I have been thinking about age. Not mine –  the team, and in particular, the defence.

It seems that, at last, we have found a central defence which works – Koscatis or Sokrielny. 63 (almost 64)  years between them. In other words a short shelf life, or is it?

If a CB loses his pace and agility is it so important? BFG was magnificent at 32 and crap at 34 when he retired but then he never had pace or agility. But what of Sol or Kolo or Keown?


We can survive with these two whilst the young Guns of Holding, Mavro and Chambers come up to speeds

I will not write of the younger Mustafi as my fervent wish is that we get shot ASAP.

So the age demographic at CB appears to function but what of the FB’s. It is here that we need major surgery. On the right we have the wonderful, but crocked, Hector, who at 23 y-o. will surely (should he stay) become an Arsenal stalwart.

Lichtsteiner is close to the bus-pass, which leaves … who? AMN is clearly not a full-back. It must be a great disappointment to both Ainsley and Emery that he hasn’t grasped his opportunity, just as Hector did when Debuchy got injured. Will he, Can he? I sincerely hope so. But unless we have a young tiro coming through the youth teams we need to buy.

On the left is an even worse picture with Monreal, 33 and unlikely to maintain his excellent form of the past few years. We don’t know if the Wardrobe (25 y.o) is a full back or a midfielder. Let’s assume Kolasinac can develop the discipline required to augment the defence, though it seems Emery sees him as a vital attacking cog.  So … reinforcements, please.

How could this come to pass? Surely if I can see the imbalance in the age demographic then the experts at AFC can? Which loonie signed Lichsteiner and not a young developing RB?  Are Arsenal going to continue to buy older players for a supposed short term gain? Be honest, as fine a player as PEA is, don’t you think he saw his best days at BD? We needed a rock at the back and signed a Sokratis with at most 3 seasons in him – actually, this one I can accept because we have fine young CB’s coming through.

Reading this through it strikes me that this is an Old Man’s gripe. Poorly thought through and without purpose – but it is raining hard and I have to go to Sweden for a tooth implant – you can allow me to be grumpy!

written by Big Raddy


34 Responses to Kostatis

  1. chas says:

    Apparently Papa has said he wants to play in the US or Asia when his contract expires in 2021.
    Two more seasons from him would be great.

    Kos looks almost stronger after getting over his Achilles problem. Maybe there’s more life in the old dog than we might think. He can certainly play half a season’s games.

    Nacho still has a season in him.

    Mav hasn’t been training so has maybe had a setback. We really need him to have an injury free spell as it’s almost as if we don’t know what we’ve bought.

    One thing’s for certain if we buy someone, they must be good on the floor if we’re to continue with the playing out from the back shite.

    Soz, I’m moaning and my teeth are fine (touch wood).

    Good luck with the implant.

  2. GunnerN5 says:

    Raddy, I have not been to a dentist in 36 years, I know that sounds crazy but I have no wish for someone to go mining in my mouth.

    However you are on the right track – we should implant a new defense, as our current old cruncher’s are beyond repair, we should retain only Sokratis and Bellerin

  3. RC78 says:

    I think for the Central Defense, age is not necessarily a impediment to performance…Look at Bonucci, Godin, Ramos, Pique but also also look at Varane, Laporte, Stones, Lenglet…I think the importance for a club is to get a Central Defense that is composed of players that complement each other.

    1. You need one with fantastic game reading, ability to cut/incercept passes, order the back line, strong in the air
    2. You need one with pace, a good ability to bring the ball forward if needed, a good passing range but still should be able to be strong on the man and really a knack for keeping up with players…

    In our case, I feel that Kos-Sok are very similar players so at the moment, it is working well but when we had Sok-Holding, was it better?

    We need to invest in a top CB and we need to send Mavropanos and Chambers on loan. A Top CB that will work well with…Holding as he is the future and then our back up is Kos-Sok…I like Bailly, Aldewereid, Akanji, Marquinhos, Koulibaly…but not sure we can afford them except maybe Akanji

    Now Monreal is not a Full-Back for me so we can keep him as a back up CB or we can let him join a club in Spain as he is highly regarded there…I would say to let him go and we would need to invest in a full-back…I like Gaya from Valencia, Guerreiro from Dortmund and some say that Chiswell and Tierney are worth the investment but I am not 100% sure…

    As for right back, I agree that AMN is not a wing-back, right back, full back but he is good when he plays forward up the field as a AMR. That means we need to recruit also at RB as we whould slowly transition Lichtensteiner out…There is Hakimi, Ricardo Pereira, Wan-Bissaka and there are some up and coming players like Lala (strasbourg), Malcuit (Napoli) among others.

    As for Mustafi, I say that we cut our losses and thank him for the good times and the bad times and let him go to another team.

    But this defense still need a good shield in front of them and we need someone in the mould of Gueye, Kante, Allan to allow LT, Guendouzi and maybe other players like Ndombele (Lyon) or Doucoure (Watford) to play to their best…

    So defensively, we are short in both players and talent…Am hoping that Emery and the recruitment team prioritze this area in the summer.

    Leno – Bellerin, BAILLY, Holding, Kolasinac – DOUCOURE, GUEYE, Torreira – ?, Laca, Auba

    LAFONT – PEREIRA, Sok, Kos, GAYA – AMN, Xhaka, Guendouzi – Reisse-N, MITROVIC (Haller?), Iwobi

    We must also keep a hold of Mikhy and then decide what to do with Suarez but I think Ozil will go unless Emery has a total change of heart…

  4. Big Raddy says:

    RC. Fine comment. Had you written it earlier I would have bothered writing the post!!

  5. RC78 says:

    BR…lol…I dropped a comment recently with ideas for a post…I think exactly on recruitment of players I recall…Basically, I was asking who would the bloogers recruit and I gave them more or less 5 names for each position…including RB, LB, CB, Wingers, ST…The question also asked something about how do people rate Zaha? He is supposedly an Arsenal fan

  6. LBG says:

    Thanks Raddy and RC
    Given this debate has resurrected today I want to disagree with some of you two learned contributors.
    I feel Kos and Sokratis are fine for the time being and should, as and when possible be used as teachers in rotation to educate Holding and Mav in the “finer arts” of the CB role to add to their skill levels. ( If this needs back up, I believe we have the raw talent in the Academy. Can elucidate if required).

    I do not believe we need an expensive new centre back.

    On the other hand, I would invest big in two new full backs. Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Leicester’s Ben Chilwell……And quick before they are nabbed by our competitors.

  7. RC78 says:

    LBG – I would also keep Kos and Sok but I also think that Holding is our future so when he is back to full fitness, he needs to play and needs to be paired up with someone strong…

    As for Bissaka and Chilwell, I have not seen them play so much so I cannot vouch for them. I can, however, vouch for:
    – Hakimi, Pereira, Meunier
    – Gaya, Guerreiro

    What do you make of Tierney? Is he that good?

    Once Kos retires, we can bring back Mavropanos…I feel that Mavros needs game time and why not use him as a chip to get Perreira?

  8. RC78 says:

    What is for sure is that:

    A) we lack depth for players on the wings both at full-back and attacking/winger positions;

    B) Emery will need to see how he wants us to play as of next year and that will determine our transfers this summer;

    C) Some players will leave us: Cech, Ramsey and potentially these ones: Jenkinson, Mustafi, Monreal, El Neny, Ozil or Mikhy, Asano

    D) We have some promising young players in Bellerin, Holding, Mavros, Torreira, Guendouzi, AMN, Iwobi, Resiss-Neilsson and also Smithe-Rowe and Nketiah (the latter two could be loaned out)

    E) We will not have so much money to invest so we are going to need to sell well;

    F) Our transfers will depend on whether we quality for the CL or win the EL

    G) Emery will be our coach next year

    H) We still don’t know why Suarez was bought for…

    I) That our squad will have the following players next year (not counting loaned out players) for sure:
    Bellerin, Kos, Sok, Holding, Kola
    LT, Guendouzi, Xhaka
    AMN, Iwobi, Reiss-Nilsson (he ll come back)
    Laca, Auba

  9. LB says:

    BR, that is a very good read and what with the tooth ache and all you have plenty of reason to moan but the Lichsteiner thing is a common gripe that is just wrong.

    “Which loonie signed Lichsteiner and not a young developing RB?”

    Cast your mind back to the beginning of the season when Bellerin was fighting fit and as such there was no reason to assume that he wouldn’t play the best part of the season. Given that, what self respecting young RB would want to sign for the club when his chance of first team football would be slim to nothing, who?

    If the RB was better than Hector then we might as well sell him immediately because he would just run his contract down and leave for free because a player of Bellerin’s talent is not going to waste it on the bench and then we would be back to square one.

    Solution? Buy a very experienced back up to Hector and that is exactly what Lichsteiner is and a very good purchase to boot.

    Some may say we should have brought someone younger than Bellerin, well that wouldn’t have worked because it would have stifled AMN and who expected him to be so wasteful with his opportunity? No one.

    Hope the tooth gets sorted.

  10. RC78 says:

    LB – I see the logic but as we move forward, what would you recommend given Bello’s tendency to get injured? Keep Lichten or get another RB?

  11. LB says:

    Get another RB which I expect us to do at the end of this season but it will be an upgrade on Lichsteiner not Bellerin.

    Further, BR’s post was written from the perspective of saying that Lichsteiner was a bad idea at the beginning of this present season. I obviously don’t agree, I thought it made a great deal of sense.

    It makes a change for someone to see my logic, thanks RC

  12. LBG says:

    Like you unable to comment directly on Tierney from experience. Getting rave reviews down here, and my/our knowledge of Irish/Scottish little “terriers” would suggest at the very least he’d annoy alot of the flouncy wide players we meet in the Premier League!!

  13. fred1266 says:

    I don’t think it makes any sense sending chamber in loan he been loan out so many times getting regular football if after this spell he not ready then just sell him

    Responding to RC78 very long post

  14. fred1266 says:


    Why do we need another DM isn’t Lucas good enough

  15. fred1266 says:

    Zaha is a Manu fan ,I remember him saying that when he played for them I think

  16. fred1266 says:

    WBA as we like to call him in fantasy football, why would we even bother since bellerin is the future?

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Maybe the Licht comment could have used some further thought 😀

    But I have been disappointed with his work this season because he has such a wonderful pedigree. Age withers us all.

  18. chas says:

    How’s the tooth?

  19. chas says:

    The spuds game isn’t worth watching but this might be.
    It’s only advertised as on BBC4 in the UK. Might be a stream somewhere.

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Tooth fine. Wallet less so.

    T20 tonight, no need to watch RM or the Miscreants

  21. chas says:

    Ajax have been excellent so far

  22. chas says:

    Madrid need three

  23. chas says:


  24. chas says:

    three again – great performance

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Seems I missed a good game whilst watching the cricket

  26. RC78 says:

    Fred – LT is great as a CM but he is not the best in the DM position…I think if you put associate him with a real DM, then our midfield gets really solid…then you need one player than can break the lines with both his running and his passing. A player like Luka Modric, De Bruyne, Ndombele, Wijnaldum….

    As for Chambers, I think we extended his deal so we can let him grow a bit more next season on loan and then decide what to do with him

  27. chas says:

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  31. chas says:


  32. fred1266 says:

    Ok RC78 thought 8:01:06 am was supposed to be our DM

  33. fred1266 says:

    Lol I felt that fail quite in Trinidad

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