Freddie Ljungberg has named his first ever Arsenal XI after taking temporary charge of the Gunners’ first-team this week.
Arsenal take on Norwich City this afternoon in their first game since the sacking of Unai Emery, and it’s fair to say Ljungberg has made a few interesting calls in his starting lineup.
One decision that immediately jumps out is the inclusion of Shkodran Mustafi in the first XI over Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
While the German has not really impressed during most of his Emirates Stadium career, it’s fair to say he probably deserves another chance at the moment after the poor recent form of Sokratis at the back.
? Here's the team news for today's game at Norwich…#NORARS
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 1, 2019
Elsewhere, Ljungberg has also included Granit Xhaka despite his recent absence from the team and stripping of the club captaincy since he appeared to swear at fans when he was subbed off in the 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.
Mesut Ozil is also in, despite so often being overlooked by Emery, while summer signings Nicolas Pepe and Kieran Tierney are only on the bench.
Here’s how the team news is going down with Arsenal fans on Twitter…
No Pepe and torreira again mustafi I actually like that pick interesting lineup but nevertheless COYG https://t.co/RgPMYpcfkn
— IBRAHIM™? (@IBRA10_AFC) December 1, 2019
Rogue team from Freddie tbh
— James Dall (@JamesDall_) December 1, 2019
This is…not what I expected. Also, I'm not sure what I expected. https://t.co/ZgWZzG2wix
— Nic English (@nicwenglish) December 1, 2019
I can get past Mustafi’s inclusion for Arsenal. He’s been okay enough in his Europa League matches.
I can even get past sitting Pépé in favor of putting Lacazette and Aubameyang together in their favored positions.
But Xhaka over Torreira? Come on…#AFC
— Arsenal Weekly (@arsenalwkly) December 1, 2019
Have to say, on current form, Mustafi in for Sokratis is justified.
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) December 1, 2019
Freddie names is first team for Arsenal and guess what….
Xhaka and Mustafi makes the list ……I honestly think there is something Xhaka is doing right.
— BENzodiazepins (@dasilva_4) December 1, 2019
Mustafi and Xhaka starting… oh freddie what have you done
— Chris Chapman (@CChapman94) December 1, 2019
Mustafi deserves to be brought back in tbh. I just don't like seeing Xhaka and Guendozi on the pitch at the same time.
— V (@chi_kelu31) December 1, 2019
Freddie Ljungberg is a dangerous man, his first game in charge and he decides to go with a CB partnership of Luiz and Mustafi. Be afraid.
— EL (@ELxAFC) December 1, 2019
Wow Freddie deploying a 4-3-1-2 stabilising the midfield with Willock-Xhaka-Matteo, Ozil sits at his fav number 10 spot to feed Auba & Laca.
Experienced backline with Kola – Luiz – Mustafi – Chambers
I like how Mustafi is now into the team, kinda sad not seeing Pepe start tho
— ???? (@ItsNawfalSalih) December 1, 2019