Positionally, however, it feels as if he can’t help but be sacrificed. If Ozil is fit, Mkhitaryan won’t play in his best position – as a #10. Due to the lack of other good wide options, his most-likely role will be on the right, where he’ll be expected to come inside and link up with Ozil and the striker, leaving space for Bellerin to overlap (and put in terrible crosses).
It has been a journey of resiliency for the 5-foot-5 defensive midfielder. It certainly takes belief to make the move from Uruguay to Italy as a 19-year-old. It takes even more to be an immediate starter- he has been for all of the three years he has spent in Italian football.
For a good few years, Santi Cazorla and his diminutive stature papered over the giant cracks in Arsenal’s midfield. His magical ball retention and ambidextrous ability lulled fans into forgetting about the lack of cover and depth. Now the memories haunt them more than ever.
One team that hasn’t adopted the fad is Arsenal, which is hardly a surprise. Arsene was not an early adopter of the transition from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3, and he’s shown no recent signs of increased tactical flexibility. Thus, I preface the following by saying that it is a dream. A hypothetical.
Since injury removed Santi Cazorla from the equation in mid-October, Arsenal have failed to find balance in the two positions at the base of the midfield.Without that balance, the team does not function properly. Mesut Ozil is playing the #10 role, but it is a very advanced interpretation of the position and this season he has spent a lot of time on the shoulder of the opposition’s defenders, looking to run behind them.
Why was Cavani not substituted long time ago and how will PSG solve the Cavani conundrum?
Can Wenger fit Coquelin, Cazorla and Xhaka into the same team?