Saturday, June 22, 2024

Arsenal old guard form queue to praise new boys

With 10 major honours between them, ex-Arsenal duo Freddie Ljungberg and Alan Smith know a thing or two about decent players, so it’s good to hear they think Arsene Wenger has unearthed quality in the form of new singings Granit Xhaka and Lucas Perez.

Both men stamped their mark on the Gunners 4-0 EFL Cup victory over Nottingham Forest last night; the Swiss breaking the deadlock with his second long-range goal in a matter of days and the Spaniard opening his Arsenal account with a clinical brace.

Reflecting on an impressive display by Lucas, Smith – once himself Arsenal’s number 9 – told Sky Sports News that he thinks the striker could now feature against Chelsea.

“That’ll do him good, it was good to see him causing damage through the middle because on his debut he was drifting into harmless areas. But that might just be a confidence thing.

“That [the two goals against Nottingham Forest] will boost his morale. I might be wrong but I think Giroud has got a knock so, although Sanchez has been playing as that false 9 and they’ve been picking up results, he’s definitely an option [to start the weekend’s game with Chelsea].

“He’s a strong boy, you saw that with the solo goal that he scored. He won’t get bullied, he’s got a bit of pace about him. I don’t think he’s Jamie Vardy-like, but he can run. He’s a contrast to what they’ve already got and that’s what they needed.

“He’s come from Deportivo and got 17 goals last season but before that he wasn’t setting the world alight. He might be a late developer. What is he? 27/28…he’s a good option for Arsene Wenger.”

Elsewhere, Freddie Ljungberg, who is currently coaching at London Colney, says Xhaka reminds him of a former teammate.

“Xhaka, I’ve seen him quite a lot and he’s very good,” he told Sky Sports News. “He’s a hard-working midfielder with a great left foot, like we had with Petit.

“I’ve heard on Lucas that he’s impressed a lot of people on the training ground.

“I think some people wanted some signings in the summer but everyone knows English clubs have a lot of money at the moment and if you ask for a player they raise the prices. He managed to get the players in the end.”

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Pires' Left Foot

Waiting for Pores’ comment before I gauge them…


Pores would have skinned them all… I’ll get my coat.

ospina's thumb

Doubt he would say anything. He wouldn’t want to get under the boss’ skin.

ospina's thumb

We all miss the Derminator

Fat Tony

I know it’s nothing to do with the article but I love what Arsene Wenger has said about Nicklas Bendtner. It’s like a father talking about his child.

You can read the full article here:–arsenal-video

Pires' Left Foot

Damn autocorrect. I meant Pires


How come you are not Pore’s Left Foot then?


You mean Auto Incorrect®©™

Mein Bergkampf

I probably wouldn’t start Perez upfront against Chelsea if Giroud is fit. He may find it a little too physical so early in his EPL career. But Xhaka has certainly given Wenger a head scratcher. Still think he’ll stick with Santi/Coq though.


I’d would start Xhaka and Elneny over Cazorla/Coq because they keep things ticking in the midfield and maintain a quick tempo in the midfield. With Chelski playing 3 at the back, I’d start Alexis/Perez with Iwobi and Theo will running thru those channels and run circles around Ivanovic and sideshow Bob Luiz. #COYG!!!!


I would start Xhaka and Cazorla. I like the idea of riding the wave with Xhaka, but we need Cazorla’s calming influence against Chel$ki.


Like someone mentioned yesterday. Your name is not good. Please respect others sentiments and change it. I request you. Thanks!

DB10's Air Miles

If he’s proud of being a pendant then who are we to judge?


He’s referring to Mein Bergkampf, not me.


And I am one who unduly emphasizes minutiae in the presentation of knowledge, not an ornament (as on a necklace) allowed to hang free.

Bould's Eyeliner

I find your comment to be shallow and pedantic. Hmm. Yes. Yes, indeed.

Arbeit Macht Sebastian Frey

How’s that?

Terry Neill's conscience

Fuck off with telling someone to change their name… is one of my favourites actually…..your oppressive attitude stinks of fascism which has no place here

Oooh Ahhh Ray Parlour!!!

The feel good factor is getting better with each passing day. It’s pretty damn exciting seeing all those players who can’t get in the side at the moment performing so well. I can’t see us bottling things this year with fighters like Xhaka & Elneny competing with Coq, Cazorla & Ramsey, I just hope we can we get it right tactically over the duration of the season. Big test on Saturday & I’m feeling pretty upbeat about it. COYG!!

Getso gunner

I will surely start with Xhaka and Perez against Chelsea but unfortunately only Arsene has the power to decide that

Ted E.

I dunno, I sort of prefer those decisions not being made by the arseblog comment section.

Toure Motors

If it was up to me we’d have 11 Eddie McGoldricks out there


They might be a bit past it now

Oooh aaah Ray Parlour!

Oh that goal against Standard Liege!

Carl Jenkinson's Dad


No. 8

Literally have me ?????

Best comment I have read on this sight ?

Bob Davis

Be great if Wenger included Xhaka and Perez in the team against Chelsea. We’ll definitely beat them if he does! COYG!

Ducks sake

I’d rather have Giroud starting if fit. Not sure about midfield, I think maybe against Chelsea we go with Xhaka and Coquelin just to keep things secure.

Carl Jenkinson's Dad

I wouldn’t, but only because Giroud hasn’t really had much of a kick this season and he’s not got a great record against Chelsea as it is. I think we should use the same front 3 we did against Hull

The comment that didn't get published on Arseblog News

I am baffled at all this praise for Perez, really. He cost only 18M quid ffs – he can’t possibly be any good, can he?

Mexican Gunner

NoW your name has lost all meaning.

The comment that didn't get published on Arseblog News

You should listen to the Arsecast more. 🙂


I would love to see Perez take care of Costa. I think we need the grit of Xhaka and Perez against the style and roughness of Chelsea. Just loved the way Perez bulled his way to a goal against Nottingham. We’ve had the talent for the last few years, but we have played soft. Perez and Xhaka can add that toughness dimension to the team.


We have added quite a few tough characters of late. Xhaka, Alexis, Mustafi, Perez and Coquelin all now in the squad/team, and will help us a lot on the physical front.

Overall, we seem to have a great mix of technical ability, physicality and speed in our current crop.



its only against forest


Loved the commentator insisiting on calling him Oxlade Alex-Chamberlain throughout the game last night, from the first minute to the last, including the raised voice celebration OXLAAAAADEEE ALEX-CHAMBERLAIN!!!!! when he scored.


I’d get black for this, but I’d prefer to play Xhaka and Elneny against chelsea.

They’re both physical, and Elneny is Ramsey-like when it comes to distance covered. But with them we have two players with great one-touch and range of passing.
Whereas with Santi-Coq only Santi provides the passing and only Coq provides the energy.


I fancy three in midfield with two up top … some combination of santi, coq, xhaka and elneny could overrun them.

Hope they play David Luiz in defence again … looked pretty shaky vs Leicester …


And ozil of course


Me too, they were both excellent last night. The Jefferson too.

Not sure about your comparison between Elneny & Ramsey. Elneny is far better in that role.

Ramsey is looking for a position as I see it.


Against chelsea my opinion on line up:
Bell mus kos mon
Xhakalakaboomboom carz
Alexis oz


Swap Lucas for Giroud/Sanchez (Walcott on the wings), you’re on for a winner!


My head hurts.


cech, belerin, kocs, mustafa, moreal, xhaka,coq carzola,, walcott, iwobi,sanchez. ozil should be bench has poor workrate no sentiment abount it

High Plains Gooner

“Yeah the new boys did just enough to win, but for me, the big story was that Mesut Özil completely disappeared last night!” – Michael Owen

Del Boy

Why are ppl picking teams? I bet no one and i literally mean no one, got last nights team sheet right?!


It’s fun to guess though. So many possibilities at the moment.


It is indeed. I just can’t bare the abuse at kick off time (or if we lose) where a certain player is included/excluded from the team sheet.

Everyone seems to think they are in a better position than the manager to pick.

Coquelin of late has had unjustified abuse from all angles just because we signed a new player. He was immense at Hull, decent at PSG, and offers the team energy and aggression.

Just the other season he was our saviour, now he is useless to some!


good point brother; just like an african adage, marry new wife and discard the old one


It’s cause gibbos was captain!


a win is a win is a win. simple.

Sammy's Arse

Great performance and goals by the 2nd string giving wenger even more of a selection headache. Granit must start though, surely?

Spiders legs

Lets feckin smash the chav cunts!!!

Alans afro

John terry is a cunt in a team of cunts


the freaking leader of a cuntry. (no wrong spelling)


It’s not a zero sum game. I think its how we want to approach the game that will dictate who starts in midfield. Either of Santi-Coquelin or Santi-Granit or Granit- Santi can do depending on if emphasis is on pressure higher up the pitch, or holding the ball better and distribution from deep or simply forming a defensive wall (RESPECTIVELY) With regard experience, the Santi-Coq partnership is most seasoned. In terms of capability/balance, the Santi-Granit is probably best. Santi is is also indispensable when it comes to holding the ball and dribbling. I should expect Santi would start regardless of… Read more »


Won’t happen but ideally we should be starting Santi, Xhaka, Coquelin in midfield with Sanchez, Iwobi, Theo as the front 3. Ozil hasn’t looked great this season & should be benched….


Our best player having a quiet couple of games by his usual high standards is enough for him to be dropped from the team for our biggest game of the season so far?! Jesus, imagine if you were a United fan, you’d have had Rooney assassinated by now.

Mustrum Ridcully

Not assinatef but at least relegates to the sub’s bench. Rooney has produced very little despite being the only player that Maureen hastarted in every game.


But on a serious note here, no matter how you think Ozil’s performed the past week or two, take him out of the team and I promise you’ll realise what we’re missing. As much as we all love Santi, just remember the contrast in the team’s creativity from Leicester away when he played at no10 to the following week against Watford when Ozil returned to the side. Really hoping to see a Xhaka-Elneny/Santi-Ozil midfield on Saturday. A high chance Coq will get the nod which would still be fine, but Ozil will be at no10 for sure.


I don’t think Iwobi should start as a winger.

Time and time again he went completely missing v Hull defensively. That is OK for a No. 10, but not a winger. Monreal will have nightmares about playing behind him against Chelsea.

It would be great if Campbell was still here..


I think that Wenger really wants to play Xhaka, but it’s very difficult to fit him in the team at the moment. If he doesn’t play Cazorla, not only will the team be missing something, but the fans will be wondering what’s going on. However, playing Cazorla is a problem in itself. He doesn’t have much pace (although he makes up for it with his dribbling ability). This means that whoever is playing alongside Cazorla needs to be quick so that they can be in the right position to recover the ball should Santi lose it. In this regard Coquelin’s… Read more »


Xhaka is starting and so is Ozil. Perez is not and so is Giroud.
Iwobi & Walcott on the wings.
The back 4 & Gk take care of itself. Who to partner Xhaka? It will beCoquelin.


Sanchez play up front. Forget to include that.

Victoria Concordia via Gaborone

Who also thinks Gibbs had a phenomenal game at reading???….Boy still looks decent to me…

He's got no hair but we don't care...

I’ll listen to Freddie but Smith? Really? He’s not quite as bad as that tool I used to cheer on the north bank, Merson but he’s forever slaughtering us in the media.

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