Do Arsenal have no other choice but to play Kiwior at left-back against Crystal Palace?

Should Kiwior start if Zinchenko can’t?

Arsenal will welcome Roy Hodgson to The Emirates in what is set to be a massive match for Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal squad. Coming off three losses in a row, Arsenal and Arteta will be looking to bounce back into good form and start this year off properly.

Currently sitting 4th on the table, five points behind Liverpool in top spot, every single point and match counts and is a must-win from here forward if we want to walk away with Silverware this season.

With defender Oleksandr Zinchenko having serious question marks around his availability for Saturday’s clash against Palace. Zinchenko has missed the past two games against Liverpool and Fulham and has reportedly been nursing a calf injury that he picked up before our New Year’s Eve game against Fulham and is looking highly unlikely to be back for this game.

Plenty of photo’s have come out of training in Dubai, but he hasn’t been in those photos or videos which leads me to think it’s worse than first reported and might take a bit longer to get back to action. Jakub Kiwior is likely to fill in for the Ukrainian at left back but with Kiwior not being at his best it does make me wonder if there is any other options as Kiwior just doesn’t fit the system for me.

But with hardly any options at the back, with Tomiyasu away with Japan at The Asian Cup and Zinchenko unavailable, Kiwior seems like the only option but as I said, I don’t thin he fits the system that Arteta tries to play and maybe we should be considering playing somewhat of a back three when in transition and have the likes of Jorginho or Vieira dropping deeper at the back if need be.

But with the likes of Michael Olise coming at us down the right wing, maybe its not time to start tinkering with the backline. I know it’s a bit harsh but I just don’t have a lot of faith in Kiwior in our backline, he doesn’t seem to be able to read his teammates like he should and coming up against Olise on Saturday will be a massive challenge.

I do think he can do a job at left back and maybe I’m wrong, if Kiwior was given more minutes he would probably be in better form, like most players, but having Tomiyasu and Zinchenko missing is a huge loss for Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal squad as they look for their first win of this year.

Daisy Mae

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Tags arsenal v crystal palace Kiwior


  1. I think he’s an excellent choice to play at left back (a conventional left back, that is) and I think he will.

      1. He should be fine, perhaps arteta needs to adjust his tactics when he doesn’t have zinchenko fit,

        Guardiola changed his approach last year

        There needs to be another game plan . Kiwior is a player with vast potential but asking him to do what zinchenko does won’t work.

        We also have two youngsters who we regard highly who should be given chances- one his contract expires at the end of the season and it will be a loss to see him leave on a free .

    1. He is CLUELESS as a LB, if Partey can fill in at RB, Jorginho can do at LB, heck, playing Reul Walters, Cedric, even a forward, would be better thann Kiwior at LB.

  2. Onky way for him to get better is to play do I’m fine with him playing. He’s not done a lot wrong in his limited time tbf. I like him

    1. There is definitely another option, it’s just beyond the realm of thinking

      Wait for it……a normal left back style

      1. We have shipped out all our overlapping LBs and a drastic tactical change would be better implemented in the summer break

        1. Having whover is playing LB stay where a LB should be really isn’t drastic….maybe to those that overcomplicate the game.

          These are professional footballers paid a ridiculous amount of money, they should be able to do that easily without hassle…..or have we become so inflexible that you don’t think Kiwior for example will be incapable of staying where a LB should be?

          1. If Kiwior stays in the back without overlapping our LW or inverting to the left-DM position, our left-wing attack would be dull

        2. Gai,
          That’s why a coach should always be pro active and know how to switch when needed. He has been in Epl for 3years plus now as a coach. I bet Arteta can’t compete with the best coaches yet. Kiwior isn’t doing too well at left back considering his last a game. I just fear for us of we don’t back fast our players from Inury.

  3. After spending nearly 700MGBP why is this question being asked. Surely the gaffer needs to own up. Obvious choice is Saka at LB and Nelson in wide attack. Let Nelson prove himself or be shown the door. But wait , I’m not the gaffer and my opinion holds no significance. I’ll expect Kiwor at LB with KH in font of him and good old Roy will be assured of 3 points or a point.

  4. Palace have a relatively decent record at the Emirates recently, I hope I’m wrong but I can see Roy’s boys parking the bus and boring their way to a 0-0 draw, hope I’m wrong but I can’t see where the goals are gonna come from either side, get the cheque book back out Arteta.

  5. Kiwior just like his team mates is doing his possible best when called upon but it just could’nt be enough to make things happen. Hopefully the boys get their fortunes uncaged, then i’m sure the worries of of Kiwior being our only left back option will change to what a beast he is amongst other praises all over the team.

  6. Kai Havertz has played left back for Germany

    Lino Sousa could come in

    There always options but I have faith in Kiwior. He has made a few errors, is better suited at centre back but will manage here.

  7. We could switch to a back three set up comprising White, Saliba and Gabriel but who would play as wing backs.Saka could be used as LWB where he was tried once only by Southgate who correctly abandoned that idea.As to RWB could ESR do a good job in that position?.For a Manager who has spent heaps on players the fact that he is faced with such a problem does not reflect well on him and Edu nor does it fill fans with any confidence that we can adapt and take care of West Ham, Fulham or dare I mention Palace?If I were a person of influence on the Board of our Club a triple loss to sides which on paper are inferior, would make me sit up and take stock of those in charge of player Management .

    1. Saka broke into our first team as a makeshift fullback and did pretty well – the only bright spark a lot of the time. I don’t think he would want to do it now, but he’s proven he’s capable.

      1. So let’s get this straight. People want to move one of our best attacking options to left back, a position he has not played for some time in order to nullify a team with an iffy away record and poor form.
        One of the most feared attacking players in the league – left back, according to JA aficionados.

  8. We have a BIG problem. The only solid left back is Tomiyasu. Zinchenko is only good offensively. We should score two early goals and switch to a back three formation by playing Declan Rice and ESR in midfield and two strikers; Martinelli and Jesus. Saka @ RWB and Havertz @ LWB

  9. Somehow Kiwior does the impossible at LB: which is look so bad in defense you almost wish Zinchenko was playing…….we could start the both of them on the left side of defense and Olise would still cut them to ribbons for 90 minutes. Both of these guys are basically training cones. They couldn’t stop a nose bleed in a hospital.

  10. Jakub Kiwior is an excellent player. He just lacks the same intensity as the team at the moment. That will take some time. He is as good as Tomiyasu in defending and as good as Zinchenko in passing. But perhaps not as good as Zinchenko in playmaking. Well, no one in Arsenal team is good as Zinchenko in inverted role playmaking. Once Zinchenko and Timber are back, we will control the midfield again with Tomiyasu and Kiwior providing defensive options. My main hope is for the front 3 of Jesus, Martinelli and Saka to start scoring again. That’s our weakest point now.

  11. I feel sorry for Kiwior, he’s obviously not comfortable at LB , he’s a CD or DMF, but does his best when asked to play out of position and then gets slagged down by all and sundry on here.

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