Arteta looks to the midfield to beat Man City – but no mention of Ozil

Mikel Arteta is hardly famous for playing the same Starting XI every week, but recently he seems to have been quite happy having Granit Xhaka and Ceballos as his midfield duo.

Sometimes it’s worked, sometimes not, but he has placed the emphasis on these positions ahead of today’s game against Man City. “Everything we do is in relation to the opponent, the ball and where the spaces are,” Arteta said on

“Every game is different, every day the spaces are somewhere else and we need to utilise it in different ways with our quality to find the right moment with the right pass against the right opponent.

“That is something we are doing better and better. Game management is a big part. How we had to react on Wednesday night, after going 1-0 down, what we had to try to do straight away – they [all] know the reaction we expect and what the team need in the next five to 10 minutes. Hopefully they are understanding that a bit better.

“It’s about building relationships and the different qualities that the team needs. [Granit and Dani] have been doing really well but we have played with many different ones; Lucas has played there, Matteo has played in that position, Ainsley and Joe have played in those positions too in the pocket, Bukayo has played as an attacking midfielder many games in this position as well.

“So we have players to adapt to different ways of playing and that’s good.”

It is interesting that the Boss has mentioned Matteo Guendouzi in that roundup, as the young Frenchman has been left out in the cold since his ill-disciplined display against Brighton, and also Ainsley Maitland-Niles who hardly ever plays, and has been rumoured to want to leave the Gunners as soon as possible.

I wonder why he mentioned those two, but not the mighty German, Mesut Ozil? We all know our ‘playmaker’ is back in training, as he made that clear himself on social media, but he was yet again left out of the squad against Liverpool.

Is there no way back for him now, with just a few games of the season to go?


  1. No! There is no way back for frauds who have been cheating the club, us fans , and his teammates for the last five years. Next summer this fraud and conman will be out of our club and I am counting down the days til our worst buy in my 60 + years of supporting is thrown out on his bone idle ear.

    1. Jon, good we have something in common, waiting to see the back of the assist king 184 games 54 assists 33 goals!

    2. You’ve made your feelings about Ozil very clear but don’t you think you’ve gone too far by calling him a cheater,a fraud,a con man??it all sounds very personal to me and also wrong too,how did he cheat the club?how is he a fraud or con man?

      1. Easy and obvious answer, at least its obvious to those of us who can see how he refuses to work, refuses to honour the terms of his obscene contract by flatly refusing to give his best endeavours on the field. THAT is called cheating and being a con man. Get it now? You should do, as hes been doing it for many seasons already!

  2. To have a chance of beating Man City we have to match up their system and have a go.Their defence is far from watertight as lowly Bournemouth showed recently when they created no fewer than five chances.If we set up like we did against Liverpool we will rarely have the ball and I doubt if we will get lucky two games running.I hope Arteta plays an attacking formation which includes AMN and Nelson.

    1. On the contrary , I don’t think we can beat them if we match their system . We simply do not have the personnel to. Humble opinion, I think we should stick with the formation we’ve been playing and just let Mustafi battle it out with whoever they play on the left. 343 is not defensive in the least , but sets us up beautifully to hit them on the break. Thing is , in the current formation, their front 3 will meet our back 3 . Our wingbacks with their fullbacks. They can have the midfield overload, but it doesn’t matter if we had 5 midfielders , they’d have owned us anyway. Being brave and attacking Man city would be fancy , but not realistic. We need to let them come, then hit them on the break. I’d fancy us isolating our front 3 against their two centerbacks and hoping for width from the fullbacks (Saka and Bellerin to be specific) . I’d actually go as far as saying, let Pepe stay high up the field and peg back one of their centerbacks .

  3. Mighty German? “1. possessing might: powerful. 2. accomplished or characterised by might. 3. great or imposing in size or extent: extraordinary.”

  4. TBF I would give Ozil a go in the side tonight ,but will except whatever side Arteta puts out ,looks to me as Ozil might have played his last game for us ,reading reports ,but we do lack creativity at the moment and Ozil can produce that when he’s on form

    1. When he’s on form eh? You mean like six seasons ago and before then, when abroad! To be ” on form” means putting in effort! Ozil and efforet have not been used together in thr same sentence, except in irony, for a half decade already. FACT, as all those who can see truth know only too well.

        1. No Dan, when he USED to be on form , many years ago! Wrong tense. I am speaking in the present tense , you are in the long ago past tense.

  5. Jon, good we have something in common, waiting to see the back of the assist king 184 games 54 assists 33 goals!

  6. Arteta hasn’t been a manager for 6 months and you are already calling him a tinkerman ? To be honest , his lineups have been rather consistent. Should he play people even when they are injured just so you can believe he trust a certain group of players? Or is this statement in response to the fact that he trusts a group of players that you’d rather he didn’t?

  7. Wouldn’t have ozil even in the squad tonight.
    This is the team I hope he picks…
    Bell musta. Hold. Tierney
    Cabbello. Saka..

    Nelson. Lacca. Auba….

    We need players in midfield who can hold onto the ball and dribble with it that’s why I have Cabbello and saka. Also I’d put Nelson before Pepe because he does a lot more running, we
    Will need all 11 players to give there all…..

  8. Hmmm. On a second thought, I feel for Ozil and an inclination by me to help him if only I can to overcome his chronic back pains problem that is hindering him to resume playing for Arsenal in games before the end of this season’s campaign as Arsenal are looking to likely and unlikely could have the maximum of sure 2 PL and unsure 2 FA Cup matches left to play. This my concern for Ozil is coming on the background of my being a critic of Ozil for his poor football for Arsenal for some seasons now and coupled with his failure to remedy the ugly situation he’s in at the club.

    I think since Ozil had the serious knee injury at Chelsea in a PL match at Stamford Bridge some seasons back that led him to have a procedure in Germany to repair the ACL injury he picked in the match which as a result had him on the sideline of action for Arsenal for a lengthy period of time before he came back. Ozil has since then stopped been the top quality match playing Ozil for Arsenal who us used to see and have known.

    Nevertheless, let’s soft pedal in our critical criticisms of him but show some sympathy towards him. And let him also gives it what it takes and necessary to make the right efforts that will see him comeback stronger for Arsenal to end his career at the club on a high.

    1. he is always a good player ozil but i don’t know what is wrong arteta i don see him the Wright man for arsinal he mus work whith his players

  9. “MA is hardly famous for playing the same starting XI every week….”I am wondering if people really listen these days?from day one MA has constantly/repeatedly said that he will play different players,use different systems depending on the opponent,he also said that he is looking for flexibility and that the team has been training ,learning to play and to switch to different systems during games, once again so far he has been very consistent hasn’t he??

  10. Arsenal is not going to dominate possession in this match…Ozil is useless in these types of matches

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