Good day, Gooners of the positive variety.
So we got a new chairman with a funny name but, other than that, there is relatively little news to bring to you fine folk. With that in mind, I’m going to take this opportunity to talk about the team and where additions may be needed. This is not a tabloid newspaper or the blog of a man with an intimate knowledge of crystal balls. There will be no names, there will be no figures.
While the list of players linked with Arsenal grows, the actual squad of players at the club has begin to to shrink. In previous years this meant that we were losing vital team members but this time it’s different. The players who are leaving the club, some loved and some not-so-much, are doing so at the behest of Arsenal and nobody else. The team which was the best one in Britain for the second half of the season will stay together and welcome new players into an already defined system. So what do we need?
Any player joining the team will have to be strong of character and selfless enough to give themselves to our way of defending as a team. They will have to, regardless of price-tag or wages, join the effort to bring The Arsenal back to the top; an effort which is built on hard work and commitment. Most of all, I believe that they will have to bring what we lacked for a big part of last season, and that is confidence. Many times last season, (particularly in the first half) the team looked like it was out of ideas and short of belief. They subsequently went on to prove that they were good enough but as Arséne Wenger says, “If you don’t believe you have no chance at all”. Some new arrivals will be young and will fill out a depleted squad but the ones who join with a view to immediately breaking into the team will have to be the type of player who can be turned to when the new chairman is down.
Goalkeeper – It seems as though the club would like to add a goalkeeper to the party as Fabianski is out of contract this year. Having come back from being dropped, Szczesny proved to most that he’s got the quality to be our number one but there are signs that a new goalkeeper will be added to provide experience and competition.
Defenders – The situation at left-back is about the healthiest one at the club, with two of Europe’s elite battling it out for the spot. At right-back there has been some speculation about Bacary Sagna leaving to return to France. Should he go, Carl Jenkinson will step into the role reasonably seamlessly but there will have to be a player signed to cover. At centre-back, we have the interesting situation of our club captain being unable to break into the side as Mertesacker and Koscielny have forged an awesome partnership. Vermaelen has been linked with a move away but he was very quick to come out and say that he’s happy with us and wants to fight for his place. We currently have three top, top, top quality players in that position and a possible addition would give us a back-eight about which we could all feel extremely secure.
Midfield – Now I don’t know which hip terms we’re using for midfielders this week but with Arteta and Ramsey forming our double-hinge-swivel, we’ve got a partnership that has composure, creativity, industry and guile. This partnership is so strong that one would struggle to find a place for Jack Wilshere. There are a lot of games to be played over the season so a player coming in to make that very impressive three a four would seem to make sense. Last season, on several occasions, Wilshere was played in the most advanced role in the midfield. With Rosicky’s injury record, and Santi’s move to the left, either a creative player must come in to add to our attacking threat or Jack will continue his progression forward and two deeper midfielders would have to come in. It’s a bit of a quandary in the middle but it is one filled with quality players and exciting opportunities.
Wingers (Or whatever you want to call them) – Theo Walcott has had another good season. His new contract and continued progress means that our right side is nailed down for another year. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been mooted as a central player for the future but this season will probably see him play a more active role in deputising for Theo. The left side has been occupied by Santi Cazorla which has pushed Lukas Podolski to the bench. There was talk about the German leaving but after a strong first season, the happiest man in London will most likely stay.
Strikers – Olivier Giroud has had a very impressive first season. There are elements of his game upon which he could improve but his link play, his power in the air, and often his finishing have shown him to be an excellent acquisition. He needs help and help is coming. Walcott and Gervinho have played there with some success but neither look to be the player to ‘lead the line’, as they say. A new forward to share the burden with Giroud is probably where a good chunk of our new-found wealth will go.
The point of this post is to highlight the fact that the team is already very strong. The overhaul had begun long before the budget exploded and the nucleus of a winning machine is already in place. This is not only a huge compliment to the manager who assembled such a fine squad on a limited budget, but it also tells us that, should we achieve success in the coming season, we will do it with a squad with whom we had the chance to fall in love. New additions will be supplementary and we will not have bought a title. We will do it the Arsenal Way.
Thanks for reading,
Up the Arsenal!
bootoomee at 9:42 am
You need to visit ANR…..I love that sight it is just the antidote to all this positive, sensible but deluded stuff led by PG….
Nice to see you on here!
cheers, got you now. (smile face)
Yeah, I finally made it. It is a lovely site with intelligent and reasonable commenters. I will visit more often.
On the article itself, this is all a fan can do: look at the team and suggest areas that can be better after acknowledging the goodness of the team. We (all fans) enjoy this kind of mental activity and I see it as a harmless hobby, especially when we are all being starved of our dose football matches (sometimes I feel like a junkie:-)). It becomes tedious and annoying, however, when certain fans start believing their own hype and delusions. They forget that a man has already been mandated with the task of managing Arsenal and no matter how knowledgeable they might be, they are nowhere near the legend called Arsene Wenger!
What I like best about this article is that the author had the good sense not demand or suggest any player for any of the relevant positions. It is an exercise in futility and I think that those who engage in the nonsense are either too dim or they are just looking for opportunities to whinge because they know that Arsene will not sign their suggested players; as anyone who has been following the team, at least, since he has been in charge should know.
Anyway, thank goodness for 2 weeks of Intercontinental Cup!
I think what will happen is this.
We will keep all our three top goalkeepers which is fine by me. All good and plenty potential there.
I think big Johann is coming back and Vermalen is being readied for DM position which is again fine by me. With Miguel being promoted that gives enough cover at centre back and TV to share duties with Arteta.
Left back position is strong and so is the right back as I think Bacary will resign with us.
I think we might possibly play Santos at left mid and he should do very well there. Box to box is covered too with any combination of Aaron / jack & Abu. God willing their injury issues rectified.
Attacking mids of santi and Tomas as his cover for balanced sharing of duties. Or injuries.
We will go with OG as the main striking threat and will be excellent this year with Poldi and Theo as cover.
Left attacking forwards 3gs with the ox as his back up but Poldi as our main man there.
Right attacking forward is locked on Theo and I believe we might get fresh blood in this position as I don’t see anyone ready to fill in from the academy. Someone in the traditional sense a TRUE winger with fantastic crossing abilities. It is very unfortunate we are not able to afford enough time for some of our academy products as I think those that given time are good enough to make themselves available for the first team. Such is the environment and the pressure to succeed that we need them to mature overnight and honestly some have but others do need the extra game time to make the leap to be reliable players. AND THAT IS A TRUE SHAME because we follow them through out and then when time comes to see them help the first team we can’t afford them the time to fine tune and therefore the are moved on.
In short I think no more than two players will come in if they are right for us and can improve on the team right now.
An attacking right forward or a TRUE right winger
And a possible central attacking mid to backup Santiago and Tomas.
And that is not to say that if an exceptional prospects were to become available we won’t make a move for them.
That said I can’t see WR coming in or even Michu. Ashley Williams might be a good fit even though the swans can’t and won’t sell. If they sell they will lose their manager. I think they will buy and strengthen to keep him happy and at Swansea.
Can’t disagree much with your prognosis ‘Kam.
But ever the pendant I’ll give my tuppence too.
I have no problem at at all if Djourou stays at Arsenal, He has been here since he was a kid and would be due his 10 year testimonial. he has done sterling service for us, and it saddens me to see the fuckers re-writing history to make him out to be a bad player, he is far from it.
That being said, if Hamburg want him and he is offered first team football (unlikely at Arsenel unless there is an injury crisis), I’d wish him all the best and hope he makes a good career there, The Swiss team are no mugs and will for certain be at the World Cup, unlike England who have some hard work to do.
I agree entirely with your analysis of the hard choices Wenger has made on the Academy players. The ‘fans’ are demanding instant success nowadays, no chances for them to be bedded in gently.
I’m not really sure Wenger’s sees much use for proper old fashioned wingers in the Arsenal set up. we are not Manfuckingnited.
All our lads seem to want to play through the centre, someone should explain to them how Henry played (or still plays) football. I’d swallow my own left nut if Arsene found another player in the Bobby or Freddy mould, sadly there aren’t many like that to be found.
Players, not nuts.
What I don’t understand and I know it’s really early in the silly season, but we can easily afford the big Polish bloke, Dortmund would be keen to sell him to us too. I’m surprised people aren’t even bothering to make up stories about it. In the mean time noises from Madrid seems to getting louder, and I reckon Arsene will only be looking at one new addition to the forward line.
Good points DC. duly noted specifically regarding big johaan. A good servant and deserves first team football. But if you were him and Hamburg offered you first team and ARSENAL only as backup which would you choose. My choice would be the red&white. And don’t you think lewindosky and Olivier are too similar in style. Higuain would give us a different dimension. And I thought Bayern had him all wrapped up.
A brilliant post b7 and all the comments have contributed to a sober & balanced assessment of our squad & it’s strength, I particularly enjoyed kam & dc’s interchange, I too have a soft spot for johann & how he could be used as mapped out by kam as well as repositioning santos which I think is a good call also couldn’t jd be used as “DM”? His position in his national side therefore providing more cover & allowing artea a chance to play a more attacking role, infact as many have said b7/kam & dc’s lineups show how fluid the squad could be, on rooney I’ll once again echo others in that I can not see it & personally I would like another forward with more style which I think OG has in spades
Spot on Leone. JD can play DM and CB. TV can play three different positions
BAC a couple. Poldi ,Theo and Gravis can all do a job at striker. I can go on and on.
As you said mate, fluid and dynamic. Fast approaching TOTAL FOOTBALL. a bit more time together and we are a juggernaut. A period of dominance both in EPL AND IN EUROPE. a fair prize at the end of many years of hard work and sacrafices by the team and AW. and I hope they do achieve it. Richly deserved.
ok ok so far we have higuain villa rooney jovetic felaini ….cavani was on the mix too for a while….this week we are going for ibrahimovic de rossi and thiago silva and might make a cheeky bid for neymar too…i got boro on skype singing like a canary .
ooooo boro you spoil us …..wait for it people….you ready??? moyes has just offered 65 million pounds to barcelona for cesc…and with the half we get from that we add our whole pot of 70 and get rooney and ronaldo…..fantastic business….
who would have thought 7 years ago that cesc and robin would be fighting for the title against the arsenal of rooney and ronaldo huh ?
what a special summer!!
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Buy a pair and get a transfer rumour free.
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I like the point made a while earlier about Giroud most likely developing into our first choice out and out striker, and with the quality that needs at Arsenal (and since there are some big shoes in that role). Certainly, as Fun might intimate, he is developing in the Wengerball system, we have not seen the best of Olivier. I would have thought Arsenal is looking players who compliment what we have.
For instance, amongst other attributes, Giroud is outstanding at winning 50/50 balls in the air and often enough on the ground that can be converted into fast counter-attack. One would look to a players to take advantage of Giroud’s strengths: fast, strong, with anticipation, control, attacking instinct, great assist-pass, a shot. A foil, and a partner behind Olivier (currently Santi or Tomas, formally Nasri and Fabregas). But I like the look of Ox, who has it all but needs to improve his through-ball passing and his control.
I wonder if we will see more of Ox as this team develops roving the centre. I wonder if he is being prepared for a potential striker role as well as attacking midfield development by being made to find his way on the right, sometimes left, essential in understanding how to play centrally. I hope so. I thought it was Henry’s knowledge of wing play that allowed Wenger to switch him seamlessly; and I guess Theo is being developed in this way. Theo will make a great striker (especially if he can develop a stronger left foot) but meanwhile his strength on the right keeps him on the flank.
The thing is, I am not certain we automatically need a striker at Arsenal, and if we do we may find Wenger is looking in other directions and does a Nacho on us. Who on any blog or a pundit anywhere predicted a left back in January, and what a shrewd move.
Top top blogging of late to keep us entertained. No sniping. No need to write lies. No ITK know it alls who know so much that Robson and Pearce would blush in such esteemed company. No absurd denial that there is not a regressive attitude within English football holding it back. No boring and unfunny Arsenal blog troll(s) who don’t know how to hide their lack of gr*t.
I thought two passes made by Santi after he came on the other night were the best of the game, for all that Cesc managed to roll back the years.** I admit the refractive index on these snazzy ruby and quartz goggles can be deceptive but that’s what i saw. Many of us mused on the meaning and symbolism of the Ox’s transfer last season*, his ‘d-Fensive’ training in those first six months whilst the ITKs were howling for him to replace the useless Walcott (something about the modern player needing an all round game, said he gaffer, but what does that senile old coot know? Especially when the kid wants to play in midfield? Pffffft), and I suppose the answer became clear as a dark hearted gem was replaced with Santiago’s radiance.
So I’m looking forward to Arsene’s next moves. And I hope to enjoy them just as much.
*CMs i find are easier to appreciate from higher views inside stadiums, my first view of Chamberlain was from the upper tier but to really appreciate those tricksy skills it’s best to be up close. Either way, you can’t lose and fail to enjoy yourself at a game. Unless you have disappeared into your own Arsenal.
** will ITK bloggers now comment over Arsene’s ability to free players up as opposed to the ‘lack of tactics’ (don’t laugh) they accused AW of when Cesc made comments or observations about the more rigid role he has been asked to play here and there whilst he waits for Xavi to retire? No, no, I didn’t think so.
Anyone currently at a loose end get yourself over to the Party on the Airwaves that is @StewBlack’s Slow & Dirty Show on somervalleyfm (on now until 10pm Somerset Time). It’s a cracking ride tonight!!
Fixture list tomorrow morning.
Time to start planning trips to the Ems for the Autumn.
Really can’t wait.
All I know about transfers is Arsene Wenger can and will find a few players this summer at the same level as Santi, Poldi, Ollie and Nacho.
Wenger STILL knows.
So Andy Carroll has joined West Ham for a mere 15 million. We missed out once again! Wenger out!
…how much did we pay for Giroud again, who’s better than Carroll in about every aspect you can imagine?
Fixtures are out. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/fixtures
We start against Aston Villa at home and our noisy neighbours come to visit two weeks later… should be fun!
hey evil what do you think of march?
Playing spuds just days after champs league qual game hope were at home for second game otherwise might have only just got back from far reaches of Europe
March is when we usually get rid of the handbrake truly for the season, so I say, bring it on. If we want to be champions, we’ll have to beat them all anyway one way or the other.