Can Arsenal really play without a No 10? by Eddie Hoyte
Okay folks, let’s discuss this like matured supporters. We’ve been on a good run and sadly it came to an end against a very poor team with the team giving an awful performance.
I’ve noticed this whole thing with the squad since Emery started playing 3 Central defenders and 2 Wing backs. Total of 5 defenders on the pitch. Not forgetting 2 additional defensive minded midfielders in Torreira and Xhaka. All sums up 7 players on the pitch whose sole focus is covering for Leno and making sure we hold our defensive line.
Truth is it’s not working, and we can’t keep that up, Using that formation and strategy is really limiting the ability of our attackers. I’m not the type to go and delve into stats and stuff and I know Aubameyang is aiming for the golden boot, but if I’m right almost all of his goals came from playing with 4 at the back and having our attacking minded midfielders behind him, with only 2 of his goals being from playing with 5 defenders. Both goals against Spurs.
Every game that we’ve played with that formation, we struggled to create chances and struggle to win. With that formation, Emery plays and fields almost defensive minded players, with poor supporting attackers: Iwobi and Mhki.
We struggle to create chances with the formation, Aubameyang looks useless up front alone without creative midfielders behind him. Even Lacazette alone up front will struggle with this formation if he gets no support because he can’t do it all alone. This brings me to my question, Can we really play this formation without a proper No 10 or creative wingers?
Against Spurs we were losing until he introduced Ramsey who we all know plays the No 10 position, and he created some chances and got 2 assist. Rest of the game where we’ve played a midfield of Torreira-Xhaka-Iwobi-Mhiki, we struggled a lot to win because Iwobi and Mhiki are both too poor to contribute anything. Go back and watch those matches, we won none comfortably, do you think it’s a coincidence? We missed Mustafi and Sokratis but even with those 2 on the pitch, even though we defend well, we fail to score and create multiple chances.
This match against Southampton, his mistake was playing Xhaka-Torreira-Guendouzi all in the same team with again the poor duo who can’t create chances for our world class striker. Aubameyang again looks useless.
This formation leaves us too defensive minded.
People say Ozil is crap and a luxury, I admit he’s poor, but with how Mhiki and Iwobi have been playing we need to play either Ozil or Ramsey behind Aubameyang. Without a creative player or matured player like Ramsey, Ozil and Lacazette playing alongside Aubameyang, he’s of no use to us. I can’t even question his goalscoring abilities because we all know he’s been one of the world’s most deadliest striker for the past 3 seasons or so. Are we utilising him well?
The game against Manchester Utd needed a player like Ramsey or Ozil simply because United’s defense was too poor, so much poor and Iwobi or Mhiki couldn’t even spot a perfect forward pass. We could’ve won that match if we played with either of Ramsey or Ozil from the beginning of the match, because both players fancy going for creating and scoring goals and they do it well, we could’ve taken advantage of United’s poor defense. Ozil on his poor day even creates and makes forward passes and chances more than Mhki and Iwobi has even attempted. Ramsey seems to be playing well just to get a pay rise or a big club transfer, so? Who cares? Play him and let him show he can be good and helpful after all we’re letting him go for free. Why not play him since he even contributes to the team while he’s here?
I’m not jumping on Emery’s neck right now because still I’ve been impressed by him ,but I have to ask questions like this if only it was possible to reach out to him. Arsenal playing 5 defensive players on the pitch with Xhaka and Torreira won’t work without a creative midfielder supporting whoever strikes for us. We don’t have to play with a No 10 but we do need World class wingers and since we don’t have those now? Why not make do with our best attacking midfield options till we get necessary players?
Am I being paranoid or this whole 5 defenders thing can’t work out perfectly?