arsenal dressing

Reasons for Selection

After that shambolic performance in the League Cup against Southampton, it would make a lot of sense to keep the number of changes to the starting line-up very high this weekend.

Without intending to individually attack certain players, it has to be said that the likes of Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Mohamed Elneny (perhaps Francis Coquelin as well), Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey did little on Wednesday to deserve another start three days later.

The returns of Petr Cech, Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi to the first eleven is a guarantee but that is not the case at right-back where just about anyone could/should be given the chance to impress. Jenkinson might be relatively fresh from an injury lay-off but the games he has been playing in are far too important to be used as a stepping stone to regain full fitness. And that might not even be the truth.

The reality is that the 24-year-old is simply not talented enough to feature at this level. Mathieu Debcuhy was making his first start in a year last Sunday but you wouldn’t know it because he has enough quality to play at this level. Jenkinson simply doesn’t!

Thus Gabriel, who wasn’t at his best either on Wednesday, is the only valid option for the right-back role while Wenger has to finally put his ego aside (or whatever the issue is) and hand Granit Xhaka and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the starts they deserve…especially Xhaka.



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