Do Arsenal fans really think Iwobi can replace Ozil?

Saying Iwobi Can Replace Ozil Is A Joke!! by Dan Smith

So apparently the answer was staring us in the face the whole time. Drop Ozil and either replace him with Iwobi, or play an additional defensive midfielder allowing Ramsey to play further forward. So that’s where we went wrong a month ago at Anfield.

Criticism of Ozil highlights two major problems in the game, how fickle fans have become and how with the benefit of social media, opinions can be shared across the world in seconds.

Now the facts are with the German only starting once since that defeat at Liverpool, not just have we won 3 and drawn one of our last 4 league games we haven’t conceded a goal in the process. With those statistics, especially the clean sheet aspect, it’s hard to question Arsene Wenger’s decision making since the last international break.

Are we though really meant to believe that we wouldn’t have beaten West Brom and Brighton just as comfortably had the World Cup winner started. Bear in mind he did nothing wrong against Bournemouth, a knee injury meaning that was his only chance to make an impression since that humiliation on Merseyside.

This article is not meant to discredit Iwobi who took his goal well on Sunday and crucially offers the work rate that so many feel Ozil lacks in his game. But lets put things into perspective, it’s not like Iwobi has come in and cut teams to ribbons, he remains very inconsistent, particularly with his final ball.

Such has been Ozil’s demotion, there are fans welcoming the rumours that we may cash in on him in January rather then let him leave for nothing in the summer, a policy we refuse to adhere to regarding Sanchez. Surely our manager doesn’t stay in one job for 21 years if he bases a players future on two games against the Baggies and the Seagulls?

Of course a lot of gooners are happy to see the midfielder on the sideline because, regardless of form, this time next year he won’t be wearing the red and white shirt, maybe we want to believe that we have the squad capable of coping without our two star names? But if our boss truly believed that then he would have cashed in as early as July and spent the money – or told the board it was okay because Iwobi was ready to step up.

Arsenal as a club were willing to make the last transfer window a depressing headache for the extent of having two players at the Emirates for 12 more months, even though they knew neither wanted to be here. Now we are meant to believe that in the space of two months one of them is surplus to requirements?

Supporters that are happy to make Ozil a scapegoat (even when we are winning) should be prepared for their criticism of him to backfire. The more we make out we are happy with those playing instead of Ozil, the less likely our board will release funds for us to buy a replacement.

I can see Stan Kroenke now, patting Mr Wenger on the back as he banks the money given from Inter Milan, because after all we have Iwobi. Again, i stress the Nigerian has done nothing wrong. But when we go to Man City soon, I know who they would rather we have as our attacking midfielder. In fact I go as far as saying it could cost us as soon as Watford away if Ozil stays on the bench..



  1. Tony says:

    iwobi is good but not a finished product. we need a top no10 to replace ozil. ox still cant get more than 10min at liverpool that says a lot about our academy products

    1. Godswill says:

      Ox from our academy? I think he was was bought. That can only tell much about our scouting and sense of judgment about players ability.

    2. John Ibrahim says:

      There are not many good number 10s…

      The good ones are already at the top clubs which they will not sell…

      1. tas says:

        We should unrest Henrikh Mkhitaryan from United just like they do to us every season with our players,

        Henrikt is an amazing player with many abilities defensive, attacking and most of all assisting

        1. John Ibrahim says:

          Well we are just too clean and nice….

          clubs are always unsettling us….

          The moment we try something different and the media will go hard on us…

          1. tas says:

            yea everything is nice with Arsenal, Nice manager, nice players, nice staff, nice stadium, nice location, nice money in the bank, shit fans that complain all the time 🙂

          2. jon fox says:

            OH DEAR!

  2. Crispen says:

    Hear! Hear!

  3. Godswill says:

    I tell you that City match is for fighters. Players that feel the belong here and want to prove a point even though they are not too good.
    Of what use is a star the refuses to shine? Ozil and Sanchez are our star players probably far above others and reconizable ones by football fans across the world. If they don’t put in the shift then not their status will win the matches for us. Their input just like the one by Sanchez last match and was praised by fans. Fans don’t hate Ozil only that they are demanding that he should show up according to his status.
    Take note there are two young players at Man U creating waves which millions were not paid for them. Give Iwobi a chance and he will come up strong. He did not fare too badly against Chelsea.

  4. John Ibrahim says:

    yes he can if he trains hard and play hard….but not this season or next…

    he will improve….

  5. arie82 says:

    The peak arsenal (the invicible era and before), was never used playmaker.
    It viera and gilberto duet who dominate the middlefield.
    It the rise of barcelona with tiki-taka, with xavi as middlefield orkestra, who inspirate wenger to use playmaker. And woalah!, there a boy name fabregas who had similiar play like xavi. So he kick out viera, and the era where arsenal used playmaker is born.
    Critism ozil for not defend is like critism koscielny for not help attack.

    1. Midkemma says:

      Bergkamp dropped into the ACM role, we played a 4231 back then but it always got reported as a 442 due to Bergkamp being called a CF and not a ACM.

      Just watch how Bergkamp used to drop deep and be the link up man, the volume of chances Ljungberg had because Bergkamp found a nice through ball…

      If Ozil was scoring more goals then we would be saying he is the new Bergkamp.

      Cesc also started as a CM for Arsenal, not a ACM, he got pushed further forward as time went by. I recall at the time wondering why as Cesc had trained as a Volante (DM) and he could have been the ideal deep lying playmaker for us, he shown enough fight in my opinion to trust him in that deeper role.

      Instead Wenger made him the new Bergkamp, the creative one who could unlock defs and not expected to be main goalscorer but a big enough threat to not ignore.

      Cesc played 33 EPL games in the 04-05 season as a number 10 when Bergkamp was still with us and played 29 EPL games, we didn’t play with 2 number 10’s 😉

      One last thing, CBs should help with attack, they should aim to move the ball forward to help attack while also being a threat in set pieces when they go forward. Of Kos passed the ball back to the GK constantly and the GK hoofed it forward then we would soon be complaining about the hoofball our CBs are forcing on the team, Wenger likes ball playing CBs as it helps the TEAM attack.
      We do not expect Ozil to defend in our own box, like we do not expect Kos to attack in the oppositions box, we do expect them to do those in the area they play.

  6. Who said Arsene can't do grime? says:

    Ozil is lazy and has no end product. Assist stats are poor and he cannot shoot. He loses the ball in key areas and is a liability.

    Iwobi on the other hand is contentious and very talented. He is a team player.

    Arsenal were a better team when they were promoting from within. Ever since the Ozil transfer the club has wasted money on players that have not given back and destroyed the dressing room. It’s time to go back to OUR philosophy. Good riddance to Ozil and Sanchez. We have Iwobi and Nelson to take the reigns.

    By 2020 I can see us winning the league with this team:


    Holdings Mustafi Chambers

    Mainland-Niles Wilshere Ramsey Kolasinac

    Iwobi Nelson


    Goes in the face of all those that mocked Wenger’s British core. The next round of talented British players is already here!!!!

    1. Atid says:

      Ospina aside it’s a decent team that. Though I really cannot see wilshire and ramsey in those holding roles. Saw it work really well once, but tooany injuries have since taken their toll. I think more bite is required in there. Perhaps bellerin Rwb and Niles in the middle. I think a keeper will need to come in as the current crop below Cech is not of a top class standard. If I had to choose one it would be between martinez or Huddart.

    2. gary mcgahan says:

      How is ozil assist stats poor???? Hes the top assist in.Europe over last six

  7. Nwanolue francis nigeria says:

    Any body who understand football will choose iwobi over ozil we dont have the luxury of an athletic holding midfielder that will cover the languid play of ozil
    .iwobi will put in a shit ‘harry his opponent and is also way way an arsernal fan he is ready to fight for the club

  8. Atid says:

    I don’t think iwobi is quite ready. Bur in him and Nelson we have two future replacements for ozil and alexis, if we nurture them correctly. No stupid loans, just managed game time.

    I do think though, that kolasinac’s and lacazette’s mates draxler and griezmann would be perfect replacements for the two right now. Griezmann also had a good understanding with giroud if I remember the euros correctly?

    But it seems to me that wenger is grooming ramsey to takeover from ozil? Not only that I think he will make him captain next season.

  9. Anko says:

    Iwobi is not as good as Ozil, he hasn’t got his experience and skill. Ozil is a special player and has got some special talent. The pundits especially Man united’s are very unfair towards him. How man number 10 is better than Ozil in premier league? Even the year he had the highest assist, the pundits refused to include him in the team of the year and chose Dele Ali instead? The problem is with the coaching and the team generally so Ozil becomes a soft target! Wenger need to realise that the game is moving away from his mentality and we need more quality players!

    1. OxInTheBox says:

      who’s a better number 10? ali, cotinho, de-brine, hazard, pogba

  10. ThirdManJW says:

    Of course Iwobi hasn’t the vision, passing accuracy, or technique that Ozil has, but Iwobi is a better option for big games, or tough opposition, because it’s what’s best for the team that counts. Iwobi did very well against Chelsea, pressing a lot, like the whole team was. Ozil doesn’t press, so then tactic of pressing as a team fails. If Ozil played against Chelsea, either one of Cesc, or Kante would have a lot more time on their hands. People say you need Ozil to open up defences, which is true, but he is more needed against weak opponents that sit really deep. The top teams, especially at home, will always be more on the attacking side, so space will naturally open up anyway.

    Of course it’s not all Ozil’s fault as to why we’re so bad in tough games, especially away from home, but I have seen him enough times to know that he is definitely part of the problem. Can Iwobi replace Ozil? Who knows, but why not give him a try, or someone else? Because Ozil has had more than enough opportunities, so it’s time for a change.

    1. jon fox says:

      A sensible and well thought through post. Wish there were more like you on this site.

  11. arsenal4life says:

    Yes the talent is there.
    “we don’t buy superstars we make them ”
    unless their name is Ozil or Sanchez
    Koscielny Giroud Cech Xhaka Lacazette Gabriel Chambers
    Debuchy Cazorla Monreal Perez Asano Sanogo Walcott
    Chamberlain Ramsey… Lemar , Draxler. ..
    So now’s our chance to promote local lads.
    Iwobi all the way for me.

    1. Midkemma says:

      Kos was not the name he is today after being with us, can be argued we made him, players develop after they leave the kids you know.
      Gabriel was a superstar? What planet????
      Same for Debuchy and Perez and Asano and Son… you get my point?

      We do not normally buy stars as we do not normally have the CEO to do so, we buy quality who is about to be a star (when scouting network works) and we give them that final bit of development and they step up a bit more.

      3 years at Barca and he scores 47 goals, 3 years with us and he scores 72 goals.
      See the improvement in his end product?

      Not like Barca was desperate to keep him or any of the BIG teams was going in for him, it was us and Liverpool, really sounds like a superstar doesn’t it? Not like Neymar to PSG.

      Now PSG are rumored to be interested, we turned down nearly double what we paid for him and he only has 12 months left… Seems his name has grown since being with us.

  12. Frank says:

    Every Arsenal fan wants to see the young academy players get a chance and perform. I think Iwobi has done great so where is the problem if Özil is on the bench?
    Iwobi has played less minutes than Özil this year but has a goal and an assist. Özil has nothing. I say keep playing Iwobi, he has better attacking stats so far, is better at taking players on and moving the play forward, is better at tracking back in defence, he is a Gooner and is the future of our club.

  13. Luyolo says:

    I honestly believe Iwobi can replace Ozil and probably perform even better. This young man is quite talented and with experience and hard work, he might be one of the best indeed

  14. Sue says:

    I know I’ll get loads of thumbs down for this but Iwobi will never be in Ozil’s league!

    1. jon fox says:

      Well, at least your prediction about the “thumbs down” was correct. Still, one prediction right out of two is not too bad. Pity it was not the other one though!

  15. Nothing changed says:

    TBH I have heard Ramsey and Wilshire mentioned as a replacement for Ozil and as nr 10s but I have not heard anyone say Iwobi is next in line. In fact, despite not being a fan, in all fairness at the moment Ramsey would be our best replacement in the squad, and hopefully, if Wilshire stays fir he will become the best replacement. I don’t think Wenger sees Iwobi as a replacement for Ozil in the next few years. Am I wrong or will Iwobi be moved to the nr 10 position?

  16. obirieze says:

    It is when ur team is not in possession of d ball that u know who matters in a team. Come to that,Ozil is nothing to write home about.Football is a team work.Ozil should be used only against weak teams not teams like Chelsea, Man U, City, Liverpool etc.Use boys who are ready to work as a team.

  17. toennes says:

    Why bother watching Arsenal when Ozil is not playing. He is THE best orchestrator in World, the best no. 10!

    1. jon fox says:

      Seems a pity for you to have to suffer the other ten players, playing at any one time, when you only support Mesut Ozil FC !

  18. Simon says:

    Iwobi is more likely to replace Sanchez than Ozil –

    Although Sanchez is at a much higher level, he and Iwobi are similar. Both like to dribble, take on defenders, willing to make mistakes – and get stuck in at all times.

    Ramsey is Ozils replacement.

    We need to replace Ramsey in defensive midfield – in short term that’s Wiltshire (imho) – and next season Lemar!

    We didn’t offer over £90m without reason!

    1. Nothing changed says:

      You see Lemar as a DM? I see Lemar play on a regular basis and believe me you don’t want to try him as a DM if you want to play him out of position try him as a nr 10 but not a DM.

      1. Simon says:

        That’s probably a fare point. I stand by the rest of it though

    2. Midkemma says:

      I think Nelson would be more of a Alexis replacement than Iwobi, Iwobi to me is a Welbeck… Great athlete and very good work rate and because of this he will have moments of brilliance which will get us supporters dreaming but in the end he will fail to consistently perform at that level.

      Nelson has an idea in his head when trying to turn players inside and out, twisting to make space to do something… Something we see from Alexis. Nice free kicks as well like Alexis 😛

      I do not get that impression from Iwobi, like I do not get that impression from Welbz, they aim to get past their man and then decide what to do… not what they want to do when they get past their man and how they should get past the man to do what they want.

    3. Frank says:

      The most important position Arsenal need to strengthen is defensive mid but not at the expense of Ramsey. Xhaka is the one that needs to be replaced. Ramsey is our most dangerous midfielder so he should play further forward. I would play Ramsey in front of Wilshere and the best defensive mid we can buy in January.

  19. Uchman says:

    How does ozil lacks end product? Since ozil came to arsenal no player has more assists 42 than him in epl,no player has completed more passes than him in d final 3rd,no player has crested more chances than him and no player has completed more crosses than him, it’s quite unfortunate we have a bunch of ingrates as fans, who won’t stop @ nothing to destroy every value in arsenal, arsenal were trophy less for over 10 years with d likes of Ramsey and Wilshire buh since ozil came around,he has helped us to achieve 6 trophies in d last 4 seasons,bcos we beat d likes of West brown and bate without ozil has made ozil an absolute idiot? Have we ever played better without him? We beat liverpool 3:0 with ozil man of d match,we beat Chelsea 3;0 with ozil man of d match ,we beat man u 3;0 with ozil man of d match,whom r u pple deceiving? D same u will destroy d confidence of iwobi with one bad match,its pathetic when guys who knows little or nothing about football will be moaning every day here,r u guys not tired?

    1. FreemMAN says:

      i totally agree with you Uchman

    2. jon fox says:

      Six trophies? Which would they be then? I remember three Cup Final wins but that leaves 4,5, and 6. Care to explain. And please don’t insult our intelligence by claiming Community Shield or Emirates Cup either!

      1. Midkemma says:

        I count 4 IF you include the community shield, Jose would so why not count it XD

  20. jon fox says:

    Surely the real truth is that on pure talent alone, Iwobi is a raw but distictly promising virtual beginner but Ozil is hugely talented but shows it’s effectiveness in only around 25-30% of our games. Iwobi at 21 will surely develop and improve and wants to fight for his Arsenal shirt. Ozil is moody, sulky with negative body language, is on huge (unearned, current wages) and still wants a huge increase to even consider staying. For me, Ozil must be sold in Jan for whatever monetary value he still has. Iwobi, is at present , only a half decent squad player who will sometimes play. Conclusion? Right NOW, neither is regularly effective enough to play in a side that supposedly sincerely believes (unlike me) that it has a title chance. I have always lived firmly in reality land and refuse to big up non productive players, whoever they are, however much or little they cost, or from wherever they came. All these factors are irrelevant. ALL THAT MATTERS is are they doing the business? Regularly?

  21. Vlad says:

    People who say that Iwobi is better than Ozil should really have their heads examined. He’ll end up at ManU, and they will tear everyone apart. Lukaku/Rashford/Martial/Ibrahimovic vs Lacazette/Giroud/Welbeck/Walcott. I like our guys, but who do you think will fair better up front with Ozil right behind them? Matic/Fellaini combo in the middle is not exactly Xhaka/Ramsey or Xhaka/Elneny. Strong, powerful, and certainly not as reckless as our guys. So people can criticize Ozil all they want but truth of a matter is that he always lacked proper support at Arsenal. Give him what he needs, and he’ll shine like he did at Real Madrid. Iwobi in the meantime should sit back, relax, and learn from the master. Unbelievable. I won’t be surprised one bit if the same people who are screaming for Ozil to be sold, and for Iwobi to take his place are the same ones that were praising Ox and his “contributions” to the club.

  22. Vijay says:

    our new formation needs a winger not a #10 playing on the wings. The mesut ozil experiment has failed, wenger didn’t surround him with proper DM and a striker(yes we have laca now) when he joined in his prime.

    1. Midkemma says:

      New formation has 2 ACM, not a RAM and LAM, that is the 4231 formation.

  23. Midkemma says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Iwobi will be our Welbeck in a few years time???

    The kid is a great athlete but he isn’t a great footballer, he has moments of brilliance due to his athletic ability but the same can be said for Welbeck.

    Send the kid out on loan and force him to become the loan team star player.

  24. Uchman says:

    3 fa cups and 3 community shields I know they r not trophies if it’s won by Arsenal buh they become trophies if it’s won by another club!!

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