‘Big ask’ – Arsenal urged to overlook 22 year-old against Man United

Arsenal are currently under threat of missing key players Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale when they take on Manchester United at on Sunday, and Paul Merson is reluctant to see Fabio Vieira come in to replace the Norwegian.

Odegaard is our new club captain after our previous leader Alexander Lacazette departed to return to Lyon this summer, and he has taken the armband in his stride in north London.

He has been amongst our best players so far in 2022 in fact, and should he prove to be below 100% this weekend, he will be sorely missed, and Mikel Arteta could be forced to decide on who will replace him in the starting line-up.

Vieira and ESR are the two most likely options to come into the AM role in his absence, with Eddie Nketiah or Marquinhos other options to come into the starting XI, but Merson insists that Smith Rowe should be the one to be called upon.

“If Odegaard is injured, I’d go with Emile Smith Rowe,” Paul wrote in his Sportskeeda column.

“For Fabio Vieira to start this Premier League game is a big ask.

“Arsenal can’t afford to lose, and they don’t need to win this game right now – a draw should suffice.”


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Tags Fabio Vieira Martin Odegaard Paul Merson


  1. There is a game coming up for Vieira on Thursday. ESR should slot in for Odegaard. the game is a big gamble.
    Hoping no new injuries occur during the game. The Pl is tough. Look at Liverpool almost got beaten by Everton had it not been for Var

    1. Agree with you completely, those thinking about a draw do so only because it’s at Old Trafford with the ref in charge as well.

      They have 3 wins now but not convincing performance in any of those, we have seen how Liverpool are currently struggling so to me they don’t have any fear factor about them at the moment.

      Provided we play the same way and take our chances we should win the game nicely.

  2. Im expecting big thing of Viera. Signed injured, not one of the key positions needed when signed and not ready for the start of the season. He must be worth it!!!!!!!

      1. Si, i am being sarcastically serious🤣 But really, the conditions we bought him under, he must be special.

  3. Get him in, no better game for your senior debut, he can control Fred, McTominey etc. Need another win, come on Goooooners.

    1. How many proper players did we buy since last season, Thomas bought injured, Vieira too, Alex from Ukraine aswell what nonsense is this,,,, we will not accept excuses for under performance or lose due to those injuries.

  4. ESR can do a job in the middle, Vieira hasn’t played in 1st team yet so that would be a big gamble.

    Formation change might be in the offing; 4-4-2 with Nketiah up top and Xhaka & Lokogna in the middle. Perhaps an option instead of 4-2-3-1 with a newbie Vieira pulling strings and Lokogna also in midfield.

    Hopefully go at utd early and nick a goal to take off some pressure, and then control the game.

    Odegaard is a big miss, and Partey is huge miss also. Tough match, this utd team will see this as a chance to restart their season and build on any positives.

  5. Smith Rowe should start due to his greater PL experience, unless Vieira has shown something in training that makes it impossible to overlook him.
    A draw would be OK as the key to success in the PL is not to lose to our closest rivals and I think United will be one of those even though their start has been not so great.

  6. In an ideal world,we would introduce him when a game is pretty much won or in a cup fixture against lower league oppositions.

  7. This is a winnable game and vieira must be started .why should we buy him if its not playing in a which is very competitive and strong ?If so then loan him to wherever the transfer is open so that we remain with reliable players.

  8. Merson says Arsenal “can’t afford to lose”. I’m not sure why.

    I agree we need to start getting more from games against the traditional top six. But this is game number six out of 38… hardly a mist win, especially after a 5-0 start

    1. Voyager, you have quoted just a tiny part of what Merson said and if you take everything he said as a whole, he makes a point. A good point but people may not agree with him.

  9. Nah, this is not the game to start Vieira in, and we don’t have an impressive record of starting new recruits at old Trafford either.

    The ten hogs them may have smelled blood but I wouldn’t surprise if we nip it.

  10. Regardless of who is or isn’t playing, under the new dictat of Arteta, we currently have back-ups in every position!!!!!

    So let’s see how that strategy works out in this game against United.

    Since we are supposed to be prepared for players missing thru injury, we should have no trouble against United.

    I just watched Villa play City, and think we dodged a bullet by not getting Douglas Luiz.

  11. Why are we talking of draw game and we are yet to play? Manchester united are beatable and Arsenal should fear nothing.

    1. Its Arsenal Charles and like they were against Liverpool they will be wound up. They have been accused of not being up for games, they will for this, so will the croud and we had better be also.

  12. I think Rowe should start the game and Fabio replaces in the remaining 20minutes depending on the situation of the game.But this is the right time Fabio to feature in Arsenal jerssey .Thank you.

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