Who’s a nailed on starter for Arsenal? by Jonbo
I guess this article is a little premature considering we still have over 7 weeks of the transfer window left, with Arsenal looking likely to sign another couple of experienced players, but I thought it would be interesting to see what we all think of the current squad. It also allows us to see where we are weakest.
I am using our most likely formation of a 4-2-3-1, with the criteria for selection being ability/form, and injury record.
This is my nailed on starting XI at the moment:
Tomiyasu? CB? CB? LB?
Saka Odegaard LW?
I don’t feel enough of them have been so consistent that they cannot be dropped, hence the many question marks visible. I should add that almost every player I haven’t listed, I really really like, and feel they have a lot of potential.
White has been up and down, and Gabriel made a lot of errors leading to goals last season, although he did score 5 goals. I rate these two, especially Gabriel, but with Saliba’s arrival, I cannot say they deserve to be starting every game at the moment.
Tierney was an easy decision. I absolutely love this guy! Fantastic attitude, great player and leader, but rarely available during his 3 seasons with us. Shouldn’t be considered first-choice anymore.
I left a question mark on Tomiyasu, because of the injuries he’s suffered so far. We have to give him the benefit of the doubt given he’s only had one season with us and his quality, but if the injuries continue like with Tierney, then his position will need serious consideration for the 23/24 season.
Similar to the Tierney situation regarding injuries, Partey’s position could be up for grabs. But given he’s our only world class player, our best midfielder by a country mile, and the fact that Arteta often goes with two central midfielders, Partey has to start…even if only 75% fit.
I love Martinelli and ESR, but neither have convinced me so far that they should be starting every game. ESR actually had good numbers last season, but isn’t a natural wide player, and can often go missing in games. Which is a contrast to Martinelli who’s always buzzing about, but who’s output should have been a lot better.
As I said earlier, a question mark doesn’t necessarily mean I want us to sign a new player to fill that position. E.g. I feel Martinelli and ESR have huge potential, so I am happy to see them battle it out at LW, and hopefully develop into great players. I just don’t think one is guaranteed to start in that position over the other at the moment.
However, with the other DM/CM position and LB, we definitely need new players. Tierney is still a great player, but we can know longer risk him staying fit, and Taveras needs a loan. In midfield, Elneny, Lokonga, and Xhaka are not good enough to start every week.
Although there are a lot of question marks, I would be happy with just another LB, and DM/CM, and I expect we could see a more rotation next season.
Who’s in your starting XI?
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