The curious case of Arsenal: a short analysis of Arsenal’s performances so far. By LmFaO.
Arsenal have been below average in terms of performance after the Community Shield.
Arsenal 2-1 Palace
Besiktas 0-0 Arsenal
Everton 2-2 Arsenal
Arsenal 1-0 Besiktas
Leicester 1-1 Arsenal
And now 2-2 against Man City at home.
The performances in all those games have not at all been up to Arsenal standard. So the question arises, who is to take blame for these poor performances? The players? Well yes, the players are somewhat at fault. But I think the person who is to blame for this is none other than Arsene Wenger. Why, you ask? Then let me explain.
Before I start my analysis, let me make it clear that I am NOT a Wenger hater. I have utmost respect for the man.
So let us begin, the main reason why Arsenal haven’t been at their best is… the formation.
Arsenal, for quite some time now, has been playing a 4-2-3-1 formation. But suddenly this season Wenger decides to change to a 4-1-4-1. Now, there are a few problems with this formation, but the major one is, no No. 10.
Lets break this down. While defending, after we win the ball deep, there is no one to pass the ball to other than the striker, who is high up the pitch and also isolated. So, one of the central midfielders has to run with the ball to start the attack. In this process if he loses the ball, we lose the possession or worse, become victims of a counter attack. While on the offense, as there is no attacking midfielder, both the central midfielders bomb forward leaving the holding mid and two central defenders exposed to counter attack. The latest example of this is the first goal conceded against Man City.
A playmaker is very important for a team. He orchestrates the attacks. He is the person you pass the ball to when you counter attack. He runs at the opposition’s defence causing havoc. He sprays the ball forward, feeding the striker and winger. And Arsenal are very fortunate in having THE BEST playmaker in the world in Mesut Ozil.
Now we come to the second problem, Mesut Ozil being played on the wing. Ozil has said publicly that his best position is behind the striker, and that its awkward for him to play on the wing. Ozil has been criticised a lot for his work rate and unwillingness to defend. But we forget, that that is not what Ozil does best. What Ozil does best is to tear open defences with his passes. Even when Cazorla and Ozil are played together, Ozil is the one who plays on the wings cause Cazorla is played as a central midfielder. Even though Wenger knows that Ozil should be played in his favourite position(At least I think he knows), behind the striker, Wenger is too stubborn to change the formation.
We should be thanking God for having a player like him at our disposal and be building a team around him rather than somehow fitting him in the formation.
The solution is simple. Change to 4-2-3-1 and give Ozil the freedom that he requires. Unless these changes are made, I don’t see us performing any differently than we already are.