Pick your team versus Cologne

It seems that Arsenal supporters have gone quiet at this testing time, either because they are biting their tongues in the hope that we will be surprised by some unexpected quality signings or because their faith in the management leaves them in no doubt that Le Boss will weave his magic and everything will be fine come the start of next season.

Luckily we have a game of football ahead to act as a distraction from the growing tension of the Cesc saga (he’s all but gone let’s face it) and the results of what Gazidis describes as being ‘very active’ in the transfer market.

It’s a couple of days away, but there is a game in Cologne on Saturday afternoon. This will be another chance to see how the team will set up and how new players are fitting in. Hopefully we’ll see Gervinho play but I expect Cesc to have not recovered from his little injury. Will Nasri play? After Mancini’s announcement that he expects to sign Samir by the end of the month maybe he too will be a ‘leeetle bit short’ for this game.

If we lose Cesc and maybe Nasri, will we still be able to compete for a whole season and finish near the top of the Premiership?

Take the opportunity to pick from those who we know will be available and let’s see if we have a side that can not only beat Cologne, but can maintain our extraordinary run of top four finishes under ArsΓ¨ne Wenger?

64 Responses to Pick your team versus Cologne

  1. swed says:

    1st Half:
    ……………Van P…….Walcott…………


  2. Geoff Strong says:

    Nice idea……………..


    Chosen with a view to life without Cesc and Nasri.

    In this formation, Song can drop back alongside Kos to create a back four as required during play. Walcott & Gervinho cutting in from the wings (ala Henry/Ljunberg) with two great passers in RVP and AA to supply them.

    Three ball winners in central midfield in Ramsey, Song and Wilshire.

  3. mad_gooner says:


    jenkinson djourou vermalean traore


    nasri wilshere

    gervinho/walcott miyachi


    we need an experienced DM asap or we are in deep shit when song goes off to the african nations cup unless vermalean plays there not bad but waste of a good CB

  4. Graham Wandrag says:

    Sagna Koz Thomas Gibbs
    Walcott Wilshere Ramsay Arshavin
    Gervinho RvP

    Nasri for Walcott 2nd half Traore for Gibbs

    Sell Song he is garbage

  5. DM says:


    Sagna Djourou Vermaelen Gibbs

    Gervinho Arshavin

    Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Traore, Ramsay, Diaby, Miyaichi, Frimpong, Lansbury, Rosicky, Vela, Chamakh.

    Note that I fully expect if we sell both Cesc and Nasri that we will buy another attacking midfielder. I also reckon we will buy a CB and possibly another striker. I picked this team based on people we know right now we will have available – with the possible exception of Miyaichi who is based on getting a work permit, but I didn’t want to leave him out as he excites me as a prospect. There’s also talk of Lansbury being loaned out but I hope he doesn’t. So basically there’s a good chance that 2 or 3 of these players won’t be regular starters, but for now this is what we’ve got.

    Would like to see some rotation in the squad in terms of bringing in Frimpong for Song a bit, trying out Miyaichi on the wing, maybe switching Walcott and Gervinho around, and trying to realise Ramsay’s potential.

  6. mad_gooner says:

    @geoff strong very interesting formation though song is too slow for that sort of play…djourou(good solid header) in place of kosc and either vermalean(more mobile all rounder) or kosc(mean tackler) pushed up should be interesting

  7. DM says:

    wow that didn’t work at all.. the formation was




    then see above

  8. Bohye Pedro says:

    Jenkinson Djourou Vermaele Traore

    Song Wishere


    Walcott van Persie Gervinho

  9. London says:

    Being active in the transfer market could mean negotiating terms with Barcelona for Cesc’s departure as well as meaning negotiating with Nasri to stay.

    Taking Gazidis recent comments to mean that more signings are coming strikes me as being a bit naive, not that I think its all doom and gloom if new players do not materialise, I can live with the squad but hey as a supporter I would always be happy to see new additions.

  10. DM says:

    Geoff, quite like your formation, v interesting and looks excellent going forward, but I wouldn’t trust Song to stay back. He’d go on some forward run and when we lose the ball we’d be totally exposed at the back, which we already are with 4 defenders, let alone 3. I do like the idea though, maybe just a little tweeking.

  11. yobra-Kenya says:

    I think in a game like soccer commitment is very important and if you can have a look on teams that have lifted trophies of late and years back, the composition of the player have been those who are ready to die for the team and give there all.I’m not supporting any other team but arsenal but pliz just look at Rooneys, Vidic,Lamperd,Suarez, Persie,TV5, Jack just to mention a few, they way they give everything they have. My point is the team luck commitment from some of the player and it is high time you let them go and replace them with candidate who knows what putting arsenal shirt on mean.

    That would be enough for nw.my pick on the line-up

    Have lined up Bartley coz he is better than Squilachi and would luv to see him prove himself to wenger in this game. who is with me?

  12. Since when do we play 442 as several seem to suggest here?

    This is what i’d like to see, presuming Cesc doesnt play and Walcott gets to try out as a striker.


    Second option is:


  13. John says:

    Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Gibbs
    ——-Wilshere Nasri———–
    Van P——-Vela—–Arshavin

    2nd Half

    Jenkinson Bartley Djourou Gibbs
    ———Wilshere Ramsey———-

    Late Subs: Gervinho, Rosicky, Traore, Chamakh

  14. Ken-Kenyan Gooner says:

    ………………………….Van Persie…………………………

    This for me is looking like our first eleven for next season whether we buy or not and to me this has the best balance and these players will compliment each other very well.

  15. London says:


    …Sagna, Koscielny,Vermaelen,Gibbs




    I believe this is the strongest team we have. If Cesc stays I would drop Wilshere to the bench, force Song to stay back and let Nasri and Fabregas wreak havoc.

  16. Rasp says:

    Hi London,

    We had nothing to publish today. Peaches wrote the last part about choose your team before she had to go to site and I hastily wrote the introduction and reference to Gazidis. I was careful not to imply that we should expect any signings and agree with your assessment of the situation.

    I’m very pleased that so many have responded and come up with some interesting formations and selections.

  17. Gabriel Kupololo says:


    CLARK **Vermeanel **Koscienly **GIBBS


    Wilshere Ramsey

    Walcot Van persie Nasri


  18. Gabriel Kupololo says:


    CLARK **Vermeanel **Koscienly **GIBBS


    *********Wilshere ************Ramsey***_***

    Walcot ************Van persie**********Nasri


  19. Geoff Strong says:

    Hi DM,

    Song has to learn sometime :-). But I also feel that Jack and Aaron have the discipline to cover and drift wide as required. They are the future of our central midfield.

  20. steve leverton says:

    sagna, Koscienly, vermalen, gibbs
    walcot, wiltshire, song, ryo
    gervinho, van persie

  21. John says:

    In certain games we need Song to push up, there are games our DM is redundant and with Jack in there it gives Song some freedom. He does need to be drilled tactically with counter attacking teams though, Frimpong is more conventional in the DM role he has a very good engine and is powerful- him and Wilshere compliment each other very well. Frimpong is someone the opposition would know was there as he puts it about, I cannot wait for him to get busy in the league.

  22. steve leverton says:

    sanga, koscielny, djourou gibbs
    walcot, wiltshire, vermalen, ryo
    gervinho, van persie

  23. Stewdog says:

    4-1-2-1-2 (Diamond)

    *********** Szezchny ********************

    Sagna **** Vermalean *** Koscielny *** Gibbs

    *********** Song ***************************

    ******* Wilshere ** Ramsey ***************

    ************* Nasri *************************

    ******* Van Persie ***************************

    ******************* Gervinho ***************



    Some would say this formation is too narrow, but if you remember when we last won the prem, we played with a very compact midfield, with the a feature of the play the full back getting forward and rotation between the front players! I believe this formation is more suited to our playing squad once fabregas leaves.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    I like to see more of our youngsters and new signings: I want to see them properly tested, which they would get in Germany, this weekend.

    ———– Manone——–

    Fun post Peaches, Rasp!

  25. Geoff Strong says:

    Hi mad_gooner,

    I like the idea of Vermaelen as the defensive midfielder if we buy another CB.


    Part of our problem at the back is that our full-backs push forward so much, a back 3 will stay there, hopefully with one dropping slightly deeper to negate our other achilles heel – the long ball down the middle.

  26. John says:

    Koscielny was easily our best defender last season after only 1 season, with Vermaelen back in there and Djourou as 3rd choice then these defenders are much more suited to our style than either of Samba or Cahill… Squilllaci was the liability but even then Bartley is ready to be fourth choice and theres still Miguel who will probably go out on loan. Our future is brighter than most, in terms of signings I would like to get Juan Mata and Yohann Gourcuff and with the departures of our more frail players such as Bendtner, Clichy, Denilson and Almunia…. and put an end to the Cesc saga we can easily fill that void with the 2 additions mentioned above- then we’ll be more than ready this season and I would also argue better suited to the Premiership.

  27. Gooner86 says:

    Sagna Koscielny Gibbs


    Nasri Cesc Wilshere

    Gervinho Arshavin

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Peaaches, Rasp,

    I emailed a draft post πŸ™‚

  29. maxwel ochieng says:

    9.Van Persie.
    9.Van Persie.

  30. Rasp says:

    Thanks TA, you’re a star πŸ˜›

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    CHeers Rasp. Feel free to mess about with the title /lay-out

  32. JB212 says:

    LOL, very good point, when did we start playing 4-4-2 again ?

    I would like to see the squad set up like this in the first half:

    Jenksinson—–Bartley —–Djourou—–Traore
    ———————— J.ET——————————-

    Then at half time, these changes to be made:

    ————————-van Persie———————–

    I believe Wenger should see how the “ready” youth he has and try and blend them into the first team. They do seem good enough in my opinion. Frimpong bossed the AC Milan and even bullied GATTUSO a couple times (someone who rampaged against the spuds). Bartley seems like a good centre back already, I’d even push to say from looking at the Ranger’s games he seems near enough or better than Chris Smalling. He should be given enough game time in pre-season to see what he’s like and if he’s ready.

    If we lose Fabregas AND Nasri (they are two extremely big losses), but I think Wenger would have to change the way we play to adapt to being without them which I think we could do, Nasri may be more inclined to stay if Fabregas goes cause then he could take his place (which I don’t think he should, due to not being a proper playmaker). IF they both go, I would like to see Montolivo and Mata brought in and if Bartley doesn’t seem up to the job I would like to see Samba/Cahill bought in. In terms of the ball players in the middle of the park am pretty happy with the people we have: Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Lansbury, Diaby. It’s the defensive side that worries me, they’ll both be off in January to the African Cup of Nations leaving us with no proper holding mids. I say we buy/loan Scott Parker and if not him try and get Moussa Sissoko (or Sakho, which would allow either Djourou or Vermaelen to possibly play there as they both seem capable).

  33. Aberdeen gooner says:

    Team to start in koln
    Sagna —-TV5—–Kos—–Gibbs
    Second half bring on Frinpong for song, Gervinio for Theo and Arshavin for Nasri
    Give others a late run out if necessary

  34. Hearnaldinho says:




    Gervinho————- —Van persie——————–Ryo


  35. harry says:

    Some very interesting formations and line ups and some very notable omissions?

    Considering yesterdays post on the possible affect of arshavin and so many leave him out………

    With friendlies wenger tends to put out mixed teams in both halves, i would prefer him to play a stronger line up from the start and then start making changes from half time………

    My line ups:


    Sagna —————-TV—Koz——————- Gibbs

    ———————-Wilshere Song————————


    Ryo ———————————————–Gervinho


    Half time:


    Jenikson————Djourou- Bartley————–Traore

    ———————–Rosicky Frimpong——————–



    ————————-Van Persie—————————

    Nasri on for Arshavin on 60
    JET on for Van persie at 80
    Lansbury on for Rosicky at 80

  36. terry says:

    jenkinson bartley kozzer gibbs
    gervinho frimpong nasri mayachi
    Rvp vela

  37. chas says:

    Sharkey, were you taking the MDI89, last night.?

  38. Jacobs says:

    ————————– Mannone β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”
    Sagna β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”Vermalineβ€”β€”β€”Kozβ€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”- Gibbs
    β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€” Wilshire ——– Ramsey β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”
    Ryo ———————————————–Gervinho
    Half time:

    Sagna β€”β€”β€”β€”β€” Jenikson β€”β€”β€”Vermalineβ€”β€”β€” Gibbs
    β€”β€”β€”-Rosiskyβ€”β€”β€” Wilshire ——– Ramsey β€”β€”β€”β€”
    Walcot ———————————————–Gervinho/Ebue

    β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”-Van Persieβ€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”

    Let Nasri leave if he is persistent. Wenger should sell Fabrigas, even if its $20m. Let him see and know that he can be replaced. He has held us to ramsom for too long

  39. DM says:

    Geoff –
    Completely agreed that Rambo and Jack are our midfield for the foreseeable future, just not 100% convinced that Rambo’s ready for it all just yet. Jack showed last season that he was, and hopefully Rambo will do the same this season, just it remains to be seen. There’s also the prospect of Frimpong who apparently is being tipped to be this year’s Jack.

    As far as the defence goes, I see your point about a back 3 that actually stay back but I still see it as too much of a risk to play straight away. Everyone knows our weakness is our defence so to take a defender away from there is asking for trouble – even if Song is supposed to be covering.. Last year we had a back 4 and Song was supposed to sit in front of them and protect them – instead of which he too often went forward and left them exposed. So best case scenario he actually stays back – it’s still not any better than having a solid back 4 – and worst case scenario he goes forward too often – we’re screwed!

    I do like the look of it but practically speaking I think we should start off with a traditional 4 at the back and see how strong they are. If it looks like the weak points have been addressed then we can always play around with it later.

  40. DM says:

    Jacobs –
    I, like many others, share your obvious desire to clone van Persie and use two of him in our team, but that seems a little unrealistic :p

    Also, switch Gervinho and Ryo. Ryo prefers the left and Gervinho favours the right flank.

  41. London says:

    Seems like Gazidis has been a bit more active in the transfer market than I have been giving him credit for; a Β£10 million offer for Jagielka shows more intent to strengthen the defence than I thought likely. And what an interesting choice, he is bit like a Swiss army knife; that’s to say; he can do everything and please everyone.

    Top of the list being that he is English which would please all those who have been calling out for a bit more of the bull dog spirit in the team, a CB, I don’t know where to start with this one, maybe street parties in Islington to celebrate before parading him on an open top bus and last but not least a DM which would make him back up to Song, my god just how many boxes can one player tick.

    We all know the drill now, this one should be kicked of by Jack, perhaps twitter messages saying how his mate Jags is desperate to join Arsenal and then when Everton complain Jack should just say that he was trying to help his mate and Arsenal lol.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    This might put Rasp in an extra good mood today, London. It looks to me like a fake-offer – clearly Everton will not let Jagielka go for Β£10m when he just signed a new contract – in order to put pressure on Bolton re selling Samba or Cahill…

  43. evonne says:

    Jagielka a British bulldog with a Polish name πŸ™‚

    I have read the comments and have mixed feelings whom I would like to see on Saturday. It is fair to give youngsters a chance to play in games that matter little, but it is equally important to try the team before they kick the ball on 13th August.

    I am of the opinion that my Cesc is gone and Samir will follow shortly. Wenger has no doubt a new formation in mind, hopefully with AA in a central position and that needs to be tested now.

    So for me, it is the first squad as we know it, with Gervinho, minus Cesc and Samir

  44. herbi77 says:

    ———————– Szczesny ————————–
    Jenkinson —- Bartley Djourou — Traore/Gibbs
    ———————— Frimpong ————————–
    —————– Ramsey Wilshere ———————
    ———————— Arshavin —————————-
    —————– Walcott Gervinho ———————-

    4-3-3 (fluid forwards, wingers capable of cutting in & switching sides)
    ———————– Szczesny ————————–
    Jenkinson —- Bartley Djourou — Traore/Gibbs
    —————– Frimpong Wilshere ———————
    ———————— Arshavin —————————
    Vela (RW) —– Walcott (CF) — Gervinho (LW)

    subs: Manone, Lansbury, Miyaichi, JET, + #3,5,6,10,17,29,52?

  45. London says:

    I was careful not to say British.

    You may be right TA.

  46. Gooner In Exile says:

    Afternoon all, the Jagielka deal is full of “we understand” so I’m not believing it.

    Altho Jagielka would be a better option than Cahill or Samba. Can pass tackle and head. Has pace too……BUT he signed 4 year deal in March…Β£10 m isn’t buying him out of that.

    As for lineups they’ve been done to death so won’t add another but nice to see some positive comments about the state of our squad and youth prospects.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi DM, you have been in fine form today πŸ™‚

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Still away so a fleeting visit to the party. Great idea Peaches, and I have the priviledge of sifting through everyone’s carefully thought out line ups and I am going to select a winner. For me. it is London’s:

    …Sagna, Koscielny,Vermaelen,Gibbs




  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just done some thinking, and I am in another mind and it is sticking Nasri top left as he played so effectively there against Chelsea, dropping JW back with Song and giving the Cesc role to AA.
    What the ‘cking hell is an MDI89?

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I know exactly what you miserable lot are up to. You know full well the limitations of my dongle and are hiding behind the sofa.

  51. London says:

    Micky that was my second choice for the best team but either way the eleven remain the same.

  52. chas says:

    Taking the Micky, Micky.

  53. DM says:

    TotalArsenal, well hello again! I’m glad you think so cos I realised a couple of hours ago that I somehow completely missed the point of this post – I was giving my team that we should play for the upcoming season, as it stands right now but with no Cesc or Nasri, completely missed the whole “against Cologne” thing.. NO idea how I managed to miss it considering it’s in the title, and so many comments talk about first half/second half which could only be a friendly.. I was tired? I guess that’ll be my excuse.

  54. ShakeySure says:

    Lol DM….welcome to the land of Alzheimers…don’t fight it, just accept it !

    I’ve never managed to second Arsene’s selections, not gonna start now.

    Looking forward to seeing Gervinho, although I’ll be on holiday in Spain. Perhaps it’ll have to be a late night catch up on Arsenal player

  55. SharkeySure says:

    Right I’ve stuck the R back in Sharkey…and I’m feeling more like my old self again !!

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi DM, you are not the only one who approached this with the desire to put the best possible team selection up; so whether you meant it to be for the FC Koln match, or just for the season, it does not really make any difference.

    It was good to see that you engaged with a number of bloggers during the day: it created some good debate, which I enjoyed reading πŸ™‚

  57. Ellis says:


    sagna koscielny vermaelen gibbs

    song wilshere

    walcott/arshavin van persie mata


    Arsenal’s starting 11 v Newcastle if both Nasri and Fabregas leave.

  58. DM says:

    Sha(r)key.. Alzheimers at 23.. eek, that can’t be good :S

    TotalArsenal – I noticed that others also took my “approach”, and that’s fine, only there’s was probably intentional – mine was just a pure mistake. I probably would’ve done 2 teams (one for each half) too.. But anyway, no matter now. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it all the same!

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s post. G’night guys πŸ™‚

    ps Ellis – optimistic including Mata in the line-up. I wonder who people would choose in a Mata vs Hazard situation. That’d be the day!

  59. Gooner In Exile says:

    How likely is Fabregas deal now? Barca have just committed €37m to signing Sanchez €26m up front. They need to find around €45m to sign Cesc, just how is this debt ridden club going to afford this?

  60. London says:

    My exact thoughts GIE

    Barcelona could have been using the threat of signing Fabregas as a bargaining chip to keep Sanchez’s wages as low as possible. They may not be interested in signing Cesc at all, although, if they are I cannot see the fact that they are so much debt stopping them at all, most banks will lend them money as they know what a cash cow it is.

  61. evonne says:

    We are apparently fighting Juventus to sign Rossi from Villareal.
    So far this summer we have been linked to:
    Joey Bartley
    Phil Jagielka
    Kevin Doyle
    Owen Hargreaves
    Frank Ribbery
    …what a lot of shi*e

  62. Rasp says:


    New post ……

  63. Cos we dont buy n wont win: Mannone: Eboue/Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny n Traore: Song n Wilshere (Central midfield): Gervinho, Walcott, Arshavin n Van Persie ( Attack). If we didnt have a shit of a coach n were actually headed somewhere: Stekelenburg: Eboue/Sagna, Koscielny, Samba n Vermaelen: Melo n Wilshere (Central midfield): Gervinho, Walcott, Van Persie n Benzema/Bent.

  64. weultras.com says:


    […]Pick your team versus Cologne « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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