How could Ozil’s absence affect the way Arsenal lineup? by SE
Mesut Ozil, having suffered a partial lateral collateral ligament tear on his left knee during Arsenal’s 0-2 defeat against Chelsea before the international break, is set to miss up to 10-12 weeks of action. While the German’s absence shouldn’t really be a whammy to the North Londoners, considering Ozil’s below-par performances until his injury, the way they lineup becomes an intriguing matter altogether. So, ideally, how could Arsenal lineup in the 25-year old playmaker’s absence?
Arsene Wenger should analyze his squad, which is plagued by injuries, and take a call on what needs to be done, to rectify what has been a below-par start to the season so far. It would be a ‘no-brainer’ to swap Chamberlain for Ozil, leaving the rest of the XI that started against Chelsea remain the same. But I’d be infuriated if Wenger goes on to remain inflexible with his methods, sticks to playing 4-1-4-1, and gives the impression that he isn’t bothered about the results, either.
Ideally, I’d take into consideration the scarcity of goals from the Arsenal frontline, and do something about it. For the home game against Hull City this weekend and, in subsequent weekends, against mid and lower-mid table sides, I would not be fazed to play two strikers up front – Welbeck and Sanchez – and set out to score a lot more goals than Arsenal have managed so far. The former Manchester United man can play as the No.9, while the Chilean can play off him in an advanced No.10 position.
Coming to the midfield: With Ramsey, Arteta and Diaby out of action, Flamini, Cazorla and Wilshere are the three men who can play in Arsenal’s engine room. Now, if I am intent on playing 2 upfront, Cazorla will play as the Left-Winger and cutting in on his left foot and, on the opposite flank, Chamberlain – an automatic replacement for Ozil, with Walcott still out – can be ‘the’ player to give Arsenal that much needed impetus with his electric pace, and dogged attitude.
The back four, also handicapped by the absence of Monreal and Debuchy, picks itself, unless Koscielny – suspected to be playing with an Achilles tendon problem – needs to be rested, or just isn’t in a position to take the field of play. For the Hull City game though, Bellerin might get his second start of the season, with Chambers out suspended as a result of accumulating too many yellow cards.
Arsenal’s best possible lineup in Ozil’s absence – Formation 4-4-1-1: Wojciech Szczesny (GK), Per Mertesacker(C), Laurent Koscielny, Calum Chambers, Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Flamini, Jack Wilshere, Santiago Cazorla, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck.