Mustafi and Sokratis suspended for Southampton trip

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Arsenal will be without Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis for next weekend’s Premier League trip to Southampton.

Both picked up yellow cards in the 1-0 win over Huddersfield at the Emirates today, bringing their total to the season for five meaning they have to serve a mandatory one game suspension.

The Greek international went into the book for a foul on some time-wasting twatnozzle, while his central defensive partner was shown a yellow card for what the referee considered a dive in their box.

Arsenal also had Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka booked for simulation, and as far as we know that’s the first time three players have been booked for that offence in one Premier League game.

Mustafi’s day got worse when he left the pitch with what looked like a hamstring strain in the second half, meaning he could miss the entire festive period if the injury is serious. Afterwards Unai Emery described the injury as ‘small’ but we’ll wait for further assessment.

With the injury to Rob Holding this week, it means the boss has got some serious thinking to do about the centre of his defence for the Southampton game and beyond.

Nacho Monreal made his first appearance since October, while Laurent Koscielny was back in the squad since suffering that terrible Achilles injury in May.

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Archer
Archer

Litchsteiner koscielny monreal? That looks like a solid ball playing back three to me. Elneny has played there too.

Goner McGoonFace
Goner McGoonFace

Elneny at CB is a disaster. You cannot be serious.

KING CHINEDU
KING CHINEDU

Elneny is a disaster almost anywhere on the pitch…another extremely cheap (5 million buy by the former manager)…he is not of the quality required to be in a top 8 team….koscielny is also at the end of his effective playing career…that was abundantly clear when kane jumped barely contested by koscielny (who was right next to him) to head the winning goal at wembley last season..

Richie

Yes agreed, with the amount of width that Bellerin and Kolasanic provide the team, I reckon Emery will try to keep the 3 man central defense going, which would mean Leitchsteiner Koscielny Monreal. Combined age of 99 so plenty of experience!

Ronny
Ronny

I don’t think Unai will risk putting all eggs ( CBs) in the same basket ( field). Might play 4 at back.

Cliff Bastin
Cliff Bastin

Even if we stick Auba back there we’ll be fine we have LUCAS TORREIRA

gooner1981
gooner1981

Could it be a stroke of fortune that we have a game against a team in really poor form? With the experience of lichtsteiner/monreal/koscielny, it might well be possible to win there convincingly. Question is, does Emery play Koscielny against Qarabag? He does need some game-time.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

No for me. Can’t risk him or Nacho. Another week of training & then play both in a back 4 v Southampton. Play whoever the hell he wants at CB on Thursday, who cares.

Cliff Bastin
Cliff Bastin

Shad Forsythe and inanimate carbon rod

Lobster
Lobster

Gunnersaurus and a Torreira cardboard cutout.

OneBeatOff
OneBeatOff

After yesterday’s performance, I reckon we could play the entire u23 team on Thursday just to give the first team the extra few days rest. Happy it is at home.

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland
Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

Can Freddie be on the sideline to give Emery some rest too ?

Pedant
Pedant

Southampton can score goals, though are bad at keeping a lead and have had a weak defence.

Hopefully their new Klopp-like manager won’t be able to bring his magic to the coming match in time.

KongoKim
KongoKim

Not a big fan of this comparison and i can tell you why: Ralf Hasenhüttl was my boyhood hero at SV Austria Salzburg when he played there as a striker, while the selfclaimed “normal-one” is a fucking douche. They don’t have much in common.

Pedant
Pedant

Interesting, probably the lazy press just saying they are German managers so must be the same.

KongoKim
KongoKim

Hasenhüttl(translated into english would mean “bunnyshed”) and klopp did the trainer-license school together and sat next to each other. when asked if they were friends hasenhüttl replied: “we know each other very well” which is a polite “no, hes a fucking wanker”.
and hasenhüttl is not german, he is austrian. and no, no kangaroos in austria.

he was such a cool guy. when i was kid i went 2-3 times a month to the training grounds to watch SVAS and get some signatures and he even remembered my name and we made several photos on each occasion. we were in the uefa league final that year despite being such a small club. wish him really all the best after we thrashed them.

Pedant
Pedant

Sounds a great guy, and shows my/general ignorance about where he comes from.

I’ve Southampton friends so hope he saves them from relegation after losing to us.

Parisian Weetabix
Parisian Weetabix

Out of interest why the hate for Klopp?

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

Because he’s a fucking douche

Pedant
Pedant

Though currently top of the league. He seems passionate and successful so also interested what he does that makes him a douche.

KongoKim
KongoKim

hate is a strong word tho and i think he’s generally just annoyed that everyone in the media set up a comparison. if he would have said that they were friends it might has never stopped so i’m not reading too much into this relationship tbh. hasenhüttl is very passionate but you probably won’t see him kicking a bottle or screaming at the ref one inch away from his face. and hasenhüttl is/seems like really down to earth, while normal jürgen has the same teeth bleach as firmino, gets his hair implentated once a while and makes ads for almost everything. it’s his right to do so, but hes like the guy who is driving 3 cars, saying he is not privileged.
funfact: Hasenhüttl played alongside alex Manninger, who some might remember. he was also third choice at Austria Salzburg before he moved to Arsenal.

Pete
Pete

Arise Carl Jenkinson… Zach Medley could also stake his claim while the door is ajar because of injuries.

ToucanSam
ToucanSam

Thursday, yes. PL, not so much.

Gunman

Those 2 should not be risked in the league. Give Kos and Monreal 45 minutes against Quarabag and we should be OK for Sunday.

henry
henry

I liked Medley in his previous game. Calm and collected. A good prospect if things go too wrong.

santori
santori

You are comparing apples with pears. This is a different level all together. NO to Medley or Jenkinson.

This is where most casual viewing fans simply don’t understand the difference. They get easily impressed by peripheral players in less competitive games.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Good job you’re an expert, rather than a casual viewing fan.

Kartik Iyer
Kartik Iyer

What happened to Julio pleguezuelo? Is he injured? I thought he was excellent that game he played. Put him, zech medley and jenkinson in a back 3 and we’re good to go.

Tim Miller
Tim Miller

I thought Mustafi needed a rest anyway, even before he picked up the injury yesterday (hope it’s a small one!). I think we have enough players to put out a solid team for the Southampton trip.
My concern is that without rotation, muscular injuries are a natural consequence. Mustafi’s is certainly no surprise. I think Torreira needs a breather, too. And Hector. It’s up to the manager to look at the squad he has and figure something out.
I’m so glad Nacho is back in the team, he’s versatile, reliable, experienced, and consistent – he was great yesterday. And Kos is next!

Nosferatu
Nosferatu

I wonder if anyone who played today will see the pitch on Thursday. Maybe Iwobi, as a means of trying to help him recapture his early-season form? All these guys really deserve a bit of a break, especially before the schedule gets really hectic.

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

Both Iwobi and Mikhi should play on Thursday to help play themselves into some kind of form. Both were terrible yesterday. The rest should be the kids. They’ll all learn from it, and if we lose this game so what. We’re already through. And it would be a cost less way of getting the unbeaten run thing off our backs before it becomes a media thing and un unbearable weight.

Onenil
Onenil

The ball just bounced off Iwobi. But Mkhi was OK. Didn’t set the game alight, tidy not terrible. 6/10. That said not against giving both some time against the might of Qarabag.

Mekus
Mekus

Iwobi’s form has dropped of recent (that’s my observation, though it pains me to acknowledge that as a Nigerian). He needs to obviously raise his game plus his general input during games and solidify/cement his position in the team doing so. Best wishes to him.

Kartik Iyer
Kartik Iyer

But we should expect more from mikhi just like we do from ozil. He’s a top quality player who can score and assist consistently when on form.

Richie

Sokratis could play on Thursday. He’s suspended for Southampton anyway, and would give the team an experienced head at the back to help Medley and/or Maitland Niles.

Mekus
Mekus

He should rest with the other first team players. There are hectic period ahead and every resting opportunity should be maximized for the overall benefit of the entire team.

Lucas Sam
Lucas Sam

This is where depth from squad players and bright youngsters come in. This where I like Elneny, not world class but good enough to be a squad player and does not moan about it and works hard. Welbeck was one too but sadly got injured. For all i care we can field a team full of youngsters Thursday with a touch of experience from stephan, cech and Elneny.

gooner1981
gooner1981

Yup, nice to see Monreal back. Wonder why more isn’t being made about offering him an extension. Mr. Consistent is also at the end of his contract in July

Hantal
Hantal

Probably because he’s been picking up niggly injuries.
But he’s also not a high profile player so negotiations won’t be all over the papers

Lucas Sam
Lucas Sam

From football manager 19 sources, he may have an optional 1 year extention that the club can trigger. So no real need of a discussion unless we want to keep him beyond the extension year. He is starting to get old so at most he will have another season with us as we should also look for the future.

Yaks
Yaks

I hope we will navigate this injury crisis and suspension unscathed. If Kosh is ready for 90 minutes, we shall be fine with his experience. He’s the only natural central defender available for our next PL match. Jenko, Leichterna and Monreal are all full backs.

yen
yen

It´s “only” Southampton, yet I still have nightmares when thinking of our performances at St. Mary´s back in 2015 (0:2, 0:4 !!!). 2 of the worst games I´ve seen us play in over a decade of following Arsenal.

Let´s run away with 3 points from that hopeless place as fast as we can.

yen
yen

Oh no. Watched the highlights from that game again. A guy named Cuco Martina, now on loan in Stoke, with a world class, outside of the foot volley. Shane Long with a brace. I wasn´t ready.

Richie

You know you’re having a bad day when Shane Long scores a brace against you.

Bendtnerschristmastree
Bendtnerschristmastree

Wasn’t it on boxing day too? Recall it really bummed me out

yen
yen

Yup. The first one (0:2) was on New Year´s Eve, the second one (0:4) on Boxing day.

Irrational Gunner

That sounds like the one where Long trips Kos as they both go for the ball, and then Long takes it in for the goal. That play and Long are infamous when I think of Southampton. Don’t believe this will be a gimme.

yen
yen

That´s the one!

OneBeatOff
OneBeatOff

Another PL record!! Up the Arsenal!

Tinygiant
Tinygiant

Am I the only with a severe injury deja vu? We seem to be getting an awful lot of injuries this season. Reminds me of the Wenger era where Arsenal were marred by injuries.

I’m thinking it might be the effects of the intensive training Emery has applied since arriving and now we are experiencing the not so great concequences.

We’ve had 55 injuries in 2017-2018 and in the june-december period there’s a 7% increase compared to last seasons injuries in the same time period.

yen
yen

I don´t think it´s that bad – we used to “lead” injury tables by a fine margin back in the days.

Right now it seems like the only established first team player who might not be ready for Southampton & who´s injury might be connected with aforementioned intensive training is Mustafi.

Welbz & Rob are unfortunate ones. Dinos has been out since last season. Ozil´s back has been continuous problem for a while & Ramsey has been fighting injuries, bigger or smaller, since I can remember.

Bob
Bob

We don’t have that many injuries. Kolasinac had fitness issues before emery, not much we could do about holding, koscielny is obviously a throwback, Ozil has had these back issues since last season. Can’t really speak for Mavrapanos and Monreal’s situations but Mustafi picking up a hamstring strain isn’t that unusual

Goonerrific
Goonerrific

Looks like we’re getting the old gang back together! What’s kolo up to these days?

Goontang
Goontang

We have to seriously be considering an emergency recall for chambers at this point.

Shank

I wrote here recently that to lose Torreira would be critical as we don’t really have a like for like on the bench.
I got thumbed down all over the place………..what’s the story people? You all in denial?

Pedant
Pedant

This is a good way to get more thumbs down! Perhaps rethink and restate your original post and see the response, rather than challenge people to admit they are wrong.

voster
voster

There aren’t many teams that have like-for-like replacements for key players in the squad. If they did, this is an easy path towards disgruntlement for the backup player. It’s probably more useful to think in terms of how you adjust your team depending on what players you have available to you.

Cygans Parting
Cygans Parting

To add to our lack of options for Thursday. Right back Jordi Osei-Tutu & centreback Daniel Ballard are both serving three match bans having been sent off against Derby county in an under 23 match. Tolaji Bola is also suspended having picked up 5 bookings. Our two most experienced defenders from the 23s in terms of first team involvement Centrbacks Ben Sheaf and Julio Pleguezuelo are just coming back from injury.
In short, don’t get there to early on Thursday or you might be given a pair of boots and asked to go and do a warm up!

Don’t Forget
Don’t Forget

Do 3 match bans from U23 matches count in Europa league matches?

arsepedant
arsepedant

No.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

I can’t believe people have upvoted the comment.

Mpls
Mpls

It’s a ‘thank you for the information ‘ thing

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

I was referring to the comment thinking U23 suspensions counted for first team football. It’s obvious.

Kes
Kes

Not worried. Should be ok with kos & Montreal back. God bless our players from no more injuries this month.

Arse City Blues
Arse City Blues

Excuse my ignorance, but I didn’t realise that the small Greek island and a Canadian city had gone missing..?

Hantal
Hantal

I wonder if we’d have appealed this if Mustafi wasn’t injured

Mesut O'Neill
Mesut O'Neill

You can’t appeal yellow cards unfortunately, which is ridiculous.

afan
afan

yeah, thanks for that boys

Bob
Bob

I wouldn’t mind Medley or Pleguezuelo given a run out if necessary, certainly over playing “all the fullbacks” or playing midfielders in the back 3

Santori
Santori

Please no.

We need experience.

Lichsteiner and Monreal should be fine on either side but the player in the middle is the issue.

IF Koscielny is not 100%, may have to rely on Elneny. He is still far more experience than either of the two you mentioned and generally he sweeps up well in defense.

Mpls
Mpls

Doesn’t matter much for Qarabag. We’re fully through in Europa. The point is to save the first team options for Southampton and the packed holiday fixture schedule. It would be ridiculous to needlessly cause overuse injuries to more key players on Thursday.

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

Next week I think we can only go with that old phrase, attack is the best form of defense. Ozil, Iwobi, Lacazette and Aubyemang playing, they can’t test our defense while the ball is in their net

Ronny
Ronny

I don’t understand the frustration that was being shown by the Arsenal fans yesterday. I know, our game wasn’t fluid like it has been the past few weeks, but it’s only to be expected. We have had players playing continuously and against top teams; fatigue is bound to creep in.
On top, Huddersfield were playing a very strong press, disrupting our natural Rhythm ( Unai Quote ) with time wasting and hard hitting style of play.
It’s not fair of fans to expect of the strikers to keep aborting goals with every other chance. Both Lacazette and PEA play really great and put loads of effort.
Think of it like our mood, we don’t give our best when we are tired and sore. What we need at that time is a bit of support and motivation not jeers.
Also, we really need to dip in the January market to get ourselves a dribbling creative player.

Mesut O'Neill
Mesut O'Neill

That’s most football fans. They behave like dicks when in large groups.

Also I’m sure scoring was the word you were looking for.

santori
santori

I thought we played OK but were not sharp enough (Laca and Auba missed great opportunities)

Also Ref were the usual confused lot. Aside from being card happy, they got the offside rulings wrong again.

Laca was in second phase of play for his disallowed goal that came from the errant back pass by the Huddersfield defender.

Also Auba on side from the superb ball over the top from Mustafi.

Hantal
Hantal

I’d imagine the plan would have been for sokratis or Mustafi to earn a yellow card yesterday to get the ban out of the way, then the other player to do the same next week. Obviously thats not how it worked out

Viv
Viv

I think it will be a back four considering the opposition,add a body in midfield and squeeeze out s win

santori
santori

I think a back 3 is safer considering.

There will be more cover for the Cbacks and it still plays to the strengths of Bellerin and Kolasinac.

Whether we line up with 3 mids to protect the relatively untried Cbacks is the question. Clearly we lose something without at least one creative AM in the mix.

LacaNewSigning
LacaNewSigning

Our lack of creativity in the middle of the pitch last evening got me wishing we could keep Cazorla for another year or two. The lil midfield maestro is now back to his magical best at Villarreal. With a Xhaka/Santi/Terrier mid I’m sure he’d have torn the Huddersfield “bus” to pieces yesterday! Oh Santi Cazorla!!!

https://youtu.be/RdtEQJaXjCY

GoForIt
GoForIt

Shit. I’m almost sorry I watched that. What a brilliant, delightful little player. Absolutely thrilled for him that he’s playing and showing flashes of brilliance again — but gutted about his injury, and losing the delight of watching him play for Arsenal.

santori
santori

Granted Torreira has been an excellent addition, some people in the media getting as per usual carried away with themselves declaring him the best signing in the last 10 years.

That would be Santi Carzola whom Arsene signed for a snip.

How soon they forget.

Super Joshi
Super Joshi

Between Santi & Lolo IMO. Although it’s hard to really measure that.

Naija Gunner
Naija Gunner

Hmmmm….. some serious thinking indeed

santori
santori

I think we will likely keep the 3 man backline against Soton.

Lichsteiner and Monreal on either side look certain. If anything bc of age, it actually suits them to tuck slightly deeper in a back 3.

Whether Koscielny is ready is another issue. Certainly there will be an opportunity to stress test these players in the match against Qarabag.

If Koscielny is still 50-50, Elneny may have to be it. He’s OK enough in the Cback role.

What we will really need is for the midfield to be extra vigilant protecting the backline.

Likely we may line up Guendouzi-Xhaka-Torreira again to screen and press higher.

santori
santori

In terms of front loading, I actually think we have evolved into a choice between two options ahead of midfield when playing back 3 now.

One is a triangle with either Auba or Laca up top supported by Iwobi and one of (since Ramsey is injured) Mhki or Ozil.

The other could be an inverted triangle with Auba and Laca supported by a creative midfielder (dare I say Ozil if he recovers from Spasm)

In both these options we play a straight two in midfield (nominally Granit-Torreira)

There is also the third quasi-option of having all 3 mids Guendouzi-Granit-Torreira but at expense of creative/attacking mids further forward.

And of course there is 4-2-3-1 should the gaffer prefer to go to a back 4.

Either way, we have plenty of options at our disposal to achieve nuance in breaking teams down.

Santori
Santori

Ozil – He was on the bench against Huddersfield.

Naturally media ramping up departure stories but frankly it could be much ado about nothing as per usual and truly a back spasm.

If he is fit, he may be a surprise factor we can play behind a front two.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Where is Mavros?

gendouziremindsmeofdiabysortof
gendouziremindsmeofdiabysortof

whats dinos saying these days? any updates on him?

Mark
Mark

Not sure what Emery will decide to do, not sure if he would be comfortable with Kos as the center of three defenders or not. Jenkinson played center defender in the Europa League match and did OK so he may consider him, though of course Lichtsteiner has more experience by far. Another option he might consider is Pleguezuelo who did well in the one match he played.