Indistinguishable #1 is bad news | CHUBA SIGNS DA TING

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Arsene Wenger has thrown down the gauntlet to David Ospina.

“Wojciech is the No.1 but David has played recently. Can he retain the shirt in the coming games? We’ll decide that.”

It’s interesting, you kind of get the feeling Wenger doesn’t totally rate Ospina. He has a habit of surrounding Wojciech with weak competition (Viviano, Almunia, Fabianski to an extent), in some weird sort of paternalistic play to make his favourite come good. For me, the worry with Ospina sits around his frame. He’s very small and he’s not exactly built for the Premier League. If he’s not of the quality level we need, begs the question why we don’t just go out and buy a keeper who is. Someone like Begovic would be a great option (though I have seen mistakes creeping into his game) or maybe even a keeper like Samir Handanovic of Inter Milan.

We have to address the keeper issue if Ospina isn’t the one. Brilliant keepers are totally integral to being a brilliant side. You can’t have a situation where it’s hard to distinguish who is number one.

You know who I’d love over anyone? Hugo Lloris… is it telling Giroud linked him with the club last year? Man, I really hope so. That would be a sign of intent. Just can’t see Wenger dropping £25m on a keeper.

The best news of yesterday was hearing Chuba Akpom has signed a new 4.5 year deal, shunning interest from Chelsea, who clearly wanted to sell him for £25m in 5 years, and Liverpool. He’s a sharp talent. Focused, extremely mobile with pace to boot, he looks intelligent on the ball and the team seem to have a soft spot for him. I haven’t been this excited about a youth team striker since Nic Anelka burst onto the scene.

I went to a Telegraph talk fronted by Paul Hayward (very impressive), Tim Sherwood and Henry Winter. It was actually quite interesting. Amusing listening to The Telegraph preach that they were a multi-channel platform… keep up guys! Anyway, it was interesting hearing Henry Winter say that Wenger hadn’t been vindicated… the fans had. Wenger’s belief system hasn’t come good, what he’s actually had to do it take a new approach, firstly by implementing some of the changes I’ve suggested on here over the past 5  years, then taking some advice from his players and Steve Bould on what they want to do.

I said earlier in the season, my biggest disappointment was the top, top players not taking more accountability for the mess. Showing more intelligence on the pitch as well as showing more aggression to be the best off the pitch. The fact they took control of the lack of planning is massive. That sort of mentality, when it works, binds teams and creates a culture of progression. Back in the Bobby Robson days, Mourinho and Pep used to take Robson’s team instructions and rewrite them to be coherent. If something ain’t right, don’t sit back and let it not be right. No one will clap you complaining about a mess you could have cleared up.

Looks like that’s what’s happening. Even hearing Wenger talking about that scouting machine is a massive positive. He didn’t touch it to begin with, but now he’s being coerced into using a bit of data to help support what he sees with his eyes. All positive. You can’t knock someone if they’re trying to improve. All I’ve ever wanted is for us to progress… seems like things might be heading that way.

Let’s hope that we don’t gain some short term success and revert back to type. That really would be upsetting.

This is a really positive spree, but let’s not get carried away. One away win against a team that doesn’t practice tactics is exciting, but it proves nothing. We need to do that regularly. We need to make that a standard offering, not something we clap uncontrollably at… because here’s the thing, playing with a game plan should really be 2015 standard.

Let’s hope it is. A bright, better, smarter Arsenal.

Could be coming… could.

Fingers crossed.

Finally, you should get involved in Arsenal’s‘Be a Gunner. Be a Runner’ race. It’s happening on April 11th. 1000 people running 10 laps around the Emirates. It’s for the Emirates. International fans are hosting their own races. All sounds great, get yourself involved.

Full details can be found here: http://www.arsenal.com/bagbar

 

388 Responses to “Indistinguishable #1 is bad news | CHUBA SIGNS DA TING”

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  1. K_bakker

    “Wojciech is the No.1 but David has played recently. Can he retain the shirt in the coming games? We’ll decide that.”

    The thing is, he’s keeping Ospina on his toes and he’s showing Wojciech that non is decided. This is certainly good for competition. Look at the Casillas / Alves situation last year. It only brought out the best in both players.

  2. Romford Ozil Pele

    Winning 😉

    Looks like Welbz and Alexis return this weekend. You’d assume that means Chuba and Chambers miss out, Expect this:

    Ospina
    Bellerin Mert Kos Monreal
    Le Coq
    Alexis Rambo Santi Ozil
    L’Oeal

    Bench
    Szcz
    Gabriel
    Gibbs
    Flamini
    Rosicky
    Theo
    Welbz

    Spare
    Martinez
    Chambers
    Gnabry
    Akpom

  3. Leedsgunner

    http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/man-city-weighing-up-summer-8574251?

    I wonder if Burnley’s striker Ings will gain a lot more credence with people since Man City is sniffing around him now.

    Ideally I would like a WC striker to supplement our strike force — but no matter how many times Daily Express says it — Cavani is not coming to Arsenal… I feel pretty happy with our strike force. Giroud, Welbeck and Akpom all offer something a little difference — and with over 18 people registering on the scoresheet this year the burden isn’t solely on them. Playing in front of a revitalised Özil, and Cazorla will only make them better and that’s even before we consider Sanchez.

    If we are going to blow big money on a player it’s not Cavani we should be looking for but Simeone… he’ll bring in and attract the players we need.

  4. Dream10

    Romford

    Like that lineup. A 2-0 victory on Saturday followed by some rotation against Leicester next week. Gabriel can then make his debut and Welbeck can play 35mins in preparation for the FA Cup clash vs. Boro

  5. Dream10

    Giroud, Monreal, Ospina, Bellerin and Coquelin all the undisptued first choices in their respective positions. Will be disappointed if Gibbs if re-installed as first choice LB. IMO, the only one in danger of losing his position for the 1st leg CL match against Monaco is Ospina. One mistake and Szczesny will be back.

  6. Shubham

    I feel the No. 1 comment is to keep Chezzer motivated for a fight where he sees an opportunity of grabbing back his position should Ospina drop a clanger. The corollary is, it keeps Ospina on his toes knowing there is little margin for error.

    Akpom has the raw talent but needs polishing. Hope game time afforded to him this season will develop his game further…Good talent to have as a back up. With our injury record, you never know when we’ll be down to bare bones again.

  7. gambon

    Summer Business:

    Out

    Szczesny
    Jenkinson
    Arteta
    Flamini
    Diaby
    Podolski
    Campbell
    Sanogo
    Wellington/Ryo

    In

    Cech
    Schneiderlin
    Reus

    Then I think we can look at winning the PL.

    Prob need a new LB as well.

    Stick to playing mainly counter attacking compact football,

  8. Leedsgunner

    I want to see Akpom on the bench if I’m honest versus Tottenham. He’ll be fired up to show what he can do after signing his new contracts I think he’ll be more fit than Welbeck. Bring on Welbeck versus Leicester, score a hat trick and get his confidence back. 😉

    With Özil coming back to his best and Cazorla on fire Welbeck and Sanchez must be linking their chops… before Özil went off injured they were the beginnings of chemistry there!

    It’s so great to see our bench full of experience and quality again. As I said yesterday when Jack comes back let him take the place of Flamini on the bench and provide cover for Coquelin. If he can’t do that he’ll have to accept his place as a bench warmer coming in when someone’s injured… he should not be a starter.

  9. MadeToLoveMagic

    Good post pedro, I agree that the noises coming out of wengers mouth have a different feel to since the city game, he seems, and this could be just an hopeful delusion, to be talking sense, les riddles more conrcrete statements..

    It is always the sign of a great man of any field to be able to recognise when he should listen to the people around him, and also when not to.. Hopefully wenger has realised that listening to the people around him isnt a sign of weakness….

    I actually see a few similarities between wenger and einstein. Not saying wenger is anything like as smart as einstein was but bare with me………

    When Einstein rose to prominence he had taken classsical ideas of newton and completely turned them on his head. He was the biggest game changer science/philosophy had ever seen. He had a period of unrivalled success using methods basically unique to him. He figured out the theory of relativity by challenging himself using thought experiments like “what would happen if I was riding on a beam of light at the speed on light whilst looking in a mirror?” These “games” he used to play were what gave him that mental vision to see things in a different way. It made him top of his field…….

    Then came Quantum Mechanics,, , Einstein hated this because as it turns out things on a quantum level behave in an entirely different way to einsteins macroscopic universe. Without going into too much detail , things inside atoms like electrons behave like they are not in any place at once until the moment of that wave fucntions measurement or “observation. Also that quantumly entangled particles can seemingly know what the other is doing by communicating faster than the speed of light… Quantum mechanics is tripped the fuck out basically and einstein hated it so much . “god doesnt play dice ” he famously once said…

    In the second half of einsteins career he basically completely ignored quantum mechanics (even though his early work had given birth to it), because it didnt fit his view of the world and he became completely detached from modern science… His contempories started to see him as an archaic fossil once the greatest but now because of his very fixed views , left behind………

    Einstein spent the last 20 years of his life searching for a theory of everything, a simple equation that would encapsulate the “mind of god” in a few small characters. Problems is he was ignoring modern science… If he had changed and incorporated modern results into his theories maybe he could have succeeded but his unwavering believe in the way things “should be” stopped that from being a reality…… By the end he was seen as a relic……

  10. MadeToLoveMagic

    basically einstein tried to figure his later theories using the same methods he had arrived at his earlier successful ones, but science had moved on and they just werent applicable anymore.

  11. Leedsgunner

    gambon

    If I was being ruthless I would sell Mertesacker if a decent offer came in for him… he’s not getting any younger and he’ll need to be replaced sooner or later.

    What happened to Schrar? Is he still available on a free this summer? Otherwise I would love to see someone like Laporte come in. He would be expensive but he’s young and can also play LB I think.

    Next year if they are ready I would like to see more of Crowley and Zelalem come and play supporting roles in the earlier cup games and give our starters a breather. Plus by gradually working them in we avoid the situation with Akpom and Coquelin where we are desperately throwing games at them to sign their new contracts.

  12. Romford Ozil Pele

    Dream, good point. Totally forgot we have Leicester midweek after that so we may see a bit of rotation. I’m wary of ‘boro after what they did at City.

    Also agree that Wenger’s comments are just to keep Szcz motivated. Ospina can’t really be dropped atm. I still have my doubts over him tbh but he was very assured when coming for crosses against Villa. 3 PL games, 3 clean sheets. Can’t really argue against that.

  13. Romford Ozil Pele

    Leeds – you could probably argue that a few areas need upgrading. But at the same time how much do we want to keep changing the team each season. Mert isn’t perfect and I agree he needs upgrading, probably what Paulista is for. But he’s experienced and at some point we need a degree of continuity. The fact that nobody really knows what our first choice 11 is brings up an issue. Think how much Chelsea have been able to field a consistent 11. That’s a point we need to reach as well.

  14. MadeToLoveMagic

    Leeds, i reckon Merte would be a great guy to keep around the club even after hes not playing. He would make an ideal defensive coach i think. He is all about the positioning and using his mind. If he can impart that knowledge to younger quicker players then he could be very useful. Plus people love around around the club imo

  15. Alfie

    I don’t see how the keeper thing is an issue.

    Ospina hasn’t put a foot wrong and lets not kid ourselves that Schz isn’t a world class goalkeeper. He just needs to be better man managed.

  16. Rhys Jaggar

    You’re in danger of ‘becoming the story’ if you keep bigging yourself up, Mr Wood.

    That’s the death sentence for any journalist, blogger or the like.

    From observing your site for a few years, yes, occasionally, you say something original. Far more often, you pick up on the insights of your bloggers and then rehash it in the next few days/weeks.

    You really should go into politics. You’ve learned so well from Arsene Wenger…..

    In addition, go and buy a French tricolour and take it to wave at Emirates Stadium.

    Here’s your dream team:

    Lloris:
    Debuchy, Koscielny, Varane, ???
    Schneiderlin, Coquelin;
    XXX, Pogba, XXX,
    Benzema.

    Only three names to find then you can hire Henry and Pires to run L’Epuipe nationale de France en angleterre……(aka The French National Side in England)

    Oh, you’ve learned from Wenger the art of signing English players who then get marginalised. You’re constantly encouraging trashing of Gibbs, Wilshere, Walcott, Oxlade Chamblerlain and Jenkinson. Where’s the trashing of French people?? Makes me think that many of your anonymous bloggers are French……

    But what you want is a French team.

    As I said, go wave a tricolour………and start singing La Marseillaise…….

    But don’t, whatever you do, stop the English fans from buying Sky subscriptions – it’s still nearly 50% of the TV revenues. For that, the English are allowed players at Hull, West Brom, West Ham, Crystal Palace etc.

    But they aren’t allowed any at Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and, perhaps after the summer 2015 splurge on a defence, at Man Utd either.

    Same with managers. Same with owners.

    ‘Etes vous francais dans votre coeur?’ is what the 10 Monaco fans will sing to you soon………

    Which for those of linguistically challenged backgrounds comes in at ‘Are you Frenchmen in disguise?’

  17. Bigper

    Lloris is no bigger than ospina though really…..

    I agree with having bigger more imposing keepers generally like courtios and Cech but keepers can still be good when smaller, like Lloris, de gea, casillas back in the day

    I’d say positioning, confidence, authority, command of area and being calm, ability to jump, agility etc are more important than a few extra inches

  18. Romford Ozil Pele

    So AC Milan planning new stadium based on the Emirates layout. Good to see the Italian sides trying to modernise their approach. Juve have already benefitted. 48,000 seems a bit small though, Juve’s new one is only 41,000. Interesting.

  19. Wallace

    I like Ospina, gives the impression nothing fazes him. as long as we have some height in central defence i think we’re fine with a 6’0 kepper.

  20. Leedsgunner

    Fair enough, Romford/MTLM

    Let’s keep Mert but let’s him use sensibly as his age and injuries catch up with him.

    What I don’t want is another Arteta/Flamini situation where a player who is clearly past it is given a place in the first team squad just because of his supposed seniority.

    I personally thought GB5 was Kos’s eventual replacement? I guess our future pairing could well be Chambers and Gabriel…

    Mert as a defensive coach is a great idea but somehow I don’t think Mert will challenge Wenger… and besides I thought Wenger said he doesn’t do specialised coaching bearing in mind his vast 20 years of coaching experience! 😉

  21. Leedsgunner

    I like Ospina, gives the impression nothing fazes him. as long as we have some height in central defence i think we’re fine with a 6’0 kepper.

    Agreed 100%. The keeper should be the last line of defence… if your defenders are imposing, tall and strong as well as organised hopefully they can avert the danger before it even gets to the goalkeeper.

    Ospina seems to have the confidence of the defenders in front of him. That’s half the battle isn’t for a keeper? Chesney looks all over the place and you can tell the defenders in front are a bit nervous especially about his mad moments…

  22. zaco

    Pedro

    why is it that when wenger does anything good you tends to give the credit to someone else (bould e.t.c.) but when something bad happens wenger is solely responsible for it, and who said that Steve bould has not been allowed to do his job or that he was not the one that was in charge of the defence when we suffered 6-1, 5-1 defeats last season?.

    how can you expect wenger to categorically announce Ospina as his number one? we accuse chezzney of feeling over-confidence and complacent and you want wenger to tell Ospina that he is the new Oliver Kahn so he can think he has arrived?.

    you have been hammering about Begovic but who said he is better than Ospina? But if results and performances are the yardstick for choosing who is a better keeper then i can tell you that Ospina is better not solely based on the few matches he has played so far but from his outing at the world cup, yes we have to judge players/keepers by what we see with our eyes and not by twitter reports.

    we should all forget about this “build for the premiership tra.sh” no player is really build for the premiership atleast players like Oscar, zola, david silva, coutinho, ramirez have all proved that you don’t have to be f.a.t to compete in the premier league and if my eyes serves my well i don’t think shay Given was a giant nor DeGae a monster, therefore size is not really a factor if you have the talent to do your job.

    I can see you no longer tell us that Klopp is the greatest manager of all time, just as you have stopped talking about the Roma coach after his 7-1 Home defeat against Bayern and eventual elimination at home to City. sometimes we just have to give the man some credit when he gets things right instead.

  23. gambon

    “how much can we spend in the summer window without breaching FFP?”

    About £100m i would say.

    Depends who we sell.

  24. Romford Ozil Pele

    Buying Lloris from Spurs is virtually impossible. Plus whoever wants to buy him is gonna have to pay around £25m minimum. And for a GK, that’s plain stupid.

  25. Up 4 Grabs Now

    Morning all, I would stick with Ospina all the way. the spuds wont sell Lloris to us. anybody else decent is going to be 25 million and up.
    Ospina has caught everything thrown at him, and looks confident enough to me.
    the only way back in for chesny now is if ospina gets injured.

  26. gambon

    Marble

    I dont think we WILL spend £100m, and i dont think Reus is coming.

    This is merely what I would do.

    Also I agree that Mertesacker will possibly need to be replaced if we are to win things.

  27. Leedsgunner

    The Lloris ship has sailed — the time we should have bought him was when he left France. I along with others said at the time we would rue not signing him — but Wenger was too far Chesney’s arse to see quality. Ironically really considering how much he goes on about wanting to sign players only when they are better than what we already have. Lloris was, and remains streets ahead Chesney. Another for the “I tried to sign” crew I suspect.

    Wenger is unbeatable when it comes to saying he tries to signs players. Amazing record of talent… Shame it doesn’t translate into real life that actually matters.

  28. gambon

    Up4Grabs

    I think we need a new Midfield. We have the technique and the creativity but we are lacking the power and physicality, and defensive screen.

    Coquelin could be a part of that, but im not sure hes good enoyugh, and we need more than one player with these attributes, otherwise it all goes wrong if said player is injured.

    We also need more goals, so either a world class CF, or a wide player with goals.

    Theos contract could cause an issue as well.

    I dont think we have a top class LB, im not sure we have a top GK and i still think we are lacking a world class leader at CB.

  29. Up 4 Grabs Now

    Leeds mate, I think the same can be said of Begovic as well.
    3-4 years ago when he had form he could have made the difference.

  30. Up 4 Grabs Now

    Gambon, I agree with you for the most part, especially with Theos contract.

    I would probably say LB is ok though.
    Monreal is a good defender and as long as he isn’t thrown forward and out of position his defending is better than Gibbs.

    im old school, I never remember Winterburn crossing the halfway line more than about half a dozen times in his career unless he was taking a corner.

  31. Romford Ozil Pele

    Vicky, I may be with you tbh. That said it’s too early to make a judgement on Ospina. My main issue with Szcz is his cockiness. Normally I don’t mind that but it grates on me with him. GK’s shouldn’t be flamboyant. They need to give off that aura of calm and just keep things moving. Sometimes you get the feeling in a game that he’s bored and just has to do something so he’s mentioned. But the kid has talent. His performance against Germany earlier this season was hailed as the best ever by a Polish GK. He won the Golden glove last season. There’s a GK in there, whether we’ll extract it all is another thing.

  32. Timao

    Leedsguuner – 20-20 hindsight never fails. Maybe you are forggeting we all clamoured for Szcesny to play when he was behind Fabiasnki. And Szcesny has excelled for us for most his time as first choice,keepr. OK in the last twelve months he’s started to look a bit less reliable and that’s presumably why Wenger bought Ospina – who looks like a class goalkeeper. He hasn’t been tested too much in the Premier League but like Zac says, his performances as the WC were as good as anyone (except Neuer).

  33. Bamford10

    To compete for the title, we must replace Giroud and Arteta/Coquelin in the starting XI this summer. If we do not, we will be also-rans yet again next season and next season will be another pointless one.

    Would be great to have a better GK, but Szczesny is actually good enough.

    The names that matter now are those that can improve us at CF and CDM. We are adequate everywhere else.

  34. Up 4 Grabs Now

    Romford, I think Reus will end up at city. they will have a clear out of dzeko and jovetic, and that buy out clause is nothing to them.
    Madrid have such a quality front line they cant jam reus in their as well.

  35. Dream10

    A year of Reus LW Ronaldo CF and Bale RW or
    Ronaldo on the left and Reus on the right. Benz at CF

    One of Benzema, Bale or Isco goes by 2016

    Do they say no to Man Utd if they offer 75-80m for Bale?

  36. Romford Ozil Pele

    Up4grabs, Agree on Monreal. Think the balance is better atm. We always did best when it was just one FB going forward, rather than two. One FB should always stay close to the CBs, acting as a third CB in this regard. Sagna was very good at this. Monreal’s spell at CB earlier this season may have helped in that regard. I think it’s a better balance because Bellerin is better going forward and has the recovery pace to get back. When both FBs fly forward it puts a lot more pressure on the DM.

  37. Romford Ozil Pele

    City could do with an upgrade in the creative area to be honest. Milner really shouldn’t be performing that type of role and Navas is dog turd. For a club with their resources they probably should have some better players.

  38. Up 4 Grabs Now

    Romford, bang on about the fullbacks couldn’t have said it better myself.
    go back 25 years and its like watching Dixon and Winterburn. Dicko was always attacking and putting crosses in while Winterburn hugged the halfway line

  39. gambon

    Heres the thing, im a huge Bale fan, think hes outstanding.

    But if you can sell Bale to UTD for £80m, but Reus for £20m, then use the spare £60m for Pogba, you would do it.

    I dont think bale will go anywhere, and im not sure Reus will go to Spain.

  40. vicky

    Romford

    Completely agree with your post. But what surprises me is the fact that most of the posters here have lost faith in him. A bit of a knee-jerk reaction imo.

    Ospina has not put a foot wrong but has not done anything spectacular tbh. In fact, I would say he has not even been tested. I reserve my judgement on him. But, Cheser has time and again proved that on his day he can be as good as anyone.

  41. gambon

    “Replace Coquelin…. why?”

    Is he good enough to walk into the chelsea team?

    if not we should be looking for replacements.

  42. Romford Ozil Pele

    Even Barca at the best used to have Abidal deep next to Pique/Puyol with Alves flying forward as an auxillary winger.

  43. Up 4 Grabs Now

    Gambon, I think your right, cant see bale leaving Madrid especially to go and play centre back for Van Gaal or wherever he wants to switch him too.

    I thought Wenger was made playing people out on the wing but that guy is a fruitcake!

  44. Pedro

    I think people are mistaking my comments on Ospina… I like him, I’m not saying get a new keeper… but if Wenger doesn’t rate him, he should get a new one.

  45. Timao

    am i misremembering or did Lauren and Cole not both like to bomb forward and cause problems to opposition defences?

  46. gambon

    “am i misremembering or did Lauren and Cole not both like to bomb forward and cause problems to opposition defences?”

    Yeah but we had Vieira & Gilberto.

  47. Bamford10

    Because he is little more than a hard-working scrapper. There’s a reason he was loaned out, and there’s a reason he wasn’t called in to the French national team.

    He is an adequate, hard-working back-up. He is not one of the world’s best CDMs, and we won’t win a title with him as our starting CDM. No idea why people struggle to see this rather obvious fact.

  48. Timao

    duh, Gambon, nobody is good enough to “walk into the Chelsea team” – that’s why they are top. but could Coquelin earn a place in that team? I don’t see why not – except they already have players as good doing that job.

  49. Insomnia

    On our keepers I think people need to realise aw is trying to keep two players motivated – that’s what we need across the team. WS screwed up so gets dropped but not destroyed – ospina gets in but should not take his place for granted.
    That’s what we want in every position and where we don’t – DM and CF – are where we need to strengthen

  50. gambon

    “duh, Gambon, nobody is good enough to “walk into the Chelsea team” – that’s why they are top.”

    Well until we have better players we wont be top!

  51. OnlyCameToSeeEboue

    Bamford you can’t in the same statement say Giroud has to be got rid of and say Szczesny is good enough.

    In my opinion, they are both of similar quality for their respective positions. Very good players who will hardly set the world alight.

  52. Alfie

    “Is he good enough to walk into the chelsea team?

    if not we should be looking for replacements.”

    I don’t agree with this logic although I can see what you are aiming at.

    Is say, Bellarin/Walcott/Ozil good enough to walk into a Chelsea team right now? I don’t think so. Different dynamic and style. We just need upgrades in certain positions to suit our style of play.

  53. Timao

    Bamford -they are all hard-working scrappers,. show me a similar player who has the range of passing and all-around awareness that Coquelin has diplayed in recent matches. Coquelin may be unproven in the long term, but he has hardly put a foot wrong since he’s been in the team so I don’t see any reason to assume he will.

  54. Insomnia

    Gambon

    You must admit it’s not just about individual players but also team balance.

    I think if we get two top signings then we have a good chance. We have had a long time with a good first XI but very patchy cover. – there are several positions now where that is no longer the case

  55. Up 4 Grabs Now

    I have to say Wenger has lucked out with injuries, I cant see Bellerin, Coquelin, or Monreal playing otherwise.
    I sometimes wonder about all these youngsters that get shifted on without much of a chance playing in the league.
    you cant see much in a carling cup game once every 4 weeks or going on loan to a poor side in league 1, or poor European lower division teams.
    if we killed games of and brought these players in with 20-25 minutes to go like we did with Chuba on Sunday we might get a better idea if they are good enough.

  56. gambon

    I dont mean every single player has to be the best for us to win the PL, but its not far off.

    Look when we last won the PL.

    Best Keeper
    Best LB
    Best CB
    Best central MF partnership
    Best AM
    Best CF in PL history

    At present only Sanchez fits into a debate about “best in his position”

  57. Romford Ozil Pele

    Up4grabs – Bellerin was always good enough IMO. He’s the sole reason Jenkinson will probably be sold.

  58. DUIFG

    We have about 3 cm’s coming to the end of their useful lives. Bringing in a top quality dm is needed, not really a question of needed to replace coq more like balance the squad numbers wise in that area.

    Got no problem with coq keeping the shirt initially next year if he performs like a man possessed between now and the end of the season, let’s support the kid as our best option right now not castigate him for supposed weakness.

  59. Romford Ozil Pele

    Even Lauren i’d argue was more defensively inclined. Found it funny he took penalties sometimes lol. And they were always shit but he managed to score.

  60. Romford Ozil Pele

    Man City are shameful… All the money but they have to put tickets on general sale for the game against Barca. Ridiculous.

  61. karaul

    DM and “world class CF or a wide player with goals” as gambon said is a MUST. That´s 2 new players and we´re there finally.

    If we can sign Cech for good price do it.

    I think we are ok with defence for now and next year too. Now we finally have 2 good players for every position. Of course we need to start thinking about replacing Mertesacker. Hopefully Gabriel isn´t replacement for Koscielny.

    about that “world class CF” I have no idea. Do you? And please don´t say Cavani 🙂

  62. vicky

    Chesney/Ospina

    Debuchy/Ballerin Kos/Mert/Gabriel/Chambers Monreal/Gibbs

    Schienederlin/Coq/Arteta
    Ramsey/Rosicky/Jack
    Sanchez/Theo/Gnabry Ozil/Santi Ox/ New signing

    Giroud/Welback/Akpom

    Good enough side to compete for EPL.

  63. El Patron

    I look at Dortmund and Athletico over the years who have won championships without having the best players in respective positions… just very good ones and a great system with players committed to a cause and working hard for each other.

    To say you need the best players in all positions doesn’t always guarantee success. Even if the odds may be in the favor of the richly talented teams.

  64. WengerEagle

    Koscielny is definitely up there as the best CB in the BPL, I personally rate him as the best and wouldn’t swap him for another defender in the BPL.

    Would be silly not to include Ozil either, he’s definitely in the conversation and is a step above everybody barring Cesc, Silva and Di Maria.

    Sanchez and Hazard are the two outstanding widemen in the BPL.

  65. Up 4 Grabs Now

    Romford, Bellerin is quality, I think he probably would have made it. But wenger buys debuchy, and chambers making him 3rd choice with Jenkinson out on loan.
    how many games do you think wenger would have given him?

  66. WengerEagle

    Bellerin looks very good but sadly I feel it’s only a matter of time before he’s back at Barca.

    He could even move back in a years time when their ban is lifted to replace Dani Alves who’s leaving this summer. Not sure whether they will go for him so soon but it’s a possibility and no-one says no to Barcelona.

  67. Romford Ozil Pele

    Up4Grabs… Chambers has played RB but I don’t think Wenger has plans for him there long-term. It was always between Bellerin and Jenks. Put it this way, I’d be hugely surprised if Jenkinson ever ends up anywhere better than West Ham. Bellerin is likely to play for Barca.

  68. Timao

    You’re spot on El Patron – the same could be said of German national teams in general. They rarely if ever build a team around a single player. But always emphasise the team system and general level of consistency.

  69. Mark

    I don’t mind keepers being a little arrogant when they are WC.

    It winds me up when Szczesny fooks up, gets away with it, then gives a wry smile.

  70. Foxy

    THE SQUAD 2015/2016

    Strikers- Olly, Welbz, Sanogo (sorry folks AW has no plans of getting rid of this pet project) and Chubba (may well be sent off on a season long loan). Therefore we are full in this department unless one of the above suffers serious injury before the 1st Sep.

    Conclusion – No additions.

    Defenders – 4 CBs, 2 LBs, 2 RBs (paulista and chambers can play full back too). I fail to see how we need an upgrade in the full back departments as all four have shown they are more than capable of doing the required job. An upgrade on Mertesacker could help us but Per’s influence on and off the pitch means he ll be around for the duration of his contract unless he suffers a drastic slum of form. And regardless, he is a fine CB.

    Conclusion – No additions.

    Attacking Mid – Sanchez, Ozil, Santi, Ox , Campbell and Theo. Question marks over campbell and theo. You would expect Joel to be here since he signed a new contract. Theo is not in a position to hold us to ransom (like he did the last time) due to our squad being of superior quality. So I think his contract extension will be a formality unless the club decide to introduce a “prove your fitness before we offer you mega bucks deal” (yeah right).

    Conclusion – No additions unless Theo is sold.

    Center Mid – This is where it gets interesting. Le Coq, Jack and Wilshere will remain. Which leaves us with a decision to make over the old guard of Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky. I personally have time for all three but agree with many on here that it good for our long term health to cut a couple of them Rosicky’s contract length has not been disclosed but I believe it goes til 2016. Hes proved his worth again this season with his displays and is great to have around for the experience he brings. The club need to show some balls and not hang on to players for sentiment sense which is what they would be doing if arteta is offered a new contract. Flaimini has anothe ryear to run on his contract but I can envisage AW going into a season with Co

  71. Romford Ozil Pele

    Interesting that Rodgers compared Coutinho to Kroos and Modric. I don’t see it really. Both of the Madrid guys do their best work deep. I guess this was as reference to the fact that Coutinho barely scores. Obviously you want your playmakers to score but it isn’t the end of the world if they don’t produce 20 a season as long as those numbers are coming from elsewhere.

  72. WengerEagle

    I’d argue that we need a wide playmaker more than we need a wide forward, we already have 2 very good ones in Sanchez and Theo. All of our playmakers are central players which means that Ozil or Santi will be played out of position at some point.

    Isco would be the dream but Real would never sell him and if they did it would be for an astronomical amount, someone in that mould is what we need to keep the ball against the better teams and create more chances.

  73. london gunner

    Sanchez is better than Hazard on current form,

    Also the criticism of Sanchez not scoring/assisting away from home are exactly the same for Hazard. In fact I think Hazard has scored even less.

    Why are the spuds so cocky? I have had some conversations with those trash cunts and they told me hands they are going to win on the weekend…

  74. Foxy

    ……… Flaimini has anothe ryear to run on his contract but I cant envisage AW going into a season with him and Coq as our two DMs,

    Conclusion – One new DM replacing Mikel if not contract is offered to him. Otherwise no new additions.

  75. london gunner

    WE

    Yeah they can’t sell Isco it would be political suicide for the president of real madrid as. Isco is from the heart, the fans love that.

    Is it james>kroos>Isoc or kroos>james>isco

    As for wide playmakers firminho looks great.

    I know statistically kroos is the best playmaker in the world

  76. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Why are the spuds so cocky? I have had some conversations with those trash cunts and they told me hands they are going to win on the weekend…”

    Lol they always are, that’s what makes it even sweeter if we win. But generally speaking their form is good, Harry Kane already netted 20 this season, Eriksen in great form and they trashed Chelsea. Things look to be looking up for them. Obviously you could argue the same things for us. It’ll be close this weekend but hopefully we nick it.

  77. Romford Ozil Pele

    “I know statistically kroos is the best playmaker in the world”

    Is this true?!

    Kroos plays deeper than the other two. As for James/Isco, well it’s really down to personal opinion. James had a great World Cup but Isco is more proven at club football.

  78. gambon

    Its not really a case of Hazard or Sanchez, they would be best together in the same team rather than competing for the same spot.

    Sanchez is a wide forward, Hazard is a wide midfielder.

    Sanchez is more of a scorer, Hazard is more involved in build up play and a better passer.

  79. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Yeah they can’t sell Isco it would be political suicide for the president of real madrid as”

    Doesn’t really matter. Real Madrid do what they want. At Bale’s presentation you had Madrid fans with banners saying don’t sell Ozil. It was the same last summer with Di Maria. Means nothing really. They do what they want.

  80. WengerEagle

    Put it this way, we’d kill for a Hazard and Chelsea would kill for a Sanchez.

    Agree with gambon in that they would be phenomenal in the same side rather than keeping each other out of it.

  81. london gunner

    Best playmaker IFFHS!

    LOL LOOK at Messi his almost the best playmaker statically. James is already way up the charts.

    1 – Toni KROOS (Germany / FC Bayern München / Real Madrid CF) 110 points

    2 – Lionel MESSI (Argentina / FC Barcelona) 108 points

    3 – James RODRIGUEZ (Colombia / AS Monaco / Real Madrid CF) 53 points

    4 – Andrès INIESTA (Spain / FC Barcelona) 38 points

    5 – Yaya TOURE (Côte d’Ivoire / Manchester City FC) 29 points

    6 – Bastian SCHWEINSTEIGER (Germany / FC Bayern München) 28 points

    7 – NEYMAR (Brazil / FC Barcelona) and Luka MODRIC (Croatia / Real Madrid CF) 21 points

    9 – Eden HAZARD (Belgium / Chelsea FC London) 18 points

    10 – Ivan RAKITIC (Croatia / FC Sevilla / FC Barcelona) 5 points

  82. Foxy

    Sorry forgot to mention the GKs. Another tricky situation as neither GK has cemented themselves as our long term first choice keeper. The picture will be far clearer at the end of the season once we have had 5 months to see how Ospina performs and if Shezz wins his place back.

  83. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Sanchez is more of a scorer, Hazard is more involved in build up play and a better passer.”

    Pretty much. Alexis likes to get involved too but his passing at times can be erratic. There have been games this season where his pass accuracy has been lower than 75% and that’s pretty bad.

    If i’m thinking correctly, and we maintain this 4-1-4-1, I think Alexis’ role is gonna slightly change. He’s gonna have to start running in behind a bit more ala Theo.

  84. gambon

    Or to put it another way, if you remember the 2010/11 team

    Hazard is a much better Nasri…..Sanchez is a much better Theo

  85. WengerEagle

    London Gunner

    For a while when Bale was injured they played Isco wide in his place and tbh Real in this period with Ronaldo-Benzema-James-Isco were at their very best.

    Since Modric has gotten injured he’s played a more central deeper role beside Kroos in CM and he’s been just as good there.

    He really is a sensational player.

    Firmino is a brilliant player btw, only a matter of time before he’s playing for a top club.

  86. Romford Ozil Pele

    Slyly disagree about the Alexis/Theo comparisons as Alexis can also play as a 10 and lone striker. Theo’s role is quite simplistic, his game isn’t that complicated. Think it’d be doing a bit of a disservice to Alexis to say he’s just a wide forward.

  87. london gunner

    gambon

    If Sanchez is more of a wide forward why does he average more defensive contributions per game than Hazard?

    I don’t think the wide forward label can apply to Sanchez, because he simply spends to much of his time all over the pitch including his own half.

    His got such high stamina levels imo his a combination of a wide mid/wide forward and I believe his average heat map per game and overall contribution on the pitch tell that story.

    I would say Hazard for me is a WC wide playmaker who at the same time puts in a shift defensively.

  88. gambon

    “If Sanchez is more of a wide forward why does he average more defensive contributions per game than Hazard?”

    He puts in more than some defenders, so whats your point?

    Overly simple use of stats again no doubt.

    IOf course Sanchez is more of a forward, he plays as a striker for Chile for fuck sake, what did you think he was a DM?

  89. london gunner

    gambon

    He can play more than one role.

    For chile he was as striker.

    Barca typical wideman

    Arsenal=what ever the fuck he wants. I just don’t think his got a particularly defined role. Its more an accumulation of various roles that suit his diverse skill-set. I think its impossible to just label him as a wide forward when he has so much impact across the field. The stats back this up one way or another.

  90. WengerEagle

    LG

    He’s not a good enough passer to be labelled a playmaker, he’s only in the mid 70’s for pass accuracy.

    He’s definitely a forward, better as a wide forward but can play CF too.

  91. Nasri's Mouth

    Alexis can play in a no.10 position, but he’s a typical no.10 playermaker, but like Rooney (of old) his energy and desire means he can regain possession and create chances.

  92. Romford Ozil Pele

    Like Eagle says, Alexis can play behind the striker but as more of a CF in 1 4-4-1-1 rather than outright playmaker. He doesn’t retain possession well enough.

  93. divinesherlock

    Apart from flamini there is really no player I want to replace/upgrade in this team. Also I believe its wrong to assume Wenger will sell Campbell. Its not that Wenger doesnt rate him, its just that he realises that Campbell needs gametime and atm he cant play him in this team.

  94. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Its not that Wenger doesnt rate him, its just that he realises that Campbell needs gametime and atm he cant play him in this team.”

    And how does the situation improve for Campbell next season exactly?!

  95. london gunner

    WE

    Hazard isn’t a good enough passer? I was saying Hazard is a wide playmaker.

    If you meant Sanchez his not definitely a forward? Being a forward implies basically 90p percent of your game is well forward…

    To label Sanchez as just a forward is probably ignoring about 50 percent of his game and as his stats show and even his heat maps that his role is well beyond a mere forward. Walcott for instance is a archetypical wide forward.

    Sanchez however is a force onto himself and large part of that is his got a diverse set of skills which lead to a diverse responsibilities, duties and thus activities on the pitch.

    His pass percentage may be shoddy, but I would factor his key pass rate his rather very high. If anything I would say Sanchez in a lot of ways plays more like ox than Walcott. (albeit with added end product) Ox and sanchez both like the ball played to their feet, they both like to dribble from deep and attempt to start of moves.. (difference is sanchez also finishes them) Many would describe ox as a wide mid…

    I however think because sanchez combines elements of ox’s game and walcotts game his a wide mid/wide forward and also he adds an added defensive boost. In short his maverick/one man band.

    San

  96. Nasri's Mouth

    I honestly can’t see a future for Campbell to be honest.

    Wenger vetoed a move for Sanogo to France because he wanted him to get PL experience.
    Campbell , who is further down the development path was pushed off to Spain to be used a make weight, something that rarely happens to any player unless he’s heading downwards.

  97. Dream10

    wide playmaker

    Isco
    De Bruyne
    Arda Turan
    Shaqiri
    Fekir?

    Reus as well. Had a 16goal, 13 ast campaign last year.

    Hope we stay away from El Shaarawy. Had 16 goals for Milan a couple of years ago. Injury prone. We’ve been linked to him before. Has an AW signing written all over him

  98. Carts

    When Wenger is willing to accept the Woj isn’t the best GK out there only then will we see a top GK between the sticks. As it is, Ospina doesn’t strike me as someone who is inferior to Woj. So far so good; if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.

  99. london gunner

    according to whoscored

    Sanchez has made 15 appearances in a midfielder role be that left, middle or right

    and 6 appearances as a forward be that centre or right.

    This would seem to suggest my theory that he really is a combination of an attacking mid/forward rather than solely a forward.

  100. Nasri's Mouth

    london gunner: Ox and sanchez both like the ball played to their feet

    Dunno, Sanchez will take a ball from anywhere, as long as it’s not over his head.

  101. Romford Ozil Pele

    Divine, Poldi himself wasn’t used and Campbell was behind Poldi. Theo is back, Ox is here, Alexis is here, Wenger likes to use a wide playmaker too so don’t see where Campbell is playing. I actually also think Wenger prefers Gnabry.