I know that Arsene Wenger likes his Arsenal players to be versatile, and it is just as well when you see the options the Frenchman has got to work with in the Emirates Cup this weekend. With Thomas Vermaelen injured (apparently) and Per Mertesacker still on holiday after Germany’s World Cup heroics, Wenger has had to do some juggling to give the Gunners a back four to face Benfica today.
And with a rookie keeper in Damian Martinez starting between the sticks, I am worried that the Gunners’ makeshift back four could be very leaky against the Portuguese team that won a domestic treble last season. Not that it really matters too much in pre-season, but it does raise questions about the strength of the Arsenal squad, especially our defence, just two weeks before the start of the Premier League.
Bellerin, Chambers, Monreal, Gibbs
Chamberlain, Rosicky, Campbell
subs: Szczesny, Debuchy, Koscielny, Miquel, Coquelin, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Sanchez, Akpom, Giroud
It is an interesting XI in terms of attack, though, and the bench is pretty strong, so there could be goals galore at both ends. And maybe a few conceded might just convince Wenger that he needs to spend some money on a proper specialist centre back, or that he cannot afford to sell Vermaelen.