Charlie Nicholas thinks Arsenal don’t have sufficient attacking options without Alexis Sanchez in the side.
Speaking to Sky Sports about tonight’s Europa League clash between Arsenal and Red Star Belgrade, Nicholas said that the Gunners just don’t make enough chances without the Chilean.
“I didn’t think Alexis Sanchez would make it at the weekend, but still, the lack of attacking options was really concerning. They don’t create enough for Alexandre Lacazette and he’s asked to link up when he should just be playing in that number nine role.”
Arsenal only managed nine shots against Watford, whilst the Hornets reached double figures with 11. The Gunners had more possession but just didn’t use it to create opportunities. As Nicholas says, Lacazette was particularly isolated, managing a 60% pass accuracy and not being given a single chance to shoot.
In fairness, the issue was as much about Mesut Özil’s absence as Alexis’. When Özil did come on for less than 30 minutes, he created two chances, a quarter of the chances Arsenal players made in the entire match. But Lacazette only spent seven minutes on the pitch with him before being substituted.
But without Alexis and Özil, and with Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny failing to create anything from midfield, other than Xhaka’s corner, Arsenal’s attack was lacklustre and disappointing.
Jack Wilshere should be back in the side soon and hopefully will be able to provide some creativity for the Gunners in Belgrade tonight. The team will just need to be a bit more clinical with the chances they’re given I feel.