Arsenal’s missing XI highlights squad depth

Arsenal’s victory over Newcastle was a well ground out victory in a game of few chances.

1-nil to The Arsenal the crowd sang in in a defensively display that would have made George Graham proud.

Winning away from home on the opening day of the season is not an easy task. The 3 points are even more impressive when you consider just who Arsenal were missing.

The XI that you could make from players that did not start would probably be a better side than the one which came back from St James’ Park for 3 points.

Emiliano Martinez will play 2nd fiddle to Bernd Leno this season. Whilst he is not close to the German’s high standard, he has performed admirably in pre season.

Arsenal were pretty much missing their 1st choice back for against Newcastle, with Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney all out. Add in David Luiz who was only on the bench and you have a decent defence. And that is without even considering Sead Kolasinac.

Prior to the 1st game of the season, many fans were putting their ideal Arsenal XI in paper. The majority that I saw had Dani Ceballos and Lucas Torreira in them. Against Newcastle Ceballos came off the bench and Torreira remained on it.

Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe was another player who unsurprisingly did not start. The £72m man has barely been with the club a week and only recently returned from Miami following the African Cup of Nations.

Mesut Ozil did not travel due to the well publicised security concerns. Arsenal missed his creative spark in a game of little chances.

On the left wing, Gabriele Martinelli got some surprising minutes against Newcastle, showing just how highly he is rated by the Arsenal management. You also have the more experience Kolasinac who could provide us with some brute force in certain games.

Finally last years player of the season Alexandre Lacazette was on the bench but not risked following a minor injury picked up in pre season.

I wonder just who would win between the two teams.

And we even have enough left to field a 5-a-side team over at Goals in Chingford: Macey Mustsfi Elneny SmithRowe Martinelli



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