In the aftermath of a dream shattering series of four goals scored, FOUR conceded in a combined square up against Liverpool (1-1) and Tottenham (3-3) within FOUR days in April 2011, Arsenal were once again greeted with a campaign that flirted with title success, following FOUR months of sublime attacking football, literally between December 2010 and March, 2011.
That latest installment of potential glory capitulation at the final sprint meant the club were going to lose their finest attacking players in the nearest future, and a rebuilding phase for a maximum span of FOUR seasons was once again the crux of the Manager’s ‘to do’ list.
Fast forward FOUR years and Arsenal now look to have steadily built a quartet who are showing genuine title challenge promise worth hanging on to, especially with the recent wins over Manchester United and Bayern Munich; with the English side defeating Arsene’s crop to the title FOUR years back, while the German side recorded their first loss at the Emirates on Tuesday.
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The summer re-brands.
This long crafted rebuilding phase which has seen as many as a double of FOUR spots purchased between September 2011 and June 2015 now clearly seems to have metamorphosed from a work in project, to consolidating a legacy Arsene aims to protect.
Ironically, each of the FOUR players in either side of the Gunners half never really struck me as replacements of some sorts. This of course is down to the change in system after the last exodus of stars, meaning there wouldn’t be a complete replication of FOUR.
Beginning with the summer of 2011, the one evident addition that still remains in the team’s core came with a distinct feature that none of his new back FOUR really possessed. Per Mertesacker brought along with him, a fresh awe of stability, despite having it rough in his first FOUR months in England.
With the aid of a dream partner in Laurent Koscielny (and not Thomas Vermaelen), the German International progressively became accustomed to English football and began to earn the distinct acclaims that his composed style deserved.
The 31-year-old has now even further evolved into part of a core that includes current starters, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey, both naturally gifted with FOUR distinct attributes – Efficiency, movement, composure and experience, having been part of the team for over half a decade.
FOUR years on, the British duo, along with their well anchored central defensive pairing now represent an experienced quartet who laid the foundation for Arsene’s patient construction.
The summer of 2012 even further brought about more excitement, despite having to deal with the loss of Arsenal’s most predatory striker in a while. In came Santi Cazorla and in no time, it became apparent as to why the club had been hot on the heels and in constant pursuit of the Spaniard.
FOUR evident features characterized by the Spaniard such as his rare ambidextrous ability, consistency, experience and immaculate technique raised the bar at the Emirates and the Spanish International began to impose himself in his first FOUR months in England.
In the following transfer window six months later, Cazorla was greeted with Spanish company in the frame of Nacho Monreal. The ex-Malaga man initially looked shaky at the back but has learnt a great deal from the rest of his back FOUR, and now looks the part, showing remarkable consistency in the process.
The above Spanish duo, alongside Per, Laurent, Ramsey and Theo remained as efficient as a work in progress.
Now just when we thought the boss was hardly going to bring in another creative midfielder to accompany his FOUR-man attack, he not only broke the bank for one, but convinced yet another world class creator to join the club, and the rest they say is history.
Looking at the system Arsenal call theirs, it now appears it was all planned for Santi to act as a foil for Mesut to get the best of both worlds of artistry, with the team’s back FOUR in turn, shielded by Santi’s pivot partner also behind Ozil.
The following summer, a few gaps in the final third were largely plugged by Alexis, who improved the team Pronto, alongside the team’s two youngest, yet talented and promising aces in Hector Bellerin and Francis Coquelin. The duo right away, grabbed the opportunity handed to them in the wake of prolonged Injuries to key men in their respective positions.
Since the start of this reshuffle, both Bellerin and Coquelin have grown in leaps and bounds to become stalwarts in a team already filled with experience. With the addition of Alexis and the two ex-Academy materials, the team have been able to begin majority of games on the front foot, and ensure they end those games in the same vein.
With recovery to make, a defence to secure, leadership to instil and technique to match steel, both youngsters, alongside Alexis and Aaron Ramsey, have often looked the most driven to demand more from their teammates; a tireless group of FOUR.
The final part of the jigsaw once again highlighted Arsene’s penchant for poaching experience, with Petr Cech choosing to add relevance to his last few years of a goal keeping career; a feat already paving dividends across the team, largely based on his FOUR distinct attributes (Experience, Security, Leadership and Pedigree).
In the last FOUR years, Arsene has strived to get this team laying with the highest level of quality seen at the club since his arrival in 1996. Central to that plan has been the need to create a team that never runs out of options in the final third.
With much of Arsenal’s goals this season involving as many as FOUR or more combinations as well as contingency plans, it is elating to draw confidence from Arsenal’s FOUR essential attributes – Cohesion, Discipline, Urgency and a Spine of FOUR, especially when it comes down to the last FOUR months of the season.
A young Nigerian columnist who loves to spot a hidden link. There’s no such thing as coincidence in football. Massive fan of The Arsenal and a little obsessed with tactics.