Who should partner Ramsey in that advanced midfield role – Cazorla, Wilshere or Ozil? by SE
In what has been a relatively busy summer at Arsenal, with Wenger bringing in the kind of personnel who he deems is ‘appropriate’ to his plans, the system that he would have to play has been of equal speculation if not more. With the acquisition of Sanchez, in addition to the plethora of wingers Wenger has at his disposal, he needed to shift to 4-3-3, to get the best out of all his key players. Sanchez is one; Walcott, when he becomes fit, is going to be one; Add Chamberlain, Podolski and Cazorla to the mix, Wenger has at least 5 wingers to choose from.
In absolute contrast to the superfluous resources on the flanks, the middle of the park looks tenuous, and lacks in resources if someone misses out through injury. Now, let us get the jury out on who is the engineer in Arsenal’s engine room: Ramsey, having had a couple of brilliant seasons, is the club’s premier midfielder. Arteta, ahead of Flamini, is the first choice midfield pivot.
The question is: With Arteta and Ramsey being the first choice midfielders in their positions, who fills the void on the right or left-hand-side of the Welshman? Is it Ozil, Cazorla or, is it Wilshere?
Wilshere suits Arsenal’s style of football, without a shadow of doubt. The young Englishman fits Arsenal’s and Wenger’s profile of a midfielder, pertinent to their expectations; He can dribble, has a better shooting boot than Cazorla and Ozil, and likes to drive forward. And, he isn’t a lot different to what Cazorla or Ozil may offer, playing in the same position, so why shouldn’t he become Ramsey’s partner? For now, though, we shall move on to Cazorla and see what the Spaniard can offer.
Cazorla, mind you, has started the last couple of games at central midfield – in the Champions League against Besiktas and in the Premier League against Leicester – and looks to have played his part to perfection. Cazorla’s versatility just puts him a notch ahead of Wilshere, in the pecking order; he is two-footed, which is a rare quality, and can play as a winger, too.
Coming to Ozil: the German has had an unimpressive start to the campaign, and I am just thinking whether he needs a shift in position, to maybe play at central midfield. If he gets to play alongside Ramsey, he could have a far better impact on proceedings, than what he manages to, while playing as a winger. The former Los Blancos man can be given a free role, which will alleviate the pressure on his shoulders, and could bring out the best in him. On either flanks, he’s caught in no-man’s-land and, due to the absence of a strong shooting boot, it’s going to be futile to continue playing him as a winger.
Look, at the end of the day, Wilshere, Cazorla and Ozil are class players; silky footballers and, more importantly, fit Arsenal’s profile. The fact of the matter is how you want someone to impact the game? If you’re Wenger, what makes you happy? Is it Wilshere’s nimble movement? Or, is it the versatility of Ozil and Cazorla that you’re looking for?
My verdict: There’s no doubt that, both Cazorla and Ozil, can play at central midfield; you have Chamberlain, Sanchez, Walcott and Podolski to call upon as wingers. Why not use the versatility and silky skills of Cazorla and Ozil to play alongside Ramsey, albeit keeping Wilshere in the mix, equally?