Why are we benching an on-form Smith Rowe?
Smith-Rowe, Saka, Odegard and Martinelli. All players are on fine form, yet one will have to spend at least 60 minutes on the bench in this Arsenal team, or do they?
Emile Smith Rowe is having the season of his career, just over a year on from his surprise start in the 3-1 win against Chelsea, the 21-year-old is currently on eight goals in the Premier league and has been a key player in the turn of our form.
Yet he has been warming the bench in last six Prem matches, he has notably come on to score in half of those games, yet don’t you think ESR is a bit too good to be used as a substitute?
A now England international and having committed his long-term future to the club, Arteta is struggling to find a way to play him over an exciting (and finally fit) Gabriel Martinelli on the left who has since scored four and assisted two.
I also believe that Ødegaard is now integral in the number 10 role and key to our attacking press, so he won’t be replaced by our top scorer (ESR) either.
However, you must find a way to get him in the starting 11 in my opinion.
It’s clear that we are in the market for a young striker, potentially in this January window with Alexander Isak and Dusan Vlahovic very tempting options but, I believe that Martinelli could easily fill that position.
He is fast, movement is great, very skilful and a natural finisher. The finish against West Ham was almost trademark Thierry Henry, a player who similarly also started as a left winger and proved to be Arsenal’s greatest striker.
Martinelli’s goal against the Hammers...
I am not saying Martinelli will be the next Thierry, but I would love to see the Brazilian play as our front man especially against teams in the lower half of the league who will give us more time on the ball and allow us to play more.
The worry would be the lack of experience, at 30 Lacazette is our stand in captain after the Auba controversy and he is important in the team, he fights for every decision and links up play. He is also much more physical than Martinelli too.
So, against the top teams I can understand the decision for ESR to come on in the 60th minute and start Laca. But I still cannot shake the fact that I want him to play the full game.
It could be a game management decision, we know that ESR suffered with awful shin splints at the start of his career and so the rest at this point of the season might be part of that, but I love watching him play.
It’s not a bad problem to face, for years we were lacking in attacking options off the bench so to have a ESR or Pepe on the side-line is a luxury in comparison, but I think it would be very interesting to see all the young guns playing together with their energy and flair.
Let me know what you think?
Until next time Gooners.
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