Three Arsenal players that must impress against Aston Villa

For one reason or another, there are a few Arsenal players that owe the club and fans a performance of high quality against Aston Villa tomorrow afternoon at the Emirates.

It is not simply because of previous poor performances but also because of players breathing down the necks of a teammate or even because of a high transfer fee which kicks us off nicely with Arsenal’s record signing.

Nicolas Pepe

Time is fast approaching when the 24-year-old needs to put in a top draw performance, he has not necessarily played poorly but he has not set the world alight yet and a home game against a promoted team is the perfect setting for the Ivory Coast forward to show us all his true quality.

David Luiz

He needs to be beyond approach tomorrow, he has made too many errors already and shown little leadership in defence and with Rob Holding coming back and Calum Chambers deserving of a recall he has to deliver an efficient display or he could end up being dropped sooner rather than later.

Granit Xhaka

He is the captain and the time has arrived for him to put in a captains display, he needs to cut out the silly tackling, be better with his passing and command the midfield. Unai Emery may put up with his inconsistency but the fans will not and if the Swiss international wants to get back in the good books of the fans then he needs to deliver a captains performance.

There are other players that need to do well including Bernd Leno, Sokratis and even Reiss Nelson, if he plays, but I would suggest the three named players above are the ones in most urgent need of a top-class display.


  1. Why Xhaka will care about being in good books of fans or not??
    He is already in Good Books Of Emery….
    So that’s enough for him..

  2. Xhaka is already our most accurate passer this season . and don’t give me the sideways and backwards song y’all crammed .that one goes to Ceballos

      1. So it’s ok when Ceballos plays pass after pass but not when Xhaka does ? also , how exactly does a team play pass pass pass and not dominate ? are you even watching the games smart guy?

        1. Good response man, once it is a player they don’t like they turn a blind eye to anything he does bar the bad ones.

  3. Xhaka putting in a captain’s performance tomorrow ain’t gon mean shít, he needs to leave ASAP, take along the wrestler with him.
    I’m more worried about how we’ll set up tomorrow and the team selection.
    As the team will get reshuffled again

  4. I saw an Instagram post that was uploaded by xhaka in course of celebrating Saka’s goal in the Europa league where he gave a sush it posture to the fans. I actually dont know who that gesture was intended to, but for Xhaka been a captain and uploading such on Instagram I think he was directing that towards us fans and I think that isn’t a good captain’s gesture.

    Xhaka owe us fans a lot and should not come up with such gesture if we criticise his bad form. A good performance against a poor Entriach Frankfurt side and thats what we fans get? What if was our best performer at present?

    Well, I just hope I’m all wrong about that gesture cuz it bothers me a lot. As much as it does so many other fan on Insta..

    1. El kaissi, haven’t seen the gesture etc, but not sure what your gripe is here.

      We can come on and express ourselves any way we want as is our right of course.

      Why shouldn’t a professional sportsman also be allowed to express himself?

      After what he has probably read from our fans, I would suggest a “gesture” (depending what it was off course!!) was a fairly mild way of thanking those who see him as a person who can be maligned at every opportunity.

      Why does he owe us a lot? If he wasn’t doing what the coach instructed him to do, he would be dropped wouldn’t he? UE seems more than happy with him,so I guess Xhaka owes no one anything.

  5. If Xhaka plays I hope he puts in another good performance like he did on Thursday.
    Kolasinac holds the record for passing backwards and needs to take people on and cross the ball, oh and he needs to learn how to defend.
    The team has lost its dynamism and that’s down to Emery!
    By the way, Rambo scored on his league debut today for Juvé

  6. I’m a fan of Leno but from what I seen the other night I would go with Martinez in goal, I think he looks more of an all round keeper than Leno ?

      1. Can he play tomorrow Sue ? ? I like how he’s no nonsense the ball gets smashed up the park ? that playing out from the back is for players who can play that system and I still don’t like it Sue ?

        1. He did play really well in the week.. but you knòw he’s the cup gk.. Unai wouldn’t play him ? remember Cech?!
          Well, Kevin, it has been a decent day for football.. I’m counting down the time until MOTD is on ? wonder if I’ll watch tomorrow ? so anyhow are you ok?

          1. Him and Saka were my contenders for man of the match Sue ? who’s Cech ? so your not watching the Milan derby ? Depends if Mr Emery gets it right tomorrow ? I’m ok thanks Sue how are you ? Did you see Farley (Harry Kane) recreating his phantom goal against stoke ? Hilarious ?

          2. Yes that was hilarious, but… i think the Daniel Farke one was even better! Was that a beaver on his head?!! ?
            Just saw Ramsey’s goal on YouTube ?
            I’m ok thank you ?

          3. Haha that was really funny the hair was hilarious ? good was it ? well that’s the football done for today now dirty dancing is on ?

          4. Just think you have more time for horseshoes and croquet, maybe they’ll saw you into 7 pieces now ??? so Ramsey smashing it up in Italy just like Pepe in the PL ? who do you think will win Chavs or Northern Chavs tomorrow? ?

          5. Or maybe I’ll be put in a corner ?
            Barca lost 2-0! Has Griezmann scored for them yet? He’s as bad as Hazard for Real ?
            Haha Pepe??!! Is there another Pepe?!
            Probably those bell ends with the big teeth, be close though.. unless Abraham has other ideas ? who do you think, Kev?

          6. Now Sue I told you the other day Hazard is just waiting for his muse to strike, Griezmann is just getting a bird’s eye view of his surroundings before he steps it up ? haha like the other 2 he’s just sampling the EPL before he gets going ? want Chels to win and hope they do ? hahaha nobody puts Sue in a corner ?

          7. Have to say, it’s great (their goal droughts ?)
            Kepa will have a busy afternoon! Liverpool have to lose sooner or later!
            Just saw City… didn’t think it was ever gonna end!!

          8. I thought you liked Hazard? ? Haha yeah well let’s hope he on his game because Liverpool aren’t gonna lose too often ? that’s the team that we couldn’t get out of our own half against ? so people saying how we went for Sokratis at 18 mil over 10 mil Soyuncu and I got panned for saying Sven isn’t a big loss I kept getting told he’s the saviour of Arsenal the diamond eye with signings like Soks he should be renamed stainless steel eye ?

  7. Let’s not forget the “coach” Emery needs to show something as well.

    1.Will he demand playing from the back despite the pressure?
    2. Will Holding or Chambers get a chance over Sokratis and Luiz?
    3. Will he continue to turn a solid DM in Torreira into a CM when Willock can do the job?
    4. Has Saka earned a chance on LW with Laca injury?
    5. MOST IMPORTANTLY, will he setup to our strengths or setup to counter Villa’s tactics?

    Emery should still be coaching for job security and is far from safe. Time we capitalize when others drop points.

    1. Can someone please show me or link me to one game where Torreira played DM with xhaka on the pitch ? Y’all keep blaming the coach on that one but the only game I remember Torreira playing there , Xhaka was at left back . So let torreira sort his own issues out .

      1. Emery was given a decent DM when Torriera was signed and when he played him in his proper position (many times) he was a decent DM. Emery is now trying to turn him into a box to box midfielder (he said so himself) and his performance levels have dropped.
        Emery has ruined Niles and will do the same to Torriera.

        1. Emery has ruined Niles? Lol Niles has never been. good defender even under wenger he was average, and please can you name one match that Torrera played as a DM midfielder with Xhaka also on the pitch except from the crystal palace match when Xhaka played LB.

          1. Last year when Emery was sure of his “fitness” as he put it, Torreria had a run of several games as a DM; his first few appearances I believe.

            He broke up their counter attacks well, and made several interceptions.

            I would guess Emery prioritizes Xhaka’s long passing over Torreria shielding the CB’s.

            Remember Emery wanted Nzonzi not Torreria as DM last year, but was overridden by Sven, Raul and management.

    2. Durand, Emery has no job security at Arsenal at the end of the current season, as the option to extend his contract into the third year rests with Arsenal.
      Declan, I agree with you on Torreira as DM, but where does the information come from that Emery is trying to convert him to a B2B midfielder!
      With regard to AMN, how has he been ruined, when he was no better under Arsene Wenger?

  8. Even if they do impress, it’s Villa at home! Not exactly a difficult game. Some of our players do not even deserve an opportunity to impress anymore.

  9. Going back to last week, we were lucky to get a draw and look what city did today. 8. Now we need to get sorted cos we are the laughing stock of England.

  10. Truth be told, it’s more thant just a few players. The whole team doesn’t do enough to win the ball back when not in possesion. Both full backs, bomb forward with the ball, but when it’t time to defend they casually run back. Too many attacking players that also do the same thin, with the ball they are quick without it they are not.

    The only three players I would start every game with fully fit squad not including defence or GK are Lacazette, Torreira and Ceballos. They do a lot when we don’t have the ball.

  11. Not going to comment on Xhaka, but if I’ve understood Joe’s earlier postings re’ Dani Ceballos I am dumbstruck.

    Apart from the Liverpool game, which I accept came too early for him, I think his contribution so far has been excellent.

    Far from a safe sideways and backwards merchant , I see this players energy driving us forward, probing and keeping possession better than most.

    Our crowd, both home and travelling support, have really taken to him with the vast majority hoping we can somehow land him come seasons end.

    For me a quality addition.

    Perhaps I’ ve misunderstood Joe’s posts.

  12. Emery said when he first came he wants to play with possesion and pressing. That is his game style. Also he prefers to win 5-4 than 1-0. We aren’t doing any these three things.

    We get out possessed by mid table teams, we don’t shoot enough and we certainly not going to score more than 2 in many games this season. Not unless Bellerin comes back and plays as full back + winger. Hes got many assist in locker.

    1. Very true. Read a report where they don’t even work on pressing in training, if report was true.

      Emery is drowning quite frankly, he has no discernible style of play, doesn’t set up to our strengths, and improved the players little and defense is worse.

      If he hasn’t got it sorted going in to December he should be sacked. Maybe 6-8 weeks of new back 4 (Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, Tierney) will get us sorted.

      Otherwise he should go. £200 million in players now, 12 new faces, 18 months almost in charge, and are we better off?

  13. All I can hope for from Xhaka is great passing. He is one of our best passers. That’s it really

    I hope Luiz holds it together with no big mistakes

    Pepe is work in progress but hopefully he will have a great game

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