Three regular starters at Arsenal still under pressure for starting spot

Mikel Arteta is claimed to have eight of his starting eleven already set in his mind, but that three Arsenal places are still up for grabs despite our strong start to the season.

We have started the new campaign with just one blip on our record, a 3-1 loss away at Manchester United, winning each of our other six matches to hold onto top spot in the Premier League.

Considering we have already had some injury and fitness issues along the way only shows how well we have strengthened our squad in recent seasons, but with some players still not back to 100%, our best starting line-up may not have been seen in action yet this term.

A report by Football.London‘s Tashan Deniran-Alleyne claims that Arteta already knows eight players who will make up his best starting line-up, leaving just three places to play for when all of our current squad returns to fitness.

Gabriel Martinelli, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ben White have been in top form this term, but all three are set to have to battle it out for their place according to the report, with Kieran Tierney, Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu yet to prove themselves to be in peak condition this term.

I personally believe that the Brazilian has already showed that he has a new level of consistency which has him out ahead of ESR, and that he will keep his place especially when we face the bigger sides. The other two roles however could go either way, which is a great feeling to have knowing that an injury wouldn’t see us have to weaken our line-up, although our club rarely just has one injury to deal with at a time…

Does anyone else believe that Smith Rowe could work his way back up the pecking order? What are your preferences at full-back?


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  1. It’s being reported that Partey is injured again, so how much longer are we going to guarantee him a place?

    Just like Cazorla, Diaby, Ramsey etc were pilloried for their injury problems, Partey must now be considered too injury prone to be at the club… hope he proves me wrong of course.

    1. I think Martinelli goes always first, unless injured, nothing taken away from ESR, I like them bouth, and I think they can play together ass well. Zinchencko is better when attacking and Tierney when defending. Tomiyasu should go first, ass ben white can play bouth central and right back.

  2. Martinelli as been our best player thus far for me so I’m not sure how his spot is up for grabs ,i think zinchenko starts when fit also ,I prefer him to tierney personally.

  3. Tomiyasu should always be ahead of White. He’s superior in almost every aspect and is one of Arsenal’s most intelligent players. There are also other positions I’d like to see changes but Arteta is unlikely to change them.

  4. I think Martinelli is a level above ESR, and I think Tomi is slightly ahead of White, because offensively White isn’t as sharp.

    Tierney and Zinchenko is interesting. Tierney is faster, stronger, and clearly the better defender. Zinchenko is better offensively, so it’s situational who starts at LB.

  5. Smith-Rowe is not a threat to Martinelli’s place in the starting line-up. Emile is not your quintessential winger; he is better playing centrally, in my opinion.
    Also I think Tomi complements Saka better. I think White should only be preferred if we are playing to defend

  6. I do not understand how or why Emile Smith-Rowe’s position in our team is suddenly such a hot topic for debate. I remember reading about some pundit who claimed he will never again be a regular starter for Arsenal.

    And … seriously?

    The lad has been injured. A recurring problem which has kept him out of the team because he’s unable to train.

    Why are people writing him off?

    Certainly, Odegaard and Martinelli have done great jobs but that doesn’t mean ESR is history.
    Once fit, he will return and compete for places … and are we not all always asking for more depth in our squad?
    Here is a player who can deputize for both MO and GM.
    How have people decided he doesn’t have a place in the squad?

    The way I see it, here is our depth for the three positions behind the striker:

    LW: Martinelli/ESR/Vieira
    AM: Odegaard/ESR/Vieira
    RW: Saka/Marquinhos/Vieira + Nelson

    If we are to achieve anything this season, then we need all these players in a healthy and effective rotation to keep each other fresh and fit.

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