Elneny and M-Niles in Midfield, Giroud up Top, Wilshere Nr10: Preview and Line-Up


As a football opponent to Arsenal FC in the FA Carabao Cup, what is there to know about Doncaster Rovers except that they gained promotion from the 4th tier of the English league system last season and are now competing in League One (3th tier) where currently they stand at 1 win and 3 draws in 8 games. It is not likely that Wenger would be loosing any sleep about wholesome rotation or not. What might be a bit of an issue to him is the choice between the 3 and 4 man defense for the match. I expect Wenger to opt for the latter. Why?

A formation should suit the selected players and vice versa. The 3:4:2:1 goes hand in hand with wing backs, inside forwards and no #10. With Kolasinac, Bellerin and Monreal all expected to be rested we would be without any recognizable wing back unless Wenger decides to rely on our junior pair of Kosh Dasilva (LWB) and Reiss Nelson (RWB). Furthermore 3:4:2:1 utilizes inside forwards, a role that does not suit Walcott who is expected to play. Walcott is best as a wide man running off the shoulders of the defence on passes supplied by a #10 that does not exist in a 3:4:2:1 For these reasons Wenger might opt to ditch the 3:4:2:1 formation. On the other side of the arguement Wenger might want his Teams “A” and “B” playing the same system. His compromise here might be the 3:4:1:2.

My predicted line up in a 4:2:3:1 formation is:-






BENCH : Macey, Mustafi, Xhaka, Iwobi, Nelson, Willock, Akpom.

I expect Sanchez to be played as part of getting him back to speed for replacing the injured Welbeck in our subsequent premier league matches. I also expect our senior fringe players (fringe as at the moment) to be expoused to as many games as is possible to keep them match fit. Any one of them, for one reason or the other can transition into the first team at no notice. Also Wenger would be using these kind of matches for crystallizing his Team “B” for the Eropa League competition.

Meanwhile it is OGAAT (one game at a time) as on our path stands Doncaster Rovers! Yawn at your peril. The last time the two teams met was in a league cup quarter finals in 2005 where Arsenal sneaked through on penalties . COYG!!!

By Pony Eye

30 thoughts on “Elneny and M-Niles in Midfield, Giroud up Top, Wilshere Nr10: Preview and Line-Up

  • Interesting take on the formation to be adopted but with the entire playing cadre of the club (Academy, ladies and the first team) all playing with 3 at the back by default, it’s hard to see why Wenger won’t continue the structure in this game, even if he won’t be losing sleep with his picks.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the argument and won’t have a problem seeing a structure that gives us a chance to see more of the kids playing in their best possible positions. Let’s see what the manager thinks and what he sends out. Pity Debuchy is injured; would have liked to see him having a game seeing as he (or maybe, Calum) is the only credible back up for Bellerin. Look forward to an exciting game and win. I shall be watching on the Live Match offering on the club website; not being aired in Toronto where I am presently.

  • Goonereris. there is an Arsenal website called Arsenal list. they post highlights of any goals etc within about 5 minutes of any action. But I am intrigued, are you saying you can watch the match on the club website? just audible for us guys in the UK

  • Hi all.. Hi PE.. Nice post..

    First I think Wenger won’t change the 3-4-3 formation.. Why should he, after Chelsea’s game.. hehehehe..

    So, all we need to discuss is WHO Will fill the post.. I strongly recommend all 11 starters changes.. hehehehe..

    Macey .
    Merte, Holding and Chambers
    Nelson Elneny Wilshere and Niles
    JRA and Willock

    Hehehehe.. Will it be..??

  • No way will that forward 3 be as you put it, Henry. Hehehehe!

    Retsub1, of course it is possible to watch the games on the club’s site, when it is on offer (as the Pre-season games were). The game today should be on the site so, that’s my hope of seeing it, other than post-game highlights.

  • Eris …… as always, sound and pragmatic view point. Second guessing Wenger is like an exercise in futility. Luckily it is also fun. Getting a cover for Bellerin could be critical for our season, and that alone might tilt his scale in favour of 3 at the back so he can test out a RWB. The candidates …… Nelson and Chambers. More of Chambers and less of Nelson who is only 17, I’d say.

  • Oh boy! Looks like you are right, Retsub1, and it’s only Audio available. See how it was advertised:

    Listen live to the Doncaster game
    We’re in Carabao Cup action against Doncaster Rovers on Wednesday evening – and you can tune in to our LIVE coverage from Emirates Stadium from 7.15pm (UK time).

    “Listen Live” being the words I missed before my response. 😞

  • Chan …… Niles at LWB? Wenger must have recognized by now that inverted WB don’t work as they are the ones that are supposed to stretch the field. I’d be disappointed if he plays Niles there. I also think that Wenger prefers Wilshere as an attacking forward. Wenger is a believer in Walcott. He’d want to give him regular game time.

  • Whatever we do, we must not take the Donnys for granted. They may be in the lower leagues but they were in a lower league when they almost shocked us out of the same league cup in 2005. It took a last ditch goal by Gilberto to bring us level, for the 2nd time in the game, at 2-2, late in extra time.

  • Team sheet:
    Ospina, Chambers, Mertesacker, Holding, Wilshere, Elneny, Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Walcott, Alexis, Giroud

    Subs: Macey, Monreal, Willock, Dasilva, Iwobi, Nketiah, Akpom

  • For what it is worth….

    Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor, Mason, Wright, Butler, Blair, Houghton, Whiteman, Rowe, Kongolo, Coppinger, May

    Subs: Marosi, Alcock, Toffolo, Garratt, Mandeville, Marquis, Williams

    With the likes of Alexis, Giroud and Elneny playing, we just need to avoid any injuries.

  • PE.. not so bad guess isn’t it..?? Hehehehe..

    Eris.. Yes we must combine the youngsters with their senior.. and Walcott Sanchez Giroud are great.. although I think one other young gun in front will be nice.. hehehe..

    Walcott goal.. 1-0..

  • Chan ….. I flunkeď the formation. 10/11 personnel. We need more goals for more yougsters to come in.

  • Yes PE. You can beat TA with that.. hehehe..

    I don’t have a lot of knowledge about our youngsters.. I don’t know why Chambers are out for Dasilva in.. Is it because He play more Left back than his usual rule at RB..?? Maybe Dasilva is a natural LB.. will see..

    And Nketiah.. is he better than Akpom..??

  • We seem to be making heavy weather of putting this game to bed, to be honest. With Alexis, Giroud and Theo on, we should have, at the least, gotten a 2nd goal. Who needs extra time or replays (depending on the rules)?

  • Eris.. so we were lucky to win this game..?? I watched the arse liveblog.. it seem that way..

    Which part did we play bad..?? Or is it Doncaster team play so well..??
    Did Elneny – Wilshere pairing okay..??

  • Obviously, we dominated the game but a combination of good goal keeping, good defending and some wayward shooting cost us.

  • …cost us a bigger win, that is.

    It would seem the guests came close to equalizing towards the end. There will be some who would have said “Daddy Fergie’s” advice worked, just as it worked in the last 8 years or so of the rivalry between Wenger and Fergie.

  • Agreed that wayward finishing cost us to finish the game in a calm manner.

    It is not overconfidence, as we did play with lots of movement up front but most chances went wide in the end.

    But through to the next round it is, and good work by the lads to defend well.

  • Good post, Pony,
    From listening, it sounded like they made a decent run at us, and in these games ( for which I dont care )- my biggest fear is always extra time, and in fa cup, replays. The reason i say that, is that we always seem to have some injury issues.

    Not to be a complainer, but with Coquelin injury, we are one midfielder injury or red card from a mini crisis, in my book.

    I’ll watch when possible, maybe on Arsenal player tomorrow. We didn’t crush them obviously on score, but we did have many more shots, and a lot more on target, more corners, more posession. (as we’d expect) ..etc.

    From the minute Ox was sold, i said here that wanted to see if reiss nelson could work as a wingback, partly because I wasn’t too happy with Bellerin at the time. But More that i see it will be the position where he can probably earn the most game time. Hector cant play 2 times a week every week, and I dont know if Debuchy even really exists in reality, though i think he would be excellent in the new formation.

    I don’t see as much danger in giving minutes to young attacking players, but i do worry about giving defensive responsibilities to kids. Any opportunity for experience in defensive duties would make me feel better.

  • Next round :
    Arsenal vs Norwich City
    Bournemouth vs Middlesbrough
    Bristol City vs Crystal Palace
    Chelsea vs Everton
    Leicester City vs Leeds United
    City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
    Swansea City vs MU
    Spur vs West Ham

  • So our next team is West Brom..
    Last night they bring so much difficulty to City.. City also were lucky to win the game..
    And Lucky us to have a week rest and playing home.. We must seriously take WBA as a good team.. twice as difficult as Doncaster..

    With Ozil still injured.. will we see Ramsey to take his place..??
    Wilshere did great last night.. Wenger can play him to fill the Ramsey post..
    So we will have Xhaka, Wilshere, Ramsey as our midfielders.. and Sanchez and Lacazette as our two Strikers..

  • Sounds good Henry. I think of West brom now as an above average team in the league, good players and very good manager no matter how much we hate him. I think he could have them challenge for top 8 easily.
    On another note, I remember Arsene giving great compliments to Ozil, and my favorite Rosicky, such as, if you love football, you love MO, TR.. along those lines.
    …… I think I can safely say, if you love Arsenal, you love Jack Wilshere. I can’t describe how good it makes me feel to see him healthy, playing for us.
    Total was the one who said he would make a big impact this season. I don’t forget that, and I loved the optimism. I hope he continues healthy, I said at the time, that would be a dream come true.

    The second part of the dream is SANTA Claus dropping off SANTI Caz for us around Christmas time.

  • Jnyc …… I’d go one step further than you and say …… if you love football you love Wilshere or the converse ……. if you love Wilshere you love football.

    I feel that as a deep lying playmaker he is better protected from the harsh tackles. When fully back, his exceptional speed of thought and skills to match put him ahead of Xhaka in that role. There is no doubt about that in my mind but that’s not saying that Xhaka is not a great player.

    Further up, say #10 might actually be his best role but one worries about the vicious tackles his style invites.

  • I understand Pony, I’m not sure where Jack should play, i could see him in more than one spot. He really shows bits of brilliance every time he plays. Just watched the first half on Arsenal player, and i was thinking, between Jack and Xhaka we would have 2 world class passers, but i think Wilsheres speed of recognition, instincts, touch are even better. Also a quicker shot on goal.

    One last thing I was noticing was his defensive positioning, work, very nice actually. That’s something people don’t always note or look for. Great bonus.

  • Without his injury woes he would have been our best player for so many years.
    Jack has his own highs and lows with the team, and his hook for Ollie is brilliant.

    His overall game is also quite good and the only pity is our team’s finishing.
    We have to be more ruthless in front of goal with him around and creating chances for the team.

    Looking forward to see him fit and fight for the team.

  • OK, just emerging from a hectic period and catching up… Well done PE to pick 10/11 on the line-up if not the formation. The game itself–from all accounts (I’ve watched the first half but cannot bring myself to watch the 2nd…)–was slow going and far from a romp and it sounds like Doncaster had some decent chances to extend it an extra half hour. At least we’re through to the next round with a(nother) home match against lower league competition. Gotta get used to this twice a week stuff, I guess…

    PE builds upon his above statement (Jack is a genius) in a…


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