Eyebrows raised at Wenger´s Arsenal team for Bournemouth

Some Arsenal fans and football pundits were left a little confused in midweek after Arsene Wenger chose to hand a rare start to Olivier Giroud. Not because the French international forward is no good but because he finally got a start in a match that was probably the least suited to the big man´s talents as a player.

After starting him against PSG though, we all expected him to be in the line up for the game against Bournemouth in the Premier League today, as it looks to be the ideal sort of encounter for Giroud, against a deep lying and determined defence, but Wenger has surprised everyone again and left Olivier on the bench.

Instead he has gone back to Alexis Sanchez through the middle with Theo Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain on either side of him. Another noticeable and unexpected change is the inclusion of Matthieu Debuchy at right back, so let´s hope the forgotten French defender will rise to the occasion.

In midfield the boss has opted for Xhaka and Elneny and dropped Coquelin and Ramsey so it will be interesting to see if they can answer the manager´s call for someone to take over the mantle o9f Santi Cazorla and get Arsenal playing like we were before the Spaniard picked up an injury.

Cech
Debuchy, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal
Elneny, Xhaka
Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Sanchez

Subs: Gibbs, Gabriel, Ramsey, Giroud, Ospina, Iwobi, Coquelin.

Arsenal set to complete 2nd January transfer deal

It might not exactly fill the average Arsenal fan with delight, but this second transfer deal of the January window should at least put a smile on the face of our French international right back Mathieu Debuchy.

The 30-year old has made no secret of his frustration at having to play second fiddle to the young Spaniard Hector Bellerin and with the Euro 2016 championships being played in his home country this summer, Debuchy has begun to really up the ante with his grumbling.

So it appears that Arsene Wenger is not going to stand in his way and with Metro reporting that the player is wanted by two Premier League clubs in Aston Villa and Sunderland, it is almost certain that Debuchy will be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium some time in the next few days.

It is only going to be a loan deal and with both of the prospective new clubs still to play a few of our Premier League rivals that could even help out title bid. However, it will leave Arsenal exposed if Bellerin picks up a knock. We have Calum Chambers but would he be good enough to cover for the super Spaniard?

Arsenal FA cup line up with EIGHT changes

Now is the time when having a strong squad really pays dividends and Arsenal have so far managed to cope with the various competitions and the heavy festive fixture list, even though the Arsenal injury list has had some key players on it for a while.

And despite the Gunners being drawn against Premier League club Sunderland for today’s FA cup 3rd round, Arsene Wenger will make some changes to the starting line up with injury concerns and the EPL game away to Liverpool next week on his mind.

Whether he makes as many as the eight I am suggesting remains to be seen, but we could still field a strong side and as we are at home it should be enough to see of Sam Allardyce and the Black Cats. David Ospina is sure to start and I am also fairly sure that Gabriel, Gibbs and Campbell will come in and that Walcott will replace Giroud in the centre forward role.

I am not so sure about Debuchy and Arteta or Alex Iwobi but I think the boss needs to give these players some game time and if not today, when?

Ospina
Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs
Chambers, Arteta
Chamberlain, Campbell, Iwobi
Walcott

Arsenal should sell moaning Debuchy ASAP

This is a tricky subject as poor Mathieu Debuchy was unluckily injured soon after joining Arsenal and made only 11 starts for the Gunners last season, and he could only watch from the sidelines as Hector Bellerin stepped up and made the position his own.

The experienced Debuchy was upset that he was not reinstated as first-choice right-back at the beginning of the new season and admitted he had thought about leaving. “It is difficult,” Debuchy was quoted as saying. “Even if I had not played a lot last season, in my head I would return to start after my recovery. But, at the Community Shield against Chelsea, Wenger chose him, Bellerín.

“It was a surprise and a disappointment. Let’s say it [leaving] crossed my mind. But I want to be at Arsenal and to take my place.”

But Bellerin kept his First XI place, and Debuchy has only been used in League Cup and Champions League games, and he was less than impressive in all of them and we lost every game he played in. Now that Hector is injured, Debuchy was expected to step up and prove his worth against Tottenham. Although we actually didn’t lose this one and he may even get a few more games before Bellerin comes back, the Frenchman has told Canal+ that he is still considering moving on in January. He said: “I am dealing with it,”

“I am trying to stay strong.

“We are going to remain concentrated until December, after that I will see.”

Oh the poor thing is trying to stay strong is he? He is getting his 50 or 60,000 a week for sitting on the bench, and when he is asked to perform he has been more of a liability than a help to the team. He is a moaner and I think the sooner we get rid of the miserable git the better for all of us.

Who agrees?

How Bellerin injury can work FOR Arsenal in Munich

After hitting Arsenal fans with the bad news about the latest injury blow to his playing staff, with the young Spanish right back Hector Bellerin having to miss out on the Champions League away tie with Bayern Munich, Arsene Wenger softened the blow by revealing on the Arsenal website that the groin problem our defender has picked up is not a major problem.

Hopefully it will allow Bellerin to line up against Tottenham in the north London derby this weekend but if not then at least we have a two week international break in which he can recover. I think he could be a big miss against Spurs on Sunday with his pace and attacking flair but I also think that in Munich tonight the Gunners might be batter off with his replacement Mathieu Debuchy.

The France international is not only a lot more experienced than his younger team mate, but Debuchy is the more defensively strong of the two. And you do not need me to tell you that Arsenal will be doing a hell of a lot of defending at the Allianz Arena.

So will the Bellerin injury blow actually end up working in our favour and helping us to a result against Bayern?

Arsenal starting XI for Dinamo Zagreb with FOUR changes

We already knew that Arsene Wenger would be making at least two changes to the Arsenal starting line up from Saturday´s win over Stoke City, as he told us that Aaron Ramsey and Hector Bellerin were staying at home for a rest ahead of the Chelsea clash.

But with less than three days between games, those will not be the only changes made. Mathieu Debuchy will come in for Bellerin and I would be amazed if Kieran Gibbs did not replace Monreal on the other flank as well. As Ramsey has been playing on the right, he could be replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain but I think he will bring in Giroud and push Walcott out wide instead.

The other change I expect is in the middle, with either Coquelin or Cazorla getting a well earned rest and the club captain Mikel Arteta coming for a rare start. So this is how I think Arsenal will line up against Dinamo Zagreb.

Cech
Debuchy, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs
Arteta, Cazorla
Walcott, Ozil, Alexis
Giroud

What do you think of this team Arsenal fans, and is is strong enough to bring all three points back to north London?

Debuchy needs to fight for his Arsenal place

Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy admits he considered quitting the club after losing his place in the final XI. With Spaniard defender Hector Bellerin becoming a regular, Debuchy currently is behind him in the pecking order.

Arsene Wenger brought Debuchy to the club last season signing him for £12 million. He was touted to be the long term replacement for Bacary Sagna who moved to Manchester City. Wenger thought that he would grow into the role and reduce his worries.

But, the 30-year-old saw his first season blighted with injuries and made only 11 Premier League starts. Ankle ligaments and a dislocated shoulder kept him out of action.

Enter Bellerin! The Spanish youngster took to the Premier League like a natural and in the injury induced break for Debuchy, became one of the regulars for Wenger. And he looks set to continue this season with Debuchy featuring just once so far this season – in the opening game loss to West Ham United.

The form of Bellerin for Arsenal has been so impressive that he was rewarded with a call up to the Spanish national team. This seems to have put Debuchy in a precarious position with his starting role in doubt – in fact, unless Bellerin somehow mysteriously loses his form, Debuchy can bid his hopes of a first XI berth good bye.

Wenger even admitted that Bellerin was one of the surprises of last season. After Dbuchy returned from injury, he expected to be picked for the Community Shield against Chelsea. But with Wenger choosing Bellerin, it has become clear that Debuchy is no longer the first choice.

The Frenchman may have his own doubts about reclaiming the first team berth but the way Bellerin overcame him in the competition should give him hope. Wenger gives his players a chance to impress at various points of the season. And if the player impresses, he wouldn’t mind disrupting the XI to slot him.

The only way for Debuchy from here is up. He needs to keep himself in good shape – both physically and mentally. And when the chance presents itself, Debuchy should grab it with both legs. He should view competition from Bellerin as a mode of improving his own play.

Arsenal boss ready for defender transfer NOW!

We are all used to Arsene Wenger being very tight lipped and playing his Arsenal transfer cards close to his chest, so when you get a straight answer from the Frenchman it is a pretty good sign. Hopefully that means that the Gunners will soon have another defender in the squad, as Wenger admitted after the weekend win over Stoke City that he was in the market for a defensive transfer.

As reported by Arsenal.com, the boss revealed his intent to move for a defender in the transfer markey was strong before the match, so after losing Mathieu Debuchy to a shoulder injury that could keep the French right back out for a while, that need is even more urgent.

Wenger said, “The only negative today is that we lost another experienced defender with a dislocated shoulder. That gives us a problem because we are already short of experienced players at the back.

“He has a dislocated shoulder. It’s difficult – you need a diagnosis from a specialist. We don’t know yet but he will certainly not play next week. Kieran Gibbs still has an inflamed ankle. The test yesterday told us it didn’t work.

“We were in the market anyway. Monreal and Debuchy can play centre back, but if Gibbs is not here Monreal cannot play centre back and if Debuchy is not here he cannot play centre back. This is a position where we are short.”

With a crucial EPL game away to Man City coming up on Sunday, Arsenal need that extra cover at the back sooner rather than later, so will this week see Wenger make his first Arsenal transfer of 2015?

Debuchy – Arsenal NEED to beat West Ham

There is no doubt that today’s game against West Ham United is a big six-pointer in Arsenal’s quest to regain their rightful place in the Top Four, and the French right-back Martin Debuchy is under no illusions about how close the game could be.

Martin said on Arsenal.com: “It will be difficult at West Ham on Sunday, but we need to win, so we have to be 100 per cent. West Ham have a lot of players of quality and they have had a very good start to the season, so we can expect a very difficult game.

“We need a run of wins, that is what has been missing so far this season. We have great confidence and the belief that we can do it.”

All the Arsenal players have talked the talk about confidence this season, but the performances don’t always reflect the belief that they are supposed to have. Today’s match will be just a little bit harder without our top-scorer Olivier Giroud, and Debuchy is feeling sorry for his banned team-mate.

“He did not speak in the dressing room [after the QPR game]. It is a hard moment for him,” said Debuchy.

“I know that from before when I was at Newcastle. I was sent off, so have been in the same moment.

“It is difficult [to keep your cool sometimes], but we are professionals and we need to keep calm. Everybody has a temper, so it is not always easy to stay calm, but we need to keep calm.”

That sounds like a lesson to all Arsenal fans as well as Giroud! We must accept that an away game at West Ham will not be easy, and if we DON’T win it is not the end of the world. As Wenger said yesterday: “I don’t give importance to the table at the moment,”

“There’s 20 games to go.

“It’s very tight and it’s down to consistency now. We know every game now is down to consistency and reproducing the performances. We need to prepare quickly, focus quickly and that is an ability we want to show at West Ham.”

I am sure this will be far from easy today, but lets be honest and agree that even if we get one point it will be a successful result. Once we DO get all our injured players back we will easily fly back up the table….

Why Arsenal MUST let this defender leave

Following the rapid progress of Hector Bellerin at Arsenal, there is a lot of speculation in regards to the future of Carl Jenkinson, who was loaned out to West Ham United as a result of Arsenal’s capture of Mathieu Debuchy and Callum Chambers. As a result of the Jenkinson’s promising start to life at Upton Park, several media reports suggest that the Hammers’ boss Sam Allardyce has been in contact with Arsenal in regards to make the loan deal a permanent transfer.

According to The Daily Star, Arsenal have slapped an £8 million price tag on the English international. Although Allardyce is not keen on meeting the Gunners’ asking price, it is understood that a deal is likely to be negotiated as Arsenal want to let him go while West Ham are keen to keep him in East London. Despite the Englishman’s fine start to the season, it is difficult to see him make it in Arsene Wenger’s side, with Debuchy, Chambers and even Bellerin now ahead of him in the pecking order at right-back.

In my opinion, he should be let go. It will be difficult to see a boyhood Gooner be let go by the club but honestly, Carl isn’t quite up to the mark to make it at the Emirates and with the abundance of talent that the Gunners’ have in the right-back position, he probably isn’t going to get any chances anyway. In Debuchy, we have a very solid first choice and Bellerin is definitely our future first-choice right-back. Apart from Chambers, there are also a couple of players in the squad who can fill in at the right side side of defence should there be an emergency.

In addition, the deal will also motivate Bellerin to further continue his rapid progress in the Arsenal first-team. If Carl is let go, it will certainly be a reiteration of Wenger’s faith in the young La Masia graduate. With all these points to consider, I think an agreement has to be reached with West Ham in regards to the permanent transfer of Jenko to the Boleyn Ground.