Arsenal are in a new era under Unai Emery, and at present, it doesn’t look like Mesut Ozil is directly involved in the Spaniard’s plans. The Gunners are moving forward at present, and despite their inconsistent form, it’s evident that Unai Emery is building something special.
Arsenal enjoyed one of their best performances of the season over the course of the weekend, with the Gunners demolishing Chelsea at the Emirates. The Blues are in a tough moment, but Arsenal deserves all the praise for limiting the Blues, given the quality at Maurizio Sarri’s disposal.
One notable absentee was, of course, Mesut Ozil. He was on the bench and didn’t feature, and that doesn’t bode well for his future. Emery has since indicated that the German is a part of his long-term plans, but his selection choices speak volumes.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Arsenal can utilise many of their main players whilst still giving Ozil a chance, and in truth, including Ozil in a 4-1-2-1-2 formation could allow the club to make the most of the talent that is currently at the club.
In goal, Bernd Leno is the only real choice. The German has looked pretty good between the sticks, and though it’s still unclear as to whether he’s the long-term option that Arsenal need, he’s certainly worth giving another six months to prove himself. He was great in Germany, and he’s had moments of brilliance already this term.
In defence, Sead Kolassinac continues to prove himself at left-back, whilst the duo of Sokratis and Laurent Koscielny were simply brilliant against Chelsea. Hector Bellerin, if possible, would start at right-back, but given the concerns over his current injury status, Ainsley Maitland-Niles could come in and make an immediate impact if required. This defence has the perfect balance of attack and control, and it impressed against Chelsea.
Sitting deeper than any other midfielder could be Lucas Torreira. He’s proven to be a bit of a bulldog in the midfield, regularly serving as the man tasked with clearing up everything that is thrown at him from the opposition attackers. He’s quick, he’s aggressive – he’s got it all.
Further forward, Mateo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka would serve as the key players in this midfield. They’ll be expected to contribute defensively and offensively, but that shouldn’t be a problem. They both work hard and are solid with the ball at their feet.
Mesut Ozil, then, could return to his classic number 10 position. The German is fantastic at pulling the strings, and he shouldn’t have to move out wide to accommodate other players. He wouldn’t need to in this role, and he could be the perfect number ten to help provide for the lethal players ahead of him.
This formation would also allow both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to play together and in their preferred position – and that’s the perfect situation for Arsenal. Neither player deserves to be out of position or on the bench, and they’ve already built up a great partnership. Teams with two forwards are a bit archaic, but perhaps Emery could bring this back to the fore.
This team offers everything, whilst also retaining everyone in their rightful positions. Mesut Ozil could be back to his best, and this team would help him get back to that level.
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