The good news is that Oz Gunner will produce a match preview later this week, but I thought it would be good to discuss our best starting eleven today. Just for a bit of fun.
Injuries have possibly held us back from winning the title this season, or at least from getting very close to doing so, but luckily we can pick from a strong squad for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Hull City.
I have been thinking about our strongest eleven for the Cup final, whilst also taking into account things like potential departures of players and playing history in this competition.
I reckon our best eleven players for the final are:
Fabianski: yes, it would be a good and necessary experience for Szczesny, but I reckon we owe it to the older Pole to play in the final. He has got us there with some fine performances; but most importantly, Fabianski is a safer pair of hands when it comes to keeping his concentration for 90 (or more) minutes. I expect us to dominate the game for large parts and for Hull to focus on set pieces, and Szczesny has a knack of going in kamikaze in these sort of games…. boredom is not good for him. So Fab for me.
Gibbs for me. I know some fellow BKers have their doubts about Kieran but for me he is one of the most exciting prospects in the whole Arsenal squad. A total athlete who offers everything you need in a full back, and he is very close to breaking through. The older he gets to stronger he will become and he needs to play in this final to win his first medal.
Mertesacker – Koscielny. Both have their qualities and limitations but, like a perfect marriage, they get the best out of each other when played together.
Jenkinson could do with the experience, but Sagna should start: one of my favourite Gunners and an absolute rock for us this season. It looks like he is leaving which would feel like a step back again; but we need his experience and hunger on Saturday, and he also deserves to depart with an FA cup medal in his suitcase.
Flamini – Ramsey. I could live with Arteta instead of Flamini, but if Huddlestone is playing for Hull I want us to have a strong physical presence that will keep the former Spud quiet, and I reckon Matthieu is the man for this. I also believe Ramsey will be able to support the attack more if we play the Frenchman rather than the Spaniard next to him. The only risk is Flamini getting hot-headed and send off, but surely Wenger will coach him on this.
Ramsey is a given: he is our engine and our connector, who makes our team not two parts of defence and attack but one machine.
Central Attacking Midfielder – ‘Man in the hole’
Ozil of course, although…. Four things are important for the hole position: stamina, creativity, running with and without the ball and ability to give shape to our team. Long term, for me, the best person for this is SJW. Jack is best at giving shape and structure to the team, even better than Ozil – his performances in January were simply awesome. But Jack will not be fit enough to start, I reckon, and he will need a lot of games to get back to his very best again. So Ozil it is.
‘Holding’ Central Forward
Ollie, Ollie, Ollie, Ollie. Giroud is the obvious choice as nobody is better in our team at being the pivot in our attack: allowing the midfielders and fellow attackers to come forward and join the attack, creating opportunities for others and keeping defenders busy. Would I want OG to be a better finisher? Of course, but we need a lot more from Giroud in Wenger’s current system, and boy does he deliver this for us (again…. after a blip a few months ago).
Left ‘Wing’ – Right ‘Wing’
Aahhhh, it is a bit more difficult to choose for these positions. Without Theo and Ox (game comes to early, I reckon), we do not have a lot of choice for the wing. The two positions will have to be filled out of Cazorla, The Pod, and Rosicky. With Ramsey’s – and to a lesser extent Flamini – pressing and running from the centre, Ozil willingness to create space and do ‘wingplay’, Giroud’s readiness to spread himself about andthe support of the full backs, I believe we can get by without proper wingers in the team.
I am not a big fan of playing Pod and Cazorla together but reckon Wenger will go for these two on Saturday. I would prefer to start Rosicky, as he always personifies what playing for Arsenal is all about in the cup games. He has the drive and experience to motor the team on and he adds that little bit of speed and penetration the other two lack to some extent.
Pod has been in fine finishing form lately, and I would just about give him the nod over Cazorla for Saturday.
So my ideal team for the Cup final is:
What do you think, FFG’s?
Written by: TotalArsenal.
Be Kind to Yourself 🙂