Magic Mesut brings his international form to the Emirates
Mesut Ozil has been universally criticised in recent weeks.
He was hammered by pundits after the defeat at Stoke and it was a similar story after the debacle at Anfield.
All the usual lines were trotted out. He doesn’t work hard enough, his body language is poor, he doesn’t care, blah, blah, blah.
As usual, the majority of Arsenal fans defended their man to the hilt amid the criticism, some of which came from high profile club legends who now work in the media.
Thierry Henry, Ian Wright, Lee Dixon, they have all had their say on the former Real Madrid man recently – so much so that he felt the need to hit back.
A Facebook post published on the fourth anniversary of his move to Arsenal laid his feelings bare – with the Germany star telling the legends to support more and criticise less.
And against Bournemouth he delivered a performance as good as you will see from any playmaker in the Premier League this season.
Ozil was everywhere, constantly toying with the Cherries backline as he pulled them out of position, generating space for others to exploit.
Yes it was only Bournemouth and obviously a far greater test awaits next weekend when Arsenal make their way to Chelsea.
But there’s no doubt they will head to Stamford Bridge with one of their star man in sparkling form.
Xhaka thrives when given time and space
Just like Ozil, Granit Xhaka is a player who polarises opinion.
Many have been critical of Arsenal’s big money signing from last summer, with the Swiss international struggling to adapt during his first season in north London.
But despite his struggles, Xhaka has still demonstrated his ample qualities on several occasions – and he did so again against Bournemouth.
It’s clear when he’s given time and space in the midfield, Xhaka can seize control of a game.
With Bournemouth failing to close him down, he ran the show from the middle of the park. Receiving the ball in space and moving it on quickly.
There are few players in the Premier League with a better passing ability than Xhaka and Bournemouth paid the price for giving him to much time to demonstrate those qualities.
Sanchez has to win back the adulation of the Emirates
It may not have come from the majority, but there were still plenty inside the Emirates who made their feelings towards Alexis Sanchez quite clear.
As he made his way onto the pitch to replace Danny Welbeck, boos which were clearly audible came down from the stands.
Granted, chants of ‘Alexis Sanchez baby’ soon drowned them out, but the Chile international now knows that he has to try and win back the support of some who have grown frustrated by his posturing for a move away.
Arsene Wenger said after the game that ‘the best way to get people on your side is to perform’ and Sanchez should certainly have no problems winning over the boo boys.
Providing he plays to the level that we have all become accustomed, the boos we heard on Saturday will soon turn to cheers once again.
Wenger’s team selection at Anfield was made to look even more bizarre
It’s amazing isn’t it? You start players in their best positions and the team looks 100 times better.
Against Liverpool a mix and match Arsenal side were made to look like a disinterested rabble who had never played together.
But against Bournemouth – with players playing in their preferred positions – Arsenal looked a completely different proposition.
The movement, the swagger, the quality in the attacking third – it was all back and Bournemouth had no answer.
The fluidity of the display really did make a mockery of Wenger’s team selection at Anfield.
Kolasinac will be an Arsenal favourite
Finally, after what seems to have been an age, Sead Kolasinac started on the left flank and the Bosnia powerhouse showed everyone how good he will be as the season progresses.
Last season he was voted the best left-back in the Bundesliga and against Bournemouth you could see why.
He was strong as in Ox in defence, constantly winning back possession and he was dominant in the air at times, especially when dealing with any threat from a set piece.
But it was going forward where Kolasinac really came into his own, bombing down the wing and causing the visitors all sorts of problems.
Within 10 minutes he had driven forward and crossed for Danny Welbeck to head home the opener – and he threatened on several more occasions to do damage to a Bournemouth defence that was being pulled all over the place.