We expected it to be tough and it was tough, I feel a draw was a fair result considering how much we suffered down the left side and they hitting the frame of the post twice in the second half after they had equalized. This results leaves us 6 points from a rampaging Chelsea but the season is long and judging by the quality of the sides we are competing against some people have ruled everyone out of the race bar City and Chelsea.
The question is though, were City really better than us on the day? I don’t think so at all. For the first 20 to 30 minutes of the game we were playing some really lovely football and should have gone ahead with the Welbeck chance, as expected they came back into the game and got their goal but overall you could see that we were able to match this team. We just need to carry the same character when we go the grounds of title rivals, if City can come to our ground and play us with such ferocity then we need to learn how to do that too.
There were a lot of positives from the game top most of which is we did not lose and are yet to this season. Also Jack Wilshere’s performance yesterday showed why the manager is correct about where he should be playing on the pitch and not the deep lying role Roy wants to play him in. Jack chased, went in for tackles, scored and assisted a goal. Man of the Match performance for me yesterday considering how often he was a target by Milner and Fernandinho all through the game. While his decision-making at times with his quick passes needs some work, you know it will come with an extended run of games he is getting now.
The worrying bit however is Ozil and I know this is not a popular topic to touch on as fans are split right through the middle when it comes to his performances. This is now the established sequence of events;
- Arsenal release team sheet
- Fans immediately try to work out the formation
- Fans notice no Cazorla, which means Ozil is on the left
- We all moan about how Wenger is killing Ozil by playing him on the left
- We moan all through the game about how Ozil is ineffective because of no pacy strikers in front of him and how he is being played out on the left even though by now he has drifted to the middle and the right.
- Game ends, Ozil is ineffective we blame Wenger
- Chelsea game starts, Fabregas delivers his regular dose of assists
- With every assist we talk about how Ozil is rendered useless by Wenger deploying him on the left and if that was the case why didn’t we sign Fabregas .
- Then we start all over again with the next football game.
There is a lot of truth in all the itemized points but at some point we might have to look inwards and ask ourselves if really our 42million signing is really only effective from one position on the pitch. There are two ways to look at this. Firstly, Wenger is trying to teach Ozil something, what it is I do not know and most likely never will but there is a track record here.
Wenger does it with a lot of players, he did it with Fabregas when he played him deep lying before he advanced forward which gave him a good grasp of positioning and awareness of the pitch in front of him, he did it with Ramsey when he played him down the left and even right back a few times and we can see the result with Ramsey, last season Wilshere played a few games down the left side and even the right side of the pitch and he scored playing from both positions against West Brom and a Champions League game I can’t be bothered to go seeking out.
Ramsey looked terrible when deployed down the left but Ramsey’s greatest talent now is knowing where he should be on the pitch, how to make those runs into the box and his ability to do the simple things that produce magical results. Did the education he got playing out wide help? I am not as skilled as the likes of 7amkickoff to decipher that but Ramsey is a better player today.
The last sets of paragraphs were really set out to discuss Ozil but I have ended up talking about three other players that are not him. That is the problem, rather than looking at Ozil we always look everywhere else largely because he had a reputation of performing before he joined us.
It’s the runner in front of him, its being played out left or being played way too much, at some point we are going to run out of excuses and face the cold hard fact which is Ozil should be doing better especially in a system like Arsenal which allows everyone to drift out of positions. Sanchez didn’t start out on the left but that magnificent volley was scored from there. Ozil is intelligent, forgive me, very intelligent so this is not an attack on him, it’s just a higher expectation of his services.
Church bells ringing so I’ll have to stop here, we go again during the week against Dortmund and hopefully we get a result that doesn’t make us end up second in our group again. Cheers friends and thank you for reading this, have an opinion? Interact with me on the comments section or on Twitter on @canoncrested.
If you live in Nigeria, please check out our store for these items and more . CLICK HERE