Ox exit may bring back some tactical sanity to Arsenal - My Arsenal Blog

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Ox exit may bring back some tactical sanity to Arsenal

Posted on September 02, 2017 by David Nugent

For me, Arsenal losing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on deadline day to Liverpool was not a disaster. I just want to know why it took the two clubs until so late in the transfer window to agree a deal.

The midfielder never looked like signing a new deal in north London. If Arsenal would have sold him earlier in the summer, they could have brought a replacement in. However, this is Arsenal and nothing seems to happen the way it should.

Take for example Arsene Wenger team selection in recent weeks. At times Hector Bellerin has been playing as a left wing-back, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been playing on the opposite flank.

Now aside from the fact that the Ox is not a wing-back, for all Wenger’s attempts to turning him into one, I always thought that Bellerin was right-footed and he has played his whole career on the right. To play him at left-back seems like an act of lunacy rather than a masterstroke. I know this is not a new idea, but it has not worked out well so far.

Maybe now that Oxlade-Chamberlain and his versatility has left the squad, Wenger can play Bellerin back on his favoured side and maybe play Sead Kolasinac at left wing-back, or is that too logical?

The summer signing has produced both bad and good moments in his two Premier League appearances so far. The former Schalke player is obviously keen on marauding forward, so playing him at centre-back was not a wise choice.

Granted, he has played there before. However, surely he serves the team better using his strength and attacking ability at wing-back. If Wenger continues to pick Kolasinac at centre-back, the player will struggle and Arsenal will concede goals.

Bellerin has not enjoyed the best 12 months of his career. However, he is the best option Arsenal have at right-back or right wing-back, with French star Mathieu Debuchy out-of-favour and youngster Reiss Nelson arguably not ready for regular first team action.

The latter did impress in pre-season at wing-back, despite apparently playing as a winger for much his youth career. However, at 17 he is a very young player to depend on week-in week-out.

This summer has been a debacle for Arsenal. In their last outing, the only two senior signings of the summer were dropped from the starting line-up. Their presence may not have stopped the 4-0 hammering.

However, now Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger can now actually pick a team that is not baffling in the next match, with the best players in their normal positions. This is Arsenal after all so probably not.

Who should be the Arsenal wing-backs against Bournemouth next weekend?

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