Stick with Auba or put in the NextGen from the start…

Auba seems to continue his dip in form since signing his mega contract. It could be that he is not getting enough service but when he does, he does not put the ball in the back of the next and that’s what he is asked to do. If our main striker is not scoring, we are going to have struggle winning points…

I believe that at the moment our freshest and hungriest forward is Martinelli and I d start him in every game. I also think that ESR, especially, but the midfield in general play best when Laca is on the pitch so why not go for the following line-up up front:

Saka, ESR, Martinelli – Laca

If Arteta is not happy with Laca, then stick Balogun, Nketiah or Pepe in the mix but for me Saka, ESR and Martinelli should start at the moment if fit.

As for Odegaard, he has yet to convince me. His delivery on set-pieces is interesting but other players can deliver the ball as well like ESR, Saka, Pepe and Laca…

In the last few games, Lokonga has shown good promises and maybe it is time to also give more of a chance to AMN because he played well when called upon…so what if we, in the end, played:

Rams – Tomy, Ben, Gabs, Nuno (or Tierney) – Lokonga, AMN – Saka, ESR, Martinelli – Laca

Would that be a decent line up? Would that be our optimal line-up?

Partey still needs to show his best but our patience is also running out so why not give him a taste of the bench? Then on the bench you have: Leno – Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tierney (or Nuno) – Partey, El Neny – Ode – Pepe, Nketiah, Auba, (+Balogun, Cedric)

So shall we go for it?


57 Responses to Stick with Auba or put in the NextGen from the start…

  1. fatgingergooner says:

    It’s very clear to me that there are 3 far superior sides in the PL right now and we are currently 1 point behind the next best team which at the moment happens to be West Ham. I don’t think we can realistically expect anything more from a young team right now so I do wonder sometimes why there is so much negativity around the side and why people continue to put the manager and team down.

    We all support in our own way, but I really do feel that from recent comments, some would be better served adjusting their expectation levels.

    In response to this post, I think Martinelli should get a game through the middle if Saka is fit enough to start. I’d also like to see Lokonga and Tierney back in the team in place of Elneny and Tavares.

  2. RC78 says:

    Fatgingergooner – I agree that we need to manage expectations as fans but you gotta admit that the loss to Utd was lousy…A win could have been achieved and a draw was the minimum…We have now the following record:

    Loss – 2 goals conceded against Chelsea, no goal scored
    Loss – 5 goals conceded against City, no goal scored
    Loss – 4 goals conceded against Liverpool, no goal scored
    0 point, -11 goal difference

    Loss – 3 goals conceded against Utd, no goal scored
    Win – 0 goal conceded against Leicester, 2 goals scored
    Win – 1 goal conceded against Tottenham, 3 goals scored
    Win – 1 goal conceded against Aston Villa, 3 goals scored
    9 points, +5 goals difference

    Let us see how we go against West Ham and Everton but let us say that our team right now is in the mix to finish between 4th and 8th.

    My expectations are that we should finish in the Top 6 but my ambition for the team is, of course, a Top 4 finish mostly because many teams are not having a great start to the season like Utd, Leicester and Tottenham so we should try to keep the pace with these teams and see if we can somehow finish in the Top 4.

    However, if we did finish in the Top 6 and won a national Cup I would be happy. I think a Cup Win would be the minimum this season because we do have a good team and do not play in Europe so there is not necessarily a need to rotate so so much in Cup Games


  3. RC78 says:

    Sorry – of course we scored 2 goals against Utd.

  4. fred1266 says:

    To be far lacazette isn’t great infront goal either

    But I agree give lacazette, Eddie or balogun a chance cause PEA has been woeful even penalties he can’t even score

  5. Aaron says:


    Am one of the ones here that comment was directed to, and I agree with you.

    Yet, here we are 103 games in with this guy, and the same mistakes are being made, and the futbol is horrendous to watch.

    Doubt me, re-watch the manure game, and observe after the 16h minute how Arteta reverts to form. 1 goal lead and sit back and do not press, standing off players is not pressing, and the attack goes all sideways.

    Remember this was a game in which manure had a manager in for an entire 2 games.

    If AFC go down a goal his come from behind record is very poor by any managerial metric.

    Arteta has a win rate of 53.4% which is not bad, but that includes Cups, Europa, and nothing this year, which really distorts the picture.

    Arsene had a higher win percentage of 57.2%, which includes Cups, and Champions league games for years on end!

    Dude is straight out stubborn in his line ups and does not really even “trust his process.” Have doubts, please do tell me why Auba is even in the line up with these tactics? He gets no service and is expected to score, it is ludicrous.

    Will continue to watch as I am a fan of the club, and the players, yet still believe we will finish somewhere between 6th-10th, however if we end up in 4th than I will be satisfied with the progress, and raise my hand up and say I am wrong.

    If the club finishes 6th or 7th is that really progress? Yes, maybe according to the table, but according to the entertainment value, as things stand, nope.

    Next 4 games will be telling, really need 6 points or we are just treading water.

  6. LB says:

    Couldn’t agree more Slim, top comment as always.

    Elneny was only in for the Manu game, making sense as he put in one of the best performances. Laconga willl surely return on Monday as we should be taking the the game to Everton rather than the other way round and I would have thought that game congestion will be the excuse that Arteta uses to bring Tierney back into the fold.

  7. fred1266 says:

    Rc78 msg 1-1 smh

  8. fred1266 says:

    FA cup final COYG

  9. fred1266 says:

    Playing out from disclosure is going to be the death of Arsenal

    1 nil down

  10. RC78 says:

    Fred…Mbappe comes, he saves the team…story of PSG under Pochetinno…There is no game plan. The guy has so many tools at his disposal and he can’t find a cohesive plan…During the game, we shifted our shape 3 times and poor Verratti played 5 different roles…

    Verratti is a 6 a la Jorginho or an 8 a la Xabi Alonso…Play him any of these two roles, not as a fake 10 on the left wing or a 10 in the center…

    Wijnaldum to be the high-press and also the kind of anchor up front when needed…because Icardi is struggling and Neymar is injured so there you go…

    Navas or Donna – Hakimi, Marquinhos, Ramos, Bernat – Gueye, Verratti – Di Maria, Wilnaldum, Mbappe – Messi

    In that set-up, we should be able to get the most out of our players and the most stability.

  11. fred1266 says:

    Why u think messi not even being a factor thus

  12. RC78 says:

    At the moment, Pochetinno is getting under huge scrutiny by the press and apparently Doha and the players are unhappy BUT there is no good enough coach available since Zidane is not keen to join PSG…

    I think PSG would not do poorly by appointing Lucien Favre as an advisor like Man Utd did with Rangnik. At least, he knows how to set teams up

  13. RC78 says:

    Messi is not a factor because (i) not reached optimal form yet, (ii) getting used to Ligue 1 and (iii) team is not set up properly…

    Messi was coming to get the ball next to the right back yesterday…does not make sense. I watched a few games now and I think the solution is with Wilnaljdum if we keep Pochetinno and it is to ask Wilnaldum (or Dino Dembe) to play that hybrid 8-11 role…

    Anyways, it is a disaster so far and Pochetinno is way out of his depth with us.

  14. fred1266 says:

    Usually u see it other way around people adapting to ligue 1 quicker

  15. RC78 says:

    Chelsea deservedly won. We better win the league now.

    Elsewhere: Utd won, Tottenham won.

    If we do not win, we will remain 7th.
    If we win, we go back to 5th.

  16. fatgingergooner says:


    I’m confused by this new stat you’ve started monitoring where you judge Arteta based on games against teams with new managers. Surely the general consensus in football is that a team with a new manager tends to play far better, so why would Arsenal be expected to beat sides with a new boss???

    Or am I missing something?

  17. fred1266 says:


    We’re the only side that doesn’t get a new manager bounce

  18. Aaron says:


    Because those teams are not playing us the first game under the new manager, but few games later. New manager “bounce” is not the entire season.

    Arteta better win this one, and just go for the jugular or it will not be good for this young team going forward during this December.

    Like I stated earlier, if AFC finish 7th or 8th is that progress?
    Hard pass on Europa too.

    Let’s just smash Everton today, no excuses!

  19. LB says:

    Everyone’s favourite midfielder is back, yay

  20. fatgingergooner says:

    Tune in to watch Arsenal and Sky Sports won’t shut up talking about Rangnick as though he’s transformed United after winning one home game against Palace. 45 minutes of this crap. Neville and Carragher are getting more and more ridiculous in their analysis. Going into minute details about every little thing on the pitch just to keep themselves sounding important. It’d be better if they just started the broadcast 5 minutes before the game.

  21. LB says:

    Why is ESR out?

  22. LB says:

    I only turn the volume on 5 minutes before, hence the question.

  23. fatgingergooner says:

    Saw an article saying he’s got a tight groin. Nothing serious though

  24. LB says:

    Got out of jail there.

  25. RC78 says:

    Indeed…but AFC has not created one chance…what a drag this game is

  26. RC78 says:

    At last!

  27. RC78 says:

    Created 1 chance, scored 1 goal…I am happy with that ration but would rather have 3 chances, 3 goals 😛

  28. RC78 says:

    Poor half except for the last 1 minute for us…

    Partey is struggling…again…
    Ode was a no-show until the goal
    Xhaka a non-incluencer and Tierney delivers a good assist

    Saka does not seem 100%

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    Cracking goal but a poor game so far.

    Hopefully the timing of the goal will see Everton slump and Arsenal can take advantage.

  30. fatgingergooner says:

    How’s Godfrey still on the pitch!?

  31. Las says:

    Thanks, RC for the preview.
    My answer is that I would rather go with the young guns, no Auba, no Laca even without Partey and certainly with no Xhaka.
    As we see Arteta has another thing in his mind and I tend to agree with Aaron this is not real development on the horizon. His tactics are confusing, we are not fighting for tooth and nail. Our transitional and attacking play is many times looks aimless, thoughtless even disspirited. Against Manure, it was really really painful…
    And now this…
    OK, we are leading but not playing well.
    OK, OK, let’s see what we got here, first.

  32. RC78 says:

    Two get out of jails card in one game…I don’t think there will be a 3rd

  33. fatgingergooner says:

    Offside is offside. Richarlison has scored 2 offside goals so VAR and the Arsenal back line doing their job.

  34. RC78 says:

    True but marginal calls. Without the VAR, we are down at least 2-1…

  35. fatgingergooner says:

    Got to say that the conditions have been dreadful which will have had some impact on the game. Been really scrappy and stop/start second half.

  36. RC78 says:

    So…Pepe is now even behind Nketiah in the pecking order for Wingers…wow

  37. RC78 says:

    Partey or Odegaard need to be replaced by El Neny or Lokonga now

  38. RC78 says:

    or Xhaka needs out

  39. RC78 says:

    and there you go…it was a matter of time.

  40. RC78 says:

    We might even lose it now

  41. fatgingergooner says:

    Well we really haven’t helped ourselves have we. Winding the opposition up and being really sloppy in possession. Everton have tried to kick us off the park and I like that we’ve stood up to it a bit, but it’s only worth the gamesmanship if it works in your favour, and I feel what we got involved in has only upset our own rhythm and allowed Everton to take control.

  42. RC78 says:

    How Nketiah misses that sitter…

  43. fatgingergooner says:

    What a goal.

  44. RC78 says:

    So what a goal..Gray has been the difference. Quality striker of the ball.

  45. RC78 says:

    Let us see how we react but I think we get beaten today by a braver team

  46. Las says:

    And that is for Arteta. I think he doesn’t know what he is doing.
    All too bad 😦
    I’m sorry

  47. RC78 says:

    And Auba misses a glorious chance…

    The two last games have been hard to watch to be honest…I wonder when our team will take the game by the scruff of the neck. We are too passive…and then we are lacking some goals – Nketiah and Auba should have scored

  48. LB says:

    So you watch Mbappe, Messi and Neymar week in and week out, I don’t know how you suffer it?

  49. RC78 says:

    Arteta will come under scrutiny comes X-Mas

  50. fatgingergooner says:


    Arteta has been under scrutiny since last Xmas if you talk to some Arsenal fans! 😂

    It was a really poor game in truth and we just didn’t help ourselves. Passing was poor, finishing was poor, and time wasting with 20 minutes left was never going to end well. It seems Arteta has a similar strategy to Emery in that he is obsessed with ‘control’. I’ve said it in the past and I’ll say it again….It doesn’t work in this league. Teams are too tenacious and fans get too much behind their teams to allow them to give up at 1-0, 2-0. The way to win matches in the PL is to go for the throat and dominate when you get the chance. How often are City and Liverpool 3-0 up at half time??? When do we do that!? We aren’t good enough defensively to sit on single goal leads, especially away from home.

    2 home games next and hopefully some improvement in our attacking play.

  51. RC78 says:

    So you watch Mbappe, Messi and Neymar week in and week out, I don’t know how you suffer it?

    At the moment, only Mbappe is playing well and Neymar is injured so also frustrated there.

  52. allezkev says:

    I feel really sorry for our defence, we’ve got a great back four and a top goalkeeper but most of the blokes in front of them are just bang average.

  53. RC78 says:

    I blame Arteta though because he could have easily substituted Partey at half-time…and then poor Xhaka was suffering in the last 30 mins of the game and just like that, we concede two goals. It s not a coincidence…but I agree Allezkev, Partey-Xhaka struggled today and Odegaard was good in the last 20 meters but his defensive shift anad positional awaress is lacking and this is why ESR should start ahead of him every single time…

  54. LB says:

    Oh well, I guess you soldier on with Messi.

  55. LB says:

    If there was any doubt, tonight showed how much quality ESR brings to the team, I doubt that anyone would disagree that he should start ahead of Odegaard but the the Norwegian is improving and the upside for a player of his age and his skill set is very, very high.

  56. Aaron says:

    Needed a win, would have settled for a draw, got what we deserved.

    1 chance in first half and we scored.

    VAR was correct in the letter of the law, but me thinks VAR is $h*tE for the spirit of the game.

    They scored two in the second half to take the match, 2-1, could have ended up 4-2, so ball don’t lie.

    Arteta has the team passing backards trying to move teams out of shape to make time and space available for anyone to take a shot, but we do not have a lot of shooters in the box right now.

    Took unit over 60 minutes for AFC to wake up, and not really until 80 minutes did I feel some real energy and drive to tie the game up.

    Stated before if we lost this game it is not a good one to lose.
    Goal difference is going the wrong direction, and we are where we are supposed to be, maybe even overachieving at the moment:-0

    Going to be 3 really tough games in a row, thank goodness we do not have Europa to deal with as our squad is not deep enough for 2 matches a week.

    Arteta needs to start the engine, brakes be damned.

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