Welbeck is a Winger

….Well at least for a while to come.

Like many fellow Gooners, I was very excited when we signed Daniel Nii Tackie Mensah Welbeck back in September. We were desperate for new firepower up-front and Danny seemed the right man for us. He was further in his development than Sanogo and would be able to compete for the CF spot with Giroud, and there was also potential for both Giroud and Welbeck to start in a more traditional 4-4-2 formation.

Thanking The Guardian for picture.
Thanking The Guardian for picture.

Welbeck was pushed out at Manure as LvG was looking for more established firepower… Their current combined strike force share between them about an eye-watering million pounds in wages every week, but they have been very net-shy this season – and long may it continue. 😀

The 1.84m tall attacker was very keen to join us. He wanted to play football regularly, in the central role and with a lot of creative players around him, who are able to launch him into space. The arrival at the home of football gave him a spring in his step, resulting in fine and effective performances for England and Arsenal. He scored five goals in twelve PL and CL appearances for Arsenal and he produced two PL assists as well. However, it has been a while since he hit the net as it looks like he is struggling to get himself into scoring positions at the moment, as well as taking the few good chances that come his way.

This seems to coincide with Ozil’s injury, and it did not help either that Jack has been injured in the last few games. A player like Welbeck is highly dependent on creative midfielders who can anticipate and pick out his runs, and we have lacked that to a large extent. Only Alexis, as a fellow striker/winger, has been picking him out regularly and effectively during the last few games.

I watched Danny on a number of occasions and cannot help but feel that he is not ready to be our CF on a regular basis. In fact, I think he would be a lot more effective as a winger.

I am convinced that the injury to OG has cost us badly this season. Not just for his goal contributions, which, let’s face it, is not his strongest attribute, but especially for the shape his gives to the team and the link-play he provides for the rest of the team. For Wenger’s current preferred – but temporarily abandoned – system of 4-1-4-1, OG is very, very important.

I don’t think this role fits Welbeck, even though he is working very hard to be effective in it. Danny is best when we regain the ball in midfield or defence and spring a counter-attack: when there is space to run into and there are midfielders who can pick him out. Manure have always played this sort of football under RedNose and you can see Welbeck has been properly schooled in it.

Danny is a total athlete, and it is great to watch him run with or without the ball at defenders, when there is space and real momentum.

But we do not play that sort of football very often and we face a lot of park the buses teams. We need either another Giroud-type, OR a predator in the box, and, from what I saw of him against Burnley, he is neither, AS YET.

Of course, he will only become 24 this month and Wenger has had very little time to work with him. I am convinced he will be a success at Arsenal, but not so sure whether that will be as our big CF.

In a dream world, we will have all our attackers fully fit and really give opponent teams the creeps. For me, and I reckon Wenger, this means OG in the centre and Alexis and Theo on the wings, with both Ozil and Jack providing the through-balls and central box penetration. Welbeck could be our super-sup up-front, just as Calum Chambers will be at the back (once everybody is fit there, sigh, sigh!).

As you can tell, I am not so keen on Danny being our CF right now. He still has a lot to learn in terms of anticipating crosses and owning space around defenders in the box. Crossers of the ball don’t find him enough, and he does not anticipate their crosses enough either…. And a deadly CF demands the former and is brilliant at the latter. They also often are, instinctively, in the space were rebounds drop. And when he gets a chance he tends to lack the ‘cold-bloodedness’, often not keeping his shots low, thus giving the keeper a chance.

In my view, Danny is not doing well enough to warrant the CF role going forward at the moment.

But as a winger, with a licence to position himself centrally on a regular basis, I can see him do really well. He has the power, speed, hunger and physical strength and endurance for it, and I can see him give Theo a real run for his money. I can see him give Alexis and Theo a break now and again, or allow the Chilean to play more central, if required.

Of course, as long as Giroud is out it will be Welbeck up-front, but once the French Lighthouse is back, I would love to see Danny play on the wings for a while. I think then we will see the very best of him this season.

Written by: TotalArsenal.

Be Kind to Yourself


39 thoughts on “Welbeck is a Winger

  • wow sorry TA, obviously well written as always mate but i definitely disagree with the subject matter of the post.
    Strikers are there to score goals and so far Danny has scored 5 in 12 games with a team in absolute f*cking shambles whereas Giroud scored 4 in his last 12 games with an almost full strength team at the end of last season.
    Once we get people back in the team that can actually pass, Welbecks runs will be found and he will be a lot more prolific than Giroud.
    Giroud’s main asset was that he brought the midfield into the game more in an attacking sense with plenty of goals coming from Ramsey in particular but i am sorry to say that tactic looks a bit shot atm with Ramsey’s form so far off it is laughable, likewise Ozil and Wilshere not really being that kind of scoring midfielder in the first place.
    I’m so bored of players being played out of position atm its just not funny anymore, keep Danny off the wing and leave that to wingers.
    In OX i see a player that is built for the left side, to cut in and score
    Walcott is obviously our best right side winger
    Sanchez is completely at home in the middle
    And with Jack doing the passing, Danny up top will be the cherry on the cake.

    This front line has not played once so far, its always been hampered by a mediocre Cazorla, an off form Ramsey screwing things up, Ox being played on the right where he is nullified.
    Its all arse about face atm and hopefully it will change soon.

    From what i have seen this season Danny does the tracking back for the team that Giroud could only dream of, i have never seen Giroud track back half the pitch, win the ball back and then also carry it (sprinting) back into the oppositions half – ive seen Danny do this two or three times already!

    We’ve already got an immobile lump at the back lets not add one at the front as well please.

    However like i said in the comments in the last post all this should be a moot point when everybody is back fit as the team should be able to produce both approaches to the game with three properly made tactical subs to change from plan A to plan B if things aren’t working.

    Ramsey for Wilshere
    Ozil for OX
    Giroud for welbeck

    These would change the dynamic from quarter back passer from a deeper position feeding four pacey attacking options, like Fabregas does for Chelsea, feeding Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Costa (who is very quick btw) to our old style of play with Ozil doing the feeding higher up and Ramsey running on to Giroud’s hold up play.

    —Walcott———-Sanchez————-The OX—



    Then we will really see which configuration makes the most impact 🙂
    For me Arsenal has always been about pace and attacking drive and directness so its the first formation all day long but if the goals weren’t coming it would be easy to switch.

    Best of both worlds when everybody is fit but don’t underestimate Danny just yet TA, don’t think Giroud could do any better in the shit state our team is in atm for one second.

  • Yes, and No for me, Totes.

    I think he is wasted out wide, but as a second striker he could be very good.

    He is also a bit contradictory. He heads the ball well out of defence, but appears to not be a natural header in attack? Of course one can go anywhere, whereas the other needs accuracy. Mind the latter would come in useful when defending.

    The other big problem I have with him, and it may relate to your point about anticipation? It is he often seems to wait for the ball as though it is some special delivery post, and nobody else will be interested in it. Any good ‘natural striker is aware of defenders around, and if they sense movement in behind, they step forward too. Danny is often stood there with the ball taken of his waiting toes?

    It all adds up to poor early coaching? But it is not too late.

    He is a quote from ‘Hard Tackle’ – David De Gea talking the same point I made about Szczezzer yesterday?
    ‘The constant defensive injuries and team upheavals have not helped Manchester United this season, and goalkeeper David De Gea recently spoke out on the stress involved in playing behind different defensive combinations every week.
    “As a goalkeeper it’s important to form a good understanding with your back four and become familiar with each other’s positions on the pitch.’

  • Potential headliner:
    “Danny Welbeck is a poor man’s Thomas Müller.”

    – almost same age, height & weight
    Welbeck, 24yrs old, 1.85m, 73kg; Müller, 25 yrs old, 1.86m, 75kg

    – they can play various attacking positions
    main forward, right/left winger, second striker, attacking midfielder, inside forward etc.

    – they are unorthodox attackers, chasing loss causes with high work rate and pressing, making a nuisance of themselves when harassing opposition defence.

    Müller, of course, is more experience as a poacher and has tutelage at club under van Gaal (who brought him into Bayern’s 1st team), Heynckes & Guardiola (both refined his role into an all-round attacker) & at national level with Klinsmann & Löw. (all good coaches)

  • Cheers Steve 🙂

    He started well, but if you take into account the hattrick against the Turks, he did not score in nine out of twelve games. Of course it is early days, but my main point, that he is not an OG type of CF or a Poacher type of CF, stands. His running and movement are his big assets and why I think he should play on the wing (with a licence to be second CF occasionally), but that is not enough to play him in the centre AT THE MOMENT. And when Theo is fully back we have speed on the wings and do not need more speed in the centre; OG will be far more effective in this system than Danny.

    He is not more prolific or more effective than OG at the moment. I watched him closely against Burnley and I can tell you he is not ready to be our CF – Wenger will need to do a lot of work with him to make him more effective. Happy to disagree though. 🙂

  • Spot on about his anticipation/feel for the opportunity, Gerry; same goes for his heading ability – he forms very little threat in the box at the moment.

  • Steve the last line up, is pretty close to how I reckon it will be:


    With Ox an understudy of Alexis and Welbeck an understudy of Theo and OG. That to me is champions material, especially if we can add quality in DM. Schneiderlin or Wanyama would be perfect. Bring it on. 🙂

  • TA i think in that scenario and line up, the main team is as you say:


    Substitution level:

    Ramsey (for Jack)
    OX (for Sanchez)
    Bellerin (for Theo)
    Welbeck (for Giroud)

    And true understudy level:


    My problem is Danny is quick don’t get me wrong but he’s not on the blisteringly fast pacey winger scale fast and i think he would be better off as a straight sub for Giroud than a winger.
    It also worries me how crucial Ozil is in that line up and how shit he has performed thus far but if i use the same argument i made for Danny against myself in favor of Ozil then maybe it could be because he hasn’t had the right team around him. I hope you are right but i have massive doubts.
    I wish i could have used Campbell as Theo’s sub choice but he seems to be lost to the boss and if you ask me will probably leave in January with the 19 year old barca starlet Munir El Haddadi as his replacement.

    I still like the out and out pace afforded by the line up i posted but in any case the future looks bright with all our first team coming back.
    The understudies don’t make a bad team either 🙂

  • Good points all round, St11ve 🙂

    My view is to be open and see how Danny develops. For now, I rather see him on the wing when OG is back. He might not be as fast as Theo but he has better ball control/running with ball skills. And in the current system, Theo or Alexis will be allowed to join the CF in the box as often as they see fit, and this should work for Danny as well.

    Don’t know much about Munir El Haddadi – Who is the Haddaddy? 🙂

    Dont you believe in the rumours surrounding Reus at all?

  • Reus is never coming here TA lol, tbh i’m not that interested in attacking additions. We know where we need to strengthen and i think big name signings at the other end will only lessen the pot to spend on big names at the back where it is needed most.
    a DM and two CB’s and maybe a punt on a Barca starlet would make me very happy indeed mate, lets hope the boss sees it that way 🙂
    what do you think on the Reus rumours btw?
    I’m all about balance and we have loads of quick right footed options and with Campbell all but forgotten we have no left footed choice.
    Here’s the best i could do with a little knowledge about the youngster for you:


  • Sorry, but the moment we started to look around for others,e.g. Pedro, that is when I guess AW had been told that Reus had other plans.

    Mind a cheaper version might be to get another LB, and promote Gibbs?

    Steve did you see my last post on previous subject?

  • JM – Surely you are not suggesting that AW is not as good a coach as those mentioned? 😆

    Perhaps we should fast track Thierry through his coaching badges … before somebody else does?

  • btw words cannot express how pissed off i am at the injuries to both Kos and Hayden atm!
    These two injuries have derailed my secret, behind the scenes, Arsenal mission – the Fingers XI

    The Fingers XI is of course:

    —-Walcott——–The OX———Akpom—–

    Koscielny fills the only position not contested by an English counterpart in the first team squad and Macey is called up from the youth.

    Now i never thought i would see the day when there was actually an almost full team of English players in the first team squad let alone there would be a set of circumstances which meant they would get to play together as a starting XI.
    However if Koscielny was fit i think many would prefer to see Chambers there next to him in place of BFG atm, well it wouldn’t be out of the question in any case.
    Hayden would be a welcomed change in the midfield from Flamini
    Wilshere is by far the first choice to pair him in midfield over Ramsey atm.
    And with Sanchez irreplaceable all that would happen is OX moves over to one of the wings and Akpom is dropped.
    But that would have still nearly been a full Fingers XI:

    —-The OX——-Sanchez———Akpom—–

    I keep the dream alive though lol.
    Jenko recalled, Hayden and Kos fit and Szczesny murdered by JB leaving only an injured Ospina and Macey who is somehow preferred to Martinez – It could have been so sweet!! 😆

    There you go a bit a lighthearted craziness to brighten up the week 🙂

    Its a dark and lonely place inside my head 😆

  • Gerry no i hadn’t read it and just went back to give it a good peruse.
    You know very well i agree with both comments mate and wish the boss would try them but it just wont happen.
    I remember we were playing Chelsea once (when Drogba was almost unplayable) and the only player in our team to beat him on headers was Gibbs! The lad out jumped him all game and did a fine job on him (unfortunately the rest of our defense did not hold up so well).
    If i was going to swap a left back to a CB i would have chosen Gibbs ALL DAY LONG!
    and if we ever grew the balls enough to play a 3-4-3 a Bellerin and Gibbs combo would be legendary.
    As it is though we are definitely not in any position form wise for the boss to be contemplating drastic formation changes, i doubt he will even move the personnel around even though there are some obvious adjustments that would benefit the team – he is just too stubborn.
    I agree with davydavy on the last post, stick Bellerin at RB, Chambers at CB and Monreal (if he is deemed the stronger defensive LB option) as a DM next to Flamini – that should really shore up the defensive spine. Then stick Jack higher up for creativity.

    —The OX———-Wilshere——-Sanchez-

  • Gerry btw what potential signings are on display during the internationals?
    I think Jetro Willems is in the Dutch squad tonight against Mexico (in about 10 mins), not sure about Virgil van Dijk?
    Have you got any more on your watch list – i know you have lol

  • @Gerry (November 12, 2014 at 18:59)

    Not comparing the coaching badges with others mentioned previously, AW has only a few months working with Welbeck. I would have included Welbeck’s tutelage at Man. Utd under Ferguson and their youth setup, learning the pressing and harassing stuff, and some combination attacking plays.

    Müller has years working with his managers and the sums of work they have put in on him has a greater contribution to his all-round abilities (e.g. Klinsmann, being a prolific striker himself, worked on his poaching instincts and positioning; van Gaal, giving total football education; Heynckes, Guardiola & Löw, on organisation, combination play, fitness regime etc). Müller has definitely benefited from every aspects of his training, and coupled with his own inert character and winning mentality, is now a world class player.

    In regarding Thierry Henry’s future plans and goings (and in association with our club’s fortunes), there might be arrangements from our senior management & board, which I would not divulge at this point of time (This is still an “idea”). Hopefully, it could come to manifest some time in the near future.

    @TotalArsenal (November 12, 2014 at 16:07)

    Welbeck still a work in progress in this respect; Müller is the complete artifact. He should be heading towards a similar direction because every big footballing club and country needs a Müller-type attacker (to win games & titles, re: World Cup & Champions League), we could certainly benefit with Welbeck in his prime.

    We likely needed a “Klinsmann-type” coach in our staff to work on his striker’s attributes. I suggest our own original “Total Footballer” – even whom Titi has learnt greatly from, hopefully coming next summer or after, with the AW’s blessings of course.

  • JM – that would be a great ‘double act’, or even triple, if Bould doesn’t get the hump?

    I am saying no more, because stuff on here get regularly repeated elsewhere.

  • Steve – Just a few points to answer.

    As TA rounded off the last post with ‘Formation’, times three. What I put up probably would not line any differently to a current 4-3-3, or variation of up front. The only thing that changes, with Bellerin as the right side midfielder is that Gibbs gets forward, Chambers does not. Instead he stays as a wide-ish right side CB, with BFG in the middle, and Monreal moving to a wide-ish left side CB. The DM pair cover the central attacks, and shift across to whatever wide attacks are coming from if the ‘new’ wide MF’s are caught upfield.

    The danger of having 3 at the back is that the opposition counter by having only 1 striker versus 3 defenders in the hope of drawing the wide CB’s out and attacking behind them. Luckily for us to do this, both B & G are very quick to get back. The discipline comes in to make sure they do the instant we lose possession. Also CB’s must not get drawn out if the DM’s are not there to cover. It is all about the ‘Bayern way’ of players knowing their roles and sticking to it?

    On players to watch out for. I was wrong on V V D. BT Sport were advertising a Celtic match they are covering, so it will likely be the weekend after the break? There are several I shall try and look up and see just which country they may play for, then see if they are up to that level.
    Of course, our very own JC could play in the late one for Costa Rica. And the two Under 19’s will be interesting for the future stars.
    I shall be looking out to see which way Umtiti goes, not that we will get him as he is playing regularly at CB for Lyon .. and looking very good I might add. Another one we can rule out is Mata, especially at £20m. United must be mad???

    Finally on your team selections. That combination I think would worry Per too much, as he would have a RB who will not win many headers behind him while he organises Chambers, from the other side, he will get drawn out of the centre to cut out crosses leaving Chambers more or less on his own? I think, further injuries notwithstanding, AW will stick with what they did last time, only keeping CC21 back more, and get whoever is on the DM left side to help Monreal out. At set pieces it will be Gibbs, who already tends to get quite central, to not pay so much attention on covering the left side, but attack the strikers in the middle.
    We only have 4 players who are very good at heading in defensive positions; Chambers, Per, Gibbs and Welbeck. The rest are marginal at best, although Alexis can, but you hardly want him on your goal line, but it may come to that?

    I like the JM idea of Welbeck being our future Muller. The raw similarities are very strong? I just hope he does not get disillusioned before the cavalry arrives?
    The chat with Rosicky got a lot of recycling yesterday. He certainly does not seem to be flavour of the month, but on merit, he would be the obvious one to replace Ramsey on his best form? I honestly do not think AW can risk keep playing AR the way he did before. It took far too long for him to finally click, and yes, the reward was spectacular. But you would think the player himself would have learnt something from that experience, yet it appears not?

    Well that is my contribution for now. I may well give a miss on the dog front today. The weather forecast is horrendous, and I have a blistered foot that could do with the rest. Dogs may see more of the garden than they like … but they are not overly keen on gales and rain either.

    Back later, cheers.

  • @TotalArsenal (November 13, 2014 at 08:07)

    Ronald de Boer (who played attacking midfielder and forward) at Ajax under LvG would be the prototype that Müller mirrored, my thoughts. And hopefully, Welbeck. (the hard-worker types)

    Nwankwo Kanu … (do not laugh) Yaya Sanogo, if he comes good in the near future. Both have similarly gangly stature and sometimes do trick shots.

    Here is an article on skysports on RdB:
    ” Ronald de Boer reveals secrets of Holland’s youth system
    …And what English clubs can learn from Ajax”

    @Gerry (November 13, 2014 at 06:07)

    Next big project by Ivan Gazidis and his fellows, in preparation for AW’s swansong in a few years time?

  • Missing in action yesterday, but today is a new one…rainy here too, Gerry… Moisture is good here in the mountains (fire country), but snow is better…

    TA, this is another very good post and I’m glad that you’ve been watching DW closely. Those on the upbeat side of the Gooner divide have been hopeful that Welbeck–a late buy which likely would not have happened but for the timing of Ollie’s injury–could fill in and give us the shape we need up front. Alas, we’ve survived this period (barely) by relying (much) more on the singular strength of Alexis. Add in the loss of Ozil and questions over the form and fitness of the younger guys who are supposed to be our supply line in MF (Ramsey and Wilshere) and it’s been a torrid time. And this doesn’t even take in the losses of Kos and Debuchy (and Arteta) further back… We’ve really only made it through due to the great fortune of playing a very weak schedule. Now we’ve got a break and some promising news on Ollie’s fitness. Still, these are very slim straws at which to aim our grasp…

    As others are highlighting, Welbeck brings a great workrate and a never-say-die attitude. In terms of critical goals he saved us a point (and even deeper humiliation and divide) vs Hull City. His hold-up work is not on par with OG’s, so that ability to relieve pressure (when we’re under attack) only comes when he successfully runs forward with the ball or as an option on the break. Unfortunately, against better teams, if everybody is fit, he doesn’t bring the lethal speed Theo possesses, nor the technical ability and pace of Alexis. meaning that (for me) he takes a bench spot. Not the equivalent finisher to match Poldolski, he would best be used as a tactical sub (on the wings) when we’ve got a scoreline to protect. So, the way I see it, with everybody fit, our best front line is Alexis-Ollie-Theo with a 2nd group of Welbeck/Lulu – Yaya – Campbell/Ox…

    But that’s when things are perfect and everybody is fit…which is a day that never comes… At the moment our bigger issues are in the middle three (and at the back) but it’s all related and I can see why we’re discussing this given the idea that Ollie might be fit 1.5 months ahead of schedule…As such, well done, Totes… 😀

    (I might try and e-mail you regarding post topics, but the one I started the other day isn’t really even about football…Better, probably, is to keep your own coming or lure Gerry or F11ngers into something…)

  • Hey…Did anybody see Carlitos Vela in that friendly last night?… If you’re looking at missed opportunities, or ones that got away or that sort of thing… It was only on the Spanish (Mexican) television and my comprehension isn’t ciento por cien (100%) but there was a LOT of regret that he’s been missing for so long from the national selection and thoughts that the WC match (vs the same opponent, the Netherlands) might’ve gone differently… I’ve still never gotten the whole story about his role in bringing the (transvestite?) entertainers (dancers? protstitutes?…) to the team party all those years ago… 😯

    Good goals, however and the little pea could’ve put him in for the hat-trick, too… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDLnEuMI5T0

  • Don’t be Krul…As the lord elvis, once said… Should he only get subbed in at PKs?… Memo Ochoa, except for the hair, didn’t look very good either… At least it was only an amistoso (friendly)…

    Wassup with those Tiny totts hoarding all the good keepers… (Vorm, I rate as the top Dutch guy at the moment, but I defer to the natives… Speaking of,… 2+ years ago I asked an England and Arsenal supporter–in Spain–to tell me who the best up and coming English keeper was, and he claimed it was Butland…What’s the latest on that guy?… If he’s hurt maybe we should buy him… 😀 )

    Also, TA, you have mail…No need to worry, fellow BKers, it’s not a post…

    Rain is past, sun is out…must make hay… 🙂

  • Sadly for me, the rain scuttled past, and what little there was, came late. So with more comfortable non waterproof footwear, I tape up my blister and took the dogs out any way.

    I am awaiting the muse to grab hold and lead me to write something, Sorry TA.

    Perhaps another Retsub diversion?

  • i’m trying to get a good topic in my head for a post TA but its pretty empty in there atm 🙂

    How about mid week challenge time!

    Can anyone find a clip or think of a time with specific reference so that a clip can be found by someone else like me that Ozil has made a pass that none of our other midfielders could have also made?

    Remember our midfield maestros include:

    A real defense splitting pass, a stunner, that pretty much makes the goal.
    Since he joined Arsenal, can anyone give me some suggestions??

    Challenge on!!

    A helping hand (to get some footage to choose from)

    I’m having trouble recognizing anything i haven’t already seen many times before from just our normal midfield over the past years, maybe you can help me out.

    Ozil lovers its GO time! 🙂

  • F11ngers, for me, it’s not about the passes or, more generally, his work on the ball, it’s about movement offf the ball, stretching defenses (de-fences?) to create more space for everybody. This is the logic of Wenger playing him out wide. If he’s a worry for the opposition, being out wide opens the center of the pitch for others.

    I’ve never played the game, but I played other field sports at a high level and spacing is everything. As such, watching the ball (and stats that relate to the ball) can be very misleading… when it comes to the effectiveness of the team effort. Of course, if you’re only concerned about your next contract, selfishness is key…

    So, sorry (again) for not taking the bait here. Of course, others can make the same passes (final touches). Santi’s long passes (with both feet) are simply awesome, for example. Others are brilliant with first touches and turns…the Ox, for me, really stands out in this area and the upside with him is unbelievable if he can improve his decision making and execute that final ball. Others are fantastic moving the ball forward with multiple touches of their own (dribbling), notably, Alexis, but also guys like Wilshere and Rosicky. And then there’s shooting (see Lucas Poldolski)… If you combine ALL of these skills with field sense and the ability to use the *threat* of those touches with the ability to open spaces for others to use, then you have (the glory of) Mesut Ozil…

    The problem–besides Ozil being injured and supporters expecting him to justify his high price tag with fantasy stats–goals and assists–is the lack of field sense and teamwork with others in the squad. At the moment we are a very large step below Real Madrid… Also, because he’s not a tough nut and not blindly going into stupid 40-60s and 30-70s…People from a rugby (or American football background) think he’s a soft little kitten…

    I would think a fine writer and smart fellow like yourself could appreciate a great football mind like Ozil’s. I guess not…

    😦 😀

    Ah well, Zelalam (the German/American/Ethiopian Ozil) has just as good a final ball and surely can step in…

  • Nice try Steve. But I too am not taking the bait … and that has partly to do with me not keen on looking for clips – I said it before, they show what they want to show.

    Mind the bigger reason for not getting worked up over your ‘challenge’ is that the question is flawed.
    In the first place it assumes that all our midfielders would see these key passes?
    Secondly, how many attempts would they need to be successful?

    The latter point also links directly at HT’s throwaway line?

    That Zelalem pass he did on the Asia tour was not only so perfectly placed, bisecting defenders on its way, it landed at a perfect speed for the player coming in wide that it needed very little effort to control. How many of the wonderful array of midfielders, including Mesut himself, could see and execute that pass?
    So why wasn’t he in our team last season, let alone this?

    The answer is simple. That pass gave a glimpse of how is mind works. Just a glimpse. The trouble is there is the more to football than creating one brilliant pass. Zelalem is working on that other %age. Ozil has already been there, done that. This runs straight into HT’s main point, it is what he can do with or without the ball while looking for a key pass.

    You were looking for a black and white answer with no shades of grey in between. You bring up the Zelalem clip and ask how many of those on your list would think that pass was ‘on’?
    Mesut apart, I would say Diaby at his best. – btw the sick b******s that posted humous(?) things about his latest possible setback clearly forget how good he was, AND how close he is to losing his whole career! – Of the remainder; Rosicky now, is the least likely.; Ramsey is good with straight passes, but a tendency to over-hit and not with that accuracy; Cazorla, puts spin on the ball and would prefer to go over the top; Wilshere, yes, he would try it for sure. But given the time to execute it , it would be ‘telegraphed’ by his body shape. Which only leaves your target … Mesut Ozil.

    I just hope JB doesn’t come up with a similar idea …. 👿

  • For interest:

    SEGA Japan (that made Playstation machines) made a playing card of Mesut Özil’s exploits w.r.t. to season 2013-2014 and with the victorious Die Nationalmannschaft at WC2014.
    He is given a skill called: “The Interdimensional Creator”. That speaks volume.

    PS: Most normal folks won’t be able to appreciate his art, only the real professionals.

  • Oh … and Thomas Müller got one too:
    His skill is: “Exceptionally Deadly Shots”.

    He has already 10 World Cup goals from only 2 tournaments, on course to break Miroslav Klose’s 16 World Cup goals overall.

  • The next one is Mats Hummels (Skill: “Master of Vital Area Defence”).

    & 1 more for Olivier Giroud with Les Bleus during WC2014.
    Skill: “The Chase King”

  • Finally, there is Bastian Schweinsteiger (Skill: “Mature, Experienced Closing Down”).
    Ironically, we could have do with both a Hummels-type & a Schweinsteiger-type at club currently, i.e. the CB & HM positions.

  • Nice one JM – Does that mean 17HT and I have the eyes of the ‘professionals’? 😀

    19 out 20? for technique, That is good enough for me.
    Only 8 for defending, but we could have guess that anyway.

    I take it Hummels did not have one?

    The only thing that worries me is these current stories doing the rounds, and now his injury recovery conveniently slots into the TW? Will an extended stay depend on who we buy?

    I just watched the video of the Polish guy we are supposedly after, and as snippets go he looks very good. I could see him and Hayden be a match for any duo in the PL? He cannot be that bad beyond his ‘good snippets’ as he has 4 MOTM awards this season. The only blot, we may not get him in January. However, the fact that his club are set to make a £20m profit might unlock the door?

    JM – am I right in thinking Kondogbia has 3rd party issues?


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