Should Arsenal worry about our defenders against Newcastle?

Arsenal could be looking at another game without their first-choice centre-back partnership. Arsene Wenger has confirmed that his defenders Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are major doubts for the visit to Newcastle United.

The duo has long established itself at the centre of the defence for the Gunners. Their experience was vital for Wenger over the last couple of seasons. Now with more solid presence behind them in Petr Cech, Wenger would have hoped for increased defensive spunk.

Their absence was seriously felt in the game against Liverpool as Calum Chambers and Gabriel found out. The two were makeshift central defenders for the Liverpool game and had to endure a tough spell in the first half.

Wenger had Cech to thank for keeping his side level at the break and fans were praying for the quick recovery of Mertesacker and Koscielny. There were many moments in the game which gave nervy moments for everyone at the Emirates.
Now with more time on the sidelines for the pair, it is slightly worrying for Wenger.

“Mertesacker is still sick and Koscielny will have a test and I’ll know more after that. At the moment it seems Koscielny is most likely”

The trip to St James’ Park is important in the larger scheme of things for Wenger. Any more loss of points would mean further gulf from the top two of the table. Though it is early days, even Wenger will admit that a good start will help him in the longer run.

With the confirmed absence – at most it would be only Koscielny who would play; it would be a tough game for Gabriel and Chambers to shore the defence. Agreed that Cech is a world-class keeper and can replicate his form from the earlier game.


But, he can have a bad day too (remember West Ham?) which means that the defenders need to play their part too. Gabriel improved as the game progressed against Liverpool but Chambers looked a bundle of nerves.

With goals still dried up at the other end of the pitch (though Aaron Ramsey would want to blame lack of technology for the ‘no-goal-show’ against Liverpool), Wenger will require much more from his back four. They will have to hold firm….

But seriously Arsenal should have little problem beating this woeful Newcastle side, whoever plays in defence….


Tags Chambers Gabriel


        1. ohh no.we should be smiling all the way to Newcastle..let’s our great manager prof brilliant Wenger take care of minor issues like those.genius and specialist in excuses and failure.Wenger out

          1. Newcastle acquired some good players this summer. Thauvin looked good last game. There midfield seems weak. Should be an easy game. Pace on the wings with Walcott and Sanchez!

    1. Wenger is on track. Take it from me, a true AKB.
      I think we can afford to lose this game. We will still have a chance to finish 4TH.

    2. I’m tired of this team. I have no faith in Wenger. It’s like falling in love with someone you don’t trust.

  1. I would play Bellerin and Monreal – Fullbacks
    And Gabriel and Debuchy – CentreBacks

    Debuchy was excellent last season when he played CB.

    Chambers was very poor last game and this match is pretty much a must win. Chambers should be played in FA Cup and League Cup instead

    1. This would be the thing to do if both Kos and BFG are missing. It’s a shame Chambers hasn’t been loaned out; with Debuchy looking like 2nd choice to Bellerin a second role as 4th back wouldn’t stretch the squad too much. I guess it technically still could happen, but that doesn’t seem to be the plan.

      League cup will be interesting — the youngsters who played last year are almost all out on loan now — does this mean more opportunities for more experienced bench players like Debuchy, Gibbs and even the Ox?

      1. If Chambers was to be loaned out then people would scream about a WC CB. Anyway, I don’t believe it will be a problem now. The switch happened unexpectedly on Monday, at least we had time to prepare now.

    2. Not like I thumbed you down (I don’t use it anyway) but Debuchy played only one competitive game as a CB last season. Not sure if this really warrants him playing CB at Newcastle.

    3. I’d start debuchy at RB this game it’s against his former employer so he’s got something to prove, and I think it would be better for chambers to start debuchy

    4. @Fred Not long ago was laurent koscielny leading the goal scoring charts with his own goals. And here you are suggesting we should replace chambers with Debouchy. I wonder, what will you suggest we do if MD has a bad game tomorrow?
      All I’m saying is take it easy on our players. Chambers hasn’t played for a while and he was thrown into a big game. And liverpool played pressing football first half.

  2. No we should not be worried that was their first competitive game of the season so they both (mostly chambers) were bound to be rusty. Liverpool are one of the better teams in the league and defensively we handled them relatively well.

    And I don’t get all this chambers hate, in the 1st half on the ball he was atrocious yes, but defensively he played well and his positioning was pretty good. He was battling with benteke all night who is one of the better ST’s and one of the strongest in the league and I think he handled him pretty well.

    I think well see a different chambers than the one we saw on Monday I don’t think he’ll feel as pressured but let’s not jump on the kids bCk I don’t get why our fans are so quick to degrade our players

  3. Flamini has played as CB before, but Debuchy is preferable there. Debuchy and Gabs should play CB.

  4. chambers is good. he was our best defemder in pre season .
    against liverpool he might have been shocked as he did not expect a place in the starting lineup let alone on the bench.the more competitive ges he plays the better.have we forgotten he was our player of the month in september?

    1. Exactly. When you are told right before the match you are going to replace Mert then you are surely taken by surprise. He buckled up in 2nd half.

      1. Agreed. I just think he felt pressured to start attacks from the back and to always play the ball out on the ground (cause that’s what Mert does and people don’t see it). I think that was a good learning experience for him and he’ll know when to clear it out and when to try and pass it out.

        I thought defensively he was pretty good first half and 2nd you are right he improved even more

      2. It’s hilarious how it’s made out to be so nerve wrecking ?
        these are professional footballer’s ffs ?

        It’s not as if he is a reserve squaddie that was told to take up front line action in Syria ?

        Wenger: Chambers!

        Chambers: ?????… Yes lieutenant wenger Sir!

        Wenger: Take a shower and change those diapers son,
        Your going in.

        Chambers: ??? ???

        Unbelievable ?

        1. it shouldnt happen but my guess its it did…
          well he changed diapers and went on to have a decent second half.

  5. The defenders should be fine so long as most of the Arsenal squad does not participate in giving the ball away constantly like they did in the 1st half of the LPool game.

    The real worry for me is the lineup. Arsenal won every game when Walcott and Ox start going back to the end of last season. (All 3 wins and 2 trophies)

    But Wenger is determined to play Giroud up front and play Ramsey or Cazorla out of position leaving the successful high energy attack from Ox/Walcott on the bench. And the result in these 1st 3 games has not been good at all.

    But Wenger seems satisfied with lackluster performances and even losing so long as his “favorite” boys are on the pitch. When Ox came on in the LPool game the attack was immediately energized. Wenger is satisfied choosing favoritism over performance and results.

  6. Personally I’m very worried. Although I’m sure Gabriel will eventually develop in to a great player he is currently too brash and less than composed. Chambers is nervy and tends to panic. I lost count of the amount of times our back four gave the ball straight back to Liverpool in the last game.

    I think I’d like to see Monreal at CB with Gibbs coming in on the left. Hopefully as he’s almost certain our two first-choice CBs won’t be fit Wenger will have practiced some proper drills with the newbies this week.

    1. We can’t play Monreal as CB if Kos will be fit. Is simple, not his side. If Kos not fit then why not play Gabriel and Chambers? They should be ready by now.

  7. That? Iz so ez ,the only ting arsenal should worry about iz new signing & if we dont get any we should start worrying about a new coach tired of the same bs excuses every tranfer window problem solved!!!

  8. More worried about Wenger and his imbalanced football teams and poor decision making myself.

    paulista is a beast and chambers will do just fine if needed. He is a talented kid who just had a mare of a first half.

    1. Entirely agree. If we could’ve left Wenger out the team on Monday night, we’d have probably won, because no one in their right mind would put Ramsey over Ox on the right wing. Also anyone else in the footballing world would’ve bought another DM, who could’ve shored up our shaky defence, and stopped Coutinho from having free reign to pass into the box whenever he felt like it.

  9. More worried to see Ox and Theo on the bench and Ramsey on RW then anything else. At lease this year we have 4 defenders, beginning of last season loosing both these guys would give us a completely inexperienced Chambers and Debuchy as CBs so we are better off. Its these small things that make me happy 🙂

  10. This thing about make shift defensive pair is ridiculous, Gabriel is an experience Centerhalf, Chambers our up and coming centerhalf, they are not playing out of position, so this makeshift reference is crap, they are our third and fourth choice so this is their job.

    What we should be concern about is where wenger plays ramsay or why Ox is not starting

    1. With your first point. If Chambers doesn’t do his job properly then he should not play especially our next game which so important. Also, Chambers has played RB much more than CB.

      I agree that Gabriel is experienced and played well

      Next point, Ramsey played much better at RW than Chambers did at CB. I totally agree that OX or Walcott should play on the right but Ramsey played well on the right as opposed to Chambers who was a huge liability

  11. I know Tomas Rosicki is recovering and Debuchy is benched; I hope these two class players don’t become forgotten men.

  12. OT: Hey admin, we can’t go to any websites without seeing an add for a dating site can we? I’m curious, do they really work? lol at least tell me the million dollar thing is for real.

    1. Hahaha ? Yes, why not… grab yourself a nice Asian girlfriend whilst abusing wenger ? it beats popcorn any day of the week ?

      1. An Asian girlfriend would be nice.
        Oh and I’m more of an AKB. He is stubborn. But I like the fact that he doesn’t allow people to bully him into giving up his ideals. Unlike Van gaal who consistently talks about his philosophy. The philosophy of not having an idea of what the word means.

  13. I dont know why walcott and ox are left on the bench but maybe wenger sees a great potential in ramsey that is to be fulfilled thats why he is guaranteed 90min every game.
    as for walcott and ox well thats as far as they go

  14. Nobody talking about transfers. .. .. .. . Am tired of this same problem abt arsenal.. .. I need new faces

  15. Bellerin Chambers Gabriel Monreal
    Bellerin Debuchy Gabriel Monreal
    Bellerin Gabriel Monreal Gibbs

    So many options, but the boss will go with the first. Chambers should do better tomorrow…. I think.

    1. I would personally go with the second, as I think Debuchy has vast experience and we need some tomorrow. But ofcourse he could make a horrible mistake that would cost us a penalty and leave us with 10 men. Then it would be Jimbeam OUT 🙂

  16. The boys would be fine. Both thrown in at the deep end, neither given much pre-season game time and specifically not together. They settled down well in the second half and in my opinion both are better players than Mert. Debuchy would also be a dependable option, for Cambers, if necessary.

  17. Start Paulista and Deubchy at CB. Debuchy has a high jump as well so should help with defending corners.

  18. The year we have automatic UCL qualification secured the manager doesn’t buy any outfield players. Who woud’ve guessed that?

    Every other year we are told we have to secure UCL qualification through play off before we can attract quality.

    1. Didn’t seem to stop Manure from buying Schneiderlin, when he was supposed to be our target player.

  19. As reported by Express Sport yesterday, the French club have told Cavani he is free to leave at the end of the season after being left out of Laurent Blanc’s winter training camp in Marrakech.

    Louis van Gaal, Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers are now set to battle it out for the striker’s signature, although it is now claimed that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is keeping tabs on any developments.

    At the end of the season there is a strong chance he will go somewhere else, in particular to England

    And Cavani’s switch to England has now been confirmed by prominent Uruguayan journalist Valentin Fletcher, who said: “For the time being, Cavani will not leave PSG until the end of the season, as his agent confirmed.

    “The winter camp? Like [Ezequiel] Lavezzi, he was given permission to miss it by the club. He wants to win the Champions League with PSG [this season].

    “His future? This winter he will remain in Paris, but at the end of the season there is a strong chance he will go somewhere else, in particular to England or Spain.”

    —-no idea of when this was posted, but no matter how hard I try I am still clutching at straws for some signs of hope in this dark abyss that is know as AFC during the transfer window…

    1. I feel about as confident of Wenger in the transfer market to benefit Arsenal, as I did Woj in goal.

  20. I don’t understand why Wenger being tight doesn’t atleast go and buy Huntelaar right now. He would be cheap because of his age (32) and the fact that it will be easy to pry him away from Schalke who are in Europa league this term. Right now Huntelaar is still better than Giroud in all departments, barring perhaps ‘hold up play’, of which I see many other players in the league do better than Giroud.

    No one buys into Wengers opinion about top strikers not being available, and a lack of strikers being the result of teams doing more passing than shooting in training. Well then Sir why not have the players do more shooting in practice then? Look at Cazorlas shooting since he first came to Arsenal. He is scoring less and less these days and most of his shots are wild. This is a key indicator that Arsenal don’t do enough shooting in training.

  21. More cut and paste from

    Pep (extract from his book):

    I hate it. Tiki-taka means passing the ball for the sake of it, with no clear intention. It’s pointless. Don’t believe what people say. Barca didn’t do tiki-taka! It’s completely made up! Don’t believe a word of it!

    In all team sports, the secret is to overload one side of the pitch so that the opponent must tilt its own defence to cope. You overload on one side and draw them in so that they leave the other side weak.

    And when we’ve done all that, we attack and score from the other side. That’s why you have to pass the ball, but only if you’re doing it with a clear intention.

    It’s only to overload the opponent, to draw them in and then to hit them with the sucker punch. That’s what our game needs to be. Nothing to do with tiki-taka.

  22. Jesus people, give Chambers a chance. He’s barely played many games for us in the CB Role. He will shine in sure.

  23. @Biggun if you are reading, i saw a genuine question from you to me in an older post and would like to answer it.

    Jimbeam – What he is doing today is failure. REALLY? So if a new manager had taken over in 2012/13 and had the exact same results as Arsene Wenger to date (top 4 finish both years, 2 F.A cups, 2 Charity Shields and 1 Emirates Cup), would you count that as failure too? That is not a rhetorical question, I would like an honest answer.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    Reply ↓

    August 28, 2015 at 4:42 pm
    Yes – Arsenal not challenging for the top place year in year out is a failure. Look you can have an amazing year and come in second by a point or two and the next year have an off year and come in 4th and off by 12 points, and then the third year you push on again but not challenging year in year out, not finding the pieces that makes the team whole, and stubborn tactical approach are all failures

    Also dont forget Arsene didnt just arrive he has been here forever, and bought all the players in the team today. He has failed to complete the puzzle in 5 transfer windows. Look Mourinho came and completed his puzzle in a couple of windows without outspending us. All I am saying is that we should have the same ambition as the others, and we dont.
    How many players are we missing really to be super competitive, 3 at most, maybe even 2 is enough. Not getting those players in for the last 5 transfer windows is not acceptable.
    Look as long as someone has a job for life, and knows that a top four finish keeps the board happy, what is his incentive to change his ways. He is a stubborn men who wants to do it his way or no way at all, and there is no fire under his ass.

  24. Wenger is not someone who takes charge an adresses a problem before they do happen let alone if they actually already happend. He will never bench Chambers bec of one game alone. It takes a bombastic defeat to make him think about changing. Losing to 2 goals is not a biggy to him anymore as Wenger is used to lose in such a way quit often.

    The moment you start to worry to much about others teams, you know that you have turned into Sh*t. It should be the other way around, but what can you do, this is Arsenal nowdays.

    1. If David Dein was still there, I don’t think Wenger could’ve changed the way the team plays so much. He has been only able to, because he has complete autonomy.

    2. Wenger told Gary Neville to do his homework lol. Wenger does his homework in last minute by
      copying from others lol just like in school.

  25. I hope Arsenal get transfer ban until Wenger is our manager. Tired of rumours everyday and no players coming in. Money is there top players arent available what a pathetic excuse. Let all
    teams buy top players and wait for deadline day to sign players which no team wants or the clubs dont want to sell. I think the deadline day signing could be third choice keeper because
    Wenger said he doesnt want DM or CF.

    1. I hope Bale plays as striker if he comes to arsenal or maybe play Alexis as striker and Bale at lw.

  26. Gabriel is our most physical CB even more so than Koscielny. Gabriel is fast, good tackles, interception and much better than slow Mertesaker. Gabriel-Koscielny should be our first choice
    CB pairing.

    1. Gabriel-Koscielny should be our first choice CB pairing.

      We need injuries or consistent poor play from Mertesacker to make that happen.

  27. Reus scored a hat-trick. Wish we had him. Very versatile and WC

    If we somehow get Cavani and Krychowiak, then it will be a very successful summer. Cech, Cavani and Krychowiak

    If we just get a Top striker, then it will be an acceptable summer and we will at least be in the race for tittie.

    My biggest wish
    1. Top Striker: Cavani, Benzema, Ibrahimovic, etc
    2. DM: Krychowiak, Bender, Carvalho
    3. Versatile LW: Draxler

    I know highly unlikely but a fan has a right to dream

    1. Cavani and Bender are realistic IMO.
      Arsene should know by now that he cant gamble too much anymore.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs