Image: Confirmed Arsenal Team for our visit to Leeds

The teams are out for today’s clash with Leeds United in Yorkshire, with Arsenal continuing in the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Gunners boss Mikel Arteta had already confirmed that Auba would not be in the squad to take on the Whites this evening, but our form has been impressive in his absence, with Alexandre Lacazette holding onto the captain’s armband thus far.

I had thought that the manager would look to rotate things this weekend as we head into a possibly hectic festive season, but I was clearly wrong as he names an unchanged line-up.

Arteta could well be thinking that some of our future fixtures will get called off, minimising the need for rotation, but I would have at least liked to have seen Emile Smith Rowe come into the side to freshen things up.

What are your predictions after seeing the team?


Tags Leeds


  1. Good to have an unchanged lineup. If we repeat the pressing and effort of the West Ham game we have a real chance of making a gap in fourth place. Looking forward to this one, looking forward to Martinelli cementing his position.

    1. Martinelli is the one keeping ESR out of the team atm, except we are playing 433 (which I think should be our best formation going forward), Xhaka can get dropped for ESR, ode is important to the team same as ESR but they offer different imputes

      1. Xhaka has to be around, to organize and to motivate his teammates. He can also defend his buddies by talking to the referee

        The players and the managers wouldn’t have selected him as their captain if he isn’t influential in the field

  2. Why do we rotate so little? I’m all for consistency but MA needs to understand he’s put this team in a position where we are out of Europe, we need to keep some of our reserves match fit at least and some 1st choice players fresh, can’t hurt to give a player or 2 a rest and bring them on from the bench.

    OT Covid:
    Time to get on with life come now! People are getting more resilient and virus is getting weaker, maybe highly contagious,but weaker.

    How many of the players/staff have died or been seriously hospitalised to the point where they may not recover with the latest round of infections?

    1. Because we have too many new players who need game time to gel with each other. The fringe and the squad rotation players can play in cup games

      1. We aren’t in enough competition, as I said in my comment. How may cup games have there been up till now? Do you think that’s enough to keep squad players fit and ready if we get injuries?

        1. There are few cup games. But integrating the new players is more important than making the fringe and the squad rotation players match-fit

    2. @PJ-SA
      I think you’ve got that backwards Gooner. It’s the virus that’s more resilient than humans. It has the ability to mutate and become stronger in order to survive. And we, being the hosts, are the place it does all of this…IJS 🤔

        1. I think Omicron catches on easier but is weaker in terms of symptoms.

          I see a lot more cases than usually but a lot less deaths related.

            1. I hope you are right. The fact that the UK government is rushing out the boosters is good for protection but a worry about the sheer number of infections overwhelming the hospitals

              1. Yeah same in my country but they are telling people to go home as 99% of them don’t need to be there, asking public to use their common sense…they are only rushing to hospital based on media hype.

                Actual, serious hospitalisations are way down. Looking at number of infections is becoming more and more irrelevant.

        2. @PJ-SA
          Hard to say at this point. Not enough data on it to say for sure. One thing to take into account, the virus has mutated to the point that it’s more easily contracted, which says a lot.
          Keep in mind, we can’t kill viruses once they enter the human body…

  3. Lokonga has covid…

    Massive opportunity for us, please don’t screw it up! This isn’t a training session, go for the jugular from the off!

    1. Hopefully it isn’t the Omicron variant. The silver lining is Maitland-Niles might get his chance, at least as a substitute

  4. Just worried about Raphinha and Harrison, but I don’t think Leeds can do much without Bamford, Phillips and James

    1. Very good to keep the winning squad for this must win game against Leeds. Some players will be rested on Tuesday fa cup game. A win is expected. No excuses

    1. It seems TP plays with more confidence when he partners with a known (conservative) entity. It’s the only possible reason I can think to play GX

  5. I’d like to see us try ESR with Partey and Ode infront of them.

    Good way to get them both in the team and ESR has the engine to be B2B making late runs into the box.

    1. He probably did not smile in training after being frozen out for one month. Something personal with MA. He only played against everyon because partey injured. Since then, except the rrplacement of lokonga that was drawning against liverpool, no minutes. Message is very clear from MA that he does not like him despite false and not trustworthy comments he was very happy with him after everton.

  6. Where is niles ? I hope he has an injury issue or covid as a reason for not being in the team
    Otherwise it is absolutely gross. Whatever the results i can admit his treatment ? The guy wait and wait for his a MOTM performance and then is totally frozen out… Seeing eleneny in front of him again ? Whatever the perf of the tema today it is very weird. Why MA has to act like that ??? What has he done to deserve that ? Plus what is the point financially with elneny leaving ??? Why MA dod not say the truth to niles this summer ? If he did not like should have let him go and cash on him.

    1. He promised Balogun and AMN they were a part of the plans this season….think he left out the bit where the plan was for them to live on the bench.😆

        1. Hopefully because i know MA does not put his personal money in signing but he could have sell nketiah for 15/20 last summer. Did not. Could have sold niles too for decent money. Did not. He made arsenal lost 30/40 on this two. Could have also send balogun elsewhere to gain experience and games and develop him, did not. I know they ask kroenke to give money again and again but should manage the resources better.

  7. Remember when Eddie and Co were in support of Martinelli not playing last year because he was still coming back from injury…even after 3 months of being declared fit 😂 we could’ve really used Martinelli last season.

    1. Martinelli struggled with injury last season and even this season he hasn’t been great until recently. Healthy competition in the team has really helped him , now it’s his place to lose, I hope Pepe could emulate him and give Arteta reason to drop Saka for him. Now with ESR form, he isn’t making the team

  8. Watching Ben White defend that attack with Tierney was terrifying wow.

    3 meters off the player and turning his back as he’s about to shoot.

    He may be quick and good with the ball but that was bad.

  9. Martinelli will confirm the departure of Aubameyang with these sort of displays. Laca is geling this whole attacking part of this team and deserves a new deal with the captaincy he has now took over.

    Over the moon for Gabriel Martinelli. Smithrowe and Øde are going to have to rotate for the AM position and sometime fill the wings when injury occurs to someone.

    Defo not a bad problem to have with Øde, SR, Saka & Martinelli 👏👏

      1. Auba, Elneny, Bellerin, Kolasnic, Mari, Guendouzi (who i would like back personally), Lucas, Dino (again would like to come back) all should be set to go with the maybes of AMN, Soares and Leno.

        Saliba has to return to this summer.

        Out with the old & tried, in with the young & new.

  10. Xhaka with some great passes, great to use him against lower level opposition when he has the luxury of time.

      1. Yes @ Ackshay.
        Goal difference matters.

        We need to score 4 more goals in the second half.
        Money City scored 7. against Leeds. Arsenal can do same

  11. Now….a great half like we often have

    What will the 2nd half be like???

    We’ve wasted opportunities to use our bench when cruising, great chance to get some other players game time around the 60th minute.

  12. Ode really is like Ozil, never wants to shoot….now we need to give him a massive contract and let him not play to round it off 🤣

  13. Damn, our players seemed almost complacent at times.. so many missed chances..

    Glad we’re 3 up but seriously, this Leeds side is terrible and we should be putting 6 behind them!

    Our glaring issue is scoring and now is the time to capitalize on it!

  14. Laca extension had always been some of an evidence except for that huge auba 55m contract. Laca is 3 years younger, hard working guy though maybe less talented and less inpressive than younger speedier version of auba. Plus he is on 182k compare to 350k almost half. Would make absolute sense to extend laca on 2 years deal maybe a thord option based on performances and getting auba out so he can enjoy more challenges like he was about to do back in 2020 if it was not covid time (he would have left if some proposition from barca or another european giant)

    1. To extend Lacazette’s contract, we might need to ship Aubameyang out first. Lacazette would most likely want a salary increase, so we need to think about the wage bill

      1. 1 year extension same wages, take it or leave it.

        Sad thing is that Laca always plays like this, so why was he on the bench so much in the past?

    2. Laca will want more than 180k.. he can leave for free and ask for anything from other clubs..

      With his track record, its best to move on with him and Auba.

      There are other hardworkinf forwards too.

  15. Leeds have too many bad elements this season:

    – Bielsa’s confusing tactics
    – Player quality
    – Injuries

    I think Bielsa will get sacked tomorrow

  16. Great first half against a very poor side.
    Not a weakness to be seen and Martinelli is on fire!!!

    I’ve been told that AMN is out with covid, but that’s not official.

    Time to fill our boots and really improve our GF – well done to MA and his team.

  17. Let’s have a complete 90 min performance now, if we start coasting I’m going to be pissed…need to improve our GD

    Good time to use our bench and give some guys a good run out.

  18. Should have got a yellow for not moving away from the ball before hand and how that stamp wasn’t a red card is an absolute disgrace .

  19. Xhaka should have at least been booked. I’ll put money on him being sent off in this game if he’s not subbed off.

  20. So where are the indignant voices for the tackle on Toms then?
    Watch the reaction of the Leeds defender with regards to the Xhaka tackle… he didn’t react to it at all.

    1. The tackle on tomi was bought on because of Xhakas mindless stamp probably thought well if he can get away with it so can we ,should have both seen red .

      1. So Xhaka is the reason that Toms has had to go off?
        Xhaka is giving us the bite we need in the midfield – the ref, VAR and the Leeds defender saw it completely differently to some of the Arsenal fans, unlike the booking received for the attack on Toms.

        1. So Xhakas challenge was not a red Ken ?
          Cmon that was a disgrace and he should have got a yellow 5 secs before ,I can’t defend an Idiot ,I’m not sure how the ref and VAR have got that wrong .

          1. No it wasn’t and that was the opinion of the ref and VAR Dan….. I’m not defending anyone here, just relying on the officials.
            Now, who gets booked for time wasting from those players instructed to do so?
            Xhaka….. it seems he is the scapegoat for everyone / everything.

    2. What Dan said. Game was a good clean game and we were completely dominant. Xhaka turned it dirty for zero reason.

  21. To top this game off;
    – Martinelli Hat Trick
    – SmithRowe off the bench & score
    – Worldie from Thomas.

    On +4 GD atm this would bring us to +7. Come on guys get a few more, these are the games that have to make up for the horrible start with 0goals, 0Points, 3games played with -9 GD. Nice turn around from the Gunners considering where we were 15games ago👏👏

  22. Why do we never use our bench? Keep our starting 11 fresh during busy periods. I understand if the games tight but….it’s not.

  23. Said it before and I’ll say it again

    Ben White is not a good defender!

    Yes he can pass well but that’s just a bonus. He must be put as DM and bring Saliba back.

    FYI fresh legs from the bench early could avoid this.

  24. Need to have an emergency meeting after this game with the EPL board.

    The manager and the team need to be informed that a game consists of 2 halves and 90 mins + injury time

        1. At least we can go into Christmas in the top 4 Sue, once you finish your turkey we’ll still be in the champions League places 😂 Sunderland next and then Norwich 2 wins is vital 😄

            1. Oh yeah your a pescatarian Sue what will be on the menu a nut roast or Trout ? 😂 I know there’s no escaping this covid stuff, my Google feed is filled with covid, Omicron this Omicron that variants lockdowns circuit breakers plan b, c, d, e, f, g and now the only escape from it football that’s a covid nightmare as well.

              1. Just veg 😄 I know mine also, Kev. Fixtures are dropping like flies; only a matter of time. Shame as I’m looking forward to going on NYD (crazy, I know 🤣)

                1. I think if I was given a plate of veg only my mood would drop considerably 😂 oh I can’t listen to it anymore Sue, me personally I’ve had enough. Manchester city that is crazy 😜 makes you wonder if the ACON will go ahead doesn’t it? If Liverpool Totts game goes ahead we’ll be needing pool to win as Totts have 23 games in hand now 😄

                  1. 🤣🤣🤣 I can imagine!!
                    It’ll probably be called off an hour before it’s due to start!
                    Seems so long now since they last played – I’m not complaining 🤣

                    1. Haha I hope not we need a game this Sunday 😂 they are still to play their conference league game and it’s almost Christmas 😂😂 I wonder what’s going to happen if they can’t play Rennes 🤔 well Sue if we play Norwich on boxing Day we could be 8 points clear of man Utd who next play on the 27th 😀

  25. Xhaka felt he cheated the ref for a booking so he had to get one for the sake of fairness. Good boy. I’m not usually into criticising him, but he hasn’t been smart today.

  26. The inability to play a complete match with that intensity is arteta biggest problem to fix. Is that a fitness issue, lack of concentration or a mix of both. Would explain our huge difficulties vs City/Liverpool

    1. I believe from the moment tomiyasu came off we werent good enough at the right thats where their goal came from…and that why we need a good backup for tomiyasu. Soares isnt..

    2. Uh just a guess but wasn’t this the SAME
      first 11 that dominated a very good WH
      team 72 hours ago? It may have been
      frustrating to watch from the cheap seats
      but why wouldn’t the players, most likely
      running a little low on petrol coast a little
      in the 2nd half up 3-0?

      Besides Xhaka’s and Ben Whites moments
      of insanity I’m not sure how any SENSIBLE
      Arsenal fans could genuinely complain about
      that performance on the road.

      1. Thank you …I don’t understand how people criticize when they should but don’t remember the good parts…..shame

  27. Good first half performance, but what happened in the second half. Should have been 8. Still well done lads. Relaxing your grip though can be costly.

  28. No it wasn’t and that was the opinion of the ref and VAR Dan….. I’m not defending anyone here, just relying on the officials.
    Now, who gets booked for time wasting from those players instructed to do so?
    Xhaka….. it seems he is the scapegoat for everyone / everything.

    1. Great win boys , but how can arteta stop the drop off late in games . Hmmm thats a hard nut to crack , hang on a minute, its just occurred to me …..make some effing subs early enough so we dont burn out a starting line up that has started 3 games on the trot .
      Even after good wins you just want to slap arteta with his own hair

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