Width v Defence gives Arsenal boss BIG decision for Chelsea

As well as a fierce battle for bragging rights, the top of the table clash between Arsenal and Chelsea tomorrow also sees the latest tactical battle between Arsene Wenger and his tormentor-in-chief Jose Mourinho. And as usual, we expect it to be a clash of styles, with our Prof preferring his exciting and fluent brand of football while the Chelsea boss would play 11 keepers if he was allowed and just needed a point.

But there will be tactical nuances all over the pitch and whoever wins them is likely to be the one smiling at the end of the game. For me one the big problems for Wenger and a big decision for him to make is down the flanks. I expect Chelsea to be very well organised and compact and that will mean that the wide areas could be the best opportunities for the Gunners to create good scoring opportunities.

I am not just talking about our wide forward either, although the boss does have a tricky choice on whether to use the pace, power and work rate of Danny Welbeck on the other side to Alexis Sanchez, or whether to go with a more technical player like Santi Cazorla or Mesut Ozil.

The choice of full backs could make a big difference and the situation is the same at both left and right back positions. Both Monreal and Debuchy are the more experienced and defensively minded options and that could be crucial against Chelsea counter attacks and set pieces, where their aerial ability could be vital. One goal for Chelsea, especially if it is the opener, could spell disaster as they totally shut up shop.

But Gibbs and Bellerin would give Arsenal extra attacking threat, especially in those key wide areas, which could give us the lead and draw Chelsea out and give our attackers more space. A tough choice for the manager indeed, but what would you do?

Tags Bellerin Debuchy Gibbs Monreal


  1. Debucy and Monreal.

    We got players to open Chelsea up, we need a back four that can shut up shop, leave creative work and scoring to those players.

    That’s also why we have subs if need be.

  2. We need the win, they don’t.

    If they keep it tight in last 15 minutes

    Do we go gunho for win

    Or settle for draw ensuring we give them nothing

  3. Definately no Gibbs, makes the whole defensive line go suicidal with his constant attacking.
    Monreal and Debuchy/Bellerin. You can bring Bellerin as a winger late on why not? You can even start him on the wing with Debuchy at righback, that will strengthen the right side defensively.

    1. He has mentioned Gibbs to get you guys going and it worked. Gibbs is not up to Standard as a left back,that’s why we need to buy in that position. CB

  4. Gibbs? No, play Bellerin & Monreal, Gibbs is an accident waiting to happen, if Wenger Plays Ramsey @ the right side we need to play Bellerin, simple, Play Monreal, but not Gibbs,

  5. Debuchy and Monreal will do fine

    We should not play Ozil, Cazorla and Ramsey ALL at the same time. Ramsey is not a RW

    Ozil as attacking midfielder and either Ramsey or Cazorla behind. I would play Alexis and either Walcott or Welbeck on the wings

    of course Giroud up front

  6. Don’t know why people keep banging on about Debuchy, did anyone watch the semi-final against Reading? The guy was way off match fitness, didn’t play great, and everyone now seems to want to put him up against Hazard!!

    Bellerin has been class for us, so why drop him? He also has the pace and stamina to get up and down the pitch all day long, and Hazard will not be able to get away from him because of that pace. If Ramsey starts wide, then again Bellerin is the better choice, because he can give us that width. People keep saying that Debuchy is better defensively, maybe he is slightly, but Bellerin suits our tactics better. We play with our full-backs pushed right up into attacking positions, meaning we’re often susceptible to the counter, but Bellerin has that sheer pace and acceleration to get back into a defensive position much quicker than Debuchy could (especially a half fit Debuchy).

    Finally, Bellerin is more of an Arsenal player than Debuchy. He’s been at the club longer, played more times, and I would say Bellerin is also the better player.

    If you’re playing the best, shouldn’t you play your best players, and use players that are match fit?

    1. @ThirdManJW
      Debuchy will get owned by Hazard. Bellerin would be enough to keep him in check, as long as Welbeck is rollin on the right wing to cover him…

  7. We need complete team work, not defenders for defending attackers for attacking. We just need to be careful to avoid been cut on counter.

  8. Anyone else watching the City game? This atmosphere is tragic, and they say the Emirates is quiet!

    Villa 2-2 City that means we’re 2 points clear with 2 games in hand. We’re not finishing fourth this year!

    Also – Guzan has to be investigated for match-fixing after that giveaway. That’s ridiculous.

  9. The Liverpool FC manager flies to Kabul to watch a young Afghani play football, is suitably impressed and arranges for him to come over. Two weeks later Liverpool are 4-0 down to Chelsea with only 20 minutes left, the manager gives the young Afghani striker the nod and on he goes. The lad is a sensation, scores 5 goals in 20 minutes and wins the game for Liverpool. The fans are delighted, the players and coaches are delighted and the media love the new star. When the player comes off the pitch he phones his mum to tell her about his first day in English football. ‘Hello mum, guess what?’ he says ‘I played for 20 minutes today, we were 4-0 down but I scored 5 and we won. Everybody loves me, the fans, the media, they all love me.’ ‘Wonderful,’ says his mum, ‘Let me tell you about my day. Your father got shot in the street and robbed, your sister and I were ambushed, gang raped and beaten and your brother has joined a gang of looters, and all while you were having such great time.’ The young lad is very upset. ‘What can I say mum, but I’m really sorry.’ ‘Sorry?!!! Sorry?!!!’ says his mum, ‘It’s your bloody fault we came to Liverpool in the first place!

  10. Wow I must say Benteke was onside then was fouled by Hart which was then a penalty but of course not given and should have been the winner for Villa. Then to add insult to injury City turns around and scores the winner which they honestly didn’t deserve. Villa deserved something from that game…

    1. @JAmerican
      Villa reminded me of us. Started off slow and sloppy. Then when the pressure was on they came out like gangbusters…
      City look one dimensional and off the boil.

      1. City look so beatable it’s disgusting. Now we’re in 3rd and suddenly the Chelsea game looks like a must win. Never mind the games in hand, United are just a point behind us and a win for them tomorrow, back to 4th we go. Really feel for Sherwood today but that aside, if there ever was a game where Wenger needs to be spot on it’s tomorrow against Chelsea.

      2. Not even exaggerating. Guzan has to be investigated. I couldn’t make a ‘mistake’ that bad if I tried.

        1. If I was a Villa player I wouldn’t be able to sit near him in the team bus after that shit. Too costly of a mistake for your team and teammates fighting against relegation. I would be livid

  11. Last time Hazard made the diff between us two teams. Him bursting up like a mad mad, only to be fouled in the danger zone. I expect Coquelin not to allow it again. He is the king of sliding tackles.

    Also, our team was out of form and players like our Mesut played bad. This time we are ready to fight back.

  12. Monreal & Bellerin for me.

    COYG! We have to win this to keep our run going and the slim chance of being in with a shout for the PL.

  13. Team that beat City 2-0

    Sanchez Cazorla OX
    Coquelin Ramsey
    Monreal Koscielny Mertesacker Bellerin

    Team that beat United 2-1

    Sanchez Ozil OX
    Coquelin Cazorla
    Monreal Koscielny Mertesacker Bellerin

    Team that beat Liverpool 4-1

    Sanchez Ozil Ramsey
    Coquelin Cazorla
    Monreal Koscielny Mertesacker Bellerin

    So lineup should be

    Mertesacker Koscielny Bellerin Monreal
    Coquelin Cazorla
    Ramsey Ozil Sanchez

    All the above players have appeared at least twice or more in these results. That’s going by statistics, but personally, I’ll start Welbeck and Walcott to give Chelsea a terrible time.

  14. The game will come down to bellerin vs hazard
    kos/gabriel vs CF
    Giroud not missing chances.

    End of story, 2-1 arsenal.

  15. My opinion: firstly the players need to actually believe they can beat Chelsea, no better time as confidence is high and this year we’ve beaten mu and mc. However I hope this doesnt transpire into overconfidence and naivety. Even if we beat Chelsea tomorrow I don’t see then losing enough points for us to overhaul them. I’d prefer complete desire and effort for 90+ minutes with concentrated / cautious defending. I’d rather we got a point and maintained our unbeaten run with a push towards 2nd and confidence going into the fa cup final that go all guns blazing for a win. Providing we have some pace and players move well off the ball we have the skill to unlock them. At this stage I feel it’s key to finish above mu and mc come end of ggame 38.

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