Thursday, June 13, 2024

Emery green lights young Gunners for Brentford

Unai Emery has given his clearest indication yet that he’ll select up-and-coming prospects in this season’s Carabao Cup meaning the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock could get a chance when Arsenal face Brentford tomorrow.

The Spaniard was relatively conservative in his squad rotation for the recent Europa League game with Vorskla but is expected to be bolder this time around with the Gunners facing a busy schedule in the coming weeks.

All the same, Emery insists he wants to win the competition and is taking the threat posed by the Bees, who are seventh in the Championship, seriously.

“For us, every competition is important and also [this is one] that we can play and find our way in this competition and towards this title,” he told

“Also we can give players chances to play, chances to take confidence and minutes in the game.

“For us it is the opportunity to do well in this competition, looking towards the title and look to ask the players for [a] performance. One possibility is to give the players who are playing less in one competition to take minutes and this responsibility going forward.

“We were preparing in pre-season with the young players and every player to give them a chance to show us their confidence and performance.

“Now we are preparing for each match thinking only about our best performance, but we need every player because all the competitions in the season are very long and we need to prepare players and young players also to help us in these moments of the season.”

He added: “Against Brentford I am going to prepare the best performance for us, but I’ll be giving chances and opportunities to the players who are playing less in the competition.

“Also maybe the young players can have opportunities to play in this game if I think it’s the best for us to give them this opportunity of starting in the first XI, but the first thing about the best performance is thinking about winning.”

Here’s our stab at what we think Emery might try tomorrow evening:

Lichtsteiner / Holding / Mustafi / Monreal
Elneny / Guendouzi / Willock
Smith Rowe / Welbeck

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jas Ghata-Aura

Surely Leno plays?

Make Arsenal Great Again

He needs to show what he can do. Cech has laid down the marker. It won’t be easy to overtake him

David Hillier's luggage

Is there a danger Leno becomes the new Richard Wright? Brought in for a decent fee to challenge/replace an ageing goalkeeper, can’t quite displace him, ends up only playing as many games as the club’s 3rd choice ex-academy keeper…

Lucas Sam

What about Martinez? I was thinking martinez for the carabao cup and leno for the fa and europa


Emery said all three keepers will get Games so Martinez seems the likely option here


Decent side with enough to win. Would like to see a strong subs bench too, Brentford are a good team so we need something extra in case things start going wrong.


Probably mkhi and laca on the bench with some younger players


Hopefully Mkhi is saved for the Saturday starting 11… I can dream!


Nice mix of youth and experience, something like that looks about right, though I’m sure Monreal could do with a rest

DB’s first touch

Monreal could do with a rest I agree, but who is going to play in his place? All our other left backs (even down to Cohen Bramall I believe) are still out injured at the moment…

Petit's Handbag

I agree to a certain point but if he is injured tomorrow night who plays Saturday. I think the smartest thing to do is go with whatever the plan would be if he were injured. It’s a trophy but a very pointless one. There’s no point in risking anyone as key as Nacho in this game.


I totally agree. Bring up one of our Under-23/18 prospects and back them up with an experienced player ahead of them and inside them in the back four.


We have r the perfect prospect at left back, by the name of Tolaji Bola. I’d really be delighted of he got his debut in this match.


Isn’t Kolasinac back in full training? Maybe he can get 45 minutes or something.

Faisal Narrage

I’d be surprised if Martinez plays, but I think he should be given a chance.
I think a midfield of Elneny, Guendz and ESM will be the one, and Iwobi will play as one of the wide players, with Welbeck and Eddie the rest. Hoping that we have someone welse in LB, but with no Kola or even Brammel, it’s likely to be Nacho.

Plus Julio Plez on the bench. Might even get a cheeky start.

David Hillier's luggage

Really hope we start some of the young prospects tomorrow. I’m a big fan of the League Cup, with the games being all ticket you get a whole bunch of young (or new) enthusiastic fans at the matches and that enthusiasm rubs off on the younger players in particular. I know we’re short on numbers at the back, but if we have three first team level players in defence starting, would it not be worth the risk of throwing someone like Tolaji Bola at left back and saving Nacho for Sat?


I’ve been following Tolaji closely and believe he is ready. Nacho’s not getting any younger and I hope he can take Tolaji under his wing and pass on the baton so to speak.


I wouldn’t mind seeing Elneny/Holding at CB. Would give Elneny some well needed minutes and a much needed rest for Mustafi


Jenkinson’s fit again.




This is the Mickey Mouse cup.

My only issue would be to find a way not to start with Monreal given the paucity of Lbacks at present time.


Come on Eddie, show your class! I want to see this kid given a proper chance to make it at Arsenal.


For sure he will make it


Lichtsteiner – Elneny – Holding – Monreal
Guendouzi – Willock
Iwobi – Smith-Rowe – Welbeck


Ha.That team looks capable enough to topple mighty brentford..On a diff note,wonder what happened to Zelalem.


He was (like a lot of youngsters recently) out with a long term injury, only returned to training this month

Faisal Narrage

Actually he’s just suffered another setback.

David Hillier's luggage

Brentford are in decent form in the Championship, above the likes of Villa, Forest & Stoke, and only 3 points behind Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds on the top. I think we’ll win, but it won’t be the push over we’d usually expect.

Billy Bob

Slightly off topic, but what would you think if arsenal were able to get pogba in January? Sending Ozil and Ramsey in the other direction?


There is certainly no lack of talent in the Arsenal Academy. But Smith Rowe stands out. The day might not be far away when he breaks out of obscurity in spectacular fashion.


That predicted team in the main article is too weak for comfort in my opinion. 5 youngsters is an unnecessary risk. I’d play 3 maximum. I expect Brentford to give us more of a game than Vorskla or Quarabag, so let’s not take tomorrow lightly just because we want to see some exciting new players. I’d certainly start Leno for starters. Guendouzi next to Elneny is sensible enough, and I’d have Iwobi and Welbeck in the front 4, with 2 youngsters. Strong bench for emergency. Mufc and Wolves are out, and one of Chelsea/Liverpool will be gone tomorrow, that already… Read more »


Well we won’t be facing Utd


Phil Jones took his chance to be a true hero of football.


Meanwhile the Moaninho Meltdown is in full swing.

Ben Mc

US Arseblog crew….any recommendation for venues that would be showing this game around Hollywood area?

food for thought

no monreal please.


I’d hope Nacho would get a break, he is way too important for us to play three times in 7 days at his age especially with no healthy backup right now.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x