ALO up-front, RamXa in the middle, Mustafi Back: Arsenal v Cherries Line-UP

You are used to long, in-depth and very informative match preview from Seventeenho, but I am afraid you will only get a very short one from me. 17HT is shifting his focus to writing match reviews and so you have to do with me. You see I don’t like to talk about a game in hand too much, but just want to experience it.

So, this is my predicted line-up v Bournemouth:

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Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners!!!



37 thoughts on “ALO up-front, RamXa in the middle, Mustafi Back: Arsenal v Cherries Line-UP

  • Well done, TA… What could I have said–except all my usual BS about the “support,” while trying to lower expectations by hiding in my thoughts about the reaction to the TW and the overall (woeful) situation at our club. Frankly, I expect a very tough match. After all, at the moment, I cannot tell what’s worse, a “home” game or an away game. 55,000 (give or take a few thousand empty seats) ready to howl is (perhaps?) worse than 5000 traveling supporters looking to do likewise. As always, a hostile crowd = hostile ref. In truth, Anthony Taylor has mostly been good to us since that opener vs Villa a few years back… In other words, we’re due for some of his bad (eyes actually closed?…) calls… 😀 😦

    I like your line-up but think that Alexis might be a bench option in favor of Welbeck starting up front. All those “te cansas” in his instagram post translate to “It makes you tired”… That said, if we’re gonna lose 70 million on him by keeping him for this final season, that breaks down to just about 2 million pounds per game so he might have to play. Six of one, half dozen of the other, I say, and a goal (off the bench) for him might go down a real tonic…as they say…

    I think the other 10 pick themselves, assuming there isn’t lingering bad feeling re: Mustafi. Holding over there might be a good call to try and regain a bit of confidence…

    Anyhow, Nice preview. You could have made it shorter, however, by boiling it down to its true essence: “MUST WIN!!!”

    Here’s to a good one…(Go on then…)

  • Cheers Seventeenho, must win would cover it. 😍

    You may be spot on re Alexis. I reckon we need to give ALO a chance to gel against the Cherries 🍒 though

  • So, I guess I’m committed to the match review… (Uh, oh…)

    In that case, here’s to good one…

    GO (the f*ck) ON, THEN!!!!…

  • Not sure if Alexis is completely fit, wasnt there some question? I dont want to see welbeck. Ill take theo or reiss please if no Alexis. Now watch the Welbeck goal and assist.

    Bournemouth also need a win desperately. We need to come out motivated.

  • Why do we concede so many goal? There are two reasons:
    1). We have a midfield pair that are not that good in our defensive phase of the game.
    2). We have wing backs/full backs who stay too far up field.

    If we keep the 3:4:3 formation, then one of Coq, Elneny should of Xhaka, Rambo

    If we are switching to the back 4 I’d prefer Mustafi replacing the very attack minded Bellerin with the tweak in the CM above retained.

    My line up 3:4:3


    My line up 4:2:3:1


    It was reported that the team was training with both the 3-man and 4-man back line formations. That indicates that Wenger is contemplating a switch back to the 4-man BL.

  • Still not changed your mind, PE. Maybe we concede too many goals because we are not pressing high enough, and a lack of collective gumption. Wenger is unlikely to be tempted to change.

  • Pony, all valid points. Mustafi as any part of a three man defense is still too agressive going forward and out of position too often. If he’s playing, i hope he is spoken to about it. As a right back in a four, he might be a right sided kolasinac, though with less ball skills. If we ever needed a conservative line up for a big match, (as some managers do), I’d go with your kola per kos and mustafi at rb.
    Bellerin needs to step up though. And players need to know they can be replaced by hungry youngsters or formation changes.

  • The Cherries will be even more desperate to get something from this game so, we should be under no illusion it will be an easy one. However, if we start fast, blitz them and get some early goals, we can make it a cake walk.

    I feel Alexis will certainly start, 17ht. You obviously, have t seen his tweets upon his return to London: “back and focus”, said the first. Today he’s sent out “I’m ready for tomorrow”! Wenger will need to have balls of steel to keep him out of the team tomorrow. So much for the fake news merchants on deadline day who said he he has declared he won’t be playing for Arsenal ever again.

    The one thing that’s hard to predict is whether Wenger goes with 3, or 4 at the back. My guess is he starts with 3 and, depending on how things progress, he may change it to give more thrust, where necessary. I also feel we may see one of Ramsey or Xhaka dropped or complemented by one of Coq or Elneny to make a full midfield 3, which will see us with a front 3 of Ozil, Alexis, Lacazette. We just have to wait and see, I guess.

  • Eris thanks for the link, I need to remember to check Jorge Bird more often. And wow, Reiss Nelson is really on a serious run of quality, to me that’s a sign of something. Some players look exciting in pre season, then fail to take a next step at some level.
    Looks to me like Reiss Nelson got a taste of the big team, and instead of being disappointed to play youth matches, he is determined to prove he should be playing with the big boys. It’s impossible for Wenger not to notice his progress.
    … also i forgot to mention Iwobi earlier in my many preferences to Welbeck.
    And i get your points about the line up, i was really sure that Wenger was going to play Coquelin against liverpool. Depending on the reaction to the liverpool embarassment that Wenger sees in training, he will decide on Xhaka and Ramsey.

    This is not a time to simply trust his players, he needs to take steps, show some consequences for the individuals who dont show up for games. He said this week ” i love my players” … fine ….but even children need “tough love” sometimes.

  • I kinda like PE’s line-up as (obviously…) I’m a big Elneny fan… Of course, I’d drop Ramsey (a dozen times…) before I’d drop Xhaka… I think it could become an easy-to-spot routine of back 3 (5) to start matches, back 4 to finish them, esp. if we need goals…

    No, ‘Eris, I didn’t see Alexis’ latest tweets (or instagrams)…Words are cheap, however. Look at my output, for example… 😮

    Tambien estoy listo pa’ man(y)ana… Venga! Vamanos!

  • 17HT. I am intriguer by your comment about dropping RAmsey ahead of Xhaka. Although he was playing well at the end of the season, Xhaka has cost us a goal with lazy distribution in each of the first three games. No question for me it should be Coquelin and Ramsey tomorrow.

  • High press has to be done by the forward positioned players as a group to be effective. Ozil is the weak link there. Individual uncoordinated pressing is lung busting exercise that yields little.

    Am a total non believer in the Xhaka/Rambo CM pairing because it lacks balance unless as suggested by Eris an extra CM player is introduced to give a 4:3:3 formation in which case my selection would be:


    With this Rambo would have greater freedom for his forward runs, Xhaka would be seeking out spaces for receiving and transitioning the ball and Coq becomes the defensive body in the otherwise no-mans-land that is the space between our defensive line and our MF.

  • Bournemouth’s usual pattern is to go flat out in the 1st half, grab a goal or two and try to sit out the 2nd half having tired themselves out. Last season they were the 2nd worst team loosing points from a winning position. Wk 2 this season they conceded in the 73 and 86 min in a 0-2 loss to Watford. In Wk3 they lost 1-2 to City from a wining position.

    It would make sense if we start with a 4:3:3 to later switch to a 4:2:3:1 by replacing say Coq with an attacking player, depending of course on the state of the parties into the 2nd half.

  • High press has to be done by the seven players in midfield and attack, with defence pushing higher too. Ozil is as good as anybody then.

    Personally, I would play Ramsey – Xhaka – Elneny – Kola in midfield, but Wenger is right to not give up on Rambo and Xhaka central.

    Retsub, Xhaka passes are never ‘lazy’

  • T A sorting expected a comeback on that. They look lazy to me, but I out of respect I will retract lazy

  • Total, I’ve grown to like Xhaka, I wasn’t sure about him at first but he brings an interesting range of passing to our team despite the odd mistake. I think he’s been quite unlucky as every mistake he makes seems to end as a goal against.
    In 12 months time the situation may be radically different, Ozil may have departed, Ramsey could be playing in the hole and Arsene or whoever could have brought in a proper d/m to partner Granit.

    As for today, I expect a win with Lacazette as our main man.
    I expect Alexis to play and to play well.
    It would be nice if we kept a clean sheet, but who knows?

  • Hi TA. 17 has it right for me that Welbs and Holding may yet feature. Wenger doesn’t like to drop players easily. How he handles Sanchez is also interesting. Does he make him the centre of everything or remind him he is part of a team? We shall see. Won’t be an easy game. I hope we are on it from the off.

  • I love Xhaka, he can be the best passing midfielder in the world. But first he must be disabused of some bad habits. Some of his passes were nonchalant. In our league, that’s a nice way of saying lazy. Same result….. dangerous giveaways. People try to say that Germany is just as good a league. Ridiculous. You can get away with a lot of things there that you will be punished for by hungry, underrated opposition here.

    Also needs to maintain positions that allow him to get back, keeping in mind his lack of pace. Anticipation and overall awareness can help him venture forward at times, but still not get caught too far out.
    I really want Xhaka AND Ramsey to prove that they can make it work together. In theory, it sounds great, but for quite a while now, our midfield has had the least influence that i can remember in years.

  • City have matched Liverpool press for press, got the first goal, and were holding on before the red card to Mane turned it into a non-contest. Just tells you it was that intensity we missed at Anfield. While Liverpool’s forward play is impressive, if we caused them some dangerous situations of our own, it will be a different game.

    Anyway, back to the game today. Team sheets should be out by now…..

  • Arsenal XI: Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil, Welbeck; Lacazette.

    Looks like Welbeck was nice to Wenger in the summer, or he wants to help him find some needed confidence to get the goals to match his high energy play. His quest has largely caused him to become too selfish, neglecting better placed team mates. Let’s hope it works today.

  • A fuller sheet-
    Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Xhaka, Ozil, Welbeck, Lacazette
    Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Iwobi, Walcott, Sanchez, Giroud

    Bournemouth: Begovic, Cook, Ake, Mings, Smith, Gosling, Arter, King, Fraser, Defoe
    Subs: Boruc, Francis, Surman, Cook, Pugh, Ibe, Mousset

  • Jnyc says:
    September 8, 2017 at 18:57
    Not sure if Alexis is completely fit, wasnt there some question? I dont want to see welbeck. Ill take theo or reiss please if no Alexis. Now watch the Welbeck goal and assist.

    You called it right on Welbz, didn’t you? 😉😉

  • It’s all a bit too quiet at the Emirates, considering how well we are playing, but I guess the fans are now like a new lover that has experienced a broken heart (new dawn) too many times in the past.

    This is not so much about the weakness of the opposition but has to do with the resolve of the team to press, be aggressive and play for one another. The visitors couldn’t just cope with the intensity of our approach. This will mean some of the lads upfront will need to catch their breath at some point, so opportunity for Alexis and Theo/Giroud to come on. Mertesacker and/or Coq could also be given a run out, if we add a couple more.

  • 3-0, Welbeck 2, Lacazette

    So pleased for Danny, it’s all about confidence because he’s got the talent.

  • Yes. Seemed that Bournemouth had not been able to cope with Welbs and Kola and our attack and goals came mainly from there.

    Lacazette had a good game and it seemed that we played with 2 strikers up front.

    The way Xhaka and Rambo paired is ok against Bournemouth, but if we play against better teams we are open as only Xhaka is back and most of the time there is a big hole in the central area.

    Our Alexis is back and hungry for goals. He was not able to score today but he will eventually.

    Good 3 points but we still needed to do something in the midfield pairing, especially with Le Coq injured.

  • It gets worse for us now, JK, seeing as Coq looks like he will be out injured for some weeks. Thought we should have gone for a higher score line (need to be as ruthless as City or United, at times) to improve GD for us. Good win for the confidence, though, as we play Koln in midweek.

  • Xhaka is neither lazy nor nonchalant, but it takes some energy to spot that. He gets targeted and so his fellow players need to make themselves available so he can release the ball efficiently. If they don’t then it is Xhaka who gets targeted, but the key thing to remover is that he depends on the movement in front of him.

    Great win but yet to see any of the game.

  • TA: “Great win but yet to see any of the game.”
    You’ll be pleased.

    With the back 3 Kos | Mustafi | Monreal were solid? (really liked that trio in those positions)
    Defoe had just one decent chance (OK, two. The rebound on that first shot– which he stabbed-at/shot-wide would have been a Goal-of-the-Season candidate). Bellerin and Kolasinac did their jobs fully– assisting at the back and winning many balls in the middle third.

    IMO we won the game in the middle-third. It wasn’t the pair of Ramsey | Xhaka bossing it traditionally. But the foursome of Bellerin | Ramsey | Xhaka | Kolasinac cutting off the passing lanes to Defoe and King. Cech’s clean sheet was no fluke– he and the defense earned it.

    Sead Kolasinac is on his way to becoming an Arsenal great.


  • Im really happy for hard-working Danny, and i really hope it continues, because Arsene will start him 50 times this season. Actually, on a day like this, it feels great to be wrong.

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