The Exit Looms …. But For Who?

When discussing buying players recently, I’ve found myself repeating the phrase ‘cautiously dipping our toes back into the transfer market’.

I know we’ve been buying players selectively over the last couple of years, but I do believe that the pattern of one decent signing over the summer will become 2,3 or even 4 as long as our profits remain healthy and the squad needs reinforcing.

In a perfect world, we’d have a gifted and balanced squad, none of whom want to leave, fed by a constant influx of talent from our youth system, but Carlsberg don’t do football management. I don’t expect us to buy any ‘finished article’ £25m+ superstars, but continue with what we do best and that is to identify players who are not on the radar of the big clubs but are ‘Wenger gems’ in the making. I expect Koscielny to be just such an acquisition.

This brings me to the main point of the post. In the future, if we are going to bring in 2 or 3 players, we will also be letting 2 or 3 players go. Competition for places in the side should be fierce and hopefully this will increase desire, ambition and work rate in the squad. I’m not referring to the likes of  Sol, Silvestre and Campbell’ older players who are being ‘let go’. It would be great if the next time we sell a player it will be because WE want to  rather than THEY would prefer to play for a ‘bigger’ club.

In yesterday’s post, 26may1989 put it very well when he wrote this about the respective performances in the World Cup ‘Never has a tournament shown the value of team play, of the collective over the individual. To me, that’s a good thing.’

I would argue that team spirit and belief is eroded when the better players know that there are weak links in the side.

We’ve discussed the importance of not damaging player’s confidence by character assassination from the terraces; in the media or on the blogs, but the ruthless objectivity that has got us into this enviable position must also apply to the squad.

The purchase of Vermaelen to replace Kolo Toure is a perfect example of the way I think we should go about strengthening the squad.

I have it from a ’very reliable source close to the top’ (hell, I sound just like the sort of rumour monger I despise), that last season, there were four first team regulars that were thought not to be up to standard – pretty amazing that we finished 3rd in the Premiership if that really was the case.

I can already sense every reader compiling a list in their heads. Apart from the obvious choice of the keeper, this subject will produce more disagreement than any other. Song would be one of the first names on the team sheet for me whereas I am yet to be convinced that Diaby can produce the consistency and discipline required.

I shall not describe any players in relation to a ‘popular savoury spread’, but suffice to say that we all employ our personal prejudices when evaluating players and sometimes that is an irrational judgement, but the harsh reality is that we can now afford to replace any that are not good enough – and that’s precisely what we must do!

Arsène will no doubt have it in his mind that next season will be make or break for some players. He has announced in previous years that he expects player ‘A’ (Theo?) to really step up a level, he now has the financial clout to replace player ‘A’ if he fails to reach the required standard. Every player with potential should be given the chance to prove they can make the grade (Vela?), but equally there is a point where persistence with failure damages the team and costs games.

We will have a stronger team this coming season. The description of Koscielny as a ‘warrior’ says it all; Arsène knows we need to be stronger and more aggressive to compliment our silky passing skills.

I expect that any player who consistantly fails in terms of ability and work rate will be closest to the door when we go shopping next summer.

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124 Responses to The Exit Looms …. But For Who?

  1. Thnking about the players that we need to buy – some are to strengthen the squad and others are to replace players that haven’t matured into the player Arsene would have predicted them to be.

    We’ve had the same problem with lack of centre-back cover at the end of the season for the past 2 years. Arsene has made do, I know he tried to sell Senderos and was unlucky with the long-term injury to Djourou but I feel he doesn’t take defending seriously.

  2. tommystout says:

    nice post sir,
    i’m sure we will see how ruthless he is going to be, with the likes of eduardo – watch this space.

    I’m happy about schwartzer, even happier about Kozzer, delighted with chamach but what about the midfield, even with all the names that have been rolling around speculation corner i still think we need a big midfielder alongside song, can diaby do it – not so sure.

  3. Morning tommy – for me Diaby is definitely not the player to do that job. Not strong enough, not clever enough IMO

  4. Ooooh chary – I’m loving that interview, had to post it again for you

    charybdis1966 says:
    July 12, 2010 at 9:32 am (Edit)

    I saw this quote somewhere Peachy, although I don’t see how, as the narrative says, the last line is ambiguous, it’s probably just yet another Arsenal hating talentless hack letting his personal hatred for Arsenal out again :
    “The first thing I had to do after the final whistle was go to Robin. Instead of celebrating with my friends, I wanted to talk to Robin, because I felt he deserved this as well.
    “He has been injured a lot and if it wasn’t us he was playing against, it would have been different.
    “But as happy as I was, I was also sad for him. He deserved it as well. He just told me congratulations and to enjoy the moment.
    “I hope he has his chance again, because he is a great guy and a great leader.
    “He has been really unlucky with injuries and I hope he can have his moment in four years or two years.” However, Fabregas believes Van Persie may have to wait longer given the next generation of talent coming off the Spanish production line.
    “We have great players who are coming through and Spanish football is just growing,” he added.
    “This is the best thing which can happen to a football player. You can’t win something bigger.” As for where he will be playing next season, Barcelona target Fabregas was ambiguous.
    “All I can say is that this is for all the Arsenal players and fans, they are a world-class club. I am an Arsenal player and I am proud to be.”

    Anyway, tapas is over-rated and Paella sucks !

  5. That boy is pure class :D

  6. charybdis1966 says:

    Cheers Peachy, I’m unable to see why that says Cesc is off.

    Anyhoo – Barnet is only a few days away, good times

  7. charybdis1966 says:

    Also I’m sure everyone knows that Cesc is buying a £2million place in St Albans – hardly the thing you’d do if you were yearning for mum’s home- made paella.

  8. Morning chary – I’ve thought all along that this tapping up came a couple of years too soon for our liking. He mustn’t go without having won something with Arsenal – it would be such a dreadful shame.

    Does he trust Arsene enough to stay with us a bit longer – it’ll have to be sorted before they announce the Champions league squad or he won’t be able to play for Barcelona. I wonder when that is?

  9. I’m not sure about this St Albans story – I know where he lives in Hampstead and I reckon at his age Hampstead is much more his thing than St Albans!!!

  10. charybdis1966 says:

    I’ve seen the St Albans thing accredited to the Times Property section, or some similar paper although I can’t find the exact source Peachy.

  11. He was buying a mansion in Winchmore Hill a few weeks ago – not – I’ll have a look around too

  12. GUNNER4LIFE says:

    I still think we need a big striker (Target man) to fill the whole left by Adebayor’s departure. Sum1 to aim crosses at adn to push defenders around. A GOOD OLD FASHIONED CF

    sum1 like John Carew from Villa…just a thought!

  13. 26may1989 says:

    Interesting points Rasp (and thanks for the quote!).

    We don’t have a small squad, and there is certainly scope for trimming as well as adding. I would agree Arsene can and should show his ruthless streak, and here are some examples:

    Sorry to say it, because I really rate Eduardo and still get wound up thinking about Martin Taylor and the criticism we got (!!!!) for our player being maimed, but Dudu clearly needs to move, for his own good as much as anything. If he stays and I’m proved wrong, I’d be delighted, but he looks in need of a move.

    Diaby tried really hard last year, after coasting before that, and definitely did better. But he’s just not consistent enough, he is unable to impose himself on a game regularly. When he does, it’s fantastic, but that’s not nearly often enough. Keeping him will just get in Ramsey’s way.

    I love Clichy, but feel that Gibbs is ready and needs to move up now, so would be happy for Clichy to be offered a chance elsewhere.

    Almunia obviously needs to go. I like him, he’s a true team player and has improved a lot over the last four years, but just isn’t good enough.

    Vela has had his chance now and I don’t really think he’s going to cut it. In contrast, the much maligned Walcott will, I think, make the grade and show Chris Waddle where he can stick it.

    I have qualms about Rosicky too – he was a great player pre-injury, but he seemed to be running out of puff towards the end of the season.

    The likes of Eboue, Denilson and Traore I’d be happy to keep as squad players.

    I’m not saying all these players should be sold, but there is certainly scope for pruning the squad in some areas, to allow others to blossom and to strengthen the squad overall. However, the more important thing is adding defensive steel. Who knows whether Koscielny will be up to it, recruiting someone like that has to be a gamble. I just hope there is more steel to come, so that Vermaelen and Song aren’t left stranded next season.

  14. Rasp says:

    Hi G4L,

    I’m sorry, I have no idea why you went into moderation, your comments will come straight on in the future.

    I’m hoping Chamakh will become the player you describe. He has been playing a wider role but I can see him becoming the target man and RvP playing behind him.

    We don’t seem to do old fashioned things like make a run for the near post when a cross is coming over. Maybe its too simple a goal? Freddie was the last player we’ve had tham would make near post runs.

  15. 26may1989 says:

    Gunner4life, I can guess what the response will be, but we have a player of that type already, he’s called Nicklas Bendtner. Many don’t like him, but he’s much underrated and does a far better job for the team than is acknowledged. And Chamakh is also likely to be a handful for defenders.

  16. Rasp says:

    Morning 26m,

    I suppose the players who are nearest the exit will fall into one of 3 categories; coming to the end of their careers; young and improving but not yet good enough and just plain not good enough. The first will go due to contracts expiring etc, the second should be given a good chance but not for ‘years’ and the 3rd should be sold.

  17. Morning may89

    I don’t think Vela has been given enough of a chance to show his worth to the first team. I agree he has disappointed when given a couple of chances but thats all he’s been given – a couple of chances. He’s had injuries and been put in in games where the whole team has done badly.

    He’s a fabulous little player, a much better footballer than Theo although I think they both need to get some confidence back before either of them do any good for us.

  18. This in my opinion is why the youth experiment has failed – a talented footballer like Carlos Vela – who I have seen tear up the turf and audaciously lob the keeper – is put into an inexperienced side lacking in confidence and is expected to shine.

    Teams that are brimming with confidence build confidence in inexperienced players whereas teams that are lacking will bring others down :(

  19. tommystout says:

    agreed peaches.. i can see vela making it, he just needs a proper chance really and less of the being absent due to internationals.
    i hear that ramsey is back running again, i hope that this injury isn’t going to have any adverse impact on his game like eduardos did.
    i sometimes wonder what kind of player would diaby be now if he never suffered that horror break at sunderland.

  20. tommystout says:

    vela would be awesome for barca!

  21. Rasp says:

    I think Merida was potentially better than both Vela and Theo. I fully expect him to be playing alongside Spain’s new captain, Cesc Fabregas, in the 2014 World Cup.

  22. Exactly tommy – why would we let go a player that would be awesome for Barcelona.

    Rasp – I’m not sure I agree that Merida was potentially better than Vela – technically he was super smooth but Vela has more of the scamp about him and he’s soooo handsome :oops:

  23. Corrected yours too :P

  24. Rasp says:

    Vela has the cheeky chip, but Merida has the raking left foot and is much tougher in the tackle.

  25. chippy says:

    Rasp,
    Come on man Spill the beans who are the famous FourSome id go

    Almunia,
    Denilson,
    Walcott,
    Bendter
    :-)

  26. Rasp says:

    Rumour I most want to believe …. Almuna to A.M. … how much do you think we are paying them to take him?

  27. Rasp says:

    Hi chippy, I honestly don’t know. It’s going to upset some, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bendtner and Sagna were on the list – Almunia’s a given (but unfortunately not Given)

  28. charybdis1966 says:

    My 4 preferred departees would be Fabianski, Denilson, Diaby and (sorry Peachy)Vela.

  29. Rasp says:

    chary, I hope you are wearing a false nose and moustache if you go out in public after stating that you want us to keep Almunia :P

  30. tommystout says:

    my 4 would be, al, eduardo,diaby and thomas…. it would be hardest for me to say goodbye to rosicky.
    nik b is fine by me, although he wont be a starter this season.

  31. tommystout says:

    if cole comes i dont think he will start

  32. tommystout says:

    anyone subscribed to the 3 friendlies yet on arsenal TV??

  33. 26may1989 says:

    Very good (bad) pun Rasp!

    Completely agree re Merida too – it was definitely time for him to leave us, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him become a major player.

    Re Vela, am not convinced he’s of the same order. He has skill, of course, but then so do those guys who can do keepy-uppy for hours – there’s more to being a footballer than that. If Vela is to develop, he needs pitch time, and with 8 or 9 players ahead of him in the pecking order, based on his tepid performances last season (which was really a wasted year for him), I don’t see it happening. Unfair perhaps, but he needed to grab his chances last year and failed to do so.

  34. Rasp says:

    Hi tommy,

    I get where you’re coming from. I like Nik’s attitude although he doesn’t bully fulbacks as someone of his size should and unfortunately he has the turning circle of a supertanker. Like you, I can’t see how he’s going to fit into the attack now Chamakh has signed. Will he be happy as a perpetual sub? He would get a first team slot in the majority of European clubs.There is a player like Loic Remy who has been pleading to play for us (and not because of the money) – would it be worth letting Nik go and seeing how he would fare in the side?

  35. chippy says:

    The thing i find crazy is that if they knew that at the start of the season why the hell did they not try to resolve it,They got 40mill for Toure and The Ego !!

    Sagnas a strange one he had a storming first season but a poor second one id give him this year tho as there are not many better right backs around at the mo and his crossing must surely improve !!

    Chary, Kind of agree on Denilson and Diaby, Diabys the most frustrating Arsenal player of all,
    we can all see the ability but he just dosent show it enough, If those 2 have as much playing time as last year the results will be pretty similar im afraid,

  36. charybdis1966 says:

    I have a Tom Selleck 80’s style ‘tache already Raspers ! But seriously, if we only have 4 to go, they are the first 4 I’d like to go, if I was in charge Clownmunia would go also.

  37. tommystout says:

    rasp-
    maybe but i’d hate for him to become the new drogba for another team!

  38. Rasp says:

    I think Sagna is a good solid RB in a similar vein to Lauren. I don’t believe his crossing will improve and unlike Clichy, he doesn’t have the blistering pace to beat players when he comes forward.

  39. gunner man says:

    denilson back up 4 fab not song, vela 2 go on loan and get games, diaby squad player so he can fight for his place and finally a new hard man 2 play with song or instead of him

  40. chippy says:

    If Denilsons the back up to Cesc and the little matador gets Injured we are doomed i tell you doomed :-)

  41. Livers says:

    Morning all, sorry not been on much lately changed jobs n all that..

    I’m still sure we’ll get Joe Cole but we need a n other CB still

  42. gunner man says:

    we wont be doomed but actually more solid in those games and more harder 2 beat and where denilson lacks in creativity he can make up for in workrate and tackles. creativity in these games would b left up 2 wide men, they have to step up this season(walcott,nas, ros, arsh) so fab is not missed when injured

  43. gunner man says:

    dnt no about joe i always thought him coming depended on fabs future and now it looks like he is staying. wenger said he does not need any offensive mid

  44. Rasp says:

    It would appear that the ‘another defender’ we are still looking for is not a midfielder after AW’s statement that although he admires Gourcuff he isn’t interested in signing him because we are fine in midfield.

    I still pin my hopes on us getting a big right sided CB so that TV or JD can play the DM role if we need them or cover if Song gets injured.

  45. Rasp says:

    I can’t see wher Joe Cole would fit in – would he take the place of either Nasri or AA, I don’t think so….

  46. Livers says:

    I think there may be something in the Clichy / Melo remour and it may be a good thing for Gibbs to come through although I’m a massive Clichy fan..

    Melo, Cole and a n other defender /keeper would be nice

  47. gunner man says:

    no 4 cole, wilshere,walcott,nas,arsh,rosi,fab how much more do we really need

  48. Rasp says:

    The cynic in me says that if Cole comes it will only be because he’s available on a ‘free’

  49. gunner man says:

    cole said he want 2 play central, any1 for a midfield of fab, cole and song, personally i would like fab only as the creator with a taller player playing behind with song

  50. Livers says:

    Rasp I agree..but a good free too…

    he can play in any of the 6 positions in Mid / attack

  51. 26may1989 says:

    Would be pleased to have Joe Cole join (he is after all a proper North Londoner) but will be mightily pissed off if he get him but no new GK or new CB/DM.

  52. chippy says:

    Id never put the words Tackles and Workrate into the same sentance when it comes to talking about Denilson this is the guy that got out run by a Ref !! Once was bad enough but to do virtually the same thing the following week at stoke was beyond bad proffesionalism,

    I agree we need some extra steel and verve in the middle of the park to play alongside Song but Denilson is not that man in my view!

  53. tommystout says:

    i heard that the cole deal depends on whether or not we sell eduardo.

  54. gunner man says:

    i just thought he would b a good squad player who would not moan about game time and could come in and put in a shift if needed. we have to win things b4 we can have world class subs and even then they still complain. if u look back at the home leg against barca u would c that when denilson came on he made a difference, he was pressing them and making tackles

  55. tommystout says:

    and at least denilson has the balls to shoot from outside the box :-)

  56. tommystout says:

    for me denilson isnt the finished article yet… i’m hopeful that he will be as good as gilberto and more.

  57. RockyLives says:

    Hello All. Have been out of internet range for two weeks so will be working my way back through the last 14 posts!
    Rasp, if AW really did think that this year we had four regular first-timers who were not up to it I would have to assume that three bankers were Almunia, Diaby and Denilson. The fourth is tricky – possibly Theo, but maybe Eduardo or Rosicky. Who knows, even Arshavin maybe…

  58. RockyLives says:

    *first teamers

  59. chippy says:

    Tommy, That my friend is one of his good traits and i wish more of our lot took his lead when it came to that !
    He also keeps the game moving with simple yet effective passes but ive said it before he just hasnt got the stamina or strength needed in our league, Hed make a great carear for himself in Spain or Italy IMO,

    GM i agree regards the Barca game and thats when i coame to this conclusion, Another player that was the same in this regard was Cygan he was Brilliant in European games but awful in the league,

    And im probably not being that fair regards lack of pace as its probably more exposed when hes playing with Song and Cesc as either of them are the quickest so we always seem to be playing catch up with balls played through the heart of our side,

  60. tommystout says:

    yeah i wonder how he’d fare in a foot race with gareth barry1 :-)

  61. chippy says:

    tommy,
    Youd probably be waiting a long time to see them cross the tape :-)

  62. SharkeySure says:

    Song’s not slow. Why does everyone keep stating that as a fact..??

    Getting caught out or caught flat footed is different from being slow. People see someone get wrong side ofhim and get away from him as him being slow.

    He’s had a fair few out and out foot races in Arsenal games, and a very obvious sprint for Cameroon in this WC that everyone must have seen.

    Big Sol was also ‘slow’ – until he matched Gareth Bale step for step.

    No offence to you in particular Chippy, but I hate this anti Arsenal propaganda generated and promoted by Arsenal fans

  63. Pat7 says:

    AW might be saying we’re OK in midfield because he’s signed someone already but he’s on holiday at the moment so not surface yet (hopes)! LOL!

  64. chippy says:

    Sharkey,
    mate we were talking about Denilson :-)

  65. RockyLives says:

    The real problem with Denilson is that the position he should be playing in is Cesc’s position, but he’s obviously a long, long way behind Cesc in the talent stakes. He’s a tidy short-passer, but that’s about it – the other aspects of his game are not really up to Champs League standard: he’s not dynamic enough going forward (and yes, I know he scored a few long range shots this year but he’ll never be a guy you can rely on to get goals from MF); he’s not aggressive i enough in the tackle and his all-round concentration and discipline are not good enough (witness him being overtaken by the ref during one of ManUre’s goals at the Grove last season).
    He should go on loan to a team in Spain or Portugal (or be sold).

  66. chippy says:

    Rocky,
    Agree and theres also a young lad Called Ramsey thats more suited to the Cesc role

  67. SharkeySure says:

    Yeah I knew that Chippy, but the line about ‘Cesc and Song not being the quickest’ is the point I’m responding (overreacting ? ;-) ) to !!

    Our mutual ‘pal’ Geoff has gotten me a little bit sensitive when it comes to Song. Lol

  68. SharkeySure says:

    Chippy – so you admit that Song is prob related to Usain Bolt then..??

  69. ArseChicago says:

    Can we talk about the wingers? It seems to be the reflexive response of many to say that we’re set at the winger position or that we’ve got too many wing players as is, but have we really found our new Pires? I’m not sure we have. Consider that Rosicky in 3 months time will be 30 years old and he really let me down against Barca, where I thought his still surprising pace and ballhandling would help us fend off the pressure. Nasri can make me forget he’s on the pitch a lot. Theo, well, I wish Theo would play more forward than he does.

    I suppose if we think about our lineup in a 4-2-3-1 concept, Arshavin is the left wing. But right side? I suppose day 1, particularly considering Bendtner’s Groin (a great band name potentially), Chamakh would be on the right? But he’s not necessarily a winger, certainly not someone that can create like a Robben, the c&nt that he is. That’s why it wouldn’t seem odd to see Joe Cole slotted in there on the right. Granted, that would be quite a smallish 3 in Arshavin, Fabregas and Cole, which would really force the need to pair Song with another big, strong enforcer type. Or maybe we’re more of a 4-1-3-2 set up with RvP and Chamakh up front, Arshavin-Fab-Right Wing w/ Song behind them? I dunno. Anyway, I guess my overarching point is that I don’t expect Nasri, Theo and Rosicky to start the majority of matches this season, particularly if Cole comes in. As such, we could probably afford to sell Tomas and keep Nasri to help spell Cesc and Arshavin when they are injured or needing of rest.

  70. chippy says:

    Haha Sharkey i gathered that, Nah i was always in your camp with regards Song,
    We miss him greatly when hes not fit and more and more people are now seeing that maybe not Geoff yet :-),

    My point was more to do with the 3 of them when they play together, As a Unit there is not a great amount of pace but Song and Cesc both bring bigger attributes to the team as a whole than what Denilson does so my point was if we are to sign a new Dm i think it will be to take up his role,

    Not sure ive explained what im trying to say well enough but you may get my point if you disect it enough ;-)

    Ill give you the Song Bolt thing for your sanity :-)

  71. tommystout says:

    Chicago
    I for one am scratching my head as to how we will line up this season. Wenger tends to play a system to suit the personnel. But he has the whole club on every level playing 4.3.3 so I don’t see it changing that much. I think Chamach may be going down the right with RVP the spearhead with hopefully a little more support than he got from his Dutch colleagues this world cup. But then again why would Chamach be cutting in from the right when he is obviously so effective from a headed goal point of view, he will be more suited to lead the attack but that would mean a change of formation. My heads ringing.
    If Chamach leads the line I can’t see robin on a wing. So that leads me back to the 4.4.2 with RVP in a Bergkamp role. Your thoughts are most welcome. I don’t see anything but bit part roles for the likes of Thomas, Theo & Vela.

  72. Pat7 says:

    We need some bodies who can cross a ball on target, to take corners & for dead ball situations. RvP is OK but should be in the middle; Fab hasn’t got the power or accuracy & Vela hasn’t been given the time of day yet!

    Even Tomas seems to have lost his power & confidence in that department perhaps due to too much tappy-tappy passing & not enough practicing dead-ball situations for the defense & attack IMO!

  73. tommystout says:

    And if chamach is the centre forward; who is going to be getting all of these crosses in to feed his obvious aerial threat?

  74. tommystout says:

    sorry pat you beat me to that one

  75. Pat7 says:

    Great minds Tommy………….

  76. ArseChicago says:

    Tommystout, I hear you, I’m dying to see how things play out. The fact that Wenger brought in Chamakh when we already have Bendtner suggests to me that he wants Robin to have one of those two guys in the lineup up front with him (similar to when RvP and Adebayor were so effective what seems now ages ago). I’m now expecting Cole to come in to start on the right of what would be a 4-1-3-2. Regardless, I’m getting excited.

  77. Pat7 says:

    I just can’t see the point of our full backs wasting their time sprinting up & down the touch lines some times leaving us vulnerable when they can’t cross to save their lives……….Becks practices & practices as good as he is. It’s a shame they didn’t learn that from him while he was there last season for a month or so…………….probably too busy rushing to get in the shower and back to their Ferrari’s & home!

  78. Pat7 says:

    I’m also excited………to see who appears out the hat!
    Like everyone else GK, DM & a ready made quality CB who can settle straight away.

    I do think however if Kos fits in well JD might be put in his preferred position of DM! We’ll see soon.

  79. goonerwife says:

    I love how some people want to get rid of players that are loyal to arsenal and good players, for other random players.

    You cant sell out all our loyal players then start complaining about Cesc. you reap what you sow people.

  80. ArseChicago says:

    Pat7, agree with you. However, it does seem as if Sagna’s gotten slightly better, particularly compared to Clichy. If I recall correctly, Sagna was the one who crossed it into Bendy when he headed home the late winner against Wolves. Still, far too much energy is wasted by the club only to see Clichy loft one over the goal.

  81. 26may1989 says:

    I think we’ll stick with a form of 4-2-3-1 and, making various assumptions, my guess for first choice starting line-up for next season is:

    GK: Schwarzer
    CB: Vermaelen and Djourou
    FB: Sagna and Gibbs
    CM: Fabregas and Song
    AM: Arshavin, Joe Cole and Chamakh
    F: van Persie

    Principal subs: Walcott, Bendtner, Nasri, Koscielny, Ramsey, Eboue, Rosicky, Eastmond, Traore, Campbell, Denilson, Wilshere, Emmanuel-Thomas, Nordtveit, Fabianski, Mannone

    Even if we get these signings, I would still feel a lot better if another, proper CB were added to the mix.

    As for Chicago’s point re wingers, at its best, Arsenal’s system works when the front five (i.e. including the creative CM player) maximise fluidity of movement, swapping positions regularly. If they do that, we don’t really need wingers as such, the movement and passing is what creates the gaps. But he’s right that we need options, including a more orthdox crossing-to-big guy option (like Bendtner scoring vs Stoke last season).

  82. Fair point goonerwife but if we don’t change anything we’ll still be in the same position. You think we should keep Almunia as our no1?

    We’re having to let 4 centre-backs go – obviously we aren’t going to buy 4 replacement centre-backs so should we buy players that offer competition to existing team-members or not?

  83. ArseChicago says:

    Goonerwife,
    I, for one, am not relishing or salivating at the prospect of cutting people loose from the club, regardless of their loyalties. And I don’t begrudge a player like Cesc wanting to go play for Barcelona. All I ask is that he goes about this transfer business professionally (or exactly the opposite of how Adebayor went about it). Fact is, if you’re going to invest all this time and money in the youth system, then it only makes sense that some players have to go at the end of the season so as to make room for a new crop. The club has to strike a balance between showing loyalty and patience to its players and putting forth the squad of 11 that gives Arsenal the best chance to win trophies, something it hasn’t done for 5 years now.

  84. Rasp says:

    Welcome goonerwife,

    No one is advocating ‘getting rid of players’ who are worthy of their place. Loyalty is an admirable quality amongst friends and even more appreciated when it comes from great players like DB, TA etc etc. But we are a business and with man city (and maybe totnum) making the big four 5 or 6, we can’t afford to keep players just because they are loyal. Having sad that, I only want to keep (and buy)players who want to play for Arsenal and so loyalty is part of the package.

  85. tommystout says:

    how about 2 defensive midfielders???

    Schwartzer
    Sagna Kozzer TV Gael
    Song Denilson
    Rvp Fabregas AA
    Chamach

  86. 26may1989 says:

    Goonerwife

    Competition demands a degree of ruthlessness from time to time – a classic example being Kolo, who as a person was pretty much the perfect Arsenal man, but as a player was becoming more and more of a liability. Shipping him out was definitely the right decision.

    Apart from anything, how loyal is it to young players to deny them a chance of success and development by standing by established but flawed senior players?

    We don’t need to be disloyal in the sense of treating players with undue callousness, but culling the squad once in a while is important. That can and should be done while maintaining respect for the individual players.

  87. 26may1989 says:

    Tommy, I agree, the two DM option will (as last season and like both Spain and Holland last night) continue to be needed where a bit more protection is needed. If Koscielny is chosen at CB, I wonder if Djourou might get the second DM slot ahead of Denilson though. And we might even see Eastmond, who appears to have a more natural positional sense, there once in a while.

    But I still think our default formation will be a bit more attacking.

  88. Pat7 says:

    I don’t see the point of having big guys (except for defense) unless you have somebody to put it on their heads – blazing the ball ito the stands behind the goal or way over their heads is a waste of energy/our possesion.

  89. Pat7 says:

    ArseChicago – Sagna has improved but that was a one in eight(?) shot even for him.

  90. SharkeySure says:

    I understand you clearly Chippy…its the good that you’re combinations you’re after.

    You’d take the attibutes of strength, positioning, fantastic passing, and pace, and hope that all of your MF 3 have at least two of each. ie An abundance of one, and a good helping of the second.

  91. goonerwife says:

    I definately think Clichy should stay. As for Almunia, 2 seasons ago they were talking of picking him for England! now he’s horse shit. I would keep almunia and send Fabianski on loan (the poor guy is scared shitless and the fans just made it worse)

    Maybe its just me but i love all our players and i believe they can win something. The only people I wanted gone were silvestre and Gallas. Gallas has always rubbed me the wrong way.

    I love Denilson and believe he will be amazing for us. He is oly 22. I know, Cesc is only 23 but he is a genius. Most teams dont get to have a genius.

    Eduardo. I went back to watch eddy on you tube and he was amazing. I beleive in giving him at least 1 more year. Im hoping that this season he get back his mojo.

    peachesgooner- WE should definately buy players that are happy to compete for a spot, i have no problem with that nor do i have a problem with Arsenal getting rid of what they consider to dead weight. But as fans we ned to support and lift up the players not tear them down. All the Almunia crap in the media is because of arsenal fans.

    The fans actually have a big impact on these players they are human. As a fan i’d like to use my super power for good. Look at the effect good fan support had on Bentdner this season.

  92. Rasp says:

    goonerwife,

    To be fair, I don’t think anyone took it seriously when Almunia was touted for England. Someone (I can’t remember who) said he wasn’t even the best GK at Arsenal.

    He was beaten twice at his near post in the CL final and probably cost us 9 points last season by conceding schoolboy goals.

    He’s obviously a very nice guy and loyal to Arsenal, but he’s never been any better than mediocre – Lehmann said as much, but we took it to be sour grapes, actually, he was telling the truth.

  93. ArseChicago says:

    26may, Barcelona, er I mean Spain, only had 1 DM in the lineup at the start (Busquets) if I’m not mistaken. But, yeah, Holland went with the two walking red cards van Bommel and De Jong. Against teams like Barcelona, it’d be great to throw out 2 DMs like the Netherlands did yesterday, but against most premier league competition, we could probably make do with Song.

  94. Pat7 says:

    GW – good points & yes, it depresses ME at the names some call various players! If AW keeps playing them it shows he has belief in them that they will turn round like Flamini did, Eboue, Song………we await the next one.

    Just think of the effect at that age to read about the stuff some put in the blogs about them.

  95. chippy says:

    SharkeySure,
    Indeed that would be planet happy Chippy :-) I was very taken by the Ghana Midfielder Annan during the world cup im no scout but he looks a fantastic little player and is quite nippy !!

    Takes me Back to Petit and Paddy just shows how good as a pair those two were they had all them attributes and were just a pair !! Id be surprised if weve ever had a better midfield duo or will do again,Maybe in a few years we could clone them and no one would ever notice ;-)

  96. chippy says:

    Almunia lost all my respect when the papers showed them pictures of him out walking that pink midget poddle what was that all about :-)

    Hes not as bad as we all make out its just hes not good enough for a team hoping to win major honours weve also been spoilt down the years in that position so it shows him up even more, I mean if he was say the keeper at West Ham youd probably think no more about it,

  97. 26may1989 says:

    Goonerwife

    Clichy is definitely good enough to stay, and most clubs would feel privileged to have him in their team. But Kieron Gibbs is going to need to be a first choice somewhere soon, and I really think it should be at our place.

    I love Eduardo too, he oozes quality and has a great personality too (the rubbish vs Celtic last season really was bullshit). I really didn’t mind selling Adebayor in part because I believed in Eduardo’s ability to offer an alternative when van Persie got his inevitable injury. But he just looked all wrong when he did come in last season. He seemed unhappy to be playing in this league and completely lacking in confidence. If that can be reversed without selling him, excellent, but I see the signing of Chamakh as meaning the end of the Arsenal careers of at least one of Eduardo and Vela.

    Totally agree with you that the fans need to be positive about the players – the outrageous treatment of Eboue was the clearest demonstration of what some Arsenal fans are like.

  98. Pat7 says:

    How about using Kieran Gibbs as a winger. He’s got more crossing ability than the rest & is quick enough, with the obvious defensive cover ability!

  99. 26may1989 says:

    Chicago

    Alonso and Busquets were both playing in that deeper, holding area most of the time in my opinion. Kerb-crawling David Pleat also saw the Spanish as having two DMs until Cesc was brought on: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/jul/12/world-cup-final-holland-spain-tactics.

  100. chippy says:

    Pat7,
    Gibbs was a winger but Wenger converted him in the same way he did cole to a left back, Hence personally i think the signing of Chamakh could spell the end for Clichy as first choice in that position,

    Wengers going to want quality service into him and i believe Gibbs would offer more on a crossing front Thats not to say i dont rate Clichy i love the blokes attitude and will to win above many others, I just think Wenger may do what hes done countless times and get big money for a player that weve already got covered,

  101. tommystout says:

    yeah chippy
    i think clichy will be sold, definately

  102. Rasp says:

    I can’t see Clichy being sold this summer. The only players in the main squad that I think may be going are Eduardo and Vela. EE has been linked with a move away for a while now but there are currently no stories circulating to that effect.

  103. Chippy says:

    Rasp,
    I hope that’s so as there’s nothing better than having quality players fighting over one spot, An Arshavin interview at the end of the season made me wonder if things were happening behind the scenes as he stated both cesc and clichy have big decisions to make regarding where their futures lie, it wasn’t roundly picked up upon due to them all running the cesc is of stories ! As I say we’ve lost enough for one summer so I hope no one else goes and we buy a couple more and then we could all look forward to a succesful season :)))

  104. Rasp says:

    Hi Chippy,

    I agree. I hope my post wasn’t ambiguous, I was saying that now we have some money to spend, the players need to fight for their places this coming season, not that we need a clear out this summer.

  105. Chippy says:

    Hi Rasp,
    Not at all mate agreed word for word :) Im fairly confident this will still be a good summer for us Arsenal fans !

  106. dandan says:

    Rasp could you change the word matter to manner in the Blackburn Para please

  107. Hello – I just sent you an email :)

  108. Pat7 says:

    Thanks for the info’ Chippy on Gibbs. I would still keep them both for competition and cover but as I said they could rotate or play together. I like Clichy & he’s a lot more loyal than most.

  109. dandan says:

    Evening all, hi goonerwife nice to see another knowledgeable lady on here, do stick with us.
    For those who saw Mr V Bommel play last night, that is what you will get if AW is daft enough to sign Melo IMHO. Joe Cole is another guy who I think would do well at another club, just not our club.LOL
    Finally I think you are underestimating Theo for the following reasons

    1 he is free from injury for the first time for years.
    2 he wants to show England what they missed
    3 his sheer pace frightens defenders to death,
    4 We have a centre forward at last who can head a ball, part of the reason, Theo struggled last year was (a) no one could keep up with him and (B) when he did get a cross in it had to be low because no bugger would head it, hard as Bendy tried he is no Nat Lofthouse (for older readers) or Big Raddy for not so old

  110. dandan says:

    ok will look now thank you

  111. dandan says:

    Just phoned that number Peachey no reply

  112. Chippy says:

    Pat,
    No worries he’s also played in central midfield for the England under 21s and Arsenal reserves he’s something most England youngsters are not and that he’s happy and can play in numerous positions just as Wenger likes and which is a massive benefit to the club,Agree i hope Clichy does stay as we will be sorted down the left for years :) I wouldn’t Want to go into a season with. Traore as first back up !

  113. irishgunner says:

    ” For those who saw Mr V Bommel play last night, that is what you will get if AW is daft enough to sign Melo IMHO. ” – I hear a choir of angels as I read that comment, someone else sees the light.

  114. Rasp says:

    Done dandan :P

  115. Chippy says:

    Irish,
    Paddy was no saint and could put the boot in with the best of them ditto keane and they in my view are the best 2 premier league central midfielders in the last 20 years, Im not saying the signing of Melo or van Bommel is correct but do you not think we could do with a bit of nastiness and bite ?

  116. irishgunner says:

    Chippy – We could do with a bit of nastiness and bite, that I agree on, but van Bommel and Melo are stupid, there’s a difference.

    You’ve to get the kicks in and get away with it 95% of the time.

    How van Bommel didn’t get a red card in the World Cup is beyond the comprehension of most people I reckon.

    Compare them to Schweinsteiger – he got good, hard tackles in, but timed them to perfection.

  117. Chippy says:

    Irish,
    HaHa love it, Yes I’ve never been a massive fan of V Bommel and not seen enough of Melo in Italy to really form an opinion but he was no great shakes in this world cup, Think we’ve missed the boat with schweinsteiger as after his performances City will probably offer 50 mill or alike ;)
    I brought up the performances of Annan earlier what were your thoughts on him? He looked a very tidy little player to me.

  118. irishgunner says:

    Agreed, Annan caught my eye after funnily enough Liam Brady highlighted his performances.

    He was always in the right place to receive a pass, kept the game flowing with intercepting the ball well as well.

    Alvero and Perez of Uruguay were quite good as well.

  119. Chippy says:

    Hopefully that will be a lucky omen then :)

    Thats my lot for one evening laters all

  120. Jay-Jay says:

    Evening everyone. I know, I know – it’s late.

    Rasp: really great post, sir. It has me intrigued as to the indentities of this ‘mystery four’ and I have a fair idea who they could be.

    Has anyone seen the Pepe Reina incident during Sapin’s celebrations where he forced Cesc into putting a Barcelona shirt on?

    What an arsehole.

    Although, who better to inititiate Fabregas into life at Barce than a player who didn’t get to plsy a single minute of his team’s campaign.

  121. andy says:

    I would guess the 4 to be Almunia, Denilson, Diaby and maybe Eduardo since the injury. I think its fair to say that we have had enough to get by for the last few years but the lack of true competition has allowed some players a starting spot who really aren’t as good as we would expect at a club of our status. I’m not knocking them and at least 3 have done admirably when punching above their weight but now the funds are starting to come through these players will surely be fazed out. All though deserve our gratitude and respect for see-ing us through these difficult times rather than being slated.

  122. tommystout says:

    morning all, anyone heard that redarmy song… fabuloso… check out culturedleftboot this morning…
    i quite liked the wenger one too!

  123. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST ………….

  124. Pat7 says:

    Andy – I’d have thought Fabianski, Randall, maybe Tomas & Dudu but is more likely to be lesser players in the resrves. I agree with somebody else (?) who suggested Dudu go out on loan to recover his confidence – he could also recover his value!

    I cannot see AW dumping Diaby or Denilson as they are good squad players if not 1st 11 & may well be much improved as they reach maturity. He’s persevered this long with them………….

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