Does Rosicky still have a place in the Arsenal team?

The loyalty of Tomas Rosicky has never been a question. Signed from Dortmund in the summer of 2006, Rosicky has been one of Arsenal’s most shrewd signing of all time. Rosicky’s style of play is what represent’s Arsenal in a nutshell. Fearless, unselfish, quick, the little Mozart has given Arsenal many goals to remember. His goals against Sunderland, Hamburg and the brace against Liverpool is just Tomas Rosicky at his best. When everybody left, he stayed with the club. He was finally rewarded last season with the FA cup triumph.

Arsenal have unlimited options in midfield. Ozil, Ramsey, Santi, Wilshere and Arteta are amongst the best of what we have at the moment. Not to mention that Arsenal are also currently in the market for another defensive midfielder. Rosicky’s place and involvement in team could be very limited from now.

Nevertheless, I still believe that Tomas Rosicky has what it takes to compete for spots in the team. His footballing brain, selflessness and quick burst of pace may just be what we need off the bench if we are chasing a game. Despite the many injuries, Arsene has decided to keep faith in Rosicky. Thus, I believe he must have something that we do not know about. He could be a very vital piece to us considering that we are looking to launch a serious assault on the premier league, but I fear he will only get a game when our usual injury list gets out of hand.

Is Rosicky’s presence still vital in the team?

Arsenal’s awesome midfield options…

Arsenal have quality players in all areas on the pitch however when it comes to considering where the majority of our talent lies, there is no doubt that the club’s main strength is in midfield.

Arsenal have three good goalkeepers within the squad, with Szczesny being the best by some distance, whilst in defence we have majorly improved with both Mertesacker and Koscielny working incredibly hard on their game. Not forgetting we have Sagna and Gibbs on the defensive flanks, Arsenal’s defence is looking strong, however not as a strong as the midfield which is absolutely overflowing with talent.

Arteta spoke earlier to Sky Sports regarding the club’s midfield talent and he made some very good points: “It helps the team because we can rotate players and we can play differently, we can play with two [in midfield] and it gives us another option. No-one has been able to play every game this season. I think the league is getting more demanding, you need a big squad, you can’t afford to have only 11 players.”

I found it funny in January to see that the majority of players we were being linked with in the window were in fact midfielders because surely we don’t need any more in that position. Arteta mentioned that you cannot afford to have just eleven players in today’s high intensity footballing calendar; however Arsenal could in fact make their own starting eleven out of quality midfielders alone.

The list seems almost endless but with such quality players including Ozil, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ramsey, Rosicky, Arteta, Flamini, Podolski, Chamberlain and Walcott, just being the majority, it seems difficult to see how there would be room for a Draxler figure in the dressing room. But with all this talent on the books, it’s obvious how we are far better in terms of creativity and attack.

Arsenal do have a big squad, and the key figure is that it is filled with a mixture of experience and youth now, instead of the primarily youth it was filled with when we had the likes of Fabregas, Song and Nasri, backed up by the growing Ramsey and Wilshere. The midfield talent alone could win any game, through the control of the ball and the creativity the majority of those players hold, however the strength in depth should hopefully see a chance for rotation in the final stage of the season; as well as a chance for change if our options aren’t working out.

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In my opinion, Mikel Arteta is probably one of the most underrated players not just at Arsenal but in the entire Premier League. Who would have imagined that this ‘panic buy’ that Arsene Wenger signed on transfer deadline day in summer 2011 for £10 million would have ever turned out not just to be an important player on the pitch for Arsenal but also off it.

When he signed almost two years ago, did any of you expect him to have such an impact on the team? I mean I certainly didn’t think he would one day be Arsenal’s captain for a lot of games, in fact what was basically the entire second half of the season. His role is often forgotten about and what he does for the team often goes unnoticed.

He may not score a lot of goals, or get a lot of assists but he holds other attributes that make his position on the field and presence of the player himself such a key aspect to Arsenal’s game.

Our game is focused around passing the ball. Arteta has almost every attribute of passing style and talent you could possibly think of. Alongside Wilshere and Cazorla, Arteta is the pass master of midfield and often makes the most passes during a game.

Games are also heavily based around midfield and Arteta controls the midfield very well and is key to making sure not only he controls the midfield and Arsenal are dominate in possession but also that he protects the back four from any passing attacking threats.

Some have called for Arteta’s role to be axed from the team, if a figure such as Fellaini comes in and ultimately I agree that it should be Arteta that makes way, especially if we go with the three man set up of Arteta, Wilshere and Cazorla. However if its Arteta, Ramsey and Wilshere, then Arteta should definitely remain in the team. His experience is vital, not to mention even though he is now in his early thirties, he still has undeniable talent.

I really don’t understand why people underrate Arteta so much. He may not be the best player on the pitch, but he continues to do his job consistently and has arguably turned into one of our most important players currently at the club, since his arrival less than two years ago.

Chamberlain looking for a more central role at Arsenal

The centre of midfield for OX?

Arsenal star and England International Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has told the media that although he wishes to play in his favoured midfield position, he is happy to play anywhere on the pitch to help out the team.

Chamberlain stated; “It’s not really for me to say (where I play) at this stage. I need to make sure, whether I’m asked to play in the middle or out wide, that I put in good performances and develop my game so I can be called up in different positions. I grew up as a more natural midfielder, so whenever I get the opportunity to come on in midfield I try to do so and I’m happy and excited to show that I’ve got some attributes in midfield.”

“I’m only going to get better in that position with game time and when I’m out wide I’ve got to improve my game and keep improving just in general. When the opportunities are to come on in the middle, I’ve got to try to show that I can take them – that I’ve got another side to my game if you like.”

It’s true that he should focus on where he is told to play and if Wenger thinks that he should be played on the wing then maybe he will look to develop him in that position rather than midfield. But say the Ox does begin to play more regularly in midfield then should Arsenal be looking to add another winger to our ranks.
With Gervinho possibly on the way out, Chamberlain moving to the middle, Walcott and Podolski wishing to be central strikers it seems as if we aren’t left with any natural wide players at the club.

Over the course of the season Chamberlain flourished several times in midfield and as he stated he takes the opportunities he gets and this can be seen is how comfortable he is playing there. In every match you’ll notice he always drifts inside from the wing and so this pre-season maybe it would be good to see AOC get a few games in the middle.

Theo Walcott isn’t worried about competition from Oxlade-Chamberlain

Most Arsenal fans think that both Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are wingers as that is where they play every week in the current Arsenal formation, but Walcott himself doesn’t think that The Ox is a candidate to replace him in the team.

Walcott believes that they can both play together, but with Theo as a striker and Chamberlain as an attacking midfielder behind him.

Walcott said: “It’s always great to have competition. You want to play well, you want the team to play well and to have other ­players around keeps you on your toes.

“Alex is a good lad and we get on very well. He gets on with his job and he is learning the game. But we are totally different players, to be honest.

“He’s told me that he’s an attacking midfield player, that he likes to play just behind the ­striker in that free role. And I can see that because he’s very powerful when he gets the ball.”

The thing with both players is that it doesn’t matter where they think they play, they just have to get used to doing whatever Wenger tells them to do. So get back out on those wings!

Arsenal’s midfield options when Wilshere returns

When Wilshere returns to the Arsenal squad in the New Year, Arsene Wenger would have his work cut out in deciding which players should feature in the Arsenal midfield and how will the midfield back the offense and support the defence to the fullest. Ultimately, to win a football match, the midfield battle is extremely important. Having a strong midfield will also propel Arsenal’s push for titles way forward. Now, I will consider the best scenario with no injuries at all.

First option
VanPersie
Gervinho Walcott
Arteta
Song Wilshere

This will allow Arteta to support the attack with his incisive passes, feeding the flanks and play passes to VanPersie. Furthemore with 2 holding midfielders, Arsenal will provide more cover for our back four. This is the best choice in my opinion.

second option

VanPersie
Gervinho Ramsey Walcott
Arteta/Wilshere Song
This option is also considerable and with Ramsey maturing as a brilliant offensive player, he can back up VanPersie’s game. The flanks will also support the midfield with their pace, dribbling skills and technical ability. Once again, Arsenal will also benefit the best from two strong defensive midfielders.

Third option
VanPersie
Gervinho Ramsey Arteta Walcott
Song/Wilshere
This choice will focus a lot on the offense and Arsenal will be very free scoring and be one of the most fascinating teams to watch in the league. However this will expose the defence a lot and Arsenal may be vulnerable to the counter attack.
Regardless of which option Arsene chooses, it must back the play of VanPersie and he is the key of our offense. If Arsenal can adjust to the midfield pattern in time, Arsenal will be a team feared by many others.