Arsenal have three fine CB’s in Koz, BFG and Vermaelen and to leave any of these three on the bench seems a waste. Of course, I recognise the need to have quality on the bench, and in that respect, long may it continue that we have somebody of the calibre of Koz ready to come on in case of injury, or somebody needing a rest.
My favourite CB pairing is actually BFG and Koz, but I can understand why Wenger wants to play his captain as much as possible.
I have also written a few posts recently on the need to add more steel in midfield: somebody who tackles really well, is good in the air, and somebody who reads the game well and positions himself as cleverly as Arteta does.
On top of the above, I am a big fan of Miguel and I reckon he needs to be integrated into the first team now; starting with more cameos this season. With Djourou potentially leaving this January, there might be an opportunity to do just that.
So would it be a good idea to move either Koz or Vermaelen into midfield, and make Miguel our first in-line CB replacement in case of injury or suspension?
Vermaelen would add a lot of steel to our midfield and I would be excited to see him have a trial in that role. But, I am not sure whether he would be good at reading the midfield game, and whether he would be good at making the right intervention decisions.
Koz would add a lot of steel too and his tackling is second to none, and I also find him a good reader of the game, who makes good intervention decisions, but whether he can do it in midfield as good as he does it in defence remains to be seen.
In our 4-2-1-3 formation, the deepest laying midfielder cannot just be a traditional DM who hoovers up everything in front of him and then moves the ball on: he also needs to participate in attacking moves, by moving the ball on quickly and picking a good pass regularly. Again I am not sure whether either Koz or Vermaelen are suitable for this. In his CB role, Vermaelen seems to be ahead of Koz in terms of picking a quick pass or steaming forwards to support our attack. And it is the latter, that makes me think that Vermaelen could work well in our 4-2-1-3 formation, especially if he plays next to Wilshere or Arteta who can stay behind to provide defensive cover if necessary.
But my gut feeling tells me that Koz would be the best option. Koz is a good reader of the game and has a great work rate (just like Vermaelen), and he also seems to have a good positional awareness which is so crucial for the deepest midfielder position. I also must admit that I like Koz very much as a player and I find it a waste that he has not been playing much recently, and is likely to be replaced by Mertesacker again this Saturday.
I have also not given up on Coquelin, but for me he is more of long-term option. Would I like us to sign M’Villa or Strootman this January? Of course I do, but it is always worth looking at our own squad to see whether we can fill a key position from within.
And if Arsene were to move either TV, or ideally Koz, into the DM position, I would welcome that.
What do you think?
Written by: Total Arsenal.