Xhaka a doubt for Burnley


Granit Xhaka is a doubt for Arsenal’s first home game of the new season against Burnley having suffered bruising to his lower back and leg in the win over Newcastle United.

The Swiss, who captained the side at St James’ Park, still has another 24 hours to prove his fitness. We’re well-stocked in midfield, so even if the 26-year-old doesn’t make it, the likes of Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Joe Willock and Dani Ceballos are on standby.

Judging by the Arsenal medical team’s latest bulletin, we can assume that Alex Lacazette is fit for selection. The Frenchman was left on the bench last weekend as a precaution having picked up an ankle injury in pre-season.

Having had another week to train in their new surroundings, the likes of Nicolas Pepe and David Luiz should also be options to start. It’s not clear yet, whether the ongoing security situation affecting Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil will rule them out. It’s likely we’ll get an update in Emery’s press conference later.

Rob Holding is a week closer to full fitness but is unlikely to feature for a few more weeks. Hector Bellerin, another working his way back from ACL surgery, is another seven weeks behind the centre-back.

Kieran Tierney, Dinos Mavropanos and Emile Smith Rowe are all out with groin injuries. The Scot and Greek are pencilled in to return to first team training in October.

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Let’s have a trio of Guendouzi, Willock and Ceballos in midfield if Ozil is not available again.


Would be my first choice in that game, too. But as we surely need Torreira against Pool next week, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give him at least some minutes from the bench today or maybe even start him.


We need Torreira. Burnely are nasty cunts.


Torreira is 1.68 and 60 kg. He´s pushed way to easily off the ball. Like most of our midfielders. I hve hope though for Ghendouzi and Willock if they put on some muscles


You’ve clearly never seen him play.


Watched him a lot. Protected by Italian refs but the physicality in the PL doesn´t suit him. Lets´s see saturday.


Ngolo Kante’s on the phone, says he needs to speak about the judgement of a player’s physicality based only on their size….


Oh good. Writing him off already.

Dave M

Mekelele, Carzorla, Masquerano all terrible players too…


All of the above sound fictional to me –

The real ones like Makelele, Cazorla and Mascherano though, they are good.
Let’s not forget Kante.
So size really doesn’t matter, ask our peak-Flamini.

Dave M

spalling poleez!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

It’s just a good thing you didn’t try to spell Kante.

Dave M

You’re right I definitely Can’te Spell that Kant’s name

A Different George

Without getting into the Torreira discussion too deeply (I believe he (and Guendouzi) have been too easy to push off the ball but that they are both adapting), I just want to argue against some of the comparisons being made. It’s pretty clear to me that Kante is one of a kind, like a Messi or a Dennis Bergkamp, and it does no one any good to be compared to any of them.

Eduar-do a deer

At it again?


Well that went well. My worries is the storyline that´s been created around Arsenal and the refs are following this storyline. It goes like this: Arsenal are weak and we need to “give it too them” For instance Bellerin when Alanso almost broke his neck and scored literally using Bellerin as a piece of meat. Nothing given. Last match against Newcastle. Arsenal yellow carded all over the pitch and Newcastle got nothing. Troy Deeneys comments. The list is long and the storyline is clear and the refs are up to their ears in it. I love Torreira as any other… Read more »


Get push way too easily off the ball, what game are you watching?


You’d probably sacrifice David Silva for that singular reason….. Good thing you’re no team’s coach

Reality check

Now that Mustafi is out of the team, lets see who gets to be the next beat boy. Xhaka and Ozil are the front runners clearly, didn’t know Torriera the terrier is in contention too.. good luck to him

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Iwobi lucky to be gone. He was next on the list.


I assume ‘Reality check’ was having a go at the fans who like to scapegoat one player or the other irrespective of their performance on a given day. I am absolutely with hm/her on that. The treatment meted out by some fans to our own players is much beyond fair criticism and it gets really personal so many times. We have seen ugly examples of it in the case of Mustafi, sometimes Xhakha and utterly ridiculous was the insensitivity towards Ozil during this ordeal he is facing. The Arsenal supporters around the world take pride in being expected to show… Read more »


Torreira can come in and actually do the job that Xhaka pretends to do.


A novel description of Burnley’s style of play.

Pepe Le Pew

Even if Ozil is available. I feel sorry for him and his situation but he is still poor football player. The trio you name above is interesting. I might throw a Torreira in there before a Ceballos but I am curious to se Ceballos develop throughout the year.


Whatever you think of Ozil, he is certainly not a poor football player. A ridiculous description


On the contrary, he’s an extremely wealthy football player

Peter Story Teller

Not a poor football player at all he just chooses not to demonstrate how good he is for much of the time.
His current situation is not going to help him either!

Pepe Le Pew

He was excellent again against Chelsea last year.


The fact that we have to pick out individual games he played well in, tells you everything you need to know about him. When did Thierry play well? Every fucking game!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Thierry Henry didn’t have the weight of a “top player” tag on him when he arrived, so very few Arsenal “fans” felt the need to lay into him from his first day on the job. Different story with Ozil. Some supposed fans were gunning for him from the start.


A midfield trio of Guendouzi Torreira Ceballos would be interesting. And a front 3 of Pepe Lacazette Aubameyang is simply mouth watering.

Thierry Bergkamp

Nah, Torreira needs to be in there.

Ya gooner

For me he’s a doubt every game lol. On a serious note I hole he gets better and can improve this season!


Atleast it’s not central defence that we have to worry about.. played well last match I hope he gets fit on time. COYG!


Id start Luiz and Sokratis against burnley,let them kick barnes out of the game,torreira guendouzi willock in midfield ,martinelli auba pepe up top,burnley will play dirty as usual so we need to stand up to them early,then our attacking quality will tear them apart


Knowing that Sokratis still lacks self-discipline, even at his age and experience, letting him (and Luiz) “… kick Barnes out of the game…” is an almost certain recipe for reducing us to ten men pretty quickly – not a great game plan, I suggest.


I’d stick with Chambers – he was a standout performer in our first match, he deserves a chance to build on that. There’ll be plenty of chances for Luiz to break into starting 11, we’ll need him as the season progresses. There’s a funny situation in our midfield right now, and honestly I don’t really mind that much who’s selected and who’s not – I would just like to see Torreira play at least half an hour so he can be ready to start against Liverpool next week. If Ozil’s okay to play, he should play – if not, then… Read more »


Yep I’d also go for Luiz and Sokratis. I’m all for giving the likes of Chambers Willock and Nelson more minutes, especially at home against lower opposition, but we do play Liverpool next weekend and really need to go to Anfield with our best players on top form.

Ace Boogie

As much as I’d like to see luiz get time to be ready for bigger games. Our back 4 last game was solid and chopping and changing when they did the job slightly worries me. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, they could go on a bit of a run that unit. Tough call though


Jeez, we’re gonna be having new signings well into November


Well, as it’s only one match into the season I’d hope that the squad is strong enough to cope.

It’s very much a squad-based game nowadays – nobody goes through a season like Liverpool did many years ago using, I think, only 14 players – and we’ve got the numbers, but have we got the quality in depth?

To his credit, Emery has already used some youngsters so here’s an opportunity to see what they, and perhaps others, are made of.

Mentally Drained Gooner

I had a smile on my face after just reading the title.


I don’t have time for monkey business so I’ll always play my best side. I’ll go with this formation :
Niles Sokratis D.Luis Monreal
Torreira Guendozi
Pepe Willock Aubamayang

All 3points are very vital it doesn’t matter which opponent we are playing. We have been through this many times when we rest players for the matches we think are important and then we end up losing the two.


I’m not saying this as a die hard gunner but I’m also saying this as a true football fan that studies games,coaches,tactics and squads….if any team doubts the quality,eagerness,motivation,fight,youth and depth of the arsenal squad then they could be in for a real shock this season….i’m making a sound warning to the rest of the premier league and any opponent we might face along the line…from January to May with a fully fit and complete healthy squad arsenal would be very hard to beat…..so I would advise opponents to capitalize and take points from Arsenal now that they are at… Read more »

Monkey knees

That is a looooong sentence.


Well, you certainly do have it all planned out. I’m sure the leading teams are (more) worried. On balance though, it’s probably not a good idea to plan on a push in the early New Year – we need to try and keep within striking distance of the “usual suspects” from, well, now really. A good, early, test to see if we can do this will be coming up when we play Liverpool and Spurs. We’ve certainly seem to have made some good signings in the Summer window (we’ll all know more when they’ve all played more, of course) but… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

We won’t even finish 10th if we lose all those points by December.

Paul Roberts

How many points did Chiza say we would lose Eternal? The point of his post was that we are going to have a great team when everyone is fit. Why is everyone having a go at people on here today??

Paul Roberts

Well I really liked your post Chiza. A great confidence booster!


Xhaka gets a lot of unfair criticism, he’ll be a big miss if he doesn’t make Burnley.

As much as I love Guendouzi, and believe him to be the best 20yr Old in the league, he’s still 20, and as it stand Xhaka is still our best central midfielder


From what I have seen, our midfield lack direction when he is not playing. Whoever comes in, they just pass to the next available guy with no vision.He knows how to stretch the play and often picks the right pass. Yes, Xhaka makes those odd mistakes and since he plays so close to the defence, his mistakes often ends in a goal. Others give away the ball just as much or even more. They get away from the negative attention because it happens mostly away from our goal and not in a dangerous situation.


Granite Lighthouse Xhaha.

Sell him.




No tierny until October? 🙁


Definitely no need to rush Holding into game action especially with Luiz on board and Chambers being a steady option. If anything happens to AMN my worry is we’ll need to rush Bellerin back too soon, though Chambers can obviously play wide right if need be.

Would be great to see Willock get another start, Guendouzi certainly will start and the question then will be whether Ozil can play or not and if Emery is comfortable starting Ceballos already.


Burnley I believe are the tallest on average in the premier they play to there strengths which are set pieces and corners defend well from crosses and corners need to keep the ball and play through them hopefully some trickery will get us a pen make them come out and hit them on the break “come on you reds” ps has mustafi left yet.. .


I thought Smith Rowe was back playing for the U23’s? This says that he’s still out.

girl gooner

One day we’ll have a fully fit squad to chose from.


Save him for later.

I think we can start to work in Torreira. Again Guendouzi or Willock for energy (at home prob one sufficient), work in Cebellos as well slowly.