Arsenal v Everton. Three possible line ups, the illnesses, and the future

By Bulldog Drummond

It is difficult to get a firm fix on how bad the illness affecting Aubameyang and Wilshere is, or was, which makes the thoughts of predicting the team for the match this evening even more difficult.

Everyone being fit I would go with


Bellerin Koscielny Mustafi Monreal

Ramsey Wilshere


Aubameyang Lacazette Mkhitaryan

There seems to be a general feeling that four at the back is going to be the order of the day but there are some who are suggesting that Lacazette is going to be left on the beach giving a line up more along the lines of a midfield three of Ramsey, Xhaka and Wilshere, and then with Ozil on the left wing, Aubameyang at centre forward and Mkhitaryan on the other wing.

What is interesting in these line ups is that playing Aubameyang on the wing we have a neo-Theo (as it were) with extra turbo, although of course if Lacazette is dropped Aubameyang will move into the centre.

The other point to remember is that Mr Wenger loves his teams to stay mobile and flexible so even if any of these is the line up, there is going to be a lot of movement.  A pairing of Ramsey and Wilshere will mean one of them has to stay back if the other goes forward – but what might well confuse the opposition is that they have no idea which one will go forward, and quite where the defensive member of the pair will pop up.

But whatever system we are going to use it will be Ozil’s and Wilshere’s through balls to an extraordinary front three that will be the key to making it all happen.

There is another argument however and that is of placing Elneny in a midfield three of Ramsey Elneny and Wilshere.  That strengthens the defence and means that one of the forward trio of Aubameyang, Lacazette, Mkhitaryan has to drop out.  Which is a good way of covering for injuries, the need for a rest or wanting to play a more defensive game.

If we were to play three centre backs and two wing backs then we could have the extraordinary sight of Monreal, Ozil and Bellerin all feeding the three forwards.  This could make the pitch a little crowded around the goal we are attacking, and rather empty at the other end.  Another last 10 minutes possibility if we are needing a late goal to take the game.

But there is another option and it looks like this


Koscielny Mustafi Monreal

Bellerin                                Kolasinac

Mkhitaryan            Ramsey

Aubameyang                             Ozil



In fact there are more and more of these options that could be tried and might work.  Clearly the manager is going to have his favourite couple of line ups, but what this means is that in the event of injuries or any player losing form, we not only have a full squad we also a flexibility in the squad.

What’s more it means that the “10 behind the ball” teams won’t quite know what to prepare for.  Let me give you just one more


Bellerin Koscielny Mustafi Monreal

Ramsey Wilshere

Ozil                                                   Mkhitaryan

Aubameyang    Lacazette

This is why, sad though it was to see him go, Giroud could go to Chelsea.  We have the variety not just of players but also of formations to cope with whatever the referees, opposition thugs and general injuries try to do to us.

Because I don’t know about the illnesses, and how well everyone has settled down thus far I can’t be sure what is going to happen today, (not that I ever am), but if I had to put money on it I suspect Aubameyang and Wilshere will be on the beach because of the illnesses.

And this is where we have to remember that we do have quite a beach for the rest of the squad to make sandcastles on…

Ospina, Macey, Chambers, Xhaka, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac (if Monreal gets the nod), Mavropanos, Mertesacker, Elneny, Iwobi, Nelson, Nketiah.

That is 13 players who naturally fit into the stand-by team without even having to think about other youngsters.    And yes, I have slipped Xhaka into that stand by team, but it may be that the manager will see him as a much better fit instead of Ramsey and Wilshere together.

And it is why more youngsters have been able to go and play elsewhere for the rest of the season…

Stephy Mavididi, Tafari Moore, Ben Sheaf, Jeff Reine-Adélaïde, Chuba Akpom, Krystian Bielik, Julio Pleguezuelo… As well as those who were already out on a season long loan.  And Zelalem, now playing again after his injuries.

Whatever the team, it should be a jolly day.

Arsenal v Everton: the story so far…

Welcome Henrikh, Welcome Pierre-Emerick. The complete review of our new players.

Arsenal & the new guys v Everton and Theo. What’s gonna happen?

Arsenal v Everton: one of the most astonishing runs of all time

Arsenal v Everton: Sat 3 Feb 2018 – The Match Officials: beware bias, rogue penalties and old age.


73 Replies to “Arsenal v Everton. Three possible line ups, the illnesses, and the future”

  1. I agree – the players are smart enough to be able to adapt. A front 6 of Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang and Lacazette is frightening for the opposition. Two with a lot of energy, two playmakers and two with speed up front.

  2. HahahahahahaHelp
    Shaka And Iwobi starting. Arsene Never bows to opinion.
    Start prayers early

  3. More than 2 players starting.

    From LiveScore, I get:

    Bellerin Koscielny Musafi Monreal
    Ramsey Xhaka
    Mkhitaryan Ozil Iwobi

    Beach: Lacazette, Wilshere, Ospina, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Elneny

  4. Did not want to miss a minute.
    3 up and no striker scored yet, Everton is probably in for it now, i hope.

  5. So bolasi sheilds the ball like Xhaka did….but Xhaka got a red card for it remember….but here nothing

  6. Stats say that Arsenal have 3 players needing treatment with Everton needing no players treated, and yet the only card is to us. Must be a level playing field, eh? Not a chance.


  7. A good half for us. Good movement off the ball on offence and some good tracking back on defence.

  8. One word comes to mind ‘fluid’.

    It is only Everton, but that swagger seems there already.

    Yes yes yes, far too early to get too excited I know, but hey, no harm in dreaming is there.

    Great half lads. Now for the clean sheet.

  9. Statistics:
    Shots on target 5:0
    _off target _ _ 6:2
    Corners _ _ _ _ 4:2
    Offsides _ _ _ _0:1
    Fouls _ _ _ _ _ 5:6
    Yellow _ _ _ _ _1:0
    goalkicks _ _ _ 5:3
    Treatments _ _ _4:0
    Cumulative possession
    _5 61
    10 69
    15 57
    20 58
    25 68
    30 69
    35 66
    40 64
    45 63
    45+3 64


  10. wait. I dont think its offside. I was watching replay, all slides they have is after Mikhi has passed the ball.

  11. LiveScore had 69% Arsenal in the first 10 minutes, Guardian says 82%. How can they both be right? More likely they are both wrong.

    According to the Guardian, there should have been more than one card to Arsenal in the half, and Everton deservedly should have none.


  12. Come on lads, dont lose focus now, keep playing, you know what happens when you slow down, you start making mistakes, Cech needs his clean sheet!

  13. Xhaka should have closed down the ball carrier as they came across the front of the box.

  14. Gord
    You know what i mean.

    Good thing Everton is not clinical, they could have ewualised by now.

  15. Well, we are 80 some odd minutes in. Time to give Everton 2 or 3 yellow cards, so that a casual appearance makes it look like the game had rough moments by each side.

    Arsenal, I’m still looking for another 3 goals. 🙂


  16. As I think I’ve only watched 2 or 3 games in the last 2 years, I don’t know what you mean. But I can imagine what you mean.

    I would still like a lightning bolt to hit and kill a PGMO referee.


  17. Solid performance. Good to see Ramsey’s runs and nice to see Kolasinac out there, too. Mihkataryan (sp?)and Aubemayang did well in the side.

  18. Stats

    Shots on target 5:0 _7:2
    _off target _ _ 6:2 _6:5
    Corners _ _ _ _ 4:2 _4:6
    Offsides _ _ _ _0:1 _1:3
    Fouls _ _ _ _ _ 5:6 _8:8
    Yellow _ _ _ _ _1:0 _2:0
    goalkicks _ _ _ 5:3 _9:3
    Treatments _ _ _4:0 _6:0 (player down at 90 min missing)
    Cumulative possession
    _5 61
    10 69
    15 57
    20 58
    25 68
    30 69
    35 66
    40 64
    45 63
    45+3 64
    50 62
    55 49 (This has to be an error)
    60 63
    65 61
    70 60
    75 61
    80 60
    85 49 (This also has to an error)
    90 58
    90+ 58

    And, I’ve got more than a foot of snow on the driveway to clear. See you in a while.

  19. Are you happy? Have we got great new players? Mkhitaryan three assists on his debut. Ramsey his first hat trick. Lovely flowing football. Has the look of a proper team. More of that – let’s kick on! Thank you Arsene!

  20. On another day Ramsey and his forward sorties could have left us exposed, but Mhki and Iwobi tracked back and covered him very well, far better than Sanchez and Walcott were doing before Wilshere came in for Aarron.
    I love Auba’s attitude and smile hopefully good times ahead.

  21. @ Colario,

    get yourself a leelbox on amazon or other, then get a yearly code for QHDTV. More comfortable then streaming from your laptop

  22. Arsenal 13
    Who’s opinion. Seeing as I was responding to the authors 3 team selections, maybe it was his alone. Other than that ,well yes my own, as I tend to agree that Shaka and Iwontbe scoring ,though technically gifted footballers , and certainly not lacking in effort, have been found wanting in pressure situations ,and lack the final balls . Arsene has his own ideas. It worked today, and it was a joy to watch.
    Come on The Port!

  23. Has the ‘Boos Brigade’ gone to sleep or still out marching to PigMob drums? COYG more of that please if you don’t mind.

  24. @ Pat

    To be fair, Everton had one win in eight games before today. They are, to coin a phrase, shite. This performance needs to repeat itself against Spurs next weekend, minus the second half defensive flapping around, and I’ll be happy. We have an interesting few weeks coming up with the Europa League then back to back games against City. Our run in isn’t too shabby either. We have to close the gap soon and pray that the Totts and Liverpool drop off because I don’t want to go to Old Trafford on the final day with our CL qualification in the balance. My nerves can’t take it.

  25. If we have one great passer on the field, it is easy for the opposition to mark that person out of the game. I believe Santi and Mesut had some good games, where because there were 2 good passers, it is hard for opposition to mark them out.

    Wilshere is looking to be a good passer. Mkhitaryan is a good passer.

    But if all a player can do is pass, that still makes it easy for opposition. But, our good passers all look to be good at scoring too.

    Xhaka seems to be good at the long passes, which is another element. And long shots.

    And these players are not clones of each other, they are all unique. So what does an opposing manager do? Wenger has lots of options to go into any game.

    Hopefully the aaa just go away and support a club that they deserve.

  26. When any team turns on the skills & makes the game beautiful, the English media/pundits revert to ‘get in their faces’. That really means kick the hell out of the opposition. The PGMOL just ignore all the abuse as they ensure their paymasters make a fortune on the betting markets.

  27. Noticed how the whole team looked great when we got our proper flowing attacking football underway. Iwobi and Xhaka, who have had one or two wobbles recently, were a big part of that. Very hopeful signs!

  28. Pat

    Iwobi still looks to me to have the potential to become a real star.

    His touch, his vision, his drive are all exceptional.

    As is his propensity to make bad choices in dangerous situations. If he can cut that out we really will have a player on our hands.

    As for Xhaka, concentration seems to be his Achilles heal. Cut that out and again we have a real player on our hands.

    Whilst both of these players allow these floors in there game to surface as often as they do they will continue to cost us at crucial moments.

  29. So begs the question,… how long can a team ,desperate as we are, for points afford to keep the trial going?
    I have been a long time supporter of Iwobi ,in particarlar ,amongst many detractors, but his propensity to get brain freeze at vital moments… shooting time , has been getting worse of late, not better . That’s why many, Bulldog included, are omitting him from their ‘best’ line ups, I think.
    Having said that, he does track back well, and put in decent challenges….. and then loses the ball playing tick tack in our half…..aaaaaagh.
    Maybe he will gain confidence from a new feel good factor, and become the star he as the talent to be.
    Come on The Port. ?

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