The Gunners manager has provided an insight into why the German World Cup winner hasn’t featured for him this season.
Mikel Arteta has provided an insight as to why Mesut Ozil is no longer in the first team picture at Arsenal.
The German was left out of the Gunners’ Premier League and Europa League squads at the end of the transfer window and has not played for the club since football was brought to a halt by the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
This has been a controversial decision as Arsenal have often struggled to create opportunities in his absence. As a result the club have the fourth lowest chance creation rate in the Premier League while only Burnley, Sheffield United and West Brom have scored fewer goals.
For me the way we occupy space and who is going to move in there is more important than the formation” he said to DAZN when asked about the style he wants his team to play.
“And from there we have some very similar players that are not used to play in those positions so we have to keep changing the formation a little bit.
We want to move to a 4-3-3 but for that you need a lot of specificity in every position but now in 5/6 positions we don’t have it.
“The aggressiveness, the effectiveness, the amount of steals we make in opposition half I think we have been very steady against some big clubs.”
Arteta’s desire to eventually transition his side more or less renders a player a like Ozil obsolete in his tactical plans. At his peak the German was one of the best number 10s in world football at a time when the position was very much in vogue within a 4-2-3-1 system.
However, as the game has progressed throughout the 2010s and the footballing philosophies of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have become more prominent 4-3-3 has become the norm among Europe’s top sides.
This demands that central midfielders are required to possess much more defensive discipline as they are required to have slightly deeper starting positions to control the game better. Ozil’s favoured position just in behind the striker where less defensive work is required unfortunately doesn’t exist in the new style.
The admission from Arteta explains his decision to exile Ozil a little more clearly.
It also sheds a light on what kind of player he is looking for going forward.
Dominik Szoboszlai and Houssem Aouar are two players that have thrived in a 4-3-3 formation, while Christian Eriksen often played a deeper role for Spurs and could reprise it if he is brought into the Emirates in January.