Sunday, September 24, 2023

Bellerin and Tierney in contention for Liege as latest team news revealed

Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are both available for selection for tomorrow night’s Europa League clash with Standard Liege.

The Belgians visit the Emirates to face an Arsenal side looking for a second European win of the season, and bar a couple of absentees Unai Emery has a full squad to choose from.

Alexandre Lacazette is continuing his rehabilitation from an ankle injury, while Emile Smith Rowe is likely to miss out following a concussion picked up in the 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup.

Aside from that, the club report that ‘All other players fit and available for selection’, which should mean a first start for Bellerin, and another chance for Tierney to impress having dropped out of the Scotland squad for the upcoming Interlull.

If, as expected, Rob Holding also starts, it’ll be a glimpse at three players together who many hope will be the future of our back four in the months to come.

Emery will surely rotate, giving chances to the likes of Reiss Nelson, Emi Martinez, and Gabriel Martinelli, while resting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of Sunday’s encounter with Bournemouth.

Mesut Ozil might even get a game.

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I would absolutely love to see chambers at CB if holding, tierney and bellerin all start. Really interested to see how that would work…

Dave M

Another big game 3 days later (and much more important), careful balance needed here. I’d love to see Xhaka play here (more suited to this game type) and then rested on Sunday.

For me – Thursday:


Dave M

Maybe Nelson in for Pepe or Saka on Thursday?!…I’d like to say Pepe, but I feel this could be a good game for Pepe to get a goal under his belt. Tough call, glad we have such a decisive manager to make the right calls…hmmm…

Wilsheres Middle Finger

Callum Wilson and Josh King v Sokratis and Luiz in their current form gives me the heebie jeebies.

I hope Holding is fit enough and sharp enough to play a part this weekend rather than 90 mins in the EL.


I like both of these teams, Dave. Emery needs to be prepared to sub Pepe on Sunday at 60 minutes latest if his game is the same as that at Old T.



Dave M

I’m trying to be nice Davo…


There’s a lot I’d like to see but here’s what I know I’ll see.

– An unfathomably massive gap between midfield and attack.
– Three central midfields who are all central midfielders but somehow still being played out of position.
– Being vulnerable of conceding from our own corner kicks.


lost me at Xhaka

Unai Emery

On Thursday I will line-up as follows;
Bellerin – Mustafi – Holding – Tierney
Torreira – Willock
Pepe Nelson

Ray Middleton

What does Xhaka bring to the team. I would rather Xhaka get dropped and let Torreira get his form back. After ducking out of the way on Monday and a booking, Why is Emery waiting for him to get a straight red again. You know it will happen.


Me too HH. I’m also interested to see and Holding/Luiz combo and to see Chambers start as DM. Presumably Emery has the luxury of trying all of these combos in training?


I would love to see a back three with Holding, Chambers and Luiz with Bellerin and Tierney as wing backs.


The dream team


@Blog, don’t be surprise if Auba starts while Ozil is left out yet again. Logic and the obvious doesn’t cut it with Emery.


Give the man a break would you. Tbh though both will probably start


No way Auba should start.


He will get no break until he do the right thing or get the sack. Shit is what you lot gave Wenger for performing abysmally with average players. Emery has far better squad than Wenger, yet performing even worse. He will get the break when he sit up. Mediocrity is no standard for the Arsenal.


He’s actually not performing worse than Wenger in the final years. We all should remember the free flowing football Wenger preached for so long – it was beautiful to watch. But the final years look a lot like we do now.

Monkey knees

The whole TEAM is performing worse! Emery is out of his depth, and only Auba is keeping us away from 15th place! Emerys tactics are… Well, non existent. He is not at Arsenals level.


We were out of the champions league for 2 seasons before Emery arrived, and we were a club very much in decline.

A clubs level is malleable, it’s not fixed, we’re a club in transition, and transitions take time.

All Emery has to do this season is get us back in the CL, and continue to grow the team with youngsters like Guendouzi, Saka, Nelson, Willock taking regular minutes.

Dave M

Here, here. Loved Arsene, absolute legend and a classy, classy guy, but by the end he was a shell of himself and it was time (some would argue a season or two before). Wenger had the same love for Xhaka – and not just that the same penchant to play him as a DM (he even started that). And we have the same record under Emery now as we did with Wenger in the same period at the end of his time. Neither is good enough. Hence why questions are being asked about Emery. If we were playing well right… Read more »

Gooner Sam

Spot on Dave!


agree 100% dave – there’s been a lot of increasingly selective memory from many fans as to what the final Wenger years looked like – they pretty much look like this. I increasingly agree that Emery is not the right man for the job – he appears to have a small club mentality where he constantly sets the team up not to lose- even against mid table and lower sides. He’s also in a lot of ways digging his own grave via his insistence on playing Xhaka as a DM – it’s pretty clear that’s causing a lot of issues… Read more »


He’s clearly performing worse. The same amount of points over 45 games with a far more talented squad? That’s performing worse.



Wenger’s final year had a starting 11 early in the year:
Bellernin-BFG (Mustafi)-Kos-Nacho
Ramsey-Ozil-Jack (Xhaka)

with Walcott coming off the bench

Compare that to

with Nelson/Saka coming off the bench

We have a much younger squad who has a lot more potential than Wenger’s last squad which was relatively old/injury prone. However it’s not clear that the current squad is actually better than Wenger’s in it’s current form as it is a lot younger (more potential but also way more inexperience)


It’s a close run thing. But if you’re taking into account 45 games, then you should take into account Emery’s first season as well then, not just his latest teamsheet.
In which case.
Bellerin Sokratis Holding Nacho
Xhaka Torreira
Ramsey Ozil
Auba Lacazette


Your comment was how much more talented Emery’s squad is than Wenger’s- I don’t think that’s necessarily right. Emery isn’t doing a good job – but neither was Wenger.


Auba over Giroud is a huge upgrade. That combined with basically the same defense and midfield should have shown an improvement in points won over such a sample size.


Ozil is a shell of the player he was when he was trying to get the new contract while Sanchez was one of the top players in the entire PL – Auba arguably just offsets his loss. Either way it’s really not clear this squad is a lot better.


Going back 45 games into Wenger’s last season. (Why do you keep ignoring this?) Sanchez wasn’t even at the club and ozil had already got his new contract.
The majority of games Arsene played 3 at the back with Lacazette, Iwobi and Danny welbeck upfront.
i don’t think that is any better.


I think you’re having real issues with counting. Sanchez was here for over 1/2 of Wengers last year


Sanchez was in Manchester by then..


Sanchez didn’t leave until the end of the winter window when we picked up Mik.


(Mentally) in manchester for the first 4 months by then he had fully downed tools that season. Can’t seriously count his contribution to that squad


Sanchez was still arguably our most important player. Whether Wenger got him to perform is an entirely different issue


If he’s doing what Wenger did in his last days, that’s not good enough. He was hired to improve the squad not keep it constant. We could have as well kept Wenger if we were okay with mediocrity

wright gangsta

Funny how so many people have started to think that they know better from the stands or from behind the TV screen, than the people who actually work day in, day out with them and have to make difficult decisions under immense pressure from millions of people. I’m not saying that I agree with all of Emery’s decisions, but I just don’t understand the sudden massive criticism when the problems are really similar to what we had at the last years of Wenger’s reign and the core of the team is largely the same. I think he definitely has made… Read more »

Dave M

To play devil’s advocate, and as pointed out in the Arsecast extra – “individual errors” are responsible for a lot of Arsenal goals too. And when you give up so many chances (see Tim Stillman’s piece) you increase the likelihood of players making errors!

DB’s first touch

Exactly, individual errors stem from the team and the defence being under too much pressure from the lack of a strong game plan, cohesiveness and structure.

Minor detail: if you are referring to the stats column by @7am kickoff on chances given up, that is a different Tim than Tim Stillman (just to give everyone their due credit)

Dave M

Thanks for the Tim clarification… in the end both can say “There are some who call me…Tim”


If the team was performing nobody would be complaining.

Something is very wrong.


No the core of the team is not the same , this is a WAY more talented squad than Wenger had , also the quality of our plays have dropped down massively , our corners and free kicks are really awful , we have no plan for our attacking play , our XG has been relegation standard and these are all down to Emery.


I don’t think we necessarily know better than the professionals in charge of Arsenal, but we do know when we’re seeing subpar football, a confused style of play, and a collection of players who do not form a coherent unit on the pitch. Pretty much everyone watching Arsenal FC under Emery is identifying this, and we’re tired of it. Emery has controlled Arsenal’s first team for 16 months, and the stats breakdown of his tenure do not make for happy reading. The excuse that this is somehow still Wenger’s team is absurd — most of his players are gone. Emery… Read more »

Gooner Sam

I get your point but he has had more than a season now and we don’t seem any better and the football is dire


You don’t need to be a chef to know when you are served sub standard food.


He’s not the man that will win us the league, everybody knows that. He’s the man to get us into the top four and I think he will this season. I don’t understand/agree with a lot of his decision making eg Xhaka as captain and a nailed on starter, or his use of Torreira, but I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt at the very least until we have our strongest 11 back ie Bellerin, Tierney, Lacazette and Holding regularly starting in the league. Let’s not lose our shit when we are pretty much where we should… Read more »


the squad has a lot more potential but with that a lot less experience as the average age has gone from 29 to prob 23/24. It long run is likely a lot better than Wenger’s final squad although debatable in the current year.

Gunner 55

Make Joe Montemurro the manager he seems to know what he’s doing.


Would love to see a manager swap and see how we get on


What have the women’s team done to deserve Emery?


Smith-Rowe is fine; he played 77 minutes for the U21’s last night. Bellerin will surely start tomorrow so it will be interesting to see if Emery gives a game in midfield to Maitland-Niles.
I think we’ll see – Martinez; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Tierney; Maitland-Niles, Willock; Nelson, Ozil, Ceballos; Martinelli.

Man Manny

Not a bad line up; that should get the job done with some gears to spare.
I really enjoyed watching them against Forest. I really hope Emery considers AMN in midfield tomorrow…but I doubt if he will.

In an unrelated development, has anyone looked up on Uncle Ivan Gazidis and AC Milan project? It doesn’t seem to be going well at the moment.


I like that team – Mustafi will be knocking on the door soon… (probably the wrong door, the bathroom or something)

DB’s first touch

Anyone else think that if KT is ready to start we should actually hold him in reserve for the weekend match against Bournemouth? And I don’t mean that in the way UE says the same thing about Özil.


I get what you’re saying, but he definetely needs match fitness now. So maybe an early sub tomorrow will see him being ready for the Bournemouth match.

Jo Shmo

Unrelated:is it possible to see the comments in the updated android app without opening the article in a browser?


if hector and kieran are both starting, i think ainsley deserves a run in midfield. he’s sacrificed a lot for the club filling in at right back, as best he could, all the while watching his fellow academy graduates getting their chances in their favoured positions.

Number one penny

I think he needs to the below for either a CDM or a winger


More aggression in duels
Better positioning
Better long range passing


Better end product which I think he’s capable of since he has more license of creativity as a winger.

I’m hoping we score more freekicks this season with luiz, auba,laca and xhaka.


No way will Ozil play tomorrow. Emery will be like ‘not today. We have the 11 players who start and the players in the squad’.

john moh arasa

For me on Thursday Martinez,bellarin,chambers,holding,tianey,xhaka nelson,willock,matineli,ozil saka


The biggest thing is we don’t start Aubameyang with all the minutes he’s already played. Too bad Smith-Rowe is likely still out, this would be a great opportunity for him.

The Spoon

With the squad we have, we should be winning this with whoever plays. Onus is on the manager to get the best out of the team picked.

As always the Premier league sold us down the sky River with a Monday night game on a European week. And again in 2 weeks. Thats not been talked about. We played Rennes last season and their FA postponed their weekend game to give them extra time off. Granted didn’t work but still.

Naked Cygan

We need to send Nelson on loan for one year in the Championship. He needs to get stronger to push into the first team. He has a lot of potential and get skillful, but his strength is not good enough at this level. People push him around like he weighs 30kg.


If you need strength you go to the gym. He’s getting Europa League and domestic cup games and the occasional league appearance, it would be a massive mistake to drop him down to the Championship.


Emery will approach this game with extreme caution. He understands the Belgian league is particularly intense and Standard Liege are currently flying high in 2nd place. He won’t take any risks especially given it’s being played at the Emirates on home soil. Of course the only way we’re guaranteed to get any sort of result is by setting his team up to defend deep, and the only real need to attack will be if we go 1-0 down. For that reason, the most likely team he will play will be Martinez – Chambers – Sokratis – David Luiz – Kolasinac… Read more »

Dave M

Remember the flaming Homer epidsode on the Simpons, when Homer walks out of the home and everything everyone says comes across to him as “Moe”…”Moe”…”Moe”…
From this I picture Unai waking up in the morning and everything he hears is “Xhaka”…”Xhaka”…”Xhaka”…

Dan nichols

and a bench of xhaka, xhaka, xhaka, xhaka, xhaka, xhaka, and saka

Dan nichols

laca is injured sadly

Dave M

We’ve had no laca xhaka this season though despite him playing like a saka shite….


Xhaka, Xhaka, Xhaka, Xhaka can’t
Xhaka can’t, Xhaka can’t, Xhaka can’t
Xhaka can’t, let me bench you
Let me bench you, Xhaka can’t
Let me bench you, that’s all I wanna do

Dan nichols

That is very funny and sharp Dave


Not sure, I’d try and squeeze one more Xhaka in there if I was you


Wooooh Europa night at the emirates I can’t wait!!

Work on friday is gonna be a biiiiiitch.

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