Dugout Discussion

Ryan starts in goal for Arsenal as Aubameyang remains on bench

On-loan Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan (£4.2m) makes his Arsenal debut in Gameweek 23.

A hip problem ruled the stopper out for Gameweek 22 but Ryan returned to full training on Friday.

Bernd Leno (£5.0m) is serving a one-match suspension after being sent off as Arsenal lost 2-1 at Wolves on Tuesday. David Luiz (£5.4m) is in the same boat after his red card at Molineux.

Having only returned to the Arsenal matchday squad in GW22 following a personal issue, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m) remains on the bench as Pepe (£7.6m) starts again. On that selection call, Mikel Arteta said:

It’s been a really difficult decision, as you can imagine. I felt that the players that played against Wolves, the way they played – they deserve another chance today and that’s why I stick with them.

Pepe joins Bukayo Saka (£5.4m), Emile Smith Rowe (£4.4m), and Alexandre Lacazette (£8.4m) in Arteta’s four-pronged attack.

With Kieran Tierney (£5.3m) still sidelined, Cedric (£4.6m) continues at left-back while Gabriel (£5.0m) slots in for David Luiz. On the Scottish full-back, Arteta said on Friday:

“We are trying to manage him in the best possible way and find every possibility to give him the best chance to be fit as soon as possible. Kieran is a player that really pushes himself and he has to be able to perform physically at his best because he cannot help himself. Even in training he can’t help himself.”

Asked whether the left-back’s injury has to be managed carefully:

“No, it’s a different injury in this case.”

For Aston Villa, Douglas Luiz (£4.9m) drops to the bench as Marvelous Nakamba (£4.3m) is drafted into midfield.

Bertrand Traoré (£5.9m) also returns to Dean Smith’s starting XI, after Anwar El Ghazi (£5.5m) earned a rare start on Wednesday as the Villans were turned over by West Ham.

Speaking to BT Sport ahead of kick off, Smith explained:

Just freshening it up. I rested Betrand on Wednesday. It’s been a lot of games; I think it’s our sixth game in 18 days.

Likewise with Douglas Luiz. He’s done OK but he’s played pretty much every minute so it was time to put Nakamba in.

Emi Martinez (£5.2m) banked four points in that midweek defeat, despite conceding three goals. He lines up behind the usual back four of Matt Targett (£4.8m), Tyrone Mings (£5.4m), Ezri Konsa (£4.6m) and Matty Cash (£5.0m).

Traoré rejoins Ross Barkley (£5.9m) and Jack Grealish (£7.8m) in attacking midfield, with Ollie Watkins (£6.3m) leading the Villa line.

On that West Ham loss, Smith said in his pre-Arsenal press conference on Friday:

The message was they’ve dropped below their standards. We’ve had some very high standards this season already and we keep speaking to the players, if we want to be a top team then we have to keep playing to those standards.

For me, there were too many six out of 10s on Wednesday night and if you drop to that level then you’re going to get beat. We found that out. The lads understand that as well and they know what they have to do to put it right.

On defensive mistakes against the Hammers, Smith added:

After the Burnley game, I only showed (the players) the set-piece goal, which I thought was really poor defending from ourselves. After the West Ham game, our debrief was all three goals, as they were really poor defensively.

I haven’t had cause to do that because we’ve set really high standards this season and I thought we dropped off it. It was the first time I thought we looked mentally tired more than anything, certainly there’s nothing in the numbers to suggest fatigue in any way, but it was the fifth game in 14 days, we’ve got our sixth game on Saturday in 18 days.

The lads have to make sure they’re ready for each game because it’s a tough league and can be punishing if you’re not right.

Aston Villa XI (4-2-3-1): Martinez; Targett, Mings, Konsa, Cash; McGinn, Luiz; Grealish, Barkley, B Traoré; Watkins.

Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Ryan; Cedric, Gabriel, Holding, Bellerin; Xhaka, Partey; Pepe, Smith Rowe, Saka; Lacazette.

1,118 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Kellz86
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Ditching Martinez after a string of poor performances was definitely one of my big mistakes this season

    1. Gudjohnsen
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Villa will be lucky to keep a cs in this game.

    2. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      We've all made worse!

    3. SM001
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      If that's your biggest mistake this season then you must be doing well.

    4. Londongeezaa
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Benching Soucek, chasing Salah hauls and some rank destroying captaincy choices for me.

  2. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Serial offender Grealish lucky to escape a yellow card.

    1. aleksaa2
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      If he didn't get a YC against City, he won't get another one in his whole career

  3. BeWater
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 14 days ago

    If that challenge was made on Grealish by some no name player they might have been yellow carded.

    1. Gudjohnsen
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Agreed

  4. Steve The Spud
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Pépé usless headless chicken

  5. diesel001
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Hopefully Arteta takes off Pepe for Auba at HT.

    1. Jafooli
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Arteta should play his WC at HT...

  6. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
    • 11 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Arsenal are so bad

    1. Steve The Spud
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Losing 1-0 away to villa, it’s not that bad (spurs fan)

  7. Deulofail
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Is there no punishment for ignoring the 10 yard spray foam?

    1. Jafooli
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Should be made to wear a foam beard for the rest of the game....

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        And pump silly string down their y fronts

        1. Jafooli
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          And play in clown shoes.....

          1. Deulofail
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            8 months, 14 days ago

            And they have to scream like a goat every 20 seconds

  8. Sim Simma 🤷 🔑 🚘
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Should not have benched Martinez

    1. BeWater
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 14 days ago

      I benched him too. Played Pope. Still think it's the right decision.

    2. Flair
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 14 days ago

      45 to go

    3. My heart goes Salalalalah
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      LOL see below

      1. Flynny
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Bringing in pope and benching martinez was a sensible thing to do....can't beat yourself up on that...

  9. Jersey Boy
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    As a season-long non-Martínez owner, I’ll take a 6-pointer right now. No doubt he’ll somehow get 2 or 3 bonus though. Serious rank killer

  10. My heart goes Salalalalah
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Played Martinez since gw3. Got Pope this morning for the double, and then decided Pope has a better fixture this week. FML

    1. FantasyTony
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Sold watkins for Antonio and benched martinez for pope.

      Could still work out but I'm worried right now.

    2. camarozz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Lol did the same again?

      1. camarozz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Sorry myself not again!

  11. Mr Arsenal
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Grealish is built like a rugby player. Yet he can’t withstand any sort of touch from opposition players.

    1. JONALDINHO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      From the waist down

    2. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      He doesn't look anything like Les Boyd!

      1. Danno - Emre Canada
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Or Bill Beaumont

  12. Disturbed
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Benched Martinez for Forster.

  13. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
    • 11 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Grealish being warned by the ref

    1. Pariße
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      On 3 fouls and dives constantly.

      1. Mr Arsenal
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Should be booked for consistent diving.

        1. dogtanion
          • 12 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Are refs afraid to book England internationals or something?

          1. Pariße
            • 6 Years
            8 months, 14 days ago

            Correct.

  14. diesel001
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Grealish still no YC. What a surprise.....

    1. KAPTAIN KANE
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Think it has reset now

    2. Super Saints
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      He hasn't done anything to warrant one

      1. dogtanion
        • 12 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Dissent and 2 bookable fouls.

  15. Steve The Spud
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Awful from saka

  16. Nightcrawler
    • 2 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Why does grealish get auch favourable treatment from refs?

    Shd have been booked un each if his last 5 games

    1. Pariße
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Like it or not, there is still a certain level of favouritism towards English players by the refs.

      1. Nightcrawler
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Grealish is english?

        1. Pariße
          • 6 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Yes but the trash type of it

          1. Amey
            • 3 Years
            8 months, 14 days ago

            He's ba very good player

      2. Pariße
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Actually you can’t like it and it’s racist.

        1. Amey
          • 3 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          LoL

    2. Amey
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      He's © !
      Thus refs talks to him

  17. JONALDINHO
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    FPL rule no.1 : Always play Martinez

    1. Amey
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      🙁
      I forgot it

    2. Jafooli
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      FPL rule no.2 : Never eat yellow snow

    3. Hasselbaink Forever - Defoe…
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      But not next week

      1. JONALDINHO
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Considering bench boost

    4. Qaiss
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      They had a clean sheet at half time against West Ham also you know...

    5. wulfrunian
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      45 minutes still to come.

    6. Tango74
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Rule 3 :Never pick captain poll winners

  18. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Saka subbed of at half time?

    1. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Maby after that performance, both Auba and Øde waiting on the bench

    2. mynameisq
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Not unless injured

    3. Sim Simma 🤷 🔑 🚘
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Zero chance.Played really well

      1. GuenDoozy
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Did we watch the same game? aweful performance

  19. IRBOX ⚽
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Arsenal are rubbish. Watkins an obvious selection this week for the better managers

    1. JONALDINHO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Bringing in Alonso now was a casual move. He’ll be rested for Chilwell

      1. IRBOX ⚽
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        So he plays next week? With a strong bench it’s irrelevant peanut

    2. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Shitkins up front for the Knights.

      1. Jordan.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        might have to be sir shitkins

  20. Dark Side Of The Loon!
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    Mee captain? Son and Bamford on the bench or someone else?

    Martinez
    Cancelo Stones Mee Coufal
    Salah Bruno Son Gundo Soucek
    Antonio DCL

    Steere Son Bamford Holding

  21. Qaiss
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 14 days ago

    How was that Konsa tackle not honestly a red card ffs, last mannn

    1. Pariße
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Obvious red. This is madness.

      1. Qaiss
        • 5 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Yeah, if that’s Luiz it’s a red. Getting boring and frustrating, yes we’re crap but that’s a red card 100%

    2. Lev Yashin
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Nah.

      They were level, Saka still had a long way to go and AVL had cover on the inside.

      1. CROYDON DE BRUYNE
        • 5 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        If that’s David Luiz or Granit Xhaka, they’re getting sent off

        1. Pariße
          • 6 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          This is the truth. How does Arsenal have 5 reds despite being one of the less aggressive teams in the league.

          1. mwa1t
              8 months, 14 days ago

              Because you have David Luiz, who is a donkey, and Granit Xhaka who is an aggressive tackler

        2. Pariße
          • 6 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          There was cover because the foul allowed the other defender to come closer, but nowhere near level and Saka was getting towards the goal first. Denial of goalscoring opportunity, res card.

          1. Lev Yashin
            • 8 Years
            8 months, 14 days ago

            Nope, sorry.

    3. Kaneyonero
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Went Wilson with instead of Watkins. Hoping for a Wilson hattrick

      1. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        I'm having scrambled eggs and toast tomorrow. With a black coffee.

        1. Flair
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          8 months, 14 days ago

          I'm jealous.

          1. The Knights Template
            • 7 Years
            8 months, 14 days ago

            I'm going to read the paper too.

    4. LewanGOALski
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Pope (C) next GW..? 😉

      1. Phlajo
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Yeah I'm probably doing it!

    5. Baron Penguin (FKA Hadebayo…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 14 days ago

      FAO Martinez benchers. There are 45 minutes left. Even if he keeps a CS, your GK you did pick is still yet to play. Villa defensive numbers have dropped off. Have faith in your decision making process.

      1. IRBOX ⚽
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Desperation

        1. Baron Penguin (FKA Hadebayo…
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          8 months, 14 days ago

          OK, I’ll bite. Just trying to make people feel better And spread some cheer rather than be an enormous troll.

        2. Amsterhammer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Yawn.

      2. Flynny
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        It was a common sense decision to bring in pope this week. Better fixture and dgw etc.

        1. PogChamp
          • 10 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          I think Mee was a better option if you owned Martinez

      3. Sun Jihai
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Kept a CS last game vs. Arsenal though

      4. Amsterhammer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Agree. You have to trust the data led decision making process. Arsenal have strong attacking stats and Villa's defence has been regressing.

    6. CROYDON DE BRUYNE
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Need that Villa CS wiped out, have Targett on the bench

      1. Qaiss
        • 5 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Auba will come on and score

      2. El Presidente
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        So what he's on the bench??? I don't get it. Better to have a 6 pointer on the bench than a 1 pointer right?

    7. LT10
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Would you bench boost this?

      McCarthy (WOLVES)
      Coufal (SHU)
      Robbo (leic)
      Anguissa (eve; bur)

      1. Sid1891
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        I would

    8. afcblegend
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      It doesn't matter if Martinez starts taking penalties - I'm NOT getting him in

    9. TheDragon
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      GW24 Bench Boost anyone?

      - Defensive fixtures are amazing
      - Due to KDB/ Kane being out we uniquely have lots of spare money to get a good bench without damaging starting 11
      - I can get a bench of double Burnley, Rodriguez & Bamford for a -4
      - Makes it much easier to then navigate 26 and 29 (plus wildcard) without worrying about spreading the cash round for bench boost. Getting a team you want to bench boost 26 but can also field a team in 29 is hard

      Thoughts?

      1. Nanoelektronicar
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Considering it. Martinez, Bamford, Dallas and Coufal doesn't look to inspiring though.

      2. LT10
        • 10 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        I'm certainly considering it.
        But... will we know the GW 26/29 doubles/blanks before the GW 24 deadline?

      3. Chandler Bing
        • 5 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Not if you have your WC. Upside of having 15 DGW players outweighs any point you'll bring in favour of BB24

        1. TheDragon
          • 3 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Your bench is only 4 players - so if they are DGWers in 24 or 26 why does it matter?

          The fact I have my WC is the reason I want to get it used pre 26

      4. Flair
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Team dependent

        2nd point makes BB26 more viable

        1. TheDragon
          • 3 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Kane will be back for 26

          1. Flair
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            8 months, 14 days ago

            No issues there

      5. Jon Walter's Hatty
        • 8 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Maybe as with Dias Cancelo Digne Lowton Dawson the fixtures could hardly be better. Just need a keeper.

      6. sunzip14
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        Burnley defenders aren't exactly bench players next week. You are trying to make your argument appealing, but surely you are not going to bench Burnley defense next week without BB.

        1. TheDragon
          • 3 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          Cancelo, Dias, Mee, AWB, Coufal would be my 5 defenders - all too good to bench

        2. sunzip14
          • 4 Years
          8 months, 14 days ago

          I am getting 2 Burnley defenders as well. After I get them, I think my bench will be DDG, Son, Coufal, Justin. Contemplating BB24 myself but Son's and Justin's fixtures aren't appealing. I have all chips left so maybe after knowing DGW26 fixtures, we can plan more clearly.

      7. vincentwsho
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        8 months, 14 days ago

        I am pondering but I guess have to see what the DGW26 fixtures are first....

        I can potentially have De Gea, Coufal, Dallas, Bamford as bench boost, but not sure with Leeds playing Arsenal... high risk high reward maybe

    10. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      That Xhaka FK miss will keep him in good favour for the rest of the season

    11. COYR
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 14 days ago

      Mendy
      Cancelo* Stones* Coufal
      Bruno(c) Salah Son Gundo
      Bamford Antonio Watkins

      Forster | Neto Dallas Justin
      2 FTs 5.3ITB

      A) Forster + Justin > Pope* + Mee*
      B) Forster + Watkins > Pope* + DCL*
      C) Forster + Neto > Pope* + Rodriguez/Siggy*

      Any other suggestions welcome!