This should be Arteta’s first eleven by Lagos Gooner
With just a few games into Arteta’s tenure as coach of Arsenal, I want to believe that we have an idea of what his first eleven will look like. As expected when a new coach takes over a team, he will normally try out several players, with the intention of getting his own type of players. Arteta has given a lot of players opportunities to impress, now let us try and see if we can preempt him and choose players for him.
Goal keepers: With two quality goal keepers, Arteta is really spoilt for choices here. Leno has done above average; Martinez has grabbed the opportunity given to him. With either of them in between the sticks, we can be sure of some good saves. For example, against Manchester United, Leno did so well in keeping a clean sheet. Even when he was exposed by our defenders, he did well. Against Leeds United, Martinez did well too. So, our goal keeping department seems to have been settled for now. Against Crystal Palace today, I believe that whoever is chosen will do well.
Defenders: With David Luiz and Sokatris virtually starting every game, I can deduce here that they will be his first choice center defending pair, until we probably buy or bring on loan a player who can dispose them off. Our full back positions are still up for grabs but something tells me Arteta may make use of Niles and Kolasinac for now and this is not because we don’t have other options but our other options can’t seem to be fit enough to fight for a shirt. If by the end of the season, our injured full backs still can’t catch up, I am very sure Arteta will sign full backs who can give him what he wants. But if he doesn’t sign new full backs, then be rest assured that Niles and Kolasinac will hold on to their spots for a long time to go.
Midfielders: The midfield from my little knowledge of Arteta’s style,happens to be where Arteta likes to play and win the game. Being an assistant coach to Guardiola, one won’t be surprised if he tries to pattern Arsenal’s midfield after Man city. Man city makes use of midfielders who are good with the ball at their feet and who can quickly change tempo of the game from defense to attack. With the likes of Ozil, Torreria and Ceballos, Arteta has midfielders who can do magic with the ball at their feet. Xhaka will surely be a part of his first eleven because of his ability to make long range passes from the midfield. From all this, I can say Ozil, Torreira and Xhaka will form a major part of his team today and till the end of the season at least.
Attackers: Aubameyang will always be a part of his first eleven. Lacazette will be ample opportunity to lay claim to a starting point but if he does not deliver soon enough, he may be pushed aside for Martinelli. Pepe may well struggle to be a constant in the team, unless he adds some consistency to his games. What do we think?