By Codratus Godson
Arsenal won convincingly last night (4-1) against CSKA Moscow in the Europa but something looks positive for the team. Analysts said: “Wenger admitted he had taken a small gamble when starting the returning Lacazette but it paid off nicely. Putting his best resources into the Europa League is working and this was a thrilling attacking display of the finest Wenger tradition. Using Ramsey, Xhaka and Wilshere in a three-man midfield continues to pay dividends.”
The new midfield being perfected by Arsene Wenger for his embittered and embattled team is the use of the trio. Xhaka defends most of the time but drives once in a while; Wilshere is combatant and also forward in nature; Ramsey attacks and takes deadly positioning around the sensitive area (18 yard box). So, when Xhaka drives, Wilshere returns and vice versa. Ramsey does yeoman in the midfield but goes to help or offer options to Ozil or Iwobi in search of Lacassete, Auba and Welbeck.
The match against CSKA saw the team returning into its confidence, poise, flow and glow, just as the departing fans too are gradually coming back. Wenger said the defeats to Man City drained all energy and happiness. True. Any team could have defeated Arsenal after that moment.
Should the midfield continue to click the way the troika is doing it, it may hide their weakest part, the defence. This defence could be assisted by closing up by the midfield; if Auba could continue to return, if Xhaka could sit more at home in front of Kosieny and if Wilshere could do fast return and reduce losing his balls. It is losing balls in forward drive that kills their defence because of the fast counters that lick them.
If Wenger wants to hand over in peace, he should do more with the troika. Getting stronger midfield defenders is no more in his hands nor is it this season. It’s the duty of their scouts to look for the types of Vieri, Fabregas, Song, etc for next year.
If they add more ambition, they could deliver the Europa Cup and have a shot at the celebrated match against the Champions League winner (probably Real, Bayern or Barca). That way, wenger can go in peace.