Arsenal Debate – The best Starting XI using only our existing squad?

Natural Resources by Matt Goldsmith

To pass the time while we’re snowed in, I’ve put together an XI that I would like to see using existing players. I’ve also marked up the areas that can (realistically, over a couple of transfer windows) be addressed. Tellingly, my feeling is that we only have five players (it would make a decent 5-a-side team, mind) that nailed on for the starting line-up. Thoughts..?

GK. Leno – enough positive early signs to gloss over a few struggles recently. Also, factor in that it’s an area of the squad that we’ve recently spent money on that could be better used elsewhere. Is Emi Martinez up to the standard to be a No.2 that’s going to push Leno next season though?

DF. Jenkinson – Probably the longest explanation required… Obviously, we all wish Hector a speedy recovery from the season-ending ACL injury. How do we fill the gap? Licht-shizer? Maitland-Niles shunted out of position, again?

With my business hat on, we need to cash in on our saleable assets in the summer. To me, Hector is our most saleable asset (Transfermarkt says £36m – Spanish clubs would lap it up) that wouldn’t have a detrimental effect on the team. While he recuperates, Jenko could well play himself into the side as the attacking full-back that we deploy. With a concerted period of Emery coaching drills (and some patience from the fans), I don’t think there’s anything Bellerin can do that Jenko can’t. The Englishman has positional sense (Bellerin has five assists this season, but how many goals against could he have prevented?), is almost as fast in a foot race, plus his height would be an added bonus at the back.

Possible alternatives? Meunier @ PSG is the archetypal Emery full-back.

DF. Kolasinac – an upgrade on Monreal but an area we can upgrade in again. Ideally, I would like to see our defenders be… defenders, first and foremost, but whether that’ll be the case under Emery, I’m not so sure.

Possible alternatives? There’s plenty out there. Ben Chilwell, Kieran Tierney – Celtic, the next Robertson? Football Manager suggests – Grimaldo (Benfica), Gaya (Valencia), Martin (Espanyol), Barreca (Monaco/Newcastle).

DF. Holding/Mavropanos – in time, it would be great to see Holding continue to show the steep progress he made before his injury and nail down a regular spot in the side. From his brief appearances last season and from what we’ve heard of Mavropanos, it seems as if he’s got a chance of getting himself in the mix as well – that remains to be seen with more game time. These two promising young centre backs are encouraging for club and fans alike.

Possible alternatives? In the short-term = a fit Koscielny, long-term = linked with Gianluca Mancini @ Atalanta but Jose Gimenez or Varane are the money no object/next level targets.

DF. Sokratis – made an impression in his first season. Leading candidate for the captain’s armband next season.

MF. Maitland-Niles – so much potential. He and every fan can’t wait to see a run in his natural position.

MF. Torreira – top numbers in all sorts of stats tables but more importantly his energy, passion and tactical nous are a pleasure to watch after years of midfield void. Build the team around this guy.

MF. Guendouzi – Emery majorly lucked out with MG’s breakthrough first season. We’ve asked way too much of a 19-year-old from Ligue 2 but he has definitely swum not sunk. Probably the biggest success of Diamond Eye Mislintat’s brief tenure.

Possible alternatives? Blaise Matuidi would be the perfect fit in this set-up. 

ST. Reiss Nelson – I’m really looking forward to the 18-year-old’s return from Hoffenheim (can we swap him for Alex Iwobi next season?). With six goals in 13 games in the Bundesliga (it was six in seven at one stage) and Champions League experience under his belt, it would be great to think that Emery will take a punt on the young Englishman. Similarly, Emile Smith Rowe can hopefully improve his stock with some game time in Germany.

Possible alternatives? Denis Suarez – (depending on how his loan goes) but ‘on paper’ why pay £20m+ for a player that has Iwobi-esque stats rather than putting faith in an academy prospect who’s doing the business and has a point to prove when returning from Germany?

ST. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – nuff said.

ST. Alexandre Lacazette – *see above.

Matt

Updated: February 4, 2019 — 8:59 am

92 Comments

  1. How many times are we gonna discuss the fact that Aubameyang can’t be our perfect choice for the left wing?
    He’s not as tricky as TH14 was, Henry had everything above PEA that’s why he could play that wing once a while.
    PEA is a waste on the wing, drop this whole he played LW before BS, He’s already showed he’s better as CF.
    Getting 2 world class wingers would be the perfect solution, so we get to use Nelson and our first choice wingers the same way Pep makes use of his own wingers, Sane and the rest.
    Putting PEA on the LW is simply a wrong decision, we can’t have PEA as our Left winger.
    Let’s get proper wingers and then maybe PEA and others can compete the wings with them.
    Liverpool hardly have creative or tricky midfielders, I’ll say somehow their midfield is filled with steel and strength just as ours could be, but they have tricky and fast wingers who are responsible for their goals.
    Since Emery’s style is the pressing and he makes use of wingers, we need to get wingers for him, both for the Left and Right wings, and he needs proper defenders.

    1. Yes, he had Reus, Dembele and Pulisic in Dortmund

      1. Eddie, you appear to have missed the point, that Matt has made about selecting a team from current available players. However he has included Nelson, who is on loan and therefore unavailable for selection.

    2. No Eddie, he shown outside the EPL that he is a better CF but in the EPL he is not good enough.
      Laca holds the ball up better, Laca feeds other players better, Laca has tighter feet for close control in the box…

      Auba is not a CF for the EPL, he doesn’t have the body strength, he doesn’t have the link up play to start things, he doesn’t have the trickery to hold onto the ball…

      Auba does have pace though, pace to run past the CF and become the real goal threat, aka Emeryball.

      Emery doesn’t make use of wingers, that is BS, he uses inside forwards who are too narrow for wingers. He uses Iwobi on the left a lot and look how he cuts in and runs into dead ends. How Auba is used on the left but too narrow to be a real winger, instead if is acting as a forward to score goals… A Left inside forward.

      I have bashed this drum long enough, we recognise the differences in ball playing GK and not along with ball playing CBs with pace for a high line while other types of CB are not like that. To show the difference, people may include the ball playing part, to separate it from the traditional meaning.

      I recognise the difference between winger and inside forward, I have been saying this since Emery came, people still refuse to accept that winger isn’t the right term for a player who cuts in and acts more of a goal threat than support.

      Perfect example is Steve McManaman. Over 400 games in his career and he scored little over 50. Compare that to Auba.

      A closer player to Auba is M Owen, a pacey CF who couldn’t hold up the ball well enough and tbh he excelled with the right team mates around him to exploit his strengths. Many people call for 2CF because they know Auba isn’t as good as Laca at many things.

      I say this as someone who became a fan of Auba when we was initially linked to him and BvB got him instead, I have watched many of his games… Dreaming of him wearing our colours. He is a dream come true for me. I do not say what I did to knock him but to recognise his greatness.

      1. Sorry Midkemma but What you call inside forwards seems to be done with instructions, it’s all about personal style of play, Neymar and Mbappe ain’t Inside forwards, check properly, both are deadly wingers, very deadly wingers, Salah is a winger but just because he scores a lot from there will you term him as an Inside forward??
        Iwobi ain’t an Inside forward, the boy can’t shoot or be a threat in front of goal and he’s being used as an inside forward? Where’s the sense in that?.
        “Auba is not a CF for the EPL, he doesn’t have the body strength, he doesn’t have the link up play to start things, he doesn’t have the trickery to hold onto the ball…”
        Really? most his goals this season has been from where??
        Aubameyang is struggling and will struggle because he doesn’t have the proper wingers he used to have..
        If Aubameyang has better wingers at Arsenal who create chances from the wings, he’ll be scoring for fun, we all know his positional sense is second to none, even Lacazette’s positional sense in front of goal is behind Auba’s but Lacazette is a better all rounder.
        It’s crap to say Auba is a poor CF in the EPL, have you watched the players he’s playing with in the EPL?
        He had Marco Reus, an in form Mhiki, Demebele, had Pulisic, now?? He is playing with Iwobi, an inconsistent Mhiki, an out of form Ozil and the rest…
        so when I see some fans say Ramsey won’t contribute anything to the Juventus team, I laugh..
        He’s gon be upgrading from Iwobi, Ozil, and Mhiki to playing alongside Rinaldo, Dybala, Mandzukic and Costa, if anyone really think Ramsey will struggle to gel along with those players then you’re delusional.
        Everything with this team seems to be wrong right from under Wenger till now

        1. Bring back Walcott. CB

    3. fully agree we need at least one WC winger next summer, two would be ideal as no pressure on the kids to develop and produce week in week out, if nelson and rowe are eased into the team it would be ideal for their development and perfect for us fans, as they look like the real deal, I really do not want either of them to go the gnabry route 🙂

      we also need a cm, a rb/lb player as we won’t buy both, i wish but let’s not be dreamers!
      a Gk, a WC defender.

      If one of the wingers can play upfront like welbeck then that’s even better, abit obsessed with Poulsen at the moment he looks PL ready.

      ps: in this scenario Eddie we also don’t need PEA anymore if i where honest, i know ruthless 🙂
      but a sale to china could finance alot of those moves if Marko is quoted at those prices?..to me he’s the asset to sell before he declines as i don’t think the goals will continue in the next few years, as soon as that pace drops he will have loads of problems, again before i get slated, i like him but that’s my personal opinion, he’s on a decline and the form he is on will help in the resale value if we asked for like 50-60 mil from china would they pay?

      double ps: also give me an answer, on the last forum Eddie which players in your honest opinion has declined since Emery took over? not looking for an “i’m right your wrong debate scenario” mate , just want to pick your brain 🙂

      1. Sal I don’t think lots of players declined or has been worse, the truth is, they’ve been stagnant for years and only a few, I repeat ONLY a few improved under Emery and yet you’d still be able to point out where improvement is needed.
        The players I believed have declined immensely without sentimental attachments are
        Ozil
        Mikhitaryan
        Koscienly

        while Ramsey and the rest haven’t improved and I don’t think they will at their age, including Mustafi, our players have basically stayed the same, they still have the same problem they had under Wenger which is why the best option would be to buy better players, but I can tell that
        Bellerin
        Iwobi
        Cech
        Kolasinac (Going forward)
        all improved and yet they’re all still average at best, hopefully Bellerin comes out so much better.

        Any other question for me ?
        I’m loving our discussions on here BTW, I love how you express your views

        1. thanks man the feeling is mutual, i’m sure we’ll discuss other topics during the season eddie, no more questions here as i beleive we are on the same page with the players and improvements needed, we need fresh blood and for the board to back the manager during the summer, hope that happens as we need at least 5 new signings to be able to compete next year 🙂

          1. Eddie, the three players you have mentioned Ozil, Mhikataryan and Koscielny have all had their seasons greatly impacted by injuries. It is a bit hard to improve your play when you are on the treatment table.

        2. I’d love to see you try and mention 5 players that are 22 years old and currently better than Iwobi. You can’t recognize talent even if it stood right in front of you Eddie. Iwobi and average should never be used in the same sentence.

          1. 😂😂😂😂
            Is it April fools day already?
            Yesterday was iwobis best game in an arsenal shirt that I’ve seen ,that’s how bad he is

          2. 5 players not even wingers TH14 come on man!! i’m the biggest supporter of iwobi other than you, but name 5 22 years olds that are better, i think i can name 5 from the same nationality or 5 from the same team just to make it harder like a FIFA dream team challenge want to play? i’ll go for team as it got the names at the top of my head

            1) Bailey
            2) Tah
            3) Kai haivertz
            4) Julien Brandt
            5) benjamin hendrichs i cheated i know he ruined my 5 by moving to monaco!!

            ok i’m removing bailey and adding Sane ( where is the +/- sign) that’s 5 germans who are better and 22 or younger, just being fair and cmo’n i made it fun join in 😉

          3. Sane beats Iwobi all day long!! Can’t we swap them?? 😜

          4. Sue if we could swap Iwobi and Sane, it would be so perfect, City has everything but I bet they could do with a player who flaps his arms like a chicken flaps its wings when being chased by a cat..
            Hell at this point, I’ll take back a finished Lord Bendtner over Iwobi seriously

          5. 😂😂 that really has tickled me Eddie, now all I can see is a chicken flapping it’s wings 😆😆
            That is desperate measures taking Lord Bendtner!! 😳 although I do understand!!

          6. Sal if anyone defends Iwobi after that dirt poor sub worthy performance, than clearly they don’t put club first.

            No defending his poor performance; no key passes, 2 dribbles, dispossed twice and the 1st directly responsible for the goal.

            Kid has some talent I confess, but no football brain in his head.

            His decision making is atrocious, shameful, amateurish, and completely unworthy of professional footballer at this level.

            Iwobi clearly needs a loan to different and slightly lesser league to improve his game or prove he should be sold.

            Full stop

          7. “Iwobi and average should never be used in the same sentence.”

            Oh man please Buzz off!! 🤦🏼‍
            Really now you bore me to death with that mention 5 better players 22 years old, Sane, Bailey, Pepe, De Jong, Dembele.
            Jadon Sancho and Iwobi can’t even be mentioned in the sentence.. if you continue with this your unreasonable talks, I might as well stop reading your posts
            Even Mbappe is world above him so I won’t even add him to the five.
            you who spots talent should replace Sven then, I bet we could do with your help, get us players like Iwobi, who knows? Arsenal might end up winning everything including FIFA worldcup

  2. I think it shows what a difficult job it is with our current sqaud.Almost my pick but it looks unbalanced on the left as I do not think Auba is very effective out wide.I would possibly sacrifice one of the front two for for Saurez.Jenkinson as much as I would love to see him make it is not really at the level needed but I would pick him over Litch.

  3. I’m sorry but jenkinson can’t hold a candle to bellerin. He’s improved tremendously under Emery to the point where he’s one of the best RBs in the league. Our defence has been atrocious without him providing width and using his immense stamina. Jenkinson is definitely a better option than lich but that’s not saying much is it? Our best line up is the one we played against Chelsea.

    Leno
    Bellerin papa kos kolsinac
    Torreira xhaka/guendozi
    Ramsey iwobi
    Auba laca

    Until bellerin and papa are back we should give mavro a run in the team and maybe try mustafi/jenkinson at RB

    1. Bellerin is injured until the end of the season

      1. So.
        Nelson isn’t with us till next season but look at article.

    2. Xhaka must never ever play for arsenal again as we have seen on numerous occasions he provides nothing going forward and is a liability in defensive areas.
      Despite the loss there was some good football played by our team at times in the game all we need now is a CAM who can dribble, supply passes for the forwards and get into the box to score a few goals. That is what we are missing.
      The manager must change his tactics where the goalkeeper gets more touches of the ball from teammates than the forwards. That is ludicrous.

    3. thats a 6th place team in danger of being overtaken by one of the hopefuls who might come good next season … we need a proper right back talk of a bellerin renaissance is bs … he cant defend for sh@@ and got injured as the wheels were coming off so people associate him with our unbeaten run …and a world class left back a must … we have 4 good centre halves when fit i think holding and the greek kid will improve and kos hopefully stays for back up … suarez in the santi role and a world class winger is a must … sell xhaka and miki and mustafi and jenkinson and monreal .. farm out iwobi and AMN on loan as neither is convincing … promote some youngsters

      1. so harsh on bellerin , and MONTREAL just signed a one-year extension so he’s going nowhere, and this guys SAl is so happy about that as he demands that montreal remains until Kola is sold…promote some youth but farm out iwobi and AMN is a statement of contradiction 😉

        1. i find it difficult to believe that anyone watching either believes they have the temperament or vision to play at the top of world football right now but both can be acquired … personally i dont think either has the skill either but the only way to find out is on loan through regular football … though iwobi has had that and simply doesnt convince me on that front … lets see how nelson and smith rowe do in next 4 months in germany and perhaps they get their shot in the cup games … monreal i hear wants to go home and though he is decent back up we need real quality on the left … i just think bellerin is massively overrated by fans i read someone saying he is now one of best right backs in the league which is just crazy thinking …

  4. Why can’t Arsenal go for Zara???
    He has terrorized alot of premier league defence as one of the most dangerous winger in the world and made Crystal Palace a threat… Why do we shy away from players like him??
    Pls can those of us who have access to the club and manager help push for his transfer…. He is what we need.
    I also agree that Jenkinson would have been far better than papa.

    1. Zaha I mean…

    2. Zaha is too expensive for an underperforming attacker

      Better gamble on younger daredevils such as Ismaila Sarr, Adama Traore, Hirving Lozano, Samuel Chukwueze, Hudson-Odoi, etc

  5. If using the healthy ones that are hopefully not distracted by contract issues:

    ……………………………Leno
    Maitland-Niles . Sokratis . Mavropanos . Kolasinac
    …………………………..Xhaka
    …………….Torreira …………… Guendouzi
    ………………………..Lacazette
    ………….Nelson …………………….. Iwobi

    1. Wow after all that we saw yesterday and what’s been said about him you still iwobi in you’re team but dismiss Wilfred zaha 🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️

      1. Iwobi was useless yesterday is very much Emery’s fault. He should have put him in his preferred left wing instead of right. Iwobi had no clue what to on that right wing worsened by Litch who kept coming forward instead of focusing on his defensive duties. When Iwobi was subbed, even the occasional team play until then, disappeared altogether.
        Even Kola kept playing a high line exposing the back. I just wonder what type of instructions Emery gives the players because it is nonexistent. He only stays on the line going through shadow of giving instructions but none actually.

    2. If they can not play this season then they can not play this season… Right?

      Next season is different.. Nelson will be back, looking at people who include him then one can only assume that we are talking about next season. A period of time from now when Bellerin could regain fitness.

      Why did you exclude him?
      Injured currently… But your team is about next season.
      Consistency? Or is that only for players ;P

  6. …..The reason behind the several changes in formation has everything to do with the defense and the ever occuring injuries. Two players play there today and then the next game, it’s two completely different players occupying the same positions on the pitch…For God sake, how do people expect a coach to build a team that will be consistent on that?… it’s near impossible…
    …..In order for Emery to balance things up, he is had to protect the fragile defense and it’s still not working as the team is still leaking goals..
    ….Well, for next week, it’s going to be the young Greek and the Captain at the back and Monreal who actually knows how to defend and score goals too at the left back….If AMN is still not available, the old man will take his place unfortunately and well, the midfield picks itself. Jenkinson is not the solution to me.

    We will see if Suarez will start on the right and Iwobi on the left and with one striker on the pitch as Europa league is back… Emery should stop playing both of them at this point. Like I said, a consistent run at the back with healthy defenders will largely determine the formation. I see Emery going back to four at the back for the next three games.

    1. Can’t wait to see Mavropanos play the whole 90 👊 and hurry up & come back Sokratis…

      1. 👍 Jamesbrowney, thank you for your factual rational well reasoned post. Unfortunately it is wasted on many on here, who are pushing their own negative agenda.

  7. The only players who deserve to be in our starting line-up are Torreira, Guendouzi, Aubameyang and Lacazette. The rest are all average to below average

    I’m doing for next season or season afterwards to get into the Top 4

    ………………NEW
    NEW…NEW…NEW….NEW
    Torreira/Guendouzi……NEW
    NEW………….NEW……….NEW
    Aubameyang/Lacazette

    We need:
    1. Top GK
    2. New starting RB
    3. ” ” LB
    4. ” ” CB
    5. ” ” CB
    6. ” ” Box 2 Box
    7. ” ” CAM
    8. ” ” Winger
    9. ” ” Winger

    1. 4332 formation.

      “The rest are all average to below average”
      Talking about your counting skills?

  8. I am assuming from next season onwards, article is including Nelson and we can’t recall him so one can only assume next season.

    Leno
    Bellerin/Sokratis/Kos/Kola
    Chambers
    AMN/Torreira/Guendouzi
    Laca/Auba

    Chambers can drop to become a 3rd CB, allowing the 2 CBs to push wider and cover the flanks a bit better. I wouldn’t play such a highline until we can get CBs with enough quality to do so.
    Bellerin and Kola will push forward and act as the teams wingers while in possession.

    The line of AMN/Torreira/Guendouzi can act like a CM but pressing forward, take part in the high press and look to turn the ball over asap. If they fail then we have Chambers holding back to slow the attack and allow team mates to get back… Unless he just deals with it himself.

    We have seen Guendouzi make some good runs and I would like to encourage that on the left, his energy can massively help protect Kola def flaws. AMN on the right as he can play as a CM and as a wide player, he lacks Guendouzi energy 🙁 but he can cover the right wing spot as well as CM and RB. AMN will offer not only an attacking outlet on the right but also offer extra protection for us defensively.

    Nelson can be used instead of one of the CF, making it a 4141 formation. Always good to have slight formation changes for tactical reasons.

    1. @ midkemma
      That team is too defensive, no attacking midfielders or wingers, how will auba and lacazette score? Chambers shouldn’t be anywhere near the starting eleven. I would prefer a team like this next season;
      4-3-3
      ———————-Leno——————————
      Bellerin—sokratis——new cb—new left back
      ———————torreira——————————
      ———-suarez—————guendouzi————
      new RW———————————new LW——
      ———————Lacazette—————————

  9. We need Ozil fully motivated with the Manager giving or showing that he believes in Him.No team can succeed without naturally gifted play makers in midfield.Ozil becomes a threat to any team and I guess Ozil and Lacazete can give us goals.Holding and Mavo and Socra with Koras at the back can be strong.Toreira and Ramsey Nails

    1. Fref, it would help if Mezut Ozil was able to shake off the injuries, which have impacted on his availability for selection.

  10. Leno
    Jenkinson mavropanos Kos(as sokratis is recovering) kolasinac
    Guendouzi
    Torreira xhaka
    Dennis laca
    Auba

  11. Leno
    Bellerin Papa Kos Kolasinac
    Ramsey Torreira niles
    Ozil
    Laca Auba

    Until Bellerin is fit, It has to be Jenkinson or try Kos at rb and bring in mavropanos. When Ramsey and ozil leave in the summer bring in Guendozi and nelson. I can guarantee we won’t retain Suarez. Along with the aforementioned, Cech, lichsteiner, Welbeck will all be leaving and I expect ospina, Monreal, mustafi, koscielny xhaka, elneny, asano and may be Jenkinson to follow. I know that sounds dramatic, but it is the dearth of talent and ageing squad that Stan, Ivan and wenger assembled.
    Our retained squad will then look something like this
    Leno, Martinez, Iliev
    Bellerin/Osei-tutu/Holding/papa/ Mavropanos/medley/Kolasinac/
    pleguezuelo
    Torreira/niles/guendozi/bielik/
    chambers/willock/ESR
    Aubameyang/mkhitaryan/lacazette
    Nelson/iwobi/nketiah/saka
    Emery would then have freed up a huge amount of wages and increased his transfer kitty large enough to bring in the experiencef players he wants, along with a few prospects he must know from his experiences. As it stands, I know someone once said you win nothing with kids, but I would genuinely be happier with that 25 man squad, than the rag tag bunch we have today. Add a right back left back, CB, winger and versatile forward player and it could be the most exciting team we have seen in years, with no less than 13 players from our academy.

    1. you expect Xhaka to go? He plays every game under Emery and he would’ve played yesterday if he wasn’t injured. Thanks for reminding me Asano existed tho.

      1. Emery and Raul should be putting out feelers for the likes of
        Xhaka, Miki, Ozil, Mustafi and El Neny ATVM and do whatever it takes
        to move them along to greener, futboling pastures this summer.
        I’ve always liked Ozil and Miki, but quite frankly the club cannot
        afford for both players to be luxury, bit time performers considering
        the astronomical wages there on. If they don’t fit the culture and
        playing style that Emery is attempting to implement than get em off
        the wage bill and recoup what u can. Xhaka, Mustafi and El Neny
        have simply never been good enough to play meaningful minutes for
        the club imho and should be shown the door while there $$ evaluations
        still at least have some remaining merit. A decent sum for all three could
        conceivably finance the acquisition of a winger like Lozano, Pepe, Leon
        Bailey, Ismalia Sarr or a young talented CB like Jonathan Tah, Eric
        Bailly, Junior Fripo, Alissa Mandi, Nathen Ake, etc. Players that Arsenal
        desperately need and would walk into the starting 11.

        OT, but I did manage to watch a little of the Manure/LC tussle prior
        to the Arsenal match and was intrigued by the admission from the
        announcers that Puel included 6 players 21 or younger in his starting
        11 that played the almighty Manure United to a relative stalemate.

        Maybe its way past time for Emery to start bleeding some of our
        highly rated youngsters?

        1. I’d love to see more of our youngsters play. What is the point of giving game time to failures like Mustafi, Lichsteiner, who will HAVE to go in the summer? Hand those chances to youth and you might find a gem. Playing the same failed players is pointless and wont win games

  12. I couldn’t agree more with you Eddy. The fact is we are where we are at this point and can only look at the summer with hope that thing will change in playing personnel. There is nothing Emery can do about that but there is everything however he can do on how we play. I found it had to believe our players are crap especially our defenders like some fans are saying. All Emery has to do is finding a defensive method that will harness each defenders skill. These are players who have won something at the national level, previous clubs and with us except maybe few. Emery need to galvanized them and fortified our defense by pay more attention to it till the end of the season and ditch all his ideas that are visibly not work. Example of which playing ball out from the ball. That system only works in getting our defenders injured and staff our attackers good services up front. I’m one of those fans that want him here and will never call for his sacking but he need to be flexible.

    1. Why do you find it hard to “believe our defenders are crap”? When you see rain do you start thinking it is sunny? You must accept what your eyes tell you, as we all have to and stop pretending dirt can ever be gold, given coaching. It clearly cannot and we see the proof of that weekly.

      1. Jon I know what I see every weekend and what I saw first was usually a disjointed defensive unit before individual defensive performance under Wenger and now Emery. No cohesion, no understanding and no covering for one another. Our defensive play is atrocious. How many goals have we conceded with our fullbacks and defensive midfielders out of sight with only cbs present at the back. Is that because they are crap that the fullbacks who are supposed to provide covers are in no mans land. How many goals have conceded because our players including defenders are quickly moving out of our box after defending corners and free kicks and the opponent play the ball back into our box only be on one on one with our keeper and score. Watch the first two goals scored by city yesterday and see how a pass beat all our defenders and tell me if that is due only to them be crap. I may not understand football as much as many here but put Van dyke and Maguire in our defense we will still be leaking goals

        1. Mobella, thanks for your comments. I wrote the article and I think I am on a similar page to you… the defensive problems are almost as much about the style/system as personnel.
          There’s no doubt we’ve slipped back into our old Wenger ways defensively (if we ever progressed from it – except for the botched playing out from the back experiment).
          We have left our CB’s and GK horribly exposed for years now by naively throwing the full-backs & midfielders forward with no care about what’s behind. I must say, however, that of our current stock of defenders, I can only make a real case for Holding, Mavropanos and Sokratis (in the mid-long term)… the rest are open for offers.
          We need better players all over the park but Emery needs to impart a style on the side asap because a lot of fans are getting uneasy with the fact that we are registering fewer shots on goal game-by-game but are still a horror show at the back (bad combo).
          One thing drives me crazy (this isn’t Arsenal only) is the amount of ball watching that goes on at this level… Xhaka is a particularly good exponent! Pick any match this season and re-watch some of the attacks against us but keep an eye on where the players are looking as the moves play out. Most of them don’t have a clue what’s around them or are able to anticipate the pattern of play.
          There’s not many readers of the game, they all think their pace & physicality will get them out of trouble. *Honourable mention to Torreira for his classy reading of the game, though.
          But that’s partly where my cashing in idea of Bellerin comes from because I’ve seen little/no improvement in his game from that perspective (classic example was the Atletico goal away from home in the Europa S/F last season). Cash in on him and we can spend decent money on a winger that can deliver what Bellerin has (but give Reiss Nelson a fair crack of the whip – especially given how much game time Iwobi gets)… and put in a full-back in behind that can actually defend as well.

      2. Jon Fox, am sure you will be surprised at my obsession with Ozil. But I am not obsessed with him at all, I just want everyone who wears our shirts and plays for Arsenal Football Club to to be treated fairly. I remember I used to stalk Sue because of Iwobi. Until Sue saw something good and eventually warmed up to him. I will always defend our players against an unjust and extreme criticism especially if it is coming from a manger that is new to the club. Emery got to have some respect for what the players he met at the club has done. Emery is not my hero, Ozil is.

  13. Gentlemen we are where we are because defensively we are on a par with the likes of Fulham and Huddersfield.Of the defenders on our books only Bellerin, Holding and Mav are of the quality needed to challenge for the Premier League.All the slagging off of midfielders and forwards is misplaced.Until the defensive dross is cleared and replaced by quality we will slip down the league to mid table mediocrity.

    1. he is currently occupied untill the end of the season, he’s abit busy with his new book by martin handford 😉

      1. He’s no wally 😂😂

  14. Monreal is far more reliable and consistent than Kolasinac. I don’t really see Kola as an upgrade. But it’s not an urgent position since we’re so crap everywhere else

    1. Completely agree. Really surprised that most on here rate Kolasinac as a better choice at left-back. For me it’s not even that close — if both are playing well, Monreal all day long. Where I disagree with you RSH is my belief that an upgrade is fairly urgent even considering our other obvious needs.

      1. The Bosnian tank should never be a first choice LB for Arsenal and
        Monreal, altough a great player and servant to the club, is sadly
        nearing his expiration date. Chilwell from LC, Tierney from Celtic,
        Kurzawa from PSG, Gaya from Valencia, Jetro Wilhelms from Frankfurt,
        would all be starters from day 1 and have both the youth and
        skill set to lock down that position for many years to come.

  15. I agree with the statement that our full backs need to be defenders first for which neither Bellerin,Kolasaniac or Monreal can do this then they need replacing.A new CB is still required.Don’t rate Xhaka and as our midfield is always been overrun we need a new box to box midfield player.No time for Iwobi,Ozil or Murili so need creative midfield players.
    We need a plan b on the strikers,Giroud wasn’t good enough but something similar.Need a new defensive coach.
    The big question is where is the money???
    Last thought we need a captain from the new additions.

  16. You cannot turn a ‘sow’s ear into a silk purse’. Thereis no way to be a ‘good’ team with Mustafi, Lichtsteiner, Iwobi, or Elneny in it. They just are not good enough for even mid table teams. Kolasinac is okay for offensive games only, he reminds me of an improved version of Andre Santos. Great going forwards but defensively very challenged. How can the team start without Ramsey????? We have 2 brilliant forwards in Laca and Aubamayang. Two seriously good young players in Matteo Guendouzi, and Lucas Torreira. With no Santi replacement and by not playing Ozil we are creatively redundant. We are not good enough at root. Emery is trying hard but he has an owner who is not bothered about excitedly supporting or consistently financing Arsenal like Abramovich did with Chelsea. Why would he be? Kroenke is seen as a joke even in the States. We are a ‘Portfolio’ club, an investment not a love and Kroenke is a ****.

  17. Well with all the injuries we have our strongest line up for the next game if we trully want a balanced team it should look like this:
    ……………Leno
    Jenk…Kosc…Sokr…Monr (I rate him a little better than Kolasinac.)
    ……….Torr…Guen
    Suar……..Rams……Iwobi
    ……………Laca. (this would be playing with one striker only.)
    two strikers and a really defensive midfield. (Vs MAn City would have been better)
    same keeper and back four
    …Elne….Torr…Guen
    …………Rams/Ozil/Suar/Iwob
    ……Laca……Auba.

    1. Yesterday Iwould have played this 11
      …………..Cech
      Niles…Must…Kosc…Monr
      ……….Torr….Rams
      Denis…….Ozil………Auba
      ……………Laca.
      Plenty of Attacking midfielders for our two strikers.

      1. Hi Gunner 23
        The best Arsenal player on the pitch was Matteo Guendouzi. Don’t you think?

        1. Yeah He was and by far. Did you see my first line up?

  18. Kolasinac at left back! SMH.
    Also, where is the creativity in midfield?
    You’ve heard that song, “You don’t know what you’re doing”

  19. Looking at what’s available right now, or within the next month or so, I’d like to see a 4-4-2, which may get the best out of Auba, and Laca.

    Leno
    Jenkinson Sokratis Koscielny Monreal
    Suarez Guendouzi Torreira Mkhitaryan
    Lacazette Aubameyang

  20. ……………………..……Leno
    Maitland-Niles . Sokratis . Mavropanos . Monreal
    ………………………..Guendouzi
    …………….Torreira …………… Suarez
    ……………………………Ozil
    ……………..…….Laza ……….. Auba

  21. Mavropanos scored for U23’s tonight..but it was abandoned due to thick fog

  22. Just came across an interesting article – So Ozil has played 400 minutes less than Iwobi and has created 22 chances to Iwobi’s 14… Xhaka has played 900 minutes more than Ozil & has created 1 more chance than Ozil (23) And someone on here last night said Iwobi & Xhaka were better than Ozil (& no it wasn’t Th14 😁) you’re having a laugh!! Now get him in the bloody team!!!

    1. Sue
      Totally agree. Ozil is empirically better than Xhaka or Iwobi.

      1. Is he really? Chances created are merely one category Ozil excels compared to the two. However, those 2 others have higher shots and big chances created respectively at Xhaka 22 and 7, Iwobi 19 and 7 to Ozil’s 6 and 2. It should be noted a chance created is merely a pass that leads to a shot on goal whereas a big chance created is a pass that can reasonably be expected to be scored. Of course there are many other categories to compare before fully concluding one player is better than the other. Check out player comparison page on Premierleague .com for a more indepth analysis of players.

        1. I was under the impression Ozil’s job is to create chances!! Ain’t his fault if those chances aren’t being finished off… and that he’s hardly played!! And tbh I know who I’d rather have in the team 😉

    2. It’s very unfair comparison, because you’re only looking at creativity, and they all play in different positions. The ONLY thing Ozil does is create (which is nothing of late), whereas as Iwobi, and Xhaka have many other responsibilities, such as pressing, tracking back, tackling, heading, intercepting, etc. Also Xhaka is a deep lying playmaker, whereas Ozil is a free roaming playmaker, so Ozil SHOULD be creating way more! I’m sure Iwobi, and Xhaka will be ahead of Ozil in other departments.

      Xhaka, and Iwobi are poor, but they give the team more than Ozil does, when looking at the overall picture. Perfect example was Ozil’s disastrous cameo against United. He created nothing, and looked shattered after only about 10/15 mins of light jogging, whereas you get a lot more work ethic, stamina, from Xhaka, and especially Iwobi.

    3. @Sue
      See the issue arises that if Ozil creates so many more chances than those 2, why does he have less assists (1) than Xhaka (4) and Iwobi (4)? It simply comes down to the quality of chances/number of big chances Ozil creates which are currently fewer than those of the other 2. Of course Ozil plays less so that must be taken into account as well. Nonetheless, am no fan of any of those 3, at least not any more. If it were up to me they would all be out.

      1. Remembering that xhaka and iwobi do more than just create chances for arsenal. Can’t say the Same about Ozil. That’s the reason he’s on the bench

        1. Yes they give the ball away a vast amount too!

  23. Will liverpool win the League?
    Westham 1:1Liverpool

  24. COYI thank you Antonio 😎

    1. linesmen earned Liverpool that point, and almost gave them all three.

      1. Jammy sods once again

  25. Mirror is reporting Arsenal will have only £40M to spend in the summer which includes the £18M that will be paid to Barca should we choose to confirm Suarez. So £22M in short. On the other hand, Goal are reporting Man utd will have £200M to bolster their squad. If we thought last summer was terrible, that was just a warm up for tougher times ahead.

    1. So much for the new commercial deals. Where is the money going; it certainly isn’t being invested in the squad?
      If Arsenal can’t improve the squad, all I can see is a downward fall, because clubs currently below Arsenal will spend money.
      I don’t know what undertakings and commitments were made to Unai Emery; however I’m sure he would have expected more for the transfer budget than the figures quoted.
      If the commitments made to him aren’t kept, I would expect him to walk, as he is young enough and respected enough to further his career elsewhere.
      Good luck then with getting other than a mercenary to take his place.

  26. I saw if we qualify for CL it’ll go up to 60m 😳 omg 200m??? 😟

    1. The £200M story traces back to The Sun, if they are a newspaper worth listening to. I bet Chelsea and City will be keen to match utd in the market too!

      1. Haha without a doubt!!! You can’t out-do City!

  27. Arsenal players have already showed Emery all what they have learned from Wenger trying to impress him in those 22 games unbeaten.
    We played with heart and passion we made some dazzling counter attacks does anyone remember.
    Ozil agreed to try the wings
    Laca was happy in rotation
    Abua was happy in rotation
    Gwend. Was on trial
    Torriera finally got his chance and impress
    People were wondering if bellarin is a winger
    Iwobi was immense and we were winning. Teams started showing us respect but would kill us on the counter.
    We are now at the point where
    Ozil only want to play as ten
    Laca upset about his substitution
    Auba been vocal about his strike partner
    Ramsey out the door
    Torriera been likened to Ozil (Emery’s words)
    Gwend. now becomes starter
    We loaned 15m pound player to help with our struggles can forget about Superstars coming through our doors anytime soon. Also point to note is great teams are made up of several Superstars. So if Emery can’t coach them we can forget about winning anything major. Klopp’s made Superstars of so many players how much have Emery made. We will become like Sevilla only difference is the premiership is harder hence I think eight place is where we will finish as long as Unai Emery is at our great club.

    1. Jah son, give it a rest, you starting to be boring.
      How about answering my request for you to name, which well credentialled coach/manager with an equivalent or better CV than Unai Emery, would be prepared to follow him to the Emirates given the quality of the squad, the transfer budget, the self sustaining financial model and Scrooge Kroenke as owner?

  28. 40million? 40 MILLION? Where is the money going? The squad is aging and in shambles. We can’t even make up the money in sales cause players like Ramsey, cech, lichsteiner (not that we’d get much) are leaving for free. Arsenal can never compete with the other big boys. These days 40m buys you one good player. We need 4 minimum! This yank won’t stop till the damage we sustain is irreversible. He needs to be forced out, the fans are being robbed blind

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