Arsenal supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times after seeing their team secure a fifth straight victory in all competitions at the weekend.
Unai Emery’s men went into their encounter with Everton in the Premier League on Sunday having won their previous three league games, as well as getting past Ukrainian side Vorskla Poltava 4-2 in their opening Europa League group stage match in midweek. And the Gunners continued their excellent run of form at the weekend as goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed a 2-0 success for the North London giants, in turn moving them up to sixth place in the Premier League table.
Thus, there have been many thrilled Arsenal fans up and down the country in recent times, although several of whom have taken to Twitter in recent times to react to a club post based on right back Hector Bellerin, many of whom feel is a shadow of the player he once was.
And those Gunners supporters are absolutely spot on to suggest that the Spain international, who earns £100,000 a week as per Spotrac, needs to buck his ideas up.
Ultimately, the 23-year-old broke into the Arsenal first team during the 2014/15 campaign and has been a mainstay ever since, going on to appear 168 times for the Gunners in the last four years, in which time he has netted seven goals and laid on 20 assists.
Yet it was his early years in Arsene Wenger’s team in which the Spaniard was at his very best, marauding up and down the right flank to offer an option in attack, at the same time fulfilling his defensive duties to great effect – after all, some felt he was the best right back in the Premier League a matter of years ago.
Yet the Gunners’ decline in recent seasons, in which they have fallen out of the top four to twice finish in the Europa League places, has also seen the 23-year-old’s level of performance dip, particularly in defence, as he is often too far forward in attack to allow space for opposition wingers to run in behind.
Yes, there is little doubting that he is a great attacking outlet for Emery’s side, but he used to be reasonably dependable defensively in an Arsenal shirt – that simply isn’t the case anymore.
His opposite number, Richarlison, forced a fine save out of goalkeeper Petr Cech before curling an effort just wide – both of which came in the first half, and both of which came from Bellerin’s side.
Clearly, while he can sometimes be forgiven for his defensive lapses if he contributes in attack, the 23-year-old is overall not at the same level he was in the early stages of his Arsenal career, and Gunners fans are absolutely right to demand he bucks his ideas up to reach that level once again.
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