The beauty of having many superstars in the team is that the team is strong but the pain is that they can’t all play at the same time, some will have to make do with sitting on the bench. If this isn’t well managed, it could lead to unhealthy rivalry and threaten the harmony and serenity in the dressing room.
Arsenal fans clamoured for a big name and money signing and Wenger yielded their cries by landing former Real Madrid German midfielder Mesut Ozil for 42.4million Pounds. While it was a welcome development, it brings huge competition into the attacking midfield that already boasts of sound players Jack Wilshere, Thomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla.
The role Ozil will be playing is a position that can be filled by only a player which means three out of Wilshere, Cazorla, Rosicky or Ozil will have to make do with the bench. Since signing, Ozil has only played 2 matches for Arsenal (Sunderland and Marseille) and in both games, Cazorla and Rosicky were absent which made the decision an easy one but it won’t be so easy when both returns or at least one of them.
Cazorla is likely to be the first to return and what happens when he returns? In the interim, owing to the absence of other natural left wingers, Podolski and Chamberlain, Cazorla is likely going to be asked to fill in on the left wing but on the return of Podolski, he might have to start cooling his heels off on the bench. Of the 4 candidates vying for the attacking midfield role ( Wilshere, Ozil, Cazorla and Rosicky), the Czech star is the least favoured owing to his age and injury record and that leaves Wilshere, Cazorla and big money signing Ozil.
Wilshere is the future of English football and dropping him to the bench would incur the wrath of fans while Cazorla is fans favourite owing to his mesmerizing displays and eye for goal in his maiden season but Ozil is the club’s record signing and will be bad for business to have him sit on the bench. Every top player wants to play all the top matches in the EPL and Champions League. What then is the solution?
Podolski makes a permanent switch to the center forward role where he battles Giroud for the lone striker position. Cazorla moves onto the left wing, he will thrive there because of his ambidexterity while Ozil pulls the strings from a free role through the center and Wilshere who is the youngest of the lot would make do with coming from the bench to see off games. That way, we can maintain the same level of attacking intensity for 90 minutes.
No player should complain of limited opportunities, they should know when they call for Wenger to splash the cash on big money signings, they are asking for a reduction in their playing time.