Vermaelen returns to starting 11 along with Jack | Question: Who is your next captain?

by & filed under News Review.

Good morning good people of Le Grove. Apologies for the late post and the probable short length of this one. I’ve had a manic week and I’ve got a manic day ahead.

I’ll crack straight in with the gloating… Spurs lost in the quarter finals of the Europa League against Swiss team Basle. What made it so fantastical is that the game was an absolute slog. It went to extra time. Then the penalty shoot out ended it. Adebayor missing in quite horrendous fashion.

So Spurs are out of Europe, which means they can focus on the league… but I think they’ll be shattered. Which can only support us for the run in.

The news for Norwich tomorrow is that Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere return to the squad. Jack could find himself starting because Rosicky is out with a tight hamstring. Therein lies the problem with the Czech, give him 5 or 6 games and it destroys his body. You can’t rely on him long term, but he’s been a perfectly placed stop gap whilst Jack has been out.

So the only real conundrum for Arsene centres around whether he lets Walcott loose at the expense of Gervinho. Which, based on form and the general love he has for the Ivorian, would probably be a no. We’ll have a pretty strong bench though.

Norwich will come with a game plan tomorrow. Chris Hughton is a quite a savvy manager. We often struggle against Norwich. They can play football to decent standard and they have a collection  of quite average players who seem to play 20% above their ability. If we play to the level we have been over the last few games, they shouldn’t pose a problem. I just hope Arsene sends out a motivated group of players. We’re heading into muddy waters… we’re on a run. Let’s hope we don’t get complacent.

One player who certainly wont be short of motivation is Thomas Vermaelen. He’ll be slipping back into the starting 11 off the back of a Mertesacker suspension. It’s his first game in a while, so we’re either going to see vintage Thomas or it’s going to be a nightmare. He doesn’t play well with Koscielny at the best of times, I’m not sure how he’ll stack up after a period out.

It’s interesting times for Thomas. Being third choice when you’re the captain is a bad place to be. It almost undermines you to the point where you’d have to think about leaving. It’ll be a real shame to lose him this summer, but realitically, what are the options available to him? Either accept third choice and hand the armband over… or Arsene makes him first choice when he has more solid options.

Wenger really didn’t think this one through… despite statements like the below…

He is a great man and I didn’t make him captain by coincidence. I knew there is something mentally special there. He responds in positive situations and in less positive situations like when you don’t play.

I’m not sure the sign of a great captain is someone who takes getting dropped well? He should never have been give the armband. For me, the man for that job was always going to be Arteta. If the armband does come up for grabs this summer… I’m not sure who will take it. You’d imagine the Spaniards role will get marginalised next season, which rules him out… outside that, I can’t think past Jack. He’s too young though. You can’t give it to the front three… I’m not sure Sagna is going to be here. None of the keepers would merit it… and you certainly don’t buy in a captain.

It’s crazy… there’s no Mr Arsenal outside Jack Wilshere.

Who would you pick?

Catch you in the comments…

339 Responses to “Vermaelen returns to starting 11 along with Jack | Question: Who is your next captain?”

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  1. gambon

    We have literally no good captain options.

    Arteta = Shouldnt really be in the first XI
    Wilshere = Too young maybe, but shoudl he be a guaranteed starter?
    Mertesacker = would be my choice, but again, is he even good enough to lead us to the PL?

  2. Romford Pele

    Morning all,

    Verm is 27, and still an incredibly flawed defender. Kos will always be a million times better for me. The Kos haters still haven’t gotten over the CC final error. Move on.

  3. gambon

    “jack for captain? not yet for me, arteta should wear the armband next year”

    If Arteta is aguaranteed starter next season i dont think we’ll do better than we are right now.

  4. Romford Pele

    I don’t think he should be a starter either Gambon but he’s an able deputy and seems to thrive when he has a runner next to him (Diaby/Ramsey). Hopefully Capoue next term.

  5. gambon


    Kos is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Hes like a GK that dives when he doesnt have to. He makes a slide tackle that looks great but was all down to his silly positioning.

    Norwich at home? sure he’ll look fine, CL final against Bayern……he would make a pathetic error like he always does.

    We make a shocking amount of individual mistakes compared to any other top team, best way to eliminate them is to replace the twats making the mistakes.

  6. A.k.b nemesis

    And if there’s any defender that should be sold,it should be mert.his lack of pace costs us,we can’t play the highline with him.
    Subotic 15m
    alderwiereld 8m
    rami 10m
    jagielka 8m
    albiol 10m
    hummels 25m
    All faster versions of the b.f.g.

  7. Maverick

    Pedro, Question unrelated to Post:
    Does the “Most Popular Post” block on the right hand side ever get updated? Or are people still reading about links nearly 2 years old or older.

  8. Lazy Gooner

    Keep Tommy as Captain but move him into DM as said by many before. With Arteta getting on and jack stepping up it could work on all accounts, more defensive mind set and Jack will feel more confident to play forward more and be creative

  9. Daz

    Wilshere for Ramsey, Walcott for Rosicky if injured & Gervinho out to the left, think Gibbs will get a run v Norwich & play Monreal v Everton


    Sagna, KOS, TV5, Gibbs



  10. A.k.b nemesis

    i’ve said it a lot of times.
    mert-not an epl defender
    kosc-ungoals,mistakes written all over him
    verm-loss of form,rash tackling.

  11. gambon


    In terms of priorities for me:

    – GK and CF are absolutely essential. We currently dont have a good enough player in either position.

    Just these 2 would put us close to where Man City are now.

    – 2 CMs. For me Ramsey, Coquelin, Arteta etc are all squad players, and Diaby is finished, so we need to bring in a 2 man starting CM. Jack and Cazorla should fight for the spot infront.

    – CB who leads the team. This would need to be our no1 centre back, NOT a Djourou replacement.

    – Wide AM. Someone with the same skillset as Nasri/Gotze, a possession player with goals and takes the creative burden off of Cazorla.

    If we just get CF, GK and 2 CMs I think we will have an excellent team, as the right central midfield will help us score more and concede less.

    However if we want to win the PL next year, which should always be our aim, i think we need all 6 players at least.

    Sure it would cost a lot, but as long as we buy youngish we wont need to spend again for about 2 seasons.

    just splash £100m plus what we make from sales, and the increased performance (prize money and gate receipts), mechandise and commercial interest will help pay for it.

  12. Romford Pele


    Have to disagree completely mate. Not only do I think Kos is an accomplished defender – I think he’s miles and away our best one too.

    He and Vermaelen are both very similar in that they dive in to try and nick the ball ahead of the ST. When you’re playing a high line, it’s the best way to go as it’s a great way of using it as a launchpad to start an attack. It’s also an effective way of fluffing out an attack before it gets more dangerous. I can’t deny that it’s a very risky tactic, but most teams that want to play a high line and pressing tactic have defenders like this. Hummels,Vertonghen, Varane, Pepe, Dante, T.Silva are all similar defenders.

    It can obviously backfire if you have strikers that can read the defender and turn them but it doesn’t happen often. I guess it all depends on what you want and the system you’re trying to implement. I prefer defenders who try and anticipate and nick in rather than those who are more reactive.

    Kos has also made mistakes, that I can’t deny – but the likes of T.Silva and Hummels would also make the same errors in this team. We are a very top-heavy attack-minded side which means defenders are often left isolated and one-on-one against opposition attackers. As I said, this could be avoided if we had a great pressing tactic like Dortmund and Munich. A DM would obviously also be a great help too. But it’s no surprise that Kos has been linked with Bayern this past week. He’s exactly a Pep-type defender.

  13. gambon

    This season we will probably concede about 38-40 goals.

    Thats about 10 too many, although goals conceded doesnt tell the whole story as theres no point keeping lots of cleansheets then crumbling (Koscielnying) at vital points.

    However if we buy a GK, CB, 2 CMs and work hard in training, we could certainly get our defence as good as anyones and good enough to win the PL.

  14. Mach III

    I think Vermaelen is a great captain. You can see he was in a state of shock when he heard RVP left. We as fans hate that the club sells our best players, now how do you expect the players to feel about this? They represent the club on the field.

    I have seen since RVP left, Vermaelen hasn’t been himself, being dropped for 3 weeks is no big deal, Koscielny has had time on the bench, Mertesacker has been on the bench on the back of solid performances. Vermaelen must have his turn.

    Making Arteta captain would have been exactly what you saying Wenger shouldn’t do, ie, buy a captain. After his first season at a much higher level than Everton, promote him to captain ahead of Vermaelen (who was an exceptional defender last season, running forward and scoring very important goals, remember this is another factor, that he has been forced to sit back this year and not play how he loves to play going forward with thunderbolt strikes.)

    He is a perfect captain and just needs to get his mindset right, and what mindset is better than leading your club in the last few games to claim a champions league place in a very competitive league.

    I have faith in Vermaelen – the VERMINATOR!!

  15. A.k.b nemesis

    A return to 2010 style would suit us
    cesar 5m
    sub 15m
    fabreg 35m
    jovetic 27m.

  16. TOLI83

    Mertesacker all day long, I could actually imagine it having more of a positive impact on his game compared to others.

    I know Wenger put BFG in charge of collecting fines from players etc, and also he leads defending drills in training (what little we do of it).

    No way give it to Jack.

  17. bc

    I would try and keep sagna with a 2 year deal. This will be the perfect timing for jenkinson to mature and then bellerin to put himself where jenkinson is now. If wecan keep sagna then I believe we have the full back situation sorted for a few years with meade providing a third option on the left side. Its the cb situation that needs sorting where I think we need 4 top cbs plus a couple of up and coming youngsters. Unfortunately djourou doesn’t cut it so if we can replace him with a top cb then squillaci with a right sided youngster to join the left sided miquel we should have enough. Unfortunately angha is leaving whilst hajrovic and boateng have not improved enouvh to be under consideration. There is hayden but I would say his best position is DM and that is where he should play. As for captain for me wenger should select a club captain and a team captain from a host of players on the day. I would simply make the most senior player club captain. So at the moment that would be rosicky. Team captains from sagna mertesacker vermaelen. Arteta podolski wilshire whoever he feels merits it on the day if rosicky isn’t playing.

  18. Dzzz

    I think Koscielny should be given the armband . The man is the only person in the backline who responds in a good way to pressure (Bayern game comes to mind as an instance) Vermaelen is a natural leader , but he lacks the know how to incorporate that into his game as a player. Jack is also a viable option but he is still abit green in the experince department but young captains do sometimes excel ( Adams and Viera come to mind ) so maybe Jack does fit the bill in that respect. All these points into account and given Arteta’s role in the club , as you reasoned , should be marginalized in the years to come, Koscielny is ,imo, the man we should look to inspire by performances and lead by example within the team , on and off the pitch .

  19. Romford Pele

    Don’t disagree too much with the essentials Gambon though i’d have a DM and CF as the main priorities. I’d be tempted to part shit with Le Coq unless he’s happy to be a versatile Flamini-type player.

    GK yes
    AM yes – doesn’t necessarily have to be wide, just has to be able to interchange and link with Santi. Isco would be perfect.
    CB yes but not the highest priority.

  20. Bob N7

    Gambon you’ve nailed it:
    Giroud- plan B not Plan A- new No 1 striker
    Best CB at club to arrive
    Gk say Begovic.
    Arteta becomes back up DM.
    Where I’m not sure about is wide up front, I guess a multi- skilled player with some defensive strength but I also feel we are short of a proper winger in our squad.
    Am reading from the same page though.

  21. Yippee Kai Yay

    The notion that ‘Kos haters’ only reference the cc final. what about the other times?

    That ‘rugby tackle’ against city earlier in the year, have we forgotten that?

    And that is only one of many that spring to mind. He has a poor starting position, can’t read the game and is unsuited to partner either of our other CB’s.

    tbf, CB is never about one player it is about partnerships. Mert is too slow and ponderous to partner anyone, Kos is an accident waiting to happen for each 90mins.

    In fact Verm is probably the best we have as a genuine ‘defender’ but his confidence is shot to pieces and lacks form. He should prob be 3rd choice / 1st backup in current climate. Keep Per as 4th for games against stoke / fat sam managed and other clogger teams.

    Before the start of next season, the club needs to decide and find two cb’s who will play together week in week out and sit one on the left, one on the right, who train together every day and know each others strengths and weaknesses. At least has to have the ability to put his head on 80% of the crosses that come into the box and the other has to have enough pace / reading of the game to cope with fast / skillful strikers.

    Sounds so easy when you put it down on paper. IMO, a decent CB pairing is one of the most under-rated aspects of a team structure, and yet it is so difficult to get right. The downside is that we have been fortunate to have had a few exceptional pairings in recent decades that the benchmark was set high, just not the 5/6 seasons.

  22. gooner87

    We need to sign more Germans

    Benedickt Howedes impresses me and he is a realistic target in terms of price AND club stature.

    People talking about Hummels are delusional. He is at one of the best clubs in Europe and will only leave for one better, ie Barcelona. He wont take a step down to arsenal. The only realistic target at Dortmund is lewandowski because of his contract situation, but then we would only get 2 years from him as he has a track record of leaving clubs.

  23. gooner87

    Kos is a good 4th choice defender, he provides excellent depth

    But you cant have him as undisputed first choice

    He is an own goal, red card and penalty machine

  24. Kemp1886

    Wilshere has a kid now and has matured.He carries us at times with not only his talent,but his desire too.No brainer for me. Don’t fancy Vermaelen and Koscielny against Holt by the way.

  25. Romford Pele


    Yep, the rugby tackle against City left me bemused too. But I can count at least six mistakes that Verm has made this season that has led to goals. And bar his first season, he’s been completely underwhelming. People are blighted by the fact that he has a good goalscoring record and is aggressive.

    Funny you mention starting position, Verm is the main culprit for that. And unlike Kos, he doesn’t have the recovery pace to make up for it.

    Kos and Mert are far and away the best partnership at the club – and i’m not even Mert’s biggest fan. But you ignore Kos’s strengths as I have listed above. And his pace is unreal, it’s near-on impossible to run away from him. And he wouldn’t be a starter for the French national side if he was an “accident waiting to happen”.

  26. gambon

    AKB nemesis


    Maybe Remy Cabella or Antonie Griezmann can develop a la Nasri.

    Alternatively bring in a CAM and Cazorla can be the perfect possession wide player.

    Hamsik obviously.

  27. Romford Pele

    But yes, Verm and Kos are definitely not an ideal partnership – both are a bit head rush. Either need to be paired with Kos, always be Kos for me.

  28. Gregg

    Vermaelen when he first arrived is a completely different player than today. His spring in going for headers made him dominant in the air, at both ends of the pitch. He had far more pace then aswell. He’s injuries, namely achiles injuries have taken those attributes from him. It’s a shame but it’s a fact.

  29. andy1886

    Pedro, Sp*rs have got a bit of a break so I can’t see there being any physical hangovers from last night. Mentally? I’d wonder if the players (not AVB) were really up for Europe anyway, now they only have the league to think about, just like us.

    I’d ease Jack back in gently, starting as sub on Saturday. Wenger has a habit of rushing them back resulting in players getting further (often long term) injuries. Santi must be shattered too based on how many times he’s played. If we score early we will be okay tomorrow, but if Gerv and Giroud have their ‘couldn’t hit a cows arse with a banjo’ boots on then we could struggle…

  30. gambon

    Like Howedes but think hes under long term contract.

    Sakho maybe, as hes not settled, and if we sign a CB we will be selling Vermaelen, theyre both left footed.

    Would Sakho compliment Per?

    Just think we NEED to have a GK and CF done before the season ends.

    Capoue has had an outstanding season, and apparently we tried right before the transfer window closed, so we may go back for him.

    If we get Capoue, Begovic and one of Jovetic, Lewandowski, Cavani, Benteke sorted by May we look to be improving massively.

    LOL…..what am i talking about!

  31. Romford Pele

    Jack definitely shouldn’t be straight back in the side – both him and Theo should both go to the bench. No need to change a winning team. Theo especially has no right being in the team on current form.

  32. Romford Pele

    Griezmann I love, same with Cabella. Both remind me of Hazard – playmakers with great dribbling ability.

  33. gambon

    I think our midfield also is significantly to blame for our defensive issues.

    With a top MF and a top GK we may not even be talking about Vermaelen & Koscielny.

    I love Arteta, Wilshere and Cazorla, but the fact is they are all under 5’8″, none of them love defending, none of them can cover ground quickly (Wilshere has a good burst over 10 yards).

    Wenger needs to make some tough decisions. For me Cazorla & Wilshere cant play in the same central MF.

    I hate Ramsey & Diaby, but the fact is we look much more stable with one of them alongside Arteta, just due to the deeper positioning and workrate.

  34. Mach III

    Everyone on here thinks they are managers. Hahahahahaha.

    Fact is: Wenger is one of the best in the world.

    Top 4 in the best league in the world, even if we not winning it, he is still a better manager than you, or your kids, or anyone that you ever know will ever be!

    LeGrove seems to have turned into this crazed culture of everyone’s ideas of running a club.
    It’s stupid. It’s never going to happen. You don’t have the experience, quality, ethics, know-how, tactics, brains to manage a championship team!

    What ever decision Wenger makes that seems stupid, or ridiculous, there is always something big behind it. Like if he doesn’t play Rosicky and we lose the match, how do you know Rosicky didn’t come to him before the match and say, “Boss, my wife has just gone into hospital and Im not feeling up for the match.”.

    LeGrove comments response to that would be, “How can this manager not field our best midfielder who is fit and ready, he doesn’t know what he is doing!”,

    Now if he played him and he had a terrible match he would get, “Rosicky is a shadow of himself, why is he on the pitch? We have better options, we should have brought in Shweinsteiger for 40 million.”

    This criticism of every decision is a little crazy.

  35. Romford Pele

    Gambon – best comment of the day thus far.

    If the midfield is addressed and is cohesive and fluid, everything else will fall into place.

  36. gambon

    Hazards replacement Dimitri Payet looks good as well, only problem is he loses possession a la Walcott too much.

    Romford, im always positive at the end of the season, as i sense the promise of what may (but wont) happen.

    My main issue with AFC is that I want higher quality players, higher wage ceiling, smaller squad, more marquee players, and serious money spent.

    Nothing negative about that, to me wanting us to compete for the next batch of Matas/Silvas/Toures is massively positive, only AKBs think spending money and wanting to challenge the big spenders is negative.

  37. gooner87


    of course the midfield is to blame for alot of the defensive issues

    Only a madman would go into a season without a DM, instead opting to ‘convert’ an average journeyman who lacks strength and pace into performing that role. The effect is zero shielding for the back 4.

    A DM is the no1 priority. A 26 year old Gilberto Silva would do the trick

  38. Romford Pele

    United are the perfect example of what can be achieved with a functional and organised midfield. IMO, out of City, Chelsea, United and ourselves – United have the least talented bunch, yet they are about to win the league. That pretty much tells you all you need to know.

  39. AJ

    Some criticism towards Per is unfair. So what if he is slow?
    That against West Brom was one of his rare errors. Things like that happen. Their player timed his run really well. Anybody could have been beaten.
    Ferdinand is slow too. He does pretty well for a team that leads the table. We need a system, that’s all.
    Per also needs to learn to use his time on the ball well. He has lots.

  40. Romford Pele

    Can’t say i’ve watched much of Payet mate. But Cabella really impressed me when he played against us in the CL this season. Griezmann and Vela are the main reasons Sociedead may have CL footie next season.

    Has anyone seen Wilfred Bony at Vitesse in Holland? Could end up being a bit of a beast.

  41. Radio Raheem


    That’s a good analysis of Koscielny. He has had a few dodgy moments this season but he is easily our best CB. Also agree we have more pressing needs than at CB. Our defensive record is poor but when compared to others in the league isn’t quite as bad.

  42. gambon

    Have heard about Bony but not seen too much.

    Think buying from Holland is dodgy as the level is so poor, even compared to where it was 5 years ago.

    that said i think Vertonghens in the team of the season this year.

    I do want Strootman, just cos i think he will be Vidal level. He has incredible stats.

  43. andy1886

    Mach III – No he isn’t, he’s a deluded old fool who’s luck has run out.

    For £7m a year he should be winning things. He’s living on past glories, his time has run out…

  44. Romford Pele

    He’s a beast of a striker, very much in the Drogba mould. As you said, it’s hard to know what he’d be like in the EPL because the Eredvisie is poor but I feel he is more Suarez than Kezman.

    Vertonghen is great though, I would’ve loved to sign him. Much more complete player than Vermaelen in every sense of the word.

    Strootman strikes me as your typical box-to-box CM. He has great physique and great energy, would definitely welcome him.

  45. Mach III

    Disagree with the 5 “8 midfield comment.

    If that were the case, then how does Barca do so well?

    Jack is an amazing, sensational, next level, phenomenal tackler of the ball.
    Wrong there.

    Santi is a winger converted to midfield, so it is a new roll to him that he’s learning this season. Arteta is also in a new roll that he is learning this season.

    The team is just beginning to gel. It was always going to be a matter of time to get this cohesiveness.

  46. TOLI83

    Given our injuries why dont we change formation to accomodate this and go for it.

    Arteta & Ramsey – Center Mid

    Cazorla & Gerv – Wingers

    Giroud & Podolski up front.

    Mix it up a bit Arsene, dont be so predictable all the time.

  47. finestcuts

    The needs of the team must take priority over keeping the Captain happy. We have a vice captain in case the captain isn’t selected or is unable to participate.
    I’d make Arteta captain and Jack vice captain.

  48. gambon

    “If that were the case, then how does Barca do so well?”

    Never heard of Segio Busquets?

    Or Yaya Toure before him?

    If you have a whole midfield that cant win the ball in the air you have a serious weakness, simple as that.

    If you have a whole MF that lacks recovery pace you have a serious weakness, simple as that.

    Wilshere, Arteta, Cazorla average 1.5 balls won in the air per game.

    Busquests alone averages 1.6 alone, so counterbalances Iniesta & Xavi.

    Capoue averages 3.4 per game alone, better than our whole 3 man midfield.

    Now do you see?

  49. Romford Pele


    The EPL is miles different to La Liga – there are so many different styles here.

    Your point about cohesivesness is right though, Barca have had the same midfield for years so they’ll know each other inside out. What I will say though is that it’s obvious that Arteta, Jack and Santi just doesn’t work. They are all too similar. And we’ve been beaten enough times this season to know that it just doesn’t work.


    fuck off top 4 expectations bollox,just like the boss Wenger top 4 is like winning a trophy!!

    a couple of wins against the clubs at the bottom and you think we are challenging,fact is we have been beat by all the top English sides.

    As well as Blackburn and Bradford wake up FFS

  51. A.k.b nemesis

    Barca dominates possession which in turn leads to fewer chances for the opponents. They could field an entire team of midgets and still win a game by 6-4.

  52. Atomic

    My starting team for next season is:
    GK Iker Cassillas/Julio Cesar
    RB Sagna
    LB Monreal
    DM Wanyanma
    AM Lil’ Jack
    AM Carzola
    LW Iker Muniain
    St Jovetic
    Lw Antoine Griezmann

  53. Paulo

    It’s true that vermaelen has had his worst season since joint us, maybe he has struggled with the armband. Koscielny and Mertesacker are both very good defenders and how people can berate either of them is beyond me. Mertesacker bar his red card has been an ever constant this season and is hardly responsible for all the problems we have endured as a team, koscielny coming back in the team has coincided with us winning our last games. The answer has always been providing some competition between the players, most of the problems stem from their mental state, not physical ability as when this teams up against it they drag out a performance. Name any team who could start selling and changing players with the regularity that some bloggers call for and we’d be bankrupt, finances are very delicate out there and you only need to see comments made by Mancini about FFP to realise how that will affect everyone!

  54. Dre_ZA

    Couldn’t be arsed about reading all the comments right now, but all I want to say is:

    TV5 should be considered as a DM in my opinion! He likes playing higher up the field, he has some pace, he’s better on defence than Song (don’t shoot me for saying that), he has a good shot when he gets the chance and I reckon we’d see a lot more consistency from him. Arsene loves taking wingers and makes them into strikers, but I think this is his chance to take a defender and push them into a DM role.

    We leave him to rotate with Arteta and bring in another proper defender!

    Buying a defender is probably cheaper than buying a DM (generally speaking)…..or am I wrong?

  55. AJ

    Have we given up on Coquelin?
    By the way did Pedro cover the Martin Angha story? We just sold him to Nuremberg.

  56. Romford Pele


    Coquelin is cool – but he doesn’t stand out as first teamer. He’s a composed and intelligent player, but i’d like someone with a bit more authority to patrol the back four.

  57. Dre_ZA

    Gambon…..why do you “sigh” at the suggestion fo TV5 to DM?
    It is by far a simpler solution to what we have now…..unless you think we should turf him out in the summer?

    Just asking, not fighting 😉

  58. gambon

    Definitely given up on Coquelin.

    Like him, good player, but hes at the stage where he needs to be a first XI player and that will never happen here.

    Can see him having a good career at St Etienne/Lorient/Fulham etc

    For that squad DM role we really need a 19 year old promising player or a 31 year old winding down.

  59. nuudles

    A bit of a stretch, but Casillas for captain next season?

    Arteta shouldnt be, he will be a valuable squad player but we need a proper DM, so I dont see Arteta as a guaranteed starter next season. As things currently stand we have very few guaranteed starters(if fit): Santi, Jack, Giroud (he is only guaranteed because he is our only striker, we should spend and buy another top striker next season).

    A top keeper (Iker – not happening but one can dream, Mignolet, Cesar [will be cheap if QPR go down, still has class, in Pepe’s league imo], Stekelenburg)
    A top DM/box-to-box (Bender, Wanyama, many other good options)
    A top striker (Jovetic, Higuain, etc: go big or go home!)

    Get those + keep Sagna + all our important players (sell AA, Djourou, Squid, Bendtner, all the other permanent loanees ) and we are looking ready for a fight for at least one trophy.

  60. A.k.b nemesis

    Expect arsene to make a suprise sale.we need quality on the bench.
    Szcz martinez
    mertes koscielny
    gibbs jenkinson
    arteta coquelin
    rosick ramsey
    podol oxlade.
    thats a good enough bench for

  61. gambon


    A 27 year old whos played CB (90%) and LB (10%) his entire career, and we move him to DM?

    When there are some excellent DMs like Capoue, Gonalons, Gustavo available?

    Makes no sense.

    If my car starts playing up I dont decide to use it as a dining table.

  62. TOLI83

    Dre_ZAApril 12, 2013 10:24:02

    My personal take is that we shouldn’t mess around with his position when he can’t perform in his natural role anyway.

    Moving TV to DM would finish him (confidence wise) and would ruin our team.

  63. AJ

    Coquelin has been given not many opportunities. Ramsey, an average player with no definite role gets to play over a promising one.

  64. gambon


    For me Arteta can cover the DM and CM roles as a squad player.

    Hes 31 soon so maybe time to assume more of a squad role.

  65. A.k.b nemesis

    Lars Bender
    sven bender
    max gonalons
    etiene capoue
    morgan shneiderlen
    luiz gustavo
    javi garcia

    would all do better than verm at dm.

  66. gambon

    First choice midfield:

    Capoue – Cazorla – Strootman

    Back up players

    Wilshere, Ramsey, Arteta, Rosicky, Yennaris

  67. nuudles

    Gambon, I agree completely. You agree we sorely need a starting 11 DM?

    In Arteta, Rosicky and (lately) Ramsey we have good squad midfielders. In a proper DM + Jack + Santi we will have a good starting midfield.

  68. gambon

    Bit of a shame that the 2 best teams in Europe dont play in the final really.

    Dortmund v Barca final for me.

  69. A.k.b nemesis

    Bayern will upset barca with their pacy wide men on the counter
    ribery 60 v 40 d.alves
    robben 55 v 45 alba.but
    messi 70 v 30 dante,badstuber.

  70. A.k.b nemesis

    Agree on strootman but for my love for jackie,i prefer two dms. go for capoue and shneiderlen(bench)

  71. Max85

    Agree with most of the comments here around the DM spot, though if Wenger does buy it will just be the one.

    Capoue or Strootman would be my picks, can’t choose between them though. Capoue is an excellent battler and doesn’t stop running – perfect foil for our defence. Strootman is more of a box-to-boxer, very dynamic and would bring loads to the team. You know how Ramsey and Diaby often waste the directness of our attacks by slowing the play down? That would never happen with Strootman.

    Love them both, but think Strootman just edges it for me.

  72. Romford Pele

    The only thing that will stop Dortmund in the semis is themselves – they need to be clinical. Gotze as good as he is misses too many chances. Hopefully the fall to Lewandowski or Reus.

  73. Mayank

    lol at Wenger calling Verm ‘mentally special’

    I think we should either make Sagna captain or let it be with Arteta. It’d be a good way to get the best out of Sagna and make him stick around for a bit. Then we can give it to Jack.

    You can’t buy a captain so it’s pointless debating about it.

    A CF(jovetic pls) and a CM/DM like arteta but with muscles and height is imperative. For the rest of the positions we should be on the lookout for deals. I have a feeling Isco may be available cheap if City, Chelsea and PSG keep themselves occupied with signing Cavani and Falcao.

  74. Romford Pele

    AKB – is this the same Robben that was getting outmuscled by Jenkinson? Robben is a choker at the highest level. Hopefully Bayern play Muller over him – much more incisive and much more clinical.

  75. gambon


    I think we may buy 2.

    Fact is we needed a proper DM anyway after letting Song go…..then we also now need a Diaby replacement.

    I would let Denilson, Coquelin and Frimpong go. Pay Diaby off.

    Then sign a DM and CM to play in the first XI

  76. A.k.b nemesis


    then theres ronagoal who will take his chances,

    benzema and higuain are now getting goals again.

  77. TOLI83

    gambonApril 12, 2013 10:35:33
    First choice midfield: Capoue – Cazorla – Strootman

    Would rather have Fellaini than Strootman, both are class but think Fellaini would be great for us.

  78. Romford Pele

    AKB, it will be close for sure. Madrid have the experience and Mourinho but Dortmund are fearless and play a fast tempo game.

    And this may be controversial, but for me Bender-Gundogan > Alonso-Khedira

  79. Bade


    Personally I totally appreciate your relentless efforts to keep this Blog going & to knock a daily post while managing your life & work as well & while doing it totally alone at the moment

    So stop apologising. And the post isn’t that short.

    I hope Geoff will come back at some point to ease the pressure of you a bit

  80. Atomic

    sorry guys the two CBs to complete my team are Koscieny & Ezequeil Garay.
    the complete team therefore is:
    GK Iker Cassillas/Julio Cesar
    RB Sagna
    LB Monreal
    CB Koscieny
    CB Ezequiel Garay
    DM Wanyanma
    AM Lil’ Jack
    AM Carzola
    LW Iker Muniain
    St Jovetic
    Lw Antoine Griezmann

  81. A.k.b nemesis


    Alonso and ronaldo are the best counter attacking outlets in world football
    varane will fare better than pepe against lewandowski.

  82. Max85

    100% agree Gambon, it’s exactly what we need and would strengthen us no end.

    However, I can’t see Wenger buying more than 3 players, especially if he’s spending more than usual on each – I think realistically they will be:

    GK (hopefully Begovic)
    ST (expensive one)

    Hope he surprises us. I think he’s also far too sentimental about Diaby and won’t want to chuck him out while he’s recovering from injury.

    I just hope the business gets done early, there’s absolutely no reason to dither this summer. If new signings get a proper pre-season and get used to their teammates we might for once have a decent start to a season.


    I was cheering for Spurs,another 2 games they will be dead on their feet.Cannot remember seeing a team so knackered.

  84. Romford Pele


    You’re definitely underestimating Dortmund’s ability here. Lewandowski ran Madrid ragged in the group games.

    And RE Dortmund dominating; their game against Malaga on Tuesday was the only time they’ve had above 50% possession in the CL this season. They are more counter-attacking than Madrid are.

    I’m not saying Dortmund will categorically win – but you’re going on like this is a foregone conclusion.

  85. Mayank

    Also a lot of people saying that Cazorla and Jack can’t play together. I don’t thikn that’s the problem. Rosicky and plays in roughly the same position as Jack but his understanding of the game is much better and hence he doesn’t leave Arteta exposed.

    However, if we’re looking to play the football we are we can’t have two DMs and certainly not a DM like Arteta who need physical protection. Capoue, Gonalons and Schniederlin will all be able to handle the physical side without sacrificing build-up play.

    I’d say a MF of Capoue – Jack – Cazorla will provide good balance provided Jack learns to read the defensive side of the game better and doesn’t rush into tackles.

    A wide AM would be a much better use of funds than a CM. A CF of course is absolutely the first player we should buy.

  86. Mayank

    “Why look past koscielny for captain…unless he can’t handle it of course”

    He’s not a leader nor is he vocal, I’d go for Sagna or even a green Jack,

  87. Romford Pele


    I think that’s a lot more fluid. But I don’t think we’ll sign an AM in the summer. Using Wenger’s logic, he’ll want Ox to have more game time next season.

  88. Inter YourGran

    Afternoon All,

    Gambon, you’ve had your weetabix today son 😆 how the devil are you?

    Next captain is a tricky one for me. I agree Jack is too young, but the only real Mr. Arsenal. Sagna probably won’t stay and isn’t captain material. Mertesaker isn’t an automatic 1st choice for me and if we expect to do anything next season Arteta will be a bit part player.

    I agree wit Gambon on the selling coquelin, frimpong, denilson and writing diaby off. Bringing in Capoue & Strootman would be immense. But, Wilshere is the great white hope and won’t sit on the bench, we all know that.

    We also do need a player that can play outwide and link play inside when teams park the bus as already stated. Therefore, I half expect Cazorla to move out wide next season as i can’t see us prizing goetze or reus away from Dortmund and will probably persist with gervinho and podolski.

    If we’re going to spend money on players i’d go;

    1 x Begovic/Casillas (GK)

    1 x Sakho/Subotic/N’Kolou/Tasci (CB)

    (both) Capoue & Strootman (CM)

    Jovetic (ST)

    With an ideal team of;


    Sagna——-CB———– CB——–Monreal




    bench from; Szczesney, Jenkinson, Gibbs, CB, CB, Ramsey, Yennaris, Arteta, Gervinho, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Giroud

  89. gambon

    Inter, always good on a friday!

    Love the team, although it would require Wilshere to really step up, which i can see happening in the next year or 2.