Arteta must pick his very best team to beat Leeds on Tuesday

We all know that Arsene Wenger considered the League Cup to be simply a training ground for him to introduce his youngsters into playing in front of big crowds, and although they regularly progressed further than expected it was one trophy that eluded “Le Prof”.

Even in his final years, when he tried with more experienced players to win it, Wenger was severely embarrassed by a facile defeat to Man City at Wembley, which saw many Arsenal fans walk out long before the end of the game.

But now, in these troubled times, the League Cup has now become a cherished trophy for Arsenal fans, as any trophy is better than none at the moment, and Mikel Arteta has put out strong teams in the two previous rounds to ensure progression, even playing our first XI against the West Brom youth team.

Now we are preparing to face our fellow Premier League members Leeds, who are struggling this season under Bielsa with just one win to their name, and are currently in 4th bottom of the table. They may prefer not to have the distraction of a League Cup run with survival in the EPL at stake, and with Bamford, Phillips, Ayling and Firpo already doubtful, Bielsa will want to protect the players he has left.

But whichever team Bielsa chooses, it is imperative that Arteta makes sure of victory by picking his best team available, and with very few big changes.

After seeing Leno, Martinelli, Pepe, Elneny and Odegaard on the bench against Villa, I expect them to start on Tuesday, but I don’t expect many more changes after that.

Arteta MUST go all out to win the League Cup for the first time since 1993…

Tags League Cup Leeds


  1. We need to play a strong side but doesn’t necessarily have to be our strongest. We need to rest some players too

    But i definitely agree with winning the Cup. I want us to win it

    1. I agree with you @Stephanie. But the first player on the team sheet has to be Martinelli. The lad needs desperate game time. Plus @Dan Kit will not be a happy Vegemite if Martinelli is on the bench. Arteta can not keep Martinelli wrapped up in cotton wool forever. Obviously Arteta has an issue with him otherwise. I’d hate to see the lad leave The Arsenal. That’s what will end up happening

      1. I totally agree about Martinelli. We need a high energy 11 to go against Leeds, plus Martinelli needs the game time.

        I’d play AMN in midfield, Martinelli and Pepe in the attack.

        Saka and ESR should be rested for PL games, along with Partey.

        Hopefully changes made to starting 11, but keep some game changers on the bench just in case.

      2. Totally agree with you. Martinelli should have had more PL time actually

        He was so good last season

  2. No. Because the fringe and squad rotation players will be unhappy, if they don’t even get a chance to play in cup games

    Victory Grows Out of Harmony

    1. Totally agree. I expect at least seven changes from Friday. Given Leeds is struggling, I thing they will prioritise PL so dont expect their strongest XI.

      My god, Sala just scored again. Ten in ten
      Hope he cools down before we meet them in a few weeks…

      1. Liverpool are so scary. Ronaldo might have made Man United weaker due to his unwillingness to defend and to do proper hold-up play, but getting trashed at Old Trafford is very humiliating

          1. Yeah Sue, Klopp and his forwards aren’t from this world! If our attackers could have at least 50% of their energy in high pressing, our opponents would be forced to make long goal kicks all the time

        1. Man U getting destroyed. It’s really funny. My missus is a Man U fan 🤣Really enjoying it! I hate Man U

        2. Either that or United’s entire back 4 unwilling to defend. Soon much space for Liverpool for those goals.

          Watch the replay and count all the Utd. Playing watching or jogging while Liverpool were on the counter.

          That’s on the players, Ole isn’t on the pitch

    2. Anyone watching Man utd V Liverpool? My goodness, Liverpool is on another planet! PlayStation goals!

      1. I’m waiting for the highlights, because I can’t stomach watching it

        Can’t imagine the anger of Man United fans towards Solskjaer now

          1. Thanks SueP, I have just watched the highlights

            Man United were disorganized and Liverpool’s passes were almost perfect. If they could score five goals at Old Trafford, imagine what they could do to us at Anfield 🥶

    3. Yes the fring player are quality enough to beat Leeds. They will be out to prove a point and try to stake a claim for a shirt in EPL. It’s going to be an interesting match.

  3. No Arsenal player will survive what CR7 did. Refs always on United’s side.

    Klopp is the best coach in EPL and Maguire is the worst thing to happen to United.

    1. their whole team looks bad. like when we did a lazy press and teams easily picked holes all over the pitch. was down to the coaching and whole XI.

  4. this game simply can’t be treated like the ridiculous overkill managerial selection decisions in the WestBrom2 affair…if this is truly a transitional year it’s high time for Areta to put his money where his mouth is and give significant minutes to those who haven’t seen much of the pitch thus far…whether it’s to keep these players sharp, should their respective services be required moving forward, or to simply put them in the shop window for January, it doesn’t matter, as either possibility would justify this course of action

  5. Conte must be licking his lips
    Liverpool are demolishing ManU so far

    As for Tuesday, rotating the squad is important and so is the trip to Leicester on Saturday.

    As has been said already, the fringe players need a chance so it’s a case of Arteta’s ‘skills’ at mixing it

    And another goal goes in……

  6. should be most of our starters, plus a few players who need some gametime like Martinelli, Holding. If I see Nketiah in the sheet i’ll cry. He has no future here. The lesser amount of games we play means this we can take this tournament more serious.

  7. But the headline and what is said in the actual article are at odds with eath other. EG “HE MUST PICK HIS VERY BEST TEAM” but then we shoud include five lesser players who started on the bench against Villa!

    CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW BOTH STATEMENTS CAN BE TRUE, AS I see two very different and contradictory statements there!

    My view is to go with the bench players and field a strongish but not the best eleven. And I think he will do just that.

      1. Pat The English language, for those whose first language it is , such as you and I, is perfectly clear.

        It is plain that those five players are not currently considered by our manager to be in his best starting eleven -ie “his very best team”!

        Hence my correct calling out of the clear contradiction between the headline and the article, no matter how hard you attempt to wriggle out of it, in English that I understand perfectly well but which you choose not to, whenever it suits your agenda!

    1. I agree Jon. Although it might be an imperative to to make a concerted effort in certain competitions. The end yield of such a competition might only achieve minor rewards, when compared to the premiership title or a major European trophy. It’s all very well us going he’ll for leather with Leeds and put out a first choice eleven based on what we’ve seen lately. But, Leeds will also want to assert themselves, in the best possible fashion to consolidate their shortcomings in the premiership. As result, we might pick up unnecessary injuries to key players which could then result in diminishing our league campaign in the future. I think there is room to manoeuvre and put out an eleven comprised of first and second string players that could still overcome the select eleven of Leeds. Leno, Cedric, Holding, AMN, Martinelli et al combined with some older heads could still produce a result against Leeds. Plus, it would also be a good yard stick to measure the confidence of us the fans and the arsenal administration as to how confident we are in our squad as a whole. We have all these players on our books that were supposedly bought because of their potential. Okay, let’s see them in action. Let’s see if they can (despite their tag as second string) prove that that they are indeed on the cusp of being worthy of performing in an established first eleven. Which will also provide some credibility as to Arsenal’s purchasing.

      I’d like us to do well in all competitions that we are engaged in. But we need justifiable proof that we have a group of players that can be readily interchanged and perform ?

  8. We must rotate we will rotate and players need to play. We can still put out a strong team and win the game, the most important thing is top 4, the league cup is great for the squad but it isn’t important for moving this club forwards as far as risking players and running them into the ground. Its a free hit in the league cup, send a team out to give its all and lets see what other players can do.

    1. Leno, Bellerin, Suarez, holding, chambers, Amn, Elnenny, Odergaard, Pepe, Balagun, Tavarez and others need the run out for different reasons, so no need to risk players.

      1. Bellerin’s getting a run out, Reggie @ Real Betis 🙂 Agree with the others though and maybe even Kolasinac!

  9. Out of topic (don’t know where to post about this). Am watching the Marseille vs Paris st Germain match and Saliba is the best player on the pitch. I mean, he is so classy, reads the game well, amazing tackling ability, great passing, an overall great performance. I hope we don’t lose him, I will be gutted, he is a gem.

    1. I’m watching it too. Saliba isn’t anything special. He’s not doing anything exceptional bit he is performing admirably. However, he’s only achieving that as a result of the other ten Marseilles players around him. Marseille have done well to cope with Neymar, Mbappe and Messi but, it’s been a team effort, not just one player

  10. We should rotate for the Leeds game. This is not only to give much needed rest and not to risk injuries to our main regular players but also to give much deserved chances to our fringe and academy players. I feel Martinelli, Holding, Chambers, Soares, AMN, Elneny and Patino must all start. We should be able to beet Leeds with these players and Lenno in goal. Also start Pepe and Balogun.

  11. Better team than above 4-4-2
    Cedric holding mari taves
    Amn Chamb elneney nekitha

    Peppe martinelle

  12. Personally I see Leeds putting a strong team out to kick start their season and find a bit of form. So it wouldn’t surprise me if this is a tough fixture.

    I see the below with the / representative of ‘or’ as I think Artedu will see the Leicester game as more of a priority


    Minutes for Balogun after halftime

  13. This post is on topic for Arteta’s picks to play against Leeds. I feel that if Holding and Mari start we will be down by 2 at the Half. If Elneny and AMN can protect maybe down by 1 if they fail to protect maybe 3. Bielsa is attacking down the middle. He is not a typical British slam in lots of crosses and hope. He is a decoy draw defenders out and run in behind ,quick one touch type of manager. However Arsenal will cross into the box and who will win the balls? I do not know but based on history that our strikers don’t get much service there will be lots of counter attacks. Next is the matter of pressing and playing to high a back 4. It is a noble idea with the right players but Holding and Mari need to go no further than 10 meters out of the box. So as Soures and Taveres race into attack it will be easy to send wide long balls behind them drawing Holding or Mari out and leaving a huge gap in front of the goal just beyond the box. If you saw the video of Saliba catching and tackling Mbappe you will be wishing Arteta had some sense about keeping him and sending Mari or Holding on loan. Please don’t tinker for the sake of Arsenal, play best players to win. Really. As CB says “GOOD GRIEF”

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors