Arsenal CAN play Ozil and Cazorla together!

Cazorla Form Doesn’t Spell Ozil Doom ! by JA

Hello guys.Hope you’re having a great week….

Cazorla is in an unbelievable vein of form at this point in the season. So good that some people think it’s by default going to relegate Ozil to the bench. What most of you fail to realize is that whereas Santi is most effective down the middle, Mesut can be effective from any point in behind the striker.That means whether he’s in the middle, left or right, he can be equally effective.

You’re going to say that his best performances have come when he goes down the middle, but then even when he’s in the middle, he becomes more effective as he drifts outside.

That a player starts on a flank doesn’t mean he’s been deployed as a winger. Ozil can be deployed on the right in the place of Oxlade in games where we don’t need both flanks (which is most games at arsenal). Simple example; when City had a real winger on the left, Bellerin and Oxlade looked really comfortable because they could easily stop Milner and Clichy without being isolated. Jovetic came on, always looking to cut inside, and finally he could move Oxlade inwards and let Bellerin tussle it out with Clichy, hence City had more dangerous crosses from the left in the second half.

I rarely see Ozil play a through ball but he does play a lot of dangerous passes. And for a passer, position is not really an issue. In fact, I believe Ozil on the right would make Sanchez more effective.

I also see a lot of people saying Ozil isn’t playing well because he doesn’t have a quick striker to play through balls to….
1) When were his assists entirely dependent on a through ball to a quick striker? Because even at Madrid, he often assisted with a cut back rather than a through pass.
2) I’ll have you know, in soccer, the run makes the pass. Even a slow Giroud can run onto a through pass if he had the same idea before the pass was played. I’ve seen him do it a lot.

Ozil don’t really have to go down the middle to be effective. I actually remember Wenger shunting Ozil out wide against Napoli and putting Rosicky and Cazorla in the middle, and it worked wonders. Take the blinkers off, your imagination off, and see the real possibilities with all the players we have. Playing Ospina at center forward is putting players out of position but Ozil is at home in any attacking position.

Have a great week.


Tags Cazorla Ozil Sanchez


    1. Yeah, I think it’s about his best position. Why won’t he play in his best position? Cazorla can play with him in a 4-1-4-1 formation, where both can be there. Özil as the second striker.

      1. Ozil’s best position was through the middle in la liga, EPL is a different story, Cazorla is proof that he has to work hard before he gets his chance at n10.

  1. Ok Guyss…Every one needs to admit the fact that with Ozil on the pitch we have the weapon to unlock almost any defence in the world..So Wenger any how needs to find the working formula to fit Cazorla and Ozil in the same team..

    1. u mean a fully fit, in-form Ozil……..Ozil is a fantastic player but jest needs to learn that the PL, requires even attacking midfielders to do their share defensively as well, like Santi did against Man City…Sanchez does it every game, and he’s our most valuable attacking player at the moment…

    1. @Sumo.. You are a bit more optimistic than me.. I would say about 79th or 80 minute. Wenger does not do 60 minutes subs, it is rare.. lol

  2. If they both play like cazorla did the other day and as good as we know they can there’s room for them both. Ot: bielek signs, welcome kristian! The photos on our website remind me of mertesacker tall and slim. Hopefully he’s quicker and will continue to fill out as he gets older.

  3. Sorry this is off topic. BUT would any of you prefer Winston Reid to Carl Jenkinson? I personally hope we get Carl back…..I fear W Ham will sign him

  4. The way I see it, Ozil and Cazorla CAN both play together, but they SHOULD’NT. Even though both are playmakers, their way of playing for me is different. Ozil will always look for the best pass and most suitable for unlocking tight defenses. Cazorla on the other hand has quicker feet than Ozil and thus is better prepared to move out of difficult position on his own.

    Thus I believe Cazorla is more balanced in attack and defense, whereas Ozil is more attack minded. The team setup differs with each of them playing. So when Cazorla plays maybe the B2B player can be more attack minded, but when Ozil plays the B2B should be more defense oriented.

    anyways, an interesting article. Thanks

  5. bad tactics bro…. football is not played with the mouth… 1+1 doesn’t necessarily equals to 2 in football… ozil will never cut it at the right in the premier league cos week in week out you face strong opposition in bpl and you need power and grit on the wings…. check out successful wingers in the bpl they are always strong and full of energy and also ability to tackle so they can help in defence…. all this ozil doesn’t possess….. his best position is behind the striker…. and I suggest that is where we should put him… he can rotate with santi…. santi won’t play all the remaining games in the season…. and they can even play together in midfield provided our boss gets a powerhouse dm or if coq continues with his electric form…. if a defensive morinho could play Oscar and fabregas together why can we play santi in the CAM and ozil AMF that way we can play good football… score more goals and kill team off in the first half like we used to back in days…. finally dream lineup or feasible lineup still this season……
    debuchy/belerin…new cb or (mert)…..koz…….. Gibbs(monreal)
    new dm /coq
    santi…….. ozil
    Walcott/ox. Alexis/New backup player
    with that lineup and the likes of Ramsey wilshere and rosicky in bench….. the champions league is ours this season…. and that’s feasible as well…..

  6. I agree, we can and should play both.

    I know santi is on fire right now, so some of you may not agree with my next suggestion but I think santi should be moved a lil back into midfield to CM.
    his experience and talent in close control situations , passing and tenacity would make us so much more effective in CM. Santi is the only player bar sanchez who ive seen win the ball in defence, take it out of tight situations either by dribbling or finding the right pass. If i had to trust someone with that responsibility, its would undeniably be Santi.
    lets face it we dont have the strongest (physically) midfield, and thats exactly why santi would be more effective there, he doesnt need physical strength, he literally has ways around that. plus santi can tackle too! Im not suggesting him for the enforcer role, but hes quite feisty and his natural talent only makes his judgment and timing going into a tackle even better. atleast better than any other CM we have.
    I can see Santi and Coquelin managing midfield operations quite well and elegantly. theyd both provide a solid platform for keeping possession and or launching counter attacks.

    as we know football is a fluid game, and positions are commonly interchanged in open play, santi would still drift forward when the opportunity arises.
    This gives space for Ozil to play down the midddle right behind Giroud,Sanchez and OX.

    1. Am with you bro. Carzola our Xavi and Ozil our Iniesta.

      Only thing is this set up needs a dominant CDM alongside Carzola. Aint too sure if Le Coq can cut it in this system but so far he has shown nothing but good things.

      Bellarine Mert Kos Monereal/Gibbs
      Le Coq / CDM Carzola
      OX/Theo OZIL Sanchez

      Very attacking formation but I feel Carzola especially with the form his having he could pull this off. Ozil would have to learn to track back and interchange with Carzola as seen between Carzola and Ramsey in the last game to keep that back 5 protected.

      If Ozil wants to step back into the team, no more luxury play from him. We need the RM Ozil full of fight and passion.

      Good headache to have though – Ozil vs Carzola

  7. That win against city was not because wenger miraculously found a plan B it was because wenger fielded the perfect team. Lets take the same squad that faced city and replace ramsey with wilshere or another #10 ozil how do you think that match would’ve gone?!
    This same strategy was used against chelsea earlier this season but wilshere, ozil & Flamini started instead of santi, ramsey and coq. We’ve found a proper balance in the midfield and i don’t think we should revert back to that suicidal 4-1-4-1 formation.

    1. @vijaygunner
      So u saying that the identical line up should beat any1 in the PL……I still think it wasn’t jest the team selection that got us the 3 points…all players stepped up esp defensively…last season we scored 3@ same fixture but conceded 6…

      1. No way am i taking anything away from our players performance. It was one of those matches when everyone we’re like ‘when push comes to shove arsenal can’t deliver’ but we f***ing did! but if we were to repeat this feat again we need to go with the same balance in the midfield.
        I’m just saying the result against city wasn’t because of some tactical genius by wenger infact it’s been coming all season wenger has just found perfect set of players to execute his gameplan.

        1. You’re wrong mate. It was the attitude of the players plus the set up that gave us the win. I’d only agree with you on the DM position. Flamini was not the right player for that position during the Chelsea defeat. We played the same formation against Chelsea and got beat due to the brilliance of a certain Hazard. Same tactics were applied at City but on the day, the boys stepped up and we won. You win some, you lose some even if you play the same team and formation.

    2. I hate wen fans deny the obvious just because they hate the manager. If u hate the manager, thats fine because u are entitled to ur own opinion. However dont be biased in ur analysis. This same team apart from coqlein in it have been used in some games this season too and we still played badly. The 4141 was the key reason we won. Wenger also chose a team and got them to be disciplined….that is the key word. Disciplined. The team have been trying to get used to this system all season and thats why we have had a hot and cold season so far. Now with people coming bk from injury, the team is gelling very well. Last season we complained about how we needed new tactics in big games, this season wenger have delivered the solution and now u want to strip it from him. Even pundits are all talking about the formation and some of them have even admitted they were wrong about Arsenal. The 4141 is the key and every player in the team MUST be disciplined….not just the DM. Manager got his tactics spot on. So if u are man enough to criticise him wen he gets it wrong, be man enough to praise him wen he is right. If not u re basically becoming what many fans claim Wenger is…..been stubborn.

  8. think of it this way

    ozil will have giroud infront of him, sanchez and ox to bomb down his flanks and a security net in santi behind him who can both spot and execute a defense splitting pass, wriggle his way through a mess or simply hold the ball well and keep play flowing through other channels.

    Santi will have sanchez, ozil, ox and giroud infront of him.
    defenders cannot ignore those 4, giving santi space to make his way forward if he has to, and if they do lapse in marking our attackers, santi is the best man to take advantage of it by spoting and executing the pass.

    1. If you look at the video of Santi’s performance vs City, he was all over the pitch – right, centre, left, deep, middle etc. Le Coq stayed focused as central DM, but Santi was still doing lots of tackling!! (my only concern is Santi getting burnt out – so should be rotated against weaker opponents.
      Would play Ozil as RH midfield which he used to play a lot at Madrid, cutting back and ) and playing killer passes with his trusty left peg. While Ozil is building match fitness he should share RHM role with the Ox. Walcott still a bit tentative after injury (bit like Rambo after leg break) so would use him as impact sub.
      And we can expect more goals from Olivier and Alexis the Duracell Bunny + Welbeck should be back soon

  9. From what is seen in the CIty game. Cazorla can play as a B2B. So why not play Cazorla with Coquelin then Ozil as AM?

    1. What about the big bruising opponents we face. City as we know are one of those teams that like us they prefer to play ball, our problems in center are against the big fokkers who dont like to play ball or more importantly dont like/allow Arsenal to play ball.

      Cazorla was encouraging but he played cam who had to sit back further to keep shape, in future this would not be the case and people could probably say coq is shit as the young man is left on his own to deal with three four and five attacking players.

      1. I hear you YY69, SC ain’t the prototypical B2B midfielder. But Fernando Fernandinho are pretty “big fokkers” and don’t “play” much “ball”. In truth Santi by-passed the problem by playing through and around them with his magical dancing feet.

  10. I wanted to quit watching Arsenal matches but reversed the decision bcos of Ozil. Ozil is my only Joy in arsenal, I still have little patience with wenger because he bought Ozil. I will be very sad if he is constantly benched 🙁 🙁 🙁
    #dont bench Ozil
    #bench Wenger
    #love Pythagoras

  11. Since we’re repeating articles, I’ll repeat a post: at present I see no reason why the two can’t share the field in the middle. Santi is playing better than Ramsey/Jack and any other of our CMs combined. Why not play Santi in the CM role and play Mesut in the ACM role, with Le Coq doing the job behind them? Allow Santi to dominate from deep, as he has been, and allow Ozil’s vision to pick teams apart in the final 3rd.

    The only reason people wouldn’t want this to happen is so that they can get their beloved Ramsey or Jack on the field. Both of which have been under-performing in their preferred central roles. It’s time for a change to that.

    Look at 3 of the top midfield tridents in the world, and explain to me why Arsenal couldn’t do the same?

    Oscar/Cesc/Matic = Ozil/Santi/Le Coq (New DM)
    James/Modric(Isco)/Kroos = Ozil/Sanit/ Le Coq(New DM)
    Iniesta/Xavi (Rakitic)/Busquets = Ozil, Santi/Le Coq

    At present, the top team in the Premier League, and the top two teams in Spain that have no problems beating any team in the premier league, have a comparable midfield trident to one that we could field and are dominating the planet.

    Wenger and some of your fans would have to first acknowledge that the two players that need to sit/rotate are Jack and Aaron; not Mesut or Santi.

      1. On what evidence has Ramsey earned the right to immediately be guaranteed a place in the eleven? Based on the way he’s been playing this year, I don’t see it. Yet for some reason he’s being given the benefit of the doubt to play his way into form in a preferred central role, while others feel that Mesut should play centrally, but should earn that right by first playing out wide. What kind of sense does that make?

        As I said above, Chelsea, Barca, and Madrid do exceptionally well with the same type of trident that we could field. Even Bayern’s midfield trident would be comparable.

        Reality, people seem to accept an under-performing Ramsey and want to say give him time to get a rhythm (sacrificing the overall good of the team and the results of the team – see the beginning of the season) but for some reason no one wants to acknowledge that Santi and Mesut could do a wonderful job for us in there, and no one wants to give Mesut the opportunity to play his way into form in the middle.

    1. Why do you hate on Ramsey??? Juts because he is out of form and has been injured??? Ozil was played in his best position last season but did not pull no trees..

      Ramsey carried us for half the season and when he ran out of fuel and got injured in the second period of last season then Arsenals form went with him..

      Cazorl has a poor last season too.. He also had a poor start to the season and people on here kept calling him average and how we should have cashed on him in the summer. Now look at him..

      Ramsey proved last season that he can do it. The boy saw us through the CL qualification last season, gave us a very good start to the season, won us the FA CUP and Community shield, when he came back we picked up from where he stopped in the EPL away against HULL.

      But people will absolutely fluff all what the boy has done but favor other players..


      1. Ramsey provides a lot more grit and strength in midfield than Ozil. Both are really important to Arsenal, and I see them as very different players.
        BTW, didn’t Mesut play on right for Germany in WC? So why this Ozil v Santi nonsense?

      2. you are right bro. some people have selective memories. Ramsey is already a legend whether they like it or not. He won us a trophy no matter how small u look at the facup. I love Ozil but its about time he shows us he can win us trophies, by been more influential in games, both big n small.

      3. @Goonster,

        I don’t hate Ramsey at all, my good man. It would appear, though, that as you feel that you objectively rate Mesut, I objectively rate Rambo. You say Rambo proved last season he can do it (glass half full), I say based on how he performed prior to that season as well as this season to date, he’s proved last season may have been an anomaly (glass half empty).08/09 – 1 goal, 9/10 – 4 goals, 10/11 – 1 goal, 11/12 – 3 goals, 12/13 – 2 goals, 13/14 – 16 goals, 14/15 – 6 goals.

        Based on your interpretation, one good season can make you, and therefore for Mesut you feel that one average season (in a new league, speaking a new language, with new teammates that weren’t the quality of the Real or the German National team) can break you. Ramsey had one above-average season by his standards (which he’s yet to replicate), and folks want to talk about him like he’s Zidane. Meanwhile, Mesut had a less than stellar season by his standards, and all of the sudden he should never see the field.

        People do the same thing with Jack. Maybe it’s a British bias that I don’t have or something, I don’t know. Example – Jack had a great game against Barca in the Champs League, and the English media freaked out. He displayed above average feet and technical ability compared to the average English player, and all the sudden he was supposed to be the savior of the Natl Team. What was Guardiola’s response, “He played well….but we have a dozen players like him in our youth academy.” Perspective.

        Bottom line is, I want Arsenal to be as successful as possible, and for players to get an equal shot to earn their spot to win games for us. Would like to see Mesut get the opportunity to play in the middle of the park as we brought him here to do, and not get bumped to the wing so that others can continuously play poorly. Barca, Madrid, Chelsea, hell even Bayern field comparable midfield trio and dominate.

        I’m tired of seeing him scapegoated because his game isn’t predicated on the characteristics of an English (and thus American) footballer – meaning what you lack in technical ability you make up for with hard work, hard work, hard work. The kid is a special player, let’s give him the opportunity to make our team special.

        And should Aaron find a way to replicate his form from last year, all the better. Then we’ll truly have a team where good players are keeping good players out of the lineup. Then we’ll truly be challenging for titles.


    2. Before his most recent injury, Rambo had started to hit his last year’s form playing with Santi, Rosicky and the Ox. The reason seems to me that with Wilshere out injured midfield was less cluttered and the roles were clear. The team can accommodate Ozil (provided we pick the right team for each opponent) but not Jack too; but Ozil will have to up his work-rate as the rest of the team has.

    3. I’m sorry mate, that formation can only be used for smaller teams…not teams in the top 4. Chelsea yes uses that formation but u dont see them using it in big games. in big games it is fab/matic/mikel(ramires). So yes u re right but partly. Also the premier league is a funny league at times so playing 3 midfielders that work hard defensively always makes sense. But i would personally like to see ozil/carzola/coq in some games.

  12. Top players can normally play well wherever they stat, Mesut needs to fit in around Santi at the present time due to his form, why try to fix something that’s not broke.

  13. A player starting on the wing doesnt mean hes deployed a winger, i dont like the sound of that one bit. The reason we loved our last performance is every Gunner had his job and man. Unless Ozil can pitch in with orginisational awareness so we keep a defensive unit i wouldnt start him, certainly not on the wing. Bellerin only had to think about his job and man which looks like the making of him, bring Ozil to mix and im not sure the same would be said.

    Cazorla simply cannot be dropped. Same goes for Coq, Ramsey or Rosicky to finish tripod. I dont think Arsene will play Ozil in Theo position now that the lad is fit. So unless Sanchez plays up top i cant see where Ozil will fit right at this moment.

  14. Admittedly, I am abit of an Ozil fanboy from watching him back at his days at RM. I have also been thinking about how Ozil and Santi could fit in the same team, but also with Ramsey in it because ultimately a team with Ozil, Santi and Ramsey (of last season) would dominate most teams in the world. Having a midfield of Sanchez, Santi, Ramsey, Ozil is almost mouthwatering and I’m certain Ozil could do the job on the right.
    Also another option could be:
    Cazorla Ozil Ramsey Walcott (but having Cazorla and Ozil rotate, the opposing defenders/midfielders would have no idea who to track!)

  15. OT: I’ve taken the opportunity to watch Paulo Dybala play since we’ve been linked with him and from what I’ve seen he needs to get the #9 shirt that is/will be left vacant by Podolski. Especially if Campbell ends up leaving as well, this is a young player we should NOT pass up on…

  16. When Ozil comes back into the team he has got to be able to fight like the rest of his team mates…. No more passengers in the team, everyone has got to be able to track back, tackle and defend as well as help offensively. The kind of Football is long gone where some players only stay in one position while their team mates are working their socks off, this is the EPL, it’s a physical league and require hard work. You can see why Mata is struggling, you can see why Ozil was sold by Madrid and was pushed onto the wings by Germany in the world cup, lack of fight..

    We now have midfielders / Wingers that do everything, look at Silva, Cesc, Modric, James Rodriguez, Isco, Cazorla, Ramsey, Nasri, Sanchez, Di Maria, Messi, Iniesta, Xavi etc.. Mata is now tracking, tackling and defending etc.. Football keeps revolving and players have to revolve with it..

    All Ozil needs to work on is his team work, if he played against City we would have struggled in the middle as Ozil does not like grafting and hard work. Attacking and defending as a unit it the new thing now..

    All he needs to do is look at his team mates, Rosicky is 34 years old but he runs until he is out of it..

  17. The old cliche ”If it ain’t broken, dont fix it” should be respected here.

    S. Cazorla is in the kinda form that even surpasses(to an extent) his performance in his first season where we all adored him. And I am a firm supporter of the ”pick team based on form”.

    What I am trying to say here is: Mesut’s best position is to play behind the striker, not least when we now have Sanchez, Walcott, Chambo and even Welbz. These are speedsters; people Ozil’s game thrive on.

    There’s no need shunting him out wide, just so everyone is accomodated in the starting line up. This will affect the balance of the team greatly, as you can bet your balls he won’t track back.

    Personally, I want to see Ozil get back on the pitch and rake in performances that will silent the wide-mouthed critics of his. But why rush him in at the detriment of the team? Last season, Santi was more often than not on the bench or playing on the wings because of Mesut.

    If anything this is a good sign for our team, that we are improving and have a real fearful team (attack wise) when everyone is fit. After all, people used to mock us becos of our (seemingly) inabilty to spend. Now we have one of the best NO.10’s in the world sitting on the bench and trying to force his way back into the team.. Dats so much for competition. Isn’t this all we wanted?

    I say let Santi continue to play in the ‘hole’… And let Ozil bide his time.. And if he turns out to regain his WC2010, then we will know he earned his place.

    As an aside, you were talking of Cazorla and Rosicky against Napoli.. That was in 2013 right? Nah I don’t think Santi was present that day. And Ozil didn’t play on the right. He ONLY drifted there form time to time.

    The formation that day was Flamini-Arteta in d Double pivot. Rosicky-Ozil-Ramsey; from left to right! And Jack on d bench..

  18. I’m a big believer in Ozil. He has been hitting the weight room recently. He will come in stronger, bigger and more determined to prove himself. He is WC just like Sanchez (and Maybe Koscielny).

    But Cazorla has been playing splendid football and should be 1st choice over Ozil until Ozil gets to his best.

    Also, Walcott and Sanchez should be 1st choice for the wings.

    I hope any of the following players play against Brighton:

    Chuba Akpom

    Rest: Sanchez, Ospina, Coquelin, Cazorla, Giroud, Mertsacker

    I think a good mix of Experience and Youth will be enough to beat Brighton (more experience than youth like 60%-40%). Brighton won’t be easy though.

    We need to rest a few players and this is the best opportunity. On 5th we have a home game (MUST win) against Aston Villa.

    1. And what makes you think that Walcot must be a starter, what has he done to prove that he must starter. If my memory serves me right, he is one of the players that can not tackle

  19. If Ozil is on the right then where does Walcott go? Walcott is too useful to be on the bench for his goals and what he does to the shape of other teams with the threat of his pace.

    I don’t know why we must find a way for them to play together. As far as i’m concerned there’s room for one no10 in a team of 11, and the best man plays. If Ozil wants that to be him then he must step up. Simple.

  20. This is Arsenal’s best line up right now as far as i’m concerned

    Bellerin Kos Mert Gibbs
    ——-Le Coq——–
    Walcott Ramsey Cazorla Sanchez

    Bench: Shez, Chambers, Monreal, Rosicky, Ox, Ozil, Welbeck

    1. You can’t really claim it to be the best “right now” and put Walcott in the starting X1. Walcott at his best would stake a claim but no way is he is starter material at the moment – he has to feel his way back in. And if we are talking form right now then I think you will have some difficulty putting Gibbs in – frankly Monreal hasn’t put a foot wrong for half a dozen games now.

  21. all world class players can play anywhere on the pitch , thats what makes them great players . but our bug eyed ballerina ozil can only play in one position , that is not world class materiel , that is average player . he left madrid because of personal problema as well as clown wenger panic buying . now we are reaping the rewards of this unneccessary player . wengers costliest mistake yet . but i hope for our sake that ozil can get back to some kind of his madrid form . people on here still call him the best number ten in the world , lads !!, for fooks sake , he is not even the best number ten at the emirates , grow up .

    1. Average? This is a surprising comment – even for this site. Arguably the best player in the world was fuming when he was sold. One of the best managers in world football said he is the best number 10.

      But Ger Burke knows better…

  22. so davejay , explain to me the achievements of the bug eyed one known as the greatest number ten in the world then . ???> ozil is nothing more than a fraud .

    1. Hmmm… What about winning the World Cup? Or La Liga? Most assists in a year?

      Yeah you’re right – what a fraud.

  23. davejay , what has he done at arsenal football club since he arrived here when wenger the clown decided to panic buy ??. what difference has he made , what makes him the greatest ten in the world at arsenal ?. cant wait to hear your excuses for old bugeye . he is a coming to get ya . ozil the best ten in the world , his own team player , santi is a better player than him , and santi is not even world class . i dont have to be a highly paid manager to have an opinion , just like you i suspect ??>

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