Should Arsene Wenger rely on experienced French players for Marseille challenge?

By Graham McNorthbank

For any of you who have not seen details of the squad that travelled to France for tonight's Champions League tie against Marseille, you might be a tad puzzled about the players that Arsene Wenger has left in London.

The squad is: Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski, Carl Jenkinson, Andre Santos, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Johan Djourou, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta, Alex Song, Theo Walcott, Gervinho, Yossi Benayoun, Francis Coquelin, Andrey Arshavin, Aaron Ramsey, Robin van Persie and Maroune Chamakh.

Not bad, but I'm a little confused as to why Ju Young Park, who is arguably one of our most in-form players given that he has been scoring for fun for his national side, has not travelled. He played three years in the French league, notching 25 goals in 91 appearances with AS Monaco and that also means he can lay claim to knowing tonight's opponents better than the majority of his team mates.

Also missing from the squad is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - another player in form - but Le Boss says he will be involved in the Bolton Carling Cup game next week and may also be in the squad for the Stoke game this weekend.

However, the question mark over why on earth we signed Park if we're not going to use him aside, we do have some other squad players tonight who have experience of French football - notably Francis Coquelin, Laurent Koscielny, Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh - and I wouldn't be surprised to see all of them start, giving us the chance to introduce the likes of Song and Arshavin if needed later on in the game.

So without further ado, here's my choice for the Arsenal starting 11 tonight:


Jenkinson Mertesacker Koscielny Santos

Arteta Coquelin Rosicky

Gervinho RvP Chamakh

I'm guessing many of you will disagree with that line up, so feel free to lambast me using our comments button below.