Arsenal secured their 3rd win on the bounce in the Premier League to go momentarily 2nd in the Premier League table with a thumping 4-1 victory over Hull City at the KC Stadium. Arsene Wenger again surprised everybody with his team selection and took some unwanted risks again. Wenger didn’t have to suffer much as a red card for the hosts in the first half changed the dynamics completely but there were still a lot of questions which remained unanswered despite the visitors going back home with all the three points. Let’s look at the 3 major talking points from the game:
Wenger Is Still Unsure Of His Best Midfield Combination
There was an overwhelming sense of disbelief and even anger for some fans as Wenger released his first team sheet to the media before the game. After impressing in his first start for the club against Watford, leaving out the £34m man on the bench seemed ridiculous. Considering the fact that Hull City have shown remarkable resilience this season everybody knew it won’t be easy to break down the defensive structure of the hosts.
The presence of Xhaka was needed instead of Coquelin who has been found out of depth every time he had to do something with the ball in the attacking phase. Arsenal suffered last season as they had to build up all their attacks through Ozil with Cazorla out injured but Granit Xhaka is that kind of player who can provide the defensive solidity with the precision inventive passing for the attacking play from the deep positions so leaving him out gave a clear indication that Wenger is still unsure of his best midfield combination.
Mesut Ozil Needs To Work On His Finishing and Get His Game Up A Notch
From the statistical point of view, it can be concurred that Mesut Ozil had a decent game even if he managed to create only two chances in 90 minutes. Realistically, Ozil was predictable, dull and lacked confidence in the forward areas. The German really disappoints with his finishing and it seems that he has got the ‘Alex Hleb’ syndrome, which is passing the ball rather than utilizing the best option of shooting, something which the Arsenal fans are well acquainted with.
Ozil missed an absolute sitter against Hull and had a lot of opportunities to curl one into the top corner but chose to make a passive pass in those situations. While it is a good thing to retain possession in the opposition half, the important thing is to make good use of it. The German has in some games looked very sluggish in possession being too predictable with his movement which affects Arsenal when things are not going their way. Ozil can’t change a bad situation into a good one and that is what he needs to work on so that he is not found out when he gets little space to operate. Hull could have frustrated Arsenal but the red card changed the game as the visitors ran riot.
Iwobi Has Improved His Attacking Game But Needs To Do A Lot More Defensively
Arsenal academy graduate Alex Iwobi had an excellent game today from an attacking perspective but was poor defensively. In order to cement a regular place or more appropriately make sure that his inclusion doesn’t allow the Gunners to suffer defensively he needs to provide a lot more support to his fullback.
While it was very exciting to see the youngster pass the ball with confidence and make great off the ball runs, it was very worrying to observe his reluctance to track his man back and provide cover to his fullback. Against quality opposition it can prove fatal, leaving your fullback in a 2v1 situation, the Nigerian needs to improve this aspect of his game to become a real quality option for his team.