Our central midfield conundrum

August 10, 2020

Arteta said he knows where to strengthen the team. We also know that he wants to have more control of the game and more creativity in the middle of the park. So how will he address our midfield’s lack of robustness and creativity? It will be an act that requires fine balance because we also have to make some key decisions regarding our younger players like Willock and ESR for example.

So who is likely to stay this summer?- Xhaka has won Arteta’s trust and Ceba is due to extend his loan so these two are for sure staying. – Willock seems to be seen as a massive talent and Arteta recently had some really positive words about ESR.

Verdict: Xhaka, Ceba, Willock to stay for sure

So who is likely to go out this summer?-

Mkhitaryan is most likely not coming back to us and will be staying at Roma. People say we might do a swap deal with J. Kluivert but I ‘d rather want another player from Roma like Veretout or Pellegrini. –

Guendouzi is a goner, unfortunately. He is a player that I believe will go on to become a very solid central midfielder. I believe he should leave the EPL and join a team in Italy, France (ligue 1), Germany or Spain to further ply his trade. I can seem him in a team like AC Milan for example. He d form a great partnership next to Bennacer and Kessie. –

Ozil has also been frozen out and I think for him, it will take a destination like Barcelona, Bayern Munich (top clubs) or Monaco, L.A (more glittery clubs) to end his story at AFC. We saw some greatness from Ozil but his time is up – Arteta could not be clearer. – Question marks remain around Torreira and ESR…

Verdict: Mkhitaryan, Guendouzi, Ozil to leave for sure and I believe they may be joined by Torreira. Arteta to keep ESR and if he does not get enough playing time by December, he will be loaned out again…

Based on the above, these are our midfielders (before any acquisition) for next year:

DM: CM: Xhaka, Ceba AM: Willock, ESR

Given the above, I am rather certain we will invest in a DM and a CM. We have been pursuing Partey for a long time so hopefully this move materializes but let us keep in mind that Partey is not a DM per say but could be played as a trio in midfield. As we are still looking for a DM, I would say to make a move for Brozovic, Declan Rice, Zakaria, Neves or Zubeldia or Capoue (not ideal) as the likes of Ndidi may be impossible to get. If we do not get Partey, then we could go for Vecino, Veretout or Doucoure.

So, possible central midfield options Partey, Xhaka – Ceba ; Capoue – Willock, ESR OR
Brozovic, Xhaka – Ceba; Zubeldia – Willock, ESR

Any thoughts?

RC78

Note: This post was written before the idea that Willian may be about to join from Chelsea.


Giroud to Start.

November 23, 2016

This may be the most interesting and glamorous game so far this season, with both teams guaranteed entry to the next round attacking football is assured.

PSG are a fantastic team; full of wonderful top quality players, Parisian (which is a very good thing),  a huge following, a fine stadium, playing attacking, intricate, intelligent football. Everything that I love about Arsenal (apart from tradition and geography) is true of PSG. That said, my Gallic friends consider PSG the Chelsea of French football, having come from nowhere and being bankrolled by foreign money

Beat them and we win the group, draw and we  (can) win the group. We have to be favourites despite being outplayed in the away fixture with Ospina winning MotM. Had Cavani played to his normal standard we would have been hammered, but he didn’t and we weren’t.

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How marvellous is it that Aurier has been refused entry to UK? Perhaps they can do the same for Messi, Suarez and Neymar when they next come to Arsenal:-D

Thanks to the quality of our squad we have question marks over the team selection. The media focus is upon who plays CF and whether Ramsey will start. Some Gooners will be hoping for Xhaka to start ahead of Elneny especially after our lacklustre display at the weekend. Given Theo has a “tweak” will Ox start on the right? Will Iwobi return?

What do you think?

My team:

Ospina

Jenkinson    Mustafi    Koscielny     Monreal

Xhaka    Coquelin     Iwobi

Walcott    Giroud      Ozil

I am hoping that Xhaka will try some long distance shots as this is something we have been lacking in recent weeks. Sanchez needs a rest and will be on the bench as supersub, as will Ramsey and Ox.

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If we draw the our performance in Basle becomes more significant, if we win or lose, it doesn’t.  Unlike many I give little credence to the importance of finishing first or second, all the teams in the final 16 are very good.

Off subject, a little, what was going on with Spurs last night? To spend hundreds of millions to achieve the ambition of reaching the CL, why play a weakened team in a vital match? Bizarre but typically Spurs. Perhaps they will go far in the Europa 😀

It will be a cloudy, windy night with some showers, a win will see us Walking in Sunshine .

COYRRG