Confirmed Line-up: Holding/Chambers CBs, Theo/Rambo/Iwobi/Alexis attack, Coq/Elneny DMs

Here we go with a live blog fine fellow Gooners.

Wenger has opted for youth in defence with both Holding and Chambers starting today. A big gamble if you ask me, but let’s get behind the boys.

In midfield, Arsene has gone for steel and PL experience with Coquelin being pared up with the reliable and defence-minded Elneny. Will we seeΒ Xhaka come on later on?

Up front we start with Theo as our CF? and Alexis and Ox on the wings, withΒ Rambo in the hole. Or will it be Alexis up front and Theo on the right? I am going for the latter.

This is the line-up:

submit football lineup

Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Wilshere, Xhaka, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Akpom

Liverpool XI: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Moreno, Henderson, Lallana, Wijnaldum, Mane, Coutinho, Firmino

Subs: Manninger, Can, Origi, Matip, Stewart, Grujic, Alexander-Arnold

Come on you Rip Roaring Gunners – Fight for the Shirt!

Please join us in our live blog.

By TotalArsenal.

94 thoughts on “Confirmed Line-up: Holding/Chambers CBs, Theo/Rambo/Iwobi/Alexis attack, Coq/Elneny DMs

  • T A I find it far to stressful to blog during a match, but will be checking in regularly.


  • I am shocked by that 11 he chose. I didnt expect Holding, or Iwobi, i thought Theo would be up front with Alexis on left. And then he puts coquelin and El Neny together! I really like that.
    Id love to know if anybody predicted this exact line up publicly online or in media. I doubt it. That just shows how many choices Arsene has.

  • A “life” blog… I like it… Unless you are suggesting that today’s (and all other matches) are “life and death.” In the end we should probably try to remember that it’s just a game… πŸ˜€

    The young CBs aren’t as scary to me given that Pool will be playing such a small forward line…The back six will have to work as a unit but my guess is that they’ve been drilling it hard all week long. Pressing from the front and forcing mistakes (and then converting chances) will be the aim of both teams and we just have to hope that we can edge it…

    Let’s do it!!

  • Yeah Johnnie I am not sure either whether anybody predicted this exactly but we will see how it works out. I love the attack and midfield and let’s hope the defence can play as a unit. Big challenge for Chambers and Holding but with such strong protection in front it should be fine. Expect the passing and throughballs to come from everywhere. Let the show begin! πŸ™‚

  • Ramsey has a big job on his hands, he’d gonna be knitting everything together as well as getting up front making late runs, maybe similar to how he played for Wales…

    This is gonna be interesting…

  • Sorry TA…And it appears it’s already been changed… πŸ˜€

    I’m excited here… Teams are coming out onto the pitch… And the stadium looks full… Again, let’s do this!…

  • Yeah same role as for Wales, Kev.. Iwobi also has a big role in terms of adding creativity… πŸ™‚

    Excited too, Seventeenho πŸ™‚

  • Both teams look a little nervous and have made some loose kicks, the latest being Coquelin gifting it to Mingolet after our corner was cleared…

    Good defending there by Nacho and Chambers and we break nicely from it but Pool are able to stop us on the left.

    Agreed that Rambo will play a key role today… Lefty toe poke from him is right into the keeper’s arems….

  • Chambers winning a couple of headers gets the crowd behind him… And Nacho wins another that almost falls for Alexis…

  • Has Elneny had a touch yet? Ah, there’s one…

    Pool seem fairly content to absorb our pressure…

  • Ooh Ramsey in a great spot to pounce on a poor Pool header loses it to a heavy first touch… Mingolet punches the corner clear…

  • Now he’s cursing Iwobi for failing to put him in on goal…

    Pool are struggling to play it out vs our press and Rambo wins a FK on the right… Well delivered but a Pool head clears it…

  • That was Klavan who cleared the FK…Tall and a very nice jump for it…

    Holding has a bit of trouble near the right touchline but the turnover comes to nothing…Now Pool want a handball but it’s not given and Theo, helping to clear the ball earns a whistle instead…

  • Theo and Alexis 1-2 looks decent but too heavy. Ramsey tries a long one down the right but Alexis is offside…

  • Oh my…Ramsey tries to beat Mingolet who was off his line but a throughball for Alexis would have been better than row zed…

    Bellerin on the spot as Pool almost get in on our goal…

  • Theo gives up a foul on the right after Firminho cross is backheeled clear by Chambers…Scary stuff if you ask me…

    Lallana gets a yellow coming in late on Ramsey…

  • Penalty!!! Moreno missed the ball and got Theo with a wild (and unnecessary) challenge…

  • REDEMPTION!!! Theo scores on a move started by a great Le Coq tackle…Iwobi with the assist…

  • we are shit at pens… but we do it the proper way.

    Great block by Le Coq, super pass by Iwobi and fine diagonal finish by Theo… super stuff! πŸ™‚ 1-0

  • Better from Pool playing it out under pressure and eventually working a shot by Firmino well wide…

    What’s with the topknots he and Moreno are wearing?…

  • Alexis offside after Nacho intercepts and tries to put him in on the break…

  • Big letoff for Chambers who passed it straight to a Pool player. Wijnaldum’s shot in the end was tame and Cech saves…

  • Lovren yanks on Alexis twice and gets a yellow. Awfully end to end and not a little scary…

    Woeful FK from Ramsey trying to find Alexis…

  • Iwobi steals the ball from Lallana at the center circle and wins a FK from 22 yds…

  • what a shame to concede one like that. Great freekick but we don’t deserve not to be in front anymore. Ah well, second half a good chance to take the game to them once more, with Rambo needing to be a bit sharper/ more involved..

    Good game of football at a high tempo… 3x higher than the Bournemouth – MU game..

  • F..k we dominated play and nothing to show for it for a full half… So disappointing. And, i know we dont expect to be granted penalties, but how disorganized to not have Alexis taking the pens. He’s the cf today, with tons of big game penalty experience from copas america etc. He actually should be annoyed that he didnt get his 1st goal opportunity. Dumb decision making.
    Now a 45 min game to win.

  • T, good observation about Ramsey. Coquelin and El Neny together is even better than i expected, and they are the main reason we dominated the half. Coqs tackle, i believe, led directly to the assist and goal. He’s done that for us many times, and never gets much attention or credit for advanced tackles starting positive moves. And i seriously love El Neno.

  • The FK was pretty awesome but we look good enough to be ahead… We need Alexis to stay onside and others to get him the ball…

  • 2-1 Pool Lallana but Wijnaldum pull back and pass set it all up…

    Trouble now…

  • Pool with a lot of the possession this half…

    We finally get some but Rambo gives it away and Pool again are on the attack. I think we might need Santi in here…

  • I think Elneny and Ramsey must replaced.. Xhaka and Cazorla must play..
    and Holding also..

  • Nacho rounded by Clyne and then Chambers poorly positioned and Holding couldn’t get to Coutinho quick enough…

    Cech makes a great save to prevent a 4th… Liverpool are completely dominant now….

  • Well that is football too. They started stronger in the second half and score twice… but we will fight back. I take a draw now… πŸ˜›

  • Another one man effort (like SaidoMane’s…) Deflected past Mingolet…

  • Nice one from Ox and let’s just give everything to get back into it. CB pairing clearly needs to be reviewed, but I am also unhappy with Nacho’s defensive cover from our left… has been a weak point during pre-season too. Pfffff COYG

  • Liverpool let us work it but Santi’s shot from distance is well over…

  • Ox defends Clyne (somebody had to…) and wins a whistle… Some possession and an equalizer please…

  • A bit better including a corner for us but we give it away on our left…

  • Ox with a heavy touch and then backing away from a ball he could have taken…Pool very slow to take the resulting corner kick…

  • Now it’s Bellerin’s turn…Yellow on the scythe down after the heavy touch…

  • Liverpool time-wasting is well done and Theo kicks out for a corner…

    5 mins ET coming…

  • Very nice move Ox to Xhaka then wide to Bells but his throughball to Theo finds him stepping on it rather than pushing it through on goal….

  • That is a shame. Crazy game that we gave away so unexpectedly in the second half. Great tactical change by Klopp and we need to learn from this fast. Having said that, we scored three times and both Ox and Theo are on the scoresheet, and that goes some way too. No points though and next up are the hurting Foxes. Let’s hope we get a PL worthy CB situation sorted asap.

  • Pathetic defending, poor performance from Alexis and Monreal, two more injuries, completely expected defeat and another reality check for everyone who believes that the old horse can be taught new tricks.

    The good thing is, The Wrinkled One now might decide to break the bank and sign a proper striker and a central defender. On the other hand, I don’t know if it is good idea to give him anything to sign for Arsenal apart from his resignation.

  • See Admir, what you lack is the ability to have perspective. You draw such big conclusions from just one game – the first one of the season – that easily could have gone another way. I am critical about certain choices by Arsene, but when we lose we can ALWAYS say he should have done this or that differently.

    It is really childish to refer to Wenger’s age negatively, but there you go.

  • TA, I have been negative way before this game. I see where he drives this train, I yell and scream not do so and the accident inevitably happens. We needed a central defender even with Per, Kos and Gabby all fit but for some reason Arsene went for a child brought from Championship. Klopp gave him a lesson and at least one more manager will do the same thing in the next five games (Conte).

  • This will not make you feel any better Admire – LACAZETTE scored his hattrick for Lyon.

    However, he was hardly in the game second half … because they barely go the ball to him.
    What did see though, is he would fit Arsenal’s quick passing game a treat. Not only that, he would make Alexis a 25 goal hero no problem. When not clear on goal himself, he is very quick to feed others, and that could include Olli and Theo(or Gnabry, Ox, Mahrez, etc).

    The bigger problem will be that other clubs looking for a striker will take note of his knack of scoring goal, so he will go for top whack – Nothing less than Β£50m, imo. But any side that could do with a very decent striker, he might be worth it just for the impact value?

    There is one downside, he does not do a lot of tracking back.

    I will comment on the game when I can get it on the ‘Player.
    It seems to have lived up to my expectations though.


  • Happy Birthday Admir, with love from Nigeria. So bad the lads couldn’t give a befitting Birthday present. There’s an urgent need for a quality CB and CF signings between now and weekend when the foxes comes to town. Its good to be back and also a new season. I just hope we can go one place better than we did the last timeout.
    You guys have been doing a good work, keep the red&white flag flying. TA, 17th, who knws Bond’s whereabouts?, Admir, Kev, and lotsa you new additions to the family.
    Funminiyi is back!

  • Welcome back, FUN, and cheers πŸ™‚

    I welcome new signings but also feel we need to learn from this game and build on the positives. We played very well during the first half but allowed the Dippers to find a hole in our midfield/defence and they exploited it to the max.

  • Ok it’s not 24 hours but I can’t kick the dog anymore. Lots of noise about lack of a striker, but to be honest if you score 3 goals at home, you shouldn’t lose and goals are not the problem.

    If Per is our captain, that would suggest that Per and Kos are our first choice pairing? Does anyone believes believe that we will win the prem, with Per playing regularly? Don’t get me wrong I love the guy, but he ain’t getting any quicker?

    If the above is true, it suggests to me that we should have invested in a centre back months ago. Not now when we will have to pay a premium.

    I don’t think either Chambers or Holding has a particularly bad game, but as a pair they were always going to struggle. Plus Chambers distribution is far from perfect. I cringe every time he is in possession.

    I don’t think I have ever seen Nacho look so exposed. I don’t know if that is because he was trying to cover for the lack of experience at the back, or because of what he had for breakfast. Either way I guess no one could have seen that coming.

    When we fell apart for half an hour or so, who could the players look to for guidance, A Vieira or Adams would have kicked Arse, I see no one doing that. All the good sides have leaders. Unless I am mistaken we don’t.

    Felt a little sorry for Joel. He seems to have had a decent pre season yet didn’t even make the bench

    I will always be a Wenger fan, I am sure he has more football knowledge in his little finger than I have, but I think he has to take the blame for today’s decacle

    First impressions of Xhaka ( I give up on spelling). Is that he is going to see a lot of cards. He kicked more Liverpool players than the ball when he came on

    Ok rant over bring on Leicester

  • @TA

    Klopp got someone else’s team during first half of the season and still managed to reach a European final (which is a reason why they didn’t perform well in the league) and beat Maureen in the league, something Wenger can only dream about for a decade. Now that he has full control of the Liverpool team and no European obligations, Dippers can aim for the league title. He won it with Borussia Dortmund twice in this decade.


    Actually, there was a time when Nacho was regularly exposed, especially in the big games. That was the time before Alexis was installed on the left wing. All those experiments with Cazorla, Γ–zil, Podolski…on the left wing didn’t work and our left full-back (mostly Nacho because Gibbs was always injured) was all over the place. You could place some money on the opponents scoring from the left side of our defence.

    About central defenders… Everybody knew we were short in the central defence since the last season except for one man, the one who keeps wallet under his pillow. Smart managers do their job on time (just like Maureen who AGAIN signed players where they were needed) while our Hochstapler waits until the very end to plug the holes…or to leave them open.

  • Well aim they can all for it, Admir, I give you that. πŸ™‚

    Wenger is our manager and he won the PL a few times already, don’t forget that. We will get close again this year and maybe we do it, who knows. But try to enjoy the journey and don’t get too upset if the ride gets a bit tough now and again. We need men and women to support The Arsenal! πŸ˜‰

  • TA, lack of support was never an issue (well, maybe it is on the Emirates where the opponents can relax and enjoy for the best part of the season knowing that those on the stands won’t scare the crap out of them with the frantic support to the team). πŸ™‚

  • TA,

    Previously you asked me for something that makes me say that false 9 does not work against PL teams.

    Alexis is a good example yesterday. He gets nudged off the ball on every single chance and though he had a better first half due to the better possession we had, he never really got going much.

    We really need a striker.

    As to Holding and Chambers pairing, I feel that Chambers made more mistakes when under pressure than Holding, who had a superb game yesterday.

    I say make the the RCB position Holding’s this season alongside Kos.

    Xhaka is a good player, but needs time to assert himself to his new teammates. Liv were throwing themselves to the ground ever so often, he should not be making those kicks without getting a card.


  • Hostilities back.

    4 goals conceeded identifies the weak linΔ· in our game. We all saw it coming. Hopefully Kosh would be back for the next game in place of Chambers who is too slow on his feet to contend with the pace of Vardy and the even faster Musa (New signing). Debuchy, who is a battler and good in the air completes the CD pairing.

    I have been a strong advocate of Sanchez at #9. Yesterday I recognised his handicap. He is too active a player to be restricted to such a specialized role.

    To be candid, if I were the maanger I would have spent money first on a striker, second on a CDder before spending on a MFder.

    However, now is no time to declare a state of emergency. Just one game played.

  • 84, we scored three times yesterday and Alexis created a lot of space for two of those goals. The system worked a treat in the first half as we bossed Pool as I predicted. We do not need another CF but a better defensive is of course key.

  • PE,

    Seeing how our defense got hammered, it wasn’t due to Holding. It was via the Chambers side that we managed to concede 3 goals, all quality ones. Holding did well to pressure the strikers, but wasn’t able to stop the third and 4th goals, which wasn’t his fault to begin with.

    Kos and Holding seems a good bet, while up front we lacked height. There were a few times Holding were pressured by 2 Liv players, and he did well and kept calm. If Matt is there, I think we would have lost even more goals.

    We need a taller striker that only heads the ball, TA. I suspect PE is talking about the same thing, when he mentioned about the handicap. Other than that he is good in attacking the opponent back 4, and we had a good game of goals if you weren’t supporting anyone.


  • If we need a taller striker, we have Giroud and Akpom and (hopefully) Sanogo… Wenger will not be worried about it. We scored three. This is very good.

  • JK – You have to see how the team was set up, to see where the failings were.

    Anybody feel free to correct me here, but in the absence so far of TA’s review, I just put this forward. Remember, this is not a reflection on any player, just an overview with those that were selected to start.
    With Cech in goal, Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, Monreal the defensive line. Now irrespective of who was in front of them, it was clear that the instruction to both FB’s was not to get too far up field, especially Bellerin.
    In front of those, were Elneny and Coquelin, and behind the attack was Iwobi, Ramsey, and Walcott, and Alexis as the central striker.
    It appeared the instructions here was, that with both backs staying in their own half, Elneny and Coquelin could ‘high press’, with Walcott and Iwobi providing the width. Alexis and Ramsey providing the movement and threat up front.

    Now I can tell you there was no change in that plan going into the second half. We took the lead, and were somewhat unlucky to concede the free kick that they scored just on the stroke of half time. I say unlucky, because it appeared that Holding only put his arm across the player, not the full on grappling that happens every time in the penalty area which never gets punished. What made the player fall down I leave it to you to decide. But even with that, the defence appeared to be quite sound, despite the youth and inexperience of our CB’s. It was 40 minutes before Chambers played a loose pass square, which was cut out and left the defence 2 0n 2. It came to nothing. That was his only mistake, and he made some good interceptions.

    So what went wrong in the second half?

    Well Klopp clearly saw what Bould and Wenger didn’t, or they would have corrected it?
    It was the weakness of the entire plan, that got masked by the scoreline in the first half, and boy didn’t Klopp exploit it well.
    The weaknesses I speak of were this: By allowing both DM’s forwards, rather than pulling Ramsey deeper, meant the fullbacks kept closer to the CB’s, closing down the space rather than tracking their runners. Because ‘Pool were attacking down the middle, that shifted our defence to the right. I saw at one point Chambers was further right than Holding, who correctly moved to his left. Even Monreal was in the LB position at one point? This happened throughout the first half, yet we conceded only one goal, in a central position. This in effect, meant Mane could come inside and only be challenged on the edge of the box, but wide outside the very speedy Clyne had a free run because Iwobi too got drawn to the middle, him being a more attacking midfielder.
    In the second half Liverpool exploited this quite ruthlessly. But you cannot point the finger at individuals. The 3rd and 4th goals were both conceded because other players were out of position, or not covered in the way they should have been. Monreal was hopelessly left guarding three players from a corner situation??? He moved from the one in the centre of goal to the two unmarked wide players, with the commentator saying he should have been closer to the scorer …. What, and left the guy in the centre of goal a free header???
    Chambers likewise was being turned inside out on the edge of the box by the breakaway scorer Mane. For crying out loud, Chambers is a CB dealing with a very expensive, and very quick winger. If the FB was caught upfield, where were the DM’s? In this case it was Ox, brought on to attack, but somebody should have got across to help Chambers?

    So it is no point saying the goals came from Chamber’s side, because they also came from Monreal’s side, from Iwobi’s side, from Coquelin’s side???

    What I found frustrating was that one side saw the weakness, the other did not plug the gap.
    But it is easy to talk from hindsight …

  • TA, do you think that lesson will be forthcoming before next Saturday., or will he persist will Alexis in the middle?

    I did put Akpom in my team selection, and Cazorla … (smug smiley) πŸ˜€

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