What is Wenger going to do to with all those quality midfielders?
During the first half of yesterday’s game against Viking FK I was salivating over the midfield brilliance of both Santi and Elneny. The Spaniard was the master of creation and the Egyptian the master of efficiency, and together they bossed the midfield and gave total direction to our game. I know the opposition was not great, but they were keen on stopping us in midfield in the first half and Elneny and Santi, supported by Le Coq, made sure we were boss.
I reckon our riches in midfield will give us a great chance to win the title this year.
I love Elneny and like Santi very much; I also rate Le Coq very highly. I would be more than happy for these three to start against Pool or the Foxes. But…. we also have Xhaka, Wilshere, Rambo and Mesut and they are at least as good as the trio that started against Viking FK.
What an embarrassment of riches for Arsene; or is this actually causing him a big problem as he surely cannot keep everybody happy?
The cheapest of them all, Elneny, is an absolute must for me. He brings that defensive discipline and precision in passing we have missed for so long. He also brings that bit of extra physicality and football intelligence, and on top of all of this he has a good goal threat, both in the box and through his shooting from distance.
I cannot see him drop Ozil once he is back fully fit and the same surely goes for Xhaka, who will set the tempo from the back according to Wenger. So Xhaka sits deepest, Elneny links up and controls the area behind the attackers and Ozil is the master creator.
I would imagine that Santi could become our super sub and occasional starter to give either of our midfielders a rest; Wenger can probably keep him happy with such an arrangement, which will help the Spaniard to prolong his career significantly.
A fit Wilshere will give Arsene a real headache, especially if all other midfielders are fit as well. But Jack will be happy to work towards his full fitness this season and not have to feel the full pressure of carrying the midfield for the team, so I reckon Arsene will be able to keep him happy with occasional starts for a while.
The one player Wenger might struggle to keep happy is of course Aaron Ramsey.
Many consider him undroppable and his summer performances for Wales are surely an indication that the Welshman is ready for the big time. But where to play him? You may say in the box to box position, but I reckon his defensive skills and focus are not as good as Elneny’s, and, as so often happened in previous seasons, this is likely to leave our defence regularly exposed in the coming season.
This is what Wenger had to say about Ramsey on Arsenal.com:
“I have played him wide sometimes because I feel like he can balance the team well. Of course he wants to play centrally, he wants to play behind the striker. What is the most important thing when you put players in positions is that you have to consider their psychological and physical profiles. Aaron’s psychological profile means that he always wants the ball and always wants to be available, so that’s in the heart of the game.
If you consider his physiological profile, he can absorb all the positions. He is certainly most suited to central midfield because he’s a box-to-box player. I think he likes to come from deep and make runs going forward, so I would think that at the start he would like to play from a deeper position in midfield. That’s more suited to him and therefore that gives him a tactical responsibility for us that he may not have for Wales.”
I reckon Arsene’s last sentence is key: Ramsey has a tactical responsibility at Arsenal he did not have at Wales when played in the B2B position. I am confident Wenger got Elneny to fill the B2B role as he oozes with tactical responsibility and has the complete skill set for this crucial position; and I cannot see him leaving the Egyptian on the bench for Ramsey.
But that is just my opinion and I have been wrong before 😉
What do you think Arsene will do with Rambo:
- Play him in the B2B role;
- Play him in the hole and move Ozil to one of the ‘midwing’ positions;
- Play him on the right midwing position;
- Or cash in on him now that he has such a deep squad in midfield?
If it was up to me, I would play him on the right wing with an arrangement with Ozil to interchange as much as possible. We will get those extra goals we need from that position from him and yet give Bellerin sufficient defensive support. I can also see a fantastic partnership develop between Bellerin and Rambo…. but what do you think?