Mesut Ozil doesn’t do enough off the ball to fit into Unai Emery’s system at ArsenalDecember 8, 2018
MESUT OZIL isn’t getting a look in at Arsenal and it’s no surprise, he just doesn’t do enough off the ball to fit into Unai Emery’s system.
The German midfielder has suffered more than anyone from boss Emery’s arrival, despite being one of the best playmakers in the Premier League.
This new-look Arsenal is all about intensity and pressing from the front, things that are not Ozil’s strengths.
Emery has changed from a 4-2-3-1 to a 3-4-2-1 recently and it has worked a treat.
Earlier in the season, Arsenal had developed a bad habit of getting hit on the counter-attack.
When playing four at the back with the full-backs pushed up, huge spaces were left down the sides, leaving them far too open.
But Spaniard Emery quickly identified this problem and reacted — as the average position maps show, having three at the back closes those glaring gaps.
Emery likes his teams to press high, looking to win the ball quickly.
Or they will force the opposition to go back to the keeper to get rid of it in a hurry, so they are unable to counter.
most read in Arsenal
Arsenal aces filmed passing out in hippy crack binge at wild bash with 70 girls
The new system allows them to defend with five — the three centre-backs plus the two holding midfielders — and attack with five, with the width being provided by the full-backs.
To do this successfully everyone needs to be in sync and know their roles inside out.
If one player doesn’t do his job properly then you break the chain and allow the opposition in — hence why Ozil isn’t playing.
In effect, Arsenal have two presses.
The front five will press high in unison as soon as the opposition win the ball.
But if that first press is breached, they still have another block of five behind.
They’ve proven to be a great partnership but I don’t see an issue myself.
That option is always there for Emery, yet French striker Lacazette is also a great option coming off the bench.
Arsenal’s subs have scored more than any other team’s in the league, with half (17) of the Gunners’ goals coming in the last third of games.
Their fitness is at a different level than under Arsene Wenger and they keep going for 90 minutes. Having a finisher like Lacazette to come off the bench will prove invaluable for the rest of the season.
Most Read in Sport
Two US baseball stars killed in car crash on way home from game