Walcott purrs over pace but Mesut Ozil is still the key at Arsenal

Ozil Arsenal 3

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil will be the difference in pressure situations for the Gunners this season.

Arsenal star Theo Walcott has made a big and bold claim that the Gunners could well have the quickest frontline in the Premier League.

Walcott is rapidly returning to fitness and the summer arrivals of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez have left the side with some very quick options up front and down the sides of the team.

“I hope we’ll have the fastest forward line in the Premier League. It’s exciting times - These players are very, very fast. They will fit the bill perfectly. Alexis has settled in very quickly, Danny is a good guy, I have worked with him with England. Danny is a hard worker. He always puts his heart on the line,” Walcott is quoted by the Mirror.

Arsenal certainly have a variety of players who can hurt the opposition with pace and both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey could join the above selection.

However, it’s Arsenal’s German star Mesut Ozil who holds the key in a side full of pace and exciting talent.

Once everyone in Arsenal’s attack is fit, opposition sides, both experienced and new to the Premier League will be wary of giving the Arsenal attack too much space to exploit around the pitch.

Quick players are at their most effective when they have space to run into, which allows them to use that speed to pull away from slower opponents.

As a result, teams will drop off, camp inside their own half and make it difficult for the Gunners to utilise that deadly pace in key matches.

As a result, Arsenal will be drawn onto the opposition and will have to try and unlock the opposition defence and that’s where the £42.5 million star comes in.

  TeamPosGoal AssistSuccessful Final Third PassesAppsMins
Mesut Özil Arsenal MF 9 759 26 2,149
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal MF 8 785 31 2,597
Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 8 325 36 3,081
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal MF 8 423 23 1,764
Theo Walcott Arsenal MF 4 102 13 858
Jack Wilshere Arsenal MF 4 406 24 1,719

Ozil produced more assists last season than any other Arsenal player, which shows how effective he is in pressure situations inside the opponent’s final third.

When other sides shut up shop, scared of Arsenal’s pace and leaving themselves open to the counter attack, it’s Ozil’s job to get on the ball, pull players out of position, create that space and create chances.

He also protects the ball well, which allows Arsenal to maintain that pressure on other teams when they don’t have a great deal of space to operate in creating a competition of concentration between him and the players marking him and in those situations, nine out of ten fans will always back the German.

Wenger needs to get him into his best position, through the middle of the team because that's where he can turn tight situations into goals, wins and points.

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