I first thought it was a bit strange that Arsene Wenger dropped Olivier Giroud to the bench against Leicester in midweek, and even more surprised that Alexis was moved into the centre-forward position, but Le Boss reckons hat many of his Arsenal team were suffering from fatigue after the Spurs game.
I know Wenger now has a big squad to keep happy, but surely he would have been better to have played Chuba Akpom in the centre as he is desperate to get his first goal for the Gunners. The 19 year-old was put on against Aston Villa a couple of weeks ago and I thought he looked very hungry and put himself in his great scoring positions in his short time on the pitch.
Akpom signed a new contract after that game to stop him being poached in the summer, and he has admitted he felt comfortable and was welcomed by his team-mates, who were definitely trying to get his name on the scoresheet. “It’s amazing,” he told Arsenal.com. “It’s a striker’s dream to play with Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and those world-class players in the squad. They care about you on the pitch – they want you to get goals, they’re looking for you.
“They’re not selfish players. They’re good lads as well, genuinely nice people and you can only improve training and playing with those types of players.
“They were trying to set me up against Aston Villa. I appreciate that and I’ve just got to make the right forward runs to score and create opportunities for the team. I’m just getting used to it really and I’m just hoping for more minutes and learning every game.
“It’s really hard physically, mentally, everything. To make the step from the reserves to the first team is really hard as well, so it’s going to take a while to get used to but I’m really enjoying it and most importantly I think I’m capable of it.”
Arsenal have a history of playing his younger players in cup games,and I certainly believe that Akpom is set for a star-studded future. So should Wenger give him a start against Middlesbrough?