There is a great sense of promise ahead of 2015/16 season, with Arsenal retaining their best players and slowly ridding themselves of fringe ones, to maintain a strong squad. A genuine feeling of togetherness and healthy competition amongst Wenger’s men, means picking a starting xl to play against the big clubs is always interesting.
This Sunday will Arsenal play the Premier League champions in the Community Shield, as they did last season against Manchester City with an emphatic scoreline. Now if the Gunners are to repeat the trick against a manager Wenger has never beaten, Le Professeur will need to pick and plan his side’s tactics accordingly. This how I would play it;
Goalkeeper: The goalkeeper pretty much picks itself. Petr Cech He’ll definitely should start in goal against his old club as he looks to nail his status the no.1 ‘keeper this season.
Defence: Elsewhere, in defence I think that Hector Bellerin should get the nod ahead of Mathieu Debuchy because of the Spaniard’s offers more speed and energy in the attack, and on the opposite side Nacho Monreal‘s improved defensive game can provide the right balance. If Kieran Gibbs starts then Debuchy should play on the right.
In the centre, I believe the experience of the Kos-Mert partnership should be the rightful choice ahead of Calum Chambers and/or Gabriel. Although Mertesacker’s immobility and lack of speed is his most tragic downfall, he provides the height and efficiency in his game. On top of that, he’s a threat from set pieces, as well as his French counterpart.
Midfield: Francis Coquelin must start this game ahead of Mikel Arteta and partnership with Santi Cazorla. It’s never easy to pick who should deputise centrally between Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Cazorla, that’s the headache everyone seems to have. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Spanish genius at work at Wembley again alongside le Coq, whose made that deeper creative role his own in recent months.
In that all important no.10 role should see Mesut Özil get the nod ahead of anyone else. Otherwise I’d want to see Cazorla there with Ramsey alongside Coquelin, but I’m going for the German. His performance in the FA Cup final, as well as all his team-mates was majestic. As long as he puts in a shift and doesn’t let himself be isolated by Chelsea’s deeper midfielders, I want to see him repeat the trick.
Attack: I think the versatility of Danny Welbeck could be missed, because if he was fit I would’ve picked him to line-up as one of the front three men. He can play both our wide and through the middle – he’s unpredictable – he’d be able to move across the attack and swap positions throughout the match with Walcott.
So instead, the attack should see Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott on both wings, with Olivier Giroud spearheading the attack. But my issue with Giroud is that he’s actually an easy target for Chelsea defenders to isolate, but if Walcott starts down the middle he can also be got at as well. I really wish Welbeck was here.
Starting XL: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Giroud