Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Cech and Ospina out as Wenger reveals team news ahead of Crystal Palace

Arsene Wenger has provided the latest team news update ahead of Monday’s night’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace.

The Gunners travel to Selhurst Park looking to build on the 3-0 midweek win over West Ham, and although the issues over Petr Cech and David Ospina remain, there are no new injury problems from that game.

“Nobody should be out. Coquelin is back available after his family problem, he’s in contention.

“I don’t believe Cech or Ospina will be available.”

That means another start for Emi Martinez, and when asked to assess his performance against the Hammers, Wenger said, “He looked composed, calm, and I know personally that he has the quality because I see him every day.

“I was not surprised by the quality of his game.”

Arsenal have recalled young keeper Matt Macey from Luton to provide cover, and that’s a move that perhaps hints that injuries to the senior keepers might be more serious than we think.

Laurent Koscielny remains sidelined with his Achilles problem, but the manager confirmed his absence would ‘shorter than expected’ and confirmed that there was no serious ligament damage.

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andris priim

I for one am all in favour of having Martinez in goal for the rest of the season, allow him a run of games, let him make some mistakes and just see how he goes. Its not like we are going to win the league. It could be one of the bright spots to come out of this retched season.



Time to leave the Coq out, irrespective of health.

Cliff Bastin

You say that now but you don’t know how tempting is to keep the coq in.


Xhaka-elneny aLl the way


I think the line up that started against West Ham deserves another run out, the only one I would consider dropping was Welbeck


anyone but coq


Elneny might not be a pogba(lol) type, but he brings stability. And the way Ramsey and coquelin have performed lately I think it’s an easy choice. Xhaka was excellent against west ham as well


what about ox, he deserves to start he is our best player for the last few months


We need to use him on the flanks where he is MOST effective.

We saw him combine and provide for Giroud

Giroud is another that gets short shrift by many.

No one is mentioning (nor any articles published) his superb finish.

This is selective.

Welbeck gets applauded off. For what?

He was ineffective, missed two sitters, hardly got touches on the ball, could not hold the ball for us.

Too many people have their pet favorites and cite statistics at convenience.


Elneny is overrated. safe short passes and people cite passing completion rate. Flamini has a better passing completion rate in many games but people are on his back. Elneny was weak on two instances which could have easily led to a goal for the Hammers in minutes 12.06 and 73’59. Had it been Flamini, they would have said he “Flamed it up” Flamini in fact provides way more key passes than Elneny. A couple of half decent performances in league cup or against poorer teams and suddenly some make Elneny out to be the dog’s bollocks. I’m not saying he… Read more »


what is up with your Flamini love affair??? He’s not on the team anymore. Stop comparing current player to a past player when discussing the current season.


It’s also about partnerships, the two xhaka elneny, may be ‘more than the sum of their parts’. Worth a shout.


This is a really crappy agenda of yours about Elneny dude. He’s not my favourite player either but in our dysfunctional state Xhaka-Elneny may be approaching our best bet at the moment.

And whichever way you swing it Flamini-Ramsey was pretty abject last season.


Martinez was excellent during the week. Personally I have no concerns whatsoever with him…give him a run of games in my opinion.
Xhaka is beginning to show his true form and it seems the pairing of him with Elneny is our best midfield pairing….sorry Ox and Coq.


i second that but i like how Ox moves forward, i just don’t know were to shuffle him in. Welbeck is rusty for a moment , he should sit this one down. Sanchez should take the number 9 position, play Iwobi on the left and Walcott/ Perez at the right.


Would love Perez to play as well but as someone here kindly reminded me a few days ago, he’s still injured.


Xhaka looks good when he has time on the ball as does most of this Arsenal side. Against decent opposition he looks average.


100% agree. It’s too early to write Xhaka off, he had his best game for us against West Ham. The problem is he really struggles against fast pressing teams coz his close control is not at the Ox/Santi level…and he is slow. I feel he’s best used in games where the opposition will afford us more space in midfield. Would love to see an Ox/ Elneny partnership sometime, but Xhake /Elneny does deserve another go against Fat Sam’s mob

nimble foot

You had me at the Ox – Elneny partnership

Crash Fistfight

What does ‘shorter than expected’ mean? I don’t remember hearing it before.

Crash Fistfight

Fans of Shad Forsythe are out in force, I see.


Why do we have to play two defensive mids against teams like West Ham and Palace? Didn’t work against the other so called lower teams Watford and West Brom recently and was a complete mess against the bigger teams, Liverpool, Chelsea, Bayern…..Surely against teams that are going to come and park the bus, especially at the Emirates, we only need one, and possibly only a back three, that would open up a position for an extra attack minded player. Unfortunately, Wenger plays the same formation regardless of the opposition, no variation in set up with a view to who our… Read more »

nimble foot

Oh please spare me, you don’t know a thing if you think there are no variations in the team’s set up.


They are not pure defensive players, even if FIFA tells you so.


“He looked composed, calm, and I know personally that he has the quality because I see him every day.

Well,you’ve been seeing a lot for a while now,your judgement has become average…am very sorry,I love Wenger, but its time for something new…cant continue like this….

Uhtred of bergkampberg

No offence but give it a rest mate.. Wait til the end of the season

Uhtred of bergkampburg



Leave the Coq on the bench please. Finally we had a game with midfield pairing that worked, against West Ham.


I thought Martinez was good. Also Gabriel has been excellent thus far (touch wood) and Mustafi. but we still need protection in midfield. Some people laud on about Elneny but he was weak (and poor control) in two major instances at 12’06 and 73’59 which could have resulted in goals for Wet Hams if they had better players. I’m not convince midfield is entirely balanced. Elneny is a hard worker and tries not to over complicate which is is plus point, but we will still need something extra against the tougher teams. That said, we play with what we have… Read more »


Coquelin is an enigma. In theory he should be able to combine with Granit as he has every thing in his locker. But in practise he has only been best with Santi (whose experience allows him to cover for the Frenchman) Ox brings something different to the middle but is still best IMO out wide. He isn’t by nature a deep midfielder and has to be cautious defensively which will not be his instinct. Ramsey is potentially good in the position (he did well with Flamini for a spell including wins against City and Olympiakos) but again (unless instructed to… Read more »


Is Coq a victim of team tactics. At his best he is destroyer in front of the back four. But being pushed to press higher up the pitch is exposing him.

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