Arsenal Debate – Who should play in midfield against Bayern Munich?


A CL tie against Bayern is by far the biggest game on Arsenal’s hands so far this season at the Emirates, until perhaps, we get past them and meet other top teams.

Wenger needs to get his work well cut-out. There are a number of key factors that need keen and thorough attention. He should get his team selection right, he needs to make sure his chosen set of midfielders have a good understanding of themselves, he should get it right with his tactics and be less predictable.

Wilshere-Arteta-Carzola is a familiar midfield trio. Wilshere-Diaby-Carzola looks adventurous. Arteta-Diaby-Wilshere looks really balanced.

A combination of Wilshere-Arteta-Carzola has not done badly and with the right tactics from a master of the game, they can form a good partnership to destroy any team. Arteta always form a platform for our attack. Ofcousre, he passes sideways a lot, that helps us to keep the ball. He will have either of Carzola or Wilshere beside him, any of which can get the ball and make runs against opponents. Arteta cools down the game and gives our further midfield players time to organize for good execution of game plans(hopefully, AW would have given them enough purposeful instructions, something like plans A-Z).

Wilshere-Daiby-Carzola. The trio each has the ability to get past players. Diaby’s strength can be useful in the middle of the park. His presence is immense, no doubt. However, Daiby holds up the ball far too much and unnecessarily at times and loses it. This could be dangerous against a team like Bayern that can counter attack within an instance. Nonetheless, an assured performance from Diaby, a usual performance by Wilshere and a completely positive show from Carzola is enough to pull the strings.

Arteta-Diaby-Wilshere is a rare combination. You tend to think, who drops back more often, Diaby or Arteta? Wilshere is given all the freedom to go forward and exploit the Bayern defense. Either of the deep-lying duo can support his runs. I still think Diaby should go forward more often. He is more of a box-to-box player than Arteta and on his day, any any team is in a mess, with his runs and occasional killer passes. This midfield will drift Carzola out wide. Carzola is second on the team-sheet after our very own bad boy, JW. This is evident in the set of selections(the only one appearing in all). But will AW drop Poldi to the bench?

These are three likely combinations in the middle. Which do you think should do the job most perfectly? Do you have a different middle in mind? Let us discuss…… COYG !!!


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60 thoughts on “Arsenal Debate – Who should play in midfield against Bayern Munich?

  1. no9

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  2. Ardit

    I’d say this team:

    Sagna mertasacker koscielny vermaleen

    Wilshere diaby arteta

    Cazorla. Walcott. Podolski

    Bring on the ox for arteta 2nd half, bring on giroud to keep things tidy up from late on
    Just my opinion..

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 49 Thumb down 23

  3. Nevidimka

    We should play Podolski as a striker , and I belive he will win us the game to prove a point.


    Arteta and Ramsey/Diaby to be the industries midfield to keep the ball rolling and providing the ammunition to Wilshere. Theo/Podolski/Cazorla to provide the outlet for Wilshere’s Ammo.Diaby/Ramsey to cover Vermalen for Cazorla’s weak track back defending. And Posolski to prove a point to Bayern

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  4. Neo

    Wilshere Diaby Arteta can’t afford Cazorla to go missing. Podolski Walcott and Giroud
    Sagna Mert Kos Verm

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  5. Dan

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  6. o_0

    –Sagna—–Kos(If Fit)–Mert—-Verm-

    I think that is reasonable. Wilshere can make his driving runs and his attitude to the game and his presence will help us in the middle of the park. Cazorla being smaller won’t be as useful there but can put in a lot of through balls etc. (just like your previous article on comparing him with Mata and Silva). Walcott can use his pace to tear down Bayern’s LB and Podolski’s work rate and power can help Verm out and attack, too. Giroud can provide an ariel presence. And, if needed, Arteta can come on for Giroud and the positioning of players can be rearranged slightly:

    –Sagna—–Kos(If Fit)–Mert—-Verm-

    That’s what I would do.

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  7. Daniel

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  8. tissiam

    sagna mert kosc verm

    arteta diaby

    carzola wilshere

    walcot giroud

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  9. Rodriguez

    I think that Mr Wenger has tried his team already at Sunderland with the exception of Monreal which is…

    Sags Mertsy Kosh V5
    Ramsey Arteta
    Walcott Wilshere Santi

    like the article says, Diaby gets caught at times more importantly he is no where near the form he was at in September! Ramsey I think Wenger has been impressed with!

    Podolski will be fired up and to unleash him part way thru…
    After watching Arsenal over the last couple weeks we are become mouth watering going forward… has Ramsey been part of that??? either way, we’ve got to impose ourselves, push them back ask questions of their keeper, Walcott has to run at them make them pick up early bookings… we need to attack in their box, and draw fouls, take shots and all that… I’m really excited, becoz the team know if they apply themselves they could make the impossible possible!!!


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  10. **** Set Gunner ****

    Since Verm is doubtful, this would be my line up:

    Jenk, Kos, Mert, Sagna
    Cazorla, Diaby, Arteta, Wilshere
    Walcott, Poldi

    Subs: Giroud, Miquel, Ramsey, Gervinho, Coquelin, Mannone

    I would prefer to play Podolski as the striker just to shuffle things around, bayern wont really be prepared for it.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  11. jw10

    sagna mert kos verm
    diaby arteta
    theo poldi cazorla or cazorla theo poldi

    ox and giroud as subs in 2nd half

    this team with nacho(or gibbs)on left back and vermaelen on cb can beat anyone…with ox,giroud,ramsey,jenk,kos and nacho/gibbs as great subs

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  12. tjtomekk

    i’d say wilshere cazorla diaby and up front
    podolski, walcott and the ox

    creative midfield and pace up front for runs

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  13. Reddb10

    Ribery and Robben interchanging on the wings means 3 in defense is suicide.
    the players who would definitely make the starting 11

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  14. Dan

    I think he’ll definitely play 4 centre mids to try and break down the Bayern attack. Lets just hope its Santi, Arteta, Diaby and Jack, because if Ramsey start then the rest might aswell not bother. Podolski and Walcott should be the other 2 that start up top.

    I’d like to see Chambo come on at some point aswell. A young Englishman like Jack who will be well up for a game like this.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  15. dma

    I wonder not notice that, all fans contributed here are not knowledgeable enough and they even don’t follow their payers status. TV is struggling to be fit, he will not be available except Kos.

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  16. jermaine

    arsenal have always done well with 451 in europe
    sagna merts kosc verms
    arteta wilkshire
    wallcot podolski
    bench ; vito,jenks,miquel,diaby,ramsey,rosicky/Arsha,ox/gervs
    giroud will be the out ball able us to get in behind via flick on to diaby as he looks of form and santi is to good for bench.

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  17. bergkamp

    For once why not give back arteta his old role of attacking.
    Wilshere and arteta up with Ramsey to take care defensively.
    Cazorla on the left , wilshere to run on defenders.Arteta floating passes to Giroud/Podolski and trying some of his long range to test the keeper.Also arteta will help us robbing the ball early .

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  18. expresion

    i think the midfield should have
    willy arte zanti
    the most important thing is good balance off the ball and these three can surely hold the ball well without losing it carelessly.

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  19. mudah

    ———. —–Szczesny—————-

    Sagna—–Kos(If Fit)–Mert—-Verm-(if fit)



    Its 4-2-3-1 with jack in the hole, theo running up front, cazorla n poldi coming from the wings, arteta n diaby holding and moving the ball

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  20. james tebere

    Diaby could play mid field but Wenger needs to do these:
    1- he must not play deep as a lost of ball possession means Bayern will capitalize on that to score a silly goal.
    2- he need not to hold on to the ball soo long that even a tortoise will complain of him being slagish on the ball.
    3- Need to be brave to penetrate the defence right in the middle of the park.

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  21. bert

    @ no9
    i like the idea of playing 3 at the back, but using it straight away with no experience in a CL game against Bayern!

    Think we should be sticking to what we know.

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  22. carl

    I think we have quite a good chance of fu*king up the scripts already been written for this game as dma mentioned tv5 is 90% likely not to make the cut as he is having another injection in his ankle the 2nd 1 this year. I have looked at the opinions for starting line ups and alot of them could do the trick but personally as crazy as it sounds this would be my line up
    Jenkingson sagna kos meade ( reserves speedy left back/winger)
    Ramsey diaby
    Walcott giroud cazorla

    Then we can bring pod ox and arteta on during the game who are all quality signings from the bench. I no it sounds quite a weak defence but I dont fink so it will work like that. The weak link is meade but he played this season for us and had a great game plus ramsey has picked up form of late and if diaby has 1of his solid games it could really work for us. If it got to much for him we could move ramsey to right back which he played really well the other wkand move them all over 1 and bring arteta on. We will have a strong team all other the field just my opinion. Sorry about the spelling. What does coyg stand for?

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  23. tobi

    Arteta,Diaby and Jack Wilshere in the Hole. Chambo and Walcot on the flanks with Olivier up front.Carzolar,Poldi and Rosicky should be waitinto come in andplay conservative game after we are already 2-0 up

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  24. mudah

    @don habib, not sure if you are sleeping or just teasing yourself, how can wilshere be out of starting XI??

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  25. getu

    –Sagna—–Kos –Mert—-Verm-

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  26. Big Gun

    Arsenal are going to have to work really hard to win this game.


    Jenks Sagna/Merts Monreal


    Wilshere Cazorla

    Walcott Giroud Podolski/Ox

    Subs: Coquelin, Rosicky, Vermalaen, Miquel, Ramsey

    Still have faith in Jenks, one bad game is not a true reflection of his capability. Sagna was brilliant CB last week. Arteta can hold that midfield and be the pivot. Jack and Cazorla then have the freedom to be creative and experiment either through the middle, or long balls to the win. Either way we need to find a weak spot somewhere EARLY in the game.

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  27. Ru

    cazorla, wilshere, definately! id pick diaby, his speed and strength can halep out with our shaky defence. id like arshavin on the bench for the game, arshavin out of form is still better than gervinho in form! :P

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  28. Cvebaba

    I wld reli prefer to see dis….
    -sagna mert kosc verm-
    -arteta ramsey-
    -walcot Giroud Carzola-


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  29. captinweestain

    What about Tomáš Rosický, bags of experience.
    Leave Ramsey and Diaby on the subs bench out for this one.

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  30. true gooner

    –Jenkinson—–Kos –Mert—-Sagna-

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  31. soe san

    Lauren_ Adams_ Koscielny_ TV5
    Fabregas_ Viera_ Wilshire
    Walcott __ Henry __ Podolski

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  32. insyder

    Daniel says:
    February 14, 2013 at 11:43 am
    I would prefer these combination for the team

    Coquelin waiting in the defensive midfield role or defensive role.Subs would prefer Mannone, Eisfield, AOC, Miquel, Arshavin(Coz we have no other striker)

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  33. Uche Edochie

    Whatever happens, we need wilshere for energy and driving runs forward and we need arteta for his stability and defensive midfield capability. The other players can make up the numbers but ramsey must be on the bench.

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  34. Bull446

    Arsène Wenger has revealed the following team news ahead of Saturday’s game against Blackburn Rovers:
    on Thomas Vermaelen (ankle)…
    He is looking quite good and is possibly back for Saturday. He should be in the squad.

    0n Jack Wilshere…
    He is having tests today [Thursday] and tomorrow. He is looking better. He is still a doubt for Saturday. He’s got a kick on the thigh.

    on Laurent Koscielny (calf)…
    That is a problem. He has a test today and tomorrow exactly like Wilshere.

    on other team news…
    Ramsey is alright. Sagna is alright. Jenkinson is suspended. Diaby is available again and all the other players are alright.

    on Fabianski playing his first game of the season in midweek…
    He came back in the week so we are not too bad on the injury front. We have two short-term problems, with Koscielny and Wilshere, while Gibbs is out. That is it.

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  35. ROB

    WILSHERE NEEDS to be at the head of midfield we look a much better team with him there than cazorla.

    Outside of that arteta holding and diaby if fit is best pick imo. A rusty diaby is a risk as he tries to dribble alot so his game has to be 100%. If he’s not fit I would play ramsey. As long as wilshere is behind the striker we will be far more dangerous.

    Cazorla should play left wing. Podolski bench

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  36. ROB

    lauren campbell toure clichy
    llujgnberg viera gilberto pires
    bergkamp henry


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  37. Xavv

    I’d love to see a 4-4-2 (if we have enough defenders!). Diaby and Arteta achoring. Diaby to venture forward to assist Wilshere and Carzola. For this game and our injuries, we need to build from the back, even if it means a dull 0-0 result. If we go out attacking with our lack of depth in defence, we can certainly expect to cop two or three goals on the counter, therefore our finishing needs to be spot on! Lahm, Ribery and particular Robben would love it if we went all out attack – they’d absolutely love to exploit the space left behind on the counter. This is a very dangerous match. Our toughest test of the season – tougher than United, City, Chelsea and Spuds.

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  38. stevek1886

    Arteta, diaby & wilshere is the most balanced midfield trio in my opinion as long as abou is properly fit and wilshere plays as the most advanced of the 3! Need to get cazorla in to the team so play him right wing as long as he helps out his full back and play poldi on the opposite wing! Then after 60-70 mins if the game is still tight unleash theo and the ox on their tiring back line! BOOM! Win tye tie before we’ve set foot in Germany! COYG!!!

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  39. iread

    Up front, Walcott, podolski giroud
    Wilshere, arteta cazorla
    Sagna, mert, hopeful verm, and junk
    In no particular order

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  40. kapu

    Heres a pretty solid and balanced lineup…






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  41. dil

    Irs a home game. We should be a bit defensive so that no away goal goes in.
    Bayern are strong on the wings. So we need our best players there. So Poldi and walcott should play there.
    In the middlewe are dealing with the much indistrious Bastian. Diaby is too slow for him.
    To stop Lahm and robben TV5 should play as LB.

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  42. chris

    sagna, mertesacker, koscielny, vermaelen
    arteta, wilshere
    oxlade-chamberlain, walcott, podolski

    both diaby and ramsey give the ball away too often. arteta & wilshere in tandem with carzorla lying in the hole behind walcott = pace through the middle (possible achilles’ heel for bayern) and podo and the ox can track back and defend the flanks.

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  43. okifre

    i think if yo really looking for a balanced team. then consider this line up,
    ——–Arteta, conquiline—–——–Wilshere——
    Walcott——————–Podolski. why am bringing in conquiline; he is a hard tackler and in such a game where we are playing a more fluid team we need a man like him to try and break play, his work rate is high, he can drift on either wings or go through the middle. he will inject more pace when attacking than either diaby or ramsey and as well give defensive cover at both left back and right back just in case we are caught off guard. why go for podolski instead of giroud. in this game we need playeys who are both efficient and effective most especially in the first half. we shall play with a false number with both theo and podolsiki sharing the role. we shall hurt bayern more through the middle than the wings. so wih jack and cazol going through the middle occasionally joined by arteta in case of building up play and francis when we are attacking with pace or count attacking it will be more balanced team. i have gone for francis because of his balling winning qualities,work rate and vasitility. dats the player u need to break play we can always concede free kicks but with the height we have at the back as stated in the line up we can always deal with them.

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  44. One AW

    in the sunderlad game we dominated the ball for majority off the game and it all came through midfield If arsenal are going to win the battle in middle of park against bayern i think we need to play with the the 4 in midfield. Rmsey Arteta Wilshere and Cazorla.

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  45. One AW


    Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny T. Vermaelen
    Ramsey Arteta

    Walcott Giroud/Podulski

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  46. Steve h

    Hi all this just a thought

    Koscienlny Mertesacker Vermaelen

    Sagna Eisfeld

    Wilshere Diaby Arteta



    Our three germans should sort there lot out Ha Ha!!
    so as we have not got a fit left back or avaible, he we are
    good luck to ever plays,just give as your best.

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  47. juma safia kheir

    The line up z

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  48. juma safia kheir

    The line up z
    The ball will be good i think coz bayern they have speed….

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