Sanchez should be deployed as Arsenal’s striker in big games by SE
Giroud was misfiring; Sanogo, post his performance against Benfica in the Emirates Cup, went off the boil, and Arsenal desperately needed someone with an identity to lead the line for them. Subsequently, Sanchez was next in line to play as a striker. And, the most conspicuous aspect of all was the timing of such an innovation from Wenger, who, before the match against Everton, wasn’t expected to spring in a surprise.
The Chilean led the line for Arsenal in yet another brand new system of 4-1-4-1, but the first half wasn’t an enviable period for the North Londoners, which meant that Sanchez couldn’t impact the game like he would have hoped to.
The advanced midfield pairing of Ramsey and Wilshere couldn’t enjoy enough time on the ball, during the first half, and Ozil, playing on the Left-Wing, went oblivious for large periods. And, with the likes of Mirallas, Barry and McCarthy pressing Arsenal’s midfield, the North Londoners, at times, gave possession away cheaply or, with Chamberlain playing on the Right-Wing, attempted shots on goal from distance.
Sanchez, however, worked his socks off when Arsenal were without possession, and it was a shame that Wenger’s experimentation didn’t work out on the evening. He was willing to fight for the ball, and tried to drop deep, so as to lose his man-markers in Distin and Jagielka, but to no avail.
Albeit it’s difficult to pick up something tangible from Sanchez playing up top – and Arsenal lining up in a 4-1-4-1 formation on Saturday – it should not be a one-time wonder move from Wenger. If played to perfection, 4-1-4-1 can render any side with defensive and offensive balance, which is what Wenger would have wanted when he deployed it against Everton, but on the day Arsenal weren’t at their vintage best.
I hope that Wenger will stick to playing this system in the big games, with much better effect on proceedings. And, that should consequently warrant Sanchez leading the line for Arsenal. Chilean’s industry is difficult to match; and albeit Giroud can give a totally different utility, as a Target man, Sanchez is better than the Frenchman, when playing in that ‘isolated’ role up front.