Why Mesut Ozil is a problem for Arsenal

Mesut Ozil is the problem for Arsenal by Toby

justarsenal.com Mesut Ozil GiroudSo before you all start flipping your lids allow me to explain. Yes Mesut Ozil is the problem with this Arsenal team at the moment, but rather the way the manager deploys him as opposed to the player himself.

Firstly lets establish what Ozil is, well he is a genuine number 10. He is not a winger or a midfielder, he is purely playmaker and creator of things and for my money is the best in the world at it. His stats for chances created this season stand alone and I feel no need to elaborate further.

So what’s the problem and how does it disrupt the whole team? Well Wenger in his infinite wisdom deploys him as a midfielder in a 4-3-3 system and due to the obsession Wenger has with the 4-3-3 it causes no end of problems. Ozil is what he is and that certainly isn’t a midfielder, and since we only play 3 in the middle straight away with Ozil as one of the 3 its basically 2. Now play Ramsey in the midfield and with his lack of discipline and incessant need to get forward it is now down to 1. Cazorla alongside Coquelin papers over some of the cracks but it still leaves us top heavy and light in the middle.

Its why teams have been tearing through us in the middle of the park all season, and why as soon as teams break on us they are straight at our centre backs. The 4-3-3 system also means are players are spread too far apart across the pitch to either press in numbers or hold there shape. We also subsequently struggle to dictate games or create genuine goal scoring chances from the midfield area. When was the last time we split a defence open with a pin point pass from the centre of the pitch the way Fabregas used too 3 times a game?

The system Wenger deploys is killing us, and his use of Ozil and total unwillingness to try a different formation is beyond a joke. We have a world class keeper in Cech, and in Ozil and Sanchez we have arguably the 2 best attacking players in the league behind Aguero. Set up with Sanchez up top and Ozil in the hole as a genuine number 10. Then pick your hardest working and most disciplined players to set up behind them in two banks of four. It really is that simple and before you dismiss it, it’s exactly how Leicester are going to win the league this year. Vardy up top, Mahrez in the hole, and two banks of hardworking organised nobody’s behind them.

Ozil is the worlds best number 10 and to deploy him as anything else is a crime against the game. The 4-3-3 system and Wenger’s constant attempts to shoe horn square pegs into round holes and accommodate his favourites is also costing us dearly. The middle of the park is where the game is won and lost and we have been getting railroaded there for quite some time.

2 disciplined banks of four behind Sanchez and Ozil would’ve won you the league this year. Only problem is to win the league that way would be an assault to the senses of our dear gaffer, to the point he would rather not lift the title than lift it that way.

Wenger putting players wants and needs plus his ideologies before tactics, team shape and trophies is just another reason to add to an ever growing list as to why he should walk away come May.

Ozil is not a midfielder and you certainly wouldn’t use you’re finest bone china to hammer in a nail! The whole team should be set up around him and he should have complete freedom to play. He shouldn’t be burdened with a single responsibility other than to create.

Last point, off topic as always, if we are to ever be considered a top premier league side again we need to hustle a fellow top club out of one of there star players. For years it happened to us with our best players and the club owes it to the fans to swing the door the other way and make a real statement of intent. Go get Aguero by what ever means necessary, and if it costs 100 million and 250 thousand a week in wages then so bloody be it!



Tags Ozil Wenger


  1. A false 9 just like Fabregas was for Spain and can do the same tasks as him but you need a high pressing team with the possibility of not getting injured along with the fitness levels higher then what Arsenal currently have. Teams in England are not interested to play football at the Emirates and it becomes boring for the fans to watch 9 players behind the ball. In order to have a team that can play as Ozil forward is by making the first 20 minutes into a high tempo score the goal and then bring the opponent out. I hope that when Watford come to the Emirates again Arsenal will need to do the what they failed to do in the F.A cup.

  2. Teams tearing us through the middle matter not if we can’t score to save our lives. Özil is not a goal scorer, he creates chances. More than anyone in the league. We, however, do not have the lethal forwards Özil’s chances require.

    Also Mertesacker, Gabriel AND Koscielny all have moments of madness in their play. They can go five straight matches playing extremely well, then on the sixth and seventh they do something completely unnecessary and idiotic. This is a huge problem. We should have a CB who can consistently play on his level. He wouldn’t even have to be as good as Koscielny on his best day. As long as this defender would keep level throughout the season.

    1. Gabriel scares me every time he makes a challenge i keep thinking he will get a Red card, i have felt this from his first game he always looks relay aggressive its his facial expression and body movements that makes me think this way, i’m not saying he is but he looks it and what is the referee thinking?

      On Ozil if some of the rumours are true and Ronaldo is thinking to go to PSG in the summer i think Ozil will force a transfer to join his old mate at PSG

      1. For sure dude, I don’t know whether I love it or hate it sometimes. Love seeing aggression, but you need to have some intelligence.

        @Juhislihs, every teams defence does that, they go a run of games solid, and then muck up in one or two instances. Most goals that are scored can be attributed to some form of lapse defending, the only reason why it’s more niticeable at Arsenal, is because you follow them and care about them. It comes down to who’s defenders can make the least amount.

        To the article, I have not seen us play that 433 in a good long while. We go with 4141 and 4231.

    2. @McLovin – I think Toby was suggesting to play Sanchez as lethal forward. I don’t think that is bad idea. Can not be worse than Giroud.

      Sanchez is not dissimilar in seize to Aguero and when in form, Sanchez could easily score 20-25 goals. He is just being played out on the left which is not his best position IMO.

      1. That is the best thing Iv heard over the entire of last month. Better than everything said in here, better than the anything from the media, and better than anything coming out of Arsenal. Alexis should have been tried out the moment Arsene seen he was having trouble beating players, and getting into dangerous areas. Ozil would have found him if he was the target-man. And the bonus would have been that we had Danny to replace him out wide, who in my opinion would have contributed better seeing as Alexis was really struggling. Amazed this was not tried out – Giroud was wasteful – Theo non existent – Ox injured – Alexis lost – Danny looking for fitness – Ozil in form of his career – I feel we would have given a better account of ourselves if it was tried out, and could it really have been much worse?

      1. Me too, when he says Wenger deploys a formation that does not support Ozil with his wizardry, then how is tht Ozil’s fault? the deluded one should be the one answerable there, just common sense

  3. He was sitted all day doing nothing

    suddenly its 4mins extra time

    And he’s on his feet signalling to the players “u got four goddamn minutes boys….wrap it up…wrap it up”


    (Arsenal vs watford)

  4. I have to say i tend to agree that Ozil can produce much more if used effectively. Ozil in a way is our Messi – You dont find Messi tracking back as much, yet he doesn’t get criticised for not doing so, cause his job in the team is to create and score and he does that brilliantly by reserving his energy to do so.I do understand the the PL requires alot more of players defensively, but Mahrez aint exactly a good defensive player yet he does his job for the team that’s most probably going to win the PL this season.
    Also agree that with the correct players around him, Ozil blossoms. Ramseys lack of discipline does cost us and doesn’t give Ozil the freedom that the Carzola/Coq partnership used to allow.

  5. Sorry, mesut has some skills and a great pass but he ain’t the best no.10 in the world. That guy was given that number by Ronaldinho and says a lot about the player as does 5 ballon d’ors.

  6. And I’m back.

    Was too depressed the past weeks I couldn’t find the courage to comment, I guess I should be used to this by now but sadly I cant.

    Charging the current tactics or formation wont improve Ozil or this team. There is just 3 things to do, Dump Wenger and most of his garbage squad, Kick out Stan, and Buy better players!!! Problem solved.

    I swear if I don’t see banners or hear of demo’s at now next EPL games WIN or LOSE I will go nuts, it will be all on you British fans. Save us!!!

      1. Of course, but knowing how stubborn Wenger and some of our fans are do you actually think the Board will flitch about what we say or do online? These people have to see and feel it first hand and doing it in there face. Look at what that one small banner at Hull did to Arsene, he also teared up in the press conference.

        One small demo is all we ask and lets see what happens from there.

        1. No I’m with you.

          More impact at or around the ground but we shouldn’t miss an opportunity to show our displeasure with what’s going on at AFC. Even if that’s just tweeting #StanOut

          If a lot of arsenal fans did just that it would trend and get exposure.

          But your right. Hit them in the pocket, protest and show we are not happy and NOT taking it lying down.

  7. I watch Borussia Dortmund regularly, and OMG would I love to see that kind of football with øzil directing the show. However, comparing the two attacking forces as of now:

    As an attacker, reus is better than sanchez, although they offer different contributions. Reus is more of a finisher, more functional as a striker per say.

    Aubameyang > any striker in arsenal
    Mkhitaryan > walcott/Ramsey

    Our midfield is superior, but the end product delivery men are quite inferior, except for sanchez, who is more of a hybrid finisher/playmaker, and thus somewhat excused.

    On topic: I see OP’s point, but I wouldn’t blame özil at all. The blame is as mentioned by op, the lack of another defensively dominant character in the midfield, mixed with incompetence in the end product. We don’t have consistent goalscorers. (That giroud/özil combination was excellent when it existed)

  8. I’m gonna be posting this a LOT:

    How to put pressure on Stan, the Board and conversely Wengers position.

    A basic guide on grabbing both the Arsenal Board’s or perhaps more importantly the Medias attention. Remember the fuss 1 banner made!

    1. Stop buying Arsenal merchandise

    2. Stop attending matches (watch the box instead). Scrap the season ticket or if ad hoc visitor to Emirates go to less games, miss just home games…

    The more sacrifice made in greater numbers will have the most impact.

    3. If you can’t stay away from a match but want Stan and his ‘Moneyball’ winning isn’t important mentality  then make a banner or buy one:


    A 76cm X 366cm pvc plastic banner costs £29.99 (chip in with friends?) or a 52cm X 91cm banner costs just £5.99.

    What to put on it? Some suggestions:

    Football NOT Moneyball

    Be creative…

    4. Protest (peacefully) outside of stadium on or outside of match days. Get connected with other Fans who want to see the back of Stan and ORGANISE.

    (Thanks to redDb10) this could also be missing the first 5-10 minutes of a match by waiting outside the stadium in protest.

    5. Voice your concerns on social media and share your activities (Twitter/Facebook/blogs etc..)

    Doesn’t seem like we have the power to do much but it’s all about the numbers. If AFC fans make a stand together we can effect the running of our club by raising awareness of our plight. 

    You must ACT as talking alone will achieve nothing. So if you really love the Arsenal DO something that will either A. Hurt the pockets or B. Get some attention to the cause (in a peaceful and  controlled way).

    Stan Kroenke see us as nothing more than one of several sporting investments, none of which have had any real success since his involvement. Stan not only doesn’t put anything into the club but takes money out of the club under the pretence of ‘strategic consultancy services’ and is more interested in Moneyball than football.

    Like he said himself, he wouldn’t of got involved if it was about winning championships!

    1. On the the 3rd article that you paste your message over, BEWARE that you’re going to be called a troll. I talk from experience.

      1. Thanks for the heads up!


        Can we have a sticky post that I can refer to that could be filled with info for those wanting to actually do something about the current regime?

        Or if I had an external site and posted my link here would I still be a troll?

      2. I think it’s great. There are thousands, maybe millions of people who’re not happy with the way arsenal is run, blaming either wenger or kroenke. In order to execute the wanted revolution, two things are necessary: 1) information to the masses and 2) a united front.

        1. That’s the spirit.

          Let’s not take it in the arse-nal and DO WHATEVER WE CAN to effect change or we can just whine amongst ourselves about how sh10e everything is and how powerless we are!

  9. The reason behind all Arsenal’s problem is only found one man. That is Arsene Wenger. Having a world class passer with out a clinical finisher is meaningless. Therefore, it is Arsene not ozil the root cause of the team. Arsenal are too predictable tactically and vulnerable at the middle and back.

  10. The 4-3-3 formation was only used in the Fa cup!
    The 4-2-3-1 is the Norm.
    Everyone apart from wenger can see that Without a quality striker, Ozil is being wasted at Arsenal and it’s fully understandable for Ozil to be frustrated with the missed opportunities that he keeps supplying.

    Whats done is done and the only right thing left for wenger to do now, is pack his bags and run!

    Run Wenger Gump… RUN!

  11. This article is terrible! It is shameful that we always suggest everybody around Ozil must be on the same level with him..
    Did we say that when Cazorla was our main no.10???
    The truth is Ozil is limited as a number 10, he is not a complete no.10…to cut it short, when Iwobi came on,he did what a complete 10 will do..he shot from outside the box and he shot well, that’s what Cazorla, Rosicky,Debruyne, Modric, Oscar, etc. Will do for you..
    Ozil creates chances yes, but that is sometimes not enough, he isn’t imposing enough..he gives up easily, I can continue….
    So as good as he is, he also need to raise his own game too, take shots, be a leader, be aggressive..well, maybe he is fatigued I dunno

  12. ozil is an unatural fit w girouds lazy style. watch girouds energy level and committment after watford went up 2-0, he became a factor, but too late.. why? why he does not have that energy & drive early in the match.

  13. “Why Mesut Ozil is a problem for Arsenal” ???

    On evidence. .. He makes our striker’s look extremely ?
    So yes, that is a problem!

    Either buy a striker who knows how to score goals,
    Or sell Ozil.. I’m sure that Ramsey would be pleased with the second option!

  14. Imo, we have a bigger problem that singling on player out and blaming him, it will be unfair bcos the whole team is not just clicking together…
    Something is seriously wrong with those guys…
    How can they all drop form at the same time.??
    Coq,Sanchez,Walcott, Giroud have all taken too long to hit form again even koscielny was a little off form at some point.the most consistent have been Monreal, Ozil,Cech,and Bellerin..if our bench is good enough and injury free we could have easily replaced all of them..Flamini and Arteta replaces Coq and Ramsey/Elneny, Wilshere allows Ozil to rest,and covers at RW too, Rosicky can play anywhere bar CF..but they are all not available, I think that has been a major problem too.We continue to use the same players all through..Welbeck is back and looks like a world class player because he is fresh and wants to make the Euros

    1. Doesn’t Walcott want to? What about Gibbs. He is trying hard. The ox….well nuff said.
      It’s about time we also had a new Wilshere setback isn’t it?

    2. @goonerboy
      Agree with you here…there’s something seriously wrong with this group of players and despite all the noise of “team spirit”…I reckon is a load of sh1t. That is a dressing room that is not together at all and to me it started after the Barca game. Then there was the “clear the air” private meeting between the players.
      So tell me – who is running that team and building the team spirit and togetherness and motivating the players? I see Arteta with the team on game day – i wonder what his role is now? Is he trying to be the one to keep the team cohesive? Who is the “spiritual” leader of this group? The go-to man the players will follow and listen to? It ain’t the BFG that’s for sure (in fact he could well be part of the problem). If it’s AW – then why have a private players only meeting?

      The performances since that Barca game have NOT demonstrated any real team spirit – the body language is terrible. There is pent up frustration which some players are finding difficult to control – Coquelin and Gab come to mind. (OT: Now with Gab – his lack of English, a predominantly right-footed CB playing on the left side, his temper and then all the other associated BS going on…he’s a ticking time-bomb unfortunately.) and well, this team is not together at all.

      I hate to say it…but I really fear there is far worse to come and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a raft of transfer requests at the end of the season.

      1. Transfer requests will happen no doubt. At least Sanchez and Ozil. But it will be worse. What Satan K said the other day about not buying the clubs for winning trophies will echo through the potential signings big time.
        I reckon it’s safe to say that Mesut and Alexis are the last big name players we’ll see in a while at Arsenal. Also, if we win the Wenger trophy, this will be the last time in a long time we’ll see that. Going full Liverpool is what is in the cards for Arsenal.
        Protesting would be nice…..

  15. i can`t agree with this article because it is not possible to buy ozil/fabregas type of player without signing a goal machine striker with them.if wenger did not prove stubborn by buying top striker, am very sure that we would have know the quality of ozil and we would have been in leicester position by now.did the board tell him not to buy player or is it possible for the board to give wenger 10mil or 15mil, in one transfer period, to spend.
    even if it is possible why can`t he do normal thing by
    CM solution – ramsey(20)+arteta(9)+flamini(10) = cazorla replacement
    DM solution – rosisky(9)+scezny(18) = coquelin replacement
    DC solution – metersaker(8)+gibbs(15) = kocielny replacement
    DL solution – debuchy(9)+jekinson(19) = monreal replacement DR solution – wellington silva(15)= bellerin replacement AM solution – wilshere(30)+gnabry(12)= isco/gotze/other quality player like them(ozil replace ment)
    CF solution -giroud(15)+campbell(15)+36 =striker.
    AML-walcot(20)+19= sanchez replacement

    1. Good assessment but unrealistic. We still require a decent English core and this approach may result in a messed up lack of depth issue.

    2. I reckon he was given 25m a year but as he blew all that on Sanchez he had no budget left for this year….

  16. I think these are the only teams that doesn’t have a striker problem..
    City..to some extent as Aguero is injury prone
    Chelsea, same as Man city
    Even everton don’t have a better striker on the bench than Lukaku,Spurs too don’t have any other than Kane, chelsea only Costa is trusted, City trusts Aguero only..whereas we have Giroud, Sanchez, Walcott and Welbeck..these guys are the ones letting us down especially this season..You would expect the four of them alone to be enough.but No..now Ozil doesn’t score much too.is it the formation, the tactics or what?

  17. I have said it time and again……let our fighters fight the fight for Ozil to come in the second and do the snipper work. …especially in the physically demanding games. Ramsey can come in the second half in no other place than in attack. We will be trashing teams 3-0, 4-1 etc on a regular basis.

    Bell – Mert\Gab – Kos – Monreal

    Coquelin – El Neny


    Campbell – Giroud – Welbeck

  18. We all know that our squad of player’s are more than capable of beating anyone on their day!
    Which goes to show that the problem lies with the man that prepares the team for each game!
    He talks alot about having Stability, cohesion and Focus, yet keeps producing aload of blah blah blah when it matters!
    Our team is physically and mentally weak!
    There’s no team spirit, let alone a fighting one!
    And that is evident when you only see 2 or 3 player’s that are actually trying, whilst the others are just going through the motions.

    Wenger is his own enemy and this time, he has defeated himself! … He will walk, if the old mother Hubbard cupboard goes bare at the end of the season. …

    1. So the players aren’t to blame? You are pretty much trying to say that all the time we won games Wenger did his job but every loss or draw we had he didn’t bother being a manager right? The players are at fault just as much as Wenger is! I’m tired of seeing Wenger out and people blaming him for off form players too, that is just being disingenuous or simply your hatred for Wenger has made you blind to obvious facts. When a team is doing bad everyone must take the heat, not just the manager. Was Wenger the one missing all the sitters and shooting straight at the goalie when everyone knows our players are good enough to score goals?

  19. I wanted more article pointing out faults in players instead of the usual WENGER OUT rhetoric but Ozil really? What about all the players he supplies balls to? Giroud, Sanchez, Campbell, Walcott, Ox?

    Also PLEASE let’s be realistic and honest with ourselves. Wenger isn’t the main reason we are not top right now, our striking force is. We all know at their best or even decent Sanchez, Giroud, Walcott, Ox can score great and simple goals. However for months now they’ve all been off form and have missed sitters or kicked the ball straight at the keeper. Sure Wenger has to answer for his stubborness in the transfer market and perhaps the abundance of trust he puts in his players, he is greatly at fault too but bad individual form is the main reason why we are not sitting on top.

    Currently Danny Welbeck is our only attacker i can trust to score a goal currently if you ignore his minute howler against Watford.

    1. I agree. I just cannot believe these players. Knowing that they had great chances to win the title and they play like schoolboys.. There is definitely something wrong in the dressing room…

  20. “Ozil is the worlds best number 10”

    Maybe… but have you seen seen Mkhitaryan’s stats this season? 14 goals and 13 assists in all competitions! In addition, he’s far better than Ozil defensively. He has always impressed whenever I’ve seen him play. Messi also plays more like a left-sided number 10 these days.

    1. Well, Micki plays with players such as Aubameyang, Reus and Gundogan whereas Mesut plays alongside players like Giroud, Walcott and Ramsey. That’s the significant factor. This is actually the first year in a big league Micki delivers, and he delivers big time. But he has by far created a lower number of chances.

  21. No, basically what you’re saying is that Arsene Wenger is the PROBLEM at Arsenal. – “but rather the way the manager deploys him”. And I agree.
    Mesut is not the problem, Wenger’s tactics are the problem. As long as we continue making 4th Arsene will continue getting paid £8 million a year and the club can ignore us fans, raise ticket prices, levy the account for their own benefits and bring in mediocre talent to ensure a mediocre Finnish. It’s sad but true. Unless us fans continue to make enough noise this will continue going on for a long long time. We should be one of the best teams on the planet, if not the best! “Thanks for the memories Arsene but it’s time to leave.”

    1. Mesut Ozil is in his best ever form, he is racking up the chances and assists. I think one would say he is doing quite nicely, clutching at straws for some new reason to attack the manager is low even for some on here. If Ozil is blowing everyone away well then he is not being deployed wrong. This article is nonsense, seriously Ozil is magic.

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