Arsenal Can Get A Result In Dortmund… If They Drop Özil

Arsenal kick off their Champions League campaign in Dortmund tonight, against a side that have lost their biggest players over the last few seasons but who are still a top top side. With Jurgen Klopp at the helm, they will always be a threat to any team and they will give us a lot of problems tonight.

Last season we travelled to Germany and with a goal from Aaron Ramsey, essentially nicked a result in Dortmund. That result and performance was based on defensive stability, something which we will struggle with tonight.

Mathieu Debuchy suffered a bad injury at the weekend, with reports saying he’ll be out for the next 2 or 3 months. Nacho Monreal is out with a back problem (but should be back for the weekend) and Calum Chambers, Debuchy’s natural replacement at right back, is 50/50 as he’s suffering from tonsillitis.

Fortunately, Gibbs is back but if Chambers can’t make it then it looks more and more likely that youngster Hector Bellerin will be thrown into the deep end. The kid looked lively in The Emirates Cup, but a Champions League game is a bit of an ask. He was on loan at Watford last season (where he made a handful of appearances) and is quicker than Theo Walcott. Apart from that, I don’t know much about him.

But whoever starts, and whether it is the young Spaniard, then we will just have to support him and hope he puts in a decent performance.

If Hector Bellerin does start (meaning that Chambers is not fit enough to play, and therefore the bench) then we will have a crisis if any one of our back line picks up an injury during the game.

And that brings me to my next point, Arsenal can’t afford to carry anyone tonight and that means Santi Cazorla needs to start instead of Mesut Özil.

In last seasons away game against Borussia Dortmund, it was almost a “backs against the wall” performance where we withstood a lot of Dortmund pressure and nicked a goal on the break. The tactic worked perfectly (and showed that Arsene can play a conservative game, although he didn’t do it enough last season) but was dependent on every single player running themselves into the ground.

Alexis Sanchez is a player you know will give absolutely everything, offensively and defensively, and the same goes for Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere. You can also say the same about Santi Cazorla, but you can’t say the same about Mesut Özil.

Clearly, he’s struggling for form at this moment in time but tonight is not for Arsenal to carry a player who doesn’t offer anything defensively. Dortmund are a quick, dynamic team and they will attack us (with pace) at every opportunity. That means that every Arsenal player needs to be switched on and needs to track back when needed. How did Coleman score against Arsenal a few weeks ago? When Özil failed to track his man and gave the Everton full back a free header.

Simply put, things like that just cannot happen against a top side like Dortmund, otherwise they’ll score 4 or 5 against us.

So Arsene Wenger needs to be brave, and drop Mesut Özil tonight and think about the team as a whole.


16 thoughts on “Arsenal Can Get A Result In Dortmund… If They Drop Özil

  1. So, we should drop the player who was instrumental in creating the winner we scored at the same stadium last season? You really shouldn’t hit the crack pipe before you write a post.

  2. Why cant everyone see that wenger is to be blamed for ozil below par perfomance?
    He continue to play this guy wide game after game when both the player and mourinho knows he is one if not the best no. 10 in the world.

  3. Arsene Wenger needs to be sensible tonight…..and continue to keep the club’s interests at the forefront as he always has done………and not take advice from some bloke who runs a blog!

  4. He’s a good player on his day. i doubt tonight is his since he hasnt really impressed in the big games. Recall the frustrating 5 against pool where he assisted in one of the goals? Or the 6 against chelsea or the six against city. he is simply not good enough defensively and i would opt for Ox in that position and Carzola in that role

    • Hey, Özil didn’t play against Chelsea for the 6-0… I know that now it’s the trend to blame him for any goal taken but please, not when he is not on the pitch…

  5. Ozil is tired – the guy has played in a new league (Premier League) last season and had to settle into a new club and country. Then he’s played all summer in the World Cup, playing the maximum number of games possible.

    Arsene should drop him and give the guy a rest. Persisting on playing him when he’s clearly not mentally or physically up to it is counter-productive.

  6. Pingback: Who I Would Have Picked For Last Nights Game Against Dortmund | Arsenal 4 Life Blog | Arsenal News, Match Reports, Previews, Opinions, Fans Forum

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