Wenger has to get the best out of Ozil – but how? by SE
The significance of Ozil firing on all cylinders for Arsenal just can’t be stated enough. Yes, with the acquisition of Sanchez this season, the German playmaker might not have the pressure of performing in every game he starts for Arsenal; but it’s not an insinuation that the North Londoners can function in pristine condition, without the German being at his best.
How do you get the best out of Ozil, if you’re Wenger? Certainly, playing as a winger, he is not doing justice to himself, or to the team. But the root cause of this problem is a no brainer, really. It’s more to do with Ozil playing out of position, and not so much because of other factors such as being jaded, rusty or, furthermore, pressure. Having said that, would you revert back to the 4-2-3-1 system that was bringing the best out of Ozil? In other words, do you adopt a system, specifically for the German to flourish?
I think, more than talking about systems and tactics, Wenger has to find a way of accommodating his best players in the positions they are comfortable playing at. Van Gaal – the new manager at Manchester United – despite sticking to the 3-4-1-2 system, one that looks self-sabotaging, has made it clear that he wants to play his best players in ‘their’ best positions. As a result, Rooney and Van Persie continue as strikers, leaving Mata to play in his amiable No.10 position.
On a similar note, Wenger would be ridiculous to not play the likes of Sanchez, Ozil and Ramsey – three players, who are by far his most important – in their favoured positions, where they can flourish. Thus, Ozil has to play in the hole. Sanchez can play as a winger; but, when you are hampered by injuries to key players, it wouldn’t be wrong to play the Chilean up top, while Sanogo plays in the cup games and builds confidence on his own self, more than anything else.
Coming to the system: Wenger, ideally, has to stick with the newly adopted 4-3-3 formation; but desiring to play your best players in their favorite positions means that, you slightly tinker with your system.
I would want Ozil to play through the middle, as my ‘false 9’. Now, with the acquisition of Welbeck, things are even better for Arsenal. Wenger can play with two strikers – Welbeck and Sanchez – thereby not leaving the lone Center Forward to do all the chasing and hold up play. Sanchez and Welbeck can play up top, with Ozil behind them in the hole. Flamini/Arteta continues as the solitary midfield pivot, with either Wilshere or Cazorla partnering Ramsey in that advance midfield.
This is how I, if I were Wenger, would tinker with the existent 4-3-3 system, to accommodate my best players in their best positions:
Monreal… Koscielny… Mertesacker… Debuchy
Also, playing Ozil centrally relieves him from whatever little defensive duties you would want him to commit to, while playing as a winger.
Playing Ozil centrally will do the player a world of good. That, subsequently, will get Arsenal playing the way they are used to. Otherwise, there is no cohesion about Arsenal’s attacks and, the absence of Giroud, Walcott and Gibbs, is not making life any easier. Wenger needs to address it quickly, as Arsenal enter a crucial phase of their 2014/15 campaign.