Auba Signs: Hopefully Third Time Lucky! Line-Up v Leicester: Big Game for ESR, Nelson and Macey

Well it has finally been confirmed: Auba has signed and will be donning the red and white shirt for at least three more years. If you have not watched it yet, go to and click on the Ian Wright and Auba video. It will cheer up even the most miserable git. Great guy, great captain, great striker, great Gunner! Thank you, Auba.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

It feels like another pivotal moment in the development of Arsenal football club, just as it did when the club successfully negotiated new contracts for Theo Walcott and, after that, Mesut Ozil. We all know how that worked out in terms of the performances of these players, but yet these were important signings for the stature of the club and its attractiveness to new stars. Auba signing will be a big sign to other top players about what Arsenal stands for, but I am also confident that Auba will make a much bigger impact on the pitch after committing the best years of his career to the mighty Gunners. Let’s hope it is third-time-lucky!

Auba offers an intrinsic and passionate commitment to do well for and with the club, and he is excited to work with our young talents and established stars to get Arsenal back to the top again. There is no doubt that Arteta played a big role in convincing PEA to sign a new contract, and had he not done so it would have been a big setback despite all the progress the Spaniard has made since his arrival. SO well done Mikel and the club for making this happen.

I don’t know about you but I couldn’t sleep last night from the excitement of the Auba signing. But that was not the only reason… I also started thinking about our line-up v the Foxes in the League Cup on Tuesday. I know we have a very important PL game to play before then and I am all for OGAAT – one game at a time – but that is a different competition in the end – and I don’t expect many changes to the line-up.

We will do a preview for our Saturday night encounter v the Hammers in a day or two, but I would like to talk about our squad depth by focusing on the team that could play on the league cup at the home of the 2015-16 champions. This could be the line-up:

As you can see above, there are no ‘new’ youngsters in the line-up. The Foxes away is not an easy game, even though they are also likely to rest a few first team players if not the entire first team. But it is also clear that all the above mentioned players, bar Elneny, need to play a meaningful game. I don’t expect Xhaka to play and see Elneny as his most likely and fitting replacement, so my guess is that the Egyptian water-carrier will be rested v the Hammers and Ceballos will get a start then. I also expect AMN to play Saturday night but if not then he will play on Tuesday in one of three positions, and seeing him play in the ‘Xhaka-role’ (unlikely) would be very interesting.

Macey needs to be tested, Kola and Big Sok need to be in the shopping window and our first team CBs need to be rested, Saliba needs another game, ESR and Nelson will be dying for an opportunity to show their progress, and Saka, Eddie, Pepe and Soares are basically first team players or very close to it, so they need to play to gain match fitness. It would be good to see a few youngsters strut their stuff in the second half but only if needed. We may still even see Ozil or Guendo on the pitch..who know?!

This is a great opportunity for all the above players to do the shirt proud. Unfortunately, it will not be televised but no doubt will do live radio commentary. I cannot wait!

By TotalArsenal.

40 thoughts on “Auba Signs: Hopefully Third Time Lucky! Line-Up v Leicester: Big Game for ESR, Nelson and Macey

  • Thanks for the post Total, I’d usually agree with you about the degree of rotation but I wonder if Arteta might just take this game a bit more seriously as he’ll know that the likes of Luiz, Mustafi and Mari with the first two becoming available in by the end of October and Mari by the end of Sept will provide some natural R&R for the guys in situ.

    Depending how things go this weekend I’d be inclined to have Holding in between Saliba and Kolasinac, Rob will want to keep on playing and blow away those doubts over his Arsenal future.
    I can’t see Sokratis being involved at all if I’m honest.

    Same with the midfield, I’d keep on playing Elneny, alongside Xhaka this weekend and then Ceballos on Tuesday, Smith Rowe wouldn’t be able to cope in the double pivot and we’d be vulnerable in front of our defence.

    Another alternative would be reintegrating Guendouzi in a game like this?

    Man City never took the League Cup lightly and they’ve won it the last three years, Arteta is out of that same mould, he wants to win everything and I love that.

    Also Leicester won’t take this lightly, they’ll want to give us a good beating as we’re competitors for the top four and an early psychological blow will be in their favour.

    Up front yeah, that looks a good attack, Eddie, Pepe and Saka.


  • Calum, maybe?
    Don’t know if he’s fully fit again – might need to stretch his legs with the U23s first, anyway
    I’m looking forward to his comeback; he was really good prior to his injury (and as kev pointed out lately, we’re starting to run short of homegrown players)
    Rúnarsson, Emi’s successor (??) is likely be a personal demand from our goalkeeping headcoach, Iñaki Caña Pavon, who raised the lad from a cub in the Danish club Nordsjælland
    It’s hard not to trust Caña, who has done a hell of a job with Bernd/Emi, but recruiting the young Viking wouldn’t improve our situation on ther “homegrown” front – which is also why I find the whole thing all the harsher on Macey
    But then again, as far as goalkeeping is concerned, Iñaki knows, obviously …

  • Competition time!!

    Hi all, as you know GN5 has had computer problems and is currently incommunicado. Last week’s round included two games that were postponed and I need to speak to GN5 as to what we should do with awarding points: a) wait till those two games have been played, or b) forget about them and award points on the four games that were played over the weekend. Extra points will be awarded for the week’s winner as you know, so it is important to get this right. We will get back to you.

    But the next set of games is up and in GN5’s absence I have selected the following games:
    Everton v West Brom
    Southampton v Spuds
    Chelsea v Liverpool
    Aston Villa v Sheffield United
    Wolves v Man City
    Wolfsburg v Bayern 04 Leverkusen

    Please copy and paste games into a comment and then add: H for Home win, A for Away win or D for double Dutch Draw… 🙂

  • Thanks for that background info, Legallosioh. He has got Ars in his name so he must be good. Macey… just not seen enough of him to make a judgement. What is Kevinski’s view?!

  • Morning all.

    I now have a new computer, but it;s the latest technology and it will take me a while to be able to understand both the Libre word and spreadsheets. I had a back up of my hard drive from August 26th so the vast majority of my work has been saved but I’m missing the last two or three weeks including the work I had done on the weekly competition – I’ll sort that out with TA.

    Fantastic news about Auba and sad news about Martinez. I’m quietly excited about our prospects for 2020/21 – it’s good to be a dark horse,

  • TA–
    “what we should do with awarding points: a) wait till those two games have been played…”

    The PL’s Fantasy Premier League uses a double-Matchweek method for the two not played.
    Meaning– wait until they will be played– to make the choices. Not locking those ‘managers’ into a choice made many weeks prior.

    Also wondering if it might be OK with you TA– If I posted a link for BKers to join a private FPL league I have setup (similar to how Shard did with the World Cup)? I’d never tried playing any fantasy sports league previously. Signed up last Friday– took me about 30 minutes to sign-up and figure things out. Really quite a bit of fun. If so, it would start with this week’s Matchweek 2.


  • Thanks TA!

    Starts this Saturday, Sept 19. Believe you can join right on up to an hour before the first match on Saturday. Since everyone else will be starting in Matchweek 2– you’ll have an advantage over me– as I had to select my team prior to Matchweek 1 (my points accrued in the first week won’t count in this private mini-league).
    Here’s the boilerplate info from Fantasy Premier League below.

    2020/21 Fantasy Premier League: Please join my mini-league “Arteta Knows Best”
    Joining the league couldn’t be easier. Simply use the link below and you’ll be added automatically after you’ve entered the game.

    League Code: 2xkb78

    Looking forward to playing against you this season!
    (Can you out-manage the cocky Yank? 😮😁😉⚽)

    Gauntlet thrown…

  • FYI– I pushed back the start of this mini-league to Matchweek 3– to give folks a longer window of opportunity to join!


  • Auba signing did deserve a thread of its own, despite most expressing delight yesterday, on the going thread. Massive, that’s what that signing is. There is no concern that he loses form after signing, as with Theo and Ozil because Auba has ambition and drive. We are in good shape with him, as long as Salah, Vardy and Kane remain hungry for the top scorer gong. Our No. 14 looks like he loves the challenge and allows it push him. Look forward to a string of hat-tricks from him this season.

    As for the likely line up for the league cup game, I feel Arteta’s penchant for going for a win each competition suggests he will put out the strongest side possible, albeit changed out of respect for the game at Anfield. So, I agree he won’t be changing the entire back 3; as a matter of fact, he is likely to play Gabriel and Holding (to help the former settle in and give the two a chance to gel), with Saliba completing the trio and Kola and Soares at wing back, for game time. He may give Xhaka 60 minutes alongside Ceballos, resting Elneny. Starting front 3 looks the likely inclusions.

    Martinez’s departure is such a shame but it is the reasonable option for the club, under the circumstances. For now, he will be No. 1 and Heaton will be expected to push him hard. I would miss his safe hands; has magnets in his gloves and hardly punches wildly. Hopefully, he goes on to do well and fulfill his potential.

  • a couple questions on players that I haven’t seen enough of… Smith-Rowe.. what does the club see as his best position? I liked the little I’ve seen of him. Anyone’s opinion on Macey also? I’ve heard the stats on the Nordic keeper are not good. Hopefully our talent guys know something.

    Our number of central defenders on the books currently is insane. I know we’ve had horrible luck with injuries in the position, but also having some that we can’t unload doesn’t help at all. The reason for this is totally to blame on the club, (Josh?) for the revolving door in the front office positions. Sven, Raul, etc. Lack of continuity means lack of a long term plan, and quick patches turn into long term costs. Hopefully Arteta will improve stability for many years to come…..

    I’ve been consistent in support of Holding, in general, because I remember his quality from before the injury. When he first returned, I I saw him as physically tentative for longer than I expected. Only in the past 5 or 6 times he’s started, I’ve noticed the player from before the injury. Sharpness coming back.

    I also would like us to work in more pressing as a team… at times and in packs, anticipating passes, cutting off outlets….. more like Pep’s teams do. I don’t think it’s as simple as everyone assumes. I hope Mikel is working on it in practice. I was expecting that to be a benefit of his time at Man City. It would be nice to employ more, to give opponents something new to deal with.

  • chambers for big sok would have made sense … but won’t happen, not without calum playing at least a U23 game before that
    I like your lineup, TA, but i can’t see mikel not picking joe, even though to do that he’d probably have to switch to 4-2-3-1, something like:
    it’d be a very strong side imo – and i like its strong hale end flavour very much

  • Interesting views on the line-up, Eris. I’d be surprised if he were to play that many first teamers on Tuesday, but you are good at this. 60 minutes for Xhaka?! Cannot see it.

  • My predictions for game week 2:

    Everton v West Brom. H
    Southampton v Spuds D
    Chelsea v Liverpool. D
    Aston Villa v Sheffield United. H
    Wolves v Man City. A
    Wolfsburg v Bayern 04 Leverkusen. H

  • J, with 3 at the back we need at least six CB types. One or two are likely to leave before the TW shuts, so we should be fine.

    Good points.

    I see ESR as a Ramsey kind of player or a number ten. In our 343 his best position is either on the wing or in central midfield in the ‘Ceballos’ role.

  • ….. good at this? Nah! As a matter of fact, I used to be able to predict Wenger’s picks for most games. With Arteta, he stumps me every time.
    Xhaka, because he is almost undroppable and should start to stabilize things and then go off for his rest, after the first half.

  • Xhaka looked leggy to me on Saturday after two big international games, Erismus. Maybe a week of rest may restore him, though. Still playing v West Ham, Leicester and Pool in a week seems unwise.

  • thanks for the info T.
    I just want to say, I avoid skills youtube videos because i know its not the way judge a player correctly. I just gave in and watched vids of Aouar and Partey. From what i can see, both promising, though theres questions about Partey’s true age.

    If I could have only one, it looks like we need Partey more, because we already have more skills players that could become like Aouar and play advanced centrally. Ceballos can do it for now. I’d like to see Saka given a look, Willian can do it to. But he sure does have exciting talent though!

    Partey was made for this league in his strength and build, and we have nothing like him, so would be a big overall improvement to the team.

  • Sorry I’m late in responding Total, anyway Xhaka, I’d play him against West Ham and rest him at Leicester, I’d do the reverse with Ceballos and play Elneny in both games, then go Ceballos and Xhaka for Liverpool.

  • If we were playing a Championship team or lower then yeah, give Smith Rowe a start, but not against Leicester, well not for me mate, but who knows?

    And yeah, I get your point regarding Holding, but I think you can maybe get away with playing more games as a centre back and I bet if you asked Rob he’d say ‘yeah, I’ll play every game’…

    I guess that forthcoming transfers out of the club could influence team selections?

  • Everton vs West Brom…… Home win
    Southampton vs Spuds…. Draw
    Chelsea vs Liverpool……. Draw
    Aston Villa vs Sheffield Utd… Home win
    Wolves vs Man City…. Draw
    Wolfsburg vs Bayer 04…. Away win….

  • Not sure about Macey, it’s a shame they don’t give him a chance especially as he’s home grown, but if you’re him and the club are actively looking for a replacement for Martinez then he’ll know where he stands.

    As for the Icelandic guy I saw some You Tube footage and he’s quite athletic but I don’t really know mate.

  • J, I also like Partey’s physical attributes. The ability to both defend and attack is key with great positional awareness. This really is one of the most difficult and important positions on the pitch.

  • Good shout for Holdingho, Kev. It would provide stability to have him play in all games. Maybe same goes for Gabrielho… A good baptism of fire before the empty Kop hahaha. Glad we play Pool without a crowd.

    The midfield solution seems sensible too. I would want to play Xhaka and Elneny v Pool as that combo really worked well at Wemberrrley, but Ceballos would be fine too.

  • Everton vs. West Brom. H
    Southampton vs. Spuds A
    Chelsea vs. Liverpool. A
    Aston Villa vs. Sheffield United. D
    Wolves vs. Man City. D
    Wolfsburg vs. Bayern 04 Leverkusen. D

  • Everton v West Brom Home
    Southampton v Spuds Away
    Chelsea v Liverpool Away
    Aston Villa v Sheffield United Draw
    Wolves v Man City Away
    Wolfsburg v Bayern 04 Leverkusen Away


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