How best can Santi and Özil play together? by JA
Hey guys . Happy new year.
So he’s back. I’m talking Theodor James Walcott and the eye (Mesut Özil) so right behind him. An added piece to this jigsaw is that Santi is on form, so how would I have all three on the pitch and keep them productive.
In my view, Santi and Özil don’t perform the same role. Santi requires more touches to be effective Özil requires as few as maybe three. Santi is stronger and more of a ball holder than Özil. Özil is a better passer than Santi. These observations mean that Özil doesn’t necessarily have to start directly behind the striker.
From a personal point of view, after watching the Hull City game, I felt if we had Özil on the right as opposed to Joel Campbell, we’d have been more deadly
Cazorla carries way more value in the middle than Özil. He is stronger and more defensively switched on. Özil, on the other hand, is a predator, one who would operate better in an area where he attracts less attention. So to me we’ve got to get rid of the right flank to make space for Özil.
A final personal observation is that unlike Fabregas, Özil rarely plays a direct through ball down the center. I’ve not seen many times where he creates chances from the middle. He’s often running from wide inwards, or from in outwards, when he usually plays the killer pass. This movement I describe is very similar to Campbell’s at the weekend.
In conclusion, I’ll present two of what I think would be our best lineups with the above protocol being followed .
First I’ll go with 4-3-3 with what I would call our most fluid lineup
Debuchy. Per. Kos. Gibbs
in the above formation the back four is carrying out the usual job with the fullbacks bombing forward to support attack. Arteta doesn’t move. Ramsey goes back and forth supporting the defence and attack. Now Cazorla is charged with creating some sort of distraction with his dribbling skills. Drawing the opposition defensive midfielders and creating space for Özil to drift in from the right.
Walcott and Sanchez in the meantime buzz around the box trying to pick out pockets of space, so despite the fact that one starts on the left and the other in the middle ,they are both required to be in and around the box when we attack while having the left and right void occupied by the wingbacks. In addition to all this Aaron Ramsey is giving an extra man in attacking midfield or attack. All this is happening in a few seconds with the ball at Santi’s feet. The next step to the attack is for Santi to release the ball to Özil. Out of all this movement Özil now has Ramsey, Walcott, Sanchez, Gibbs, Debuchy and Cazorla to release in dangerous positions. He only needs two or three touches to do it. From all the movement there is probably no one marking him, and better, the oppostion probably don’t even know where he is and have no time to scramble before he releases someone.
My second formation is a 4-4-1-1
Deb. Per. Kos. Gibbs
Walcott Özil Sanchez
This one is more complicated. Its targeted still at making sure that Özil is unmarked and Santi is buzzing. I know it looks funny to start Özil behind Santi but this formation is meant for really fast lightning strike devastation.
The ball is played out of defence by Arteta toward either Özil or directly to Santi. Santi drives forward to combine with Giroud as the rest of the team arrive to support, as it normally does. As Cazorla and Giroud hold up play with strength and skill, Sanchez and Walcott tuck in behind Giroud as the wingbacks cover their voids. Özil arrives late from deep with a supporting run, picks up the ball from either Santi or Giroud to release Sanchez, Walcott, or the fullbacks. This system could work if we are not really bossing posession and we are not creating too many chances. Again you have opposing teams concentrating on the immediate danger of Santi combining with Giroud, Sanchez and Walcott darting into the box. With the fullbacks darting outwide that they may forget to track Özil arriving late.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the rest of the day… .