Arsenal: Best matchday squad

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You could say Arsenal played below their recent high standard of football on Sunday against West Brom. However, the Gunners are still top of the Premier League table on goals scored, ahead of Liverpool and looking like a very competitive outfit this season. 

But wait, how is this possible? The depth in the squad at the moment is alarming. A month ago against Spurs, Arsene Wenger had Gedion Zelalem, a 16-year-old previously untried and untested starlet.

They also had Chuba Akpom who is just 17 years of age on the bench against Sunderland, where he made his first-team debut as a late sub for Olivier Giroud. 

And not to mention Arsenal's ever-growing injury list. At present, it reads: Bacary Sagna, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, Yaya Sanogo and Abou Diaby.

Those players are either top quality or players with massive potential, yet Arsenal seem to be coping without them.

In this article GMS Academy member Frank Plummer will be presenting his strongest starting XI with seven subs - but do you agree? Have your say in the comments box provided.

GK: Wojciech Szczesny

Before the season had started I wanted to see Lukasz Fabianski starting for the Gunners, but Szczesny has proved me wrong.

He had a shocker against Aston Villa back in August, but he has got his game back on track and he is now the clear first-choice 'keeper at Arsenal.

RB: Carl Jenkinson

Jenkinson was called up to the England Under-21 side this week which makes this the second nation he would have played for at youth level after previously representing Finland.

In my opinion, 'Jenko' is ready for the main stage, he should be in this latest England squad which play Montenegro and Poland as he is definitely, on current form, the better player ahead of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.

Sagna is favoured by Wenger but I think that the Sagna ship has set sail and it's time to look to the next generation of Arsenal right-backs.

CB: Laurent Koscielny & Per Mertesacker

These two brilliant defenders have to be the first-choice centre-backs at Arsenal.

It used to be Thomas Vermaelen who was the fan-favourite at the club but now the tables have turned and the focus is on Koscielny and Mertesacker.

LB: Kieran Gibbs

This position for me was like the GK position - I thought Nacho Monreal was going to be the first-choice left-back but Gibbs has proved me wrong.

In fact, he's been in such good form this season that he has got back into the England squad after Ashley Cole withdrew with injury.

Gibbs got his first goal of the season against Fenerbahce in the 3-0 away win back in August, and ever since Gibbs has continued to get better and better.

If it wasn't for Cole and Baines, Gibbs would be in that England squad every time. 

DM: Mikel Arteta

Arsenal have been playing Mathieu Flamini in this position and to be fair, he has been superb.

However, I believe that Arteta was top draw last season and deserves his chance.

The former Everton star has been in and out of the team with a leg injury but after this international break, he should be back to full fitness and leading the Arsenal side.

AM: Jack Wilshere & Aaron Ramsey

This was another tricky place to pick players and if you read on in the article you will see that players will be left out of the starting 11 unfortunately.

Anyway, Ramsey, well what is there to say about Aaron Ramsey. One word to describe his start to this season for me, would have to be...perfection! 

Rambo has been Arsenal's best player this season by a country mile and I don't think anyone could dispute this as he just received the EPL player of the month award alongside Wenger who got manager of the month.

Ramsey has shocked the footballing world with his early season form and I am sure that everyone will want this form to continue for quite some time because the lad has just been a thorn in every team's side that we have played this season.

Now there is Wilshere, Wilshere put in a man of the match performance for the gunners on Sunday, even though they didn't win, Wilshere scored a vital goal which has kept the gunners at the top of the table and for this reason he gets in my starting 11 because I just don't think you can keep a player of Wilshere's quality sitting there bored to death on the bench.

His performance for England vs Brazil was brilliant as well. A performance I will never forget.

RM: Mesut Ozil

A lot of people may say that it is unfair that Walcott isn't in my starting 11 but this is what I believe will win Arsenal a title and some players have to make the sacrifice for others who are in form or are just better.

Ozil has certainly brought the fans' heads up as he has given Arsenal a lifeline as to winning the EPL title this season. But its not just his big money move that has lifted the fans off their feet, it is also how he has come in and become the leading assist taker in the EPL.

He got his first goal against Napoli last Tuesday night and now every Arsenal fan just wants him to keep up the good work and prove why he is one of the best midfielders in the world.

It is unlucky that Walcott isn't in this position however, I am certain that he will get a start and then soon cement his position in the starting 11 but I believe that Ozil, Ramsey and Wilshere have been more impressive this season. 

LM: Santi Cazorla

Last season, I would sit in front of my TV and scream at Wenger to pick Lukas Podolski in the left-hand side position. But ever since the signing of Ozil, the form of Ramsey and the pulled hamstring to Podolski.

I now believe that Wenger can play Cazorla in this LM position as Santi is brilliant on his left and right foot making him more of a threat to the opposition's defences.

Podolski is threat when he is unleashed on goal but Cazorla is such a good player on the ball, like many other Arsenal players. His technical ability is superb and he has become one of the most experienced players in the squad after just signing 14 months ago. 

CF: Olivier Giroud

I believe that Giroud has put a firm stamp on the CF role at Arsenal. He's already scored six goals in 10 games this season and he is joint third with five other players in the top scorers list in the EPL.

Wenger last season tried Podolski upfront but he was ineffective and therefore was moved out to the left-hand side where he was more of threat.

Then, into the midpoint of the season , Walcott was played in a winger/striker role which was effective and worked very well but as I haven't put Theo in my starting 11, this cannot be done. Giroud has shown that it can sometimes take time to settle into English football.

The Arsenal fans eventually gave Olivier time and now they are getting back what they deserve, 110% effort in every game, always trying to get his name on the score sheet no matter who the opposition is and this is why he is started ahead of Karim Benzema for France. 

Substitutes: Fabianski, Sagna, Monreal, Flamini, Rosicky, Walcott, Podolski

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