Auba or Laca | XhaKonga | Bels, Chambers or Soares? Arsenal v Brentford Line-up.

Finest of the fine fellow Gooners, the new season is upon as and we are kicking it off against newly promoted Brentford. The PL and media picked this match as the season’s opener for only one reason: hoping for an upset and having a laugh at us.

The Bees have of course nothing to lose and their manager has announced they are going to attack this season. Tonight’s game is easily as hard as the next one up v mega-spending Chavs, believe you me. We need to show character and be ruthless and never allow the Bees near our roaring cannon.

I am very glad we have Granit to lead the team tonight, especially now that Partey is out with injury. We will need him to coordinate our play from midfield, and it would be nice to see him paired up with the former Anderlecht captain, Lokonga, in de ‘DM-pivot’. If it is Xhaka’s long term friend Elneny instead, it would also be fine with me (but not JNYC’s 😉 ).

Defence picks itself with the exception of our right back: will it be Bellerin again or will Chambers or Soares get the nod? If it was me, it would be Soares for his better crossing and passing in attack, or Calum who adds another defender in the box for set-pieces.

The nr10 position and other attackers are a bit harder to determine. The big question is whether Arteta will select both Auba and Laca or just one of them. I am hoping he does the latter and brings on either Auba (ideally) or Laca as our ‘super-sub’ later on.

So here is my desired line-up v the Bees:

Enjoy the game and let’s all get totally behind our manager and the boys. Supporters support.

By TotalArsenal.

28 thoughts on “Auba or Laca | XhaKonga | Bels, Chambers or Soares? Arsenal v Brentford Line-up.

  • Anything short of winning tonight will be terrible , because our next two games after this, is anybody’s guess..against Chelsea and Man City respectively.Our recruitment this summer has been anything but encouraging.Well, let’s support what we have and hope for the best.But it is going to be a long, long season.

  • Thank you for the post TA, to be frank I’m nervous about our chances even though Brentford are playing their first ever Premier League game. I agree with your assumption that choosing us as the first game of the season and the only game being played on the infamous date of Friday 13th is an attempt to see our team embarrassed – I can only imagine tomorrow’s headlines if we lose.

  • TA both our aged strikers are not.available for the game. Not sure whats going on.but looks.like Arteta will be forced to play young strikers.

  • Brentford will certainly be up for it but so should we. The boys have a lot to prove.. I would pick the same 11 as you TA, with Calum at RB. He might not be as quick as Cedric but he is better defensively and passes and crosses well. On that subject though, I do hope that we stop sending in aimless crosses into the box when we haven’t anyone there.

  • David Ornstein reports that Auba and Lava are both unwell and will miss tonight’s match. So, an interesting dilemma for Arteta. I think I would give Balogun his chance but I suspect we might see Pepe up front with Willian on the flank.

  • Very interesting about Auba and Laca. That kind of illness could mean possible deals in the works, but would have to be basically done to miss the opener. So Auba must be very sick because his salary is too high for teams to take generally.

    T, you can speak for me on El Neny, you know me more than well enough. Hector is my new El Neny. I don’t want to see him start if Cedric and Callum (or Ben White) are healthy. He needs to go. He can do all his social work and fashion commentary somewhere else. He’s been adding very little for years now, and that’s being kind. Depending on the quickness of Brentfords forwards I’d make my choice, generally I’d like Chambers to help with smallish Ben White, and Tierney. Cedric is tiny.

    A point or less today will leave me disgusted already, so I hope Mikel motivates and sets up the team correctly. I will be counting the crosses too.

  • Up before the sun for this one. And it’s Arrrsenal, Arsenal FC. They’re by far the greatest football team the world has ever seen…

  • 1 Leno
    21 Chambers
    4 White
    22 Mari
    3 Tierney
    34 Xhaka (c)
    23 Lokonga
    10 Smith Rowe
    19 Pepe
    35 Martinelli
    26 Balogun

    Substitutes
    49 Hein
    2 Bellerin
    17 Cedric
    15 Maitland-Niles
    16 Holding
    20 Nuno Tavares
    25 Elneny
    24 Nelson
    7 Saka

  • It is an unexpected line-up, but a quite strong indeed.
    I expect a clear ball possession superiority, but only a few chances and a couple of goals.

    Usually I like the aspect of the games that if we can dictate a strong tempo that cannot be maintained for 95 minutes that is good for us as we almost always have a stronger bench than the opponent (Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham included, Man City not).
    But today’s bench is a strange one with Hein as the #2 goalkeeper (good for him, I don’t mind it), 5 defenders (including 4 full backs), a DM (or 2 if we count AMN here), and only 2 attack-minded players: Nelson and Saka. I hope that both will enter the fray tonight and make us proud.
    By the way, where is Eddie?

    (TA, I’m in Austria, traveling across Styria and Carinthia. Beautiful, clean and friendly places, I can’t recommend them enough.)

    COYRRG, and let’s hope that Balogun will crown his PL debut with a goal.

  • The only person that looks capable of playing the ball into the box on the ground is Smith Rowe.

    I would want Pepe to come inside, not stay wide, as a matter of fact, on the left side coming in, with Saka subbing onto the right pretty soon. I’d tell Tierney to keep his efforts into the box on the ground. He’s wasting his time with balls in the air.

    To start the 2nd half, get the ball to ESR and try to involve Martinelli.

  • Leno is a liability. David raya seems a lot more confident keeper than Leno. What a pathetic performance. Where do we go from here? Absolute shambles of a team. Arteta looks completely lost. Looks like another long season.

  • ESR and Lokonga were outstanding for us. At least we can all say there is now a decent football club in West London.

  • Balogun tripped in the box, penalty, waited in vain for VAR with Mike Riley sitting in the stands – nothing…

    Leno deliberately obstructed and fouled during Brentford’s 2nd goal, waited in vain for VAR – nothing…

    Welcome to another season of Arsenal being sh*t on by the PGMOL and the media staying silent.

  • Quite an unfortunate loss; it would seem we didn’t know what to expect and allowed the home side to sense this early in the game to take advantage. The presence of the fans in the stadium was good for Brentford too. The team looked up for it and we just weren’t ready to defend against their press.

    However, it is just Game day 1 and we started without two (three, of you include Saka) first choice forwards and DM; we had a good shout for a penalty when Balogun was upended in the area and I thought that 2nd goal was dodgy. Leno was manhandled but everyone wanted the home side to enjoy a great atmosphere and VAR didn’t call it.

    It is going to be a long season, unless we get in a couple of confident players who can drive the rest of the team to some glory. If we don’t see improvements quickly, I am afraid Arteta’s days are numbered.

  • Ah, Kev. You beat me to those observations. I have never before seen a keeper so obstructed without a call. It’s as if the “memo” was sent to just stitch us up for the laughs.

  • Sorry for missing for so long.. but today the lads were just out of ideas on how to break their defense..

    We should not use the referee and VAR to point our fingers on.. we should do better than let them find ways to stop us.

    If we do not have plan b and c, then Mikel going out the door is the plan B.

  • Are we seriously believe Arteta when he says he can’t fit in a goal scoring midfielder like Willock into this team. I have serious doubts about his capabilty to judge players. Leno Vs Emi, Saliba vs Mari, Willian vs every young winger, etc. Iam fearful of this season. Irrespective of whom we buy Arteta cannot take this team forward. Brentford came inot the game confidently and with no fear. You could see the fear in Arsenal players eyes and it’s entirely down to the coach.
    I am angry, down and thoroughly dissapointed.

  • Hiding lifeless and lacklustre performance behind referees is not an option. Unfortunately, Arsenal are in a mess and it won’t change for a long time.

    Leno’s inability to control the box was always an argument for keeping Martinez.

    We were porous in the preseason on our right-hand side of the defence because Chambers, much I like him, doesn’t have pace, Bellerin is history and Cedric should thank God for Edu because he would have never tasted a big club if our former Brazilian midfielder wasn’t calling the shots.

    Pablo Mari is another one from that category. As for White, he looks like a lad who can play in a three-man defence. He doesn’t have height to compete in the air and isn’t the greatest in one-on-ones. Fortunately for White, Arsenal were ready to waste £50m in a Covid-stricken era on a player that doesn’t make any difference.

    Sambi looks like a decent piece of business though. Belgian league may not be the best in the world but that’s where your De Bruynes and Haalands make their first steps.

    Xhaka… Well, he was given the armband and that says all about how low Arsenal have fallen. He is a cornerstone of the Arsenal decline and a fine proof Wenger should have been sacked much, much earlier.

    Pepe is so unlucky, even when he does well with the shot, a goalkeeper makes a spectacular save. In the absence of Laca and Auba, Pepe was supposed to lead the line. He didn’t do it properly.

    Balogun is still a youngster, raw material that can get turned into a real player.

    Martinelli is still fatigued after Olympics.

    Smith Rowe didn’t make anything concrete and that’s what 10s do.

    Saka needs all the support.

    Auba should be stripped of captaincy. His preseason performances were awful and now he is “ill”? I don’t buy that crap. Ditto Lacazette.

    Arteta should have been sacked after being booted by Emery. He is obviously a sweet-talker and that’s it.

    Anyway, sack Arteta and bring Conte aboard to keep us in the league. Sell Laca, Auba and donate Willian before buying Lautaro from Inter.

  • I have said it many times before and my comments have been ridiculed by many on this blog but the fact of the matter is the team is getting worse everyday. Arteta is clueless. Edu is useless. Led by Xhaka a captain who is average to say the least. Saliba, Tutu, Mavropanos, Willock, Emi must be at the club playing ahead of Xhaka, Elneny, Mari, White, Willian and Cedric.

    Despite having some C grade players we can do better. Wenger used to make players like Bendtner look good. He instilled confidence in the team and he had a philosophy to follow. With the current crop of players Wenger will be seriously pushing for top 4. It’s not a train crash loosing to Brentford but the problem is that we have been losing too many games against small teams and the team does not look convincing at all.

    I feel sorry for players like Maitland Niles who sits on the bench whilst the left footed Tavares is preferred ahead of him to change the game. I strongly believe a capable coach will give us Champions league football with this team. We need a coach to properly use Lacazette and Aubameyang whilst Martinelli and Balogun are eased into the team to take over.

    Our biggest challenge is that Arteta seem to overcoach the players taking out all their confidence.

    Lokonga looks a decent player for the future. From yesterday’s performance White doesn’t look better than Holding but he still got time to bed in with the team. He surely needs time but for 50million the critics will be very harsh on him. For me he was an unnecessary purchase as we could have used the money on Maddison or Bissouma and kept Saliba.

  • I see, then two clear VAR decisions and what is it there for but for those kinds of decisions, are not given, decisions that actually do affect the game because that’s what penalties/goals do and goals disallowed also. We score a goal and our confidence recovers and Brentford get nervous, Brentford have a goal disallowed and ditto. It’s as simple as that…

    But I’ll tell you what, you won’t see Allison treated like that because VAR will act in favour for them, VAR has not really been operated properly in this country because of the poor standard of officiating in England, just compare with how well it was implemented recently at Euro 2020 and compare it with how it will be used by the Marx Bros in the EPL this season.

    Sky Sports got exactly what they wanted, ‘plucky Brentford upset hapless Arsenal’…

  • Leno should be putting his knee up the back of that fellow who impeded him. Then, maybe VAR would interfere for a penalty call. But, at least, such a player would think twice about going near the keeper. The back-up officiating was poor…..and this is not about making excuses.

  • I won’t make any excuses for our loss yesterday but like others I was fully expecting their 2nd goal to be overturned as Leno was not simply obstructed he was held back by two arms behind his back – VAR must have been asleep.

    We played some very good football that had Brentford on the back foot for most of the game but unfortunately we were toothless up front. It’s along season so keep you chins up.

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