Squad issues glaring…

by .

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Not quite sure last nights game was worth a full review. It was cagey, we looked out of shape and it was a 0-0. So I’ll just bang through some top line thoughts.

We look exactly the same as last year…

We had a refit, but ultimately, the style and formation is exactly the same. It hasn’t clicked for us yet, but to be honest, even when it does, I’m not quite sure how that’s going to pan out. Mainly because the same things that slowed us down last year are still slowing us this season.

Pace…

The team looked dreadfully one paced outside Sanchez. When the core of your side is slow and immobile, any dreams of lightning quick counter attacking dies. Arteta is so off the mark speed wise it’s almost laughable, then you have Cazorla who doesn’t have the zip he used to, Jack is slow and then there’s Giroud who I’ll get onto next. To compete, we need pace and power, that side last night lacked it outside Chamberlain, Ramsey and Sanchez.

Giroud…

He took a hammering online yesterday and rightly so. He’s a very average player, as stats showed on this site last year, easily the weakest first team striker in the top 8 by a margin. Firstly, he has no pace or mobility so you have to play into feet with him if you want to counter. Then you have to take into account his control is embarrassingly wayward for an international player. The there’s his finishing… I mean, jeez, what is Wenger looking at when he continues on without another striker.

I said back at the start of the summer, Diego Costa was the best available striker in Europe and we didn’t even compete for him… and he had a buyout clause. Now we’re left with Mario or Reus (who Arsene reckons could be converted to a striker). Not the best really.

Calum Chambers…

Bar one cock up, he was easily your most composed and impressive player. He reads the game well, is very quick over ten yards, he’s technically smart and he seems like a leader in the making. If there’s a problem with this, it’s that he’s likely to cause Wenger to ignore the 3rd centre back issue.

Ze Germans…

I keep hearing everyone talking about the Germans coming back, like this is bringing back Thierry, Bobby and Patrick. As far as I’m concerned, Chambers has been as excellent as Per would have been, Podolski won’t feature and Ozil really has a lot to do to get me excited about his return (bar the fantastic Ozil featured Predator posters all over the underground). We are pretty much as we are. What you’re seeing is why you’re getting. The real excitement is Theo coming back. Not sure that tips the title our way.

Same old…

Heading into a season with fundamental flaws littered round the squad. We’re low paced in midfield and we’ve only zero strikers of note. This, is a problem. Chelsea, United, Liverpool and City all have great options. They all have pace through the midfield.

WHERE IS OUR PACE

Injured, rubbish or out of favour. Well, that’s not totally fair. It just doesn’t sit at the forefront of Wenger’s mindset. Which feels like it’ll cause problems.

Wenger has the best part of £70m available. If he doesn’t spend it, with the clear weaknesses he has, it’ll bite us hard again. It’s negligence to not spend when you need to and you can. Simple as that.

Conclusion…

No Aaron for the second leg, but it’s at home and hopefully we’ll take them down.

691 Responses to “Squad issues glaring…”

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  1. luke

    What about Ozil as false 9 if we dont get in a striker. Keep Sanchez and Walcott further forward and Ozil just behind.

    Chezz
    Deb-Per-Koz-Nacho
    Arteta (ugh)
    LJW-AR16
    Ozil
    Theo-Sanch

    I guess it’s pretty short. That is probably the best thing about giroud’s game right now: defending set pieces. Jesus.

  2. Arsene's analyst

    What’s the point of having Ozil at 42.5 million quid, and Sanchez at around 35 million, if you have Sanogo, free transfer, and Giroud 11 million quid as your two top strikers, am I missing something here, this squad is so fucking unbalanced it’s not funny, if I was Ozil and I looked up and saw Sanogo as my striker, I WOULD HAND IN A TRANSFER REQUEST, same goes for Giroud, 40 and 30 million quid players asked to play with donkeys, this is a french fucking farce, this guy should be goose stepped out the door now

  3. Arsene's analyst

    As good as Chambers is and will be, it is criminal to ask him, a 19 year old, to carry the burden of a central defender, it takes years to master that position, this is Wenger all over, did it with Cesc, and Wilshere, asking kids to carry the team of donkeys because they did have outstanding abilities, one thing they never had was experience, and Wenger ran those two into the ground, this is not AFC best ever manager, what he the best at, is manipulation of transfer sales buy for peanuts and selling for a kings ransom, there is none better than making profit, the reason he is manager of AFC, he is not here because of his outstanding football management

  4. Arsene's analyst

    What’s the point of having Ozil at 42.5 million quid, and Sanchez at around 35 million, if you have Sanogo, free transfer, and Giroud 11 million quid as your two top strikers, am I missing something here, this squad is so fucking unbalanced it’s not funny, if I was Ozil and I looked up and saw Sanogo as my striker, I WOULD HAND IN A TRANSFER REQUEST, same goes for Giroud, 40 and 30 million quid players asked to play with donkeys, this is a french fucking farce, this guy should be goose stepped out the door now

  5. Arsene's analyst

    Ask yourself this, with all the great players we have had over the last 18 years, why have we never won the Champions League, Porto, Liverpool come to mind who I think were inferior as far as personnel are concerned, it is because the manager is out of his depth at this level, it’s one thing beating Palace in the 90th minute, another to beat Bayern, Real, et al in the CL, this manager has not the nous to work his way through 90 odd minutes against the best, he cannot think on his feet, make changes if necessary in the 30th minute, at half time, his laptop tells him to make subs in the 70th minute, so the plan at the start of the match, IS THE PLAN AT THE END OF THE MATCH, this manager is playing the same style and game plan as he used in 2004, back then he had the squad to do it, not any more, and he wonders why it doesn’t work, he scratches his head and muses, fuck it worked back then, he cannot make the connection, he should be put down

  6. Arsene's analyst

    Arsenal have spent 60 million on new additions remark, we spent 30 mill on Sanchez, 12 million on Debuchy , 11 million on Chambers , and 2.5 million on Ospina the goalie, Income we brought in , 15 million Vermaelen , 12 million on Vela, 5.5 million on Fabregas leaving Barca 2.5 million on Djoujou , TOTAL IN 35 MILLION, —— TOTAL OUT 55.5 MILLION. ARSENALS NET COST IN TRANSFER SPENDING THIS WINDOW.
    20.5 MILLION , THE LOWEST SPENDING OF ANY CLUB IN THE TOP IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE.
    WENGER — Spend some real money!

  7. Arsene's analyst

    Games are won and lost in the middle of the pitch, we have nothing there, no pace, no power, no energy, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ramsey being our best, but not a patch on Vieira, Petit, Gilberto

    If we can spend 42.5 million and 35 million on Ozil and Sanchez, why couldn’t Wenger have bought Costa, NEVER EVEN COMPETED FOR HIM, BECAUSE HE HAS THIS MISGUIDED FAITH AND TRUST IN A GUY WHO IS SLOWER THAN ME, AND i’M ANCIENT

  8. Emiratesstroller

    My real concern at the moment is that we have two critical fixtures in next 7 days against Everton and Besiktas.

    We have lost through injury or suspension a considerable number of players and others are clearly not match fit or on form.

    The most glaring hole in our squad at moment is centre back position which even Wenger acknowledges. We have currently just 2 established centre backs + Chambers who was recruited specifically as a second string right back
    to replace Jenkinson.

    There has also got to be serious concern about striker position, because Giroud is not on form and Sanogo is not remotely of the quality to play in EPL
    let alone in a Champions League side. What was apparent last Saturday and Tuesday was the rare occasions that we had a player actually in box to take
    delivery of a cross or through ball.

    Wenger started okay in transfer market. Personally I would not criticise any
    of 4 acquisitions. Debuchy and Ospina are as good as the players they replaced
    and Sanchez and Chambers certainly better quality than the other players we
    offloaded.

    I made the case several weeks ago that it will be difficult to find a decent striker in current transfer market. The only three to have moved are Suarez to Barcelona, Costa to Chelsea and Lewandowski to Bayern.Cavani and Falcao
    are unlikely to move from existing clubs and with just 10 days before transfer
    window closes any players who might be remotely available will cost an arm and a leg and are probably not significantly better than what we have got.

    However, there is no excuse when it comes to recruiting a decent DM or a third or fourth string CB. There are players on market whom we could buy and are certainly good enough to improve our team/squad. Flamini and Arteta are clearly not good enough to play against teams like Man City or Chelsea.

  9. Dark Hei

    Stroller

    Cavani might be an option if we put Giroud in the mix. If this goes through, all parties will be happy.

    P$G – They get the $$ to buy Di’Maria. A real winger on the wings instead of Cavani. They get a backup to Ibrahimovic.

    Arsenal – We are still stuck with a 1 striker option. But that 1 striker is a certain starter. Walcott and Sanchez can provide decent options for rotation.

    Giroud’s Wife – Gets to go back to France. (Nobody cares what Giroud thinks right? He waived off those rights by cheating on his wife and letting his team down)

  10. Sam

    Dark hei,

    London-Paris is only 2hours. Lol!
    She can go visit la famille anytime, French hardly get homesick in uk. It’s cazorla’s wife that missed home

  11. Sam

    Never mind new signing with players currently available IMO our best line up should be:

    Alexis—–podolski —-chamberlain

    Ramsey—-coquelin ——ozil

    Monreal—-koscielny—-mert—debuchy

    Chez

    Bench: giroud, Campbell, chambers, flamini, martinez, cazorla/rosicky

  12. Jeff

    I agree with the notion that Wenger himself is suspect as much as personnel not performing. We have enough fire power to finish fourth but that is as far as it goes. I have for sometime had grave misgivings about Wenger’s prowess on the pitch and he has done nothing in the last 5 to 8 years to allay those fears.

  13. qna

    Today: Arteta is injured for 2 weeks.
    2 weeks later: Arteta suffered a setback in recovery, expected in another 4 weeks.
    4 weeks later: Arteta rejoins training, but is not match fit
    2 weeks later: Arteta rejoins team.
    Remainder of season: Arteta at extremely high risk of reoccurrence or of getting a soft tissue injury in another area that players often get when recovering from an injury layoff. Risk is increased with older players.

    End of season:
    Arsene Wenger: “We were very unlucky, if Arteta didnt get injured, we would have been much closer.”
    AKBs: “Wenger is right, if we weren’t so unlucky with injuries…. ”

    I have seen this story before, and it fucking sucks.

  14. Jeff

    If by some accident we fail to qualify for CL all hell will break loose because qualification is the one thing Wenger has been able to boast all these years and relies on so heavily for extra income to justify his post and existence. His ego and standing will take a seismic hammering should we fail to go through and therefore anything could happen after that.

  15. Emiratesstroller

    Dark Hei

    Cavani is not an option, because Arsenal will never pay a transfer fee of £50 million+ AND £200,000 pw + wages. This represents a contract which would cost the club over 5 years of £100 million.

    Whilst he may have been a prolific goalscorer in the past he did not perform at that level last season for Paris St Germain or even for Uruguay in World Cup.

    Wenger is not going to sell Giroud this summer, but he does need to find a solution up front and very quickly. My instinct tells me that either Walcott or Sanchez will be experimented with there once the former is fit, but it is certainly not a long term solution.

  16. Leedsgunner

    Qna @536

    We’ve seen it with RvP, Ramsey, Wilshere Theo and Cazorla — I used to think we were unlucky or that the players were especially fragile but when you look at the list of injured players it is too much of a coincidence isn’t? Wenger for all his reputation for talent development is a poor manager.

    I’d laugh my arse off if PSG went for a £35m + Giroud swap.

    It won’t happen especially with 10 days in the TW left.

  17. Bergkamplegend

    “Why on earth do you think they would consider signing Giroud ?”

    Because they have no brain at all ??

  18. Nicholas

    “Why on earth do you think they would consider signing Giroud ?”

    Because they were foolish enough to buy David Luiz?

  19. Dark Hei

    “Why on earth do you think they would consider signing Giroud ?”

    Because he is home grown over in France and wouldn’t kick a big fuss being the real TGSTEL side kick

  20. Dark Hei

    “Why on earth do you think they would consider signing Giroud ?”

    Because TGSTEL is injured. Because they want to sign Di’Maria who is better a playing winger than Cavani.

    Look it does make sense at some level.

  21. Jeff

    Big teams buying second rate first team Arsenal players to use as third or fourth back up. Hmm, let me think, has that happened before. Yes it has.

  22. Dark Hei

    “Because they want to make some trade == >> L’Oreal for Cavani ??”

    +35M bucks so that the Di’Maria deal can go through. We can even pay in instalments. FFP is concerned only with revenues, not cash flow.

  23. Gregg

    @Savage

    Don’t blame Milan at all. certainly don’t want him here. We have enough players in the squad that don’t ‘love’ the game enough, that prefer the trappings of being a footballer rather than focusing on being the best they can possibly be.

  24. Wallace

    101 great goals quoting ‘respected’ Italian journo who says we’ve made contact with PSG about Rabiot. still far from sure thing though. and that Poldi may well be off…Turkey a possible destination.

  25. Thank you and goodnight

    Mikkel arteta out for 2 weeks apparently. I tell you how this is going to pan out. They are saying 2 weeks out, that way they can use it as an excuse not to dip into the transfer market as he’ll be back soon. Just after the transfer window shuts they’ll come out with the line ” he had an adverse reaction in his rehabilitation and he’ll be out for a further month”. Just like they did with Ramsey last January.

  26. Al

    I will be livid if we let podolski go and don’t replace him. ….the fact we are letting a player go who will almost guarantee you a goal/ assist in every other game but are willing to keep the likes of Sanogo.

    I know podolski has his deficiency but at the end of the day why sell him if you are not replacing him? To balance the books and get rid of his salary? Will that extra money and the likes of, Sanogo, campbell, Ox and santi replace his goals and assist for a team that has struggled attacking wise?

  27. Emiratesstroller

    Leeds Gunner

    I had lunch yesterday with close friend who like myself is a long standing season ticket holder and we discussed our injury crisis.

    I have maintained for several years that these are caused by our style of play and not necessarily fitness training programme or lack of rotation as Pedro has often suggested.

    We play a short and intricate passing game and that I believe causes many of
    the injuries. Arteta was caught in possession and that was the cause of his injury.

    When you play a more open game and spread your passes the likelihood of being caught with a bad tackle is less frequent. You don’t see the same level of
    injuries with clubs like Real Madrid who are playing a more open game.

  28. Wallace

    A1

    i think Campbell’s probably the Podolski replacement. i know what you’re saying about his goals, but i just can’t see him getting much time on the pitch if he stays. Theo, Sanchez, Cazorla & Ox all ahead of him…

  29. Gregg

    Emirates

    Yep and that’s precisely the reason that Wilshere gets his ankles done regularly, with his little ‘short give & go’ style of play

  30. Bamford13

    What a shambles. Honestly. We’ve needed a top class CF and CDM for two years now, and yet we’re headed into this season with Giroud, Sanogo, Arteta and Flamini. None of these players is close to good enough, something that is obvious to everyone on the planet save Wenger.

    There is simply no defending this old man, and I have no faith he will do anything in the next two weeks — or in the next six months — to justify or redeem himself.

    Wenger out.

  31. Bamford13

    Emirates

    No, that’s not it. Plenty of teams play possession football as we do — Barca and Bayern, included — without suffering the same injuries. Wilshere gets injured because he holds the ball too long and forces himself into too many tackles and challenges and Arteta — as I’ve said before — moves and thinks and plays too slowly now to be effective. His slowness of play — and his age and lack of athleticism — is why he is injured, not our style of play.

  32. Bamford13

    Gregg

    Nothing would make me happier. I called for Alderweireld last year, love Khedira and, like everyone else, think the world of Reus (though he isn’t really a CF).

    I don’t see us signing even one of those players, however.

  33. Thank you and goodnight

    Fact of the matter is when we had big strong players injuries were very rare at Arsenal. Or I should say the amount of injuries were rare. Too many players are just to fragile and even if we rotated or changed stuff around I’d reckon we’d have injuries.
    Mr glass= diaby, Sanogo, Wilshire, gibbs etc

  34. Gary C

    Headlines from the press conference

    ** TEAM NEWS: Arteta out of Everton game

    ** ‘We’re open to transfer opportunities’

    ** Wenger – Be patient with Chambers

    ** ‘Everton can challenge for top four’

    ** Wenger – Ramsey has huge potential

  35. obum

    we are waiting for cavani to get to madrid so we get benzema. i hv a very reliable source on that. then the manolas will be signing by tomorrow morning. theres no DM signing in this window (beacuse no movement is been done on that)

  36. Bamford13

    The side below (or something similar) could challenge for the title:

    Shez
    Debu Cham Kosc Gibb
    Ramsey Khedira
    Ozil
    Sanchez Cavani Cazorla

    This would require us to add Khedira and Cavani.

    In contrast, the current side will be fortunate to finish fourth.

    As for Sanchez playing centrally, it might work marginally better than Giroud there, but he’s going to need time just to settle in as a wide player. I don’t see him soon becoming — if ever becoming — a suitable CF.

    Shame that Wenger hasn’t been able to mold Podolski into that role. He has everything — save the brain and work ethic — for it.

  37. Bergkamplegend

    “‘We’re open to transfer opportunities’ ” == >> “We won’t get fooled again”.

    “Be patient with Chambers ” == >> “Be patient with L’Oreal”.

  38. Bergkamplegend

    Can’t believe wenger told us to be “patient” with Chambers… The boy is top class for his age.

    And with L’Oreal, how much time are we supposed to be “patient” ??

  39. Bamford13

    “If it’s a long-term injury [for Arteta] that puts us in a position where we have to be creative.” – Wenger, just now

    I honestly hate this man. Pretty confident he means solve within the squad, not through signings. You tell me.

  40. Gregg

    Creative in the transfer market ? creative internally ?

    Who know’s. I gave up taking any notice of what he says about possible recruitment, years ago

  41. Bergkamplegend

    “Be patient with Chambers”

    “Hey Arsène, what about Donkey Giroud ??”

    wenger : “he’s already as his top level, one of the best world strikers. Equal os Suarez or Aguerro. What’s your problem with him ?? And why do you look at me like that ??”

    Nevermind arsène, nevermind… Time to take your pills.

  42. Leedsgunner

    If a DM isn’t signed — it will be because either Diaby/Arteta are coming back and they’ll be like “new signings.”

    Sitting on mountains of cash — and we behave like a relegation/promotion club. I’m not advocating spending for the sake of it but earlier in the summer when Fernando, Valbuena or even Rodwell was available as a cheaper option we dithered.

    I know I railed against Wenger going to World Cup rather than concentrating his duties at home I might have been wrong. Perhaps the transfer went through smoothly because Wenger wasn’t directly involved. All that great early work in the summer undone by classic Wenger indecision.

    Sell Coq, Miyachi, Flamini and put the monies toward a decent DM I say.

    Apparently QPR wants Coq, come on, work those phones Ivan. Remy isn’t my first choice but he’s more viable than Giroud atm…. get him in.

    Speaking of DMs Khedira is a lost cause imo if Bayern Munich is interested. For a German player it will be a mighty draw. We’ve missed our chance.

  43. qna

    Its going to be painful to watch Fabregas play for chelsea this year and I felt very little watching RVP after he moved. It will be cant look away painful too as I think I will be watching every Chelsea match – the team I hate most on the planet.

    If there was ever a year to be stuck in a coma this is it.

  44. Bankz

    You Just Feel it In Your guts that this is going to be one of the Shittiest SHIT Season Of All.
    You Know it but you are just scared to admit it.

    Unless Wenger pulls a rabbit signing out of his hat in the next 2weeks……The mauling/ass whooping we received last season from Chelsea & Liverpool will be like Child’s play compared to what we’d get handed this season’.

    I know And you know you feel it too. …your gut feeling telling you to start fixing a wedding date for our game against Chelsea at the Stamford, City at Etihad and Liverpool at Anfield.

  45. Bamford13

    QNA

    I’m going to enjoy watching Cesc play. Why not? Chelsea will play good football for the first time in some time, and while I don’t like them, I do like good football.

    I’m past the point of being disappointed in Wenger. No reason to look to Arsenal for great football — not until Wenger leaves. Might as well enjoy great football wherever it’s played — even if it is being played at Chelsea or City.

    As a football fan, better to see Cesc shining at Chelsea than wasting away at Barca. For me at least.

  46. Bergkamplegend

    ” I don’t want to see Poldi go personally but he deserves better than to be ignored by Wenger.”

    Spot on.

  47. Bergkamplegend

    “…better to see Cesc shining at Chelsea than wasting away at Barca. ”

    I’m not ready to go this far lol

  48. gnarleygeorge9

    Pedro

    Pace = Theo
    Chambers – looked likely
    Giroud = had the touch/[pace of an elephant going forward

    I’d say the positive is that the team is yet to gel, but is still getting results.

    He needs to get in Khedira, no dilly dallying, DO IT!!! 😳 am I still allowed to say that with Puma now on board 🙂

  49. Dark Hei

    “…better to see Cesc shining at Chelsea than wasting away at Barca. ”

    On behalf of Arsenal FC, we apologise for causing what is clearly insanity in Bamford13

  50. Thank you and goodnight

    I’m hoping in my heart we do Everton at the weekend. But I’d be lying if I said I’m not scared of the game Saturday. Shitting myself. My only hope is Everton are like us, not in full gear yet. Fingers crossed

  51. qna

    @Bamford: I’m going to enjoy watching Cesc play. Why not?

    I hate Chelsea more than any other team. I usually watch an Arsenal match, plus the best other match of the round and that takes into account my dislike for Chelsea, so I hardly watch them. But I am already drawn to them with Fabregas. Costa doesnt impress me that much. He is of course better than Giroud, but not a top level striker like Cavani, Benzema, a fit RVP, Rooney, Aguero, Falcao etc.

    But watching Fab dominate like he quite obviously will and was always going to will be painful because he would have come to us. He was relatively cheap. This will be the worst “what could have been” my football memory.

    I also feel that wherever Reus goes its another “what could have been” and it will be painful to watch him play at any other club. I am positive we could have already done the deal and got him by now. Reus is a better player than we have in our squad, possibly with the exception of Ozil. He is better than Sanchez. Whats worse is that we didnt have any shortage at RW, but have had a deficiency on the LW for a long long time. I dont believe those who say he rejected us. He might have rejected the offer, but not the club. I simply dont believe it.

    Now we have Walcott and Sanchez running into each other on the right and no-one good on the left or the centre.

  52. Bergkamplegend

    “On behalf of Arsenal FC, we apologise for causing what is clearly insanity in Bamford13”

    LOL that’s what I think too 🙂

  53. qna

    “This is my last day in AC Milan” — Mario Balotelli. [Sky Italia]

    I dont care what people say about him. The guy is a fucking good CF and 10 times better than Giroud. Liverpool all of a sudden look to be favorites for our 4th place trophy.

  54. Goondawg

    You know it’s a sad sordid state of affairs, when an injury to Arteta is heralded as good news. But this is what Wenger has done to us.

  55. Olatunbosun tajudeen

    Wenger’s a confused manager & I don’t see anything special about him, if he can’t win against mouthiho teams in 10yrs with all he can boast of in the past, this season will be worst with addition of cest & costa