Football

Arsene Wenger with plenty of options for number 10

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It's no secret that Arsenal probably play the most attractive football in the Premier League.

One touch passing, quick one-twos, the ability to hold onto the ball under pressure as well as using the entire width of the pitch.

These are just some of the things that make Arsenal such a joy to watch. And how good does this brand of football look on that immaculate Emirates pitch?

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This brand of football, which fans will have watched a plenty at Barcelona, requires a confident player who can perform week in, week out, in the middle of the park. Andres Iniesta is probably the best example of such a player.

Arsene Wenger has signed numerous attacking midfielders over the last five or six seasons but has constantly shuffled around when it comes to picking the three support players behind the striker. 

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Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshire, Aaron Ramsay and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all been given the opportunity to nail down that position, yet under the reign of Wenger, none have been able to occupy that position permanently.

Alexis Sanchez was played central a number of times during his first Premier League campaign, but it doesn't take much to realise he's at his best on the flank.

Blistering pace, an unmatched work ethic and the ability to embarrass defenders in a one on one situation. This makes him the ideal winger, as he loves to get back and put in a tackle too.

Jack Wilshire has been ravaged by injury and fans, unfortunately, have not yet seen the best he has to offer.

But when used by Wenger, he usually plays in a deep midfield role. His ability to pick the ball up from the centre backs and drive forward is a trait any manager would love to see in his midfield.

He also carries a mean tackle in him, which one would think is best suited to a player who occupies a more defensive position on the field.

Aaron Ramsey has emerged as one of Arsenal's most consistent players since his return from injury. However, Mr Wenger has sparingly used him down the middle.

He has been deployed out wide on the right and formed a good partnership with Hector Bellerin. But Ramsey lacks the speed of an outright winger, which sometimes hampers his ability to go past the fullback in order to get a cross in.

Mesut Ozil plied his trade for Madrid centrally and was phenomenal before joining the Gunners. Wenger has stated that Ozil will be the preferred central attacking midfielder in the season to come, but over the past two years, he has swapped and interchanged with the two wide players. This has limited the positive effect he can have if he was to play centrally.

His first touch is magical, his vision extraordinary and his passing ability of the highest class. But so often, he is caught up in the moment and looks for a pass when really, he should be going for goal himself.

Ozil could easily increase his goal tally by five or six if he adopts a braver and more selfish attitude in, and around the box.

Santi Cazorla, the two-footed magician. Half of the players in the Arsenal squad don't even know which of his feet he is stronger with.

Whether it's corners, free kicks or a 50 yard pass sprayed across the pitch, Cazorla is so comfortable on either side. He also boasts a ferocious long range shot which helped him accumulate 12 goals in his debut season.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, when he first burst onto the scene a few years back, was on the lips of all football fans in England. However, a relentless run of injuries has hampered his game time, having never scored more than two goals in a season.

Nevertheless, his dribbling feet and added pace means he is always a threat to defenders, but nailing down a regular spot in the team won't be easy.

There you have it. A very brief run down of all the candidates to fulfil the central attacking midfield role at Arsenal.

It's a debate that could go on for days and hopefully this information can provoke an epiphany as to who should play central, if Arsenal are to challenge for the league title.

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Topics:
Jack Wilshere
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Arsenal
Santi Cazorla
Premier League
Aaron Ramsey
Arsene Wenger
Alexis Sanchez
Football

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