Luiz to Get Three New Mates |Saka, Nelson or Martinelli |Happiness is Martinez?

So the last few cup games have given us a good opportunity to assess the whole squad, and only one conclusion can be pulled: Emery has a full and comprehensive toolkit at his disposal.

Auba and Mesut

A few pertinent questions to my fine fellow Bloggers (and new readers today) on BK:

In defence we have double cover in all areas now that Holding, Bellerin and Tierney are available. You have got to ask yourself, who will be playing in the first team in the games that really matter? Luiz is our leader but we know he is prone to a mistake or two in a game. Big Sok and Kola don’t seem the men to cover for this as there has been little cohesion between the three of them this season. But imagine Luiz with Holding, Bellerin/Chambers and Tierney and we could be entering a more stable arrangement at the back.

Question to you: who would you play against Manchester United assuming all are fit to start?

In midfield we have the emergence of both Willock and Guendouzi and Torreira has had a number of very strong performances. Xhaka divides opinion and everybody on BK knows what I think of our midfield conductor: combine him with the right players and play him deep and he (and Arsenal) will shine; get this wrong and he (and Arsenal) will suffer. Emery knows he cannot do without him (highest number of passes in the team with high accuracy levels) but he doesn’t offer him the right levels of support in midfield. As many have said on BK, Xhaka and Guendouzi are not to be combined, at least not in the ‘DM-pivot’. For me it is a no-brainer that Xhaka-Torreira in front of the back four is our best option. In the hole I would mostly play the king of the key pass, Ozil, but Guendouzi, Ceballos and Willock have also something to offer: a big engine and more support to defensive midfielders. There are options now, and some argue that either Chambers or Luiz should be played in midfield rather than at the back….

My question to you: what is your favourite combo of midfielders?

Whilst Pepe has yet to reach the high levels of expectations we have for him, the nicest surprise of the season is the emergence of a left winger from our own ranks: both Nelson and especially Saka have had strong performances for us and are making it hard to be left out. And then there was the braze-scoring performance by Martinelli on Tuesday.

My question to you: who of these three would you play against MU, given that Laca will still be out?

Finally, many have been remarking on the Happinez they get from Martinez…

My question to you: should he replace Leno?

So let’s be having you! πŸ™‚

By TotalArsenal

22 thoughts on “Luiz to Get Three New Mates |Saka, Nelson or Martinelli |Happiness is Martinez?

  • Given that post Watford and Villa games, the players have brought it to the public domain “We have decided to ignore the Boss and will not play from the back as the boss has ruled and we will play as we think is necessary and play long when required” And this was also confirmed by Unai Emery himself, sfter the thrashing Nottingham Forrest were given by the boys. Emery; “I gave instructions but they ignored me and played their own game”

    Guess what? following and sticking to Emery’s instructions, the boys conceded a 2 goal lead to Watford and were losing to Villa until the Boys ignored Emery Instructions and scraped 3 – 2 win.

    Getting back to the “Midfield Combo”; Xhaka for all his passing accuracy is also prone to making mistakes and taken with the fact that he is as fast as a “Sloath” and kills any attempts at quick One touch Passing and fast High Press Attacks ! This also applies to the Β£350k per week Player Ozil. who is well known in the football world “Has Any One Seen Mesut Ozil” because Ozil more often than not “goes missing”

    The Arsenal back four needs a proper kosher “Defensive/Holding/Distributive Midfielder And a Defensive Minded Attacking Distributive Midfielder” Both who are Energetic & Sharp of Football Mind; These required qualities Rules Out Xhaka. Ceballos has these qualities of a” Nos.6&8″ in abundance as was exhibited against Burnley game, where he won the MOM. Torreira is the ideal Holding Defensive Midfielder who is the nearest Arsenal have to Chelsea’s NGolo Kante(who is well known as Two players in One).

    It is time the “Tinker Man” Unai Emery was Sacked as he[Emery] is the malignant tumour which is Killing Arsenal as Emery single handedly killed Arsenal from achieving “Top 4” last season and will do the same again this season.

  • Omar,
    That is an interesting comment, I have not read any articles or seen any accounts of the players ignoring Emery’s instructions – however the changes we all witnessed in the last 20/25 minutes of the Villa game and the game against (an admittedly) weak Nottingham side was an absolute joy!
    If that means that the players do it their way then so be it……………..

  • No one expects the inquisition! 😨

    So then TA? Is this piece asking what I prefer? Or what I expect from UE?
    Cuz’ I just can’t figure Emery out. Like, any way the wind blows– he goes.
    Today? Read that Unai Emery is allowing the squad to vote for team captain(s).

    This is not a good sign IMO. I’ve stated my view that the players have been/begun tuning him out. Now, this ploy. Using vote-for-captain as a fashion of him trying to reel them back in. In reality, it’s a giving over of his control; his leadership. He’s taking his hand off the tiller. If we had one born-to-lead persona on this team– this would never have occurred. Unai Emery is abdicating his power.

    Time for Raul to assert himself.


    OK. Need to brief. Work beckons.

    Chambers – Holding – Luiz – Tierney
    Ceballos – Torreira – Guendouzi
    Pepe – Auba



  • TA, good post. Very relevant to the flux in the minds of many. Against Man U at away I’d go with a 4:3:3

    RIGHT BACK … Chambers (am not abiding by your terms as Bellerin is ruled out against Man U).
    LEFT BACK ….. Tierney without doubt.

    CENTRAL DEFENSE …… Sokratis is out of it for me. He’s been acting too animated for my liking. Holding is my 1st name here. Luiz would have been the other name but I have something else in store for him. Between Mavro and Musti, I’d choose the latter. Yes. Musti!

    MIDFIELD-3 …. needs well rounded players. Here is how I grade them:

    Xhaka ————– 70% —————– 40% ——-
    Guend ————– 75% —————– 35% ——
    Torreira ————- 60% —————– 60% ——
    Willock ————– 65% —————– 55% —–
    Luiz —————— 70% —————– 70% —–

    Luiz is my 1st choice plus any two of the other 4 depending on the balance that Emery wants.

    TWO INSIDE FORWARDS ….. Pepe and Ceballos

    STRIKER …. undisputedly Aubamayang.

    Line up against Man U:


    I particularly like that midfield 3. They are all creative in different ways and Luiz presence would provide that extra defensive protection for the back line that we have sorely missed. He has phisical presence, good in the air, and knows about the dark arts (a reason on its own why he should be moved out of the CD role). The midfield 3 could as well be Torreira – Luiz- Xhaka or any other Luiz-combination-2 (LC2).

  • Nice post TA,

    Even though I’m next to useless at picking a team I believe that against (a wounded) Man U we need to have a solid mid- field along with a creative player.

    Although it is early days for Tierney I do feel it will be a great opportunity for him to prove his worth,

    My team would look like this——–

    But the again I’m useless at this……………

  • Nice (and provoking) post TA,

    It is indeed a fascinating topic.
    I have my opinion, but not a single answer – more like a situational approach.
    So eventually I will propose 3+1 different line-ups, but before that my take on the key questions are as follows:

    1) Leno vs. Martinez
    While I believe that Martinez is probably the most underrated goalkeeper on the planet (his TransferMarkt value has only recently been upgraded from 900k to 3,1M), and he is especially great at anticipation of crosses, I am amazed by the reflexes of Leno. Thus albeit being happy for such competition for the No 1 shirt, I would prefer Leno as the primary goalkeeper.

    2) Best defense partnership
    A month ago I would give you the answer of Sokratis-Luiz, as they are the most experienced, and also we need them to mentor our young English core, so let’s utilize them while they’re still available. Since then I changed my mind and I would go for mixing maturity with youthful enthusiasm (and invite individual mistakes of different nature). My main pairing would be Luiz and Holding, as they are complement each other far better than Luiz and Chambers who are both strong in passing and weaker in aerial duels.

    3) Midfield engine
    As TA summed up – and explained – perfectly, out best duo are Xhaka + Torreira. Based on skills, competencies and last season data alike. Depending on the opponent and tactics they can be supported with a box-to-box midfielder like Ceballos/Willock, or rather add a key pass machine like Ozil (or even Mkhi on rainy days). I admit I would keep Guendouzi on the bench; he is often wasteful, but his exuberance can be a valuable addition in the later stage of the game.

    4) Attack (as the best defense)
    When everybody is fit I would field the Aubameyang-Lacazette-Pepe trident, who are already quite lethal, but could be downright unstoppable when supported by Ozil (OPAL) or Ceballos (CLAP). If we don’t have Lacazette in the lone striker role we can try the Nelson-Auba-Pepe trio (with the healthy option to substitute Reiss with Saka or Martinelli), or we can play Auba and Pepe as 2 center forwards, thus switch to a 4-4-2 formation. (We did it against Liverpool, which didn’t turn out to be a success story, but visiting Anfield was never promising anyway.)

    So here are my preferred line-ups.
    4-3-3 attacking (best team available on general purpose):
    Bellerin – Holding – Luiz – Tierney

    5-2-3 (or 5-4-1) counter-attacking:
    —- Chambers – Holding – Luiz ——

    4-4-2 central:
    Bellerin – Holding – Luiz – Tierney

    Preferred (4-3-3) line-up for cup fixtures:
    Chambers – Mustafi – Sokratis – Kola

  • This is nicest one,when we always smell something fragrant,everything may left us confused.
    That is good for us to see our teenage young players playing perfectly,because they want to prove their ways of play to first team and help us and this can make us jump from place to place by thinking who should be replaced by who?
    So for us ARSENAL fans like me,each of us got choice to make it if one of us was ARSENAL manager.
    As we can start in every position,no need to discuss at GOALKEEPING position as we know MARTINEZ look like someone brave,but we have someone special on our squad that can make everything straight but it was just a matter of defence making him hard to understand his work and that’s LENO i can put infront of the high bars with white net.
    Ok well we come to defence,it is simple and hard to do this.
    As that was shortage of our defenders that made couch plays some people who are insane,UNAI EMERY should have simply used CHULOM CHAMBERS instead of SOKRATS.

  • pb …. that is the point. A thousand and one combinations present themselves depending on so many things.

    For example against an intense high pressing team, a better pair outside of Holding and Luiz can’t be found.

    Against a team not given to gengen pressing I’d move Luiz to the midfield and pair Holding with one of Chambers, Mustafi or Sokratis. I want us to remain committed to playing out from the back off course mixing it up intelligently.

    RB and LB are nailed … Bellerin and Tierney.

    Match at home against bottom half OPAL or CLAP
    Away against bottom half one of the PALs on the bench
    Ditto home against top half.

    Am a midfield man. That’s where tinkering for balance should be initiated with the ripples affecting other places.

  • Some fine comments already! Nobody will be surprised that I am most aligned with Pb’s thinking and especially his first two line-ups are pretty perfect to me. More later. πŸ™‚

  • “assuming all are fit to start” …
    i’ve had 3-4-1-2 on my mind since tuesday: we obviously have two roadrunners on the wings, who’ll soon turn their opponents in as many wile e. coyotes, we have to unleash and … protect them, hence the choice of a back 3
    without lucas the mortar in our engine room, our creators are just loose bricks, and by his side i keep prefering “rambo-redux” joe to “reactive” matteo.
    upfront, laca-auba are arsΓ¨ne’s last gift to the red and white cause – one of his brightest
    lastly, who else but mesut to conduct such an orchestra?
    i do pity poor ue, and whatever makes him hate our german wizard’s genius
    anyway, here we go:
    which would leave us a “diamond midfield” XI for cup games:
    ceballos (smithrowe)
    pΓ©pΓ© (saka)-martinelli (nelson)
    what a brilliant squad we have, can’t help thinking what AW would have done with it …

  • PE, nice one to rate the midfielders with and without the ball. I don’t really agree with the ratings but that is an interesting midfield nevertheless. Luiz in midfield is a black box for me and I am not sure he would be anywhere near as good as conducting the midfield game as Xhaka, but why not try it out?

  • That is a nice 3-4-3, GN5. Pepe might be limited without a FB behind him, but I like the midfield of Xhaka-Torreira and WIllock. Those three would make us so much stronger in midfield, at least from a defensive point of view. Any game we would play with them in midfield I would feel positive from the start..

  • Pb, this is very close to my line up against any team, including next Monday’s:

    4-3-3 attacking (best team available on general purpose):
    Bellerin – Holding – Luiz – Tierney

    I would probably sacrifice either Auba or Laca and play a midfield of Torreira, Xhaka and Willock, and then Ozil ‘on the wing’ in a free role. Torreira and Willock can support the attack when possible.

  • Great post and comments. I think Leno is badly underappreciated. What our swashbuckling center halves do to leave him in dicey situations is as irresponsible as any defense in the league. For this, I blame Emery, he’s had plenty of time to address it. It almost makes me wish for a Mourinho type coach. Add to it that he has Torreira straying much farther forward than is his specialty, which is winning the ball and shielding the defense. Btw, I never wanted Luiz. Of all defenders that I know, he would have been one of my last choices.

    I pray for the continuing health of Rob Holding. Even with all of our attacking talent, he should be the first name on the team sheet, because of the poor coaching and wild defending. I like many of us, have loved Guendouzi from day 1, and he keeps proving us right. Always driving forward. I wish Pepe would dance into the box aggressively the same way.
    Very early with Tierney, but was especially impressed with his passing.

  • High praise for Guendouzi, JohnnieNYC, πŸ™‚

    There is talent, especially going forward with the ball, but ‘dance into the box aggressively’ is not something I associate with him as yet.. Pepe on the other hand bursts with talent but he is still finding his feet whilst carrying a bag with Β£72m on his fine shoulders..

  • Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has named midfielder Granit Xhaka as the club’s new permanent captain, replacing Laurent Koscielny, who left for Bordeaux in the summer.

    Emery told the squad of his decision on Friday, after consulting with players.

    The Switzerland international, 27, has led the side in six of their eight games in all competitions this season.

    Arsenal’s next game is away to Manchester United in the Premier League on Monday.

    Emery is still deliberating over a vice-captain, with forwards Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang understood to be the leading contenders.

  • Unai Emry should stop the mentality of despising small teams coz premier league is tougher. You must bring your best team to get a good result in first half like mancity thrashed Watford 8-0. If I were the head coach there is no way I could loan Mykie, and bench Ozil. Instead I wud combine the 2 with Auba in left attack, lacazette central striking and pepe on right and I wud bring only Torreira or Luiz in that defensive midfield. Holding, chambers, Tierney and Niles would make my back four in a 4 – 5- 1 formation.

    Why the hell is he benching Ozil? What does he have against him? Ozil is master class key passer and he can’t be compared to anyone in the premier league. Its Kevin debryn that is close to him.
    I hate it wen I see him struggle to get his first eleven with yet better players are left on the bench and he trusts these young players in tricky games. Xaka is very slow, mounts pressure on him self wen we have lost the ball and he can’t make wise decisions in the midfield. I don’t see why he was given such a key role.

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