Arsenal stars give Wenger serious selection head-ache

Arsenal ran riot on the south-coast yesterday in the FA Cup, and the manager will now have some serious thinking to do in order to realise his best starting line-up.

The Gunners beat Southampton 5-0 yesterday, thanks to Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott with the five combined goals.

The duo have both been out of the side for a while due to injuries, and are now staking their claims for regular action, and on yesterday’s evidence, are well deserved of one.

The problem stems with other in-form players also vying for roles also however, with Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Alex Iwobi already having stamped their foot down on first-team roles.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was also extremely impressive in an experimental central midfield role, and I would seriously consider him to play alongside Francis Coquelin in the pivot, with his range of passing and vision excelling this weekend. Santi Cazorla has been missed since falling foul of injury, and the Ox surprisingly gave us something special in the role yesterday.

Theo Walcott was a key member of our starting XI earlier in the campaign, which saw Alexis showcase his immense talents as a centre-forward, and I cant help but think that with the England and Arsenal winger back in the side, Giroud may well find himself demoted back to the bench in favour of that system.

Lucas Perez is another player who has really opened my eyes in his recent outings, combining extremely well with his fellow forwards, as well as showing a keen eye for goal, but Arsene currently seems reluctant to over-use him which is a shame.

Which of our FA Cup team do you think most deserves a shot at a permanent first-team role in the coming weeks? If you had to choose your XI to play Chelsea today, who would you pick?

Pat J


  1. Godswill says:

    I can now say we bought a better player in Perez than the Vardy we were initially after.
    He did very well yesterday.

    1. jhud says:

      He’s done really well every chance he,’s been given. Needs more chances. He either scores or provides assists. Would love to see a front three of Perez, Sanchez (up front) Walcott. Super subs Giroud and welbeck. That would give Chelsea something to think about.

      1. rd_gunner says:

        Interesting suggestion- I see what you are saying. Bring on Welbeck when Chelsea are tired and hit them hard. What I am wondering is given the high Welbeck is on (and if he manages to score again against Watford) will it be wise to reign him in? I would let him loose – get the first goal and invite Chelsea to come at us instead of us doing that.

        However according to me the chelsea game will be decided by which pair does better- Walcott and Bellerin against Alonso and Hazard. Walcott has to come to the party. Defend as a unit with Bellerin and be ruthless near the goal because he will get this chances.

    2. Harold says:

      If you have Walcott you cannot sign Vardy. Walcott has all Vardy attributes plus more and his younger. I personally, would have preferred Mr Wenger to sign Balotelli on a free transfer ahead of Perez, because Perez is not good in the air and cannot hold the ball up and allow other attacking player to make runs in the box.

      Balotelli game is a cross between Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, he fits Arsenal style of play. If you have Balotelli you could get rid of both Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck.

      1. Admin says:

        Balotelli? Are you serious?
        Perez has been brilliant in my opinion…..

        1. Harold says:

          Perez has been OK, but Balotelli performance for Nice in Ligue 1 has been far superior than Perez performance for Arsenal. Balotelli has single-handedly propel Nice to the top of Ligue1 for much of the season. Perez overall game is full of limitations, he appears quick and strong on the ball in LaLiga but in the Premier league his slow and weak on the ball and offers nothing in the air.

          Balotelli is a much complete striker than both Perez and Welbeck put together. Perez has only had one good season, Welbeck has never had a good season whereas Balotelli has had many good season for both club and country. Injuries is not a factor in Perez and Welbeck modest past performances.

          1. rd_gunner says:

            Lets talk about the players we have. Better coaches than Wenger have tried and failed to reign in Balotelli. Also playing for Nice is very different from playing for Arsenal and finally if we need hold up play you are forgetting that we have the king of hold-up play in Giroud.

            As far as Perez is concerned I see 2 main distinctive attributes (1) He is a link player; a selfless individual who is always willing to help his other strikers look good and we NEED such players. (2) he is deadly with the chances that he gets. So all in all a very good player. I hope we proceed further into FA cup and CL so that all our strikers get to show their qualities.

    3. psytripps says:


    4. RSH says:

      perez is much more skillful than Vardy. He would’ve never made it at Arsenal. I was shocked we ever wanted him.

  2. tissiam says:

    great win yesterday,im so happy for danny but also theo!i agree perez impresses more&more he is a real team player,also good to see young guns being given some playing time i know it’s the FA cup but unlike those who only recently thought everything was doomed&gloomed i am optimistic,with the team playing well&the fact that we are getting players back!!what’s happening with klopp at pool?:))also has anyone heard that stupid durham’s rant on talksport about wenger&the FA??the guy is a moron COYG!!

  3. Arsenal_Girl says:

    OX was impressive in CM. Lucas was impressive as usual
    Theo picked up where he left off, scoring goals
    Adelaide was impressive

    I think the main starting attack (if available) should be:
    Right: Theo
    Left: Lucas
    CAM: Ozil
    CF: Alexis
    SSubs: Giroud, Danny, Iwobi, Ox

    Coquelin, Xhaka (until Cazorla comes back)
    Subs: Ox, Eleny, Adelaide, Ramsey

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      I’d slot Ox in mid with LeCoq, Going by yesterdays performance…

      1. RSH says:

        Ox has had too many one-offs. Then again Ramsey is the other option. Neither inspire great confidence.

        1. rd_gunner says:

          I agree. We can try Ox again in that position with Watford and see if he is consistent enough. For a big game like Chelsea I would prefer the experience of Ramsey.

          Also for the CM position you need someone who can read the game the game well and anticipate and has a high pass accuracy and I am not sure if those are OX’s qualities but he is definitely worth a try. May be he can be that player that we all hoped Jack and Ramsey would turn out to be.

          Btw how is Jack doing in his loan? He is the only midfield player in Arsenal who when at his best can play both roles – destroyer and playmaker and we need that balance!

  4. AndersS says:

    The real problem/challenge we have is to be stronger defensively. The match against Southhampton gave no indications, we are closer to solving this, as the Southhampton team really was awful. The OX was very promising in a central role offensively, but he has shown many times, he has no clue defensively on the wing, and it is an open question, whether he will have it playing centrally. If not, we can’t use him, but if he does, it could be very good.
    When Ozil is in the team it is absolutely essential the rest are good at pressing and defending, and only if that one day happens, can we dream of becoming champions, so that is the most important part of the team selection.

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