Wenger to change complete Arsenal XI for trip to BATE Borisov?

The thing about being a big Premier League club that always gets into Europe, even if it is only the Europa League and not the Champions League this time, is that you need to have a big squad to compete in four competitions and Arsene Wenger will need to use his wisely this week.

It would be a disaster if the Gunners were to waste the renewed form and confidence gained from a battling draw at Chelsea on top of the 100 percent home record, so the boss will want his strongest side on the pitch for the visit of Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday.

Is this the time for the Frenchman to do what he alluded to some weeks ago and completely prioritise the domestic league over the Europa games? We have won our first game, after all and should get out of the group without too much difficulty and we also have that strong squad.

Wenger may not be able to change his whole team from last night, I suppose, as the defence and midield does not have quite the same quality and options as the forward line. He can bring in Ospina, Holding and Mertesacker though, leaving just one place in a back three to be filled by young player from the academy.

In midfield he could give another start to Jack Wilshere, with maybe someone like Iwobi or Reine-Adeklaide or even Bielik in there with him. Perhaps another chance for young Reiss Nelson but further forward this time, and we do have Giroud, Ozil and Walcott who did not start last night.

Should Wenger change the whole Arsenal team against BATE Borisov?


Updated: September 25, 2017 — 11:26 pm


  1. I wouldn’t change the whole team, maybe around half. I don’t know anything about Bate. Just hope we put in another good performance & pick up another 3 points. COYG

    1. Ospina
      Pleguezuelo – Mertesacker – Holding
      Moore – Wilshere – Elneny – Niles
      Walcott – Giroud – Iwobi

      1. Chambers and debuchy over more and pugzuelo

  2. Agree with admin. Will be good to see Jack again

    I still think he can make it back to 1st team

  3. I have no information about this Bate Team. Arsenal have enough top players who normally
    make the Bench and I think this would give an opportunity to fringe players to participate
    in such competitions. In my give Mr Wenger to assess Wilshire who in his last outing impressed.

    1. any less than a WIN against bate wots-it-face and i guarantee there’ll be a “virtual brawl” amongst fans right here in the Just Arsenal saloon (it won’t be pretty). i’m convinced we didn’t come away with the credibility we gained at the bridge – to be faced by bate and have what ever we have left of our reputation left in tatters:

  4. If we want to avoid “2000” injuries then it’s a big YES

  5. Its an option, and it looks to be the BEST option right now.
    The fact that we play in another 2.5 days, and this being a 2400-mile round trip, with us still recovering from yesterday’s demanding game, and having a big group of first team players craving for more playtime, we have to make this call.

    My preferred starting line-up will be:
    Debuchy Mertesacker Holding
    Nelson Wilshere Iwobi Maitland-Niles
    Walcott Özil

    Bench: Alexis, Elneny, Nketiah, Akpom, Mustafi, Monreal, Macey
    If Debuchy is still on “strike”, I would go for McGuane/Monreal/Mustafi. (as Chambers and Beilik are still sidelined)

  6. We do have a quick turn round of games, with having to play Monday, Thursday and Sunday lunch time , so of course Wenger has to rest most of those from last night. That’s why we have a big squad. Whether that big squad, numbers wise , is equally deep talent wise is IMO nowhere near true. But it still should be good enough to beat Bate. So much opportunity for the likes of Nelson, Holding, Wilshere, Giroud etc. But I exclude Walcott, who has had far more chances than he ever should have had and never held down a regular position . At age 27, he really should have been moved on long before now. He will probably score a hat trick now and prove me wrong. Hope he does but I prefer my chance of winning the National Lottery to his of scoring a hat trick. And I don’t even buy tickets for it! IF EVER HE WOULD BE PREPARED TO WORK AS HARD AS OTHER PLAYERS, THAT WOULD BE A START. But after eleven plus years here it aint happened yet!

    1. Obviously Walcotts relatives are coming to his aid by disliking my comments here. Any of you who are real Arsenal fans and still think Walcott is any good, ..well I feel very sorry for your sanity, which is in danger. What on earth do you think this weed is going to accomplish now at Arsenal, which he hasn’t managed to do in the last eleven long and cowardly , idle years?

      1. (imo) its not so much a Q whether walcott is good, but rather whether he’s ‘good enough’ and has over his years shown to have title winning quality? on this Q our fans are divided. it’s a question that we’d be happy for him to prove us wrong. so, if your following theo do us all a favour and surprise us with what remains of the arsenal career you have left.

  7. Ozil needs to get fit Sanchez needs to get his sharpness back, Giroud needs game time, Walcot needs to prove himself and needs game time, Wilshere needs to stay match fit so he can break through the first team in case of injury, and also think Wilshere and Walcot can link up like the old days they both know their strengths






    if we are ahead we can throw in some more youth

    1. I put Kolasinac as my “JOKER PLAYER” ( not in a funny seance ) in front of the back three and just behind Wilshire because he could do a good job of man marking and break down counter attacks before they pick up pace

    2. I laugh when i read this “Walcot needs to prove himself and needs game time”. after eleven and half years, what else is there to prove? if he is to prove anything, why hasn’t he done that all this while?

      he has been used as a main striker, used on the right and also on the left, yet he hasn’t proved himself. is it when he is used as a LB, RB, DM, CDM or more preferably as a goalkeeper that he would prove himself?

      not to take anything away from him as a gunner player, IMO if he get’s selected he should be grateful as i would start Nelson ahead of him any time any day.

      It still amaze me how AW got to offer this guy over a hundred thousand bucks for just a season wonder in which after that same season he was looking for a move to liverfool (now I see where his understudy as at then got the inspiration from *alex C*)

      1. Elvinho, How wonderful to find someone who shares my distaste ,as a player for Walcott. I have nothing at all against him as a man, he is polite and seems to be a nice person and family man. But we are here to support Arsenal FC, not to rate his social abilities and he has been a disastrous failure over eleven(nearly twelve) tedious and bone idle, cowardly and weedy years. I do not call him a weed because he is always injured but because he has the strength of a wet tissue and has chosen to do nothing to increase that strength in the gym. He has the faintest heart and spirit of any Prem footballer, ever, anywhere, I can remember and I go back to 1958 watching Arsenal. Thst this man is STILL HERE poncing huge unearned wages is criminal and yet another reason on Wenger’s long list of sackable reasons. BY THE WAY, I CLEARLY SAW THESE FRAILTIES WHEN HE WAS EIGHTEEN AND YOU RARELY GROW OUT OF FAULTS OF CHARACTER LIKE HIS.

        1. Walcott is a squad player with a unique set of talent for the right type of offensive play or certain situation.
          He does go on scoring runs and when surrounded by better midfield creators or a dominant midfield who can feed him from deep positions has shown his use.
          Not the all-round player you were expecting? Maybe you misinterpreted his remit

          1. Squaddies do not make that much money.

            He should get on 75K/wk or less.

  8. I don’t think Wenger should be pinning his hopes on domestic glory, although I’d love us to lift the premiership trophy again. However, just because we’ve had a modicum of success lately with some decent performances and corresponding results i.e the performances allowing us not to be woefully beaten by a strong Chelsea side or, allowing us to overcome the tight knit, normally nullifying tactics of Pulis and his teams.

    What we have to remember, is Arsenal are forever having these small purple patches where they do a number on Chelsea or City, think they’ve now got is sussed and then go back into cruise mode, forgetting their previous stalwart performance for something fanciful and once again experimental.

    Consistency is the key for Arsenal which means you have to put out consistent teams, barring injury or suspension, use the right tactics and methods for the game and with that team to maintain that consistency and have it ingrained into the team for when they next play, doesn’t matter if it’s against Newcastle or Man U, strong team, right tactics will win the day.

    At the moment, and from what I’ve seen over the past few seasons, even though we’ve done enough to make the top four (with the exception of last season), that’s been our only consolation, in all those previous seasons, we were still never close to winning the premiership. Even when we had the biggest chance of doing that 2015–16, we still failed and were 10 points behind Leicester !

    It’s not a pipe dream to think that we can’t win the premiership but, recent history shows us that we just don’t do enough to make that happen. So why Wenger thinks that there’s something special about us this season is a mystery to me. Especially when teams like Spurs, City, United, Chelsea, Liverpool have all made flying starts and look immensely strong. Again, given past seasons, the premiership title was there to be contended for but, we just didn’t do enough due to lack of application, ability and consistency. The manager shouldn’t be hedging his bets based on that history.

    Also, it doesn’t matter that we’re playing Bate, Wenger should take this competitions more seriously than intended and actually be using it as a contingency in case we don’t make the top four again. If we show enough impetus and fight in the Europa League, do well and win it, it might provide us with a second means of getting a champions league spot at the end of the season and a coveted european trophy to boot.

    In short, No ! to a second string approach to Europa League, put out a strong, workman like, disciplined, thinking team, and go hell for leather to win every game.

    1. Then the players burnout or get unnecessary injuries, we blame the manager, right? You basically want the players playing three games in 7 days including a gruelling trip to Eastern Europe?

      1. Burnt out, uncessary injuries. What do you think these guys get paid for ?

        I assume you work for a living too, albeit not in a sporting capacity ! Does your boss let you have Tuesday off just because you had a gruelling Monday.

        These guys are fit as butchers dogs, play football, some midweek training for a few hours and get paid shit loads. You telling me they can’t handle that job description.

        We can’t overlook one competition because we think it’s beneath us and field nonsensical teams. We might as well just say, we don’t wanna play full stop. Wining the Europa league could have a host of benefits of it’s own if we take it seriously and not mollycoddle the players.

        And contrary to your assertions. There’s nothing to say that our 1st XI won’t pick up unnecessary injuries during our domestic campaign, which is just so gruelling we should only let them have to play for 45 mins at a time !

        1. MWNN, I tend to side with you in general about mollycoddling of players-in fact of all society- compared to when I was a boy over 50 years ago. However, the game is faster and more dynamic now than ever before and it is widely known among pro managers that players need some rest to recuperate. The real question though is “how much?” And this is where I tend towards your argument. Last season the opening home GAME AGAINST LIVERPOOL WHICH ULTIMATELY COST US A TOP FOUR PLACE AND GAVE IT INSTEADTO LIVERPOOL, was caused entirely by Wenger over resting key defenders after the summer competitions and leaving us with a rookie CB pairing and thus we lost 3-4, making a 6 pont turn round. He is still over resting players, the key word being “over”. So rest , yes, but a month or more sabbatical from work , for which all are grossly overpaid, certainly NOT!

  9. I wouldn’t play kola
    He’s vital to us now
    League games only,

    Sneaky bottler mesut ozil has flown under the radar. Sanchez gets booed when ozil isn’t signing either ,difference being he has decent pr team . What will u all say when he joins our rivals for free an talks bad of us.

    Sanchez carried us for years. What has ozil ever done .

    Sneaky Lil german

    1. Agreed! The difference between Sanchez and Ozil is one has “balls” and one does not. I need not say which to any Arsenal fan.

    2. as i recall we’re reliant on germans to comprise our defence and had a german in goal when we achieved the accolade of “Invincibles” – jus some food for thought.

    3. Redmau5, What a shame you ruined a good post by inferring that because Ozil is GERMAN, HE IS A BOTTLER. Whatt on earth does “Sneaky Lil german” mean? Had you said lazy, I would have agreed but you should choose the correct words or you lose the argument.Otherwise why would you mention his nationality? That is why I have disliked a comment I would otherwise have liked and I warrant more have done the same, too

  10. I’ve always advocated for two separate teams for Europe and EPL, Jack especially should not be anywhere near the EPL team due to his injury record but his pedigree makes him suited to Europe. If we have to be like Chelsea last season, we need our 1st eleven playing just once a week most of the time to minimize the risk of injuries and fatigue.

    1. That would be fine if our second string team was of the calibre of the first. We could pin all our hopes on the first XI doing well for the whole premiership campaign but we know that’s not gonna happen considering injuries and suspensions will play a role.

      We should play the strongest team and include some of the fringe players where the need might apply but not to send a completely novice side to get us through a european competition. Maitland-Niles, Reine Adelaide, Bielik, Holding will be nothing more than disorganised rabble.

  11. Looking at last night game sanchez was OK just, the two or more times he gave the ball away and wayward passes even at one point elneny and rambo were furious with him and they made him aware of it sadly it’s not the first time there have games this season he’s done that and frankly we can’t afford that luxury, we should give more cudos to europa cup that’s our salvation this season into champions league

  12. No need to risk an injury or even fly guys like Cech, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette, Giroud, and probably a few others I forget to Belorussia. Give them a nice rest so they are ready for BHA on Sunday. Ospina, Wilshere, Maintland-Niles, Holding, Mertesacker, Walcott, even Akpom could all play and get some valuable minutes.

  13. The Bate Boys are quite good sctually and should not be underestimated.

  14. Don’t ever under estimate Bate, they are a good side. But I would prefer Iwobi, Walcott, and Nelson in attack.

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