Last night game at and around the Emirates was a feast of football, and both the Coventry players and fans played their part in it.
Arsene decided not to play with a more conventional DM and put Ox and Jack in the deeper laying midfield positions. Both young Englishmen did not fancy sitting back too much, especially in the first half when Coventry sat very deep themselves. Our defence pushed up high and Jack and Ox were free to join Ozil up-front. Add to that Pod and Gnabry, and a relatively hard working Giroudesque Bendtner, and you can see how we basically played close to 4-6-0. The result was almost total dominance and some beautiful moves for us to enjoy.
The first goal came from a quick rebound, with Mertesacker robbing the ball high up the pitch, Jack passing it on quickly to Ozil, leaving the latter with the sort of situation he craves more than anything else: space, forward momentum, and passing options. His pass to Pod was class – how nicely he moved the ball from under his feet to his fellow countryman – and the man with the best smile in football (other than Zorro) showed us how much composure and technical skills he still has, with a cool go-around-the-keeper and precise finish.
The second one was a training move engineered by Germans, between corner-taker Ozil, header-onner BFG and fox-in-the-box finisher Podolski. They were very pleased with themselves, and rightly so. 2-0 to the good guys and time to relax, they thought.
Yesterday, we played four Germans from the start, and when Zelalem joined another one was added. With rumours about Draxler joining us growing day by day, it looks like Wenger is shifting more and more towards a German-English-(Spanish/French) first team composition. If Bender is to follow as well as at some point, we could be fielding a majority of Germans in the team anytime soon with six/seven WenGermans in all areas of the line-up. All good stuff, if you ask me.
The second half showed why we cannot really afford to play without a DM. Coventry pressed higher up the pitch and passed the ball very well at times. They penetrated our high line cleverly on a few occasions and we were lucky to escape. Our back four looked very exposed at times and I, for one, will be very happy to see Flamini, or at least Arteta, restored to the first team on Tuesday.
It took a couple of substitutions to punish Coventry for not taking any of the chances they had and put the game to bed. Giroud and Cazorla took their chances well and will have enjoyed this easy shot in the arm to keep their confidence high for more challenging encounters.
The Coventry Fans showed class with their timely, collective protests and we should wholeheartedly support them in their quest for returning to their roots.
I would like to point out how Jack and Ozil seem to be growing closer and are producing a lot of magic between them. They have a lot in common and the more they develop an automatic understanding between each other the better our team will play football. Going forward, they will both benefit enormously from a strong DM behind them, so they can play together in front of, as well as inside, the opposition’s ‘D’, where together they can do enormous damage to whoever/whatever is put in front of them.
Ozil’s quality is beyond doubt and Jack is visibly learning from him quickly. Regular BK readers will know that I am huge fan of Jack, and I am one of those who believes he will become the best English player of his generation when he reaches the age between 25-32. He seemed to have lost his touch and precision in his passing at the start of the season, but it is all back now.
He has such a great overview and his box-penetrating passes are once again of the highest order. If we keep the triangle of Flamini(Arteta), Ozil(Rosicky, Cazorla) and Jack(Rambo) – with both the point pointing forwards and backwards at times, as the total football crazed Dutch say – fit and developing further, we have a real chance of finishing the season on a high. I don’t think we realise enough how much creative/penetrative quality we have in midfield right now.
Finally, I would like to say how impressed I was with Ozil yesterday. He has played in so many games already for us this season, without having his seasonal winter break this time round. Yet, he gave his all against Coventry and for the full 90 minutes. Of all the WenGermans, Ozil is our most talented star but the fact that he works so hard is what really makes him stand out right now for me.
All good stuff. We are now OGAATing towards Tuesday, where the Saints await us. Bring it on!
Written by: TotalArsenal.
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