Bielik, Mavropanos or Mustafi? Which one should stay?

July 26, 2019

Bielik is coming out of his best full season with Charlton and had a very good Euros with Poland.

He is  home-grown and has 2 years remaining on his contract at age 21. He can play CB but was good at DM with Charlton.

Mavropanos hardly played for us.

He is 21 and has 3 years remaining on his contract.

He has shown some glimpses of true defending talent when he played but also had some rash and hairy moments.

He has been injured for a while now and needs to get fit.

We all know about Mustafi. He joined in 2016 and has failed to live up to the expectations we had of a World Cup winner.

Whether we play a back 4 or a back 5, we need at least 5 CBs. Sokratis, Holding and Monreal already make for three. Surely a CB will be brought in to replace Koscielny. There is one spot left, so…  who should it go to? Bielik, Mavro, or should we keep Mustafi?

Have your say and explain your reasoning.

RC78

 

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Shkodran Mustafi – can we trust him?

June 27, 2019

According to Mustafi’s Instagram account he’d like us to believe that, like an eagle, he’s going to use ‘the negative energy of a storm to fly even higher’. It must be hard for a player to know how the fans feel about him, I haven’t seen many articles supporting him staying with Arsenal.

He has been guilty of losing concentration and allowing the defense to be breached on too many occasions to not question whether he should be replaced. His experience as a World Cup winner with Germany is one reason why we should keep him ……….. we don’t have many winners in the squad.

When he joined us in 2014 we went on a great run of unbeaten games, in fact he beat Bacary Sagna’s run of an unbeaten start with 18 games and boasted that we never lost when he played. Sadly that came back to bite him on the behind as he was unable to shore up the defense in the way that we needed.

If his partnership with Koscielny had worked out it would have been perfect for us as he was only 24 when he joined and therefore Koscielny could now be passing him the baton.

 

Luckily we have a couple of young CB’s in Holding and Mavropanos coming through and Sokratis who has impressed but if we can’t find a buyer for Mustafi we’re stuck with him and we don’t have funds available to add another better CB to the squad.

How would you feel if Mustafi was still lining up for us in August?

peachesgooner


A Youth Revolution?

May 19, 2019

So disappointed with the belief seemingly held by Dick, some here on our blog, and so called “knowledgeable commentators” on other sites, that pressure to produce results in the Premier League prevents the Manager from blooding youth regularly.

Instead Suarez, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Micky, Elneny, Jenkinson, Chambers to name a few of the non controversial  ones, labour to make a mark, to make a difference, and rarely achieve. Saka and Amaechi may yet have seats on Arsenal’s extended bench for the Europa Final – but is it enough?

Mavididi playing for Juve

Stephy Mavididi signed for Juve u23s in 2018 and is now on the verge of the first team. Ismael Bennacer’s performances at Empoli have caught the eye of Napoli. Chuba Akpom has won the title in the Greek league. Donyell Malen is a regular in a PSV Eindhoven side that pushed Ajax close for the Dutch title.

Arsenal have one of the most talented set of youngsters in their Academy and U18s that we have ever had. They are the legacy of Liam Brady and now the future under Freddie. But only if they are given a proper window of opportunity. Scouts from all over Europe are ready to snap them up, are visiting each and every game they are involved in. They understand the Arsenal system, the Arsenal family, and they want to succeed big time.

Well, I’m sorry, the Club is doing them a disservice.

Nelson, Smith-Rowe, Nketiah, Willock, Amaechi, John Jules, Pleguezuelo, Medley, Thompson, Saka, Mavrapanos are all worthy of significant game time. This is a serious watershed moment.

We are close to losing potentially top class talent, but at the very least, better quality than many who have gone through the motions this season. Give ’em a (proper) go, Dick, and save the money on bigger gambles you are considering.

LBG


Arsenal need a CB. Really?

January 11, 2019

The scene:

  • we’re in a transfer window
  • Mid-term of a new manager’s first season
  • Lying in 5th (very Kloppy/Peppy for a new boy)
  • GF column ok. GA column not good
  • Transfer budget: outlook bleak
  • Recent poll here showed overwhelming support for a CB in Jan

First up, the bleeding obvious. Real Madrid and Juventus are always looking to strengthen/upgrade. All teams, from Barcelona to Bognor are always two players short. We will never be any different.

The CB? If talk of limited budget and only loan deals is to be believed, where’s the benefit of signing some short-term aged colossus? One of the essential ingredients of a good defence is understanding between the back three/four. I reckon we’re better off with what we have until a sensible budget is available. Also, we may get some top level experience for the promising Mavro and therefore have a clearer understanding of CB requirements for the summer after the return of Holding. We may well need a quality CB, but I don’t believe a stop gap loan is going to make any significant difference this season and I ‘d rather we wait.

Oh, and by the way,  in that poll, I voted (twice) for an attacking midfielder.

Throughout this first half of the season, we’ve been plagued with the repeating pattern of a game of two halves. As I said earlier, our Goals For column is ok, unlike the Goals Against and the temptation for many is to assume that automatically implies the need to strengthen at the back.

BUT, throw in the fact that our defence has been ravaged by injuries, and I come up with another explanation.

Bloggers have mentioned our rope-a-dope sixty odd minutes of containment before invariably only landing the knock-out blows late in the game. This means the defence are under pressure for too long in every game. To be expected when playing the better sides, but we’re subjecting our defence to this every game, and this may explain the high casualty rate.

This brings me back to the Goals For column, which I described as Ok. Of course you can never score enough, however, we lie joint third in this column, but here’s the problem. We don’t score a higher enough percentage of these in the first forty five against the lower calibre sides. We don’t finish ‘em off before oranges. The problem this side has is not how many we score, but when.

In short, the attacking midfielders are not performing.

Unai is clearly still evaluating his largely inherited squad, and I’d expect a cull before significant quality replacements are brought in to compliment HIS ideas and vision.

I’d be ok with no arrivals this window, unless of course, Stan unearths a stash to……nah.

(Apologies. Chaotic thoughts. Rushed)

Written by Mickydidit89