Arsenal Debate – Our best starting XI (including the Germans) ?

Wenger’s first choice XI once the German contingent becomes available by SE

Post his astute transfer acquisitions this summer, Wenger couldn’t have asked for more heading into the new season. But, the cherry was laid on top of the cake on Sunday, when Arsenal annihilated the Premier League Champions, Manchester City, to win the FA Community Shield.

Impressive performances were aplenty from the North London outfit, which had Cazorla and Chambers starring for them in their big win. As unfortunate as it could turn out to be, both Cazorla and Chambers might have to take their place on the Emirates bench come this Saturday or, at the latest, once the German contingent, returning from their World Cup triumph, becomes available for selection.

But, to put things into perspective: Wenger could have a couple of really tricky selection issues to address.

Chambers, being the youngster and more so a teenager, would have to make way for the lanky German Mertesacker, once he becomes available for selection. But Cazorla’s spot is both intriguing and apprehensive.

In what looks to be a shift in the system from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3, Arsenal’s engine room can hold 3 players, as opposed to two until last season. Mikel Arteta looks set to play as the Defensive Midfielder, as opposed to Jack Wilshere, who was said to land the ‘anchor role’ for Arsenal this season. Ramsey is possibly the first name on the team sheet, with the stature he has grown into. So it’s a toss up between Wilshere and Arteta – where one of them could make way for Cazorla, once Ozil returns.

Let us also not become oblivious to Cazorla being an Attacking Midfielder during his time in Spain, which is why Wilshere is in a huge spot of bother. As irrational as it sounds, Wilshere, in all probability, would have to make way for Cazorla, with Ozil playing as the Left-Winger.

Albeit the competition for places can lead to the manager having to make a tough decision or two, it bodes well for Wenger that he has a huge pool of players to choose from, with Arsenal involved in four competitions over the course of the season.

Wenger’s first choice XI:

Wojciech Szczesny(GK), Mikel Arteta(C), Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez.

Tags Mertesacker Ozil Wilshere


  1. Hafiz Rahman says:

    what about wilshere, walcott and ox?

    1. passionate goona says:


      campbell MESUT theo

      RAMSEY arteta

      gibbz BOSS bfg debuchy


      1. karansagar says:



        1. Wonder says:

          The only reason why we have to put giroud or Sanogo is for their height and we can only afford tol eave them if we get a tall and imposing CDM, our players are too short especially for set pieces!

          1. Am a Gooner u bitches!!! says:

            you need only if ur opponents get ball…

          2. Am a Gooner u bitches!!! says:


        2. LoveHateHero says:

          If we can just replace Arteta with a world class CDM..that would be an awesome team that would make opponents shit their pants. 😀

        3. Am a Gooner u bitches!!! says:


          sub:ospina arteta(can do vermalean) ox/wilshere campbell/podolski rosicky flamini(covers lb) giroud/sonogo

          1. mula1 says:

            Chambers as DM and Arteta sits on bench? Comedy!! At least not this season, maybe Chambers will be ready as that for next season doh

          2. Am a Gooner u bitches!!! says:

            well I respect your opinion…

    2. SackWenger says:


    3. Patrick Shiiiza says:

      Our best starting XI? Surely it depends more on who we are playing. We have many choices up in attack and just depends if we want to play more counter attacking or full possession.

      When Özil starts playing we will probably go back into 4-2-3-1. But 4-3-3 would allow us to rest some players as well as tailor it to opposition. I think we should see it like that.

      But if all players return to form then KOS-MERT, Özil, Ramsey, Sanchez are almost guaranteed starters. BUT AGAIN, it really depends what we need AND who we need to rest.

    4. mohawk says:

      sorry, only room for 11 starters as much as you would like to start 14.

    5. 100percentARSE says:

      Why does everyone rule out walcott playing as a Left winger? he has a very good left foot and he can pretty much immitate henrys runs cutting in on his stronger side.





      Its really hard leaving out Santi Wilshere Campbell and Poldi but id rotate Walcott with Santi Wilshere with Ozil and Campbell with Sanchez And poldi with giroud and sanogo since poldi didnt get enough time to settle as a CF debut season and torn ham string in the 2nd.

  2. Root says:

    I’ll leave that to the boss to decide since he’s the one who watches them play in training.

  3. Jonny says:

    No theo walcott???

    1. Patrick Shiiiza says:

      obviously, but he’s only fit in one or two months?

      for Özil- extreme counter attacking pace and trickery:
      OX/Campbell —- Sanchez —- Walcott
      Arteta/Flamini/new CDM —- Ramsey

      I think Wenger will go for young CDM like Carvalho or Rabiot. It means Flamini and Arteta can still play while the new guy adjusts. Hence why I think Khedira is off. He would immediately push flamini and Arteta out, which we probably should do. But still…

  4. butters says:

    It might be Arteta and Rosicky last season an important player or for the club, either way, Arsenal need a matured at this position. I doubt Zelalem will be ready by next season. I hope our scout are workin at it

    1. PomzFromDayOne says:

      Your proper buttaz mate.

  5. Ronny331 says:

    Although Cazorla is not really as LW player, I’d rather he played there and Ozil took up the #10 role. Ox and Campbell can be utilised off the bench at LW for impact.
    When Walcott is fit and back playing I’d like to see Giroud benched and Walcott / Sanchez rotated at RW and STR. I don’t think we know yet which is the best option.
    Giroud can be an impact sub and also used if we decide to play 2 up front. He also will have a big part to play against the more physical sides and the ones that provide an aerial threat in their game.

    In front of the back four I am still hoping for Ramsey and NEW DM player.
    I prefer the 4-2-3-1 formation and believe it will work more effectively this year with the pace that’s come back into the side on the flanks, (Ox, Campbell, Sanchez, Walcott).

    Not sure where Sanogo fits in here, I don’t think we should loan him out but keep him for the easier games, (if there are any!) and early cup games. It’s important to see him notch up his first PL goal very soon.

  6. dkamau says:

    i think wenger will continue using a flexible 4-2-3-1 so as to change to 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1 as the game progresses.

    but we will have to manage our Germans very well esp Ozil thats why cazorla is important so as to fill that CAM when the mesut is out

  7. fed-up gunner says:

    That’s not the best line up; I think the end of the transfer window n d 1st couple of matches will shape dat

  8. davidnz says:

    Arsenals back 5
    is generally sound.
    However the huge pool of
    midfielders is another kettle of
    elephants altogether.
    Their form line =
    1 good game
    1 average game
    1 shocker
    3 games injured.
    I believe because of injury and wild form fluctuation
    this season will again be a game by game proposition.

    1. josh37 says:

      you posted this on a previous article and no-one cared.
      It’s a wild speculation based on nothing as per usual… great job!!

  9. Tidan2 says:

    This is the first season where we don’t have an obvious starting 11 and it is brilliant!

    The back line is pretty secure and then Sanchez/Ozil/Ramsey will start but Ozil and Sanchez won’t always play the same position (LW/RW/ST and LW/AM/RW)

    then there is Walcott who won’t get into the starting lineup until he is fully fit but should slot back into RW once he is.

    Giroud may be dislodged by Sanogo (based on his 4 goals and 2 assists) or Sanchez (maybe even Walcott, Sanchez knows how thread a ball from the right).

    Then there is Cazorla who will probably get the LW spot but I can see Campbell/Ox challenging if they keep up their good performances (especially Campbell/ they have the bonus of pace). Podolski will only be used as an impact sub when we need to score I suspect or when we have injuries.

    The DMF role right now is wide open with Arteta as captain, Wilshere as the youngster who has lost his way and also play more as a Box-to-Box, Diaby is fantastic when fit, Flamini is added steel. All I know is that if Ozil or Ramsey need a rest we have plenty of cover if the opposition is top.

  10. AYZAY says:

    The Germans are back, just love that sweet picture of cow-eyed ozzz-ill, good ol mert, and prince poldi, #can’traitfortheseasontostart.

  11. AYZAY says:

    The Germans are back, just love that sweet picture of cow-eyed ozzz-ill, good ol mert, and prince poldi, #can’twaitfortheseasontostart.

  12. cardo87 says:

    Daniel Agger for 10million… Discuss.

    1. Patrick Shiiiza says:

      gotta say naaaaah. although there is merit in getting a more experienced back-up and one younger one— Chambers. Still no. There are better and it might be worth looking to the future.

  13. Ronny331 says:

    It was interesting watching Pullis on MOTD talking about how strong Arsenal are now.
    He’s tactically a very good manager, I suspect he will pack the midfield park a scarlet and blue bus and hope to draw us out and counter quickly.
    He’ll also focus on set plays to try and get goals against us, better not let them get in our half then 🙂
    Can’t wait for Saturday, COYG!!!

  14. ikrajb says:

    Debuchy – Per – Kos – Gibbs
    Chambers – Ramsey
    Alexis – Özil – Cazorla

    With this setup Chambers can easily drop down to cb, Per to sweeper and Alexis join Theo on top for a nice 3-5-2 formation when we need to hold a lead

    1. Wazzzimbo says:

      That’s a nice set up which I’d 90% agree with. I can see it happening but then we’d need another 2 CB’s… yes Chambers can play there but if he was to get injured, then we’ve lost a first choice CDM + third choice CB as opposed to just the one position. I agree with you that Walcott is probably the better option to put up front as he has developed into a quality finisher. If I’d put more money on who was to bag 20+ league goals for us (provided they were fit) it would be on Theo, not to dishearten Alexis, but his work ethic and passing seems better than Theo’s and would be better used on the wings (but can work upfront if we have injuries).

      For now:
      Debuchy – Per – Kos – Gibbs
      Arteta – Ramsey
      Alexis – Ozil – Cazorla

      I would take Carvalho with open arms as he’d be a brilliant first choice CDM + 4th choice CB.

      With that addition:
      Debuchy – Per – Kos – Gibbs
      Carvalho – Ramsey
      Alexis – Ozil – Cazorla

  15. Arsenalover says:

    I think its better to change
    4-2-3-1 to 4-2-2-2
    —— Szczesny,
    Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs,
    ——-Cazorla/Ox_ Ozil/Rosicky
    —-Walcott/Giroud __ Sanchez/Poldi.

    1. Robin Vanpayslip says:

      Just tried that formation and my PSP exploded. I don’t think it’s going to work.


  16. Ronny331 says:

    Agger for 10m, personally I don’t rate him too much and I’d prefer we bought a younger player if we could, (Veltman, Manalos).
    I appreciate that it’s difficult to find the right type of player and particularly one that is prepared to sit on the bench. I think the fact that Agger can play LB as well is a positive, also the fact he is experienced in general and in the PL. Questions over his injury record I believe though.
    At 10m we’d have an extra 5m from TV5’s sale to put towards the DM player maybe? 🙂

    1. cardo87 says:

      Yes mate I agree I’d like someone younger and less injury prone. But I think for that money with his experience and prior to last season he’s been a solid defender he would be a steady signing. As you touched on I’d rather put any money possible toward a World class CDM.
      I was just interested to see people’s thoughts. I don’t believe Liver would sell to us anyway.

      1. 007 says:

        Howdes – experienced, strong, good pace on him, and very versatile (CB / LB / RB), a German machine that plays across the line.

        1. Robin Vanpayslip says:

          I doubt he will want to be anything less than a first team player.

          1. 007 says:

            @ Robin – True mate, but I don’t think Mert would mind rotating with him regularly depending on the opposition we face (this was also used by Low during the WC). I don’t think Mert has the legs to play week in week out and us not rotating has cost us key players at crucial stages of the season in the past. If Wenger would secure Howdes, him and Chambers should be frequently rotated with Mert and Kos to ensure balance in the team and that extra freshness needed after the busy Christmas period.

            Its highly unlikely we will sign him though, but boy would he improve our defense.

          2. Robin Vanpayslip says:

            It is an interesting point you raise. At the world cup both Per and Giroud were dropped for lack of pace. This was not in a negative way but just in terms of what the manager thought was best for that game.

            At Arsenal though, these two plus GK were guaranteed starts if fit (apart from the hotel room debacle by Giroud). So it makes sense what you say.

  17. 007 says:

    Fully fit team:
    Carzola Ozil Sanchez
    Rambo Diaby
    Gibbs Kos Mert Debuchy
    Palace game:
    Carzola Wilshere Sanchez
    Rambo Arteta
    Gibbs Kos Chambers Debuchy

  18. No Giroud, I'm happy says:

    – Against teams with high back line
    Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
    Ramsey Arteta
    Sanchez/Walcott Ozil Cazorla

    – Against teams play deep
    Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
    Ramsey Arteta
    Sanchez Ozil Cazorla

    Need for DM/CB AND striker

    1. No Giroud, I'm happy says:

      Chambers instead of Arteta against teams play deep as they will depend on counter attack and for that we need pacey DM

  19. Goontz says:

    Deb Mert Kos Gibbs
    Ramsey New_DM
    Walcott Özil Sanchez

    Choosing the bench gives me a headache so that’s a good thing.

  20. DennisTheMenace says:

    i don’t think wenger will use 4-3-3 cause it can’t accommodate ozil (we are not the german national team)

    1. josh37 says:

      he’d most likely compete with Santi on the left.
      Santi was deeper than Jack in some of the build-ups and had a lot more to do with dictating play and tempo in Ozil’s absence. It’s a simple evaluation really, based on opposition will the extra energetic midfield runner benefit (two of Ramsey, Wilshere, Diaby, Ox) or the additional playmaker or forward (two of Ozil, Cazorla, Podolski, Campbell)

  21. Ozil_Sanchez says:

    Walcott is scheduled to be back in training on 31st August 🙂

    We have missed him so much

    Anyway, he should be in our best 11


  22. Kentox says:

    Every Formation you put out now is utterly useless without a CDM !!. I strongly believe without a CDM this season, Ramsey will get over worked and injured, Ozil will get lost without any midfield defense, sanchez & co. Upfront will lose form due to all the Huge Goals & humilating defeats we’ll face.
    A similar trend played out last season & we were left hanging by the thread.
    Do you all see How important a CDM is than a striker?
    Wenger has said he’s gonna buy a CB so that’s settled.

  23. Ozil_Sanchez says:

    We may only use 4-3-3 for Crystal Palace because I don’t expect the Germans to play this weekend.

    But after that, I expect 4-2-31

    When Walcott comes back:

  24. REiGN says:

    Debuchy, mert, kos, Gibbs
    Ramsey, arteta
    Theo, cazorla

  25. Big Gun says:

    As much as I like big Merts, his lack of speed was a huge problem against Liverpool and Chelsea. If we are going to sign another CB, hopefully he will be lightning fast. Otherwise I would prefer Chambers to play next to Koss when we go up against Liverpool and Chelsea. There is a reason why he was dropped in the World Cup. If Wenger can replace Vermalaen and sign a decent DM, we are good to go.

  26. jithin says:

    W are linked with howdes and I hope its true..He can play as cb,lb and rb,but most importantly as lb.Monreal as back up lb in big games is a disaster in making…

    1. 007 says:

      Oh boy now that would be a great signing. He can really push Mert / Kos / and even Gibbs for those spots. Very experienced player, good stamina, and has decent pace on him. Would fit in well with ze Germans we already have.

  27. Jwilshere10 says:

    Debuchy Mert Kosh Gibbs
    Chambers Ramsey
    Walcott Ozil Sanchez

  28. Budd says:

    4-3-2-1 or 4-3-3 (basically the same) is what we will see from Arsenal this year. I liked mostly the combo Wenger put for the Community Shield :


    This is the attacking version. Now, you can substitute players as you want but it will still remain our attacking version. Putting Wilshere under Cazorla worked wonders given the lack of defending capabilities of the later. That freed Santi from defense duties and allowed him to wreak havoc. That’s one. Secondly, partnership by Jack and Rambo begins to show. They took turns in going forward with Jack being mostly the carrier. I know lots of people don’t like Arteta but until Chambers/Diaby/New Sign will set in at the Emirates it is the best we can have. When we have to defend the 4321 becomes 433. Now, I am not worried at all about the right flank because Sanchez is an outstanding defender and it can provide the quick turnaround. Left flank is an issue and I have to say that I’d rather see there Ox instead of Wilshere. But I may be wrong and Jack will step up on the role because no matter who’s playing ahead of him (Cazorla or Ozil) they do not have huge defend capabilities. My perfect line-up WITH WHAT WE HAVE NOW and provided all of the players are fit would look like this ( I am more like a Van Gaal type and give youngsters directly game time) :


    What is amazing is the fact that with this formation proposed by Wenger we have absolutely every position covered. And I mean all of them. You can drop Sanchez on Walcott position and put Sanogo/Giroud upfront, then you can switch between Ozil and Cazorla/Podolski or between Ox and Wilshere/Rosicky. Really, everything goes sky is the limit (and our injury record, of course). Let’s wait and see but I would not rule out also a 442 formation when needed.

  29. joeM says:

    Debuchy Mert Kos Gibbs
    Ramsey Wilshere

    Ozil Cazorla

    I like this team for certain games and i think this is what Wenger will be thinking about playing especially against the top teams. Ozil was very effective playing out on the right for Germany at this world cup and he’s done it a few times for us as well. This formation really accommodates wilshere into the team and I think Wenger will try and make a space for him as he knows this season could be the season when he fulfills that potential. If he keeps playing like he did on sunday he’ll keep his spot in the team. Its time Ramsey and Wilshere play together week in week out and dominate the game between them, get them two clicking and we could ease the league this year. We could also try a 4-2-3-1 against teams who perhaps play a flat 4-4-2 and defend deep.
    Debuchy Mert Kos Gibbs
    Ramsey Arteta
    Sanchez Ozil Cazorla

    This team obviously gives us another dimension and could even have sanchez up top and theo out on the right when he’s fit again. I think this gives the perfect blend of runners of the ball in Sanchez/Ramsey/Ozil and the creativity in Cazorla/Ozil/Ramsey/Sanchez to course teams problems add that to Girouds physical presence and the ability to link up and bring the people behind him into the game. Reckon this team would do well against the likes of Palace, Stoke and teams of a similar mold who have a good defensive shape and will look to get a point when they come to the Emirates.

  30. Jwilshere10 says:

    Debuchy Mert Kosh Gibbs
    Chambers Ramsey
    Walcott Ozil Sanchez

  31. 007 says:

    Demba signs for bekistas to play UCL football and ……….. They face Arsenal

    Ain’t trying to jinx the boys but WE ARE THE ARSENAL!!!!!!

  32. vinie2000 says:

    No matter which formation we will play I do truly believe we STILL NEED A REAL DM in order to be a title .contenders. Arteta being captain means we will not buy anyone for that position which EVERYONE KNOWS HAS BEEN OUR ACHILLES HELL since VIEIRA left.

    Until we dont address this ,doesnt matter how much pace,creativity or power we have at front ,our defence will be expose when playing the big 4.KHEDIRA OR CARVALLO will be my choices.For the love of god our midfield is full of midgets ( too small and not physical ) look at Man City,chelsea midfield full of POWERHOUSES.

    one more signing Dm and yes i believe this is our year,until then expecting just runner ups.

  33. odey_me says:

    Its a good think to have sellection headache…..signs of good things to come this season

  34. Nawras says:

    I believe that Wenger might use the 4-4-2 in crucial and big games

    Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
    Walcott/OX, Arteta/Flamini, Ramsey/Wilshere, Cazorla/Ozil
    Sanchez, Giroud

    Basically the typical back 5 with options to rotate like Chambers, Monreal, Bellarin and of course the new center back.
    Playing a playmaker like Cazorla or Ozil can help the team keep possession as they are excellent passers.
    Giroud will basically invite the midfield to go offensive using his physical presence and good first touch. Sanchez will be our mobile striker.

    Let’s not forget other rotation options like Prince Podolski, Rosicky the little mozart, Diaby when fit, Coquelin as a 2nd backup when needed, Zelalem in cup games and against much weaker sides, Gnabry to help Walcott and OX, Sanogo with his surprises and finally Campbell.

    Our depth is amazing to be honest, much better than last season when we had to bring a lot of youth players as subs. Hopefully injuries will be much less too.

    It would be amazing if we can have that strong and tall defensive midfielder. If Wenger finds someone (even if he’s young as Arteta might leave/retire next season which is sad) he should buy him, unless he is going to give Coquelin a chance (which is risky).

    At the end of the day, this season looks bright. I want us to win the league and to have a strong bid for the Champions League, some like a semi final or something. COYG

  35. Segy says:

    With teams playing a high line, i think id prefer Sanchez comin off the right flank, & prolly Walcott upfront. Sanchez doesnt only offer clinicality & pace, but also those killer passes always lookin for the last man upfront, while on the break. This is an aspect that may not be much seen in Walcott, which is why Sanchez would be a better option on the flank to supply an extremely pacy & clinical walcott.
    For deep lying teams & those with huge defenders, giroud sanogo or alexis, would be a good option upfront. Preferably Alexis who not only adds pace, but also is a fighter, & more clinical than the other two.

  36. Wonder says:

    I am really surprised by the nu,ber of people thinking that we need to buy a LW. For God’s sake we have Campbell, Carzola, AOZ, Sanchez,Gnabry, The, Rosicky or Wilshere who can easily play in that position!

  37. ThirdManJW says:

    I think it’s difficult to nail down a starting eleven with everyone fit, because Wenger finally has lots of depth in the squad, especially in midfield…which is a great thing! People keep saying “get rid of Giroud and Arteta” amongst others, but these are extremely good squad players that will definitely be needed what with our yearly horrendous injury record.

    I’d like Wenger to get in another CB, and the most obvious position of them all…a beast of a DM for the starting eleven. Maybe a LW or ST as well, depending on where Wenger uses Sanchez.

    With everyone fit I’d go with:

    Debuchy Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs
    Arteta Wilshere
    Walcott Ramsey Ozil

    Subs: Ospina, Monreal, Chambers, Cazorla, Ox, Campbell, Giroud

  38. ruelando says:

    I will not try guess the final 11, because there can be different formations, for different matches so i will not try to guess. All i can say we need everyone on board and like what mancity coach said we will be going for every trophy

  39. jonestown1 says:

    This thread is the best evidence yet that we are on the up – about 50 different formation/personnel combinations offered up here!

  40. fishface says:

    Scz- debuch, kos, mert/chambers, gibbs- jack,arteta ,Rambo,- ozil- wally , Sanchez .
    Subs ox, Poldi , flamini, cazorla.
    Absolutely fluid & lethal.

  41. ISF123 says:


    Cazorla Ozil Walcott
    First team:

    Diaby/Flamini Ramsey

    Gibbs Koscielny Mertesaker Debuchy


    Second team:

    OX Wilshere Campbell/Gnabry

    Diaby/Arteta Rosicky

    Monreal Koscielny Chambers Debuchy


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