Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has suggested Mesut Ozil needs help from two or three players, not just centre forward Olivier Giroud.
One of the explanations for Ozil’s dip in form since the start of the year is the idea that Giroud doesn’t make enough runs in Arsenal’s attack to allow Ozil to play at his creative best.
However, Neville suggested on Twitter that Ozil needs two or three players making runs beyond him in order for him to play the sort of world class passes that everyone knows he’s capable of.
And finally he will improve more when he has a Striker that runs beyond and provides movement for his strengths.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) March 12, 2014
Every good num 10 needs 2 to 3 players that make runs behind and sacrifice themselves! Modern game problem - Too many want to be a num 10!— Gary Neville (@GNev2) March 12, 2014
Ozil will enjoy a brief period away from the spotlight following a hamstring injury which flared up last night, which means someone else will now have to step into the number ten role.
Neville’s point makes sense because any player who benefits from multiple teammates making multiple attacking runs will enjoy more time and freedom in possession to pick a pass.
More runs means more variety and if a ball through to Giroud isn’t on, Ozil has other options.
It’s clear that Arsenal need another centre forward this summer. Giroud has done a perfectly good job in Arsenal’s attack this season but he’s not the sort of player who is going to dance across the Arsenal back four.
Ozil will be a big miss over the next few weeks but as Neville suggests, there’s plenty of food for thought.