Friday, February 23, 2024

Rotating the bollix out of it: Arsenal announce FC Vorskla travelling squad

With the North London derby coming on Sunday, followed by a trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday, it was widely expected that Unai Emery would rotate his squad for tomorrow night’s Europa League clash with FC Vorskla.

That’s definitely the case as a host of youngsters and a smattering of experience were on the plane this afternoon.

Despite earlier worries, it does seem as if the game will go ahead in the Olympic Stadium in Kyiv with the Ukrainian side making the 350km journey to the capital by bus this evening.

Rob Holding appears to be the only established central defender in the squad, so we may see him and Mohamed Elneny in there.

Here’s the travelling squad of 20 which will be whittled down to 18 tomorrow, and according to our youth correspondent Jeorge Bird Zech Medley is ineligible anyway.


Petr Cech
Emi Martinez
Dejan Iliev
Stephan Lichtsteiner
Jordi Osei-Tutu
Rob Holding
Carl Jenkinson
Dominic Thompson
Zech Medley
Mohamed Elneny
Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Aaron Ramsey
Emile Smith Rowe
Joe Willock
Matteo Guendouzi
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Charlie Gilmour
Tyreece John-Jules
Bukayo Saka
Eddie Nketiah

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Looking forward to it

My 11


Jenkinson Elneny Holding Lichtsteiner

Guendouzi Maitland-Niles

Mkhitaryan Nketiah Smith-Rowe

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

Sunil T

That’s only 9 players.. What you smoking lol

Emery's Hairdresser

It’s 10 players… We should start a counting academy for fans


*10 players – what are *you* smoking?

Red Fred

Maybe he got a bit confused with the two hyphonated names 🙂

Mayor McCheese

It’s 10 until it’s 11. That’s how it works.


So you’ll play with 10 men? Lol

I’m glad emery rotated for this one, big game this weekend and United away a couple of days later. I actually wouldn’t play holding in this one, I’d keep him on the bench because I want him to play the next 2 games, and 4 games in 11 days would be pushing it. I definitely would have started mustafi today tho and really hope he doesn’t play this weekend.


Agree otherwise, but I think we should start with 11. Add Ramsey or Willock in midfield.



“Strictly peripheral players and kids only. Except you Ramsey, get your longjohns and mittens on, you’re on the plane too.”

Ice cold and ruthless.


Not to forget Mkhi! That’s a demotion right there.


Think with Mkhi, Unai is just trying to play him into form before the big games.

Santi’s Smile

It is ruthless, just not sure it is right. I’d back Ramsey to do well v. Sp*rs in the role Mhki played v. Bournemouth.


Emery used Rotation. Was it effective? Doesn’t matter.


If its rotation then where is squad player Ozil? He probably pissed himself thinking about that weather lol.Nice job if you can manage to get it I guess,400k a week while keeping your footsies under blanket.


Yep, definitely a nice job if you can get it. Nothing stopping you from trying, mate.


Ozil is on 400k (sarc)

Faisal Narrage

Where’s Julio Plez?

SB Still

As Zech is not eligible to play, maybe it’s Julio Plez who is travelling using Zech’s passport? Emery does do the unexpected with his squad selection and this might be another way to spring a surprise!


And still no place for Inanimate Carbon Rod… what does the poor bastard have to do

Obama Young

Inanimate Carbon Rod Fanni? he plays for the Montreal Impact now.


Wonder when/if Emery will give Zelalem a call up.


Why is Medley illegible?


Because we couldn’t read his passes?

I think you meant “inelegible”.


Nah, if you’re hing to correct him, get the spelling right. “Ineligible “


?? whoops, typo “going”


Thompson Medley Lichtsteiner Osei-Tutu
Gilmore Willock
Saka Smith-Rowe John-Jules

Let the youth play and bring on Rambo, Mkhitaryan and Guendouzi if things don’t go as expected.

Lord Bendnter

Would want Mikitikitaryan to start. He needs to play more and more until he finds his feet



Tom Gun

Mkhi going as well so he’s clearly not going to make the side to face Sp*rs. Holding going so probably means Sokratis and Mustafi against Sp*rs as i think we’ll revert to 4 at the back at home against one striker. Should mean we’ll see: Leno Bellerin Sokratis Mustafi Kolasinac Torreira Xhaka Iwobi Ozil Aubameyang Lacazette Against Spurs at home, that’s what I would have picked regardless of who went tonight. Cannot wait!! ……for the derby! Tomorrow not so much! Let’s be honest, we’re through and top of the group so tomorrow is interesting only as the Carabao is, i.e.… Read more »


This is probably not going to happen, but on Sunday it would be interesting to see:


Mustafi Sokratis Holding

Bellerin Xhaka Torreira Kolasinac


Laca Auba

Faisal Narrage

I like it, but it has 2 problems;
1. No dribblers. Against a super-pressing team like Spurs, you need players that can carry the ball over long distances. And we only have 2 players in the squad able to do that; Iwobi and Mkhi (regardless of his form).
2. Defensive protection. Ozil and Kola WILL leave Xhaka and Torreira exposed to the press (and Spurs will target Xhaka). Not having either Iwobi or Mkhi leaves them open to getting pressed. Ozil and Kola won’t provide the defensive support and tracking back as requested.


Would that Monreal would make a surprise early appearance!

For dribbling (and some defense), I’d start Mikhi ahead of Auba.

Harish Hirani

They’re gonna be freezing their knackers off.

-7C or around that figure.


It’s cold, but we played as kids here in Finland at minus 20 many times and it was fun. And we weren’t highly trained professionals with highly trained coaches. So I think they’ll manage it.

Thierry bergkamp

-20! Fuck that


Our coach said that Finnish soldiers fought in the 2nd world war against Soviet Union at minus 40 day and night. And here we were whining playing a game of football at half of the temperature. I think he was right ?

Forest gooner

-40C or- 40F?


I feel very intellectual for understanding this joke. Nice one.


Set up nicely for it, though hard to believe it was intentional.


No kidding.
A cold day here is 18 c
Folks walking around with blanket sized jackets.
I’d be dead at 10 c

Michael Bolton Wanderers

Did the same here in Norway. And we actually had football shoes with tiny spikes, why you wonder? Because we played on the fucking ice. We didn’t have grass pitches, we played on hard gravel, which during winter had an inch or two layer of ice.
The 90’s were wild

Faisal Narrage

I played football in Nigeria in 40 degree dry heat on a massive hard red sand “pitch” with anything up to 30+ “players on the pitch, with bare feet (and sometimes a stone heavily wrapped up in paper as the ball).

Just because I didn’t doesn’t mean I expect pro footballers to do it too. -7 is still facking cold, mate, don’t care what soldiers did in WW2 (they achieved things greater than most of mandkind for survival. Football is not survival).

Give them snoods, I say.


No Shit

Irrational Gunner

The Weather Underground actually says that is is supposed to “cooler” tomorrow than today in Kiev. Maybe the starters should be selected on the basis of body fat!

Don’t Forget

Too Late to bring Arshavin out of retirement and into the squad?

Man Manny

Vorskla are not that bad; our unbeaten run is in real jeopardy with this selection.
No rescue mission from the bench; it has to be the first 11 tomorrow or nothing.


Medley and Iliev most definitely the ones to miss out then?

Jason daniels

Why didnt useless ozil not travel with


Your double negative confuses me. What are you trying to emphasise?


Useless Ozil (until he helps us mash the Spuds!).
Unai has a temperamental Ferrari in Ozil. He is using him to burn up our local rivals, not wasting him on a pointless road trip to the Ukraine.


I would play a back three in this game and go full Football Manager:

Jenkinson Lichtsteiner Holding Elneny Maitland-Niles
Guendouzi Willock
Osei-Tutu Nketiah Smith-Rowe

I mean, why not. Push some of these players outside their comfort zone against weaker opposition in a game that doesn’t mean that much.


I’m guessing your not very good at Football Manager, that’s a back four


I can see what your were thinking, but even so it’s a back five, analogous to a back three.


I was pretty close. Didn’t play a back three, but just missed Ramsey.


I don’t want Holding to play the match. He is good and reliable defender who I would want to save for the next two Premier League matches.
Also, I think they should have got koscielny for this match. Unless there is singing that happened that we don’t know of.


I like that they’re taking Medley despite his being ineligible. I’d hate to miss this kinda trip when all my mates are going. I imagine that with the controversy surrounding the match the youth players have an extra dose of nervous excitement too.


From that list i think i would just go all out youth apart from Medley and Iliev who will probably be missing so I’d replace them with Elneny and Martinez. Whatever the team turns out to be i just really hope we finally get to see Maitland-Niles in an actual box-to-box role.


Subs: Cech, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson, Gilmour, Willock, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan

Good luck lads.


I’m actually more prone to get up early and watch this now out of interest. Emery you commercial genius.

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