There are no strikers available?

by .

Striker box. It's empty.

Striker box. It’s empty.

Was having a chat with a pal last night whilst watching Germany v Cameroon and Paraguay France. I think that was the line up. I watched both at the same time, it was a bit of a blur.

Anyway, the jist of the conversation was…

‘Where did all the good strikers go?’

I mean, even armed with £40m quid this summer, where are you taking it? You can count the number of world class names on one hand.

  • Aguerro
  • Robin
  • Ibrahimovic (though outside Ligue One?)
  • Lewandowski (at a push)
  • Suarez

Then where are you looking? There aren’t many. This is why I’m struggling to see where we go this summer. What would we prefer, a nearly striker, or to load up on attacking midfielders with the flexibility to play anywhere across the front like. That new half breed of striker is pretty big on the scene. Alexis would be a fantastic name. Draxler and Reus are right up there among the half breed heroes. You could throw Pedro in there as well.

I mean, when you’re being linked with Madman Mario, you really do see where the struggle is. Great player, nightmare personality. Could be world class if he had the head for the game. Certainly not a player I could imagine Wenger being able to tame.

The Telegraph are stating that Arsenal are going to shun Cesc Fabregas. I should hope so too. A lot of delusional Arsenal fans trying to push the ‘you can never have too many good players’… errr, yes you can. 22 world class goal keepers wouldn’t look too sharp would it? I think Manchester City have shown that you can have too many good players with their bloated squad.

I mean, I love Cesc, but the sentimental bullshit attached to his return is ridiculous. We killed any hopes of him returning when we punted on Ozil. Arsenal are well stocked with tricky midfielders both senior, mid twenties and youth coming through. We have a finite budget this summer.

1. Striker
2. Defensive midfielder
3. Right back
4. 3rd choice centre back
5. Pace setting winger

We have £100m available. I can’t see much room for a £30m creative midfielder, regardless of how good he is. I’d love to hear and argument against that. Because there quite simply isn’t one.

… that said, there wasn’t much of an argument last summer considering our needs at the start!

HAVE A GUUUUD DAY

696 Responses to “There are no strikers available?”

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  1. Wallace

    carts

    during his loan period at Sunderland he was looking like he might be very special. hard to tell if he’s stalled because he’s not quite good enough, or if he just hasn’t had enough games time.

  2. TitsMcgee

    Download the Wenger 1,000 App for iPhone or iPad: http://po.st/FcBjI7 #WengerSigns pic.twitter.com/JB0WLUzdWf”

    LOL

    We are so fortunate that he has done us this favor and is sticking around.

  3. Keyser

    Mayank – Not quite sure on your definition of ‘main man’ I really don’t think Ozil sulks, I think he’s quite happy to shun the limelight, I think he may struggle when he’s asked to adapt rather than be catered to like you say.

    If you consider Walcott’s role in the team, I think Ox can give the balance to have Ozil in a ‘free-role’, Walcott almost has a free-role now because of the outlet his pace gives us, if Ox can provide the sort of Nasri style effort tracking back and so on, it’d give us the option to let Ozil loose.

  4. Bero

    Remy – £10mil
    Aurier – £7mil
    Bender – £15mil
    Super Mario – £30mil
    Vela – £4mil

    £66mil and you still have left over for back up goalkeeper and 3rd choice defender….

  5. N5

    Lol Eagle thanks mate, but I fully blame TYAG, he’s a bad influence on me. Here I was happy just moaning about everything and he has to go and make things funny!!

  6. Biggles

    What happened to the sell-on clause in Fabregas’s contract? I thought we got like 50% of the fee?

    Because if United were to bid £30m, then surely we could just sign him for £15m?

    And at £15m for Fabregas, even if he were to sit on the bench and be a squad player, that’d be bloody fantastic value.

    Although, if we do sign him instead of a top notch striker, I’ll be pissed, because whilst I want depth, we need to fix the gaping hole in our first XI before we do anything else.

  7. Keyser

    There’s little Super about Mario, he’s like the real Mario on a completely different kind of mushroom.

    I think he could be a success, I’m just wondering if he’s struggling because he knows that he’s not half as good as he’s got everyone thinking he is.

  8. N5

    People keep going on about Ozil and sulking… I think that’s just his face! if you look like Dory you do look naturally unhappy.

    Look at Droopy, the fella was a party animal but still got called Droopy. (although so did Harry Redknapp).

  9. Bamford13

    We didn’t sign Ozil for 42.5m in order to play him wide, and it would make no sense to sign Fabregas for 30m and play him either wide or as a back-up CAM.

    None of the other formations being proposed make sense either.

    We simply don’t need another CAM.

    I like Cesc. At his best, I might even prefer him to Ozil. But we have other pressing needs, and we only have so much money to spend.

    If we were to sign another CAM — not sure we need to — it should be a 10-15m prospect, like a Belhanda, not a 30m finished product.

    As for United or City signing him, so be it. I won’t like it, but he’s not the decisive piece that wins the title for either. Nor would he be for us.

    That piece is a class CF and/or a class DM, as well as a quality RB.

    Let’s return to that discussion.

  10. WengerEagle

    Haha N5.

    City signing Cesc doesn’t make much sense unless one of Yaya, Silva or Nasri are heading for the exit door.

    After his PSG flirtation it could well be Yaya.

  11. Bamford13

    gambon

    Saw your comment about signing Cesc and playing a two playmaker system.

    But who would be playing behind them as DM in said system? Ramsey? No. He’s not a holding mid, nor would he want to be. If it’s not Ramsey, then you seem to be talking about playing Ramsey wide or as a back-up (!) neither of which makes sense, no?

    Again, I like Cesc, but I don’t see how it makes sense.

  12. WengerEagle

    ‘I’m just wondering if he’s struggling because he knows that he’s not half as good as he’s got everyone thinking he is.’

    Agree with this. He clearly has talent in abundance but what separates a truly world class footballer from a talented footballer is consistency.

  13. Al

    I actually like the fact that Ozil knows when his game is not up to his standard and shows his frustration.

    All it shows me is that he knows he has under performed and is frustrated with his game… shows he wants to do better and cares about his performance

  14. N5

    Eagle, I know it’s probably a face saving measure, just in case. But I’m sure I read Yaya was angry with PSG rumour and allegedly commited his future to Citeh.

    It could all be rubbish or it could be damage controll?

  15. kempster

    ‘I’m just wondering if he’s struggling because he knows that he’s not half as good as he’s got everyone thinking he is.’

    Weng Eagle: Agree with this. He clearly has talent in abundance but what separates a truly world class footballer from a talented footballer is consistency.

    Echoes of Thierry, no?

  16. monty

    Eduardo vargas from chile is a great player, if we dont get cesc. Tips for world cup guys, and stand out player guys?

  17. Keyser

    Henry was ridiculously consistent, people get far too drawn into the hype nowadays, Ballotelli’s basically been living off it for the past few years.

    Hopefully he has another good World Cup, being around the older experienced heads seems to help him.

  18. Al

    Its funny how quick people are to write off world class talent like Ozil.
    The guy just moved into a league with a new team and had no pre -season which is very important. He performed a decent 7 out of 10 season and helped a club win its first trophy in 8 years.

    Somehow he is being written off.. he said it himself how different the league are and how much more competitive the EPL is. He said in spain if they was 1 or 2 nil up the teams would give up but in the EPL you can be winning 4 nil and the other team is still trying to win.

    There clearly is an agenda in the media about Ozil as they seem to almost want him to be a failure

    Just think its crazy

  19. Bermygooner

    There is simply no room in our current squad for Cesc. He was easily my favorite player back when he was in the red and white but our priorities are different now. I will go as far to say that we have a slightly better slightly younger Cesc in Ozil who we have still to the the best of. If the rumors are to be believed and we sign Remy, Aurier, Griezmann, and Lars Bender; we will challenge for the title next season and will have the skill and pace that we need to move forward. exciting times indeed!

  20. kempster

    Keyser, stop trying to draw me into an argument. TYAG will explode thinking you’re arguing with yourself.

    Having said that, was Henry “ridiculously consistent” before he came to Arsenal? I didn’t see enough of him to properly comment, but I thought common understanding was that he went to Juve with a strong reputation from France and found it tough to kick on.

  21. Bamford13

    The Cesc-lover’s nightmare next season, Arsenal vs. United:

    _____________De Gea
    Rafael____Evans___Garay___Shaw
    ____________Carvahlo
    ________Fabregas__Rooney
    Wellbeck_____RVP_________Mata

    _____________Giroud
    Cazorla____Ozil___Ramsey__Theo
    ______________Arteta
    Gibbs_____Kos_____Mer___Aurier
    ______________Shez

    Some folks on here will be secretly pulling for United (whether they want to or not). 😉

  22. Bermygooner

    Yaya Toure is 31 years old. For an attacking midfielder that is deemed to be almost retirement age. City might be looking to grap Cesc while they can. I would be absolutely gutted if he went there though…

  23. WengerEagle

    ‘Tips for world cup guys, and stand out player guys?’

    Watch out for:

    -Colombia’s James Rodriguez.
    -Switzerland’s Josip Drmic (we should have signed him)
    -Argentina’s Ezequiel Garay.
    -Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne.
    -Croatia’s Mateo Kovacic.
    -Italy’s Lorenzo Insigne.
    -Japan’s Okazaki.
    -Mexico’s Oribe Peralta.
    -Portugal’s William Carvalho.
    -Russia’s Alan Dzagoev.
    -Russia’s Kokorin.
    -South Korea’s Son Heung-Min.

  24. Keyser

    Kempster – Oh yeah, my mistake, always end up thinking about his career, while Ballotelli’s still got years to go on his, Ballotelli’s going to be 24 in August, Henry moved to us at 22, he didn’t stop scoring until he left.

  25. Bamford13

    Great list, WengerEagle. Thank you for that. Just read article saying Carvalho put on a passing masterclass yesterday.

    I’m adding him to (and putting him on the top of) my DM wish list. 😉

  26. WengerEagle

    Kempster

    Balotelli’s very talented but he’s nearly 24, when is he going to fulfil his potential?

    His attitude clearly is terrible as he’s fallen out with every coach he’s ever been managed by. I have to say I agree with Keyser in that is he really as good as everybody thinks he is?

    I personally don’t think he’s worth the hassle he’d no doubt bring tbh. And there’s nothing to indicate that he’d tear up the BPL like Thierry did.

  27. WengerEagle

    Bamford

    Carvalho’s a really exciting youngster, he’s so powerful and composed on the ball. Dominates matches like Paul Pogba does.

    One of those two this summer would be a dream.

  28. WengerEagle

    Jack

    Honestly?

    We need:

    – A back-up GK to replace Fabianski- Julio Cesar/Stekelenburg.
    – A CB regardless of whether Vermaelen stays- Schar.
    – Another CB if Vermaelen does leave- Caulker.
    – A RB to replace Sagna- Aurier.
    – A top quality CDM- Gustavo/Bender.
    – A top quality playmaking LW who scores and creates goals and has decent physical attributes- Alexis Sanchez/Firmino/Draxler/James Rodriguez.
    – A top quality CF- None are currently on the market.
    – A back-up CF to replace Bendtner- Remy.

    If we even got half of the above though tbh I’d be pleasantly surprised though.

  29. kempster

    Wenger Eagle – I don’t necessarily disagree, his attitude is questionable and at 24 you’d have to say he’s almost already in last chance saloon.

    But he is mega talented, and has been bossed around by the likes of Mancini & Mourinho who really didn’t display much ability to manage a “different” temperament. That’s not to say he’d be a nailed on success, but I really wouldn’t complain if Wenger decided to have a go.

  30. Romford Pele

    “Romford. On You Tube he looks the right stuff – have you watched him much? (Aurier)”

    One of the best rated FBs in Europe this season mate. Six goals and six assists, though he has played as wing back for most of it. Can also play CB so similar to Sagna in that aspect. Where he is vastly superior is in attack. Has a real presence about the way he dribbles and drives into opposition territory. Whether it happens or not is another thing. I’m not sure Wenger wants to marginalise Jenkinson. When you factor in that Aurier is a year younger and much more experienced, who knows really.

  31. Mayank

    “Sell Carzola and buy Cesc”

    Sell the guy who got us back into the FA cup final for the guy who couldn’t get us to one.

    I love Cesc as much as the next guy but if you have to sell any current first teamer to fit him in just makes the case against signing him stronger. At least Keyser is making a case for fitting him into the current set-up.

  32. Romford Pele

    “I’d like to congratulate the ladies for doing us proud in FA Cup yesterday”

    Tbh that was needed for them. The ladies team has been going down the s***er for the last year.

  33. WengerEagle

    Mayank

    Santi shouldn’t be a first teamer though, he’s inferior to Ozil in the no.10 role and he is completely ineffective out wide most of the time.

  34. gambon

    “Sell the guy who got us back into the FA cup final”

    Huh, so where do you draw the line?

    Why the fuck did we let Bendtner go…..the guy that scored a hattrick in the CL!

    Why isnt Mickey Thomas still in midfield…..the guy that won us the league in 1989!

    Get Wiltord back…..the guy who won the PL at OT in 2002!

    Put Koscielny upfront, he cored the equaliser….he MUST be a world class goalscorer!

    You dont keep a player because of sentimentality.

    Typical reactionary bollocks.

    Cazorla goes missing everytime we arent playing a bottom half of the table team.

    I think hes OK as a player, but if you get the chance to upgrade so significantly you should always take it.

  35. Mayank

    “Can we just get this Aurier deal sorted please?!”

    Given how much of a done deal that looks I just can’t help but think we’re not even interested.

    Gibbs has sort of disappointed me with his lack of penetration this season. City have Zabaleta, Utd Rafael and Evra, Chelsea Ivanovic and Azpi. We could use some of that.

    Although I will add Sagna as a midfielder was awesome. His comfort in serving as an outlet when the MF runs into a wall is amazing and will be sorely missed.

  36. WengerEagle

    Romford

    Aurier is looking more and more likely, apparently there’s a video going around the Web of him on NT duty talking to an Arsenal fan and he says he joining. He retweeted the video and said as much on his Twitter at least.

    Would be an excellent signing if true.

  37. kempster

    Romford: “Where he is vastly superior is in attack. Has a real presence about the way he dribbles and drives into opposition territory. ”

    Which is exactly what we need

  38. Quagmire

    You are right Romfold, they have been agonizing woeful. While men had a dry spell, ladies were winning everything. May be the tables have turned now. LoL

  39. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    You seen the video of that Arsenal guy at the Ivory Coast game? Asks him if he’s gong to Arsenal and he says “Yeah”. Don’t put too much weight in it but interesting, on his official twitter as well.

    See the Daily Mail has started it’s almost annual “let’s try to pry a player from Arsenal’ campaign. Aaron Ramsey this year.

  40. Romford Pele

    “Given how much of a done deal that looks I just can’t help but think we’re not even interested.”

    I wouldn’t count my chickens just yet – how many times have we thought that in the recent past. You only need to look at Higuain last summer.

    The Gibbs’ comment is interesting though and I agree. Both he and Sagna were guilty of not making the most of the opportunities they got in the final third. This is where Aurier is a big upgrade on both. In addition to crossing, he can dribble and shoot as well. Considering the positions our FBs find themselves in during games, they should be more productive like you say. Giroud himself is a problem but we can offset that by being more efficient in other areas of the pitch.

  41. carts

    “Hypothetically if cesc came in surely podolsi is most at risk, not santi”

    Is this on the premise that we sign Remy? otherwise I don’t see how this can be so..

  42. Romford Pele

    Eagle/Cesc – been away for the weekend so didn’t have much time to keep up with Arsenal news. Aurier confirmed he was coming to an Arsenal fan? That sounds quite positive but didn’t an Arsenal fan do that with Jovetic last summer. I hope you guys are right; it’d be a great signing. I don’t really get excited about RBs but this would be a real coup.

  43. Romford Pele

    “See the Daily Mail has started it’s almost annual “let’s try to pry a player from Arsenal’ campaign. Aaron Ramsey this year.”

    Lol, let me guess; Barca and Bayern right?

  44. gambon

    Only slight problem i see with Aurier is he likes to play high up the pitch from the little ive seen.

    As does Gibbs (despite Gibbs complete ineffectiveness)

    Now bearing in mind we currently dont have any decent DM and Ramsey prefers to attack, we could find ourselves with just the 2 CBs exposed a lot of the time.

    This is why i want to sign a proper DM, someone that plays as 3rd CB, covers the full back slots and focuses on staying behind play.

    For me that means a Martinez/Gustavo….not a Bender type player.

  45. DUIFG

    I dont see how putting cesc into a 10/lm role is going to drastically improve us, our lm option needs to be a hazard type, a guy who is creative but can run as well, im looking towards a draxler/reus/pedro type, not another guy whos first instinct is to look to feet and cut inside onto his right foot.

    If you buy cesc it absolutely has to come had in hand with a blistering cf, nothing else will do.

  46. Wallace

    i get the impression a lot of stuff is going on behind the scenes, but actual signings won’t be confirmed until after the WC. Aurier for instance seems like he might already be in the bag.

  47. WengerEagle

    ‘This is why i want to sign a proper DM, someone that plays as 3rd CB, covers the full back slots and focuses on staying behind play’

    Agree and Gustavo would be perfect for that. If we offered £20 million and decent wages he’d be ours.

  48. DUIFG

    “Hypothetically if cesc came in surely podolsi is most at risk, not santi”
    Is this on the premise that we sign Remy? otherwise I don’t see how this can be so..

    not really, with our current options santi is probabloy ahead of pod in the lm slot. if pod wasnt on big dollar im pretty sure he would be finding fresh employment this summer

    Like him but a massively limited guy.

  49. Mayank

    WE

    ” he’s inferior to Ozil in the no.10 role and he is completely ineffective out wide most of the time.”

    He’s also our only dribbler and shooter.

    Gambon

    “Huh, so where do you draw the line?”

    When you feel the player in question has nothing more to offer. Cazorla certainly isn’t that.

    “Cazorla goes missing everytime we arent playing a bottom half of the table team.”

    He’s put in great performances against Utd, City and Liverpool. Going missing against the big sides isn’t an individual problem with Cazorla.

    “I think hes OK as a player, but if you get the chance to upgrade so significantly you should always take it.”

    He’s more than just okay but I wouldn’t be against an upgrade. Someone like Draxler or Greizmann who can understudy for a year before taking over.

    Cesc and Cazorla are nothing alike though, Getting in one for the other makes no sense unless you’re looking to make us more of a possession based side.

  50. WengerEagle

    ‘He’s also our only dribbler and shooter.’

    He is paceless though, an utter snail. What’s the point in having a ‘dribbler’ who can’t beat a defender?

    And come on, the vast majority of Santi’s shots get blocked, he’s hardly a sniper.

  51. Keyser

    The blog extremists are back, heh.

    Cazorla isn’t completely ineffective anywhere, this is just silly hyperbole.

    Also when you’re playing the top teams, it’s rarely any one players fault, even Arteta as much as I think he can be our weakest link, can be pretty decent when he’s given the right support, except against the top teams you’re far less likely to be a position to accomodate such players.

    Unless we get the 1 in 100 player that clicks right away in the team, we’re very unlikely to be able to discard players such as Cazorla, people would’ve got rid of Rosicky for the same reasons years ago.

    Seriously name any team you want, from Citeh to Dortmund, they didn’t simply replace a player or two and achieve what they have done, it’s either been a question of circumstance or environment.

  52. Romford Pele

    “For me that means a Martinez/Gustavo….not a Bender type player.”

    Bender can 100% can do this role. Sure he plays further forward for Leverkeusen but for Germany it’s a strict back four job. This is all conjuncture anyway because if we were serious about spending money, i’d buy William Carvalho.

  53. salparadisenyc

    Discussed Cesc over the weekend in this space as stated i’m all for it. Nothing emotional about the idea of him coming back, does he make us a better side?
    Without doubt. Can Ozil and Cesc play in the same side, I think so. If we have to sell to further the squad those are the rules of the game. Cazorla would see the door, with many suitors imo. Key would be adding the CDM to make it work, which we need regardless. The crucial striker, LW and replace the outs.

    Its all attainable.

  54. carts

    “For me that means a Martinez/Gustavo….not a Bender type player.”

    Still don’t see why Wenger isn’t sniffing around Fernando. He’s available for £12.5m apparenly. I’m certain he’d be interested in what we have to offer as opposed to joining City and competing with Yaya, Fernandino and Garcia.

    You got any statas on him?

  55. Keyser

    “He is paceless though, an utter snail. What’s the point in having a ‘dribbler’ who can’t beat a defender?”

    Mate, don’t make me go nuclear on Firmino.

  56. DUIFG

    He’s more than just okay but I wouldn’t be against an upgrade. Someone like Draxler or Greizmann who can understudy for a year before taking over.
    Cesc and Cazorla are nothing alike though, Getting in one for the other makes no sense unless you’re looking to make us more of a possession based side.

    it would unbalance the side, at least cazorla makes some attempt to operate down the left cesc could not do this, if you want to upgrade Lm upgrade it, dont shoehorn two number tens on top of each other and expect them to assist a donkey up front. the only way u properly utilise cesc is to sell Ozil which would be a quite barmy decision given the outlay and the limiting factors of his first season.

  57. Mayank

    “Both he and Sagna were guilty of not making the most of the opportunities they got in the final third.”

    I’m not really sure of that. We hardly get bodies into the box and most of the time our FBs are trying to hit one head between five or six. My problem is our guys rarely take on and beat opposition wingers to break through their lines.

    Also, I don’t quite understand why we play large patches of the season through one side. Sometimes all our play will be down the left for weeks on end and vice versa. Maybe it’s something that happens to al sides and I only notice at Arsenal but we have a tendency to really rely on set passing combinations for large periods of the season.

  58. Romford Pele

    Mayank,,

    The bit about bodies in the box is a fair one, which is why the stockpiling of AMs who don’t run into the box leaves a lot to be desired. But yes, if we had more players capable of beating their markers, it’d create other options. But this comes back to the lack of balance within the current set-up and why the manager hasn’t addressed them. Numerous questions….

  59. Cesc Appeal

    RP

    How did you guess?? Can’t see Ramsey going yet, I do think he’ll eventually move to Madrid or the like, but in a few seasons.

    I certainly hope Aurier is true, because more than just his signing – that would mean we’re actually doing things behind the scenes. Which would be so, so nice for a change.

    I’m not counting on anything though, it was Fellaini last year who was asked “are you going to Arsenal?” To which he replied “I hope so” in a club to some woman, he was there with Arteta I think.

    But Aurier openly said Yes when the guy asked if he’d be at Arsenal next year. So. We can but hope I suppose.

  60. NYCgooner

    Love all the DMs being mentioned but Gustavo is my personal favorite. I don’t think he’s as skilled as Martinez but he makes up for it in work rate and discipline. He’s always running, always harassing the player with the ball, always breaking up plays. Love watching the guy.

  61. DUIFG

    Monreal is a lot better in the final third than gibbs, he is weak though defensively, not just positionally but in terms of strength, Im not sure what bouldy can do with monreal to try and keep him from being picked on, if he could iron tha out we really hae a player.

  62. WengerEagle

    Keyser

    I’m saying that Santi is a poor player, he’s an excellent CAM not a wide player. We just happen to have an even better CAM in Ozil. All I’m saying is that I don’t want to see Santi playing out wide again next season as he struggles there.

    As a back-up CAM to Ozil you couldn’t ask for better and we play 50-60 matches a season.

  63. Keyser

    Mayank – Yeah, but there’s obvious reasons for that, for example in the past 3 seasons, we’ve had a lot of upheaval, not just through personnel but also the style we’ve tried to accomodate.

    Before that we’ve always had a similar balance, the right or left wing is always balanced from goalscorer to playmaker.

    Overmars pushed forward, Parlour cuts in.

    Pires playmaker, Ljungberg goalscorer.

    Hleb cuts in, Rosicky pushes on.

    Nasri Playmaker, Walcott goalscorer/winger.

  64. Mayank

    If you think Cesc coming back does not present any problems you’re a liar. If you think him coming back won’t make us better you’re a fool.

    Wenger thinks we’ve been quite mediocre in the goals department this season. Cesc is absolutely the most efficient creator and scorer of goals in Europe. And if Remy is the quality of striker we’re hoping for this summer an addition like Cesc makes even more sense.

  65. Romford Pele

    “Nasri Playmaker, Walcott goalscorer/winger.”

    Tbh, Wenger should groom Ox to play on the left for a bit. I know he can be wasteful in possession at times but at least he’s adept in combination play. He needs games anyway if he’s to have the kind of breakout that Rambo had.

  66. Romford Pele

    “Cesc is absolutely the most efficient creator”

    Depends what time frame you’re basing this on. If we’re going over the last few years, it’s Mesut.

  67. Romford Pele

    Lol Fellaini was the biggest myth, glad he was exposed as a fraud.

    Steklenburg
    Aurier
    Caulker
    Carvalho
    Benzema

    *wakes up*

  68. gambon

    Mayank

    Im not talking about swapping Cesc in for Cazorla.

    Im talking about Ozil taking Cazorlas wide playmaker role, and Cesc taking Ozils role.

    Ozil would be an upgradeon Cazorla, and Cesc an upgrade on Ozil.

    So we end up with a better #10 and a better wide playmaker.

    Wenger has said numerous times that Ozil reminds him of Pires.

    Same for me, hes too frail, timid and flakey to be a number 10 in the PL.

    Let him do what Silva does for City.

  69. Mayank

    “which is why the stockpiling of AMs who don’t run into the box leaves a lot to be desired.”

    Actually Cesc isn’t one of those. Of our MF only Ramsey makes runs into the box consistently. Ozil doesn’t make runs as much as glides into positions that happen to be in the box. Jack is in limbo with his playing style. Cazorla is just deathly afraid of making a run into the box when we have the ball.

    Cesc is like Ramsey with his runs but more efficient.

  70. Cesc Appeal

    NYCG

    Yeah I think realistically we could get Gustavo or Schniederlin easily if we tried.

    Wouldn’t mind either to be fair, think Schniederlin is criminally underrated. Gustavo reminds me of Gilberto as well.

  71. Keyser

    WE – It’s all to do with the balance of midfield, all year we’ve scrambled, pick our best midfield, in your mind, or just generally, and then count how many times we’ve played it this year.

    Citeh : Flamini – Wilshere – Ramsey – Ozil – Walcott.

    Liverpool : Arteta – Wilshere – Ox – Cazorla – Ozil.

    Chelsea : Arteta – Rosicky – Ox – Cazorla – Podolski.

    Everton : Arteta – Flamini – Rosicky – Cazorla – Podolski.

  72. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    You have written today what I have now been suggesting on your website for over 2 weeks that there are very few strikers in the system who are genuine world class and the only one likely to be available this summer was Lewandowski and he was signed up 12 months ago by Bayern.

    Arsenal do need a second striker, but I would not waste a lot of money on a
    player like Mandzukic or Benzema who are likely to cost £25-30 million if I
    can buy Remy or Morata for under £10 million. There is not a vast difference
    in their goalscoring potential when you look at stats.

    Where I am afraid I do have a difference of opinion is about Fabregas. This is
    a ‘world class’ player and there are very few players in any transfer window who are likely to be available. Again as I have written he can fulfil a different
    role to both Ozil and Ramsey not least that he can play the second striker role
    a la Bergkamp.

    When I look at our midfield options we have now four players out of nine who
    will be 30+ next season plus Diaby who is a waste of space. These players have frankly a very limited lifespan at the club. Fabregas has just turned 27 and should now been in his prime for at least another 3 years.

    If I look at likely cost of second string goalkeeper, full-back and striker [eg Remy] this will cost about £20-25 million maximum.

    Therefore buying an additional defensive midfielder plus Fabregas should be
    affordable within our current budget.

    The question which needs to be asked is whether we want to improve the quality of our squad or allow the likes of Chelsea,Man City or Man Utd to be
    strengthened at our expense.

    I know the answer to that question.

  73. NYCgooner

    Cesc

    Good shout on Schniederlin. The more i watch him the more i like him. I took a look at some of his stats this weekend….

    Mind totally blown!!

  74. gambon

    Ozil and Cesc are different players.

    Cesc is more physical, busier in the attacking third, shoots far more often and scores more, and much better long range passer and better at through balls.

    Ozil is more of a one touch player, shorter passing, good turns and dribbles and creates a lot via cute diagonals around the box and cut backs from close range.

  75. Romford Pele

    “Cesc is like Ramsey with his runs but more efficient.”

    More down to age and experience you’d imagine.

    Ramsey is really only at the beginning of his curve tbh. I like the way he remains grounded and talks about improving his weaknesses.

    Part of the reason I doubt Cesc interest is because of Jack. Regardless of what people say, Wenger will never marginalise him. He’s still seen as the great white hope in many instances. I’m hoping he has a great WC because it’d be beneficial to him, England and Arsenal.

    Tbh, Gambon’s shout of Ozil left could work although I much prefer Ozil from the right. It’s all speculation though – who knows what’s gonna happen. At least we have a few things to discuss in these lean months.

  76. carts

    “Lol Fellaini was the biggest myth, glad he was exposed as a fraud”

    “Exposed as a fraud”. fucking LOLOLOLOLOL. Dont know why I laughed so hard.

    ‘Hey, what ever happened to that bloke who claimed to work for HSBC and could flip your money, by 500%, in 5 days flat?’

    ‘…he was exposed as a fraud’

  77. Mayank

    “Im not talking about swapping Cesc in for Cazorla.”

    But that’s what my initial comment was on. I have no problem for the upgrade chain you suggested. My problem is with selling Cazorla, a guy with a skill set almost unique in our squad.

  78. N5

    I agree Cesc, Schniederlin is underrated. I’m quite confident that we will be in for him this year. I’ve got nothing to base that on other than the titbits I’ve read here and there, but some gossip just seems more plausible than others.

    Schniederlin – Plausible
    Mario – Not
    Aurier – Plausible
    Wenger is an alien – Plausible
    Romford, Le Groves Fonz – Plausible
    Me and TYAG on wife swap – Plausible
    Marble is completely sane – not a fucking chance.

  79. DUIFG

    Citeh : Flamini – Wilshere – Ramsey – Ozil – Walcott.
    Liverpool : Arteta – Wilshere – Ox – Cazorla – Ozil.
    Chelsea : Arteta – Rosicky – Ox – Cazorla – Podolski.
    Everton : Arteta – Flamini – Rosicky – Cazorla – Podolski.

    this isnt necessarily a bad thing, I quite enjoyed the versatility of our optons agaisnt opposition, our issue was a lack of out and out quality in areas, notably podolski, artet, flamini

  80. Keyser

    WE – An insult ? Not really, though you obviously like him, so you might be less inclined to exaggerate the deficiencies of other players.

    In relation to Arsenal, consider the team as opposed to the player, we’ve hardly set Cazorla the best conditions, and in turn Firmino might have great stats, but a bit like Podolski at Cologne, this hardly stacks up well when you consider the team Hoffenheim are.

    They scored 72 goals last season, conceded 70, that’s basically an average score of 2-2 every game they play.

    Thought that was a point missed when people were comparing Firmino to Vela last week, Sociedad are hardly great either though.

  81. Romford Pele

    “and much better long range passer and better at through balls.”

    Long range yes, through balls, no. I think Cesc is happier to play deeper. You see Ozil dropping deep to try and get on the ball a lot of the time because we take too long to get the ball to him in dangerous positions.

    Like Keyser said though, a lot of things have changed. The team was pretty much channeled through Cesc when he was here, better balanced too. This team can do decent stuff in spurts but really lacks the key personnel to make the impact when it really matters. Both Cesc and Ozil could probably work in the same team. You’d need a Walcott and a proper CF though. And a DM obvs.

  82. WengerEagle

    Keyser

    I get that, in the hammerings we didn’t have our best midfield playing.

    My point was that Santi’s an excellent CAM but isn’t the same player out wide where he struggles especially away from home in the Champions League.

    I don’t think he should be a starter unless Ozil isn’t fit to play.

  83. gambon

    Cazorla is a good all round player, but really not “unique”

    He passes well, not amazingly. He scores but isnt prolific. He takes good freekicks but rarely scores (doesnt help that Wenger wont tell Theo to stop taking them). He does very little defensively and we get shown up regularly as a result of our lack of defensive workrate.

    I dont see what we would be missing if we swapped Cesc for Cazorla.

  84. Keyser

    Duifq – I didn’t say it was a bad thing, we beat 80% of the teams in the premiership, despite having no consistentcy or continuity, but when you face the top teams you need exactly that, the margins are soo fine that if you’re scrambling like we were then you can see such a dropoff, you’d be lying if you said you enjoyed those games, Citeh maybe.

    Even if you have the quality, you still need them to play together efficiently, which is why Chelsea massively underachieved and why Citeh struggle in the Champions League.

  85. Mayank

    Another thing to consider with Cesc is that he’s on relatively meager wages at Barca. All this talk might just be the agent getting him a better deal since Xavi’s close to retirement.

    The Cules are honestly indifferent to him though. Some hate him other wouldn’t mind if he left.

    Romford re Jack

    “Wenger will never marginalise him. He’s still seen as the great white hope in many instances. ”

    Which position are we talking about here? He’s not going to be better than Ozil at no 10 not better than Ramsey at no 8(or 6 if you prefer.)

  86. Keyser

    WE – He spent half his time at Villereal and Malaga out there, the point is how you accomodate him as his legs go later in his career. The balance of midfield is key, it’s silly picking on individuals when firstly we don’t cater to anyone, and secondly we’ve had no consistentcy or continuity all year.

    It goes back to the question, can you name our best midfield ? If so, how many games will they have played together.

  87. gambon

    “Long range yes, through balls, no”

    Last 3 seasons:

    Cesc 63 through balls
    Ozil 47 through balls

  88. Romford Pele

    Tbh Mayank i’m not sure. I think he’s best in Ramsey’s position but Ramsey is the key player in the side right now so Wilshere will either have to bide his time or fit in somewhere else. Tbh i’m not really sure how it’s gonna work. Unless we change formation, he’ll be on the bench for now but things change quickly. Nobody really envisaged Ramsey being indispensable a year ago.

  89. Emiratesstroller

    Santi Cazorla is in essence a winger, although he can play midfield as well and the same applies to Oxlade Chamberlain.

    What does concern me is that we have on our books a number of midfielders, forwards and even full backs who are not particularly defensive minded, which is why we got in trouble last season in the away games against top teams. Fabregas can defend when and if required, which is something that Ozil, Cazorla,Podolski and Walcott are not particularly good at doing.

    Anyway I suspect that Wenger will sit on his hands until after World Cup as
    usual. Then we will be informed that most of the players we are interested in
    are on holiday!. Finally we will hear that they have been sold elsewhere and we will panic to buy someone at last moment.

    The date for renewing season tickets has incidentally passed!

  90. DUIFG

    I would argue what charecterised those games in march was the sameiness of the teamsheet, the lack of any pace outlet whatsover made us very predictable. Our hand was forced somewhat by injuries which will of course have an effect on a winning team (which we were for a period) but it exposed the fact our squad was horribly one paced which had a greater effect than knocking any team cohesion we had before that.

  91. Dale Rios

    Aurier looks a bit naive from what I’ve seen of him defensively, has this habit of trying to nick the ball off the attacker even when it’s not there to be won. Someone should probably sit down with him and explain the concept of jockeying because he’s always committing himself.

    Another thing is he is prone to the odd lapse in concentration, like failing to track a run or failing to push up when trying to play offside.

  92. Keyser

    This is basically our formation for next year.

    Wilshere – Ramsey/Cesc

    Ox/Walcott – Cesc/Ozil – Ozil/Draxler.

    Draxler/Ramsey

  93. Romford Pele

    “Last 3 seasons:
    Cesc 63 through balls
    Ozil 47 through balls”

    Where did you see that?

    Tbh i’m not really sure that alters my view either way. I think Cesc has a greater passing range but I think Ozil has a more consistent final ball. It’s near enough always on the money. Henry said it’s pretty much the perfect ball he gives you every time.

  94. Mayank

    “I dont see what we would be missing if we swapped Cesc for Cazorla.”

    A player that operates in tight spaces. Ozil has the ability to do that but much prefers to avoid that situation. Cazorla actively seeks the ball when he’s surrounded and usually doesn’t lose it. This opens up space for the likes of Ozil and Ramsey.

    This kind of ability doesn’t show up on stat sheets which is why some may find him to be something of a luxury player.

  95. Cesc Appeal

    NYCG

    Yeah he’s an extremely consistent player, good passer and good tackler.

    Considering how easily you gotta believe we could snare him, and how comparatively cheap he would be, bearing in mind Wenger is in charge it makes him the most likely I feel.

  96. Romford Pele

    So Keyser you finally accept we’;re not signing a DM?!

    Tbh I could actually see something like that happening – it’s very much in Wenger’s image. It’d also have the same flaws though.

  97. Romford Pele

    “Another thing is he is prone to the odd lapse in concentration, like failing to track a run or failing to push up when trying to play offside.”

    Erm, he’s 21, how many players were the finished article at that age? There’s nothing really wrong with trying to nick the ball anyway, it’s a style of play that can be incredibly effective when it’s right. Sure, he’ll have to improve on certain areas but the positives far, far outweigh the negatives with him.

  98. AC Gooner

    I want my Cesc Fabregas!

    If Wenger is so fucking smart, he ought to be able to figure out how to accomodate Cesc and Ozil in the same squad.

    Besides, if we bag Remy on the cheap, a DM costs 18, Aurier aint expensive, 3rd CB costs 10, Wenger GKs cost 4-5, … then we affording all that shit.

    And if we buying a DM and a 3rd CB that means Arteta and TV are gone. Thats at least another 15m of proceeds.

  99. WengerEagle

    ‘In relation to Arsenal, consider the team as opposed to the player, we’ve hardly set Cazorla the best conditions, and in turn Firmino might have great stats, but a bit like Podolski at Cologne, this hardly stacks up well when you consider the team Hoffenheim are.’

    Even if we got in a top class CDM and a top class CF Santi would still get exposed on the wing because of his lack of any sort of athleticism and the fact that he doesn’t really contribute much defensively.

    See when I talked about Firmino I wasn’t merely talking about how many goals he scores. He’s an excellent all-rounder, he averaged 2.5 tackles a match last season along with 4.5 dribbles, 2.1 key passes along with 15 assists. He’s not just a goalscorer like Podolski is.

    ‘They scored 72 goals last season, conceded 70, that’s basically an average score of 2-2 every game they play.’

    I get your point, the environment is important to how a player performs and Firmino was clearly given a lot of creative license in that Hoffenheim team last season. I just think that as a player he’d be much better out wide than Cazorla even if they played in the same environment i.e if we bought Firmino and rotated him next season with Cazorla in that LW spot. Physically he has all the attributes that Cazorla lacks that is necessary to play out wide.

  100. DUIFG

    A player that operates in tight spaces. Ozil has the ability to do that but much prefers to avoid that situation. Cazorla actively seeks the ball when he’s surrounded and usually doesn’t lose it. This opens up space for the likes of Ozil and Ramsey.
    This kind of ability doesn’t show up on stat sheets which is why some may find him to be something of a luxury player.

    I massively agree with this, he injects a bit of zip into our game as the bal zings around a bit more when he is on the field, he can go both ways with his back to goal because of his two feet, very rarely loses itr, with the ball trhere is no problem with this guy.

    if you have an ssue with him its more on his off the ball running.

  101. Jack

    Benzema wants to stay at RM we might be stuck with Giroud. Not buying Higuain was a terrible mistake that continues to haunt us.

    Emiratesstroller

    Morata Remy over Benzema are you seriously comparing them and thinking there isn’t much difference?

  102. Keyser

    Romford Pele – Lol finally ? Summer’s barely started, there’s going to be soo much rubbish this year, I’m cutting it until the World Cup starts, I think the papers will go quiet on the Arsenal side, because they’ll be able to report something worthwhile.

    With all the talk of Cesc, I’m wondering how far we can take our fascination for technical midgetry.

  103. Romford Pele

    I actually think Arteta may leave this summer. His contract expires in 2015. The younger ones are gonna get more gametime anyway. It’d be good to keep him round as an experienced head but Wenger may not see it that way

  104. N5

    “Morata Remy over Benzema are you seriously comparing them and thinking there isn’t much difference?”

    I haven’t read the comment this is refferring too but if that was said then I am stunned. Benzema shits all over Remy, and that’s being polite.

  105. Romford Pele

    Lol Keyser, more because you harp on about the need for some more athleticism in the middle then go with a pivot of Wilshere-Ramsey.

    The technical midgetry just looks like Wenger is trying to total-football it again like he did in 2008 and 2011. Tbh that 07/08 team was very efficient in midfield.

  106. Thomas

    Not a fan of Cazorla. Often goes missing in games and can’t defend worth shit. I would get rid of him and get Cesc.

  107. Keyser

    “Even if we got in a top class CDM and a top class CF Santi would still get exposed on the wing because of his lack of any sort of athleticism and the fact that he doesn’t really contribute much defensively.”

    He does contribute, he’s just not going to dominate, which belies the reason why he’s out there to begin with, he’s a wide playmaker, not a winger, and he’ll hold and distribute the ball far better than say Walcott would, so it gives a different sort of balance.

    I wouldn’t criticise Cazorla for his efforts this year and definetly not the year before, on the other hand I’d be worried how he adjusts as his legs go, which is why we’d need to improve other areas.

    In terms of Firmino, it’s the Bundesliga, the stats mean little, a bit like Vela, there’s a reason why he struggled here, and to be honest I haven’t seen him adjust anything in Spain, he’s just progressed naturally.

    You’re focusing on what you think the position needs, rather than the team and why we’re playing these players to begin with.

    Firmino right now is a question mark, Cazorla offers something tangible, Arteta/Flamini is probably our weakest position.

  108. DUIFG

    Not a fan of Cazorla. Often goes missing in games and can’t defend worth shit. I would get rid of him and get Cesc.

    When has wenger ever bought a guy who can put a shift in defensively out wide , arshavin, hleb, nasri tr7. he is not the type of guy to bring in a milner or a ji sung park, a guy whos role it is to help out his full back. to lament a wide player for not defending in a wenger team misses the fact the boss does not actually care for it a great deal.

  109. Radio Raheem

    If Diaby’s fit before the transfer window closes then it’s unlikely we’ll sign a holding mmidfielder. Except one of Arteta or Flamini leaves. This is another reason why I favour signing Cesc. Not only will he make us more creative he’ll make us better at keeping possession of the ball, which can be a different way of defending.

  110. Emiratesstroller

    Jack

    Yes I am. I am not that impressed about Mandzukic and Benzema as others seem to be and frankly when you look at their stats and those of Morata and Remy the goal scoring difference is not that great.

    Everyone keeps on complaining about goal scoring potential well none of these players will make a huge difference.

    What I will say is that both Giroud and Remy can play in the same team together as has been case in last 2 French Internationals.

    I am not sure that works so well with the likes of Manzukic and Benzema.

  111. MidwestGun

    This is basically our formation for next year.
    ________
    Keyser are you drinking? Lol. It’s not even close to our formation. You had Draxler and Ramsey at CF? Hahaha. And Wilshere as Cdm? Hahaha. Mr. One tackle a game average. Zero tackles against Pool in the hammering.

  112. Romford Pele

    “If Diaby’s fit before the transfer window closes”

    I try to forget about him and you say this :O

  113. N5

    “Yes I am. I am not that impressed about Mandzukic and Benzema as others seem to be and frankly when you look at their stats and those of Morata and Remy the goal scoring difference is not that great.”

    Forgetting to mention that Benzema plays in a team with greedy players like Ronaldo and Bale.

  114. Keyser

    “Lol Keyser, more because you harp on about the need for some more athleticism in the middle then go with a pivot of Wilshere-Ramsey.”

    The players I’d have wanted, and I’m no expert, would’ve been along the lines of Fernandinho/Remieres, Carvalho’s done nothing of note, I haven’t watched him much, at least not consciously and if he’s going for 30 million, what’s the likelihood we’d buy him ?

    It’s a bit like the striker we need, my ideal would’ve been Aguero a couple of years ago, Suarez last summer, but then what other options are there ? Cavani I think has more potential, and Balloteli used to be able to play as a wide forward so did offer versatility, but has question marks over him. So it’s going to take a bit of a punt on Wengers part.

    If we look at the least efficient part of the team, and with the most to offer in terms of potential, it’s definetly the midfield, with all the players we already have, you’d have to think there’s hopefully a fair bit more to come from them, and if we bought someone who might not be a superstar but gives the right balance we could achieve much more this way.

    10 days until the World Cup.

  115. Romford Pele

    Benzema has been leading the line for Real Madrid for five years and you wanna talk to me about the QPR-owned Loic Remy who is a year older. Leave it out.

  116. Romford Pele

    Keyser,

    Well this is it, isn’t it. We can all harp on about our fantasy teams but likelihood is that Wenger has something else in mind. Most (myself not included) didn’t think an AM was needed last season yet that’s what Wenger plundered for so who knows really.

    Agree about getting more out of midfield, especially with Wilshere, Ramsey, Chambo etc still at the start of their curve. I’m not sure signing Cesc without a DM improves the efficiency of it though. We still have the same structural issues and a very short team.

  117. Keyser

    “When has wenger ever bought a guy who can put a shift in defensively out wide , arshavin, hleb, nasri tr7.”

    Did you watch much of Rosicky or Nasri when they played there ?

    They might not have been Willian-esque, but they probably offered more in other areas regardless.

    Similarly Hleb, he wasn’t good defensively, but he was smart in how he monitored space and the fact he rarely lost the ball to begin with mean’t we weren’t under half as much pressure.

  118. N5

    “When does the WC start? Lol.”

    What is the WC, where Cesc? it’s like where’s waldo but this time it’s a little shit, sitting in a Barca shirt crying about how he misses his nans home cooked meals!!

    *bitter.

  119. Emiratesstroller

    N5

    Benzema has managed to score 20+ goals in one season out of five at Real Madrid. He has scored 72 goals in 159 league games. That is not that exceptional for a £30 million + striker.

    Frankly with players like Ronaldo, Bale and Di Maria in team you would expect the striker to have a ‘goal fest’.

  120. N5

    “Frankly with players like Ronaldo, Bale and Di Maria in team you would expect the striker to have a ‘goal fest’.”

    Have you watched Benzema? he has to set up so many of his own goals due to Bale or Ronaldo or Di Maria having shots themselves. Benzema pisses all over Remy and I agree the stats look similar but the reality is a million miles a part.

  121. MidwestGun

    Wilshere at Cdm doesn’t work, neither would Cesc. Neither one wants to tackle.
    Also, Cesc slows the pace of the game way down, we are already slow as crap.
    But honestly, if we don’t upgrade at CF and Cdm the point is moot because wether we had Cesc or not wouldn’t matter.

    Doubt Cesc wants to come here to rotate, either. Damn it, now I’m talking about him. 😡

  122. Keyser

    Romford Pele – That’s because he can’t follow his dreams, been trying to explain this for yonks, I don’t think this is about one year, Wenger built two pretty efficient teams, only for them to move on for better oppurtunities, each time it’s harder and harder to find the players you need. We’ve basically scrambled.

    I definetly wanted an Ozil style player, actually I think you wanted that to, Ozil might not be quite Nasri or Fabregas exactly, but he offers something similar.

    Suarez might have been Wengers Ideal, but then Ozil’s hardly a hinderance.