Wenger pleased with Kolasinac & Alexis impact

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Arsene Wenger says he was pleased with the second half impact and goals of Sead Kolasinac and Alexis Sanchez as Arsenal shook off a poor first half performance to beat Cologne 3-1 in their Europa League debut.

The Gunners struggled to find any fluidity as they started the game with a 3-5-2 formation, however, after switching Rob Holding for Kolasinac and switching to a 4-4-2 they soon found a cutting edge to slice through the visitors’ defence.

“I moved to a four [at the back] in the second half and Kolasinac gave us a lot going forward, but as well he pushed Sanchez more forward,” he told his post-game press conference.

“Sanchez played very deep in the first half and when he had more support on the flanks from Kolasinac he became more dangerous.”

On Alexis, who was full of energy but little final product in the opening 45 minutes, he added, “I think in the second half he became alive. He’s still running, fighting to come back to his best physically.

“But Alexis is Alexis – he’s an exceptional player and even if he’s not completely back today. physically, he is an exceptional football player and he can deliver a decisive pass or a goal at any moment.

“For us, tonight he gave some great balls and in the second half of course he scored. He can always create something special.”

Wenger also made clear his squad had been focused on the job at hand despite the club dropping down from the Champions League for the first time in his tenure.

“Football is football. Once you are on the football pitch, if you love football, you play. You don’t wonder what kind of cup it is when you sit in the dressing room. You want to play football and we played against a good team tonight. A Bundesliga team is always difficult to beat.”

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23 Comments on "Wenger pleased with Kolasinac & Alexis impact"

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Stayn

We didn’t play 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 jeez

Pedant

We have a great left side with them two. Power, commitment, energy, skill.

Rich

Do we drop Monreal?
And go back to 4-2-3-1?
Cech
Bellerin
Mustafi
Koscielny
Kolasniac
Xhaka
Rambo
Ozil
Welbeck
Alexis
Lacazette

Kolasniac looks a right player, credit where credits due.
Lacazette is also a much better allround player than I thought he would be.
He’s very efficient in what he does, doesn’t take any unnecessary risks, even if stamina does seem a concern.
Could be the perfect partner for the higher risk taking Alexis.
Thought Maitland Nyles was v good once he move to the centre as well.

Pedant

Possibly ‘drop’ Monreal.

Or treat it like a squad, play him at CB some times and LB others. No-one will complain when he comes into the team.

Rich

If we revert to 4-2-3-1?
Or simply to 4 at the back?

We’ll have to drop a defender, that’s why I put a question mark after “do we drop Monreal?’

I love Monreal he’s got real quality, I was just seeing what the mood was for a return to the old formation?

Kolasniac appearing to be a significant upgrade? isn’t a slant on Monreal, it just shows the exceptional quality that Kolasniac possesses.
These are the type of problems we want at Arsenal.
Even if Arsene playing players horribly out of their comfort zones hasn’t helped us this season.

Dave M

At least that will allow us a little depth at full back. With Monreal a permanent fixture at CB then Kolasinac seems the only LB we have. Similar problem on the right. Debucy doesn’t look like he is going to get back into Arsene’s good book so who is our RB reserve? Chambers? Another in the dog house…

Adriano

Devuchy will be a great backup rb. Honestly it would be very hard to find better. Once he gets some gametime back I’m are he’ll be our cup guy,but prob won’t make bench for prem games

Adriano

I think dannys got to make room for a midfielder.
Wilshere and xhaka with Ramsey ahead, alexis lacazette ozil up front. Can’t have a rambo/xhaka midfield with 4 at the back,it’s been tried and failed.
I think ozil can play his role on the right and still see enough of the ball,to me that’s better than having him central and Ramsey out there.

Xhakalaca

Kolasinac is looking to be a more important player for us this season.

BeNZed

Yes he let us down last season.

TeeCee

Yes. That whole “not playing for us at all” thing he did last season really cost us.

Das Neck

disappeared for most of the big games

ramgooner

Don’t get why Bellerin plays so high up the pitch when we are a goal up. Our CB gets dragged out wide leaving acres of space in behind and Bellerin makes those last minute recovery runs.
I want Bellerin to switch between RWB/CM in-game and give Ramsey the freedom to drift wide and combine with Ozil.
Chelsea have Willian, Hazard, Pedro and Morata. We will get punished if we don’t adapt to their game when we are off the ball.

Bai Blagoi

1. Because he can.
He is fast and can afford to come back quick. This was his power before (before we started playing with wingbacks), and I am happy to see him in action again
2. Because Theo was quite passive on the flank and was more often cutting through the middle than trying to elaborate something on the touchline.

ramgooner

I know he can. But, it’s just too risky to do that in big AWAY games. It doesn’t make sense when we are a goal up.
I would like it if he plays a more compact game and uses his pace to close down opposition on our side of the pitch. Imo Kolasinac and Monreal do that very well. They know when to bomb forward and when to sit back.

Rich

Our team isn’t designed or anywhere organised enough to defend on the edge of our own box.
Having Bellerin+Kolasniac forcing the opposition back whilst Arsene is manager is definitely our best option.
Not sure there’s two more exciting full backs in the league.

Kelvin

I am still not convinced with the defence. If the bg comes in,be prepared for a penalty to be conceded.On he other hand,its about time Wenger
puts his dreadful record to the books.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner
Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

I thought the Germans were pretty bad…

James Howlett

Hopefully we play 4 at the back Vs Chelsea. Xhaka & Jack behind Ozil. LW Alexis, RW Ramsey and ST Lacazette.

Dave

We went from 343 to 433 (4213).

santori

That shot from Kolasinac was straight out of a high calibre cannon from Sarajevo.

It would have taken heads off if they had been in the way.

He’s a complete beast!

As is Alexis. NO sign of any detriment to work effort despite ongoing contracts issues so probably a good call for Wenger to keep him in absence of any offers offshore.

Personally was extremely surprise that Barca did not come in for their ex player whom we have groomed better to top class.

Particularly as their summer spending was truly clueless following the Neymar departure. Perhaps it was one of those ego things endemic to Barca DNA.

Gazgoon

From the land of the long white cloud, I’d be happy for him to play loose forward for the All Blacks! The guy just emanates power!!

Gazgoon

Kolasinic, that is.

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