue in this vein of form, it might be worth keeping him until the end of the season rather than selling him. The same goes for Ozil.
When the substitutes, Wilshere and Coquelin, came on, Arsenal looked less impressive despite managing to add to the scoring against ten-man Everton. No disrespect to what’s on the bench, but it would be difficult for anyone to hit the levels of Lacazette and Ozil today.
In this form, as long as Arsenal can cut out the silly defensive errors, this team is a match for anyone. Hopefully, the proof in the pudding will be a win against Fabianski’s Swansea at the Emirates next weekend in the Premier League.