Arsenal midfield is poor and needs a shake up but how to do it?

I had such hopes for the Arsenal midfield in the early part of the season, we had Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Grant Xhaka, and on paper that looks fearsome. We had young talent in Emile Smith-Rowe putting in some excellent displays in pre-season, we had players like Mohamed Elneny and Lucas Torreira that had huge potential to do good with us and yet, come to the end of the season, it was the midfield that turned out to be our weakest link.

There has been no leadership at all, no vision, no creativity and worst of all, no passion.

Our midfield looks like a total mess and it needs a massive shake-up but all is not lost, with some changes and minor tweaks there is room for optimism.

A couple of new midfielders need to be bought for sure, there is no way we can go with this lot next season but I do not think a massive clearout is necessary.

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Aaron Ramsey is gone, Henrikh Mkhitaryan needs to be sold and so probably does Mohamed Elneny, Alex Iwobi and Gramit Xhaka but I would not go much further than that, ripping out five players and expecting five new players to turn things around just like that is foolish, it needs to be done in an organised manner.

Ozil can still be a huge asset, he possesses a world class touch and his sublime passes can open up teams at will, it is an attitude change that he needs more than anything because his talent is still there.

Torreira has tired terribly but there was a time when he was bossing the midfield, it is easy to forget the long winning run we went on and he played a pivotal role in that and I do expect him to be far more effective next season.

Matteo Guendouzi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are two youngsters that will continue to develop and I am 100% certain they will be far better players next season.

We also have youngsters Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith-Rowe if the club decides to give them a chance next season, both could be something special.

So, we have a core but we do need a leader and a creative midfielder and so at least two new signings are required, because if we do not offload the deadwood and bring in brand new talent then another season of disappointment is on the cards.

Updated: May 7, 2019 — 9:56 am

20 Comments

  1. Torreira was truly bossing it as a DM, nowadays he plays higher up the pitch and has not been as influencial there, although he wins a few balls here and there he is not contributing offensively as much.

    So if he is brought back to where he played in the beginning I believe he will shine again.

    The worrying thing is that we have not seen that for a long time, so there is really nothing saying he will do so again.

    1. Torreira was excellent when defending. Maybe better than Coquelin at tackling, but Coquelin was better in the air

      He doesn’t always have to drop deeper. But maybe he would intercept more passes if playing in a three midfielder formation, as what Kante did

      1. I do miss Coquelin. He too was excellent in the true DM role, but he was also deployed higher up the field after a while which made him less effective.

        Cazorla together with Coquelin as a true DM was divine.

        Now if we could use Torreira as a true DM again and pair him with someone similar to Cazorla, that would be awesome.

  2. Ozil’s first touches are good when receiving short passes, but I have never seen him received a very long ball perfectly like what Sanchez and Zidane did

    Regarding his “sublime passes that can open up teams at will”, I didn’t see those in the last three seasons. I still remember his inability to break the ten-man Atletico Madrid at the Emirates and his devoid of creativity when playing against Brighton/ Wolves/ Everton

    Arsenal need to get rid of him ASAP because he is not a playmaker at all and he is just a waste of space if he doesn’t score or assist. Better find a real playmaker that can boss the midfield as what Cazorla did or allocate his space for a winger

    1. I agree completely on Özil. When was the last time he changed the outcome of a game?

      It would be lovely if we saw the old Özil again, but how many seasons should we wait?

      1. He had his chances under two managers and he has played with different attackers. He will not improve due to his age, so I believe the club are looking for a buyer

        Since we would most likely get stuck with him until 2021 and because he is an excellent finisher, it’s better if he functions as a goalscorer rather than an assist provider

        I haven’t seen his creativity in the last few games, but I always remember his beautiful finish when playing against Palace

  3. Ozil is well past his sell by date. Plus you need more than the sublime – in fact more of the physical fight – to survive in the Premiership. Ozil physically embodies all that’s gone wrong with Arsenal – ever since Wenger traded Vieira for Fabregas & believed it was right.

  4. This article perfectly illustrates the difference between a realist like me and a self fooler as in the article. The four players listed as our midfield were to my mind probably the weakest we have had, since the days of Selley, Morrow, Jensen and Hillier in the early nineties. And so it has proved. Everyone of them has been vastly overrated in regular effectiveness – the ONLY thing that matters- BY SOME(though not all) OF OUR FANS. I never fool myself!

  5. If Arsenal are serious they need to win this Europa League or it’s the same old same old next season with a few new faces, a few gone & battling for Europa with Wolves, Leicester & Everton. Funny enough the 3 teams that beat us when we had top4 in our hands, not winning them is all on Emery & he has to be questioned too if he doesn’t win the Europa league to salvage this terrible ending to the season. Il add Palace in there too for another defeat In the run in whilst also drawing at a Brighton side both at home who were safe with nothing to play for…

    Manager/Board is accountable for this as are the under peformering over paid so called good players we have in Ozil, Miki, Mustafi & Xhaka who are all bang average & we are where we are as a club because of this shambles we have going on in the back round buying or investing in useless players who dont deserve to be play for Arsenal FC.

    Manager may need changing along with the players above, if we are to rebuild get rid of all the under performing top earners at whatever cost to join Ramsey, Cech, S.Leich & Welbeck out the door.

    1st buy – CB (Mustafi, Eleney Sale Money used)
    Mavraponas, Chambers, Holding – Young CBs
    Koss, Sokratis, Monreal – Old Guard

    2nd buy – RB (Spend some of 40m)
    Bellerin will be back also

    3rd buy – CM (Xhaka, Miki sale money used)
    Torreira, Guendouzi, Niles, Smith Rowe – Young CM
    Chambers can slot in CDM for EL games

    4th buy – RW (Ozil Money)
    Iwobi can be sub for him, Auba out Left, Laca Up top. Young Gun Baka called up along with Nketiah with them in the Cups until later stages. Nelson to come back also on loan.

    Kolasnic & Monreal will have to do this last season then next summer LB will be a must as we cant do it all just hope Chinese ones come for the likes of Ozil & Miki!!

    Cuts the wage bill quite abit, brings in some money to add to the 40m quoted buy newspapers along with new hungrier faces in the club & the players milking the club with no effort from them would be gone. Alot of youth but couldn’t be any worse than what we are seeing.

    I’d like to see Teilsman on loan at Leicester from Monaco Signed if we could make it happen to replace Ramsey & Xhaka for the CM role beside Torreira.

    The LW I’d go for would be a cut price Mahrez from City… Premier league winner, Exp & nearly came 1st time around to Arsenal before joining city. Left footed RW is what we need who isn’t afraid to take any one on & is ready made.

    These 2 deals could be done with out the selling of one of Ozil or Miki to stay for the creativity factor.

    Next season would be better team with that if you went with;
    Leno
    Bellerin Holding Mavraponas Kolasnic
    Torriera Teilsmans
    Ozil
    Mahrez Laca Auba

    Subs;
    Martinez
    New RB & CB (both could be better for sv11 spots)
    Koss or Sokratis
    Monreal
    Niles or Guendouzi
    Rowe or Baka
    Nketiah
    Nelson

    1. What a weak team

  6. The ponderous Xhaka must be sold as a first step towards improving our midfield.Neither he nor Ozil can play at the tempo I see from Man City and Liverpool.We need high energy players to drive us forward .Our young players like AMN, Iwobi and Guendouzi could well do the job but need the trust of their Manager to give them the opportunity.The likes of Doucoure, of Watford, Ndidi and Tielemans of Leicester would be upgrades on Torreria, Xhaka and Elneny but they may be too costly for a team with a limited Budget and a more pressing need for quality defenders.Two young players who could improve us are perhaps surprisingly to be found on the South coast namely Brookes of Bournemouth and the French lad Bissouna who has pace and energy to burn.In essence, there are plenty midfielders out there who would improve us.

  7. Looks like Man City will be Signing one if not two of the Portuguese next super kids ,as sky are reporting ,
    Already stacked with talent and they make more of a statement,what will are summer transfer business look like ?
    Oh yea 4-5 players half no one as even seen play and all coming to a nice tidy grand some of around 70-80 mil,sound familiar?
    We will take years to get back to the top ,we could be another Liverpool ,depressing seeing how much our club as low balled their fans for years .

  8. Liverpool gonna tie this tie around and win the champs league

    1. Bruh, not hating but Liverpool ain’t getting to the final. I already pointed that out before.
      Take away Jodi Alba’s Xhakaesque error that led to the goal, then you’ll see they realm have a lot to do and they’ve not even done half.
      Watching Arturo Vidal tonight really reminds me of what we’re missing, of what Torreira was before Mr Tinkerman decided to push him up higher in the pitch. We really miss what Vidal is giving Barca tonight

      1. ArsenalwinsWorldcup

        No Salah, no firmino, but just look at them….
        They play like monsters… Fast movement, dynamic, creative and neat…

        Hope our dear Arsenal could do the same and better

        1. Truth? The whole Liverpool squad has my respect and admiration.
          They’ve got Barca destabilized without Salah and Firmino.
          I’m stunned, 3 goals, they can do this now, I’m happy to be proved wrong if they go through.
          Absolutely speechless, My respect👏👏

  9. Barca just threw 3-0 lead through the window. If they eventually lose this one, they are the reall undisputed bottlers.

    Now the game just started

  10. Take a bow Liverpool!!
    I’m sorry I wrote you guys off!!



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