Arsenal cannot rely on Alexis Sanchez, while Mesut Ozil is being put to waste in Arsene Wenger’s current system

What Did Wednesday Night Teach Us?

Alexis Sanchez

Wednesday night was a great buzz if you were around Highbury and Islington during, it was a great night out for me personally I must say. We’ve finally been able to witness our most fluent display and it came at the expense of a racing heart.

We were an awful lot quicker than we have been and I’ve said before that as long we have at least two quick players in the team, against Besiktas of which were Alexis and The Ox, we can get on the front foot, we started the game brightly.

A lot of positives to take from last night no doubt, I do want to speak on what I believe we have learnt based on Wednesday night however.

Jack Wilshere was fantastic for me, something I was delighted to see as I keep finding ways to justify his lack of form but in the build-up to this week I was always certain this game was going to be decisive for Wilshere and it’s obvious why he performed a lot better, due to Aaron Ramsey’s absence.

Now I do believe they will work well together in the future for us eventually, I’m fully convinced of that but for now our best formation is the 4-2-3-1 it’s where we’re most comfortable and where we can utilise the vast majority of No. 10’s at the club.

Wilshere and Ramsey both operate best sitting at the base of that midfield placed with a more defensive-minded player. This allows them to both be the deeper ball carriers driving into the final third. Wilshere’s link up play is better than Ramsey in deeper areas of the pitch but Ramsey is a lot cuter than Jack in the final third….. pause.

Jack was sensational there, he seems to have gathered his burst back, and his agility in tight spaces, he lost the ball an awful lot of times of course and you’d have to believe he can only improve from now and start to reach the potential we all know he possesses.

I’m curious to see how he carries this form on to the weekend when Ramsey’s back in the team.

SANTI CAZORLA IS BEST IN THE MIDDLE! Come on how long have I been screaming about this it was absolutely no coincidence Santi dictated the game a lot more than he has for about a year and a half. He also pressed quite well and got stuck in which was good to see.


This raises an issue for Ozil however. To see the best of him we really need to play him in the No. 10 role this is a fact. He’s way too good never mind expensive to just ‘squeeze him in somewhere’ the team needs to be built around him I believe and it’s best to do even at Santi’s expense simply because Ozil is a lot more gifted.

It was awfully strange seeing Ozil trying to drive at defenders at the byline, he’s very good at drifting out there and retaining possession whilst taking on opponents but primarily basing his game on wing play is a pure waste.

Unfortunately this could see Jack dropped too but with our injury record he’ll play more than enough, well unless he’s out himself of course.

Alexis the answer up top? No.

He was very good last night he was absolutely everywhere. I’m so excited that we finally have a player cut from the same cloth as your Luis Suarez’s and Seregio Aguero’s, basically your modern day top class South American forward.

The thing is with these players is that they thrive off a partner, Aguero has starred alongside Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo whilst the SAS partnership was well documented. We don’t play with two up top and actually can’t afford to with the amount of No. 10’s at the club.

Alexis was brilliant last night because of his all round game not particularly his centre forward play because he doesn’t quite hold the line for us.

For me his best position should end up on our long-term luxury left wing, the throwaway position where No. 10’s have been forced out there in order to have their presence compensated. Tomas Rosicky, Samir Nasri, Andrey Arshavin and Santi just to name a few.

Sanchez can make this role his and I think it’d be his best for us. His two most positive displays were from Wednesday night and the first leg of this tie. He was great last at the Emirates because he played as a false 9 and was able to link up with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere in attacking areas as well as travel with the ball.


In the first tie he was solid because he could drive at full-backs but his distribution was limited in having to assist Olivier Giroud. On the left he’d have the opportunity to link up with our No. 10 and main striker as well as coming inside and troubling defences, being able to shoot on sight as he’s scored some remarkable goals in the past.

This would give him a lot of attacking freedom and we’d be more dynamic with a direct player as opposed to usually having a creative player there.

Our best attacking quartet overall at the moment I’d say would be Giroud through the middle with Ozil behind him, people are unconvinced on the effects they have on each other but the thing they both have in common is they thrive off pace and direct players besides them, therefore Theo Walcott, our most productive attacker (assists and goals) don’t forget comes back on the right whilst Alexis can offer threat on the left I think our attack would be great.

It’s just a shame we won’t see them together at the same time at least until New Year.

To conclude, I’ll recap on what I believe we have learnt then from last night.

  • Our best formation is the 4-2-3-1, Arsene Wenger must make bold decisions if he wants to maintain our fluency.
  • Ozil is NOT a winger. People will point at the World Cup but Germany are a lot more functioned than us to allow Mesut more freedom to stay forward and drift into other areas.
  • Wilshere and Ramsey are at their best in the same position of a 4-2-3-1
  • Alexis may do a job but is not a lone striker
  • Santi is best in the middle
  • We still need a forward

 Subomi Oguntoyinbo

8 Responses to Arsenal cannot rely on Alexis Sanchez, while Mesut Ozil is being put to waste in Arsene Wenger’s current system

  1. steven unwin August 29, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    I wonder if wenger as ask sanchez where he would like to play.

  2. Colin August 29, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    I pretty much agree with most of what you say especially about Ozil and Alexis. Both of them are World Class players and AW should play them in the position they are best at. For me Ozil is a No.10 and Alexis is our off the striker goal scoring No.7 as you suggest. I would love to see Wenger try Campbell in the front role. I think he showed some real skill at the World Cup at this position. He held the ball well, played with his back to the goal, distributed the ball superbly on many occasions, and knew when to turn on the centre backs and take them on. He was the joint most fouled player at the World Cup because he knew how to draw them when not supported, but it would mean, as you say, having to drop more than one of our other No.10’s. We just cannot play with 4 or 5 players who want to play in the same piece of the field especially when they are not goal scorers.

  3. peter tosh August 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    giroud is a good CF for tottenham but not for a big club like arsenal!
    Traditional striker shoud be the level of falcao/cavani/ibra/lewandowsky they should be scoring like a joke..(barca)gadiola opt to use all modern/false strikers unless he has a deadly natural cf(lewandowsky)

  4. Scott Von Gooner August 29, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    I agree completely with everything. Ozil is possibly the best #10 in the world and shouldn’t be out wide. With Walcott coming back and Sanchez out wide left it could be a formidable attack for sure. Plus with Sanchez’s work ethic, it will make Gibbs job a little easier and his game more effective. Of course with this whole set up what do Arsenal do until January? Nice read.

  5. Savage August 29, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Lots of good points, but I have to disagree on both fronts:

    – Ozil did a lot of the right things on the wing, and he’s fine there – his main problem was simply that he made all the wrong passes for Sanchez and his mates, which is going to be a problem wherever you put him. He was using his pace and trickery to beat men, and I was happy with him on the wing – he’s that good that you use him where you need him.

    – Sanchez is going to be great at CF. Of course he lacks height, but like Aguero his mobility allows him to make the yard for the shot when the defence is packed, and as we know from YouTube, he uses terrific innovation to get his shot away. The one key is that the team needs to give him balls to feet or into space – the game plan will have to change, no lumping it up in the air like we do for Giroud.

    • Scott Von Gooner August 29, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

      Very good points Savage. Food for thought.

  6. a August 29, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

    I agree

    ozil needs to be playing as playmaker

    carzola should be a sub, its about time we have quality on the bench also

    sanchez, walcott,and OX should be upfront, all three have pace and have the ability to switch positions

    Ozil will benefit with the pace also.

    Giroud should be a bench player, bring him on with 30 minutes left

  7. mo August 29, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

    Ozil is the laziest player i have ever seen, no way he should be chosen ahead of Carzola

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