What a game that was against Bournemouth. While I must admit I was a bit tipsy when Olivier Giroud scored the third goal in injury time, let us be honest in the assessment that it was points dropped. Arsene still does not have the steel to replace the likes of Viera despite spending it being more than a decade since the combative Frenchman left the club. Anyone here thinks if Viera was in this team, Arsenal would have gone down 3-0? Anyone?
Arsenal have for a long time been accused of not being able to replace the likes of Patrick Viera and Gilberto Silva who made the Gunners’ midfield one of the most feared and the most effective. The passion and commitment and the physicality of their approach added another dimension to the gifted players up top who were allowed to flourish with a sort of freedom which is seldom found now.
For a good part of a decade, they have struggled in that area and have often being termed as lightweight and submissive when it came to matters in the centre of the park. They have always had quality but the fierce nature and the will to win tackles was missing from the lot. The likes of Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla and others are all supremely talented but were often seen as pushovers when it came to facing physical teams with a robust approach.
And although he seemingly tried to make amends with the signing of Xhaka, the Swiss international hasn’t been able to settle properly yet. But with Coquelin and Elneny along with Xhaka, it seems Wenger is happy with his options in the central defensive area.
Arsenal are seemingly more concerned with the long-term future of Santi Cazorla. The enigmatic Spaniard has lit up the Premier League on more than one occasions but has seen his influence wane lately and a subsequent injury has kept him out of the team for quite a while now. His contract is slated to run out in the summer and according to reports, Arsene Wenger is on the lookout for a long-term replacement for the Spaniard.
It is claimed the French boss has called Miralem Pjanic to enquire about his future, with the midfielder giving Wenger hope that a move could materialise. Pjanic will provide a considerable upgrade on the options they currently have. Cazorla gave the team a solid hold in the midfield and they have missed that aspect in his absence.
Pjanic’s technical ability is his biggest strength. His ball control sets him apart and his precise passing and uncomplicated dribbling ability make him an asset to any team he joins. Playing alongside Totti, especially taking part in training sessions every day has made a better balanced and rounded player.
The composure is new to his game and it is in stark contrast to his game at Melz, where he was more of an all-action attacking midfielder than the elegant one he is today.
It will be a difficult deal to finalise, especially with Juventus missing out on Axel Witsel, they might be unwilling to sell Pjanic right now. But the lure of the Premier League and a starting spot at Arsenal might tempt the player to make a move here.