Captain quandary + Guess who is sick?

by .


Our first Saturday match of the season has landed and it feels good. Enjoy it, they’re going to be few and far between.

So what’s new?

Ozil has been ‘sick’ again, lolz, there are people that have eaten directly from a nuclear reactor with stronger immune strength than him.

Arsenal ditched the captain’s notes. Xhaka is the ‘Voice from the dressing room’ in the matchday programme… it’s like Arsenal is in its early twenties at a fancy University, we’ve just met an older student that’s running side classes in wokeness called Kale-isthenics, and we’ve just learned that the captain’s armband is actually social construct and is basically a form of oppression.

Emery hates it. He can’t wait to tell the captains of other clubs that they’re contributing a vicious cycle of captain-archy that’s directly contributing the anxiety of naturally weak people.

Good for Unai, but I can’t help but think a team that really lacked leadership when the chips were down last season should perhaps be making one person accountable for being the go-to for dishing out meaty bollockings.

Checklist for the captain:

  • Make sure they’re not injured
  • Make sure they’re going to play the majority of games
  • Make sure the fans and players like them
  • Make sure they are good at football
  • Make sure they can battle knife crime with their BARE HANDS

Probably going to be Xhaka… guy can handle the spare key though, so who am I to sniff?

Burnley at home shouldn’t be a problem, but if we play like we did against Newcastle it might be.

They’re capable of putting the wind up us and they have some speed in their ranks… Ashley Barnes can be a bother at times and I hate playing shit-kickers with an unsettled starting 11.

Our defence put on a great show against Newcastle, our full-backs played with more discipline, which looked like a tactical decision based on ability. It’ll be interesting to see whether that holds up tomorrow. I’m also waiting to see how Emery treats Chambers now David Luiz has been with us a couple of weeks. We are one week from Liverpool, Luiz making his debut against them is a scary proposition… so is Chambers starting against Firmino, Mane or the ruthless Origi.

We need a big performance, lots of energy, lots of chances and a bit of a statement.



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721 Responses to “Captain quandary + Guess who is sick?”

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  1. Nelson

    I have high hope on Ceballos. During last game, our midfield had a different feel once he was on the pitch. It seemed to be moving the ball forwards with a purpose.

  2. Emiratesstroller

    Football is a team game and it is important that there is a feel good factor amongst the players.

    From my perspective Arsenal now have for first time in several years a nucleus of quality players at the club, which combined with work ethic should help the team to progress.

    Obviously the squad is a ‘work in progress’ and it will take two-three months
    to decide on the right team formation. Our strongest team should always be
    selected for the EPL this season.

    We have enough squad depth including youngsters to play a different team in
    the Europa Cup. Personally I don’t think that we should be playing the same players on both Thursday and Sunday. It is not about fitness, but energy expended in two games plus travel distances.

    One final point I know that there are an enormous number of Ozil critics on this website and elsewhere. It is time to give this player some space and allow him to reintegrate in the team/squad. I am sure that if he clears his head he
    can still be an asset to the team. Stop worrying or criticising him for £350K pw
    he earns. Just let him regain joie de vivre of playing football again.

  3. Thomas

    Is there any player out there more useless than Ozil? Can’t think of any. I mean there are probably worse players but then again they aren’t on £350k weekly.

  4. Rich

    Thomas, completely agree, Ozil is a complete waste of space.

    Hopefully he’ll be on his way to Washington or Miami in January, i’d rather persevere with Willock or Smith-Rowe than carry on with Sick note Ozil

  5. China1

    The only thing worse than a vastly overrated and overpaid player is one who can’t even be arsed to play

    Let’s pray we’re protecting him before binning him off to MLS

  6. China1

    And people here were actually naive enough to think that he might turn a corner with the signing of Pepe because he’d have more good runners to pick out and because he had like one or two decent friendly games in preseason

    He’s not even arsed to show up for the easy games anymore. Just do whatever it takes to dump that cunt arsenal. I really don’t care. Give him away for free. Sign some kind of partnership with the buying team to support them with future loan deals or something. Just get rid of that vapid, gaping cunt known as mesut

  7. Valentin

    Does Bayern intend to buy the entire French squad of the next Euro?
    They already have Kinsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso, Benjamin Pavard, Hernandez. All current French international.
    They are now reported to be buying Mickaël Cuisance a holding midfielder from Gladbach for €10 millions. He is an U21 French players that is highly rated and rumoured to be on the verge of a senior call-out if N’zonzi, Kante are injured.

    They are loaning Coutinho, but I can’t see where he will be playing. Coman is their main threat from the left. They also have Serge Gnabry for that position.
    With Lewandowski and Muller undroppable despite the latter abysmal form for the last couple of years, Coutinho run the risk of being a luxury substitute/back-up. What a fall from grace.

  8. WengerEagle

    Coutinho is a weird signing because he’ll have the same issues as James had fitting into Bayern.

    My guess is he plays in front of a double pivot of Thiago and either this new midfielder or Tolisso.

    Means even less game time for Muller who’s decline since 2016 has been spectacular.

  9. Dream10

    Hope Mesut, Sead and their families are alright. Been a difficult few weeks for them.
    Burnley will be defending deep, so Özil’s creativity in the final third can help us move them around. Missing Xhaka’s passing into the final third today. Looking forward to Guendouzi on the ball and his older brother Luiz’s long passes thru the lines and to the wide areas.

  10. WengerEagle

    Should be a relatively straight forward 3 points today although Burnley will be a tough nut to crack through for that all important opener.

    Hoping to see Pepe and Ceballos in from the Starr, we’ll need both in rhythm to stand any chance of not getting molested at Anfield next week.

  11. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    Some saying the signing is desperate one by Bayern. Very unlike them to be unsure in the transfer market. 15m Euros for a year loan with a 120m purchase option. Can see him doing a year in Germany, followed by a two year loan to one of the Milan clubs.

  12. Freddie Ljungberg

    Both Mustafi and Elneny being linked with loan moves to Turkey today, is that really the best we can do for those 2? Really hoping we manage to sell them and get some money in, any amount will do really, just get them out. So many wasted years with so many poor players.

    Really looking forward to the game today. Hopefully no Xhaka, Ozil or Mikhi today and we get to see Pepe and Ceballos get their first starts.
    They’ll need it before the Liverpool game, same with Torreira.

  13. Valentin

    With Bayern obsession in playing Pavard a right back into central defense, they’ll keep getting exposed by little give and go in the centre of their defense.
    One way to shore up would be to have two in midfield rather than just Tolisso in sentinel. But that means even less opportunity for Coutinho. Unless they intend to drop Tolisso for Cuisance a pure 6 rather than a mix of 6 and 8.

    If he was not German, Müller would have been sold. His lack of contribution and end product for the last couple of years has been truly shocking.
    Manual Neuer’s decline has been less brutal than Müller, but still I doubt that he would now be in the top 10 goalkeeper in the world: from the best proponent of the keeper sweeper to the average/good keeper repeatedly stranded in nowhere land.

  14. Northbanker

    Since when did ‘loaning’ become a verb? The English language once again corrupted by this constant desire to take a noun add ing and turn it into an unofficial verb

  15. Bob N16

    I want to be positive about today’s game but start of the season match ups can often not follow expectations. Burnley are coming at us after a confidence boosting 3-0 win. Hopefully we’ll start fast with the crowd up for it but a 12.30 start sometimes causes slow starts.

    Hope my slight pessimism is way off and we crush them. Looking forward with much interest in our line up – 10 mins away.

  16. Tony

    A win with Dyche complaining again because we roughed them up suits me.

    Let the lower bruiser clubs & MU know we are no longer push overs.

  17. Leftsidesanch


    Team to play Burnley: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Luiz, Sokratis, Monreal, Guendouzi, Nelson, Willock, Ceballos, Lacazette, Aubameyang

    Subs: Martinez, Mkhitaryan, Torreira, Pepe, Chambers, Kolasinac, Martinelli

  18. Freddie Ljungberg

    That is an excellent team, Pepe on last 30 minutes. None of the wasters in sight, biggest worry our fullbacks but we should win this.

  19. Freddie Ljungberg

    Ah, thought Torreira was in there too, slight worry about the inexperience in midfield then too, but no Xhaka is more important. Can see Torreira coming on at halftime if it’s not working.

  20. Nelson

    I like this lineup. If Pepe starts, it would be perfect until the other injured players are back.

    I want to see Ceballos playing in front of Willock and Guen. I would not like to see Willock playing in front of the other two.

  21. Dream10

    Radio Raheem

    It is harsh on Calum. But, Emery made the right decision. Luiz being given minutes before two really difficult matches.

  22. Ishola70


    “I want to see Ceballos playing in front of Willock and Guen. I would not like to see Willock playing in front of the other two.”


    Will see the same as at Newcastle.

    Willock is being given the straight ACM role atm because he is less experienced than the others and there is less onus on him playing ACM. He has a free rein compared to Guendouzi and Ceballos.

  23. Bob N16

    I think Emery being pragmatic. Luiz needs time, Chambers unlucky but right decision, particularly with Xhaka out.

  24. Freddie Ljungberg

    Last year that midfield would have been Elneny, Mikhi and a rookie Guen if we had this many players missing, feel a lot better with this setup.

    This is why I was willing to give Emery slack last season, the squad options were fucking terrible.

  25. vickingz

    We are playing two harum-scarum as our CB? Playing out from the back will be interesting today o. Imagine both CBs with old legs being put under pressure when playing out from the back

  26. Ishola70

    “Willock is a better player when deployed deeper. We’ll see”

    What matches are you basing that on? Pre-season friendlies?

    You may be right over time but at this time in proper competitive matches Willock will not be able to show that he is adept playing straight CM or deeper role. Emery giving him a less taxing role as ACM for now.

  27. Nelson

    It really makes me happy that Emery prefer Reiss Nelson instead of Micki. Who says Emery doesn’t play youngsters.

  28. Ishola70


    Willock played ACM last match at Newcastle. He was very advanced midfielder in the match.

    Hard to judge on that match that he is better as you say deeper.

    Overall think it is a fair decision from Emery. He is easing Willock in and playing ACM is less taxing than CM or deeper.

  29. Marko

    Luiz for Chambers is absolutely the right decision. Come on now folks don’t start getting silly after one game or one preseason he’s a squad player at best.

    Also what an unbelievable wet sponge Ozil is. Sickness is it again. What a piece of shit. Hopefully it’s cause he’s finding a club right this second but I suspect it’s because the early kickoff coincided with his favorite Saturday morning cartoons

  30. Freddie Ljungberg


    It was always a matter of them being ready to play first, would have been counterproductive to throw them in last season when they were clearly not up to it.
    Seems we have a good bunch coming through now so hope as many as possible make it for us.

  31. Nelson


    He played ACM in the first half. In the 2nd half, when Ceballos was introduced, Celballos played the ACM role

  32. Cesc Appeal

    I like that team.

    Obviously like to add Torreira and Pepe but there must be fitness issues. Likely they get a good amount of playing time today.

    Really want to see Willock, Guendouzi, Dani Ceballos do well today. A midfield without Xhaka, I want to see more speed, more pressing, more ground coverage and greater tempo when moving the ball.

    Big chance for Nelson as well today. Has to be positive, has to stretch play and get at his man as he did against Lyon.

    Martinelli and Pepe coming off the bench later on will give Burnley some issues. That is a massive amount of pace.

    Add Bellerin, Tierney, Torreira and Pepe to that line up and it looks really good.

    Good win but also good performance needed with a clean sheet.

    Come on Arsenal!

  33. Ishola70

    Yes Nelson that was because it was a straight swap sub Ceballos for Willock and Ceballos took Willock’s position in the match at ACM.

  34. WengerEagle

    Sagna cross to RVP’s noggin on the button was over 8 years ago now, christ time flies.

    One of the AW highlight reels that match, 4-0 up at Newcastle and come away with a sole point.

  35. Nelson

    In fact, Ceballos played more like a #8. He picked up the ball in our own half and then advanced his playing position.

  36. Akan

    I thought this was a forum for Arsenal football club ? not Byern Munich fans.
    If Xhaka is now the official spokesperson for the team he should be given an office to do his work from on match days. It would be great for him and the team as contributes nothing on the pitch.
    The team should be built around a midfield pairing of Willock and Guendouzi or Willock and Maitland Niles. Torreia does not possess the necessary athleticism required for this league, but he can play and does work hard. Xhaka cannot play football at our level and tempo

  37. Ishola70

    lol Nelson.

    The main point is that Willock played ACM at Newcastle was subbed and looks to be in the ACM role today.

    Maybe we will see though Willock today interchange more with Ceballos.

    This wasn’t done at Newcastle. Guendouzi and Xhaka were obviously the deep midfielders in that match and Willock was far more advanced as ACM.

  38. Cesc Appeal

    It will be interesting to see whether this is 4-2-3-1 and either Willock or Dani Ceballos are in more of a CAM type position or whether it’s a 4-3-3 and Willock and Dani Ceballos are more like No.8s with Willock, I would guess, the more adventurous owing to his athletic ability.

  39. Ishola70

    “The good thing is Xhaka is not playing and I am happy.”


    Xhaka had a decent game at Newcastle but even then he still had his customary brain fart in the second half when he decided to take out a Newcastle player in his own half near to the corner flag and got booked. Only Xhaka knows why he felt it necessary to put in a foul on a player near his own corner flag area.

    Guy is a ticking time bomb and no side needs one of those in their team.

  40. raptora

    I like the starting 11.

    Luiz ahead of Chambers is the right decision.

    Our midfield will look interesting, fresh and young. Probably the average age in there will be like what? 21-22? Pretty cool if it works.

    I’m not 100% sold on the idea to start Reiss ahead of Mikki, who as wasteful and clumsy looked at times was in the middle of our two other big chances vs Newcasle – the sublime pass towards Auba and the big miss from close range. He upsets me every time I see him play but at least he has several sparks per game. Not sure Nelson can do better but Mikki looks like an overused book and reminds me of Game of Thrones’ last season… Nelson is the Eragon of fantasy world. Remains to be seen if he is the book or the movie version of it.

    Just hope we don’t get to pay the price of playing them youngsters. And while Willock has earned his chance, I’m not sold out on Reiss just yet.

  41. raptora

    Coutinho’s loan would have made sense if we were going to attack the title. As things stand we are not even close to competing because City and Pool have much better accomplished and balanced squads than ours. Also our team is new and young.

    Our team is good enough for top 4 without a doubt. If we don’t make it it won’t be because of the Transfer Window but because either injuries that no one could have predicted, or cause Emery failed his job.

    Coutinho’s loan would have cost us more than 30m pounds -> 20+m loan fee and 10m in salary. Ceballos is going to cost us 7m. It’s a whole lot of money for 1 season of football.

  42. Freddie Ljungberg


    Harsh to compare Nelson to Eragon, haven’t seen the movie but the books are pretty garbage compared to real fantasy. Hope he doesn’t turn out that bad.

    Rather suffer some teething problems with some youths with clear upside than having to witness the same old tired shite from the usual suspects.

  43. Northbanker

    More difficult than I imagineer to spot the difference between Guendouzi and Luiz other than where the positions they’re taking up

  44. gazzap

    Hey , No Mustafi, No Xhaka, No Miki and No Ozil. None of our most doubted players on the pitch today. we can’t moan today if we don’t dominate Burnley!

  45. Dissenter

    Ceballos is the beginning of the end for Mesut Ozil

    Behold an attacking midfielder that tackles and tracks back!

  46. gazzap

    Nelson just struggling to make an impact right now. everyone else keeping it neat and keeping the ball moving. Its Ok at the moment. Burnley will tire later.

  47. Dissenter

    We have to control this game better, maybe bring Mykhiin for Nelson who’s not really having a good day.
    Burley have done enough to get an equalizer.