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Mails: Arsenal should look within for Sanchez’s replacement

Regale us at Iwobi’s time is now I didn’t get to see the Chelsea v Arsenal match last night, but I’ve managed to catch a few matches involving the Gunners this year on the telebox. With the expectant sale of Alexis Sanchez, the inevitable response from fans and key observers alike will be: well, what will they do with the proceeds? Who will replace someone who has provided so many goals for the team over the last few years? Whilst there are clearly options available out there in the market and, I’m sure there will be players keen to join Arsenal, I think they need to address one individual in their current squad. Mr Alex Iwobi. My question is this: what is Alex Iwobi? He generally plays across the attacking midfield 3 behind a striker, given plenty of freedom to roam across the pitch. Taking a look at his stats for the year so far, I wonder what he contributes. · 1 goal and 1 assist in the PL in 773 minutes, 12 appearances. · Averages 1.4 dribbles per game but is dispossessed on average at 1.3 times per game. Average of 2 shots per game. Key passes stand at 1.6 per game. · 39.9 passes per game, with a 87.3% completion rate. 0.3 through balls per game Watching him play, it’s clear that he is a technically gifted player and the stats appear to back this up. Whilst he doesn’t contribute very much to the defensive plays of the team I’d argue he may not need to. Arsene clearly has faith in the lad as he’s been used in some fairly important matches this year: vs Manchester United, Liverpool and, more recently, Chelsea. So, before Arsene and Arsenal fans look externally for a replacement for Sanchez, I think it’s time to invest some time into Alex Iwobi. We regularly challenge the decision of clubs to spend significantly so why not challenge the club to invest more time and effort into the development of their own players. Iwobi has been in the squad for a number of years now and, as a neutral observer, appears to have already plateaued. As mentioned on F365 not so long ago, it’s time that coaching took precedent over management. Phil Pearce, London Pre-Sheikh City I remember watching Leon Mike’s debut at Fratton Park. Being a Southern based City Fan I only got to see a few games. My Dad, Uncle and I sat in the Southern stand with the home fans openly supporting City. The nearest we got to hassle that day was the 9 year old behind me shouting in my ear that Leon Mike looked tired (he’d gone down holding his ankle at some point in the last 10 minutes to hold onto their 2-1 lead). I remember thinking he’d tried hard, but ultimately Shaun Goater was just too good to replace. The other City debut that day was Christian Negouai who achieved notoriety amongst City fans for ignoring club medical advice on his knee problems and allegedly consulting a faith healer. I’m just glad Leon didn’t do the same for his hamstring injuries. Blue Tim (Papers said it was a ‘witch doctor’ back in the day. Racist.)   Peak Liverpool Reports are building momentum that Liverpool will pay an extra premium to get bring Naby Keita in before the end of January. Paying extra to get a player you already paid extra to buy to replace the player you sold at an inopportune time? Peak Liverpool. Kris, LFC, Wirral   Pep had a point Great article from Peter G. this morning – if you’re worried about losing your ‘pub chat’ because of VAR, you could do worse than arming yourself with a few of those stats.. The one that stood out for me was that Huddersfield lead the tackles per game chart with 19.8 per game. Upon first reading, this seemed curiously low for the team with the most tackles in the PL after 22 games. A quick dig on the PL website confirms the stat, so I doff my hat to PG and apologise for every doubting him. But this reminds me of the interview Pep gave last year after their 4-2 loss to Leicester, when he said he ‘doesn’t coach his players how to tackle’. This statement caused collective outrage amongst PFMs and tabloids at the time – and contributed to the notion that Pep was a ‘fraud’ and that he didn’t know what he was doing in our league. Didn’t he know our league was the roughest, toughest of them all? Looking at the stats further, Man City average 15 tackles per game this season (16th). That’s one tackle roughly every 5 minutes, which seems quite surprisingly infrequent in a fast-paced end-to-end league such as ours. Now, this figure might be low due to Man City being a possession based team (They have recorded 20,084 touches this year – Arsenal are second with 17,999), but they are also ranked 19th in fouls per game with 9.1. These the statistics back up what Pep was saying – he doesn’t feel the need to coach his players to tackle, because the way his team play means that they do not necessarily need to tackle that much, and, more importantly – they’re actually quite good at tackling. So… maybe he’s no fraud after all… Lee (Attempting to change the subject from VAR), LFC   Run, Danny How many Danny Welbecks would you need to do the running for a team that contained Mesut Ozil and Mkhitaryan? Chris MUFC So Alan Brazil was bemoaning the fact that Tosin Adarabioyo has bought a £2m house and it has sent me over the edge. When ex-pros come out and talk about how tough it was in their day you have to think about the drawbridge mentality. “We had it tough so why shouldn’t you?” is one of the most ridiculous statements ever. It ignores the fact that there was no interest in English football outside of England, that the Internet wasn’t in existence (with all the trimmings that come with it) and that, for the most part, the clubs used these kids to do the jobs that these days someone is actually employed to do. That clubs today encourage education and a social responsibility is glossed over. We should not forget that while we were out drinking, smoking weed and staying out late, these “kids” were already refining their bodies and mentality to become successful. If they didn’t, they would not progress. Likewise,...


Published By: Fottball 365 - Thursday, 11 January, 2018

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