Arsenal Analysis – What is Ozil’s best position?

Mesut Ozil’s role as a winger – A profound analysis by SE

Even before the season has started, there are an exorbitant number of things for an Arsenal supporter to be intrigued about. The primary of the lot is to be considered as genuine title contenders for the Premier League title, which has eluded Wenger and Arsenal time and again in recent seasons. But there’s an air of assertion about the Frenchman’s moves in the transfer market, and the possibility of all the new signings clicking into gear sooner rather than later. And, with the acquisition of new players comes a possible shift in the existing system used by the manager, which is no different in Arsenal and Wenger’s case.

Arsenal’s 4-3-3 was on show at the Wembley on Sunday, and going by the result it rendered, it didn’t do too badly, eh?

But here’s the thing: The traditional 4-3-3 doesn’t have a No.10 role to fill in, despite the dynamism this system can render. And, as it is anticipated already, Arsenal’s most expensive player till date, Mesut Ozil, has to resort to playing on the flanks. It will, however, be a different kettle of fish for the German playmaker, who enjoyed playing in his favored No.10 position behind Giroud for much of last season.

Ozil played as a winger for Germany at the World Cup, and, although he didn’t light up the assists chart at the showpiece event, his overall game wasn’t bad by any stretch of imagination. In fact, his pass completion rate was a whopping 87%, which is commendable for a player who plays as a Left-winger or as a No.10. In addition, the former Los Blancos playmaker created 17 chances for his teammates, which is second only to Lionel Messi’s 19. Ozil also made 1 assist in Germany’s World Cup winning campaign, and scored his solitary goal against Nigeria in the R-16 en route to Germany’s quarterfinal clash against France.

But, with the tall strikers like Giroud and Sanogo leading the line for Arsenal, Ozil might be forced to put a lot more crosses into the box – something which he is not accustomed to. At the World Cup for Germany, Ozil made a meager 0.8 crosses per game, which is way below than Robben’s (1.8), Valbuena and Di Maria’s (3.7), and Neymar’s (2.0).

If there’s one feature of Ozil that is enviable for both the player and the watching spectators: It’s him drifting inward of his opposing full back, while playing as a winger, doing a layoff for the onrushing midfielder or forward and pulling out one of his trademark through balls, which, almost always, mesmerizes the classiest of defenders.

However, this season, the acquisition of Sanchez, and the rise in stature of Ramsey will mitigate the pressure on Ozil to keep churning out performance after performance, which will be a welcome change for the German.

Tags Ozil


    1. it’s best to get d stats right cos one wrong can discredit everything u said…Germany did not at all play Nigeria @d world cup in Brazil talkless of Ozil scoring against Nigeria…
      I appreciate d stat so far n wish wenger buys d defender/DM who dis team want to compete on all front…
      Phil of sky sports is giving it to chelsea to win d league but I think he will be surprised by d time Mourinho will be axed for not winning any cup on his 2nd season…Amen!

    2. I think with Cazorla’s form , Ozil’s best position now should be on the bench to learn to be a bit more combative and by overall game play and even attributes Cazorla is miles ahead of Ozil..
      Not what the stats are saying but what me and You Faithful Gunners are seeing ..
      We wouldn’t have survived Man Shitty’s toughest with Ozil ….

      Atleast Someone must be responsible for the Truth ( Careless abt de thumbdowns )

  1. Wenger should be able to tweek the formation depending on the opposition, state of the game etc, and, the players SHOULD be able to adapt to small changes and substitutions if needed.
    I would expect us to NOT play the same x1 EVERY game, against ALL opponents, which, will give the likes of Mezut, Rambo, Jack, Mikel, Santi, Olivier and others the chance to rest instead of flooging themselves twice a week.
    As long as Wenger is shrewd, and, picks the right formation, and, personnel for each scenario, then, I see NO PROBLEMS at all with selections.

  2. Easy.
    Back 4
    Rambo – Ozil – Artetta/Flamini/Wiltshire
    Campbell/Wallcott – Sanchez – Ox/Santi

    He would be playing from slightly deeper but the numbers in midfield would allow him to make runs and passes through to the lightning quick front 3.

  3. Ozil is like the other 17
    Arsenal midfield/wing/strikers.
    Nobody really knows where
    their best position is.
    Players have been tried left, right
    and centre, up front, central or deeper.
    Its difficult to see any clear plan.
    Its almost like the manager and players
    just make it up as they go along.

    1. We DO know where each players best position is.
      Problem is, as I see it, Wenger feels he HAS to play certain players EVERY game.
      WHY play Ozil on the wing, when, we have Theo, Ox, Campbell, Gnabry who can play there and are quicker and more naturally wide men.
      As I said earlier, I see nothing wrong with rotating players, changing formation slightly, depending on the opposition, state of the game, fatigue, injuries etc, and Ozil, Rambo, Santi, Alexis, Jack, Mikel and co, should ALL realise that being class does not mean you play every game.
      Good for keeping the players fit, hungry, which can only help us later on in the Season.

    2. ‘just make it up as they go along..’
      that’s what i think whenever i read one of your grossly exaggerated comments with little or no basis nor facts whatsoever to back it up…

  4. Probably 4th choice RB or GK behind Martinez for GK… I don’t know if he will get any game time to be honest, we should probably loan him out to Borehamwood.

    Are you actually serious? Because he plays a few games at LW for Germany means he should play there for us? That’s what happens when your backup CAM is the guy who scores the world cup winner.

  5. Right let’s all get this right. The Germans all have a winter rest? But EPL don’t so MR AW I’ll not play them in any of the first 4 games or only let’s say 20 min. He will buy 2 more players CB & DM if not yet again we won’t win anything. BFG needs to be a bench player coz as much as u love the boy he gets ripped to shreds by top players? Did he play the last few games in the World Cup NO and that’s the reason. We are not a football club any more is all about business now and the players should be seen as that. MR AW should sit down with our best players and if he can’t get them to sign up long term then the need to do big buy out of there contract??? Let’s say Rambo sorry a team in Spain? Will come for him next year. If Rambo has a blast this season then I can’t see how we can hold on to him. Right our JACK well I think we have seen him getting back to his best. AW can rest him a bit now but I think he is up for a great season. So get of his back and start letting the boy no we all love him

    1. They played Algeria and Ozil did score Germany’s second goal in the 120th minute. Final score was 2-1.

  6. Yeah, if he plays on the RW, he can drift in and lay of those killer passes or even shoot (Wenger does want him to score more). This will also give Walcott and Sanchez to play LW which Henry did so well. I just love how we have so many options upfront now. COYG!!

  7. Ozil best position with Arsenal is behind the central striker, so a number 10. With a 433 position he can play this role as well,he will move a lot. Or in a 442 as well he can have this number 10 role. I think we will have different way to play, at least 2, and in both, Ozil can play just behind strikers.

  8. santi, walcott, ozil, sanchez, are all pretty much unbenchable if fit and fresh. Will be interesting to see how wenger negotiates that if and when it comes to that

    1. All 4 Unbenchable?
      How do you play all 4 players at the same time?
      The only way I can see it is if you have Sanchez up front like

      Or if you have 4-1-4-1 or sometthing


      1. i think the firsts options more likely but it will be interesting to see if wenger see’s it that way, or which one he benches if he decides to play giroud

      2. In your 4-1-4-1, I don’t think we can afford to slot Ramsey in as the person to guard the back line. But I do agree that Cazorla shouldnt be benched, but I also want pace on both wings…

  9. Arsenal finally has some legitimate pace now. I know that nobody here likes Giroud based on the fact that not one has him in their starting XI. It all depends on whether he’s first choice because with him playing, Arsenal has to play accordingly with the tall centre-forward who can hold the ball up. That way Ozil should play as the no10. But there are a lot of options now with Arsenal having real tempo. I personally would love to see Ozil playing as a false nine. That also means Giroud on the bench.

    1. Ozil’s best position is on the ball whether left right or center. He should have the license to drift anywhere because his vision and his ability to seek out the pass is tops in the league.

      1. And hence, that’s what he’ll do in a false nine. See Messi. He’s usually everywhere like you would want Ozil to be able to do…your argument sounds like a fanboy’s one.
        Meh it’s what i personally would like to see try out a few times. And if we could possibly have Theo and Sanchez on the wings with Ozil as the false nine, that Man United 3 5 2 will get wrecked. Just an option mate. It’ll be some beautiful football

        1. I’m not sure about the false nine role for Ozil, he is a fantastic dribbler and passer with world class vision but he isn’t a very good finisher. I think his best role is still no. 10, right behind the striker.

          1. You’re absolutely right and I cant’ disagree with you on the no 10 role. No disputes there. But you gotta agree that its just really tempting with the crazy pace we have now. The whole thing is really complex to actually put into practice and it comes with its own set of risks, and is possibly the toughest role that an offensive player has to do but man, again i reiterate, its tempting with Alexis and Theo there. The counters would be electric

            1. Yes, it is very very tempting. I’m a big fan of Chamberlain and we got a glimpse of what we can do with pace up front against Manchester City. The direct dribbling of Sanchez and Chamberlain would be absolutely terrifying. I would like to see Wenger try out a front 3 of Chambo, Sanchez and Walcott, and Ozil just behind them. It will bring out the best in Ozil in the no. 10 role, but that would mean Giroud is dropped for that particular game.

  10. Look, great to have the headache Wenger seems to have with his selections. Don’t feel play Ozil on the left wing is a particularly useful idea but, wasting him there when someone else can contribute more in the position. Play him where he can be at is best, simple. And given the riches of options we have, I hope Wenger will this season use the options to rotate and give Ozil rest where needed and keep him fresh. Cos we’re already seen the bug different between a fresh and a fatigued Ozil.

  11. Id like to see us play a 4-1-4-1.
    Debuchy Mert/Chambers Kos Gibbs
    New DM
    Walcott Özil Ramsey Ox
    This has pace, defensive cover and means that all the players play in their preferred role. I could see us winning lots with this line up.

    1. Against man city, arsenal didn’t play 4-3-3 all the time. In the defensive role, it was a 4-1-4-1, they made an analysis and it pretty much looked like that.(espn latin america) As you know managers have different tactics all game long. When arsenal got the ball in their part of the pitch sanchez and cazorla came sideways to wilshere and rambo, with arteta just behind. Obviously 3/4 in the pitch sanchez and cazorla took a step forward, but I belive this 4-1-4-1/4-3-3 is IDEAL for both wilshere and ramsey, even arteta! It allows both wilshere and rambo to track behind and go forward, and when they track back it gives arteta more support. But I don’t think that ozil could play there. We’ll have to get that proper DM and play the ole’ 4-2-3-1. When we play big teams we can do what we did on sunday, maybe, but i just fon’t see ozil through the middle, we need that work rate. If we get the dm maybe we can make it, but thinking of the squad right now we need support for arteta. Well played wenger, well played. With the new squad we have many different tactics, well at least two lol. We can’t win if wenger fails to recognize what can work against different clubs. Maybe man city was not complete, but we won the battle against YAYA TOURE, and he’s no cherry. COYG!

  12. Ozil should play just behind the main striker and he should have a free role. Constantly changing his position, keeping the defenders guessing and providing necessary back up to which ever wing or part of the midfield in trouble. I think he would play way better in a free role unlike been stuck to the wing or restricted to the center only.

    Sanogo / Theo / OG
    Carzola Ozil (free role) Sanchez

    Our attacking players can easily interchange positions especially with Theo been up there which is pleasing actually. Having Rambo near Ozil also is just fantastic. COYG!!!!

  13. Lol !!!
    Imagine Wenger relies on we fans on this forum to decide his formation & selection.
    We would have given the man a severe headache owing to conflicting opinions.
    Hardly do we have 2 fans agreed on same selection!!
    …….Anyway, Arsene Know Best.

  14. @Alexhare that’s a very nice 4mation, the best i’ve read in all the comments here… But i’d like to Adjust that Formation to a 4-4-1-1
    The Pole
    Debuchy – Kosc – ? -Gibbs

    Theo – Ramsey – ? – Ox



    *Theo & Ox play more advanced roles but are conscious of tracking back.
    * Ramsey has his B2B role & Ozil weaves his magic with Alexis.
    * Cdm shields the back 4 & complements for Ramsey.
    * Poldi & Campbell swap with Ox.
    * Santi & Jack fight it out with ozil, but santi can also play on the left
    * Chamber & New Cb provide challenge for Per & Kosc.
    * Arteta, flamini & hopeful CDM rotate.

    Now to whosoever wrote this article, Germany never played Nigeria !! For God’s sake did u even watch the World Cup? And another idiot commented that Ozil scored the world Cup winner…. You must be really blind, whosoever you are !!

  15. OT: Exchange Podolski with Howedes

    Am sure both teams would be happy with this as I foresee Poldi spending a long period of time on the bench this season. On the bright side, Howedes would solve our defensive problems (CB / LB / RB, talk about versatility), plus it would allow more game time for Ox / Carzola / Campbell to compete for that LW spot.

    Am just saying

  16. I agree that ozil is probably one of the best crossers in europe but that being said he is also one of the best passers in europe, the best way to accomodate this is the way we did last season, make all the playmakers play with fluidity, ramsey/ozil/ox exc should be switching positions all game, to confuse the opposition, which we did so well in the first half of the season, if we can sustain that type of play whilst changing formations at the right time, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have the title wrapped up by the time we get to Old Toilet, to see my good old mate Judas’s facial expression when he has to congratulate our achievement

  17. Honestly i think ozil should play in this formation which is 4-1-4-1

    gk the pole.
    back4 rb= debuchy cb kos per lb gibbs
    anchorman diaby
    rw theo cm ozil cm ramsey lw sanchez .
    Cf sanogo

    i think these squad has enough height for teams like stoke and co and enough pace and experiance also.

  18. Ozil best position is behind the striker, when we put him wide it limits is capability not to say he will play badly, but may cause him to get stuck in one direction. One major problem we will not get the work rate required in this position on the defensive side. Therefore that will be identified as a weak position by our opponents.

    One thing i will have to say, stop playing the players out of position for the sake of playing them, if they can not be accommodated in the right positions, where 100 % concentration is need let them sit on the BENCH NO MATTER WHAT THEY COSTED. In the beatings we got last season we had OZIL WILSHERE AND CAZORLA OUT WIDE, where the opponents had pacey players out wide. We can not make this mistake again against talented teams with good wide players. Then after the match is done and we lose we blame the wing backs and not comment on the commitment of the players playing in front them. THIS CRAP MOST STOP

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors