Finally Arsenal had some positive injury news last weekend when Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey all made the match day squad for the visit of Stoke City with Ozil and Walcott getting some much needed minutes under their belt. So does this mean that Ozil is in prime position for a start tomorrow (Sunday)? Arsene Wenger’s men make the trip to the Etihad Stadium to take on the champions Manchester City where last season they were embarrassed in a 6-3 defeat which was an “oh too familiar feeling” for Arsenal fans and another heavy loss away to a top four side, something which cost them the title in all truth.
Santi Cazorla has been in inspirational form this season and has been the unsung hero in recent weeks, while Alexis Sanchez has taken all the plaudits. The little Spaniard has been one of the most consistent performers in the Premier league in the last month and it is very easy to make the case for Cazorla to start against Manchester City, he looks fresh and has shown a desire to keep the shape in centre midfield. In the absence of Ozil the Spanish international has taken his chance and has operated in Ozil’s infamous No.10 position.
Cazorla has made his case in an interview published in the Express, “I always try to make goals,” Cazorla said. “It’s important for me because I am a midfielder and I always want to help the team score, and I will try to make more before the end of the season.
“I have more space [in the middle], more possibilities to score and assist, and I like this position very much. I can always help the team and I love when I play in the middle.”
Cazorla’s performances saw him voted Player of the Month for December by the Emirates faithful.
“I can only give thanks to the fans for voting for me,” the 30-year-old added. “I’m very happy when I play at home, so thanks for the support.
“I want to continue to play at this level for the rest of the season. I always want to help the team with goals. I hope to score more until the end of the season. It’s very important for me and the team.”
Ozil managed just 17 minutes on his return which will be the biggest reason if the German play maker is to miss out against Man City, he has been a big miss and for all his doubters Arsenal are clearly a lesser threat without his ability behind the likes of Olivier Giroud. In the coming weeks fans could be treated to some mouthwatering attacking displays with the possibility of Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott and Olivier Giroud which will provide a great balance of power, skill and intelligence. That is something that has been missing for a few months which is one of the reasons for Arsenal’s inconsistencies this campaign.
So Who Should Start Against Man City?
Santi Cazorla would definitely get my vote, I have always been one for playing players that are in form and it is hard to argue against that. Cazorla has played in 20 games this season creating 47 chances and on top of that contributing 4 goals and 3 assists.
I am a massive Mesut Ozil fan but the truth is that he is not known for his work rate if anything he is the complete opposite to Sanchez and Cazorla in that respect and with this trip to Man City being a pivotal moment in the race for a top four spot it is imperative that Arsenal make it difficult for Manuel Pellegrini’s side early on which was not the case last season.
There is not a great world of difference between either players stats, admittedly I have compared Cazorla’s from this season and Ozil’s last to get the best possible comparison. Cazorla has showed a lot of quality this season in various positions in midfield he has played on either flank, in the No.10 role and also just in front of the back four, for the visit to the Etihad Arsenal are going to need to be flexible positionally if they have any chance of taking anything out of the game.
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