Great news – Arsenal will have a proper defence back to face Stoke

Arsenal conceded three goals in their opening game against Leicester, but luckily we had enough goals in us to still take the three points. Of course the reason given is that we had to play with a makeshift three at the back due to the suspension of Laurent Koscielny and injuries and lack of fitness with our other centre-backs.

We had to make do with our only confirmed defender, Rob Holding, who certainly didn’t look as fit and comfortable as last season. Nacho Monreal was forced to play in the centre of the three, having just got used to playing on the left, and Saed Kolasinac, on his debut was played as a defender rather than a wing back, although you wouldn’t know it from his thrusting forward runs!

But we should have a much more balanced defence for this weeks game. Although Koscielny still has one more game of his ban, Arsene Wenger tells us that Per Mertesacker is now recovered and will surely play back in the middle. Le Prof said: “Early team news is that from last week I think Mertesacker will be available again.”

He also gave us good news on Mustafi and Coquelin when he said: “They will be in the squad, yes.” So we will have three proper centre-backs available, Hopefully Holding will feel a bit stronger and happier with his usual partners and Mustafi and Mertesacker will add a bit of steel. Our BFG looked perfectly suited to a back three formation in the Cup Final and his experience will help us immensely with the organisation.

Stoke are famous for being experts at set pieces so we will need a strong defence throughout the game. Surely we will be more solid than in the Leicester game?



  1. Who said Arsene can't do grime? says:

    I just don’t know how we will carry on without Gabriel Paulista

    1. Nayr says:

      i agree

      holding mertesacker/ mustafi monreal

      seems alright.

      1. ZA_Gunner says:

        People must stop putting Monreal as CB, just stop!

  2. Anko says:

    Happy to here that, Stoke will want to do the same thing Leicester did, so I really want us to be up for the fight especially for set pieces. I pray we go home with three points!

  3. John Ibrahim says:

    Firstly this is not the first time Monreal has played CB

    Wenger has finally reveal that the board holds the final decision on whether the trio Sanchez, Ozil and Ox will be sold….

    1. LL_cool_gunner says:

      If we loose three players next season for free and fail to win the pl, it will be a disaster, that’s letting go of 200m, for nothing..

    2. ZA_Gunner says:

      Monreal is an excellent LB, he is not a CB! He is short, not physically strong and nimble enough to be a CB. How many times have we seen him being turned left and right by a tricky player? He cannot get close enough in those situations to put pressure on the attacking player. Don’t confuse a LB with a CB because their roles are massively different. A CB needs to be very disciplined, not mentioning having the right attributes.

      The boards decision is not good enough at this stage, we should never have put ourselves in this position in the first place for a top club like Arsenal.

      1. Ranjan Das says:

        Stop crying – all you talk about is buying – Not all CBs are 7 feet tall. Mascerano at barca is an excellent CB and so is Azpilicueta. Yes Monreal should not play at the center of a 3 man defence but saying that he does not possess the attributes of a CB is mad. So much is said about just “buying” more and more players – what about the existing players improving. Why is the discussion not about “what will bring the best out of Mustafi and Holding” – may be go forget that we spent 35M on a cb last year

  4. gotanidea says:

    Mertesacker can play the offside traps very well and has a lot of experience in commanding the defense line. He is very slow, but he is very tall and has good anticipation.

    I hope the Lacazette-Welbeck-Iwobi tridente will play again. Arsenal needs hardworking attackers that can be Arsenal’s first defenders in the front.

  5. Sean says:

    i really dont mind gabriel leaving. and for 10 mil, but if we do sell, we need to buy a defender, better than him, a young but able defender – in the region 23 years old. good enough to back up r first team defenders but also good enough to end up in the first team 1 – 2 years down the line

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      we dont need CB this season prob next season….there will heaps of rising new CBs every season

    2. Joe Llabtoof says:

      a better replacement will cost a small fortune.

      1. Turbo says:

        Maybe Bielik will be ready to step up by next season also?

    3. Midkemma says:

      Kos, Per, Mustafi
      Holding, Chambers, Monreal.

      6 CB, don’t need anymore this year, we need those players to perform and for Wenger to not screw them over by playing 2 LWB as CBs.

    4. Since 66 says:

      The guy u want has two names – Holding Chambers. Wenger is both 1 and 2 steps ahead of you

  6. Henry Simukonda says:

    Hope our attack will be more hungry for more goals cause that has being our weakest point in past years, not scoring many goals

  7. talib omeiza says:

    good news. Arsenal will get three this weekend

  8. Joe Llabtoof says:

    Arsenal gave up 3 goals to Leicester in large part because they kept giving the ball away in the deep midefield leading to goals. Xhaka made several shockingly careless passes.

    Cleaning up those midfield mistakes will help the defense greatly.

    1. Simon says:

      Couldn’t agree more

    2. ZA_Gunner says:

      Absolutely and getting a good CM in the likes of Cazorla who is great at exploting spaces will help with the build up play and transition from defence into attack, which would also lead to less errors and giving the ball away.

  9. ruelando says:

    I am hoping we do not take Stoke lightly, because this is the EPL and every team deserves their place here. Hopefully, our defence should start looking more organised in this match which will allow the midfield and attackers to have a good game.

  10. mark says:

    The defence wasn’t the ONLY reason we conceded 3 goals. The team played attacking football without the tracking back they were doing towards the end of last season with this 3 4 3 formation.

    In other words, they ignored the obvious. Leicester are a counter attacking team. Even with 3 WORLD CLASS defenders, they would have struggled.

    The defence is only as good as the defence of the whole team. Too often, defenders get ALL the blame (I’m guilty..) but they cannot defend wave after wave of counter attack and all the mistakes under pressure from the defending midfielders. Especially against an aggressive team like Leicester who still have a point to prove (that they weren’t one season wonders..).

    Put simply, the balance was all wrong, but credit where it’s due, they addressed that with the subs/formation change and went on to make up for the tactical error by scoring 2 more goals.

    By all means blame the defenders for their glaring errors, but half the time they shouldn’t have been PUT in that situation under extreme pressure…

  11. ayodeji arsenal says:

    Now that Gabriel is going we should just bring in Van dyke and psg says Drexler can go Wenger what in heavens are you waiting for!!!!!?

  12. Vlad says:

    Stoke are no pushovers, and have a good record against us at home. Defensive and midfield solidity is a key to winning this one.

  13. LL_cool_gunner says:

    Maybe wenger has decided to give chambers a chance, if not its best to loan him out, cos sitting on the bench won’t help his development..

    1. Simon says:

      Chambers is good at CB. And prob do descent job as defensive midfielder

      Very happy if he stays – particularly if Gabriel leaving

  14. Break-on-through says:

    Wbrom is the new Stoke, and I reckon Burnley could get some joy at our expense if we aren’t on our game from first to last second. But Stoke still have some of those players who love trying to ruin our day, they’ve got good physical qualities and they can play a bit. We are away from home so all in all it could be a toughie. Hopefully our lads realize by now that we need to work harder than our opponents and earn the right to be called contenders.

  15. TH14-TW14 says:

    Arsenal defender Gabriel is on the verge of a £10m move to Valencia, according to Sky sources.

    “The Brazilian defender joined the Gunners from Villarreal in January 2015 but has fallen behind Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding in the battle for a centre-back place.

    Valencia could make an announcement today”

  16. Simon says:

    I don’t think Stoke have as fast paced counter attacking threat if Leicester –

    More of an aerial and balls in the box attack.

    Hope that Mertesacker is a good fit to protect and organise the defence against that type of threat.

    Agree with earlier post- that our passing in mid-field was very poor and Leicester grabbed there chances well.

    Hope we have a more painless win


  17. Turbo says:

    Even though we’ve had a hard time with Stoke in recent years, with a solid back three ready to go I’m optimistic we can take 3 points this time, but if and only if we can stop giving the ball away so cheaply in midfield.

Comments are closed