Arteta is starting to develop some tough selection problems

Whoever has been watching the recent Arsenal games will realize there is a certain trend developing, which is that Mikel Arteta is being given a few selection problems (positive ones I might add!).

It’s funny how few weeks ago, almost no single player was good enough, and now several are starting to get into the undroppable zone.

The first area I’ve noticed a selection problem is at left back. Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney are the specialists at the position, but Saka’s recent form has made it hard to envisage him dropping to the bench for any of the specialist duo.

The second area I have noticed a selection headache for the coach is the base of the midfield.
Xhaka and Torreira have made the position theirs for a few games, but Ceballos has come on and shown he’s too good for the bench. Though I think, Torreira can be dropped when we play teams that are sure to sit back, while Ceballos should be dropped if the opponent is going to be attacking.
Another option is to pair Ceballos and Torreira alongside Niles who is surely having a change back to his preferred position.

Depending on how Holding and Mari step up on their return, we may witness another selection issue at centre back. Arteta will soon have lots of fit defenders after a long time with little choice. Luiz, Sokratis, Mari, Holding and Mustafi will all be vying for just two positions.

Also in our recent win, Bellerin wasn’t at his best, and one can only hope he improves enough to deserve keeping Niles out of right back….

What do you think about these selection problems? Whom would you play if you were Arteta?



  1. that is good for the club to be honest. cause if one injured then there is proper cover and this leaves the team with strength in all departments. we need to each position with two good players almost playing at the same level. Then what is left is the manager and his team to rotate them depending on the opposition.

      1. We dont even have a striker the quality of Benzema right now though. That’s the difference. Also, Auba out wide is not as good as Auba in the middle, unlike those other two examples.

  2. the only player who has refused to improve now is Guenduozi, all he does is just back pass and side way passes. Too slow on the ball and kill the attack in the final third. No wonder he’s been having issues with Arteta of resent, he was only good for Emery style of play not Arteta attacking football. It’s better we sell him in the summer

  3. The Cabellos one was interesting, we needed to see the lad in the centre. With Xhaka though, I was unsure of this one, but you’d have to say v Newc it got the job done. They would need a lot more time together still before we get an answer on this, and with him leaving next season that will not happen, hopefully it works out well for this season though.

    Ozil playing as well, I didn’t see that call being made but yes, you’d have to say our creativity was a bit better and the front players seemed to have more space as our opponents tried picking up Ozil, Cabellos and Saka to little avail.

  4. Arsenal may not sell Guendouzi next summer but if he adhered to Arteta’s attacking football philosophy and stop being stubborn in training sessions to cause a spat with his head coach.

  5. The only Problem is who will take xhaka position when he is unavailable.. We still dont have another midfielder who can do what he does, maybe Papa Gueye

  6. Guendouzi is a work in progress. Even if we sell then we make a profit and can buy a replacement if he does get sold. He is the only one not to improve so far and his attitude is being called into question which isnt good.

    Saka is another I’m worried about leaving as its only been mentioned recently he has 18months left, same as Auba! He wants LW as he isnt a LB but has done extremely well in that position. Just get him a new contract as hes on £3k a week atm and deserves a pay rise for what he has been doing.

    Niles is another case I dont really know what’s going to happen with him but hes the same, doesnt want to play RB and is a CM. Did well in midfield before he became the makeshift RB. I like hik alot in the middle, could he do better than Xhaka?

    Martinelli is a gem and needs to be protected at all costs. He will start in europe this week. Eddie will get a games as Mikel wants to see if he is ready to contribute asap or we need to replace one of Auba and Laca as their futures at the club are not certain.

    Holding needs to get back to his best along with Hector or they could find themselves as no2 in their positions.

    This is just the youth/younger players I’m looking at here as the rest can be sold and replaced. Smith Rowe, Saliba and Mavraponas all will be back in the summer too so hopefully theirs loans are a success as all 3 have something.

    Supose Pepe is only 24 also so he has time and is starting to show glimpses of what we can expect from him. Same with Torreira and Teirney.

    Future looks bright for the gunners going forward. Mikel will give them chance if they earn it just like Cabellos and Xhaka have came back into the fold on their training merits.

  7. While I basically agree, that there is improved competition for the places mentioned, i actually think the biggest challenges lies up front.
    Auba, Lacca, Nketiah and Martinelli are all best in the middle. That is “problem” no. 1.
    If MA partly solves it by putting Auba on the wing, then we essentially have 3-4 players for the left wing position;
    Auba, Martinelli, Nelson and eventually Saka. That is problem no. 2.
    But we are struggling a bit on RW. If Pepe continues his fine form, he is first choice. But we don’t really have a back-up there.

  8. It is indeed welcome news that Arteta, for a variety of reasons, has more options than Emery had available. But it should not be overstated, as we came from a very low base and our base is still lower than a club of our stature should expect. We badly need at least six real top quality players and another three or four of better than our current average ability. People are now and wrongly , IMO, starting to overreact. I find the talk of a much improved Mustafi and Xhaka, to be laughably wrong. Neither are anywhere near good enough, though the team is undoubtedly tighter in defence than previously. Then again, why compare to a previous low base and say “oh good, we are better than then” when we should be saying “we have a long way to go still and badly need better players in and rotten players gone”! To me THAT is the true REALITY!

    1. Agree jon, we are looking at this team at a lower level because that is what they are so far, at a lower level than we should be. As far as players un droppable, thats not ever and should not ever be meant as it sounds. If a player is performing well, then obviously he keeps his place but again you can only go on that assumption for the present season because that all the players we have to compare with. It doesn’t mean that the said player is good enough to take us higher or cant be replaced by better. Its about nobody being comfy in there place and that has to be the case, unless you are top of the league of course. I agree with you jon 6 or 7 older players could easily be replaced for better in the summer but we have to rely on them while they are here.

  9. in my opinion, Arteta should play Kolasinac as a left back, Niles as a right back then Mustafa and Luiz as centre backs. Waka on the left wing, Xaka and Ceballos at central mid field, Pepe on the right wing , Aubameyang as a centra striker and behind him Ozil. Or start Xaka and Toreira at central midfield the Ceballos should come off the bench to replace Ozil when he is tired. Guendouz to replace Toreira. However Guendouz of fond of diving with the negativity we have with match officials and VAR Guendouz’s antics can cost us negatively.

  10. It is a good problem for Arsenal to have with so many improved players. Once Kola and Tierney are completely fit, Saka can play as LW with Martinelli/Auba/Nelson to be no.2. The CF position can be rotated between Auba/Laca/Nketiah and the RW position can be rotated between Pepe/Nelson. Ceballos can play instead of Torreira or can come on as a sub for Ozil as the situation warrants. As for the RB position it can be rotated between Belarin and Nyles. The best defensive combination amongst Mustafi, Socrates, Louis, Holding and Mari can be considered as per the situation. Anyway we have so many games coming up and also considering suspensions and injuries it is very important to have back ups for every position. Up the Gunners!

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