Three Arsenal players pushing for a start against Bournemouth

Arsenal host Bournemouth at the Emirates on Sunday and three Europa League heroes deserve a start

Among many impressive performances last night from Arsenal players, three, in particular, are pushing for a start against the Cherries.

Kieran Tierney, Joe Willock and Gabriel Martinelli did more than enough to justify inclusion on Sunday when Arsenal host Bournemouth.

Martinelli has to be in with a huge shout to partner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe upfront. The teenager scored two delightful goals and is on fire. He also looked very comfortable when he was pushed out left, the place he would fill against Bournemouth.

It may be a little unfair on Buyako Saka but Martinelli’s form just cannot be ignored.

Tierney must be close to full fitness and it would be a disappointment to see him not start on Sunday. The young left-back has brought a dynamism to the left side that has been missing for a while now and he can actually cross a ball.

Willock has surely earned a midfield call up following yet another highly efficient display. The 20-year-old is growing into the role of box to box midfielder and would bring far more positivity.

I understand why Emery sticks with his Premier League line-up but he cannot keep on ignoring players that keep putting in strong performances.

Rob Holding is another that has to be in the shake-up, while Hector Bellerin is probably in need of a couple more games under his belt.


  1. The four players you mention ought to be first team players now but I suspect not one will start against Bournemouth as Emery will “play safe” with the likes of Sokratis,Kolasinac,Xhaka and Pepe not one of whom has impressed me this season.I could add Luis to that list of poor performers and he and Sokratis could well be tested to the full by the sprightly Bournemouth forwards on Sunday.

  2. I totally agree with this article but i will not put pressure on the young Martinelli hpjust yet. But as for willock and KT, I’ll give them a go. Kola isn’t what we need in the prem, too predictable and cannot cross. I would love to see us introduce Martinelli in end half of games. His work rate is only marched by that of Laca. maybe a couple of the cup start and then we can really give him and Saka a go at the right wing. Pepe should be more adventurous and enter into the 18 yard more instead of trying those long balls and instead of always cutting to his left, he should try to be unpredispctable by going right sometime. I’m beginning to be fed up with his laziness. Overall what a good performance by the team.

  3. The midfield today was perfectly balanced and full of energy and defended well. I would keep this midfield but Ofcourse emery will pick Xhaka who just slows the play down.

    Cellabos, Guendouzi, Willock, Torreira should be interchanging each game

  4. Is it only me Or who else thinks Pepe is only starting because of his humongous price tag.

    Time to drop Kolasinac and Xhaka too?

    1. Pepe is struggling and gives a reason for worry, however, we should be patient with him and give him time to adjust to the PL and a new manager. We invested too much in him to give up on him this early in the season.

  5. On the defense I actually think we should try Holding and Mustafi in the league cos Luiz and Socratis are 2 lazy defenders. Chambers should be ready and take the place of Socratis. And I hope Emery plays TORREIRA in is traditional DM role instead of pushing him forward. It exposes Xhaka more. If Xhaka has to playa which I know is a given, them TORREIRA should be in front of the back 4. Guendouzi and Cabellos can be interchanged depending on the opposition. Even though I’d prefer Xhaka sitting on the bench and TORREIRA, Guendouzi and Cabellos playing our midfield. on the Diamond, I think with Bellerin and Tierney fully fit we will do well with it

  6. The only reason I could understand leaving Thierney out one last PL game is not overtaxing his body too soon. But after the international break, he should start all PL games and perhaps rest all EL games.

    I like Wilock and believe Martinelli should be used each PL game either as a starter or at least as a sub.

    1. Yes Truth, I heard he isn’t going to join his country because the doctor said his body still can’t handle too many matches in short period of time

  7. Drop Saka?
    You mean drop Pepe, push Saka to the right and play Martinelli on the LW.
    These are the stuffs Wenger used to do, drop young performing players for his favourites and when those boys slowly died off, we blamed em for lack of talent.
    Imagine what just dropping Saka would do to his confidence.
    Dropping him not because Lacazette is back, but because we want to accommodate Pepe who’s currently not in form.

    1. I agree.
      Martinelli has proven himself as a striker, but surely Auba is first choice.
      Martinelli also looks good for LW, but why drop Saka, who has impressed??
      We are almost having a selection problem with both the striker and LW positions:
      Strikers: Auba, Lacca, Martinelli (and later also Nketiah)
      LW: Saka, Nelson, Martinelli an deven Auba can play there, although it is not his best position.

      Whereas we are struggling a bit on the RW We need back-up/competition there for Pepe. But who is really suited for RW – not sure.

    2. If Saka is that stupid or arrogant that he wouldn’t understand that Arsenal has to make Pepe’s signing work out, he may not make it in professional sports. I’m sure he’d understand, though. He doesn’t seem any of that. And he’s 18 FFS.
      He’s got the time.

      Arsenal are not ManU. We do not have the money for 72 mil. flops. They have to work out sooner or later. And surely everyone who reads this understands that after playing 90 minutes Martinelli is not going to start two and a half days later when Saka is well rested.

      The front 3 will be Saka, Auba, Pepe

      1. “He’s only 18 FFS”

        Messi,Mbappe were how old before they took the world by storm? Any of their managers bothered trying to stop them?

        Who cares if Pepe is 72 million?
        He needs to work on his form and he needs time which is clear but what’s the point in disrupting Saka’s growth and form all because we have a 72million player?
        What nonsense.
        Saka hasn’t earned his spot?
        He’s 72 million but FFS there’s no point in trying to force him to pick form.!! Right now you think playing him in every game while he’s under the pressure is the best way to help him?

        Jesus!! you guys and the way you think though

      2. Diogenes – you imply that Saka may be stupid or arrogant to ‘not understand that Arsenal has to make Pepe’s signing work out’ and that he, Saka, should be in the team and not Pepe.

        I have seen nothing like that so could you please direct me to where you read or saw Saka make this statement.

        Thanks for your help.

  8. Arsenal has one quality senior player Aubameyang.
    The rest of the senior players are average.
    Tierney looks good because Kolasinac is not a defender.
    Hector even Chambers look good because AMN is not a RB.
    Holding looks good because Socritis Mustafi and Luiz are so bad.
    Willock looks good because Xhaka is so limited.
    Ceballos looks good because Ozil is not used and Mkhitarian is in Rome.
    Saka looks good because we have no left winger at all.
    Even average Nelson looks good that’s how bad it is.
    The PL team is so bad they make the youngsters look good especially as
    the youngsters are playing rubbish Europy teams ranked 60 places below Arsenal.
    I want the team to do well but like Manchester United we have a bang average squad
    and like United we need a major overhaul with at least a dozen players shipped out.
    Emery is doing amazingly well keeping this team in the top six.
    But for how long?

    1. Agu, you are not serious. Even Wenger will do well with this team. I am not saying Wenger is better but if the investments the board had mad so far which are Emery’s choice of player are average then he should resign.

      1. Either that or he doesn’t know much or watch our team or simply hasn’t got got a clue! Tierney is only good because if kola,we have only one good senior player Auba so Lacazette is not good enough?The youngsters are only good because ozil is not being used and the best for the last like man utd we need 12 players!!😂😂😂I had to use emojis because I didn’t want to be rude to you man!!

    2. What are you smoking bro? To you nobody is good in the team. Maybe you need to get yourself a pair of socks and a jersey and go into the pitch and play. Were you better that holdings when he was fully fit last season,are you stronger than lacazette?, are you anywhere near that willock you condem? If you feel the whole team ain’t ain’t good then maybe you go support Tottn..or united with bunch of world best players

  9. Agu Amen ,you seem to have a very negative outlook in terms of AFC.Should you be wasting your time watching the team?

  10. I would Ozil to the list as he should now be well rested and would now provide that offensive play we have badly been lacking .
    Would also drop Pepe and stick Martinelli with Auba to ma he’s earned his stripes his last 2 matches .
    We know Emery is not going to drop Xhaka ,going by last night when Martinelli scored Emery ran over to Xhaka and high fives him ,SMFH .

      1. I thought I was the only one who saw that Emery and Xhaka celebration. No sane coach will drop a 72million player and played a youngster who only completed 90minutes 2 days earlier, and on the Ozil issue, I think by now you should have given up on him, it’s clear it’s time in Arsenal is over and the sooner he realize it the better, though he doesn’t have to go because of his salary but if he still want to play a top level football and enjoy it I think he should leave.

      1. 😂😂something odd going on there between them two ,maybe it’s car keys in the fruit bowl On a Thursday night With them .

    1. The reason martinelli has been playing well is because of the way he is being managed,like Emery said he was never meant to play for the first team this season,so training with them everyday, playing in Europa, carabao….hejis being slowly introduce with no pressure and if he keeps performing he’ll end up play more,good man managing also he could do with a couple of stones,as you know playing Forrest, liege is different to the Pl, let”s not get carried away after 2 games!!


    Emery,s formation for Sunday..


    Saka, Guendouzi, Pepe..

    Xhaka, Torreira..

    Kolasinac, Luiz, Sokratis, Chambers..


    Subs – Martinelli, Ceballos, Willock.

    1. That pretty accurate, think he may not start Torreira who did yesterday, but Ozil who was rested, nor Saka if Laca’s back.

      Auba, Laca, Pepe will start over Martinelli, Saka, Nelson, same for middle Torreira Xhaka, Ceballos or gendouzi will start before Willock, Rowe and Niles. Same in central defense Sokra, Mustafi, Luiz will be on before Mav, Holding, Chambers available since start of season.

      In reality one of our 3 youngsters in each line should be playing and more combined. Bellerin is ready, fit…

      Bellerin Mustafi Holding Tierney
      Niles Chambers Willock
      Nelson Auba Saka

      Martinelli for Saka in 55th minute, good on wing, he can come back in center and be lethal. Laca & Torreira come in at 70th for Nelson and Willock or Niles.

      Willock and Niles support their defenders they can combine going forward, support attack. Chambers as DM is simply a must in front of our central defense.

      We have an idiotic coach, with players he favors and no sense of football. Picks right players by default and wrong ones calling it coaching or tactics!

      His usual boring team will be on tomorrow, lots of millions on the pitch, looks good in his head.

  12. Personally I think Emery almost has what he wants, a squad where everyone could be used in the first team, each offering slightly different dynamics.

    Take our weakest options – Ozil, Xhaka, Luiz, Sokratis and Mustafi. Each of them could have been used in that squad last night, effectiveness would have dropped in some cases but not to a disaster level. The problem comes from having to rely on many of them at once like we have so far due to injuries etc

    Now with everyone returning we can achieve a balanced squad that compensates for the odd weak link rather than a squad full of weak links where everyone is trying to compensate for everyone else….the future looks bright guys 👍


    For me the only viruses football wise in the squad now are –
    Xhaka, Ozil, Mustafi, Sokratis, Luiz.

  14. We should try Martinelli over Saka on LW

    Pepe must start on RW because he won’t improve without playing and we need to keep him there because of the huge fee paid and salary

    1. I think it would be really harsh to take Saka out of the team now as he’s played really well against much tougher opposition. I suspect he may get some time off the bench along with Nelson

  15. The youth are talented, and the injured players are getting healthy.

    Holding is the best CB we have in the squad, compared to the twin disasters that are Sokratis and Luiz. I’d rather see Holding and Mustafi pairing if I’m being honest. I know, I said Mustafi; but honestly based on their performances, who would you rather see of the three? Especially with Xhaka playing in front of them.

    As for the midfield, I don’t think Emery is set on Torreira sticking in the DM position and would rather tinker and turn him into a box-to-box as Emery himself stated a few times. Don’t get why because Willock tailor-made for the B2B role, and Torreira is solid as a DM. Add the creativiy of Ceballos, and that’s a good midfield to work with.

    Replace one of those with Xhaka, and the wheels fall off in the midfield. Xhaka can’t play DM as we’ve seen, doesn’t have the pace or instincts that Willock does for B2B role, and lacks the creativity of playmaker like Ceballos.

    Maybe with Tierney and Bellerin Xhaka gets pressed less by opposition, but still not convinced that Xhaka is a first choice option in midfield.

    Anyway, I don’t think Emery will ever stop tinkering with the lineup; form be damned as we have seen so many times.

  16. Ok
    If we are to put any youngster in I would choose Martinelli. He reminds me of a young Ronaldo. In the midfield am I alone in thinking Xhaka slows our game down an de-intensifies our attacks? to me Ceballos has an amazing work ethic, Guendouzi too, and Torerra gives it everything. In defence it’s time to blood Tierney. I would give Chambers another game at right back. That’s what we bought him for. Are ‘The Wrestler and Luiz our best centre back pairing? No….but they will have to do against Bournemouth. Holding is close. We must keep Pepe in until he feels part of the scene. Emery may be our weakest link at the moment. He seems scared with his team selection away from home. For Bournemouth, pleeze no Granit Xhaka. Arghhh.

    1. In the midfield am I alone in thinking Xhaka slows our game down an de-intensifies our attacks?
      > no, it’s the consensus here pal

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