Arsenal Analysis: Chamakh, Fabregas and More Positives From The Braga Encounter

Vijay MuraliAnalyst ISeptember 16, 2010

Arsenal Analysis: Chamakh, Fabregas and More Positives From The Braga Encounter

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal scores from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Arsenal and SC Braga at the Emirates Stadium on September 15, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Get
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Arsenal romped to a 6-0 victory against Sporting Braga, to extend their unbeaten run in this season. They oozed confidence throughout the match and put in a ruthless performance, which enthralled all their supporters at the Emirates Stadium.

    Sporting Braga were outplayed by the outstanding Gunners lead by Cesc Fabregas, who scored a brace and was awarded the Man of the Match for his superb display. Andrei Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh, also scored in the match, before Carlos Vela provided another glimpse of his outstanding performance scoring a brace after replacing Chamakh in the second half.

    There were many positives after this midweek fixture, which should make the Gunners believe that they can win a trophy, this year.Arsenal's confidence levels will be high after emphatic victories against Bolton and Braga, and they will look to continue their good form in the game against Sunderland, in the weekend.

Andrei Arshavin's Performance After The Bolton Game

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Andrey Arshavin of Arsenal gets away from Vandinho (L) and Miguel Garcia of Braga during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Arsenal and SC Braga at the Emirates Stadium on September 15, 2010 in London, England
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    All eyes were on Andrei Arshavin,after a disappointing performance from the Russian International in the weekend game against Bolton, and he did not disappoint the faithful supporters who turned out in large numbers for the game. Arshavin provides a lot of quality to the Gunners and he showed why he is still one of the most influential players for Arsenal.

    He clinically finished off an Arsenal move, for the second goal, which gave Arsenal a comfortable 2-0 lead. He made a positive impact for the Gunners and also provided a delightful cross for the unmarked Cesc Fabregas to head it home. He was a menace for the opposition and bagged 2 assists and a goal to his name.

    He will have regained some of his confidence back from this display and should he continue improving this season, he can be an immensely important player for the team.

Jack Wilshere's Impressive Performance

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Marouane Chamakh of Arsenal celebrates with team mate Jack Wilshere after scoring during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Arsenal and SC Braga at the Emirates Stadium on September 15, 2010 in London, England
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Jack Wilshere started for Arsenal for the first time in a Champions League encounter and it was a scintillating display from the teenager. He never looked out of place playing in Europe's elite club competition and impressed one and all at the Emirates.

    His chemistry with Fabregas and Chamakh, was really good and should he continue developing under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger, he will have a glittering career in the future. His back-heel to assist Chamakh was sensational, and he showed his immense potential in the match. He, also, provided some good passes and through balls, and should hope to retain his place for the weekend encounter against Sunderland.

Manuel Almunia and The Defense Having a Clean Sheet

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    BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28:  Manuel Almunia of Arsenal inspects the broken net during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal at Ewood Park on August 28, 2010 in Blackburn, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    In the enforced absence of Thomas Vermaelen, it was imperative that the new Centre Back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci performed well at the elite level. They have certainly done a commendable job against Bolton and Braga, and the clean sheet against Braga would be a boost to them.

    Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy returned to the starting eleven and both of them were solid in defense, ensuring there were nothing easy for the Champions League new boys. The defence will be stronger when Vermaelen returns, but Wenger should be happy with the way the defence has performed, so far, compared to the last year.

    Manuel Almunia has come under intense scrutiny for his performances last season, but has been solid in this season, and rarely looked like conceding in this fixture against Braga. The clean sheet today would have bolstered his confidence, and he will look to have a stellar season, between the sticks.

Vela's Marvellous Substitute Performance

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Carlos Vela of Arsenal is unmarked as he scores his team's fifth goal during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Arsenal and SC Braga at the Emirates Stadium on September 15, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Carlos Vela came on for the impressive Marouane Chamakh, in the second half with the score at 4-0, the outcome never in question. But he provided a cameo performance, which would seriously make Wenger ponder if Vela should be given a start in the near future.

    Vela scored a goal against Bolton when he came for Chamakh in that match. He did better against Braga, scoring two and giving Arsenal supporters more reasons for celebration.

    Vela scored a brace within 20 minutes and looks to be in prime form in this season. He clipped the first one and finished well to grab his second goal of the night, after some very unselfish work from Fabregas, to inflict further misery on the hapless visitors. He, certainly has a lot of talent, but can this be his breakthrough season?

Marouane Chamakh's Influence On the Gunners

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Marouane Chamakh of Arsenal scores his team's third goal despite the efforts of Moises of Braga during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Arsenal and SC Braga at the Emirates Stadium on September 15, 2010 in L
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Marouane Chamakh was added to Arsenal's talented roster to add quality and experience to the squad. He seems to be a very fine player and is already a fan favourite due to his impressive performances for the Gunners. He scored in his first home game against AC Milan in preseason and also against Blackpool and Bolton.

    However, his best performance for the Gunners, till now, was against Braga, where he was brilliant in bringing his team mates into the game and was involved in most of the attacking play. He was brought down by the Braga goalkeeper, and Fabregas opened the scoring from the resulting penalty. He scored a goal himself after some wonderful play from Fabregas and Wilshere and already has three goals to his name in this season.

    Chamakh is a very good team player, and also defends well from the front. He has a decent first touch and is adept playing as the lone striker. His great aerial ability also adds a new dimension to the Gunners, and he looks a great acquisition for the Gunners. When Robin van Persie returns from injury, Wenger will surely have a dilemma whether to change his formation to accommodate Chamakh or not.

Samir Nasri's Return To Full Fitness

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Samir Nasri of Arsenal in action during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Arsenal and SC Braga at the Emirates Stadium on September 15, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Samir Nasri was Arsenal's best player in the preseason and was also very good against Liverpool, but had to undergo surgery after that match. Nasri is a player of huge potential and this can be his breakthrough season.

    It is great to see that he is back to full fitness and he was able to complete the entire 90 minutes, which is surely a boost for Arsenal. The versatile French International will face stiff competition from the likes of Tomas Rosicky and many other talented players, but he has the quality and potential to be a revelation for Arsenal in this season.

Cesc Fabregas: Man of the Match

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal heads his team's fourth goal  during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Arsenal and SC Braga at the Emirates Stadium on September 15, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Ge
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Cesc Fabregas was the subject of transfer speculation throughout the summer, but it has been forgotten by the Arsenal supporters, as the club hopes to embark on a landmark season for the Gunners. the exceptionally talented Spanish World Cup winner is the brain of this Arsenal team, and is pivotal to the team's success.

    He was not at his best against Blackburn and Blackpool, but certainly looked like he was gaining match fitness in the game against Bolton, where he was impressive in providing a number of through balls and bagged three assists from the match. He was surely even better against Braga, scoring a brace and looking effective throughout the match.

    Arsenal will hope that Fabregas can continue his good form over the course of the season and lead them to many impressive victories such as this one. Any doubts regarding his commitment to Arsenal would have been banished from the supporters' mind after his marvellous displays in successive matches.

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