Arsenal tactics for Leicester – Coquelin, Ox and Gabriel to start

I have a feeling that Arsene Wenger had Arsenal’s next game in mind when he picked the starting line up for the away game at Bournemouth yesterday, specifically his decision to prefer the Brazilian centre back Gabriel to Per Mertesacker and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Theo Walcott or Joel Campbell.

Of course there was a great need for Arsenal to win the game against Eddie Howe’s team as well but unless we now go on and beat the league leaders then our chances of being crowned champions at the end of the season will be hanging by a thread.

Leicester City are likely to be a much tougher prospect, as they proved once again with a fantastic away win at Man City, but we do at least have a pretty good idea of what to expect from them at the Emirates on Sunday. They will be well organised and hard working and will defend well and try to hit us with fast counter attacks.

Claudio Ranieri’s tactics have worked very well for them so far, especially away from home. The last team to beat them in an way game was Liverpool who won 1-0 at Anfield and even then the Foxes created some very good chances.

Arsenal will need to be patient on Sunday and if we do not score an early goal we cannot be too gung ho. But the fact is we really need to win while a draw is fine for them so we may have to take a few risks and with the pace and ability they have there is no way we can afford to leave Mertesacker to deal with it. That’s why Gabriel must start and why Wenger has been giving him a chance to get settled with Koscielny.

I was surprised that Coquelin didn’t start in Bournemouth but it may have been a fitness thing and after he did well from the bench then he must also be in the from the start against Leicester. His speed and energy are better than Flamini’s and he is less likely to get himself sent off.

Then we have the Ox. He might not have the pace, movement and finishing of Theo but he can also produce something from nothing and will be confident after his goal. Ranieri will have a plan for Walcott but the Ox is much more unpredictable and hard to plan for.

Do you agree that these three Gunners have to start this crucial clash?

Tags Flamini Walcott Wenger


  1. Le coq will be crucial for us to start in that DM role, to add that steel and bully the Leicester midfield!

    1. Absolutely, must start Coquelin!
      Equally important is telling Ramsey to work with Coquelin to control the midfield rather than taking away Ozil’s role as the attacking midfield!!!

  2. coquelin is so vital for this game.
    in fairness he is for most…but the context of this game…

    joel had one poor game an was dropped, ox has several an hes kept on?
    id like to know wengers agenda with joel

    1. We can’t afford to have OX doing nothing when he should be helping the defense. So Campbell in for sure.

      1. maybe wenger is rotating: 1 game for ox, 1 for campbell. ox could be good. he’s been defending more . he lost ball once on sunday.

  3. @ muff diver
    I agree! It wasn’t fair for Joel Campbell to be dropped, I do hope Wenger let good sense prevail and start him against Leicester, because he offers a lot on the field, tracks back, make tackles, not to mention his workrate is very good!

    1. Not to mention has more goals and assists than Ox this season and he’s only been with us for 6 months

  4. When is Welbeck due back?

    And OX scored in the Last outing… achievement Last witnessed 5yrs ago and suddenly, he’s an integrated player!

    Really dunno what’s going on at the Emirates….but there’s no Joy!

  5. if ever there was a time for alexis to get his form back. now is that time.
    plz hear our prayers an become a red hot chile pepper

    everyone complaining about giroud and theo (me especially about theo)
    we have that goal scorer in alexis….

    please find your way back …5 points behind , two if we win on sunday…its coming mid feb..
    we can do this…..

    1. Theo deserves to start in attack. His pace and movement are a nightmare for defences and make them play that 10 yards deeper, bringing the best out of the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. we are struggling to score & have the worst goal difference out of top four…Wenger needs to change our predictable style of play right now!

  6. I’ll go with Cech, Monreal, Bellerin, Kos the Boss, Gab the man, Coquelin, Ramsey, Giroud, Sanchez, Ozil and Campbell…

    Hopefully, Elneny will be on the bench. We can bring in Ox much later.

    I’ll probably faint if Wenger starts Flamini. You just never know what’s up with Wenger at times!

      1. wenger said coq fitness still an issue. if so, we shouldnt see flam start again (unless we’re playing twice a week)

  7. Another massive round
    another Super Sunday.
    The top 4 in action
    against a title rival.
    Gunners v Foxes
    Citizens v Spurs.

  8. Am i the only one who thinks Arsenal’s style of play is boring and brings conjunctivitis to the eyes?

    So much slow passing, passing, passing and no pressing!

    Even the few shots we manage to take are blocked few inches away

    For f*** sake , press em hard and go for goals!…….Even when u Leading, u dn’t sit back and rest on ur oars…… Can’t we learn a thing or two from Leicester ?

  9. I hav a feelin we will fall short again this season…we can only hope for the best and prepare for the worst…i mean it’s DEJA VU all over again!!!

    1. I honestly don’t know why the many dislikes…
      its called being honest with recent history pretty much on your side!!

    2. giving up too soon. we’re tied for 2. coq is back. sanchez is going to start scoring again soon.

  10. We need to hit them with pace. Sanchez on left, Ox on right and Walcott down the middle. Giroud can come in the 2nd half when that is not working.

    1. @Twig
      I think we need to start with Olivier up front. Huth is a monster and we’ll need Olivier’s height in the box on both ends…

    2. RW is a conundrum: walcott could rip leicester, but he might go missing. ox might score, or might go missing. campbell will turn up, but may not score. (he does have a killer pass tho). maybe play someone till min60 and give a good 30 to the other?

  11. @ Twig….. Good point. We actually started Walcott @ the Liberty stadium where we won them 5:2 but walcott was in good form then.

    My worry starting Walcott is due to his recent poor form (not saying giroud is playing better either) but He is better than Walcott on recent form..

    We don’t know the Walcott that will turn up in such an intense game’ that’s why I wouldn’t start Him…

    Moreover, starting Ox and Walcott together won’t work for mi. The last game they both started and were influential was against Chelsea in the community Shield.

    My front three will be Sanchez Giroud and Campbell… We can bring Ox or Walcott later in the game. It all depends on how the game goes. I just hope whoever starts brings His A-game with Him….

    Leicester defeated Liverpool, Mancity and ????…Arsenal should give themselves a chance in the title race by defeating Leicester City first.

    Who would have thought the team that was fighting relegation last season’ will be topping the table? #Much Respect to them but we want the 3Points!

  12. I want to no why AW paid 5. Millions for what he always says top Quality ? And he was not even in the team yesterday? Has this man just lost the plot or is it me now just giving up on Arsenal
    I tell you now we won’t win a thing with him as manager. PC Ozill and A S over 3 years and he could of added 3 more in the summer but same old crap out of his mouth WE WILL ONLY BUY TOP TOP PLAYERS. Then he goes and buys a player that I have never heard of. We need a leader on the park and I think Ozill for me and who cares about vice captain. This summer we need a clean up players out back room staff out and for the love of God go get the master Thierry as our number 2 to take over in 2 years time. EPL teams are very close to us now because he just won’t pay for a world class player. Another thing get rid of the yank and let our other major shareholder put his cash in to our team.

    1. @arsenalkid70
      If you pay attention to the team you supposedly support, you would know that Elneny’s wife just gave birth and he’s with his wife and kid.
      So, yeah. It’s just you pretending to give a f….Save it next time.

      1. Gets paid more then you n me get in a year in one week. Telling me he can’t miss a few hours? Get a grip dick

  13. Ahead of the Gunners build up for the Leicester game at the Emis. the induvidual Gunner performance in training at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground should imform the Boss which Gunners will get the nod to start the game propper and also start the game on the bench.

    The Gunners MUST step up their all round game playing quality to equal that of the quality game (if not more) they played against Bayern Munich at the Ems in a Ucl group match day no3, if they are to beat Leicester.

    We will discuss more as the Gunners build up to the game gather momentum in the coming days.

  14. I think the midfield would be crucial for control of the game i would have the midfield and defense close to each other
    Bellerin Gab Kos Monreal
    ….Elneny coq ramsy
    and change it around at the 60 pending on how it is moving

  15. I think the midfield would be crucial for control of the game i would have the midfield and defense close to each other for defensive effect
    Bellerin Gab Kos Monreal
    ….Elneny coq ramsy
    and change it around at the 60 pending on how it is moving

  16. Assuming Coquelin is 100% fit then he starts over Flamini.
    Ramsey partners him in the double pivot and with a predominantly right-sided focus.
    Gab or Per is a very, very interesting question.

    Foxes are dangerous with their set pieces and counter attacking – we can all agree on that. Coq and Rambo are there to break up the counter-attacking threat.
    I think on balance there’s little to split the decision between Per and Gab and I would opt for Per based on the 3 reasons below. Per ahead of Gab b/c.
    1. He will provide much needed height against the set pieces.
    2. His on-field leadership is needed
    3. Kos simply plays better when paired with Per.

    What Per lacks in speed he makes up with his positional sense and game awareness. Gab simply has a couple of crazy moments in each game and I think this has an affect on Kos’ game.

    Ox or Campbell on the right? I would opt for Campbell. I think Campbell was given a breather against the Cherries and Ox was given some much needed game time and grabbed an excellent goal which should do his confidence a world of good. Campbell is tactically more disciplined that Ox and from what I have observed of the 2 – better decision-making, better work ethic and a better tackler. JC just seems to more consistently make the right pass cf. Ox. The right side-to-middle seems more balanced with JC there cf. Ox. Ox tends to cut inside and take up slightly more right-of-middle positions which crowds out Ozi when he drifts towards the right and Rambo when he bombs forward from his favoured right side. Too often we can observe right-of-middle congestion when Ox is involved. Hector seems more assured when playing with JC – just my observation.

    and finally I would start Giroud up front IF HE”S 100% (he looked a player who needed a break imho) but definitely bring on Walcott and Ox around the 60min mark. Late game injection of pace when tired legs lead to the game opening up slightly should play in our favour. In the reverse fixture, we started Walcott to create chaos amongst the slow CBs and perhaps they’re preparing for the same…but no Carzola this time.

    Frankly I think we will see a much better performance cf. the Bournemouth game. Sanchez getting back his mojo; Ozil scoring; Coquelin back….playing at home after winning away, the confidence levels are up.

    Gunners to win 3-1.

    1. Agree with you mate, specially on Merte > Gab.
      I think that Gabriel is accident waiting to happen.
      But no Walcot or Ox before we are 2 goals ahead.

  17. I dont know about u guys, but Giroud isnt doing any better than Walcott at the moment.

    We played our best football (FA cup final, Man U, Bayern etc) when Theo was centre forward. The speed and space he creates for Sanchez and Ozil is all we need to start scoring goals.
    I know he is a bit rusty/out of form and he is not exactly world class, but he gives us somewhat elements of what we need in a world class forward:-

    World class forward –
    Scores for fun/Deadly finisher
    Deadly pace
    Dribbles/gets past opponents/generates space for himself
    High shot accuracy
    Can keep the ball when needed(hold up play), and good eye for pass (assists)
    Creative – something out of nothing!
    Timing of runs to perfection.

    Now I my not have captured all elements but this is a good view. Of Giroud and Walcott who gives us more of the above?(Given both fall way short of what is required, but they are all we have now).

    If Walcot gets a couple of games to get his form up he can be a really useful weapon in this race – plus for some reason it always seems to awaken Giroud – which is added bonus!

    The way I see it is lets go back to the winning formula – put Walcott back to CF, Sub for Giroud whenever it doesnt work.

    Lets start with Leicester!

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