Which players would you have dropped from the Arsenal squad – and why?

Who Would You Have Left Out Of Your Squad? By Dan Smith

I think it’s fair to say never have Gooners debated our Premiership squad more than the one submitted this month. While we can select an unlimited amount of players under the age of 21, League rules say that you can’t have more than 17 individuals who do not meet the ‘Home Grown’ criteria.

In other words, due to a failure to sell as many talents as we would have liked, we have too many foreigners on the pay roll.

While I maintain not all decisions have been based purely on what’s best for on the pitch, it’s worth pointing out that whatever Arteta did, he would have been forced to exclude two senior professionals.

The reality of having to pay two highly paid players to sit at home could not have been avoided once the transfer window closed.

I do not believe it’s correct to criticise a decision without giving your own solution. So if you were manager which two players would you have dropped?

If you agree with Ozil and Sokratis, that’s fine, put your reasons in the comments.

Remember anyone at an English club three years before their 21st birthday (any nationality) or under the age of 21 isn’t included.

There is no right or wrong so let’s be respectful of each other’s opinions.

The two I would unfortunately have to call into my office and give the bad news to would be…

I understand why the central back position is an area where you can cut numbers without harming the team because we simply have too many.

Yet what would save Sokratis is at the time of having to register my squad I would know Chambers, Mari and Mustafi have long term injuries.

I also know that Rob Holding has a history of always picking up a knock at some point in the campaign.

By the time everyone is all fit, it will be January, where I will be trying to again offload them anyway.

We were unable to rest Luiz and Gabriel on Thursday because our numbers in that position are suddenly low.

I’ll never question Kolasinac’s attitude but he’s simply expendable. Coaches have played a back 5 due to not trusting him defensively which is worrying as he’s a left back!

His final ball is terrible so it’s not like we are sacrificing his limitations for a great attacking full back. The latest regime have tried to see if he’s better suited to being one of three centre backs, but he gets his feet muddled up.

You could argue that Tierney, Saka and Maitland-Niles would all get picked to play on the left before the Bosnian, so he’s someone you wouldn’t miss.

Don’t get me wrong was very impressive on loan in Turkey and has done nothing wrong when given an opportunity by Arteta. At 28 though is he going to get better?

Is he long term getting ahead of Partey, Ceballos or Xhaka?

Or is he simply a body for the occasional cup tie?

In that case there’s Willock or even Luiz, Maitland Niles and Chambers you could play there
Remember we are giving up the only creative midfielder we have for a player we have known for 4 years isn’t good enough (if you believe Ozil is a footballing decision that is).

What 2 would you have left out and why?

Be Kind In The Comments


Tags Elneny Kolasinac


  1. But he could have giving Ozil more time to prove himself once more, to me he’s a high profile player that can’t been look down on, this is a type of player every team mate and management want on their squad,

    1. Same.

      Reasons: one is a lazy bitch who doesn’t want to run and who is more interested in trying to spin this China/Muslim b.s so not to highlight his refusal to adapt to Arteta’s system.

      The other is simply not good enough to get into our team. A passing range that consists of ‘backward and sideways’ and a complete liability every time he goes in for a tackle. Not to mention he told us all to F-off when he was dragging his feet off the field after yet another underwhelming display.

      Easy ‘Footballing’ decisions.

  2. Ozil-He doesn’t work hard for the team. No more interested in playing as evidenced to the fact that he no more createsn. He often asks for breaks and complains of sickness at times when we need him most. Besides his wages are too much to bear since it’s not in commensurate with his performance.

    Kolasinac-wash out, not fit to Play for the club

    Papa-Same as Kolasinac

  3. Ozil – can’t be trusted to put in a shift. Is too often a passenger. The most cowardly player I have seen on a football pitch in terms of shirking tackles. Yes he is quality, but only on his terms.

    Chambers – potentially a quality player on paper but since we never see him play on grass it is hard to say what he brings to the squad. We haven’t missed him when he has been injured for most of the last 5 years (or whatever it actually is).

  4. That would probably depend on how I want to structure the team and which players best fit that structure. These are professional players. They’re not really useless per se, some are just more suited to certain systems. We are keeping Nketiah, yet he wasn’t good enough for Leeds, not even at Championship level.

    The old Elneny, drop. The new Elneny, No. Sokratis, Kola, Nelson,, all drop. The only reason I’d keep Nketiah is due to the injury to Martinelli.

    Just expressing a layman’s opinion, so be kind in your attack if you quote me…lol.

  5. Elneny has been one of our best performers this season, so Arteta was spot on with him. I personally would have dropped Mustafi and kept Sokratis in, and dropping Ozil was an absolute no brainer

  6. I don’t think it would be wise to drop Elneny. Other than him, The only established central midfielders we have are Xhaka, Ceballos, and Partey. You can’t rely on the three alone for an entire season, that’s assuming they remain injury free throughout the season which is unlikely. Look at Liverpool with Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Wijnaldum, Jones, Thiago and Ox(that is 7).Man U has Pogba, VDB, Fernandes, McTominay, Fred and Matic.
    From this comparison, I could argue that we are short of CMs and it wouldn’t be practical to drop Elneny even if he was out of form.

        1. Yeah but I’m thinking mate , number wise we replace Partey with Torreria ,
          As for Guendoz ( who hadnt played since restart anyway ) you could play , Maitland Niles, Chambers or David luiz as a DM

  7. drop Elneny?? laughable that imo

    I think MA has got it right with who he has registered. Although I would have liked to see if adding Partey would help Ozil play the way he used to.
    Mustafi is back, CC is not far away either so having options for the 4 competitions we’re in always helps

  8. We have the worst HR in the Premier League if they hired a genius who thought it’s better to deny Sokratis leaving for free than dropping him while paying him huge salary. Knowing that they would have to drop two players beforehand and didn’t try hard enough to ship them out.

    My personal choice had they qualified would have been Willock, Smith and Nelson.

    I would have put these players names in the box and draw two papers as I see none deserve to be dropped: Pepe, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Mesut, Ceballos, Elneny, David Luiz, Cedric, Chambers and Willian.

  9. ozil hasn’t put in a good performance in 2 years, and Sokratis is surplus for CB, so right decisions were made. Hopefully we can get some more players out in January. Kolasinac and Sokratis ideally.

  10. I would leave out the following two players:

    1. Kolasinac: I do agree that his performance has dipped the most and he offers very little to the solidity of the defence, and absolutely nothing going forward. Moreso, I feel we have backups in Tierney, AMN, and Saka for that area of the pitch.

    2. Sokratis: Again, I do not feel he contributes to the solidity of the defence, particularly in terms of his first touch, control, playing-out-from-the-back, and awareness. Further, I feel in a 3-4-3 formation, we would have sufficient cover with Mustafi, Holding, and Luiz…

    Generally, I feel we are over bloated in the defence and if any area should be shaved, then it should come from the defence…

    However Dan, I wouldn’t close without expressing my sadness that you mentioned “Elneny” (*smiles*)… Nevertheless, you gave your reasons and I must respect them even though it killed my enthusiasm while reading your article….

    All the same, a thought-provoking article! Instead of blaming Arteta, you have played the ball back to the court of our “all-knowing” fan base!


    1. Oh mate are fanbase is so fickle
      You should have read the abuse I got in summer for disagreeing that a team who finished 8th won’t challenge for title
      When we won cup , Arteta was better then Pep apparently
      We lose to liverpool and City and suddenly we are too negative

      Some are happy Ozil is dropped then in the next sentence say ‘ hey where’s our creativity ‘
      Some said we buy Partey , Coutinhio and Aour
      I write Koronke hasn’t got ambition to do that and I get backlash

      There’s players you can hammer but players you can’t question at all

      1. Lols..
        Yes Dan…
        I can only imagine your plight with our fan base! I would suggest that there are appropriate methods to be used when publishing opinionated articles and I feel you have subtly applied a number of these rules by stating clearly the terms of the article and the rules of conduct to be adopted when responding. I guess that should be emphasised in many of our opinionated articles… It becomes unpleasant when many authors try to establish their opinions as facts, without sufficient evidence and arguments of research or study to back up their claims… . Every writer should be sure about his/her facts before assuming an assertive position…

        I also agree with Jon that the trend towards increasing the quantity of published articles often reclines to a drop in the quality of information being disseminated. There is often a need for indepth clear cut thinking in order to generate classic articles that would inspire the minds of readers.

        Nevertheless, please do keep it up! I am attracted to your articles, knowing that I would have value for the time spent reading them!


  11. DAN S MITH, you are a gifted wroter but when you persist is arguing for an impossible and plain silly case, like the DAN SMITH CAMPAIGN FOR THE REINSTATEMENT OF MESUT OZIL, you are on a side that is not merely losing but has actually already lost.

    It is a done deal, so let me ask you a question for once: Do you HONESTLY believe that OZIL has even a cat in hells chance of being reinstated in the squad? Not should he (because we know what you think on that) but will he be!

    If you honestly answer yes he will be (not should be but will be, remember!) then I will completely revise my current view of you as an intelligent man.
    I would welcome that answer and no doubt others will be interested too!
    If you answer no he will not be, then perhaps you will explain WHY you think that remains the case?

    1. To answer your question
      Do I think he’s got a cat in hells chance of playing for us again ?
      Do I think it’s a mistake ?

      I’m not seeing Jon , who’s more creative
      Wilock ? Reiss Nelson ?
      I simply think Ozil you could bring off the bench if we need a goal.and he can do something different to what we have

  12. I would certainly have dropped Ozil. He has been in decline for five years and don’t respect the club. I feel sorry for Papa, but they had opportunities to leave and decided to stay.

  13. Sokratis—
    Because he is not comfortable with the ball and MAs system is about playing out ftom the back.

    Defence pretty bad being a defender.And i think when mari returns he is not gonna make a squad and with saka,niles playing lwb role….he shouldve been dropped.

    Fun fact about Ozil(Saw this in the comment section in a previous article)

    When he creates,pick passes and pre assists(the highest in the team in every season he played ,last season i am not sure if its him or pepe), some “fans” blame him for not assisting and shows statistics backing their argument.
    But when it comes to who covers more ground ozil stats prove that he is in the top of the list yet those “fans” label him lazy and their argument is stats dont matter in this case its what you see…

    Agendas everywhere….😂

  14. I might be an Ozil critic about his performance for 2years now and i am happy he got dropped just because of his PR stunts against the club I love most.
    But if I’m been honest Ozil will be in my team.

    Kolasinac: Cedric, AMN, Saka can play that role more than him. The poorest player in our defense.

    Sokratis: I don’t like his type of defending since his days in Serie A but I don’t have a choice because of Mutafi’s error but with the new Mustafi, no chance in hell will I want Sok at my team.

    And DAN
    You say Fan are been fickle.
    Tell me a Fan who is not? Even you. Everybody are fickle.

    When players are in form, we praise them and even sing them a song.
    Before a Fan can back down on a player after a drop of form is when he never comes back in form and never inconsistent just as the case of Ozil.

    Yes I’m an Ozil fan since his days in Madrid but I wasn’t happy we bought him cos
    1) He won’t be consistent in EPL cos I know the kind of player he is in La Liga.
    2) We have Cazorla which I prefer more than him joining with the fact we need a striker then.

    But when he came, we all praise him till he started his inconsistent ways.

    Few Fans don’t support Guendozi when he was performing but when his performance drop and never picks, they turn on him.

    Mustafi was praised, he went many games unbeaten till he was injured, but what happened after that?
    Bellerin was praised
    Leno was praised
    So many players.

    But you know why Fans turn on them all, because we realise they are good but we need better.

    Wenger was abused because he refused to sell Van Persie during his injuring crisis but what happened when Van Persie turned it around? Nobody want him gone.

    You can call that fickle all you want but…
    That’s fans.

  15. I would go for Ozil and Sokratis. Same as MA. Reason being-
    1. Ozil- He doesn’t fit in the current system, and even if we argue to the ends of the world about his creativity (when in his best form, no one can replace him!), the only possible positions that I think of him playing are either the false 9, RW or a DLP by stretch, and these positions are filled already. Also I would say, like Mr. Dan’s reason for dropping Elneny, that he won’t offer us anything extra at 31 years of age.
    2. Sokratis- Simply because we have, even in an injury crisis, around 5 players that can play CB(Holding until his injury, Tierney and Kola included). And I guess Sok is not exactly comfortable in playing out from the back.

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