Monday, February 26, 2024

Emery reveals team news ahead of Chelsea clash

We’ve already had a bit of a medical update, providing us with the bad news that Ainsley Maitland-Niles has suffered a fracture to his fibula and will miss 6-8 weeks due to the injury.

But Unai Emery provided greater detail about his team ahead of Saturday’s clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge as the Gunners look to get some points on the board following the opening day defeat to Man City.

First of all, there’s the issue of who will play at left back, and it’s between two experienced players for the position.

“After this injury [to Maitland-Niles], I tried with Lichtsteiner, who is a player with experience,” said the Spaniard.

“He can play at left back but his position in the team is more at right back. This week Nacho Monreal is working every day, training every day with us.

“The two options we have now are Nacho Monreal and Lichtsteiner to continue in this position.”

The new boss also revealed that Petr Cech would continue in goal, despite finding it difficult at times with the ball at his feet against City.

“I am very happy with his performance,” he said the former Czech international. “He has experience, he has quality, he has the capacity.

“Also, with Bernd Leno [it’s the same]. They are two goalkeepers who are important for us.

“They have different qualities but for us in the way we want to play, they can [both] play. For Saturday, the decision for me is easy. Petr Cech can continue to start the match, I believe in him.

“If Bernd starts, I believe in him also.”

How Cech, and all of us, would relish a clean sheet on his return to Stamford Bridge. We’re overdue a result there, Saturday would be a good time to put that right.

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Come on, let’s put in a good performance so we don’t have to start with two losses in a row.

Auba and Laca please from the start, Mkhit on the bench.


i would like to see torreirs start along with guendouzi. and lacazertte abd auba . essentially the same team that was playing the second half against city. we were pressing well and created some decent chances. and with lichsteiner and torreira we have more defensive stability.


Quite agree …we should try Torreira and Guendouzi. The 19yr old is not without mistakes but the energy is what we need. Torreira looks like he has innate understanding where to cover. And yes, Auba wasn’t as sharp, Laca looks hungry and aggressive. OTOH, Auba is better if we are playing on the break. Lichsteiner will depend, if Monreal is absolutely fit, I’d start him. Playing out from the back, I thought we did a good job bc we were up against City one of the best teams for pressing and we managed to work our way out. BUT we… Read more »


Will prefer Lich to Nacho because he was another weak link in Arsene’s defence that often ship goals. He has a slow turning. Lich changed the game in the second half when he came on the way Nacho couldn’t have.

Lich all the way.


Nacho weak link? ?‍♂️

Nacho Man

I’m obviously biased, but I’m pretty sure Nacho was in the top 5 highest interceptors in the league last year (from a wide position no less!!!). His game isn’t to be as athletic or physical as Bellerin/Lichtsteiner. He tries to spot the through-ball earlier on by reading the game. That’s why he was also solid at CB.


Mustafi had the highest intercepts for us so that makes him in top 5 as well.

Nacho Man

My mistake, it was 2016/2017 when Nacho had the 4th highest interceptions (88 interceptions) in the whole league. Bosschielny was 2nd in the league (with 90 interceptions). Btw the only other wide player in the top 20 was Azpilicueta at 17th (71 interceptions). That just goes to show how intelligent Nacho is.

Regarding the 17/18 season none of our players cracked the top 20 on the interceptions chart. You’re right that Mustafi was our highest, but Nacho only had one less than him… once again from a wider position (LB, LWB or LCB)


you must be a chelski fan…

Thierry bergkamp

I’d like Lichtsteiner to start just because he looked good on Sunday


Nacho has been the most consistent player for Arsenal the last few seasons. He is mr reliable.


Starting Cech another unforced error. For Gods
Let Leno start


He was our best player on Sunday. Saved us from a rout. I’m looking forward to seeing Leno but apart from that bizarre miskick can’t see what else he did wrong

Michael Bolton Wanderers

I don’t think he had a horrible game at all, but it looked like he could have done more with the sterling goal


Saw that ball way too late to save it. Sokratis blocked the view.


Ffs even Ederson made mistakes against us. Cech gave us a captain’s performance against City. I’m not saying he is a great keeper but anybody who says he was shit against City clearly watched a different game.


Start Toreira & Leno. Also Mavros and Sokratis as CB

Jimbo Jones

Reginald likes shiny new things


He should play Welbeck on the right because of his defensive abilities and can press. Meaning he drop Mikhi. Play Ramsasy also and drop useless Ozil and Xhaka


Oh I Get it now, you’re a Russian troll on Chelsea’s payroll
Or just incredibly dumb at football

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Howardzrov knows the game. He has the right to think dramatically out of the box.


Knee jerk reaction from one match. Not sure who Ramsasy is and dropping Mkhitaryan, and Ozil would be barmy. With hopefully Torreira playing we will be able to see Xhaka in his true position as a deep
lying midfielder as he plays so well for Switzerland.


Bingo.well said,also Bramall to start in place of that useless nacho,Macey for cech PLEASE! And unless he is blind as fuck nketiah and greenwood debut in case of french defoe and pace merchant.lads deserve it.

Brexit means Brexit.




my thoughts exactly, id like welbeck to start over mkhitaryan


I don’t think of Welbeck as being a hugely effective player, but let’s not forget the positive run he went on in the latter stages of the Europa League last year. The game last week was crying out for some inventiveness on the wing. Mickey and Ozil were FLAT. I would’ve loved to have seen Iwobi or Welbeck go at the defense a bit. Why Joel Campbell hasn’t had a chance to prove himself again after his stellar play in 2015-2016 is truly a mystery but one that clearly won’t be solved with him in an Arsenal shirt.


I actually think the AMN news is relatively good news. When he went off on Sunday I was worried that he’d scrambled his knee. I’d take a fractured bone over knee problems all day long. Hope he recovers from it well!

Brendan from NY

well put and getting the likes for it. And who loves the fact that Walker had the confidence to try to run by him, but even walker couldnt match AMN’s recovery speed. I think walker was lucky to escape a yellow, because he fouled AMN out of frustration for getting beat for pace.

Another learning moment for the youngster; recovery pace is good, but if you embarrass an established senior player, you might get fouled and injured. Mark my words, AMN will have his revenge, just like Bellerin has owned Alonso ever since the elbow to the head/concussion.


Bellerin Mustafi Papa Nacho
Ramsey Torreira Xhaka
Ozil Lacazette PEA



Xhaka was disappointing the last game. How about Iwobi or Elneny?


Yes. + miki. 12 players so what


Mostly agree, but I think it is time Xhaka gets dropped. He’s too likely to get caught out in position or by a lapse of concentration when defending.

I also feel that it will benefit him in the long-run. He’s a prime example of a player whose poor performances under Wenger were rewarded with a constant spot in the starting XI. He needs dropping to urge him to up his game and stop being so comfortable.

Thierry bergkamp

The man is consistent. He never does well attacking or defending.


He was our most improved player last season playing a role which doesn’t suit him. Let’s see him in the role as he plays so well for Switzerland


Swap Xhaka for Guendouzi and I agree


I agree, except for Xhaka. Please no more Xhaka, i’ve seen first world war dreadnaughts turn quicker than him.

Jimbo Jones

Bloody hell Ronald. You must be a ripe old age! I though I was old having seen Charlie George!


No Xhaka for me. Too error prone at the minute.

Thierry bergkamp

Guendouzi for Xhaka, Lichtsteiner for Nacho and I’ll be happy. Would like to see Leno, too but that’s not happening.


Nacho if he is fit must play. Guendouzi not ready yet we haven’t yet seen Xhaka as a deep lying midfielder as he plays so well for Switzerland

John C

Xhaka’s our best at controlling the tempo in midfield but for me he needs to play at the base of midfield with both Torreira and Guendouzi to do the running, Ozil in the no.10 position with Lacazette and Auba up front.

It would be pretty narrow but we don’t have much in the way of wingers to off set that


Please god not Granit again, Xhaka cant. Guendouzi Torreria and Ramsey midfield 3.


I trust Emery He seems to know exactly what he wants, doesn’t look like he’ll hesitate in hooking established players, or sidelining new players signed for him for big money. I really hope he’s given time to find a balance and get his ideas across, our squad is extremely unbalanced. We’ve got two top class strikers But no real wide players. We’ve got two number 10’s in Mkhitaryan+Ozil But he seems to want to play Rambo as our most advanced centre mid, meaning we’re left playing two number 10’s? or one of our no9s out of position in a wide… Read more »


Well said. Need a real wide player to open up the pitch a bit more??


Well he has a natural deep lying midfielder. His name is Granit Xhaka and he plays in that role for Switzerland vert successfully. We’ve never played in that position before but now we can


Emery is obviously not impressed with Leno. There’s no other explanation. I warned people about getting all excited with his signing. Emery wouldn’t leave him on the bench if he is better than Cech on the training ground. 22m that might have been useful in signing a great CB. Unbelievable. Anyways I’m not expecting much and won’t judge Emery if we lose. The season starts against West Ham. I expect Torreira to start. Will still stick with a 4-3-3. Chelsea’s midfield will be a nightmare to defend against. Kovacic (who we should’ve tried to sign) – Jorginho – Kante is… Read more »


would like to see a classic 4-4-2 diamond with cech; bellerin, mustafi, holding, nacho; elneny/torreira; xhaka, ramsey; özil; auba & laca.
maybe drop aron for miki. i know a lot of you would like to see xhaka dropped but i think if he got someone covering like elneny or torreira he will be better.



we are overdue an away victory. getting this done at the bridge will be huge.
I believe in this team!

Thierry bergkamp

Shit! I forgot about that away record


I agree Cech was good against city. But when you’re trying to implement a new system (wich will take time), why not do it with the 26 year old german (both our CBs speak german) we bought for £ 22 mil? Instead of playing a 36 year old that may have a bit of a resurgence this year, but is still nearing the end of his career.
I really don’t get it.

DB’s first touch

Cech speaks German fluently so that’s not a argument in favour of Leno


Ok thanks, didn’t know that. My point stands though. If this team is supposed to grow into Emery’s style and tactics, I’d prefer it to be with the GK that’s still gonna be here when his philosophy is finally showcased by the players on the pitch. Would be different if it was Cech/Ospina/Emi.


You answered itvwith your first sentence


Lichtsteiner in for Bellerin, Torreira in for Guendouzi, Lacazette in for Mkhitaryan.


Ozil Ramsey Torreira midfield for me. People on here got a little carried away with Guendouzi, he looked promising but he was still very raw. Cant have Ozil on the wing either, and definitely not against Alonso anyway. Up top Aub, Laca and one of Iwobi/Welbeck on the right. Mkhi has to take a long look at himself really, same with Xhaka. Back 4 picks itself.


With Cech in goal.
Lichtsteiner RB, Mustafi – Sokratis CB, Monreal LB

Torreira and Guendouzi cm

Ramsey attacking mid

Mhiki RW and Auba LW

Laca attack

And we actually have a good team


The way I see it, Emery has at his disposals plenty of options to switch around when necessary. The basic is a 4-2-3-1 Midfield will have a mix of either Torreira-Guendouzi or Torreira-Granit or Granit-Torreira. There is the 4-1-3-2 with most likely Torreira in front of defensive pair. This gives us the opportunity to over load up front with Aubameyang closer to Lacazette but it narrows the midfield slightly which may Mhki or Ozil or Ramsey. Then there is a 4-3-3 should we play say Iwobi or Nelson on one flank with Mhki or Auba on the other. What is… Read more »


Good news on Monreal. If he’s 100% ready to go, he should start. If still a bit wobbly then Lichsteiner. Would like to see Iwobi against Chelsea and a pairing of Torreira Guendouzi. Its an away game so we may have to hit them quicker on the break. I don’t understand all this criticism by Big Sam and others with regard playing out from the back. BUT I do get the sentiment to get out quicker with a player available on the half way line to receive a ball immediately from Cech or if we turn over the ball deep… Read more »


Tim Stillman yet again did not put things in context. Aubameyang and Mhkitaryan are not Wenger signings, they are Mslintat signings. Effectively what Emery has to unpick is Mslintat…again with another less than sufficient signing at Cback with the Greek from surprise surprise Dortmund. Same in January when we could have done with Giroud as an option for what would be a good opportunity back into CL in the europa. Instead we sign a cup tied player and ended up prey to United forced by an agent to take on a player we frankly did not need in Mhkitaryan. The… Read more »


So atm our fullback situation is: Bola and Osei Tutu – too young and under-developed to compete at this level Bramall and Jenkinson – too shit to play football altogether apparently Kolašinac and Bellerin – too unbalanced towards going forward rather than actual defending Moneal and Lichtsteiner – too old to last more than a season or two (perfectly competent atm though) That’s quite the shit show. I just hope Monreal is somewhere near fit. If i had my shout i would probably go with an experienced back-line, an energetic, physical, mobile and skillful midfield, and a pacey front three… Read more »


must start xhaka and Lucas

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