Analysis: Arsenal’s very best team with everyone fit – Here is mine

This time last year I would have said that picking Arsenal’s very best team would be quite difficult as we were picking up injuries left, right and centre.

But now that Arteta has brought in his own players over the last couple of summers, and with our injury list looking much reduced, I think we can safely assume that he knows how he wants the team to develop going forward.

Obviously the internationals may affect the players available to Arteta, but with the big test against the Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira coming up when Crystal Palace come to visit, I think it will interesting to see which XI we think would be our very best team, if everyone is fit.

Whatever our personal opinions, the consensus is that Ramsdale is the better option that Leno right now, so I think he picks himself.

The back line is just as obvious in my mind, Tomiyasu, Gabriel, White and Tierney look nailed on, but from what I’ve seen of Tavares I think that Tierney needs to stay fit or he may find himself demoted in the future.

Xhaka is the midfielder that will always divide opinion, but when he is fit he is the perfect partner for Thomas Partey in the middle. With the Swiss out injured, I am hoping that Lokonga can step up and make the spot his own, but he needs to improve his consistency.

I would love to see Pepe get an extended run as he came good at the end of last season, but it seems Arteta is going with the youthful trio of ESR, Ode and Saka.

Another big choice is between Aubameyang and Lacazette, but I am going to leave Auba as the target man as I consider Laca more of a creator than a finisher…

So here is my choice….


Tomiyasu.. Gabriel.. White.. Tierney

Xhaka.. Partey..

Smith-Rowe.. Odegaard.. Saka


So do you agree with that analysis? What is your best team?


  1. I agree with you
    However, I love to see more of 433, that means am replacing lokonga with Pepe or the left .
    Tomi Gabriel White KT
    ESR TP Ode
    Saka Auba Pepe

  2. The line up is fine, as they say, dont change or break something that is winning, unless circumstances force one to do so.

    1. I think you are getting carried away by the benefits which would arise from playing a right footed left back.Mancini and Guardiola were obliged to do as they are limited in the number of quality natural left backs available to them.Neither of the players you mention can cross a ball with their left foot on the run, which is the very reason why Tierney is effective.The trouble at Arsenal is that neither Laca or Auba are strong in the air, hence the reason for our apparent interest in the likes Calvin Lewin and Watkins.To select Tavares ahead of Tierney suggests to me a certain naivety on your part, but you are of course entitled to your opinion even though you make up what is a very tiny minority.

      1. Grandad I am so with your view that I do think even wingers too, are rarely truly effective when playing on their weaker foot.
        I see little benefit in playing Pepe on the right therefore. Yes he can, in theory, cut inside to his stronger foot and has done so a very FEW times with success.

        But OVERALL, we lose far more than we gain by so doing IMO.

        Of course, until we get a forward who is any good in the air Pepe is more or less wasted IMO, as his dribbling ability lacks the effectiveness of SAKA.
        Only world class wingers and wide players get consistent successs from cutting inside onto their stronger foot.
        USUALLY and with lesser players, it is ineffective, IMO.

  3. Based on Arteta’s 4-2-3-1:

    ……………………….. Ramsdale
    Tomiyasu . White . Magalhaes . Tavares
    ……………. Partey ……………. Xhaka
    Saka ……………. Odegaard …………. Smith-Rowe
    ……………………….. Lacazette

    White is there because of his accurate long passes and Tavares also starts the games because of his adept weaker foot

    1. Gai
      I concure with your line up👌I kind of like Tavares bcos of his size and confidence cutting into the midfield. Though his defending needs some work. Anyway, Tierney have not been on point defensively in recent games. I score him very low against Brighton.

    1. Ramsdale.
      Tomi,White,Gabriel, Tierney
      Martinelli,Laca, Saka.

      4-3-3 system with ESR and Lokonga as box to box operators.

      I am intrigued by the suggestion of. Gotanidea to include Tavares because of his “adept weaker foot” Perhaps he could explain exactly what he means and why this would lead to the dropping of our regular LB who is recognised by his fellow players, Managers of renown, and ex pros as one of the best in the League.

      1. Tavares used his weaker foot to cut inside more often than Tierney. So his movements become more unpredictable, since he can dribble along the left touchline or cut inside and shoot/ pass

        Tavares is taller as well, making him more difficult to beat in aerial duels. Tierney has been skinned by Traore, Zaha and Salah, whereas Tavares hasn’t played against those wingers yet

        If Tierney becomes more confident to play like Spinazzola or Cancelo on the left wing, he could be a hell of attacking LB

        1. @gotanidea
          You are a brilliant observer and I am impressed. Arrest signed Tierney based on the type of LB and RB of city. Tierney is too Traditional for and not dynamic for Arteta’s style and he won’t last long with injuries lurking at the corner.
          Tierney for me as well

          1. Tavares in
            Tierney out

            Note : More like the Helder Costa , Rafinha Situation at Leeds
            The fall of the former against Crystal Palace , a blessing in disguise for the later

          2. Thanks bro. I agree that Tierney is too conventional

            He’s still young and seems smart though, so he could show more dangerous movements as he did against WBA in January

  4. Ramsdale
    Tomiyasu White Gabriel Tierney
    Lokonga Partey
    Saka Oedegard Smith-Rowe

    The close ones for me are:
    Tierney – Tavares
    Lokonga – AMN
    Auba – Lacazette
    Smith-Rowe – Pepe

  5. Personally Atm my team would be


    Lokonga partey

    Saka Pepe Martinelli


    1. Any lineup that doesn’t include Odegaard is a bad lineup in my opinion. The boy pressing is world class and he seems to make everyone around him better.

      1. Zero pace and power and slows the play down , if pressing is your thing then I guess he would be your pick .
        Not for me but looks like he’s one of Artetas favourites along with Xhaka so what do I know .

  6. The inclusion of Pepe at the expense of ESR by a couple of people really surprises me – I would be interested to know the reasons why you think ESR isn’t good enough to start?

    1. My inclusion of Pepe was in place of Odegaard as I believe him to be a weak link ,I picked Martinelli over smith Rowe because he is a proper winger with bags of energy,but as not been given a fair chance ,smith Rowe as been put out wide to accommodate Odegaard in the middle making us weaker IMo ,maybe putting smith Rowe next to partey as he’s more of a CM .
      I think pepe would thrive playing as a 10 but like I said above we can all predict Artetas line up when all fit so my opinion is pretty pointless .
      We shall see over the next few months I suppose ,maybe we could then come back to this article when we have a clearer picture of the results coming our way .

    2. GUY, I think they are divorced from the REALITY of what we see game after game!


      1. Once again you do not read what is written
        My inclusion of Pepe was for Odegaard!!!!
        Now who teams of stupidity?
        Read what is written jonny boy not what you think was written

          1. He
            won’t reply to me Bobby boy ,as he knows I will make him look like a pleb as I always do ,his opinion to me is something that I wouldn’t even bother posting on ,Mr change mind every 2 secs .
            He’s a 🤡

  7. Totally agree with you guy. Perhaps they haven’t seen enough of Pepe to realise that his hit miss ratio is extreme and when he is bad he is non-existent. Also Odegaard without ESR is just a holing midfielder without much else to offer.

    1. Depends on peoples line ups also and not going with what Arteta as been putting out as ATM we playing with 2 number 10s .

  8. Less emphasis on formation and more on players for me. Play Rams, Tomi, Tierney, White, Gabriel, Partey, Odo, Saka, and ESR regardless. The other two spots dictate formation.
    4-2-3-1. Laca, Xhaka, The Pepster, Lokongo, Elneny
    4-3-3 Auba, Martinelli,
    Any Martinelli, AMN, Tavares

    Not sure who I missed.

  9. I envisage a rift between Arteta and Tierney very soon . It the next big thing to happen in the Arsenal squad after Leno. If you’re able to notice the football of Tierney this season , it doesn’t agree with Arteta’s philosophy.

  10. I would make two changes.

    Holding for White

    Lacazette for Aubameyang

    The reason these two are not playing is because:

    White cost $50m, and Holding didn’t

    Lacazette won’t sign a new contract (and who could blame him), and Auba is paid a fortune (which needs to be justified).

  11. Based on Arteta’s 4-2-3-1:

    ……………………….. Ramsdale
    Tomiyasu . White . Magalhaes . Tierney
    ……………. Partey ……………. Xhaka
    Saka ……………. Odegaard …………. Smith-Rowe
    ……………………….. Martinelli

  12. IMO Saka, AMN and Nketiah are wired to offer more as wing forwards than Pepe, Auba, Martinelli and ESR. But Arteta isn’t going to develop them.

    Bellerin needing new challenge should have been tried as a winger. I’ve always said his education went wrong by being evolved into a defender. With his qualities and decent coaching he should have been a very perfect winger, forward or back.

  13. Ramsdale
    Tomiyasu – White – Magalhaes – Tierney
    Lokonga – Partey
    Saka – Odegaard – Smith-Rowe

    Pepe – Martinelli – Aubameyang – Tavares – Xhaka

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