Friday, June 14, 2024

Martinelli, Pepe and Willian start: Southampton v Arsenal – team news

Arsenal take on Southampton today in the 4th round of the FA Cup.

Here are the official line-ups.

Southampton: Forster, Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Walcott, Ings, Adams

Subs: Lewis, Ramsay, Valery, Vokins, Chauke, Jankewitz, Watts, Long, Nlundulu

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric, Elneny, Xhaka, Willian, Pepe, Martinelli, Nketiah

Subs: Runarsson, Ryan, Chambers, Luiz, Maitland-Niles, Partey, Willock, Saka, Lacazette

Follow the game on the Arseblog live blog

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Best of John Lukic

Surely Pepe will get a goal since there’s two of him.

One of them should be Martinelli…..


It would be nice if both of them were Martinelli

Johnny 4 Hats

At £36m each, I still think we overpaid…


Overpaid 35m 🤣

Cliff Bastin



Arteta cost us the league cup by fielding a very weak team and now he’s doing the same by fielding another weak team in the fa cup. I said earlier the fa cup is more important than the game on Tuesday. if we win the fa cup we qualify for Europe at the very least I don’t know what Arteta is thinking but he’s basically thrown this game away

2 goalkeepers on the bench?! Team looks fine to me, should be enough to come away with a 1-0 win.


Willian, Pepe and Nketiah give me no confidence. Im convinced Willian is a Chelsea agent sent to ruin us.


That’s the spirit! COYG!!

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

Am surprised to see 2 GKs on bench

David J M


Heavy Gunner

Alex Runarsson is a midfield player in disguise…


Auba was sent back home “for personal matter” so I guess keepers were the only ones left there to fill the spot other than trying to rush someone down the motorway. Tend to take 3 keepers in case one gets injured before game.


Pepe so fast he managed to appear twice in the camera roll for the line up?

Noon Gunner

Pepe and his brother both playing?


No place for Nelson but two keepers on the bench??? Baffling

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Yeah I don’t get that at all. Bit of a slap in the face (unless he’s injured). He seems to be third choice right-wing now, surely he needs a loan for the rest of the season.


It’s mad, I know he didn’t have a great game against Newcastle but he hadn’t played in weeks so I can forgive him that. Before that I really felt like he was finding some form and regardless I feel like he carries more threat than William, and has potential to grow into through game time unlike him


Where Mari?


Maybe Reiss was the dressing room leak, that would explain a lot


Auba was sent back home “for personal matter” so I guess keepers were the only ones left there to fill the spot other than trying to rush someone down the motorway. Tend to take 3 keepers in case one gets injured before game.


Pepe on the right in his natural position, but Pepe also on the left is really intriguing. Can’t believe we never thought to play our record signing on both wings at the same time before! Fingers crossed it gets the best out of him


Pepe should surely be able to do enough to redeem himself if he’s playing on both flanks 😉


Praying for a good Pepe display today. Really just want him to prove his doubters wrong.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

He’ll be up against Ryan Bertrand though – who will be having the game of his life as he tries to impress Arteta to force a transfer to Arsenal.


Little Pepe wants to play,
Ryan Ryan go away


Pepe is that bad we now need to play 2 of them.

Jeremy DG

That midfield and attack is not very inspirational. I’m not sure this is going to be much fun to watch, especially considering Southampton have a full team out.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

With Willian as #10, the hope is that Martinelli brings out the best in Willian. Willian, Pepe, and Nketiah have all had so many chances, they really owe it to Arsenal to get the job done today.

Hank Scorpio

Willian is no # 10. It doesn’t matter who he plays alongside.


Quite, but at the same time we can’t run ESR into the ground, else, we’ll be stuck with Willian in that position doing nothing.

Atleast if Willian plays, it protects ESR a little, and who knows Willian might some form from some where.

But yes, your right, Willian is not a number 10.


The amount of sideways and backwards passing will do my head in, I can already tell.


Exactly my thinking too. Saints are good this season, pressing hard, compressing space. Precisely the kind of football Arsenal are not keen to play against


Would have preferred AMN instead of Cedric. The guy deserves a chance and if not will at least help maintain his transfer value.


He doesn’t deserve a chance after that terrible terrible performance he had in the last game.


Should be amn at RB plays well with Pepe. Rest hector for midweek


I would’ve preferred to see AMN given an opportunity in the Cup in midfield or on his natural flank at right back.

Martin Elliott

It will be interesting to see how Cedric does at LB.


She wore… love the cup… bring on all our sunny day in Wembley


Thoughts of Pepe and Willian both starting 😕


Hope that being the most senior attacking person will make Willian take some responsibility


Please don’t compare Pepe to Willian. At least he has made some positive contributions with goals and assists. Surely Willian must find some of his Chelsea form.


Your joking me, two absolute chancers, can throw Eddie onto that list two, the difference between him and Ings/Adams first 35 mins is night and day, Southampton up for this arsenal carrying the usual passengers so far


Not two Pepes please… One is enough

Nigerian gunner


Ray's ice cream Parlour

What are peoples thoughts on Ward-Prowse being added to our midfield in the summer? English, young(ish), PL experience, good set piece delivery, Fee circa £20m-£25m

Nah he signed a new 5 year contract only 4 months ago. Southampton wouldn’t let him go for less than at least 40 million.


Just don’t give them a free kick near the box for him to show his worth.



Playing with ten men it is, then…


I got the forward line right in my prediction last night. Surprised Xhaka is playing – maybe means he won’t on Monday (good IMO against the Saints who will likely press him).


Imagine my excitement this morning as I saw sky sports news ticker rolling along saying “Wolves sign Willian……….” only for it to be Willian Jose!!!!!!

The spoon

Surely Balaguan could’ve made the bench ahead of the 3rd choice keeper, or take one of the other young lads for match day experience. Strange.


He started for U23s last night

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Balogun played 90 minutes for the Under 23’s last night. But yes 2 goalie’s is a ridiculous waste of a substitute spot. I would have had Aubameyang on the bench for if we’re losing 1-0 with 25 minutes to go.


yeah so what? if you are going to use up a place on the bench with a player you have 100% no intention of playing, surely you offer it to the player you are trying to convince to stay?

also i would understand if ryan or runar started and the other + bernd were on the bench. would be clear that he plans to give each a half or something with leno as emergency hit the fan cover.

really weird.


just seen bloggs confirm he was a late replacement for auba.

i can imagine ryan, being around the club for the last few days was going to watch the game as a fan at the stadium regardless.


Auba had to return home apparently, else he would have been.


I can only think someone has dropped out last minute through injury, hence why we have 2x GKs on the bench.

I don’t want to comprehend any other reason than that!

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Cheers boss, that explains it.


Still doesn’t explain why we’d put a second goalie in, unless we’ve decided Runner sucks as a goalie and he can move back into midfield as he was as a junior.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

We may have only travelled with a 21 man squad.




Sent back for a personal matter


No Auba? Not even on the bench? And no start for Laca? Bellerin and Cedric in the same team? Why not AMN at left-back? Two goalies on the bench?

Strange team!


Auba was withdrawn. Laca needs REST he’s the only player who can play his position that we have. Cedric is a capable left back. AMN was awful when played in the last couple months, while Cedric was solid.


Agree amn at RB plays well with Pepe, rest hector


With two keepers on the bench, would this point to Mat Ryan getting brought on for the second half maybe? Just trying to figure out why you’d have two keepers on the bench.


Is Mari injured?






This team selection beggars belief and really shows off the ineptitude of the Manager in all it’s glory. Elneny back in as a starter to pass the ball sideways and backwards against a side who press the opposition hard in the midfield areas… Cedric has one decent game at right back and then gets the opportunity to show how he’s not suited to play on theft side of the defence. Pepe and Willian gain starting berths despite illustrating in almost every game that they’ve played this Season that they aren’t good enough…and frankly don’t look like they care… Then to… Read more »

Bleeding gums murphy

Couldn’t agree more. We could sneak a win but overall it’s a terrible team. Injury illness and suspensions bailed Arteta out when he was forced to play smith Rowe and his job was saved.


I actually agree with most of the points you make, but the manner in which you say them makes them sound like overdramatic tripe. Try scaling back on the rhetoric a little and your point might be more well received. You sound like someone off of AFTV.


we can’t play our first team in every match. no one is ‘back as a starter’ in a rotated team, hence the term rotated. cedric is being tested to see if he can cover for KT sould anything god forbid happen to him. if not we have to invest, if he can then he shares responsibility with the unconvincing AMN. willian has shown in the past he was good enough and we still hold out hope that pepe can kick it up a gear. however they never will unless given a chance to show they can.(that said f**k willian) eddie… Read more »

AMN's cheeky grin

It’s a rotated side … it’s not like the manager thinks this is our best line up.

Yeah it’s not the strongest side, but I see the reason to rest Saka, ESR, Laca, Tierney and Partey.


Two keepers on the bench seems odd


Auba was sent back home “for personal matter” so I guess keepers were the only ones left there to fill the spot other than trying to rush someone down the motorway. Tend to take 3 keepers in case one gets injured before game.


No Ceballos, why?

Phillip Michael

Our manager is underestimating a lot of teams and its costing us a lot with that selection we are losing that game 2-1 and its really not good guys why not play like for example Liverpool even when they lose they always use their best side, always, they don’t experiment too much top four will never be ours for seasons to come we will talk about it but we will never have it. Europa is our only hope now and I see in the future we will drop out of Europa as well, if we continue this way we will… Read more »


It Will be a very difficult game, arsenal
With the second team and saints with the first, it doesn’t look good


Why no Ceballos?



Calf injury.

Public Elneny

I think it’s fair to predict this isn’t going to be one of our most free-flowing performances…

Gerry Bird

Ok, what are the chances of Stan and Co. selling Arsenal in the near future? In the current climate KSE are haemorrhaging money at an alarming rate. Must be a distinct possibility.


Let’s hope. They can take Willian with them when they leave.

Naked Cygan

Why is Willian playing? Southampton are going for this by playing first team.


Victory all the way 💯💪

Naked Cygan

I guess we have to watch the sh*it Arsenal today. 2nd to every ball. Killed by the opposition press, no creativity, just attacking from the left. Pepe is having a cup of tea. Disgraceful how much hungrier Southampton are.


I’m not a good footballer by any means, but I’m sure I could play better passes and run faster than Willian.


Not a fan of willian but he is definitely not the worst player on the pitch

Naked Cygan

When Willian and Pepe play together our tactic is to always go wide. They both get pressed and bullied. Then we just going for hopeless long balls and crosses. These two should never play together at the same time. It feels like we have 9 men at all times.


You are right, but he seems to kill every momentum we could have going forward. The pass to Martinelli on the left flank was symptomatic.


Well be fair then. Bellerin and Pepe are doing their due part in screwing up 😂


Our squad is just so poor. It’s incredible how bad we are without Tierney, Saka and Smith-Rowe. I really hope we can get in some good quality back-ups for Tierney and Smith-Rowe, what we have at the moment isn’t of premier league standard.


And if it becomes a case of keeping one or the other of Nketiah and Balogun, keeping Nketiah would be absolutely mad.


Never ceases to amaze me how nketiah consistently gets the nod ahead of balogun.


True. Some of us have been saying that for some time on this site. Teams are successful on the strength of their squad and we don’t have the quality in depth, although the squad is still bloated in numbers. If you look at the non- first choice players available, how many would get into the squads of the “top teams”? Not that many, I suspect. Hopefully, we can pull things back against Southampton, but if we do I suspect MA will need to bring on some of the “rested” players from the bench.

SB Still

Footballistically speaking, I’m not sure anyone will notice, I played instead of Elneny in the 2nd half.

Hope he makes me eat some humble pie by scoring a screamer.


Half time and no surprises at how its played out so far.
Resting key players is necessary so no complaints there.
The squad is clearly limited…however I would like to see if it is still as limited with Nelson, AMN, Balogun in the team. It may be, the result may be the same, but at least they would get the chance and I, a sense of hope before the game and if it doesn’t pan out, acceptance afterwards.


One of the most atrocious halves of football I’ve seen in a while.

Naija gooner

Same team that took us to 15th not surprised just hurt…hoping we can turn it around in the second half

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Well, since the Palace game 9 days ago.


Good move putting Saka and Partey on. Let’s get Lacazette on asap and hopefully turn this slumber party around.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Should have been done at half time.


It was done at half time. The game that is.

Roy Littmoden

Willian, Xhaka, Pepe! Well what do we expect. Plus 2 goalkeepers on bench? Why did we sell Mackey?

Roy Littmoden

Sorry Macey


What a dross


Nketiah wont make it at Arsenal. Fraud

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Send him out on loan this month. He won’t start another game this season unless PEA and Laca are both injured at the same time.


Very disappointing result but I think it proves two things: a) the squad just hasn’t got the quality in depth needed and b) how foolish it is to even think about prioritising cup competitions (as several Gooners were saying on this site only a few days ago) over performances in the PL. The PL is and must be our top priority – not winning it, or getting to a top four position of course – we’re still way off that standard yet – but getting up the table to an automatic EL qualifying position. Cups are the icing on the… Read more »

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