Who should Arteta use in Arsenal’s defence against Molde tomorrow?

Arsenal are facing the Norwegian side Molde tomorrow at the Emirates with top place in the Group at stake after both sides have won their two opening games.

But despite the importance of the game, we must surely give Gabriel and Holding a rest and use a makeshift back line tomorrow. Holding has only just returned from injury and surely will not be risked twice in four days. Gabriel has played in all five games since the international break and Arteta must be thinking it is time to give him a break.

Arsenal do have Mustafi ready to fill one place at the back, but David Luiz is suffering from a thigh problem and his return date is as yet unknown. Pablo Mari is not expected to return to training until the end of the month, and Calum Chambers is thankfully back in training but will take some time to get back to fitness having not played for the last 11 months.

The partner for Mustafi could be a problem for Arteta though, although it is possible for Kieran Tierney to be moved to the center with Cedric Soares available for the flank.

Arteta has also experimented with Granit Xhaka in the back line, and as he was an unused sub against Man United at the weekend he could be an option if he is not needed to fill a midfield slot.

So we have Mustafi, Xhaka, Tierney and Soares. Who do you think Arteta will choose to start the game?

Tags Mustafi Soares tierney


  1. What does it matter what any of us thinks, as we have a top manager in charge , who is well on his way to greatness! As he knows more about football than the rest of us put together, I at least, am relaxed in whoever he chooses. Who agrees?
    Bu all means have a bit of fun giving your own opinions – I obviously have no objection to that, but I still say, it is in its way, irrelevant!
    What my mainpoint is inthispost is to say thr obvuous, that we MUST suport our manager and have grewt faith inhim Most do but even now, ther earestill a few who refuse to see what most of us see so clearly. Someine just yesterday and I will not embarras that person-though many of you will know EXACTLY who it was- actually called him a “rookie”. Ar ookie who has wontwo pieces of silverware inhis first few months!

    1. I don’t know who called him a rookie manager and I’m not too good with english language like you Jon but if I’m correct, I think a “A rookie is someone who has just started doing a job and does not have much experience” correct me if I’m wrong, so I don’t think calling arteta a rookie manager is out of line.

      1. Technically Lenohappy, you are correct, as rookie means someone who is in their first contract, usually a year before they drop the name.

        But as the rich and splendid language it is , English is also much used in less technically accurate ways and it changes in meanings constantly. I offer “wicked” and “literally” as just two among vey many words that are used in an almost opposite way from a mere few years ago.

        This necessary change , keeps a language alive and meaningful. You may know that Latin – a dead language- does not therefore change.

        Rookie is such a word that has come to mean “inexperienced ” but to call MA an inexperienced manager is incorrect. He worked closely with Guardiola at an extremely high level for over three years and has done splendid work here in eleven months now.

        Some may choose to still regard him as a rookie, mainly because it suits their argument that he is not yet proven. I disagree with that view and so do NOT use rookie for him. Hope that helps!

        1. I can’t believe it 😀 you actually made the point that the English language evolves? and yet criticised me for using a term that has clearly arisen as a result of the evolution of language? My man you are also a hypocrite as well as a bully!
          Oh and the Cambridge dictionary disagrees with you 😉


          Claiming things don’t exist when there is irrefutable evidence they do? Who’s behaving like Mr Trump now? 😉

      2. It’s not out of line as a description alone, but Arteta’s status as a rookie manager is almost entirely used to denigrate him if the game is lost, or won ugly.

        Let’s wait to see if the doubters can be won over

      3. Lenohappy.. In almost every article I’ve seen, Arteta is referred to as ‘a rookie manager’ as is Lampard… I don’t see any malice in it whatsoever!

        1. Sue I commend you for your innocence at taking every word at its face value. But there are People here who have called Arteta a rookie coach not because of what the actual word connotes but because they disagree with many if not all of his decisions and try to paint him by that word to belittle him. Yes we know he’s a rookie coach because he’s new to the job but you need to check previous comments of some of these people that jump at every opportunity to call him a rookie coach, most of them moan about Arteta’s decisions any chance they get, they wouldn’t even want him to be Arsenal coach, they moan and grumble and I’ve even seen some like Icw hope that we lose matches in other to prove Arteta wrong. Judging by their past comments Sue, I will disagree that these types of people use the word rookie harmlessly.

    2. @Jon, one win over Man United and you think he is well on his way to greatness…hahahaha. he is good but to hype him up this much is being naive and blind following. MA still has lot to prove. I do not understand you, you don’t rate the guy (Arsene) who won so much for us and kept us among the top European clubs for so long but you rate MA so much who has not achieved any way near what Arsene did (yet). Things need to be looked at sensibly here, yes we won against a big six away after 14 years so congrat and big thumbs up to MA for that but then we also lost to lescester at home after holding the record for 25 years. Being happy with the progress and agreeing in direction we are going is one thing but being completely blind like you are is another.

  2. We have top players at arsenal, which does not make Arteta a hero yet,I will never make excuses for a manager because that’s a job whose security depends on the results and rightly so.Maybe with better tactics and team selections we’d be in the top of the table.Downgrading our team and club to purport that the coach is overachieving not me.Kreonke has invested in this club and changed the whole club management that doesn’t happen with a careless owner.

    1. LD, yes we do have top players but we also have lots of not good enough players who MA has tried to get rid of or sidelined. MA is a top coach and has proved that, to me even if not to you. He needs lots more quality players to replace the many poor to moderate ones still left from AW and UE.

      This will clearly take ar least two more windows and I see the clear and obvious progress so far. Imagine how much quicker thatprogress can be when the likes of Xhaka , Luiz, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis , Ozil and others too are, mercifully, gone!

  3. i feel mikel should atleast give saliba some game time in cup games who knows it might quicker for the kid to adapt

  4. Don’t know what’s going on with Saliba.
    I trust Arteta but I do not agree with him on this Saliba issue.
    Should at least have integrated him through the Europa league and cups games.

    May be there is something we are we as fans don’t know.

    1. Goonster exactly how I feel about arteta, I also trust him but I don’t agree with him on this Saliba issue but at least he has the courage to come out and say he regrets not registering him for Europa league, thats the quality of a good coach, to know when you are right and wrong, not playing the victim role.

      1. Yes
        And by the end of this season Saliba would have done half of his contract with us.
        So we have wasted 2 seasons. He might refuse to extend his contract and that is £30 million down the drain.

        1. Exactly Goonster and that is my fear. What thought process our coach employed to come to that decision is not thorough enough when Mari, Chambers and Mustafi who were injured at the time were included. What make that decision even worse now is the news of Mustafi is refusing contract extension and wants out of the club. If this is true then Saliba should take his place in the match day squad. Arteta has to show the boy he wants in his team.

          1. Apparently MA thought Mari would be back in time, but then had a setback..
            I’m equally as baffled by Saliba’s non inclusion…

            1. But then Sue Mari is left footed and would have taken Gabriel position as Gabriel has not played enough football as well last year. Saliba was suppose to go on right side of defence so his real cover or competition is suppose to be Mustafi, Holding and Luiz.

        2. If Arteta doesn’t fancy him, perhaps Lyon might? We could use him in p/ex for Aouar.

          I’m hearing really good things about our young centre backs that are out on loan. McGuiness, Ballard, Medley and Clarke are all about the same age as Salina, may be one or two of them can be as good if not better.

        3. A very valid point, the way we have treated him and with half his contract up I don’t think he will sign an extraction. He still has a very good talent reputation so I believe he will find a new club very easily. I think we are doing same with Pepe as well not as bad as Saliba but similar. Can a club like Arsneal afford a 70mil player on bench and he is been benched by a free agent grandpa from Chelsea. Willian has not been brilliant either. I still think that MA does not like players signed in UE tenure apart for Tierney and he is driving them out of the club. Started with MG, then Saliba, then Pepe and even when Martenelli was fit Nkeitiah was preferred. This will all be forgiven as long as MA turns out with results but when he does not it will bite him in the a**. Let’s hope it does not.

    2. Funny part is we signed a 30mil young talented defender who is not registered to play in competitions bec our manager would rather register a player who’s contract end with the season (Mustafi), injured player who is left footed (Mari) who needs time to settle as well plus he has missed more football then Saliba in last year or so, a lot of keepers just to fill the spot where as we hardly need two or at max three and not to mention underperforming players like Kola n other youngsters.

  5. He should have been given experience in cup games, but that ship has sailed; he isn’t registered for Europa league, Man City in the league cup is hardly an easy game, and the FA cup doesn’t start until next year, by which time he could be out on loan.
    Do we have any easy PL games between now and the new year?

  6. Luis is apparently fit so I expect him and Mustafi to pair up at CB with Soares and Kolasinac at full back if Arteta goes with a conventional back four..In isolation this is not a defence which gives me confidence, but Molde are no great shakes.

  7. I want to believe that Arteta and the strong Gunners team that he’ll should select to play against Molde at the Ems tomorrow night in the Europa League will not in their mentality go low in their alertness but be at full alert to the fact that the opposition Molde are a strong team too. Who are capable of springing a surpluse in the match to play Arsenal to a draw game in the match but if the Gunners give them the chance to do so. Which I believe will be their aim that they will want to see come to pass for them comes tomorrow night.

    Therefore, for Arsenal to avoid being forced to a draw game by Molde, I will advice Arteta and his Gunners not to take for granted their beating of Molde. For, if they do, they could be in for a surprise in the match.

    Rather, the Gunners should mentally, physically, technically and tactically be fully prepared for the match in their preparedness for it as if it is Liverpool FC, Man City and Man Utd they are about to play against at away in the PL. So that if they do, the Gunners will not fall to any surprises in the match as they have adequately prepared themselves fully against being taken by surprise in the match by Molde. And thus be in an all round strong positive position in the match to beat Molde. And I think Arsenal will beat them to the collection of all the 3 points that will be at stake in the match and remain singularly on top of the table.

    As for the Arsenal defence selection for the match, I think I better leave that to Arteta to fix it. And I believe he’ll fix it appropriately.

  8. I will go with Mustafi and Holding as I remember they were doing fine next to each other’s and they need more chances to play so that they can be in their best shape when we need them.

    Gabriel needs a rest I guess, so unless he is ready to play I won’t keep playing him in every game, he can get exhausted.

  9. Gabriel and Holding should both be rested for the important PL game against Villa on Sunday. MA can use either the combination of Mustafi-Xhaka or Mustafi-Kola as the centre back pairing. AMN can be used in the full back position if Kola plays as centre half. The midfield can comprise of Ceballos, Willock ESR and if AMN is not playing on the flanks he can play in the midfield. Arsenal must not take this team lightly and secure a win to ensure qualification to the next round.

  10. OT.. Martin Skrtel:
    “It’s our first win in the Champions League ever, we wish we could play Manchester United every week” 🤣🤣🤣

  11. ‘course he’s a rookie, and a bloody good one too.
    Why on earth do people take issue with such unobjectionable statements (unless they themselves have ongoing personal issues)?
    I’ve not been on this blog for very long, but I know a troll when I smell one.

  12. To maintain our position in the group will need a reasonably sound starting eleven, but we don’t have to travel and the likes of Gabriel, Partey, Elneny, Auba, Bellerin & Tierney need to be kept in good condition, so I would expect changes of the type we made last week.

  13. I don’t like seeing one name……Mustafi. He is always a mistake waiting to happen. What he did against Leicester is not happy making and cost us. Personally I would rather see Xhaka or Tierney play there

  14. Ceroaes. -Saliba Chambers Kolas
    Niles Xhaka
    Pepe Nketiah. Nelson

    I’d like to see Saliba debute and Chambers again. Feel this can be a good pair for us.

    Mari Mustafi sounds good as well

    Luiz should not ever play in our CB unless everyone else injured.

    Sunday game showed that he must not be played, result would have been different with Scary Luiz on!

  15. Arteta keeps making Scary Luiz our defense leader, maybe he likes dem hairs, gave him an extension too.

    Pathetic….He had his time…

    can open a beauty palace Luiz Hairz! A chain like.

  16. I’ll come support, get a hair cit, watch game, celebrate win, get him drinks and drunk, drive home of course. That’s our boy, he must rest home watch game, not be forced to lead our defense! Scary Luigi luiz

  17. Saliba is inelligible since he was not listed in the EUL and Chambers has just recovered and started light training. So probably it will be Mustafi to partner Louis.

  18. i think he should tweak the spine because if we get injuries in our spine we will definitely struggle throughout the season

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