Drop Özil for the sake of the High Press?

Below is a comment RC78 wrote on 22/5/18 in response to a question from Micky about Unai Emery’s style of play and what we can expect. RC78 was convinced Mesut would be a sacrificial lamb to Emery’s favoured high press tactic. (So far he has been right about Calum Chambers, Jack and the recruitment of the DM.)

What do you think – would benching the player who creates more chances than anyone else be crazy or make perfect sense in the new system?

Guys – I can tell you all about Emery. The guy is a football fanatic…He is so meticulous and he wants his teams to play with character and aggression. He wants the teams to play:

1. Direct football – get to the box as fast as possible

2. Fast counter attack based on placed attacks

3. High press

At PSG, his desire, attention to details and aggression were not well appreciated by some players. He loves videos and he loves tactical chats.

With him as a coach, I am worried for either Miky or Ozil because there will be space for only one of them in the team. He will move Ramsey up the pitch for sure. He will also heavily rely on Auba and I think Lacaz will have a role to play up front as well so I can see the front three to be:

Ramsey, Auba – Lacaz

He will also want 3 mids with quite an engine so I expect to see Emery keep Xhaka as a starter but in a different role and I think that he will try to recruit a DM and if he doesn’t get the one he wants, he will ask Wilshere to play there so you will have

Xhaka, RECRUIT, Miky OR Xhaka, Jack, Miky

In terms of his full-backs, he relies on attacking minded full backs so expect Bellerin and Koli to be starters

In terms of his CB, he wants 1 old school CB that is strong in the air and on the man and 1 CB that is more modern with pace, positional awareness and good passing range. Expect us to recruit another CB.

Possible team:
Cech – Bellerin, Mavropanos, RECRUIT, Koli – Xhaka, RECRUIT, Miky – Ramsey, Auba – Lacaz

That leaves Wilshere and Ozil on the bench but he will make that team work because all of them are ready to play with heart. They will give him what he wants and they will maximize their potential.

Due back in Drayton Park on Saturday

Expect players like Mustafi, Chambers, Holding, Iwobi to be sidelined.

Expect players like Ozil, Wilshere to be frustrated but to fight for their place.

Expect players like Welbeck, AMN and Nketiah to be given a chance.

The guy is a football freak but he can maximize a team’s potential. With him, I feel that Top 4 is achievable and that a Cup win is on the cards.

Can’t beat Micky in a 30 yard sprint

If our recruitment team can get him a solid CB like Koulibaly (Sokratis – ed), a solid DM like Gueye (Torreira – ed) and maybe 2 promising defenders (1 RB and 1 CB), he will deliver to meet clubs and fans expectations.

Taken from a comment written by RC78


81 Responses to Drop Özil for the sake of the High Press?

  1. chas says:

    Below is a comment from Maxwell on the end of yesterday’s post which seems relevant to today’s post. (Mind you a lot of yesterday’s comments were relevant!)

    Maxwell says:
    August 21, 2018 at 11:40 pm (Edit)

    I am so sad that people here are joining the anti-Ozil momentum. I warned my boy as much straight after the game, that because he SEEMED anonymous for parts of the game, it was assumed he was ineffective. After he was subbed, all the ambition and potential went out of Arsenal’s play.

    I don’t get to many games, but when I do, I pray he’s playing, and I watch his movement both with and without the ball. Of course, watching on the TV denies one the encompassing view that being there allows – the camera tends to follow the ball.

    In his first season with the Gunners, the “Ozil is lazy” stories began. And then I read a wonderful article, although I apologise that I can’t remember which site it was on (may have been “A Cultured Left Foot”). It pointed out that part of Ozil’s genius, and value to the team, was his movement when he didn’t have the ball. I probably wouldn’t have watched for it myself had I not read this piece.

    Now I have witnessed time and again (and I’m convinced he was at it again on Saturday, even though I wasn’t able to actually see for myself), how he runs miles for the team dragging defenders hither and thither, creating space and opportunity for his team-mates. Naturally, opponents know how dangerous he is and attempt to mark – or kick – him out of the game. How well he uses this to create a team advantage.

    I shall be very miserable when he goes, as I was when the other genius I witnessed in red and white left. Cherish him while he’s here, I adjure you.

  2. mickydidit89 says:

    At last, Maxwell, someone talking sense.

    Pressing bollocks at the expense of Mesut??? Nope, me neither. I had to bite me lip yesterday as I read the comments about Ramsey as a No10 🙄 🙄

    To hell with style, let’s just get Big Sam in, eh 🙂

    Ok, post read

  3. mickydidit89 says:


    I know you’re French ( 🙂 ), but have you noticed you’re the only one I ask for footballing advice?

    It’s because you’re right, and in this case, the news makes me sad.

    My advice for the board? Sack Emery right now if we’re going to have to put up with this nonsense.

  4. mickydidit89 says:


    Last night I was up late and only my son was around. I was on AA and started giggling uncontrollably, and said son mumbled: “something Chas has put up?”

    It was 🙂

  5. chas says:

    Here’s one for you, Micky – especially with your history as a trainer. 🙂

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha, although disappointing vid in that I was hoping for blood 🙂

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Morning ALl,

    Me too, was hoping the child would get eaten

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Can’t argue with the prescience of our French correspondent.

    Were PSG or more relevant Sevilla a good team to watch under UE? Does the pressing game preclude entertainingfootball?

  9. mickydidit89 says:


    i took a softer approach and was hoping the Dad got eaten 🙂

  10. chas says:

    What did you think of the two clips on the end of yesterday’s post?

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m a simple fellow, Chas, with simple needs, so the free kick vid had me in stitches and I watched it many times

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Same response. Loved the free kick.

  13. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh and ditto the pissed up sweaty 🙂

  14. chas says:

    I didn’t see the second half against Chelsea and still haven’t watched it.

    What I’d like to know is why were the substitutions of Xhaka and Ozil regarded as successful (well I think they were, anyway) when they resulted in us creating virtually nothing in the second half?

    Or was it that the tactics changed so that we gave up the high-line high press and just sat back but still allowed the chavs loads of lesser chances?

    Here’s the xG map of the game below. (I know you all love them!).
    The timeline is left to right and chances are graded according to position with regard to goal etc.

    The chavs created chances throughout the game and scored from their three best ones (the ones with the biggest upward deviation of the blue line).

    We, on the other hand, created absolutely banging chances in the first half and sod all from 45 minutes to 90,

    I know which half I’d prefer to see!

    (click on the photo to see the detail better)

  15. mickydidit89 says:

    “were the substitutions of Xhaka and Ozil regarded as successful”

    No, they were an absolute disaster 🙂

  16. Big Raddy says:

    I watched the CP v L’pool game. Keita is a monster player and looks the man to propel the Scousers forward. He is exactly what we have been craving for – an adult Douzi.

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    I didn’t watch the CP v L’pool game, but the one scouse signing I’m most jealous of is that fella they got from Thunderbirds. Virgil or su’ink

  18. chas says:

    Yes, BR, I saw some of the dippers v hammers game and he does look something special.

    Bastard can play left side attack, too!

  19. LB says:

    Hmmm, plenty to get my teeth into today.

    The GN – JC debate was about whether UE should or shouldn’t change his tactics. I suggested yesterday that UE did change his tactics at half time to avoid us continually being caught out with a simple ball over the top for the likes of Morrata to run onto.

    My view of proceedings was that UE rightly expected more pressure from Chelsea after the break; Hazard was obviously going to come on.

    So from purposely playing a high line in the first half to purposely playing deep after the break, UE swapped Xhaka for Torriera which should have given us given us more steel in defence while maintaining the hope of winning the game on the break.

    There has been some talk that it was the loss of Xhaka that caused us to lose our impetus of taking the game to them. I argue it wasn’t, it was a conscious attempt by UE to change the tactics and had Xhaka stayed on while playing deeper we may well have lost by a bigger margin.

    Perhaps, it could be said that Torriera did not add the steel that was expected and there is some truth in that but we all saw the World Cup, Torriera knows how to defend — Xhaka doesn’t.

    It is just a question of time with the Uruguayan; he needs time to adjust but we all know he is class.

    On rereading this through, it occurred to me that UE’s tactics obviously didn’t work — as we lost.

  20. Eddie says:

    i don’t know. I love Ozil and think that any manager who cannot utilize a player like Mesut needs a career move. At the same time I am not a fan of building a whole team around one player, who sometimes, not often, but yes sometimes can be invisable.

    What do the rest of the team do on Mesut’s bad hair day? Dangerous strategy.

    RC – if you are right and Emery is all you wrote he is, than we have exactly what we need and want. I shall give you till December and we shall see if you were right

  21. Eddie says:

    my friend’s cousin had a full size statue of Ian Wright erected in his garden. Gold tooth and all. He sold his house recently and moved to Israel. He cried saying good byes to Wrighty, but he had no room for him in his israeli department.

    Rumor has it, that an arab bought the house and IW ended on a skip

  22. Eddie says:

    raddy – scary? I sent you a scary email. Sit down before you open ii

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    “On rereading this through, it occurred to me that UE’s tactics obviously didn’t work — as we lost”

    ha ha, you have no idea how often I do that 🙂

  24. Eddie says:

    we lost, but we were not thrashed which I half suspect would have been the case had AW stayed for 2 more seasons as requested by many AAers.

  25. chas says:

    “many AAers” – yeah, right.

    He’s gone, let it go – no need to cling on anymore!

  26. chas says:

    Perhaps Emery’s tactics were just to keep the defeat down to respectable levels! 🙂

  27. Rasp says:

    Morning all.

    Uncannily accurate soothsaying by RC78. I feel a deep sense of guilt questioning Ozil’s place in the side. I just think the team is paramount, and at the moment, he’s not appearing to be a team player under the new system.

    It is clear that our main problem is still defending (and maybe finishing going by Saturday’s game). The midfield is stronger, it just needs the players to learn how to play with one another and connect better with the strikers.

    I don’t think we can play a pressing game without a high defensive line … and yet our defenders are not quick enough to protect us against the counter … I have no idea how Dick will address this problem. I’d like to see Mavropanos given a chance because he at least has some pace and appears to be a proper defender.

  28. gunner smith says:

    I am afraid he wont be given time unlike the fm who was ,imho,given
    more than aet , to turn things round and failed the last 10 years.
    He has been give 2 deal and if the gunners cant even finish 4th/5th/sixth,he could be out.
    Some of the top earners are becoming slack and shd be dropped.
    When you watched how CP who were unlucky with the penalty and BHA played,we shd have players who would run all day.
    Those high earners shd be dropped and sold if they aint willing to put in the effort.
    BTw,when you watched how teams like CP defend,you wonder why the gunners cant

  29. Eddie says:

    he’s gone, yeah right

  30. LB says:


    I sensed there was an element of that. You saw the first half and we could have been thrashed.

    Mah…….it’s gone.

  31. Eddie says:

    if that was his strategy then was it a bad move? I think not. Damage limitation works well under difficult circumstances

  32. Eddie says:

    this made me laugh

    my boy friend is a perfect gentleman (not bragging, just saying) except when it comes to Spurs. I told him that my neighbour purchased and is going to install the skinny cockerel on a ball from totts training ground, in her front garden. My super cultured boy friend said that he will start taking laxatives now 🙂 🙂

  33. fred1266 says:


  34. LB says:

    I think there are a couple of things missing.

    The original comment from RC was obviously insightful but I thought what brought it to life was Ant’s comment that followed which went on the lines of: why would any manager consider dropping one of the best players in the world.

    I remember thinking, hmmm, it’s hard to argue with that logic and I am not sure that I feel the need to.

    The other thing I think is going astray is that there has been talk about Ozil be sold; I don’t think that RC was suggesting that only that he could find himself on the bench — for a while — while other options are explored.

    The analogy that comes to mind is being a child at Christmas and coming down, opening the small presents first and then the big one (Ozil) you are so happy you jump up and down thinking things couldn’t possibly get better but then in the corner of your eye you notice another small present that you forgot to open, it is unlikely to be better than the big present — but you just have to know.

    Competition should always be viewed as a good thing.

  35. chas says:

    I was joking about keeping the defeat respectable. No self-respecting manager would ever do that when they’d seen their team create such great first half chances, surely?

    I saw the first half and thought we might have been 5-2 up – the chance of which I’d take every day compared to trying to only lose by one!

  36. RC78 says:

    Man I write a lot 😦 Glad you guys are reading though but I will try to be more concise in the future.
    BR: UE’s blueprint is Sevilla because his tactics were not appreciated and welcomed by PSG players. UE’s best team to watch was Sevilla in his last year there. The only other team that was as nice to watch and successfull in European football in the past 5 years was Heinkes’ Bayern Munich. They had similar philosophies in terms of pressing and playing direct football on the counter while using the width more if we got the ball back in our own half.
    Micky/Eddie: I think we will know by January if Emery can be successful at our club and in the EPL.
    All: I love Mesut and he does run a lot but the thing is that he can only be very effective in one system where he plays in a 4-2-3-1 and he is actually on the left side of the front three but he needs a certain team around him to make him successful and potent. We don’t have the required players 😦

  37. chas says:

    Haha, RC.
    Here’s that comment I removed of yours from yesterday, too!

    RC78 says:
    August 21, 2018 at 11:38 am

    He tried to impose his tactics at PSG but it back fired as we have a squad full of strong characters. The players refused the Emery system and he had to go back to the 4-3-3 that Blanc had put together.

    In Sevilla, when he won 3 UEFA Leagues, he played a 4-2-3-1 or more like a 4-3-2-1 and I think that the latter system is to be used at Arsenal given our squad of players IF Emery really wants us to play “his proposed” way. His Sevilla team was really a joy to watch as they were so good at getting the ball back in the opposition’s half and also were really good at transitioning from defense to offense and offence to defense BUT he had the following players to rely on:

    Vidal – Krychowiak, Banega – Vitolo, Bacca, Gameiro

    These players could really put on a hard shift.

    If he really wants to play his “Sevilla way” with our current available squad, he does not have many options but to play:

    Cech – Lichten, Mavro, Holding, Monreal – Torreira, Guendouzi – Miky, Ramsey, Auba – Lacazette

    When squad is fully fit again:
    Cech – Lichten, Mavro, Kos, Koli – Torreira, Guendouzi – Miky, Ramsey, Auba – Lacazette

    If he wants to slightly adapt his system to ensure that his game plan works, then he has to play:

    Cech – Lichten, Mavro, Kos, Koli – Miky, Guendouzi, Torreira – Ramsey, Auba – Laca


    Cech – Lichten, Mavro, Kos, Koli – Xhaka, Guendouzi, Torreira – Ramsey, Miky – Auba

    In any case, Ozil does not fit the Emery requirements and knowing Emery, he will drop him once in the upcoming games and we will get the good results and then Ozil will be sold at latest next June and Emery will give Ramsey the 10 role and Ramsey will sign the new contract.

  38. Red Arnie says:

    wow, wonderful post, RC. 🙂 And great comment by Maxwell as well. 🙂

    absolutely wonderful bolleaux, but Ozil and Iwobi marginal? Hope not, and dont think so. 🙂

  39. Red Arnie says:

    subs were not helpful, but … I liked the fact that teh subs happend at 60 rather than 75

  40. Red Arnie says:

    that freekick. ha ha ha. yes, I played it many times as well. In fact, I went asleep to it playing over and over again. 🙂

  41. Red Arnie says:

    Miky …. dont know. I am in the minority probably but not convinced. Wizard of Oz for me any day

  42. Red Arnie says:


    “Last night I was up late and only my son was around. I was on AA and started giggling uncontrollably, and said son mumbled: “something Chas has put up?””


  43. chas says:

  44. chas says:

  45. Red Arnie says:

    That cat ….

    looks like our defenders tracking back. 🙂

  46. LB says:


    I miss read your comment.

    It never entered my mind that you actually meant “defeat” rather I thought you meant “score” and by that I thought that you meant keeping the score down and avoiding a 5-2 defeat which could have happened very easily with the high line that we were playing in the first half.

    True it could have been 2-5 but I thought that, that was a gamble that UE wasn’t prepared to take, hence the change of tactics at half time.

    Anyway, I have probably laboured this point to death so I will move on.

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    Is Özil one of the best players in the world?

    When he plays 9/10 I would say he probably is, but how often do we see that? I can’t remember the last time he played really well for a period of time.

    I hope he and Emery can find a way to make it work, but ultimately, Emery is the boss and if changing tactics and style means we get the best from 20 players but a couple struggle and have to leave then so be it. I’d rather see the team winning and performing without Özil, than watch Özil playing well whilst the team struggle.

    Having said that, If Emery is such a good manager and Özil such a fabulous player then there is no reason we can’t have a winning team which includes Mesut.

  48. Red Arnie says:

    hmmm. FGG. I am personally somewhat in the Maxwell camp on this one.

    In the “follow the ball” motivated TV-driven world, it is often easy to overlook the value of movements off from the ball. I think this is one of the excellent things about Ozil, and for that matter, many other great players. OK, Ozil is perhaps not the youngest any more or the most agile, but I think this feature still has great value.

    This was also partly the reason why I liked Giro.

    Now whether we can find “a way to make this work” I do not know, and there I agree.

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    I agree with you Arnie and the same thing applies to Giroud. He works tirelessly off of the ball making runs that takes defenders with him creating holes for others. He played in every minute for France in the WC2018 – but was maligned for not scoring………….?

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Ozil made 15 passes in his 70 minutes on the pitch on Saturday. For €300+k a week we expect more.

    I understand that he has wonderful talent but he has to show it on a regular basis and Emery will drop him if he doesn’t.

  51. GunnerN5 says:

    20 grand a pass does seem a tad over the top. (lol)

    I did not mean it to appear that I am an Ozil fan – I just wanted to state the importance of work off of the ball and how it goes unnoticed..

    Ozil definitely goes missing in far too many games.

  52. Red Arnie says:

    Raddy. ha ha. 🙂 the key point was: movement off the ball. just 15 suggests poor delivery. what was the pass accuracy rate?

  53. Red Arnie says:

    I am not only an Ozil fan, but a fan of anyone who wears the shirt. ha ha. 🙂

  54. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Me too. But movement off the ball is not enough, if it were we should sign Usain Bolt or even better, Mo Farah 😀


    Cheers 78

    If I was Emery I would let Mavropanos and Papastathopolous sort out Ozil. There is nothing more terrifying for a Turk than been assaulted by a couple of brutish looking Greeks with unpronounceable names. I had a similar experience when I beat up a German bloke for provocatively waving a Euro at me. In court my barrister demanded the German confirm my identity and pronounce my name. I was released immediately

    To be fair I love Ozil and reckon he should be let off pressing duties. Why should a player of such quality work like a donkey. I dnot buy this theory you have to press as a team. Only the shit players should press, so in our case that’s no problem because it’s practically everyone else.

    During my school days I was friends with this kid who all the girls fancied. I use to carry his bag to school, polish his shoes, and bend over to accommodate him. In return I was afforded the privilege of close up staring when he got off with a girl. I was also allowed to keep my pants on when bending over.

    Let Ozil have the freedom to play and use his energy to create

  56. fatgingergooner says:

    In last seasons PL, Özil and Mkhitaryan both played 26 games, both had 9 assists, and Özil scored 1 more than Mkhi with 4.

    Would anyone claim that Mkhi had a great season last year for United & Arsenal or looked World Class? Özil can run 20 miles a game, but if he’s not being productive then it’s no good. He’s not even putting up the sort of numbers Walcott used to do and he barely ran unless it was in behind!

    We all love Özil, you’d be an idiot not to enjoy his style of play, but in the last 12-18 months we’ve needed him to step up and if anything he’s gone backwards. I hope that it’s just a tough period (contract renewal, Wenger leaving, and the Germany farce) and that he comes out this season firing on all cylinders, but that certainly hasn’t happened in the first 2 games. Maybe West Ham will be the start. One thing is for sure, lots of clever movement isn’t going to be enough this year. We need end product.

  57. chas says:

    Only the shit players should press……practically everyone else.

  58. GunnerN5 says:

    I wonder how many of the chances created by Ozil have been squandered by the offense?

  59. chas says:

    I’d seen something about chance creation for Mesut so had a look round.
    This from Jan 2018 when he signed on again

    And this……

    Maybe he’s created loads of chances for shite players who’ve not helped his assist stats.


  60. chas says:

    Snapperooni, GN5.
    Though yours was far more succinct. 😉

  61. LB says:

    Yes, but could Mesut be even better………………….


    Chas, GN5, spot on lads. Ozils been let down by all those shysters missing chances.

    Ozils class and I want him to play. The man lies back in his armchair and lights his pipe by staring at it. These others we’ve got probably try to light there fag by sticking it in the microwave.

  63. chas says:

  64. chas says:

  65. Gööner In Exile says:

    My view on high press and high line is that currently we are not doing the press properly so the high line is exposed.

    To play a long ball into space most players need a split second more than a short pass. It’s simply to do with the action, a 5 yard pass requires little back lift, a 60 yard pass requires a little run up, backlift and maybe some follow through.

    If the press is done properly you don’t have the time to look up and play that long ball, the best exponents of the press also recognise when the press is failing and foul so the team can drop defensively.

    We are not pressing well enough or fouling enough to make it work.

    Could well be because of the players.

    Mesut does actually press, has done in the past, but he won’t do it if it means chasing the ball on his own, if the midfield or others aren’t around him he chooses to conserve energy, how many times did you see Alexis chase a ball turn round to see his teammates nowhere near as an easy pass out. I’ve also seen other players including Mesut with that expression too.

    Ramsey has got the role in behind the front man because of his energy (and maybe for contractual reasons) problem is Ozil and Mikhi are ilunlikely tonpress begins him, Mikhi used to press for Dortmund so not sure why he isn’t now if he is being asked to. Ozil also has pressed with the German national team.

    I think Ozil is limited by the position he is being asked to play and the organised shape Emery is trying to instil.

    If Ozil isn’t allowed to roam where he wants for the sake of being organised the younare losing the best he can offer.

    One other thing…..Arsenal fans have shown no sign of returning to less fickle beings. My Mum and Dad were keen to get tickets for Saturday but could not find 2 together in the ground. That was until the final whistle on Saturday, they went on Exchange and lonand behold quite a few available spares.

    I’m hoping to get tickets for Watford game with G, hope to see you all then.

  66. fatgingergooner says:

    Moving forward then GiE, do you think an organised team would prove more effective, or would you rather Özil be given freedom to do what he does best and be less organised?

  67. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    10.19. Very funny

  68. chas says:

  69. chas says:

  70. chas says:

  71. chas says:

    Have you got the post covered for today?

  72. Red Arnie says:

    motning all.

    Chas. wow. great vid. 🙂

  73. LBG says:

    Great discussions yesterday AAers.
    My favourites- Terry’s “shysters” comment and GIE’s “best exponents….when press is failing….foul, so team can drop defensively” . And this is exactly what Manshitty do and did in first game.
    Looking forward, with a frisson of best Wenger seasons, to Saturday.

  74. chas says:

  75. chas says:

  76. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

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