FA Cup: Arsenal’s Most efficient starting 11 vs Spurs


By efficient, I'm taking three things into consideration:

-A team fresh enough to play 90 minutes without looking leggy;

-A team devoid of players in the red zone who may be more likely to pick up injuries;

-While still reasonably capable of getting a positive result against what will be a fired up spurs side, you can be sure.

I suggest a 4-3-3 which of course has been for the most part our formation this season when we are not playing 4-2-3-1

But for me, formation is just a name, it's the tactics, and the personnel that dictate the shape of the team, and here's the personnel I think will be most efficient for this particular game, taking all of the three above points into account.


Had we another game in three days, I would have suggested Fabianski get a rare start, but seeing as we don't play again for 9 days, it's got to be Szczesny for me.

Sagna, Mertsacker, Koscielny, Monreal.

I would have liked to see Vermaelen get a start, to make him feel like part of the team, but there is no point in resting Koscielny since he shouldn't be fatigued seeing as he just came back after recovering from a cut to his knee. And we can't afford to play without Mertesacker, especially since he is available.
Would have loved to see the BFG get a rest though but  again, seeing as we don't play again for 9 days, he'll get all the rest he needs after today.

This is the most vital part.
Do we play the double pivot of Arteta and Flamini, or do we go otherwise??? 
Here's what I think and why

Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky.

At first, it may seem like an immobile midfield, but Rosicky makes up for that.
The little Mozart will have to impose himself on the game as the only real creative threat. Arteta didn't play well against Cardiff, and I'm not sure why.
Could it be fatigue? I think so, and that's why I've opted for the double pivot to relieve him of too difficult a task of doing all the mopping up.
When Arsenal move forward however, he'll have to join the attack quickly to prevent Rosicky from getting mobbed, while Flamini covers behind him.
I think it's quite a good balance.
I definitely would have opted for Wilshere instead of Flamini but my thoughts are that he has played two games in quick succession and we don't want to risk that ankle of his. 
A place in the bench is all he gets from me.

Podolski, Walcott, Gnabry

I have gone for a very attacking attack so to say, because of the defensive nature of the midfield. 
Gnabry starts because he deserves a game, it's been a while.
I have placed Walcott in the central striking role while Poldi stays in his favorite position, which is on the left of attack.
The problem with this set up, is that crosses into the box may not be of much help, as Poldi likes to whip them in from the left, as does Monreal.
But barring Mertesacker making a run into the box, likely only to happen late in the second half, if we are not leading, the there really isn't much of an aerial threat.
It's not my fault though, seeing as both Giroud and Bendtner are absent.

The team has to tow another path with the lineup here in, and that is the path of counter-attack.

We are at home, but spurs under this new manager will attack regardless, and the onus is on us to break forward quickly when we recover the ball.

The likes of Rosicky, Walcott and Gnabry have some real pace, and can hurt them in this manner.

I picked Poldi over Cazorla because Poldi does well when he plays wide left.
He can drift in and have a pop at goal, and he will also provide some cover for Monreal.

I expect Walcott to drift to the wings especially when we are on the break.
All in all, we need to be very flexible with positioning to win this game, since we don't really have an orthodox center forward at our disposal, and i believe Wenger will be keenly aware of this.

Please feel free to comment on where you think I got it wrong.
 I would really love to see a more efficient side from you the readers.
Comment! comment!! comment!!!
And here's to a spurs bashing.



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