Wenger reveals pre-Chelsea team news


Arsene Wenger says Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey should return for Sunday’s trip to Chelsea having been rested for the Europa League clash with Cologne.

The German and Welsh midfielders weren’t the only big names given a night off, with the likes of Danny Welbeck, Alexandre Lacazetee, Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny also left out of the squad.

“We have to see about Ozil and Ramsey,” said Wenger in his post-game press conference.

“I think they should be alright. All the others could have played against Cologne.

“I believe in three days we can recover. Overall, that should not be a problem.”

Santi Cazorla (long-term Achilles problem) and Francis Coquelin (knee) are the only two players who will definitely miss out on the visit to Stamford Bridge.

The boss also had warm words for Jack Wilshere whose 20-minute cameo off the bench bodes well for the rest of the season.

“Yes, it is good for him. You will see that it will give him more confidence and you could see that he still needs competition, Jack.”

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Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

Isn’t coquelin out with a hamstring injury, not knee?

Lord Bendnter

Both Santi and Le Coq are out with Lower Body injuries

*hope that clears it a bit 😛


Might have hurt his knee on landing when he did that huge salmon leap after pulling his hamstring.

dr Strange

We can’t play with both Ozil and Ramsey. We just can’t have two players on the pitch that don’t defend against Chelsea. I would play a back four, three in the middle with Ramsey instead of Ozil, two wide midfielders, not wingers, and a fast striker up front.


Yes what a good idea to leave out our most creative player against the league champions.

Wild bill

No, Alexis will play.


He said most creative not most individual

Wild bill

Alexis got 19 assists to Ozil’s 14 last season.


No, Alexis got 14 assists, Ozil had 11.

dr Strange

Away against the league champions… We need workrate and stamina more than creativity. Ozil will have a huge impact coming on in the last 15. If he starts the game Chelsea will put a high pressure on him and never give him any time on the ball. That’s what the good teams do and that’s why he usually goes missing in the big games.


Ozil offers creativity and workrate and has plenty of stamina which is why he is a crucial player in the German team and also for us.

Kwame Ampadu Down

But big teams can (& do) negate him because you put pressure on his passing & he then can’t hurt you. I’d put Alexis at 10. If you’re a defender Alexis is a much scarier prospect than Ozil at 10; you know he can play a killer pass, he can do you for pace or he can simply bang it in from 25 yards. That’s scary….and Ozil just doesn’t give you that fear.
Our midfield is the biggest weakness so go back to 4-2-3-1 with Xhaka/Elneny in the middle with Ramsey/Welbeck out wide for their energy, with Ramsey able to tuck in if needed. Alexis behind Lacazette with Ozil to come on if needed when the pace of the game has slowed down a bit.


Is that you big sam?


Such a lazy pathetic narrative about Ozil having no workrate or stamina.

He goes “missing” in so called big games because teammates are exposed for what they are against better talented clubs.

Mesut O\'Neill

Yep the fact that Ozil has been average at best for Arsenal is because of the players around him.

Same old tired excuses for a player that hasn’t performed to his potential.

Dave M

I agree its a bad idea to play both against Chelsea, but I would put Ozil in ahead of Rambo 110%. We need midfield support and think desperately need a 4-2-3-1 system here with Xhaka and El Neny as a double pivot. Pile in a fast front three of Laca, Alexis and Welbs and I think we can beat the dirty chavs at their own up tempo, counter attacking game game and I’m sure they’ll be expecting a back 3…being less predictable and this sort of change would allow it

Laughing Stock

Yup I’m with you mate. Ozil never does anything away at the big teams, absolutely Jack shit, so why not put someone in there to fight the middle?


Yer da


Bring him on if the game opens up


Didn’t we beat them last time out with those two on the pitch?

This is the sound of my voice
This is the sound of my voice

We beat them the last *two* times with them both on the pitch.

The Calm

bellerin mustafi koscielny kolasinac
xhaka ramsey elneny
welbeck lacazette sanchez

Is this what you are thinking?


44% of Arsenal goals against the 6 best PL teams were goaled or assisted by Özil.


Over what period??
I just looked this up on Soccerway for last year and I have 4/19 (Soccerway actually has 3/19 but I have added the assist he got for Wimmer’s own goal last year).


Since he’s been at the club I have 19 in 56 (34%)

Goonerest Gooner

“Gaoled” hahaha

Sorry, as you were….


I think we can play with both of them in a 4-3-3, Ramsey on the right of the midfield, Ozil #10.
I do agree that having them both of them in a 5-2-3 (3-4-3, whatever you want to call it) is problematic, especially with Xhaka not being a defensive powerhouse either.
That being said, we did beat Chelsea in the Cup final with exactly that so what the fuck do I know.


If Ramsey goes walkabout again we will get slaughtered
We need him either disciplined in the middle or for Wenger to tell not to mauraude forward or we lose and lose badly.


What happened in the FA cup? lol


One game and that’s why I put if. We could be a great team with more discipline that’s not in question.



Alex habesha

That was what i was thinking Drop both Ramsey and Ozil and play Elneny and Alexis


@Dr…you have got to be joking..Ramsey no way…
Ozil is integral to our team on the other hand…


Cech(still a little blue maybe?)
Bel Mus Kos Kolas
Neny Ramsey/Ozil
Nelson Danny/Alexis
Time for changes to our static team.
Make people work harder to get in the team.
Ozil and Alexis subs.

Peds 1980

He has to pick Xhaka and ramsey but tell them to occupy the midfield!! I think he will pick Eleney to start and maybe being on jack later on if we need a more positive outcome. question is who does he drop from the front three??


Really think we could be onto a winner with Alexis and Welbeck either side of Lacazette with Ozil behind. Think the work ethic of the front three could offset Ozil’s lack of defensive ability and completely free him up to do what he does best.

Laughing Stock

What you say makes sense but Wenger always picks his favourites. If Ramsey is fit he plays and so does ozil, hence the cluster fuck you see in our midfield against top ten opposition.


You’re right, but perhaps Alexis and Welbeck getting back into the middle as they tend to do could even provide a little more cover for Ramsey’s do-or-die runs. I’m still of the belief that in a more disciplined team he could be a hugely, hugely effective player in the Lampard-mould. Optimistic perhaps, but it’s been a while since we’ve had a front line of such strong work ethic- remember how well it worked when Walcott decided he’d have an industrious month or so at the beginning of last year? Leaves so much less space for the opponent to exploit. If Ozil isn’t fit I’d also like a midfield of Wilshere, Ramsey and Xhaka with Laca, Welbeck and Alexis up front- no point trying to make the 5 at the back work without the personnel. I don’t care how long he’s been away, there’s still a spectacular player in Wilshere somewhere (Arsenal-tinted glasses out in full-force here clearly.).

Stringer Bell

Yep Ramsey’s do or die runs. He scored one goal last year in 29 games and had two assists. He really is a natural.


I agree. I keep hearing these Lampard comparisons. Once he scores half the goals Lampard used to get in a season I will accept those forward runs he is apparently so great at are working for us


I think the comparison was with his dad not frank jnr


Ramsey scored 16 goals that season having been injured for half of the season. I never knew Lampard scored 32 goals every season.

Criticism is fair. But, only if you get your facts right.


He was great that season but that was 4 seasons ago. He’s been nowhere near that season’s form since.

His best PL tally is 10 and Lampard’s is 22! Lampard went 10 Premier League seasons in a row scoring 10 or more goals.

Ramsey’s four best are 10, 6, 5 and 3 goals. They’re not even in the same league.


Absolutely. But Lampard was playing in probably the most organised and disciplined team in PL history. He either had Essien or Makelele alongside him for large parts of his career. Slightly more favourable than Coquelin. By the way, not suggesting they’re in the same league, just that we’ve never (and probably never will with this set up) seen what Ramsey is truly capable of.


Well the difference is, Lampard was the most advanced midfielder at his peak. He had two more defensively-minded players behind him to cover. Ramsey, on the other hand, IS (supposed to be) one of those defensive-minded players.

So you’re basically asking him to do what Lampard does IN ADDITION to what one of those withdrawn midfielders does. Hardly fair…

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

I’m not sure Chelsea away is the time for experimentation, but kinda off topic I would really like to see us start a few games with the old 4-3-3ish formation. Maybe its because there’s been more urgency when we’ve played it this season but there just seems to be more options in terms of players being able to receive the ball in midfield with a back four, plus I don’t feel we have a centre back confident enough at the mo to bring the ball forward and act like a third central midfield when we have possession.

That being said, what do I know, we all think we can manage a team from our armchairs!


Where the hell is Chambers, if not injured???? Surely he should at least have been on the bench last night?


He starts tonight for the U23’s.

Dave M

Can’t see why he wouldn’t have been on the bench ahead of mustafi who you are clearly resting. And he would have provided cover at RB, something I am VERY worried about over the season. We are a Bellerin injury away from a farking disaster at RB and with the lack of confidence in either Chambers or Debucy, and Ox and Gabriel sold how is Bellerin ever going to get rest?


In any sane club you would think if they turned down £20mill for a player that they actually have a plan for them, but the way things are going with transfers at Arsenal I wont take anything for granted


we have reis nelson at rb

A Gunner with Psychic powers
A Gunner with Psychic powers

He is recovering from injury and he will play for U 21 team to gain match fitness.

Dave M

As “A Gunner with Psychic powers” its hard to argue with you…


He is injured.


Kos was suspended last night.


Sanchez – lacazette – welbz
These are all guys with a proper work rate + speed

Kolasinac – xhaka – øzil – Bellerin
With two defensive minded players alongside xhaka and özil. We’ll be less vulnerable in the midfield, and we’ll finally have a creative player in the midfield to get things going. With Elneny nothing happens. And also I wouldn’t mind seing Wilshere subbed on during the game in order to get some more fight in the team.

Monreal – Kos – Mustafi

On paper that’s quite a solid defence


Bellerin and Kolasinac are not defensive-minded.Just defenders. Attacking-minded defenders.


Most of us want a formation change for the Chelsea game, but Arsene, with all due respect, isnt the one to tinker with his system once every while. The man sticks with what hes got. Simce moving to a back three he has never started a game with his classic system, but he does tend to change it up like he did against leicester when we are in desperate need of goals which I think comes to our advantage. I think he is a professor in many ways. He builds an eternity if plays and routines in that formation and now has a back up plan for it and can revert back to his classic system when the going get tough. I still think hes got it tbh


The only players that really need recovery are the fullbacks (and Monreal)

The rest of the team should pick themselves on who was left out for europa :


Alexis and Giroud as options should we need to go to 4-2-3-1. Monreal to make way with Kolasinac dropping into fullback.


So you would leave out our best player against the league champions


What does he mean “we’ll have to see about Ramsey and Ozil”? Are both carrying injuries?

I certainly would go with Elneny and Xhaka in this one, we can’t afford to be opened up by Chelsea on the road and need someone like Elneny that will be disciplined with his positioning and work his tail off on both ends. I’d actually prefer also to see Welbeck and Sanchez behind Lacazette as Welbeck certainly provides us more balance defensively and can be lethal on the counter with his running.


Not Ramsey, please…only as 20 min sub if at all….
Well be slaughtered mid field if he is on the pitch..plus hes usually in others way in the box…and thats his team mates not opponants..


Away at Chelse – not one of those matches where a win is necessary. We should be aiming to get a draw, so it would’ve been natural to drop Ramsey and play El Neny…

But that hardly going to happen since El neny played 90 minutes on Thursday, while Ramsey was enjoying a rest with the missus. I’m trying really hard to support Wenger’s decision making, but I can’t see the logic behind this one…


Ozil to feed Laza the assist for the winner


This is Wengers chance to produce a master class in tactics and convince me that he does “do” tactics. Although i would love this to happen, i dont see it, but would love to be wrong.
So its up to the players who get picked to want to win and not suffer embarrassing defeats anymore.
This will be a defining game of the season for all, Manager, Players and Fans for real.

Monkey knees

People still getting on ozils back. He’s creation stats are mind blowing. Is it his fault the people on the end are so wayward with their finishing?!