Our best attack against Man City: Theo, Ollie or TheoOlliegy?


This is THE question I have been thinking about this week: should we start with Ollie up-front and Theo as an impact attacker from the bench, or vice versa; or should we play them both as we did against the sorry Greeks last week Wednesday?

We are not under huge pressure to win this one, as in having to close a big gap between them and us. So we can relax a bit and play with focus and passion to get a win and leave all three points at Ashburton Grove, rather then be all tense and desperate to beat them at any cost, which so often has ended in failure.

The defence and central midfield pick themselves for this one, given the injuries and quality players we have available for the key positions. A week’s rest is just what the doctor ordered as well, so I am not worried about these two areas. Ozil is a given and if sexy Alexi is back he will play too; if not, we can play Campbell or the Ox, or even both. But the big question is whether to play Ollie or Theo up-front.

I guess this depends on Arsene’s tactics. Do we sit back and invite pressure, basically let Man City play football and then beat them from rebounds and counters; or do we plan to dominate them in midfield and not let them get into their game? If we sit back, we could do with Theo’s speed to get behind the defence and help us capitalise on our fast and deadly counter-attacks. But if we would like to make the play, we need Ollie to hold on to the ball and give the midfielders an outlet for the ball whilst they get closer to the City’s box.

You could also argue that IF we want to dominate Citeh and not let them get into the game, we need both, Theo and Ollie: the Englishman will likely force the defence back as they will be scared of his, and possibly Alexis’, electric pace; whereas Ollie will give the midfielders an important holding point to produce their deadly triangles with. Ollie also offers more goal threat in the box, especially from set-pieces and crosses from the wings.

The risk of playing them both is that Bellerin could become quite exposed in our right back area. We are more solid with Hector Vector working with Ramsey, or even Campbell, than with Theo, even though he has improved his defensive abilities and willingness to help out recently. Of course, the presence of Theo on our right wing will force the Man City full back to stay behind a lot, which will ease the pressure on our young Spanish full back; but we might not get the balance right, which could be costly.


Maybe a front-three of Alexis (Ox) – Theo – Campbell will give us the best balance against a team that likes to attack and is very much capable of dominating possession. On the other hand, Ollie is in great form and gives us more control in midfield and focus in attack…

The idealist in me says we should go for the godly solution of using both Theo AND Ollie: beat the Northern Oilers with TheoOlliegy and play some lovely football in the process; but the insurance broker in me says, play with either of them and use allround midfielders/attackers on the wings to keep the balance right and not allow our fellow title contenders to find a chink in our armour…

Not an easy one for Wenger to decide on, but what would you do?

By TotalArsenal. 

11 thoughts on “Our best attack against Man City: Theo, Ollie or TheoOlliegy?

  • Same starting lineup that play Man-U if Alexis is 100%. Anything less. There is no need to risk him

  • Do we go for it, show City that we are realistic competitors, with the risk of getting caught out by Aguero, Silva or Toure on the break?

    Or do we do a Bayern on them (home leg that is), sit back, soak up their attacks and hit them with pace, especially with a returning and rusty Vincent Kompany at their heart?

    I gotta say that I’m leaning towards the latter…
    I suppose it could depend a lot on the fitness of Alexis?
    If he’s fit then I’d be tempted to go with Alexis, Walcott and Campbell.
    That would be hard on Giroud I know, but needs must!

  • Guys,

    Their new central defender is what will cause us problems.

    We have to attack first and then score an early goal and after that score 2 more and defend.

    So, same line up as against the Villans for me.


  • Personally TA, I dont see Giroud being dropped any time soon. Theo is likely to be dropped in favor of Ox for more defensive stability. My question is whether Per will be dropped for Gabriel to nullify Aguero. Or will we play a midfield trio like the City away game last season? Many variables, but I’m gonna go for a 3-0 win here, with Cech getting his record 🙂

  • My team versus Man City would be:

    Man City thrive on the counter attack and are less effective when they have the majority of possession and are required to patiently break an opponent down. So I’m home to see us play a counterattacking style with Walcott up top for me. If Sanchez is not 100% I’d give Ox a run on the left wing rather than shift Walcott there and play Giroud up top. I have a feeling we’ll need transitional speed up front in this one.

  • Hi fellas, I took a little break there–due to snow–but now that it’s warming up (not good for the white stuff…) I should be back at it… Cheers, TA, for keeping things going with the posts on this topic and our draw in the CL…

    On this one… I think both managers would take a draw and happily move on. Our team is stretched by injury so as long as we give a decent performance (and get a decent result, obviously…) we should be happy. It’s still a few days before the match but early rumblings suggest Alexis will be held back and, at best, make the subs bench. As such, I think the same line-up which started at Villa and Olympiakos is probably what AW is aiming for. Alexis on for Campbell if we (dennis-forbid…) need goals in the final half-hour… All THREE of our forwards (Joel, Theo, Ollie) did very well over the past three matches, so they all (IMO) deserve a chance against the stronger opponent…

    The pressure is even worse on Pellegrini–what with Pep maneuvering for a double-the-moo-man contract up there. El Kun might be fit but I think this idea that you just buy and buy and buy and then win and win and win has run its course. It’s not working at Chelsea, that’s for sure… With their troubles and our injury issues, City should be a dozen points ahead of us, with maybe United somewhere in between. It’s a bit of a miracle that we’re actually up on them… In my opinion, of course…

    Anyhow, I think City will push hard so our approach should be to resist their big effort–i.e., defend first–and then try to work our way into the match. All our guys need to be disciplined but I think the key will be Ramsey, who will need to be careful in picking his spots to stream forward. Being the home team, settling things with some simple possession play (avoiding bad giveaways…) will help get the crowd on our side… If City can field their best players: El Kun, Yaya and David Silva, they will be very tough… Hopefully we can keep them at bay and then wear them down and grab full points…If we can nick an early goal, all the better, of course…

    This leads to my reaction to the CL draw and the previous post. I was hoping to avoid the defending champs (and he who chomps…not to mention the other Messy…) but it is what it is (as people are fond of saying over here). I think it’s very doubtful that either Santi or Le Coq will be available but maybe there will be some reinforcements coming in January. We could use a couple, I think, and we should remember that Barca will be even stronger with the addition of Arda Turan, assuming he hits the ground well after his enforced lay-off due to the transfer ban… Overall, it’s a huge bridge but one we don’t have to cross until February… To have a chance we’ll need our best players ready and rested so fingers crossed that we’ll be in better shape when the fixtures roll around…

    Happy Thursday!

  • Nice mix of responses, BKers, but I am none the wiser. 😀

    If we play, Ramsey, Ozil, Theo, Ollie and Joel we will give the Oilers a hell of a game. So TheoOlliegy for me.

  • Theo-Ollie-G it is…(Alexis off the bench….) For me it’s like a religion… 😀

    TA, you’ve got mail…

    Nobody around? Ah well, it’s a long weekend until the City match….

    With the Moo-man put to pasture is now the time to fire Wenger, hire him and start winning things?

    Feel free to borrow that line as a title for your next post…TA–or Cockie, (Hi out there, hope you’re well), or anybody else?…


  • 17ht,

    Wenger is more consistent than mourningho.. no third season woes whatsoever..

    Maybe the Chavs might try to bring in the tinkering man, but i do not think Leicester will let him return.

    Theo and Ollie is not the best in terms of their link up play, but i will trade that with Theo terrorising the Oilers defense with his speed. he is getting better, and with more games we will see his true form in full view.


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