Arsenal were fortunate to come away as 2-0 winners against a rejuvenated Hull side that provided a stern test for the stalling Gunners. A disputable opener and penalty both courtesy of Alexis Sanchez were the difference between the two sides.
Arsenal seem to be in a defrosting mode from Christmas, and after being humbled at Chelsea, we only just tumbled past Hull, who enjoyed the majority of possession in an open game. Alexis Sanchez scored the opener, with a goal that has sparked controversy. Admittedly the ball did strike his hand, however there was no way the Chilean could’ve moved his arm in time, and therefore for me the goal rightfully stood. Hull didn’t roll over at that point however, and Markovic epitomises how Hull have bounced back under new boss Marco Silva, Markovic the Liverpool reject who was a constant threat to our back line.
The second half was also worryingly open, and Hull had their chances before Sanchez smashed a second in to secure a win. One player that caught the eye was Oxlade-Chamberlain, who seems to be revitalised in his new central midfield role. Chamberlain provides the midfield with more energy, speed and hunger (along with obvious technical ability we are used to at Arsenal) that I believe will be most effective when alongside the harsh tackling and more immobile Xhaka. Some of the passes made by Chamberlain were outstanding, and should solidify his place in the side against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
One player that should be dropped for our Champions League clash is Mesut Ozil. The German seems demotivated and has done little to impress for a while now, without having his place in the line up questioned. Will Ozil really add much to the side against the Bundesliga champions? He won’t provide any defensive cover, and while his passing is suited to the counter attacking style we will most likely resort to, Chamberlain could provide a more direct approach. Wenger should opt for a more flat five man midfield, with Oxlade-Chamberlain being the attacking outlet, while also providing important defensive cover. Alongside the dynamic Englishman, the boss needs to eliminate the attacking Bayern flow by starting Coquelin and Xhaka, who can also cover for wide men that don’t track back, a trait seen in Sanchez who should play on the left hand side seeing as Chelsea away wasn’t suited to him. Welbeck would be my choice of striker, as Giroud doesn’t provide the counter attacking traits required – but could be an impact substitution.