Debuchy, Diaby and Wilshere ready to face Reading?

Arsene Wenger now has practically his whole Arsenal squad fit and ready (only Oxlade-Chamberlain is definitely out) ahead of this weekends FA Cup semifinal against Reading at Wembley, and it will be very interesting to see how many changes Le Prof makes for the game.

Wenger is well-known for giving his fringe players a run out in FA Cup matches and it is nearly certain that Wojciech Szczesny will be starting between the sticks, but there are hints that there will be many more changes in the pipeline. Jack Wilshere has now played nearly two full games for the U21s and must surely be judged to be fully fit by now. Wenger could be tempted to have his bull-dog spirit on the field for what could be a very physical confrontation.

Abou Diaby has also played over an hour of both games, and with Wenger wanting to see if the French midfielder has retained his talent ahead of summer contract talks he could be playing for at least half the game. We all know what Diaby is capable of, and I am sure that Wenger’s hopes of him returning as a defensive midfielder last summer stopped him going into the transfer market. I wonder if Wenger is thinking the same thing this year?

It also has been revealed in today’s Star that Wenger is intending to give Hector Bellerin a rest against Reading and putting Arsenal’s previous first-choice right-back Matthieu Debuchy straight back into the first team as well. The Frenchman hasn’t played since January, and he hasn’t featured in any of the U21 matches, but Wenger assured us before the Burnley game that he was ready for action. Wenger said: “Debuchy is alright. I can only play three players over 21 [in the under-21 league] so he is physically fit and ready. He lacks a bit of a competitive edge but overall he has no medical problems.”

On Diaby, Arteta and Wilshere, Wenger said: “They came through the game on Tuesday well. They were at a good level physically and they should all be available from now on until the end of the season hopefully.”

So there is also the possibility that Arteta could get a run out at Wemble as well, but just how many changes should Wenger make before such an important game?

Tags Arteta Debuchy Diaby Wilshere


  1. I have seen the game yesterday (very boring in the first half) and it looked to me that all three of them + Debuchy if fit are quite ready to take it to the first team. Now, I don’t watch Reading games but I believe that a player with better header play like Debuchy will get the nod against a pacy, low height Bellerin against a team raining balls in our box.
    The only concern is Szceszny. I feel very uneasy when he takes the place between the sticks. I don’t know why. I may be totally wrong, is just a feeling.
    I don’t think we will see Sanchez either in the first 11 if Walcott will play. Or maybe Ozil will take the bench. Or maybe Wenger wants to finish this game and send in the best team. Who knows.

    1. Mate, this is the FA CUP semi final, you don’t start being over confident, arrogant and cocky just because it’s Reading… We nearly got turned over last season against Wigan and Hull, I remember Blackburn embarrassing is a few seasons ago, I remember Bradford embarrassing us a few seasons ago, I remember Birmigham winning the Carling Cup againt us.

      Bradford embarrassed Chelski this season, Middlesborough did City, MK DONS did United I these Cup games.

      All I am saying is that let’s not get cocky, this is a one off game and anything can happen. Monaco, Anderlecht etc should us this season that being over confident ain’t the way to go. Might end up with egg on the face.

      Let’s play our strongest team, we abit got anything else we are playing for, the likes if Ozil just got back from 3 months of chilling be it they were injured. Let’s take this game seriously because it is so important, there is a trophy at stake.

      1. Whilst I tend to agree I find it bizzare that for years we have been crying out for strength in depth and once we get some we are afraid to use it. If for example Debuchy, Gibbs, Gabriel, Walcott and Welbeck get a game is that really disrespectful to Reading or arrogant? I don’t think so. We have perhaps our most important PL game for years on the horizon and a mega run-in battle so assessing your options and perhaps resting 1 or 2 should be considered. If we cannot beat Reading on a neutral ground then there will be no excuses whatever team we put out.

        1. Its not about being afraid to use our strength in depth. It’s about not playing rusty players in key positions in such an important game. If the players were fit for a while and playing once in a while, it would make sense to rotate and let them play. This is our only shot at the trophy. Let us not screw this just because Wilshere, Debuchy and Arteta can get some match practice.

          1. If they play then they will not be rusty. It isn’t like we have an injury crisis. So rusty players aren’t rushed in. If a player looks sharp he should take the place of a player who looks fatigued.

          2. Fair points but the next “unimportant” competitive game we have will probably be first round of the League Cup 2015-16. Difficult all round, as themadhurata says below – how do you get rid of rustiness? Agree that “rustiness” may be an issue with Wilshere, Diaby, Debuchy but not for Welbeck, Gab, Gibbs etc. On the flip side freshness and strong motivation to get back in the team may offset rustiness.

      2. Nowhere I said we should start over confident. Contrary, I leave it to the one knowing the best his team. You never hear me ever giving results before the game. Sometimes I believe we will win, sometimes I don’t. That’s just it.

  2. Wilshere looked alright yesterday, Diaby looked off the pace. Debuchy will probably come in if for no other reason then to give Bellerin a rest. Chambers may also come in. I’d imagine Wenger will rotate a fair bit while retaining key players. I would imagine Alexis will rest but Ozil might start. It’s not like we have a midweek game so anyone not playing will get a whole 2 weeks worth of rest. Diaby should not play though – he isn’t ready for first team football and would get injured.

  3. Not to many changes please mr wenger rest one or two opinion please stick with the team that has been doing the business for the last 3 months or so.Do not underestimate reading

  4. Neither Wilshere nor Diaby look ready to be slotted into the 1st squad. The way Reading rolled over Bradford, we need to hit them with our fit/in form best 11…

  5. Dear Wilshere,

    Thank you for the memories but time to move on.

    Yours Sincerely,

    R Vanpayslip

      1. The way things are going, probably Sterling. He progressing quickly through intoxicants.

      1. Thank you for following all of my posts so closely. Your dedication to my work is admirable.

    1. Agreed. He won’t get a sniff of the first team next season, especially if we land another midfielder, which sounds increasingly likely. Talk of listening to offers of around £30M for him will give us a good cash boost to buy in key areas too. We need someone who isn’t injury prone or a rash tackling idiot with a big gob on him.

  6. Right now it does not matter if Debuchy, Wilshere or Diaby are fit… NONE OF THEM CAN ENTER THE FIRST LINE UP AT THIS MOMENT… We are in the process of finishing the season on a high (too late again… Another season where it could have been…!!) and we don’t want any “experimentation” taking place.

    Bellerin is in great form, so Debuchy can wait his turn.
    Wilshere could not play in this team right now (or ever) even to save his life.
    And Diaby… Well, I don’t know… I don’t think words can start to explain and justify why he would play…!!

    Been very optimistic (even though it is out of our hands), we can “mathematically” still be champion… Why f*ck that up because some players are now fit and somehow ready to play in the first team…!!! I know anything is possible with Wenger , but the first 15 games of the season, 5 wins only, playing 4-14-1 with Wilshere as a number 10 (Still wonder why as he is our worse midfielder) were where we lost the league…

    As I said, it is not finished as long as we keep winning (especially both show down with Chelsea and Man United) we might have a chance.
    Let’s not forget we also still have the FA Cup on sight.

  7. Why are people saying things like, Sanchez and Ozil should be rested? Is this a semi final? I don’t think some people on here quite understand what’s at stake here. There is a final at the end of this game, why rest players when we don’t hve anything to play for apart from this FA CUP.

    It’s not like we have for a game congestion or anything, have we? We have a week after this game to rest until the next game.

    Let’s not start being over confident and cocky, I will remind you once again, Birmighman, Bradford, Blackburn, last season we nearly fcked up against Wigan and Hull in the semi and final, all due to over cockiness and arrogance.

    Come on guys, we are not Bayern, Madrid or Barcelona yet, we all know how our players mental state can be so fragile in certain situations, let’s not do what we did against Wigan or Hull last season because we might not be so lucky this time around, go down 2-0 down or wait for penalties like against Wigan, it’s not on.

    Hope our players are not thinking like how some of you guys are. Might end in tears.

  8. I think we can give a couple of players rest without disrupting the balance in the team.
    Gibbs for Monreal
    Debuchy for Bellerin
    Welbeck for Sanchez. His rest is overdue.
    Szcsezny for Ospina. Not too confident on this.
    If Wilshere, Walcott and Diaby has 2 play, they can do that from the bench.

  9. I think the only players that could start who haven’t been lately is Scez, Welbeck, Walcott, Chambers and Gabriel. These players are all fit and well over injuries. I dont see wenger risking wilshere, diaby, arteta… only one i can see him risking is debuchy

    1. I agree. Jack and Diaby may be fit, but a semi final isnt worth the gamble.. Bench them and let them come in only when the game is safely may as well be a good morale booster.

  10. It’s Reading not Chelsea

    Team to play the mighty Reading


    Bench: Martinez, Gabriel, Mertsacker Flamini, Welbeck, Rosicky

    Rest: Ospina, Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin, Coquelin, Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud, Alexis.

    1. Even that team is too strong, but need to give these players playing time because they get rusty. Our rested players will be fresh for Chelsea. Chelsea is a real team. They are winning the EPL so I’m not too concerned about Reading. We will win easily

  11. I wouldnt mind Gabriel, Gibbs, Walcott and welbeck on the starting 11 but Wilshere and Diaby may be benched. Ospina and Coquelin should definately start the match

  12. Our team will be unchanged in my opinion. I can’t see Wenger upsetting the balance and rhythm of the team just because we have Chelsea coming up. We know the title is pretty much too far away unless you’re a person that can’t accept reality. Second in the league and another FA Cup would do for this season.

  13. ospina should start
    debuchy bench and let chambers play
    wilshere on bench
    walcott up front give attack different perspective giroud wont be as effective as reading similar to burnley

  14. This is the team Wenger will start: Debuchy, Gabriel, Per, Gibs Coq, Ramsey Walcolt, Ozil, Sanchez welbeck and then sezny will man the post.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs