After finishing beneath Tottenham for the first time in Arsene Wenger’s 21-year reign last season, many Arsenal fans are a little angst-ridden heading into the first North London derby of the season this Saturday.
Thankfully, ex-Gunner and noted tactical shaman Charlie Nicholas has spent all of two minutes concocting a foolproof dossier for Wenger to help quash Mauricio Pochettino’s side at the Emirates.
Basically, Arsenal just need to leave out their two best players.
Wibbling away on Sky Sports, Nicholas proposed the following approach:
If Arsenal are serious about winning these big games, I would go with Alexandre Lacazette and Danny Welbeck and leave (Mesut) Ozil and (Alexis) Sanchez out.
Are they two of our best players? Of course they are, but they don’t do enough in these big games.
Welbeck isn’t as talented but what you’ve got to do against a back three is move them about to create chances, while Lacazette is our best finisher and sulky Sanchez doesn’t like playing out wide.
Nicholas also pontificated that he’d throw Alex Iwobi in there somewhere (for unspecified reasons) as well as playing Aaron Ramsey alongside Granit Xhaka in a two-man centre midfield.
Lord knows what this formation is supposed to look like, but the basic premise is that Wenger dropped Ozil and Sanchez from his starting XI for the Chelsea match at Stamford Bridge and ended the afternoon with a goalless draw.
Who are we to question the prophetic insight of Charlie Nicholas, a man who has dedicated his life to just sitting there, thinking…
Visionary. That’s not a diamond stud earring. That’s a window unto the universe.