Thursday, 14 November 2013

My worries on Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey

Remember the time we were singing praises of our dream midfield, which had creativity in Cazorla and Ozil, the flair of Jack and Rosicky, the steel of Flamini and Arteta and the goals from Aaron Ramsey? That was undoubtedly highlighted by Ozil's superb start to life at North London, Flamini's surprising run of form and of course, Ramsey scoring goal after goal in almost every match. After a couple of weeks in October, we had every right to call our midfield as one of the best in Europe.

Fast forward to today, and I don't know about you, but doubts are certainly beginning to emerge in my mind about this midfield. While Arteta has covered up the absence of Flamini aptly, the much awaited partnership of Ozil and Santi Cazorla isn't working out as well as one might've hoped. Wilshere has succumbed to injury once more, and Ramsey seems like a hardworking but average midfielder in the games that he fails to score. Add to that a Mesut Ozil who's performances are degrading with each "passing" game, and you've certainly got a flawed midfield.

I don't think that players like Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky are ever going to deliver half-hearted or underwhelming performances for the club. Sure, everyone has their bad days, but they're too experienced and passionate for the club to cause blunders or whoppers. Wilshere might be a bit disappointing at times, but since he's recovering from injury and has a lot to learn, I guess I could cut him some slack. However, I have had worries about Ramsey throughout his goalscoring streak, and quite recently, I have also developed some concerns on Mesut Ozil.

The loss of our wingers meant that Ramsey was constantly played on the right flank, lately against Manchester United. And while this understandably meant that his performances dropped, I always had a feeling that his performances were pretty average throughout this month. It was always the goals that covered that up, and when you view these goals, most of them are a result of selfish and solo play.

Average might be a strong word to call Ramsey. He can be called decent, but no more than that. The goals that he scored against Swansea, Norwich and Liverpool were most notably goals that had a certain amount of selfishness in them. Don't get me wrong - sometimes you need to take matters in your own hands, but Ramsey is hogging up the goals rather than looking for better options. He's a midfielder, not a striker.

Examples of his solo play could be seen when he gave the ball away on the edge of the box against Dortmund for their first goal at the Emirates, when he ludicrously shot from long range at Old Trafford, and when he tried a pretty weird strike against Chelsea. People say that Ramsey is the best in the Premier League at the moment, but when you take away his goals, what do you get?

Ramsey is a good player, but he's not a great one, and the fans are putting an unfair burden on him to score. At some point he himself seems to be putting pressure on himself to score a goal in every game, which is really not necessary. People comparing him to Cesc Fabregas could not be more wrong - Ramsey always shoots when he wants. Fabregas looks for the best option possible and performs that, whether shoot or pass. The only player who's closest to replace Cesc at Arsenal is one Mesut Ozil.

Which brings me to Ozil's dip in form. I couldn't help but notice how he constantly kept playing back passes and safe passes to his teammates, in recent games. After his brilliant start, he seems to have faded away from the game to the point of almost being invisible at times. And it's not like he's being played out of position like Aaron. Ozil has being playing almost every match in the central attacking role, but currently not living up to the £42m transfer fee.

Maybe that's the problem. The fact that Arsene is overplaying him even when he's sick suggests that the rigours of the league might be getting to him. And while that may be the case, I think that his dip in form is down to his teammates, and not him.

The absence of Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain means that our team has had to adjust a lot and play in different positions. I'm constantly noticing a lack of movement in the final third, which would make Ozil difficult to find a man. I know that Ozil has really good vision, but shouldn't we give him something to see?

In my opinion, when our injured trio of wingers return, there will be more fresh legs in the team. Which means that our team won't be as tired as they were before, and that there will be no problems in positioning and movement. Ramsey will get his preferred position, and Ozil will find Walcott running in promising positions. Maybe the return of Walcott and Podolski will instigate that.


-Santi (Follow me on twitter: @ArsenalBlogz )