Should Arteta play his deadwood or youngsters against Wimbledon?

Arteta showed in the last round of the Carabao Cup he realises this competition is one of the few opportunities to lift a trophy, put smiles on Gooners faces and even get back into Europe.

That’s how far we have fallen, that winning one of the domestic cups is now more realistic than Arsenal finishing in the top 7 in the Premier League.

The fact is though our third-round tie is at home to League One opposition. That means our manager should be allowed to rotate his squad and have enough to advance to the next stage.

If the players coming in for those who started at the weekend are not good enough then they really shouldn’t be wearing a Gunners shirt.

What would be nice to see is those who didn’t feature at Burnley with an appetite and desire to prove a point against AFC Wimbledon.

What is becoming a common theme is every time the summer transfer window closes, we seem to be stuck with deadwood.

Individuals who know full well their employers had been trying to get rid of them but failed due to potential buyers not willing to match the player’s wages.

That makes it kind of awkward when said player remains in training. That’s not questioning anyone’s professionalism, it’s simply not ideal for a coach teaching players who know their boss doesn’t rate them.

Too much of that scenario can upset the entire group dynamic. The truth is under the current regime too many players have been left out in the cold, even paid to sit at home!

This is not our manager’s fault, but those who have allowed a rookie in his job to think that this is acceptable practise.

It rarely happened under Arsene Wenger.

Like most things, gooners are divided about Wednesday’s team selection. Some feel we should build momentum and stick with the team who have just kept consecutive clean sheets.

Others want every single player due to start in the NLD to have the week off.

What I am interested in is what Arteta does with those deadwwod players, who, if he had his way wouldn’t be in North London anymore.

I’m curious because the Spaniard has never been consistent, he changes his values based on who the subject is.

Even though he publicly would say everyone had a fresh start, it was clear Ozil, Guendouzi, Torreira and Sokratis were never going to get a chance once he had written them off.

For two summers in a row now he’s deemed Saliba not ready, so she ent him on loan to France yet started Kolasinac at the Etihad, a player we’ve been trying to get off the wage bill since last year.

Bellerin and Nketiah didn’t feature in the Prem because their futures were unclear, but Reiss Nelson did, only to then be sent to Holland.

Kolasinac was loaned out last January just to get his 100,000 pound a week off the wage bill. He was relegated with Schalke so hardly did anything to change the perception of him at the Emirates.

As recently as August, talk was of all parties trying to agree to his contract being ripped up.

In other words, the left back has zero future with us.

Part of our reason for bringing in Ramsdale is because Leno is believed to be refusing to extend his deal, so don’t expect him to be around much longer.

There is talk that Arsenal are not keen on triggering a one-year extension to Calum Chambers’ contract (he wasn’t even on the bench at Turf Moor).

Arsenal were openly trying to get rid of Eddie Nketiah and never would have had anyone meet their silly valuation.

It seems accepted that Lacazette will leave as a free agent (something we were promised would not be allowed to happen).

So, do you use this Wednesday as a chance to give the youth a chance, or bring in experience who will do you a job even though you know the majority will be elsewhere this time next year?

Or in the short term do you need them to be match fit just in case injuries mean they are needed?

After the Man City humiliation Arteta was asked to explain the decision to play Kolasinac. What had he seen from the Bosnian that made him think he would be any better than the same player who you were paying to play for Schalke?

Areta spoke of having a moral responsibility no matter what the player’s status.

That whether they are negotiating with another club or not, as long as they are an employee of Arsenal Football Club, they deserve high quality training and opportunities like anyone else.

Whether that’s Arteta’s values or something that has come from above is unclear.

As already mentioned, these criteria didn’t apply to all players in the past.

There seems a big commitment from Arsenal in every department to refind their identity as the club who handled themselves with class.

Maybe they have realized that having too many people show up for work every day feeling unwanted is bad for morale?

If starting deadwood in the Carabao Cup helps keep the group happy, then so be it.

Lacazette for example is popular in our dressing room, has a bromance with our captain and the youngsters look up to him.

Even if he accepts that he’s not getting a new deal, a couple of goals in midweek keeps him happy in training which increases the chances of everyone else being in a positive mood.


GK – Ramsdale – I want him to build on his confidence and go into the NLD with 4 clean sheets.

LB – Cedric – can play there and I don’t want to risk Tavares just in case Tierney is not fit for Sunday.

CB Holding, Mari – didn’t play at weekend.

RB- Chambers – needs a big performance to get back his manager’s trust.

DM – Lokonga and Maitland Niles – Elneny is injured and clearly promises have been made to Miles about DM role.

LM – Kolasinac – Can fill in as a body which allows us to rest others.

RM – Martinelli – essentially a free role though when Laca drops deeps.

AM/ST Laca – will order him to come deep and swap with Martinelli at times

Striker – Balogun – ahead of Eddie?


Your team?




  1. Rob holding will be hoping for a run out, show off his new hairline 😆 I remember the days when we played the old Wimbledon Vinny lock stock and 2 smoking barrels scoring a winner at Highbury 😩

    1. I mentioned that also 🤣 I take it you’re not thinning on top just yet, Kev!!
      It’ll be raining goals in NL tonight!!

      1. Haha no my hairline is my own Sue not designed by some surgeon 😂 these footballers/ celebs take vanity to the next level 😆. Hopefully Sue we need entertaining 😀

  2. I’d start with our fringe and squad rotation players. Because we have to showcase their abilities to their potential suitors and we also need to go to the next phase of League Cup, since we don’t participate in EL this season

    1. I agree with us using our squard players. We are not in Europa matches. We should be doing well in cup games and get to good level even if we don’t eventually win it. Else, there would seem to be unseriousness or an absolute lack of ambition in the club

  3. The boss knows better. Just want the arsenal to do well all season long but it’s damn obvious that some issues will linger.

  4. Looking at the above named team, I would feel sorry for Martinellii, Lacazette and Balogun. They risk being sent out without any creative support from the midfield or wing backs. Go do your stuff boys don’t worry if you can’t get the ball.

  5. Leno

    Chambo Holding Mari Kola

    AMN Lokonga


    Marti Laca Pepe

    Off Bench at 60 mins Balogun for Laca. ( or start him instead of Pepe)

  6. The two people i would keep in the team are Auba and Pepe.They both need to score,because thats what helps them to keep scoring.Then Tomiyasu too,to get a good run of games to get him confident.So Ramsdel,Tomi,Holding,Mari,Soares,AMN,Sambi,Pepe,ESR,Gabi,Auba.

  7. Arteta and Xhaka are the biggest deadwoods in Arsenal. But most of the players are average and decent. Imagine someone calling Lacazette and Kolasinac as deadwoods. If Arteta doesn’t rate them, it doesn’t mean that they are deadwoods.

    1. Alongside “dross” Argooner, I agree with you.
      Having just seen the team, I have to say that playing Partey is beyond me, but MA is the boss, so I just hope he comes through unscathed.

    2. because we keep buying more, and cant get rid of the ones we’ve got. how else would you describe a significant portion of this squad?

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