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

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

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

  1. Uwot? says: will be interesting what the chavs get up to as financial FairPlay to a degree is having an impact on them-not to mention that a £ 500 million re- dev of the dog track is going to burn a huge hole in Romans pocket over the next few years…..

  2. Simple but a brilliant take. Only time can answer this

  3. RC78 says:

    MC – What’s your take on it? Are we on the verge of finally having a top squad that can genuinely target the title year in year out?

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks RC, very good.

    To progress upwards from 3rd and into the further stages of the CL, then we’re really into the territory of the very biggest and wealthiest clubs.

    I certainly believe we have the nucleus in place, and as you rightly point out, due to their ages (and togetherness) something formidable for the future.

    I think we’ll need to be a little more ruthless. I am thinking of how Maureen culled Mata to a rival, then strengthened, if that is required by us to comply with FFP (I have no idea)

    By the way, on the Maureen wanting The Ox stuff, while I detest the man, I think he probably has a great sense of humour and enjoys winding other managers up

  5. RC78 says:

    MDI – I agree with you. We need to add steel and killer instinct to our current group. If you get players like Cech – Garay – Vidal and Meertens, you get quality players that are ready to leave their soul on the pitch and that will also bring fear to the opposition by their skills and attitude…We are not far away…and with the right additions this summer, we are definitely going to be tough to beat…

  6. RC78 says:

    I hate Mourinho but the guy is good at building winning squads


    Nice one 78

    Yes, of course. Thats what Arsene does, builds teams that will protect the clubs future so there is always an eye on tomorrow.

    However, I feel your desire for 4 players to walk straight into the side will not materialise.

    In a way you have answered that part yourself. if you have young potential then you have to be careful not to stunt that potential by bringing in to many guys who will stop them from playing.

    Most people want shiny new toys 78 but I was never like that. When my mum offered me a new Hornby Train set for Christmas I refused and asked for an old sock with a golf ball inside it.

    Best present ever. Went round to my neighbours Jeremys house were he was showing and bragging on his new scalextrics

    He asked what I had got so I told him to bend over and I would show him. I then proceeded to beat him over the head with the socked golf ball and nicked the scalextrics

    We cant and shouldnt play the same transfer games as our richer rivals. Build from within and pull off a few cunning transfers is the way forward.

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    Agree with Transplant
    Well ‘ish 🙂

    I cannot imagine Arsene splashing on a DM to go in ahead of Coquelin. No chance for me.

    A CB, possibly, but again unlikely for me because of Paulista

    GK. Well, he’ll have to be better than Osp and Sz, so that’s a possible.

    Forward. Definitely.

    ie I expect one addition who we’d regard as a definite starter

  9. Ollie Hackney says:

    Possibly akpom, bielik, Hayden who may make the squad as well as Crowley etc

  10. RC78 says:

    In my books, we are already competitive but not “real contenders” with the current squad…

    We definitely need 1 CB and 1DM. For GK and FW, we are more or less ok especially if Gnabry and Akpom become decisive…

    Why 1CB? Because we need someone that can marshall the defense with a big bark…I would really encourage the signing of a player like Garay or Otamendi or ideally Ramos…

    Why 1DM? Because Coquelin has been good but we need someone that can challenge and bring even more steel…A player like Vidal, Bender or Schnederlin can also play as CMs and they have great engines and better passing skills…

    If we get these two additions, we would already be more competitive. The GK and FW additions would be nice add-ons but we can live without them.

    Ospina – Debuchy, GARAY, Kos, Monreal – Ramsey, VIDAL – Ozil – Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez

    PiG – Bellerin, BFG, Paulista, Gibbs – Arteta, Coquelin – Wilshere – Ox, Wellbeck, Cazorla

    + Martinez, Chambers, Flamini, Rosicky, Gnabry, Akpom

    Not too bad…

  11. Premier League Fixtures 2015-16

    8 Sat H West Ham United
    15 Sat A Crystal Palace
    22 Sat H Liverpool
    29 Sat A Newcastle United

    12 Sat H Stoke City
    19 Sat A Chelsea
    26 Sat A Leicester City

    3 Sat H Manchester United
    17 Sat A Watford
    24 Sat H Everton
    31 Sat A Swansea City

    7 Sat H Tottenham Hotspur
    21 Sat A West Bromwich Albion
    28 Sat A Norwich City

    5 Sat H Sunderland
    12 Sat A Aston Villa
    19 Sat H Manchester City
    26 Sat A Southampton
    28 Mon H A.F.C. Bournemouth

    2 Sat H Newcastle United
    12 Tue A Liverpool
    16 Sat A Stoke City
    23 Sat H Chelsea

    2 Tue H Southampton
    6 Sat A A.F.C. Bournemouth
    13 Sat H Leicester City
    27 Sat A Manchester United

    1 Tue H Swansea City
    5 Sat A Tottenham Hotspur
    12 Sat H West Bromwich Albion
    19 Sat A Everton

    2 Sat H Watford
    9 Sat A West Ham United
    16 Sat H Crystal Palace
    23 Sat A Sunderland
    30 Sat H Norwich City

    7 Sat A Manchester City
    15 Sun H Aston Villa


  12. RC78 says:

    We should aim for a minimum of 33 points and ideally 37 points (out of a possible 42 points) by beginning of December…

  13. G’day all,

    RC , you pose a difficult question. Ever since Wenger arrived at Arsenal he’s been “building for the future”.

    Once construction of The Emirates started money became tight and of necessity good players had to be sold, youngsters were brought in and blooded, so “building for the future” returned, a sort of camouflage for the fact that we didn’t have the dosh to compete at the top level.

    Full credit must go to Wenger for getting the club through a difficult period.

    Now that the cash is flowing again, the trophy drought has been brought to an end and maybe we can see the a little light at the end of the tunnel.

    The trouble is that all clubs are looking to sign the two or three players that will enable them to reach “the next level”. In fact, because of the fierce competition, buying those two or three players may only keep the club at the same level. A case of having to run fast to stay in the same position.

  14. The Cockie Monster says:

    Thanks RC.

    If we could have a injury free season then I`d take our squad to win the Emirates Cup, Community Shield, COC, EPL, FA Cup and CL and we could all die happy in Transplants wardrobe !…………but !…..we know that wont happen, so it`s 2/3 Super Quality signings just to make us competitive against our main rivals and then the trophies will probably follow suit !……no big signings and it will be pot luck for COC and FA Cup…..the same as the rest !.

    Love the new fixtures, Peaches !……………….33 games on Saturdays !. 😀

  15. RC78 says:

    NG – you are correct about the fact that our rivals will also strengthen…One club that will do our head in next year is Liverpool as they do not have to play CL fixtures and the other one is Man Utd who will just purchase quite a few top quality players with their 200 Mln kitty…

  16. RC78, United will spend money, lots of it no doubt, but will they create a team? They’ve spent good money since old Red Nose left but have gone seriously backwards.

    Di Maria and Falcao have flopped, Mata hasn’t done a lot, van Judas is on his way out, both in terms of his declining form and physically to Juventus maybe? They’ll huff and puff but I don’t see them doing much better than last season.

    Liverpool are also way of the pace, just look at the players they are going for, not top class by any means. I hope they hang on to Sterling, he’ll disrupt them and drag them back a bit more.

  17. Shard says:

    4 players in their prime? Presumably to be starters. Not going to happen, not required, and probably not desirable.

    I’m really happy with this team and I think it’s the first time in a long while that there are no gaping holes in the squad. Sure, it is always possible to improve, but we have two good GKs who will not be easy to upgrade on. We have a good mix of CBs in terms of both age and ability. We have our fullbacks sorted. We’re full at midfield and even players like Rosicky feel underused, and that is with Wilshere, Ozil, Arteta and Coquelin missing a lot of the season. We have good strikers who again will not be easy to upgrade on and we can expect more from Ox and Walcott.

    What does that mean? Where we upgrade depends on availability of our targets rather than us being desperate. I think we’ll buy 2 players at the most. 2 of GK, Midfielder, Attacker.

  18. RC78 says:

    NG – I would be a bit more cautious about Man Utd and Liverpool…

    Di Maria carried Man Utd early in the season and Mata in mid-season…Falcao just flopped but he will score quote some goals for Chelsea esp. in Champions League…

    If Man Utd manage to:

    – Hold on to De Gea or replace him with Cech
    – Get Otamendi
    – Get Schnederlin
    – Keep Di Maria
    – Groom Depay
    – Get one young promising striker (Aubemayang?)

    they would have a monster squad:

    Cech – Rafael, Jones, Otamendi, Rojo – Carrick, Schnederlin, Herrera – Young, Rooney, Di Maria or Mata

    Add in:
    Valdes – Smalling, Shaw, Valencia, Blind, Fellaini, Pereira, Januzaj, Depay and Aubemayang…


    Liverpool has a very good and deep squad and a sound coach so they will be dangerous since they will only have domestic honors to fight for. I am sure they will trim down their squad and strengthen properly this summer. The basis is very strong already and some players are very good EPL players already like Can, Henderson, Lallana and Coutinho…if they build on the spine, they will be fine. Only question mark is to keep Skrtl…I think that next year, we will also see a lot more from Markovic…

    Mignolet – Can – Henderson – Lallano, Countinho – Markovic

    It is a solid spine

  19. GoonerB says:

    Thanks RC. I feel that we are only a maximum of 3 players from having the best side in the EPL, and that would more or less be regardless of who the others sign (unless one of them gets Ronaldo, Messi and Suarez of course).

    I also agree with the theme of your post that if we do now start to win the big prizes it need not be a a one season wonder because AW has developed a top team where many of the core players have between 5-10 years left of their peak years.

    One other factor that we should consider is that we seem to be about the best placed to meet the new home grown rules, not only in the numbers but also in the quality of our home grown players. I actually don’t think Maureen was doing the AOC thing for a wind-up. I genuinely think they are short of quality home grown players and are casting their eyes around uneasily at how they can meet the requirements. I think Citeh have the same issues.

    Not only are our home grown players in a good abundance but most of them are already international players but still young as well. I wouldn’t sanction selling any rival one of them. I would rather lose out on The Cech deal than let a home grown young player of ours join them. Even corporal Jenks (who I still strongly feel about retaining and feel he will come good) currently on the fringes should not go to any of the other top 6 clubs for me.

    Think about which players have been most influential for England recently and the Arsenal boys feature heavily. Corporal Jenks put in a MOTM performance in an U21 friendly the other day and has been getting great reviews from the hammers fans. I am looking forward to watching him in the U21 Euros from tomorrow.

    How it has gone full circle from AW being ridiculed for not having enough English players to potentially being the chief contributor to England for the foreseeable future.

  20. Here’s a bit of news hot off the press…

    Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote wants to buy Arsenal
    Africa’s richest businessman says he is planning a bid to buy Arsenal.

    Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote believes the building of an oil refinery in his homeland will give him the finance to secure a takeover.

    The 58-year-old, who has an estimated wealth of £11.5bn, says he has supported the Gunners since the 1980s.

    “When we get this refinery on track, I will have enough time and enough resources to pay what they are asking for,” he told BBC Hausa.

    American Stan Kroenke is Arsenal’s majority shareholder, owning 66.64% of the club’s parent company Arsenal Holdings plc.

    Russian-Uzbek Alisher Usmanov owns 29.11% with the remainder of the 62,217 shares held by minority shareholders including former players and the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, who own three.

    Dangote is ranked 67th on the Forbes rich list.

    He had previously been interested in purchasing the 15.9% stake sold to Kroenke for £123m by Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith in April 2011 only to pull out.

    “There were a couple of us who were rushing to buy, and we thought with the prices then, the people who were interested in selling were trying to go for a kill,” Dangote added.

    “We backtracked, because we were very busy doing other things, especially our industrialisation.”

    Dangote believes Arsenal require a different ownership in order to be more successful on the pitch.

    He added: “They are doing well, but they need another strategic direction. They need more direction than the current situation, where they just develop players and sell them.”

    There it is…for what it’s worth. Should it be put alongside news items like “World War two bomber found on the moon” or “London Transport double decker marooned in Antarctica”?

  21. RC78 says:

    Shard – I think we need 2 for sure: CB and DM. The rest will be welcome but not so necessary given our current squad

  22. Eddie says:

    thanks for the post RC78

    I’d say there will be no major squad changes next season. This team is good (excellent at times), jelled together nicely, strong bench, why upset the apple cart?

    I’d be very surprised if Wenger buys more than 1 good player for the starting XI and one to warm the bench. But no more than that

  23. Big Raddy says:

    RC. Fine post.

    Yes, we are building for the future.

    Interesting how young the squad is, especially the important players. We are set fair for the future.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    No way do we need another CB this summer. Kos has at least 4 years more, BFG 2 years. Chambers and Paulista are the future and hopefully Hayden has a place at AFC.

    DM? Maybe. Will AW stump up €30m for a world class player or rely on the excellent Le Coq with Flamini and Arteta as back-up?

    Or will he do what I would love to see which is a midfield 3 of Ox, JW and Ramsey with JW playing the role he does for England.

  25. RC78 says:

    So it seems that there is quite a sense of optimism about our team’s current potential to shine, which is nice 🙂 I am really hoping that Ox is going to have an injury-free season next year because he is an outstanding player when in form

  26. Shard says:


    I don’t agree about a CB. You’re probably expressing doubts about Per and his lack of foot speed, but I don’t think we’re going to see much value in replacing him with someone who is likely to be very expensive, and would need time to adjust into the squad and style of play. With Gabriel there and Chambers as the other Per type player, I think we’re well set with the ability to rotate according to form, fitness and tactics.

    DM I feel depends on how we see Arteta (if he’s even staying, there’s been no announcement) If he really does have something to contribute, and especially with Flamini staying there, I think us buying a DM isn’t a NEED. Coquelin is only getting better as well. So unless Arteta and Flamini are leaving I don’t see us spending big money here. But yes, I think it is a spot we can upgrade perhaps more easily than we can at any other position due to availability of options.

  27. Shard says:

    Agree about the Ox. He could be our, non- cheaty/divey/obnoxious version of Hazard.

  28. chas says:

    Cheers, RC78, we have a pretty fine crop of players moving into their prime years.

    I agree with NG about not knowing how the other top teams will improve their squads. Let’s hope our players have enough experience of playing together to kick on from here.

    Perhaps there’s another post in how many players play for our main rivals who are past their best and will need replacing or start to become injury prone.

  29. chas says:

  30. Big Raddy says:

    I see Ox more as a midfield Rooney. Small, very strong, determined and a winner

  31. Big Raddy says:

    chas 8.02. Superb

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Jack ha ha ha

    “£40k, piffle, up yours FA, that’s pocket money to me”

    Bit like me parking in one of the disabled spots outside Ian’s Hair. Really pisses me off, and as I said to the traffic warden (who hates me)
    “You’re here in this town one day a week and we know which day that is. I park here all the time when you’re not looking, so give me the twenty quid fine you drip, and see if I care”

    I have explained there are only eight parking spaces of which two are disabled. That’s 25% which is not fair.

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Back to business

    So it appears we’re all pretty happy about our squad, and generally reckon Arsene will go for two first teamers max, and I agree.

    I’d be happy with one. Guess where 🙂

  34. GoonerB says:

    BR, I am interested in your wish for a deeper trio of AOC, Jack and Ramsey as I don’t personally see this midfield trio working out. I truly believe that the best sides have to have a holding midfield player patrolling in front of the defence dedicated primarily to that role. AOC, Jack and Ramsey all have natural instincts to get forwards, as they should because that is really the great strength of all 3 ofthem, and I think we would end up all at sea at times with no-one knowing who has the responsibility to cover or secure the defensive base of the team.

    We are an attacking side but I feel having 1 player dedicated to this role frees up the other attackers more. I don’t feel we will be branching too much towards say a Chelsea by having a specific player for this role as I look at the best Barca and Bayern sides over the last few seasons and see that they played also with a more dedicated holding player.

    Where Jack is concerned I think he should play as a deeper midfielder but with a free role to come deep when he wants and get forwards when he wants. This means having a more disciplined (position wise) defensive midfield partner and I don’t like it when he has played this deepest role for England.

    Delph and Henderson did cover him well in this recent game and if they continue to do that then it is ok for England but if they don’t it will result in either Jack being hemmed in too deep and squandering his offensive talents or Jack moving forwards with no cover and England getting hit on the break.

    England have hit a purple patch of results but have flattered to deceive with many performances and I still don’t feel Woy has the set-up and balance right yet. I could still see the wheels coming off the moment it gets to the business end of things against the better sides.

    The problem for Arsenal (Vs England) is I think both AOC and Ramsey have more to offer going forwards than Delph and Henderson and are less likely to sacrifice their attacking instincts to provide a secure defensive base.

  35. GoonerB says:

    Probably the same position i would go for if we were only to buy one Micky 🙂

  36. Big Raddy says:

    GB Will reply tomorrow

    Really loving the cricket. Fantastic entertainment

  37. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, interesting thoughts RC and everyone else, although I nearly spit my coffee over my iPhone when I read that Liverpool have a sound manager and Mignolet mentioned as part of a solid spine, I think RC you may have had a beer or two by then.

    Anyway, on us the ages are interesting but mire importantly is the type of games many of the squad have been involved in, winner takes all battles in the biggest games.

    FGG made a point last season about our fixture list having many runs of clear weeks then 3/4 big games on the bounce, this coming season our fixture list looks quite balanced. Big games spread amongst more winnable games.

    If I was to predict signings my hopes would be Kondogbia and possibly a left sided midfielder, I feel we need cover in midfield so a selection of Coq or Kong works, and then left midfield I feel we are a bit lacking in cover. Obviously an Aguero type would be the icing on the cake, but maybe in Alexis we already have him.

    Also I’m all for a bit ofexperimentation and would quite like to see us line up 3-5-2 when the game calls for it, with Gabriel, BFG and Koz providing a solid middle and Coq going where needed, with the rest just attack focused probably Giroud and Theo up top, midfield 4 of Alexis, Ozil, Santi, Rambo or Jack or Ox…… know more than ever I really don’t want Arsenes job!!!

  38. chas says:

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    Wow, that’s fantastic

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooops, that went wrong. Meant the vinyl record groove

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    ITV or BBC 3 last night were showing England Girls world cup

    I finally understand why girls ( Morning Evonne and Peaches) go to Arsenal. Put it this way, last night I got to watch football, and good it was, and yes you were saying to yourself “go on cameraman, could you zoom in on that for a better look”

    Naturally, I don’t think girls should be allowed into the ems, but I do now get it. They get surrounded by 50+ thousand fellas, watch football for sure, while zooming in on our Ollie.

    Must be the same for the gay gooners really. All squashed up going over the bridge and stuff.

    Before anyone gets excited, England are not lookers, but maybe worth checking out the fixture list for the timings of games featuring your favourite sorts.

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, newsnow done. So, in light of current hot speculation, I feel a poll is needed.

    If I pen the words, is Rasp around and able to do the tricky stuff?

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    That chap has a very nasty dose of crabs (I know – childish and in poor taste!)

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Post sent

    If Rasp is not around to do a poll, it could be just stuck up anyway.
    Having said that, there may be a stonker in the loading bay already.

  45. Big Raddy says:

    200 year anniversary of Waterloo.

    I have read many books on the Big 3 – Wellington, Nelson and Napoleon. Fascinating chaps.

    Would we have beaten the French had the Prussians not arrived in the nick of time?

    If Wellington had lost Britain would be a very different place.

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I will have a little nose around the loading bay

  47. Eddie says:

    micky – I share you resentment of parking spaces reserved for disabled – car parks are chock a block and 20 empty spaces reserved for people that are occupying hospital car parks. And yes, fatsos can legally get a disabled badge.

    Raddy – will you be going to see the ‘battle’ in Belgium? ‘Troops’ from UK are ready for it

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    “If Wellington had lost Britain would be a very different place”
    Mmm, I think Europe may have been, but the Royal Navy still ruled the waves, making invasion of the Island near impossible for the Frenchies

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Good point Eddie. Fatties should be made to park further away from supermarket front doors for obvious reasons.

    Actually, when I was sent on a speed awareness course, I did learn one useful thing, and that was when doing long journeys, and you do the service station stop thing, park furthest away from the door. The ever so slightly longer walk does stretch you out a little and make you feel better.

  50. Eddie says:

    ‘speed awareness course’ :):) I got away in Essex, there was no film in the camara

    Raddy – so do you think Europe would be like if Bonaparte won at Waterloo? Josephine was Polish so I guess we would be ok 🙂 he used to send her notes ‘I am coming over next week, don’t wash Josephine’

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I am noit suggesting Napoleon would have invaded but perhaps the growing civil unrest in GB which culminated in the Peterloo massacre may have been more successful had an utter right wing aristo bastard like Wellington not become PM.

    Still enough of history ….. I would deport anyone who illegally parks in a Disabled Parking spot. Despicable behaviour and another example of the Me Generation’.

    Oh and since when has obesity been a disability? Since Cameron came to power.

    I blame you.

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Nap divorced Josephine because she couldn’t conceive with him , though she did have 2 or 3 illegitimate kids with other wealthy Frenchies before she met Nap.-

    He then married Marie Louise and they had a son, Nap 2.

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    No Big
    The despicable thing about the me generation is how the disabled parking system is abused by people being given badges where clearly they are not needed. I am fighting back for the good guys, and in fact only do it outside Ian’s Hair, but never anywhere else.

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    Nap 2 ha ha ha

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Bless you Eddie. Lookers 🙂

  56. Eddie says:

    raddy – why your dislike of Wellington? I thought he was a tactical genius and a honourable man

  57. I’d a give a long through ball to No 10…

  58. No 5 looks as if she should park further away from the supermarket entrance and get some excercise. Perhaps she’s applied for a disabled parking permit?

  59. Rasp says:

    Morning all ……

    …. New post …….

  60. GoonerB says:

    BR your 8.43. No civil unrest in me old chap.

  61. Sav from Australia says:

    Arthur Wellesley’s story is very much a case of the victors writing the history. I am reading a book about the campaigns of Arthur and his brother Richard Wellesley, governor of Bengal and the campaigns that basically won the Indian subcontinent. Very dense stuff. But the difference between man and myth is clear enough.

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