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

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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.

SQUAD

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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GoonerMac
GoonerMac

Looking forward to it

My 11

Cech

Jenkinson Elneny Holding Lichtsteiner

Guendouzi Maitland-Niles

Mkhitaryan Nketiah Smith-Rowe

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

Sunil T
Sunil T

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

Emery's Hairdresser
Emery's Hairdresser

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

HSM
HSM

*10 players – what are *you* smoking?

Red Fred
Red Fred

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

Mayor McCheese
Mayor McCheese

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

Gooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa
Gooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa

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.

Ilari
Ilari

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

MeSoHornsey
MeSoHornsey

Wow!

“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.

renaissancerosicky
renaissancerosicky

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

Nicknock
Nicknock

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

Santi’s Smile
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.

datboiyemz
datboiyemz

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

Ram
Ram

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.

Chakravo
Chakravo

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

sambo
sambo

Ozil is on 400k (sarc)

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Where’s Julio Plez?

SB Still
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!

DamoDinkum
DamoDinkum

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.

ChicagoGooner
ChicagoGooner

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

BarlesCharkley
BarlesCharkley

Why is Medley illegible?

GraeB
GraeB

Because we couldn’t read his passes?

I think you meant “inelegible”.

Dastardlydick
Dastardlydick

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

Dastardlydick
Dastardlydick

😂😂 whoops, typo “going”

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

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

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

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

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

utk
utk

ains?

Tom Gun
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. to see development of fringe youngsters.

Ilari
Ilari

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

Leno

Mustafi Sokratis Holding

Bellerin Xhaka Torreira Kolasinac

Özil

Laca Auba

Faisal Narrage
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.

COYG1001
COYG1001

Would that Monreal would make a surprise early appearance!

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

Harish Hirani
Harish Hirani

They’re gonna be freezing their knackers off.

-7C or around that figure.

Ilari
Ilari

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
Thierry bergkamp

-20! Fuck that

Ilari
Ilari

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
Forest gooner

-40C or- 40F?

Goonstein
Goonstein

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

Pedant
Pedant

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

Claver
Claver

No kidding.
A cold day here is 18 c
Folks walking around with blanket sized jackets.
-20?
I’d be dead at 10 c

Michael Bolton Wanderers
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
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.

Claver
Claver

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
Don’t Forget

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

Man Manny
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.
COYG!!!

Bendtnerschristmastree
Bendtnerschristmastree

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

Jason daniels
Jason daniels

Why didnt useless ozil not travel with

beNZed

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

onenil
onenil

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.

hosehead75
hosehead75

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

Cech
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.

Arse-Head
Arse-Head

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

renaissancerosicky
renaissancerosicky

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

hosehead
hosehead

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

Ronny
Ronny

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.

renaissancerosicky
renaissancerosicky

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.

steve
steve

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.

—-J-Jules——-Nketiah———Saka—
———-S-Rowe———M-Niles——–
—————–Guendouzi—————
Thompson—Elneny—Holding—O-Tutu
——————-Martinez—————

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

Good luck lads.

Stephen
Stephen

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