3-5-2: Aubemeyang and Lacazette up top | Jack-Mkhitaryan-Kola-Rambo-Ozil Midfield: Sexy or What?

Hard Times for Gooners across the world. It is easy to feel more than a bit down about our team and the immediate future; the BoD and Wenger, and his supporting staff, have their work cut out to change the mood in the coming fortnight.

Luckily, we are being strongly linked with a few excellent, experienced and ready-to-tango players to replace the imminently departing Sanchez and Walcott (and the already departed Le Coq).

As one of the biggest Arsenal signings of a January transfer window once said – the one and only Andrey Arshavin: we cannot allow ourselves to indulge in melancholy. Yes, we need to get back to positivity, to hope… to fascination for all that is Arsenal. As the Human League put it in one of their fabulous songs ‘Fascination’:

Keep feeling fascination
Passion burning
Love so strong
Keep feeling fascination
Looking, learning
Moving on

Well the truth may need some
Stories to be told
And, plain to see, the facts are changing
No meaning left to hold

So let’s tell some stories and re-arrange the truth. Here are some TA-facts of the situation:

  1. Like it or not, Wenger is going to stay till at least the summer;
  2. Sanchez will be sold and  we will get Mkhitaryan in return;
  3. Theo will leave for a juicy £20m and we will not need to replace him;
  4. Le Coq has gone (feel a bit sad about that, good lad he was);
  5. We are going to stick with three at the back but put five in midfield and two up top;
  6. Welbz and Giroud will be kept as back up;
  7. We will sign Aubemeyang;
  8. Kolasinac will move in central defence and eat PL players for fun;
  9. Mesut will sign a new contract and get a statue next to DB10;
  10. Nacho and Koz will be fully fit soon and play the rest of the season…

Yes fellow Gooners, these ten facts will come to fruition and our team will look like this:

submit football lineup

How sexy is this, hey? We will smother our opponents in their own half with the midfield heavy weights of Jack, Rambo, Kola-the-beast-in-the-middle, Mkhitaryan and Ozil. Up-front we have the athletes of Laca and Aubemeyang running defences ragged and pouncing on the multiple opportunities delivered on a silver plate by Mesut, Jack etc. There will be little defending to be done and Nacho, Mustafi and Koz will be waiting for our bamboozled, and half-eaten opponents anyway.

Ah that feels a lot better.


Feel free to add your very own fascinating rearrangements of facts! 🙂

By TotalArsenal

39 thoughts on “3-5-2: Aubemeyang and Lacazette up top | Jack-Mkhitaryan-Kola-Rambo-Ozil Midfield: Sexy or What?

  • doubt it….I think there is going to be cull of the squad and some fans favourites might be sold as I personally think our new head of recruitment is more ruthless then Wenger….Walcott sold…Coquelin Sold (Only extended his contract last season and a Wenger favourite)….I think he maybe behind Wilshere not getting his contract extension due to his injury record…plus I doubt he is still rated highly outside of England and more importantly Arsenal and Arsenal Fan TV.

    Malcolm maybe signed in January or the summer. There has been a shift and Wenger cuts a more isolated figure. It’s going to be an interest 8 months….I do expect a different type of player with more aggressive and ruthless midfielder. I do expect Ramsey to be offered a huge contract if Ozil goes as he creates the same as Wilshere and better defensively then Wilshere and more importantly scores more goals.

    Johnny Evans still can be bought and he may replace Koscielny as you can’t get 3 games in a row out Laurent anymore, plus he has be come error prone. Also he is 2 years younger then Mertesacker who is retiring at end of season.

  • From your keystrokes to Dennis’ inbox TA.
    (Maybe cc: Sanllehi too?)

    So these “10 things” TA?
    Is this like the lottery– where odds get longer as each variable is presented?
    Or does each subsequent event become more probable by achieving the previous?


  • John, that is a good comment. I don’t think Wenger would stay in post if he was not fully in charge of player contracts and new signings, but you could be right. Not rating Wilshere is of course possible but those of us who grew playing football as a boy know what a rare talent Jack is. I reckon that why so many of us love him.

    Rambo is another interesting one. I reckon he is not the one to build the team around. Too injury prone and such a slow starter once he returns from injury – also does not have the same level of vision and passing ability as Ozil. We really need to sign up Mesut.

  • Actually accepting yours TA– for the sake of discussing the possibilities.
    There’s not much that goes against what I’d like to see.
    If Mkhitaryan comes– then a full-throttle pursuit of Aubameyang is warranted. The history/chemistry between the two is clear.
    Thought Kola as a bruising DM, with his mobility and discreet physicality– make great sense.
    The rest are things that should occur– and don’t require ‘a perfect world’ for them to do so.

    Fifteen days to get it done.
    If Sanllehi is already on-the-job? All could happen.


  • For me Ainsley maitland has all the qualities you need for a modern defensive midfielder. I would make Jack w captain and play them in the middle. I think flexabilty is the way but still like a back four generally. Keep the faith with chambers. Chuck in aubemayeng maybe a bit of malcolm. Bob’s your uncle mesut’s your playmaker. Simples

  • TA, thanks for the post. It’s about the only thing we can happily do now …. dream. I must say it looks like a dream that would come true from all the noises around.

    Sanchez, Theo out plus Coq. Auba and Mkhit in. With Lacaz and Auba, I suspect OG would opt out. I hear there is talk with Dortmond.

    With 3 at the back, 2 wingbacks and 2 strikers we are left with 3 midfielders. Which two would drop as starters from this bunch; Xhak, Rambo, Wilsh, Ozil,and Mkhit? Exactly why I believe we would revert to the back 4 which utilizes more midfielders.

    Kola as a DM doesn’t do it for me. His passing stats are poor for that role (remember le Coq). If l have to convert I’d prefer Nacho there. I see Kola more as a traditional winger/wingback.

    The absence of a real DM remains our Achilles heel. To me, AMN is yet too inexperienced for that all important role. So we would likely continue with defensively poor Xhaka there but compensate with one more body in the MF. Therefore 4:3:3 (4:3:1:2 or 4:3:2:1) for me. Dreams!!!!

  • Hi TA.. Hi all..
    Wenger just won’t play 3-5-2 scheme.. He could did it with our team.. With Sanchez-Lacazette and Ozil in the middle.. But he did not.

    So, I think he will stick with 3-4-2-1.
    Let’s hope Ozil stay, for we will sell Sanchez, Walcott and Giroud.. A very un-wenger.. Hehehe..

    So, Miki for Sanchez.. Giroud for Aubemeyang.. Walcott for 20M.. Hehehe..
    Sound nice.. Although I still hope for Zaha and Mahrez.. A proven ones..

    This week will be full of rumors.. Hehehe.

  • If we get either Mkhitaryan or Auba I would be contented. If we get Auba and Mkhi scuppers the move it would be nice for Alexis to stay and fight for the team.

    Jw1, I understand where you are coming from, as they are both former teammates at Dortmund. However, I do not think that we can afford both at the same time, and it does not seem that Mkhi want to come to Arsenal at all.

  • PE, his passing is okay but Kola’s natural aggression, physicality and thrust would be big weapons in midfield… we’d leave the fancy passing to the other mids 😀

  • You are a fascination killer, HeheheheHenry 🤥 Wenger’s preferences are not a given anyway and, in my opinion, he already has been playing with two up front i.e. Sanchez and Laca..

  • I love your positivity TA but unless the manager has clear and PRAGMATIC vision of:
    – how the team are going to regularly create clear goal scoring opportunities
    – how the team are going to recover possession from the opposition
    – how to accentuate the strengths of each player in the team and mitigate their individual weaknesses
    the quality of the on field performances is going to be poor, irrespective of what players the manager recruits or sells.

    Unfortunately Wenger’s no longer has that clear and pragmatic vision, is to egotistical to admit it and gracefully exit and Arsenal’s executive are too gutless to bring this train wreck to an end.

    As an aside I like your idea of Kolasinac as a defensive midfielder in a system which attempts to stretch the game vertically and encourages quick transitions from defence to attack. I think his tackling and interceptions skills, combined with his direct and high energy dribbling skills, would compliment that system nicely. That said, I don’t think he would have the opportunity to effectively utilise his dribbling skills from central midfield position in Wenger’s ultra cautious, possession focuses attacking approach as the game is frequently squeezed into the opposition’s defensive third and there is very limited space to operate.

    Klopp would love him though and he would fit Klopp’s system perfectly.

  • PE–
    Arsenal can’t NOT afford them– with funny money amounts the norm. Much more sense to buy them in tandem, than to risk fitting an unknown pairing. In an era now– when a club errs on a big buy– it could cripple for a year, or years (Roberto Soldado anyone? :roll:).

    A known equation to solve several problems.


  • Amazed at the negativity surrounding Jack Wilshere when reading comments on other sites.

    I mean what has he done wrong?

    He was overplayed by Wenger when he was a teenager, suffered numerous injuries, said he wants to stay at the club – are you taking note Mesut, Alexis, Robin, Samir, Cesc, Gael, Bacary, Nicolas, et al, and yet seems to generate some real hate.

    It mystifies me?

  • Cheers Waldo, I reckon Arsene’s teams do best when we dominate midfield. I see Kolasinac in a Gilberto sort of role and Rambo in a Viera sort of role, with three Fabregases around them as per above.

  • Well, Theo to Everton is done. That’s No. 3 on your list checked then, TA.

    Good luck to the man. Been a good servant, but best for all parties that he goes to pastures new, with Allardyce bound to bring out his best form….hopefully. I have to check the date we get to meet Everton in the reverse (very soon, I recall)….

  • Good news if the money is reinvested/ he is being replaced. Bring back Perez or Campbell would do for me.

    All the best, Theo. Shame to have to sell you in your best years, after 12 years of service, but it’s best for both parties.

  • Yes, good luck to Theo for the future. He’s been a good and pretty loyal player for us. He never quite fulfilled his promise sadly. I hope he has good fortune with Everton, if not against us.

    Quite a sale going on at the moment. I can’t object to the choices being made in all honesty. Will we find better players to bring in than those going out? My fingers are crossed, but we won’t find many. But we have to give it a try.

  • Yeah, TA. Close game considering it was the EPL champions vs a club, 13th in the championship. To think the6 had two players sent off (second yellows) in part for diving. Penalties are always a lottery and Chelsea just nicked it.

  • “As you said – you’re well informed – it’s now in the next 24 to 48 hours that it will happen or not.”

    (on if Mkhitaryan would come the other way in any deal…)
    “That is my understanding, yes.”

    ~Wenger on Sanchez/Mkhitaryan deal, at press conference, dated today.


  • Just read a transcript of the manager’s presser today and find him uncharacteristically open about transfer matters. For one who is usually coy and obviously with preference for confidentiality about deals, he was a lot more forthcoming with the Alexis-Mhkitaryan situation; even about Malcolm, Aubameyang and Johnny Evans.

    on the latest on Alexis to Man Utd….

    That is a story where you are well-documented in the media. I have not a lot to add to that. It can happen, it can as well not happen.

    on if it’s still at that ‘maybe, maybe not’ stage.

    Yes, that stage.

    on if Alexis could play for Arsenal again…

    Yes, of course. If it doesn’t happen, he will play on Saturday.

    on how likely the transfer is to happen in the next 24 hours…

    I’ve worked on transfers for 30 years, so it is likely to happen. But at any moment, at any minute, things can break down. That’s how the transfer market is. As long as it’s not over the line, you have to accept that it can as well not happen. These kind of things are never guaranteed.

    on if Mkhitaryan would come the other way in any deal…

    That is my understanding, yes.

    on if he likes Mkhitaryan …

    Yes, of course. If it’s a possibility, it’s because I like the player.

    on Mkhitaryan liking Arsenal…

    Yes, we played many times against him when he was at Dortmund. He certainly appreciated the quality of our game and the way we play football. That’s why certainly he loves the club as well.

    on if wages would be an obstacle…

    No, the wages would not be a problem.

    on if Mkhitaryan would be an Alexis replacement…

    Look, this would be an exchange of players, and I think one would replace the other. Are we still on the transfer market after that? Yes.

    on whether he regrets not selling Alexis in the summer…

    Look, the problem was exactly similar to what it is today. I only accept to let him go if somebody else comes in for him and it was not possible in the summer. I would have done it, but it was not possible as it happened very late on the last day of the transfer market and that’s why it didn’t happen. Overall, if it happens now it is because somebody else comes in for him.

    on reports of Alexis receiving a big wages at Manchester United…

    I wouldn’t like to comment on the numbers because that’s Manchester United’s problem. If they want to come out with the numbers they’ve offered to Sanchez… I respect Manchester United because they generate the money they pay to the players from their own resources. You have to respect that. After that, it’s down to them to know how much they want to give to the player. Overall, Manchester United is a club that is very well managed financially and on the pitch as well. That’s why I don’t have any problems with the money they pay.

    on whether it will skew the transfer market and wages other clubs pay…

    Modern football has created a kind of game where the best players in the game are grouped to a various small number of clubs. That makes football less unpredictable and much more predictable. I would say the gap in financial resources between the biggest clubs and the smaller clubs has increased tremendously in the last five years.

    on whether Alexis’ decision comes down to money…

    No because they are professional players. I have no problem with Alexis Sanchez. His attitude has been outstanding with us. He was in training yesterday, fully committed and prepared 100 per cent. One thing you cannot question about Alexis Sanchez is his professionalism and his commitment. After that, he’s 29 years old and the next contract will of course be very important for him.

  • Okay, jw1; I guess I went with a longer form (nearly 17ht standard length of post now 🤣 ). There was a lot more too.

    What strikes me is how open he’s suddenly become, almost like he is exasperated or has even given up on trying to keep too much from the press since they “are well informed” these days, anyway. Malcolm is a long way off and may not happen while Aubameyang could be close.

    Will just those 2 do for the window or will we be getting defensive cover? Koscielny and Monreal will be in contention for Saturday, so does that put paid to the need for a new CB? Is Cech the man to take us through the rest of the season or do we need to get us a younger, better keeper?

  • Eris, if the media ask him about Auba he will go back to giving his standard answer.

    Wenger only spoke out as it is all over the media so there is nothing to hide. The media was questioning about will Mkhi or will he not will be crushed by what Wenger said, so it is just a matter of time before both clubs announce the player swap.

    For me, Mkhi is in Rosicky mould, a player that creates and works hard. We need that kind of player, as we only have Rambo and Jacko creating chances.

  • So.. It’s almost done.. Or it’s already done.. 30M+Mhkitaryan for 6 months left Sanchez.. Is it great deal..??
    But on the other hand we offer 30M + Giroud for Aubemeyang.. Will it be our worst deal..??

    3 strikes out.. Only 2 in.. Will it mean Perez coming back..??

  • HenryC it could all depend on our salary situation as we have to balance our wages books to stay within the strange Premier League rules about income and expenditure which we were quite close to breaching in the last transfer window, so I understand.

    It’s all quite like a circus, when the one shining light of a club that attempts to be self sustaining and stick to some kind of FFP, is under threat of sanctions whilst Man City and Chelsea just flout every rule you can think of.

    As we say down the Ball Pond Road, “It’s all bollocks mate”….

  • PEA and Mkhitaryan is just the start– to get us through to Summer.
    If by chance Mavrapanos gives us a ‘Holding-style’ debut? We could be better defensively till Summer too. The prize right now is creating an optimistic environment after the (hopefully both) arrivals this TW.

    As for Wenger being chatty? If it’s Sanllehi giving AW the news– perhaps he no longer feels compelled to muster obfuscation for the press gaggle.

    Rather refreshing, yes?


  • Kev–
    TBH? Both Chelsea (who did most all their transgressing pre-FFP) and City (who did it during the run-up to FFP, was fined, then refunded the fine) have found the loopholes. Arsenal, unfortunately were stuck in a self-imposed austerity era– to find that just as they exited it– somebody changed reality. And it has taken the better part of 5 years to undo the missteps first taken back then.


  • “As for Wenger being chatty? If it’s Sanllehi giving AW the news– perhaps he no longer feels compelled to muster obfuscation for the press gaggle.
    Rather refreshing, yes?”- jw1.

    Precisely, my line of reasoning. His control of “things” isn’t what it was and he is adapting.

    JK, he was asked about Auba and he was rather open with that too. Clearly, we are on the case.

  • Just wondering.. If we add another barter.. Welbeck with Zaha for 15-20M.. Hehehe..

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