Confirmed: Arsenal’s first Premier League starting line-up of 2021-22 with three debuts to start

The teams are finally out for the long-awaited return to Premier League action, with Arsenal kicking off the new season against Brentford.

The newly-promoted side get to host the opening game of the campaign at their new Brentford Community Stadium as they take on Mikel Arteta’s star-studded Gunners.

The hosts could do well to come into today’s clash without any expectations as they look to make their Premier League debut, but it remains to be seen how have been preparing for today’s matchup.

Arsenal will be targeting nothing-but a win however, knowing that a confidence-boosting performance could have a major impact on their season, especially with Champions League winners Chelsea up next the following weekend.

The Spanish boss has been forced a little with his selection, with Thomas Partey, Gabriel Magalhaes and Eddie Nketiah all picking up injuries, while Gabriel Martinelli has only recently returned from winning a gold medal at the Olympics with Brazil.

Either way, it is a big deal that Arteta has trusted Balogun to lead the line, as he has previously opted to play Smith Rowe as a makeshift nine last term as well as Nicolas Pepe, while Bukayo Saka must have been deemed not to be ready to play the full 90.

Is this the best starting line-up with the players available? Which players from the bench are you most keen to get a chance at some point today?

Patrick

Tags Arsenal v Brentford Brentford

321 Comments

  1. Kieron Blandford says:

    Ah sigh, where’s all our mf maestros of years gone by?!
    Oh yes we don’t any…!

  2. Angus says:

    Should kick on now with Saka on

  3. PJ-SA says:

    Been over 18 months of crossing to no-one when our strengths are clear keeping the ball on the ground.

    Tactical genius 👍

  4. Staxhs says:

    I hope we don’t ruin Saka. Too much responsibility on his young shoulders…

    1. Kedar says:

      Yeah
      Hope he doesn’t end up like Walcott

  5. Ackshay says:

    Will chambers ever bother going up to help pepe from getting 1v2 every time?

    1. PJ-SA says:

      He lacks the athleticism to be a modern day RB. Solid player but not what we need.

  6. Dunchirado says:

    The only easy match we have this month we are losing it already…I think am done with Arteta

    1. Sid says:

      Yeah its hard, but I guess lets wait until the match ends😅😅

      1. Arsemirates says:

        For some reason I don’t think we will be back in Europe next season. Any panic buy now won’t be top drawer having seen what they would be joining.

        1. Wt says:

          Europe? First let see how they
          survive relegation.

  7. RSH says:

    another arteta classic, a sub that makes no sense.

    1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      come on RSH, didn’t you see how Nelson set the play up perfectly for his imaginary teammate

  8. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    If only he was wearing his Swiss kit

    1. Dan kit says:

      Don’t worry bud we only have to watch him for another year , Oh wait make that 4 bow .

      1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

        i think maybe the armband threw him off a bit, as his body wasn’t perfectly in balance when he went to shoot…can you even believe the audacity of this manager to give him the armband in the season opener, considering the off-season antics of this 3-wheeled shopping cart of a player

  9. PJ-SA says:

    I like Pepe as a CF, great conversation rate actually.

    Dithers far too much on the wing instead of using his pace.

  10. Sue says:

    Embarrassing

    1. Perry ames says:

      Season over and if you can find anything positive from this than you are a LIAR we should beat this team but no heart no desire and definitely no idea. And pepe is absolutely shit and should never play for the club again and the same for those two shit cowards aubameyang and lacazette

    2. Cliff says:

      We are bottom of the table Sue &with M.A on the helm I am so afraid of this season.

      1. Sue says:

        You and me both, Cliff ☹

  11. DaJuhi says:

    TRUST THE PROCESS
    TRUST THE PROCESS
    TRUST THE PROCESS

  12. RSH says:

    thats game. who can honestly be surprised? If you are, you haven’t been paying attention at all this summer.

  13. Kieronblandford@blueyonder.co.uk says:

    Just pathetic!!
    Weak weak weak, leno.could do nothing he was held.

  14. Thebush says:

    Surely he’s got to be sacked now

    1. RSH says:

      nope, gotta wait until around december for that. looking at our schedule going into early November, I honestly only see us winning against norwich, crystal palace. maybe burnley/newcastle on a good day. these are our new standards.

  15. PJ-SA says:

    “Pre season doesn’t matter, it’s got nothing to do with league games”

    Where are all of you now?

    1. Fat one says:

      In there cave I think

  16. RW1 says:

    Sad club … overrated players delusional fan base uninterested owner and a manager which as I said in December needs to go before we lose the plot completely

  17. arie82 says:

    oh my……
    if we loss
    i will keep away from redcafe for a while

  18. Adega Olatunji says:

    All of you are just deceiving yourselves, this team will finish below 10 this season

  19. Kev82 says:

    Same old crap! Arteta is clueless. Embarrassing.. Chelsea and City next 😣

  20. Dan kit says:

    If only we had signed Odegaard and Abraham before the season started we might have been able to get a point tonight .

  21. FootballisTrivial says:

    Arsenal might be shit but that was an obstruction on Leno. VAR?

  22. Sid says:

    Great! Now KT is injured! Comedy of errors 😂😂

  23. Kedar says:

    I feel for Saka
    I think he should leave if we continue with This Joker Arteta
    Saka deserve much better…

  24. Kieron says:

    Just pathetic so weak and disorganised.
    Leno was held well though.
    Cant let it bounce!
    Got to know Luiz or Gabriel would have cleared everyone out to head that away.

  25. Sue says:

    Toney to score next?

  26. Gunnerfedup says:

    Useless junk kid arterta must be fired!!!

  27. Col says:

    Another season over😂😂😂😂🤣🤣

  28. Kieron says:

    Where are my comments adnin?

  29. Sean Williams says:

    Well I said I’d forgive Arteta even if we lost because of the young team. I don’t feel that way after being 2-0 down. He hasn’t got what’s needed. He stands on the touchline micro-managing and I just don’t feel the players can be themselves with his over the top control.

  30. indian gooner says:

    Now not spending any penny for this clueless manager first get rid of him asap

    1. Angus says:

      Also tell me Lokonga is not an Arteta signing and we didn’t look better with him. Thought he was the one stand out tonight. We already knew smith-rowe/Tierney.

  31. Hill says:

    I only feel sorry for Saka, Tierney and Leno. This football club is absolute shambles!

  32. Highbury Hero says:

    I genuinely feel sorry for Arteta. With the coming fixtures he really has to pull a rabbit out of his hat otherwise I don’t see him surviving the next 10 fixtures.

    The job was always too big for him.

  33. ramterta says:

    whoever thought that ben white was worth 50m must be fired asap

    1. Kedar says:

      Who else?
      Edu and Arteta

    2. Sean says:

      100% agreed. Saliba not even given a chance and bought for £27m over 2 years ago. £50m is a joke and the whole regime need to get out!!

      Wheres Daniel Ek or Dangote now??

      Arteta needs to be sacked this isnt working out

  34. DaJuhi says:

    Dont worry, our manager was Peps water boy so he will sort this mess out!

  35. PJ-SA says:

    Has Chambers even been in the opposition’s half? RW has had zero support the whole game.

  36. Quantic Dream says:

    How was that not a foul on Leno?!

  37. RSH says:

    This new GK coach has managed to get us runnarsson, have us chase ramsdale all summer, ditch martinez, and we’re watching leno get worse and worse with every game going by. Yet he still has a job. 😂😂

    1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      RSH, maybe he’s got the same secret blackmail-worthy information that Xhaka clearly has

  38. Bur says:

    Rubbish, season over!!!😭😭😭😭

  39. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    “they’ve been bullied tonight”…still time left, of course, but imagine that being the commentators statement, against a promoted side no less, when we’ve got Chelski and City coming up next

    1. RW1 says:

      Time left for what !!! Delusional

      1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

        take a breath RW1, I’m on your side in this equation…my commentary wasn’t meant, by any respects, to be flattering

    2. Sid says:

      Damn! Now I feel I wasted my time watching Arsenal when I have my exams on monday😂😂😂
      It is as you said, seems like innocent kids led to that left side by a candy bait and the adults smoothly leading them there and then snuffing out KT’s crosses. At this point only positive I can take is that Sambi looks good.

      1. Sue says:

        Oh no! Good luck for Monday, Sid 🤞

        1. Sid says:

          Thanks Sue🤘🤘 we move on though! Bring on Chelsea.. or on second thoughts please dont bring it on😂😂

  40. Wolf says:

    We’re gonna be bottom of the league come the break

    1. Kedar says:

      And for 3 weeks because next 2 losses is for sure

  41. Kieron says:

    Better get selling and buying as this club is in trouble!

  42. Crowther says:

    After the end of the game,a pundit says”i played really very well”

  43. Dan kit says:

    So Pepe goes into middle and Arteta continues with the wing backs endless crosses tactic into the box ,as Pepe ever scored with his head ?is he a towering CF ? 🤔

  44. Sue says:

    Really feel for those poor sods in the stadium. It’s bad enough watching at home, but to actually be there….

    1. Kev82 says:

      That’s their hard earned money they will never see again Sue. Pathetic.

      1. TexMex says:

        Yeah, sad day.

  45. Highbury Hero says:

    Tavares should have been brought sooner.

  46. Sean Williams says:

    Send Xhaka to Roma express mail.

  47. RW1 says:

    Any team that has xhaka as its captain deserves to go down in my books … complete shambolic management …

    1. RSH says:

      new contract just needs his signature. Then we’ll be adding the timid Odegaard to this already timid squad. happy days. We’re gonna spend 100mill+ and be just as terrible

    2. Highbury Hero says:

      Xhaka is a true captain. It is his destiny.

      1. RSH says:

        😂😂 im just shocked that our hierarchy is still genuinely fooled by this guy. enough to give him MORE wages and stay here even longer!

    3. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      see, I told you we were on the same side

  48. TexMex says:

    I agree. 25 year Arsenal fan, but turned the game off. I can’t keep doing this year-over-year. Go young Gunners, but I won’t be watching from this day forward. Can’t be much more embarrassed as an Arsenal fan. And if you have a contact with the wal-mart heiress (stan)….tell him to eff off. The Rams still suck….

  49. JanV says:

    How can this club get a real manager in its current state?

    1. GunneRay says:

      MA was wrong from the start!

      The club went cheap and got it’s just deserts..

  50. Dendrite says:

    At this rate, we probably need Edin Dzeko. Why FFS do we lack a tall CF. The bucks lies at the feet of the club owners and the manager. Throwing the ball into the box with no recognized target man is just blatantly foolish tactics from the manager.

    This club is a joke and I won’t be too mad at the coach. Sacking him would not solve anything as no decent manager would take the job.

    We are stuck with Aubameyang, Lacazette, two players signed by the last regime who have bedeviled the team balance and Bellerin, another useless player with no room for improvement, all on crazy wages.

    If the club cannot get in the necessary signings and provide the coach with the rights tools, there is absolutely nothing the coach can do.

    1. RSH says:

      we’ve have yet to actually try a serious coach since Wenger have we? Emery was never right for the job. Arteta is just a hilarious clown. But clown club deserves a clown coach I suppose. Led by the biggest clown Kroenke.

    2. Dan kit says:

      Auba was one of the best players in the league for 2 seasons straight Arteta gets his hands on him and look what’s happened.
      He only went downhill once Arteta arrived .

  51. Kieron says:

    Bet willoxk would have scored tonight!

  52. Highbury Hero says:

    If you want to see how bad Arteta is watch how easily Brentford are going to be beaten by Crystal Palace.

    1. Sid says:

      Man is about to cry as cameramen zoom in on his face… also I dont think crystal palace will win that easily. Viera is just as bad as MA at the moment.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        Yes Sid. This might be harder for him than the fans. Ian Wright does not look happy too.

        1. Sid says:

          Yeah but I now dont know what to think of Wright too. Absolute legend for us but Man has clueless opinions seemingly these days… dont know what will happen now if we start like this.. sad that Dan put too much faith on us to score an away goal or he would have had full 2 points😂😂

          1. SueP says:

            Cruel Sid!

          2. Sid says:

            Sorry SueP. Utmost respect for Wright as one of our greatest legends but some of his recent opinions do seem clueless.. class act though👍👍

          3. SueP says:

            Diss
            I was referring to Dan!!😁😁

          4. Sid says:

            Ohh😂😂
            Yeah Dan had an almost perfect score, and only two or three other posters had an Arsenal defeat. Guess will have to bring rationality in the next round..

  53. Sean says:

    Daniel Ek… that went away fast.
    Dangote… all bs!

    We are stuck with Stan and his stooges!! They need to go along with Mikel and the recruiting system.

    £70m Pepe
    £50m White
    Selling Martinez
    Selling Willock & Matteo
    Loaning Saliba
    Xhaka, Elneny still here along with average players in Chambers.

    Good business is Lokonga

  54. PJ-SA says:

    Every knows from last season that Pepe is a LW 100%! Clown plays him RW.

    He also desperately needs coaching, stop trying to dribble and just run hard to the line!

    Chambers gives zero support attacking.

    1. RSH says:

      Pepe is the exact same player we’ve bought him. Nobody has even bothered to coach the neverending dribble garbage out of him. It’s hilarious and sad to watch. He’s so ineffective when it doesnt have to be that way.

      1. PJ-SA says:

        Exactly, in my opinion he has a lot of talent he’s just clueless. When he actually runs at a defender without all that stupid dribbling he usually beats them, very quick.

  55. RW1 says:

    If arteta was a decent person he would admit to being way out of his depth and resign …

    1. Kev82 says:

      Rw1 absolutely agree

  56. Kieron says:

    We always lose games like this!
    Oh no the newly promoted side away! We’d better not lose or the fans will be on us quake of knees can be heard…..

  57. Highbury Hero says:

    Those close shots!! He is clearly affected and I don’t think he is going to find it easy to sleep tonight.

    1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      maybe he just needs another holiday, like Edu

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        A permanent holiday.

  58. RW1 says:

    A shot of a confused wrighty .. another utterly clueless commentator

  59. TexMex says:

    I’m out. Eff Arsenal and their owner. Only $500 per year in spend, but I hope others follow. #ArtetaOut

  60. Tunyzone says:

    Lolssssss. He shouldn’t have been employed in the first place, that guy Arteta is clueless.

  61. Angus says:

    I was positive and said I’d eat my words if we start badly so for now I’ll have to. Will say we dominated the 2nd half (we all saw it.) I ask the Arteta outs to do the same If we beat Chelsea (I will) and in particular the fans in the stadium back the team well into the 2nd half for that home fixture. We left out our 1st and 3rd goal scorers tonight to illness much to the majorities delight. Food for thought?

      1. Dan kit says:

        +1 BS

        1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

          get out the earplugs Dan, so you don’t take a potshot at one of your buds when they’re giving you the gears over this piss-poor performance

        2. instrooments says:

          +2 BS

          1. Angus says:

            So your only interested in your egos? Out of interest how many were Wenger out because that worked out well! Asked you to back the team in the 2nd game you responded like children. Times like this I hate loving a club.

    1. RSH says:

      do you think Laca and Auba wouldve won us this game? Because I dont. This attack looks totally dead no matter who is thrown up top. It’s the same patterns of play same players that dont run at defenders and avoids take ons. Same forwards that have zero presense in the box. Why spend a bunch of money on someone like Lautaro when we know what Arteta is gonna do with him, which is make him disappear, just like literally every striker that has played under Mikel so far.

      1. RSH says:

        Exception is ESR who i Think tried very hard to make something happen

        1. SueP says:

          He did!!

    2. SueP says:

      Well said Angus as at least you stood up to be counted

      The comments before the game started were ecstatic about the youngsters only to be met with derision when that didn’t work

      It was an under 23 team against a newly promoted team playing at home.

      It should have been better but in all seriousness that was a makeshift team

  62. Neath Gunner says:

    Awful display.
    Our pre season was awful.
    Lost to Hibs.
    Arteta not the man.
    Not sure who would take the job.

  63. Crowther says:

    Some people don’t realize how poor MA is cozy even when he was still at city,they could perform poorly whenever pep could be away from the touchline(actually arteta never won a match without pep on the touchline),so i don’t want others see in this so called arteta man

  64. Prof.Wenger says:

    The answer is simple, MA is not ready to coach. He should leave tonight, he can’t do anything when the team is losing. He doesn’t know what to do when some of the players are out and lacking creativity.

    Please MA leave ..

    1. RSH says:

      dont worry, odegaard is going to save us 🙄

  65. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    remember the good old days when we used to make memories for our fanbase not others

  66. Skills1000 says:

    And I predicted a 3:1 to arsenal. I am deluded and naive as well. We need 3 things

    1. Buy Aouar and Odegaard (75m pounds for both)
    2.Sack Arteta
    3.Appoint Conte or Zidane

  67. Jakes Mradu says:

    I’ll prefer Lauren Blanc as our couch…..disappointed with Arteta…..!

  68. Nickerless Bender says:

    I really don’t have much to say, but what did we expect?

    So who is MA gonna blame after this debacle as I guarantee you it will be someone else’s fault.

    Get ready for this shi!t show every weekend peeps as nothing is gonna change with this set up.

  69. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    on the bright side, we’ve got our “captain” back

  70. Vinod says:

    I feel sorry for Artera, this might be the end of his managerial career. He has neither confidence in himself nor inspire the team.

  71. Dhoni says:

    Chambers didn’t help Pepe at alllll forcing him to dribble three players. Tavares should play RB for now IMHO. Saka truly a gem and Leno just can’t command his box. We have to look for a no. 1 keeper not back up. MA should bloody stop #playfromtheback FFS. I’m done so is the season💔😩🥴

  72. Clemento says:

    How can can you end the game with Pablo Mari, Xhaka, Saka, Tavarez, Pepe and Tierney. Guess what!they are all left footed!!!! If there is something that I am tired of, is seeing Arteta on the touchline. We knew we ended the season with the poorest creativity, it was very obvious that the team needed a creative force to shine. Look now the season has started and we haven’t bought any???? The priority was rather put in defensive reinforcements despite the team having a good defense. We are out Odegaard when we know the lad didn’t deliver to the expectations during his 6 months loan when Aouar and Maddison can take the club to another level. Let’s see what we shall achieve with Arteta

  73. jon fox says:

    I am ashamed to be Gooner rtonight. Not because our team were poor but because our so called “fans”on JA are a total disgrace.
    The comments above this post, virtually ALL OF THEM, MAKE ME SICK AND ASHAMED TO BE THOUGHT AMONG THEM, AS A FELLOW GOONER.

    This site tonight is as bad, if not even worse, than the spiteful goons on AFTV.

    It sickens me to see this unruly, self entitled, mob descend with fury on the team and club they CLAIM to support!

    Support? They do not even know the meaning of the word!

    1. Dammy says:

      You are totally living in delusion bro…….you’re DELUSIONAL

      1. Cmahn says:

        Very very very clueless!!

        I wonder if he sees anything good in arsenal right now that brought about that comment!

    2. Cmahn says:

      We are more tired of your non useful comments on here than yur tired of us.
      Get out our club if you got anything positive to say tonight after that performance.
      You think you know it all, I think fans like you need to stop supporting arsenal cos we would be going back wards.

      I wonder what you think of that performance and the ever clueless coach. SMH!!

    3. SueP says:

      It doesn’t take much for the vultures to circle Jon
      Apart from Angus and Adajim that I can immediately recall, the level of vitriol was more embarrassing than the performance
      Not the best by any stretch but in mitigation, all the youngsters as well as the new signings were playing so they were given the chance.

      1. Splendid says:

        Birds of same feather 🪶

      2. Angus says:

        Sue it makes me hate the club. I went to emirates after Eboue got booed had a massive out loud argument in the stands with this guy about Eboue he scored two name rang round the stadium and cult legend status was secured. Everyone forgets the entire side of the stadium sat silent whilst i was arguing before scored. Tired of it, don’t even mention the way Wenger was treated.

    4. Sid says:

      It was coming though, wasnt it Jon? I think this is the most volatile state the fanbase are in recent times. The super league fiasco, the unrest about the owners, transfer window performance or lack of, general lack of satisfactory peromance from the club in about two years. It all had to rise to a crescendo at the time of the opening match. If it was a good performance, it would have subsided very quickly but the tactical naivety that we displayed didnt lower the unrest. JA is maybe a small part of the global fanbase, and the community on JA is among the best Arsenal fans I have seen (in online platforms). So it obviously will reflect on here. You are not wrong that we should support the club, but I think we should also understand the reactions of those of the fans who call for MA’s head now. This is a very troubling time for the club and extreme reactions will be the norm. Even I dont know when I will flip off and only rant about the club, in fact I think I started with the last match.

      Anyways I hope MA comes back stronger from this. He did not look good today and the caneramen were having a field day focusing on his reactions. A tactical change is maybe necessary in my opinion. We cant play the same scheme with all the injuries and the deficiencies in our squad. Otherwise it will be ugly here again.
      Have a good day Jon, stay safe and then come back to your best poster self here. I love your perspectives on Arsenal, even if some I am less inclined to agree with.

      1. SueP says:

        Sid
        Measured and calm and always polite – that’s you!

        It’s the level of loathing I cannot stand and that’s why I agreed with Jon

        I don’t know where we go from here as I fear the toxicity at the Emirates next

        I thought the match could have gone either way but thought we’d win. On the face of it we as the so called bigger club should have done better but The Brentford Story helped the home team no end.

        Arteta must be a worried man. I can only hope the transfer window pays dividends because I gave him until Christmas to turn things around. I supported the rookie but I no longer class him as one so he has to start delivering

        1. Sid says:

          SueP I completely understand your points. I have a neutral approach on the matter and think 10 games should be enough to see if MA can sink or swim. Ideally he should get this season, but in Covid times, with our club’s finances in disarray, the results got to come or we would be in trouble. In this high pressure environment MA has to perform or I fear he would be suffering the same treatment Mr. Wenger faced in the stadiums and ultimately sacked. I like that he is using an approach but he does not seem to have perfected it and in games like this it just looks like pinball. Also amount of errors seem to have risen since his arrival which maybe suggests that players still struggle with some aspects of his tactics. Some signs were positive, I agree. Just if he amends some tactics or changes his formation we might play better. But he did look really tensed, so I wish him all the best to turn it around.

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