Mesut Ozil is one of the best players in the Premier League, Calum Chambers is better in midfield than defence and other things we learned from Arsenal 2 Bournemouth 0
By Editor Wayne Veysey
Ozil can obliterate Henry’s record
After a quiet game against Southampton, Ozil was back to his majestic best as he demonstrated once again that he is an outstanding contender for the Footballer of the Year title. Ozil was excellent once again as he cut the Bournemouth defence apart with his exquisite passing. He set up the opening goal with a corner on to the head of Gabriel to lift his Premier League assists haul for the season to 16, within four of Thierry Henry’s record of 20 in a single campaign. Ozil is capable of obliterating the Arsenal legend’s haul. For good measure, Ozil passed the ball into the net for Arsenal’s second goal. In addition to his matchless goal creating, the German has also weighed in with five goals this season.
Chambers is a solid midfield anchorman
The former Southampton man was finally given his chance in central midfield after an injury ruled out Mathieu Flamini. Chambers anchored the midfield sensibly and diligently. He kept his discipline, shape and played it simple. For good measure, he even got forward on occasion. It is not stretching it too far to say he looked more comfortable in midfield that he does in defence.
Cech is an all-time great
By shutting out Bournemouth, Petr Cech kept his 170th Premier League clean sheet to break David James’ record. The former Chelsea man might not be motivated by personal glory, but he will still take immense pride in a landmark that fully befits a keeper of his professionalism, ability and longevity. A decade of consistency in a league as competitive as the Premier League is a magnificent achievement for a goalkeeper who will go down as an all-time great.
Gabriel gives Wenger selection dilemma
Such is Arsenal’s horrendous injury record, it’s rare that Arsene Wenger’s team selections are dictated by much more than who’s available. At centre-half though, the manager has three strong defenders who are able to avoid the orderly queue for the treatment room, and it’s been Gabriel who’s largely had to make way. The Brazilian was given his chance against Bournemouth in place of Laurent Koscielny, and delivered an assured performance alongside Per Mertesacker. Strong in the tackle and composed on the ball, Gabriel barely put a foot wrong, and put Arsenal ahead with a bullet header.
Wenger benefits from ringing changes
Arsene Wenger has been reluctant to make changes recently, relying on a core group of players. This backfired horribly on Boxing Day as an unchanged team were thrashed 4-0 at Southampton. This victory proved that freshening things up can really work. Calum Chambers, Kieran Gibbs, Gabriel and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all came in and performed creditably. It restored some energy and confidence, as well as their place at the Premier League summit.