Why we must sell Ozil, Wilshere or Cazorla
There have been persistent signs since the emergence of Cesc Fabregas almost a decade ago that Arsene Wenger has become obsessed with playmakers.
Players who fill that role are essential but when you have two, three or even four players who are all number 10’s in the same team, it can be detrimental to other positions in the starting eleven.
That is the situation Arsenal currently face and have faced for the best part of a decade now.
Arsene Wenger has almost neglected the defensive department of central midfield to accommodate the inclusion of several playmakers – ever since he noticed the sheer creativity of Fabregas.
It appears as though if he had not stumbled upon Coquelin through Arteta’s injury two seasons ago, Wenger would have still kept faith in the idea of playing half-hearted defensive midfielders in his ultra attack teams.
Apart from the Barcelona of Pep Guardiola a few years ago, no other glorious side has managed to reach the upper echelons of football without the contribution of an orthodox defensive midfielder or a disciplined box-to-box midfielder.
Apart from the aforementioned Coquelin and perhaps new signing Granit Xhaka, there is arguably no midfielder at Arsenal who could do the work of Claudio Makelele and protect our occasionally feeble back-four.
Aaron Ramsey lacks the discipline, Jack Wilshere lacks the presence (never mind fitness) and Santi Cazorla is no tough-tackling midfield general.
The brilliant Spaniard is a deep-lying playmaker at best, but getting carried away by his impressive partnership with Coquelin prior to his recent injury could be at the expense of a more powerful and tactically astute option we could find elsewhere.
And considering Arsenal’s carelessly open approach to attack sometimes, recommending at least two proper holding midfielders in Wenger’s starting line-up would not be an outlandish statement.
Therefore, it has to be said that one of either Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil (perhaps Aaron Ramsey) or even Santi Cazorla will have to be sacrificed for a powerful, Vieira-like option in midfield because let’s be honest; we need more tackling and less passing in that midfield of ours.