Arsenal went into 2014 with one of the best defences in the Premier League. which at the time was top of the league. However big games exposed the defence with humiliating away defeats. But when Arsenal are on Song, who should be the first 5 players on the lineup?
As much as Wojciech Szczęsny has been made the scapegoat in recent weeks, he played the majority of 2014 as Arsenal’s No.1. Let’s not forget that the Polish International finished the 2013/14 with the coveted Golden Glove (albeit shared with Petr Cech). He’s great keeper who’s still relatively raw despite the demand for a world-class keepers growing ever stronger. Goalkeepers will get much more negative headlines than positives, and it only takes one mistake from going back to Square one. Take Joe Hart for example. He’s been doing enough right to put himself firmly as the Goalkeeper in Arsenal’s strongest defence. Fabianksi, Ospina and Martinez all showed signs of promise but rarely featured enough to be comparable.
I’m going to go with Kieran at LB. His injuries are to remain his main weakness but is a player who has developed into a solid Left-back when available throughout 2014. He’s improved his defensive abilities and is developing his skills to contribute in attack, leading to 3 international appearance for England in the year. Monreal will give him stiff competition. Gibbs’ not getting the best slice of luck either. But when both fit there isn’t much Nacho can do to keep Gibbo out.
Laurent Koscielny is Arsenal’s strongest, and best defender available. A prized asset that is heavily missed when not available and has an inspiring effect on the defenders alongside him. Per Mertesacker has benefited from Lolo and I don’t think this is much of a surprise to be honest. The ability to intercept attacks and also provide crucial goals. A physical player in an elegant passing team is what we need and I hope he’s here till he retires. One of the best that the Premier League has to offer. The French international was called up to World Cup Squad.
BFG. Big Friendly German. You can type that on Google and this guy shows up. It’s not that Dat Guy Welbz but it’s this guy called Per Mertesacker. His form of late has been shockingly poor at times but 2014 was good year for the German who was at the Heart of Arsenal’s defence. Making up for his lack of pace with his reading of the game, he offered something different to Koscielny but opposites tend to attract these days. We can’t forget his goal in the semi-final too against Wigan.
Last one is the most interesting one. With Sagna, Debuchy, Jenkinson, Chambers and a bit of Bellerin to choose from. Cut those five down to two and you should be left two French Internationals. Bacary Sagna’s off the pitch tantrums have left a bitter taste in his exit but his long-term consistency and reliability wasn’t bettered by many in 2014. Debuchy coming into the team as a replacement has done very well and like Alexis, settled in very smoothly. But the position will have to go to the player he replaced at a club and international level. Debuchy had less time as Arsenal’s RB in 2014 and his injuries did not help that situation. Sagna was a player that only needed to replaced because he left, rather than the fact he’s just not good enough. Both physical players Bacary was almost as impressive at CB as at RB.