Time for Jack and Welbeck to Help us Mash the Spuds: Preview|Line-Up

The NLD is up tomorrow and what an opportunity to pump up the veins and  get our PL campaign back on track. It is hard to admit it but the Spuds are looking not too shabby this season. The Spurs manager is their biggest strength and Wenger will have to get his formation and tactics right to mash the Spuds into easy digestible portions.

Pochettino’s tactics are quite ‘Italian’, based on solid, deep defending and having a few lethal attackers who can pounce on the few chances they may produce. At times they remind me of a poorer version of the AC and Inter Milans of the late eigthies and early nineties. His other quality is developing talented players relatively quickly into very good players and making the team cohesive and an ‘as one’ unit. Real Madrid will take him away in June, no doubt.

Arsene will have to decide whether to attack/ take the initiative from the start or play a bit more conservative. Against MC he went for the former and it ended up in tears and I fear it may go the same way against the Spuds.

I am fed up with predicting Arsene’s first eleven, but these are the eleven I would go with:

submit football lineup

Enjoy the game FFGs. Let’s mash those Spuddies!

By TotalArsenal 



30 thoughts on “Time for Jack and Welbeck to Help us Mash the Spuds: Preview|Line-Up

  • I read somewhere, that the Spuds have failed to win any of their last 7 visits to the Emirates, anyone would think if you read the media that they’d won all 7…

    My expectations tomorrow, and I’ll be there, are quite low, but often that’s when it all clicks with this team and they pull off a famous result, to the chagrin of our many media critics.
    Lacazette, Ozil, Alexis for me TA, the trio that we have to go with.
    Wilshere and Welbeck on the bench.

    The defence could be problematic, does Wenger throw Mustafi into this kind of game with no recent football in his tank or does he start Koscielny and see how the ankle goes before making the change?
    BFG and Monreal the others at the back.

    Xhaka, Ramsey in midfield, although Ramsey playing his ‘Bayern’ role is an interesting option Total, I see where your coming from with that line-up…

    Is tomorrow a game for Coquelin?

  • Hi TA… That was an, uh, interesting match preview… Maybe an e-mail my way–suggesting that I write something–could have saved you from having to do one… That said, thanks for putting up something new ahead of the NLD…

    I shouldn’t give you too much grief, of course, given that I think most Gooners are extremely tired of all the talk heading into this match. Power shift in North London; Fresh Poch vs Stale Wenger; Rising stars staying at Spurs, dying stars looking for any way off the sinking ship at Arsenal, etc., etc. We probably should be relishing the chance to make things right with an actual football match…

    Except that it’s in our stadium so, really, Spurs have most of the opportunity in this one. It’s a game we really cannot afford to lose as such a result would represent a new rock bottom. Being shunted out of the CL last season by a 10-2 aggregate felt like a body blow. Finding our top 4 place out of reach with road losses at West Brom and Crystal Palace seemed a knockout punch. Yes, we did resurrect things with a formation change and running the table for as high a finish as possible AND (don’t tell Spurs fan this one…) lifting another FA cup (with impressive wins in their current home stadium over Manchester City and Chelsea) but our summer felt like a shambles. Where Spurs got rid of their player whose head was turned by the winking baby blue eyes from Abu Dhaby (Kyle Walker off to ManCity), we offered but then kept our desperate-to-leave (and down on his haunches) Alexis Sanchez under the guise that it was time to prioritize quality on the pitch over transfer fees in.

    How did that one work out? Not too well if suggestions of zero match fitness Danny Welbeck starting over him in an NLD seems the way forward. Even with an Int’l break finally NOT seeing Alexis off to South America, the urge seems to be to get him out of our line-up if at all possible. (Given such logic, why not leave Ozil out as well? Sadly, he looks more like a goner than a Gunner…)

    Sorry, TA, this is NOT gonna happen. Nor is Hector Bellerin going to be replaced at right back in favor of Aaron Ramsey so that (also not up-to-speed) Jack Wilshere can get wedged into the first 11.

    A line up like that would be throwing in the towel before even kicking a ball–in my opinion, of course.

    I know you thought our line-up at ManCity was (similarly?) suicidal but now I’m confused. Above you say, “Arsene will have to decide whether to attack/ take the initiative from the start or play a bit more conservative. Against MC he went for the former and it ended up in tears…” Did you mean latter? I’m not sure how playing an extra pair of midfielders (Iwobi and Coquelin–at the expense of CF Lacazette or maybe even switching to a 442, as our plethora of injured/ill defenders might have suggested) in that one could be considered a more attack-oriented plan. Please explain.

    Regardless, we have to move forward. We have to use our best players–and I think the first 11 picks itself here (see below)–to try and get a result against our noisy neighbors to the north (or is it to the west given that they’re playing at Wembley these days?…). We can move to within a point of them with a win but a draw is probably OK too. We’ve made the decision to keep our best players even if they won’t sign contract extensions to stay with us for the longer term. In other words, the time is NOW. If it were my preview I’d say something like…Go on then…

    And this would be my predicted starting group:

    Koscielny–Mustafi (if fit, otherwise the bigger f-ing German)–Monreal

    So, like I say, I really don’t mean to be too harsh and I do appreciate you getting a new post up. I’m not sure why I’m up early this morning (practicing for tomorrow’s insanely early kick-off?) but there you go…

  • A-Kev… That was a much more diplomatic–and much shorter–way of saying just about exactly what I meant to say.

    And I even left out mention of Coquelin, who could be that extra ball-player in the middle of the pitch even if he’s part of the back line. Frankly, I think Elneny is a better option (if the German defenders aren’t available) but that’s just me…

    Have a great time at the match…

  • I try to be as diplomatic as I possibly can 17tino, thanks buddy.

    I didn’t give Elneny a thought tbh, or Iwobi or Theo (I jest)…
    Arsene is under pressure, make no mistake, he knows it, Ivan knows it, even Chips knows it.
    His comments recently about becoming an international manager in his dotage said it all to me.
    I think he can see the end game.

    I’m not looking forward to the kick off time 17tino, I can’t lie, but I don’t know what god forsaken time you have to rise to see the game. No doubt the coffee machine will be working overtime, respect to you…

    It’s a busy time for me, Christmas parties are just getting going, next month will be manic.
    I got home at 3.30am this morning, that’ll be par for the course soon.
    So if you wanna a chat I’ll probably be around over the next few weeks. 😉

  • Indeed Kev, now and again, I could use a chat… And I do appreciate diplomacy… 🙂 When in London I couldn’t afford too many cab-rides, but the ones I did take never got too deep about the football…

    Speaking of a subject to chat on about…

    I stayed clear of the discussion at the bottom of the last thread re: Gareth Southgate and the English national team, mostly because I haven’t been watching them (at all)…

    From the Gooner perspective there seems a lot of desire to see Wilshere back with the English team. What about Welbeck? (or Walcott?) Is there any chance that any of our young defenders (Holding or Chambers) could get a shot?

    To me, this is where the Spurs supporters must be feeling their oats. Kane and Dele seem both younger and miles ahead of the guys mooted (in TA’s preview) for tomorrow’s first 11, though it may be injuries that have derailed DW and Jack (in the longer term). What’s the (more carefully observed) opinion of those who actually watch? Didn’t Southgate go on about Jack not being a #10? In that case, he’d be competing with Jordan Henderson (and who else?) as a deeper lying mid. That seems a more likely route into the team than ahead of guys like Dele (or even Oxlade-Chamberlain or others). I’m sure I’m not thinking about all the other English players who might also keep our guys out (as, like I said, I haven’t been watching–nor really paying attention at all…) Are there any other Spurs who might even sneak in ahead of our guys?… For me, success WITH England (the national team) isn’t much of a predictor regarding success IN England (the club game) but I know there are many who wish for both (and maybe got excited a few years back during the Arsenal Brit-core ad campaign)…

    Anyhow, inquiring minds (up too early here in Calfornia…) and all that…

  • Haha Kev, you must be down for the count… Home at 3:30 am?… That’s about when the line-ups for tomorrow’s match will be coming out here in California… 😮

    …And I’m not sure if there’s enough espresso in the world to make me want to wake up and get going on a live-blog at that hour…but you never know… The match is in 4K on my television so that’s about as close as I (probably–again, you never know…) will get to being there for a NLD…

  • Good preview, TA, if too brief. But, what’s there to say? It’s the NLD and we are home, so another opportunity to put that lot right back in their place. I have no doubt we will bring them down a peg or two and make no mistake about it, we will need Alexis (and maybe, Ozil -since he only returned from international duties on Thursday) firing on all burners to put to rest the “power shift” argument.

    I maintain that it will be too early to start with Mustafi and Welbeck because they are both returning from injuries and usually, will need a game or two before being trusted in such a derby. They will both play in Cologne, for sure. Ozil may be sacrificed for Jack or Coquelin, depending on how Wenger sees it. Against City, we were conservative, in my opinion; but for this game, we will have to go for it. We have the personnel to give the spuds a game to remember and that’s what we’ll see. In effect, I agree with the predicted team put out by 17, with the possibility that Jack or Coq comes in for Ozil, depending on his readiness after international exertions. Ozil would not be happy to be left out, but he can come on late or look to a game in midweek.

  • TA. Good evening. Hope all is good with you.

    What do expect from tomorrow? Dare you make a prediction? I never do as it seems to put a curse on the team.

    I cannot agree with your lineup though I would like to see Welbeck get some pitch time ( a headed goal from a corner in the last minutes would be lovely). No way will JW start and if I see the name of Coquelin in the starting line-up I will be hugely depressed, the man is not AFC quality.

    What is clear is that we have to be switched on in defence and not get too gung-ho. Spurs are too good a counter-attacking team and will profit if we push too far forward.

    I am hoping for the best but expect a very tense early afternoon.

  • Thanks TA nice post. I don’t think Wenger will play Ramsey on the right ahead of Bellerin. I think Ramsey may be injured anyway.

    Big Raddy. Wish you were playing tomorrow. John Radord what a player!!!!

    Tje last couple of years the Spurs midfield ,Dembele, Alle etc have totally dominated our midfield. unless we can come up with someone to stand up to them I think we could be in trouble and we have don’t have Keiron Gibbs around to save us. I can only think of two players capable of roughing them up a bit. Jack and Kolasinac.

    Kev enjoy the game. I have two Spurs supporters coming round to watch. Should I let them in?

  • Hi Raddinski, good to hear from you. I will pay arsenalarsenal a visit soon too. I reckon we will win Raddy, with a two goal margin, but only if Wenger picks men and leaves the boys on the bench, and doesn’t give the Spuddies too much space behind our defence.

  • 17HT, what game did you watch a fortnight ago? We thought we could press them high and dictate the game and it could have been 3-0 to them after 15 minutes. We should have sat deep and play compact as we did against the Chavs; now that was conservative.

  • Kev, we have got to win the midfield battle against the Spuddies and I reckon Kola, Jack, Granit and Aaron would overpower them with skill and passion. Le Coq has the passion and some of the skills, a decent shout.

  • Eris, I reckon Wenger will have been working with Mustafi and Welbeck over the last two weeks and are ready to start…. but you could be right of course.

  • Do we all notice how hard it’s been to predict line ups this season? That’s not a positive. It’s not being spoiled for choices. It’s further proof that we as a club, are in a state of disarray. It’s not about the injuries. We’ve dealt with worse. In TA’s prediction, it’s Welbeck as 1st choice on the left. Sanchez if necessary.

    Its bad that we would even consider Welbeck when we have a fit Alexis..
    it’s sad that our state of affairs has left us with Alexis, who we don’t even know if we want him to play, or if he wants to play, or if he really wants us to succeed, or if he’s half bitter because he didn’t get his move, including a tease on deadline day.

    That’s bad enough, but the Ozil situation, though I’m sure he’s giving good effort, still makes the Arsenal world uneasy.

    I think Southgate is just being stubborn, look at the players he chose recently over Jack, mediocrities, and extra defenders. Arsene should speak to him privately to try to repair any damage.
    I don’t care the position, Wilshere is Englands best midfielder. I like him more advanced to limit the risky runs and to prevent fouls on him when hes near the opposition box.

    If Arsene doesn’t start using him in the league, with Jack well-rested, he is just being annoying now. My motivation is to keep Wilshere with Arsenal, and his contract is almost up, and he will want to know if he is permanently behind the other midfielders here.

    On Ponchettino, he’s done pretty well, I’ll admit. I still think he’s overly defensive, but drills his team well and gets them working hard, without pricey purchases. No way he deserves all the praise he’s getting. But if they impress in next stage of Champions league, I’ll give him more credit than currently.

  • Retsub, in a word, no…. 😄

    But to be serious, briefly, my Mums family were all from the dark side, fortunately I took after my fathers side. Retsub, keep this to yourself mate, but I’m quietly optimistic. That’s all I’m saying!

  • 17’o, I cannot see any of Arsenal’s English players going to Russia except possibly Jack, but he’s gonna need to put in a few eye catching performances to force his way into Southgates plans as I think that the England manager is quite close to formulating his squad – minus Wilshere.

    I’m not sure if there’s any ‘history’ between Southgate and Wenger but I get the feeling that Southgate didn’t much appreciate Arsene suggesting who he should possibly be picking for his squad recently (Wilshere). I have noticed that since that Arsene has not been so opinionated about the England squad and who should be in it.

    Speaking as an Englishman, I’d quite like to see a youngish squad go to the World Cup, it would lower expectations in the appalling domestic media that we constantly suffer in the UK and might enhance England’s chances of having a stress free tournament.

    As far as new Spuds in the national side, it seems that Winks is the flavour of the month.

  • Total, I hear you, regarding our midfield, but I tend to temper my line-ups with how I think Arsene will go and he isn’t one for radical line-ups is he?
    There’s a really good piece about your boy Xhaka in the Guardian, I will put up a link…

  • For me Jonnie, Alexis has to start, he is despite his tendency to to lose possession, our best player, and you don’t go into these types of games without your best players.
    I really like Danny Welbeck, I like his energy, his non-stop drive, it’s something that Man Utd seem to drill into their homegrown players, Arsenal’s youngsters used to have it, but….

    I’m really looking forward to seeing Lacazette having a go at the Spuds defence, to seeing if Alexis, Lacazette and Ozil can replicate their Goodson Park form.

    There’s a lot of discontent among the Arsenal fan base, the frustration of seeing our club not quite realising its potential, I won’t go over old ground, but this is different. The arrival of Tottenham is unifying, old differences will be put to one side because there is the prospect of those Spuds prancing across our pitch trying to rub our noses in it, well the home crowd this time will be as one and I’m sure that our players will respond…

  • TA… I guess I get you now… To me, leaving Lacazette out (at City) means less gung-ho… Also, in terms of a high press, all I saw was Alexis running about chasing the ball (rather pointlessly, IMO). Still, I get what you’re saying when you compare that match to the game at Stamford Bridge…

    JNYC, To me, predicting the line-ups seems quite straightforward this season, with the exception of the throwaway match at Liverpool and the Iwobi for Lacazette change at City (Le Coq at CB, of course, was very strange, but I’ll take Wenger at face value that the BFG and Holding were ill for that one). While I’d caution against ascribing motivations and the like to specific players I do agree that Arsenal–as a club–seems very out of whack. To me, it all stems from the lack of patience given to Wenger that a new manager would not be facing. Change, even if performance doesn’t improve, seems like the thing that (nearly) all Gooners crave. By contrast, Spurs are on the up with Pochettino the (magical) force behind it all, exciting young players (who, like our old guys might also be moving on)… The English core is probably also pretty exciting for a lot of Totts supporters.

    Kev, Cheers for your thoughts about the England squad but I think a couple of our 2nd team guys (Wilshere, Holding, Chambers, Theo, Welbeck) could make the squad if we were to keep playing them and we went deep (i.e., to the final) in any of the cup competitions. If there was an injury to (the very predictable, IMO…) first 11 that led to further chances for some of the English guys, then maybe that would sway Mr. Southgate. And, of course, I like your low expectations thing for the WC… Getting out of their group (although very dependent on the draw, of course) seems like a fairly lofty goal…and would be an improvement over last time…

    Finally, it’s always good to hear from the long time fans about what the NLD means (I also read some stuff on AA after Big Raddy’s drop in)… I feel like I sort of understand having watched 20 or 30 of them by now, but how can that compare with those who have experienced hundreds?…

    I’ve got pretty low expectations for tomorrow’s match (I’d take a draw if it was on offer) but, as always, I’d be very pleased to be wrong…

    Gotta get to bed early tonight…

  • My Spurs supporting friend tells me Spurs have lots injuries, And it’s likely their third string keeper will play. He got man of the match against Palace. One save he couldn’t have got out of the way if he wanted to and he is dead slow coming out of his goal. Could be a good day for running at him.

  • Morning All, I’m on my bike to London in a minute, no literally you see, the tension is palpable already, this feels like the most important NLD in a long long time, I’m beginning to get all those old feelings of antipathy towards the mob from Middlesex.
    Retsub, your friends, are they playing mind games? 😄
    I’ll believe all that old guff when I see the respective line-ups.
    17tino, Jonnie, early start for you fellas, plenty of caffeine chaps.

  • Enjoy Kevski and give a shout for us when you are singing your heart out. 🚖

    Am in Oban so need to find a pub that shows the game. CoYRRGs!!

  • Kev. Just seen the line up. As per Manchester City with Lacazette and Mustafi coming in. As for Spurs… huh lying sod. Will kick his dog in the morning.

    Kev, enjoy the match, hope the fans get behind them today. If we can’t support the team today, I don’t think we ever can.

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