I’ve been a fan of Debuchy since he was at Lille and I love him to bits as a right-back but today he delivered a performance at centre-back that is worthy of praise. The way he coped with the pressure, of playing in an unfamiliar position, was remarkable. AS for Bellerin, his mind is clear and looks like he’s ready to improve and just look forward to the future and what’s ahead of him – I liked his performance today, was deadly in the final third and got an assist as well. But, he still needs to improve defensively. He definitely has the potential to become a top class modern day fullback
The biggest news is that Mathieu Debuchy is back in the side after his long term injury, the news is even better when you consider that Laurent Koscielny is being rested tomorrow so he can deal with the busy Christmas schedule. Alexis Sanchez has been knocked on the head unconscious and left at the training ground so he doesn't run onto the plane. He won't be happy when he wakes up. As we are hit with midfield injuries, there isn't a great deal Arsene can do. Such a shame for someone like Tomas Rosicky who has been twiddling his fingers on the bench all season and now he can play, he can't because like half of our team, he's crocked.
Arsene has made a couple of changes for the match away at Stoke. Laurent Koscielny has been rested due to the ongoing achillies problem. Due to Monreal being out, Arsene's only option was to bring in Hector Bellerin and move Calum Chambers alongside big Per Mertesacker. I thought Danny Welbeck would be kept in this one due to his height but he is rested to the bench following a couple games where he hasn't been at his sharpest. So Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain keeps his place and Oliver Giroud starts as centre forward. Alexis Sanchez keeps his place in the team.
If Szczesny is fit then he goes straight back in. He's the number one, has a good history in the side and that's just that. However if Ospina gets back to fitness I don't think it's as clear cut, Martinez at this point has more experience of playing behind our defence and I think deserves to stay there ahead of another newbie in the squad.
Arsene Wenger has made one big call and that is to rest Giroud in place of Oxlade-Chamberlain. I am a tad surprised that Alexis starts another game but I guess that is what happens when you are a key player. I suppose after a long injury it makes sense not to over run Giroud so soon.
- West Brom (a) Confirmed Line Up: Welbeck partners Giroud while Kos returns
- Why I recommended Winston Reid to Arsenal
- Borussia Dortmund (h) "A big scalp is what the players needed" - Q&A
- Borussia Dortmund (h) Confirmed Line Up: Yaya in Welbeck out & Koscielny back
- Arsenal’s Underappreciated Scapegoats
- Manchester United (h) "He's looking not better than a rich man's Lee Cattermole at the moment.." - Q&A
- Manchester United (h) Confirmed Line Up: Midfield trio start, Cazorla drops out