Arsenal vs Tottenham: Pre Kick-Off News – Ozil To Play Wide, Again?

Mesut Ozil could be deployed to his not so favourite position on the wing against Spurs

Mesut Ozil could be deployed to his not so favourite position on the wings against Spurs

This one won’t please you lot, seriously.

After being so delighted that Wenger finally hearkened to our moans to play Ozil in the central role, it appears the manager will now take him back to the wings, while taking us back to our pre-Villa anguish. We will recall that Wenger’s defence of the use of that formation which sees Ozil in the wide areas is built to grant the team an improvement in terms of being able to contain the threats of big teams and despite that not working against Dortmund, the manager is willing to give it another trial.

In some sense, this could be justifiable considering Saturday’s opposition. One major criticism that has been leveled against the Arsenal boss is his apparent inability to adapt his tactics on a given match day to the quality and style of the opposition. Now it appears the boss has taken those comments to heart and is now set to tweak and twitch a thing. The physical nature of the Spurs midfielders demand that we have enough bodies in the middle of the park to be involved in the contests and come out tops. It may then not come as a surprise if we see a return to the midfield trio of Arteta, Wilshere and Ramsey.

However, on the evidence of past games, if indeed this were to be the right system to be deployed, there has not been sufficient proof that this is the best trio we can afford. Ramsey and Wilshere seem not to have defined roles when they play together, both with the tendency to be forward at the same time, thereby leaving captain exposed. It is also not a totally convincing argument to say that these three possess the required amount of energy to combat the Spurs midfield. The verve of Rosicky and Chamberlain’s impressive tackling should not be too easily ignored.

Which brings us to the main point: Why shunt Ozil out wide, again?

For Wenger, it is about the balance of the team, and I dare to re-phrase, “to make sure everyone plays”. For we will say our team is balanced when all round holes are filled with round pegs. As much as he will do well to enjoy his game as he always does, Ozil only derives maximum satisfaction when stationed centrally. This ‘balance’ may come under further scrutiny, especially if Welbeck will not be able to connect well with Ozil as we saw at Villa.

Having said all these, it is still feasible that the position where Ozil’s name appears on the graphic teamsheet will matter little if, like we did against Villa, play around him. Though it would be easier to play around a player when he is at the center, he can still do enough damage from any side when the necessary work is done by the other players – in a word, playing to his strength.

“You can take Ozil out of the Number 10 role, but you cannot take the Number 10 out of Ozil”

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  1. trugun

    When people start to think for themselves rather than let the media drive their opinions, where Ozil plays at the start will mean nothing. Ozil played for Real mostly in the wide position made no difference and when he gets past the world cup and gets back into the EPL he will be fine. Why Ozil is being singled out I fail to understand most of the team are underperforming Ramsey is absolutely atrocious but nothing gets said about that, the team needs to gell together and then we should be quite something to watch.

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