This season we have probably our strongest midfield in the last ten years. We have three or four players competing for one spot in the starting lineup, but who should really be starting?
When Arsene decides to play with an attacking midfield three with no wingers, the options are Cazorla, Özil, Rosicky, Wilshere and Ramsey. Özil is usually the first name on the team sheet so he’s a definite and Cazorla has been on such a good run of form and after his near-perfect display earlier today it is almost impossible to leave him out. This leaves Ramsey, Wilshere and Rosicky. It is hard to leave any of these out but I think Wilshere with Rosicky on the bench. Many of you will be thinking why not Ramsey and I’ll come on to that later.
If Arsene decides he needs pace in the game he will definitely opt to play with wingers. Walcott (when fit) owns the right wing but recently Gnabry has been impressing, most notably against spurs. However, I’d still stick with Walcott just because of his experience and goals. It is also worth noting at the moment Gnabry can’t be relied on week-in, week-out because he is still learning his trade and I’m starting to get the feeling Arsene Wenger wants to develop him into a striker because of his power and pace. On the left the battle is between Podolski and Chamberlain and this one is a lot tighter to call because Chamberlain hasn’t really had a run of games as of yet. At the moment I’d chose Podolski as he is less injury prone and is a natural goal scorer. However, Cazorla is still a better player and as previously stated he is on such a good run of form recently that you can’t leave him out if the starting lineup. In the number 10 role Özil is the standout choice and just need to adapt to the pace and pressure of the Premier League and he will flourish like he did at Madrid.
In the defensive part of the midfield the Arteta – Flamini partnership hasn’t really lived up to expectations so if I had to pick one, it would depend on the game we were playing. In a game against a creative team such as Liverpool or City where the defence would really need some help to break up the attacks, I’d go for Flamini. In games where the opposition is going to sit back and let us play, Arteta is the obvious choice. Alongside either of them Ramsey has to claim that spot because of his tremendous performances earlier in the season.
Bar injuries, in my view our strongest midfield is:
Walcott Özil Cazorla
Bench: Rosicky, Podolski, Flamini
What are your thoughts Gooners?