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. afcblegend
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 5 days ago

    Laca wasn't even close to being in the box on that last counter, good thing for Arsenal he's been hooked

    1. Boss Hogg
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 5 days ago

      Like a ropey Thierry Henry tribute act.

  2. Herman Toothrot
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 5 days ago

    Please score Arsenal.

    I benched Martinez and Targett for this

  3. Sir Alex Telles.
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 5 days ago

    pages not moving today.

    1. Gooner Kebab
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 5 days ago

      Not many arsenal owners chasing the equaliser

      1. Deulofail
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        I have Saka and ESR playing 😐

  4. Must.Go.Faster.
      3 months, 5 days ago

      Arteta is clapping his hands

      1. Deulofail
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Lots of flies in the Midlands

      2. aleksaa2
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Idk if you watch NFL, but he is a Jason Garett of the PL

    • Fudgy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 5 days ago

      Who else benched Martinez ?

      1. JONALDINHO
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Casuals

      2. Kun Tozser
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Pope owners

      3. Vertigo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        He's only on 7 points.

        1. Sack The Glazers
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          "only 7" LOL

          1. Vertigo
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 5 days ago

            Evidently you think he's the only keeper capable of a clean sheet this week.

    • Von Lipwig
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 5 days ago

      Best GW24 midfielder to replace Son in this midfield?

      Salah Bruno Gundogan Grealish Son*

      1. S.Kuqi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Rash

        1. Von Lipwig
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          thanks

    • Must.Go.Faster.
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Watkins has the ball

      • Limbo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Martinez best keeper in the league.

        Confident. Good Distribution. Active. Great reactions. Good positioning. As an everton fan it makes me weep. Pickford has one of these attributes.

        1. Gooner Kebab
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Confident?

          1. Limbo
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 5 days ago

            Yeah.

            1. Limbo
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              3 months, 5 days ago

              Good with the ladies. Very important.

        2. Limbo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          And he's in the baps. AGAIN.

        3. afcblegend
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Confidence?

        4. Deulofail
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          None*?

          1. Limbo
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 5 days ago

            haha. I gave him shot stopping.

            1. Here's Tom with the We…
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 5 days ago

              Too 5 maybe, not the best.

              1. Limbo
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 5 days ago

                Alisson maybe? Wouldnt' say anyone else could be on a par with him right now. I'd take him over both of these (on current form).

                1. Here's Tom with the We…
                  • 9 Years
                  3 months, 5 days ago

                  Alisson the best. Then Ederson, Lloris and DDG, all slightly better.

                  Definitely up there on current form though.

                  1. Limbo
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 10 Years
                    3 months, 5 days ago

                    I'd have him over Lloris and DDG. Ederson fair enough.

        5. Mr Arsenal
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          He’s very good. Only weakness is on 1v1s. Goes to the ground too quickly.

        6. Third Eye Vision
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Pickford has 2 of those attributes.

          Wonder if Olsen will keep his place later?

      • Totalfootball
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Anyone any idea what is EO of fernandes ?

        1. Deulofail
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          150 ish

        2. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          147

      • yakirh
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Looks like a Martinez 8 pointer

        1. Pep Roulette
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Another save and maybe 9

      • mixology
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Feel that Auba(c) a great shout at home vs Leeds next gw. Although with the DGW many will use transfers elsewhere, myself included

        1. JONALDINHO
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Rather Saka

          1. mixology
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 5 days ago

            Current owner

      • Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Should have hit it harder on his face!

      • Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Benched Martinez for Pope 🙁

        I can't wait to play this BB and just get over it.

        Those bench hauls are so painful

        1. Little Red Lacazette
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          I did the same.

      • Daniel - Maquire or Hendo?
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Please Arsenal score

      • Steve The Spud
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Laca fail, get out of my squad, usless

      • diesel001
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Steve The Spud better get his phone ready to throw down the toilet.

      • Shatner's Bassoon
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Matt Ryan starts in 11 of the first 12 GWs for Brighton. I bring him in on a WC for GW13. He then plays 0 minutes from GW13 up until this GW when I swap him for Pope.
        Sometimes it really feels like this game is trolling me.

        1. F_Ivanovic
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          but... he's conceded?

          1. Shatner's Bassoon
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 5 days ago

            Oh I don't want him. Not complaining he's grabbed a rare start today. Just a little heads up to the FPL gods having a laugh that I'm onto them.

        2. Super Saints
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          He's also crap so picking him is not great

      • Hotdogs for Tea
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Congrats Martinez owners on the clean sheet ... again 🙂

        1. MikeS
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Never bench Martinez

      • Pep Roulette
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 5 days ago

        Targett on my bench :/

        But have Martinez! What should I wish for?

        1. BeWater
            3 months, 5 days ago

            Points.

          • Hotdogs for Tea
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 5 days ago

            ... umm ...

          • jonnybhoy
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 5 days ago

            A clean sheet??

        2. Kun Tozser
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Bus team bench for next week

          Martinez (bha)
          Bamford (ars)
          Maddison (LIV)
          Son (mci)

        3. Deulofail
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Odegaard and ESR can't play together they said.

          1. aleksaa2
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 5 days ago

            Only non Arsenal fans said that.

          2. Fred54
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 5 days ago

            Takes half an hour to call each other due to long names.

            1. Deulofail
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 5 days ago

              There are no players in the squad today with a surname with fewer syllables than Smith Rowe

              1. Deulofail
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 5 days ago

                9 others with the same as Odegaard or more.

                Sorry

                1. Scrumper
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 1 Year
                  3 months, 5 days ago

                  I love your posts 😉
                  Brilliant stuff

                  1. Deulofail
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 5 days ago

                    🙂 not sarcastic I hope!

                    1. Scrumper
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      3 months, 5 days ago

                      Not at all

          3. RamaJama
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 5 days ago

            MØ is versatile, can play in several positions

        4. Saosin
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Laca to DCL the only right move?
          Have Kane and Bamford.

        5. Steve The Spud
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Another Martinez mega haul loading

        6. My heart goes Salalalalah
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Another save for Martinez. Should get 8 at least

        7. Scots Gooner
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Arsenal never scoring here. Sad

        8. Baines on Toast...
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          How do Villa ever keep a clean sheet? Everything is so last ditch.

          1. Flair
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            3 months, 5 days ago

            That's their style, intentional way of play. Similar to Burnley.

          2. Steve The Spud
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 5 days ago

            Villa get battered

        9. Pep Roulette
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          This was a save, right?

        10. Limbo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Another save point Martinez. haha.

        11. Steve The Spud
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Why is the pitch so bad?

        12. Elly88 > KTR (Kevin The …
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 5 days ago

          Another Martinez save. We want more weak shots aimed at emi. Like 8 more.