Which players should Arsenal use to give Bellerin a rest?

Who Should our back up full backs be? By Dan smith

Arsene Wenger has had at least enough self respect to not get the excuses in early by not complaining that next week we have to play three games in the space of 6 days.

Unlike Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp, who campaign to change a fixture list which has been the same for decades, he realizes the only reason we are playing Monday Night is so we can earn millions in terms of TV revenue. He has been in the game long enough to know it is contradictory to criticize TV companies for telling clubs the days and times they must kick off, when it’s the income from the likes of SKY which allows the Premiership to be the cash cow it is.

When 20 teams are sharing a billion pound contract, the least they can do is accommodate.
The Frenchmen may also not be concerned as he has made it clear at least during the group stage, only squad players and a couple of youngsters will be featuring in the Europa League. That ethos almost guarantees that two different elevens will face West Brom and Bate Borisov. Apart from a couple, those who start on Monday won’t be asked to feature again till Brighton visit the following Sunday.

That’s the benefit of having a squad where you can boast having two players for each position, a standard for any top side ( which make a mockery of Jose Mourinho’s and Pep Guardiola’s recent complaints about the League Cup getting in the way).

Even when selecting three at the back, the likes of Mertesacker, Holding and Chambers are in reserve. The Frenchmen’s insistence to sacrifice a attacker for a defender means he has to pick 2 between 5 strikers. Even with Coquelin injured you still have Wilshere and Elneny as back up in midfield while iwobi has shown versatility if not consistency to play anywhere as an attacking midfielder.

The same cannot be said however in terms of our full backs, an increasingly crucial position in modern football. With Oxlade Chamberlain and Gibbs sold there is a lack of cover for Bellerin and Kolasinac, especially with Monreal first choice in the center until other find their confidence.

The League Cup in midweek was used as an audition for Reiss Nelson and Maitland-Niles to prove they could be alternatives in the role, but both made mistakes against Doncaster, with only their pace saving their blushes.

Supporters have questioned wherever it was fair forcing two inexperienced teenagers to play out of position on such a stage. Nelson in particular is earning a reputation in the under 23’s. However it is worth remembering he is only 17. Clearly there is no rush to play him in an attacking role which will further prevent game time for a Giroud or Walcott.

Having seen so many other prospects break out of the youth team only to be loaned to Championship clubs, to be playing at all is an achievement even if not his preference.

RWB does still allow him to hurt the opposition going forward while learning the defensive side of the game. Like when Wenger turned Kolo Toure into a centre-back overnight, his philosophy has always been, ‘ a clever player can play anywhere’.

A home tie to struggling League one opposition is one thing, a trip to Serbia is another. It remains to be seen if Niles and Nelson would be trusted in such an intimidating environment, how they played on Wednesday, you would have to say it would be a gamble. It’s worth remembering that Bellerin was asked to play the full 90 against Cologne then Chelsea, while Niles only improved when he was moved to CM in the second half.

Many fans will still want Nelson to play on Thursday but more forward, again forcing Bellerin to play 260 minutes in less than a week.

There is another player we may of forgotten about, a man who is in fact being paid a hell of a lot of money to not even sit on the bench.

Debuchy hasn’t been shy in the last couple of years making it clear he wants to leave the Emirates. Despite his questionable attitude though it is worth remembering that it was in fact a horrible injury that has ruined his career in North London. The fact that no-one will take him even on loan perhaps indicates how unlikely it is that the France International can ever get back to his best.

That’s why he is happy to get paid thousands for nothing, the moment his contract is finished he will be taking a pay cut no matter what his next destination. The fact remains though that at least until January he is an employee of Arsenal Football club, so why not use him?

Clearly he has no long term future with us but if him starting in the lesser competitions means a rest for Bellerin then at least he would be helping the squad.

Surely, experience alone he is a better option then a rookie playing in a position he doesn’t understand. If i’m wrong then Debuchy’s injury really has finished him. Remember he started against Burnley last year. At that point he had participated in many interviews not flattering towards his own boss, yet no grudges were held.

Heartbreaking for a man who had battled back from a year of injury hell, he didn’t last half an hour against Sean Dyche’s man, perhaps the moment it became clear his Gunners career was done.

Yet when Wenger couldn’t find a buyer for Bendtner he played him to give others a rest, so never say never…

Should Debuchy play or continue with Nelson or Maitland-Niles out of position?


Tags Arsenal Bellerin Debuchy Matland-Niles Nelson


  1. HA559 says:

    Arsenal are so bad these days, we only win big by 4 or more goals maybe once or twice in the league per season. The other clubs in the top 6 get big wins like this more often than us.

    It’s a shame really, we were known as the best attacking team in the league at one point then through Wenger’s delusion we don’t even play good football let alone winning by big margin.

    We are no longer a team that scores the most goals in the league.
    We are no longer a team that even plays good football.
    We are no longer a team that even gets the most possession (average across season).
    Certainly not usefull possesion like dominating games more with side to side passing.

    But hey what do I know, if Wenger thinks we are still really good, We have to go with him.

    1. Tas says:

      Someone should tell AW to watch Man City if he wants to see a good team

  2. gotanidea says:

    Let’s see…

    – Debuchy: Might have lost his motivation because his contract is running out.

    – Maitland-Niles: Needs more chances to play as a right wingback, otherwise he will not get better in that position.

    – Nelson: Horrible show when against Doncaster. I think his mentality is more attacking than defending.

    – Walcott: Cannot even get past one defender these days. He used to be able to dribble past four opponents in a counterattack, what happened with that speed and skill?

    Because of our lack of options, Arsenal should get a very good right wingback to challenge Bellerin. A quick, skillful and aggressive wingback with high anticipation, someone like Kolasinac and Monreal.

    Porto’s Ricardo Pereira would be a good option, because he played very well as a right wingback for Nice in the last season. Or Aleix Vidal, because he seems that he cannot start ahead of Semedo.

  3. HA559 says:

    Wenger showed Ox so much belief belief and belief. Now this same guy is sitting on the Liverpool bench, which shows he wasn’t even a complete player to begin with when he left Arsenal. It shows how delusional Wenger is as always.

    1. gotanidea says:

      It’s just for a couple of games. Mkhitaryan sat on the bench longer than that, but look at his performance now.

      I believe Klopp could use Chamberlain in the wings, when Salah or Mane is injured.

  4. Mr pat says:

    Just watching all four teams who were above us last season and I’m fearfull we might not get our top four back anytime soon, I hope I’m totally wrong but on the performance I’ve seen this weekend from them our best shot is the the Europa league by winning it thus automatic qualifications into champions league but out Mr know all manager is being deluded as usual thinking we are good enough to win the premiership again I hope I’m proved wrong

  5. Ganja says:

    Seriously unless Debuchy is injured he should be rotated with Bellerin. Yet folks will say the likes of Walcott and co are nicking a living, what would you call what Debuchy is doing? The guy is still on the books getting paid FFS!

  6. Ganja says:

    I swear these smaller clubs play complete rubbish when they face the other top teams but they have the match of their lives against us.

    1. gotanidea says:

      They look rubbish because they cannot handle the other top team’s heavy pressure and always get dictated by the other top team’s low tempo. When playing with such low tempo, the players’ skill levels will decide who is dominating, not the physical attributes.

  7. Cyprian says:

    Lasty year we have beaten both manchester an chelsea.Maybe this year it willbe happen.

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