Arsenal’s Defensive Crisis Ahead Of The FA Cup Final

Arsenal’s Defensive Crisis Ahead Of The FA Cup Final
May 25, 2017

Arsenal Team News

Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, will have an issue on his hands today when his side face Chelsea in the final of the FA cup with the side losing both Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel Paulista on Sunday against Everton.

Laurent Koscielny is out due to suspension by virtue of the red card he received against Everton for a tackle on Enner Valencia while Gabriel Paulista is out with a knee ligament injury which forced him off the field just after 52 minutes.

Arsenal had appealed against Koscielny’s dismissal which was subsequently rejected by The Football Association. Shkodran Mustafi is a huge uncertainty as well with Arsène Wenger in his latest team news saying, “Mustafi, we still have some worries about. He’s still sick at the moment and has not trained yet.”

Laurent Koscielny will be a huge miss as the French Defender has only missed 5 games all season in the Premier League and has made 92 interceptions (2nd highest in the league) and won 116 aerial duels(4th highest) in the Premier League this season and has consistently been one of the top defenders not only in England but all of Europe for the past few seasons. Shkodran Mustafi, his defensive partner for most parts of the season, will be a huge miss as well having won 65% of his aerial duels and forming a formidable partnership with Koscielny in the first half of the season.

Arsenal are just left with two first choice Centre Backs in Rob Holding and Per Mertesacker fit for the FA Cup final on Saturday. While Rob Holding has been a regular ever since Arsene decided to shift to a three-man defence impressing with his mature performances, the 32-year-old Mertesacker played his first Premier League game on Sunday after replacing Gabriel. The most pertinent question that lies with most of the people is: Will Arsene resort to a Back four? Well in his recent Press Conference he announced.

“I have to decide until Saturday [whether to keep a back three or not] – we’ll test that in training until then.”

With this defensive predicament, it will be interesting to see the Team news on Saturday. Some would Argue that Arsenal need this win more than anything else, to forget a disappointing season where they missed out on Champions League football for the first time under Arsene Wenger. It could also prove to be Arsène Wenger’s last match in charge.

Arsenal have won the FA cup 12 times which is the joint highest with Manchester United, out of which Arsene Wenger has won 6. Should Arsenal beat Chelsea on Saturday, it will be Arsene’s 7th FA cup which will make him the most successful manager in terms of FA cups won surpassing George Ramsay, who has also won it 6 times.

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