And it’s Mesut Ozil on the ball, just inside the opponents half, driving forward, he finds Sanchez on the left, he beats his man, crosses and its Danny Welbeck DANNY WELBECK, what a goal, what a break, its 1-0 Arsenal.
When England scored their first goal last night, with a scintillating break ending with Welbeck scoring a tap in, I was surely not the only one who got a little bit excited. It is a goal you could easily picture Arsenal scoring, over and over again. Imagine this for a second:
Walcott Welbeck Sanchez
It is an exciting front 4. Pace, power and precision. It is plenty to whet the appetite. With Ozil pulling the strings, and having the 3 speed demons ahead of him. Teams will not be able to cope. A devastating attack can come from either flank or down the middle.
Without adding too much hype to it, last nights goal reminded me of Arsenal in the early 2000s. One of my greatest memories of Arsenal is in the game against Leeds in 2003.
Dennis Bergkamp was on the ball, he released Freddie Ljungberg down the right, the commentary then took over “Ljungberg breaks, nobody with him for the moment…but three are arriving…” Within a blink of a second, Pires, Henry and Gilberto were up alongside the Swede. The Leeds player no where to be seen. BANG! Pires made it 2-0.
But that was not all, what happened next lead to what is quite possibly my favourite piece of Arsenal commentary of all time. As Bergkamp was once more on the ball, he found Ray Parlour, with Henry, Pires and Ljungberg ahead of him. As they broke, the Match of the Day commenter uttered the famous words “Here comes the Arsenal sprint relay squad again.”
It summed up how we played in the early 00s, leading to an unbeaten season. It was pace, it was power, it was scary. We could get from front to back in seconds. I never got bored of MOTD putting up the clock, showing how quick we went from defending the edge of our own box to putting the ball in the opponents net. Henry, Ljungberg, Pires and Vieira, they would have given Bolt, Powell, Blake and Carter a run for their money.
Now it would be ludicrous to even begin comparing the current crop to those unbeaten gladiators – although I have perhaps already done so, but they have very similar attributes.
Mesut Ozil has the ability to slow the game down, when everyone else is going at 100mph. He is able to pick out the right pass, and the right speed, at the right time. As with Dennis Bergkamp, he is the man who can link it all together.
In Theo Walcott, we have someone who, in my opinion, is better than Freddie Ljungberg. Don’t believe me? Look at some stats I compiled last season:
Alexis Sanchez on the left certainly has the ability to be equal to Robert Pires, maybe even better. If, like Pires, he is given the free role to come in off the left, to drift about, find space, then explode using his pace. Pires had the ability to make something out of nothing. Sanchez has that same ability.
Finally, we come to Danny Welbeck. He is the one furthest away from his comparator in Thierry Henry. And he will probably never get close. However, he needs to be given a chance. If he gets his head down, and works hard at his game, he could be a great. He shares a lot of similar attributes as Henry. Quick, good touch, able to beat a man, powerful. His main weakness is his finishing, but Henry also had a similar problem when he first joined.
Infact, Henry and Welbeck came to Arsenal with fairly similar attributes and stats:
The future for Arsenal is exciting, very exciting.