This is the midfield Arsenal must go with against Watford

The midfield could arguably be the most important area to control in the game against Watford and Unai Emery picking the right men could end up making the difference on Sunday.

Emery got his midfield wrong against Tottenham by going too defensive and his whole formation with the midfield against Liverpool was, well, questionable, he cannot afford to get it wrong again.

There are question marks over the availability of Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira but for the purposes of this article, I am going to assume that they will be available.

However, regardless of whether Torreira or Xhaka is fit or not, I would not select them for the game against Watford.

I am also assuming that it will be a three-man midfield, which is what Emery normally selects with the wing-backs of Saed Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles complimenting the three in the middle.

I have also taken on board that Alexandre Lacazette is out but I still feel that Arsenal will have a three-man forward line, possibly with Reiss Nelson coming in for Lacazette.

So, my three man midfield would be Matteo Guendouzi, Dabi Ceballos and Joe Willock.

The reasons are simple, Ceballos will be the link up with the front three, he has already shown he can pick out a pinpoint pass and has creativity in abundance.

Guendouzi simply cannot be dropped following his performance against Tottenham and will prowl that midfield area like a tiger looking for food, he has immense energy and will chase down every ball possible.

Then I have Willock because he can not only play the defensive midfield role but when required will push forward.

It was a toss-up between Torriera and Willock for me but I just feel that the young Englishman is more versatile and not as negative as Torreira. As for Xhaka, no, because I do not feel his mind is in the right place right now.

So, that is my midfield three, what do you think?


  1. gotanidea says:

    Totally agree:

    ……………………. Leno
    Maitland-Niles . Sokratis . Luiz . Kolasinac
    …………… Willock ………. Guendouzi
    Pepe ………………. Ceballos ………. Martinelli
    …………………… Aubameyang

    1. Isaacoure says:

      This may be the best. I like it.

  2. Sue says:

    OMG…so Liverpool scored 3, Chelsea are 3-0 up… Spuds are 4-0 up.. United 1-0 (yet another penalty!)..i would say can it get any worse, but yes it can – if City lose later!

    1. Innit says:

      Those results means we must win tomorrow.

      1. Sue says:

        Exactly, Innit…. I’m nervous ?

  3. Georgement says:

    Emery will not lead us into champions league. He will be sack before january. Mark my words

    1. Sylva Olabanji says:

      Somehow, I agree with you. M skeptical about U.Emery tactical ability. M yet to see a pattern of play or managerial philosophy from Arsenal coach this season. Will keep my fingers crossed

      1. Boye says:

        He is not so good,
        Our game play hasn’t been intense at all.
        Freddie ljungberg should be given a go.
        Our game is always too flat.

    2. Martin says:

      Total rubbish. Arsenal have always given their managers plenty of time. Also Emery is doing a very good job and I guarantee we will get a top 4 place.

  4. Jay says:

    I agree with you

  5. bajaja says:

    no matter how bad u guys speak of xhaka…. the truth is he brings stability to our midfield so he must play. when he dosesnt play the midfield move about like a headless chicken. until we get a midfielder that does that for us…. xhaka must play

    1. Rotimi says:

      Willock will give us what Xhaka can plus less errors.. Willock is a good passer and is very calm as a holding midfielder

    2. gotanidea says:

      Stability? Xhaka has made a lot of errors

      Headless chicken? Xhaka commands the midfield like a lamp post, no creativity and no tempo control

      Let’s give the opportunities to start in Watford to Guendouzi and Willock first, as a reward of their win over Burnley. If they fail, we can always revert to Xhaka and Torreira

    3. RSH says:

      there is nothing stable about Xhaka. He has the occasional periods where he is not making errors, but somebody who constantly makes errors cannot be called “stable”. I get what you’re going for though. He can sometimes have a cooler head when passing, like Arteta, but the difference is he is always due to blow it all and ruin the game. And that has huge implications.

  6. Billy says:

    Completely agree with the midfield selection

  7. Anthony Berman says:

    Spot on mate!

  8. Georgement says:

    A coach that never play to his own team strenght but always play to counter against the oppisition system. Yet always fail woefully dont have first eleven

    1. Umoh EkwoArsenal says:

      Emery isnt my ideal coach. A man that doesn’t play Ozil for creativity in the game doesnt read the game and see that Arsenal isnt creating sufficient chances in matches. Am really worried about his selections.

    2. Geo_Gooner says:

      you just sum up the Spanish tony pulis in one comment.
      all legendary coaches have a specific style of play but Emery have none. E.G
      Wenger-possession based (Wenger ball)
      Mourinho- Park the bus
      Pep- Tiki-taka
      Klopp-Pressing etc.
      that’s why we are in a mess now.

  9. Rkw says:

    No thank you … we are playing the bottom club … the doubts we feel are indicative of how little emery has progressed the club … willock shouldn’t not be starting in a team hoping to regain champions league football

    1. RSH says:

      I hope you said the same thing when Guendouzi was starting for us almost immediately and was doing just okay. Always get the feeling foreign talent gets some sort of pass compared to domestic. Willock has been doing fine as well. Xhaka is the type of player that shouldn’t be starting. Liverpool have a 20 year old in their lineup as well. He didn’t just magically become good. He needed game time. Willock needs that as well and I have yet to see any indication he’s not cut out for Arsenal.

  10. Viju Jacob says:

    I’m quite surprised about how some players are talked up, much too early in their Arsenal careers, at the cost of ignoring established players. With Laca out injured, it’s the chance to move Auba to the centre and the left wing taken over by Martinelli or Reiss. Reiss had his chances and didn’t take it, so Martinelli must be played. Pepe plays his usual position.
    #10 has to be Ozil for the remainder of the season, with Ceballos and Guendozi playing behind him. Willock can come in as a substitute for either of these three. If midfield isn’t right, there’s no way we can chase the top two, again.
    It’s time for Emery to buck up and stop his tinkering; there are already rumours that the players are confused about his tactics, which is known to most of us for a long time. I blame him for Laca’s injury because we all could see he wasn’t really fit and yet he was played. Now we lose him for 5-6 matches atleast.
    In defence Luiz and Sokratis must not play together, which again is obvious to all of us, and it’s time to place trust in Chambers, because in the long run it’s him & Holding that are going to be our defensive mainstays.
    I hope and pray that Bellerin and Tierney returns are handled well and carefully.
    It is time for Martinez to be tried in the goal as Leno doesn’t seem to organise the defence well- he seems far too quiet and unwilling to be vocal.

    1. Kk says:

      I don’t understand how people see Guendozi. He is good only when Arsenal has the full control of the ball otherwise he is sluggish and never defend well. I wish if the midfild is line up: Ceballos, Torrera and ozil as number 10.

  11. leigh says:

    I think d best midfield would be Guendouze cebalos xhaka

  12. AndersS says:

    I hope our midfield will be more than Guedouzi, Ceballos and Willock. How they should be able to control the midfield, is a mystery to me.
    I think they could be ok, if they are backed up by Xhaka or Torreira. Otherwise we will be run over in midfield.
    4-4-2 with Pepe and Auba would be my preferred for this game.

  13. Dr. No says:

    I’m with AnderS on this one.
    Guendouzi and Willock are good players at the moment only compared to their age.
    Check the 22-game unbeaten run last year. We achieved it, because Matteo didn’t play, or not too much. He will become a great player no doubt about that, but some stupid pundits and some asshole with a Twitter account claim that he is already better than Xhaka. Which is just plain stupid. He is weaker than Granit in every aspect of the game, expect from being less error-prone.
    A Xhaka-Torreira-Ceballos trio would kick some serious ass, or – if any of them injured or Emery prefers a more attack-minded midfield – a Xhaka/Torreira-Ceballos-Ozil could provide the front 3 with key passes.

  14. Gold says:

    Any selection with Xhaka in it can’t kick any ass. He’s useless simple! Guendounzi might still be learning but he has done more than Xhaka this season.

  15. Michael says:

    Is quietly good but Ozil should be start ahead of Willock for the existence of more creativity for our forward men

  16. Thabani Gumbo says:

    Xhaka will cost Emery his job! I’ve not known any arsenal midfielder like xhaka,please Mr Emery excuse me with your dear captain

  17. Ohima Henry says:

    Ozil should have to start instead of the young star because he is more experience than willock

  18. Adam says:

    If ozil remain on bench arsenal will be out of top four unless we get a creative midfield in january. Pls UNAI play MESUT.

  19. arsenal should play david luiz in midfield

  20. atunga moab says:

    ozil should start in 11 for arsenal

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