Arsene Wenger has given some insight into his thinking when it comes to balancing the Arsenal midfield without Santi Cazorla.
The Spaniard has been ruled out for up to three months as he prepares to undergo surgery to correct an ankle problem, and it leaves the Arsenal manager with something to consider when selecting his team.
He says that who he choose elsewhere has an effect on his decision making when it comes to the centre of midfield.
“You think about it in a global way,” he said, “and when you integrate more than two players, with Ozil you have to balance that.
“Sometimes I play Iwobi or Chamberlain so the combination has to be in the four or five.
“I consider Walcott and Alexis to be strikers, in their mind and the way they play. So around them you have to build a team that is balanced.”
And without Cazorla, there’s further thinking to do.
“When I play Santi most of the time I have Coquelin because he is a really defensive breaker of attacks,” he continued. He gives Santi more freedom.
“We are close with the balance as Xhaka in midfield is moving upwards. He has a different influence to Santi.
“Santi is more of a guy who gets out of very tight situations with a very short technique, right and left foot, while Xhaka has a pass and is not a dribbler.
“He passes through the lines.”
So that should make everything crystal clear, right? We’ll see later on which duo he selects to do the job against West Ham.