Wenger reveals team news ahead of Liverpool clash


Arsene Wenger has provided the latest team news ahead of Sunday’s game against Liverpool.

The Gunners will travel to Anfield looking to make up for the 1-0 defeat to Stoke last weekend, and are boosted by the return of both Laurent Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez.

The French international has completed his suspension following his red card against Everton at the end of last season, while Sanchez has recovered from an abdominal strain.

“He has worked very hard to be back again,” said Wenger, “and he is available again.”

“Works very hard, is very focused, he loves so much to play it’s hard to stop him. He looks ready, but he hasn’t played for a long time so I’ll have to to decide what to do with him.

“But he’s ready to play. He looks in good shape.”

Wenger confirmed that the Chilean international would be going away on international duty next week when the Interlull kicks in, and that he fully expects him to be an Arsenal player on his return.

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Please just play everyone in their right positions and win the damn game. Lose this I dread what next week at the grove will be like.


Same as hundreds before


What is “right”? What is wrong? Our opinions from casually watching in the stands or on the telly? I remember when Gareth Bale played LB and was a joke but turned into one of the best attacking players around… I don’t mind the odd experiment; Henry, left winger come all-time greatest Arsenal striker – but I do understand the frustration. There are countless others that keyboard warriors would have killed over. I was admittedly frustrated with the Ox at LWB, but that frustration only exists because we lost. There must be method to the madness, you don’t win as much as Wenger has, with the coaching team and professionals around him not to! The faith in our club (despite winning trophies of late) is obviously still fragile. We need a league title. We equally need to support and give the club a chance and a break. Show some support, show some fight, show some faith. COYG.


Once the club shows some actual ambition, then the faith will be returned by the fans…


Before we win a league title, we need to challenge for one. That’s where the main frustration lies for me, not really being able to challenge for the league at all when we should be there or thereabouts every season with the funds and infrastructure at the club.

Hank Wankford

Finding it tough to muster any enthusiasm at all this season 🙁

Theo Richards

Fuck off then, two games in give it time!


Lol, what do YOU think is gonna happen this season? confident about a title challenge?

Theo Richards

I think after 2 games, it’s way too early to tell. We had a decent performance against Stoke which was lost due to poor officiating. How can you be a fan of the football club with such a negative attitude. How can your negative attitude have a positive effect on the club/players?


Somehow I doubt they read all this stuff.

I hope they’d have better things to do with their time.


Totally agree with the sentiment. A fun pastime has degraded into a stressfest thanks to modern social media and the constant soap opera being drummed up by the media.

I read this site and the Beeb. Everything else can go do one, not interested in maybes and speculation on how x player might be feeling today. Couldn’t care less! Play the game and get on with it. This isn’t Eastenders!


Personally, I just find myself kind of numb to it. Maybe due to my personal situation (newborn twins take 110% of your time), but I’m not as bothered about losing to Stoke. It’s just the kind of thing that we do.

It’d be like getting upset about the stupid plots in Game of Thrones…


Congratulations on your twin…

Donald\'s Trump

Which one?

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on that subject
I\'m Professor Ignorance, on that subject

“Which one?”

The good one, obvs. The one with the twirly moustache is trouble.

Ivan Parasite

Its only 2 games plus how many seasons already. No more experiments and just play the right players at their right positions.


The club is reaping what they’ve sown unfortunately. We can all see how bad things are on the pitch and behind the scenes. Awful planning and execution. Liverpool will hammer us if our back 5 is the same at Stoke. If the same 5 players are the only ones available, then at least play them in their more natural positions.


I agree the back five issue is just crazy but where we will really get overrun by Liverpool is in midfield if he plays Xhaka and the wandering Ramsey. Another problem is that we don’t really have a competent holding midfielder of sufficiently high quality who can take Ramsey’s place in matches like Liverpool away.

Reality check

We have an FA cup to show for as evidence of bad officiating so can’t complain, may be a bit less in our favour but it works both ways. I’d rather look at ourselves first and start with sorting out players’ contracts and then defense and fitness and so on.


You can’t win with out scoring goals and if you’re prevented from doing that by bad officiating it’s almost impossible to legislate for. 3 penalties and a disallowed goal is a lot to cater for.


When you have supported the club for 30 years, it’s not a choice over whether to be a fan or not, it’s in the blood.

At the same time, when you witness the club you love spiral downwards because of a complete failure of responsibility by the owners, it’s extremely painful. When you see the same mistakes repeated year after year after year, it becomes extremely difficult to remain positive. In my case, it was only last season that I finally gave in and accepted that my hero Arsene has become a senile old man. Playing the wrong players in the wrong positions is just the latest example. We are his toy to experiment with. We have been a joke for years. What’s going to happen in a year’s time? No sanchez. ozil. ox. mertesacker. ancient goalie. plus all sorts more on final seasons etc. We are walking (running?) into massive mediocrity. This summer was probably our last chance to get back in the running and aside from a couple of (good!) signings, we’ve done very little. The writing is on the wall and we’re supposed to cheer along and be positive ? Fans don’t expect to win titles, but Arsenal fans, with the new stadium, the high ticket costs etc, expect to challenge. We have a squad full of dross now and a manager whose spin fools no-one.

Tony Phelan

Sorry mate. 30 years or not you’re one disrespectful dick. Senile old man. What sort of remark is that !!


Poor officials were a factor yes but they were not the reason we lost that was down to rank defending starting with a casual and incompetent pass in midfield and bloody awful finishing! ! Welbeck could have had a hat trick and SHOULD have scored at least one goal ! With the possession we had its ridiculous that we didn’t give Stoke a spanking with or without interference from a crap linesmen and useless ref !


A lot of fans moaning for moaning sake. Rather than actually supporting the team their Wengerout agenda makes them worse than rival fans. That said I was baffled by some of the positional choices in the last game especially with the squad available.


I see very few people moaning for the sake of moaning. The vast majority of fans are upset because they can see their club constantly underperforming and it’s quite clear for all to see what is going wrong, yet nothing is done to address the issues. It all comes down to genuine love and concern for the club, in a time when we should be doing so much better than we are and have been for the past few years.


You can’t blame losing a game solely on the ref, yes we should have had a pen and a goal but good teams make sure to win either way. The signs in the first two games point to flaws in the team which are all too familiar, hence the negativity from many fans already. If you don’t see it then it might be time to buy some glasses.

The Romford Pelé

With the exception of United, all the ‘big-6’ have dropped points… My main concern is that we already are approaching an international break.


Whilst we all want to see the team compete and win the league, if that is the only way you can enjoy Arsenal and football, you will usually be disappointed. It is possible to enjoy games and parts of a season even if we ultimately fail to win it.


Last season, end of September, Chelsea had 2L 1D and 3W. After a really poor 2015/2016 season.
They managed to win 13 of their next games.
I’m sure their fans didn’t felt very confident in winning the PL after the spanking they got from Arsenal…
I understand after those two games you can feel uneasy; we must support the team!


Yup, we’re looking in GREAT shape, I’m sure we’ll go on an amazing run any minute now under our exciting, technically astute young manager. (/s)


I think 19 teams will not win the title this season. Fans of some of them will nevertheless enjoy some of the football and excitement. Fans of some of the other teams will not enjoy anything at all, I guess.

Hank Wankford

Calm down pet


2 games for you, but 10 years for anyone else who has being paying attention. And still give it time, huh?


A little too early for that, don’t you think? Calm down. It’s just been two weeks into the season. Get behind the team!

Maul Person

Would be easier to say if we didn’t have the benefit of the last few seasons and if AW wasn’t manager. I understand where Hank is coming from though I’ll keep the faith… I just feel it was a bit of a waste getting BT Sport and Sky Sports to be watching such lacklustre performances.


Would you get it back if Wenger would consider to have a disciplined enforcer in front of the back three?

Jonny Bravo

He didn’t exactly put the Mustafi to Inter rumours to bed.

Up the Arsenal

Compared to when asked about Ox and Sanchez, he didn’t rule out the possiblity of Mustafi leaving. What worries me is that will Wenger find a better replacement?

Don Cazorleone

If he fancies signing a new defender, I wouldn’t be too fussed about Mustafi leaving.

V h

Why do you need Mustafi, when Santi Carzola is almost fit. Surely he could slot in and be like a new signing at CB.


It wouldn’t surprise me?
I read at the end of the season we were open to offers, and thought it’s that random it’s probably true.
If someone gives us what we paid? I think we’d sell.


Mustafi might leave. We will have Alexis back. He might play Alexis and Giroud as CBs. Because specialist in failure dont know how to manage thw club.


Interesting what Well’ errr said about Mustafi and Inter. I reckon he could be off to Italy! Not too fussed if he does go to be honest, as long as we sign a top top replacement (yeah yeah, I know. more chance of me growing 6 tits!)


I’m sure that 6 tits is a bit too much. But my uncle did grow 2 tits in the past 5 years, so I certainly wouldn’t rule growing four more out.


Back 3 of Monreal – Per – Koscienly with Bellerin and Kolasinac as wingbacks. Don’t think it’ll be ideal to put the Ox up against Mane defensively.
Anything less than a win will be disastrous. I’m not holding my breath though.

Andy G

Rather Mustafi than Per, but otherwise I agree.


Seen all the players the mighty tottenham have been linked with, stocking up for their champions league endeavours..


Monreal – Koscielny- Mustafi is the strongest base.

Koscielny can cover for Monreal, Per for koscielny and Holding or Chambers for Mustafi.

LWB should be Kolasinac’s (Reiss should also feature when needed)

RWB is a toss up between Bellerin and the Ox (who covers both WB flank positions)


Better formation. Ox can have a day off to sort his hair and count his blessings.


Wenger is bringing out the travel size hairdryer and a stylist from Germany named Lehman for him.


Could someone please ask AW this question “How does it feel to be to cheap to keep your star players happy, and to get them to sign new deals. Everyone can see that this team is so unbalanced in midfield for the quality we have, why don’t you see the flaws when everyone else does?” And why does nobody have the balls to ask this kind of questions? They are after all more relevant than anything else you may ask?
And about Sanchez’s wages -> If you consider that he is on 160 000 a week now adding another 140 to take it to 300 000 is 7 million a year. For four years (29mil) that is less than what Mustafi (30mil+) cost us from Valencia (excluding wages). I really can’t see how this should be more expensive than go out and buy a replacement for 50 mil + wages in the 200k bracket. It’s super simple calculus.

Hell 400k a week should not even be a problem. But that’s what you get when you let people within business do math. So you could actually get rid of two Walcotts/OX/Ramseys, and buy a 50 million man (Lacazette) and keep Sanchez.

There is also this super simple question. Is Alexis Sanchez worth 2 times more than a Theo Walcott? If answer is yes, we could replace four with 2 Sanchez and still be at the same salary expenses -> And you would trim the squad. I don’t think it’s that hard actually.


four Walcotts that is…


The problem is that it would completely upset the whole Arsenal wage structure. Ok if we have just Sanchez on 400k, but you know Ozil will then want something similar and then the rest of the team will also want pay bumps. We already have far too many mediocre players on too high wages who we can’t now offload for that reason, and more than doubling the wages of our top players will only exacerbate the problem, let alone almost certainly break the PL wage rules.


@Maniac, it seems that Man Utd did have their star players on huge salaries and the others on lower pay during the hay days of Fergie and it didn’t really backfire like you say it might, I think you should read that. Reply if you find that I am wrong. Cheers


Not an issue of wages.

Others can pay as much as us if not better.

Its more an issue of player sentiment. Some of our players feel we do not match their ambition and we did ourselves little favour not qualifying for the top four trophy.

Others feel they do not get a guaranteed start where they may elsewhere.

We are dealing with humans not managing widgets. This isn’t FIFA with fixed permutations, plenty of soft issues involved in the mix.


You don’t think it’s that hard?
It’s funny how simple it looks from the outside.
I remember Gary Neville being pretty vocal about the ways of Wenger.
Remember him before he went to Valencia?
He was saying the exact same thing: ” I don’t think it’s that hard actually.”
Since his experience, he has been vocal in the defense of Wenger.

I agree with you, the team has an unbalanced midfield, it doesn’t click, we are missing something. I also find Wenger decision to play Monreal in the center of the defense bizarre. I would like the contract situation to be solved and all: of course.
From there to say it’s not that hard…


To clarify, it seems to be quite easy to come up with a better wage structure than Arsenal’s if you want to compete against the best teams in the world.


Nothing like a stint in actual management to chasten the haughty press pundit.

At least Neville put his money where his mouth was. The rest of the rabble are useless cowards sniping from the sidelines…none of them having ANY experience in transfer dealings let alone managing people…I’m not sure if they have even managed widgets.


Genuinely more excited about the return of Kos the Boss this weekend as I am hoping it will mean we will start with at least one decent central defender which will make such a big difference.

I am really hopeful we can get a decent result this weekend – we are creating a lot of chances… and we only conceded 1 goal at least last weekend and I do think we were unlucky not to come away from that with nothing after the disallowed goal and the lack of penalty.

That said, Klopp has an excellent record against the top 6 and they are scoring for fun. I am going into this with more hope than expectation.

Fingers crossed.

not so fed up


Theo\'s big brother

Why don’t we sell Welbeck and keep Perez. If Perez had played against Stoke in Welbeck’s position, we wouldn’t have lost.


Why does everyone seem to hate Mustafi??
We may as well sell him off and play monreal with chambers and holding all season and beyond with elneny and bielik as backups


I am not going to be drawn into the Wenger In, Out, Up, Down Shitfuckery….whichever side you are on, you cannot reasonably ignore flawed tactical decisions like playing monreal CB when Holding and Mert are available, benching Holding after 1 bad game, playing RB (Hector) as a LWB…thats just defence

Moving on to Midfield, encouraging Ramsey to bomb forward at will was not necessarily a bad thing. Our success in dominating the midfield last season was purely because our opponents were always faced with the difficult task of tracking Ramsey’s runs. This worked perfectly, as we overran Chelsea in the FA Cup final. However, when Ramsey plays like this, Xhaka cannot afford to make risky short passes, he can only afford to make risky long passes….and is therefore tasked with playing a conservative short passing game (Elneny does this well) and an adventurous long passing game. Against Stoke and against Leicester, Xhaka was constantly playing risky short passes, without any cover from Ramsey….and almost everytime he lost the ball, he would step up…in trying to recover the ball. This resulted in creating a huge gap between midfield and defence, last ditch panic tackles from defenders and a futile expectation from attack minded players to track back and make tackles (Ozil, Ox)….The space between the midfield duo of Xhaka and Ramsey screwed us…
Wenger found it easy to blame the defenders when the goal was conceded because he expected one of the 3 defenders to step up into the gap between midfield and defence when we lose the ball as cover for Xhaka and Ramsey. However, from the 3 defenders he picked on the day, none has ever played in a midfield position and none of them has ever been tasked with playing a position that requires good distribution of the ball…I suspect Mustafi may have been tasked with this, as he has a good range of passing.

As for attack, playing wasteful attacker like Welbeck proved costly. Giroud has had a decent record against Stoke, and is the perfect striker to play against a team that sits and defends deep. Welbeck is only useful against a team that presses higher up the field, as his strengths are effective during a counter attack and over running a slow or tiring defence. How he was picked ahead of Giroud baffles me.

Now I know we are only 2 games into the new season, but seeing the same mistakes from last season and a team selection that makes no sense to anyone (even the players involved) but the manager really angers me. This is really going to be a long 2 more years!!!!


This. Yours is the most concise and rational comment so far on what happened last weekend.


I don’t care who plays or where they play, how good the performance is, or how bad the referee is.

Please just take all 3 fucking points.


good to know that speculations surrounding Sanchez continues


Strongest back 3 would be –

Monreal -Koscielny- Mustafi. This is a solid base.

LWB Kolasinac

RWB Bellerin or Ox (Frankly, Ox has been the slightly more effective…at least pushing us forward, defensively, Bellerin has also had lapses)

Best at the moment for midfield is Granit-Ramsey but Rambo has to curb his enthusiasm going forward.

Ozil of course.

Alexis (when ‘abs’ permit) if not maybe Iwobi (to cover for Ramsey should he bomb into the box)

Lacazette up top.

OR Giroud with Lacazette (in lieu of Iwobi) which means two up top which is what Wenger has been seemingly trying to provide for.