Posted on Monday, 26th March 2012 by Dean Roberts
So after months of waiting, we’re finally back to our full compliment of left-backs. I think having natural full-backs in the team makes all the difference to our attack, giving the opposition defence that extra man to worry about. The difference that it has made to our team has been blatant. Unbeaten in seven, our attack looks like it can penetrate any team in the league at the moment, and a large amount of this is down to our full-backs.
On our right side, the chemistry between Bacary Sagna and Theo Walcott is improving with each passing game. Bacary never seems to run out of steam and his crossing has markedly improved during the last few seasons, giving our attack another dimension. Likewise, Theo seems to be benefiting from Bacary’s new found ability to win every single header from Wojciech Szczesny’s (occasionally erratic) kicks. Think back to the Newcastle game. I would say that 75% of our attack that match came from the right flank, with Theo having arguably his best game of the season, apart from perhaps the Blackburn game at The Emirates.
But this article is about the other side of our team, and more specifically, our two senior left-backs – Andre Santos, signed from Fenerbahce in the summer, and Kieran Gibbs, from our very own left-back production line.
We have not yet seen the development of any particular relationship on the left flank of our team for various reasons. These being:
2) Gibbs was the understudy to Gael Clichy last season and as a result, this is his first full season as a first-team regular.
3) Even though Gibbs is our first choice left-back, the England international is notoriously injury-prone and finds it difficult to put a string of games together.
4) Santos has been sidelined by a long-term injury, picked up in the Olympiakos game, from which he has only recently recovered.
So there are a number of reasons why we have less of a relationship on the left flank, but whilst some may see this as a bad thing, you could view it as an opportunity.
We’ve had almost a full season to judge the different permutations, so picking the best one should be easy, right? Not quite. You see, both of the left-backs have some seriously different qualities that could potentially decide the fate of a game. So let’s compare the two.
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Tags: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andre Santos, Arsenal, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Gervinho, Kieran Gibbs, Laurent Koscielny, Theo Walcott, Thomas Vermaelen, Wojciech Szczesny
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