Wenger to start strongest Arsenal XI for Benfica in Emirates Cup?

Even though it is still pre-season and Arsenal will still have one more match to play after the Emirates Cup before the Premier League season kicks off properly, I think Arsene Wenger and t5he Arsenal fans will be looking for a performance from the Gunners this weekend that suggests that we are going to be ready to kick off the new campaign in fine form.

After the poor performance and emphatic 3-0 defeat to Chelsea last weekend I reckon Arsenal could do with bouncing back at the first opportunity and that comes tomorrow against the Portuguese champions Benfica and their new signing from the Arsenal youth system Chris Willock.

Of course the boss is going to play some of the younger Gunners and some of the fringe squad memebres who you would maybe not expect to start in the Premier League, but I would like to see him kick off our own competition with the strongest possible XI.

As Theo Walcott says in a report on the Arsenal website, the Emirates Cup is the perfect preparation for the new season as we are pretty close to the start and want to be confident and show that the team is ready to rock.

The England forward said, “It’s time to get in the right frame of mind, play against strong teams on a nice pitch, and just do the right things, the things that get you into the team. You want to win as well, to get into the winning habit. We tend to have quite a good record at that.

“We’ve lost the opening game of the season over the past few years I think, so we need to make sure that pattern changes this year. We’re playing against strong teams in all the games we’re playing in pre-season, so there’s no excuse for a slow start.

“This team’s had ups and downs but we need to start well first. Starting well is the main priority and then we’ve got to push on from there.

“The manager has said that right from the first day here: make sure there’s a fast start. That’s why it’s important for us to play these bigger teams in pre-season, to be mentally ready and switched on. We need to get into good habits, that’s the main thing. It’s all about a positive start, and results will make that happen.”

I agree and even though the Community Shield against Chelsea next weekend is not that important in the grans scheme of things I think we need to show that last weekend was a blip and just as a fast start in the Premier League is important I think a strong start to our Emirates Cup would be handy so let’s not have some inexperienced young midfielder playing on the right of defence.

Would you like to see Wenger start with as strong an Arsenal XI as possible tomorrow?


Updated: July 28, 2017 — 2:36 pm


  1. I would like to see a couple lads mixed in with experience, not half the team as kids but a couple, try and help them step up into the 1st team.

    Nelson has done very well and I hope to see him at some point.

  2. Start a strong squad, then bring in our young stars later in the second half

  3. The Emirates cup is a 2 day straight (back to back) contest and so, it is obvious you have to have a mix and match of two different teams where those who start on Saturday may come in to finish on Sunday. The selection won’t reveal much about the first 11 of the team. The Charity shield will provide a better picture, less the likes of Bellerin, Sanchez and Mustafi.

    Of course, the game vs Chelsea in Beijing was a blip occasioned by a combination of factors, not the least of which was the team recovering from food poisoning and having two academy players start at right/left wing back and CB; plus, being the last game of a gruelling tour, there is a tourist effect to the last day of the tour. The season promises to be exciting.

  4. I agree, play our strongest squad and get in the winning habit before the start of the PL.

  5. Please drop this silly Eleney as CB idea. We seem to have enough players who can play there.
    We have:
    Koscielny, Mustafi, Kolsanic, Mertsacker, Holding, Chambers, Nelson, Gabriel.

    Unless Wenger is thinking of getting rid of Gabriel/Chambers, not putting Nelson in first team then If you want another CB then sign a specialist CB: like Van Dijk, Koulibaly, Smalling etc.

    Playing Eleny at the back is foolish

    1. I agree but I saw the Arsenal v Wanderers game in Sydney and he was actually quite good. He kept a nice line and was very vocal albeit against a mediocre team. He was a lot better than most of the team that night all bar Ramsey (was everywhere in attack and defence) and Giroud (had a great presence up front and a good touch).
      Walcott was shocking and Özil is utterly useless in defence. He doesn’t even move to the player with the ball and gets beat so easy every single time. I don’t care what anyone says about his ‘ability’ in attack, he is a passenger in defence and a lot of the attacks started from his lack of effort. I would like to see a stat of how many goals have gone in from the lead up play of Özil not defending.

      1. I also believe a good defensive midfielder can be a good central defender, if he plays in the back a lot. All top European teams have central defenders that can possess the ball very well on their feet, they don’t rely on central defenders that can only use their muscles and heights.

        Barcelona has Mascherano that has great vision and anticipation, because he was a great defensive midfielder. Juventus had Bonucci and Tottenham has Dier as their first attackers. Arsenal can also use their central defenders to build the attack from the back.

        We have seen Walcott’s and Ozil’s performance in the last three seasons and we should be able to see a glimpse of their performances in the pre-season matches. If they are Barcelona’s players, I think they will not play a lot, like Hleb and Song. They cannot possess the ball more than three touches consistently and cannot retrieve the ball under ten seconds.

        Arsenal needs players that can dominate the field like Barcelona’s first team players. I believe Jean Seri and Rafinha would be a great addition for Arsenal.

    2. It takes time for a switch to a new position

      RVP and Henry were not strikers too

      But if someone actually watched Eleney plays CB, hes actually did well and hes tall

      1. It isnt a complete stretch, at the same time its just frustrating to hear this every year. ramsey and wilshere on wings, monreal in cb, Podolski on wing, theo up front, ox wing back…
        yes they all have varying success and some games actually perform very well, but we are suppose to be a top club. Elneny isnt a world class champion DM converting to CB with Masc, he is an average AT BEST CM. If not good enough move him on and purchase the required position properly. Chelsea arent considering Matic at the back, United arent considering Fellaini at the back, city arent considering YAYA at the back, stoke arent putting crouch back!!! eh you get my point….

        1. Not sure why u got red arrows
          I always say like you have , if your a top team behave like 1

        2. “Elneny isn’t a world class champion DM…”

          Elneny was a serial champion in the Swiss league for FC Basel. But I guess that doesn’t count, eh? ??

  6. Strong or weak squad does not matter

    We can hammer every team by 5 goals or 10 goals and it will not count for the league points

    Essentially we should be using the game to improve our match fitness and sharpness…

    Improving on the game play, the passing, crossing, communication, coordination and etc….

  7. We need 2 well balanced teams for the weekend.No need to play the same player for 2 days consecutively.
    For Saturday: ………………….. Cech
    Koscielny Elneny Kolasinac
    Nelson Coquelin Iwobi Monreal
    Lacasette Walcott

    For Sunday: ………………………..Ospina
    Chambers Mertersaker Holding
    Bellerin Xhaka Ramsey Bramall
    Walcott Girou

    For bench: Niles,Willock Martinez .These are the 25 players nominated.
    Then for next weekend we play the best eleven.

  8. The time has come for both Walcott and Chamberlain to move on.
    The former is inconsistent and his overall goal tally is disgraceful.
    Chamberlain clearly doesnt fit in and should leave while there is interest in him from elsewhere.

    Nelson looks a good prospect and should be given opportunities on the right wing.

  9. Gooner of the week

    Yes we could have fielded very strong teams this weekend if he’d have woken up from his usual slumber and spent some cash oh no he’s just the same as he’s always been after looking how the others are spending on top quality players we’re middle of the table bound this season that’s for sure.
    Yes we’ve signed one good player but only because the sharks didn’t fancy him so he is to be congratulated for that but that’s all, we’ll get maybe a bargain basement if that by the end of the window. etc.
    Yes it would have been great to watch several new assets this weekend but alas that won’t be
    One thing he may well do and that’s to keep his word over Sanchez this time I believes he means it .

    1. I like the new assets in Nelson and Willock, as well as Lacazette. Who knows, we may have a Dele Alli or some Harry Kane therefrom. It’s not always about spending as even the ordinary players now cost £50m to be of any value. When Walker and Mendy cost upwards of £50m+, you can’t convince me that’s value for money. I expect us to get one more addition; whatever happens, I will get behind the team, knowing we already have a good side (or we won’t win the FA cup) and have improved from last season.

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