Unai Emery has a huge decision to make over the Arsenal defence

Unai Emery has a choice to make very soon, does he continue using defenders that have been a disappointment so far this season or does he go with a completely new back four against Manchester United on Monday evening.

Normally the manager has gone with a back four of Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Luiz and Sokratis, however, there is very good reasons not to use any of those players against the Red Devils.

Of course, Maitland-Niles is suspended so that make that decision very easy for Emery, Bellerin can just step in there. I also do not think you need to be Pep Guardiola to know that Kieran Tierney simply has to replace Kolasinac.

The tricky positions are the centre backs, does he stick with Sokratis and Luiz or drop just one of them or both?

I suspect most fans will argue that Rob Holding and Calum Chambers should be used as the centre back pairings. Chambers is in fantastic form right now and Holding showed last night how much he has been missed.

Emery may see it as a bit risky to go with a brand new back four against United and will probably want to retain Luiz for his experience but on form alone, I would have suggested Mustafi instead of the Brazilian if experience is the criteria.

It is going to be a huge call for Emery whatever way he goes because if he gets it wrong then he will be held solely responsible, unfairly or not.

The one huge positive now though, is that the boss finally has a full set of defenders to choose from and will not be forced to play anyone out of position or out of form.

It is now down to the Spaniard to make the right calls.

84 Comments

  1. Declan says:

    Maitland-Niles Nile’s is not suspended AdMart, he served his suspension last night but I think he may be injured. If Luiz is to be played I prefer him at DM. As you say at the end though, it’s down to Emery to make the right calls.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍

  2. McLovin says:

    Not a huge decision though..

    Chambers as RB
    Holding – CB
    Sokratis – CB
    Tierney – LB

    Bring Bellerin in at some point if we’re doing fine.

    1. Declan says:

      I’d play Mustafi rather than Sokratis based on recent performances but that’s just my opinion.

      1. gotanidea says:

        +1 to the defender line-up above and the idea of starting Mustafi, because Sokratis has several brain farts lately and Mustafi would want to regain his spot

        The Old Trafford match would be too soon for a recently recovered player like Tierney though. I’d prefer Kolasinac to start

        1. Sylva Olabanji says:

          C.Chambers RB
          S.Mustaphi CB
          D.Luiz CB
          Kolasinack RB

          M.United game could be a bit physical;it would be better to give Holding and Tierny just like 10/15 minutes in the game. The trio of Holding, Bellerin and Tierney can all start fully against Standard Leag for Europa games next week.
          I don’t see U.Emery dropping D.Luiz at the moment, he is the best passer of the ball from the back among our Central defenders. Except we revert to 3 at the back. It’s up to the coach to get his tactic and formation right I just don’t trust U.Emery.

      2. Ddog says:

        sokratis is good next to a calming presence, as is Luiz imo, it’s just that together they’re a catastrophe.

      3. Iji Emmanuel says:

        I prefer Leno mustafi and holding plus chamber and KT if fit and Torrera Geunduzi plus ozil/ceballos pepe Auba and Saka/Nelson

      4. Phil says:

        So would I Declan-Mustafi deserves a chance whereas Sokritis has had more than enough opportunities

        1. ozziegunner says:

          👍

      5. John Ibrahim says:

        well based on current performances Mustafic should be ahead of Sokratis

        1. SAGooner says:

          Absolutely agree

  3. Agu Emen says:

    Unfortunately Arsenal has the worst Centre backs in the Premier League so it does not matter who Emery plays we remain weak at CB and we will pay for that weakness game after game.
    We should have sold Mustafi 30m and Socritis 25m
    added the 70m Pepe money = 125m and bought two decent CB’s.
    Pepe was a luxury buy as we have loads of attacking talent.
    We just have to hope our offense can bail the defense out.

    1. And who would have paid 30M for Mustafi and 25M for Sokratis? You make it sound like moving those two is as easy as selling newspapers!

      1. Phil says:

        QD-Exactly right.We would have had clubs banging the door down if they were proving to be a good buy yet we couldn’t even get Mustafi loaned out.

        1. GunneRay says:

          LOL @Quantic, Newspapers..

          Firstly, well done to the Arsenal last night! Great performance and one we all know was needed, thank you!!!

          Mustafi, AMN and Sokratis need some time on the bench! I’m not being disrespectful but right now (today), they are putting in the kind of performance you might expect at a club in the Championship league at best!

          Arsenal will never win a thing with them in the starting line up week in, week out! NEVER!!!

          Unai needs to be brave. He needs to take a chance on new/young blood!!!

          COYG!!!

        2. 👍👍👍
          @Phil- In all fairness Mustafi appears to have turned a new leaf. The bench appears to have done good for his confidence.

          1. Phil says:

            I agree-I never thought he was a bad defender but the mistakes were too many and just cost us too many points.However both Luiz and Sokritis have cost us this season so Emery needs to stop playing anyone who doesn’t perform.Is Mustafi any worst than Sokritis? No.They are both not the standard we need but it’s all we have this season so they will have to do.
            I still can’t help looking at the amount of times our opponents seem to just overrun us in midfield and walk through us.FFS Emery- play Torriera to just sit in front of the defence and give us cover.Why he has him playing so far forward I just don’t know.

          2. ozziegunner says:

            Emery, with all defenders returning to full fitness, can afford to bench players for poor performance. As stated above some time on the sidelines appears to have refocused Mustafi. Emery needs to be ruthless and show that poor performance will not be tolerated and good displays will be rewarded.

    2. Frédéric slimane says:

      Emery said it,he advised Mustafi to move on but he refused and wanted to stay to prove himself,after that there is not much the club could do and like the boys said it’s not like clubs were queuing up for him!

    3. John Ibrahim says:

      Worst Centrebacks?

      What have you been watching??

      only a few seasons back Kostafi combination was one of the best in the league till one of them got injured and the rhythm was gone

      Sokratis was pretty solid last season for a newcomer in the league….

      This is not Fifa20 ….a lack of confidence and injuries can destroy a player performances….

    4. ken1945 says:

      Agu Emen, but surely that is down to the new regime you so admire?

      All three examples you give were within the power of UE to sanction, even given the more realistic transfer fees needed to sell the players.

      I see that the spuds lost last night, perhaps your much more mildly worded respons has something to do with that?

  4. Francios says:

    My view is to start Bellerin, Holding, Tierney and Chambers…United is struggling at the moment and I think these guys will be up to it. Emery should definitely not start Sok, Luiz & Xhaka, my team would be:

    Leno
    Bellerin Chambers Holding Tierney
    Willock Geunduzi
    Ceballos
    Pepe Auba
    Laca (if fit)

    Will play Martinelli on the left and Auba in front if Laca is not fit.

    1. Knight says:

      I have seen a struggling united beat arsenal time and again i wouldnt read too much into their current form.

      1. Palmer17 says:

        Wengers last season didn’t they beat us 3-2 when they were struggling

    2. Bryan Churchill says:

      I think that would be our best line up. Loads of energy & hungry to keep their spots in the future..I’d also use willock & martinelli. Future looking brighter I hope

  5. Mide says:

    Hi Guys. Still excited about last night’s performance.
    I strongly believe the first issue with Arsenal team is the mid-field combination and balance. You can pair VVD and Kompany in CB but if your midfield alloys 30 shots from opponent, we will still loose.
    So my point is we need to drop some big names in the Line up, starting with Zhaka.

    I respect Zhaka very much but we need a midfield that is mobile on and off the ball, that will track back and get tight to opposition attackers, that will rack up numbers in interceptions and that can help make quick transition from defence to attack.

    I just don’t think all this is suit Zhaka, and when you have a team that is supposed to press the opposition at all times, having just one player lacking in this regard affects the entire system. So others end up playing poorly too.
    So my team for ManU will be:

    Leno

    Chambers – Luis – Holding – Teiney (or Kola)

    Torriera – Gwen – Willock

    Ozil

    Pepe – Auba

    Sub: Mat, Sok, Bel, Saka, Zhaka, Ceballos, Martinelli.

    * Ozil to unlock their leaky deffence or Ceballos instead for higher work rate

    1. SAGooner says:

      I say again, the team came alive after Özil was substituted last night. He has not unlocked anything for quite a while, and you cannot carry a player through a match in the hope that he will give you one telling pass, and not do anthing else but slow down any forward movement the team has. IMHO Özil was not even good enough for the starting lineup against Forest.

      1. Lenohappy says:

        SAGooner
        I fell in love with Ozil against England at the 2010 world cup when he made all the England players look ordinary especially Gareth Barry who was assigned to man mark him by Capello, but that Ozil has been finished for over 4 year’s now, and only a biased person will say or think otherwise, someone was even saying here after the game yesterday that Ozil had a “great game’ I really don’t know there own definition of great, Ozil was on par with Nelson yesterday not that he was making anything happen, the Ozil I used to know have this defense splitting pass but not anymore, he can’t even unlock a Forest defense and some think he had a great game lol.

        1. Viju Jacob says:

          Leno unhappy.

      2. Dan kit says:

        Dude your like a broken record you have posted the same thing 4 times ,give it a rest ffs .
        Anybody who watched last night could see he had a good game ,your just another fan jumping on the bandwagon.
        Maybe your looking to impress a few on here with the Ozil posts

        1. Lenohappy says:

          I said it yesterday that he had a good game but the guy keeps going on about why the coach substitute him, what if the coach have in mind for the united game, Ozil had a good game yesterday but not a great game like someone said and am sure even you will agree to that, Martinelli had a great game Chambers had a great game.

          1. Dan kit says:

            That was for SAgooner

    2. Sean M says:

      Agree with SAGooner. I’d much rather have the width that wingers bring than anyone in the CAM position. There’s so much compression between the defence and midfield in the modern game that CAMs can’t find the space to be effective. Our wingers were our biggest threat last night, especially when combining with fullbacks (4 assists from FBs and at least one Tierney cross should’ve been converted.)

    3. AndersS says:

      @Mide
      How can you acknowledge, that if you want to play press, you can’t have just one player lacking in that regard, and then suggest a line-up with Özil and Pepe???
      Özil hasn’t pressed at any time ever, and from what I have seen so far, Pepe doesn’t look like a player with the will (or the skill?) to press.
      So you have 2 players in your line-up.

  6. Tommogun58 says:

    Quite right admin,the only problem for Chambers who is a player that I think should have already been playing regularly for the first team is that he is so versatile which makes him a prime target for sitting on the bench ready to cover injuries in the game,I hope I am wrong but I think that is why he hasn’t been playing and it is totally unjust given his current form and that of the back four Emery has been using,this is an interesting time for him,lets hope he gets it right.

  7. koss says:

    he should not just drop Luiz and Socratis but terminate their contracts as well, so tired of these two clowns

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      maybe its better to stick to Fifa20?

  8. Lenohappy says:

    I still believe the Utd match has come too soon for Tirney holding and bellerin, but the coach will be an idiot if he doesn’t start Chambers, and I will also start Martinez I just don’t have confidence in Leno when it comes to crosses, he’s a good shot stopper but if emery can surprise Utd and start with Chambers at Rb Luiz and mustafi at cb with Martinez who doesn’t seem like one who likes to gamble I believe we will not only beat man Utd but we should be able to do so woyh3 to 4 goals.

  9. He should play Chambers at RB and drop Sokratis for Holding or Mustafi. Tierney should start if match fit. He can play his precious Xhaka in midfield I don’t care. If AMN starts though there is no way we will get anything from that game.

  10. Grandad says:

    As you suggest most fair minded,rational thinking fans would opt for a back four of Bellerin,Chambers, Holding(capt) and the talented Tierney who I raved about on this site 3 seasons ago .Unfortunately Emery seems to have an aversion to the truth about certain players and sadly I suspect only Chambers will figure in the defence against Man Utd who are struggling and will be without Rachford.I only hope Sokratis is left out as he to my mind is the poorest centre back in our first team pool.If he plays Sokratis and Luis in tandem we will probably lose to Man Utd.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Grandad, let’s be fair and see how Emery integrates the returning players into the team. Bellerin, Tierney and Holding have only played U23’s and the Europa League, while Chambers has played few games (I agree fewer than I would have liked too).
      There is no reason to pick underperforming players, with a virtual full squad available.

    2. Tommogun58 says:

      I have to agree grandad.

  11. Viju Jacob says:

    To be honest, I think the manager yesterday was Freddie from the looks of it & maybe the line-up was his choice too. Emery was just a facade, imho.
    We have the players, so it’s upto Emery to play this free flowing football against ManU, without resorting to his trademark tinkering. Why doesn’t he have a settled first team?
    Why doesn’t he have players earmarked for each position & their back up?
    Why doesn’t he have a settled system like last night? Also the style.
    He should play our brand of football irrespective of who the opposition is.
    He needs to shed his preferences and dislikes and work for the team’s cause.
    He should allow for partnerships to build and allow them to settle.
    Lastly, he is shite with the way he handles Ozil.

    1. Lenohappy says:

      Viju Jacob,
      What exactly is your problem with the coach, when the team played badly its Emery fault but when the team played well yesterday its Freddie work? You are so so negative and please stop all this ozil talk I can assure you that have been in love with Ozil since the 2010 world cup so am sure you are not the only one who love Ozil I just love arsenal more, Ozil had a good game yesterday its not like he had an amazing night we scored 3 after he was substituted, so please stop all this “Why must the coach substitute him”, you should think for a minute maybe the coach have him his plans for the United game, all yoi keep doing is the coach is bad and bad and bad, am sure you would have love it if Ozil had played the full match but the coach decided to take him off so deal with and stop taking it personal.

      1. Viju Jacob says:

        Lenounhappy, you must not take things personal. If anyone should it’s Emery, but he is too busy tinkering and I mean nothing to him. If I like Ozil or Wenger style on the pitch, it’s because I love Arsenal, and it’s been the case for well over four decades. It’s quite naive of you to try and teach an old fan about loving Arsenal.
        I’m sure you didn’t watch the match yesterday so I can’t blame you for Freddie being actively giving out instructions. We won yesterday because we played our natural game, FOR ONCE, which can’t be Emery’s “way of playing”.
        Ozil is one true creative player that we have on our payroll, and as any sensible person would say, utilise him for the benefit of the team while he is here. I know you didn’t watch the game, so I can’t blame you for not seeing what Ozil did on the pitch. He was dictating the play and I for one, could see the youngsters enjoying themselves on the pitch even though they didn’t have that telepathic connect with Ozil. Guys like Ozil and Willock will only get better playing alongside Ozil, as we need to prepare for the future. You may belong to the “Wenger out” brigade and the good Prof left behind the academy system, whose players all of us are raging about. All of us raged about Wenger’s style on the pitch yesterday, so don’t you be coming at me with your Emeryboi attitude.

        1. Daulat says:

          I understand why Ozil gets such bad review from fans frequently. I think what Ozil does effortlessly, others make it look like a mountain and a huge struggle and that’s why anyone watching might get the impression that Ozil isn’t putting his all to his game and rather regard the wasted efforts and tiresome throwing of legs and bodies that others have to do to accomplish just one key pass, one dribble, one evasion from pressure, as being good work rate. That’s where people can’t value what Ozil does in the pitch. He just seems to stroll around at ease where others look like they are charging towards a machine gun nest and all for just making one key pass, one through ball, or something like that. Ozil’s efficiency is where he is misunderstood. He just makes things look too easy for his own good. If he starts misplacing his passes often but also go after and win it from the players every time he misplaces a pass, I bet he would be seen as a valuable player. Lol.

          1. Viju Jacob says:

            Well said Daulat.

          2. ozziegunner says:

            Emery must have hit on Viju’s partner.
            This attitude reminds me of the last year’s of Wenger; when the team played well it was the players, when the team lost it was down to Wenger.

      2. Munster says:

        Its pointless trying to convince the emery out brigade how ozil only had an average game last night and not so great.

        1. Viju Jacob says:

          Like it’s pointless to show a mirror to Emeryboiz.

    2. AndersS says:

      UE should be credited for composing a team, where the youngsters could express themselves.
      UE had the courage and the knowledge to do it. I doubt very much any of the xxxx armchair coaches here, knows any better.
      So enjoy it rather than spread unfounded negativity.

      1. Viju Jacob says:

        For someone who looked forward to Emery’s reign last May when he was appointed, with all his “presentation” to the board, my views are not negative, but intense disillusionment. Agreed I’m armchair fan, but one can see stuff happening, and it will be daft on my part not to see it.
        In his presentation he said he will build the team around Auba & Ramsey, and what he did do with Ramsey is in the public domain; so it is proven that he doesn’t talk straight.
        It wasn’t his team or style of play yesterday which was evident to most – if he mends his ways and drops his ego and playing favourites, we stand to gain. I will get all positive then.

        1. AndersS says:

          “what he did do with Ramsey is in the public domain”???
          Ramsey was offered a new contract, but it looked to me, like he wanted more money, and when he couldn’t get it at Arsenal, he opted to let his contract run down and get more money that way.
          That was his choice, and Harly Emery’s doing alone, anyway.
          Your remarks, that the team yesterday wasn’t Emery’s is probably just a result of panic, when you have nothing to blame Emery for, and they hardly deserve serious debate.

          1. Viju Jacob says:

            Are you sure Ramsey wanted more money when the contract was on the table to be signed? He agreed to the contract and Emery took it off the table. It’s not sometimes I’m making up, so I suggest you read up on that. Whatever I read said the same and hence my comment.

          2. ozziegunner says:

            Ramsey and his manager procrastinated over his contract, holding the club to ransom. The club decided to spend the money, rightly or wrongly, elsewhere. How was this Emery’s and not Raul’s call.

  12. Frédéric slimane says:

    I have supported Emery saying that we had to wait for our injured players back I think we are nearly there,some players might need another 1 or 2 games to get up to speed but after that if he doesn’t play the in form players who deserve to play then there won’t be any excuses!!

    1. ken1945 says:

      Frederic slimane, I understand your views and was, originally, of the same opinion.
      What turned me against himis the clear example of not playing Chambers who, after a very good game against Newcastle, was dropped in favour of Luiz and Sokratis and he kept that system going despite the numerous mistakes made.

      Then we have the Ozil saga…like him or not…who has played only 70 minutes of good football, then was dropped until last night…played well for 70 minutes as captain then substituted yet again.

      Tactics, favourite players, substitutions, defensive set ups are further examples of his failure to take our club forward, along with having been part of the regime that has spent over £225,000,000 on new players.

      Two differing points of view, with both of us wanting to see The Arsenal succeeding.

      1. SAGooner says:

        ??? Özil played well???

        1. ken1945 says:

          ????Did he play badly then????

          1. ken1945 says:

            That wasn’t the conclusion given by the fans when he went off to a standing ovation (yet again) was it?

            Of course have an opinion about the player, but don’t say he didn’t have a good game just because you don’t like him from previous performances.

        2. Declan says:

          He did SAG, he did.

      2. Frédéric slimane says:

        I cannot disagree! with all the players back if he keeps making the same mistakes tactically, selections,he won’t have any excuses and I totally agree with you about chambers,he has earned the right to start no doubt!and of course we both want arsenal to succeed!!👍

  13. Frankie says:

    To be very honest, I will prefer
    Leno GK
    Mustafi Luiz, Holding CB
    Chambers RB Gwen – Torriera . Tieney LB

    Cebalos

    Pepe Auba

  14. TOM says:

    I think one element as fans we forget is the situation why a manager is a manager and why we are just fans.

    Man U will be an intense, high pace, high impact type of game. It always has been between us.

    As much as Holding, Bellerin and Tierney have around 140 mins or so under their belts each, the intensity of a United game might be too much too soon at the risk of setting back their hardwork to gain full body of health. This is where the manager needs to consider the situation.

    It is a little less Black and White as some appear to think of it as being.

    I am super excited about our young guns, but equally making sure they are ready to play a long season. Bellerin has had long term injuries before, it is Tierney 2nd or 3rd major injury of sorts… We need to make sure it is right for them.

    Saying that, Chambers Luiz Holding Kola might be the way forward against United (though Luiz and Holding both play on the Left so not sure how this works..) Having the value of knowing we have our 1st line full backs in the wings!

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Yes, wouldn’t there be an uproar if they are brought back too early and suffer injury.

  15. gidizpierre says:

    For the fact that emery rested a whole lot of so called first team players says a lot in his selections on monday…all suggestions we have are good ones but UE isnt superb to go with a decent squad.. luiz, sokratis and xhaka would mostly be in the line up coz thats why they were rested.. Its gonna be like what we’ve always seen. Man utd beating us even with the poorest form. UE is so adamant to corrections and tinkers a lot. I just hope he thinks straight.

  16. Ethiogooner says:

    It makes me really happy to see fans starting to aknowledge mustafi’s good form,always good to see a fair judgment of a player isn’t clouded through biasedness. He is slowly turning the tide and nothing beats a comeback story!

    Chambers at this point should be in the starting XI and that’s a no brainer. If it was up to me, when bellerin gets fully fit to takeover the RB position i would start chambers at the DM position and at the back going by current form I would start mustafi and rob at the centre. Here’s how my lineup would be…
    Leno/Martinez (both are solid)

    H.bellerin mustafi rob tierny
    Chambers
    Willock/Torreira xhaka/guendozi

    Pepe Auba saka/nelson

    This team could play with or without possession. I don’t rate ceballos that much because from what I’ve seen from him so far i don’t know what he offers yet,and without possession he’s useless judging by the game against liverpool. Xhaka and guendozi can’t play together as both have flaws that doesn’t compliment each others (defensively speaking) xhaka is not mobile enough and Matteo lacks the awareness of his surroundings and just chase after the ball (although he has improved on that a little but not enough). We need torreira’s tenacity plus he can play and as for willock that boy is the REAL DEAL! I mean he’s a very well-rounded player that don’t have much significant weakness to his game really and he’s just getting started. The ultimate replacement of Ramsey. Energy, goal threat tendency, defensive awareness, ability to dribble past player,tenacious tackler. Only time will tell if he can take his talent to the next level but the signs are encouraging. I’m so excited to see this kids reaching the final stage, never have I seen so many academy graduates banging on the door for first team action and kudos to Emery for giving them the opportunity!

    1. Lenohappy says:

      Ethiogooner,
      Thank you, you’ve said it as it is.

  17. David Rusa says:

    Can we for once stop the song of Arsenal having the weakest defence in EPL and focus on which players will give us the best results. I feel that if the manager selects his team wisely we shall defeat Man U. In fact I have a strong feeling that with all our good players back we can stand up to any team in EPL. Perhaps what will make the difference is the team selection and tactics by the coach. If these two are well handled we shall go toe to toe with the best. For once in a long time I am excited about our team. The back four of Holding, Luiz, Tierney and Bellerin will cause a scare in many teams. I, therefore, urge all Gooners to get behind our team and give them utmost support.

  18. Franko says:

    This formation will help alot trust me.

    ————————–Leno—————-

    -Chambers/Bellerin—-Mustaphi—–Holding—–Tierney

    —————-Willock/Torriera—-Luiz———

    Pepe—————Guendouzi————Martenelli/Saka

    ———————Aubamayang———————

    1. Abi says:

      I couldn’t agree more. This represents our best line up IMO. Luiz will be great as a DM
      Unfortunately, Emery will find a way to slot in Xhaka. He sees something every other person doesn’t see in him.

  19. S.J says:

    Emery’s predicted line up.

    Aubameyang..

    Saka, Ceballos, Pepe..

    Guendouzi, Xhaka..

    Kolasinac, Luiz, Sokratis, Chambers..

    Leno.

    My wishful line up..

    Aubameyang..

    Saka, Willock, Pepe..

    Guendouzi, Torreira..

    Kolasinac, Luiz, Mustafi, Chambers..

    Leno.

  20. AndersS says:

    I hope we never will see AMN as RB again. So for me Chambers is the best choice at the moment.
    I doubt Tierney is ready for a Man U game, so LB will probably have to be Kolasinac.
    As for CB’s it is clearly a difficult one, as there are no obvious solid pairings, and is Holding physically ready?
    We will be put under so much more pressure than against Forrest. Utd will know, we are weakest when being pressed when we have the ball, and that the rest of our team struggle to help the defense.
    I hope we somehow are getting better at defending from the front, and I hope UE picks a team, that can keep Utd. from putting too much pressure on the defense. It doesn’t really matter, who play at the back, if our midfield and attackers aren’t better organized defensively.

  21. Frédéric slimane says:

    Emery has just said that he doesn’t think bellerin is ready to play against man utd!

  22. Grandad says:

    Wise words AndersS.Man City are the classic example of a team which defends from the front with Bernardo Silva leading the way with a prodigious work rate.This is something Emery will require to instil in Pepe if he is to make a positive impact in this highly competitive league.He has most of the skills to be a star but he must improve his work rate, and quickly.

  23. Innit says:

    Id go with
    Bellerin…Chambers..Holding..Tierney

    If Bellerin isnt ready to start
    Chambers..Holding..Luiz..Tierney

    Either way, we shouldnt start Niles and we should start Holding and Tierney (if healthy)

    Im not sure who to start between Saka and Martinelli on Left Wing

    I really believe that with Holding, Tierney and Bellerin back our team will improve. Also Lacazette coming back next month (hopefully)

  24. gerry burke says:

    i am delighted that mesut ozil once again played well last night.i am delighted for arsenal fc that ozil looks to be in fine form once again. i dont know how long it will last, but i think he should be given the chance now to improve the quality of the team.ive never been a fan of his , okay, but , i must give credit where it is due.i actually like his attitude now, not too many professionals would sit and take what is happening like he does.never thought i would see the day where i was praising ozil, but there ya go .

  25. Gunner_FR says:

    Too soo mate!

    We are talking about a trip to old Trafford here, The only one I see coming in is Calum. For the rest, let’s give it some time.

  26. sam k mawedze says:

    I go with Martinez…CChambers, Sokratis, Holding, Tierney….LT11, Goundozi,Willock,Nelson, Auba, Pepe…….however knowing Emery he will play Luiz because they were together at PSG and he will sacrifice LT11 for his son Xhaka….actually Torreira is being shifted to play the Kante role so that he can accomodate Zhaka….we will not go anywer with this guy…

  27. Malaysian gunner says:

    Hopefully there are no wild fluctuations for the CD. Luiz hasn’t become a bad player ovetnite. I hope he can partner Chambers with Holding as back up.
    Beating NF is one thing. Mu have much better strikers. There is no reason why Arsenal can’t win having been winless since 2006.Its time this barren run ends.

  28. Daulat says:

    Bigger problem than defense is in the midfield. And that problem is that of mismanagement and imbalance in the midfield. You need a midfield capable of marking and stopping attackers before they reach the defense. If the opposition attackers are given free reign to reach the final third of the pitch and shoot with impunity every time, without anyone even putting a foot in to intercept or tackle, defense will suffer endlessly.

    Good way to see this, let Holding, Tierney and Bellerin return to the defense and start Xhaka and Guendouzi in front of them, the defense will still suffer and Arsenal will concede goals no matter what. Neither Xhaka or Guendouzi provide that protection to the back 4. Players like Torreira and Willock are required to press and get the ball back away from the back 4 and keep them away from the final third. Xhaka and Guendouzi should never start together. Xhaka should never start without Torreira, like never. It’s a crime. And the back 4 suffer because of it.

    Currently, there are several midfield combos that I can think of that provide good balance and versatility.

    1. In a 4-2-3-1 formation, Torreira and Guendouzi/Xhaka/Luiz as double pivot, with Ozil in front. Very versatile midfield, deadly on counter attack, and with good protection of the back four. The catch is, If Xhaka plays, Luiz shouldn’t and vice versa.

    2. In a 4-2-3-1 formation, Torreira and Ceballos as double pivot, with Willock in front. Luiz at the back 4 to lob through balls. Ceballos and Willock can play interchangeably and held possesion with Torreira. Very good for a long ball strategy with pacy wingers and forward.

    3. In a 4-3-2-1, Luiz at the back for occasional long balls. Torreira as a true DM, with Willock and Guendouzi as CMs. This will be great if Lacazette plays up front, playing as a false 9, dropping back and letting wingers cut in from the wide. A very good pressing potential in this one, with aggresive midfield and also Laca from the front. Pepe and Saka would be great as wingers, as they really like to take on the players head on letting Willock and Guendouzi to overlap and over run the box for back passes from Pepe Saka. Auba wouldn’t fit well in this imo. His hold up game isn’t as good as Laca.

    I don’t think Arsenal has the kind of players to go for 4-3-3 in the midfield. Pace is the issue here.

    Back 4 should be when players fully fit, Tierney and Bellerin the fullbacks. CB pairings: Sokratis Holding, Chambers Luiz, Luiz Holding, Chambers Holding, Mustafi Holding, Mustafi Chambers.

    1. Viju Jacob says:

      Yesterday the team stayed compact, which is why I said earlier that it seemed to be Freddie’s managing. If people didn’t see him giving out instructions, it’s not anyone’s fault but theirs alone.
      If the team plays through a creative midfielder, then the ball stays in the opponent’s half thereby leaving out the defence to organise themselves. We have some pundits who laughed at this, but it is a fact that Arsenal must not play in its own half. Our boys played a free flowing game yesterday which is not Emery’s style, so either Emery adapts himself to the talent pool he has or he goes. Fairly simple.
      Get ahead as fast as possible with passes that has some pace in them and our team can give a run for anyone’s money.
      After watching Luiz & Sokratis play against Burnley, I felt that they shouldn’t play together at all as both are hot heads; they need a calm person next to them for them to not concede stupid goals, but Emery doesn’t see it. It’s common sense basically. They need good partnerships in all three areas of the pitch and that hasn’t happened to a large extent, except for Auba+Laca up front. Hopefully a Holding+Chambers partnership will develop soon.

      1. Daulat says:

        I agree the style of football Arsenal played yesterday was not Emery’s style at all. It was too fluid, and the ball was never stalled in our own half which is exactly opposite of how Emery usually likes to play. So far, it seems, he wants to draw the opposition attack and try to counter with passing from the back. Problem here is ball remains in Arsenal’s half for the most part where Arsenal lacks ball playing capability. Which lies up front with the creative players. No wonder, Arsenal takes so many shots on their goal, as the ball is there for the taking.

        I don’t know if Emery will implement some of what we saw yesterday, the mentality to keep the ball moving forward and in the opposition half for the most part of the game, not like sitting back and being a punchbag for the oppositions. The problem with change in this mentality lies with the team selection Emery will go for. And I’m afraid he has made his mind on some players, for better or worse. I just hope he doesn’t act rigidly in the next games.

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