Arsenal v Sunderland Lineup: Last Chance Saloon for Some?

The Black Cats are coming to the Home of football for a place in the league Cup semi finals, and this is a great opportunity to give the wider squad players a chance to shine.

Of course we should not underestimate our opponents but the same goes for our squad.

Almost all players are fit but I am assuming that Sambi and Mari are still out because of Covid-19.

So I reckon this may be our Starting 11:


Soares, White, Holding, Tavares

Elneny, Ainsley

Pepe, Emile, Auba/Balogun


Auba could make a return for this one and if not I think the writing will be on the wall.

Some big Guns will be on the bench no doubt.

Looking forward to this one.


By TotalArsenal

53 thoughts on “Arsenal v Sunderland Lineup: Last Chance Saloon for Some?

  • Here are this weekends selections:-

    Wolves v Watford
    Burnley v Everton *
    West Ham v Southampton
    Tottenham v Crystal Palace *
    Aston Villa v Chelsea
    Huddersfield Town v Blackpool *

  • My feeling is that Auba’s time at Arsenal is done and dusted.

    I find it very aggravating but predictable that players with a huge contract start to show a decline after the big contract is signed. They give the impression of “now I have nothing to prove” and simply want to cruise through games.
    I could add a lot of expletives to better describe my thoughts but net net he has been taking the club for a ride and it’s time we laid down the law or got rid of him.

    It’s quite apparent that the “new Auba” will not be missed.

  • Apparently, 16% of PL players are unvaccinated and only 77% double vaccinated. I wonder how many players in our squad are not fully vaccinated? It must be really frustrating for managers and with the number of outbreaks we have seen it might be tempting for them to isolate players who might now be considered as a high risk. The Guardian is reporting that they may need to be treated separately, “Proposals include unvaccinated players travelling separately to games, facing an additional check to get into stadiums and having meals away from vaccinated teammates”.

  • Wolves v Watford H
    Burnley v Everton * 1-1
    West Ham v Southampton H
    Tottenham v Crystal Palace * 2-2
    Aston Villa v Chelsea A
    Huddersfield Town v Blackpool * 3-0

  • Wolves v Watford H
    Burnley v Everton * 1-1
    West Ham v Southampton H
    Tottenham v Crystal Palace * 2-1
    Aston Villa v Chelsea D
    Huddersfield Town v Blackpool * 2-0

  • Spurs are out of Europe. So that will ease thier fixture congestion worries. They will be a threat to us. Against Liverpool they were very lucky to play with 11. Harry Kane should have been sent off. He got the proverbial English captian treatment.
    Iam saying this again. Strategically and otherwise Ramsdale should be the captain of Arsenal. He will become.england regular and based on his Arsenal captaincy he is a sure shot future England captain. With him being England captain we will get favourable refree decision for us. It’s not a far fetched idea though. Make an England player captain and see how the refreeing decision starts to change. We should not miss this trick.

  • Wolves v Watford H
    Burnley v Everton * 1-1
    West Ham v Southampton H
    Tottenham v Crystal Palace * 1-1
    Aston Villa v Chelsea A
    Huddersfield Town v Blackpool * 1-1

  • OX10, it is indeed a real challenge for clubs and managers. 16% is about 3-4 players. Maybe best thing to do is not involve them at all and let them stay at home.

  • I think that Lacazette is doing a good job as captain atm which gives Arteta the time and space to make the right decision as and when he needs to. Rob Holding would make a great captain but he’s unlikely to be a regular starter for us with White and Gabriel in situ.

    It’s encouraging that we have quite a few players who could get the job, that shows a general improvement in the character of the players we have in the squad.

    Wolves v Watford…………… H
    Burnley v Everton………….. H (2-1)
    West Ham v Southampton H
    Tottenham v C.Palace…… H (2-1)
    Aston Villa v Chelsea……. D
    Hudd’fld Town v Blackpool. A (1-2)

  • I agree with Kev about keeping Laca as captain of our PL team at the moment. Tonight he will probably be rested so Rob should get the armband. I wonder if Arteta is tempted to pick Elneny or Xhaka as the other CB? Ben has played a lot of games and could benefit from a break before the run of games over Christmas.

  • For today I’m just hoping to see a bit of Patino if he can get in the game.

    The comments about Aubameyang previously. I think he should go and we’ll probably have to pay a portion of his salary. If we can get away with half to a third of current cost, we should be very happy. The past few weeks for example , we are still paying 100%.

    Lacazette ideally could be kept as a role model in his work ethic and attitude, and as a quality backup for whomever comes as first choice… but since we are a club working with a budget, we won’t do that. Things like that are the edge that the big money clubs have, and it’s substantial.

    The striker situation is going to be interesting to see play out. Central midfield is simple. We need a good one to be a complete team.

  • I’ve always liked Big Rob. I can see him as an effective Club Captain, captaining the side if and when he is on the pitch. When not, Laca, despite the occasional histrionics does a very good job and should fill the role in the short term. This will allow time for a leader to emerge. I think Goalkeepers are generally a bit far from the action to captain a side, and I wouldn’t give the arm band to someone in their first season at a club. Gifts can be immediately obvious but a persons dependable character takes time to reveal itself.

    Love to see Charlie P get a run this morning. (NZ time).

  • Fine lineup!

    Leno, Soares, White, Holding, Tavares, Elneny, Ode, ESR, Balogun, Eddie, Pepster. 4-1-2-3? Elneny deep and Ode and ESR in the two?

  • Pleased to see a strong starting XI and an arguably stronger bench, showing that Arteta isn’t underestimating Sunderland and is respecting the competition.

    Hopefully the senior guys will do a decent job and we’ll get to see Charlie earn his debut.

    Ok, off to make a quick cuppa and off we go – Wemberlee, Wemberlee…

  • Well called, TA. 10 out of 11 is not bad at all.
    Arteta celebrated is second full year at the club yesterday. Let’s hope the lads give him something to really celebrate about tonight: a place in the last 4!

  • Elneny struggling on his own and Emile is not helping much with a few rusty touched and passes. May need to put on Xhaka or Partey to see this one through.

  • Nketia hatttick with a combined distance of about 10 yards. The new Francis Jeffers.

    Good to see Patino get his debut

  • You called it again, TA. Xhaka on for Balogun, who has not really been in the game as he would want.

    A raft of changes has Charlie Patino come on for ESR.

  • Jync, I think Arteta knows he j St has to keep Tavares fit and sharp, so he will keep getting games, methinks.

    To be fair, Sunderland have been good and not come here to park the bus. Good to see. One more goal (for the good guys, of course) won’t be bad to add gloss to a brilliant night of football.

  • Great moment for Patino. Pepe delivered today and this was easy for Eddie. Team worked hard for him though. Black Cats tried to play footie and had some nice moves and a fine goal. But clearly this was too easy for us.

  • Yeah Total, I thought that Elneny was missing a partner and we looked safer when Xhaka came on.

    Good point about player rustiness as well, a useful run out for the squad players and what a cool calm finish by Charlie.

    West Ham or Brentford in the semis. 🤞

  • TA….
    Øde to joy. Good one!

    Here’s my fully rounded thoughts about Eddie. I always say he will score lots of goals in the right team.
    Arteta has been great in general, but he didn’t use him right either last season or this one.
    Eddie is a fox in the box finisher. He can score headers and all kinds of goals in the box.. very well, btw.
    He can’t be dropping deep as was tried last year. Coming on as a wide right sub for a winger also doesn’t work as against United and Everton, trying to cut in to score… That’s something Aubameyang and Martinelli can do well. Not Nketiah. So he does limit his own uses.

    It’s a shame, because he would be absolutely perfect as a second striker and late sub on a very good Arsenal side that now has functioning wingers and an Ozil like CAM in Ødegaard.

    I envision him just like Chicharrito was for Ferguson. Such a difference maker in tight games and tight title challenges. They would resort to crosses high and low in the last 10 minutes of a game + Fergie time. He was huge for them for a couple seasons. I always wanted Arsene to have that kind of option.

    I wish Eddie had one more year to see some success that way with us.

  • Thanks, GN5. My predictions follow:

    Wolves v Watford H
    Burnley v Everton * D 1-1
    West Ham v Southampton H
    Tottenham v Crystal Palace * H 3-2
    Aston Villa v Chelsea D
    Huddersfield Town v Blackpool * H 2-1

  • Great comment about Eddie, J. I think he could be useful to have in the squad but Arteta needs a more dynamic, hard working outside the box type of CF, like Laca is for him. I don’t think Eddie is that type of attacker, so I can only see him leaving as he is keen on playing lots of football going forward.

  • It was 0-0 for such a long time at Brentford that the 2 goals by the chavs must have been late in the game. Liverpool came back from 1-3 to force a draw and penalties, to edge Leicester city out. That’s a very strong quartet in the semi finals of the League cup, indeed.

    Look forward to the games and the final.

  • Facing Liverpool at home without mane and salah is a good outcome.

    Have to say I haven’t been this excited about our team since the 00’s. The potential is off the charts – and a different kind to the 00’s where we only saw them win youth games.

    Martinelli, Saka, Ramsdale, ESR, Gabriel, White, Tierney, Tomiyasu, Tavares, Lokonga, Odegaard. All under 23 (bar 3 – that are 24). Odegaard has really kicked into gear recently (must admit i was worried that he was a flop). I really rate Tierney but jesus Tavares looks like he could be a real juggernaut. Good problem to have. I definitely see a big team offering mega bucks for Tavares.

    If Arsenal get a good striker in the Summer or Winter transfer windows we will be a real problem in a year or 2. Fingers crossed we keep the good run with injuries going.

  • Wolves v Watford H
    Burnley v Everton * D (2-2)
    West Ham v Southampton H
    Tottenham v Crystal Palace * H (3-1)
    Aston Villa v Chelsea A
    Huddersfield Town v Blackpool * A (1-2)

  • Nice one, Oz. It is indeed a good group of players and I am also glad we have committed experienced players in tge heart of midfield right now

  • Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to all my gooner friends. TA thanks again for providing us a platform to vent and express our feelings in a safe environment.
    I have to say that I agree with Artetas comments on Auba today. He has said that he is not being dictatorial and all he asks is for respect to others and commitment to the cause. Thats fair enough and I do feel that Auba is a repeat offender and should take a hard look at himself. Respect towards his club and team mates by training up at the right time is a minimal ask.

  • Thanks Madhu, and thanks Total for providing us the forum. It is a highlight of my day.
    A blessed Christmas to you and all at Bergkampesque. God bless and Arsenal forever.

  • I would like to wish all BKers a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and wealthy 2020.

    Total thank you are allowing us all to enjoy and dialogue our favourite subject in a harmonious manner.
    Your blog is exceptional and it’s by far the most outstanding blog that I’ve participated in since the inception of blogging.

    Cheers to all and “Bottoms Up”

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