Thoughts On The Tactics And Starting Eleven Against Wigan

Ideally, I’d have preferred a week’s break after the Chelsea win just to soak it in. That would have been a nice way to celebrate the festive season. I can’t quite take my mind off that game. Hopefully, the players will not be in the same state.

I guess the best way to move on from a big win is to win the next game. The visit to Wigan gives Arsenal the chance to go joint top after Manchester United blew another lead in an away game. A five goal win might even see Arsenal in pole position but I don’t think it matters at this stage. Three points most certainly do and Arsenal must perform with the kind of discipline we have seen away from home this season.

Wigan are a team I like and Roberto Martinez is a good manager. They do have physical players like Thomas and Hendry but their philosophy is to play football. Tactically that should make things easier for Arsenal. When the opposition tries to keep the ball on the ground and move it around, it just gives the Gunners that bit extra because Arsenal’s defending on the ground is much better than their work in the air.

If all goes well, we should see some high quality football. I guess neither set of supporters will have forgotten the corresponding fixture from last season. Arsenal blew a 2 goal lead in the last ten minutes but unlike many fans I don’t think of that game as a bad performance. It was 20 minutes of horror preceded by 70 minutes of quality. Since that team was a highly depleted one, I see no reason why this year we can’t see fantastic football for 90 minutes.

Nevertheless, Arsenal cannot afford to underestimate a Wigan side that hasn’t lost at home in the League since the middle of September. We must also be wary of the curse of the Carling Cup. Having beaten Newcastle and Tiny Totts in the League Cup away from home, Arsenal lost to them at home. In the last round of the Kiddie Cup the Gunners beat Wigan at home and are now visiting them for a League encounter. It’s not logical but neither were defeats to the Barcodes or Spuds.

In some ways this is a tricky encounter and picking the correct starting eleven will not be easy. I’m thankful I don’t have to make these choices. On one hand there can be an argument for having fresher players like Rosicky, Chamakh, Arshavin, Diaby, Denilson, and Eboue in the starting line-up. On the other, one might say that Wenger should not tinker with a winning combination.

Le Boss will have to find the right balance based on form and fitness. Personally speaking, relying on the same people to do the job and allowing players to build some momentum sounds like the prudent choice. Unless someone like RvP is not ready for two games in three days or a youngster like Wilshere needs a rest, I’d not change the starting eleven except bringing Rosicky in for the suspended Cesc.

Walcott needs a run of games to show some consistency and Wigan’s style will certainly be good for him. Van Persie too needs games to settle into the central striking role. I’ll also like to see a stable partnership developing at the back. There is an argument for playing Arshavin in the absence of Cesc as the Russian has been one of the main creative threats for Arsenal. I guess it will be a tactical decision. Does Arsene want a dribbler like Nasri or some like Arshavin who can unlock the defence?

The starting line-up I’d like to see is,

Fabianski – Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy – Song, Rosicky, Wilshere – Walcott, Rvp, Nasri

Since there are two really tough fixtures in seven days after the visit to the DW stadium, a strong start followed by three substitutions around the hour mark would be perfect. If Arsenal have a two goal lead, Chamakh for RvP, Diaby for Wilshere, and Arshavin for Nasri will be my picks. Of course, this can change based on the way the game pans out.

Having said that, I’ll be really surprised if Arsenal don’t make more changes. Wenger has been a lot more flexible in terms of rotation this season even at the risk of a poor result. He must have good reasons for making those choices and we certainly can’t argue with his experience in these matters even if the results have been frustrating. I’ll be happy with any starting eleven as long as they don’t play Santa for the Latics.

30 Responses to Thoughts On The Tactics And Starting Eleven Against Wigan

  1. w12mcee says:

    no AA again? interesting. van p could definately use more game time against lesser oposition 4 confidence as he got thrown in the deep end vs manu and chavz.

  2. MSL says:

    I think two of Diaby, Eboue and Denilson are going to get a run. Wilshere needs the rest. The Latics actually being a footballing side, we could use Denilson.

    My front six would be:
    Song-Denilson-Diaby; Walcott-RvP-Nasri.

    • desigunner says:

      Yeah even I thought if Denilson has to get a game in these four fixtures this game would suit him best.

      • Miranda says:

        Denilson definitely due for a game (and Wilshere due for a rest) but has he even travelled to Wigan? I suspect an imminent move is afoot. Checking his twitter – often a good guide to whether a player is in good spirits – I see he has today blocked public access. Is this so he can keep his friends abreast of developments without betraying what’s going on to the media and fans? If so, let’s hope we’ve got a replacement lined up.

  3. Bergkamps nephew 81 says:

    Great read..been readin ur stuff for a while and it great analogies and well thought out topics..1st off sooo delighted with that great victory but yea now it’s time to refocus on real matters at hand..Monday night was a repayment now we gotta go on like loan sharks and collect what’s owed to em!!!

  4. davee says:

    whres bendtner?

    • Miranda says:

      Where indeed. If Wenger doesn’t think he’s good enough to get us a goal even against Wigan, at a time in the season when he’s well rested and we’ve got a game practically every few minutes, then what is he doing here? Same goes for Vela, sadly, as I love him, but it looks as though he too isn’t considered a viable striker. If we’re possibly losing three players this window, who’s coming in?

  5. Ja_Gunner says:

    My team for the next 2 games injuries permitting would be….



    Tell Song to sit and conserve his energy…let Denilson do the box to box role since he is fresh…

    Its only one day of rest so we need some rotation.

    If all is going well Diaby for Song, Vela for Rosicky, Bendtner on for Chamakh….

    For Birmingham we play the same team that played against Chelsea..except for Clichy…he has some demons at St. Andrews plus he would have played the 2 previous games…



    We need another CB, I know Vermaelen should be back but we have FA cup and Carling cup coming up so we cant play the same centre backs every game….

    For instance what would be the CB pairing for the FA cup? Squillaci + Miquel??????

    Nordveit is gone so he cant fill in…

    • Tulio Kinsly says:

      I like your team selection but i will make 2 slight altercation ie WIGAN – i play Diaby and rest Song ( he is not a machine!). BIRMINGHAM – I play Nasri on the left and Arshavin on the right. Walcot do not have the basic creativity to play combination football thru a crowded defence formation,and thats exactly how Bormingham gonna play…..packed defence.

    • Miranda says:

      I love Miguel but I don’t think he’s ready yet.

  6. bc says:

    I am well ok for rotation but tell walcott to button it! 1 win against an ageing chelski scumbag side means fa. 2 wins aginst wigan and birmingham where we could not manage wins last year, will then be worth talking up! a win against citeh a few days later we can then start talking ourselves up, but please everyone take note, citeh are now seious contenders, wiv unlimited funds they could well buy the title this year, no matter how bad the team spirit or the guvnor!!!

  7. jcloud says:

    Something like 5-0 or 6-1 would be nice to see. 🙂

  8. hughie says:

    eboue squillaci kos clichy
    arshavin rosicky nasri
    chamakh bender

  9. amaan says:

    I think the boss will go with
    eboue squillaci kosser Clichy
    Diaby denilson rosicky
    Theo Chamakh Arshavin

    Theo and Chamakh to come off at 60 mins or so.

    considering the tricky away tie at Birmingham in 2 days.

  10. cosmic_rider says:

    I’d love to see Nasri, Van Persie and Walcott start up front, Denilson for Song, Diaby/Rosicky for Cesc, Wilshere to play and Eboue replace Clichy. same central back, Djourou and Kos, Scezsney at the poles.

  11. Raghugovind says:

    Nasri and Van Persie on Twitter !!! Cesc Following them !!

  12. Messi's dad says:

    Hi Desi, I’m similarly inclined to sticking with a winning team, so that hopefully some squad stability will be the platform for Arsenal start a winning streak. The Manchester teams as well as Spurs seem to have started some momentum going (hope this sentence jinxes them! :p), so I would say this Wigan match is impt for us to maintain some momentum.

    I feel sometimes playing Theo and AA will result in the team becoming much more direct, and being fixated with possession play as I am, I usually feel 1 of the 2 starting would suffice, altho they are no means like for like at all, and depending on how the game develops, either can come on as an impact substitution.

    So for me, Theo, RvP and Cesc to start (assuming they are declared fit to start), and if RvP and Cesc are not fully fit to last the full game, then Chamakh and Rosicky/AA to come on at the 60th / 70th min mark.

    Going back to the issue of squad stability – it looks like JD has been more consistent than Kos or Squillacci so far, and should be the main CB starter?

    • Ketch says:

      cesc is banned for this game

      • Messi's dad says:

        Mmm… My oversight…

        Perhaps Rosicky to start with the captain’s armband then!

        Anyhow, I’m convinced the real reason we beat Chelsea boils down to this – for once I wasn’t wearing an arsenal jersey for a big match. :p

  13. william kkkk says:

    Arshavin, Diaby, Eboue, Chamakh will all start i think

  14. DrakeGoona says:

    Fabianksi, Clichy, Squill, Djourou, Sagna, Denilson, Diaby, Wilshere, Bendtner, Chamakh, Arshavin

  15. orukotan ayomikun says:

    let wenger use an unchanged side 4 d match against chelsea, rosicky wil be my best option, changes should cme in d 2nd half

  16. kloney says:

    AW is full of surprises. He has the option of rotation for players that are fresher although I would prefer the winning combination against Chelsea with Rosicky in for Cesc. Any eleven he chooses are saddled with the responsibility of getting three points and keeping up the momentum.

  17. cosmic_rider says:

    to Messi’s dad.

    Cesc is suspended, RVP is unlikely to feauture in wigan’s game, I think he will come on as a late subtitute for Chammakh, as for Arshavin if I was Wenger (don’t fancy the amount of stress the man gets from watching his players) I wouldn’t play Arshavin, this guy should know that the squad isn’t relying on him, he should stop being selfish and to defend when called to action. To me, he is a big disappointment, he doesn’t help his mates fully, and he is “footballistically” arrogant!

  18. Joker says:

    Arshavin Walcott
    Wilshere Song
    Clinchy, Kochiesny, Djorou, Sagna

    Nasri to stand in for fabregas, rosicky is not strong enough as nucleus, this is crucial!

  19. AnonymousGun says:

    Some peoples dont understand the word burn out..

  20. JP says:

    Well Desi you hoped they would not play Santa to Wigan well that’s exactly what they did. Wenger gifted them 8 changes and they gifted a two goal lead with Squillaci doing his thing. This is the third time we have made wholesale changes like this (champions league away games serving as the other two) and we have an undesirable result. Wenger really thinks that we are that good that we can make this much changes and not miss a beat. I don’t understand. The other players are on the bench for a reason. Djourou can’t play consecutive games yet? RVP was not even on the bench, is he injured again? I don’t understand, we work so hard to get where you want and then give shit away. Puzzling to say the least ……

  21. […] Thoughts On The Tactics And Starting Eleven Against Wigan Ideally, I’d have preferred a week’s break after the Chelsea win just to soak it in. That would have been a nice […] […]

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