Who do YOU think should play in the holding role against Burnley? | Gooner Talk


Who do YOU think should play in the holding role against Burnley?

Written by Chris Wheatley


Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby has returned to full training this week and could start against Burnley on Saturday.

The 22-year-old is fit again after recovering from a knee injury and looks set to replace the injured Aaron Ramsey who broke his leg at Stoke last week.

With Alex Song also ruled out through suspension, Arsene Wenger will have to decide whether to play either Diaby or Samba star Denilson in the defensive midfield role.

Andrey Arshavin is likely to make the bench for Saturday’s clash.

Possible Line-Up Against Burnley:

Sagna – Vermaelen – Campbell – Clichy
Fabregas – Denilson – Diaby
Nasri – Bendtner – Rosicky

So who do you want to see protect the back four this Saturday? Should the leggy Frenchman start in the centre or will Denilson continue there?

Is Theo Walcott 'world class'?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Let us know your thoughts in the poll above and the comments section below.

Leave a Reply

46 Comments on "Who do YOU think should play in the holding role against Burnley?"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
adebayor's dad

it has to be eastmond, denilson has hardly shown enough effort in his performances this season to grant him a starting spot.

arsene wenger

honestly it shouldnt matter, anything less than a bag of goals will be really disapointing, the holding role is important in the euro games and spurs and city games but to be honest if we cant roll the rest over with attack then it wont be the holding role thats let us down


I think denilson should.he will up his game this time after being a 3rd option


if Gallas was fit i would have him and campbell in defence and stick TV in holding role….but as he isn’t i’d give eastmond a game

janine butcher

arshavin will start wont he?! miss that guy lol

Julian H

I’d play Eastmond, and give Denilson a chance in one of the two more attacking midfield roles. There’s no need to rush Diaby back from injury – he can start on the bench and come on in the second half if need be. Denilson really can’t play DM, although I accept the argument that against Burnley at home it *shouldn’t* be too important a position.

All academic, in any case. Wenger will play Diaby-Denilson-Cesc.


My pick is Eastmond. Eastmond is a defender and has the discipline to stay behind and do his defensive job. He’s also good in the air. Denilson can’t defend and drifts forward without having the pace to track back. He’s aerially poor and bullied as well.

My personally view is that having tried Denilson for that position for months and not coming up strong, its time to put Eastmond there.


Julian H is spot on.

We should beat Burnley at home with Denilson Eastmond and Cesc on the Pitch.


Do we really need to be playing this role in a game like this,we in this country seem to be obsessed with it,its only Burnley ffs…


I was under the impression that Gallas was fit ? Has he had a set back because I too would play Gallas-Campbell pairing at CB and put Vermaelen in the holding role. If not, it will be denilson, no doubt about it.

Nicky Petrou

I would play Eastmond what better game for experience than burnley at home? Play him behind Fabs n Diabs – I would also start theo on the right with Nas on the left Big Nik up front n world cup bound Sol with the tough Belgian!


I definelty think we should play eastmond, he didnt do so bad last time he played for the 1st team. Plus, its a good chance for experience as burnley arent so great away from home.

I would immediately say diaby for this but the problem is that he’s only just come back from injury and I think its best we let him rest.

James H

Although i hate Denilson, Eastmond is too inexperienced for this moment in the season and Diaby isnt exactly the holding type, despite all his excellent defensive efforts this season. Denilson needs to prove to Wenger why he merits a rare start in recent weeks.


I think denilson’s carrying an injury or something. Eastmond has looked good whenever he’s played and deserves a shot now.
I have a feeling he could be this year’s “gibbs”.

top gunner

Please give to Eastmond I know it’s only Burnley (NO DISRESPECT) denilson does not track back he is useless. I think we need to spank Burnley in case the title comes down to goal difference i go for 8-0 with Bendtner hattrick.


Denilson is not a sambastar/star, he´s plain lazy when it comes to defending….but against Burnley at home, play him and let´s go for it, full speed ahead and get a couple of goals to be at par or better than utd and chelsea..


let us not deceive ourselves and be factual, no matter how bad denilson is, he is still better and more experienced and more stronger than eastmond…i can see the sense in starting ramsey ahead of denilson, but it doesnt makes sense starting eastmond ahead of denilson now maybe next season that can happen…. so am going for the midfield trio of cesc denilson diaby…shava should also be back hopefully and maybe willy

vava voom

i will go for denlson. abu is good but coming back from injury with his tendency to be selfish with the ball can ge costly when he is playing DM because he will get Court in possession often. we need to win our games so i wouldn’t take chances by playing etmond in that role


I think Denilson is better Diaby does nt know whn to release the ball he wil take long to release the ball wasting his energy goin in circles with the ball but Denilson knows dat Cesc does the final passes.

My Name Is Earl

NOT eastmond, we need to win this game and go with experience, Eastmond is too lightweight n this is a must win game on saturday !!
Denilson/Diaby/Fabregas is the perfect combination for saturday


damstar, yes Denilson has more experience but he lack desire and determinataion. He should not play football anymore.


Eastmond should be Song’s understudy from now on in. He will be a top player and hopefully by next season will be fighting it out for the 1st choice berth.


Eastmond is too lightweight!!! How funny is that? Denilson??? Yeah right.


It should not matter now because wenger is now using 2 dms compared to one in the begining of the season. I would favor eastmond though to partner diaby.


With the title on the lin Le Boss will go with experience therefore the midfield will consist of: Fab-Denilson-Diaby..up front I would like to see Eduardo get a game or two…


Whats with arsenal fans jumping on the backs of our players. last year it was song and diaby, eboue the year before. ade too. bendtner too, jesus. now lets all get on denilson’s back, that will help…


It will be Denilson

So stop all your whinging and get behind your team!


all 3 of them r bad luck…….
this is what it should be
sagna eboue campbell clichy
verminator (holding cm)
Nasri Fabregas Rosicky
Bendtner Walcott or edo
7-0 arsenal
niklas with 3, fabregas 1 , tv5 1, walcott 1,sub 1


Eastmond is superior to Denilson. But it’s only Burnley, so Denilson should be ok also.

Invincible Gooner


Diaby is the better of them all…

but Coming back from an injury means he has a greater chance of getting one… !!!

since he is too critical for Porto clash i think we should rest Diaby and go with Denilson and Eastmond. that will do for Burnley at home…


Give Denilson a chance he is not a very bad player after all. He is strong and can handle rough challenges than Eastmond. Moreover this is not the time for arsene to experiment players. Its a crucial stage of the season!

gooner charles

yes yes we all it will be Denilson ya’ll can keep dreaming about a potential start for Eastmond i aint never seen discouraging fans like Arsenal fans we always criticise our players and we are always persimistic and we are surprised when the player we criticise so much is not proving us wrong these are still young players us attacking them might ruin them. Its just like your kid failing algebra you don’t spite them you encourage them to do better, you help them be better again why can’t we apply that with our players huh huh?


We should not under-estimate any team, considering what has happened over the last couple of seasons. We should therefore play the toughest team we have got available to ensure a win. This means that Denilson should be on the bench. Eastmond should play the DM role.


Good back 4 I would Change denilson the useless prick and put eboue in mid 3 between him and diaby it will be a well balance of attck to defence to support fab… Would really like arsene to give eboue a go in there especially since he has hit good form. And I would stick to theo on the right and nasri on the left with nick in the middle. Rosicky to come off bench as he can replace either or eboue/Walcott/nasri.

Emperor Gooner

i think denilson would be the DM , arsh would be back upfront and eboue will play RB instead of sagna since this is at home

2 gooner Charles I speak 4 other gunners but if I criticise a player it’s for good reason and as far as denilson goes he is the worst midfielder I’ve seen at the club 4 some time. He has been at the club for 4 years, had more than enough chances 2 prove his worth and the only thing I’ve seen him do well in his 4 years with us is play nice safe 5-8 yard sideways passes. Our midfield is like anyones, it will either sink or swim and if u put denilson in there it will sink 10… Read more »
I would rest Cesc for this game. This is our easiest game of the season and with due respect to Burnley, but if we don’t win this we don’t deserve to be called title challengers. Eboue in for Sagna, give Eduardo or Vela (although Jet-lag will probably rule him out) a chance up front, put Merida in for Cesc. Don’t rush back Gallas, Sol can handle this game well after one week of rest. He might even give Traore a chance, in couple of home games at the start of the season he changed the full backs and gave Gibbs… Read more »

CORRECTION: Was supposed to be ‘I can’t speak 4 other gunners’

Anyway swap denilson for eastmond but other than that I totally agree with the lineup


Denilson should look at how Sol’s performces this season. Sol has shown so much determination and focus, fighting like no tomorrow, urging his teammates on… It doesn’t matter if you are just an average or old player but fans want to see a player playing with heart and desire. Denilson simply doesn’t has that.

A gunner with class
Ashavin benthner nasir Fabregas(c) rosicky Diaby Clichy vamaelen big sol eboue Its the most attacking, yet strongest team we ve got at the moment. Although, its most unlikely cause most of the players are just recovering.

If Arsene believes that Denilson can do a job as a dm all denilson haters should take it as that.Clearly he has not been 100% after the back injury>lay him off and support the team or go support the spuds!


i think denilson shud get the holding midfield role, playing diaby there wud isolate his attacking ability, eastmond wud also do a gr8 job there!, but my bet is denilson!

The worst thing we can do is underestimate Burnley or any other opponent. We need to be focused and win this game. I don’t like the tone of our fans regarding this game, acting like we won the game already. Please remember that we drew with Burnley away when everybody thought we would win. We have a great chance of beating them but let’s stay focused and take it one game at a time and not overlook the opponents as they are fighting for their lives. I think the team will look something like this: Almunia Eboue—–Campbell—–Vermaelen—–Clichy Denilson Cesc—————-Nasri Walcott——-Bendtner——–Rosicky… Read more »
American Gooner

eastmond? are you guys out of your minds? he is about as effective defensively as cygan. he is a nice young player but he is lightweight, inexperienced, poor defensively, and slow. we are better off with cesc, diaby, and denilson (grudgingly) or even nasri or merida (if fit).

we need to win the title not get more practice for carling cup squad players

Once again denilson worst midfielder I’ve seen for some time. 2 all denilson lover a little Q&A Q. In 4 years at the club how many Man-Of-The-Match awards has he won or even came close 2 winning? A. ZERO! Q. In our 6 premier league defeats how many of them games did denilson start? A. 4! Q. In his 4 years at the club how many times can u honestly say ‘oh denilson he was pure class, wot a player’? A.?????? Come on people no one would love Arsenal to win the title more than myself but u have 2… Read more »
bade the gooner

We must not take clarets as forgranted win !

Eboue-Silvestre (Campbell, only if 100% fit)-Vermaelen-Clichy
Fabregas-Eastmond-Merida (Diaby, if fit)
Walcott-Bendtner-Nasri (Arshavin, if fit)

Subs: Fabianski, Traore, Campbell/Silvestre, Vela, Rosicky, Sagna, Denilson

we must win & we will win. With the exact of 4 goals margin we will be at the top of the league. even if it’s gonna be for hours only, its very important & a big pshycological edge. This game & any game until the end of the season is for you Aaron!!!
We love & support you, be strong & recover well.