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Arsenal’s trio of crocked wide men will struggle to regain spots

| 21.10.2013

As the saying goes; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This phrase is easily aplplicable to a rampant Arsenal side at present, but for a few of the Gunners’ sidelined stars such as Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, this may not be great news.

When Mesut Ozil signed for Arsenal on deadline day, the transfer coup of the summer was greeted largely by two reactions.

Firstly, that this was undoubtedly the biggest signing Arsenal have made in the Premier League era, but secondly; did Arsenal really need another technically gifted attacking-midfielder amid their well stocked ranks?

The answer to that query, after the Gunners’ sweeping start to the season, is categorically yes, because Ozil is simply a wonderful player who would improve any team he played for.

12 games unbeaten in all competitions, including 10 victories, have catapulted Arsenal to the summit of the Premier League.

And as the plaudits roll in, their price to lift a first title since 2005 shrinks, where Arsene Wenger’s side can currently be backed at 9/2 after thrashing Norwich 4-1.

While noone could have predicted Aaron Ramsey’s phenomenal early-season form, what is so impressive is the way Wenger has got so many of the same types of player in Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosciky and latterly the returning Santi Cazorla to wreak havoc without anyone providing natural width.

Since losing Lukas Podolski, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain to fairly serious injuries the team has formed an attacking identity which can be likened to that of Barcelona, where these players ghost into wide positions and inter-change, using striker Olivier Giroud as the pivot.

If Arsenal continue to dominate in this fashion – where they are priced at 5/4 to beat last year’s defeated finalists Borussia Dortmund in their third Champions League game – then the wide players will have to be patient.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.