So the winter transfer window closes for another year, with Arsenal signing Spanish left-back Nacho Monreal from Malaga for an undisclosed fee. Not exactly a ‘busy’ January like Arsene Wenger said it would be then.
On Saturday, The Gunners host Stoke City at The Emirates – a game in which they must pick up all the points having only earned a point against Liverpool in midweek – a result which left many Arsenal fans frustrated for not closing the gap on fourth placed Spurs.
Arsenal still sit in sixth place, still four points adrift of Spurs and games are quickly decreasing as the weeks past – squeaky bum time indeed!
Arsene Wenger played his strongest side against Liverpool but is highly likely to be without Kieran Gibbs for the Stoke game after the athletic left-back hobbled off holding his thigh.
So with The Gunners in urgent need of a win to pile more pressure on those above them in the Premier League, who should be in our starting line-up on Saturday afternoon?
Well here is how I think Wenger should play it:
Jenkinson Mertesacker Koscielny Vermaelen
If we had a decent back-up goalkeeper then I would drop Wojciech Szczesny following a poor display against Liverpool, but we don’t, so the Pole has the start.
As for our defence, with Gibbs out, I would like to see Thomas Vermaelen shift to the left-back position rather than Andre Santos coming in or Nacho Monreal put straight into the side. Laurent Koscielny should partner Per Mertesacker, while I would also drop Bacary Sagna for Carl Jenkinson.
The top five remain the same, and rightly so.
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