What will Wenger’s first choice midfield three be this season?

| September 13, 2012 | 21 Comments

Arsene Wenger has some serious thinking to do over the next month. A selection dilemma is not a scenario the Frenchman is placed in often, but he will soon have to pick out a first choice midfield three from 6-7 top quality midfielders not to mention two up and coming stars.

Jack Wilshere is set to return to full first team training, with Frimpong not far behind and Rosicky still on the mend. Coquelin is itching for playing time, while first team regulars Cazorla, Arteta and Diaby have formed a strong trio not to mention Welsh captain Aaron Ramsey more than able to be thrown in the mix.

Fingers crossed there aren’t any injuries and the vast array of options can be available all season with the Gunners contending on four fronts, but who will Wenger’s first choice selection be this season when all the midfielders are fit?

We took to the allArsenal forum to see what Gooners thoughts:

Sunrise Gooner: My personal choice, IF everyone was fit and IF it’s a huge game where we need to field our best 11, would be Arteta, Diaby, Wilshere and move Santi out to the right to play that creative winger role that Arsene loves so much.

abq: i think our three choice midfielder depend on d team we wanna face, for example if we ar playing team dt plays longball, i think we need diaby’s height, bt aside dt our three midfielder will b arteta in defencise midfield role, wilshere in centre midfield role and carzola in free midfield role. Expect loads of domination and goals, did is d most powerful midfield pair in epl

botafoguense: Some good ideas here, and i like what Sunrise said too: Diaby, Wilshere and Arteta linking up with Poldi, Giroud and Santi sounds amazing – all strong in possession and three tidy finishers (once Grioud sorts himself out of course).

On the other hand as long as its working i think our current midfield three is great. Whether it was Arsene’s plan or not, the bonus of Diaby and Arteta having both offensive and defensive capabilities adds a new dimension to our midfield. Maybe that’s what he intended for Song last season too..? I think Cazorla works really well at CAM, while Rosicky works well as backup but i’m not convinced having him play wing.


There were some interesting ideas being thrown around, particularly the midfield three consisting of Arteta, Diaby and Wilshere with Cazorla out wide. However I feel Cazorla will always be better utilized through the middle.

My first choice three:

Arteta   Diaby


Yes it is difficult to see Wilshere not in our starting eleven, but he is more than capable of taking either Arteta or Diaby’s spot and will be rotated about. But if the Gunners were to play Manchester United with all of our midfield fit, the above selection will have to be the way forward.

Diaby adds height, power and finesse, Arteta is a solid defensive midfielder that is able to move the ball forward with precision and is a perfect example of a midfield pivot, and Cazorla is Cazorla!

The likes of Rosicky, Ramsey, Coquelin and Frimpong are more than able replacements and should be expected to gain lots of playing time when the fixture list heats up, perhaps Frimpong should consider a loan move in January if there are not too many casualties come Christmas time.

Lets not also forget that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be looking to push towards a more central midfield position, however with an abundance of options its easy to see why Wenger chose not to reinforce further in the transfer window.

What are your thoughts? Who would be your first choice midfield three? Feel free to comment below or in the allArsenal forum.

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  • Borntobeagunner(btbag)

    451 against Manchesters and chelsea; szc, sag, verm, kos, gibs, arteta, wilshere, diaby, cazorla, gerv/rosicky and podolski. Sub: walcott, ox chambo and giroud

  • Bishop, PH nigeria

    For big games involving the big six, I wȋ̊ℓℓ go with Diaby, Arteta, Cazorla. When we face smaller teams, then Arteta, Coqueline n Ramsy/Rosicky. For cup ties, Ramsy,Coqueline n Rosicky. @ the attack, I would want τ̅☺ have Poldi,Arsharvin, Gervinho/Walcott. Arsharvin can play as a false striker n dat can confuse teams

  • Cc

    Its a rotation thing-Arterta/diaby/carzola or Arterta/rosisky/carzola or Arterta/wilshere/carzola.

  • Chanchi


    Sagna (Coquelin) Kos Verm Gibbs


    Oxlade Wilshere Podolski


    I don’t have faith in Jenkinson, and I personally think Arteta is too slow for Holding Mid -

  • John

    These are pretty good ideas. I am stunned that noone has mentioned a word abou Arshavin playing CAM where he scored galore in 09′.

  • JGooner

    Reguardless of what 3 we agree on, its the compettion which is positive and exciting for all Arsenal fans. We havent had this strength in depth for years! COYG!

  • merkin

    I think that Wenger is trying to have more technical players in the front line. I think Arteta, Diaby and Wilshire in the middle with Cazorla out wide on the front with Giroud and Podolski. This is effectively a 4-5-1 with Podolski’s passing and ball handling taken into account. This is a line up to last for a long time into the future with the Ox coming in to eventually replace Arteta, if not in position at least in numbers. Rosicky can rotate into either the wing or midfield without loss of quality. Coquelin will replace Arteta in cup matches to see if he can take the final step into the first team. Fimpong will start in cups and will be loaned out in January to increase his value. I can’t see us keeping him and Coquelin long term and my money’s on the Coq. Wilcox would be a super sub with the Ox if he stays, which I don’t see. Wilcox hasn’t developed as Wenger wanted him to, he will only stay if he can move to center forward and if he is willing to sub. Wenger will look for a more technical winger even if Wilcox stays.

  • Xi_Gunner

    I would play Diaby wide instead of Cazorla.. he is amazing in the middle. Diaby will relish the opportunity to get forward and he is excellent up front.

  • epoxy

    pretty good ideas…………..Arteta…..Diaby…….Carsola

  • http://www.ojikitigooner4life.com ojikiti

    If Theo stay and fit, up front will be Cazorla, Poldi & Walcott. Middle are Diaby, Arteta & Wilshere. Then enough fm d bench like Rosicky, Ramsey, Ox, Francis, Gerviho & Giroud.

    • http://allarsenal.com Patrick Ssekatawa

      Wenger made the mistake of playing Podolski in the middle in the Sunderland game. It never worked out and Wenger will never do that again, unless Giroud gets injured. Bar scoring a goal, Giroud has played well and there’s no reason whatsoever for him to be dropped, Ojikiti!

      Wenger knows Giroud more than any of us, and knows that he’ll score goals, definitely. So if you think Wenger will drop him, dream on.

      Besides, Arsenal benefit much more from Podolski when he plays wide left, because of his unbelievable energy that he uses to defend and attack to such great effect. GIROUD MUST START, HE’S ARSENAL’S NO. 1 CENTER-FORWARD, BY MILES!

  • Jeff

    I am tempted to put them all together.. So I’ d choose 4-3-1-2.. The 3 should consist of arteta,diaby n wilshere.. Cazorla will be my main playmaker with 2 strikers in pols n giroud. Our main subs must be rosicky,ox,n probably gerv..

  • mark

    the only variable is diaby. wilshere can potentially challenge him for that spot and improve the team further. lets face it, diaby has been encouraging so far, but wilshere is a star.

  • jjkmiles

    Wilshire Diaby Arteta, dat is d midfiled for u, power technique and height, Cazorla is better knw as a winger just dat d team is flat @ d moment hence he is playing in cam, if wilshire is fit he wil go to wings, remember wenger said he does not luv playin 3 strikers. podolski giroud cazorla

  • Aussie Jack

    You won`t get any argument from me…Diaby, Arteta, Cazorla is the way to go. Wilshere will need to be eased in over several weeks and could rotate with Diaby.
    An entirely different mid field can be used for the cup matches depending on the opposition giving Coquelin, Frimpong, Ramsey, Rosicky and even Ox-C much needed match time. We must not over play Diaby or Wilshere,
    “remember the night is for hunting but forget not the day is for sleep”.

  • jack

    i tink we shuld use rosicky arteta n wishere…den if we re 2 play teams dat playz hard/physical football,den i go 4 daiby arteta wilshere

  • ibrahim khalil

    The midfield 3 in my opinion should be Arteta Wilshere Cazorla

  • suffygmm

    Arteta Diaby

    Rosicky Cazorla Podolsky

    I think dis is better and it make sence

  • Prince Harrison

    Though, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger knows the best three that would suit as Arsenal first choice three midfielders but I must suggest that the likes of Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere.

  • Prince Harrison

    I must suggest that the likes of Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere would be great in the midfield.

  • Ken

    The article is very clear that if (which is a big call though) all are fit. I think Diaby Arteta Wilshere and Carzola can all be played together, as sunrise gooner put it. Arteta can be terrific as well cutting from the right as he can shoot with both feet. Jacks tenacity and creativity will unlock the most difficult of defences and he can dominate in the centre of the park. Just ask Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets.
    I wish they both remain fit and we meet Barca at some point in Champions League!