What is Arsenal’s best starting XI with everyone fit?

Holding and Chambers our best centre back partnership. Xhaka out! by Patrick Karani

Hello Gooners from all over the world. I believe you have all watched and/or followed our beloved team so far this season. For various reasons, I have not been able to watch all the games. Nonetheless, I believe we all agree that our weakest link is our defence, and for good reasons. I mean, why should we relinquish a 2-0 lead against Watford of all the teams? Granted, that was an away game. But why on earth should we concede two goals against Aston Villa, a newly promoted team, at home???

My simple answer is this: 1) Xhaka has outlived his usefulness for this team. I mean, he can’t tackle, he can’t dominate the midfield, and he can’t even pass the ball! Why he is still starting games only Emery knows. And why does he don the captain’s armband if I may ask?

2) The partnership between Sokratis and Luiz ain’t working. Why is Chambers not starting games? Only Emery can tell.

Given an opportunity, with all players fit, the following would be my starting line up:

Leno
Bellerin-Chambers-Holding-Tierney
Guendouzi Torreira
Ceballos
Pepe Aubameyang
Lacazette

In Lacazette’s absence, Auba would take his place. I would then put Saka on the left. A 4-3-3 would be the best formation in my view. Pepe and Auba/Saka would be tasked with pressuring the opposition full-backs when we are on the attack, and tracking back to help our full-backs when we are defending.

I am confident Torreira and Guendouzi would dominate that midfield. What do you think Gooners?

Patrick Karani, Nairobi Kenya.

55 Comments

  1. McLovin says:

    Yes, I agree.

    However, I’m starting to think Martinez might even have a shout at Premier League games because he’s been so reliable..

    1. Gogo says:

      Most honest comment I’ve seen on here. Leno isn’t better at all. The United game is the type of game you need a keeper like Martinez simply on the basis of this playing from the back. With Leno we will be caught off guard but with Martinez I’m not afraid cos he always senses the danger and sometimes send the ball out.

    2. Joseph says:

      You are right

  2. Luckyville says:

    if I was the coach, I would try Lacazette as a false nine who also acts as a num 10 so Aubamayang can play his preferred CF position while bringing in Saka or Martinelli on the LW which is also their best position.

    1. Declan says:

      So basically you’re saying play Aubamayang as 9 (centre forward) and Lacazette as 10 (just behind him) so where is there a false 9. As far as I’m aware the false 9 which really is a stupid description, was used when there wasn’t a recognised centre forward. Please don’t start me on inverted wingers either, smh.

      1. Luckyville says:

        Lacazette is a hardworker, someone who likes to drop back to be involved in
        the game , while Auba is someone who depends on supplies. it indirectly
        gives us two strikers with one dropping deeper (Lacazette) . I don’t see it
        as a bad idea at all (my opinion). and so u knw, I have see Lacazette play
        in that position at Lyon before.

        1. Declan says:

          I totally agree with Lucky, it was the reference to a false 9 that I was querying.

          1. ozziegunner says:

            👍

    2. OLISEH SOLOMON says:

      that would be the worst mistake in world football, emery almost made that mistake but he later realised that aubameyang couldnt score the match winning goals lacazette scores.aubameyang is a good striker and an opportunist striker but he is not on lacazette level. Aubameyang knows where the ball might deflect to and is always there, while lacazette legs knows the length and breadth of the post

      1. MadHatter says:

        I disagree with those saying Laca can’t drop deep…. He is very much a support striker/centre forward (pick whichever terminology you like) whilst Auba is an out and out Striker and is wasted on the left (where he needs to be tracking back etc)

        Imo they are so similar to the way Henry and Bergkamp played off each other that we should look to capitalise on that strength, even more so when Pepe and others all mention how easy the link up play with Laca is (once again just like Bergkamp)…. He really is the engine that makes the team tick imo

        1. Luckyville says:

          @MadHatter, Thank you very much, exactly what I am trying to pass out

      2. Declan says:

        O. Solomon, Aubamayang not on Lacazette level?!
        Who won the golden boot?
        I rest my case.

      3. Mbliujs says:

        So who is Arsenal’s best striker feel free to check on their stats…… U can’t be lucky and know where d ball will deflect to while winning golden boots at d same time

  3. Gogo says:

    Most honest comment I’ve seen on here. Leno isn’t better at all. The United game is the type of game you need a keeper like Martinez simply on the basis of this playing from the back. With Leno we will be caught off guard but with Martinez I’m not afraid cos he always senses the danger and sometimes send the ball out.

  4. SadGunner says:

    I would pick an attacking lineup 4-4-2

    Martinez

    Bellerin-Chambers-Holding-Tierney

    Pepe Ceballos Ozil Martinelli

    Aubameyang Lacazette

    1. Dau Kongor says:

      Ceballos and Ozil are not physically strong to hold the midfield.

  5. Kedar says:

    Agree with your team…. More than Xhaka Emery is culprit…. Doesn’t he see that Xhaka cannot play as DM… He needs someone as ball winner…

  6. gotanidea says:

    ………….. Leno
    Bellerin . Luiz . Holding . Tierney
    …………. Chambers
    ……. Ceballos ……. Xhaka
    Pepe …………………… Aubameyang
    ………… Lacazette

    1. Declan says:

      The question is what do YOU think is our best team when everyone is fit, and you put Xhaka in your best team? Otherwise I like your team, just sub Willock for Xhaka and we are good to go.

    2. Innit says:

      Sometimes I think you type these strange comments to be controversial or to get replies because otherwise it makes no sense. The question was the best 11 when healthy.

      You play Xhaka and Chambers over Torreira and Guendouzi/Wilock

      Chambers hasn’t played DM with Arsenal. It doesn’t matter what he’s done at other clubs. He needs to prove himself at ARSENAL before he can be placed in that position

      1. Kenyanfan says:

        I also always wonder about the selections and posts he puts up! Opinion varied but it’s just funny

    3. Sylva Olabanji says:

      This is almost +1👌 for me except that I would have prefered Guendoizi to Xaka bcos of his work ethic. Not sure Ceballos would play better than Ozi when it comes to assist; Ozil tried against Watford. Cebalos apart from Bunely game is yet to be on Top Gear.

  7. Ainslee says:

    Xhaka should be benched by Torreira/ Maitland- Niles

  8. John Ibrahim says:

    Martinelli

    Saka Wilock Nelson Pepe

    AMN

    Tieny Holding Chambers Bellerin

    Martinez

  9. Trudeau says:

    Xhaka can pass the ball. But he’s certainly no DM.

    Agree with your back four. I’d like to see a rum of Torreira, Willock and Guendouzi in MF and try to squeeze Ceballos up front although not sure who gets dropped between Laca and Pepe

  10. Loose Cannon says:

    Unai’s penultimate line up for EPL.
    Leno
    Hector, Socrates, Luiz, Tierney
    Guendozi, Xhaka
    Pepe, Ceballos/Ozil, Auba
    Laca
    This will ensure we remain a mid table club, just like the ones he managed (don’t mention the disastrous stint at PSG).Mumble/grumble as much as you want, does Unai care? Does he have the AFC DNA in him to fight and never lay down? Trust me he will start with seven defensive outfield players on Monday, sadly we will draw or even lose.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      “Disastrous stint at PSG”??
      And Thomas Tuchel has now won more than Emery?
      Please check your facts before stating BS. Emery lost one title to a very strong Monaco side and was knocked out of the Champions League by dubious refereeing decisions against Barcelona Arsenal knows all about that!) He won everything else in the French League.

  11. Sue says:

    Leno
    Bellerin Luiz Holding Tierney
    Guendouzi Torreira
    Ozil
    Pepe Aubameyang
    Lacazette

  12. OLISEH SOLOMON says:

    Leno
    Bellerin Luiz Holding Tierney
    Guendouzi Torreira
    Ozil
    Pepe Aubameyang
    Lacazette.

    with this formation we can come second in the league

    1. Mogunna says:

      You mean we can top Reds or City? They at same level, means we will top both then and be champion! U on some amazing smoke dude! Haha

  13. Lenohappy says:

    Martinez
    Bellerin-Chambers-Holding-Tierney
    Guendouzi Torreira
    Ceballos
    Pepe Aubameyang
    Lacazette.
    I love Leno but I think Martinez is better at handling crosses and he won’t do all this playing out of the back rubbish.

    1. Atid says:

      Spot on, this is the same as my premier league line up. But I would line up in a 433 formation

      Martinez
      Bellerin Chambers Holding Tierny
      Guendozi Torreira Ceballos Pepe Lacazette Aubameyang

      My Cup side is

      Leno
      Niles Sokratis Mavropanos Kola
      Willock Luiz Ozil
      Nelson Martinelli Saka

      I would try to sell Mustafi, Xhaka and Ozil in January then bring Smith-Rowe into my 2nd x1 if the 3 are not replaced with signings.

    2. farook says:

      I agree with this line up except for Ceballos I would start Willock instead.Ceballos is not physically strong enough.

  14. lele says:

    I prefer
    Martinez
    bellerin holding luiz Tierney
    guenduozi torreria ceballos
    ozil auba lacazzette

  15. Kebby says:

    Ozil is a good player but he normally disappears when we play top six.
    Unai Emery should have known is best XI by now.
    For me below is the best XI that can compete with likes of Liverpool and Man city
    Leno
    Bellerin Luiz Holding Tierney
    Guendouzi Torreira
    Ceballos
    Pepe Aubameyang
    Lacazette.

    1. Kebby says:

      Bench
      Martinelli

      Saka Wilock Nelson Ozil

      Chambers

      Martinez

      Xhaka, Socratis are Arsenal material.
      AMN is not yet matured he looks under pressure when tracking back.He can be useful as an attacking Mid yield not in the back four.

  16. Luckyville says:

    Lacazette is a hardwood, someone who likes to drop back to be involved in the game , while Auba is someone who depends on supplies. it indirectly gives us two strikers with one dropping deeper (Lacazette) . I don’t see it as a bad idea at all (my opinion). and so u knw, I have see Lacazette play in that position at Lyon before.

  17. …………..Martinez
    Chambers..Luiz….Holding…Tierney
    Torreira…………..Guendouzi
    ..Pepe…..Lacazette…..Saka
    ………..Aubameyang

    1. Al Mubaraq says:

      Just remove Luiz and put Bellerin at right back..Chambers to CB and its perfect

  18. MadHatter says:

    Leno
    Bellerin
    Holding
    Chambers/Mavro
    KT
    Guendouzi
    Torreira/Chambers
    Pepe
    Laca
    Martinelli/Saka
    Auba

    Personally think that the above lineup has the flexibility to line up in diff formations which would suit UE perfectly but I think strongest formation would probably be 4-2-3-1.

  19. Kebby says:

    Unai Emery is not a good Manager for Arsenal his tactics are just guess work. How do you stick to a system which not yielding you fruits starting from the back. Bellerin, Holdings, Chambers and Tierney are all fit and available for selection but wait and see who will start in the Monday Match against the Red Devils. Time for experiments is over give us the best team to beat Man United because this is the right time we can come out with the three point.

  20. Thomas Olumba says:

    It amazes me how David Luiz still makes your team at the expense of chambers even Socrates is better than him, he made Socrates bad after he joined but we are Arsenal fans we always think others as being better than ours

  21. Break-on-through says:

    It would change a bit due to form. I can imagine everyone saying Bellerin at right back, but I can see times when people say stick CC in there, or put anyone in there cos anyone can do better sure Dixon and my granny could defend better than what I saw today. Same goes for other positions, either that or else the scapegoat will get it even if they aren’t playing.

    Fullbacks are sorted, two of our forwards are sorted, at CB me I’d go with CC and Holding but I wouldn’t start them off at old Trafford.

    Third striker when needing a three pronged attack – I would alternate between Saka and Martinelli to see who rises to the fore and then put an arm around Nelson while calling him my little dark horse (figure of speech to any who look for things to take insult from).

    Midfield is the toughie. Guendouzi sometimes gives the ultra dominant display, silky stuff, but when things don’t go his way however he can cause a fair bit of trouble for us too. Torreira hasn’t really gotten going yet, those international uber long trips have stunted his progress a wee bit, but when fit he usually is a certain amount of reliability, snappy!! is a word that comes to mind when describing the Bull that is Torreira. I’d go with these two on current form but I would expect a lot more improvement individually and as a pair. The last place – when needing a three – I would do the alternating thing again. Willock would get it on occasion, Ceballos/Ozil too depending on opponents and ground, Xhaka would’ve been dropped at some stage but with form there is always a chance to play your way back in as a player plays himself out. Niles I might want to get a look at to see if me playing him out wide was helping with his all round game at all.

    GK – Martinez – as Leno hasn’t been earning his coin in this start to season. Esp when pressing team is on us I would go Martinez, mature is a word I’d use to describe Martinez.

    I’d try to keep my options open, but would keep my keenest eye ready to set sights on partnerships. I feel too many fans judge by an individual game or moves whereas managers differ somewhat by looking at how they are with teammates and does the team look more knit together in combinations.

  22. Mogunna says:

    Laca is not fit before next week AT least, not worthed to risk and lose him again. Unai will play this 11, hé considers it as first team.

    Leno
    Bellerin – Luiz – Holding – Tierny
    Torreira – Gendouzi
    Ozil – Xhaka
    Pepe Auba

    If Laca is fit, he will bench gendouzi or torreira. Xhaka is as AMN, out of position, as a defender. Here he will be more efficient and pressure.

    You need an Ozil fit to deliver passes to forwards. A top player will get depress at Arsenal, coach is incapable to put right players on pitch.

    Why is he on Sokratis, when we have Chambers and even Mustafi doing better?

    Why AMN waisted when Chambers is more secured there and a defender first?

    Same BS with Xhaka out of position when we have many players as torreira, gendouzi, Willock there?

    Unai saw as all or us and world, not once but twice; Mustafi is more reliable than Sokratis, Chambers is good.

    Certainly did not do it on purpose, AMN sent off obliged to play Chambers who showed he is a great defender.

    Hopefully he realized that we can defend better with right players on pitch. He waists Xhaka out of position and sacrifices Willock at same Time… That’s beyond retarded, find no others word! Nuts!

  23. The lineup is OK and can match every team in d premier league.
    But,out coach is not capable of selecting our best XI because he’s fighting with our star players.
    Ozil, Torreira & Holding must be starting every game

  24. Boroh Victor says:

    leno
    Bellerin
    Socratis
    Holdings
    Tierney
    Guendozi
    Torrera
    Pepe
    Lacazette
    Aubameyang

  25. Leroy says:

    Leno
    Bellerin. Holding. Chambers. Tierney.
    Torreira.
    Guendouzi. Ceballos/Ozil

    Pepe. Laccazette. Aubamayeng.

    I think the CB pairing of holding and chambers will help Leno because they are both incredible ball playing defenders.

  26. Stephan Luc Larose says:

    Martinez
    Bellerin Holding Chambers Tierney
    Luiz Torreira
    Pepe Ozil Aubameyang
    Lacazette

  27. Francios says:

    My team would be:

    ………….Leno……….
    .Bellerin..Holding..Chambers..Tierney.
    ……Geunduzi..Torrera….
    …………Ceballos…….
    …Pepe…..Laca…..Auba…

    For Monday’ game I will start Martinelli on the left wing and move Auba to the striker role, since Bellerin won’t feature I will play AMN, don’t think RB is Chambers’ suitable position

  28. Franko says:

    For me I will go with this formation simply because of the energy involved in midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

    ———————–Leno—————-

    —–Bellerin . Chambers . Holding . Tierney

    ————-Torriera—–Luiz———

    Pepe————Guendouzi———Lacazette

    —————-Aubamayang———–

  29. Mogunna says:

    I disagree with Pepe, i’ll bench him so he can watch how Auba press, defend just as his fellow golden boots Salah & Mane do!…

    Love how Wenger will bench his n°1 Keeper or LB (Sagna…); bring in Bellerin and never removed him. Martinez is indeed infront of Leno today.

    Obviously Bellerin & Tierny must start but carefully removed as they just back, and run more than a Holding. Therefore, this must be consider at start for subs.

    For MU game i would play this team in first half.

    Martinez
    Bellerin – Mustafi – Holding – Tierny
    Chambers Willock
    Xhaka
    Ozil
    Auba – Martinez
    Then Sub Bellerin, Tierny, Move Chambers on RB, bring in AMN to play along Willock, see how they do. Kolas replaces Tierny. Bring Gendouzi for Ozil for last 15.

    Chambers – Holding – Mustafi – Kolas
    AMN Willock Gendouzi
    Xhaka
    Auba Martinelli

    If Bellerin can play 90mn, changes would be Nelson, Gendouzi for Willock and Nelson for Martinelli at aka 60th, saka for Ozil, last 15.

    We do have options and players to make a mix of young and experimented players. Ozil is a top ball provider, Xhaka’s game is good right behind Ozil, not further down as he us waisted as AMN. We play monday and thursday again, then next sunday…Every 3 days. Must pick right team upon games and rotate right.

  30. Topgun86 says:

    I’d start martinelli Monday. His performance in CC warrants it. Additionally, auba seems to struggle with hold up play and constantly drifts wide. Would be nice having an attacker that can shift in and out to complement him and I see saka as more of a true winger. As for chambers and holding combo, I like it but comes with too much risk. I think a calm, composed CB like holding will complement side show bob well. Additionally, we’d have two excellent ball playing CBs to make playing out of the back much better. The two backs pick themselves when fit and will be game changers! XHAKA MUST SIT

  31. mayert says:

    The arsenal strongest 11 is simply a 4-3-1-2.

    Martinez
    Mustafi…Mavropanos…Luiz…Tierney
    Torreira…..Guendouzi…..Ceballos
    Pepe…..Aubameyang…..Ozil

    1. Martinez >>> Leno; as usual.

    2. I don’t rate Bellerin and M-Niles at all and sorry they won’t come good overnight.

    3. Mavropanos with height and comfort on the ball is the best no. 5 we have.

    4. Aubameyang-Lacazette combination cannot and will not work. It unbalances the team. So I go with Auba as center-forward.

  32. Frédéric slimane says:

    With 5 captains,they wil not be playing In every games,this is a really long season,ivolving many games,every players said that having few captains will ease the pressure in them, injuries,at least 4 ,/5 competitions,we will needing more !players,defense I think

  33. Geo_Gooner says:

    with that midfield we may score 3 to 4goals but we will definitely concede 5 to 7 goals. its too weak defensively.

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