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April 2021

Arsenal now have three teams, all ready to go

By Tony Attwood, on a wet Sunday morning…

It is rare that one can draw up three full Arsenal teams without any overlap of players.  And it is impossible (at least for me) to do it without making a muddle of it all especially as one moves down to the second and third eleven.

But never having been afraid of making a total prat of myself in public, here goes.

The first eleven looks quite easy to me…


Sagna Vermaelen Mertesacker Santos


Wilshere Arteta

Gervinho van Persie Benayoun


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This of course assumes everyone is fit, and no one has just played three games in two days for his country.

Which takes us onto the back up team…


Jenkinson, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs


Ramsey, Diaby

Walcott, Park,  Arshavin


Clearly it is not going to work like this – some players will be injured and there has to be a bench – plus a bit of rotation in order to keep everyone fresh.  But it is Sunday, there’s no football of note, and I like dreaming and playing.

The third team is the hardest one, because try as I might I find it hard to keep up with the reserves and youth team.  The reserves have played two and won two, and the word is that this is looking to be a bright team.   At this moment I can’t tell you anything about the youth team players (if anyone would like to write a column for Untold about the Reserves and Youth, please do write in), but the records show they have played two, won one and lost one.

But I am not dipping that far down because there’s enough in the reserve team to keep me happy.


Coquelin Squillaci Ignasi  Yennaris


Eastmond Freeman

Ryo Chamakh Oxlade Chamberlain


Still not used: Benik Afobe, Chuks Aneke, Sanchez Watt, Kyle Embecilio…

Three teams.  Surely between them, that ought to allow us to put out a decent side for each game.

Not too bad eh?

And think of the league cup.  No more utterly unknowns coming out.  It is going to be like last season with a very strong side playing.

Bem Vindo André Santos

Per Mertesacker: the fact file

Untold’s Prediction: The 25 players for this season

The Evening That Was: Deadline Day wrapped up

Full index of posts: The player index

46 comments to Arsenal now have three teams, all ready to go

  • Rhys Jaggar

    You don’t just get injured playing 2 internationals: Arsenal regularly play 2 games a week through much of the season.

    It is now documented in the media that Arsenal played Wilshere ‘into the red zone’ at the back end of last season, the price of which is now apparent. That wasn’t Capello, that was Arsenal. It’s documented. Face up to it……it wasn’t the first time and I doubt it will be the last…..

    Wouldn’t you say that Arsenal’s draw in the Carling Cup was a marvellous excuse to give a few senior players a rest and let the experienced youngsters play with a few other senior players? I would…..

    The day Arsenal use their squad wisely, holistically and in a manner which acknowledges the limits to the human body will be the day they can lambast international sides.

    I hope that this season is the first in which that can be said……

    Try writing some 4-2-3-1s, some 4-5-1s, some 4-4-1-1s as well: they may also be necessary…..

  • Dan

    Good to see Arsenal can line-up three teams, indeed!
    And don’t forget Rosicky, I still rate him as a good squad (2nd team, maybe) player…:)

  • Shard


    LOL.. It’s Kyle Ebecilio.. He’s not an Imbecile 🙂

    For the rest Freeman doesn’t play in Central Midfield, he’s more a LW or Striker, and I’m not sure if Yennaris plays left back. He play RB for sure, and maybe DM at times.

    Maybe not quite 3 full teams yet, but we’re getting there 🙂

  • Harris

    You haven’t included Rosicky in any team!

  • Ram


    You forgot to include Rosicky. Surely he deserves (at the very least) a spot in the 3rd team. or do you just not rate him?

  • Udeme Bassey

    Please Rosicky is not there his name is suppose to be in the pkace of Diaby

  • Red london

    So you’d put in benayoun over Walcott? Walcott is just hitting form again and is on fire! Rethink and include rosicky in the 2nd team.

  • Youre right technically speaking we have 3 teams.However, only two of those teams could win games in the premier league,champions league and the two cups.Still at least as you say we now have 2 strong teams.Intresting that you would have benayoun start ahead of walcott,i never thought of that,walcott could be used as an impact sub.On another note our 1st team does look very strong…cant wait for the rematch at the emirates,wait till united play our proper starting 11!

  • Demko

    Rocky and Diaby are always easily forgotten by arsenal fans.please take note when ever diaby is inform he does well for the team and you guys have forgotten the hero that turned things around against udenice.thats pretty bad..plea remember to always honour them if they dont perform wel now they can stil come do the duty jobs for us

  • Arsenal

    Replace benayoun with Walcott in the first team.and there you go. Also Ryo and Chamberlain shouldn’t be used in the third team, just on the bench. Also, for the third team, Ozyakup is an attacking midfielder meanwhile Eastmond is a holding midfielder. Coquelin is also a holding midfielder. But yeah, happy to see some depth

  • Martin

    I am still not convinced we have depth in quality at the back. I like Kos, but Djourou has been really poor since April, club and country. I thought he was shocking when England played Switzerland, I really hope we get another Centre Back still as well as a Defensive Midfielder. I like the look of Frimpong, but I think lacks discipline both in terms of aggression and defensive responsibilty. If we lose four or five at the back like before, I still think we would struggle. The attacking options for me are good.

  • really

    Uhh…really? You got Mertasacker is a RCB and Vermaelen is a LCB, are you retarded? Since when did Vermaelen begin to play RCB regularly when he is left footed? Benayoun over Walcott are you mad? With a front 3 it’s more likely to be ‘Walcott, V.Persie, Gervinho’ not what you lined up….FFS ¬.¬ Your sure you’r an Arsenal fan?

  • flash

    you forget name rosicky, afobe, ebecillo. But am ok with ur teams list dat means we have three good squads dat can deliever if they put on good fight 4 d duration of each game.

  • AFC Shareholder

    Rosicky, Afobe and Henderson must be in front of Yennaris and Ozyakup, but how is this for a 4th team? still without the likes of Martinez, McDermott, Ebicilio, Angha, Monteiro, Brislen-Hall, Ansah, Neita


    We also have 10 players out on loan. People say we dont have depth, that is not the issue, what we still lack is more quality in the 25 man squad. Vastly improved this window but over the next 2 windows i want to see 7 players replaced like for like.

    Squillaci – Cahill
    Djourou – Vertonghen
    Gibbs – Baines
    Diaby – Mvila
    Rosicky – Sneijder
    Arshavin – Hazard
    Chamakh – Benzema

  • John

    The 3rd side
    Switch Coquelin into the middle Yennaris to RB and Maede into LB, Ozyakup moves in replacing Eastmon he will not make it at Arsenal chnage Freeman who is a left sided forward and replace with Aneke

  • rohit

    oops….giving a place for rosicky means…bye bye diaby??

  • Gooner S

    First team will be (4-3-3):

    Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Santos
    Song, Wilshere, Arteta
    Walcott, Van Persie, Gervinho
    Subs: Fabianski, Park, Arshavin, Benayoun, Ramsey, Gibbs, Kozzer

    This leavs Diaby, Miquel, Djourou, Rosicky, Frimpong, Ryo, Chamakh, Oxlade Chamberlain to come in subject to injuries and suspensions.

    This time next year I think the following will no longer be with us: Song, Rosicky, Squillaci, Chamakh, Arshavin, Almunia.

    I wouldn’t mind a switch to 4-4-2:
    Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Santos
    Arteta, Song, Wilshere, Gervinho
    Walcott, Van Persie
    Subs: Fabianski, Park, Arshavin, Benayoun, Ramsey, Gibbs, Kozzer


    chamack deserves some respect. he is not that bad to be put into the third team. he should be in the second.give him time.

  • Ed

    i would put walcott in the first team ahead of Benayoun. he has done enough this season to warrant that unless benayoun shows some great form.

    i also think our 3rd team is probably Championship standard, but a mix between the 2nd and 3rd teams could be good for the carling cup like before.

  • Ajao Akintunde

    This is my own first team Szczesny,

    Sagna, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Santos,


    Wilshere, Arteta,

    Gervinho, van Persie, Park. Thanks…

  • bob

    Like others before today, where did Rosicky go?
    Is this a blind spot? don’t like him? know something (c’mon spill the beans) that others don’t? He’s been way undervalued by your posting.

  • Chowdhury

    @AFC Shareholder ==> Don’t forget to save your game before you leave.

  • Ellidinho

    A belated part on the back to Arsene Wenger for a timely response to the rout last Sunday!!However i now call upon him to play chess and tactically use the personnel at his disposal wisely, by not really having a first 11,but fielding depending on our opponents!It might also be wise for Arsenal to replace our beloved assistant manager with a younger man who will help AW in making quick and appropriate decisions during our matches! Otherwise i can’t wait to watch our next game against Swansea!! We need not change our footballing philosophy as Swansea play our type of game and we should look to seriously add to our goals difference!!!

  • critic

    Rhys that’s a great point….

  • Dark Prince

    Hav all you guys even considered the number of teams that ManU or Chelsea can create?? I suppose ManU’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd team would be much better and tougher than our respective teams.
    Look at City, they have 2 different teams full of superstars…. Now thats good enough to go through the league and easily till the semis of every competition….

  • John

    City and Utd have far more resources so of course they can put out better sides??

  • Stevie E

    Dark Prince
    And yet we are still able to compete! Makes you proud to be a Gooner doesn’t it? Or does it, still not sure what your true colours are.

  • bob

    Well, to say the obvious,
    Wilshere and Diaby both injured scuppers the forward midfields of scenarios 1 and 2. Have to laugh, it hurts too much at the moment.

  • Natanael_Br_Gooner

    Walcott has a place in first eleven and Rosicky in second team.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    This Fantasy football Manager exercise makes me laugh as well Bob. It isn’t just the names on the teamsheet that count but the motivation, commitment, and no surrender attitude that counts as well. That was the difference between United and the rest of the pack last season. They had the equivalent of our run=in earlier in the season but they kept on believing they’d win and they performed like they were not willing to accept ANY other outcome.
    Last season we were bullied into defeat quite a few times and while we beat the best, we dropped way too many points at home to poor teams.
    This season we have proven EPL and International leaders on the field or on the bench: Mertesacker,Benayoun, Arteta, Park, and Santos as well as Vermaelen, Song and Szcesny taking command at the back so for once we have more leadership and experience and it WILL show!

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    This Fantasy football Manager exercise makes me laugh as well Bob. It isn’t just the names on the teamsheet that count but the motivation, commitment, and no surrender attitude that counts as well. That was the difference between United and the rest of the pack last season. They had the equivalent of our run-in earlier in the season but they kept on believing they’d win and they performed like they were not willing to accept ANY other outcome.
    Last season we were bullied into defeat quite a few times and while we beat the best, we dropped way too many points at home to poor teams.
    This season we have proven EPL and International leaders on the field or on the bench: Mertesacker,Benayoun, Arteta, Park, and Santos as well as Vermaelen, Song and Szcesny taking command at the back so for once we have more leadership and experience and it WILL show!

  • Waleed

    where is it documented that we played him into the red zone? I’d like to see it.

  • Waleed

    How does your motivation, commitment, and no surrender attitude theory of success explain how Man U were so bad away from home? Were those principles abandoned away from old trafford? Or is there something else?

  • Really don’t know why I left out Rosicky. My apologies – I really do rate the player so it was pure dumbness on my part nothing else.

  • Cornelius Ombagi -KENYA

    please for heavens sake don’t include the poorest defender i have ever seen in my live MR JOHAN donjorou very very poor indeed miguel should be a head of him two players i will never forgive at arsenal ALUMINIA,JODJOROU .please let them go better squillachi than Djoruo

  • Cornelius – if Djourou is the worst you have see in your life, then I am not sure you have seen much football.

  • @Tony,
    So true. I doubt anyone has fond memories of Pascal ‘Zinedine’ Cygan in an Arsenal shirt.

  • Cornelius Ombagi -KENYA

    Tony have seen a lot in football and iam arsenal by kenya we die for arsenal BUT how can a professonal defender allow the ball to pass between his legs twice what was he doing in the filed ? he confuses the whole defence,consider the young jenkisorn good indeed brave and able to read the game well ,yes he made mistakes but all beacuse of djorou.. yes there was cygan but not for ever ihope he follows cygan .I insit MIGUEL IGNAS IS FAR MUCH BETTER, djorou is very sloppy just watch the goals and how tracks back.THEN OUR DEFENCE COACHING TEAM IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

  • Cornelius Ombagi -KENYA

    MR TONY , there is one thing that is clear if we rank all current defenders who have have played for the Gunners what will be his position . Mr ALEX song CAN PLAY BETTER HAS A DEFENDER I UNDERSTAND HE STARTED HIS CAREER IN THE MIDFIELD.. but we have seen others starting from there a doing very well .For sure his a major contributing factor to a very poor defence…Please comment

  • FunGunner

    @ Rhys Jaggar

    Jack is employed by AFC and paid by AFC and is a key player for AFC. AW is entitled to play him. He is not obliged to, nor should he, take into account the needs of the national team. The national set up makes no contribution to his player’s wages and made none to his coaching from junior to first team player.

    Wilshere probably laid the foundation for the injury playing for us, but can you tell me that Capello would not play a key player in the World Cup or the Euros if he had no other options, despite that player being on the edge? Of course he would, if he thought that player could help England win. We know that if JW had not withdrawn, the England authorities would have played him, unnecessarily, in the U21 games as well. So much for their concern for his welfare.

    It is ironic that you should make that recommendation about how to use the CC, because that is how AW has used it – to rest senior players and give the kids a chance. What is more he did this in the face of growing discontent from the fans who wanted more player resources thrown at this competition. Last year, in a compromise gesture to fans and in a bid to target that trophy, he did use senior players in the CC. We came close but suffered for it with player fatigue and injuries. I for one hope he goes back to his usual policy.

  • FunGunner

    @ Tony
    A lot of talent around. I agree with those who say it’s two teams realistically and some cracking subs.

  • Stevie E

    Maybe this will bring back some happy memories –
    He’s bald,
    He’s shit,
    Gets a game when no-one’s fit,
    Cygan, Cygan 😀

  • nicktolhurst


    Your 3 team list makes me wonder about Chamakh’s longterm future at the club as I’m starting to think that Benik Afobe is inching ahead of him and thats assuming that none of Bendtner, Vela or Campbell return anytime soon…..

  • Ronnie Brown

    Scezney, Santos, Vermaelan, Per, Sagna, Song, Diaby, Wilshere, Gervinho, Van Persie, Walcott.

    Fabianski, Gibbs, Koscienly, Djoure, Jenkinson, Frimpong, Arteta, Rosisky, Benayon, Park, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain

    Not sure about the 3rs team due to the full backs but we have some options, Mannone, Almunia, Miquel, Squillaci, (just noticed I missed out Ramsey, that wasn’t deliberate, was an oversight, he would be in my 2nd team), Arshavin, Myachi, Chamakh, Afobe, Aneke, Coqeulin, Eastmond, Freeman, Henderson, Watt, Ozyakup, Martinez, and I wonder when the likes of Toral and Bellerin will get a run in the Carling Cup, next season maybe? I wouldn’t be suprised if one of them makes large progress like Cesc did and gets more game time when we expected,

  • Ronnie Brown

    Djourou in my opinion was our best defender last season, I don’t know what happened to him since the end of last season, possibly an injury issue I heard him say but he has been poor since then, it’s a real shame as he was a dominant force last season, I hope he can reclaim his form, he is a good guy so I wish him the absloute best and hope he can do it, he is still young, I’d like him to stay and get back his form.

  • Ronnie Brown

    You can’t always sell a player just cause there not inform, yes I believe you can drop them but I not always sell them, if this was the case there would be no Ronney at Man U now and look how important he is for them, RVP has had dips in form for us throughout his career until a year or two ago where he gained more consistancy, Wilshere has even had some form drops, Arshavin in my opinion has been largely poor so long I wouldn’t mind selling him, we seem to struggle every game he plays, I would rather play Gervinho, Walcott, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Afobe and others above him on his current form, he was amazing when he first came, world class, if he replicated that form later we would have easily one the league, when he first came he was just phenomonal, it seems he lost his pace and he got unfit.