Should Unai Emery pick these three players against Chelsea?

Two weeks today we will face off against Chelsea in the Europa League final all the way out in Azerbaijan and the conversations have already started about which team Arsenal should put out against the Blues.

Earlier today I spoke with a couple of friends about that exact subject and being passionate Gooners we spoke our minds and were not afraid to give our opinions to each other and as you may have guessed we had mixed views on whether Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Bernd Leno should play.

I will state up front that I am no to all three, I feel that Cech deserves to stay in goal and I am no more nervous with him between the sticks than Leno. I do not trust Ozil to play his best game and I do not think that Unai Emery will either and Mkhitaryan is simply not in form and I feel he would be a distraction due to politics.

However, both my friends thought I was mad to exclude Ozil, they feel he is a big game player and that he is made for this game against Chelsea, they are of the opinion that his creativity and passing will open up the Blues defence but I countered that Emery had him as an unused sub when we beat them at the Emirates and so why would he then all of a sudden have confidence in him in Baku in such an important game?

As for Mkhitaryan, it was a unanimous agreement he should not play based on form and neither of them cared who was in goal though did agree that Cech will play at his very best to put one over on his former club.

So, we all agreed Mkhitaryan should not play, passionately split on Ozil and not really bothered about Leno.

What do you think? Should we play Ozil or even Mkhitaryan and what about Leno, should he get the nod over Cech?

Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Centre-midfielder: Mesut Ozil
    There is no two ways about it: Ozil has been poor this season.

    He has not seen eye-to-eye with new boss Unai Emery and was left out of plenty of big games, especially away – but that is because he has not stepped up.

    He produced one dazzling 45 minutes, against Leicester in October, but that was about it from him.

    Arsenal fans will still be wondering why Ozil is on £350,000 a week but Aaron Ramsey is leaving for free.

    1. Ozil is on 350 K weekly and Ramsey is let go, because he is more marketable and more popular in the world compared to Ramsey

      He took the advantage of Arsenal’s situation at that time. The fans were angry because of Sanchez’s departure and Arsenal had to do damage control by holding another fans’ favourite, Ozil

      1. I bet you if not for Ramsey contract situation, he will command more transfer fee than Ozil. Ramsey is a lesser talented player to Ozil but his hard work has given him a career his talent wouldn’t have given him. Ozil on the other hand has allowed is lazy approach to games take the better of his talent. If we really want to move forward, he should be the first to leave this transfer window

      2. Transfer window open officially tomorrow (5/16/19) after Europa Cup final, Ozil should be the first player to go out of the door even for free and save his wage in order to bring in atleast 3 good players.

  2. Ozil is not a big game player anymore. If he couldn’t split the ten-men Atletico Madrid’s defense at the Emirates in EL semifinal last season, how can he break Chelsea’s in this EL final?

    I’d prefer to keep Ozil as a super sub, because his finishing is excellent. If I were Emery, I’d assign Iwobi to play as a CAM in 3-4-1-2 formation, because he has the close control and the physical attributes to play hold-up like Giroud

    Maybe you think I’m crazy since I always mention Iwobi to play behind Aubameyang and Lacazette. Because he is similar to Giroud, both possess ugly statistics but could be crucial to the team in big and rough games

    I’m using Giroud again as an example: Chelsea won more games when he played, compared to when Morata played. Giroud’s skills and movements are limited as a striker, but he broke the opposition’s defense with his physicalities and his work rate, which benefited France forwards in World Cup. Iwobi could play similar role in the center and the boy is not shy to the opponent’s shoulder charges/ tackles

    1. While I agree with you that we cannot rely on Ozil in the big games, I don’t think Iwobi is the answer as a no. 10. Both are useless imho. Iwobi cannot provide the final pass to our two strikers and as much as he puts on a fight, we will struggle to create any chances if he plays as a playmaker. As for Ozil, he lacks grit and determination which makes it easy for opponents to overrun our midfield. This game was made for Ramsey and it is a shame that he won’t be playing.

      1. Iwobi doesn’t have to provide a perfect pass to the strikers. Ozil is renowned for that, yet it has been a long time since he created beautiful through ball to one of our strikers

        A no 10 doesn’t have to do playmaking if he doesn’t have enough skills to dictate the tempo. Okazaki was a workhorse in that position and his annoying pressing was very important in Leicester’s 4-4-1-1, which forced their opponents to make mistakes

        Instead of waiting of the perfect through balls that rarely come, we can use Iwobi’s pressing and dribbles to disrupt the opposition’s defenders/ midfielders. Then Arsenal’s forwards and midfielders can capitalize on the opponent’s anxiety

        1. But Iwobi gets dispossessed all the time. Our opponents can capitalize on that. Chelsea may not give him spaces to run with the ball which I why passing is also an essential part of the game. Anyway, I respect your confidence in Iwobi but if we want to be considered a big club, we need a better no. 10. Iwobi won’t cut it and Ozil is past it.

  3. Ozil has to play. The problem is that emery does not understand him, Wenger did. Sanchez thrived at arsenal because of Ozil. Don’t expect Ozil and Mata to defend.. Xhaka should defend but he is not and you blame Ozil. What did Xhaka do good defensively against Valencia? Nothing at all but you blame Ozil.

    1. Sanchez thrived at Arsenal because of Sanchez. Ozil had nothing to do with it. And Wenger understood Ozil? Ozil has only managed to have half a world class season at this club. We are six years in. Let’s stop pretending.

      1. It is difficult to convince a section of the fans that Ozil no longer has what it takes to be at a top club, his best days are behind him, maybe due to his age and other priorities in life other than football. If he was so good, why did RM sell him when he was at his peak? Because they knew that his teamwork and work rates were not good enough for a top club. And we fans blame all 9 other outfield players for his lack of effort. But do AFC have an alternative with Ramsey injured? Iwobi would be ok as a winger, not in central position. I would prefer Mhki due to his physical presence only. Hope those selected to play, give their best on the field and bring us the cup we have been waiting so long.

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