Saturday, December 3, 2022

Wenger: It’s not about where Ozil plays

Arsene Wenger has reiterated his faith in Mesut Ozil, and played down suggestions that playing him from the left hand side is the cause of all his ills.

The German has struggled to find his best form this season, something the Arsenal manager believes is down the World Cup exploits, and said if he had to do it again he’d pay the same money for the Real Madrid man.

“I would pay the money again. Of course,” he said. “Zidane went to Real Madrid for £82m and he played on the left. There was never a debate and he had to play there.

“Because in the middle they had Raul and Ronaldo he made room and played on the left. When you have the ball you play where you want and go where you want.

“He’s a confident boy. This guy has played for the German national team and won the World Cup playing wide and nobody found a word to say.

“He has been criticised during the World Cup and still played well and he was always in every single team. He can be a top player.”

Wenger also touched on the fact he’s got many players who can play in that ‘number 10’ role with Wilshere, Cazorla and even Oxlade-Chamberlain as potential selections.

“What is Wilshere but basically a No 10? He played his whole life at No 10. Somebody had to go out there. Is it Wilshere, Ozil or Ramsey, nobody is really natural out wide. So you keep good players out or you try to get them together.

“It is ambitious, but without ambition you cannot progress. We have that desire to play well altogether and I think we can really achieve it. We can have a fantastic team.”

Let’s hope that Ozil can find the spark to his season tomorrow at Villa Park, whether he plays at number 10 or out wide.

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Another Gooner

It’s easy to get frustrated with Wenger at times. But in the matters of players and their potential/ability, Wenger’s patience has usually proved right.

The African Panther

I just want you to know thay I agree with you totally. And I believe Ozil is top quality and will bounce back to his best. It’s just that i know of a few players who let Arsene down by not helping themselves….Denilson and co.

this aint FIFA bitches

Not always my man.

Jeffers, Denilson, Bendtner, Arshavin, Senderos, Park.

Another Gooner

I didn’t say always, did I?


But Özil was the worlds best classic number 10, and he offer no protection for the wing back as he got zero defensive attributes. So basically whenever Gibbs go forward, we are wide open on that flank ready to be exploited. Wilshere on the other hand got defensive fibers in him and likes to get stuck in, and he got a bigger engine than Özil. So in my opinion he ought to be a much better choice on the wing istead of pushing one of the best number 10s in the world out there when he is lacking some key… Read more »


Do you have a coaching certificate? If you don’t, get yourself one before typing trash


Do you have a trash certificate?

Al Gilmore

Just because a player’s nominal position is from the flank, doesn’t automatically mean they are there to cover in front of full back. In a 4-1-4-1 there will be a left sided centre-midfielder who could in theory be tasked to do that job. But it takes time for all that to click. We had it going all the way back to Overmars in the 1997/8 season where we were getting caught out with Overmars not tracking back. By the turn of the year, AW had got Petit to cover for him, PV4 to cover the middle and Parlour played narrow… Read more »


I just hope Ozil doesn’t turn out to be another Torres.


HIs scoring record is similar…

Arsenal Fan #2

In Arsene we trust.


In Arsene we bust. (Against top teams)


I dont see our 2-2 draw with city a week back as a bust at all

The Only Olivier is Giroud

Arséne knows… *gulp*

Giroud's mistress

He didn’t know when he turned down the chance to re-sign Fabregas!! FFS – when you pay £42m for someone you expect pretty much the finished article straight away. If he cost a lot less he would be on the bench – it’s been over a year and he ain’t contributed much (it’s time to cut our losses)!!!


He is the fucking finished article!! Only that he hasn’t peaked yet at Arsenal.


Ozil’s problem this season is he ran too much. Ozil is no Ramsey or Sanchez who got freakish stamina. I don’t remember Ozil did any kind of defending last season when he was deployed in the middle. But because he is deployed in the wing he need to do some defending which means more running and Ozil’s is not that kind of player.

this aint FIFA bitches

Bullshit. The guy gets paid 150,000 a week so a bit of running is a basic requirement.

If some young kid had of put in the performances that Ozil has this season, we would never hear from him again.


Even Messi has realised this season that if he doesn’t do a bit of defending Barca is going nowhere. Dortmund showed that, if a team has the right players, an intense high press can destroy even the best teams. And look at the material Arsen has got: Sanchez (best defensive forward in the world); Welbeck (Great athlete, great work-ethic); Ramsey (ditto); Oxley-Chamberlain (ditto); Ramsey (ditto); Wilshere (not quite in the same category, but will do his shift). If the above co-ordinate their pressing they will be too much for a lot of sides in the premier league (which don’t tend… Read more »

Up the Arse

Lovely to see comparisons between ozil and zidane being made, truly. But I think ozil needs a game off against villa with the ox slotting in for him. Ox’s high energy and willingness to do the defence duties will be of huge value I think. COYG!


If AW pull Ozil off after praising him, that means AW agrees with the crowd, which is bad for Ozil’s self confidence. So no, not gonna happen.

Just accept it, we gonna go through the whole season with this tactic.. Stay behind the team!

Edu's Braces

Love AW but talking about Zidane playing on the left is a crock of shit

AN Other

Strange words these. Let’s see if this turns out to be another ramesey type masterpiece.

The African Panther

Ozil and Ramsey need a breather, I think that is why there is a thing like squad depth. Let’s hope Rosicky, Santi and Ox get a game….this will get them in shape for the Capital One cup on Wednesday. My two cents though.


Or they can play Rozza there, with Ozil coming on as a sub

That Posh Old Gooner Chap They Call Albert

Ozil needs a few goals and a few assists and he will be back on form again. The problem is on current form I don’t see him getting that. I say wenger should do what he did with scz, drop him for a few games, play Cazorla (who has played well so far this season) and by doing that get ozil to be determined and come back with a bang. The way ozil is playing is not going to harm the team and could do him and Arsenal a great lot of good.


In theory it sounds like a good idea but scz and ozil are two different characters. Scz had the confidence to bounce back after being dropped. Ozil seems a bit fragile to me and dropping him might make things worse. Only Arsene knows him will enough to do the right thing.


Well. Wenger does give something away with those comments. I am playing three guys who like the same area, and my ambition is to make them work it out. Fine sentiment. But it is possible to call ambition also a naivete about the formation. Play two out of three each time and find a way to set up the team so they can shine? The players have to be less egotistical and buy into the fact that they will again get picked on saturday if they were excellent and won the game for the team last weekend or on tuesday/wednesday.… Read more »


What he said^


I feel the reason Wenger changed the formation is to accommodate Wilshere into the middle, which is hurting the team right now. Both Wilshere and Ramsay are b2b midfielders.

I feel if he wants to persist with Wilshere and Ramsay in the middle, he should move to a diamond formation, with arteta/flamini at the base and ozil at the top. Play sancez and welbeck as strikers.


I don’t care what the general opinion is, I really do love our boss. I miss the ‘only one Arsene Wenger’ chants.


Well the problem is, that right now *whispers* there are much better managers around than Wenger and on much cheaper wages as well *ends whisper*.


Or just build a balanced squad

Finsbury Park Gooner

Exactly. It’s one thing snapping up luxury players when they become available, or to boast about how great our team could be with all our 28346 attacking midfielders playing together, but perhaps if there was just a little foresight in the transfer market instead then we wouldn’t all be so concerned.


This reminds me of another player in the past that we played out wide continuously and his form dropped and dropped and dropped. Best position for his previous club and country was behind the front man. Ladies and gentleman I give you….. Andrey Arshavin.


The Villa have a fair amount of pace on the counter attack so i’d leave Ozil on the bench. Playing him on the left exposes Gibbs/Monreal far too often.


Or in the middle, with Cazorla or Ox on the left.


It isn’t Ozil, Wilshire or Ramsey – It’s Cazorla.

Jimmy C

I remember when Ramsey was played on the right wing for an extended period, and it was madness at the time. Arguably he wouldn’t have had his break out season without the consistent faith and playing time. I’m hoping the same happens with Ozil, because he has the class to play anywhere in the midfield. Sometimes a lot of things don’t seem to make sense at the time, but the fact is that no matter how much you practice new formations and positioning on the training pitch you won’t be able to analyse its success until you try it in… Read more »

Finsbury Park Gooner

I applaud your optimism Sir, and I hope you’re right.

Jimmy C

After waiting so many years to win a trophy, I’m not willing to throw away that feel good factor after a few months!!


Ramsey played well out wide, we actually looked our best when he was on the right and Ozil was in the middle, last season, early.


I’m not entirely sure, but wasn’t it J10 who played out wide, on the right


Honestly,it is foolish to criticize Özil,Özil is just a player who followed instructions from the manager. Wenger changed on formation is absurd when everyone is expect Arsenal to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Man city for the titles. Wenger needs to sends his soldiers to finish off the job not to make experiments all season in the expense of the top team like Arsenal. No matter how genius the manager is but take a gambling like this in top teams like Barca,Real Madrid,Chelsea,Man U you are jobless before you know it. In serious competent club no room for… Read more »


Like what AW said….there are thousands of analysts & managers who actually have never managed a football club…but has an opinion on every single incident, game, pre & post match. What he is saying is people always have something to say about Arsenal, his players….but he doesnt really give a damn!! He has his team of coaches and trainers….their opinions are that matter and what he gives a shit about….the rest to him are just noises. And I totally see his point. This is a guy who has managed a top side like Arsenal for so many years & with… Read more »


Just so you know, I thumped you down


Yes, getting a thumbs down from you must have really wrecked Nordin’s day.


I just thumb(p)ed you up!

Just so you know.


Me too!


I don’t think ozil is doing such a bad job. I do think he is underachieving. I’m right behind him though to succeed in an Arsenal shirt. He is a quality player and he will come good, its just a matter of time. Hopefully sooner rather than later. Fabregas chose to leave us for whatever reason and i’m sure if the timing had of been right he would be back here with us. We shouldn’t get hung up on the fact that he is with Chelsea. We bought arguable the best number 10 available at the time and Wenger paid… Read more »


Zidane signed for Real a year before Ronaldo.


Yes, and he played exclusively as a striker. He’s one of the best, most composed finishers I’ve ever seen, but he was never a playmaker.




Delete my reply arseblog!

Archway gooner

‘Nobody is really natural out wide’
Surely that’s because we haven’t bought anybody who’s natural out wide?


Indeed. If he wanted a winger instead of a nr 10, £42M is more than enough to get one.


Oz out, Ox in pls


I hate to sound like i have stolen an idea from Brenda Rodgers and Weird Neck Gaal but maybe a midfield diamond will be perfect for us. We just have the perfect players for it and it will also satisfy people who want to see 2 up top play for us. for example. At the base of the diamond. Arteta/Flamini. The left and right midfielders. Any 2 of Jack/Ramsey/Rosicky/Ox At the tip. Santi/Ozil Up front. Any combination of Giroud/Welbeck/Alexis/Walcott/Podolski/Campbell. This way everyone plays in their favorite positions and we can easily rotate without dropping the quality of the side. I… Read more »

bergkamp's hooped sock

Just trying to second guess; with our personnel it makes for a really great attacking formation, but I guess the defense shape will suffer. While attacking in the opposition’s half, our full backs are probably up giving width, #4 #8 and #10 in the middle playing triangles, with one of the forwards to help and the other one playing on the shoulders of the CDs. If we lose the ball in this situation–and teams in the PL counterattack furiously fast–we only have Arteta or Flamini to stop the counterattack, and everyone else will be running back furiously. My weak heart… Read more »

Gunner pundit

This formation 4-2-3-1 with
Ramsey and wilshere in the middle. Ozil attacking mid. A lot of pace on the wings and upfront. Sanchez and aoc on the wings. Welbeck upfront. Just tell wilshere to relax


Of course it’s about where Ozil plays. He does two things to affect the game: in our end he controls the ball in space and makes the pass to relive pressure, and the opponents end he makes the killer pass that opens the defense. What he doesn’t/can’t do is run at defenders, mark attackers, and tackle. In the center he gets more opportunities to affect the game the way he can and without those additional opportunities, his negative attributes have more affect on the game.


2 of ozils most impressive sprints for me. [1] his goal against norwich(giroud assist). He ran from just outside our box into norwichs box I watch that video a lot. [2] when he cleared the ball in our box vs dortmund. We were 1-0 up. Dortmund went on the counter attack and ozil sprinted back into our box and made a game saving clearance. ….I love you arsenal and I am not going to focus on your shortcomings I’m going to celebrate your successes.

Truth hurts

I don’t care who plays what anymore.
I just want the goals and the points.
I’ll always support and cheer them as they play…
But my confidence in this team has hit an all time low.


Square peg, square hole
Round peg, round hole
And repeat.
Stop rewarding mediocrity
And repeat.
replace any player if you have a chance to replace him with a superior player
And repeat.
Spend some fucking money
And repeat


I have a feeling that Ozil will be really really effictive today

Giroud's mistress

I have a feeling he won’t be at all effective and lots of people on here will be spending time afterwards attempting to defend the indefensible (i.e. why we spent £42m on him)!


Care to revisit that opinion now?

fresh prince

@nordin he is tactically stubborn, now that he has changed his formation, although its pretty much the same, he refuses or seems to refuse to tell his players what they should be doing. When they are attacking, that is fine but when it comes to defending each player has a defined role given to them by the manager. That arsenal players cock it up every time and its every player points to the manager as being the cock. He could amazingly try setting his team up to counter what the opposition will do but no he sets up in exactly… Read more »


eat your hat please


So how’d the hat taste?

Tibetan Gooner

Ok…as you says! I am gonna say nothing about him or them, just FAN, will follow EVERY MATCH till January and hope you are right about him, and simulating “ambitious” German’s world cup glory with our squads, then lets do it.


There you have it, gooners. AW thinks our debate is wrong. So he’ll keep playing Ozil out of form and out of position because he wants to shoe horn both Wilshere and Ramsey into the side. Whatever happened to man management? See, the problem with playing Ozil on the left while giving him the license to roam means that players have to watch his rotation and react to fill in the space he vacates and help out the full back he leaves exposed, all while playing against the toughest sides in the world. Pick your best players, pick a formation… Read more »


I agree with Wenger, as frustrating as it is for us to watch he has to give the guys the chance, so get behind the team and stop complaining!! It’s no different to your jobs at work.
I don’t remember Pires being the best defensively (albeit he scored a shit load of goals) but until the balance within the team is there just get behind the lads. COYG!


Isn’t that exactly the problem with this team at the moment in that we have too many players that play in the same position.
Play the bloke down the middle for fucks sake and let’s really give him the best chance of succeeding.


We’re all aware that Wilshere, Ramsey and Ozil aren’t natural wide players. We know that. That’s what this is all about. Play two out of three and then add a proper winger to the mix. We do have natural wingers in the squad, and I’d be very surprised if they didn’t do better on the wings than re-schooled central midfielders.

Hopefully, Walcott will solve this problem. Alexis (left) and Walcott (right) is such an obvious way to set up our team that even Wenger can’t do something weird with that. I hope.

fresh prince

^ course he can. Sanchez at RB with Walcott just ahead.

fresh prince

Anyway. Where is Theo? Guessing he has had a setback as he hasn’t appeared in any training photos and should have been in first team training 3 weeks ago.

palace gunner

The team must play well and if j10’s injury is serious who knows what our midfield would reflect in coming games its no problem doing a good formation but also to look at ozil he can play but every player tires how bout campbell playing coyg


The 4-1-4-1 is to accommodate our incredible strike force. And Walcott isn’t even back.

Guardiola tried to play 4-1-4-1 with Bayern last year, instead of their 4-2-3-1. It didn’t work well and he switched back mid-season to the old formation. Guardiola also played Lahm in the middle, even if he’s one of the best LB in the world, just like Wenger is playing Özil in the wing, even if he’s one of the best 10 in the world.

Maybe these gentlemen have some vision that needs time to implement. Time which the demand for instant result does not allow.


I think Wenger should either persist with Ozil in the number 10 role or have the balls to drop him.


I agree with Wenger it’s not about where Ozil plays. He put in some good performances on the right liast season. The problem is the FORMATION which completely exposes this team

Petit's Handbag

It does matter where he plays and he is good… But do not compare him with Zidane.
Ridiculous talk

Al Gilmore

I think if people are going to be critical of Wenger tactically and otherwise, then they at least need to be consistent with their thinking. Case in point is that nearly everyone says Arteta has not got the legs to be a defensive midfielder. Nearly everyone has said we needed to buy a CDM (cadbury dairy milk?) in the transfer window. So we have the double criticism of not buying the DM and then playing Arteta there. But, if Dick LAw is to be believed we had an agreement with a player (probably Carvalho) which fell through at the last… Read more »


Mr. Wenger, please be patient with US ungrateful fans.


Mr. Wenger, please be patience with US ungrateful fans.


Evidently Ozil is at very least psychologically more comfortable in the middle.

Albeit I do agree with Wenger that (IF) we are playing Alexis and Santi, Ozil has every option to swap positions into the middle as all 3 players are to most extent versatile enough.

Well done Ozil today. Hope it sparks him and he can answer the critics. Better to have Ozil than not. Even better if he is playing well.

Al Gilmore

by the way… ozil’s assist for welbeck came from the flanks…just saying

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