Arsenal mustn’t change a winning team – Havertz must start

Like before the Manchester United game, Mikel Arteta must decide whether to keep or bench Kai Havertz in his starting lineup in Arsenal’s next game, which is against Everton.

The German’s performance this season hasn’t lived up to the expectations many had for him. This hasn’t been helped by Fabio Vieira’s excellent performances every time he’s come on as his substitute. Vieira has, in the last two games as a sub, contributed to three goals.

Many believe the Portuguese star should make his first league start of the season this weekend against Everton, whom Arsenal have failed to beat in five visits to Goodison Park.

The ex-Arsenal star Kevin Campbell believes Havertz will start against the Toffees, claiming the German international’s physicality and size will force Arteta to start with him, and there’s no way Arteta is dropping a team that has won him games, leaving Vieira with a substitute’s role yet again.

“Listen, I think [Fabio] Vieira, you can say Vieira’s done great when he’s come on, and he’s helped change it when people are tired,” the former Arsenal man said on the Gooners’ Pod.

“But let’s be real here. For me, you don’t change the winning team, you keep it, you keep it going.

“Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe and [Leandro] Trossard, they’re going to get their opportunities in the cup competitions.

“We’ve got Champions League coming up; everybody’s going to get game time, and then after that, when you see who’s really performing, that’s when you make your decision.

“I think against Everton. I think Kai Havertz is going to be needed for his physicality and his size as well.

“I don’t think Vieira starts, but he’s going to get his chance.”

Is it wise for Arteta not to drop Havertz?

Darren N

Tags Everton Havertz Kevin Camobell


  1. Respect every person’s opinions, but can the writer justify the inclusion of Havs with the statistics of the past 4 games he played , viz. tackles, chances created, assists, goals, blocks, dribbles, completed passes, shots on target? I remember he has a pre assist to his name only for the goal to be scored against us.

  2. Kevin Campbell was spot-on about Havertz and Vieira. It’d be better to keep the winning line-up

    The productive super-subs could be starters in the upcoming cup game. Having a team that specializes in cup competitions could minimize injury risks and fatigue

    1. Gai, yea it’s good to keep a winning team together; but that’s not to say a winning team can’t be improved. By unplugging non performing players and adding fresh legs for productive results.
      However, having known Arteta to be adamant on certain situations with his players I think Havertz would start against Everton
      He had an assist in Germany vs France friendly yesterday. I hope he gets better after the int break. I also like the fact that Zichenko, Tomiyasu and Gabriel Mangahaes did well in their matches.

      1. Yes, we have excellent players

        Everton’s central midfielders are tall, so we’ll need Havertz’s physicality to deal with them, as Campbell said

        1. GAI What physicality from KH do you keep talking about. What stats do you have and what’s his rank in top physical players in the epl? Since to you his best attribute is being physical.

        2. What’s this “physicality” obsession you have with Harvetz?there’s a difference between being tall and being a physical player… Kai doesn’t impose himself on the game physically or otherwise even…

  3. The team performs well when Kai Harverts is on the bench, It will be progressive for him to start on the bench rather than exert pressure on his teammates and also it saves Arteta’s image.
    The problem is people are rushing to play Harverts while he is still adapting. Let him start from the bench nothing special about him except the huge amount of salary and transfer fees.

  4. Won’t be surprised to see Havertz start.

    Let’s be clear, it’s Arteta’s choice with selections and he doesn’t owe an explanation to anyone.

    However, I don’t want to hear about “competition” or “versatility” or “what’s best for the team” when it clearly is not based on performances or productivity.

    It is a gamble continuing to start Havertz, time will tell if it is the right choice.

  5. Arsenal had a winning team before KH signed for us but at that price and those wages he needs to get his form (if he had any to begin with) and should therefore get minutes but not at the expense of players on better form

  6. TBF you shouldn’t change a winning formula but Havertz as been a passenger for the first 4 games ,I read he was awful against Japan where he was played up top in the worst German team in 4 decades .
    So where is his best position because it definitely is t where he’s started for us .
    I would play trossard or ESR personally.

  7. The pundit could be right , you don’t fix that which is not broken.
    This is a physical encounter recent history is not in our favor, The Merseyside team will overrun any light weight install in midfield,

    Having had a field day in this fixture of the last campaign, Everton will be licking their lips seeing Vieira and Odegaard in midfield.

  8. Physicality and size of who really… absolute joke😏 if it’s this weakling called Kai, stop it😞… And don’t change which winning team, at what point of the game when winning or when losing is he brought in or taken off that makes him part of the winning team🤔… Get rid of that guy please before it’s too late 😔

  9. Playing in a 3241 – Havertz should not be dropped.

    Magalhaes, Saliba, White
    Declan, Partey
    Martinelli, Havertz, Odegaard, Saka

    Rice and Partey takes turn to drop into the backline during back4 build-ups.

    Havertz and Odegaard also takes turn to join the backline during back5 build-ups.

  10. Weird this pundits – so last season Arteta was overplaying key players and they complained BURN-OUT. – Today again they claim coach shouldn’t changing or rotate a winning team so what was the need for a large squad, does Arteta play same players for 20-30 games until they burn out or get injured.
    Cup games are few/ far between and am sure we also need likes of ESR/Trossad to get run of games to be fully ready/sharp for those cup games! IF we are so scared to rotate against relagation threatened Everton who will we rotate against (Brighton?, Tottenham, City)

  11. Havertz is not a fix or solution. He is a liability at the moment. Waiting to sink. Talking about physical, how about comedian Maguire? Who wants to have him in Arsenal defend now?
    Let’s be honest. We r not 100% title winning team. So every player must put 100% focus and dedication to win EPL or else its going to be just like last season…

  12. I really don’t understand all the noise about Kai Havertz. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong: It took Thierry Henry 12 games to score his first goal for Arsenal. Maybe, just maybe we should all just trust the process.

  13. I must declare, I’m responding to the topic head here. I have absolutely no energy, time nor interest to get into whatever this preposterous opinion is based on. Whoever wrote this piece either secretly hates Arsenal and wants to see it lose, or is so naive as to think superstition actually plays a part in soccer. Firstly, Arsenal HAS NOT BEEN CONVINCING IN ANY OF THE GAMES PLAYED. It’s been obvious Arteta stubbornly played Havertz ahead of deserving players, and worse still, had to mess around with player positions and winning formations to accommodate Havertz. What’s happening is a sad case of regression, taking us back to when we had gaping holes in the team because of players like Aubameyang et al. Seriously why does Havertz deserve to be in the team? Is it the £65 000 000 tag that’s being displayed, because the e-boards all around the Emirates would do a better job?

  14. Our failure last season was lack of quality squad depth. That also means there is no such thing as first eleven this season. Every player will be selected based on his attributes each game with specific tactics. Our first 4 games had us dominating the game completely. The drive to improve, adapt, win and positive attitude required to achieve this also considered positive attributes. This notion is supported by Arteta’s decision to trim the squad of average players like Holding, Tierney and Pepe and keep ESR, Nketiah and Nelson at the club. Just look at Viera now. Kai Havertz has a specific role in midfield that requires a lot of defensive works and he had been valid in executing that. But the issue is his attacking output which will take time as he builds up fitness, understanding and confidence. This issue also plagues our other attackers like Martinelli, Saka and Odegaard at the moment as many opportunities were not converted either.

  15. Havertz did play well against france. Looked very different than his Arsenal form in terms of looking to make an impact. Got an assist as well but what caught my eye was his rest of of the game. It was really good. If he starts play like that in an Arsenal team, we will do really well.

  16. Sticking with a winning XI has some merit – particularly early and late on in a campaign – but is not sustainable for 38 games + Europe + Domestic Cups.

    Arguably sticking to the same XI was a factor in ultimately succumbing to Man C in the title race, e.g. Saliba injury vs Sporting, Saka burnout

    Playing the same XI until you break it also backfires in 2nd XI are not as match fit, connected to other players and mentally ready as they would be with consistent minutes.

    Edu and Arteta know this hence the summer recruitment strategy which has delivered us a bench with no drop off in quality – they will use the +25 players and I expect that rotation to be evident this week when Champions League football makes a welcome return – 4 games in next 11 days.

    As regards Havertz specifically, the poor guy has been written by some fans before kicking a ball, it is true he has not had the start he or any of us hoped for, but one wicked spin of the ball and penalty decision going the other way and the guy is ‘hero’ rather than ‘zero’ – fine margins they say…

    Either way I see Havertz getting minutes, and probably a start, this week. There is a good case for his extra height as our surprisingly poor results against Everton are to some extent down to being caught out on set-pieces and corners. If he doesn’t start then Vieira could barely have done more, but is opposite end of the physicality spectrum.

    With Jesus return trip to South America (and within as Lima is a long internal flight) there is a case for Nketiah (high on confidence from England call up) to start vs Everton, Jesus then prime for PSV.

    If there is a priority call to be made, then I expect Arteta will towards the League at this point in the season as we can not afford to lose touch with Man C so early in the campaign, and we have been handed a favourable group for qualification in Europe.

    Therefore Saka, Odegaard, Saliba, Rice, Martinelli, Zinc all start vs Everton.

    It does seem sometimes though that Arteta can’t resist throwing in a surprise – I actually think it is part of his strategy to keep the opposition guessing to mess up their preparation – so not impossible we see Raya start with Ramsdale earning his Champions League debut on Wednesday.

  17. Keep going with Havertz as a starter. Viera should come on from the bench. Haverts is more experienced than Fabio Viera.

  18. Oh how I wish most of us had long memory! Why do I say this? Just last season whenever Fabio Vieira came on as a substitute people would hiss and boo! Now he is preferred to Havertz. This should show us that in football, as in other spheres of life. things change very quickly. The Havertz who is being rejected now just needs one moment of magic to turn his detractors into his supporters. It won’t be the first time such a thing is happening. As I said earlier, we need to give Havertz a chance. This is a player whose confidence had gone so low because of several factors: being played out of preferred position, low team morale and psychological hangover from a season to forget for Chelsea. Thus it requires a gradual regaining of confidence and trust from the manager and his new teammates and Havertz will hit the pinnacle.

  19. If Kai Havertz can’t perform against Everton, a team which were lucky to escape relegation last season, when will he “turn the corner”. Chelsea also lived in hope until they sold him in a “smash and grab” to Arsenal.

  20. I think Arteta has his own special reason for playing Havertz.

    I believe he is trying to get the team used to playing with ten men. So many players have been carded for “slow play” especially with throw ins, he is conditioning the team to be ready if a player is sent off.

    However, this is a dangerous strategy, as we saw against Man Utd. In the first half it was more like 10 versus 12. Havertz cleverly turned his open goal into a goal kick, and then created the pass that sent Utd on the way for their first goal.

    What I cannot understand is that Arteta has not one but three Archangel Gabriel’s in the team, all given him the word of God (who I am sure is telling him to drop Havertz).

    Just a little christian fun…..

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