West Brom v Arsenal – Who should replace The Ox tomorrow?

As we could all have guessed at the beginning of the season, Santi Cazorla has hardly kicked a ball for the Arsenal first team, and ever since his injury the Gunners have struggled to find a suitable replacement in the attacking mid position.

But finally, in the last month or so, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was tried in the position and seems to have improved drastically with every single game, and it looked like we had at last found a long term replacement for our Spanish genius.

Unluckily (or inevitably!) Alex has now sustained a hamstring injury, and although we are yet to know the full extent of the problem, he will definitely not be playing against West Brom tomorrow at the Hawthorns, in a game that Arsenal simply must win.

So who could Wenger use to fill that role in his absence? Not many of us fans would be backing Aaron Ramsey to return to that role, and Granit Xhaka is still a bit too volatile to be risked, especially against a physical team like West Brom.

The good news is that Mohammed Elneny has rejoined the squad after his ankle injury, but as he has not played for quite some time it is unlikely that he would be risked for the full 90 minutes tomorrow, but if he has looked okay in training it is a possiblility. Wenger was asked yesterday if he thought that the Egyptian would have returned so quickly and Le Prof replied: “No, because at the start it looked like it was a very bad ankle injury. He has recovered well because he’s a very strong boy and very keen to come back as quickly as possible. It worked well for him.”

So that is another possibility. The only other candidate I can think would be Alex Iwobi, who Wenger has often stated would be in that position in the future, although he seems to prefer him on the wing most of the time.

So who do you think Wenger will choose?



  1. G-Rude says:

    Personally I would like Xhaka to play there. I feel he would make less rash defensive tackles if he concentrated on going forwrd and feeding the strikers. He certainly is good at the long balls upfield.
    But I know Wenger will put Ramsey back in!

  2. goonerboy says:

    Ramsey will definately get the nod alongside Xhaka, Wenger won’t start Elneny even if he is 100%….

  3. Jansen says:

    One way or another we have to play Xhaka. There is no point spending 35 million and not playing him at this stage of the season. If he is ever going to turn into a good investment he needs minutes. Also if we are ever going to sell him we need to be sure we gave him all the chances necessary to succeed. I don’t think he plays so well with Ramsey but as mentioned by others perhaps Elneney is not ready for 90 minutes. So expect Ramsey – Xhaka.

  4. Arsenal_Girl says:

    I think Eleny was a knee jerk signing. You can’t expect a lot from a £5 million signing. Hopefully maybe he will turn out to be an amazing player but I don’t know

    Its just another example of clogging up the team with average to decent but not top class players.

    I hate criticising our players as I love everyone that wears an Arsenal jersey but you can blame Wenger for that

    Our forwards is a good example

    Average to decent


    1. goonerboy says:

      How much did Leicester sign kante???
      And how much did we sign Cazorla???
      Who do you rate between Cazorla and Ozil???
      Is Ozil performing up to his price tag??

      1. goonerboy says:

        So that we bought Elneny for 5m doesn’t really matter..
        Sometimes price tags doesn’t justify a players’ performance
        Imo, I believe every signing is just gamble…

    2. Midkemma says:

      I think ElNeny was NOT a knee jerk signing, he was a cheap option of something Wenger wanted but couldn’t get the permission to spend on at that time, Xhaka.
      Xhaka confirmed that Wenger spoke to him 12 months prior to him signing him, something like 6 months before we signed ElNeny, ElNeny was the bargain version of Xhaka.

      If this is an example of average players clogging up the team then who is to blame for this, really?

      We wouldn’t have bought him if we had of paid the money at the time for Xhaka. ElNeny had done well when we signed him, stepped into the team nicely and helped us fin the season well. The point here is that he performed more than his price tag would indicate, got a smashing goal in the UCL and Wenger still went out and made Xhaka his primary target…

      1. Break-on-through says:

        Elneny is exactly what it says on the tin. A lower rank player who will not stand out, keeps things ticking over until we get some good news on the injury front. He plays it safe, doesn’t lose possession, whilst his positioning is his main focus, and his best attribute. Stays on his feet so will not make a rash challenge nor be left for dead. Aerially, so so. Strength, average with above average athleticism. Speed, nothing outstanding but not slow neither. Mentality, quiet sort, goes about his business. His ceiling, will never be a first team starter for the biggest clubs. He is what he is, and he’ll always be thus unless he joins a bottom half club. Doesn’t sound too important when you speak about him, the squad needs players at the bottom of pecking order, so that’s why I don’t complain about him much. I’d rather look at the first team starters, Coquelin, Ozil, Walcott, those are three very important places that could open up, and with the right quality inserted, our overall performance could improve quite dramatically. Then Ramsey, Wilshere, two more better replacements could have us looking formidable. Giroud, Welbeck, Perez, if we had real ambition two of those would go and the quality coming in would make opponents fear us once more. Cazorla, another huge position within the squad, Monreal or Gibbs, we need to start getting real, ambition is not just a word.

  5. Fatboy Gooney says:

    This won’t go down well with the Wenger Out brigade ?

    Wenger isn’t considering leaving Arsenal,” Primorac told Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji List:

    “Of course it is ugly to lose 5-1 twice in the Champions League, even though it came versus Bayern.

    “We understand how fans are not happy, neither are we. But as for critics, there are no less grateful persons in football than fans and ex-players.

    “Arsenal’s strength in the past 20 years has been Wenger. It is not all about results, but also business part of the club that matters.”

    1. goonerboy says:

      Isn’t Primorac that Wenger called to come and enjoy the cool money at Arsenal without pressure to deliver???
      What do you expect the f**l to say???

      1. Midkemma says:

        That’s why we won a lot in the early days when David Dein was making transfers happen and dealing with wage contracts?

        If there is no pressure from the board NOW then it is NOW.

        Back then David Dein was on the board and he is a passionate Arsenal fan, a share holder who was a fan… Those was nice years. Arsenal as a club was heading in the right direction for sporting reasons and that direction got lost when Dein was forced out by greed.

  6. Fatboy Gooney says:

    By the way, The plane with the Wenger Out banner that was planned for the WBA game has been cancelled, due to bad weather ?
    Mmm I wonder if Arsenal fc’s men in black were involved with that cancelation? ??

    1. Break-on-through says:

      God is an AKB.

  7. goonerboy says:

    To be brutally honest, we don’t have a team that can last the distance..maybe if we play in only one major competition let’s say EPL we could actually mount a serious title challenge…

    Combine Ox and Walcott they are still not up to Alexis…
    Sum up Ramsey and Elneny,they are not up to Cazorla and so on.

    Check this out and dream with me;


    Douglas Costa…Auba….Alexis…

    Bench: Giroud ,Perez,welbeck..
    Offload Walcott and Ozil, replace Ozil with Debruyne and Walcott with Costa..

  8. Twig says:

    We have five midfielders to choose from

    Ramsey, Ozil, Xhaka, Elneny and Coquelin.

    I think the boss will go with Ozil, Ramsey and Xhaka

  9. Tas says:

    i cannot believe we have no one representing England from Arsenal shame on us

    1. arsenal_canada says:

      The ox got called up

  10. goonerboy says:

    Thought Ox was called up

  11. lord wafflebury says:

    Thought ox was injured ?

    1. Tas says:

      That’s what I thought but he is in the England list

  12. Midkemma says:

    What I would like to see our CM as..

    M-Niles, Xhaka, ElNeny.

    CM I will prob see…
    Xhaka, Coquelin, Ramsey

    We will get raped down the left hand side as Ramsey will fail to get back and help while Monreal will let players turn him inside out with no support.

    I may support Wenger a lot in debates over transfers but I am not blind to his tactical… Gambles.

  13. Break-on-through says:

    What I would have liked, is Perez coming in for Alexis whenever subbed or left out.

    To know that we have someone other than Giroud so we didn’t have to see Arsenal’s game turn pear shaped after one simple change, how is that a plan B if it forces your hand.

    Welbeck is back now. If we could’ve (or now can) got this guy performing at a consistent goal scorer’s level well then I’d liken him to an Aubameyang type player.

    Speaking of Auby, does anyone else feel that there is a small chance for some club to almost go in for him under the radar (with the right price) and snatch him quietly/quickly while everyone else is eyeing up all the future French wonders along with Spanish and Italian based players making big splashes. There seems to be an numbers upsurge in the transfer market and most of the big clubs already have big talent in their ranks, so either way players are making way. There will be a chance for the nearly men clubs to make some smart moves this summer, I just hope that we are half as smart as Wenger thinks he is. Klopp, I’m gonna keep my eye on him, same with Conte, they think similar to Wenger as Juve and Dortmund regularly fought with us on that front throughout the years.

    I honestly believe there are great opportunities with bringing Arsenal forward. The money is there ..here!. High prices for everyone, which clubs are now accepting. Dearth of quality is around, players, managers, coaches, medical, new-techniques shrinks?. Manager seat is scorching hot ..ie, appease the fans with first team improvements, or step aside and let Allegri show how a cut throat, take no s**t, man of action!!! does it compared to a man of words.

    Ps, I totally loved hearing Conte when telling Mourinho how the FA cup win felt all the much better, after knocking out utd, who in his opinion has the best squad in the entire of England. I remember Mourinho saying a very similar thing when his Chelsea beat us, like what can you say after they say that, no, you’re wrong?, yours is the best?

    Mourinho would have known exactly what he meant. :I tactically outstripped you, I used all my knowledge to give us the edge. Look at what yous have recently spent, how many players have you purchased, whereas I have barely even began assembling. In your face you disrespectful so and so. Mourinho will feel angrier, and angrier, whenever hearing him speak about/to Wenger, Klopp and Pep. I’m really starting to like this guy, way too much for someone associated with Chelsea. The dude is a really class act, his passion, his eye for an eye belief (tasting one owns medicine is quickest way to perspective), his tactics, such cleverness (Costa u-turn now pleading with Hazard to stay), great adaptability, his fighting spirit and it rubbing off ( who could’ve thought Moses be so inspirational. I really wish Arsenal had gotten him.

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