Arsenal to start with strongest XI against Lyon?

I am not trying to tell the Arsenal manager what to do, and I doubt very much whether he would take much notice if I did, but I will go ahead and give Arsene Wenger my thoughts on the matter of which 11 players I think he should pick to start the first of our Emirates Cup games anyway.

For me it would have to be the strongest possible Arsenal side, although I do not think that the Gunners should abandon the usual pre-season principles of giving some fringe players and the most likely of the youngsters coming up through the academy a chance to shine in front of the home crowd.

Wenger spoke at length the other day about sticking with the policy of promoting from within and not jumping on the Premier League bandwagon of throwing money around like a crazed lottery winner and I do not expect him to do anything different today.

I just think that we should start with a strong team and then bring on subs as we go. We do still need to get ready for the Community Shield and the start of the season and so 45 minutes with the team that is likely to start those games would be a good idea.

Also, that way should give us the best possible start and hopefully get the game won by halftime because Wenger does want to win these games and get on a roll. So assuming that the prof has the same idea, what do you think that strongest XI will be? This would be mine.

Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal
Coquelin, Cazorla
Walcott, Ozil, Wilshere

That may seem harsh on Aaron Ramsey but he should get the second half to state his case for starting in the middle and I think Jack is better out wide, although there is a strong case for Akpom on the left as well. What do you think Gooners?

Tags Akpom Wenger Wilshere


  1. Jimbeam says:

    I honestly don’t want to see Giroud in our first 11 anymore. It screams mediocracy to me for Arsenal to have him as our best forward.
    I would try Theo up top and Ox or Ramsey on the right.

    1. Dan.M says:

      good streams ???

      1. napersie says:

        Am tired of this our #12. why not give Akpom a Chance. I enjoy watching a dynamic striker not one old fashioned electric pole.

        1. joeboy says:

          Girouds shooting is so poor! On the plus though ozil looks better and better each game

          1. seancali says:

            Giroud is not world class but he is a good goal scorer. Have to admit he is a good striker.

          2. joeboy says:

            Hes good just not against a top defence, lets see how he does next week against terry and co!

          3. jaweant says:

            You could say that about the whole team. Giroud has worked hard and scored many goals for this club. It’s not his fault Wenger can’t put a team together.

          4. NY_Gunner says:

            For real dude?

    2. josh37 says:

      I’ll bet you he scores twice? Remember this comment

      1. Sacrificial_Pizza says:

        One down 😉

      2. josh37 says:

        Ahhh I got the columns wrong!! I meant to say 2 assists with a cheeky goal

    3. mohawk says:

      GDS (Giroud Derangement Syndrom) is a devastating psychological illness that afflicts some Arsenal fans in the prime of their gooner lives. As of yet there is no cure.

      1. Ks-Gunner says:

        Wow man, you are such a fan girl.

      2. k-ool says:

        It seems you do have GDS (Giroud Dick-Sucking Syndrome).
        It is a devastating psychological illness that affects a few Arsenal fans in the prime of their gooner lives. It is also postulated that these people could be Spurs fans in disguise trying to drag us down with them as a mediocre club playing mediocre players. It is theoretically suggested that these people can do themselves a favour and join SPURS but this is highly unlikely. That is why as of yet, there is a cure…ME.

    4. seancali says:

      Again giroud scores and again he shows his worth. He was involved in another goal too. What else do you want from a striker??????

      1. Gunnerbongo says:

        Thats what cohesion do.I luv arsenal and bring on the EPL

    5. seancali says:

      Giroud scored once assists another and involved in another goal.that’s 3 goals that giroud was well involved in..what else are you haters asking for????giroud and ozil motm today… Well done oli and mesut

    6. ArnSam says:

      wen did wilshere become a winger????????

  2. Robertthegooner says:

    what’s the point???

    We dont spend like City, United and Chelsea.
    Even Liverpool spent £32 million on Benteke

    Arsenal are a small club till Wenger leaves. Big clubs spend Big money on Big players
    we have NO ambition

    Wenger MUST Sign ALL these 3 players MIMINMUM
    1. POGBA

    If not then WENGER OUT

    1. fullmetalalc says:

      The first two players no club in the world has a realistic chance of signing apart from the silly rumors circulating around . Carvahlo is a Jorge Mendes guy, a person with whom we never deal with.

      We need two good players- 1 striker for the starting line up and one back up DM for sure. But none of the names you mentioned is a realistic target. If Benzema does become available when Real sign someone else, he would be a very welcome addition. And the Samper kid sounds promising as well. I just don’t see any other striker other than Benzema who would be available and match our wage system and philosophy.

    2. Robertthegooner says:

      and if wenger has REAL ambition add these two players
      4. Hummels
      5. Reus

      pogba, carvahlo, lewandowski, hummels and Reus may almost make us PL contenders

      get rid of the deadwood ie. giroud, welbeck, oxlade, wilshere, mertsacker, campbell, sanogo, arteta, flamini


      1. RWRW says:

        Quite simply: your an idiot!

      2. josh37 says:

        Simple. A very relevant word. Not in reference to your suggestions though….

      3. mohawk says:

        Now OX is deadwood? Wow. You need help.

    3. josh37 says:

      I’m with you, you big beautiful thing you!!!
      If Wenger doesn’t bring Zidane and Pele back from retirement in the next 4 hours MINIMUM and bring out the form they were in in the peak of their careers I think he should be given a good spanking!

    4. Sacrificial_Pizza says:


    5. DennisTheMenace says:

      and to add to them i also want:
      4. Ronaldo
      5. Messi
      6. Cryuff
      7. Pele
      8. Maradona
      9. Obama
      10. Pope
      11. Jesus

      else its definitely WENGER OUT for me

  3. Jimbeam says:

    Well, Giroud is starting, with Iwobi on the left and Martinez at goal. I hope they are all on the bench this year behind a top striker, Sanchez and Cech respectively.

  4. josh37 says:

    With there likely being a lot of rotating occurring over two games in as many nights I think predicting the line-up is about a safe bet as a lottery ticket… Everyone just cross their fingers for no f@#king injuries!! I actually wouldn’t mind if Theo, Jack, Ramsey and Ox played their pre-season games bubble wrapped from the waist down.

  5. fred cowardly says:

    Here’s to an Arsenal win and hopefully a private conversation between Wenger and Lacazette

  6. Tatek says:

    Arsenal: Martinez, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Iwobi, Giroud

  7. Just_Trolling says:

    No Akpom in the squad, why?

    1. Just_Trolling says:

      Is this a sign Wenger will prefer Iwobi to Akpom? Or maybe Akpom will go on loan?

      1. Just_Trolling says:

        Maybe its a sign Chech will be 2nd choice and Ospina 3rd choice

  8. Mesut O-chill says:

    Coquelin’s first touch on the ball is highly underrated.

  9. RWRW says:

    Did I just see Iwobi do that??

  10. davidnz says:

    3.30 am in New Zealand
    but I am up following
    the team. I am so loyal 🙂
    Listening to radio coverage.

    1. Mesut O-chill says:

      It’s 10:41 AM in Chicago
      but I am up following
      the team. I am so loyal 🙂
      Watching with only commentary, no background noise.

      1. Justsoccerfan says:

        It now 11.44pm, I am watching at home live on TV.

        1. Mesut O-chill says:

          where do you live?

          1. Justsoccerfan says:


          2. Mesut O-chill says:


      2. ras911 says:

        LMFAOOO this guy said only commentary, no backround noise hahaha

        1. Mesut O-chill says:

          Aye it ain’t funny. ESPN3 screwing us over here in the States worse than Ozil does humans with his shoulder drop.

          1. RSH says:

            watched the same way, switched to Spanish commentary that did have background noise, lol. It was just so awkward with just the commentator.

          2. Mesut O-chill says:

            haha yeah, but then the english finally brought it back around the 55th minute so it was good again

    2. Jimbeam says:

      go to and find a stream to watch it from

  11. Jimbeam says:

    Did you see the slow turn of Per allowing the Lyon player to slide behind him and shoot???
    Good Save Martinez!

  12. Justsoccerfan says:

    Confirmed and guaranteed, Giroud is not striker, can’t even have a clean shot.

    1. mohawk says:

      GDS (Giroud Derangement Syndrome). There is no cure.

      1. Justsoccerfan says:

        Yes there is, a new striker or Walcott will do for me.

        1. mohawk says:

          That solves the issue of #1 striker at Arsenal. It does nothing to cure GDS. Sufferers will still go bonkers at the site of Giroud, his likeness or even his name. There is no cure.

          1. YingYang69 says:

            We’ll pray for his poor soul. Non believer but I cant think of anything to cure such a debilitating psychological disorder. I heard someone in Egypt came close to a cure and that the answer was in receiving large doses of logic. Not sure on the means of delivery though.

  13. Justsoccerfan says:

    Wow iwobi look promising.

    1. davidnz says:

      yes reminds me of John barnes

      1. YingYang69 says:

        Ox reminds me more so of J Barnes than Iwobi does.

  14. Ks-Gunner says:

    Girouds shoot was aimed nowhere t gnearal. The donkey then puls his tongou out

    1. rpk says:

      I hate when he does that and also that smirk on face!!

  15. Justsoccerfan says:

    F#ck we got no speed there, ozil can’t even find someone to pass.

    1. josh37 says:

      haha so he did it himself! his runs were brilliant today!

  16. Justsoccerfan says:

    They got an extra defender, the Girouddddddddd.

  17. davidnz says:

    Bad luck to Grenier
    yeah Fekir coming on

  18. Justsoccerfan says:

    Yeah Girouddddddddd.

    1. Justsoccerfan says:

      Scored with his shoulder.

  19. Mesut O-chill says:


  20. Ks-Gunner says:

    Well done

  21. 61 never again says:

    COYG f### the giroud haters

  22. Rock says:

    and giroud score still not good enough to be our top striker

    1. Justsoccerfan says:

      Yes he is not good enough. I paying subscription to watch arsenal so I entitled to demand a better striker.

  23. Jimbeam says:

    Ok Giroud just shut me up, with that header.

    1. Sacrificial_Pizza says:

      So an hour and a half ago you were done with him, and said he screams mediocrity. Then he scores, and ok, he’s fine?

      Plastics man, I wish you guys would shuffle off to Chelsea and stop embarrassing us

  24. Justsoccerfan says:

    Ozil is electrifying, a good season ahead.

    1. Jimbeam says:

      Yes – he is playing with a different purpose.

  25. Justsoccerfan says:


  26. Rock says:

    and ox score

  27. Tidan2 says:

    Now that was a goal!

    1. napersie says:

      we are always thinking of what other teams are doing, swear other teams are scared of us…

  28. davidnz says:

    Nice goal by Ox.

  29. ras911 says:

    LOL now the Giroud haters crawl back into their caves until he shows any sign of weakness

    1. Justsoccerfan says:

      No. I am stilk here. To me he is still not good to watch, I still demand a better striker. Coyg.

    2. Sacrificial_Pizza says:

      Beautiful goal and assist

      1. ras911 says:

        make that 2 assissts

        1. YingYang69 says:

          Assista la vista baby.

      2. k-ool says:

        Wai wait wait….So a lucky shoulder goal and two point blank passes any person playing football in any league should make and suddenly Giroud is very good?
        I think you guys should sign me up on this bandwagon. If you can’t beat delusional f*ckers, join them at least until May 15, 2016 when reality has hit again.
        I spit in disgust. I really hope we don’t sign any ST or any other player for that matter.

    3. RSH says:

      Don’t want Giroud out, just want somebody better. An Emirates Cup match is just a friendly. Sanogo scored 4 goals in it last season. I like seeing Giroud do well, but I’m not naive enough to think he’s good enough to bring us the title.

      1. k-ool says:

        These are exactly my sentiments. I don’t mind him as a number 2 to a talented striker.
        He is a good plan B.

  30. Justsoccerfan says:

    What a team goallllllllllll

  31. Just_Trolling says:




  32. Mesut O-chill says:

    That was filthy.

  33. 61 never again says:

    Get in ox assist giroouud

  34. ras911 says:


  35. Rock says:

    iwobi make it three

  36. davidnz says:

    Iwobi has some promise
    Like him.

  37. Just_Trolling says:

    Awwwe noooo

  38. Just_Trolling says:

    Not off side

  39. Just_Trolling says:

    Ozil what a genius

  40. davidnz says:

    4-0 ?

    1. Just_Trolling says:

      You not watching NZ vs RSA?

      1. davidnz says:

        I could but I am
        watching the live updates.
        so yeah following both 🙂
        10-10 at the break
        but we are lucky.

        1. Just_Trolling says:

          Im flicking between Channels when I hear people here shouting.

  41. Rock says:

    ozil is the main man, ramsey make it four

  42. Ks-Gunner says:

    For the love Budha end the game. Its over.

    1. Mesut O-chill says:

      4-0 Arsenal leads are never over

  43. Just_Trolling says:

    Fans there are really lucky today, I envy them.

  44. Mesut O-chill says:

    Crying tears of joys y’all. That was beautiful.

    1. Ks-Gunner says:

      What will you do if we win the Epl bye chance, lol

      1. Mesut O-chill says:

        create my own ocean and name it after Ozil

        1. Ks-Gunner says:


  45. RSH says:

    Good stuff from Ox. This is his chance with Alexis coming back late…

  46. RTOROH says:

    Am sure Lacazette knows the team he want to play for by now.

  47. Ks-Gunner says:

    Wow.. Very dangerous player indeed.

  48. ButtFlaps says:

    Giroud still only two top! WEE need toptop top

  49. i want Gabriel to play.

    1. Just_Trolling says:

      Sure Wenger will make subs.

      Lyon must come out more in 2nd half, if we make subs they could be in goals and also get some confidence.

      Dont think anyone who started will lose confidence after that half.

      Would of liked to see Akpom with Walcott

    2. jonestown1 says:

      He’ll be on tomorrow with our B-team defence Cech, Bellerin, Chambers, Gabriel and Monreal – how times have changed, not a bad defence line-up. Lol.

  50. Tidan2 says:

    Ox is an injury free season away from world class

    1. Justsoccerfan says:

      Yes that is a well taken goal.

    2. mohawk says:

      @RobertTheGooner commented above that Ox was “deadwood.” Seriously. That was his comment.

    3. RSH says:

      Spot on. Always believed he was way better than Sterling too. I pray he stays fit and shines this season.

  51. AlmiR says:

    Sterling 50m, how much would cost OX, 100?

    1. Just_Trolling says:

      Sterling definitely over priced, but he is younger than Ox and has great potential. Whether he will pull his head out his ass and realise it is another story.

      Glad we didnt get him, Ox will explode this season if he stays fit.

      1. mohawk says:

        Lacazette Offside (when he did not really need to be). If it was Giroud there would be comments suggesting he is just a lumbering idiot who should retire immediately.

        1. jonestown1 says:

          Was there today and watched Lacazette and Fekir more closely than our lot – not much to see to be honest. One half chance and half a dozen poor touches, no service – looked properly dejected.

    2. Ks-Gunner says:

      100m and 1 XD

      1. AlmiR says:

        1 pound, game changer in Wengers mind hahaha

  52. davidnz says:

    Pre season game
    but great to see
    the goals going in 🙂

    1. Tidan2 says:

      I was waiting for this; ask yourself this, would you say that if we were 3-0 down?

      1. davidnz says:


        1. YingYang69 says:

          Bullshit.. but whats new.

  53. gooner100 says:

    Nice first half. Thought iwobi looks very classy, nice touches, great close control, making himself available and top quality finish for goal(s). He looks confident and could be another excellent product of the academy.

    1. YingYang69 says:

      Welbeck has a new rival for his squad position. Iwobi Welbeck Gnabry and Ox fighting it out to replace Sanchez and Walcott.

  54. Mesut O-chill says:

    Another Lyon player down…

    Are we reaching an era where other players get injured but our Gunners don’t?

    1. Jimbeam says:

      Yes please!!! from your mouth to G*ds ears!

    2. rpk says:

      Even I thought of same thing..Opposition players going down not us! Grt improvement..

  55. mohawk says:

    I know this is pre=season but I would like to see at least some physical pressure on Arsenal. This is sometimes the weak spot and we should see how/if they can handle it.

  56. Jimbeam says:

    Let’s see Cazorla, Theo, and Gabriel come in.

  57. Jimbeam says:

    Good strikers do NOT miss those chances. In the EPL that is the difference between a point or 3!

    1. Tidan2 says:

      yes they do, every single striker misses good chances; look up the stats

    2. ras911 says:

      LOL so even the best strikers to have ever played football for the past 200 years NEVER missed a single goal they should have scored hahaha. The hate is real

    3. Sacrificial_Pizza says:

      You’re just incorrect. I’ve seen even Aguero miss the easiest sitters you daft Muppet

      1. Jimbeam says:

        You are a mediocracy loving idiot, that’s what you are. Let’s stick with Giroud, he has been so good for three years.

    4. mohawk says:

      That is just ridiculous. Good striker hit more of their chances than average strikers. But EVERY striker misses chances. Did you see Messi in the world cup??

    5. jonestown1 says:

      If you watched Aguero last year you would have seen him miss 6 for every one he scored, shot conversion rate less than OGs – some of you guys are really funny/silly/ignorant/stupid, not sure which.

  58. Mesut O-chill says:

    This is why Ozil needs to shoot more. What a goal.

  59. Justsoccerfan says:

    Without ozil our attack look so boring.

    1. rpk says:

      And dont forget Ramsey!

  60. Arsenal 1st Knight. says:

    Özil & Oliver has done things today that even the most ignorant Mesut-hater couldn’t possibly dismiss as anything less than world class.

    1. Ks-Gunner says:

      Do not worry nobel knight. Ozil has no haters.

      1. Mesut O-chill says:

        yeah no Ozil hate now. My fingers are still suffering from all the typing they had to do trying to defend him article after article on this site.

  61. Just_Trolling says:

    Ahhh classic Santi, does the unexpected from set pieces.

  62. Mesut O-chill says:

    This is also the era where the probability of us scoring from a set piece is a lot higher.

  63. Just_Trolling says:

    Santi, Ozil, Sanchez

    Have we ever had better set piece takers.

    Also why OG and mert are important for us I guess

  64. kenyanfan says:

    this is amazingly nice but…we in trouble…this nice performance will make Wenger not buy and the same excuse will be used to foul and convince the fans that we don’t need additions.

  65. juhislihis says:

    That Adelaide lad (whom I hadn’t even heard of before today) looks SILKY!

    1. Marko says:

      Agreed, and he is just 17. Genuinely exited about this guy.

    2. ethangooner says:

      We signed him early in this transfer windows. Kind of low profile transfer but what a signing

  66. seancali says:

    Great move between giroud and ozil, giroud and ozil were simply class today….this is why we need giroud in our team. WHere are all the haters?

  67. Jimbeam says:

    Ozil and Ox are looking special.

    1. ethangooner says:

      No one mention Ramsey. Quality goal and assist. He also break and assist the assist (Giroud) for Ox goal. Many times he found Ozil (who is very evasive today, impossible to mark) with accurate long ball. He inject the kind of urgency and speed to our flowing football.
      Dont want to read too much to pre-season, we put 4 past Benfica last year but this year the team is playing much better than last year

  68. josh37 says:

    For me, it’s a very hard pick for MOTM between Ozil and Ramsey. A pure masterclass from both of them, the vision and placement of their passes was extraordinary!
    There’s going to be a serious battle for midfield places. The fake-shot pass Santi did to Walcott was pure candy..

    1. RSH says:

      agree. Seeing Ramsey & Ozil like that was a throwback to 13/14 season 🙂
      But how can Santi not be in the lineup… so many decisions

  69. Subi says:

    Off topic :p: Man I miss Dennis Bergkamp :/. My favrourite player of all times

    1. Subi says:

      Never forget! Top 5 Bergkamp goals:

  70. rpk says:

    Adelaide is awesome!! We just recruited him in the summer. U17 french international.

  71. rpk says:

    I think best arsenal transfer of the season is loaning out Yaya Sanogo!! It gives extra space for other more talented youngsters such as Adelaide, Iwobi and Akpom!!

  72. napersie says:

    Adelaide plays like Diaby

  73. Justsoccerfan says:

    Admin where are you? Since like new articles are short coming today.

    1. admin says:

      I was celebrating!

  74. georgie b says:

    To our keeper Damien Fernandez…GREAT JOB!!!

  75. georgie b says:

    Sorry meant Emiliano Martinez.

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