It has certainly been a funny old Premier League season so far and Arsenal fans can thank our lucky stars in some ways. The woes of the reigning champions Chelsea and their obnoxious former manager Jose Mourinho have been particularly enjoyable but the most important thing for Arsenal is that none of our EPL rivals have taken advantage of our own injury and form problems.
But the flip side of Man City, Liverpool and Man United struggling has been the likes of Leicester and Watford, as these two newly promoted sides have claimed a number of big scalps and find themselves in top spot and seventh. And while our visitors today have not done as well, I think we need to give a lot of credit to the other promoted club Bournemouth.
They have never been in the top division before and have been hit with even more injury problems than Arsenal, yet they have rallied after a tough start and are sitting in a respectable 14th place. In fact their last six games have earned more points than ours, so it would be crazy to underestimate them.
The way they have done so well is by giving everything to implement their talented young manager’s game plan and that is what we must be ready to deal with. That is why Arsene Wenger must freshen the team and why he must start Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. As I wrote in an earlier post, I feel we are starting to miss the industry and eagerness of Alexis Sanchez and while the Ox is not the same player I think he has the same qualities.
I would be tempted to make a few more changes as well, such as Gabriel and Chambers for Mertesacker and Flamini but the most important thing for me is energy and work rate and the Ox i9s the man to provide it. Do you agree?