Arsenal are in a bad place at the moment, but with no announcement on Arsene Wenger’s future, the players and fans must focus on the remainder of the season and pick up the points they need to finish in the top four. We take a look at what needs to change in the Gunners next game.
On Monday night they face a Middlesbrough team that are equally as desperate for Premier League points and it will not be an easy game as the Gunners once again face an away game on a Monday night against a relegation candidate.
The game is being shown live on Sky Sports on Monday night and you can get a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with our fantastic 10% off a day pass offer.
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
According to the Daily Star, Cech will be back fit again to face Middlesbrough, in which case he will come back into the line-up. If this story is not true, then I’d like to see Martinez start between the sticks again. He didn’t have his best game against Palace by any means, but he’s a promising keeper that needs minutes.
Defence: Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs
I think something needs to change at the heart of the Arsenal defence. Neither Mustafi nor Gabriel have been good enough recently but Mustafi is the senior of the pair and should keep his place in my opinion. Koscielny will hopefully be fit again and walk back into the XI, if not young Holding should come in for Gabriel. I think Holding has really impressed when given the chance for Arsenal so far, and he is already more mature mentally than Brazilian Gabriel. At left-back, it was another shambolic display from Monreal against Palace, Gibbs isn’t great, but he deserves a chance to show he is better than the Spaniard.
Central Midfield: Granit Xhaka, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Before his injury ‘The Ox’ was arguably Arsenal’s best player and now he is fit again he needs to be put back into central midfield, the position where he impresses most. His contract situation is up in the air at the moment and if Arsene wants to keep him, he needs to play him more regularly. Alongside Xhaka I think Arsenal would have a bit of everything at the base of the midfield, this would enable them to break down a resilient Boro team.
Attacking Midfield: Alex Iwobi, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez
Dropped from the squad against Palace, now could be the game to bring back Iwobi. He has a point to prove and after another quiet performance from Theo Walcott at Selhurst Park, Iwobi could regain his first-team place with a good performance against Boro. They are a team that will be tight and hard to break down, so Iwobi’s creativity may be needed from wide areas.
Striker: Olivier Giroud
Wenger has given Danny Welbeck an extended run in the team but that has seen Olivier Giroud sit on the sidelines for an extended period of time. In my opinion, he again deserves to come back into the starting eleven, with Welbeck struggling to find the net in his recent appearances. Giroud will be need to help combat the physicality of Middlesbrough on Monday night, with West Brom and Crystal Palace exploiting those weaknesses in recent weeks.
Remember the game is live on Sky Sports tonight and Fresh Football readers can get Sky Sports for a full day for just £6.29. You can redeem the fantastic day pass offer by clicking here.