How will Arsenal’s first XI look like next season?

So Arsenal have been very busy so far this summer, and this week’s confirmed arrival of Sokratis and (nearly) Torreira will make an enormous difference to our defensive capabilities, especially when added to Lichsteiner and Leno. both Xhaka and Chambers have had their contracts extended too, but does that mean they will be starters?

So on our current business, how many of our old team will still be in the starting XI next season? Let us have a look at how we could line up with our new men…

Lichsteiner – Sokratis – Chambers – Monreal
Ramsey – Xhaka – Ozil – Mhkitaryan

I have picked the 4-1-4-1 formation after reading Emery’s long discussion of how he prefers his teams to line up. You can read it here….

I am sure that Bellerin and Lichsteiner will both be used regularly, and Kolasinac could challenge Monreal. Xhaka and Ramsey will be given less defensive duties with Torreira behind, and we should be scoring lots of goals with this set up..

What do you think?

Darren N


  1. rkw says:

    Half our outfield comprising Lichsteiner Chambers Monreal Ramsey Xhaka looks like a combo that could be gracing any team in the bottom half of the EPL so i hope we will see changes otherwise emery will have is work cut out … i guess chambers is a stop gap and bellerin will be more likely if he returns to form .. would love to see either the belgium or russian right back brought in and monreal sold … as to ramsey and xhaka i have had my say on the mediocrity of the pair of em and if emery is a believer in quality midfield neither will survive for long

    1. Dan atry says:

      Manager should field a strong team. Lazy players should be dropped…bench Ozil, Iwob,Berrlini, Ramsay, Elneny…and chambers…..

    2. Xxnofx says:

      I agree ,that midfield looks weak AF . Pretty much the same team as the last 2 seasons ,apart from abit of experience signed .looksnlike another hard season ahead again

    3. Mobella says:

      Can please tell me which right back in EPL do you think is better Lichsteiner last season. He is a bad option to have for a year even if he is 34yrs old.

    4. Someone says:

      NEGATIVE Opinions without any argument to back them up are not gonna help at all , i think based on at least statistics , Xhaka and ramsey are two of the best midfielders with different abilities , but since last season they were being coached by Wenger , an expired manager , they couldn’t show their abilities , so if you are gonna downgrade these two players you better back it up , otherwise you are just spreading negativity.

      1. Boluwatife says:

        @Someone don’t mind them. I used to be worried about the hatred level towards Ramsey but then I realized how insignificant this moaners are. Despite are their negativity, this is the guy that scored the best goal and was our best player for the past season. They seem to give Ozil a million and one reasons why he’s so inconsistent but blame Ramsey for everything. One thing non of these guys can deny is how good he is going forward (goals and assists). They complain about his defensive deficiencies and are always the first to point out why Ozil should be judged based solely on his offensive duties. They all refuse to mention that Ramsey’s best position is that same Ozil’s position. No matter how bad he is defensively, he’s not the worst at it at least he always try. These same people will never mention how shitty defensively Kolasinac was last season. Just based on their hatred they are just too blind to appreciate one of the few players who plays his hearts out every game. You can all hate, but he is going to be our captain cos he deserves it

        1. Brialliant Buddy!!! Best comment ever on this website. I also don’t know why everyone hates Ramsey. Didn’t he win us 2 FA cups with late winners? Wasn’t he our best player of the season last season? and in the 2013/14 season? I honestly feel injuries have stalled Ramsey’s development. By now he should be at the level of Lampard or Gerrard, at least scoring 10-15 goals in all competitions and assisting 5-10 assists in all competitions. He scored about 11 or 12 goals last season in all competitions and assisted about 7 or 8 goals in all competitions, so that’s a combined total of 20. So I guess he is on the right track. And yeah he will definitely be our captain this season.

      2. Rkw says:

        If they couldn’t show their abilities under wenger who pampered and favored them to an absurd degree then it’s better to assume that they are just average footballers … The idea that either of them is a top 10 midfielder is absurd … Outside our rivals most people would put them on same level or lower than some of midfielders for watford(doucoure and cleverly) west ham (kouyate) Southampton (lamina tadic ) and even Newcastle (shelvy) Mediocrity ably demonstrated by xhaka at this World Cup

        1. Ken1945 says:

          Rkw, you argue that they we’re pampered and favoured to an absurd degree, but our new manager has just given them both the offers of long term contracts.
          Don’t you find that strange as you assume they are just average players!?
          Emery has also stated that Ramsey will be his captain next season.
          Has it occurred to you that Emery (and Wenger) might just have the qualifications to spot talent that you might not be able to?
          Xhaka was playing in the world cup, chosen to represent his country at the top level.
          Yet you call him mediocre and compare him to six players who were armchair viewers of the proceedings just like you.
          So are we to assume that our new manager will pamper and favour these average players to an absurd degree also?
          We haven’t even played a single game yet and here you are with the same old negativity regarding our new manager’s ability to recognise talent. I just don’t understand so called fans like you, for heaven’s sake give the manager and players some support!

          1. Rkw says:

            Brilliant logic jhourou was in the swiss team … Sign him up … Or the cost rican midfield or let’s bring in the panama defence they were representing their country at the World Cup too … Maybe you didn’t watch the swiss games … Living there I had to … And xhaka had literally 5 seconds of glory and was utterly mediocre for the other 21595 seconds he was on the pitch .. Who knows who is making decision about contract of players all I can tell you is that with a starting 11 which regularly includes the pair of em we will struggle to get back to top 4 … But I am confident that emery … In a way I was not with wenger after 2009 ..will learn quickly once he has to play competitive matches and respond accordingly … Oh and tadic was not an armchair viewer like Ramsey and EVERYBODY on this site including yourself so I have no idea what that daft comment is about

          2. Ken1945 says:

            You weren’t talking about anyone else in the in the Swiss team though was you!
            I haven’t mentioned any other players than those you have, so let’s disregard your Panama and Costa Rica comparisons?
            Let’s stick to the players that play for our club shall we?
            So now your not sure who’s making the contract decisions? We are led to believe that’s Hussy, but
            surely you agree that if Emery doesn’t want a player, a contract would not be offered?
            As I asked you previously, do you think he sees something that you can’t in both players?
            So to sum up your views so far, we have a new manager who has offered long term contracts to two players who were pampered and favoured to an absurd degree and are not good enough to get us back into the top 4, but he will respond quickly to them once we are playing competitive matches?
            What do you think he will do? Cancel their contracts?
            Drop them to the bench whilst letting them draw their new salaries? According to you they won’t attract any interest as they are just mediocre players.
            It seems I have a lot more faith in our new manager’s judgement than you do!
            I love the way you assess the time that Xhaka was mediocre for 21595 seconds, again it seems you dismiss the competence of another professional manager, this time an international manager and yes, I did watch the games.
            My real beef with your comments however, is the doom and gloom you predict for the club before the team have even kicked a ball in anger!
            It’s easy to be an armchair critic, but surely you have to give the new regime time to settle in before condemning them to another season out of the top four?
            There will be plenty of time to assess their performances over, I suggest, three years. Certainly not just three months?

          3. Ozziegunner says:

            Yes, Ken this is what gets to me about many of the so called fans on this site; the negativitity before a ball is even kicked in the 2018/19 season.
            Arsenal are entering the new season with a full off season with Sven and Raul working behind the scenes to bring players into the club to suit the playing style that Unai Emery wants for Arsenal. They have tried to address the defensive deficiencies and have now turned their attention to strengthening the midfield and hopefully a left winger, all within the financial constraints dictated by Kroenke’s board.
            After having Arsene Wenger for 22 years, it appears some people want Unai Emery to fail without even giving him and the Arsenal staff a chance.

          4. Rkw says:

            Jesus here is your defence of xhaka “Xhaka was playing in the world cup, chosen to represent his country at the top level.” I was simply responding to the silliness of that … I am looking forward to the new season for the first time in a decade because wenger has gone and I think emery is a good manager … But it’s a basic fact of life that we live in a path dependent world and that path in our club has been laid by10 years of failed management under wenger which in part … But not only as we all know about his failed and erratic tactics over that period.. Haunts the club through the players he brought in and who for the moment are still there and yes before a ball has been kicked in the new season… It’s weird how it’s ok for people to waffle on about being glad to see the back of wilshire (which I am not) or call for ozil to leave coz he’s so lazy and overpaid (which I think is absurd) and then when people like me call out Ramsey and xhaka we are the doom and gloom merchants … It’s just opinions of a fan as are yours .. You can agree or disagree though anyone who warned after 2010 that arsenal would go nowhere with wenger at the helm should be listened too because it was the correct call … But for the record there is nothing in what I said that doubts emery’s competence and the talk of him trying to get Gomez banga or nzonzi suggests he knows the problem too … As to what top managers who come to a new club do with players they inherit who don’t fit their game plan I suggest you take a look at pep or mourinho’s record .. Whether or not they make the right call it’s what they do and I for one remain hopeful that emery will do the same

          5. Ken1945 says:

            Rkw, but I wss responding to the silliness of rounding on two players who have just been given/offered new contracts by the manager.
            We see things differently on this subject and that’s what debating is all about surely?
            I am of the strong opinion that Wenger did not leave us with a team that has to be completely restructured and it seems that Emery is of the same persuasion.
            The new manager has already addressed the weakest area, defence, with some very astute signings in my opinion.
            So it must surely follow that when he wants to keep players from the Wenger era, he hss recognised their value as he builds the club going forward.
            If one criticises that philosophy, then isn’t that criticism of the manager?
            I am fully behind the new regime and it seems you are too. Of course we all have our opinions and I see nothing wrong in anything that Emery has done since Wenger resigned and he took over.
            It will be interesting to follow this up at the end of the season and one of us will be proved right regarding the value of Xhaka and Ramsey.
            Let’s put it in out diaries!!!

          6. Rkw says:

            Ken agree on emery and as suggested have opened a page on the pair of them

    5. David Rusa says:

      What do you mean? Why are you so discourteous to our players? Are you really a Gooner or a fan of another club masquerading as a Gooner? You should be ashamed of your shameless and despicable utterances! You are among those people who praise Liverpool and Tottenham for being in the top four and yet you always condemned Arsenal for the same reason. Supporting a football team is a matter of personal choice so if you feel Arsenal is a substandard Club go and support another team but stop denigrating our players. If you thought you would amuse some of us you are greatly mistaken.

      1. GunnerJack says:

        1) I think he is ‘discourteous to our players’ as you put it because they have consistently been mediocre
        2) How do you know he praises Liverpool or Tottenham?
        3) He did not say Arsenal is a sub-standard club but more that the Xhaka and Ramsey are not up to the high standard required by the club
        4) He amused me so YOU are greatly mistaken.

  2. Nikhilesh says:

    Ramsey on the wings is a disaster

    1. GunnerJack says:

      He’s also a disaster in ANY defensive role.

  3. Phil says:

    I believe Emery will want to include both Aubamayang and Lacazette up front with a midfield three behind them.Ozil needs to be the Centre Pivot of the three with Torreira and (at the moment) Ramsey.
    If he goes with Four at the back we can have an extra midfielder or (preferably) a winger( go get Leon Bailey)or if Five at the back then both full backs must provide the width.
    What we do have now is both competition for places and options to line-up and tactics and it’s been a long while since we have had this.Theres still business to be done before the window closes so it will be interesting to see exactly what transfer budget was set to work with

    1. Ozziegunner says:


  4. Makanjuola Ezekiel says:

    it is my pleasure to place aubameyang and lacazet in front for they are the team goal scoring machine

  5. Kilted Gooner says:

    I agree that the most likely formation looks to be a 4-1-4-1 as it is seems the only way of accommodating our best players.

    I think Xhaka could be the one to give way though, only coming in when we want to be more defensive to start alongside Torreira.

    The centre back partnership is also up in the air, if Mustafi stays I think he will battle to start over Chambers but also looks likely we will bring someone else in…

    Lich Sokratis Mustafi Monreal
    Mhiki Ramsey Ozil Auba/New LW

    1. Lupe says:

      Good formation but against the stronger teams, 4-2-3-1 would be better with ramsey on the bench and a more disciplined player next to torreira, it would have to be xhaka but would have prefered we bought someone else. 4-1-4-1 with ramsey and ozil as the midfielders would not work against liverpool, mancity because of their defensive deficiencies, they would leave torreira exposed. This team would be better for those difficult games:

      New LW—ozil——-mkhi
      Back four and gk
      And mustafi must be sold too.

      1. I am sorry but Ramsey is definitely going to start. He was our best player last season. Way better than Xhaka, who has no defensive bone in his body. Did you even watch Arsenal play last season? Xhaka was the cause for a lot of the goals we conceded, by players running off him far too easily, like against Watford, Bournemouth and Swansea away when they ran off him and scored.

  6. We really need a left winger. Can’t have midfielders playing as wingers that’s how we got in this mess we are in!

    1. joseph says:

      Is shakiri, he seems good

  7. Jeremy says:

    Litchsteiner is still a valid player. I think he duly deserved some respect. Mind you, some WC stars didn’t manage to make a meal out of him despite his age.

    Hijack the thread a little, previously I saw Adams critised for not supporting England. I am not alone to stay with his views that current England team full of scums are not worthy of our support. Arsenal TV posted about England team and other fans are whacking Arsenal TV for it.

    Scum supporters will nonethess brag about their players winning the WC. This is an absolutely disasterous event for us.

    1. Trudeau says:

      I think that’s a little sad myself. Plenty of time to hate the Spurs when the season starts if that’s your bag. After all the crap this country has been through in the last year or so it’s nice to see something bringing us together for a few weeks. No apologies from me for cheering on Kate et al

  8. sofonias says:

    I hope xhaka not xl next season that’s so special.

  9. gotanidea says:

    Considering the current developments around the players:

    Lichtsteiner . Mustafi . Sokratis . Monreal
    …………..Ramsey ……….. Ozil
    Mkhitaryan ………………………….Lacazette

    1. Enagic says:

      We need another player to replace Cazorla and Ramsey is not good enough to fill that spot also Ozil is very inconsistent sometimes new winger L & R are needed also we been lacking squad depth for so long and depending on kids who are not ready like reiss and Nketiah is not helping we need to stop projects

      1. You don’t know football

  10. Shola Alata says:

    The Information Is Gud Bt For My Own Mind I Went Emery To B Lineup Like Diz Leno, Lict Sokratic Mustaf Moreal Torire Mhiktayan Ramsey Ozil Lacazette And Abumeyang ,d Formation We B 4-1-4-1

  11. ThirdManJW says:

    If we’re going 4-1-4-1 then for me:

    Lichsteiner Sokratis ? Monreal
    ? Mkhitaryan ? ?

  12. Andrew E says:

    Every combination falls apart if we don’t sign Torreira so let’s hope we are not jumping the gun!!

  13. law1603 says:

    What I’m hoping for

    Lichsteiner — Sokratis — Mavropanos — Kolasinac
    — Ramsey — Ozil —
    Mkhitaryan —————————- New player

  14. RSH says:

    Ozil-Aubameyang-Miki? (hopefully new player)

    Lacazette will be dropped. The 4141 in the original post looks very unbalanced and I don’t think we have the right players to make it work. Shoehorning players into a formation isn’t something I think Emery will do.

  15. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Let’s not forget that England players at the ongoing World Cup in Russia have come into the World Cup games from recent background of tiredness and game fatigued having gruesomely played in the Premier League and other domestic and external competitions for their various club sides but only to start playing at the World Cup games for England without having a season break off to rest to have their batteries recharge first.

    Should the World Cup and Afcon games be played during the mid season? Say between the months of November to December when most of the footballers are in their peak form and not tired nor fatigued.

  16. Simon Williams says:

    I really like the 4-2-3-1 formation.

    2 deeper midfielders will allow our full backs more freedom to get forward – and we need that width as our forwards tend to play very narrow.

    1 of the deep midfielder drops back into backline when under attack. Emery has explained he likes this approach – and has used it lots in past.

    I think This more defensive shape will actually give our attacking midfielders / strikers more opportunity up front.

    Here’s my suggested formation:

    Bellerine – Mustafi – Pap – Monreal
    Torreira – Benega (if bought, if not Xaka)
    Ramsey – Ozil – Mkhitarian

  17. Simon Williams says:

    Which position do you Maitland will be in next season?

    1. GunnerJack says:

      Xhaka’s I hope

  18. Innit says:

    Still Rubbish or at least not good enough to get in top 5 let alone compete for the title
    Need to Replace Xhaka!

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Innit, the transfer window is still open. Also under the new coach with a full preseason for most players to organize under Unai Emery’s system, I hope the Arsenal team will be greater than the sum of its parts. Also Arsenal now has competition for positions and more flexibility for formations against different opposition.
      It wouldn’t surprise if Emery with his knowledge of the Spanish League, resurrects Lucas Perez’s career as a wide forward and in some games uses Lacazette as the centre forward and Aubameyang along side or out wide.
      Attack wise apart from a specialist left winger, Arsenal looks exciting.

  19. Grandad says:

    Any side which includes Mustafi and Xhaka on a regular basis will not challenge for top honours.They must be sold along with 6/7 others failures who are still on our books.Maitland Niles should be played as a box to box midfielder He is an excellent young talent.

  20. TROY says:

    Bellerin. Sokratis. Mustafi. Kolasinac
    Banega. Torreira. Xhaka.
    Dembele. Aubameyang. Mkhitaryan.

    Sell Oziel swap Dembele

    1. BenardoM. says:

      Sokratis is an old Mustafi and they can’t play together since their play style is similar.That’s like playing with one defender

  21. Bala Jones says:

    Any which way it’s a change arsenal needed

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