Is there a place in the Arsenal squad for Mesut Ozil and Emile Smith-Rowe this year and beyond?

We discussed it many times but it seems that now (although it is not working perfectly) Emery has decided to mould Arsenal’s play based on the Liverpool model and his time in Sevilla. On the Liverpool model because it is clear that he wants that high-intensity press and quick transition bsed on 3 lethal attackers, incisive full backs and a strong/physical spine defensively (CBs+DM+CM).

Modelled on Sevilla, because he wants to set up with a 4321 with one player in the middle 3 that can defend well but that can also break the lines with dribbling or passing, which is what Banega did for him in Sevilla and what Ramsey also did last year when he was fit to play. I think Emery’s idea is to give that “Banega/Ramsey” role to Ceballos this year.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed that Ozil has been left out of match squads for the last few games. The reason for this could be that Emery actually does not need Ozil-type of players in his team. He wants more industrious players in the middle of the park, faster players on the wings and he already has some players that fit the bill more than Ozil.

So it is time to part with our German maestro who was delivering assists after assists in his first three years with us? I think so, not because he is not a gifted player but because he does not seem to be able to adapt his game to the demands of the coach so you are in a lose-lose situation and it is best to let go for him and for us.

I think Ozil would be a great acquisition for PSG or Juventus or Bayern – but he ll go there as a squad player but he will get plenty of game time because these teams can make the most of his skill sets. PSG for example does not have players that can break lines with exquisite passes – Mbappe and Neymar can dribble past players for fun and have quality passing but what if they were fed the balls rather than having to create the plays…I can imagine a 4231 with Verrati, Gueye – Neymar, Ozil, Mbappe – Cavani do some ravage in some games…Anyways…

Now comes the tricky question regarding Emile Smith-Rowe. Can ESR play in the middle of the park? Certainly but can he play better than Douzi, Torreira, Willok and Ceba? Does he also have what it takes to play on the wings? Not really sure.

Can he play like Lacazette? To be confirmed…So in the short-term, I think it would be in both club and player’s interest to loan him back out again in January but maybe for 18 months so he can get some solid experience and come back and maybe then, there will be a place for him in our squad depending on his development. The boy is talented, no doubt. But I can’t see him go past the mentioned players in the near future so let us not slow his progression down and let him go out on loan in the EPL or abroad but he needs playing time.

So what do we do with these 2? Keep, sell, loan…?




19 Responses to Is there a place in the Arsenal squad for Mesut Ozil and Emile Smith-Rowe this year and beyond?

  1. RockyLives says:

    Thanks RC

    It seems clear to me that Ozil’s days are done at Arsenal (unless there is a change of head coach before he leaves).

    UE does not fancy him and I think your explanation as to why is as good as any I’ve heard.

    I have loved watching Ozil play – his game intelligence and skill set are out of this world. But he never turned out to be the “new Bergkamp” that I once hoped he would.

    It’s silly to compare players of course, because they’re all different, but Ozil seldom seemed like the man to take a game by the scruff of the neck, particularly against top opposition.

    I am sure he could thrive in a different set-up in a different league and when he goes I will keep only happy memories of his great moments for us.

    As for ESR, I haven’t seen enough of the lad but there is so much competition from talented youngsters and established pros in our squad that I voted for ‘send him out on loan.’ If he makes a splash elsewhere it will be easier for him to force himself into UE’s thinking as a first teamer at Arsenal. If he doesn’t… no harm done and we can move him on.

    Harsh, but realistic.

  2. Rasp says:

    Thanks RC. The 50% of Ozil that is involved in out offensive play gets a 9/10 … the other 50% of him gets 4/10 … that gives an average of 6.5/10 where we need everyone on the pitch to be a solid 7 and above to form a winning team. I can’t forget the way Ozil slunk off the pitch in the EL final when we were 3 nil down. There wasn’t much hope of us clawing it back, but the players on the pitch and the away supporters must have been very unhappy with that .. it was not the action of a team player. As it was, Iwobi and Willock came on and injected some life into our attack and at least we got one goal. So sell him is my verdict.

    I’m with Rocky on ESR … he’s at about the stage Henry Lansbury was for us … sadly HL turned out to be a championship quality player, but others have gone out on loan (to the right team and manager) and come back far better = Serge Gnabry

  3. RA says:

    A very fine Post, RC, thank you.

    I do not pretend to have clue what should happen with Mesut.

    It seems to be a failure of management to me.

    He is probably our best player still (when he gets a chance to play) and an asset the club apparently cannot sell, and to loan him out at a cost to Arsenal, and thereby allow someone else to have the benefit of a still great player is utterly stupid.

    Another coach would MANAGE the situation — so go ahead Embery — coach AND manage.

    Sheessh — how difficult can that be?

    With ESR I think he is a fine young player, but seems injury prone, and is competing with several other very promising, youthful tyros trying to become Gunner stars.

    In both cases [Mesut/Emile] there are so many conflicting variables that make predictions as to which result/outcome would be the best for the club/players, that Embery can justifiably say he cannot see which one is best.

    In that case, I would suggest he should familiarise himself with Occam’s Razor and he will find that the simplest solution is the correct one, as when there are too many competing predictions he should go with the one that makes the fewest assumptions and ‘hey presto’ he will find the correct solution.

    Keep them both — and fit the strategy around them.

  4. RC78 says:

    Lots of votes and good comments already! Good morning to all

    Ozil shouldn’t waste his time on the bench, the guy is 30 and he s got plenty of years to play so I hope he leaves

    And as for ESR, talent is there but has he fallen down the pecking order? Willock, Saka, Martinelli and Nelson are slowly but surely making a name for themselves

  5. Gooner4life says:

    Having waited and hoped that Ozil would adapt to the Premier League’s athletic standards of fitness and commitment to enable a team structure that would benefit his skill set and enhance the teams resilience I have seen that hope disappear much like Ozil in games. He is not strong enough or fast enough to impose himself on games or assist in stifling the opposition pressing our defenses
    The time for pastures new has arrived with a subsidised loan or even free transfer to allow his particular talents to be showcased in a less abrasive league.Ceballos Ghendouzi Willock Torreira are the go to options for a dynamic midfield (Which can be supplemented by Luiz or Chambers NOT Xhaka)
    ESR is one of a number of shining academy stars ( many of whom shone through in the pre season fixtures) who have potential to become regular starters. Injuries have stifled his progression and others are presently seizing their opportunities so a loan to a competing league would be beneficial and he is already highly regarded in Germany without hardly playing
    ESR needs to be placed with a club who will develop his strength and resilience to complement his talent BY STARTING HIM CONSISTENTLY( not bringing him off the bench when the game needs rescuing )
    We need to look within the club more often to nurture the wealth of talent that could have been in our team rather than looking at what £50+million stars they have become and could be saving those sums in the transfer market
    The first team squad is becoming a stronger and deeper and will provide an opportunity for bringing the youngsters into the premier league environment. This is already happening and needs to be continued
    As a clever German recently said NORTH LONDON’S STILL RED

  6. Sue says:

    I’m really gutted about how things have turned out with Ozil… never thought he’d be dropped completely from the squad…. one of our best players left at home to play fortnite, completely baffles and saddens me….. I don’t want him going anywhere.. but unfortunately, it’s not down to me!
    As for ESR, I really like him… I’d like to be greedy and keep him too. He’s our future! I’d hate for another one to leave for next to nowt and then set the world alight elsewhere!

  7. RC78 says:

    Ozil time was always going to be up with Emery. I think I wrote a post about it when Emery arrived and I also noted that Mkhy would have a hard time too. At PSG, the players basically told Emery to back off some of the stars, to play a possession football but also conceded that he makes the plans for CL footie because of his European Cup success. We all know how that ended. At AFC, he can mould the team as he wants because the team was keen to try smt new to see if that gets them somewhere in terms of top 4 and trophies. So far no result but maybe at the end of the year, there will b a cup success and a top 4 spot.

    Anyways, Emery s midfielders have to be above all industrious and Ozil is not that type of player

  8. gee says:

    The question should be is there a place for unai at Arsenal?

    Ozil has at least proved himself at Arsenal in the sense that we have won trophies with Ozil in the team and had at least a title challenge when we finsihed 2nd to Leicester city.

    emery has not proved himself at Arsenal and should not be given free credit, if anything he is making Arsenal worse.

    On Smith Rowe, last year i seen it as a wasted opportunity, emery had a chance to assess and integrate Smith rowe into first team but he sent him out to RB Lipzig who were in the CL or EL and we were short of wingers last season.

    Dont get me started on Ramsey and Carzola.

    emery is not a top coach, he is small minded, not pro-active and horrible man manager.

  9. gee says:

    “Emery has decided to mould Arsenal’s play based on the Liverpool model” – Has he?

    I dis-agree, Liverpool are a attacking team, Klopps philosophy to emerys is totally different. Klopp will have a go when needed from the start. emery wants to contain and react to the opposition.

    Against Bournemouth on the weekend, we played to contain bloody bournemouth. I dont see Klopp doing that against a weak Bournemouth team

  10. RC78 says:

    Gee – I meant that he s not going to be a coach thay promotes possession based football or intricate passing. He wants direct football and an ability to press the opposition. Of course he s a lot more Conservative than Klopp but he doesn’t have the same quality in defense or in the middle and I think that Mane is better than Laca and Pepe so even forward they are better equipped.

    I think the board is backing Emery rather than Ozil and am not sure why but in this situation, the player gotta go for his own good IMHO

  11. Aaron says:

    Razor play.

    Better yet, get rid of the coach.

    As pointed out on another site, from exact same place in games played, down on goals scored, up on goals conceded, and last year was abysmal to watch.

  12. RC78 says:

    I think that Emery is gonna be with us until the end of his contract unless something goes horribly wrong (we fall outside the top 6) at the end of this season.

    They are gonna give him the time to build (re-build) a competitive squad. I think that by next summer, Emery will have a squad of his liking and then his contract renewal will depend on results. If he does not qualify for CL and doesn’t win a Cup, he ll be out. If he does, he ll get an extension. That is my feeling.

    We shouldn’t forget one man behind the arrival of Leno, Douzi, Auba – namely Minslat. I am still upset we let him go. He was great at gem finding and also at brining some players from the German league to us.

  13. RC78 says:

    I am surprised that we re already questioning Emery. I am not a huge fan to be honest but I think he ll build a competitive squad with the board’s backing by the end of next summer

  14. GoonerB says:

    Thanks RC

    With ESR I would like to keep him. I think he has fallen behind certain other contemporaries, but feel this has been largely down to his prolonged injury periods. However massive parallels could be drawn in this with Gnabry here, and I do think he is a potential top player with a unique skill set.

    I am not sure that these loans always work out as expected and ESR is one player (injuries permitting) I would accommodate more into the first team, even if it didn’t immediately click. I see at least a couple of midfielders, that don’t represent our future, that I would not be prioritising ahead of him in our midfield, because he does potentially represent our future.

    On Ozil I voted sell. I have always liked his natural quality but it is obvious that Emery will not entertain him so it is a fruitless hope that he can still become an influential player with us this season.

    I am not totally happy with what appears to be his excommunication, and can’t believe he could not have been useful to us this season with the right approach.

    I think Ozil is the type of player that you develop a team around and part of me feels that we have never done that effectively from the moment we got him. Arsene never set the team up to really harness his skills. I think we have certain components in the squad now that we haven’t had in recent years that could possibly really compliment Ozil’s skills, but it looks like bridges have been burnt. I do question whether that is sound management.

    Like Gee I also am not sure about Emery but the end of the season should really be the final judgement on this, unless things really go bad leading to January.

    Being pedantic, the only thing I would disagree with what you said Gee is that we mounted a title challenge when Leicester won it. That wasn’t a title challenge. We came second because it was an unusual season where all our other traditional rivals all had a blip year at the same time.

    Our points tally wasn’t anywhere near what it takes to normally win the league, so 2nd was a position that was down to other teams failings that season rather than any meaningful progression on or part. If anything we contrived to throw it away, in what was a uniquely opportunistic year, from having been top of the league around Christmas.

    We haven’t shown anything near the consistency and points tally progression to indicate a title challenge in many years now. However, Liverpool have in the matter of a few years made massive strides with this, following many years of treading water like we have been doing, so if they can do this so can we.

    There are many positives at Arsenal currently to be seen in a combination of factors, including the squad quality and depth, the behind the scenes management improvements, and the emerging academy players and current academy running of things.

    These factors could indicate a turning of the corner towards that more rapid development, as we have seen with Liverpool. It will require the right manager to blend it all together and develop an effective and exciting style of play that all players understand and are honed to. I do hope this is Emery, despite some reservations, but if not I don’t think we should wait too long to seek an alternative.

  15. VP says:

    I’m still an old AW supporter and so when he said we are no longer a selling club then I will always vote dont sell. Whether they play or not is not for me to decide. I can speculate but as for selling its a no

  16. RC78 says:

    Do you feel that our club is ahead of Utd and Chelsea in its squad development and maturity? At the moment, there is a question mark on Tottenham s form but I am convinced it will turn around because they have a solid base and added quality players – I also think they Pochetinno will consider changing his system to allow for better results.

    You look at Man Utd and their inexperienced unproven coach struggling to assemble a strong squad on the pitch despite some very good talent at his disposal.

    You look at Chelsea and also their inexperienced unproven coach who has been hit with a transfer ban leading him to trust academy players but to his credit with considerable success.

    You look at our squad and our proven coach, he has won the europa league 3 times and won all national trophies at least once when he was in Paris. The team invested this summer and also young players are coming in and making an impact.

    So who do you think is ahead in terms of first squad development and team maturity?

    And would you say that finishing behind Chelsea and Utd would be a failure for us?

  17. Rasp says:

    Morning all … I’ve stolen Gooner4life’s comment for the basis of today’s ..

    … New post …

  18. GoonerB says:

    Morning all

    RC, I would say we are at least the equal in squad quality and depth with all of Utd, Spurs and Chelsea. We are arguably superior to some or all of them.

    Despite lying 3rd I feeling is somewhat by default due to the problems at other teams rather than a tangible improvement on our own level from last season.

    It seems wrong when we are 3rd but I worry that we will not sustain a winning run with our current performances. We have become a tad one player reliant and if Auba had not been available for the last few games we would be down with Utd.

    There is a big opportunity this season for us and still time to get this team more firing on all cylinders. At present we are playing, in the EPL, below the level we could be with the squad we have.

    Utd have problems that I am not sure they will turn around this season and probably require a couple more departures and a few more key players arriving to get back up there.

    Chelsea I said a few games ago I feel will do well come seasons end because, despite a couple of results against them, Lampard is creating a good style of football with good energy and attacking intent. On current performances they will go past us in the near future.

    Spurs are a strange one. As you say RC their squad quality should see a revival. However, part of me wonders whether they have gone past a peak in the cycle of this team. We have seen it at it’s best and now it is in decline in need of a complete refresh.

    Many key players are not performing with rumours of some not wanting to be there and with many key players in the last year of contract. Rumours of serious player disharmony behind the scenes abound.

    Poccetino sometimes looks like a manager that has lost that bond with his players and also a manager that potentially realises it is going downhill and he cannot do more than he has done with this club and is also just waiting for a decent offer elsewhere.

    I would love all this to be true obviously, but we will have to wait and see. However I would rather not he taking solace from other clubs current misfortunes and would far rather see our team starting to perform to its potential. That would be far more satisfying and would render what happens elsewhere irrelevant.

  19. RC78 says:

    GoonerB – I can only agree with your assessment.

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