How does Wenger fit Ozil, Wilshere and Cazorla into the same team?

Jack Wilshere

Mesut Ozil’s arrival at the Emirates Stadium will give Arsene Wenger the mother of all headaches.

The arrival of the German will leave Arsenal with a core trio of world class midfielders in the man himself, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla.

All three are extremely effective breaking into the opponent’s half of the field, mounting pressure over the opposition and generally causing chaos inside the opponent’s defensive third.

In an ideal world Wenger would be able to play all three of them at the same time but that runs the risk of making Arsenal predictable and creating a gap between the back four and the midfield.

What seems more likely is that Arsenal will use two of the three in advanced attacking positions with someone like Aaron Ramsey controlling the centre of the midfield and acting as a link between midfield and defence.

Wenger could still go with all three but that relies heavily on one of them fundamentally changing the basics of their game to become a more defensive and withdrawn midfielder.

It’s a role that Wilshere has shown glimpses of being able to perform in the past but there is little point taking one of the best forward thinking midfielders in England and asking him to change how he normally plays.

Wilshere is perfectly suited to controlling the pace, tempo and flow of Arsenal’s play as strictly a central midfield player, resisting his natural urges to get forward and burst inside the opponent’s penalty area.

All three in the same side is a tactic that would need the entire team to adjust as a result.

To decrease that gap between the back four and the midfield, the defence would have to maintain a higher line which is risky considering there isn’t a great deal of electric pace in the centre of Arsenal’s defence.

The alternative is for the midfield to drop deeper, which makes it more difficult for the trio, if they play together, to get forward and pin the opposition inside their own half of the pitch.

Ozil is the sort of high profile player who will expect to go straight into the team, more than likely expecting to be the one midfielder penned in before anyone else when it comes to each big fixture that Arsenal have.

That means it could be a straight up battle between Wilshere and Cazorla for the other attacking position next to the German and it’s a battle which is very difficult to call based on form this season.

In short, one of the three is more than likely going to miss out, ending up very annoyed as a result.

Can Wenger fit all three into the same side? What do you think?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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