Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Arsenal’s COC squad takes shape

Arsenal’s squad for tomorrow’s Capital One Cup clash against West Bromwich Albion appears to be taking shape with the likes of Nicklas Bendtner and Ju-Young Park (yes really!) both taking part in training today.

So stretched is the Gunners squad that the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Mathieu Flamini, Per Mertesacker and Jack Wilshere also trained ahead of the game, although it remains to be seen whether the latter is included in the squad after Arsene Wenger remarked on Sunday he needs a rest.

Other first team members who trained (pictures here) include Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Carl Jenkinson, Emiliano Viviano, Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal while Ryo, Serge Gnabry, Kris Olsson, Chuba Akpom, Hector Bellerin, Thomas Eisfeld and Isaac Hayden highlight the youthful options at Arsene Wenger’s disposal.

At a push Arseblog News guesses the starting XI might look something like:


Jenkinson – Mertesacker – Vermaelen – Nacho

Flamini – Arteta

Ozil (Ramsey?)

Ryo – Down-and-out-Thor-look-alike – Gnabry

We’ll have to wait and see…


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I can almost guarantee Ozil won’t be starting, I think it’s possible we might see Akpom in a 4-4-2. Or Ramsey as you rightly point out.


how do you guarantee


They need to win, worrry about Swansea afterwards


Eisfeld behind the striker? It IS the COC.


Totally forgot we had him!! If he’s going to make it he has to be featuring in these games.


Absolutely. Before Zelalem stole the pre-season, he was one of the brightest prospects.

with the left and the right

i don’t recall Ramsey being substituted at all this season so far. if anyone needs a rest its him so i doubt Wenger will play him at least from the off. i’d like to see wenger go bold with youth, Hayden in place of Mertesacker and Olsson in midfield


i don’t think wenger will play a front three where no one of the three is a first team regular… ozil will play on the left, miyaichi on the right(aginst a team like west brom miyaichi’s searing pace is much more useful than gnabry’s strength and better technical ability) and bedtner as striker. mikel arteta has played for arsenal mostly as a central or holding midfielder because that’s a position where we have generally been lacking, but he is not a defensive midfielder by nature his great passing ability and vision make him a very ggod playmaker… so if flamini,… Read more »

DL Gooner

I’m loving Bendtners Fu man chu look. Hope he comes back and gives everyone a surprise. I’d say Rambo will start considering the rampage hes on. Ozil will probably come on if things aren’t going to plan.


maybe Hector on the right wing tomorrow as we need Gnabry against Swans with Theo out..

Flamini, Arteta, Eisfeld behind Bellerin, Bendtner, Ryo


Feels like Gnabry would get a game now if we’re gonna use him against Swansea, as he needs more playing time with the senior squad.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

It won’t be the senior squad tonight.


if Bendtner looks like that, I can’t imagine how Park looks like right now.


^The pic link, Not sure if deliberate or accidental.

Henry's Right Foot

Definitely intentional, Image not found is in the link.

P.S. COYG!!!

Henry's Right Foot

I like it, but that’s just wrong. This is coming form a gooner in the bible belt of the United States aka The most racially accepting place on earth.


Damn you injuries for taking my Zelalem away. Really want to see more of this guy playing in and off of the first team.


Hasn’t Ramsey played just about (or every) minute this season? Needs some rest!


I would bet a lot of money that this will be the team:

Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal
Flamini, Arteta
Gnabry, Eisfeld, Ryo,

If you look at the pictures from today’s training, Özil, Wilshere, Ramsey and Gibbs (all guaranteed to be rested) were in blue bibs. All the ones I’ve listed were in orange bibs.

Time will tell if my hunch is right…


No way Arsene will play the frontline of Ryo – out-of-favour striker – Gnarby; hence I think Giroud will start. Since Ozil needs to improve physically, I can easily imagine first half run for him.


Giroud and Sagna are in Germany with Puma I think

Hes got Mesut Ozil eyes (to the tune of betty davies eyes)

I agree. Cant see a front 3 off youngsters and has beens. Maybe Ozil out wide? Jenks at CB to rest Mert and Bellerin at RB? Honestly with so few players its hard to tell what he’ll do. Thir look a like ha.

Henry's Right Foot

He has to play Bendtner, and to be honest I hope he does. Don’t get me wrong. I hate the guy as much as the next Arsenal fan. The issue is Giroud is our only true senior striker currently, so he needs to be rested. Bendtner is (was) a reliable first team substitute when he did play for us. We need him to play to shake the cobwebs off. Who knows he could prove us all wrong like Rambo after his smug ass had to eat humble pie over the last 3 years. Point is we might need him to… Read more »

Henry's Right Foot

Quick clarification. “His smug ass had to eat humble pie over the last three years” Reference to Bendtner, not Rambo. Obviously Rambo wasn’t in need of humbling. Taking 3 years to recover from an injury isn’t exactly eating humble pie anyways.


I don’t hate Bendtner. I don’t like him very much, but if he has an Arsenal shirt on how can you hate him?


I hope Bendtner scores as many goals as pies he’s eaten.
He looks like he swallowed the whole pie factory.
Up The Arsenal!


Park, HE LIVES!!! Thought they photoshopped him into the team photo…


Fabianski? What happened to the other Pole?

Parisian Weetabix

He got whatever contagious physical injury it is that’s currently plaguing our squad.


I think it’s slim Ozil will start, I’d like to see Ramsey rested too.

Up top, is Sanogo still crocked?

Merlin's Panini

yep, Sanogo’s a no go.
It’s got to be TGSTEL or Akpom up top then.

Parisian Weetabix

I almost creamed myself over the beauty of that first sentence.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Or Park


Also got a feeling Akpom will make an appearance. Gnabry specialises in the No.10 role ala Wilshere/Oezil. Might see him in the middle and Akpom on the wing as I think he sometimes played for the youth.

Ryo – Down and Out – Akpom

other than the dane, thats a rapid attack – albeit guesswork!

Ian D

Wouldn’t be surprised by Gibbs at left back and Nacho on left wing.

HoHoHo Green Gunner

If anything it’d be the other way round…


Gibbs should be given a rest and Nacho needs games in his position or he’ll become an average utility player.

Nicklas Bendtner

I dont look like Thor,he looks like me


Personally, This would be the perfect match for Eisfeld to play in at some point, would love to see him get at least 30mins

Arsene's sidekick

Oh lord! I was like who’s the new Asian in the team? Park really does LIVE. Play him!


I would’ve thought, Zelalem,Eisfeld,Semi Ajayi, Akpom,Bellerin, these guys would have got the chance to compete.

Zorro in the box

Zelalem injured and Ajayi is still a bit raw and young.


Eisfield should start for me….looks quality. Might as well go on loan if he doesn’t start games like this. Wenger must have kept him for a reason!


He looks more like the warrior monkey guy from forbidden kingdom!


I think we would see this team






But don’t be surprised if eisfied starts along side arteta as our double man pivot rather than flamini then ozil starts as our CAM, i also see park coming on for gnabry around the 60min mark so as to preserve him for the swansea game since we will be without theo.. Fabianski was reported injured so viviano will surely start

Merlin's Panini

You think Arteta AND Flamini? Surely that’d just be asking for trouble playing our only two defensive midfielders?

Parisian Weetabix

Nah. It’d be bordering on the ridiculous for both of them to get injured. I think the team would look very solid with both of them playing. It’d be an absolutely brilliant exercise for whichever youngsters played in the front four. They could express their attacking flair, and then as soon as the opponents got the ball, they would be expertly guided through the defensive side of the game. To be honest, such a DM partnership genuinely excites me due to the positive effects it would have on our youngsters.


From watching us in the worthless cup over the years you can almost tell that most first choice players will not start. That includes Ozil, Ramsay, Kos, Per, Sagna, Flamini, Jack, Giroud, Expect Vivano, Jenkinson, Nacho, Artetta(because he hasn’t played), Gnabry, Ryo, PArk, Bentner, Eisfield, Toral, … although I am curious to know who the 2nd centre back will be? MAybe Jenkinson pushed inside and a youth team player to play right back? Anyone have any ideas? On another note… Walcott out with a ‘mysterious injury? Do me a favour! I reckon he’s being rested. Easier to deflect critisism for… Read more »


Unleash the bender


Still at leverkusen 🙁


I expect Ryo to shine tomorrow. My guess is : Gnabry was started against Stoke because AW knew the chances could come from elsewhere. With most key players rested in the COC tie, Ryo needed to be 100%. Maybe.


who is the guy in the pic? I’ve never seen him before


Looks like a plastic monster toy.


I heard Park was locked in a hotel room without knowing his captor’s motives and has just escaped:



Wow! So the other Asian guy in the training pictures is Park!


It Eis Eis baby time
Vanilla Eis!


no one in our starting lineup should even be on the bench imo.

play the bench from sunday + youngsters and fill up the rest of the matchsquad with cornmuffins for all I care.

this is, and has always been, a cup to give the reserves and the youth some usefull gametime. keep that tradition going.

don’t risk any our regulars fitness for this.


these players are well capable of grinding out a win.

The Ghost of Peter Storey

That’s probably the best guess that I’ve seen so far.






…. Bendtner……


We could see Bellerin, Ollsson, Frimpong, Park, Akpom and some real wild cards from the u21 / u18 team as the injuries to zelalem and Crowley means there are chances for others.


This is going to be against west brom i can honestly see us getting kicked out at this stage of the competition if we don’t take it seriously

Goona Ben

True but I’d rather drop out of the COC now and have a more manageable schedule with the PL, CL and FA Cup than risk losing any of our top players in a tie like this one.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

That’s why we will only play any of our top players who actually need game time.

Bendtner's Hairdresser

We’re going for the “7 years in Tibet/Batman Begins” look. Or is it the “2 years on the bench” look?

the only sam is nelson

have we signed that bloke from lord of the rings?!? the elf king?

B52's shrink

Wenger has the whole scenario setup for B52 sink or swim. Either he is good enough to justify the wages he clearly does not want cut (when moving to another club) or he’s not and its time to take a good long hard look dans le mirrior

Wenger's Zipper

I hope Bendtner has changed more than just his hair


should be:
jenks mert tv5 nacho
arteta frimpong
gnabry tgstel ryo

Double Canister

Yes, lets have some Frimmy time!


Honestly, I like Bendtner’s new look!

Mark Burland

I love the picture of Arsene explaining “rock paper scissors” to the boys.


Viviano belarin jenk tv nacho gnaby arrteta frimpong esfield ryo bentner

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I’m not absolutely certain, but I think he might have the better arse.


I have to admit I’m digging Nicky B.’s shit-samurai look.


I’d go for:
Almunia’s italian counterpart

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

What, just to piss TGSTEL off after a two year wait?


As much as I’m LOVING the team right now, i think West Brom will win this one. Our squad isn’t deep enough.

Andy Mack

I really hope Dench gets some playing time, and next to Flamini or Arteta would do him some real good.
If he doesn’t regain the form he showed when he first stepped into the first team (stopped by serious injuries) then he could well have missed his chance.

Harish P

At a push, Harish P guesses the starting XI might look something like:


Jenkinson – Mertesacker – Vermaelen – Nacho

Eisfeld/Flamini – Frimpong


Ryo – Blonde striker bloke – Gnabry


You know, knowing how thin our squad is right now and how many long-term absentees we have, it wouldn’t be the end of the world to lose this one and get a few extra rest days in the coming months.

That being said, if I’m not mistaken, over the last 10 years of Wenger’s reign, Arsenal has made it to at least the quarterfinals (i.e. two wins or more) every single year in the League Cup. So, we don’t have a history of going out early.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

This games give the back-up guys valuable competetive game time so that they are more able to excel when called into the first team. In addition, they always get counted when the Press talk about us. We don’t want “lost their last game” in the news, we want “won their last eight games in all competitions”.

We want to win all of our games so that any opposition will fear us, and having kids who can beat Premier League teams means we are seen as having strength in depth rather than being seen as thin in numbers.

2013-2014 = 2003-2004 !

The Mancs put 5 past Wigan last night. Now that dickhead Gary Lineker going on about how Mancs will win the Premier League this year.

Even the Spuds managed to score 4 against a Benteke-less Villa squad.

Now our turn to make a STATEMENT as well. Let’s put 6 past the Baggies tonight. Bendtner and Guh-nabry to score hattrick a piece.


No Özil. No Ramsey. No Frimpong.

So it could be Olsson or Eisfeld with Arteta and Flamini. Perhaps with Arteta in front of the other two.

Who knows?

Good news that Rosicky should be back training soon and that Cazorla has an outside chance of playing against Napoli.

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