Filling the blanks and shifting the Arsh somewhere else.

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Morning Grovers!

The topic of today is Andre Arshavin.

Since arriving on the scene he has entertained us with his dazzling skills and his endless quotable newspaper talk. Half comediene, half footballing genius… half misogynist… yes, I did the math and it all works out.

The tough question facing Arsene Wenger this summer is what to do with him. The Russian likes to play centrally, it’s where he plays the best and where he is used to playing. Being the centre of attention is how he likes it to be and he’s made that vocally clear. This isn’t a Hleb or Rosicky situation here, this is a truly world class performer requesting he is moved into the middle. So what does this mean for the team?

Well, the way I see it… it means that we are going to be seeing a lot more 4-5-1 next season. I know, I know… it pains us all. However, for me, I don’t see it as a bad thing. A 4-5-1 with the players we have going forward could be a fantastic set up… if we addressed defensive frailties this summer.

If you look at our squad, we seem to be top heavy with creative midfielders. We have Nasri, Vela, Wilshere, Rambo, Cesc, Arshavin, Rosicky, Walcott, Lansbury, Diaby… there is no way we can accommodate all of them unless we play with a 4-5-1… Arsene has been using it most of this season and watching Barca the other night made me think we could be operating in a similar fashion.We have lots of small technically gifted footballer who keep the ball really well… we’ve now added a goal threat into the mix and we have Rosicky coming back into the fold slowly but surely. We’ve lacked a striker with enough nous to play in that system, but I see no reason why Eduardo couldn’t play in the Eto’o role next season?

Robin Van Persie can play outwide or in the hole… Nik B can play in the tougher more physical games… and we have at least 3 other players who can move up top if they have to.

This is how I see us lining up regularly next year… obviously personnel can be interchanged…


Sagna Blank Gallas Clichy


Walcott   Cesc   Nasri



The only issue I see there is defence. There are two possible blanks in the first team next year.

Firstly, there is no question that we need a great centre back to partner Gallas. Kolo is a bit like that old family pet dog everyone loves… he’s stinking the place out… but we love him… so there is no chance we’re going to black-bag-river-thames him… but we’d be happy to keep him outside, letting him in occasionally to make a gust appearance.

The second more contentious issue is the holding role. I think the long term plan for Song is central defence. He’s done better in the second half of the season, but he’s not top class and he doesn’t really have the pace required to make that position his own… which leaves Denilson.

Denilson has great stats, the 16th best player in the league this year… the 5th best midfielder. If actim are to be believed, he must be doing something right… however, according to the same stats, Berbatov has performed better than Torres by 50 odd places… Ryan Shawcross is a more polished performer than Rio Ferdinand (Maybe he can take Kolo’s place?)… and Dirk Kuyt has done more for his team than Ronaldo. Basically, take the stats with a pinch of salt or a smattering of grey…

Denilson is compact, a good tackler, an ok reader of the game and he’s got a good work engine. Does he live to shield the defence? Probably not… Does he have the physical presence to deal with ‘in your face teams’… not at the moment. Could he become great in the next 3 months? The jury is out…

The fact is, Arsenal need a great centre mid to win the league. Someone who can dominate with technical ability and power. Someone who can compete in the air. Someone the opposition fear… someone on the verge of greatness NOW.

You see, great players don’t need statistics to prove their value. Their skills are there for all to see… if you rely on statistics to justify your existence, chances are you’re probably not that great. Can Denilson make the jump to superstar in 3 months? If not, can Wenger sign a defensive midfielder in the same quality bracket as Arshavin because the fact is, one of those two situations has to occur for us to stand a chance of doing any damage in the title race next year.

Wenger can’t afford to make mistakes this transfer window… players wont hang around forever, their careers are too short to constantly live for next year. Thierry winning the European Cup was probably a bad thing… it proved that their can be life after Arsenal and if we continue to play for plaudits instead of silverwarwe I fear we could see others head in that direction.

I had two e-mails and a few messages from people saying that RvP told numerous people at the end of season dinner he was going to wait until he saw Arsenal’s moves in the transfer window before signing up this year. No one is asking for £40mill signings… we’re just after signings that signal our intent… I’m sure Robin feels the same.

Oh, and that singer I was talking about in my post the other day was Pixie Lott if you were interested!

So, tough decisions lie ahead for Wenger this summer… he’s going to have to kill someone’s career temporarily…  but if he makes the right choice, next season could be a very exciting!

Keep em’ crossed Grovers and make sure you e-mail in if you’re interested in season tickets!

653 Responses to “Filling the blanks and shifting the Arsh somewhere else.”

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  1. Rob Green

    I like the team/formation Geoff

    Henry has to be the only player who has gone onto better things after arsenal and proved there is life after arsenal

    Does anyone think maybe we are over hyping arshavin and hoping he will solve all our problems?

  2. LAzer

    Funny we were just talking about all this at the end of the previous post. Personally I think our best setup is in a 4-2-3-1 not a 4-1-3-2. I wish we could play a genuine 4-4-2 but in all honesty we do not have the wide men that provide sufficient defensive cover, something that is necessary in that system.

  3. gnarleygeorge9

    Great post Pedro, & focusing on winning the premier League is essential.

    Look, I’ve got to say this, but Manchester United won the most prestigious Cup this year, the PL Title. I know it was great for Thierry to win the CL, but it takes 2nd fiddle to The Title. Its a fact, but these other Euro things give the Barcas & Reals, Inters, etc a chance to……well, shine I spose.

    I want the Premier League Title, that is all that really matters, & ratings around the world say that. So Barca enjoy your “little” party, but the real stuff happens “Blighty Side”.

    So yes in answer to your post Pedro, The Arsenal need @ least 3 Big signings.

  4. LAzer

    And I agree Pedro, Arshavin needs to play in the middle as that is where we will get the most out of him. I think if we can find a way of working Arshavin, Eduardo, Cesc, RVP, Rosicky, Nasri, Walcott into one team it could be dynamite. I suppose we could always play THREE defenders 🙂

  5. Big Raddy

    Morning All.

    Geoff, Loved the old family dog analogy for Kolo. So true….


    Berbatov? Do you think he is happy to have left London? OK , he doesn’t have to play at SWL, but at least he got a gig there.

    I think about him because he is what £30m buys today – a bench player. £32m buys you a player who can raise the team to 10th in the Prem. A £20m buys a striker who is not good enough for a team in 10th place and gets loaned out !!

    Oh, and £15m buys a winger who can’t even get a bench spot at a club that finished below Fulham, and level on points with a bankrupt WHU !

    What this shows is what a fantastic buy Arshavin is. But also, how careful AW has to be in summer with his limited budget.

  6. gnarleygeorge9

    Don’t get me wrong, Barcelona are crowned the best side in the world. But we all know that manure are better than that performance. Admit it everyone, they are, but they already peaked, 2 or 3 weeks before

  7. KM frm WALES

    hmmm its ur best post in a long while GEOFF imo.
    The problem is this – RVP has had his best season & banged in a lot of goals & i think wenger believes that Arshavin can play LM (was he bought due to Rosicky’s injuries?). However i want Arshavin to play SS so he can show the form he showed against HOLLAND in the EURO’s (that was truly a 1 man show) Also walcott needs to be given some time as a striker because his natural instincts are not that of a winger. So maybe we should purchase a right winger?

  8. LAzer

    I feel that’s a bit shortsighted GG9. Agreed the title comes above all else in priority but the Champions of Europe are the only ones who have true claim to the best team in the world.

  9. stonroy

    Great post this morning, it makes sense to me. Alas, I am not sure if Willie G will be here next year, I hope so.

  10. gnarleygeorge9


    You are short sighted if you think that the world stops @ Europe. The rest of the world don’t give a shit about the Champions League, thats why ESPN has had the rights for years. No one else gives a fuck about bidding for the TV rights. Whereas the PL is crazy town when the TV rights are up for tender.

  11. KM frm WALES


    i agree that the PL is the strongest league in the world – but Barca have beaten the 3rd best team in the PL & then beat the league winners – so doesn’t that show u something?

  12. Big Raddy


    I think my mate GG9 makes a good point. That was the worst MU performance I can remember, they allowed Barca to retain possession because MU’s passing was so poor. HOw often do you see an MU defender hoof the ball like they did on Weds?

    Plus it is far easier to win a knock-out. Barca were lucky (thank goodness) v the Chavs. 30 less seconds and they were out.

    It is true Barca were great this year, but …. and I write this with pride …. they were not Invincible !

  13. LAzer

    WEnger needs to borrow 35 mill and convince monsieur Ribery to join. Then we can play

    back 4
    Song/Denilson Cesc
    RVP Arshavin Ribery

    what?? Perhaps I could bang them in as well with that setup.

  14. gambon

    I agree 4-5-1 is the future given our players, but i dont think we currently have any striker in our squad that can play up in this formation, bar Ade, who we all want rid of, so I think we will need a striker this summer.

    The whole “killing Denilson, Song” et al argument is stupid, does Wenger really think they wont be vastly better players if they spend the next 3 seasons learning from a top class 28 year old DM in his prime.

    Oh and Vela is a striker, not an attacking MF.

  15. iceman

    It’s such a shame the Invincible team never progressed in Europe….

    They would be talked about in the same breath as people are going on about Barca right now…

  16. Big Raddy

    NO KM, it doesn’t show us anything. We scraped past a very dodgy Roma team.

    Are we the 3rd or 4th best club in Europe. Honestly?

  17. gnarleygeorge9


    Barca are the best team in the world, but I still think that manure had already peaked. After winning against Chelski, they were never going to lose. Manure won the most popular competition in the world. I don’t watch spanish football, coz it is so fuck’n boring, & so is Italian football. I’d rather watch South American football TBH

  18. KM frm WALES


    man utd hammered us because we were a weaker side – our defence was awful & midfield very lightweight. Barca were a different kettle of fish. they’r movement was so good it was unbelievable while man utd were mechanical. Arshavin was right – man utd are machines!

  19. LAzer

    Sorry to burst your bubble buddy but ESPN is the most widely watched sports network the world over. FACT.

  20. Cartman

    Excellent post Pedro!
    I agree we shud play arshavin as second striker! For the formation, it wud be interesting but denilson in the DM role…. i think wenger shud go for a proper DM.

  21. KM frm WALES

    Big Raddy

    u can only beat whats in front of u!

    i would rate us as the 5th/6th best in Europe

  22. LAzer

    Doesn’t matter when you peak or not, its a cup competition and whoever brings it to the final wins. Simple. If I didn’t know better I would think you’re a manc having a moan. Heard of the world cup? That’s the way it goes. Call it unfair, call it whatever you like, to the victor goes the spoils, in that instant they ARE the best team in the world. Simple. Europe is the gold standard of club competition and whoever wins Europe is the best in the world.

  23. gnarleygeorge9

    Whey don’t you Barcelona voyeurs go find another blog, coz i don’t want to cherish their everything. Fuck Barcelona, this is an Arsenal site isn’t it.

  24. gambon

    Winning the CL doesnt make you the best team in Europe or the world.

    Its a cup competition, luck & variance play a much more important role.

  25. LAzer

    Spanish football may be boring to you but they are the best international team in Europe, are we going to argue that one as well now?

  26. Big Raddy


    Sorry but I cannot agree with your assessment of MU. BArca played at the top of their game, and MU at their lowest. That must have been the worst game Giggs has ever played, and it wasn’t just because Xavi/Iniesta are so good.

    Mu were awful tactically. Rooney , who is a fantastic player, was made anonymous by tactical errors by SAF.

    MU hammered us because we had half our defence. Had WG played, things MAY have been different, but that is clutching at straws !

  27. LAzer

    Winning the CL makes you the best club team in Europe. Simple as. I don’t really see how one could argue against that. Yes its luck, yes its the draw and all of that but that’s part and parcel of the cup format. So is the winner of the world cup not the best international team in the world?

  28. Cartman

    ahhhhh, i’m so tired of being first!
    KM, ur crazyyyyyy for hitting the f5 for 10 mins!!! Don’t be disappointed tho coz u’ll never beat me! 😀

  29. Duke

    KM, I am sure Geoff will be glad to hear that his best post was written by Pedro 😀
    You in troooooooooouble 😛

  30. KM frm WALES


    i’m not arguing abt whether the PL/Champions league is more imp. but the fact remains Barca played their normal style while Manyoo were caught between attack & defence after they were behind. Ronaldo was the only guy upfront while Rooney & Park were in no man’s land for the majority of the game. if Ronaldo had scored from one his chances early on then the Mancs would have 10 behind the ball.

    Against Arsenal the mancs went all out attack & they overpowered us in midfield but Barca are like spain who are compact and the whole team moves together while Arsenal were like headless chickens against the Mancs.

  31. Big Raddy

    No Lazer. Winning a Cup doesn’t make you the best. It just makes you the Cup-holders.

    Were Greece the best team in Europe because they won the Euro’s ? Were Denmark?

    Are Italy really the best team in the World because they beat France on Pens?

  32. gambon


    so when liverpool were the 5th best team in England they were also the best team in Europe?

    Isnt that a paradox?

  33. davi

    what’s wrong with djourou at CB? I swear when he plays with gallas hes great
    also, havent we tried arshavin behing the striker a few times already this season – it never seems to work.
    nasri is better there…
    ive only ever seen arshavin play well at left wing

    imo our attack should be (using your system):

    nasri cesc arshavin

    walcott still isnt good enough – hes excellent cover tho, but then so is eboue

  34. E4 Paul

    When we played Man Utd we never had our best defence available. The two players missing from defence could have made a difference and lets not forget at the Grove it was a slip and a free kick that should not have been given that ended our run. Add to the mix a committed forward and someone like Rosicky playing I believe we would have faired better, whereas united had the pick of their whole squad. I’m not saying we would have won but I feel that little things like that and a bit of luck make a difference.

  35. Patrick7

    Good post Pedro.

    Barcelona reminded me of US when we’re firing on all cylinders! This year mostly it hasn’t happened due to Cesc not hitting his form and the midfield not being up to scratch but ManUre couldn’t cope with us when we play…………….

    When you’re looking for players don’t forget to look for their cover in case they’re injured as it’s there we’ve come unstuck so many times!

  36. LAzer

    It’s not about a Barca love fest at all GG9. All I am saying is Barca is a better team then the MAncs. Of course we are all focused on Arsenal otherwise no one would be here but I think it’s a bit naive to deny the reality of today that’s all. I don’t mean to come across as knowing it all and I hope you aren’t offended but I just think it is quite myopic to deny the achievements of Barca and claim the winner of the PL is superior. Like my post earlier I think the league is priority no. 1 and that is the case for every club team but the CL sets the gold standard of the best in Europe imo.

  37. gnarleygeorge9

    Barcelona are a pack of shits who play in an inferior comp. So no wonder they were hyped up for the CL. It was their big chance you say “look @ me look @ me’. Well I say piss off, when does the English Premier League fixture list come out.

  38. gnarleygeorge9

    LAzer, & to anyone who is still blind. it is a big old world outside of Europe, & a good majority of that world watches the English premier League. I have not once said that Barcelona don’t deserve their prize, I just question whether its is all that significant really.

  39. sarge

    Good post Pedro. And there is the pre-season conundrum for Wenger – personal development of individuals over the greater good of the team and increasing chances of success. We need that Arshavin like quality and experience in key areas if we are to mount a serious and sustainable challenge.

    And good point Gambon. I totally agree with you re supposedly killing our young trio in the middle.

  40. Patrick7

    I’m also hoping that JD makes the breakthrough to being a regular 1st team player but we definitely need a top quality holding midfielder and quality CD with leadership skills!!!! (+ a defensive coach.)

  41. KM frm WALES

    i agree with Lazer the champions league is the GOLD standard in club football. thats what every1 remembers the best teams by — The ajax team of the 90’s, the liverpool team of the 80’s, the milan team of 89+90.

    i think our team from last year when we were on fire until march would have given barca a better game because as well as technique we had a faster tempo as well. i remember when we lost to man utd 2-1 last season (when hargreaves scored the freekick) the mancs had 10 men behind the ball & they were on the defensive the whole match & were resorting to long balls. we played man utd off the park and Ronaldo & Rooney admitted that as well but we lost because of our poor concentration & missed chances:) i wish HLEB & Flamin had stayed 🙁 we could have built a gr8 squad hmmmm

  42. LAzer

    Why the hatred against Barca man? I am no Barca fan and felt Chelski got hard done (by the ref) but that’s the way it goes. Credit to them they kept playing till the end with 10 men away from home and came away beating the most physical team in Europe imo. Also credit to them they played with a 35 yr old LB and an aging CB filling it at RB with a DM as a replacement CB yet still won. For me the bottom line is am sure as hell glad our man Henry got a medal and could care less about Barca but it would be unfair to say they did not deserve it because Mancs had already peaked etc..

  43. gnarleygeorge9


    & test cricket is the gold standard of cricket, but most people want 20/20. Get over it mate. The CL comes 2nd to the English Premier League.

  44. SharkeySure

    OPedro – Sterling work fella….very good post.

    BigRad 09.17. Great comments.

    I agree that spending money well is one thing, wasting money is another. One’s pretty damn easy the other isn’t !!

  45. gnarleygeorge9

    I assume you are talking to me about hatred to Barcelona. Where have I mentioned that. Hey Where have I mentioned that. If that the best you can come up with to win your course well………….

  46. E4 Paul

    In terms of ability we are the only team in the premier league than can play the Barca way albeit at a slightly lower level. A few minor tweaks, a bit of extra class in key positions and I think we can really push forward.

  47. KM frm WALES


    the PL is the strongest league but the simple fact is BARCA beat what was in front of them. we cant say ‘if man utd played like they did last week they would have beaten them — sometimes its down to which individual/team handle the pressure/big occasion better. the mancs couldn’t handle it & after the 1st goal they were all over the place for a while making small errors. You have to give credit to Barca who were not overawed by playing the winners of the PL & current holders of the champions league.

  48. nishanth

    Excellent lineup.We could also play arshavin right mid and play walcott or vela upfront.Where does all this leave RVP?I really like him but arshavin is definitely better than him.Wenger should use the squad really wisely

  49. gnarleygeorge9


    Barcelona are the best team in the…… 😳 Europe. But the CL is not as popular as The EPL. Which is all I have tried to say. But you have tried to twist this to suite your love of Barcelona.

  50. LAzer

    20/20 is shit. Its made for plastic fans believing the hype for their 20 min attention spans and then moving on to claim the Banglore bitches are better then the WI from the 80s. Get over that one.

  51. gnarleygeorge9

    LAzer for as long as Arsene Wenger has been @ Arsenal, which for a lot of Arsenal fans is a life time.

  52. KM frm WALES

    agree with Lazer (again 🙂 )barca had 2 players who were not 100% fit (not at their peak 🙂 henry & iniesta ) – what if they were at their peak would they have played better & scored more goals???? its all about what happens on the day – u can’t keep referring to the past.

    TEST CRICKET still is the gold standard whereby the players are judged. 20/20 is becoming more popular but everything changes. e.g. INTER Milan would love to win the Champions League over the league title.

  53. gnarleygeorge9

    This my last point on the matter.

    I hope that The Arsenal wins the English Premier League next season. That is my number one wish. Anything else on top of that is a bonus 🙂

  54. LAzer

    The CL is not as popular as the PL?? What are you talking about? So according to your claim there are more fans worldwide of the teams in the PL (and I will even give you all the teams combined) then all of the CL combined? I really really doubt that.

  55. nishanth

    Agree with u there GG9.I would rather win premier league than UCL but still UCL is the most popular competetion

  56. KM frm WALES


    i prefer BARCA over the mancs anyday – i admit that because they play beautiful football. if u had a chance to see a game would u watch Germany or Brazil????

  57. gnarleygeorge9

    Ofourse inter would love to win it coz they will never have the chance to win the EPL. Beggers can’t be choosers 😆

    Why do you all think that Platini hates England, coz he is jealous.

    & back on to cricket (sorry Geoff), but in a nut shell the only cricket that really matters takes place in 40 days, everything else is irrelevant.

  58. Big Raddy


    Strange that your Captain is already making excuses in anticipation of the drubbing you boys are going to get.

    It is going to be a long few weeks for you, and I am sad that I will not be blogging the rise out of you. Hopefully my fellow LG’ers will give you a bumpy ride.

    I predict an easy 2-0 victory to the 3 Lions with another 2 Tests washed out due to the rubbish UK weather.

  59. KM frm WALES


    the ashes has lost the X factor for me. England are poop. Australia are no longer the power they were. I think as a whole the level of Cricket is not as good as it was 5 years back.

  60. gnarleygeorge9


    I would be disappointed if you & your country men were any less bouyed. Thats why the war is still so intense. But like history will say, we will prevail, whether it be England, England & Wales, Great Britain, UK, or Europe. We will always be The OZ

  61. nishanth

    There is one with veloso linked to us.When is it going to end.Has anyone seen him play enough to pass a judgement on him

  62. gnarleygeorge9


    I know where you are coming from but, some how I think you will get a big something out of this summer, if nothing else, a lot of empty beer cans in you recycle bin

  63. bob

    this would be a great team that would be similar to barca and could win us the title:

    sagna toure/gallas newCB(hangeland??) clichy
    walcott fabregas(c) alonso arshavin
    V persie/eduardo

    what do u people think?

  64. LAzer

    So would you all take Barry for 12 then?

    That would mean he would probably be our only major signing plus maybe an unknown defender we have never heard of who might turn out to be a gem and some more 15 yr old kids.

  65. Pascal Cygan

    morning all…thought provoking post Pedro

    i agree with whoever said here that CL is the gold standard of world football. Barca won deservedly…they are the best in the world.

  66. nishanth

    No even if they finish 4th we won’t meet them.There is seeding for this qualification as well.If fiorentina finish 4 th we could face them

  67. Pascal Cygan

    silly season has truly begun. We’ve been linked with Hangeland, Pobrenyak, Felipe Melo, Lorik Cana ( my shout from 6 months back 🙂 , Simon someone from Italy, Marouane Chamakh, assorted Brazilians, Sebastian Bassong and help, Gareth Barry….

    Tevez needs a new home … anyone has thoughts on him, apart from the fact he will add to the pygmy brigade ?

  68. LAzer

    Yeah I sure hope so KM. I would take him for 8-10 max and that won’t happen so that’s that. Think we can do better as well. Maybe Denilson will be world class in 3 months..:-)

  69. ikon

    top post… hit the nail on head more than once in that one.

    Except one thing. including Rosicky is pretty risky and imho same for dudu. both are/will be back after long long lay offs and it is going to be difficult for both to come straight away and make any difference.

    so that leaves a midfield of Cesc, NAsri, Arshavin, Denilson, Diaby, Walcott. I am not even bracketting Song in there. coz he is not a midfielder by any stretch of imagination as far as i can see.

    Cesc Nasri Arshavin are all good enough to start in every game. Although Arshavin looks more like a player who will have his off days, and is not as consistent as Cesc or even Nasri. Walcott for me is too direct. For the time being I am counting him as to be playing half of game time next season.

    So that leaves with Cesc+Nasri as regular starters in the lineup, with Arshavin playing 2/3 of the games next season (including sub appearances)

    That leaves about 1.9 places in midfield of 5 to be filled by good players. Hopefully one will be an astute summer signing and it has to be as you rightly said comparable to the standard, quality AND experience of Arshavin/Cesc, with added defensive qualities.

    The question is what happens to the rest .9 game time. I feel we need more than one midfielder signing to cover up for all places and that too assuming players stay away from injuries.

    Defense we need at least one center back. If Hangeland isnt interested, ditch him and go for a better one.

    If Ade doesnt show the work ethics of last season in preseason games , seel him without telling him… and buy someone like Benzema (…and not Benzema ’cause he is never going to come here).

  70. LAzer

    Barca is going to replace Henry on the left next season, no way he has a starting spot imo. I believe they will go for a big player. Ibra is more a CF type so can’t really see him put in a shift in a 4-3-3 imo.

  71. goonermichael

    Gnarly if you are still there. Theirry and Barca did the treble so that completely overshadows what the mancs have done this year. That’s why they are so gutted and getting all bitchy

  72. nishanth

    The possible DM options i can think of are
    Yaya toure-No way he is going to leave barca now atleast not this coming season

    De Rossi-He recently said he won’t leave.Even if he decides to leave i am sure the likes of milan,madrid will come to the picture and the price will go around the 30 million mark.

    Toulalan-This is a possibilty.Lyon are struggling and we might be able to buy him.Would cost around 13-16million

    Cana-I haven’t much of him apart from youtube videos.I really don’t know what to make of those nasty tackles he makes.We need someone agressive like him but is he any good?

  73. Arsenal Tom

    LAzer… no not only him but for 12m its a good buy, the ade money plus whatever we really got would mean we can get the CB or 2 we need and probably a CF or winger to.

    cana, alonso, melo, or inler would all probably be about the same price or more

  74. Pascal Cygan

    this is what Arsene will really buy …

    – a sub 10m fringe CM from Ligue 1 or the slavic leagues

    – a sub 10m CB from the same leagues

    – a trade in buy for Ade only if we get 20m for him

  75. nishanth

    barry won’t be a bad signing.He has got premiership experience and is not injury proned.He is english and thus might be allowed to make nasty tackles

  76. ikon

    Cana is a beast, but he will get carded too many times in this league and it is bound to hamper his natural game.

  77. LAzer

    i wish we got Zhirkov KM..have been lobbying for him for a little while now. I think our our team would be very very complete with him and Rosicky playing left mid. We could revert to a proper 4-4-2 then cause Arshavin or Walcott cannot play the right or left midfield roles in a proper 4-4-2.

  78. nishanth

    I have watched a lot of udinise matches this season.Inler is more like a creative player.Good techinical ability and all and great passing and shooting.The defensive side of his game really is not that good.I really hope wenger doesn’t make a move for inler

  79. ikon

    4-1-2-1-1 is the formation for me. If you cannot put upa strong midfield, this is the best formation to pass around the opposition midfield.

    back 4

  80. iceman

    Pascal you might be right…

    But if they turn out to be a Sagna/Eduardo type then nothing wrong with that…

  81. gambon

    Cana would be fine, he gets similar number of yellows to Cesc and 1 red card in 3 seasons.

    He’s agressive but not a retard.

  82. LAzer

    right on pascal. Wenger will do the dirty again this off season. All that will happen is that no one may leave and we might actually win something. Then Wenger will tell us “I told you so” and the smugometer will be off the charts.

  83. Gooner_b11

    sorry guys but right now the penny hasn’t dropped

    (1) i can see your point for for all the central attacking players but we have no wide strikers with know how, and in v.persie….the only player who does have the know how to play wide right of the three (as he does for holland) wenger plays him on his most unproductive side on the left? (left footed players don’t always = left sided players).

    (2) the instructions are wrong! our 4-3-3 is 4-5-1 because wenger asks his wide players to defend beyond the halfway line which just shouldn’t happen. at best they should defend from the front a press the opposition defence when they have the ball. Quite simply in general arsenal don’t press early enough(and that’s got worst since flamini left). for example on wednesday night utd had a corner and barca defended it with no players on the posts and all three strikers up top waiting for the release ball for the counter attack…..can you really see wenger having the gut to do that? lol

    (3) our house is simply built on sand! the combination of KOLO and whoever he’s played with this season hasn’t been good enough! (i know some of you might love him, but the stats speak for themselves…..he panics) we need to remove the athletes and ethos of the sol campbell school of defending (look at portsmouth! same school of defending….it’s true) and get back to having a spine with know how.

    sorry, just don’t think we have personel to play 4-3-3 at the highest level (lol maybe not even 4-4-2), nasri was brought from wide to the centre because he simply wasn’t gowing past people where it hurts on the left hand side, walcotts still learning his trade and playing on the wing is still slightly foreign at times….eduardo playing up top on his own? PLEASE! i love him but he isn’t eto’o, like most poachers he can’t play up top without playing off a big man to take physical demand off him, hence the reason why he’s at his best when partnered by nikki b/ade.

  84. Pascal Cygan

    iceman..agree.. but we all will need to fret for a whole season to see them come good.

    Zhirkov is a good call lazer… only that he’s a creative engine and may end up in our long line of creative midfielders fighting for a place for “now I have the ball now I don’t” Diaby

  85. LAzer

    Good call Tom. I could go with that. I was just drawing a blank when asking myself that question.

    Oh no I forgot we have Diaby as well. I suppose we won’t be needing to buy anyone as it may kill the poor soul.

  86. Cartman

    i don’t know why but i have this feeling that the best players don’t want to play for arsenal!!! just tell me i’m wrong!

  87. Pascal Cygan

    cartman… maybe because they see a club which lacks real ambition. the top class players all want to be remembered in history..

    right now Arsene is managing the club like a modest but profitable business venture. good results year on year but nothing spectacular. he needs to turn good into great..and that takes bold steps

  88. LAzer

    Good post Gooner_b. Although personally I feel our best formation is 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-3-2 depending on the team selection.

    The fact is we have the following players who can play on the wings: Vela, Arshavin, RVP, Walcott

    as a striker: Ade, Eduardo, Vela, Bendtner, Walcott (MAYBE-if Wenger converts him)

    as a second striker: Arshavin, RVP

    Right or left midfield: Nasri, Rosicky, Traore, Ramsey

    Center Mid: Cesc, Ramsey, Nasri

    DM: Denilson, Song

    So agree with you we do not have the squad to play a 4-4-2 as you need a right and left mid that can attack and defend with a good engine and a good cross and we don’t have that.

  89. Arsenal Tom

    pascal… spot on… people must see arsenal as a big club but a club thats gonna win titles and CL’s? im not sure anymore

  90. Pascal Cygan

    cartman… we will always attract good players on the fringe with aspirations for greatness because all said and done we are still one of Europe’s top clubs. a gonzalo higuain e.g he’s good but he’s not made the cut at the highest level yet and wants to prove himself.

    with proven world class players, it’s quite different. will a xavi or iniesta or messi willingly transfer to Arsenal , assuming the money was right ? I doubt.

  91. Pedro

    Cartman, I don’t think that matters… we’re never in for the best players… we’ve had a history under Arsene of going for the nearly players…

    Pires, Paddy, Henry, Freddie… we make stars.

    I’d like that to continue, but without making them from scratch.

  92. Arsenal Tom

    theo is a CF, whos being converted into a winger… hopefully this season was his last out wide

  93. Arsenal Tom

    wenger probably has more pull than the club name to be honest, players wanna play for top top managers and he’s one of them

  94. Abnet

    I dont think wenger will for nearly star players this term he said it him self we will chaleng for epl next term and he cant do it with out the finished article