WHO Poll

the exile 3:13 Mon Dec 13
Team for Arsenal
So, once again it will be interesting to see if we can raise our game against one of the big boys and local rivals. In terms of team selection, the main issue for discussion is surely what, if anything, we can do to improve our faltering attack.

Some might argue that Antonio has been getting a free pass for long enough, but what's the alternative? Neither Yarmolenko nor Bowen have done anything to commend themselves up front, and young Perkins clearly isn't ready yet. So for me, Antonio stays.

Benrahma has offered little of late, and needs to be dropped for this one. Bowen stays on the right and I would restore Fornals to the centre - we missed him. On the left I am going to be controversial and pick Masuaku. I thought he was really good going forward - one of very few positives from the Burnley game. We all know he can't defend, but he does seem to be showing some form in attack, so for me, we should make the most of that.

Coufal Dawson Diop Cresswell
Rice Soucek
Bowen Fornals Masuaku

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 5:13 Thu Dec 16
Re: Team for Arsenal
I thought Masuaku yesterday. He did ok in defense yesterday, he more or less handled Saka. All their goals and penalty came down our right, middle. It was worrying to watch though.
However, he didn't do much going forward and was about as useless as all our forward players. Coufal was better on the right.
Despite all my good words for Masuaku, I'd drop and bring in Longelo. I don't like Masuaku in a back 4 anyway, he's okay in a back 5 or left winger. What happened to wingers? No one talks about them now.

Rossal 9:55 Thu Dec 16
Re: Team for Arsenal
Arthur was far from being our worst performer on pitch last night

Id be much more worried with the performances of Antonio Fornals and Bowen

Fortunes Hiding 9:54 Thu Dec 16
Re: Team for Arsenal
I think in the first 10 mins, masuaku kicked the ball straight out of play.

No pressure on him at all.
Always seems like he’s gonna give away a pen.

dealcanvey 9:46 Thu Dec 16
Re: Team for Arsenal
Masuaku is good when playing further up the pitch. Shit in a back 4. We’ve known that for years. Not sure how Moyes did not see it coming. Writing was on the wall against saka.

I’d be more concerned with the drop in form of pretty much all our attacking players.

Mex Martillo 7:56 Thu Dec 16
Re: Team for Arsenal
I have no trouble to say that and I certainly won't be cunting off.
Anyone that blames Masuaku for last night is blinkered putting a big problem on to one escape goat.

daveyg 12:54 Thu Dec 16
Re: Team for Arsenal
Didn't Masuaku play well.
Dreadfull. When you need a player to step he looked even more lost.
Anyone saying he deserves a place in the squad let alone the team can c**t off.

onsideman 10:29 Wed Dec 15
Re: Team for Arsenal
He's fucking useless

Stubbo 7:37 Wed Dec 15
Re: Team for Arsenal
Masuaku whilst doing some things very poorly, also does some things very well.

He regularly dribbles to the byline and cuts in towards the 6 yard box before pulling the ball back, but the movement of our strikers in the box never shows this up for the value it offers.

He offers dribbling skill and an extra dimension on that flank, and puts some pretty good crosses in too.

But, he switches off defensively which has cost us goals. He's not a world beater, he's better than being a player at Norwich. A squad player for us as a wing back or left midfielder is about right. Glad to have him here, wouldn't cry if he was replaced by better.

dealcanvey 7:30 Wed Dec 15
Re: Team for Arsenal
What’s all the masuaku hate about?

Has a great touch and technique but a liability defensively.

When we play 3 cbs both he and cresswell work well together.

He’s a decent squad player.

Mex Martillo 7:20 Wed Dec 15
Re: Team for Arsenal
Daveyg, Masuaku did score the winning goal against Chelsea. How is that nothing?

Did you celebrate that goal?

Or was it "oh fuck that useless Masuaku just accidentally score us a winning goal, what a cunt" " I hope he never plays for us again mardy nearly French tosser"

I don't know, he has had some terrible games, but his last 2 have been pretty good and enjoyable to watch him going forward, even if he has a touch of our teams inability to deliver into the box.

daveyg 3:17 Wed Dec 15
Re: Team for Arsenal
I just can't see how you think that showed good technique. It was relatively poor, was always going to miss and Pope does what all keepers do now in that they still follow the ball with no intention of touching it. It covers all possibilities and makes them look better to all, a confidence booster to team mates that they are alert to everything.
You feel the need to play someone who contributes nothing.
If he plays today Saka,a far more intelligent player will have a field day.

Manuel 12:17 Wed Dec 15
Re: Team for Arsenal
As I said before Burnley, Fornals or Benny, who cares. You can pretty much guarantee that neither will do much of note.

Big games this under the lights, there. I can almost spell the onions, on a dark freezing evening.

fraser 11:26 Wed Dec 15
Re: Team for Arsenal

Bizarre isn't it, especially when you've told us all you knew exactly what he thought ;-)

Come On You Irons 11:24 Wed Dec 15
Re: Team for Arsenal
Let's hope Fornals is back in tonight for Benrahma, who was shockingly bad (even by his standards) against Burnley. I found it quite bizarre of Moyes to have started Fornals in the European dead rubber and to have dropped him against Burnley. I can't get my head around the thinking behind that one.

fraser 10:51 Wed Dec 15
Re: Team for Arsenal
Johnson won't be starting, he's injured.

Mex Martillo 8:11 Wed Dec 15
Re: Team for Arsenal
Hammer and Pickle 9:14 Tue Dec 14 it is odd Fornals not playing, he didn't really do anything wrong, not sure if we don't know about an injury or if Moyes is trying some kind of rotation.

Psycho4Spuds0 12:31 Wed Dec 15
Re: Team for Arsenal
Alese, Ashby and Okoflex didn’t play for the U23 yesterday so may be in the squad.

tnb 10:56 Tue Dec 14
Re: Team for Arsenal
I do worry about Cresswell, it all seems rather mysterious. He runs into a post, then he’s supposedly in with a chance of the Brighton game then no word of him for three games since and now all of a sudden he’s in with a chance of the Arsenal game 3 or so weeks later. Either he’s done some decent damage to his back or he’s exacerbated something existing cause running into a lump of metal is going to hurt but it shouldn’t incapacitate you to the point that no one seems to know quite what your status is for weeks on end.

Assuming he is fit, he starts but otherwise I’d go for Johnson on the left. I can understand people saying Masuaku has done better recently but not defensively he hasn’t. The rest of the defence picks itself - Coufal Dawson Diop, then Cresswell/ Johnson.

Rice and Soucek are automatic picks too, obviously - I’d really hoped that Kral would turn up by now and allow Soucek to have a rest over this period but it’s not going to happen is it.

As per the original post, there isn’t any viable alternative to Antonio up front so we just have to hope he can play himself into some form.

The only decisions then are in the three attacking positions then - three of Benrahma, Fornals, Lanzini, Bowen, and Masuaku. For me, for work rate as much as anything, Bowen and Fornals are non-negotiable. So that just leaves one of the others to play on the left. Particularly against Arsenal who are likely to have three in the middle, we are going to need Fornals helping out in there as Rice/ Soucek are likely to be occupied with Odegaard quite often.

So Masuaku, Lanzini, or Benrahma? I’d say Lanzini to start but there’s not much in it. I’d be adequately satisfied if not happy with any of them, or not really any more disappointed with any one over the others to put it another way.

My only wild card suggestion would be to really pack the midfield and count on the full backs for width - go for a 4-4-2 diamond which gets Bowen close to Antonio in much the way he was in the 2nd half against Chelsea:


Cresswell/ Johnson





Then Masuaku or Benrahma can come on if we switch to a wider formation. Could give Arteta something to think about. As well as his terrible choice of captain, that is.

Pee Wee 10:32 Tue Dec 14
Re: Team for Arsenal
Not Antonio

Hammer and Pickle 9:14 Tue Dec 14
Re: Team for Arsenal
I fully agree that Fornals should be starting for this game.

onsideman 9:00 Tue Dec 14
Re: Team for Arsenal
For a disciplined, organised, hard working side, Masuaku is a liability. End of discussion

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