Wenger to shock Arsenal fans with team for BATE Borisov?

It depends which of Arsene Wenger’s comments about Arsenal and the approach to our season in the unfamiliar European competition that is the Europa League you have been listening to I suppose, because the Frenchman has been a bit contradictory on the issue ever since we first found out our fate on the final day of last season.

Of course the Gunners did not want to drop out of the elite competition that is the Champions League, but the boss suggested it might be a good thing as we could then focus all our energies on the new Premier League title race. Well that is one of the things he has said, because Wenger has also spoken about winning the thing and about picking strong sides for the group games.

Just this week the boss seemed to contradict himself in the space of a single sentence, reported by Metro, when he talked about his preparations for the long haul trip to face BATE Borisov tonight, which is unfortunately sandwiched in between the EPL game against West Brom on Monday and a stupidly early kick-off against Brighton on Sunday.

Wenger said, ‘We have a tight schedule. It’s an important game, only one or two young players will start.’

So the schedule? Surely that means he needs to rest the key players today, but by saying it is an important game he is putting pressure on himself to field a strong side. The fact Alexis Sanchez traveled tells me that Wenger is considering a strong selection and although it would be nice to win the group I am surprised that we would take risks with the much more important Premier League game coming up.

Is the Arsenal manager set to shock us by not playing a second string side tonight?

Sam P.


  1. redmau5 says:

    honestly dont think fans care enough to be genuinely shocked about a group europa league game or anything involving it, ppl almost expect weird selection an formations anyway with wenger
    see the amount of spaces at the emirates these days…thats telling

    have quite a few friends who are gooners…indifference to arsenal is quite telling, they care and seem devoid of ideas of how to change things

    hope they win as usual. give jack theo ozil chance to stretch there legs

  2. gotanidea says:

    If Arsenal really have a great academy, they should surprise us by showing a youngster with Mbappe’s quality. Arsenal’s resources are way more than Monaco, but they still cannot show us any world class talent from their academy.

    1. Segun says:

      That’s such a silly statement. Do you realize Mbappe is French? I think the trouble is picking out a potential British star from a very young age, competing for his signature with every club in the land!

      Discovering great talents happens occasionally, as you would have seen from other academies as City, Chelsea and a host of other clubs; and that’s why the Arsenal academy has produced stars like Cesc, Jack, Szczesny and Iwobi. Ozyakup is doing great things these days. It is up to the clubs they play for or eventually end up at, to make them into “world class” stars, as you imply (rather premarturedly) that Mbappe is.

  3. Ortega says:

    Debuchy/theo holding per chambers/mustafi kola
    Elneny jack
    OG alexis

  4. Joe says:

    Carlo ancelloti has been fired. Arsenal should go for him to replace wenger.

    1. gotanidea says:

      So Arsenal always take other people’s saliva or leftovers right? The very low expectation really shows Arsenal’s real ambition and motivation.

      – Ozil was a Real Madrid’s reject.
      – Sanchez was aBarcelona’s reject.
      – Cech was Chelsea’s old/ backup goalkeeper.
      – Gallas was Chelsea’s old defender.

      And now Ancelotti, that failed at Bayern Munich. What’s next? Benitez, Real Madrid’s failure?

  5. Declan says:

    Non story again. It will be a mix of senior players who are not regular starters with a few youngsters, possibly only Niles and Nelson.
    So where’s the big shock!

  6. Goonerboy says:


    Ancelotti sacked by Bayern!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just because of a game???????

    Wenger is the bosssssssss

    1. gotanidea says:

      Arsenal’s ambition is even less than Leicester City’s (they sacked Ranieri after giving them a phenomenal Premier League title), let alone Bayern Munich’s.

      And what Arsenal’s fans can do to those corrupted people at Arsenal? Absoulutely nothing, hahahaha

    2. jon fox says:

      Goonerboy. We are aked to rate comments. Your comment actually said nothing at all that means anything so how can we rate it!

  7. Atid says:

    Mustafi Mertesacker Holding
    Debuchy wilshire elneny Niles
    Walcott nelson

    Da Silva

  8. jon fox says:

    To be fair to Wenger, -though I have wanted him sacked for many years already – three games in 6 days, thanks to the PREM making us play on this Monday gone, has enforced severe change. Given the mess the club is in anyway, thanks to Wenger, Kroenke and Gazidis, it hardly matters, since we are stuck with Wenger, (unless we can force him out sooner) til end of next season. A serious real professional manager would have got this squad easily into last years top four and negated the need for Europa Cup. But we are where we are and so yes, he should play many younsters with a couple of experienced CB’s in Merts and Mustafi definitely. Backed up with experienced pros like Ospina, Giroud, Walcott, Wilshere, Debuchy, if fit, and the likes of Nelson, Maitland -Niles and Willock we should have more than enough for Bate. But compared to the overall mess and lack of direction and forward planning the club is in, it is a sideshow. One thing I will say though is this: We have a far stronger chance to qualify for next seasons CL by winning the Europa than by making the Prem top four. You can write off the two Mancs and Chelsea for top three already , so we are competing for fourth place with Spuds and Liverpool. And I , being a realist, see us finishing sixth.

  9. The barrel says:

    Wenger said two youngsters will start the game, and he meant it. Check it the starting X1, only Maitland-Niles and Nelson. Are you shocked.
    Gotanidea is full of hate. Arsenal has produced quality graduates from academy in the likes of Anelka, Kane, Wilshere, Gnabry, Fabregas, Bellerin. Can Niles and Nelson make people cry this, give the lads a chance and criticize after the game as usual. The get aduates from Arsenal might not be and the same level as Mbape, but really Arsenal is trying when it comes to academy. If you were Man City or Chelsea supporter what were you going to say?

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