Is it time for Arteta to move Zinchenko to the midfield?

Should we try Zinchenko in midfield? by Vinod

Well, first of all we are all sorry and saddened by the death of HM Queen Elizabeth, and we have to respect her and well done to the premier league to postpone the matches of the week. Such a historic figure and she needs that etiquette to be shown.

So, coming to football, we have got ourselves a welcome break because our injury list is high at the moment and they will have one more week to heal, and after one game against Brentford, hopefully most players are good to go against Tottenham. We are clearly missing Partey in midfield because the performances dipped in his absence, and we had to dig deep against Fulham and lost against Man Utd. We weren’t as convincing as we were when Partey was playing. Why can’t he stay fit, seriously. And Martinelli needs rest, and we need Smith Rowe to cover him up. So, we have to say in an Arsenal perspective, it is a welcome break.

We also need to see this game against PSV as an opportunity to see how well Zinchenko can adjust his game into being a midfielder, because he is world class, and he may be needed considering the injury record of Partey. So, this can be a good chance to test him out in midfield and see how our team ticks with him in the heart of midfield. Sambi is more of a ball distributor and lacks experience and quality of Zinchenko whereas the latter dictates the game play. So, it is a good chance to try him out in midfield. If he does well, we can play him against Brentford too and we have an extra world class midfielder ready to go. We should not consider Zinchenko as a left back, he is a midfielder who is versatile to play at left back, and we should trust Tierney at his position.

I’m sure if Zinchenko starts in midfield we will explode to form once again. With all due respect to Sambi, we are not going to do so well with him alongside Xhaka. By the way I really love Xhaka and Sambi too, but it is just that Zinchenko is a better player….

Vinod  (Green Lantern67)


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  1. No, because nobody can play as well as Zinchenko in the inverted LB position yet. Tierney still needs time to adapt to that role

    1. Zinchenko is a good player, we can’t dispute that…but for now with Partey unfit we need him alongside Xhaka…he’s played there for Ukraine. Sambi is too slow,holds onto the ball too much_I think he should be moved on.

      1. I thought Zinchenko also played on the left midfield area for Ukraine?

        I’m sure he can also play as a CDM. But that means we’d have to lower the quality of our inverted LB, because currently nobody else can play that role better than Zinchenko

        1. The current invertered lb that always Allow players inbehind him, Tierney is a superior defender to him, select them according to opponent, Tierney is not learning any Inverted role, he has been under Arteta for seasons so if there is a role Arteta wants him to play he must have adapted by now, he isn’t learning any Inverted role he is not a 17year old learning to adapt is is an established old school full back, if Arteta doesn’t fancy him he should have sold him

          1. Tierney could also play as an LCB behind Zinchenko, since he played in that position for Scotland

            Selling an injury-prone player like him is a decent idea, but Arsenal can only do it in January. The money could be used to buy Palmeiras’ Danilo

          2. Are you out of your mind we never used to have inverted left backs dropping to the middle till zinchenko came. We have been playing him as left back or wingback but not inverted stop blaming KT for not adapting to that from injury. Respect guys like him or quit commenting

            1. Come on man , what’s with the strong language. Yes we never used that tactics till we got zinchenko but am sure everyone now sees the benefit.
              It’s a tactics which allows us to have extra bodies in the opposition half. Which is the reason we have enjoyed more success against sides with middleblock tactics, unlike last season where we suffer to break them down.
              Only problem is I don’t think it’s a tactics to employ against stronger sides with intent on the same tactics against. I.e spurs and man united as these sides have got attackers that can cause serious damages each time they are able to break our press.

    2. I echo your sentiments coz Tierney was so rusty and lacked confidence last time out. Zinchenko should still operate as LB and may be introduce Fabio Vieira in that midfield alongside Xhaka

  2. Whilst I too agree that Zinchenko is a very good play I think it’s way over the top to call him world class, but I would like to see him in midfield. Against Brentford we will need good tacklers and tall players to cope with the threat from Ivan Toney, oh how I wish we had got him!

  3. I was half expecting Zinchenko to come in and take xhaka’s role in the side – the way xhaka is playing at the moment though, I just don’t see it happening. The current area of weakness is partey’s DM position, which i don’t think zinchenko is suited to at all – he’s not fantastic defensively, and could struggle more than Sambi (who I think has done reasonably well, despite not being very well suited to the role either). I’m not convinced White is the answer, but I’d look to him as a partey alternative before zinchenko, personally.
    OZ could be very good in xhaka’s position, supporting the attack a bit more. I suspect he has a bit more to offer than GX in attack, but granit is doing a great job atm, offering a nice balance.

  4. OZ is not convincing defensively, even before leaving Anthony wide open in the last game, he let Harvez and then Benzema slip in front of him and Man City promptly lost the two respective games and the championship. A nice guy, like him, but MC did not let him go for no reason. So it is better for him to be in an offensive role.

    1. Maybe Xhaka should return to the DM position while Zinchenko takes his place. Hope Granit doesn’t make those silly mistakes.

  5. My view is that MA is far more likely to be right in his call than any of us are.
    Who thinks they know better than our manager? Anyone? At all? Hope no one has the arrogance to answer “yes”!

    Nothing wrong with giving our opinions of course, but in case anyone actually BELIEVES they know better than our full time professional manager who has spent his whole life either playing, coaching or managing, I caution, do not embarrass yourself by answering “yes”!

  6. I expect all these combinations are tried out in training and the team that takes the field is the best option possible (taking account of injuries, rotations, suspensions etc).

    When Zinchenko arrived he was said to be versatile “able to play anywhere down the left side and even DM in a pinch”. That doesn’t mean he’s the best in the world at all those positions, just that he can do a good job in any of them.

    That versatility can be important in a squad when the injuries, rotations, suspensions kick in. Time will tell, we have no choice but to hope that the people who make these decisions get them as right as possible over the whole season.

    That’s not the same as “getting them all right”, there can be some situations where there is no right answer, it’s a case of doing the best you can (such a when both DMs get injured 5 games in).

    1. Yes and the opposition team is a factor to be considered . I would use our inverted left back against smaller sides ready to set up a middle block and the bigger sides ready for open games, while a more Conservative approach with an out and out left back (tierny) would be adopted for bigger teams setting up for counter (United, Chelsea, spud) .

  7. This is a brilliant idea and if it is not happening, I believe Zinchenko must have resisted doing it. I do think the manager discusses those things with them. The manager clearly sees that Lokonga cannot deliver in that position but there’s just no one else
    Clearly we have always missed Partey when he is unfit. This always exposes lapses in our defense. Go through all the games we played last term and you will see he was crucial to almost all our clean sheets.

  8. I would play White in Parteys position. Of course we always struggle when Partey is missing. I cannot understand why we did not do a player + cash deal with Real Betis. Bellerin going there & there DM coming to the Emirates. ( cannot remember his name)

  9. I think the Ukrainian will be very active in the middle rather than at the back.arsenal is wasting his experience as a left back

  10. Should have happened from begining .. might have been upset by injury to tiernay but he is returning to match fitness now .. zinchenko is clearly a superior option to xhaka in midfield … better vision and ball control more comfortable taking on players and no worse defensively as he has proven at LB .. probably faster though that is not saying much … lokonga has taken a bad rap here .. not altogether undeserved but he’s improving in my books and if partey isn’t available would play him alongside zhinchenko ..amazing that still after 6 years of emery and arteta we still haven’t got midfield right !!!

  11. Against Zurich did you notice how often Zin needes to step into midfield?

    Was thia tactic used due to lonkonga weakening our midfield and we needed the extra man, which imho weakened our lb slot during the match.

    So zinc needs to move into midfield in place of Lonkonga as stronger opposition will expose our lb slot.

    1. That’s how we were playing at the start of the season – when we had the ball xhaka went forwards, partey stayed back and zin and white stepped into CM positions. It’s not because partey or lokonga are weak DMs, it’s a tactic to cover spaces, prevent counter attacks and keep teams penned back.

      1. @Davi, you right but it’s obvious Lokonga is weak, he couldn’t cover, Man United goals were long passes through the midfield,
        Watch Partey’s highlights and see how he intercepts those kind of passes, how he joins the defense, these are things Lokonga didn’t do, Lokonga really let down midfield guards,
        IMO, I think White should take Partey’s place, this way xhaka is able to make forward runs.

  12. I think Teirney is still not 100% ready, so using Zin as LB will be better.

    Maybe playing him instead of Xhaka, “who needs a break, I guess,” is a better option?

  13. What I don’t agree with is calling Zinchenko world-class.
    Seems the word world-class is now been thrown around anyhow.
    Even GJ is not yet world-class but he’s getting there.

    And back to him playing our DM. I don’t think he’s good as a DM, if not he would have been tried at DM instead of Sambi. Remember Zinchenko is slow and not good defensively. His only attributes is his good control and ball distribution which fit Xhaka’s current position. I know I love Xhaka and with his current form, is not easy to bench him, but with Zinchenko’s control and distribution, I will like him to fight it out with Xhaka.
    And as a LB, I prefer Tierney to play ahead of him against the big boys and against some of our boogie teams.

    Him playing as LB and coming into midfield will be seriously exposed against the big boys. But he can play there against the smaller teams

  14. My opinion
    I think until Partey returns to MF we should start with Tierney at LB and Zinchenko with Xhaka in midfield….Zinchenko is a DM who can also play LB
    Like to see Zinchenko and Lokonga in midfield against PSV

  15. RW1, not a popular suggestion according to the majority of our fans, though I totally agree with you. But it seems that no one will topple the immovable Granit, so we’ll just have to hypthosise. yet evenually if arsenal want to move up another notch even Arteta will have to make this big call.

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