Auba out of Saints game, Tierney a doubt

98

Arsenal have confirmed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is out of tonight’s clash at Southampton due to personal reasons.

Our club captain travelled to the South Coast for Saturday’s clash at Saint Mary’s but returned home late in the day to support his loved ones.

It’s unclear at this point what has happened but whatever it is, we wish the striker and his family all the best.

In a further blow, it sounds like Kieran Tierney is also unlikely to feature tonight. The club’s medical team say he’s being assessed for discomfort in his right lower leg.

Calf problems are very much in fashion. Dani Ceballos and Pablo Mari are on the mend but won’t be in the matchday squad.

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Mr Right

Not looking good. But we can do it. Coyg!

Carll

Fuck!

Daveo

Fuckety Fuck. Tierney is so key. I’d put him right alongside Saka and Partey as the most essential players to being able to execute what it seems Arteta is envisioning. This is especially the case without a proper LB in reserve. Saka is literally our best replacement, but moving him away from the RW would seem crazy right now (especially when we consider the alternatives – Willian and Pepe).

Johnny 4 Hats

AMN and Cedric are cover for left back in the same way that your insurance covers you until you actually make a claim and they immediately dispute it.

Mcheza

You always amuse 😀👍🏾

Artetas Assistant

It’s wild inside his head 💯

backsakacrack

It’s why one hat is not enough

Artetas Assistant

Multiple heads ….😃

Pau

He’s another form of Rambling Pete.

Daveo

Or the deductible/excess is so high it’s not even worth making the claim.

OBT

hilarious

Biggles

Tierney certainly appears to be a key player, but he really shouldn’t be that overwhelmingly important, should he. We’ve offloaded – and continue to offload – a number of the “passengers” (albeit at some cost to the club when we’re not exactly flush with money). However, looking at it now, I still don’t see the necessary quality in depth needed to absorb and overcome the injuries and other absences (such as that to Tierney) that we’ll inevitably get, particularly at this time of year. Yes, I know all the “big”/successful teams have important players and they are sometimes absent but… Read more »

Daveo

Anyway you look at it there are still massive imbalances and issues with the squad.

  • No proper LB cover (only stop-gap options that produce a massive drop in quality).
  • Still lacking quality in CM (no long term partner for Partey, AM very think behind ESR).
  • Contract issues in the striker position (Laca/Eddie/Balogun).
  • Dead [and very heavy] weight on the wings (Pepe/Willian)

Still massive work to be done and it is undoubtedly going to cost us points in the 2nd half.

Riku

I think Amn and Cedric are great.

Amn owned Mahrez of city in semi cup at left back inside last 12 months and for me Marhrez in top three r.w. in the League.

Cedric at full back play in and win Euros for Portugal and don’t say it was just Ronaldo

Podb

Yes, Cedric’s crossing was sublime the other day. He is super quality. Eddie was powering the headers at goal.

santi's thigh grab

You basically described all of the nuances and complexities facing this squad, we’re still a tad bit shite when it comes to subs. We still don’t have the top 11 settled so it should be no surprise that we don’t have many difference makers on the bench.

John

Unfortunately offloading “passengers” will never result in quality in depth.

Biggles

Yes, absolutely. There’s a danger in thinking that having offloaded these players that all is (relatively) well. I was attempting to emphasise that it is not and that the squad has to remain very much “work in progress”. No consolation for the game against Southampton but let’s hope that MA and the rest realise this.

CLEGOONER

Those three and ESR

Shaolin

We can manage without Auba, but Tierney, let the lad be well.
COYG

Okester

Must be all that training in the cold in just his shorts and t-shirt done for Tierney 😉

Neil Bamford

Beat me to it! 🤣

Runcorn Gooner

Don’t risk Tierney. Look what happened to Partey.
We need him for Man U. We have enough players to win tonight.

potter

Right calf ? interesting information just enough to place a large target for Saint Rashford to aim for .

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Enough players to beat a team that beat us two times recently?

Admiral Bubblepants

Willian free role steaming into tackles and high energy passes.
Saka at left back? Lacazette through the middle.

Runcorn Gooner

Willian to step up a gear?
Who knows. He obviously has in the past.

Ckris

Willian couldn’t step up a gear to save his own life

A Different George

On the Guardian’s `Men’s Transfer Window’ I saw Willian’s name and got excited. But, alas, it was William, a defender loaned from Wolfsburg to Schalke. Good luck to him.

SarcasmB0t

He better step up a gear, he’s been stuck in Neutral.

BillyKrystal

He doesn’t have the hand brake on, he IS the hand brake at this point.

Giuseppe Hovno

Saka ať left back, Pepe ESR and Martinelli behind Laca

Arsenal Liam

Yep. Hopefully this

Daveo

Probably, but it doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

Anonymarse

Saka is the only one who can play there

Man Manny

This makes the bench largely impotent.

MPLS

If we wait until needing the bench it means we’re already fucked, so play ’em I say. I’d put Balogun on the bench ahead of Eddie right now. Untested at this level, but at least when we’ve seen him he plays an active role. And I’d even put Nelson on the sheet ahead of Willian. Willian has done a big fat ZERO in any match I’ve seen so far. Nelson will at least go direct if we need it, instead of Willian’s completely stop, make like he’s gonna tekker it, then realizes he doesn’t have the legs to round an… Read more »

Thomas89

Willian free role inflating his bank balance disproportionately to the benefit provided to the team!
I think Martinelli for Auba is the best option.
Left back is a problem. I’d rather see Saka out on the right. It’s either Cedric, AMN or Xhaka at left back. If Xhaka then the Pyramid Pirlo to partner Partey in the middle.

Merlin's Panini

The only “free role” for Willian at the moment is a free transfer out of the club.

Torterrier

Have you ever seen him play for Arsenal?

John

3-4-3, Saka at left wingback, AMN at right, Martinelli, Lacazette, ESR up top?

Twatsloch

I wish I could share your optimism. Lacazette and Saka yes, but Willian? Well I may be left to eat my words. I’d gladly eat humble pie if he turned a corner because we need him to.

Eddy F

Leno
Bellerin Holding Luiz Saka
Partey Xhaka
Pepe ESR Martinelli
Lacazette

I know it takes away from us in attack but we need a left footed player at LB as both AMN and Cedric have failed to provide anything from there.
And maybe playing close to ESR and Partey can spark something in Pepe.

Eddy F

Alternatively, the left back position hasn’t worked because no one is holding the width as Auba/Martinelli both look to cut inside. If Saka is played LW, AMN could work at LB as he’d be allowed to roam inside into space.

Leno
Bellerin Holding Luiz AMN
Partey Xhaka
Pepe ESR Saka
Lacazette

Martinelli is then an impact option from the bench.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I’d rather have the impact option start and give us a better chance of being in the game, instead of coming on to chase the game

santi's thigh grab

Rather he come off the bench when their legs are tired. He just played against Southhampton and doesn’t need to start so soon coming off a long injury.

Baichung Bhutia

I would go with AMN at left back mainly to keep Saka as part of the attack. In this case Saka and Martinelli will both start with Pepe on the bench.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I’d rather see Saka on the right with either Cedric or Ainsley at left back. I hope Tierney doesn’t turn out to be one of those players we’ve seen far too often that plays a handful of games, then gets a strain.

SB Still

If Pepe doesn’t take these kind of opportunities, then I’m not sure if there is a point of having him in the squad.

I had high hopes for Pepe till recently. However, it hasn’t quite happened so far on a consistent basis. There is a lot of talent there.

So; Cedric or AMN a left-back?

Bai Blagoi

Considering last game: definitely not Cedric.
Considering Arteta’s stubbornness in giving chances to underperforming players: definitely Cedric.

Daveo

Cedric has been underperforming, he just isn’t a LB.

Daveo

hasn’t*

Mykalf

Yes he played well when at right back. Hard to knock him too much for being s better player when in his preferred position!

John C

I thought he played better on the left than Bellerin played on the right on Saturday

Riku

Agree

Rich

Take no risks with Tierney

………. ..Leno
……Holding Luiz
Bellerin……….Saka
…….Partey Xhaka
Pepe Smith-Rowe Martinelli
………Lacazette

Saka + Martinelli has worked well down the left in the past, they’ve got really good chemistry

I’ve seen enough of Willian already, and Niles or Soares at left back nullifies that whole side of the pitch from an attacking perspective

Pepe is frustrating, but at least he’s got some end product in his locker somewhere

Daveo

This type of game concerns me for Xhaka too. The Saints like to press. That really nullified him in the game on Saturday by pressing him and showing him right. Not much alternative though.

Qwaliteee

Time for Martinelli and AMN to stake their respective claims.

I’ll tell you something though. If Arteta plays that lazy useless Chelsea has-been again, we will drop points. Simple as that.

more 10s pls

Hugs to Auba.

Bai Blagoi

We can manage WITHOUT Auba, but can we manage WITH Willian?

santi's thigh grab

We know that answer.

Lord Bendnter

Ozil will play a handful of games for Fenerbahce, Sokratis will score a diving header for Olympiakos, Tuchel will create dressing room chaos at Chelsea, and Odegard will STILL not be announced!

Bai Blagoi

Based on experience with all out recent acquisitions, I anyway expect that it will pass couple of months until he plays, so no rush…

CozyBandit

Brace yourselves bois.. Another L incoming

santi's thigh grab

Unfortunately you will learn the lessons of karma the hard way. Positive energy supports positive outcomes.

TexasRed

Is it possible to downvote this more than once?

Leave my Arsealona

Come on Gunners!!

loonygoonerbloke

Wow man, this sucks n blows

EddieRitchie

Forking shirtballs

Public Elneny

Is it worth giving Tolaji Bola a shot at LB? Rather than AMN or Cedric who we can pretty much guarantee will be poor, or shift Saka away from where he’s most influential.

santi's thigh grab

I would agree with that approach. Bellerin was an academy kid who got his chance because of an injury. I don’t think we take enough chances with youth who can surprise you. Cesc, Saka, Bellerin.

YaGunnersYa

Completely agree with giving Tolaji Bola his debut LB. He’s captained our U23s and played for England at youth levels represented our club from the under-9s! I hope he can have some role to play in the senior team, but if we don’t try him we won’t know.

Sure, his recent loan spell didn’t quite go to plan. But let’s face it – Rochdale hardly play the style of football that suit his strengths. Tolaji is naturally a more attack-minded LB and that will fit nicely into our game plan where we should expect to have more of the ball.

Riku

Maybe ,a Huddersfield fan told me about ESR. He wasn’t bothered if he came back on loan as had not done much

Biggles

We’ll see what the squad can do now, won’t we. Worryingly, it couldn’t do much against them in the FA Cup game but you never know. We really do need to get up the table, the consequences of a mid-table position at the end of the season will be serious for the club, particularly in the current environment. I still think we can (stress can, not will) get a EL qualifying place, albeit it will take a huge effort – but we have to try. Despite the recent departures through contract buy-outs, the squad still doesn’t compare, in my view,… Read more »

Football

Pepe at left-back; Saka on the right? If it doesn’t look good after 20mins or so, swap them over. It could be terrible but it might be zany enough to work!…maybe…

Tapps

I’d be tempted to play AMN at left back – and make it crystal clear to him that he needs to attack as well as defend. Martinelli for Auba is a given. And we absolutely MUST play ESR.

santi's thigh grab

Didn’t Martinelli play the full 90 on Saturday? I’d play Saka on the left, Pepe on the right and if need be, bring Martinelli off the bench if we are chasing. We need to properly rotate the young players to keep them injury free and progressing.

YaGunnersYa

I believe Martinelli was subbed on the 66th minute. According to Blogs, Arteta says it was a tactical decision and that he is physically fine.

That’s not to say that his minutes shouldn’t be managed as he regains full fitness. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if he starts. On merit he deserves to be there.

jon

The medical bulletins from Arsenal focus on our essential human qualities:

Dani Ceballos
Left calf.

Pablo Mari
Right calf.

Kieran Tierney
Right calf.

What would they say about me?

jon
Brain. Both halves.

boris
Narcissism. Unhealable.

Sam

Willian-Everything except for his left armpit!

Mykalf

I think it’s got to be Saka in for Tierney, Pepe on the right and Martinelli on the left. Not ideal but far from bad. Saka and Martinelli have been good down the left before. Rest of the team picks itself.

Seriously weak on the bench though if we need something extra or different.

Doey

I think you’ve got the mix between AMN, Pepe and Saka to cover both positions. Essentially one nailed on and the other depending on recent form, with 45 minutes to make it work.

I think I’d start with Pepe and Saka and if we were struggling to score pre-half time, bring on AMN and move Saka to an attacking role

Mark

Definitely don’t risk Tierney this time of year (cold and wet usually).

Arsepedant

Isn’t cold and wet just how he likes it?

Torterrier

As Paul and Barry would say – Oh dear, oh dear.

nullvinho

We should not play Saka at left back. He is pretty much the only guy driving the game forward in the final third, beating his man, getting free kicks, and all. We immediately lose that thrust if we move Saka into defense. Play him upfront, put in AMN /Soares at left back, and pray to Bergkamp that our attack does its thing and our defense holds.

Santori

I’d be against Saka at left back too.

would prefer we just use him right side.

I think Cedric did OK in some instances less so in others but he clearly has to make re-adjustments to his game on a less preferred side. If he’s fit, he may continue there or we may have to simply play AMN.

Sam

What about playing Xhaka at LB tonight? I mean at least he is left footed! Or maybe Gabriel and then Holding/David Luiz CB

Santori

You play the most familiar set up. Refrain from stupid new organizations.

That would be daft aisde from Xhaka having no pace.

Xhaka and Partey need to secure midfield. Familiarity is the key issue.

AMN can play at left or Cedric.

Its stupid to try and be too clever and make all sorts of changes. Players have to adjust.

Its even dumber to use Granit Xhaka as a left back.

Billy bob

Are we signing this Norwegian dude or what?

Limpars chip

My calf hurts but I still go to work

Rocky07

Any updates on Odegaad?

Santori

This will happen if it happens but will have no impact to upcoming game.

Biggles

Just the usual press reports saying that a loan deal is “near”, but with no sell-on clause. Overall, I’d say it’s more likely than not – something that my Real Madrid supporting friends think is the case. The only problem, other than the two clubs failing to agree loan terms or the player not wanting to join us – neither very likely, would be if Zidanne suddenly got the chop at RM. However, this is probably won’t happen now given that there are no obvious candidates to take charge there since Tuchel went to Chelsea.

Santori

It is what it is. We just have to find a way with resources available to win. 1) Lacazette up top. Nketiah is an up and coming player but its wrong to judge him and think he is ‘not good enough’. He has done some decent things. OTOH we need the most experienced player who can bring others into play in the mix. Particularly against tight lines like Soton, we need the presence to bully space. 2) Martinelli left if Auba unavailable. He started last game and was a bit off but hopefully he will kick back into gear for… Read more »

Santori

Problem with most people is they believe its just an issue of personnel alone. You see people here get defeatist bc we don’t have the players they think we need involved.

Its not only.

Its also how we play. We have enough to overcoe Soton if we aren’t foolish enough to over rotate but we also need to get the players to prosecute the game better. Arteta is decent with tactics but he needs to push players to execute on them. This is also part of management.

Santori

With regard reinforcements, they have no impact to today. I will say this, IF Edu manages to bring in BOTH Ryan and Odegaard this window, he’s done well for me. The loans are still somewhat a stay of execution as we are pushing the can down the road (particularly with Ceballos also on loan) but OTOH we cannot afford NOT to roll the dice at the moment given parlous predicament in position. There is also talk of a potential swap of Draxler on Guendouzi which seems a no brainer albeit of course there are question marks on Draxler’s present form.… Read more »