Will Petr Cech make a significant difference?

July 1, 2015

I think we can all agree that Arsenal have been lacking a truly top class ’keeper since “Mad” Jens left. Some would say that the lack goes back further to David “Safe Hands” Seaman’s departure.

We’ve seen a few come and go, Almunia, Fabianski and Mannone, while a few more have stayed, Szczesny, Ospina and Martinez. All have been given a chance to make the Number One shirt their own. None of them have been entirely successful.

The signing of David Ospina during last summer’s transfer window came as a bit of a surprise to most Gooners, he had had a good World Cup, was one of two first team ‘keepers at French Ligue 1 side Nice but was not happy to share the gloves with the young Joris Delle and so signed for Arsenal for around £3 million. He had a good but not spectacular first season and now seems likely to leave for pastures new.

So we come to our latest recruit Petr Cech, one of the rocks that Abramovich’s Chelsea were built on and a mainstay of the side since he joined in 2004, his 333 appearances say a lot about his consistency as well as his talent. There can be no doubt that he played an enormous part in the many successes that Chelsea have enjoyed since Abramovich injected his roubles into the then ailing West London club.

I don’t think there can be any doubt that Arsene Wenger has signed one of the best goalies in the world. I believe that Cech will bring an air of calmness into our defence and will give some confidence to our defenders. My personal belief is that he will certainly make a significant difference to our team and it’s prospects in the coming seasons.

What do other Gooners think?

Written by Norfolk Gooner.


Benzema for Koscielny anyone?

June 29, 2015

Just a little poser with a twist to follow on from Micky’s post.

I feel we need a top striker but am scratching my head as to who we can get that is :-

1 Top class and able to bring that class to the more robust EPL.

2 Potentially available (i.e current employers are willing to consider selling).

3 Their price is not over-inflated and represents true market value.

4 Their wage expectation is not over-inflated.

5 The player has an interest in joining us.

Most of the viable options have some question mark hanging over them with one of these questions. I have ruled out Suarez and Aguero as we will just not get them from those clubs, even though they tick every other box. Looking at some of the other candidates (that I like) my observation would be as follows:-

Cavani – Likely to be able to adapt to the EPL as he is a reasonable physical specimen. However he is over-priced by PSG due to over-paying for him. Unsure of any real player interest in joining us. Is he still one of the world’s best or has he slipped down a notch? Most likely factor to prevent transfer is PSG’s and his unrealistic expectation with transfer fee and wages respectively.

Lewandowski – Seems top grade and will likely adapt to the EPL due to his physical attributes. However he doesn’t seem surplus to requirements at Bayern and I have not heard of any interest on his behalf, so an unlikely option due to this.

Aubemayeng – Not yet a top proven striker but I feel there is a bit of the “Thierry- convert from decent winger to top striker – Henry’s” about him so would be a very good punt. Wages and transfer fee likely to be reasonable, however recent statements from Dortmund seem to be telling us to do one so this is looking less likely.

Higuain – Seems top class but maybe will not cut it in the EPL, and was considered second to Benzema when at Real so is he truly world class? Recent Napoli chairmen statements will likely make his transfer unlikely.

Benzema – Not without its difficulties but I still feel our best bet. Real seem to be looking for a shiny new toy so he could become surplus and may feel he doesn’t want to play second fiddle. I feel the club willingness and player desire may possibly be there. Players deemed surplus at Real, (and Barca for that matter…Aleeeexiiis :) ), are often still top players but are just victims of the Galactico recycling project. Is a physical specimen so should cut it in the EPL and has excellent link up play to fit with our (well Micky’s and my J ) desire to play with a fluid front 3.

Here is the twist……….

Real seem interested in Kos. Now if Kos said to AW no thanks I love it here then stop it right there and then and move forwards based on him staying. But if Kos expresses a slight interest that shows his head may have been slightly turned then maybe AW should say to Real “You only get him if Benzema is part of the deal”.

I love Kos but in my mind there are maybe 2-3 excellent alternatives to him at a reasonable price out there. The top striker position seems to be scarce and hard to fill at present, more so than the CD position IMO. Is it easier to replace Kos than it is to get a top striker in a straight off deal? Maybe this is our best, if not only, chance of getting that top striker in a reasonable deal.

So what do you guys think?

Written by GoonerB


Arsenal Transfer System Solution

June 26, 2015

The diary says Rant Friday, the mind says relax, all is cool and smokey dopey Glasto weekend.

On the transfer front, I suspect the real action will begin once the Copa America ends, and then the endless haggling will rumble on and on and on.

The really good news is that I have a solution.

Let’s look at the evidence. How many of our 1st XI would get in to the current Champions League winning Barcelona side? You guessed it. None. Maybe two if you are being nice and elastic. In other words, out there somewhere is a player better than we have in any one position. So, here’s the plan and like all great ideas, it is very simple.

Allocate your transfer budget. Say £70M (you’d recoup maybe 30 by flogging players with bad hair and so on). Ok, next step, allocation of funds. Don’t need defenders, so one midfielder, and one forward. Tidy so far.

Attackers are better than midfielders, so 40 on the front boy, and 30 on the other fella.

List all players who may be an upgrade. Reus, Draxler, Benzema, Cavani etc

Ditto midfielders. Schneiderlin, Wanyama, Bender, Vidal, Cavalho and so on.

Then take out a sodding great Ad. in SHOOT jobs section:

AFC OFFER £40M + 160k wages to …… (list potential applicants eligible to apply)

AFC OFFER £30M + 120k wages to …… (list potential applicants eligible to apply)

NO OFFERS. NO NEGOTIATION. FIRST COME GETS JOB.

No buggering about over the numbers. In budget. Get two serious upgrades. We’ll make a system to fit later.

Written by mickydidit89

 


The (Curious?) cases of Joel Campbell, Akpom and Sanogo

June 24, 2015

Here are three relatively young players that AW rates highly…

Joel Campbell had an outstanding WC2014 and then had some decent appearances but he was never really outstanding when playing for us or when going out on loan. Clearly, he is a talented player and he is highly viewed by many. The question is – what shall we do with him? Keep him, loan him or sell him?

Akpom has got the pace and a decent eye for goal. AW rates him and he has had a good career with your youth system like Afobe. Again what shall we do with him? Keep him, loan him or sell him?

Then comes the case (maybe the most curious) of Sanogo. A touted French striker that unfortunately suffered a horrific injury early on in his career…He then recovered and joined us on a free…He has again some potential but he is clearly not ready for Arsenal yet…So what shall we do with him? Keep him, loan him or sell him?

Looking forward to your answers

Written by RC78


Keep the Corporal

June 22, 2015

It is my belief that we should be looking to retain the services of one Corporal Carl Jenkinson at THOF for the immediate future and I will state my case as to why.

What would be the reasons to let him go? Firstly some would argue he is not good enough. Others would say that we are well covered in his position and that there is no place for him when we have Bellerin, Debuchy and Chambers who can all play there.

Out of all our British players the corporal is still playing catch up. He doesn’t yet have the experience of being a regular senior international player and is arguably not yet able to put in performances at the highest level on a consistent basis, as you would expect from the likes of Jack, Ramsey, AOC, Gibbs.

That doesn’t mean though that he will not reach this level and, as with many of our youngsters, it is too early to say whether he will cut it at the top level or not. There have been glimpses that he has that level of performance in him. His recent performances at U21 level have seen him looking like one of the best of the young England players participating. The one game though that above others sticks in my mind was his performance against Bayern Munich in our 2-0 away victory. I believe it was Robben and Muller that were changing flanks to have a go at our young rookie, but he managed to keep both of them quiet for more or less the whole game, which is no easy feat. If that kind of performance is in there and can be replicated consistently then we have a player.

What about the competition?

Bellerin is a fine player and would currently get the nod as first choice but I have 2 things in my mind where this is concerned. Firstly it might be nice to have the option of playing Bellerin as a speedy right winger at times with Jenks behind him. Secondly is the dreaded Barca DNA. I would say there is a good chance that we will lose Bellerin to Spain at some point in the future, and also while he is still in his prime, if not at his peak. If Jenks has developed into that consistent top level player the impact will be lessened, rather than facing the situation scrambling around trying to recruit a new top level player who may need to bed in.

Debuchy? Well he is over 30 so has a limited period that he can provide us with top level cover in this role anyway. Debuchy’s ability to cover at CD and possibly even for Le Coq, (according to RC he played there for Lille which I found an interesting option), means for me that we can keep all 3 with Jenks easing into a more regular role as Debuchy fades / moves on. If Jenks is not as likely to get that playing time right now then I would suggest we get another loan season going while making sure we have him secured on a decent contract term. Chambers can also cover the role but my preference would be to develop him as a CD.

Finally, and perhaps the most important of the lot is the home grown quota rules. This consideration really extends beyond Jenks to all our quality young home grown players. The home grown quota rule may start to bite on some top teams as much as FFP. The team with the greatest amount of high quality home grown players could hold a significant advantage in the next few seasons to come, and we are, in my opinion, in one of the strongest (if not the strongest) positions in this sense relative to our top table rivals. For me it is a hands off to the Chavvies and Northern Oilers with Jenks, Jack, Aaron, Kieron, Calum e.t.c

As always over to you guys for your opinions.

Written by GoonerB


Is it Cech Mate against The Pole in Goal?

June 18, 2015

It is with a heavy heart today that I delve into the defensive side of our game. The Goal Keeper.

The blog world is alive with stories of the imminent arrival of Petr Cech for an apparent £14M.

Sz had an absolute stinker against Southampton for sure. Maybe he was hungover from New Year’s celebrations. The game was on January 1st after all.  Who knows. Then, of all times, he chose post match to have a fag in the shower when he was already in the dog house. Got demoted to Cup Keeper, and in came Ospina as No 1.

Thing is Arsene played Szczesny in the final. You can read that as a “thanks and goodbye” or Arsene effectively re-instating him as No1 (it’s not true AW always sticks with the Cup Keeper in the final). Either way you read that choice, a fairly substantial level of forgiveness had to be in the air.

My personal thoughts are that Szczesny still has everything to be a top keeper. He needs to grow up fast. To my mind, there are strong similarities between him and Nic Bendtner in terms of a casual professional attitude, but that is very much my own guesswork. Even top keepers make mistakes, and take away the shocker of the Southampton game, and I think our Pole had a very good season.

Would Cech coming in help, or hinder (he’ll want first team football) our own current keepers, and more importantly, the overall strength of the defence?

written by Micky Didit

 


Is Arsene Wenger building a winning squad for the next 3-4 years‏?

June 17, 2015

Following another season that has been qualified by some as “promising” with a Top 3 finish and another FA Cup win and by others as “disappointing” with less points than last year and an early exit in the CL against Monaco, it seems that there is a sense (at least among the players and some fans) that after many years, Arsenal can be considered as a genuine title contender for next season if we strengthen with 3 players…What I find quite interesting is that our squad is full of talent but that it is also full of talented YOUNG PLAYERS who are entering their best part of their careers so has AW finally laid the foundations for a “winning squad” for the next few years?

List of players under 26:

PiG – 25

Ospina – 26

Bellerin – 20

Chambers – 20

Paulista – 24

Gibbs – 25

Coquelin – 24

Wilshere – 23

Ramsey – 24

Ox – 21

Walcott – 26

Sanchez – 26

Ozil – 26

Wellbeck –   24

You can add also Gnabry and Zelalem –  both under 20 years old…

If we manage to keep this squad and strengthen it with 3/4 quality players this summer (1GK, 1 CB, 1 DM, 1FW) in their prime (between 25 – 33), then I believe that even if the Oligarchs and American billionaires distort the market with crazy bids, we will be competetive and for a while as well…

What do you think?

Written by RC 78


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