Will WXR in Midfield and LAM – Laca/Auba/Mkhi – Up-Front Finally Give us a Win?


It’s proving difficult writing this piece. The season has gone completely flat to me and to a majority of the fans. We are in need of some spark in activity such as an announcement on a new manager or real signs that we are after some exciting players. At the moment it all feels very much like a funeral march in poor weather, well, that’s until one begins a critical valuation of our situation.

In Lacazette, Aubamayang, and Mkhitaryan (LAM) we have one of the deadliest front trios in Europe. Unluckily for us, the trio have hardly played together since the latter two joined us in the January window. Injuries to Lacazette and then to Mkhitaryan plus Auba’s ineligibility in the Europa League prevented a more regular appearance of them together. Against Burnley, where the three started, they were devastating. They lived up to their hype which aught to have signalled to all that our overall performance this season is far from a reflection of the quality of the team we currently have. With LAM intact, a minimal strengthening of other areas would see us back competing with the very best next season.

Huddersfield is our last match of this campaign and in my opinion using the LAM again is an opportunity to confirm not only their potency as a combo but also their positive effect on the team as a whole. That serves as part of intelligence gathering that would help shape our moves this summer window. Apart from this, LAM need to play because we do not want to end this season with the unenviable stat of being unable to collect a single away point in 2018. It would stink forever. Therefore, it should be demanded that our strongest available team be fielded plus a strong bench.

Wilshere played well the last time and should have another chance to play himself into the England World Cup squad. Iwobi excites me from the deeper midfield role, but I would be keen to see how Ramsey’s box runs fit into the box trusts of LAM.

No match is irrelevant. There is a tiny invisible cup that is won or lost in every match, particularly if it is one that would enter an important record book. Our away fans will be there at the John Smith’s Stadium and millions all over the world will be watching on television, listening to the radio. Even those on the more negative end of the spectrum will notice some eagerness in themselves as they await the result. All should be respected. The truth is we want a win.

Expected team to start:-


Bellerin    Mustafi    Holding    Monreal

     Ramsey        Xhaka        Wilshere

           Mkhitaryan     Aubamayang

BENCH:- Ospina, Chambers, M-Niles, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Nelson, Welbeck.

We need LAM induced intoxication up-front and WXR battling in midfield. That would kill off a few days of tedium waiting for the club’s big move.

By PE.

36 thoughts on “Will WXR in Midfield and LAM – Laca/Auba/Mkhi – Up-Front Finally Give us a Win?

  • PE, how do you do it? Thanks again for a match preview in these inconsequential times for our team. But you are right, there is always a little victory to be achieved and it would be great if we finally win an away game in 2018 in the PL. I like the line-up a lot and let’s hope for a good game.

  • Line up:-

    Bels Musti. Holdn Kola
    Iwobi Elneny. Ramsey
    Mkhi Auba

  • ?you are reading from a different source to me there PE. I’ve read Jack and Xhaka in the mid, not Iwobi or Elneny

  • Now not sure if it’s Jack or Iwobi. I like your selection in the midfield.

  • Xhaka foe Elneny!! (Sorry Guardian initial error).

    Line up

    Bels Musti Holdn Kola
    Iwobi Xhaka Ramsey
    Mkhi, Auba

  • Jack not even on the bench. Injury or fall out I wonder. We have a team there that is more than capable of winning, and doing so in some style. Fingers crossed for a happy final day.

  • It’s a strong eleven. I hope the last hurrah would include a victory for Wenger’s team.

  • TA, one in the post for you, for next week sometime, when it’s quiet?

  • Let me help with the “rest” of the team sheet:

    Lossl, Kongolo, Hogg, Mooy, Lowe, Pritvhard, Ince, Mounie, Zanka, Schindler, Hadergjonaj.
    Subs: Smith, Whitehead, Billing, Sabiri, Coleman, Depoitre, Stankovic

    Subs: Mertesacker, Monreal, Welbeck, Maitland-Niles, Macey, Nketiah, Willock.

  • Good preview PE, pleased to see Holding playing again.

    Starting XI: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Lacazette

    Subs: Macey, Maitland-Niles, Mertesacker, Monreal, Willock, Welbeck, Nketiah

  • After that draw at Stamford Bridge and with the knowledge of our wretched away form this season, Huddersfield are encouraged to press us high. They have had the better early chances while we still look lethargic, like we need to concede to be stung into some reaction. We are just not in the game and the hosts have been first to everything at this point.

    One good move and Im sure we’ll send the hosts a message. They’ve been nice with their serenading of Wenger and some fly by kite thing.

  • It is frustrating when you see professional footballers making silly errors and being unable to face up to the physical challenge. Pockets being picked, players being allowed the wrong side of our defence and Ramsey just not showing quality in his passing, so far. To be honest, Ramsey has been a liability here, so far. He has to be doing better if he’s thinking of staying on as the main man.

  • And as I type, he has hit a difficult volley (he’s capable of it, mind) into Row Z.

  • There’s a suggestion Elneny was to start and Xhaka only got to know he would be starting, minutes before kic-off.
    We are gradually getting into things now. I shall pause now; I may have to go on some errands at some point.

  • A mate of mine still isn’t convinced about him for just that reason. Refers to him as a player who only does anything useful (read, comes alive) when inside the box.

    I’m having trouble letting him see that in itself takes skill and good judgment.

  • It takes exceptional awáreness, exceptional quick reaction time and lightening body response.

  • Some interesting tidbits culled from the club’s website:

    All the stats from Arsène’s incredible reign

    * The manager’s final playing record is – Played: 1,235 Won: 716 Drawn: 266 Lost: 253. Overall win percentage: 58%.

    * Arsenal scored 2,298 goals and conceded 1,227 (goal difference +1,071).

    * This was Arsenal’s 1,000th Premier League game, of which 828 came under Wenger.

    * Arsène used 222 players, of which 200 made their debut under the boss.

    * Patrick Vieira made the most appearances (402).

    * Those players came from 53 different countries.

    * 117 players scored for the boss – Thierry Henry led the way with 228.

    * The most common scoreline was 2-1 and 1-1, recorded 127 times each.

    * The team he played against most often was Chelsea (62) and the most wins (32) and most goals (103) came against Everton.

    * He won 17 honours including Community Shields, and 15 Premier League Manager of the Month awards.

    * He was in charge for a total of 7,895 days.

  • Touch of class from the Huddersfield team and supporters. 3 times during the match (before kickoff, on the 22nd minute and after the final whistle) the fans from both clubs celebrated Arsene.

    We had some nervy moments ourselves, and would have been behind after a blistering opening quarter, but in the end my MoTM Ospina saved well in point blank circumstances.

    Now for the moment when the team announces Newman.

  • End of an era today (yesterday) we won’t see his kind again, even at a club like Arsenal.
    Nice touch by Huddersfield who presented Arsene with a football shirt, half Arsenal half Huddersfield, with the number of games he’s been manager of on the back.

    I would say that Arsenal have had 6 great mangers – Bertie Mee (1), Tom Whittaker (2), George Allison (2), George Graham (2), Herbert Chapman (2) and Arsene Wenger (3). 1933/34 season when Arsenal won their 3rd title, Chapman died halfway through and his assistant continued managing the team up to the seasons end, so you could argue that Chapman won 3 league titles…

  • Kev, Chapman is on par with Wenger. Chapman also managed Huddersfield so it is very nice of them to show such a great respect for Wenger.

    It seems weird that we will have a new manager next season, maybe because of the long years with Wenger, and although fans are craving for a new manager, they will also find it weird that we are helmed not by Wenger anymore next season. We had so many ups and downs with him to the extent that it seemed not right without him.

    I hope that when the lads come to Singapore for the International Champions Cup in End July, we will have a stable manager (or head coach), and a couple of new additions to top it off.

  • With relative opprobriate irreverence–
    this pretty much encapsulates 22 years– as if it were ‘a night-on-the-town’:


  • I think we will get a young manager who is going to be a relatively undewhelming solution in terms of reputation. My money would be on Mikel Arteta or Julian Nagelsmann, with Rui Faria being also a possible solution.

    Klopp lost his No. 2 (Buvač), Mourinho parted ways with his No. 2 (Rui Faria) and now Pep Guardiola might lose his No. 2 as well.

  • I think we’ll get a (young or aspiring) manager who is prepared to work to a tight budget, who is focused solely on coaching, preparation and tactics, will give youth a chance and is happy to leave player contracts, player acquisition and salary to the Three Degrees, Jardim could be that man or Arteta, but I’m not confident anymore that it’ll be Allegri…

  • Hi all..

    It’s between Arteta or an experience and expensive Manager.. Which must agree with the tight budget.. Hehehe..

    And it’s look like Allegri will stay at Juventus..
    So the chance for Arteta to be our next Manager is become stronger.. Hehehe..

  • Tough job at times being a raving-heretic (particularly the stake-burning parts 😦 ).
    Granted, Mikel Arteta hasn’t been announced. And still might not be– our ‘Newman’.

    But I’d made mention of that very possibility in January, IIRC. Same time, predicted Arsene would announce his resignation (by April 27th). Yeah. Was a week off on that one.
    At the time, most dismissed both ideas without second thought.

    No, not clairvoyant.
    But a heightened sense of one trait– pattern recognition.
    Having been exposed– to what seems likely to have been going on behind the scenes at this club– for the past 3-4 years? And seeing it come to fruition elsewhere? Only means I’ve paid enough attention– to voice these ideas now as valid opinions. Nothing more– or less.

    Though my ‘Magic 8-Ball’ sez: Good chance for a positive outcome!


  • The PL has confirmed falling in line with the FIFA transfer window timeframe.
    Meaning the Summer window opens this Thursday May 17th– and closes — prior to start of next season (on Sat 8/11).

    Makes it more likely an announcement of Arsenal’s Newman won’t be long now.


  • Hi all..
    Rumour said that it’s done for 22M and we will have Bernd Leo for our new GK next season.. With Ospina going to Boca Junior..
    I wonder what will happen to Cech and Martinez..??

  • Colin Lewin following Primorac, Banfield, Colbert, Johnson and Peyton out the door at London Colney, with the rest of the medical staff having to reapply for their jobs, only Shad Forsyth is safe as Burgess shows his ruthless side.

    The Times They Are a Changing…

  • @allezkev It seems to me that Arteta is the man, precisely for the reasons you have mentioned. Big managers rarely take a step down, going from a relatively easy job to the more demanding one. That’s why Mourinho or Guardiola would never take over at, say, Southampton and risk damaging their own reputation as managers who guarantee trophies.

    Allegri works at the best organized maf…sorry, football club in Italy. Juventus had spent a year in Serie B for match-fixing, had to sell their best players (Cannavaro, Thuram, Zambrotta, Vieira, Ibrahimović) before returning to Serie A. Then they had spent four years building their ladders to the top and once they came up, they have never looked down. You see, whilst Juventus had/have been working with the refs, they have also been the club who had/have had the best transfer policy in Italy. They know how to replace their departing stars and, more importantly, WHEN to do so. There are enough examples in the last 25 years to write a book on it, starting with sale of Roberto Baggio so that Alessandro Del Piero can lead the show.

    Now, imagine Allegri, who has won a domestic double four times in a row and reached two CL finals in the last four years, all that while losing quite a few best players (PP, Pirlo, King Arturo, Carlitos Tevez, Leo Bonucci), coming to Arsenal, sixth-placed team with a team that sorely miss quality in three or four key positions and that finished 37 points behind the champions? No, I don’t think so. Also, Allegri would be pretty much incompatible with our prefered playing style. Even if he came to Arsenal and arranged our team by his wishes, we’d see a lot of 1-0 to the Arsenal victories (which would be an improvement to the last season 1-2 to the opponents routine though).

    That leaves with a candidate who can’t be so picky yet a candidate who has a world-class potential. Not to many options are out there and Arteta seems to be the one.

  • Looks like we are in a transfer season for Managers, unlike previous years. And those failings of previous Torture Windows may come back to haunt us again.

    Maybe we can a good manager?

  • Good points Admir and difficult to take issue with any of them.

    You only have to look at Benitez and how his stock has slipped in recent times, not due to his ability but more due to the paucity of support from the owner of the clubs he’s worked for recently.
    He did a good job at Chelsea and to have gotten Newcastle to 10th with a rag-tag squad, is quite amazing, I really rate him.

    Arteta is a perfect fit for us and Arsenal actually have ‘previous’ in this kind of appointment.

    I know we are talking about different eras but the end game is the same.

    George Allison was a director, Tom Whittaker was a trainer/coach, Jack Crayston was a trainer/coach, Billy Wright was an ex-player, Bertie Mee was a Physio, Don Howe was a coach.
    The last time Arsenal gave the managers job to the top man available was Herbert Chapman in 1925, that would be akin to Guardiola getting the Arsenal job now!

    So yeah, Arteta seems the ideal Arsenal choice…

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