Yesterday I wrote a speculative piece exploring the possibility of playing Aaron Ramsey in the centre, nominally of the 3 behind the striker. The article was born out of both positive and negative views of the Welshman. Positive in that his strengths are obvious and require him being in and around the opposition penalty area. Negative in that unlike many I simply don’t see him as a partner to Xhaka in a two.
The obvious flaw for some in placing Ramsey behind our striker is that it moves Ozil to the left or right. Even though the 3 positions behind the striker at Arsenal are fluid many simply will not accept that Ozil can be every bit a play-maker from wide. Even though, he has performed there for both his previous clubs and also his country, in winning the last World Cup. It will be interesting to see if Ozil starts at central 10 or in the wider role where he finished his campaign in Brazil and where Low has often used him.
The alternative way to keep as many of Arsenal’s top stars involved might be to lessen the involvement of the wider players such as Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Campbell and Iwobi and accommodate 3 central midfielders, allowing the width to come from the fullbacks. This would allow the utilisation of 3 central midfielders and 2 strikers and offer Ozil the role the most Gooners prefer him to have. One could see this as 4312, which I have written about previously as the Chile formation which allows Sanchez to play up top with a partner. It can also be seen as the ‘Diamond’ that Roy Hodgson have often deployed for England. The 3 Lions are 4th favourites for Euro 2106 with Bet 10 and if this is the way they play, Jack Wilshere is likely to be to the fore.
However the emergence of Eric Dier means Hodgson had a choice to make with Wilshere. Does he restore Jack to the base of the diamond, where he played in the qualifiers or leave the Spurs youngster there and use his fresh Gunner to the left or right of his diamond. Similarly if this formation were to be utilised by Wenger in August as he does not see Jack as Hodgson has, sitting deep and now had bought Xhaka who would be suited to that position.
So if Ozil heads the diamond or is the 10 behind 2 strikers and Xhaka is at the base it leaves 2 positions on the left and right of the formation. I would contend that Cazorla and Wilshere could easily play on the left of the diamond and Ramsey or Elneny on the right. This leaves Coquelin as cover and competition for Xhaka and Iwobi as cover for Ozil. All in all, a fabulous utilisation of the squad, with genuine rotational possibilities in all positions.
It also allows Alexis Sanchez a free role to play in and around a partner as he does for Chile, although in this formation, although it could work with Giroud, I am sure we would all rather see a new ad more mobile alternative.
To read yesterday’s prequel click here