The XI: Dortmund vs Arsenal – Flamini and Ozil out!
Chambers – Mertesacker – Koscielny – Gibbs
Arteta – Ramsey
Ox– Wilshere– Sanchez
The changes at the back are inevitable. In fact those are the only four defenders available in Arsenal’s senior squad. How brilliant.
In midfield, there were two players from the Manchester City match who have to be withdrawn. That will be Mathieu Flamini and Mesut Ozil. The former has lost his athleticism as a defensive midfielder while the latter has somehow lost the ability to even perform. Flamini is aging and his decline is understandable but whatever lies behind Ozil’s drop in form – which goes all the way back to winter 2014 – remains a mystery. The issue with Ozil is really lack of work ethic more so than lack of form. Playing out of position or not, you can accept a bad day from any player, but what is unacceptable is a lazy day. With that said, the occasionally puzzling Arsene Wenger may continue to play Ozil on Tuesday – out of position or not.
Arteta is not the idle defensive midfielder, but he is the best we have. So the Spaniard should slot back in there along with someone else in Ramsey who has some of the muscle that Arsenal often lacks in midfield when without possession. After his exploits on Saturday. Jack Wilshere should be assigned the role of creativity source, feeding the forward line.
No one needs a reminder that Dortmund is a tough place to go, and like any away game, it is imperative that Arsenal field a starting line-up full of players who can turn into eleven defenders when they lose the ball.That is why Oxlade-Chamberlain is drafted in ahead of Cazorla because on an occasion like Tuesday where Arsenal’s resolve will be tested, everyone who knows how to track back at Arsenal FC needs to be on that pitch. In addition to that, the Ox along with Sanchez, will give the opposition that pace, energy and trickery on the flanks that every defender hates to face.
With Yaya Sanogo injured while Podolski and Campbell continue to retain their roles as peripheral figures, the choice upfront can only be one guy. That guy Welbeck.