What will the Arsenal defence look like against Bournemouth?

Mikel Arteta has very little options with what sort of Arsenal defence he can select

Tomorrow sees Mikel Arteta put out his first Arsenal team as the new head coach and I doubt there will be any significant changes. The main reason being the lack of options.

For starters, Bukayo Saka at left-back position is forced upon Arteta because of injuries to Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney.

Sokratis should return following his one-game suspension and he will most likely be partnered with David Luiz. Calum Chambers is suspended and therefore cannot be considered for selection.

Hector Bellerin should be fit to play and I expect that Arteta will start his fellow Spaniard.

So, because of injuries and suspensions, this is the back four I expect to see in front of Bernd Leno.

Bukayo Saka
David Luiz
Hector Bellerin

The only possible change to that lineup I can see is if Ainsely Maitland-Niles is prefered ahead of Bellerin for any reason.

I suspect that Arteta has given every player a clean slate and so this match represents a great opportunity for these defenders, well, apart from Saka, to nail a place down.

They may not have home advantage to fall back on but it does help that Bournemouth are not in the greatest of form right now.

Hopefully, there will be a new manager bounce and that the defensive unit reacts in a positive way and keeps a second clean sheet in a row.

It will be interesting to what lengths Arteta employs with the playout from the back tactic. One can only hope he is more flexible and not as rigid as his predecessors.


    1. 4-1 formation with Luiz infront of CBs. I will be tempted to use Sokratis as a LB, he can run and fight as we know.

      Bellerin – Mav – Mustafi – Sokratis
      Niles. Willock
      Pepe Laca Auba

      Solid defending and flying going forward,

      1. I also believe Luiz and Chambers would thrive as a CDM in 4-1-4-1 or 4-3-3 formation

        For the LB position, I’d prefer a left-footed midfielder like Xhaka or Saka. Because they can bombard the opposition’s penalty box with crosses from the byline

      2. Guys,
        1. Xhaka is an eternal starter, mark my words.
        2. Don’t think Arteta will go with 3 CBs. I think he will want to dominate the midfield, especially against a club like the Cherries. Both Wenger and Pep would have done it, so unlikely Arteta would go the Emery way in this.
        3. Sokratis is too slow for a fullback
        4. I would actually choose Mavro and Mustafi as CBs and Luiz as DM as well…

  1. It’s seem unreal to not have any player at youth level to fill up our RB & LB issue.


    Bellerin Mustafi Mav Niles

    Again and again and again; our issue is at central defensive area, unless we have Luiz infront of CBs, we use 2 midfields focused in mainly defending.

    This doesn’t allow to control midfield nor have anyone to make transition to attack. Always combining Torreira + Xaka or Gendouzi in most games. Luiz is enough, then have other midfielders infront of him. He likes to also play forward, passes well, defends.

    Gives many options, upon games and tac tics, can be bit more defensive with Gendouzi, or bit more attacking with Willock.

    We either draw or lose then. Poor Emery finally got it right on his last game before Luiz gets injured. We were in control, playing forward, in Franfurt half, waves of attacks…

    I do prefer Mustafi than Sokratis who could actually be best option as a LB.

    1. I agree with you. We should also remember that AMN can play at both LB and RB. Saka should not be an option at LB. Play David Luiz in DM.






  2. No matter who is chosen or which formation the coach decide on, our defensive methods/tactic must change for us to have a balanced game. If the front 4 decide to exempt themselves from overall team defending, fails to track back, or defend any lost possession, our defenders will suffer greatly.
    Hope MA is building new tactics with them, hope the players themselves buy into his idea

  3. $h!¥ as usual

    With Holding and Tierney it’s adequate. But with out it, it’s just plain 💩

    If we had a creative spark or Pepe was at his best, we would at least score loads of goals with Aubameyang and Lacazette

    So in summer we NEED:
    1. Two quality centre backs
    2. Quality RB
    3. Optional – Another Defensive midfielder
    4. Creative Box 2 box midfielder
    5. Creative attacking central midfielder or another creative and fast winger


    We need 3 new defenders and 2 more midfielders

  4. No one will buy our deadwood right now so we will get one loan player max.
    But will we need any reinforcements?
    Bournemouth are dire Man U are in crisis so two wins expected.
    Leeds at home should be a comfortable win.
    At home to Chelsea should be at least a point.
    So I predict a 3 win 1 draw record these next 4 games.
    I can see the board then saying all is well and no one needs to come in.

  5. The article mysteriously refers to something mythical that some may recall having seen, many years ago. It is called the “Arsenal defence” and for those under about 15, you will never have seen it in the flesh, but only on old footage but we USED to have this thing called “a defence” at our club way back then. Really and honestly! It involves certain brave and determined types preventing the ball hitting our net. I am hoping it may eventually revisit us one day, when all the clowns have gone. Clowns and defence are opposites and incompatible.

    1. More importantly jon, the idea used be stopping the ball getting anywhere near Arsenal’s penalty area, let alone in the net!

  6. The Arsenal squad is a bit of a mystery to me, no matter how you rotate this lot it seems to make little difference, as I expect Arteta will soon find out. The best he can do is start the rebuilding process and hope we stay in the the upper half of the table come May.

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