Arteta’s Lovely Dilemma – If he brings Aubameyang back, which of Superb Front 4 will miss out v Brighton?

Laca Elneny

The Youngsters raised the old man’s game

It certainly makes a change to be writing about Arsenal in a positive frame of mind, rather than either a wholly negative, or at best hopeful one. Yesterday felt, to me at least, like a win that could have come earlier, were it not for indiscipline, but a performance that was long overdue.

There have already been match reviews on this site and as usual and excellent summary of the game on so I would like to consider the contribution of the Arsenal Youth to the win over Chelsea, and the lovely dilemma it gives Mikel Arteta.

We will never know if the manager would have made the selections he made yesterday, without being faced with the loss of his Brazilian trio but we can all agree the omission of Willian, was overdue anyway. The ex-Chelsea man arrived on the ack of a good 19/20 but for whatever reason he has not found his feet yet in North London. Martinelli, after a superb return against Man City was given the nod but also Emile Smith Rowe finally got his Premier League start in his favoured central attacking role.

The Tactical change that saw Lacazette move from the role behind striker, to his preferred role, also saw Nketiah move to the bench. This allowed Arteta to play with Martinelli and Saka as hardworking inverted wide-men and for Smith-Rowe to play his natural game. It certainly the seemed that exuberance and energy of those three behind the senior player rubbed off on the old man Lacazette, who had to raise his own levels to benefit from and link with them.

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The Exuberance of Youth

All three young players deserved to keep their shirts based on the Chelsea match, but will they? The drive and dynamism, Martinelli, Smith-Rowe and Saka offered, and to be fair Willock, when he came on, should embarrass the likes of Pepe and Willian. I hope it will ensure when both do get chance again, they learn from their junior peers, when it should be the other way around. I was genuinely pleased with the arrival of Willian and thought his experience and work-rate would help Saka blossom further this season, but in this poor run of Premier League form the young Englishman has stood out from the crowd, while the Brazilian may as well have been in the crowd. It was no surprise he was the Sky Sports MOTM.

In essence the one big decision for Arteta therefore is whether he brings in his fit and rested skipper, Aubameyang on Tuesday for the trip to Brighton. I am running a poll on Twitter, in which nearly 2000 have voted and the majority would bring the Gabon marksman back up top in a straight swap for Lafayette.  It will be fascinating to see what he decides but a lovely decision to have on the back of a stellar performance without his talisman.


One option, given the games arriving thick and fast, would be to bring Aubameyang back in on the left, to rest Martinelli, who has played two quick high intensity matches after a long time our injured. The young Brazilian has showed us already, what we have been missing and how crucial he will be this campaign, so caution in the short term might be wise.


Perhaps caution would suggest resting Martinelli

None of the front four deserve to be rested but I suspect one of them will make way for their captain. Whatever Arteta decides he does so from a stronger footing than he has in weeks and his team yesterday put smiles back on Gooner faces.



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3 Responses to Arteta’s Lovely Dilemma – If he brings Aubameyang back, which of Superb Front 4 will miss out v Brighton?

  1. allezkev December 28, 2020 at 11:06 am #

    Graham Potter for some reason, has a really excellent record against us so I’m expecting another frustrating visit to the Amex tomorrow and you can also be sure that his plans will include something special to contain our best player, well best player on paper!

    I understand why everyone expects or wants to see PEA return, it’s the obvious move, but Arsenal have just turned in their best performance since probably the Cup Final so why change? I appreciate Aubameyang’s quality, his ability to score defining goals and he is also our captain therefore it’s the decision that all the experts and pundits would predict despite the fact that he’s not been ripping it up this season and what for that matter about the non negotiables?

    Arteta found a great balance vs Chelsea, maybe he stumbled upon it although he still made some brave choices and omitted some senior players and there was also the symmetry between our youngsters, they all know each other’s game so well, it worked. So again why change it?

    Lacazette has earned his place in the team, so has Martinelli how could Arteta leave him out of the starting XI and Saka is key to our right flank. Smith Rowe’s role cannot be ignored, why spend zillions in January when we already have the talent here sitting in our lap?

    Haven’t we seen enough of the seniors not turning up, I know I have and I’m hopeful that Arteta has as well, so an unchanged team for me…

  2. Innocent Orachwun December 29, 2020 at 10:46 am #

    Bernd Leno, (Pablo, Robholdings, Bellerine, Tierney,) Defence, +(Elnany, Xhaka and Smith Rowe) Middle, (Saka and Martineli) flanks and Aubu upfront.
    This is sure win any mistake of bringing in David Luis ,Willian and Pepe in the first 11 count it a draw game no solid defence and creativity in both flanks.
    Arteta be wise.

  3. gilford davis December 29, 2020 at 12:33 pm #

    Auba needs to sit,he’s been indifferent in his performances all season. Why disrupt a winning combination?

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