You’ve got to hand it to Arsene Wenger, the guy never fails to entertain us.
The Arsenal manager’s approach to the Europa League has already been somewhat alternative, but this really is another level.
It’s not often you’d describe a starting XI as being hilarious, but this one is so full of surprises you can’t help but have a bit of a laugh at it.
Here’s how Arsenal lined up against Crvena Zvezda in their Europa League clash.
If you can’t immediately spot some of why this would raise a laugh, here’s some pointers…
1 Jack Wilshere playing left forward
Everyone knows that Wilshere plays better when he’s allowed to go forward, but this is just taking the p*ss, sitting him just off to the left of Olivier Giroud.
2 Wenger’s starting three central midfielders… as centre backs
Arsenal have a little bit of an injury crisis at the back, but Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin playing in central defence should be a sight to behold.
Add alongside them Joe Willock and you’ve got basically a training exercise rather than a continental competitive fixture.
3 The actual centre-back, Rob Holding, playing the marauding left-back role
Holding is an undoubtedly talented centre-back, but he doesn’t look like the rampaging left-back type, does he?
That’s cos he absolutely isn’t. At least, not that we know of yet…
4 Mathieu Debuchy starts
This is just peak Arsenal. Debuchy hasn’t started a game in 11 months, so where better to give him the nod than away at Crvena Zvezda.
5 Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles holding the fort in central midfield
That’d be the talented right wingers Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, playing centrally. Of course. This stuff shouldn’t surprise you by now.
What do we know, though? Wenger spends every day out on the training pitch with these guys, and you just know that something this radical will probably work.
But if it doesn’t? Boy, you know Arsenal Fan TV will be having vox pops for days afterwards.
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