Opinion – The Arsenal players that will fit Arteta’s attacking football style

Who among our players will be in Arteta’s first team? by Lagos Gooner

Good morning gooners; happy holidays from gooners here in Nigeria. How prepared are we for our Saturday game against Everton? Our game against Everton may be unique in the sense that both teams may play that game with new managers.

While we await the official announcement from Arsenal on who will be our next manager, can we take a guess on which players will make Arteta’s team, assuming he was to be appointed coach? Let’s go…

Mikel Arteta, judging by where he is currently working, would be out to play sweet, fast-paced attacking football. He has been an understudy to Pep Guardiola for the last 3 years. Pep is known for playing possession-based attacking football, while scoring many goals in the process. He also likes playing from the back and not to forget, he likes goalkeepers who are comfortable playing with their feet. So, knowing Arteta’s background will help us guess the players who will fit into his style.

Unless something drastic happens, I don’t see Arteta not making use of our current first choice goalie, Leno. Bernd Leno is not only comfortable playing with his feet; he is equally good at ball distribution. He is also good at saving balls. To me, he is a sure bet to start.

For the defence, I see Sokratis Papastathopoulos dropping to the bench. The centre defenders would be David Luiz and Rob Holdings, in my opinion. Luiz is good at passing the ball from the back, while Holdings does the tackling. For the wing backs, I see him retaining Kolasinac, until Tierney gets back. Bellerin, if fit, will cement the right wing back role.

I am sorry to say this but for the midfield, I see him playing a three-man midfield. Based on current form, I see him using Guendouzi and Xhaka as defensive midfielders; while Ceballos occupies the attacking midfield position. Ozil and Torreira may find themselves playing less under Arteta.

For Arteta’s style of attacking football, I think Aubameyang will lead the line, with Pepe and Martinelli supporting him from the wings.

So, there is my team under Arteta, that is if he is appointed as the coach of Arsenal. What do you think?

Sylvester Kwentua

Tags Arteta


  1. I am not at all in favour of Luiz anywhere near the defence. He has cost us too many goals by plain poor defending. Guendouzi would unfortunately also not be my midfield choice, he is not suited to fast flowing attacking football, and he also cannot partake in maintaining possession when required.

    1. Further comment – we need players that will know what to do with the ball before they even get it, and not players that only decide what to do once they have the ball and have taken a few steps. That’s called awareness and there is far too little of it in the team for us ro be thinking about playing like ManCity just yet.

      1. On the contrary, good awareness comes with players offering active movements off the ball. Sadly, we don’t have that either.

    2. Why don’t they promote a kid from the U23s. Can they really be worse than what we already have?

  2. I don’t think he will drop Torreira, because he hardly lose possession in a game unlike Xhaka. Plus he is the only ball winner from our midfield.

  3. I hope Arteta plays 4-3-3! Wilock(RM)-Torreira(CDM)-Xhaka(LM) in midfield. Fowards I agree with the author. As for defence, I don’t care they can draw straws to figure out who plays, they are all the same.

    1. I think he would use a three-CB formation first, to teach the players his concept gradually

      Guardiola did it at the beginning of his second season with 3-5-2, after he saw his players were unable to grasp his strategy in his first season. After a while, he tested them with 4-1-3-2 and finally 4-3-3 after all his players understand their responsibilities

      I believe Arteta would do similar steps too, but I heard he is not going to coach the players for the Everton game

      1. We have already tried patnering 2 strikers upfront and they have not produced the goods. I don’t think Arteta would go back to it again, but as you have said, he may follow Pep’s teachings which means there will be more pain to come.

  4. Choosing Guendozie over Torriera is absolutely making no sense. Torriera is a better player compared to Guen.

    1. Don’t expect any of our current cb apart from holding to make starting 11 because none of them live to the hype we all expect from them,I strongly believe that whoever comes in as a coach would sign a good cb for us and as for dm we need some one that can command and control the midfield and not torreira esque, believe me if all these can done am very optimistic we will all have our joy back again.

    1. A bit to do with the rumours the club tried and failed to sell him off to Russia in the summer and also the fact that he has been terrible since the Vitoria home game.

  5. Agree,Rob can partner David Luiz, midfielders I have no choice as we don’t have players who can score goals like Debruin and David Sylva, attack we can use those three guys.

  6. I don’t think Arteta would implement attacking football right off the bat, because he has witnessed how some of our attackers let their teammates pressed alone. But if he has the guts to attack with our ignorant attackers from the outset, I predict he would use this 3-4-1-2 line-up at his first game:

    ………………. Leno
    ……. Mustafi . Sokratis . Luiz
    Bellerin . Torreira . Xhaka . Kolasinac
    ……………… Ozil
    …… Aubameyang ………. Lacazette

    Arteta might want to use three-CB formation because it will be a tough away game and he has to give all senior players a clean slate. Unless Arsenal inform him that they would ship some senior players out in January

    1. I would not have either Luiz or Xhaka anywhere near the stadium let alone the team. Xhaka if he is not passing the ball sideways or back he is committing too many fouls i think he has committed the most fouls than any other player. We need to get rid of him.

  7. I still believe our best formation is 4-4-1-1.


    Martinelli, Lacazette, Pepe..

    Guendouzi, Torreira..

    Kolasinac*, Chambers, Sokratis*, Bellerin.


  8. I would not be surprised if interim managers Duncan and Freddie
    lead their teams with both managers sitting in the stand.
    No doubt back at his old club Mikel will have “mixed emotions”.
    Both clubs are in a very similar position.
    Huge traditional clubs. Massive fan bases.
    Vast expenditure but little to show for it for years.
    Both clubs desperate for success searching for a way back to the top.

    1. Very good observations @Agu. Everton seem to be in better form than Arsenal. But then, isn’t it such a sad thing when we now have such clubs for company?

      I just hope Arteta helps us find out groove back.

  9. I know nobody has mentioned this but if I was to say the player that I think will blossom under Arteta if he is signed as the head coach is Ceballos. There is hunger and tenacity in ceballos. Have you seen him hustle for ball and again he is not a sideway passer unlike our midfielders. He has that shot in him, the killer pass I think he is a complete player. I think he has made the most tackle of our current midfielders. If I was the coach our lineup if everyone is fit.


    Bellerin holding sokratis tierny


    Ceballos torreira

    Martinelli Aubameyang pepe

    Sub: kolasinac, Martinez,Chambers,saka,willock, lacazette,guendozi.

    Sorry but granite xhaka wouldn’t make the bench for me alongside AMN or Ozil.

  10. I am not fussed about who actually starts or what formations is put out.
    We have two players in each position who are not bad but not great either.
    We are a Europa League squad and play like one.
    Iwobi and Walcott eh 🙂 Should be a cracker game.
    I am expecting the new manager bounce for the first half dozen games
    then with reinforcements in January another surge.
    I believe Arsenal must win the Europa League to justify his appointment.

  11. For me Torrierra as holding midfield instead of Xhaka and holding has to be quick enough to cover paceless Luiz.

  12. my selection
    A 3-4-3 formation.

  13. I am yet to see any player in our midfield that makes transition seemless like debrune, rodri and Silva combo. Xhaka? Guendozi?, ceballos?are slow players . they slow the game down even when we are counterattacking.a bold approach will be to use torrera with luiz and guendozi. Luiz should retire from the defence. The midfield suits him better

  14. Arteta must speed up the attack. No point having ball retention all the time if you run into a brickwall. Our player s must be able to deal swift sucker punch.

    1. What about stiffening the defense and midfield, defending further up the pitch and reducing the opposition’s shots on goal?

  15. If we are going to play fast attacking football under arteta,i think it would be stupid to drop ozil,pepe or even torreira.they are fast with the ball unlike guendouzi,ceballos and many other players in the squad right now.I also see xhaka having a future in arsenal under arteta.He can play the role of rodri but must improve his defensive duties

  16. I don’t think u reasoning is correct how will u think torreira will be drop for zhaka in arteta team not possible he love mobile and hard working central mildfieder

  17. What does anyone know of Artetas playstyle? Is it a Copy-paste of Pep’s? Or will he be smart and evaluate the strenght’s and weaknesses of the arsenal squad and develop a style to fit with what we have, and try to remedy our faults?

    I may sound a bit negative, and well i am to be honest, some of us talk about Arteta like he is a coaching mastermind, but we know nothing about how he will setup Arsenal, if he takes over.

    One thing i am sure of, is that a copy paste of the way city play, that won’t work with our squad, that will end with relegation for us.

  18. amazing that we will go in to the next game with only 1 defender out of the 4 required actually qualifying for the position and even then a hapless one … baptism of fire for Arteta but am looking forward to seeing how he does and will he certainly comes with a vision of how to play football which we havent really had for at least 8 years …

  19. I stopped reading when I saw xhaka and Guendouzi in midfield. The draws and losing continues he he does that. This formation will do the magic for Arteta.












      1. You will see how we will struggle with that snail-speed midfield. Am sure you are enjoying how the opposition transit from their defense to ours effortlessly? Goodluck.

        1. Not at all but just to keep throwing out there the sane old names and same formations as your post every time is a bit tedious. Come up with something a bit more original.

          1. That formation and players is the best that can change our fortunes. If you are expecting me to include Xhaka in that midfield as something new….no, can’t do.

  20. Rob is fearfully and cant be relied on and sokratis uses more energy and experience than luiz. the rest is ok

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