Three players that are too risky for Unai Emery to select against Tottenham

Tottenham is a dangerous team but Arsenal are more than good enough to hand them a beating on Sunday but only if they select a team that can be relied upon to do their jobs properly and efficiently.

Arsenal has players in their squad that are unreliable, no point denying that and Unai Emery has to avoid the temptation of fielding those players despite their reputations.

David Luiz, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil could all be picked to play against Tottenham, in fact, I am fairly certain that Luiz will be on at the start but that does not negate the fact that the Brazilian along with Ozil and Xhaka are notoriously inconsistent and that should surely be too much of a risk for Emery in a game of this magnitude.

On his day Ozil can be sublime, Xhaka can be pivotal and Luiz exciting but they also have a downside that the Gunners cannot afford on Sunday, there is no room for passengers.

Ozil goes missing on aa regular basis, Xhaka, more often than not, can be ineffectual and Luiz an outright liability and Emery has enough quality cover for the trio without having to take an unnecessary risk.

Callum Chambers can easily cover for Luiz, Ceballos should be picked ahead of Ozil anyway and there are more than enough midfielders to play in the Xhaka role so it is not as if the manager has to pick any of them.

But Emery has that frustrating ability to pick a team that makes no sense and it would not surprise me if he picked all three.


  1. Innit says:

    Torriera… Guen/Wilock
    Pepe.. Lacazette.. Aubameyang

    1. Austin Lorenz McCoy says:

      If holding comes back, I’d like to see US try chambers in the DM position in games to come

      So long Xhaka is also given the ozil treatment of not showing any reliance on him

    2. Victor Ekwurumadu says:

      ………. Leno
      Niles.. Sokratis… Luiz.. Kolasanic
      ……. Torreira.. Xhaka
      Pepe…. Cebalos…… Abumayang

      ………. Lacazette

    3. This is my opinion,Leno,skoratis,chambers,Niles,kolasinic,Toreila,ceballos, Luis,aumbimiyoug,lacazate,Pepe.On Luis he can play deep six bse of his ability of defending in he will help to cover the defence while also attacking n he has that accurate passing and can fight for the ball.

    4. Sip says:

      Mon is gone.

    5. Sue says:

      It’s official, Nacho has gone

    6. lol says:

      God bless Arsenal and Kola. Poor decision to sell Monreal

  2. Pires21 says:

    Never! I think it’s too early to judge David Louis. I trust that if he’s picked for the match on Sunday, he could help Arsenal secure their 2nd clean sheet of the season.

  3. gotanidea says:

    Agree with the admin’s assessment. So I’d start the players below, if I were Emery and if I have to use 4-2-3-1:

    Maitland-Niles . Chambers . Sokratis . Kolasinac
    …………….Willock …………. Guendouzi
    Pepe ……………… Ceballos ………….. Aubameyang

    1. kenyanfan says:

      If you want to be safe, don’t play Guodozzi and Willock at the same time. These two players are like Iwobi at the moment though Guedozzi is slightly different. They are good with the ball but don’t know what to do next. If I were to play one of them in the first 11 then it has to be Guedozzi who is better than Willock. And if I were to be more careful with my selection, none of them should be in my starting lineup but on the bench.

      1. gotanidea says:

        Yeah, I’m just impressed by the way they dictated Burnley’s midfielders, which Ozil and Xhaka rarely do to the opposition’s

        1. Phil says:

          Yet you still picked Ozil in your best starting 11 before the season started.Funny that dont you think? Because your not normally one to change your mind are you?

        2. Mogunna says:

          It should be team we saw on second half against reds. We gave them troubles, torreira must start, obvious our CD is where decision must be made but chambers should start.

    2. Seng says:

      You expect willock and guendouzi to work in midfield

    3. towny254 says:

      gotanidea I agree with your team apart from Chambers Luis has to come in it was a soft penalty thr ref gave so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt

    4. jon fox says:

      gotanidea. Apart from Luiz in for the wrestler Sokratis( who is always a red card constantly waiting to happen), I agree with your preferred team. Will Emery pick it though? Extremely doubtful he will leave Xhaka out. That foolishness is his biggest weakness, shared with the man who stupidly bought him, Wenger. I would also be 50/50 on playing Torreira instead of Guendouzi in this match. I like Guendouzi but I also like Torreira and I like Willock even more, who is coming on in leaps and bounds. We HAVE to play an attacking formation to have real hope of beating them though. If we actually HAD a proper defence though,which we do NOT, then I would have taken a more balanced team. Right now, we STILL do not have even one top quality outfield pure defender and that is a long lasting scandal!

    5. Frédéric slimane says:

      I agree except for one player, torreira has to play apart from that I think that’s our best line up !

    6. Sylva Olabanji says:

      As for me I will prefer this formation and players and I think it will be more effective. Bcos Maitland Niles foget his defensive duty sometimes and Oil can go missing I will prefer? Xaka’s experience will count for something in a derby game.



      …Chambers Socrates Luiz Kolasunac

      ………Xaka Toreira……

      …Pep. Cebalos/Ozil Aubameyang


  4. Mbega Le Gooner says:

    Torreira for willock for me.

  5. AndersS says:

    I’d rather see Luz than Chambers.
    Chambers couldn’t cut it neither as a RB nor as a CB last time around at Arsenal. He was then loaned out to Fulham, where couldn’t make it as a CB either. Admittedly he did OK as a DM there but now he is suddenly a first choice CB for us??
    To be honest, I would even pick Mustafi before him.

    1. Sue says:

      I’m not convinced by Chambers, never have been.. the question is why doesn’t Unai play him??

      1. NONNY says:

        I want chamber’s to play so people will be silenced can’t see how chamber’s Camoa against Newcastle suddenly makes him our best CB, Luiz is error prone but still miles better than chambers

        1. Ken says:

          Another fantasy to be coach, who is going to silence people based on a one match performance of a player against a second tier team. Ceballos excelled against Burnley, was he great against Liverpool? Players are evaluated on a string of performance then we play them against dangerous opponents, once we are sure they have the ability, or else it could turn into a nightmare.
          loll again

        2. Sue says:

          I’ll be amazed if he’s picked to play, Nonny

      2. Sip says:

        and why doesn’t he play Laca?

        1. Sue says:

          That baffles me, Sip..
          He’d better start tomorrow….

        2. Gworm says:

          Laca came off one of the pre-season games with a minor injury which I think he’s still carrying.

        3. Frédéric slimane says:

          Lacs has been recuperating from an ankle knock but fit to play tomorrow!

      3. towny254 says:

        Sue why don’t someone buy him do us a favour

  6. Wayaye G/medhn Wubet says:

    Not strong team
    As my opinion it is better 4:3:3

    Niles. Liuz. Sokrsts. Kolasanic

    Xkah. Torera


    Pepe. Lacazete. Per.abumyang

  7. Sue says:

    Xhaka will start, as he always does ?
    Not sure about Mesut, seeing as he’s been out, he’ll maybe make the bench? It’s only Xhaka that walks straight in after being out!

    1. Ba Elkhirsawy says:

      Yes, terrible choice!
      My formation would still include Luiz, coach needs to show confidence in players you cannot bench every player after one bad match and Chambers is not world class anyways.

      ——-Matteo G.—Torriera

      1. Jeff says:

        Willock in 10 position? You are no different from Emery.

        In the arsenal squad at the moment only Ozil understands that number. So why would you kill that number with willock?

    2. Goonster says:

      There is something that managers see in Xhaka that some of us seem to miss. I just don’t see it and may be that is why I am not a manager.
      Wenger loved him, and now it seems like Emery himself sees this “something” too.

      As i keep saying. The Xhaka situation at Arsenal reminds me of The Jordan Henderson situation at Liverpool.
      From the moment he signed for Liverpool from Sunderland we have been making fun of him. “He is average, championship level, midtable quality etc”. But manager after manager at Liverpool has retained him as their first choice CM.

      May be we are in the same situation with XHAKA at Arsenal.

      1. 350oz says:

        Maybe because of his passing range and he is the closest we’ve got to a proper deep lying playmaker.
        Willock could but he is still too young to feature in every matches. There is a common trait young players tend to lose their form as the season progressed.

  8. Kenyanfan says:

    The one player I don’t want in any Arsenal starting lineup is Willock. He isn’t there yet and we can’t pretend not to see it simply because we see a future in him. He should be eased in as a substitute and not a starter. 2nd , at no point should he be in the field with Guedozzi.
    All the three players you pointed out will start/two of them(Xhaka and Luiz- You all know our manager is Emery)
    I agree with you on Xhaka. Ozil and Luiz should start. But let me get sincere( I wouldn’t prefer Willock over Ozil, Guedozzi , Xhaka, Caballos and Torreira. So has has no spot in my starting lineup.. my opinion.

  9. Denoo says:

    if I were Emery I could us 4-3-3 with the following players


    1. Joey Mack says:

      So someone’s getting red carded in the first minute?

  10. Sue says:

    Xhaka has said we won’t be title contenders for 4 years – is that when he’s out of contract by any chance?! ?

    1. ? I saw his statement and I didn’t know what to say. Looks like even if we achieve 4th this year, that’s all they plan to be fighting for for the next 3 more years, just like with Wenger! 4th place for 4 years! We do love our 4s!

      1. Sue says:

        So we can look forward to all the p**s taking on Twitter then.. one in particular though, always makes me laugh.. the clip of Han Solo & Chewbacca.. with Han saying “Chewy, we’re home” ?

    2. towny254 says:

      Sue Xhaka should have been sold he is too slow by the time he thinks it’s too late should be on the bench tomorrow

      1. Sue says:

        I agree towny, but i bet he’s the first name on the team sheet.. god help us ?

        1. Alee says:

          Sadly true.What the manager sees in him is beyond me. If torreira is on the bench tomorrow I’ll be so mad.

          1. Sue says:

            You & me both, Alee

  11. T2T says:

    Being young is not a quality to decide who should start in a game like this. I’m a big fan of Özil who with very good players around him can unlock any defence. With the players available, I’d start with:
    Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Monreal
    Torreira, Ceballos
    Pepe, Özil, Aubameyang
    Subs: Martinez, Chambers, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Guendozi. Willock, Nelson,
    Arguments: Leno is our best GK. AMN best available RB, Sokratis best (available) CB, on his day Luiz is a top CB and can have some killer passes allowing us not to start Xhaka, Monreal is a better defender than Kolasinac and with Ceballos and Aubameyang in front of him, we need the LB to focus on defending, Ceballos is a brilliant #8, Torreira is a very good and our best DM. Xhaka makes too many mistakes around 30-50 yards from our goal leading to chances for the opposition, Pepe is a top attacking player, Özil is a world class player who is best when surrounded by other top players, Aubameyang and Lacazette – no need to argue their starting positions. Our attacking quintet of Ceballos, Pepe, Özil, Aubameyang and Lacazette can better any other team’s attacking 5. I believe when our 3 injured defenders (2HB, 3KT and 16RH) even our defensive players are top class.

    1. Dan kit says:

      Agree 100% on your team

      1. A line up with no Xhaka in it is unrealistic and with Ozil in it double unrealistic.

    2. Jeff says:

      I agree with you. Ceballos is only good as a box to box player. He dribbles a lot. As a number 10, u receive the ball and find who is in a better position to score.Ozil can do that all day even if he is off form.
      Because Ceballos depends on his exciting trickery dribbles. That is why he flopped during Liverpool game.

      I would go for

      Niles Sokratis Luis Monreal

      Torriera Ceballos

      Master OZIL
      PEP Aubomeyang


      My bench: Martinez, Miki,Nelson,
      chambers, Willock, Xhaka

    3. Sean says:

      Yes 100% agreed. Monreal is gone apparently and wont play in the NLD tomorrow! Cant wait to see Rob, Hector & Keiran all in the same team with what u chose from above. If mesut steps up & Pepe/Cabellos settles quickly then we could have a real go this season with that 5 going forward with Torreira infront of the back4.

      Bellerin Rob Sokratis Tierney
      Torreira Cabellos
      Pepe Ozil Auba

      Not bad, then subs;

      If this team could get into the top 4 with Saliba coming in for pre season we could have a cracking team for a good go at the League and finally be back in the UCL and still strengthen elsewhere with the funds we will have.

      Have to admit the men behind the scenes at Arsenal and the new regime have worked a treat and giving us fans a reason to believe again.

    4. kenyanfan says:

      Excellent. ?

    5. Viju Jacob says:

      T2T, you along with Dan are among the very few of us who came up with this team and formation. Hopefully, Emery will think the same tomorrow.

  12. benex says:

    Unai can always shock us with is bizarre selections. The ball is in court if he surely wanna win the match, I guess Tottenham are toothless right now, but Emery can make them get their touch with is selection. A draw will be a slap in the face in my opinion, They should jess go out and win the game. At least is our home anyway.

    1. 350oz says:

      They don’t have teeth to begin with…

  13. Faizal says:

    Plse no xhaka n luiz, torerra n chambers much better option.

  14. NONNY says:

    why did people say Ozil is world class please let be specific with our assessment of our players we should be saying ?zil was world class

    1. 350oz says:

      He won world cup, won titles in Spain, was first choice number 10 at Real Madrid, hailed as the new Zidane, once registered the number of assists only topped by King Henry, ended our throphy drought by winning FA cups with us, and so on.
      Say what you want but he’s got pedigree, his performance is lacking but his class is not. He is world class.

      1. arsenal-steve says:

        World class? Ozil??? Not on this planet!

    2. DiDi says:

      Ozil’s talent is world class. Ozil’s performance WAS world class.
      Talent x Motivation = Performance, and the motivation has been replaced by frustrations.

      Frustration caused by his own self as well as the leadership of the coach – equal share of blame!

    3. GunnerDev says:

      Too many people living in the past, that’s why.

  15. Goonster says:

    This is some bullcrap.
    You have gotta play our Best Player On His Day (A.K.A “The Shirt Seller”).
    He is on £350,000 a week for a reason and also the biggest Shirt Sale is for a reason.
    I say we have to find a way to incorporate The shirt seller into the team. Can’t be missing all that good stuff.

    1. Dan kit says:

      You said shirt seller 3 times mate ,maybe one more time so I know who your talking about ?

      1. Goonster says:

        You don’t have to stress yourself over my irrelevant comment. It is Saturday morning mate.
        All I’m talking about is “Our Best Player On His Day That can unlocks defences” (A.K.A The Shirt shifter”).

        1. ArseOverTit says:

          His day is hardly never.
          Just because is a pin up poster boy who sells shirts to young and impressionable kids (can’t see knowledgeable adult arsenal fans buying them;) doesn’t mean he should play.

          Play on merit, effort And ability to affect a game.

          So Ceballos to be selected and play;) Ozil to warm bench with mustafi.

  16. Goonster says:

    To me Luiz has to play. I trust him more than the other options currently available other than Sokratis. I am not preferring him because he is the best, he is just the best of the worst bunch.
    Xhaka should never start a game for us. I don’t see what he really brings. The long pass here and there is not good enough when most of the time he is a hindrance to the whole team balance.

    1. Bring back Mustafi! Luiz is crap! ?

      1. arsenal-steve says:

        Mustafi???? Argh! No way! Unless you are being ironic. You are joking….I hope. If you are not joking you are crazy.

  17. Austin 3:16 says:

    Is it that Lucas torreira has been frozen out of the first eleven or what? I can understand willock been home grown and young deserves to play but please the midfield should actually be built around Lucas torreira. His no nonsense combative playing style is a no brainer and chips in the odd goals on occasion as well…Admin Martin FYI

  18. Declan says:

    Good to see Willock will be playing and Luiz will play too but Xhaka won’t.
    I also think ALP will play (much better than PAL)
    Hopefully we can give Nacho a great send off.

    1. Sue says:

      There are reports stating he’s signed for them and won’t play tomorrow ? 250k in installments…. is that all???

      1. 350oz says:

        Yes Sue, a blog I read jokingly said it’s €100 a week for the next 250 weeks ?

  19. tony says:

    Do we know who the referee is going to be yet please?

    1. Sue says:

      Martin Atkinson… could have been worse?

      1. tony says:

        Cheers Sue. I don’t mind him too much. Are you going to the game tomorrow Sue?

        1. Sue says:

          Now if it had been Moss, Oliver or Dean on the other hand….?
          No Tony, devastated, i couldn’t get tickets.. not even on the ticket exchange. I only saw 3 on there!!! Wow!!
          Next game for me is Villa.
          You’re going? If so, i know this is sad, but please give those little spuds a boo for me ??

          1. tony says:

            I sit in the East upper Sue and although it’s near the half way line I still get a decent view of the away supporters. It’s normally fairly quiet around me but last seasons game v the pikey scumbags raised the roof atmosphere wise.
            I will gladly throw the odd obscenity ( no swearing ) their way on your behalf.
            It’s the one game a year that I have pure hate for the little mob of yobs sitting/standing in the away section.

          2. Sue says:

            That was some game, Tony (the only game i still have on my Sky planner ?)… i hope tomorrow is just as good!!
            Well, thank you very much!!
            No doubt, I’ll be standing up every 10 minutes in my living room, for the stand up if you hate Tottenham chant ? haha!!
            Have a great day, enjoy the game & hopefully we’ll bag all 3 points ? COYG

  20. Sean Williams says:

    Possibly David Luiz was the victim of Emery’s odd team and tactics against Liverpool. I think he will play Luiz. Ozil is not ready for ‘full blooded’ football. It’s not in him. My biggest worry is Xhaka. He has no intensity, is a poor decision maker and to top it all can his head and foul. Remember Brighton last season. He can easily get sent off too as he is vindictive. I agree with with Admin Martin. Lately I have spoke about Emery ‘bottling’ it. To me, he makes decisions based on fear. He actually stated that we had little chance against Liverpool in the week before that game. I cannot stand that type of manager and I don’t trust his team selection processes any more. Can we win with Xhaka and Ozil…… No. Can we win without them…..definitely.

    1. Ronche says:

      How was Luiz a victim. Man seriously look for a better excuse. He singlehandedly gave away two goals.

  21. Jim wall says:

    Hope this is the team…

    Amn. Sok. Luiz. Kolas

    Torrer. Xakai

    Pepe. Lacca. Auba…

    1. Pitaru says:

      This is the team:
      Amn. Chambers. Luiz. Sokrat. Kolas
      Xhaka. Torreira
      Pepe. Aubameyang

  22. Aussie Jack says:

    It wasn`t so long ago that we had a manager who did what we are now expecting Emery to do in his team selection. Some of Wenger`s selections and game plans were odd to say the least. Maybe it`s an Arsenal bug.

  23. Dan the cannon says:

    I can’t understand why we let nacho go. Leaves us vulnerable to injuries and form. Although age has caught up with him on pace he has been consistent for us year after year, one of our better signing in defence over the past few years. Good luck you served us well. Just to add, 3-1 win for us this weekend would be nice please

  24. Rkw says:

    If willock and xhaka start the games is spurs to lose … that dimple

  25. dudu says:

    Willock is now our best player
    God have mercy on blind people
    I believe Wenger will be better then Emery.

  26. Sylva Olabanji says:

    We need to be cautious when choosing upcoming or new players for a derby. Experience of other players that played last season matters. In this regard I would say. Guenduozi, Willock, Nelson, Ceballos could come in as substitutes. However Nicolas Pep is an exception. You don’t buy a player for $72,000 and put him on the bench.



    Chambers Socratis Luiz Kolasinac

    …..Xacka. Toreria….

    ……Pep Oizl Auba…..


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