My Crazy Arsenal team selection – And the reasons why

Get your own back time! by GunnerJack

Hi guys and gals! Some of you will have noticed I sometimes have a go at various posts/posters on here so thought it might be a good idea to give people an opportunity to get their own back – especially such as Chiza and gotanidea etc:)
So I’m putting up a crazy team selection below, with my reasons, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts whether in favour or completely opposed. Would prefer it if you gave a logical reason for your posts but hey, if you simply want to slag me off then go ahead! No problem. Admin – please let all comments stand, no need to remove. Thanks.
Ok here goes with the team – reasons for selection below:

GK: Leno
Defenders: Lichtsteiner, Holding, Mavropanos, Monreal
Three midfielders: Elneny, Torreira, Guendouzi
Three attackers: Bellerin, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Leno- I don’t mind if it’s Cech but would like to see Leno given a chance now
Lichtsteiner – better defender than Bellerin and again time he was given a chance. Tough guy – needed!
Holding – time to give him a go also, and another tough guy when necessary – remember Diego Costa?
Mavropanos – again, time to give him a go – and he’s tough – remember him vs Man Utd? Want to make all these feel part of the team.
Monreal – best LB we have at the moment and good getting forward. Not completely convinced by his defending though!
Elneny – always thought of him as too much a sideways and backwards player. Then saw him alongside Guendouzi in pre-season and it reminded me of another time he was given free rein to go forward and he surprised me both times with his stamina, willingness to get forward as well as back and with his excellent passes. Also doesn’t mind having a crack at goal if the opportunity presents itself.
Torreira – has looked good in cameos and about time he was given a full game. Would play slightly behind Elneny and Guendouzi in this formation.
Guendouzi – looked tired to me last week and was justifiably subbed. However he has put everyting into every game he’s played and sometimes looked our best player. Great enthusiasm, good tackling and passing, gets back to help the defence and forwards to help out with the attack and is always asking for the ball. No wonder he was a bit knackered! Just hope he’s been practicing his shooting!
Bellerin – would play as a right wing/striker. Hopeless as a defender to me but has been getting forward well and putting some excellent balls into the penalty area. Bit of work on his dribbling would help but once past an opponent he’s hard to catch.
Lacazette – main striker. Can hold ball up, dribble, tackle (a bit clumsily I think) and knows where the net is. Moves around so not too easy to mark. Gets on well with Aubameyang and those two can make up into an excellent strike force.
Aubameyang – left wing/striker. I sometimes wonder if Emery didn’t buy a winger just so Auba can use that space. Not blessed with the greatest dribbling skills but not bad, and obviously has good speed. Main attribute (to me) is arriving in the box fast and unmarked to deliver the knockout punch. Permission to wander anywhere, like Laca.

Sorry no room for Ozil in this type of formation (4-3-3) but seems to have problems at the moment anyway.
No room for Mikki either but has not being playing very well so far, at least to my eyes
No room for Xhaka or Ramsey either but enough has been said about those two to fill a container truck – and not much of it good!

So there you have it fellow gooners. Pick the bones out of that! Will look forward to your comments, if any, good or bad!



  1. kev says:

    This is my take on your team:
    GK:Leno should’ve been incorporated into the team during preseason to build an understanding with the backline.For our style of play we need him but f he’s on the bench at this point in time it gives me an indication of the kind of keeper we bought.

    Defence:Only problem is Holding over Sokratis.It shouldn’t be so as he’s not better atm.I’d play Sokratis over Holding.

    Midfield:The midfield is a ball winning one and lacking a box to box player or creativity.The players you chose are too defensive.Ramsey should be moved back to his original position with Torreira and Guendouzi/Elneny behind.Also Auba must not start on the right wing because he’s not a good dribbler and lacks creativity.Time to give Nelson a chance who will not sign if we keep playing him in U23.Bellerin can’t dribble very well and lacks good decision making.He’ll be bad over there.

    ST:Good choice.It has to be one of Laca or Auba not both at the same time.I thought people said they want competition?Why shoehorn them into team because you think Auba’s our best winger atm??If MavididI was put into this team he’d be loved because he can take on his man and beat him very well.The only players who do that very well are Nelson and Iwobi(if in form).

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Thanks for your comments kev – yes I also think Sokratis is good but wanted to ‘blood’ the players Emery has not yet played against a team that is not too strong.
      Midfield – in a pre-season game I saw both Elneny and Guendouzi showing excellent box to box style play, exhibiting great stamina and skill and getting both back and forwards regularly. Their quality in these situations surprised me and that’s why I’d love to see them against tougher opposition than pre-season.
      I’ve put Auba on the LEFT wing so he can use the space out wide and cut in on his right, not because he’s particularly a winger. I think both him and Laca want to play together and hope Emery gives them chance to do so at some stage.
      If I’d added a bench then Nelson would have been on it. Likely sub for Bellerin in this line up.

  2. Goonster says:

    As long as there is no Ozil, Xhaka or Ramsey in the starting 11 then I am okay.

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Goonster – I think you speak for many on this forum:)

    2. Red and white says:

      Longing for that day to come. Add mustafi and Socrates to that list.strikers couldn’t put 1 in the net in 3 games. I feel the trainings are too light and more jokes on the ground than serious practice and analysis.

  3. Tommogun58 says:

    Agree with most of it Jack, defo the lacca auba partnership ,also Lich Leno and Monreal,I felt Ramsey reacted well this week to being left out last week and would put him in instead of Elneny,Terra is a defo starter along with Guendo but I would stick with Mustafi at the back with Socrates as i think given the protection the get from Bellerin they have done reasonably well,as for Miss it Ozil his workrate and willingness to help his team mates to grind out a result is non existant and his sulkiness and laid back attitude is becoming very boring,sell him in January.

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Thanks Tommogun. As Cardiff are probably not the strongest opposition I thought it might be an idea to play some of those who Emery has not yet seen in ‘real’ action – hence Lichtsteiner, Holding, Mavropanos and Elneny – before meeting some of the big boys.

      1. Gunnerjack says:

        By the way I do in fact like Ozil, especially when he’s playing well, and for me he’s a class act. Emery just needs to find the best players to put around him to get him really buzzing – hope it’s soon! My team selection is more workmanlike/practical than would suit Ozil I’m afraid but he seems to have problems at the moment so I purposely did not plan a team around him.

  4. Eddie Hoyte says:

    No creative midfielder? You do know Lacazette will have to keep dropping back deep just so hr can create chances for Aubameyang and himself right?
    Torreira-Guendoziand Elneny is a solid midfield, but less creative one, I’ve watch Arsenal play without creative midfielders, trust me it’s no different from Mourinho’s United.
    I’m fine with your back 4 except Holding, you can’t play two inexperienced Center Backs, you have to drop one for either Mustafi or Sokratis…. If not them, You’ll have to sign a new and better defender.
    Bellerin upfront is over rated but would still like to give it a try

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Thanks Eddie. I don’t know if you saw the pre-season match with Elneny and Guendouzi playing more or less alongside each other but they did in fact create quite a few chances. I can’t remember who it was against at the moment unfortunately but they did surprise me by displaying more creativity than I thought they were capable of. As Elneny hasn’t played yet I thought Cardiff would be a decent, but not overwhelming, test.

  5. barryglik says:

    Your team is no where near crazy.
    Try this.
    Elneny Holding Monreal
    Torreira Smith-Rowe
    Nelson Guendouzie Iwobi Willock

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Well Baz – that’s certainly far more experimental than I’d have come up with!! 🙂

  6. Grandad says:

    I like your back four. Holding and Mav are inexperienced, so what?I Until they are given the opportunity to play together we’ll never know if they are an improvement on the present incumbents who are without doubt very average at best.Pity AMN is injured as I’d like to see him with Torreria and Ramsay in a midfield three.

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Thanks Grandad. AMN is I hope one of the brightest stars of our future. He’s got everything, can play different positions and very sad he got crocked. Hope to see him in HIS favourite position in the near future.

  7. McLovin says:

    ————- Cech
    Licht – Sokratis – Mavro – Monreal
    ————- Torreira
    —— Guendouzi – Mkhitaryan
    ————– Iwobi
    Aubameyang – Lacazette

    Why do we keep playing with wingers when we DONT HAVE any wingers? Mkhitaryan is not a winger, nor is Iwobi.

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Just a thought McLovin but maybe Emery purposely did not buy a winger so that our wing backs AND attackers, especially Auba, had space to use out wide. Also it’s a bit difficult to know who to drop if a winger is added to the current line up.

      1. It must be and it will be Mkhitaryan on the right wing that will suffer the first casualty. We need a proper explosive winger like Adama Traore or just somebody who will create width, run at defenders and drive low crosses in the box and generally be a nuisance to the opposition. Like Mahrez, Mane, Hazard, Sane and Sterling such type of bothersome attackers. Mkhitaryan is not enough of a troublemaker. Ozil too weak. Always being shoved off the ball and crying to the ref begging for assistance. Iwobi can play there but am not sure he has the quality. REISS NELSON has that explosiveness like Serge Gnabry and he should be given a chance. Bellerin has no skills whatsoever to beat even my granny if she stood infront of him blindfolded.

        1. Gunnerjack says:

          Hi QD. Yes I’d love to see Nelson given a chance and if we bought an ‘explosive winger’ then those you mention are ideal examples.
          Unfortunately I have not seen Traore play and regret not seeing Wolves draw with Man City. I know he’s quick but apparently some have said he’s also likely to run into dead ends. Look forward to seeing him play and making my own mind up.

        2. ozziegunner says:

          McLovin, I think your line up is worth a try, with Lichtsteiner captain.
          Mhikataryan provides the creativity from midfield, lacking from Gunnerjack’s lineup and avoids Iwobi or Lacazette having to drop deep to collect the ball. Iwobi can hopefully provide the drive, missing when Ramsey played against West Ham. Mhikataryan, Iwobi, Aubameyang and Lacazette provide the fire power up front.

  8. barryglik says:

    Time for a revamp.
    Rugby 15’s has Rugby 7’s
    Cricket has ODI and T20.
    Football should have a shorter form too.
    FA Cup
    9 a side. 9 rolling subs allowed. 4 x 15 min quarters
    Carabao Cup
    7 a side. 7 rolling subs allowed 4 x 10 min quarters. No offside.

  9. KIOKO JNR says:

    defenders bellarin holdings kosscienly monreal
    midfielders mateo gudo,torerra
    mkty ozil auba

  10. Gerdy says:

    I agree that it needs to be shaken up but feel we are only 3 players away from an excellent squad. My take on it is as follows:

    GK: Cech has acquitted himself very well and is one of the best still as a shot stopper. he has made big saves already this season and the experience is vital too. We all agree he is not as good with the ball at his feet. Leno will be able to prove himself in Europa league and league cup and will come in if Cech faulters (unlike last season)

    Defense: Lichtsteiner must start now. He is a leader and his aggressive style is badly needed. his appearance against city was very encouraging and he will protect our centre backs. Bellerin just isn’t good enough anymore and is a liability defensively. not overly against the idea of pushing him forward into a right wing position.would like to see holding and sokratis given a chance with Mavropanos next in line. monreal is only option as it stands for left back but with lichtsteiner in the side it gives greater balance and protection. Sell mustafi in January and get a solid centre back with a bloody presence like a Van Dijk to partner Kos or Sok etc – koubaily the best option in my opinion (wishful thinking i know)

    Midfield: holding pair of Torreira and Guendozi. simple. like Bellerin i just think that Xhaka is not good enough. once AMN is fit again i would like to see him challenge Guendozi. Keep Xhaka for Europe league – that pace of game suits his style. Ramsey has to be the attacking midfielder with Miki as back up. Ramsey has a good work ethic and gets around the park and ghosts into the box well. i have been a massive Ozil fan as he is a player that is world class. but his attitude is only getting worse and he has serious baggage from world cup. look to sell in January if he doesn’t improve and sign a world class number 10. isco would be ideal (again wishful thinking i know)

    Attack: auba on left and laca up front must be tried at this stage. alot been spoken of nelson potential. can he step up and provide pace and width on the right. maybe for certain PL games he can. still think we need to sign and out and out winger that will work and press like Emery needs. miki/Welbeck/iwobi good solid options as back up. not sure who the the best winger to sign would be. ideal scenario is that dembele underperforms at Barca and we can swoop in and get him in January. (oh to dream)
    Apologies for long comment.

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Nice comment Gerdy. Would love to see BOTH Guendouzi and AMN in the starting line up although I’m not sure where AMN would feature. Maybe in the number 10 spot if Ozil doesn’t regain his former excellence? Maybe alongside Guendouzi (with both in front of Torreira) in my experimental line up instead of Elneny. I wouldn’t want to drop Guendouzi for AMN as I think they are both excellent and wouldn’t want to disappoint Guendo after his excellent work so far. Playing them alongside each other as box to boxers could be magic! Both young and together with Torreira could forge an excellent midfield – hard to break down while getting forward to help the attack when possible. Oh well, we can but dream:)

  11. LENOhappy says:

    I like your team selection,if you see the way Erickson,modric,even mata plays for there team,I wonder why people keep saying we are gonna miss ozil,I know spuds are spuds but I will take Erickson all day ahead of ozil,the guy is just too good,even a 32 year old modric will still do a better job than ozil

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Thanks for your comment Leno and I totally agree – Erickson and Modric are excellent and set the bar for all the pretenders.

  12. Phil says:

    As much as I don’t want to get dragged into the Ozil situation I’m afraid I just can’t help myself.Against Citeh we created chances only in the second half when Lacazette was on and Ozil was moved from wide right to a central role.Coincidence?
    Against Chelski we stopped creating anything in the second half when Xhaka was replaced at the break and Ozil was taken off for Ramsey.Coincidence?
    Against West Ham we were continually left exposed to the counter attack by a pretty much second rate team that were able to slice through us from the first whistle.So where was the defensive cover in the team.I suppose we blame Ozil even though he wasn’t even on the pitch do we?
    I’m of the belief you play your best team at all times.Ozil is our best player.That is a fact.The team should be set up to get the best from him.Its easier to concede in this league (especially with our defence at the moment) than it is to score.We have two great front men in Lacazette and Aubamayang who should both start with Ozil and Mykitarian.

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Hi Phil – Firstly I totally agree Ozil just HAS to be played in the centre and secondly I would never take him off for Ramsey.
      Regarding playing the best team at all times I’m not sure if Emery knows what his best line up is just yet. Hence giving a few more players a chance, especially against what is supposed to be a weaker team.
      Yes I hope Auba and Laca become a terrific strike force and start every match.
      By the way I remember a statement of yours along the lines of ‘Ramsey can sit on the bench forever as far as I’m concerned’ where I responded with ‘I wouldn’t really want him to be on the bench, taking up the place of a decent player . . .’ where for some reason you thought I was talking about Ozil!!!???
      It was under the article about Mustafi saying players had stagnated if you want to look it up.
      Thanks for your input today as ever.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Phil and Gunnerjack, I really appreciate your inciteful comments.
        There is no doubt that Ozil at his best would be one of the first players picked. However Ozil’s head is obviously not in a good place at the moment. He needs to toughen up and support the manager and club who pay his wages.

        1. Gunnerjack says:

          Thanks Oz. I’m no psychologist but I’m not sure Ozil can be improved by being somehow ‘toughened up’. He seems to me to be a more thoughtful and yes even delicate player who would maybe respond better to a more friendly, arm-around-the-shoulder approach, with a few words of wisdom thrown in.

      2. Phil says:

        @gunnerjack-I remember the post and I did know what you meant so will have to put that down to a mis-interpretation.
        I do get the Ozil issue.I understand how he is not rated by some.But this is a very very talented player who makes us a better team WHEN played correctly in a free role as a No10.
        Have we ever had so much diverse opinions of a single player before?I doubt it but it does show how differently the fan base think.

        1. Gunnerjack says:

          Phil, given the players we have available at present have you thought of a line up you’d like to see? Would love to see it if so.

          1. Phil says:

            @gunnerjack-I don’t believe we are strong enough defensively so I would go with 3 CB’s.Mava Sokritis And Mustafi.
            Bellerin And Monreal give us width so I would have Torreira sat in front of the defence and when AMN is back maybe we could go back to a 4 man defence.I can really see AMN getting a good run this year and this boy looks to have everything in his locker to be a top class CM.I would have Laca up top with Auba and Mikki either side of Ozil.
            Czech has played well so far this season (other than his playmaker role from the goal mouth).
            I would prefer us playing 4231 but we don’t seem to have the players to do this.So by playing 5221 when defending and 3241 when attacking.
            Sounds a mess I know but this is what Emery is having to deal with.He inherited a very imbalanced squad that has good attacking strengths but little in the way of defensive soundness.Stll that is what he is paid to do and will be judged on how he responds

          2. Gunnerjack says:

            Thanks Phil. As you say it’s difficult to construct a good, well balanced team at the moment. Let’s hope Emery gets some inspiration from somewhere! Looking forward to the Cardiff game – which may not be a game for the faint hearted now Warnock’s in charge:)

  13. afcwally says:

    Lichsteiner, Holding, Socrates
    Bellerin, Torreira, Ramsey, Guendouzi, Monreal
    Lacazette, Auba

  14. LENOhappy says:

    @phil,I know what you talking about sir,but a “world class “player must be able to influence the game more than what Ozil is doing,ozil has been great,note the word “has been”believe me sir we will be better with a less technical midfielder who works hard for the team

    1. Phil says:

      I understand what you are saying and it’s hard to disagree.I know Emery will always want the best players in his team so the Manager needs to find the balance to make it work.

      1. Xxnofx says:

        I know you like ozil Phil ,but he’s had enough chances these last couple of years to hit the heights he should be hitting but he hasn’t ,he should be in his prime now but looks like he’s just going through the motions to me ,maybe if we had better players around him the last couple of seasons we would have seen the best of him but I fear them days are long gone .
        If anyone saw santi play at the weekend would know what a creative player is ,not sure why we let a 33 year old magician leave but thought it was a good idea to sign a 34 year old right back

        1. Phil says:

          @Xxnofx-I didn’t see Santi game.Did he play well

          1. Xxnofx says:

            Yea I watched it cause there was nothing else on .yea looked just like he used to When playing for us ,bought back good memories

  15. ozziegunner says:

    I would much rather Arsenal had persevered with Santi Cazorla after his injury than Aaron Ramsey.

  16. Midkemma says:

    Leno in goal?
    I said and been slated for saying this, Leno isn’t any better than Cech, oh he may be better with the ball at his feet but he doesn’t make as many saves per goal conceded, we let a LOT of shot in so we need the keeper with better saves to goal ratio.
    I will also point out how much Cech has improved, yes he still isn’t great with ball at feet but he was the worlds worst at penalty saves wasn’t he? Anymore?

    I am not a fan of Mustafi/Sokratis partnership but you know what, I’ll go with that partnership as it looks to be growing, we can’t blame them for the CM failing to track runners and leaving the CBs out to dry. The fullbacks I’d want as more ‘defensive’ minded, Lich in for Bellerin due to experience with Monreal the other side.

    I would also go with a CM trio but I would have AMN in for Elneny. Tell AMN that he needs to give his best performance, we know he can! 🙂 It would be a young CM but AMN, Guendouzi with Torreira sitting just behind them two kids. This gives a physical CM with players who can pass and look forward with the ball, ideal to build an attack from IMO. Also AMN offers pace for counters.

    Attack is kinda obvious to all who know me.
    Auba on the left, Laca through the middle and the right would be up for grabs. Nelson could be a good youth prospect, Iwobi shown inconsistency again so he has bugged me (yet again!) and Welbroke done well but doesn’t convince me that he will be good the whole season… Although I am willing to eat my own words if he proves me wrong (and I always hope for Arsenal players to prove me wrong at times like this).

    We have seen Auba score from the left, we have seen Auba pick up in performance when Laca is on the pitch and those two can bounce the ball between each other. Laca came back from the knee op with goals, goals and more goals. 2/3 of the attack should be aiming for a min of 25EPL goals for the season if we can get the team settled and balanced.

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Thanks for your input Leno – I wasn’t saying any of the players I put into my make-believe team were the best players, just that we (and Emery) haven’t yet seen some of them in EPL action so thought the match against Cardiff would be a good introduction.
      AMN is currently injured so not available for selection – one of my favourites to be an Arsenal star of the future!
      Like you I find Iwobi a bit exasperating – good one game and nothing special the next. Also, like you, I’m happy for any of our players to improve, even though I have slagged them off in the past! Elneny proved me wrong in the pre-season match I mentioned, showing skill, good passing and even a willingness to have a crack at goal when the occasion merited it. All this on top of helping in defence when needed. In that game he was a proper box to boxer. I even had him mixed up with Guendouzi at times.

  17. gearoid de burca says:

    GUNNERJACK . you know you are really onto something there, i do like that formation, excellent spot too. why not try it out for certain games , variety is the spice of life after all.bamboozle other teams with different selections , it has been done many times in the past and worked, so why not work for us too.once the depressive ozil is not in the squad then i am really happy.

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Thanks for your kind comment Ger. I’m hoping Ozil comes back fit and well and eager to play a major part in the team. Problem is getting the right players to fit around him. Rather Emery than me!

  18. Gunner23 says:

    Like the idea but I would go like this:

    1. Gunnerjack says:

      Hi Gunner23 – the main problem I have there is that Torreira would be left largely on his own as I have no faith in Ramsey helping him out in defensive duties . . . he seems far more interested in being a glory boy who gets into the box and scores.
      I’m not sure Mhki is cut out for the right wing position either to be honest. If not Bellerin then I’d love to see Nelson given a chance, although it seems he’s looking for pastures new at the moment.

    2. Aussie Jack says:

      Gunner 23: I`d say your selection is the best of the bunch with the players we have and I can`t see it getting any better unless “Silent Stan” opens the wallet ,and I can`t see that happening.

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