As part of a new series on FourFourTwo.com, Andrew Mangan recaps the last seven days in the red half of north London...
The week in five words
A convincing win; no doping.
What went well
The win over Watford was probably the most convincing Arsenal performance in months. The wastefulness that has been a factor this season was left to one side, with greater efficiency in front of goal. The new-look front three of Alexis Sanchez, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck has breathed some life back into a side that had been struggling for form and confidence.
The blossoming midfield parternship between Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny is also playing a significant part. The Egyptian has made himself undroppable by not only dovetailing well with the Frenchman, but bringing qualities to the midfield that have been missing since the injury to Santi Cazorla, and the injuries put paid to Mikel Arteta.
He made 122 of 127 passes against Watford, a season high in the Premier League, and having that kind of player is something that suits the way Arsene Wenger wants his teams to play.
It’s hard to say much went wrong when you win 4-0. Perhaps you could suggest Arsenal took their foot off the gas a bit at 3-0 when they might have scored more goals. Who knows how important goal difference could be? Also, the fact that Leicester keep winning...
Quote of the week
"It is very nice to get a breath of fresh air from a player that has come from the academy and have played in the under-21s and under-18s. We are very proud of him and he has done very well."
Hector Bellerin (just turned 21) sounding like an old dad when talking about 19-year-old Alex Iwobi.
The need-to-know facts
- Alexis Sanchez scored his first goal at the Emirates since scoring a brace against Manchester United in October.
- Sanchez scored and assisted in the same Premier League game for the first time since April 2015, when he did so against Liverpool.
- Hector Bellerin has been involved in 4 goals in his last 3 Premier League games (1 goal, 3 assists).
Video/GIF of the week
Hector Bellerin’s dragback and turn away from two defenders:
Winner of the week
Alex Iwobi. On only his second Premier League start, and his first at home, he got an assist for Arsenal’s first, and scored himself for the second game in succession. It’s always exciting when a young talent emerges from the academy, and while he’s only at the start of his career, he’s obviously got a lot of potential. That he’s keeping £140,000-a-week Theo Walcott out of the side says a lot of about the impact he’s having.
Loser of the week
Not a loser per se, but perhaps David Ospina. After some good performances in recent weeks, the return to fitness of Petr Cech means he’s probably going to find himself back on the bench. It might be harsh, but Cech is clearly the No.1. However, the Colombian will have reminded plenty of his quality, and if a summer exit is on the horizon that’s no bad thing for him.