How can toothless Arsenal cope without creative Cazorla

We can complain too much about the clinical side of the game from Arsenal this weekend, as the equalising goal headed in by Olivier Giroud just before injury time came from our one and only shot on target from the Premier League away game against Manchester United.

Having just one shot on target, however, is not the way to win a game and more often than not it would see Arsenal take nothing at all. And despite Jose Mourinho telling Sky Sports that he thought his team had been brilliant in stopping us produce our usual creative game, the fact that the possession stats were pretty equal tells a different story.

Maureen said, “We were the best team by far. I don’t want to say they didn’t want to win, I prefer to say they had no chances to win.

“They could not be Arsenal the way they normally play. We were phenomenal from a defensive point of view.

“The way we pressed, the way we were very strong, the way we controlled their counter attacks, the way we controlled their best players. We were phenomenal.”

I am not so sure about that Jose. I think it is more true to say that the Gunners were poor and despite enjoying nearly 55 percent of the ball we only managed to create three chances. Okay maybe Alexis Sanchez would normally have scored with his first half header but you would expect him to get a lot more chances than he did.

Mesut Ozil had an off day but I think the biggest problem was the absence of Santi Cazorla who normally runs things from the centre and is often the player to begin a move that leads to a goal. There is no word of when the Spaniard will be back in action though, so Arsene Wenger needs to find a way to cope without him.

Is the answer to play either Ramsey or Xhaka instead of Elneny? Or do we need to take the risk of losing some steel and dropping Coquelin to play two of the more forward thinking central midfielders? I do not think the boss will do that on Wednesday as a draw with PSG is good enough to keep us on top of the Champions League group but how do you think Arsenal should set up to cover for the creative ability of Cazorla?


Tags Ozil Ramsey Xhaka


  1. ThirdManJW says:

    Dropping Coquelin should not even be up for discussion, he’s been one of our best players this season, and the DM position is vitally important because of the way we play. I would play Xhaka, as he can be a deep lying play-maker, and he can score. Play Ramsey if you want to keep losing possession, and although I like Elneny, he’s tailed off.

  2. citrenoogeht says:

    This is the reason why letting Jack Whilshere go out on loan was contentious.

    1. Krish says:

      i dont understand how having an injured cazorla and an injure wilshere is better to have an injured cazorla and a loaned out wilsher ; 😛

  3. Juhislihis McLovin says:

    If we really are playing like this because of Santi’s absence, then we are just a one man team. Which is sad.

  4. Twig says:

    Xhaka should play whenever Cazorla is not available. He’s not quite the same player but then. Alternatively, Wenger might consider returning the OX back to central midfield. Not the best option, but better than Elneny in my opinion.

  5. Dennis says:

    I don’t like sanchez dropping in deep to get the ball, what he does is bring defenders closer to the ball, he doesn’t take players on or nothing, just wiggles about and passes it off.

    He needs to stay centrally and try to get in behind defenders at every opportunity which requires a lot of discipline, patience. He needs to be TOLD if you drop this deep again you’ll play on the wing next time, this is ridiculous. Ramsay should only come in to give Ozil a breather or if the game needs a box to box player because we’re chasing the game, other wise keep him on the bench.

    Santi will be back soon after his injection 😉 but until then i would try Xhaka there see if he has a better game and paulista for Jenko.

    1. Jim A says:

      Sanchez is much more effective with space around him. Coming deep is how this team plays.

  6. Wilshegz says:

    that is a question already answered with Xhaka as the DLP.
    Wenger just intentionally spoiled what was going well in midfield by dropping Xhaka n Iwobi. I’m pissed

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