Thoughts On The Tactics And Starting Eleven Against Leyton Orient

This one is an annoying fixture but it could be a good one to get back on the winning track. It is also a banana skin of sorts because a poor performance in this will magnify the previous loss inconceivably. Given that key players will be missing it will certainly be a tough encounter and any mistakes or laxity in front of goal at either end could cost the Gunners dear.

Tactically, I don’t expect anything other than a parked bus from the visitors. They’ll most probably play for a 0 – 0 with their best bet being on penalties. There wasn’t any evidence in the previous tie to think that Orient can really test the Arsenal defence but we must be wary of the self-destruct tendencies that come to the fore at all the wrong times.

Arsenal should see a lot of the ball and the number of chances created will depend on the speed at which that ball moves. Obviously, that will be linked with the understanding displayed by the players, something that might not click as well as one might expect due to the large number of changes that are likely to be made.

As long as Arsenal get enough bodies in the box, and some players are willing to take initiative in attack, there should be a couple of goals. With due respect to the visitors I’ll be shell-shocked if Arsenal fail to score in this one even with all the changes.

Arsene has already ruled out Song, Koscielny, Szczesny, and RvP. One can also expect changes at both full-back positions. That means at least 6 changes to the starting line-up. Since there is a possibility that Song might miss the next League game as well, I’d like to see Wilshere get a rest in this one. It will also be a good idea to give Nasri a breather as he’ll have to play a big role at the weekend and against Barcelona.

Possible starting line-up,

Almunia – Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Gibbs – Denilson, Rosicky, Diaby – Bendtner, Chamakh, Arshavin.

This won’t be the strongest eleven and we’ve seen problems in the past when a number of changes have been made but most of those have come away from home. In my opinion, Wenger doesn’t have much choice in such games as playing all the key players is just too big a risk.

I’m not sure about this but Ramsey is probably not available for this game as he was on loan when the original tie was played.

Wilshere and Nasri should be able to come on and affect the game if it’s not going to plan by the hour mark.

Rosicky and Arshavin will have to be involved in the game a lot more. That means their off the ball movement must show greater desire and the other players will have to find them with accurate passes. Bendtner should get into the box more often and the best way to do this will be by exchanging roles with Chamakh on a regular basis. Arsenal are at their strongest when the front three don’t stick to their positions all through the game.

This will also be a test for what has usually been a disappointing crowd at the Emirates this season. The supporters have a tendency of creating an air of expectation and pressure that turns into a proper football atmosphere only after Arsenal score. I don’t expect this occasion to be any different but would love a pleasant surprise.

As I said at the start, it’s not the kind of replay I’d have wanted at this stage of the season but it could turn out to be a fairly positive game if the performance correlates to the difference in quality of the teams on paper. This time I’m going to risk jinxing the result with a 2 – 0 prediction.

19 Responses to Thoughts On The Tactics And Starting Eleven Against Leyton Orient

  1. Drjlancaster says:


    Just like to say, I really enjoy reading your unique brand of Analasys. Keep it up!

  2. Raghugovind says:

    Had Arsenal not sent 19 players on loan we could have had a little more depth in the squad. We should bring back JET , Francis Coquelin and Henry Lansbury back as then we will have a little more depth in the squad. We suffer a lot with injuries as has been evident for many campaigns. Had these kids been there we could have played them and hence giving the entire first team some rest . I think we will have to play with the same front 3 for entire March as both Van Persie and Walcott have been ruled out for the month. Nasri will havve to play the role of Cesc as I don’t feel Arsene will start with him in the Barca match if he is not a 100% fit . Keeping fingers crossed !!

    • Steve of Chiang Mai says:

      And after tonight they do what…sit on their bums in the stands?

      • Raghugovind says:

        No Bro !! I am not saying about only this match . I feel he could rotate a bit more if he had the above mentioned players . If you have noticed Sir Alex Ferguson rotates his squad very well . In the same way we could play JET for eg against WBA on 19th April . Or when in game where we are 2-3 goals ahead and have 30 mins in hand we can rest our key players without compromising on quality.

  3. Renan says:

    Is there any chance to recall Vela or Lansbury back ? Anyway I expect it to be a quiet game but let’s do it GUYS !

  4. evans sunda says:

    i still have alot of confident with your likely starting eleven.the problem might be the demorolisation they got.

  5. Arsenal4 says:

    Yup we should send all the B team – even considering to field Ramsey rather than AA. The league is supposed to be the super priority at the moment, even if in the expense dropped out of FA & UCL. Chelsea has handed us a huge lifeline – we will master our own destiny if we win rest of the game – that’ll include Anfield, WHL & MU at the Ems.

    Still hope we beat LO though comfortably for the sake of our confident!

    (or else i don’t see the point of team B)

  6. Solomon says:

    We must understand that those guys on loan need game time. If we had kept them behind by now they would have been match rusty. I still believe that we can achieve with what we’ve got at the moment.
    We must remember that the likes of Eboue, Denilson, Rambo,Miquel and Diaby also need game time. So this rotation will be good for them.
    We should just support the avaialble and fit guys and hope they wont disaapoint.
    I know that if Bendtner is having a good day, he can be very good likewise Arshavin and Chamak.

  7. Arsenal4 says:

    BTW – thank you for not to taking risk to Jinx it – last two predictions really happened!

  8. isaak says:

    may be i am crazy but i have the feeling of playing kose and sesy might help them to move on and be back on track before the big games arrive on sat…

  9. Hashim says:

    We just need Chamakh to start firing again. With the chances that we create from midfield, its just a matter of converting them. If Chamakh and Bendtner can deliver, there is no need for any panic.

  10. dw says:

    Ramsey would be in my starting line up
    We need fast track him in to this team

    • Jonathan says:

      I agree, considering he has been on Loan and playing against lesser opposition, it will ease him into it. And lets not forget it would be a home game, making it that much more special for him…

  11. Readings says:

    Rational comment has deserted me,

  12. Northbanksy says:

    The first leg showed that without Fabregas, Wilshere or Nasri we struggled to create meaningful chances, so with Fabregas out injured we need either Wishere or Nasri to start.I’m sure they are capable of playing 45 minures each.

  13. Phv says:

    Wilshere and Nasri should only play in the last 20 min if things are not going well. Leyton barely made an attack for the whole match at their own stadium so I dont really expect them to score at the Emirates.This should be a win. The game we really really need to win is against Sunderland on the weekend. I hope Wenger plays Diaby,Wilshere,Ramsey in midfield vs Sunderland with Nasri,Bendtner and Arshavin in attack.

  14. Siva says:

    Is it just me, yet to be caught up by the excitement of the match. Expacting to watch a run of the mill 2-0 tonight

  15. Siva says:

    Exicted now! Nice to see the ‘2nd’ click. The replay had served it’s purpose – help get to pick ourselves, get a few players back in form, precious experience for few others 🙂

  16. Claver says:

    If Bendtner and Chamakh cannot pick up where RvP has left they have to be sold. I’m sorry.

    Yes they work hard, but this is about producing goods on the pitch. Effective hard work, not blithely running around.

    Bendtner looks mightily up for it, I hope Chamakh is up for it. The next three weeks will be utterly crucial.

    This is the time for Champions to stand up. If these guys are anything at all like the Invincibles, as Wenger claims, this is the time to show it.

    I think some of RvP’s injuries are pyschological, ditto Rosicky.

    This is the time to put bodies on the line. Wenger cannot use fatigue as an excuse. This is why these guys are athletes, this is what physios are paid for.

    If our players are too weak then they are not fit to be top athletes, are they?

    Cesc needs to find his scoring boots, likewise Nasri and Arshavin.

    Come on Wenger, stop playing our most lethal scorers on the touchline, squeeze the middle, unleash the goals!!!

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