Friday, March 1, 2024

Aubameyang and Martinelli start: Newcastle v Arsenal team news

Arsenal take on Newcastle at St James’ Park this afternoon, looking for three points and a life before Thursday’s big second leg against Villarreal.

Here are the official line-ups.

Newcastle: Dubravka, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Murphy, Longstaff, Shelvey, Almiron,
Ritchie, Saint-Maximin, Wilson

Subs: Gillespie, Schar, Lewis, Krafth, Hendrick, Longstaff, Anderson, Joelinton, Gayle

Arsenal: Ryan, Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Xhaka, Ceballos, Odegaard, Elneny, Willian, Martinelli, Aubameyang

Subs: Leno, Cedric, Chambers, Mari, Saka, Partey, Smith Rowe, Pepe

Follow the game on the Arseblog live blog

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I know we need to rotate and I knew he was 95% going to start Willian and yet still I’m disappointed seeing his name on the starting team sheet


I had the same experience. Had I seen Saka’s name there instead though, I might have been angry instead. So I’ll go with the disappointment for this game.

Non flying dutchman

Im with you on that but its why not Nelson

More angry that weve been fed the lie about be Tieney being in contention…why then isnt he on the bench for a run out? Lulling villareal into false sense od security?

Naked Cygan

I am not sure either why Nelson is frozen out? Surely he is better than Willian. I am also not a big fan of Xhaka, never will be, but if he HAS to play at LB on Thursday, why risk him today?

Diaby's Left Peg

Nelson turned down a loan, maybe Arteta is showing who’s boss?

It’s a shame we haven’t seen more of him but we’ve no idea how hard he’s working to earn it.


But is it that we do not have any natural left full back we could have brought in from the academy to fill the gap pending Tierney? Is our academy that weak, poor or bereft?!


You can be in contention and then not make the line up.


1 Are we rotating CBs? Or this is the CB combo for Europa semi?
2 Why is Xhaka playing at LB? Why does he need more practise for a position he will never fit in?

At least, Elneny played and has already scored.


Willian has no idea of how to play 1-2 football. He and Bellerin has outflanked the LB with 2 on 1 at least 3 times, he passes the ball back to Bellerin, and then instead of running forward, he just stops

He is like a meter taxi that wont run ahead, as fare paid is only till this point and no more. A pure waste of space as a player.


Gabriel, finally.
Great to see him back
He had one bad 45 minutes and got dropped for good. While other habitual under-performers get indulged week after week.


More to do with Luiz being injured I suspect. Doesn’t seem to play as well with Holding.

Johnny 4 Hats

Why am I dropped boss?
Because your teammate is injured.

Never a great thing to hear.

The Goon

Love this


I believe he was dropped because Luiz was out injured and him and Holding have failed to strike up a good partnership at the back.


Fair point. But he could’ve played left back for the last 3 weeks instead of Xhaka.
Quick and aggressive, he’s ideal for that hybrid left centre-back role. Hard not to think Arteta missed a trick there.


As a big fan of his it was far more than one bad 45 minutes as well. Happy to see him back though, hopefully he can rediscover that early season, pre-covid magic.

Diaby's Left Peg

Think the bout of Covid hit him pretty hard, seems to be so. Allan S-M struggled too. Makes sense if it hits your lung capacity as a professional athlete I guess.

Johnny 4 Hats

Ceballos, Odegaard, Elneny midfield. Hhhmmm. Yeah, that won’t work.


Maybe resting Cedric for Thursday but really hope the plan isn’t to continue with xhaka at left back

Johnny 4 Hats

Thing is, with Odegaard playing in a front four diamond, that leaves Elneny and Ceballos to break the press. I don’t trust either of them to have the dynamism or pace to manage it.


Are Newcastle going to press? ,no they will try and soak possession and break


Yeah, my big fear too. It was worth a try, it hasn’t worked, so we should now move on. Barring a Tierney miracle it will be Xhaka at LB v Villarreal with a hopelessly out of form Ceballos or Elneny besides Partey. Just bizarre from Arteta.

Anders Limpar

There is one other natural left back in the first team squad and we have enough attacking players to replace Saka up top!

I understand that MA wants Saka to play in the attacking position, who wouldn’t, but for the balance and structure of the team it seems bonkers not to play him lb in the big games.


Saka is so essential to us higher up the pitch that I’m not sure we really can move him back anymore


Bellerin played lb twice when injuries , do good job. Has more pace to get out of it


Totally agree. I was reluctant to move him to left back but I think it’s the best option at this stage.


Ceballos is a hopeless diver. Please send him back next season!

Johnny 4 Hats

Ah, that’s why his hair is always wet…


Martinelli gets a run out – good stuff!

Wham Bam Aubameyang

Reiss can not get a game and I have no idea why if Willian is starting.


Xhaka not rested? Are we really going to play him against Saint-Maxima as more training for Thursday?

Auba to get some minutes but would have liked Balogunner on the bench.

Strong team really that should get job done, albeit a meaningless job.

Canada Gooner

Thumps up for making laugh…moments of levity are rare these days.


I’m just glad the mighty Willock can’t play


Why play dani…hoped it was his ladt game….bet we gonna sing him


Dennis Suarez was far better player because he did less damage.


Glad Martinelli is getting a start. He scored 10 goals for us last year and has earned more minutes on that alone. Time to show the boss what he’s been missing.

On the right path?

He needs opportunities to play much more with our best starting line up. I fear the team today will struggle and martinelli will be tarred with the same brush


Surely a chance to give Azeez and Balaguan a chance, first team is shite, half these players won’t be here next year, let’s bed in some future players. Plus this game has no relevance.


I hope you’re right about half these players not being here next season.


Absolutely. Dead game, great opportunity for the youngsters

Eazy Deezy

Generally a pretty good in up for an unimportant fixture. Key players rested, players coming back from injury getting minutes, and others (like Hector and Gabriel) getting an opportunity to put themselves in contention for Thursday.

But makes me worried to see Xhaka at LB (instead of Cedric). Seems to suggest Arteta wants to stick with this for Villarreal, and I can’t see us progressing if we get more of Chukwueze v Xhaka on the left.


Disappointed that Tierney hasn’t been able to make the bench, which makes me concerned for Thursday.


I think Mikel is keeping his cards close to his chest with Laca and Tierney


I hope you’re right, but surely it would be more valuable to get a few minutes into Tierney’s legs, had they been fit enough for it, than to be putting up a smoke screen by leaving him out if he had been fit?


3 days ago Auba was only fit enough to play 5 minutes and now he starts??

Mikel is starting to just piss me off. When is he going to learn to make subs earlier


Yeah, Mikel is begging to annoy a lot of people with his obvious lies


I’ll ask before someone else does.


The Goon



Let’s hope this reshuffled pack does the job. Meaningless but it’d be good to carry a win into our Europa 2nd leg match.


Arteta just said Lacazette and Tierney haven’t trained and will not be available for the next few matches. Guess it all rests on Xhaka for Thursday.


WTF is the point of selecting Ceballos. Banned from Euro, going back to Spain. No point in ever selecting him again. As for Xhaka at FB again, pointless too. #Artetaout


Poor Cedric can’t get minutes for love nor money


Precisely because he is banned from EL. He had a decent game too, and it shows the manager is willing to let players show they can still contribute after mistakes.

Certainly playing him is no reason to call for Arteta’s head, at least if you aren’t being hysterical.


Giving the fans martinelli to offset the disgust of starting Then he’ll probably not use him against Villarreal and throw some stupid pep-like curveball like he does, instead of keeping things simple.


Weird that we don’t have any strikers on the bench considering Auba is probably not going to play 90. I assume the plan is for Martinelli to slide over at some point, but still a weird choice.

… Unless he’s considering Smith Rowe as a striker again 🤦‍♀️


I believe Nketiah will actually be on the bench.


I hope whovever pulls on the shirt has a good game…..that being said

Cabellos can Cruyff turn himself back to Spain right now if he wants to be honest. He shouldn’t be getting anymore game time.

The deal stinked, I hated it but on balance Cedric hasn’t been so terrible that we should persist with Xhaka at leftback.

Is there something wrong with Reiss Nelson that Arteta has at least on the surface treated him so poorly. His attitude? injury? etc. he can’t even make the bench most games.


Agreed – these league games are meaningless now and players that will move on after the season should not even be on the bench. Get some academy players in the games who will play with heart for the shirt they are wearing 110%. I think Arteta is afraid of young players because they are all proving him wrong. Pepe, Martinelli, Saka, ESR carry the team. Players that he wanted in a team like Willian, Ceballos are horrible and drag the team down. I’d like to see Azeez, Balgoun and Lopez mixing it up in the senior team. Willian could score… Read more »

Corona X

There’s several things to pick on from this line-up, but the fact that Arteta plays Xhaka at left back today shows me he’s really lost the plot! He’s not a left back. It hasn’t worked out well playing him there against pacey wingers. Why not give Cedric a chance there today, to put in a performance and stake a claim for playing against Villareal. He needs a rest! If he gets injured today, who’s going to play left back and central mid against Villareal? Cedric’s been frozen out on the left, and we don’t want to see Ceballos or Elneny… Read more »

Jeremy DG

As the consequences of this game are meaningless, I hope Willock rips us a new one.

Corona X

He’s banned from playing against his own club mate – PL loan rules.

Jeremy DG

Ah shame about the only thing i was looking forward to 🙂


That will be hard to do from the stands

On the right path?

My mind boggles… surely Cedric at LB in this game is a no brainer


Honestly very pleased with the line up. Everyone beside xhaka getting a rest and the one who needs minutes gets them. Not sure if dropping Leno does him any harm in confidence but i guess not, otherwise he wouldn’t drop him i think. COYG!

Jeremy DG

ffs Arteta. Are you trying to get sacked? Is this like some stupid stand off between you and the Arsenal fans? Prime opportunity to play Balagun and Azeez and once again you put an experimental line up out who are going to fail against a relegation team. You had nothing to lose. If they’d played and Arsenal lost fans would have been much more forgiving but who will fuck up the best management opportunity you will ever get by dying on the hill of Willian. I really wanted you to work, why couldn’t you just swallow your pride one time… Read more »


But is it that we do not have any natural left full back we could have brought in from the academy to fill the gap pending Tierney? Is our academy that weak, poor or bereft?!

The Goon

Where’s Nketiah disappeared to again?! Where’s Balogun?

Johnny 2 Bad

I just understand the Ceballos thing with Xhaka at the back. Is it just stubbornness? Ceballos is out the door…

Egil Hofsli

Has Arsenal ever had fewer Europeans in the starting line-up?

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