Video – Europa League preview: “Play Reiss Nelson in his best position”

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Arsenal take on BATE Borisov in the Europa League tomorrow night, and Arsene Wenger has promised to select a team of senior players with a very young bench.

How much can the manager rotate though? And where is he going to make the defensive changes?

James from @gunnerblog takes a look, and selects his preferred starting XI for the game.

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Thaatarsenalguy
Thaatarsenalguy

Was thinking this yesterday , we need to just give them a proper run in their preferred positions ,it works out better for the players and team .

Perry
Perry

Why is there such an obsession with players having to play one specific position? Good players that are technically and tactically sound ought to be versatile enough to move between several different positions without that much difficulty. In the case of Reiss Nelson, I think its good for his development to get experience playing wingback in games that don’t really matter that much – its not as if we’re asking him to play center half.

MIAMI Gooner
MIAMI Gooner

So we should put Holding to play attacking midfield so he can develop and grow as a complete footballer!

caligunner
caligunner

Yeah you should if thats what you really got from what Perry wrote. smh

He’s only 17, Even if you want to believe he’s better then Walcott, Giroud or Iwobi he just isn’t. Its better to get minutes then no minutes right? If he’s able to technically play that position.

Mave
Mave

Even Mbappe is 18, he got a chance to play in the right position and look at him now.. same goes with dembele and willshere too

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

It’s one thing playing an attacking midfielder out wide, or a striker out wide, or a wide forward further back.

But playing Nelson, an Attacking Midfielder as a Wing Back helps him how? The question to ask is, if we had sufficient cover, would we be playing him there? If the answer is no, then this wasn’t done for development sake, but convenience sake.

Also, we’ve seen many players’ development suffer both technically and confidence-wise by being forced to play out of position.

caligunner
caligunner

Isn’t that obvious that he wouldn’t be playing at all if there was a “proper” 2nd WB or FB on the club.

He would just be sitting on the bench not gaining any valuable experience playing 1st team football

Ronny
Ronny

Play to your strength first.

Mein Bergkampf

If Wenger plays anything other than pretty much the worst feasible team he possibly can, we can kiss top four goodbye. If we are seeing the likes of Sanchez, Kos or Ramsey travel for such a low key, shitty fixture, we’re doomed as we’ll be stretching an already not super competitive squad to breaking point.

Old bloke.
Old bloke.

I hope we take the Europa League seriously. Its a competition we could win which would be only our third European trophy and a route back into the Champions League. We can’t guarantee a top four finish this season whether we rest players or not.

Kingsley
Kingsley

Have to wonder why we loaned Cohen Bramall out when he could have learned a lot playing at LB in the Europa Cup.

nimble foot
nimble foot

Stan needed the comfort of the money

caligunner
caligunner

We needed a spot on the 25 man roster to have 4 goalies, duh lol

nycgunner
nycgunner

I agree players should be played in their natural positions so by that argument AMN should start in CM. It was obvious in the 2nd half vs. Köln that he is much more comfortable in that role. Having said that, I honestly don’t think the wing back role at Arsenal is a bad spot to ply one’s trade as an attacker – especially if you are a good dribbler with speed, qualities that AMN doesn’t possess but Nelson certainly does. Our wing backs play further ahead of our mid-fielders so they get plenty of chances to attack and it’s no bad thing to instill a sense of a defensive duty in these youngsters. Keeping with your personnel and formation (mostly):

Holding, Per, Mustafi
Nelson, AMN, Elneny, DaSilva
Wilshere
Theo, Giroud

akan
akan

Have you ever watched Maitland Niles play ? I don’t think you have otherwise you could not have made that inane statement that he is not a good dribbler with speed. I do agree that he should be played with Elneny in midfield, it is his natural position and in the second half in the game against Cologne showcased what he had to offer there with great effect but yes I’m in agreement your formation works for me too,,,,, By the way can somebody find out the location of Jeff Raine Adelaide and let me know, you remember that young man who Mesut Ozil described as “the future” a few months ago. He seems to have been made to somehow disappear without a trace.

nycgunner
nycgunner

Does watching him play in all of his Arsenal appearances including pre-season count? Perhaps I should have been clearer. AMN has a burst of speed and can dribble past players but that’s not the same as Nelson’s who can dribble at speed. You can’t possibly claim they have the same speed/dribbling qualities.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

AM-N was a winger originally, dropped back to RB and then became a DM.
He certainly isn’t as good as Nelson as an attacking player but he’s certainly good enough to be cover for HB at RWB (although he doesn’t look comfortable as LWB).

akan
akan

OHHHH YOU SPEAK GOBBLEDY GOOK haven’t seen it dispensed with such pleonastic verve in years. So he cant dribble at speed but he can run fast with the ball at his feet past players ?????? OK

caligunner
caligunner

Yeah he is hurt/recovering from injury. Sorry I don’t think there is a conspiracy here for you to get all wet over.

Central Fullbacks
Central Fullbacks

I prefer my attackers centrally on the wings in defence.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

Most Eastern European teams are very physical.
So probably not a wise idea to start the youngsters.
In the 2nd game against them we’ll know what style of game BATE play and how many points we have on the board, so maybe the kids can be starters in that one.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Anyone would think that we dropped points after every CL game because we played a full strength team every game.

Yes, the Europa League is a chance to rest players who need it, but we don’t need to rotate the bollix out of it (to coin a phrase) just for the sake of it.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

We may not have dropped points, but in case it hasn’t been noticed, Arsenal have a tendency to suffer a lot muscular injuries around Christmas, with a strange “coincidence” of the players not getting rested suffering from strains later in the season. It’s almost like….there’s a correlation between overtraining and playing and muscular injuries. I dunno, maybe there’s 1 or two (or over 1,000) research papers supporting that theory?

Maybe for once, Wenger is taking that into consideration?

caligunner
caligunner

Maybe it is just a coincidence

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

If you think a re-occurring patterns over 10 years is just a coincidence, then I sure hope you’re not Wenger, as it would explain why we’ve never dealt with the problem.

RamseyMidfieldNightmare
RamseyMidfieldNightmare

I am all for training well-rounded players but instead of playing attackers in defensive positions to get them to track back, can’t they just get a bollocking every time they don’t?

Surely that is a tried and tested method of teaching

Da Oli G Show

I put together my own projected first 11, then saw this. Turns out I picked the same exact 11 players James did.

I think that means there is a 0% chance of Wenger picking that same 11.

Ludders
Ludders

That’s the exact team that I would pick.
So one thing we know for certain is that’s not the team Wenger will pick!

santori
santori

I think he should play left wing inverted. Walcott on the right wing.

GoonerN16

@santori, who are you talking about?

adriano
adriano

I feel like we could really use Gibbs this season. Monreal is a first-choice at CB and Gibbs would’ve gotten a decent amount of games. Or Cohen Bramall back in January. And Debuchy back in the mix. At least one of these things needs to happen.

Gunner from theATL
Gunner from theATL

How is TheJeff not in the team ahead of Reiss-Nelson? Can’t be good for his confidence and development to be overtaken + forgotten so quickly.

Myles
Myles

This could work
Ospina;
Holding, BFG, Bielik;
Niles, Elneny, Wilshere, Nketiah;
Walcott, Nelson;
Giroud.

The Jeff might have been in there if he wasn’t so AWOL, replacing Nketiah and swapping with Nelson… Anyways, congratulations to HFB on his milestone 100th Arsenal goal in advance… #nananagiroud#COYG

akan
akan

The team that you got is not balanced, you have Nketiah and Niles as wing backs I thought Nketiah was a striker, he has been scoring a few goals in the under 18’s