Lacazette the only injury as Gunners gear up for Frankfurt

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Aside from Alex Lacazette, Arsenal have a clean bill of health as they get ready to face Frankfurt in their opening Europa League game of the season.

The Frenchman has been told to rest the ankle he injured in pre-season until October but is expected to be back in action by the time Premier League action resumes post-Interlull against Sheffield United.

Elsewhere, the latest bulletin from the medical team confirms that full-backs Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin and centre-back Dinos Mavropanos are back in full training.

The Greek is slightly ahead of the other two having played 67 minutes for the under-23s in last week’s win over Leicester.

It is expected that Bellerin and Tierney will also get game time with the youngsters in Premier League 2 before being considered for first team action. That could mean inclusion in the squad to face Wolves on Friday night or a home game with Liverpool on 28 September. We look forward to seeing them both in action soon.

Arsenal face Frankfurt, beaten semi-finalists last year, at 5.55pm on Thursday. After Sunday’s disappointing draw at Watford, all eyes will be on Unai Emery’s team selection. Will he play a strong team or hand responsibility for this tricky game to the youngsters. We’ll see…

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Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

Would like to see something like
Martinez
Mustafi Holding Chambers Kolasinac
Willock Torreira
Ceballos
Nelson Pepe Martinelli

C.B.
C.B.

The Dungeon (Holding Chambers) on the pitch!

Can’t do worse than against Watford 2nd half, surely.

Dave M
Dave M

Hopefully they can lock a couple Frankfurt strikers up in the dungeon on Thursday. If they can get a clean sheet, surely at least one of them earns a run in EPL games too.

Shance
Shance

Slow clap that turns into a thundering applause for that

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

No, Senior!!!

He must pick a strong team for this game. EF are a decent side and must be taken seriously. We can play the stiffs against the weaker teams. We need to take 3 points here.

anonarse
anonarse

UE started our presumably best 11 against Watford. Don’t see why he shouldn’t give some of the outcasts some chances here. Europe League should only be prioritised in the final stages, getting top 4 is much more important and we should be cautious to risk any injuries now.

Rostock Gooner
Rostock Gooner

completely agree. It would be bonkers to think we can reach CL via EL. It’s a tournament. And that means a bad performance in k.o. stage probably results in “Goodbye CL”.
And we all know that this team is indeed capable of performing bad currently….

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

We are playing a team that almost eliminated Chelsea last season. If we lose six points against them and draw one or two games against other teams, we may very well be eliminated at group stage.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Dead right. We can’t afford to close the door on this route to the Champions’ League. We got to the final last year and had we actually turned up we would probably be playing tonight.

After Sunday’s debacle Emery is under massive pressure. Another poor performance and defeat would ramp up the pressure on him. So my guess is that he’ll play a strong side.

anonarse
anonarse

He probably will. Let’s just hope it’s not too costly.

Rostock Gooner
Rostock Gooner

The line up Spanish Gooner suggested actually isn’t that far from senior.
Playing a strong side cannot include the guys that fucked up on Sunday. Thus, maybe AML for Mustafi. And let’s give Martinelli a go with PEA as backup.
You want Ozil instead of Nelson? Xhaka instead of Torreira?
Well, I’m okay with picking Guendouzi, but maybe just rest him on the bench.

Let’s give these guys the opportunity for starting place, who did not have them yet. What would we learn from picking the exact line up we played on Sunday? We already know that they are not the best…

Dave
Dave

Oh well, what a shame

Leemillion
Leemillion

We really don’t need 3 points, the other games are far more winnable meaning at very worst we finish 2nd. No way should we go gung ho and risk Auba when we’ve got noone else.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Totally agree with Fat. We cannot afford neglecting Europa League. Do people expect this team to achieve top four in the league with what they did last year? Fans seem to have forgotten following results in the last six games of the previous season:
Everton- Arsenal 1-0
Crystal Palace – Arsenal 3-2
Wolve – Arsenal 3-1
Leicester – Arsenal 3-0

anonarse
anonarse

The chances of winning EL are slim and unfortune can easily wipe us out. EL causes fatigue and make us more vulnerable to injuries which we cannot afford if we want to finish 3rd or 4th. EL on the other hand gives the youngsters a great possibility to gain much needed experience and especially in the group stage they should be good enough to secure advancement, if not we’ll have one less competition to worry about. However if we get to the quarter or semis we should play a better team if our PL position allow us. It’s time for the board to prioritise the most important competition and not to almost good enough in every competition.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

If your chances of winning EL are not big then your chances of achieving top four are very small as well. Chelsea and Man U needed to win EL and actually won it.

anonarse
anonarse

The EL run can be trashed in one game, PL can’t. All it takes is a good opposition and some suspensions and injuries on key players and the knock-outs would be just that. Top 4 won’t be easy, but we should be able to compete with Man utd, Chelsea and Sp*rs. Winning EL would of course be awesome, but cup is cup.

goonero
goonero

We were still only a point off 4th though. There`s not much gap between us chelsea spurs and united this year. And we arguably have the better squad this season, the league should be our primary focus.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

But we should have finished third easily with easy games and unexpected gifts.
Chelsea is not as weak as we think. Tammy Abraham has been scoring goals for fun. We shouldn’t compare him to Auba. We should compare him to Pépé (the new weapon to the new weapon) and if you do that Chelsea is the winner.

Dave
Dave

We need to address our league form before worrying about Europe.

Maul Person
Maul Person

Looking at is as simply as avoiding early fatigue, we shouldn’t shoulder too much on the current starting 11 so soon. The team that Spanish suggests isn’t that weak. Perhaps Ozil instead of Ceballos (I think I prefer him in the league) and a bench that includes Aubameyang etc and we just do our best. I don’t necessarily think it’s a given that this team is incapable of winning but I think it’s about empowering them to do their best in this game of this competition while the other players do theirs in the League.

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

Would play nelson on the left, Pepe on the right and Martinelli as number 9. Pepe should play is his favorite position and start to deliver there imo. Apart from that I like that team. Not sure if I’d risk Ceballos or rather go with someone like Smith-Rowe but there a reasons to play Ceballos, too.

Dave M
Dave M

I guess Mustafi used to play some RB in germany right? Maybe he might actually work there he’s not slow, just reading the game and awareness lacking. AMN could also be worth another go with Hector getting close. Otherwise it is the team I would pick for sure. I’d like to see that midfield trio in the EPL too.

Bendtnerschristmastree
Bendtnerschristmastree

why not have Mustafi at RB for 90 mins and give Ainsley 30 min at CM.

A Different George
A Different George

Mustafi played at right back for Germany when they won the World Cup. Played right back for us some, better than Chambers, I thought. Good passing from the back, though doesn’t get up into the attack as much as a modern fullback. All this, of course, assumes no stupid mistakes. Or, I guess, no more than anyone else.

Cacho
Cacho

with a bench of Okonkwo, Medley, Bola, Ozil, ESR, Saka, TJJ

YaGunnersYa
YaGunnersYa

I would love to see Bola get some minutes. I hope he can develop to be solid backup to / competition for Tierney

Prakhar
Prakhar

This is the perfect match to introduce both of our first choice fullbacks. They are back in training, so quicker they approach match fitness the better. It could be a huge boost since so much of player involvement involves our fullbacks.

anonarse
anonarse

Seems risky to start them right away, just after their serious injuries, at least both of them. However getting them quickly back in fitness would be great, but as you say they’ll be important in our team so we’ll need them fresh for the whole campaign.

Rostock Gooner
Rostock Gooner

I guess it’s a little too early for that, but I’d like it.

mc1892
mc1892

Forest next week far better in my opinion.

Maul Person
Maul Person

They haven’t even played in the U23s as is customary for players coming back from injury. Give it time.

Flavoured Rice

I’ve lowered my pants and ready for the inevitable away day spanking

Philip Wood
Philip Wood

Really want to see Chambers come in and do well, both in this game and after. He no doubt has his limitations but in my eyes he offers to important improvements on what we’ve seen so far in that:
1) He is calm on the ball (especially having had a year’s worth of PL experience playing in midfield)
2) He is calm in defense and doesn’t dive in rashly or stick legs out.

He definitely deserves his chance on the basis that he did well last year and in pre-season and that we’ve seen numerous bad examples of defensive mistakes over the five games so far. At this point I’d genuinely like to see a pairing of Holding and Chambers be given a chance over Luiz and Sokratis.

Dave M
Dave M

Gotta take it slow with Holding, but I hope towards the end of this year those two can establish themselves in the heart of defense. If Chambers performs well here I’d like to see Luiz and Chambers at the back against the Villans.

Dave
Dave

Why does everyone talk about Chambers like he is bad? He got destroyed by Montero but other than that he’s seemed solid enough.

Now he’s back from loan I consider his development phase complete, and he’s put in the best performance of any of our CBs this season. No idea why he got dropped after that.

Pau
Pau

Wondering the same thing. Chambers should be given a chance too. Not even Sokratis is untouchable to me.

goonero
goonero

When memes transcend reality…hes probably our most slept on player at the moment.

Its readily forgotten that he was hands down our best defender the second half of the 17/18 season, at a time when Holding was in dreadful form (also just never discussed) and Koscielnys game time was being managed due to his achilles.

I made a point of watching him at Fulham last season and two things about him are very obvious. Hes a very good reader of the game and has a knack for well timed challenges, and hes very accomplished on the ball. Qualities that any defender needs but are especially important if you want to build from the back like we do.

He is not the fastest, but he is in fact faster than Luiz or Holding, hes not the tallest but he wins the overwhelming majority of his aerial duels, hes not the biggest but he developed that side of his game well to at Fulham, hes certainly not lacking for strength. What he lacked more than anything I felt was confidence, and I think he got that in spades at Fulham. I think again its too readily overlooked the plaudits he received there. I read a post here about how can Chambers deal with Liverpools attackers hes too this that and the other. One of his season highlights with Fulham was their game at Anfield where he was Fulhams best player by a mile and kept Firminho and friends from really running amok. He had another excellent game where he scored a quality strike away at Chelsea. Youd think his performances in such big games would win him some applause but people would still sooner talk about Monteiro.

He is a year older than Holding, but one is considered young with room to develop while the other isnt. He was a mainstay of the England u21 setup, captaining that side, while Holding only ever made 5 appearances. He has been capped by the senior England team, Holding hasnt. Yet theres a perception theyre equally well regarded in the England setup, they arent and never have been. Not to say one is better than the other because of their international standing (especially when both are some ways out of the picture as things stand), but its just peculiar to me that so many of our own fans write him off despite him technically being ahead of Holding in many, reasonably objective, regards. I see no logical justification for the huge disparity in perception of two promising young players, it`s just feels like one rolled the good memes and the other rolled the bad ones.

A Different George
A Different George

I don’t know if you are right, but a very useful post to think about. I thought Chambers was always lacking as a fullback and perhaps that is where my opinion was formed. I saw him only a couple of times for Fulham, and he was in the midfield, seemed to play well–but the team was constantly overrun.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

The biggest problem with this club is that there is no accountability. There are no repercussions for poor performances and repeated boneheaded errors. At a better team, Sokratis or Luiz would be dropped and Chambers will get a run of games. But this is arsenal football club, so we’re debating if Chambers should start

anonarse
anonarse

Great to see our team soon being all fresh, knock on the wood. We’ll need our best now. Let’s hope for some tactical work too.

Whisht
Whisht

I think what will be interesting is who he has on the bench as much as who he starts.
Not sure we ‘have’ to win this match – we can still come through the group if we lose it.

FOr who plays and when I’ll simply hope its with a view for getting mins into legs (ie 60mins or 20mins) for fitness for the PL rather than risking players like Auba and Ceballos who will prove crucial to winning games in PL.

So when I see the team I’m hoping to be able to say to myself “ah, so-and-so is fit enough for a PL game in a couple of weeks”.

It’d be nice to see a structure, game plan etc

;¬)

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

Structure and game plan are secret! Even from the players it seems!

anonarse
anonarse

Lol

Oregoon

Isn’t that what Emery is telling Laca in the picture? “Trust me Alex, I will tell you the tactics in the moment and we will have a good ebenning.”

Snagger
Snagger

I see in Mirror some players are complaining about repetitive training sessions. That to me is for one of two reasons. 1, Emery believes the players don’t get what he wants and will repeat till they do or 2 Emery has a small drill book with a limited session plans. Personally I think it’s 1 and we are beginning to see the start of player power to edge Emery out.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

I think both options are highly likely!

Jack
Jack

Ozil should start, he needs to build match fitness too

Nordin
Nordin

Özil was good in the first half. Did not misplaced a single pass. Created two very good scoring chances, one which resulted in the second goal. But he is not yet up to speed in terms of match fitness. So yes play him.

hustle6
hustle6

Ozil did some good passing in the first half (loved the ball to Pepe) but apart from that he’s like taking to the field with only 10 men. He has no pressing, no tracking back and absolutely no defensive intensity in the slightest and prone to a wander.

It’s a tough away game which he famously doesn’t turn up for (even in Germany) but of course -we don’t have to win. So I can see the temptation of playing him because well…it kinda doesn’t matter.

But for the sake of the young players getting a chance it would be good to have players who will work to get them chances and good passages of play. If Ozil’s on there’s a giant gap in midfield again while he’s sauntering about (especially in Emery’s damn diamond formation) and the young’uns won’t have any chances to impress.

Futhermore Per, in his book, was quite clear about his thoughts on Ozil’s treatment of youth players. He is not the nurturing type. In my opinion these group stages are predominately chances to nurture our young talent and get them familiar with the first team “”system.””

So…probably best for all involved to rest him for the Forest match.

Maul Person
Maul Person

Why don’t we have to win this one? Is this some new rule from UEFA?

A Different George
A Different George

I would give Ozil some time to build match fitness.

Santori
Santori

Small steps but we need to make tangible improvements.

1) Work out a more nuanced approach to playing ut the back. Auba is not the best asset in competing for high balls or retaining and protecting the ball in absence of Lacazette.

Thereby we need to find a way to circumvent the first press. Station players like Pepe and Kolasinac (both physically strong and with tidy feet) just before the half way line to receive like Sagna did.

2) Midfield diamond disassociates us. The front press was uncoordinated with the midfield and the back. Or a Granit issue as some would want to paint it.

In truth granit made plenty of last ditch blocks and intercepts not to mention the one against the Watford player bearing goal from Guendouzi’s poor pass. Guendouzi was in fact more culpable all game but these numpties would prefer he start over Granit go figure. Nor was Torreira any more effective when he came on.

The problem in midfield is tactical shape. Unai got it wrong and did not recognise the problem. We need to sort that . Either a 4-3-3 IMO which the team has got use to play8ing or a 3-4-1-2 which leverages on the extra Cback (in wake of obvious that we have yet again failed to address Cback issue even without Mustafi and Koscielny)

All this talk about sacking the manager is frankly ridiculous wank. We need to be a bit more pragmatic than that.

The temptation would be to rest some players for this forthcoming Europa match but I would think a bit of an eye will also be cast on restoring a bit of confidence which is an important intangible and therefore some senior players will have to start :

Sokratis I would imagine would want to get the monkey off his back. he has been one of the more consistent performers I feel should be made captain (as Granit)

Which brings me to

3) Captaincy – we don’t have great options but clearly someone is better than no one. Appoint Granit and Sokratis (no 5 captain nonsense, where’s the responsibility?)

Let them at least try and dictate some organization and hold them accountable.

They are not the best but we don’t even have leaders now which is even worse.

Hopefully Unai has made a good assessment of himself and where we are at. Still very early days in season but we need to get the league form right ASAP. We are still level on points with chasing pack and plenty to play for. Europa is a bit of a distraction but we need to kick off to a good start as well and not be complacent, think we can play young players/reserves and roll these teams over.

That’s the sort of hubris that got us in trouble with struggling watford in the very first place!

Santori
Santori

In terms of formation, I think we are either a 4-3-3 or a 3-4-1-2

Particularly in terms of the weakness at Cback (minus Mustafi) still, and the fullbacks in hand, we are in some ways better in a 3 at the back.

There should be bias to whether we play Ozil or not depending on the structure we can adopt to support him and take into account he will never be 100% strong on the defensive side of things (not that he was the worse performer against Watford mind you)

Thereby 4-3-3 :

………………………….Auba……………………………..
Nelson…………………………………………………Pepe
…….Cebellos/willock………..Guendouzi/Torreira…….
………………………….Granit…………………………….
Kolasinac……………………………………………….AMN
………………Holding…………Sokratis………………….
………………………….Leno………………………………

(With Laca out. You can see our options are very thin up top and I wish we had kept Iwobi)

In a 3-4-1-2 :

……………….Auba……………Pepe………………………
………………………Ozil/Cebellos…………………………
Kolasinac………………………………………………..AMN
……..GUendouzi/Willock……….Granit/Torreira…………
…………..Holding/Luiz……….Chambers/Mustafi……….
………………………..Sokratis………………………………
………………………….Leno…………………………………

(In this case with the extra man at the back and extra height, we can afford not to be as dependent on Granit in midfield and in a sense we can play a more high energy fidget spinner system with more mobile assets)

Note also Holding coming back in needs to be put in context. He was impressive last season ina 3 at the back (Mustafi also performed well in this context…in fact it wass when emery decided to switch to 4 at the back against Palace half time that his game fell apart…but we fared no better with Koscielny-Sokratis in a back 4 for subsequent 7 matches straight)

Holding has been working up in reserves and I have to say has not been entirely convincing yet. either he is still full from fitness or his positioning still needs work. So back 3 is a safe option to work him in IMO.

There should not be any reason we cannot switch between the two depending on circumstance and there will of course be small variations too depending on emphasis and strength of players we deploy or weaknesses.

I suspect of course (as everyone-else) we will have a mix asset team against Frankfurt with some youth/reserve and a number of seniors to show some concerted effort to get back on track (IF anything for first half or till we establish a firm lead)

The likes of Martinelli, Nelson, maybe young Saka, Willock should get some feature but I suspect we will mix it up with some experience as well, particularly backline with Sokratis prob to provide some leadership and re-establish himself, Holding as mention can be worked in and maybe Chambers in a back 3 (we have not seen much of Calum)

Also maybe one of the returning fullbacks may get a run out plus in midfield would like to see more of Torreira and prob Cebellos.

BUT Smith-Rowe as well waiting on the wings needs to be found a role, likely in that playmaker role for a 3-4-1-2.

It will be interesting. Hopefully we register a good win (and dare I say clean sheet) and regain some confidence for the weekend.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

Can’t be arsed to read all of that but it probably makes more sense than employing Emery does at the moment!

Flavoured Rice

Just wanted to ask who will be our captain tonight ? Or shall we roll the dice and guess?

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

Ah! The pick a skipper lottery!