Rory: Wahbi Is Fab!
He may have not made the impact that him, his manager and the supporters would have liked over the last couple of games, but Wahbi Khazri has been excellent since his arrival on Wearside. On his debut against Manchester City, Khazri instantly displayed his ability when running at the opposition, and we witnessed how dangerous he is from set pieces. It was against the other half of Manchester when he really excelled though. Not only did he get a goal and an assist whilst looking a constant threat going forward, he worked remarkably hard in defence. On the left hand side, with Patrick van Aanholt, the pair seemed to have an almost telepathic understanding, as Khazri constantly tracked back and van Aanholt linked up with him brilliantly going forward. It would be great to Give that already promising looking relationship more time to develop, which will only come through more game time.
What the aforementioned matches against the Manchester sides also showed was that Khazri can rise to the occasion against the big boys. Let's also not forget that he was directly involved in both of our goals away to Liverpool, so a game against Arsenal will be one he's highly motivated to impress in. Not that i'm saying he only turns up when he feels like it, despite a poor showing at Carrow Road he was still making tackles and putting in his usual graft. Taking that effort, skill and big game experience, and putting it into a game like the one on Sunday, that could be a match winner.
It's also worth remembering that Duncan Watmore won't yet be fully fit. After two months on the sidelines, it'd be quite the risk to start him against Arsenal. For the moment at least, Watmore is a better prospect from the bench. Start Khazri please, Sam!
Gav: Watmore's On Fire!
Duncan Watmore's return to fitness could not have come at a better time for Sam Allardyce.
Having a committed runner that plays without fear is a useful asset when you are struggling, and I feel Duncan Watmore showed more in forty-five minutes against Norwich than Wahbi Khazri has shown in quite some time.
Don't get me wrong, Duncan has much to learn - he spurned a number of other chances before scoring his goal against Norwich - but the fact remains that it was his committment and strength which created a number of opportunities in that game. He's a threat.
I do like Wahbi Khazri but it has to be said that we've definitely seen a drop off in quality from him recently. We were told he was a creative outlet with an eye for a set piece but, lets be honest, he's been anything but and I feel Sam realised that at half time last week when he was withdrawn in place of Watmore, who definitely played well enough to earn a start ahead of his Tunisian team mate.
Khazri might actually benefit from a spell out of the team, and just like Watmore, he's a great option from the bench if you need to introduce someone that create problems against tired legs.
For me, I'd start Duncan - there's just something about him that gets the home crowd going and I think that's exactly what we'll need this weekend. His work off the ball is arguably better than his work on it and, with the way Arsenal play right up the pitch, Duncan playing tight to the line and looking to get in behind to support Jermain Defoe is, in my opinion, our best chance of getting three points - and boy do we need it.
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