Connect in the back of the net

As another crazy transfer window passes, we evaluate how each team has done.

Unsurprisingly, people are saying that Arsenal have had the worst window.  It all started off so well with the signings Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac.

Then, all of a sudden, it went downhill.

With players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gabriel and Wojciech Szczesny departing the club, and Alexis Sanchez almost completing a move to Manchester City, only for it to be cut off last minute, it’s been a poor window for the Gunners.

Another player who was rumoured to leave was Mesut Özil. The German’s contract runs out at the end of the season, and in January he is free to talk with European clubs. Here are a couple of reasons why Arsenal should get rid of Özil.


His Work-Rate

Something that has become quite apparent over the past few seasons is Mesut Özil’s work-rate.

Although you cannot underestimate the amount of goals he’s been involved in since his arrival at the Emirates, he needs to learn how to track back.

Numerous times last season, in particular in games against the likes of Bournemouth, Watford and Everton, Özil would always be spotted at the other end of the pitch or on the halfway line, throwing his arms in the air and acting like a child.

It’s quite a simple theory, the more players you have back to defend, the harder it is for the opposition to score. Players like Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez for that matter, need to come back and help out.

Let’s take Santi Cazorla as an example. Cazorla is a magnificent player who has everything. The creativity he brings to the team is remarkable, and in my mind, Cazorla is a far better creator than Özil.

Yet, Cazorla had a work-rate. He would come back time and time again to help out the defence, and when he had the ball, was the catalyst to launch a counter attack, and it’s such a shame for Arsenal that Cazorla has this terrible injury record.

Özil, as one of the best players in the Arsenal, needs to track back and help out, and if he can’t figure that out, then it’s time for him to move on, as he needs this quality if he wants to achieve winning a Premier League title with Arsenal.


It would allow Arsenal to play 2 up front

Because Arsenal have Mesut Özil, they need to play a certain style of football. As a consequence, Arsenal can only play one up top, which is baffling!

Arsene Wenger has a partnership made in heaven in his possession in Olivier Giroud and Alexandre Lacazette.

It’s a ludicrous decision to only play one of them. How can Giroud be the first choice striker for France while Lacazette starts on the bench, yet when it comes to Arsenal, it’s vice versa?

Giroud is the perfect man to knock balls down to Lacazette, who is the perfect poacher to get decisive goals for the team. It’s a no brainer; they must start together for Arsenal.

This would mean scrapping Özil, and that’s fine!

Wenger could play a very good 4-4-2 formation, with the right players in each position.

Petr Cech in would start in goal. Hector Bellerin can play right-back with Saed Kolasinac playing left-back. And, with a centre-back pairing of Koscielny and Holding, the defence already seems better looking than a 3 at the back defence where full-backs play at centre-back.

You can have Walcott playing right-midfield and Sanchez playing left-midfield.

Walcott has been flip-flopping around playing as a wide player or a striker and Sanchez would need to be integrated back into the squad. But, what frightens opposition defences is speed, and with these two out wide, it will cause problems for Premier League defences.

In centre midfield, Wenger can play, as usual, a pairing of Xhaka and Ramsey.

In my mind, Ramsey needs to be in that midfield. If Wenger tells Ramsey to be the more attacking midfielder out of the partnership, he will perform, as he does for Wales.

Xhaka then can operate as a deep lying midfielder, who has good interactions with his defence, and if needed, can be pushed up when needed. If Wenger feels that Xhaka can’t do that role, the players like Elneny or Coquelin could fill the role.

Then up top you would have Giroud and Lacazette.

It’s just a matter of putting round pegs into round holes, and if it’s without Özil, then so be it! Unless Wenger can convince Özil to play a deeper role with a bit more focus on defending, there is no place for Özil in this squad in my opinion.


Criticising the Legends

This week, Özil spoke about the criticism that he’s received from some of the Arsneal legends.

On his Facebook page, Özil said the following: “Although criticism is something that all football players have to deal with, I nevertheless expected legends to behave like legends: my advice to these former Gunners: stop talking and start supporting!”

And, I can’t be the only one to think that this is a load of rubbish!

If Özil feels this strongly about Arsenal, surely we would have signed a new contract at the Emirates. But he hasn’t!

Secondly, Özil is in no position to criticise any Arsenal legend. What the likes of Ian Wright, Emmanuel Petit and Thierry Henry have done for Arsenal is on an entirely different level to what Mesut Özil has done for Arsenal.

If they feel the need to criticise you, then you prove them wrong on the pitch, not on social media with a couple of pictures with the FA Cup. It’s a matter of step up or shut up, and if Özil doesn’t step up, then there is only going to be more criticism coming his way.


The Verdict

Although I’ve been slating Özil badly, I do have to admit that his numbers are unbelievably good.

The amount of assists that he’s provided hasn’t been bettered by anyone since his arrival in the Premier League, and that’s mightily impressive.

Yet, I just don’t think that’s good enough if you don’t have the right attitude and desire, and I don’t think Özil has the right desire to play for Arsenal anymore.

Arsenal should have cashed in when they could, early in the window. Now, Arsenal are stuck with Özil for another season, and unless his attitude towards Arsenal changes, it’s going to be a long season for the German.


Written by Sion Misra

Follow Sion on Twitter @sionmisra

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