Ideal New Arsenal Lineup: Arteta’s Beautiful House

Some days you go to bed tired, disappointed and disillusioned, only to wake up with a new sense of hope and hunger for elation. Sleep can do magic and there is always hope.

The very publicly staged Brentford defeat last Friday was a big shock to the system but the response to it has been, albeit it understandable, disproportionate.

One game when things didn’t go our way, and all the dormant fears and ugliness roared to the surface again.

It could get even more ugly on Sunday, and it pains me that Arteta is given so little support at this early stage of the season, after such a great run since Christmas.

He is building something firm and ultimately beautiful and we run the risk of perpetually replacing our football architects before they have given the light of day to their passionate projects.

My parents saved enough money to leave our council estate and build their own home some how, back in the eighties. I still remember looking at the rain covered, bare foundations layed out in front of me and walking on it, thinking how is this ever going to become our house. It takes imagination, everything which needs building does. It also needs looking up and not just down.

Arteta is reintroducing our passing game fit for this era. It’s a huge task. Footballers need to be able to receive the ball in tight spaces and not lose it, deal well with pressure, work their socks off and look up when they are playing, etc. It’s not easy to establish.

So many of the squad under Mikel struggle(d) with this, and they just had to go, or indeed still have to. The foundation is nearing its completion and now it is time to start imagining what Arteta’s Home of Arsenal Football will really look like.

I invite you to imagine with me and look beyond the proverbial shower of one or two early defeats, and get a Gaudy-esque house in your mind.

Here is my dream lineup:


RWB* – Holding – White – Big G – Tierney

— Partey or Xhaka – – –

Saka – – – Ode – – – ESR

——- Laca/Pepe ** – – – — – – –

I like White to play in the middle of a back three, push forward regularly and support the lone deeper midfielder.

ESR, Saka and Ode (if indeed he joins us) are all big Arteta players. They don’t ask what their specialised position is, they can play almost everywhere.

Tierney is an Arteta player, Ramsdale will become one (if he joins), Holding and Big Gab are Arteta players, Xhaka has always been one, Partey too.

** Pepe is a work in progress and may still become an AP. Laca is an Arteta player if his heart is in it. We could still need an addition here. If Auba, not an AP because of his limited passing skills, leaves this may still happen before the TW shuts.

  • The right wing back position remains a question mark for me. Soares and Chambers are more back up players than first choice. Bells doesn’t cut the mustard for me, but they will do for now.

It may not be exactly the above line up and formation, but I don’t think it will be far off Arteta’s House either.

It could become something very beautiful and fit for a decade with a bit of patience.

But what is your ‘dream house’?

By TotalArsenal.

63 thoughts on “Ideal New Arsenal Lineup: Arteta’s Beautiful House

  • GK Leno, Ramsdale
    LB Tierney, Taveres
    RB Aarons, Soares
    CB Gabbi, White, Holding, Mari, Saliba(Next season)
    Partey, Xhaka, Lokonga, Azeez, Bissouma(Next summer)
    Odegaard, Saka, ESR, Aouar
    Pepe, Auba, Balogun, Martinelli

    With that pick 433 or 343 it’s a massive handful especiallyif Auba is firing again. It would be nice to go into a transfer window not needing 6 players and just needing to add 1 maybe 2 or if we sell. Maybe next season we could get a sneaky Haaland bid for 150m being his pal is now at the club, imagine that 🥲🤤

  • So good to read a positive account of what Arteta is trying to build at last. Too many Arsenal are in crisis posts after 1 game this season is ridiculous. Now Talksport are claiming we’ve overspent on Odegaard and are buying a ‘B’ team. Let’s hope Arteta makes them eat their trash.

  • Cheers Ian. Odegaard will become one of the buys of the decade. Talkshite just love to throw the proverbial at the fan(s). Best to ignore them totally.

  • While the architecture metaphor is compelling, I’ll not respond to the patience and expectations part as we had this debate many times and our views cannot seem to get closer any further. (And my surgeon metaphor is not as poetic as yours.) You clearly prefer support and loyalty, and I clearly prefer performance, results and lack of double standards. But that’s perfectly fine, there is no persuasion pressure on any of us.

    However your dream 5-1-3-1 line-up is is indeed a new concept. Albeit it seems like we are about to surrender the midfield, I am fine with it as long as the back-5 prevents us from conceding goals, and the front 4 scores a few every game. So I am excited to try this formation out, both against a weaker opponent (if there is still one in the PL after the defeat against the newly promoted Brentford side), as well as a stronger one.
    But with a single DM/CM in the squad it seems Elneny will never play this season in that formation, and his chances on the bench are equally slim as even if Torreira gets sold and AMN goes on loan Mo will be the 4th choice CM behind Xhaka, Partey and Lokonga, Furthermore Martinelli, Pepe, Willian and Nelson will struggle to find playing opportunities, but we – as well as they probably – are got used to that. We’ll see what happens to our young strikers, as Pepe as the backup forward wouldn’t help their case either.

  • Cheers PB,

    It may look like a sole DM but White will push up a lot AND ESR, Ode and Buk will move up and down a lot, rather than waiting attackers.

    I see Elneny as back up for Xhaka/Partey and even White. Lokonga seems versatile and will get plenty of playing time.

    ESR, Saka and Ode need back up and that could be Martinelli (who I rate less than others), Azeez, Willian (who we are stuck with) and Nelson.

    And always remember we need squad depths, healthy competition and some will not make it at Arsenal. 🙏 🙂

  • TA, my dream house is to play two strikers like in old.days. Its a dream to play like Henry and DB10, but even with a different type of strikers I 2 up top. I could use a 4 or 3 at back but probably. 3 is probably better as it leaves 5 in the middle. I would.advise the two strikers to load the box and one of them to involve in the build.up play. One should always remain up and 3 to press from front. This allows game time for everyone and infact we have people to play on all areas. If we don’t get a competent right back then chuck it and play Saka there. You have Tierney or ESR on the other side. Back 3 can be white , Robbo/ chambers and Gabi/Mari/Tierney.
    We can still paly expansive football using this formation. I just what fearless, high tempo football and target 70 points. I believe we can get there and we need Arteta to motivate the team and be the best that they can be.

  • Two strikers is a good thought, Madhu. I don’t think Arteta will start with such a formation anytime soon, unless he will have the right sort of players available.

    The last time the CF combos worked well was with Ollie and Sanchez, and Ozil providing the service.

    Now if we could get a Kane type of CF….

  • Talksport is full of haters. They had a moron saying that 9 million rated Johnstone(?) Who I don’t know , was a better option than Ramsdale. Ramsdale was previously bought for 18million, and Southgate rates him. He has more scouts and time to look at players than most clubs.

    I have definitely noticed Ramsdale do good work against us in the past, so I know there’s talent there. Everyone on every podcast and YouTube was saying they don’t understand how we’re bidding 20+ million for a backup, English or not. I said here that Leno wanted out last year, and Ramsdale is meant to be the number 1, and that we can’t have a keeper who is unhappy. Then Leno dropped that performance I’ve been ranting about. I’d try selling Leno and maybe adding that Johnstone guy as 2nd English keeper.

    The worst thing happening is dormers on Twitter and elsewhere insulting this signing, and even the Ødegaard deal too. The fans at the stadium better show support for both of these guys.

  • Mike Arteta should be given enough time to reorganize his house properly. This statements of sack can not make him deliver his best instead adding more stress and frustrations to his life. Let the club management try him this season till the end. Bringing another coach inn between Will also take him time to learn the team and the players. Arteta has already learn the team and the best players so far. He also identified the gaps by bringing inn good players. So let’s expect some quality football from the team going forward. A sack for Arteta is not ideal for the team at this particular moment.

  • The stories emerging about the China virus among the players just before Friday’s game could explain a little bit. Game almost postponed 3 hours before kickoff. I wish it had been.

    Last minute covid tests and guys dropping out of the squad with it , definitely qualifies as a real distraction. Not an excuse, but I’d be willing to give Mikel a slight pass on that one. No matter what a coach says about it to the players, it’s still on their minds and harder to focus on the job. Also good news that is was nothing disciplinary.

    They say Auba may be OK for Sunday,I’d put him up front if all is well. It’s a fresh start for him, hopefully.

  • From the official site: We’ve checked-in with our medical team ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match against Chelsea.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    Auba tested positive for Covid-19 and was unavailable for last Friday’s match at Brentford. Auba is now negative on Covid-19 testing, is well and following all protocols for return to play. He will return to training and be assessed prior to Sunday’s match.

    Alex Lacazette
    Alex tested positive for Covid-19 and was unavailable for last Friday’s match at Brentford. Alex is still recovering and will not be available for Sunday’s match.

    Gabriel Magalhaes
    Right knee. Gabriel sustained an injury to his right knee whilst with the Brazilian Olympic Squad. Gabriel is progressing well with the medical team and is aiming to be back in training later this month.

    Eddie Nketiah
    Right ankle. Eddie sustained bruising to his right ankle during the friendly match against Chelsea on 1 August. Eddie is working hard with the medical team and is aiming to be back in training in early September.

    Thomas Partey
    Right ankle. Thomas sustained an injury to ligaments in his right ankle during the friendly match against Chelsea on 1 August. Thomas is working hard with the medical team and is aiming to be back in training by the end of August.

    Alex Runarsson
    Alex tested positive for Covid-19 and was unavailable for last Friday’s match at Brentford. Alex is still recovering and will not be available for Sunday’s match.

    Willian has also tested positive for Covid-19 and is adhering to protocols. His health and fitness will be monitored and assessed ahead of Sunday’s match.

    As part of Premier League protocol, all members of our first team squad and support staff continue to be regularly tested for COVID-19.

    Copyright 2021 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

  • That does explain a lot, Jync. I did state that the team looked destabilized. Hopefully, having had a week to train for the job, Balogun and Martinelli will be better prepared for business.

    When you look back at all the speculations in the media, you have a sense of how narratives can be a dangerous thing.

  • Yeah Eris, I don’t feel wrong for most of our reactions to the performance, because very few things as unusual as an outbreak happen, so we can only go by what we see.

    T, The stories started to come out in the reputable papers in the past 2 days. So I’m not just changing my opinion because of the signings, but I’m loving Ødegaard more than I can say. He is exactly what our attack needs. A permanent deal means he can lead more, and not defer on shot attempts.

  • The “boo” boys have been a persistent and faithless gang of pseudo-gooners since the time of Chapman and will continue to run in the bowels of the AFC ship like the rats theyr are. They don’t have the courage to abandon the ship because they’ll drown in the real world so they hang on like barnacles on a ship’s hull sucking up air and eating away st the infrastructure. One game does NOT a season make and one or two defeats at the start do not mean armeggadon has arrived, it is, as TA says, a work in progress and the s**t-scared whiners calling for Arteta’s head aren’t worthy of being crushed under his heel.

  • I don’t know if it’s his fair hair or his Nordic looks but I can’t help seeing a certain similarity with our great, the original No.10, Dennis Bergkamp. Both had disappointing periods in big clubs in big leagues, both joined Arsenal with ‘the great and the good’ questioning their actual level and with the media mob waiting to see them fail.

    A little bit of history repeating itself?

  • TA, look at Artetas comments. Looks like he has read your blog :). He talks positivity and want only fans who will bring in positive energy. He says others are only trying to bury Arsenal. He has also asked fans to support on Sunday. He says players will always give 100%.
    I won’t say anything because I might bring negativity 😂.

  • Kev, I was thinking down similar lines. DB needed a place, a home, where they would lift him up, and the same goes for MOthey both are gifted attackers with an eye for beauty and no resentment of hard work. Let’s hope Ode-esque will also become a regular expression of utter beauty on the pitch.

  • Madhu, if the boys give their all and luck is a bit on our side, I am hopeful our supporters will be right behind them. CoyrrGs 🌋 🌋 🌋

  • T, was the Handel symbolic that we now have our conductor? I say he will be our Von Karajan!

    Seriously. I went from not wanting the loan last season to saying he’ll be better than a young Madrid Ozil.

    Just last week I was disheartened hearing the talk of another loan for him, with or without options to buy. I can’t get excited until a player is really ours. Now 5 years. I am confident he’ll be a leader and improve on his one full year at Real Sociedad.

    Watch the highlights, (his arsenal highlights are pretty good too) we had only a small sample here, but enough. The difference over a full season, as in Spain, is seeing a player get past acclimation, grow in confidence, and learn his teammates most importantly. You can’t do all of that and get comfortable to excel in a quarter to half a season even. I even think his stint with us was so short, he deferred goal attempts because we have two top established strikers already. I hope that will change, because I don’t want to hear the critics say he isn’t a scoring midfielder.

    There he had 9 goals, 9 assists. You see him bursting past defenders the way Ozil used to do at Madrid. You also see the goals which were a few gorgeous side netting jobs. Also a couple Messi type free kick goals. As we saw last year, the ball sticks to him like magic, and those are some skills that Maddison will never have.. And I’m a big Maddison fan….Always have him in my fantasy team.

    I had a very Kev thought, since our net spend the past few years has been around the 150m mark… We have a young core, we won’t have many holes to fill hopefully….
    Here’s the Kev part. Shock the league this year and achieve top 4. Next summer, (with Lacazette gone, and Auba end in sight) using his pal Ødegaard, drop the whole 150 (maybe even in installments) on…. you know who.

  • GunnerN5 says:
    August 18, 2021 at 17:12

    Hi folks, I’ve been pondering our decision to charge a small fee (15 quid) for our prediction competition.

    You see my personal preference is that it is a fun competition with no fee involved and I don’t want folks to feel that they have been unwittingly pressured into paying a fee.

    Some of my reasons for wanting it to be a no fee competition are:-

    1. Some people may have personal or religious reasons for not wanting to pay a fee.
    2. There may be times when folks are unable to participate and that will reduce their chances of winning.
    3. If no fee is involved then people can join in at any time with no risk, whereas if a fee is involved folks wanting to join in late would mean them a having a lesser chance of winning and therefore not choose not to join.
    4. Personally I don’t need a reward to enjoy a friendly competition.
    5. The more competitors the better as far as I’m concerned.

    So far no fees have been collected so we have a clean slate and being a BK is run democratically I would like to know how you feel about a fee in a simple response of – FEE or NO FEE. what ever way you choose will have no negative effect on me and I will happily continue with the completion.

    If you wish to comment on your choice that is also fine.

    So to give you all time to see this comment and ponder your own decision I would like to get your vote by a week today – August 25th and a simple majority will rule.

    Thank you all for reading.


  • Here are my choices for this weekend.

    Crystal Palace v Brentford * H (2-0)
    Leeds v Everton A
    Wolves v Spurs * A (1-2)
    Arsenal v Chelsea * D (1–1)
    West Ham v Leicester H
    Inter Miami FC v Toronto FC A

  • It’s great to see so many young and skillful players being recruited or promoted it holds well for the future of the club and they can grow under the tuition of Arteta.

    I do however have a concern, our future team do not appear to have the height and robustness of the main contenders which could lead to us being pushed around and we all know how little protection we get from the officials.

    Time will tell I guess.

  • Hahaha J, a Kev-thought. Did you have a cup of tea with it? 😅

    Yes, I share your enthusiasm about Ode and this is also big compliment to Mikel, who obviously made a big impression on the handsome viking.

  • “…and he shall reign forever”. I think we may apply this to MO in our midfield, as long as we use the small “h” for the pronoun. I do remember singing, “born is the king of Highbury” about our Charlie.
    Thank you, Total for your kind words. And, yes, Leonard does have a touch of the Arsene about his features. I always thought Rowan Atkinson would do a great job imitating the Gaffer.
    Thank you for your sensitivity, GN5. tho’ I’d love to, I cannot commit to the comp. for the reasons I posted earlier.
    After 169 days of being Covid free, New Zealand has gone into Level 4 lock down with an emergence of the Delta variant in our two main cities.

  • OMG, due to my undying respect toward TA I resist the temptation to put you in your place, but god knows how much I would enjoy it.

  • PB, don’t let him get to you. He is the sort of guy who throws eggs at people from a car and then speeds off not to be seen for a while, and then repeat his cowardly act.

  • Fascinating line-up TA! 👍 I have a hard time seeing Pepe being successful as a cf. But among the many things I would love to be wrong about, this is certainly one. 😀

  • Nice one J, I’ll make an Englishman out of you yet. 😄

    Really pleased to see us get Ramsdale, some of things said to him online have been disgusting, I hate to think that these reprehensible yobs support my club, I like to think that we have more class than that but sadly not.

    Hutchinson played really well for the U23’s this evening and some of the comments I’ve read from people I respect online seem to be of one mind, that is he’s too good for that level and might soon find his way into our senior squad sooner than later. Another one off of the conveyor belt…

  • GN5, for me it’s a bit of fun, no need to involve a fee etc from my way of thinking, but if that’s what people want then fine I guess.

  • The negativity on so many blogs is quite disappointing but if Arteta needed a vote of confidence then spending £132m on 5 players is quite a serious vote from the owners.

    From what I’ve heard Tim Lewis has been quite involved this summer with Arteta and Edu going to him with the players they want and finance needed and Lewis advising KSE before the finance is released.

  • What a great Friday, 2 brilliant signings. Anyone think Ramsdale to start Sunday? Shame Odegaard can’t make the squad.

  • What do you think will happen with RB, do you think our incoming business is finished and it’s all about transfers out for the final 11 days of this window?

  • Great news to close the day. I think Odegaard will be a great signing for us now and into the future. I like his desire and boy’s got skills too. Ramsdale, I don’t know much about but if the reviews about him are to be believed, happy to have him on our side. It puts a bit of pressure on Leno to do better while assures us of a good enough back up.

    Anyone scoffing at the signings we’ve made this summer is just being a spoilt brat. Other than the really big money (statement) moves by clubs with deep pockets and Messi’s free transfer, we have done more in this difficult window than most clubs and should be proud that we have done something about depth and quality, fingers crossed. I’d remain hopeful for a good season.

  • TA, loved the write up on Ben White. Surely, he can’t let folks down after showing all that promise. He has the makings of a good defender; I just wish he had come under circumstances where we could bed him in gently, with about two other experienced CBs whom he will gradually overtake in the pecking order, as against being thrown in at the deep end. Well, what do I know? He may prefer it this way and won’t be joining us anyway, without assurance of a starting place every game.

    That Handel rendition is always a beautiful piece, Stuart. Thanks for sharing.

    Lol @ the Leonard Cohen -Arsene look-alike crack, TA. I didn’t see it at first, but when you look closely…… 👌🏽

  • GN5, I am indifferent as to whether we charge a Fee or not to play the game. A fee may be one way to sustain participation and interest. However, the downside is it may reduce the number where it is a situation where the more participants we have, the merrier.

    Maybe, we can make the payment of a Fee voluntary and handle the modalities offline? Not sure how that works with the rest of the BKers, though….

  • Rocky, I don’t think Ramsdale will start on Sunday; in fact, I think Leno will remain as No.1 (unless he has a transfer lined up), with Ramsdale bidding his time (injuries, suspension or one bad game for Leno) to seize the spot.

    RB is a tricky one. I wish AMN could grow a pair and make the role his own. He did have some quite effective performances in that position in the past, albeit playing better as a Right wing back than as full back.

    To spice things up a bit, I wish we could line up with a back 3 on Sunday, to surprise the opponent, but I guess it may be hard to accommodate some players in that formation….. or not:


    Holding. White. Tierney

    AMN Sambi. Xhaka. Saka


    Pepe. Auba

    Hope the above formation comes out right upon posting it. 🤞

  • I think we need big Rob to deal with Lukaku.

    Pablo/Ainsley Rob Ben
    Bukayu Sambi Xhaka Kieran
    Pepe Pierre

  • Regarding Ramsdale I read somewhere that he commands his box well and catches a lot of balls. For me personally that is a huge problem with Leno and so iam.excited to see him in action.
    Regarding the vile abuse on social media , it’s symptomatic of the society that we live in today. The hate quotient is definetly on rise. I believe two things have contributed to this hate. The emergence of Right wing politics and anonymity of Internet provides incentives for people to indulge in hate, vile abuse and name calling. I fight it everyday in my country and its astonishing to see my own family indulge in such activity. In my country the ruling party employs people as Troll army and pays for them. One of my colleagues very proudly proclaimed that he is part of this organized troll army. It’s despicable and you would think that we advanced AI the social media platforms can stump out this social malaise but no the wouldn’t do it. It’s a very toxic environment that we live in.and this hate will consume everyone irrespective of the color, creed or class.
    TA your platform provides us a opportunity to put our views in a civilized manner with confidence that no one will abuse us. Great work sir.

  • StH, it is a bit of a gamble to put Pepe as CF. Laca is my main man but Pepe in space is awesome. He is fast and can dribble and has a great left peg. He is also okay when playing with his back to goal.

  • Thank you Madhu. It’s great that you stand up for what is right in your eyes. As Marcus Aurelius said: “It’s kingly to do good and yet be spoken of ill”.

    Like you I would love our goalkeeper to be more demanding and ball tight in the box. Ramsdale hopefully offers this.

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