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August 2021

Arsenal v Reading – a wild guess at the team.

Trying to pick Arsenal’s League Cup teams is like trying to … well rather like trying to do something quite difficult.

Arsène Wenger let’s us know who is not playing…

  • Gervinho has an ankle problem and will be out for some time, but how long is not known.
  • Szczesny is fit but not fit enough for the match
  • Wilshere doesn’t really need two games so quickly
  • Oxlade-Chamberlain is still out with an injury
  • Diaby is still out.
  • Rosicky is still out
  • Gibbs is still out

So who have we got then?

Sagna probably doesn’t need another game instantly so that gives us Mannone in goal and Jenkinson.

Koscielny hasn’t had much of a run this season, so that should see him in the middle

Francis Coquelin, Theo Walcott and Andrey Arshavin all look likely given their position on the bench for the last game.

Which gives me


Jenkinson KoscielnyDjourou  Miquel

 Yennaris Frimpong Coquelin Gnabry

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

Walcott  Arshavin


Which even by some of my standards looks fairly odd.   Chamakh could make a return I suppose, but it depends just how far gone he is.   Could Walcott really play down the middle?  Should we not be finding space of Eisfeld?

This is the team we put out against Coventry

Damian Martinez

Ignasi Miquel, Johan Djourou (c), Martin Angha, Nico Yennaris,

Francis Coquelin, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andre Santos

Andrey Arshavin, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott

This is one of the oddest games to predict the line-up for, because there is every chance that Mr Wenger has some other experiment up his sleeve and something unexpected just like the sudden arrival of Gnabry took most of us by surprise.

Apparently if Arsenal win they will qualify for the quarter-finals for the 10th season running.  Not that anyone notices such things.

The books…

The sites…


65 comments to Arsenal v Reading – a wild guess at the team.

  • 49Unbeaten

    Good shout. Me personally though thinks this might be the line up…..


    Jenkinson Kozzer Djourou/Miquel Miquel/Yennaris


    Arshavin Eisfeld

    Walcott Giroud Gnabri

  • Ong Bing

    Surely Miquel on the left, Arsene takes Kos, Djourou and Squillaci.

    Frimpong and Coq as double pivot.

    Eisfel or Gnabry or both will play as creative player.

    Arshavin and Theo will start.

    Giroud or Chamakh start?

    We only take 2 GK, so if something happen at warm up, we don’t have another GK on the bench. 🙂

  • Ong Bing

    Oh, the good things is…
    this game will live on Indonesia 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Gerry Lennon

    I have put up a 4-1-4-1 line up that I thinks suits this game better. Not that it will be the same as AW thinks though?
    Jenks – DJ – Kos – Miq
    Nico – Andrei – Francis – Serge
    I particularly think the Gnabry/Giroud partnership will great if they click, with an eye to the Man U game. These players should be able to switch to a 4-3-1-2 in attack, with Arshavin pulling the strings behind the above pair?
    I think the trio of defensive midfielders, who can all push forward, but preferably not at the same time, as well as tackle quickly to snuff out any counter attacks, This should also leave Arshavin as the outlet ball(mirroring the Cazorla role?).
    I hope Frimpong has a really good game, if only to postpone any thoughts of a loan deal until January, at least. We do need cover for Arteta, and he is stronger on the ball than the other that may be considered?
    On the bench I would like to see Eisfeld and Walcott so they can make the most of the space that starts to appear later in the game?

  • Martinez
    Yennaris – Djourou – Squillaci – Miquel
    Gnabry – Eisfeld – Frimpong – Arshavin – Meade

    With Man Utd coming up, I can’t see Wenger playing Jenkinson, Koscielny, Coquelin, Walcott, or Giroud from the start. I think they’ll all figure on the bench.

    If Giroud gets injured, who plays as striker vs United? I think he could be used as a sub in the last 15 mins or so, but only if totally necessary. This is a perfect game for Chamakh to get game time.

  • Nick Lee

    @ Ong Bing

    So is Singapore 🙂 Incidentally, the ISP just signed another multi-million dollar deal to have the exclusive rights. Last 3 seasons the ISP paid to a tune of S$330 million.

  • Ong Bing

    @Nick Lee

    I am very surprised this year have Capital One Cup live, in recent years, only EPL and FA Cup.

    This is because this TV lost its rights on Champion League to another TV, so they took Capital One Cup.

  • Ong Bing

    No surprise.

    Martinez, Jens, Kos, Djourou, Miquel, Coq, Frimpong, Walcott, Gnabry, Chamakh, Gnabry.

  • Ong Bing

    12″, 1-0 for Reading, we struggle to hold possesion.

  • Ong Bing

    Not good, realy not good, Kos makes it 2-0 for Reading.

  • Ong Bing

    OMG, it just 20″ and we down 3-0

  • Ong Bing

    Ok, this is nightmare, at 36″ Reading makes it 4-0

  • Ong Bing

    Theo pull one back at the end of 1st half, 4-1, really crazy half time.

  • Shard

    Ok..That has to be the worst half I have seen any Arsenal team play. I don’t use this word normally, but that was pathetic. Embarrassing at how little the players seemed to care and how easily they gave up the goals. We managed to get 1 at the end, but the players better improve MASSIVELY in the second half or they should be shown the door. That was piss poor.

  • gats

    The wenger apologists will no doubt come back tomrow and say it dosnt matter. We have 4th place as a trophy. This site is a fuucking joke, along with all the AKB’s running the club into the gorund. hey but it dosnt matter now because we all now know wenger dosnt give a shite about trophies all he caresabout is 4th. have fucn u pathetic AKB assholes running this once great club into the ground.

  • gats

    The author is a bloody joke.

    “Apparently if Arsenal win they will qualify for the quarter-finals for the 10th season running. Not that anyone notices such things.”

    The above quote is all you need to know about the wenger apologists on this site. Yes we all really want to know through out history how many times a club qualifys for a quarter final. Its now all about how many times a club finishes 4th and qualifys for a quarter final for these AKB’s. Forget the notion of winning a trophy. Oh sorry i forgot 4th is the trophy.

  • Ong Bing

    4-2, Giroud header.
    Another 3 please…

  • Ong Bing

    Damn! 4-4. My heart stop beating…

  • akasuna

    This is Arsenal..anything can happen..hehehe..

  • wat the fuck is wrong wiz the ref?

  • The keeper was takin 1and half minutes to kick the ball, this time around he will take less. I pity the so called gunners who left. Twats

  • Ong Bing

    At 102″, Chamakh makes it 5-4 for Arsenal. Yes, I am sure, Chamakh!


  • Ong Bing

    Oh, it is not over, 5-5 at 115″

  • Ong Bing

    At 120″, 6-5 for Arsenal, Theo again.

  • Ong Bing

    7-5, Chamakh again!

  • Matt Clarke

    It seems that it was easier to guess the team than the score!
    7-5 who would have thought?

    nice one

  • Persian gunner

    Did you see that?,!,,,,!!
    Did you see that?!!!!
    Arsenal is just an amazing f….ing fairy tale!


  • Shard

    Well that was a match well worth staying up for 🙂

    What a way to get to 4-4, and who would’ve thought Chamakh would get 2 goals. Hopefully we learn from the negatives of the match, and take belief from the positives to go onwards and upwards.

    Theo MOTM (even though he disappeared in the second half for a bit) and Giroud gets honourable mention.

    Boy..What a crazy game. It’s 4AM here and my heart is still pumping so fast, there’s no way I can sleep even now.

  • Ong Bing

    Ok, 12 goals is enough.

    This is why Arsenal tickets must more expensive than other teams. People want to see game with many goals and heart beating game.

    Congratulation to Arsenal fans at Madjeski Stadium today, you just saw the history, one of great coming from behind.

  • Shard

    Oh and Arsene must be some kind of fucking genius..Just what did he say to them at half time, that translated to a comeback like that?

  • Ong Bing


    It is 5:30 AM here, I am will not sleep, because my heart pumping fast and my blood run victory lap in all of my body.

    How can I sleep?

  • Ong Bing


    At half time, Arsene not say anything…
    He only pull out hair drier…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Arsenal . One of the greatest comebacks I have seen
    Theo.. We have to sign him up
    Referee….pathetic and biased, but he failed
    Gats….how do you feel….hope you can deal with your shame

  • walter

    Okay, Gats is a bloody joke. 🙂 🙂

  • walter

    I bet Gats is regretting his words. He was already pulling out his biggest canon but he shot himself in his foot. Ye man of little faith….

  • Shard

    @Ong Bing

    Haha.. I can just imagine it 🙂

  • bjtgooner

    Fantastic comeback and what a great fighting spirit. Maybe some of the fringe players the AAA keep trying to ridicule are better than they thought.

    Mandy – agree about the ref – he was very biased – I think he deliberately tried not to give Walcott’s goal on 90 mins to stop us drawing level – thank goodness Jenks followed up.

    I need a dram after that match.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    gats is off to the bathroom to scrub the rotten eggs off his face. His sort never gives up; expect him to show to moan, groan and cuss out everyone who doesn’t agree with him before tthey open their mouths to say so for another day.
    On that day, I suppose he will have the good sense (based on tonight’s experience) to allow the ref to blow the final whistle!
    Nonetheless, unlike him, without cussing out anyone or implying that the last 7years of Arsenal had been a waste, we can admit here that we were pretty poor for most of the game tonight… and lucky we got rid of Reading in a record setting kind of way.

  • Adam

    I saw Gats creeping out the stadium at 4-0 Walter. Reminded me of a game I was involved in as a youth player, Cheeky sods took a two nile lead and pissed us off. Final score 14-2 and I got 8. Football can be nuts.

  • bjtgooner

    Oh – and gats – take your vile comments and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine!

  • SouthernGunner

    As the great Bon Jovi once said, Keep The Faith!

    Brilliant comeback! Cant wait for the match report guys 😀

  • Adam

    Eisfeld looks a stunning player, Reminds me of a certain Dutchman of hero status. Exceptional talent.

  • Ong Bing

    I hope no problem (injury) with Theo and Giroud, we need them for MU.

    Every player including bench will never forget this game, specially Martinez. This is very special lessons for him.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Bjt, that ref is a complete tool where we are concerned. Also wonder if he thought was doing his bit for clattenberg, anyone that questioned him or challenged him got booked, have a feeling we may see a bit more revenge of the refs in coming weeks……but doubt if our opponents this weekend will be on the end of it as much as some.

  • John

    Congratulations to the team for a great come-back. However, some of the play in the first 30 mins and the way we relaxed at 5-4 is cause for concern.
    Walcott and Giroud brilliant. Special mention for Arshavin and Chamacq for their contributions, even when things were not coming right for them and for Martinez and Kos, who recoverd from early mistakes to play an important part. Arsahvin 3 assists and Chamacq 2 superb finishes should silence a lot of their critics.
    Ref very biased. Every time a Reading player fell over he produced a yellow. Fouls on Arsenal players largely ignored.

  • zuer

    It was remarkable. That was a great comeback. Wake up at 3 in the morning and Arsenal was 3 nil down.. watch the game regardless, and what a happy man I am.. I really felt so good and proud of the team.. Arshavin, Chamakh and especially Walcott had a great game and they really want to show what they are capable of to Wenger, I think..

    Since I am no ref and don’t watch from the start I have to reserve my comment towards the ref, Friend is it.. But the linesman really was out to get Arsenal.. a penalty thats not given, instead a booking for Chamakh.. and he didn’t raise the flag for the fourth goal by Walcott, and there was ball handling by the defender.. luckily Jenkinson was there to fish off the job.. and the fifth goal by reading was absolutely offside..

    Seriously, despite it all winning 5-7 was really, really amazing.. great job, well done..

  • neven

    the players may go back to the dressing room smiling and patting each other on the back but by and large they were nothing short of a disgrace and I am thinking specially of kos, djorou, coq and pingpong when I say that. Others may disagree but I thought that both full backs were dire and only marginally better than the two centre backs (how the fcuk can noel hunt score that header off jenkinson ??), I thought that chamakh was awful until he scored and walnut gave us no fcuking help defensively all night long  

  • Gord

    Capital One (League) Cup

    Thank you _ for attempting to come up with a starting roster. It seems equally difficult to guess a starting formation. And this is all because of the quality of players Arsene Wenger has to choose from.

    I’ve got a big statistical problem I am working on. I haven’t watched soccer in too long, and I can squeeze the BBC play by play from the website into my work. And the news after an Arsenal loss is too difficult to read. Consequently, I have been hibernating (and in the last 2 weeks we have had about 46 cm of snow where I live: and a large black bear is prowling the neighbourhood, who we wish would hibernate).

    Anyway, on to the setup.

    I like the League and FA Cup games with Arsenal, because Arsene Wenger brings in the newer players. This year seems to have a few more of the senior players that haven’t been getting game time, but as I haven’t tracked this I don’t know if the difference is significant (or real) or not.

    Most teams go into these Cup games, with a team (or most of a team) that has played competitively before as a unit. Maybe they have one or possibly two new people. Arsenal fielded a team which probably has never even been put together in a practice. This is typical. There was 3/4 of a back four, and maybe 1/3 of the front 6 which had played together before in game situations. And Miquel is playing out of position in the defense.

    Wenger wants intelligent players. Intelligent or not, it takes a little time to gel. Before you start to gel, to make a pass you have to _look_ first, as you start to gel, you can think about the pass, and can then decide to not pass if things weren’t quite what you were expecting.

    I don’t think Arsenal winning was a miracle. In these Cup games, the opposition knows that the team they are going to be playing against, has never played together as a unit. Most teams are not prepared to come out and attack from the word go. And it isn’t unexpected that Arsenal will go down in goals at first. Some of Arsene’s teams have not gelled fast enough, and they lose. Some of Arsenal’s teams have gelled very quickly.

    What any team playing Arsenal in one of these Cup games has to do, is start strong and score as many as they can, as fast as they can. Because it is likely that the team will start to gel as the game goes on, and then look out. And that is what we seen in the game against Reading. Reading is not a bad side. Their problem was that they didn’t score enough before Arsenal started to gel. They scored 4, they needed 5.

    37 minutes (36?) into the game, we are down by 4 (one an own goal). Imploded? The typical Arsenal poor defence? Lots of other whorenalistic descriptions. The Guardian described the Arsenal team as “Spare Parts”. It is a problem for people who go the game expecting a cohesive Arsenal team. Arsene Wenger has been trying to run an EPL team, and run a development system for new players for a long time. Everybody should expect that the “first team” (whatever that is) is _NOT_ going to be playing.

    What you look for in these games, is how do the young players respond to playing against adult professionals. For any of the older players playing, are they as hopeless as the press and blogs have led you to believe they are?

    Arshavin had 3 assists according to the BBC commentary, as did
    Walcott. Both reportedly “fodder” by the blogs.

    At QPR, I was actually hoping for 10-0. I think that would be a game which would bring the players together. I was looking for 6 from Giroud. And this has nothing to do with QPR being that weak a team, it has everything to do with the potential of Arsenal. I think they are overdue to run rampant on some team, and this was not the game. But this might seed that rampant game.

    Most teams, EPL or otherwise, are designed for 0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-1 type games. Wenger’s teams are not designed that way.

    I will continue to wait for the breakout game. It would be wonderful if it was against Man-Chest-Hair United, but I doubt it. I do think it will come reasonably soon. And it could be against any opposition.

    And it is time for me to go back into hibernation, as this statistical problem still needs to be solved/finished.

    I hope you enjoyed the game, especially if you could watch it, and not just read about it. It is nice to see so many pictures of Walcott with such a huge smile on his face. 🙂

    Reading Arsene’s report at has me smile. After the substitutions on the hour mark, he remarks that they are playing a 4-1-5. I think there was a game (Champions League?) last year, when faced with injured he had apparently considered starting with 6 strikers. Which kind of goes back to the kinds of teams that Arsenal were presenting 100 years ago. 🙂

    I think it is really dumb for fans to think there is a _first_ team. The team you bring out, is the team you think has the best chance of winning. Whether a person is talking about the back 4, midfield or the strikers, no fan should think that who plays in any of those positions is set in stone.

    Gats is a waste of oxygen.

    I would like to see comments about how the young players did, and how the “spare parts” did.

    And back to statistical games.

  • rantetta

    I’m just back from that game. Oh my goodness. I’ve not been to an away game for years (Fulham v QPR, 2003 or4, last match of season – Loftus Rd). In that match the 1st team played as though they didn’t care (or perhaps they were tired). That match was my 1st experience of the away boyz. Amazing – taking the P out of Henry’s corner-taking just cos he put them all out on the opposite side of the pitch. We sang: What the ****, what the f***, what the ******* ‘ell was that!

    Today that support was again unbelievable. At 0-3 down the fans were still singing, and at 0-4 down they started singing, “We’re gonna win 5-4”. When we reached 5-4 the ditty went: 4-nil, and you fk’d it up, along with, “That’s why you’re going down”, etc.

    Kevin Friend was awful, particularly in the 2nd half. The linesman in front of me (nearside South Stand) was ???? Friend really done everything he could to give it to Reading, near full time and full (extra) time. That resulted in Arsenal scoring a 7th goal.

    Can you imagine the supporters?

    I’ll leave it to others to talk about the performance but I must admit, I’ve never seen an Arsenal team so bereft of confidence, as they were during the 1st half. My companion moaned at half time. I opined it wasn’t that Reading were classy, it was just that we were shit, and therefore it could change. You know the rest.

    As a final way of “them” getting at us, the M4 was reduced to 1 lane so it took double the rush-hour time to get back. Our heads were so in the clouds that this late night traffic jam didn’t seem to matter. I found the Reading fans very friendly, but you regular away fans – you’re magnificent, fantastic. It was you that made the team end up doing better, and whatever talking to the boyz got from Wenger at half time.

    Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal!

  • rantetta

    * Fulham v Arsenal, at Loftus Rd*. Excuse me.

  • Mahdain

    i cant believe i overslept throught that. Stupid alarm

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Well done Arsenal ! Whoo hoo ! A win was important and hope it gives the whole team a lift for this weedend’s cruncher .
    Up the Gunners !

  • ARSENAL 13


    My feelings last night as the game began – ah we are going to win this easily.
    0-1: ok but we have all day, we can score 2.
    0-2: oohhhkkay, but we can score 3.
    0-3: noooooooooo….commooonnnnn gunners,where are you, but we can score 4.
    0-4: whats going on…….commooonnnn Gunners. If Reading can score4, we can score 5….go gunners…go.
    4-1: now we have a game. we have 45 mins. we can score 4 more. AND we did.

    refs have to give us a fair game. OK first half we were poor, BUT the second half performace was brilliant. And I dont understand why Martinez was booked for time wasting and none of the Reading players were.

    AND those “Giroud is not the answer” guys will have to find someone else now.

  • Persian gunner

    I could have some intra cranial hemorrhage, last night as I was shouting voiceless again and again and again!
    It was just 1:30 am here when Theo scored the 6th. My internet had just stopped at the sense, by this picture: Wolcat is in front of the goal with the ball on his feet, ready to shoot!
    OMG, what is going on!? Is in?! ……. Yessssssssssss!

  • Persian gunner

    Watching all you guys there supporting Arsenal was a real joy!
    Thank you guys! You made us all so proud!

  • amahgfur

    An epic match.

    Arshavin and Theo are brilliant. Coquelin looks unbeatable when his main job is only to sit in front the defense. And what a player Eisfeld is gonna be! They way he moves the ball and his spatial awareness are top class for his age. Can’t wait to see more of his actions.


  • Walter

    For those who want a different perspective on things just look at these highlights with a very enthusiastic commentator (Portuguese?)

    enjoy it.
    Listen when we score 5-6: fantastica Arsenal he said around a 100 times I think 😉

  • Justin

    Just brilliant. That for me, the match of the season. Inspiring stuff for the weekend. Come on!!

  • Shard

    WHAT!!?? Theo wasn’t credited with the 4th goal? The officials weren’t going to give that? I thought they gave it.. WTF?? Even more well done to Jenkinson for following in and putting that away. Un-fucking-believable!! That was handball and crossed the line and we weren’t going to get either decision? Maybe the ref was gonna give handball though. He did put his whistle into his mouth. Then again, we know from experience that doesn’t mean they’ll call it (Dowd at Newcastle)

  • WalterBroeckx

    At the end of the game Arshavin gave the ball to Theo for his hattrick. The linesman was a disgrace. Like with the handball from the Reading defender…

    I also thought in the first 10 minutes 3 corner and throw ins were given wrongly. And always in favour of Reading.

    We won against all odds and against everything and everyone. Credit to the boys for delivering such an answer

  • John

    Referee was disgraceful.

  • rupert cook

    A great comeback but an utterly dire first half performance. To concede 5 goals to Reading is hardly a sign of improvement in the defence. A few positives, Eisfield and Walcott. If we sell him in January we’ll get a sharp reminder of the club’s lack of ambition.