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?”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Bade

    The captain issue


    No. Too young, plus his fitness has been an massive issue, so apointing him as captain will mean he should be regular starter for us next season. Which means overplaying again, which pose a big threat to his career

    People should just accept that as much Jack’s talented, we shouldn’t, under any circumstances, consider him as a starter for next season, if we’re willing to try & rescue his career before he becomes another Diaby

    For me the most important thing is to play Jack next season, without having any over-playing issues & injuries. He still has enough time to be used in the future. Maybe even I’d consider to play him on ease for the next two season, so that his body is totally out of the mess we put him into due to our horrendous management

  2. Bade

    The captain issue


    No. He probably won’t be here anyway, even of he’s staying, he’s not the type of vocal/leading by example

  3. Bade

    The captain issue


    I totally agree with you Pedro

    He should have been our captain, not Vermaelen. Next season (hopefully) we will bring in 2 top midfielders so likely he won’t be a regular as well & hence can’t be the captain. Otherwise he’d be my choice

  4. gambon






    That team could do damage IMO

    Backup team






    Look how much stronger our depth is with the likes of Giroud, Wilshere, Arteta, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Szczesny all in the second XI

  5. Bade

    The captain issue


    The default option. If Arsenal decides to strip Vermaelen off captaincy, then he’s probably the best of a bad lot. He’s vocal on the pitch, He has presence. He’s very calm & intelligent & our best CB as is stands

  6. Inter YourGran

    Agreed, but with the personlle already at our disposal we won’t be moving on, it gives us little room to make additional purchases.


    denilson, coquelin, frimpong, diaby (write off), arshavin, miyaichi, gnarby (loan)

    still leaves us with;

    ramsey, arteta, wilshere, cazorla, rosicky, podolski, gervinho, oxlade-chamerlain, walcott

    we’d have to sacrifice a usual starter (gervinho or podolski) to bring in someone else. I think the main prioties, as you’ve already said, are a goalkeeper of world class quality and a world class centre forward. If we only bring in one central midfielder we would have at least pushed on slightly.

    My only worry is will wenger be ruthless enough to let alot of these high earners go for pittance. Bendtner & chamackh will be hard sells.

  7. Mayank

    Seeing all the teams posted here there are actually a number of ways to sort out our team,

    We could go 2 CMs, CM & DM, DM and AM or even go for 1 top, top guy who can do both CM and DM duties. Someone like Busquets.

    The simple fact is we need at least 3 first team players to come in this season. The positions matter less if they increase the overall quality of our side.

  8. Inter YourGran

    Gambon – love those teams!!! But I’d rather have Jovetic then Lewandowski and Podoslki starting in the first team… Really?

  9. Romford Pele

    Gambon – that first team will seriously struggle with possession. Now that’s not bad if you’re looking to play a counter-attacking game, but I envisage that team having the same problems that were apparent earlier on in the season.

    You yourself admitted that there needs to be a wide AM in the team, so i’m not entirely sure why you’ve backtracked here. It would especially struggle against parked buses.

  10. Romford Pele

    And as has been said, Wilshere is billed as the great hope for Arsenal and England – no way is he going to be second choice, and rightly so IMO.

  11. Bade

    The captain issue


    Now, as much as this isn’t a popular opinion, maybe we should stick with Vermaelen, if he shows his vintage form back

    So the coming games should be a test for him. If he’s gaining his form back, then I’d seriously consider keeping him as the captain

    He has the personality IMO, he just went on a bad form & downward spiral, but he’s better than what he produced in the last season, form & personality wise. He’s the most veteran of all the other options, he loves the club & he’s very passionate on the pitch, but he needs to sort out his form & confidence back. So why not?

    Not to mention, if we bring in a good DM & CM, I expect this to improve us defensively & it will positively affect Vermaelen’s form & confidence

    I’m not saying we should keep him, but we should monitor the situation & then decide. I wouldn’t rule him out yet

  12. Latest football News

    Jack may be very young but to be honest, he doesn’t play like someone who is really young as such. Here is an article on why I think Jack should be the next captain :

    And as for TV, I think he should be sold if we can get 10-15M for him some how. Add some more money to it and get someone. He doesn’t cut it for me and I have never seen him as CD. Could make a good DM anyway.

    Interesting draws in the Champions league. I fancy an all German final.

  13. gambon

    Now in terms of financing it:

    Begovic £12m
    Sakho £12m
    Capoue £12m
    Strootman £15m
    Lewandowski £25m


    We could afford this anyway, however we can sell/.release

    Fabianski (£2m pa)
    Mannone £500k (£1m pa)
    Djourou £3m (£2.5m pa)
    Squillaci (£2.5m pa)
    Santos £2m (£2.5m pa)
    Denilson (£2.5m pa)
    Frimpong (£1m pa)
    Arshavin (£4m pa)
    Bendtner £3m
    Chamakh £1m (£3m pa)

    So thats £9m recouped and £20m in wages.

    That means it would cost £67m

    And in terms of wages

    Begovic £3m
    Sakho £4m
    Capoue £4m
    Strootman £4m
    Lewandowski £6m


    Our wage bill remains the same, and the quality is vastly improved.

    £67m is nothing. As long as we keep the wage bill the same we could spend that right now without a worry.

    When you consider the £30-35m TV increase, the £30m property money coming in, the additional £22m from Emirates, we could spend this £70m and maintain our silly cash balances.

  14. gambon


    Yeah i wouldnt play them 2 wide usually unless at home to easy teams, and i dont agree with a strict first XI like Wenger, Wilshere would still play 30+ games, just would have to fight for his spot.

    Strootman is much better in possession that Wilshere so i dont think we’d struggle.

  15. Bade

    The captain issue

    The surprising & exotic options


    He has the personality for it. No doubt. He captained before so he has the experience. He’s the right age as well. But he’s so out of favour at the club, that I won’t be surprised if he’s offloaded this summer with a nice profit


    The man with the abs. He’s been terrific since joining us. He’s exotic option, the man that can be a total surprise. It looks like he has just the right dose of cheek & audacity in him too, which is required for a captain & Per seems to lack any of it. He’s vocal on the pitch & has the nerve to address officials during games & complain. Plus he’s looking good as well. But he has no experience & he’s still so green, in terms of his Arsenal career & doesn’t seem to have the emotional link with the club just yet.

  16. gambon

    Drop a top CF, Capoue and Begovic into our team right now and we are an 80 point team.

    Go and get a few more top top class players and we can compete for the PL.

  17. Bade

    Rosicky is out with a small injury

    I hope all those who ejaculated over him for scoring that brace will have a more moderated view regarding him now

    He’s the closest we have to Diaby & I wouldn’t keep him in the team unless as a fringe/3rd choice player. But then, who’d on their right minds keep such a player while earning 80k PW?

  18. Bade

    We need to recruit 4 immediate starters at the minimum, in order to be competitive again


    And this is applicable, only if we keep Sagna. Otherwise we need another RB

    Also we might add to that CB & winger, then let Gerv off

  19. Mach III

    @ Romford Pele

    I agree, I don’t think it ticks a long nicely with them 3 in the center, I definitely think there are better options than Arteta, I don’t think he has been sensational in this position this year. He’s trying to be something too much of what he is not.

    @other 2 idiots. top 4 is better than you would be capable of if you had to give up your lives for football and work every day trying your best. You would never be better than Arsene Wenger. So stop being chat room managers!

  20. DaleDaGooner

    Good job Pedro, getting this blog back is necessary, means cutting out the bs by some posters.

    Gambon, I like how you can solve Arsenals’ problem here, someone give this man a suit and red tie, suitcase of money and fascimile, send him to do the buying and wage negotiation.

  21. TitsMcgee

    When asked about a possible £9 million bid for Williams, Wenger stalled before responding: “I cannot stop that (speculation). There is no truth in anything at the moment. We are not at all on the transfer market.”

    –You are never on the transfer market you twat.

  22. Romford Pele


    Another problem with Poldi and Theo outwide is that neither of them are particularly apt at dribbling. Your first team would look a lot better if we had better dribblers wide. It’s gonna sound ridiculous, but Ox and Gervinho would be better for that first team you proposed as 90% of the games we play at home will be against parked buses. They provoke the play a lot more and draw 2/3 players towards them, opening up space for others.

  23. TitsMcgee

    Wenger on AA

    “He is out of contract at the end of the season and then he will decide what to do, but I don’t think he will stay here because he doesn’t play enough,” Wenger said.

    “I must say publicly that I give him credit. He is working absolutely every session with 100% commitment and he is an example to everybody because he has been questioned about his commitment. If you see him every day, you would respect him for his commitment.”

    …so he’s committed but you just don’t play him but play Ramsey and Walcott(who is a terrible crosser) over him.

  24. Bade

    If we want to go skint & bring in the minimum required, we could look like this next season

    Fisrt XI

    Second XI
    Arteta-Ramsey or Le Coq-Jack

    Don’t forget we still have few youngster who can also fight for their place in the 2nd XI, such as Eisfeld & Gnabry

  25. zeus

    Wenger just said arshavin is out when his contract ends this summer. So those expecting money to come on from a possible sale can re-do their calculations.

  26. TitsMcgee

    You always know when somebody has their panties in a bunch when they start saying things like “oh do you think you could do better in such and such’s position?”

    Childish,back-in-the-corner response.

    So that means you don’t criticize the PM when he does shiite?


  27. DaleDaGooner

    Crazy to start talking up Jack Wilshere as captain, where would he be in a team like Yoonited or Barca? TV and Arteta as it stands and as for next season, a club captain has to be that, club captain, yes TV has form issues, but lets not write him off yet, other than status quo, Mertesacker it is. Jack should concentrate on getting fit and be a jr member of the squad, too much hype around him, he’s even not playing the way he started out.

  28. gambon


    yes ive said numerous times that it should be a case of Theo OR Lukas not both of them.

    I rate both equally, actually Podolski is superior but not by a huge margin.

    Anyway CF, tall DM and GK are the first 3 that need to happen.

    If Wenger wants to prove he is still the man for the job he needs these 3 sorted before the season ends.

    Once thats done we can start to think about refining the team with a proper wide player, a Diaby replacement and maybe a CB.

  29. Mayank


    There’s no way Jack is sitting out of the first team. There are probably 2-3 clubs in the world who would have Jack as a sub. Add the fact that he’s Arsenal’s only youth product apart from Gibbs I see no way that team can happen.

    I’d rather invest the money saved by not buying one of Strootman or Capoue into a top AM who can play wide.

    I’d go


    Sagna — Mert ———— Kos —– Nacho

    ————– Capoue/Gonalons————



    2nd team




    Chamberlain ———————- Podolski


  30. zeus

    …so he’s committed but you just don’t play him but play Ramsey and Walcott(who is a terrible crosser) over

    Jesus. Don’t be silly. Wenger is just doing what any decent manager who likes a guy does. Aa23 has no commitment.

    He’s fat and lazy. That time the board went up and he scurried across to be subbed and it turned out it was him getting hooked showed lots of commitment didn’t it?!

    And that’s only one of MANY incidences. Read arseblogs posts yesterday.

  31. Bade

    Arsene’s comments regarding are just pathetic & hypocrite as those could get

    Well, we get you Arsene. You want to wax Arshavin now so he won’t take out your dirty laundry when he’s off

    You never question his desire, yet he’s out of the squad most of the season when players that contributes nothing are played ahead of him

    My word.

    Give me Arshavin, fat & lazy as he is, over the hapless Gervinho everyday of the week

  32. gambon


    have you never heard of competition for places?

    Jack doesnt do anything especially well. His hype outmatches his ability at this point.

    I think he will make a good AM, but right now hes miles behind Cazorla so he doesnt deserve to play there.

    So you want him as a CM? Well for me we look much stronger with Ramsey than him, purely because Ramsey holds a deeper position and gives us more of a platform.

    Wilsehre and Cazorla doesnt work, they play too high then we lose the ball and there are huge gaps in the middle.

    I care about Arsenals results more than Wilsheres ego.

  33. David

    Responding ‘well’ to being dropped doesn’t mean he was happy about it, it would mean that he’s gotten back up and worked hard to regain his place.

  34. gambon


    isco is a CAM.

    Isco, Jack & Cazorla in the same team may not work.

    Over 38 games Capoue-Arteta-Cazorla would work better than Capoue-Wilshere-Cazorla for me, even though Wilshere has far more than Arteta.

    IMO we need a more defensive set up, but with higher quality attackers from an individual point of view.

  35. Bade

    For Jack’s position I totally agree with you Gambon

    Plus he’s having all those fitness issues we just can’t simply forget & ignore

    Let’s say Jack play so well & merits his starting position. We all know where this will lead to, no?

    I fear for Jack’s long term career, hence I’d place him as 2nd teamer until we’re sure those issues & well 7 truly behind him

  36. TitsMcgee

    He’s fat and lazy.

    …yet he is way more effective at his job than Ramsey or Walcott.

    Maybe if Wenger wasn’t running a country club?

    Just a thought.

  37. Bade

    If you analyse Arsene’s comments on Arshavin, you may think we pay players 70-80k PW to be committed on trainings

    What a load of nonsense …..

  38. Mayank

    “have you never heard of competition for places?”

    I have and so has SAF yet a player like Carrick starts every game for him. You can’t expect a player like Jack to grow until you give him games. Dortmund have had Goetze in the first team for a while now.

    And Regardless I think Ramsey and Arteta will give him enough competition next year.

    “Jack doesnt do anything especially well. His hype outmatches his ability at this point.”

    Partially agree with this but that’s why he needs to be played in the first team. He’s too big to be sent on loan and he won’t get better by sitting on the bench. You’ve got to assess a players ceiling and decide if it’s worth risking a bit to help him acheive that. In Jack’s case it is.

    “So you want him as a CM? Well for me we look much stronger with Ramsey than him, purely because Ramsey holds a deeper position and gives us more of a platform.”

    I think that will be where he ends up. He’s got too much energy for him not to be involved in play. That will pull him to the centre of the park. Also, he can hardly shoot rules him our from the AM position unless he magically gets that ability.

    Again I think Ramsey will be much better next season. I remember when I saw both for the first time, thinking that Ramsey will be the bigger player. So if he ousts Jack from the CM position on merit that’s fine by me.

  39. Radio Raheem

    Jack Wilshere: the foundation upon which Arsenal should be built.

    I don’t get the negativity about him. Cazorla and Wilshere might still need more time to work together but lets not be too hasty in relegating him.

  40. gambon

    “Dortmund have had Goetze in the first team for a while now.”

    Goetze was contributing at the right level from day 1.

  41. Mayank

    “Isco, Jack & Cazorla in the same team may not work.”

    I’d suspect one of Cazorla or Isco will play wide like at Malaga. Might not be Cazorla this time since he’s added more goals to his game with us. Seeing Isco’s performance against Dortmund I’d say he can play wide.

    Hard to call right now.

    For me the priorities are

    CF > DM/CM > GK = AM(wide) > CB

    We_have_to get at least 3 of those.

  42. Mayank

    “Goetze was contributing at the right level from day 1.”

    He sure was but I haven’t seen Dortmund near enough to say he didn’t have deficiencies in his game.

    I don’t think he’s near Cesc’s level and Cesc also had deficiencies in his games which got ironed out by playing in the first team.

    I’d be hard to argue Klopp wouldn’t have continued with Goetze despite his shortcomings given his ceiling.

  43. Johnny5

    Nice short post pedders

    First up how funny is it that the highlight of this season will be last nights game and getting 4th

    Second only option for captain realistically is either jack or merts IMO but possibly kos as a long shot too other than that there’s noone who’s been here long enough, going to be here next season or has any of the attributes to be captain.

    Also why is it were back to doing fantasy football yet again. It’s been done to death we all know our weaknesses and players we need. We do not need a daily dose of it though.

  44. Romford Pele

    Because fantasy football is fun Johnny! It’s fun to see everyone’s team, even though I want to dropkick Gambon everytime I see two DM’s in his team!

  45. Herkules

    We will only sign players to replace players who move on… So by my count thats Arshavin and Squid, right? I dont think anyone elses contract is running down, and no club is interested in permanantly signing anyone else we’ve got.

    So thats two spots…. No sense dreaming about anything more

  46. Johnny5


    It was but I think I’ve seen every variation possible now and its usually the same team pretty much. And gambon we do not need two DM’s you berk our defence isn’t that shit lol.

    And whoever thinks Ramsey is going to be better than jack next year have a fucking word.

  47. Romford Pele


    I don’t think Mayank is saying Ramsey is going to be better than JW – he’s just saying that he’s showing decent signs of improvement. Saying that, people have short memories in football. Most people forget that JW only got his chance because Ramsey broke his leg. Before that, Ramsey was working his way up pretty quickly.

    There used to be a great video of some of the stuff he done pre-injury but it seems to have been taken off YouTube now.

  48. Mayank

    “I want to dropkick Gambon everytime I see two DM’s in his team!”

    I know right?

    We haven’t played that way for years. And no successful team has either for at least the last 3 years. Last I remember is City when they were trying to get 3rd.

  49. Inter YourGran

    i wouldn’t say strootman and capoue are two defensive midfielders though, so you’re proverbially talking bullox.

  50. Mayank


    Yeah, what Romford said.

    I wouldn’t be too surprised if he gave Jack competition next year. He has to sort out his long and short passing consistency though.

  51. Romford Pele

    I can understand Gambon wanting a solid defence and strong midfield, however, I don’t think our midfield is that unbalanced that it requires two enforcers.

    Also, Jack may not have the best injury record currently but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t start when fit. And hopefully Wenger will rotate more after burning out players too often. Anyway, if we sign the required players, burnout won’t be an issue.

  52. Stuart

    Vermaelen to stay as captain IMO, like people have said no other candidates, wilshere too young, arteta wont be a starter next season, merte shouldnt be a starter let alone captain and kos not vocal.

    Think we need 5 players to really take this team to the next level
    GK, CB, DM, AM/WG and CF.
    Keeper who can challenge with szczesny, with fabianski 3rd choice. Dominant CB (samba type) to play alongside verm. Defensive midfielder who is just that….defensive! Attacking midfielder/winger who can take players on. Finally, a world class CF who can properly replace RVP. Lewandowski, jovetic, cavani, falcao, benzema, higuain, villa….i dont care which, just get one.
    Quick list of players i’d ship out: mannone, mertesacker, squillaci, santos, denilson, diaby, arshavin, gervinho, bendtner, chamakh and park

  53. gambon

    Since when have I said 2 DMs you silly mugs?

    Strootman would be my CM choice, he scores more than Wilshere, assists more, passes more, passes better, shoots more, runs more.

    I would have a DM and a top B2B (however one that can tackle high up).

  54. Romford Pele


    Capoue is definitely a DM, Strootman is more box-to-box. Neither of them are able to dictate the tempo of a game so someone will need to play next to them.

  55. gambon

    Also you may not know that Capoue has scored 7 league goals this year.

    He is a huge set piece threat both in the air and picking up loose balls.

  56. gambon


    Wrong on Strootman.

    He is a typical recycler of the ball. Pass pass pass. Think Arteta with much more in his locker.

  57. Romford Pele

    Funny thing is Gambon. Strootman plays in the Eredvisie – a league you lambasted earlier. And he’s proven a lot less than Wilshere so I definitely wouldn’t forsee him as a starter.

    Wilshere is B2B and having Capoue, who is better than Strootman, will enable JW to press and tackle higher up. It can definitely be done. Wilshere’s smart enough to play that role.

  58. Paulinho

    United would probably pay us over £30 million to take Wilshere now.

    They wouldn’t take Ramsey if we were giving him away for free.

  59. Mayank

    Strootman hasn’t played enough at the top level to fairly compare him to Jack.

    Scoring and assisting in the Dutch league is very easy compared to the PL.

    Capoue we should snap up.

  60. gambon


    Agreed, however hes also got 20 odd caps, has captained his country at 23.

    Also, if he was scoring a silly amount of goals fair enough, but his game is all about ridiculous passing & tackling stats, that isnt gonna change if he comes to Arsenal, the pitches are the same size, theres still 11 on the pitch.

    I would imagine his passing would step up a level playing alongside Cazorla/Wilshere etc.

  61. Mayank

    “He is a typical recycler of the ball. Pass pass pass. Think Arteta with much more in his locker.”

    If that is true, and I can’t comment since I’ve seen very little of him we should buy him and not Capoue.

    The way you describe him it seems like he’s like Busquets. That’s exactly what we need right now. And that exactly who Jack should be playing alongside.

    We should buy either Capoue or Strootman. Buying both makes no sense unless you want one to cover for the other.

  62. gambon

    I do like Capoue.

    I was talking about him on hear 3 years ago but in truth he wasnt really good enough then, but he has improved every season.

    His passing got better & better, then he cut his fouls/cards down, now hes added goals and presence upfront to his game.

    He would add a lot to us right now no doubt.

  63. Romford Pele

    Fair enough Gambon, we’ll have to see what happens. Don’t think we’ll agree on this one. I’d be happy with either but I prefer Capoue. Definitely not both of them though.

  64. Nemesis.

    City : barry-yaya-silva
    chelsea: ramires-lampard-mata.
    United: carrick,cleverley.
    What could be

    arsenal: capoue-wilshere-carzola or


  65. gambon

    To be fair the choice between Capoue & Strootman is just a choice between different styles. They dont play the same game.

    Capoue is a defensive protector, plays as a 3rd centre back a lot, always the deepest in midfield, Denilson like passing but a real DM like Gilberto and very good at intercepting in the air.

    Strootman is a complete CM. Tackles high up the pitch, great left foot, is at the centre of everything, short and long passing, but not someone to track a runner and disposses on the edge of the box.

    Capoue would be something we dont have right now, Strootman is a white Yaya, kind of a better Diaby.

  66. @cynorix


    I quite agree with your accessments on the deficiencies in our team. We desperately need a quality GK like Begovic and a quality DM like Capoue to mount a strong challenge for the title.

    Add a quality CF and a quality CM like Gotze

  67. Mayank

    The balance that our team is enjoying right now is because of a passer(Arteta) being paired with a driver(Rosicky) and another passer(Ramsey).

    Capoue is foremost a destroyer a la Song and pairing him with a passer like Strootman will bring us back to last year’s scenario where we depended on RvP’s magic for the majority of our goals.

    What we should do is either pair a destroyer(Capoue) with two drivers(Jack and Cazorla) or we buy a passer(Strootman) and pair him with a passer(Jack) and a driver(Cazorla)

    The reason I’ve put Jack in two categories is because he hasn’t really defined his role yet. He’s young enough to adapt to either role.

  68. London

    Just finished reading the comments, first time in years. I can’t believe how much I agree with.

    I agree with virtually every word that Gambon has written on our midfield.

    Totally agree that we need a tall midfield player who likes defending.

    Absolutely love the lack of fear when discussing Jack.

    “Jack doesn’t do anything especially well. His hype outmatches his ability at this point.
    I think he will make a good AM, but right now he’s miles behind Cazorla so he doesn’t deserve to play there.”

    So refreshing.

    I vary slightly in the fact that I don’t think Wilshere will ever make an AM but I can see him playing next to a tall DM.

    That said I agree that Ramsey is a better choice at the moment.

    Love the team call, the only flaw that I can see is that if Lewandowski came on the market and we made a bid for 25, then someone else, such as PSG etc, would make a bid for 26 and so on, making it almost impossible for us to sign him.

    And that in my view does not show a lack of ambition on behalf of the club, it simply highlights the economic reality.

  69. gambon


    Re: Lewandowski….

    Cavani & Falcao are the big 2 CFs on the market. They will be looked at by the guys with big money.

    PSG? They have one of the best in the game, they arent gonna buy players for the sake of it like people seem to think they do, neither will City.

    City have shown signs that they are running the club more rationally now, theres no reason we cant compete.

    For me Lewandowski, Jovetic, Benteke and one of Higuain or Benzema (if Madrid sign a big name) are all more than possible.

  70. Inter YourGran

    Fabregas would cost more then 30m, plus he just became a dad… Would he come back? I have my doubts..

  71. gambon


    I just wrote a long post that didnt show up.

    Why do you automatically think PSG are gonna make needless signings? Is Zlatan leaving?

    Man City have more money than anyone……Hazard went to Chelsea, RVP went to UTD.

  72. Inter YourGran

    PSG won’t be signing a striker in the summer. Mario Gomez a possibility for a club if Bayern are as keen on Suarez as has been portrayed.

  73. Mayank

    Typical Pedro trying to disrupt the flow of conversation with that time warp thing.

    Doesn’t want the discussion to upstage the original post.


  74. Nemesis.

    6 signings

    cesar 5m,capoue 12m,strootman 11m,fabregas 35m,jovetic 27m


    fabianski free 50k
    mannone 2m 30k
    djourou 4m 50k
    squilaci free 65k
    santos 2m 50k
    diaby free 65k
    denilson 2m 50k
    arshavin free 85k
    rosicky 1m 65k
    gervinho 12m(grab it)65k
    park free 30k
    bendtner 3m 50k
    chamakh free 65k.




    cb:mertes,vermael,koscielny,miquel(he deserves a chance)



    manager: nemesis.

  75. DUIFG

    If you want a monster at dm, look no further then wenyama, bit agricultural though.
    Left field choice but for a very tidy user of the ball in the mid ki for Swansea is a rolls Royce of a player. No fuss, ticks possesion along, got physicality and hight as well.

  76. DUIFG

    Mayank, it’s because he isn’t producing stats. That’s all people care about unfortunately. Le grove analyses the game of football like its a basketball match.

  77. ed atom

    gambonApril 12, 2013 12:55:33
    Since when have I said 2 DMs you silly mugs?Strootman would be my CM choice, he scores more than Wilshere, assists more, passes more, passes better, shoots more, runs more.I would have a DM and a top B2B (however one that can tackle high up).

    There is no one better for the role you describe above than Fellaini, so go on Gambon, I would like to see you find a fault with this first eleven.


    Sagna Per Chellini Monreal

    Fellaini Capoue Strootman

    Sanchez Isco Cazola


  78. gambon

    Ki is a good player, but cant help thinking hes not good enough as first choice DM and too good as a squad player.


    What a pathetic state of affairs when the problem of who do we choose as captain is a matter of picking the best of the average ,my guess is our captain is also our freakin coach.

  80. Mayank

    Funny to see whenever we play fantasy football at least 2 people get the number of players in a team wrong.

    Le Grove staying on top of things as usual.

  81. Inter YourGran

    someone’s obviously hacked his championship manager account and servers. Ed can now play with 12 players 😆

  82. peanuts&monkeys

    @gambonApril 12, 2013 11:34:52

    PODOLSKI??? in Arsenal ImaginoTeam 1? Cant we sell PODOLSKI and get Sterling for that position??? he will be expensive but what a delight to watch!!

  83. Herkules

    Nemesis.. Who would pay Santos 50? Bendtner 50? Chamakh 65? The answer… NOONE. We have been trying to offload them for free and no one will take them..

    I am telling you we can’t bring in more players than we offload, and we arent going to offload more than 2 or 3.

    Lets get real and focus on the near certain departure of AA and Squid. 2 spots. Capoue and a good CF?? That would be a decent Summer

  84. ed atom

    well spotted Romford…….who will you omit from the list. Gambon….that is exactly what we need to do if we are to challenge again.

  85. Inter YourGran

    we wouldn’t pay that in weekly wages, it’s a non starter then. Plus, Begovic is more suited to the prem in my opinion.

  86. Romford Pele

    Why are people moaning about Casillas being 31 – that’s still young for a GK. The dude could play until 40 if we’re honest.

    Edatom – your team is unrealistic. And if i’m honest, you don’t have to spend that much to have a competitive team.

  87. Nemesis.


    i get you. But it’s possible the more decisive we are in signing players in the more time for sales.

  88. ed atom

    Inter YourGranApril 12, 2013 13:58:36
    someone’s obviously hacked his championship manager account and servers. Ed can now play with 12 players

    lol…..Inter, that was clearly an oversight, but the way things are going, I won’t be surprised if sooner or later the guardians of the game allow eleven outfield players.

  89. ed atom

    Romford…..if we had Usmanov on board, this is what our team could look like. We have never won the champions league before, and I believe that is exactly what we need if we were to challenge on all fronts.

  90. Romford Pele

    I don’t agree EdAtom. Dortmund haven’t spent a bomb, yet are challenging. Even look at Munich – their team is supplemented with a few WC individuals but they have a lot a lot of homegrown players. Good management/leadership and a few top individuals will elevate us to that level. You don’t need a whole new team Lay off the Football Manager.

  91. Herkules

    Nem – i do think that a fair number of the bad contracts expire next Summer, so hopefully the big boys at the club will take the bullet and just swallow next year’s wages to open up more spots this cycle.

    But let’s be honest… That doesn’t happen often, at any club. And no club has unlimited spots… We must have more players on payroll than all but a handful of clubs in the world!

  92. Inter YourGran

    I’m not moaning about Casillas being 31. He could play until he was 40 and he’s been playing 1st team football since 17 and won everything. It’s not a question of quality per say. I’m just saying for the outlay required and the sums we have to play with (we’re still a kronke/arsene arsenal, remember), do/can we want to spend that sort of money on a goalkeeper?

    Personally it’s a move more likely to keep szczesney in check being a no.2 as opposed to Begovic but i’m not in the habit of molly coddling spoilt children.

  93. Inter YourGran

    ed atom – Football will go all ice hockey and allow the keeper to leave the field in a roll on substitute move that allows for last minute corner kick shocks.

    is it possible for a manager to sub off the goalkeeper for an outfield player?

  94. ed atom

    Romford – The Dortmund and Bayern examples are good ones if you are prepared to wait and suffer another 5 yrs of project yoof experiment which does not come with any guarantee of success.

  95. Dev_Gooner

    Lot a great teams out there all merit their own strengths and weaknesses.

    However I do believe that we dont want to ruin the squad harmony. Unless we ship out majority of the dross, which we can, (but lets be honest, this is is Arsene and his babies we’re talking about), I wouldnt do much chopping and changing this summer. I’d like to keep the same team more or less with a view to strengthen even further in January should we need to.

    I tried this in Football manager and it worked to an extent.

    My team would be. (format is 1st choice / reserve choice. Back up)

    GK: Cesar (£5m) / Chezzer , Martinez (back up)
    LB: Jenks / Sagna (providing we keep him, if not I’m not sure who could we sign?)
    RB: Monreal/ Gibbs
    CD: Kos, Per / TV5, (Hummels or Sakho – £15-20m, or someone with a small price tag)
    DM/CM: Ramsey, Arteta, Capoue (£15m)
    CAM: Cazorla/ Wilshere. Rosicky (back up)
    Wingers: Theo/Ox, Jovetic (interchange with CAM players, £15-20m)/ Podolski
    CF: Lewandowski (£15-£20m)/ Giroud (as theo/podolski can also play upfront)

    That way majority of the team stays as it is but improves in terms of quality. it would also mean not spending beyond what Arsene would deem unacceptable. Mind you anything over £30m is unacceptable for him, but he got no other choice this summer! If Sagna does leave then the new signing will have to be experienced and preferred over jenkinson as I feel he still needs to be an understudy of someone to be successful.

    we keep the same formation but it gives us depth. Also allows to rest the first choice once in a while and give some of our amazing youth squad a chance to prove their worth in the team.

    Try to sell or release the dross out. Denilson/ Djourou/ Bendtner/ Gervinho/ diaby(release him)/ park (release him)/ Miyaichi (had hopes for him)/ Flappy/ manone/

    Total Buys (approx.) – £75m
    Total Sales (hopefully) – £20m
    Net Spend – £55m

    Huzzah, cash still in the bank. Not much change is wages, but now utilized a bit better as it reflects the quality in the squad and everyone is happy!

    But as this is Wenger, I can bet my bottom dollar that the first thing we will hear is some kid from the reserves/youth will have been given a bumper new long term deal of around £25k pw because Arsene thinks he’ll be the next messi and wants him tied down to the club for the future. and majority of our allocated budget would endup rewarding some dross with new deals. leaving us to spend something like £30m and wage bill that in reality should be challenging for top honours but is fighting for 4th place by the end of novemeber!