Freddie Ljungberg takes charge of Arsenal for the first time today, looking for three points on the road against Norwich.

Here are today’s official line-ups.

Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Zimmerman, Godfrey, Byram, Trybull, Amadou, McLean, Cantwell, Hernandez, Pukki

Subs: Fahrmann, Roberts, Franc, Lewis, Buendia, Stiepermann, Srbeny

Arsenal: Leno, Chambers, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Willock, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Subs: Martinez, Sokratis, Tierney, Torreira, Pepe, Saka, Martinelli

Follow the game on the Arseblog live blog

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lordMartynz
lordMartynz

Strange line up to say the least.. No Torreira? Xhaka is at his best when Torreira plays… Let’s win this. #COYG

gooner
gooner

I like the set up. more like the liverpool set up with a flat 3 in midfield. Front two playing closer than the liverpool ones do.

Freddie we love you because you have red air

John C
John C

It’s the same set up as Emery played with, lets see if we move the ball forward quicker but i have my doubts

ricky rick
ricky rick

Willock/Ozil should help. Should be a link (hopefully) through different attack/mid phases. The width is worrying – we might be very narrow, depending on Kola and Chambers completely. But that means Pepe/Saka/Martinelli coming on can completely change the attacking dynamic.

Sancheezy
Sancheezy

I find it interesting having Luiz and Mustafi at the back. They’re both ball playing centrebacks and moving that ball forward O think is the idea. Let’s see how well they do together at the back line. Xhaka, if played in the right system, can do well.

COYG!

Martin
Martin

It’s the worst setup I can remember. This really doesn’t augur well.

Leon
Leon

He has no hair now !

Takeshita
Takeshita

If this was Emerys line up, we’d have all blasted him. I am hoping that Freddie knows what he is doing! COYG

SheffieldGooner
SheffieldGooner

Agreed. I’m underwhelmed, but let’s see. COYG.

Reality check
Reality check

And so begins the ‘football manager’ again..

SB Still
SB Still

That back 4, almost not quite the first choice.

Xhaka starting, while Torreira and Pepe are on the bench, maybe it wasn’t Emery but is fans who don’t know 🙂

Incremental changes Freddie said, an away win will be a massive change.

COYG

Viva La Prof
Viva La Prof

The 1990’s called, they want their formation back!

I say this in jest, anything has to be better than the last 18 months

Let’s go

Mjabber
Mjabber

It’s not the team it’s how it’s set up to play. Let’s see how we go

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

Mustafi and Luiz in the center of the defense….that makes me really nervous. Maybe the comedy errors will cancel each other out and make for a solid partnership

GoonerJust
GoonerJust

Exactly bro, my teacher said two negatives bring positive 😀

Let’s make Arsenal Great Again

goonero
goonero

I think David Luiz is a sneaky little prick who’s been sandbagging Emery, I don’t rate him but I struggle to believe he’s truly as incompetent as what he’s shown.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

Packed fixture list ahead so decent line up with that in mind. I hope we play a high line.

BleedRed
BleedRed

I really don’t understand the lineup but I want to stay positive and I hope we win

Amusa
Amusa

Freddie being a bit conservative cause it’s an away game.
Come on The Arsenal!

gooner
gooner

not really. taking any defensive responsibilities off the three guys in attack by playing a flat midfield trio

John C
John C

I bet we don’t play a flat midfield trio but then again i don’t have your crystal ball. I expect to see probably Xhaka, maybe Guendouzi, play deeper at the base. The key of course is whether we move the ball forward quicker, but honestly i don’t expect to see a considerable improvement.

ricky rick
ricky rick

I’m more worried about the defensive side tbh. Back 4 with Kolasinac. Willock plays more like an 8.5 too making runs behind. I hope Xhaka and Matteo are disciplined.

CLEGooner
CLEGooner

Wheres hectorrrr? Is he injured? Have to admit ive tuned out a bit.

This lineup is shit.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

Hector is injured. He hasn’t been fully fit since he returned.

Goonshow
Goonshow

Perhaps you should remain ‘tuned out’ rather than returning simply to criticize the new manager

kaius
kaius

Think CLEGooner speaks for a lot of us tbh. Any lineup with both Xhaka and Mustafi in it sets off alarm bells.

Will be fascinating to see how Freddie interprets their roles and how the players respond to him

CLEGooner
CLEGooner

Well thats me told. You seem like a real tough guy.

Francesc
Francesc

Lol

Richie

Line up looks fine to me, I presume 4-2-3-1. My prediction is that we win 2-0 and the away fans chant “we got our Arsenal back”.

gooner
gooner

4-3-1-2

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

If Emery was still at the helm, there is no way anybody would be saying “the lineup is fine.” We would be asking for his head.

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

We would’ve been asking for his head regardless of the lineup.

John C
John C

Who’s playing on the wings in your 4-2-3-1?

Richie

I suspect Freddie has instructed Willock to play much further forward than Xhaka and Guendouzi. Chambers and Kolasanic to provide the width. We’ll see.

Francesc
Francesc

Freddie out

PGunner
PGunner

😂

Wilsheres Middle Finger
Wilsheres Middle Finger

😂😂😂😂😂

Richie

Freddieout is trending on twitter, surely has to be tongue in cheek?!

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

Quite clever to bring Xhaka back in that game when the spirits will be very positive and supporting. Although I’d hoped that Torreira gets a run in the defensive role.
Sokratis was really bad in the last weeks and Holding is injured so Mustafi makes sense.
Guess it’s a 4-4-2 diamond. Have hoped for a bit more adventurous risk and a bit more youth in the starting 11 but Freddie will surely have a plan.
Let‘s get behind him and support the boys as good as possible.
COYG

goonero
goonero

This is not what I wanted to see, but I’ll stay positive, let’s hope for a positive performance and something to build on! Come on Freddie!

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Huh???

Francesc
Francesc

Freddie have fun of his own

Luke
Luke

On paper this is the worst linup this season. However, we will see how it plays out. Among other things, Pepe situation really baffles me.

Tim
Tim

Two days in charge and people are already complaining about the lineup…

backsakacrack
backsakacrack

Too right. The bench looks better than the XI

CzechGooner54
CzechGooner54

no no no no no no, freddie you cannot do this to me no, no no no

CzechGooner54
CzechGooner54

#COYG anyways tho

Nathan
Nathan

If Emery was playing this lineup, he would (justifiably) be roasted! Quite strange, hope this works out.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

That doesn’t excite me, but fuck it.
COME ON ARSENAL!!!

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice
Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

Ermmm…

Well, I’m going to shit my pants and dive straight in with this surprising line up. COYG.

John C
John C

Looks like an Emery team

Glen Helders left foot
Glen Helders left foot

No Tierney or Pepe,silly

The Far Post
The Far Post

Smart to play Xhaka away, especially given the need for rotation during the busy December month.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

Edu will do a better job than Xhaka. If Norwich beat us, and Xhaka is smiling and laughing again……..
Should have just dropped him, and sell him in Jan.
Glad he dropped Sokratis, never thought I would be glad to see mustafi back….crazy season

Mark
Mark

Definitely not what I expected. Unlikely to keep a shutout with that defense so let’s hope the attack is more inspired than it has been.

Deano

A full out attacking side. Should be a goal fest.

Regai
Regai

Disappointing lineup but letd hope the on field approach is more positive. COYG!

Radford9
Radford9

Great to see Santori back at the heart of the defence! The only way is up as the plastic population once said COYG

Yankee Gooner
Yankee Gooner

Interested to see how Freddie uses this lineup; knowing *what* to do with the players has been as big a problem as any lately. Fully expect this lineup to get a good result with proper tactics.

COYG

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I hope Tierney is on the bench because he is healed and not just for cosmetic reasons.
Is Torreira fully fit? Is Sokratis fit? Have we fallen back into Wengeresque injury problems since Emery left? Suddenly I’m getting nervous as the game nears 🙁

I must say I can’t see that Xhaka will be starting anywhere but DM. I think I’m a little disappointed if that’s the case. Perhaps we’ll see Willock replaced by Torreira at some stage with Torreira going to DM and Xhaka going up the pitch a little bit. What if they interview Freddie just before the game and he says “Well, you know, that Torreira is a little bit small, isn’t he?”

We were warned not to expect anything to change too drastically, but I can’t help feeling a tiny bit disappointed based on the starting 11. Hope I’m just being thick and short-sighted.

Maybe the plan is to lull Norwich into a false sense of security and then stick 10 past them. That would be fun.

BigArse
BigArse

OK. Clean slate. Be Positive. I expect to see the players play with an energy and verve we haven’t seen in a while. It’s the first game under a club legend and I AM NOT GOING TO FUCKING WHINGE! COYG!

Marduk from babylon
Marduk from babylon

Bring back Steve Bould

The Charma
The Charma

To be honest I thought Steve Bould was a better interim manager than Freddie. He worked with Wenger and Emery for longer periods and the age limit teams. He is surely more exposed than Freddie.

Chrispy
Chrispy

Very dodgy line up with liabilities a plenty in Mustafi, Luiz, Xhaka and Kola. I hope Freddie gets them playing positively otherwise this will turn sour quickly. COYG.

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

Honestly think Kola gets unnecessary flak. He was pivotal last season paired with Iwobi on his flank. Stop following narratives man

Chrispy
Chrispy

I watch the games you fuckhead.

The Arsenal
The Arsenal

Not gonna lie massively apprehensive especially with that line up. But also strangely excited which I haven’t been for months.

Gsevan
Gsevan

oh Freddie, testing our faith two days in.

COYG!

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

It’s an exciting day!

Shance
Shance

To me this is quite revealing. Shows there must be some other considerations around Torreira, maybe something off the field or something he’s showing in training.

He is also not starting Pepe, again this brings up more questions than answers really. But I’m happy to give Pepe more time, I believe he’ll come good.

The style of play is important though, let’s see if he’s managed to alleviate some of the pressure in the very small window he’s had.

The personell at the back is always a concern, don’t think anyone can make them particularly solid.

Xha-low-ka
Xha-low-ka

Willock in front of back four may work.

Adriano
Adriano

Is Holding injured?

arsenal fan
arsenal fan

no better way to announce yourself than with a trashing of Norwich using an “Emery line up”

Nognir
Nognir

Emery’s lost it. Get him out before it is too late.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...
He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Xhaka? Seriously? I will be cheering loud and proud for the team as I’ve done so for decades but not for him. He’s simply not good enough. I don’t give a crap if he told us to fuck off, if he was as good or had the talent of Ozil then fair enough but he hasn’t. We play with 10 men with him in the team and sometimes we actually do when he gets sent off.

I love Freddie. Always have. But let’s call it like it is, putting Xhaka in is a very poor choice considering we have better players then him.

Dom47
Dom47

Mustafi?? Xhaka?? Wtf… Those guys need to feck off. Really underwhelmed by this, got all the excitement out for this game. Will watch but wtf.

Dom47
Dom47

And no place for pepe? Could’ve left emery in charge if we’re going that way.

Dom47
Dom47

Willock lost the ball and then nonchalantly started getting back… And Mustafi did what mustafi does, hand in the air, giving the guy space… Should not be nowhere close to the first team.

Angry
Angry

willock is terrible. To have Willock AND Xhaka in the starting 11 is not good enough even for Norwich. They are both useless. Allegri please sign soon and get rid players like Willock Xhaka Mustafi and Luiz. Not good enough!

Dom47
Dom47

Exactly. Willock was not just bad but also lazy and uninterested. Some bad attitude there. Why he was on the pitch for 70mins I’ll never know.

Zadok
Zadok

God! Can you fix them?
God: No, I am already an atheist.

mrugunner
mrugunner

Same shit. Xhaka.
Again i hope xhaka gets the coach sacked

Saint
Saint

Whoever gets the managers job has a big task some amount of passengers in this team. Our midfield just don’t seem to understand the term tracking back !!

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

Xhaka is just plain shit. Our defence is just plain shit.

Leon
Leon

Arsenal is just plain shit….

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

Auba and Leno are good. The rest…..

Lacaubapepe
Lacaubapepe

You can’t win anything with Mustafi and Xhaka in the side. Hope Freddie doesn’t repeat this foolhardiness

Greg in Seattle
Greg in Seattle

The downside of a caretaker manager from within: too friendly with the lads to truly change much. This is not a shakeup that will generate a new manager bounce. However, also a hangover from using a several first teamers in Thursday.

You can’t unleash the offense without a credible CDM. Neither Guendouzi nor Xhaka are that so neither own it on the field.

Dom47
Dom47

Well said Greg. Must be the reason for using Mustafi and xhaka, while not replacing willock until late when clearly he was bad today.