Following an interesting summer for Arsenal on the transfer front, which has seen the arrival of four players in Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Calum Chambers, a lot of Gunner faithful were eagerly expecting the line-up that would trot their stuff against Benfica on Saturday and by extension the entire Emirates Cup. Eventually Arsene Wenger settled for a youthful line up that comprised of in a 4-4-1 formation.
Damian Martinez- goalkeeper
Hector Bellerin- right back
Calum Chambers- central defence
Nacho Monreal- central defence
Kieran Gibbs- left back
Mathieu Flamini- holding midfield
Aaron Ramsey- central midfield
Joel Campbell- right wing
Oxlade Chamberlain- left wing
Tomas Rosicky- in the hole
Yaya Sanogo- striker
Later on Ignasi Miguel, Aaron Ramsey, Francois Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez, and Chuba Akpom came on for Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey, Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky, Oxlade Chamberlain, Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo respectively.
In the end, Damian Martinez, Hector Bellerin, Calum Chambers and Kieran Gibbs all played ninety minutes.
Which raises the question of who would line up against Monaco on Sunday?
Before that, the players that did not play part at all against Benfica were Mathieu Debuchy, Laurent Koscielny, Wojciech Szczesny and Oliver Giroud.
Arsene Wenger already stated that Alexis Sanchez is guaranteed to start on the wings, which means we might see this line up on Sunday. And we likely to see a more experienced line up.
With the players who featured sparingly forming the substitutes.
The Emirates cup has always been a barometer by which many persons assess the team going into a new season. With Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Abou Diaby not yet in the team, plus the uncertainty over Thomas Vermaelen’s future, together with the injury to new signing David Ospina, it promises to be an interesting season.
However what was glaring in the match against Benfica was that Arsenal still lacked depth in central defence and central midfield. This was clear with Nacho Monreal starting as a centre half. It meant the entire backline was composed of full backs with no specialist central defender in place. With Arsene Wenger asserting after the match that he is still looking to bring in two players, perhaps, there could be two signings in both defence and midfield at end of the window.