Mesut Ozil was a great signing for Arsenal, and indeed, the country. The former Real Madrid player oozes class and composure; he is a constant island of calm in an ocean of turmoil. His technical skills are of the highest order and his vision and speed of thinking are right there with Fabregas and Iniesta’s.
He is not the sort of player that dominates an area in midfield, like Cesc used to do for us. There are times when he goes missing from our TV screens, and you will never hear him shout at fellow players. He sometimes looks misunderstood and perhaps frustrated with his fellow players, but he’ll get on with his job immediately again. He is a tireless worker but in an almost effortless way, it seems.
It is a real shame we will see very little of the Ozil-Theo partnership this season, as the German appears to love fast and clever attackers around him who are capable of appreciating and devouring the contents of his silver service. Theo is ideal for this, and much more so than our relatively mostly slow midfielders, and our main CF: Giroud.
Those who read my blogs regularly will know that I love Giroud a lot. He is strong and works tirelessly for the team; he holds up the ball well and allows our midfielders to get close to the box where they can hurt the opponent – as a result, many of our goals are scored by midfielders and we are not over reliant on one or two super-sharp and productive attackers; we can play compact in midfield, which both allows us to protect the back four better as well as attack in numbers if and when we play the parked busses teams; he carries enough goal threat to pull away defenders, creating vital space for other players in the process; and he produces assists regularly, and actually still scores a reasonable number of goals. Many supporters do not seem to appreciate all these qualities enough IMHO.
However, I also admit he is not very clinical and he is not very fast, and his technical ability is good but not brilliant. I reckon he will always be our marmite player: some will love him and others will want to see him on the bench at best.
His big plus is that he allows us to play 4-5-1 which I still think is the best formation for sustained success for Arsenal. Surprisingly, there are not many CF’s around who can play that role as well as Giroud can, and are willing to sacrifice their normal striker instincts and needs to such a large extent as is expected by Wenger.
Three things are clear to me:
- Ozil is learning to play with OG as our ‘holding striker’ and has some way to go;
- OG is not the sort of striker who can take full advantage of Ozil’s vision and passing ability.
- There is potential for a clash of styles here and, as a result, a risk of frustrating/not getting the best out of Ozil in the process.
My question to you fine, fellow Gooners is, how can we get the best out of both players’ fantastic attributes:
- Which formation should we play?
- Should they play together at all?
- Who should play around them to get the best value out of both players – do we need to buy or is there a solution within the current squad?
Written by: TotalArsenal.