Mahrez, Giroud, Alexis and Ozil: The Dream Attack to Win the Title

50 goals from our first choice attackers and nr10:

surely enough to win the title?!

I reckon we lost the league last year because it was the Foxes’ year. Leicester Cinderella City became the neutrals’ favourite to win the title: a collective wishful thinking on and off the pitch made it happen, and there was little that could have been done about it, it seems. Yet, we have to look at ourselves and judge where we could have done better to at least come a lot closer than the ten point gap the Foxes managed to establish between us and them.

LC scored only three more goals than us (68) and conceded the same number of goals (36), yet they lost only three games whilst we were on the losing side seven times. They won 11 of their 19 away games whereas we only managed to win eight away from home. Both teams won the same number of home games but Arsenal lost three times whereas the Foxes only lost the one game at home… the one that matters most to us, though 😉 .

Losing four more games than LC is what made the difference of course, and this had all to do with efficiency. The goals for and against are almost the same, but the Foxes’ shift towards a more Italian, defensive style of play in the second part of the season saw them collect points on a massive scale through a mean defence and a spluttering but still not totally dead attack. Most importantly, they had two major goal threats in Vardy (24 PL goals) and Mahrez (17 PL goals), and when one was struggling to find the net the other would not; how different from Arsenal in the second part of the season!

We also needed to be more secure in defence; especially in the second part of the season we gave away too many winning positions, or made it really hard for ourselves by conceding first through careless defending, which cost us dearly. But that is for another post.

When Ollie went through a drought, the likes of Alexis, Ozil and Theo did not fill the gap, and that is what needs to be addressed this season. Ozil is of course our assists king and with six PL goals and 19 assists (121 PL minutes between goals/assists on average), I am just hoping he will score a few more and replicate the assists tally in the coming season.

Alexis had a relatively quiet season with 13 goals and four assists (144 PL minutes between goals/assists on average) but yet he did his part to some extent. Giroud did his bit to a large extent in the role of ‘Holding Striker/ attack enabler and finisher’ with 16 goals and 6 assists (110 PL minutes between goals/assists on average). Unless Wenger decides to play a different system of football, which I very much doubt, Ollie will be leading the line once again with the same job description he was given in the last few seasons (it never stops to amaze me how very few people seem to [want to] grasp this, especially in the media, but there you go).

We all know that it stops there, with neither Theo (5 goals and 2 assists/ 196 minutes between goals/assists on average), or Danny, Ox or Joel delivering the goods from the right (or centre), due to a variety of reasons. Rather than choosing a beast of a traditional CF, I reckon Wenger will be looking to strengthen the right side of our attack as to get more balance in the team and reach a total of say 50 PL goals from our three first choice attackers and nr.10. He may be tempted to hope either Iwobi, Ox or Campbell will break through but this is a big risk to take; and he knows it.

The rumours re Mahrez continue and it is obvious why Wenger would like to add this gem of an Algerian to the first team. He can play on the right and with 17 goals and 11 assist (109 PL minutes between goals/assists on average) he would help us to re-balance the attack and make it a lot more lethal. If Ozil, Giroud and Alexis score the same number of goals next season as they did in the previous one, and Mahrez manages to score 15 for us, we would score 50 PL goals from our first choice attackers and nr.10. Surely that would swing things in our favour massively? You may say Mahrez will not have another season like that, which may be true, but I also reckon that Alexis is capable to come close to 20 PL goals in the coming season, which would balance things out.

Whether it will be Mahrez or another player who can complete the attacking ‘dream team’ remains to be seen, but it just feels like the Algerian is the perfect fit for our team. The likes of Iwobi, Campbell, Ox and possibly Theo will play a role in the wider squad but, ideally, we add a proven PL goals and assists star to the team to avoid periods of goal droughts and improve our chances to win the title dramatically.

By TotalArsenal.

24 thoughts on “Mahrez, Giroud, Alexis and Ozil: The Dream Attack to Win the Title

  • a well balanced article imo if we sign mare then sanchez can be used alongside giroud like france did with griezman
    we hopefully will blocker with injuries losing cazorla and sanchez was a problem
    lcfc were lucky with injuries and as the daily star stats proved that had we had better luck with ref decisions we would have been champions but that is past and we move on
    also its time for Arsenal fans to stop making the atmosphere at the emirates toxic and support the team and players when they are not playing well instead of having a go at our players
    i am confident we will will do well this season so lets support the team and manager

  • The season is very long and very hard. Not forget the injuries too. Ox certainly will have his place. But Mahrez is more than recruitment, he is a guarantor for the title. Arsenal may regret it bitterly. To see what Manu, Man-city, Chelsea seal, it gives cold back. Indeed with Mahrez Arsenal will be unbeatable. I’m confident, Arsenal will be strong not only in the PL but in the CL too. Finally, Gunners will have a team of the level of the big teams.

  • TA. Fine assessment.

    I am interested in whom we sell. From this we can start to see AW’s intentions for the coming seasons.

    Given our midfield is Xhaka, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Coquelin, Ox and Elneny. We will struggle to keep such a glut of talent. Or will we?

    Will anyone take a punt on Theo? I doubt it unless AFC continue to pay a percentage of his wages.

    Given the quality of our rivals, I predict an exciting and challenging season ahead.

  • Cheers Raddy, hope you had a good holiday. 😀

    Good point re who will be sold and yes Theo may not be moved on due to his wages. I reckon Wenger will want to give him one more chance though, whether we like it or not.

    Agreed re the excitement of the coming season.

  • Nice one TA. I think you overlook one other factor that comes out when you look at stats. The number of ‘key passes’ that Ozil made. That is where the truth about how wasteful we were when give chances to score. And that is only Ozil’s, I am sure others laid on some that were not converted into assists too?

    What Mahrez will add is a target for the long ball pass out of defence, thus speeding up our counter attacks. He is the perfect partner for Ozil too. I remember one of my very early comments I made about Mahrez was, ‘… that he not only reads a pass early, he also has the speed to change a poor pass into a good one’. That deal has yet to happen of course, but that alone may simply mean even if he repeats his 17 assists from last season, they will only register about 8 or 9 assists, and a shed load of key passes for us?

    However, he may be deployed as the No10, leaving Ox to continue that wide role? In that case where does the need for a striker fit in. Or indeed, where does Alexis fit in if a striker does arrive as well?
    The only way I can see us keeping everybody happy-ish, is by using all 3 subs every game. Make sure there is a body on the bench that can do a half decent job at replacing key personnel to try and prevent injuries or burn out so they last the season? In other words have a larger core group as well as fringe players being kept up to speed.

    The more you try and keep some of the ‘established stars’ and new guys up front, the greater the congestion in midfield. Think about it, a striker and a wide man plus Giroud and Alexis, means Ozil and Xhaka in a 4-2-4. That is not going to happen.

    So let us see who we have come September, before we start thinking that we are supporting two different teams; one with X and Y in it with A,B, and C in midfield; or W and Z with D, E, and F in midfield. Confusing or what?


  • I rather we buy Icardi as a central striker rather than mahrez..

    We need ox and Theo to roam the right wing. If mahrez comes in then that’s the end for both of them.

  • I hope AW brings in mahraz to enable us win the league this season. nice writeup

  • Sorry NJ, I think Icardi fails on Wenger’s ‘Character’ test. But that is another story.

    The point I raised above was, if new players are added to the front line, they will expect to be first choice. Alexis throws the dummy out if he is taken off before full time, so he again will ‘expect’ to start most games. Add in play maker Ozil as a natural first choice, and it leaves just two places in front of a back 4. (I am thinking two will join,btw).
    Something will have to give!

    ‘Needing Ox and Theo to roam the right wing’ … When you have Campbell and Iwobi as well?
    So what will ‘give’ in in midfield?
    Here again you have a multitude of choices, with two, at least, expected to play; Ozil and Xhaka.
    We may need Coquelin, Elneny, Cazorla, and Ramsey just on the defensive/B2B side, but the attacking part is equally congested, even if you add only one of the four above to go with Ozil, that still leaves Wilshere with hopeful claims?

    If you start from the point of view as to who you want see on the bench, in case of injury the picture be comes clearer? From the back:
    X?/Holding – RB/CB
    Gibbs – Monreal/shore up left side.
    Coquelin/Elneny – shore up or add thrust in MF
    Cazorla – CDM/Ozil
    AOC/Ramsey/Wilshere – to add thrust to attack.
    Giroud/Iwobi/Campbell/ Walcott – to change focus of attack?

    That is 7 subs, plus 9 names kicking their heels? So yes, there is big pressure on the youngsters to even get on the bench, let alone the frustrated ‘stars’ not getting any game time?
    I have just named 27 players(including 3 incomings), but with the exception of Iwobi, all will have to be named on the 25 man squad list. So that is the full squad minus 1…
    … if you can keep them all happy?

    Something has to give. Something has to change. I believe AW will have to be firm but fair. No more so called ‘best’ players being played out of position. ALL players will be rotated at some point. Any drop in effort or commitment, slight injury worry, effort falling off after any hour … then move over. The next man allocated to that position takes over.

    Will it happen, or will we get major sulks before the TW ends, or rumours begin for the January window?
    Over to you AW …

  • Good comments Gerry,

    Firstly, I did not know about Icardi’s issues with his character.. somehow he is just one of those rumoured to come in..

    We definitely need another defender, in the centre back position, and also the striking role.

    As I read about Bastian’s predicament, I had a mental note to try and get him for us. However, we have more mids than we can chew, so maybe not getting him in..

    And also regarding those that changes focus of attack, I reckon you are confident of us getting a new out and out striker.

    I am not that confident though, as time ticks away and we are nowhere close to anyone, from the words of our Professor Wenger.

    Having said that, I am thinking that we will get a striker in, and not another winger in Mahrez. However, as past seasons go by, I am not sure about that.


  • Hi JK. I am not that confident about getting a striker, Lacazette in particular, as much of the rumours and counter rumours make it difficult to assess.
    For one thing, very early on, that is about 3 weeks ago, stories emerged that we had a £29m bid rejected, and had a submitted a £35m bid.
    More recently it is coming as we did bid £29m, but no second bid has been submitted. From that I would deduce that whoever let it out about that first bid, also knew about the second one? Whoever that was clearly expected us to follow up very quickly. Also I read, how accurate I have no idea, that WHA submitted a £40m bid, supposedly his release clause, but had it rejected because the player wants to play in the CL.
    Since then there has been a lot written about personal terms agreed, through his agent I suppose, so now it may be a case of how soon the club’s agree a fee, and or whether anyone else steps in? The fact that AW smiles when talking makes me think he is confident about something, but we will have to wait and see why he smiles?

    Mahrez I think is more or less a done deal, but nothing will be announced until Leicester identify a replacement.
    Why am I am I feeling confident, as you can be in the current climate, about this?
    Well think back to the announcement of Ozil signing. It emerged that Ozil had a long telephone
    conversation with Arsene, and that convinced him.
    Think back more recently to Xhaka, and how he speaks of a personal telephone conversation with AW…..
    It is now emerging that Mahrez has had a telephone call from AW.
    So now it is not just ‘personal terms agreed’ being rumoured, but Mahrez wants ‘style, not money’. Also a story from Algeria that he has agreed the move, and not some unknown hack applying a bit of guesswork, releasing it? Friends and relatives talk?
    If you then follow the changing stance of Ranieri, and the more desperate plea from him, and Vardy, it does point in the same direction?
    But it is still not a done deal!

    One other thing, and this ties in with the agent’s claim that the price when dealing with a move to the EPL goes up, then the likelyhood of Mustafi coming at an inflated rate is slim. Hence rumours of cheaper alternatives are coming thick and fast. The reason, as I said earlier, that two high profile, high wage players coming in at less £80m might not be achieved, so if the is a serious player coming in at CB at less than £20, that points to the above figure being breached.
    And no, forget about ditching the pair for Griezmann at £84m.Because AW has made it clear there is no value in any player at that sort of fee.
    Draxler looks to have timed his exit plea rather badly, but like the above, it can put pressure on the Mahrez deal sooner rather than later?

    I see now the £100m+ fund is being quoted … It couldn’t have anything to do with what I wrote last week, could it? 😀

    Anyway, that is my educated guess as to where we stand, and still every chance it can be buggered up by injury or interference by the fates, so don’t hold your breath …

  • Oh, on Icardi. Agents flying into London may have more to do with a new contract, as Mrs I has said his club cannot afford him, and he wants to stay in Italy?

  • Another well thought comments Gerry,

    I suspect that they are reading this blog here.

    If that is the case, let me do a shout out: please sign Griezmann and revert to a 4-4-2 formation, which had worked so well for us when we were playing direct football during the Henry era.


  • Hi all..
    TA.. If Mahrez come.. then we can be sure that Wenger will keep 4-2-3-1 / 4-2-1-3 formation..
    Xhaka, Ozil and Sanchez will always the first choice if fit..
    Ramsey..?? Will he left behind..?? (If Mahrez in).. Or must Elneny be sacrificed.. hard to choose..

    I still hope for 4-4-2 formation.. hehehe.. with Sanchez as our second striker behind Giroud.. Then we can see more magic happen from our midfielders..

    I feel sad about Walcott.. His last two performances wasn’t good enough.. Playing him as a CF is a bad decision for me.. Better to put him back in RW position and let Akpom in the central role.. Next game I believe Wenger will still give him another chance.. hope he will be back on the track..

    About Icardi.. He want to be a Gunner.. and I hope we get him instead of Mahrez..

  • Ho ho … Leicester have just signed a Polish international, aged 19 ….
    He is a winger????
    Still subject to clearance though….

  • Why dont we convert the Ox into a super talented and selfish striker. He has a wicked shot and incredible moves.
    His bi g problem is decision making, so, basically take that out o fb the equation. Just tell him to score. Anything else is a bonus.
    Also Leicester won the league on penalties easily.. look at the stats. Mahrez dribbles like mad inside the box, and i always wish Ox would do that more instead of crossing. I’m sure he’s coached that way though.
    No great strikers changing clubs anyway.

  • Also, if Chelsea are even thinking about Mustafa, forget about him for Arsenal. They need him as much as we do, and they wont haggle over the price… please no jonny evans.

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