We all know that Arsene Wenger likes to keep his plans for Arsenal close to his chest, be it transfer business, tactics or even which players are really fit enough to play. In that he is no different to most Premier League managers, but usually we have a good idea of the tactics and system the Gunners will employ.
If you asked every manager in the Premier League, Arsenal fans and people in the media what you ecpect Wenger to do with Mesut Ozil this week, I think you would get a unanimous answer; play him from the start in the number 10 role. But in his pre-match press conference, reported by Arsenal.com, the Frenchman has suggested that he could move the German playmaker out wide again.
The boss did admit that Ozil flourished in the middle and that he seemed to be building a nice partnership with our new centre forward Danny Welbeck, but he also hinted that the star midfielder would play where his manager felt he would help the team best.
Wenger said, “He played very well and had a good understanding with Danny Welbeck. It was a good partnership because they gave each other balls to score.
“It is tempting to keep Ozil in that central role but I maintain again that he will play where he is needed for the balance of the team and that can change game by game.”
So why would the Gunners need to play Ozil on the wing? Maybe to accommodate Jack Wilshere or Santi Cazorla in the middle, but the Spaniard seems happier on the flanks than Ozil. If Wenger does take him away from the number 10 role tomorrow, it will certainly surprise the Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, but I think it is a surprise he would gladly accept, unlike the Arsenal fans.
With north London bragging rights and a vital three points on offer, is this really the time to change the system that worked so well at Aston Villa?