Arsenal have relied heavily on Olivier Giroud up front this season, but Arsene Wenger may have better options than initially believed at Emirates Stadium.
The mood amongst Arsenal fans is buoyant this season, with the signing of Mesut Ozil lifting the club in every way.
However, the prevailing fear amongst fans of the Gunners is that should first choice striker Olivier Giroud be ruled out of action through injury, the paucity of options behind him are a major concern.
In this international break though, three factors emerged to allay those fears somewhat.
1. Ozil’s positional change
The first was the rather unusual false nine role played by Mesut Ozil for Germany last night against the Republic of Ireland.
Ozil’s country suffered somewhat of a striker crisis recently, with just a single forward selected to face the Irish.
Veteran goalscorers Miroslav Klose, Mario Gomez and Lukas Podolski were all absent with injury, while Bayer Leverkusen man Stefan Kiessling is out of favour with Joachim Low, meaning that Borussia Monchengladbach star Max Kruse was the only natural centre forward in the German camp.
That meant that Ozil was selected up front, and his movement dropping deep and wide made it firstly difficult for the Irish defence to track him, and secondly gave him space to play runners in behind.
“I wanted to create a constant overload in midfield and lure Ireland out,” said Germany manager Joachim Low.
“This was once an experiment against a very defensive team. It was important for me to see this system again.”
Whilst Thomas Muller is perhaps more familiar with the false nine position, having played it more often for his club Bayern Munich, it was interesting to see Low choose Ozil as the focal point of the side, with few players better in terms of movement and finding space off the ball.
Ozil scored in injury time to cap a solid performance – his seventh in total of nine FIFA World Cup qualification Group C matches.
With Arsenal currently struggling to fit all their talented midfielders into one starting XI, they may elect to deploy their German superstar up front, with the likes of Jack Wilshere and the returning Santi Cazorla capable of playing in the hole just behind.