Le Grove Arsenal season review

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Morning folks – James here, writing to you from a sun soaked Guernsey – first holiday in almost a year.

Bit of a mesh-up for you today – something of a season review, player ratings, views on the manager, what we need to do this summer and Twitter twat-terry. What a veritable feast you have in store.

When assessing our season and answering the perennial question of “have we made progress”, it’s exceptionally difficult and conclusions can only be drawn when we have settled into 2015/16. To paraphrase, it was a good season punctuated by some serious disappointments, which were bested by our FA Cup triumph.

Frankly, the start of the season was a disaster for Arsenal. It is impossible to delegate the blame to one event, person or cause; but to myriad factors which created a perfect storm of mediocrity and disappointment for the first quarter of the season.

Despite a promising start in the thrashing of Man City in the Charity Shield, we began the season-proper in an inauspicious manner, with a last minute win against Crystal Palace on the opening day, followed by draws away at Everton and Leicester. We looked noticeably off-the-pace during the foetal stages of the season, with fitness and sharpness alarmingly off-key. Undoubtedly the world cup was a contributing factor to this, but more critical were the manager’s attempts to shoe-horn Ramsey and Wilshere in the same midfield; which simply wasn’t working. We lacked fluidity, creativity and just weren’t functioning as a cohesive unit. In fairness to Jack and Aaron, a massive caveat on their travails to forge a convincing partnership were undermined by being ‘backed-up’ by Flamini. It would be interesting to see them play with Coquelin behind them instead…

During the early stages of the season we lost Giroud and Ozil for significant periods, along with Ramsey who couldn’t keep fit during the final months of 2015. Our midfield was also robbed of Mikel Arteta for the majority of the season, which added to the seeming lack of control and cohesion. Despite his physical limitations, his ability to control play and comfortably receive the ball from the defence is exceptionally under-rated by much of our fanbase – an ability we were unable to replicate until Cazorla’s reincarnation as a deep-lying midfielder.

The one shining light during this period was of course, Alexis. It’s difficult to add much about him that hasn’t been said before, but he has been electric and taken the league by storm. His unique combination of tenacity and energy, aligned with dazzling dribbling and a viperish shot has offered Arsenal the explosive X-Factor they haven’t had since Henry. His abs are truly exceptional too. And he loves his dogs – a bit too much, perhaps…

Arguably the most disappointing pre-Christmas result was at home to Manchester Utd – a game we dominated, missed a flurry of chances and got hit by a couple of sucker punches on the break, as has been customary at home to them over the last 5 years. Losing to Manchester Utd isn’t a disaster per se, but it was the manner of defeat that made my blood boil. Plus they’re a bunch of rabid, cotton-weaving, gun-wielding bad words.

I was also vexed by the response to our 2-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea. The “oh well, at least it wasn’t 6-0” attitude is the kind of thing you’d hear Yeovil fans come out with after a vist to the Nou Camp. I know there is no ‘shame’ in losing to Chelsea away from home, but the acceptance of defeat was small-time and we really should have higher expectations as a fan base.

Our season reached its nadir with a defeat away to Stoke, following by the ensuing chaos at Mordor Station. It feels like every season for the last 5 years we have had a ‘this feels like the end’ moment with Arsene and this was last season’s. The fan base was split, the team weren’t performing and our prolific injury record showed no signs of heeding.

At the turn of 2015 it felt like there would be no new beginning, with a 2-0 defeat away at Southampton – a truly miserable day as an away fan, in the pissing rain, in a shithole of a town, hungover and watching Coquelin and Chambers bumbling around in midfield. It was also the day that Szczesny would have been better dropping the soap in the shower than the bollock he chucked by sparking up a Camel. He wouldn’t regain his place again.

The turning point to our season was undoubtedly our trip in January to the Etihad, in which we produced the most un-Arsenal of displays to leave with a 2-0 victory. I vividly recall watching from the stands in disbelief as we sat deep, absorbed pressure and countered with ruthless efficiency. Whilst Cazorla deservedly took the plaudits that day, the match also signalled the introduction of Bellerin and Coquelin to the first team, who would become ever-presents for the remainder of the season.

From here-on-in, the season was a rip-roaring success, with Arsenal comfortably the best side in the land. Save for a dreadful day at White Hart Lane, we were a side propelled by momentum and confidence, with our swatting aside of Liverpool a stand-out performance. Our exit from the Champion’s League at the hands of Monaco can’t go unmentioned, with this arguably the biggest disappointment of all. When we drew the principality, the consensus was this was the ‘easiest’ draw we could have wished for – and it was. But we Arsenal-ed it, completely. Whilst our challenge for next season is unquestionably to make a concerted challenge in the league, our lack of progress in the European condition has become something of an embarrassment for a club of our stature. With world class performers such as Ozil and Alexis in our midst, there are no excuses to not make a better fist of it.

When progress is talked of, a key barometer is both our results and performances against our rivals. Whilst our points haul wasn’t outstanding, with 1 point taken from Tottenham and Manchester Utd and throwing away a point at Anfield, along with a defeat at Stamford Bridge, we are yet to reach full redemption in this respect; but we made significant steps. The aforementioned win at City was huge, as was the ruthless dispatching of Liverpool; but the one I enjoyed most was our FA Cup win at Old Trafford. It has never been a happy hunting ground for Wenger (save for 1998 and 2002 of course), so finally winning up there was a massive psychological boost. Save for the cup final, it was my game of the season, for the pure enjoyment-factor. Have we rid the rabies-ridden monkey from our back? The answer will be revealed next season.

Assessing the league campaign alone, I would probably rate it as a C+ to B-, but clearly our retention of the FA Cup elevates that score and the perception of our season. Our performance in the final will be the residing memory of the season and rightly so. Our verve, swagger and professionalism in that game punctuated the kind of performance we had been longing for and sent a message of intent to our rivals going into the new season.

When I say we can only judge the reverberations of this season in the next, I refer to whether we can pick up where we left off, or whether we suffer another slow start. IF we can begin the new season the way we ended this, whilst managing to put together a whole season, then we stand a chance.

Our hopes will of course depend somewhat on what we do, or don’t do, this summer. Unlike previous summers, I don’t sense the overbearing clamour for shiny new players, with an acceptance that reconciliation of the current squad with a couple of high quality additions will put us in a position to challenge. In terms of what I want, a goalkeeper, midfielder and forward are the areas I wish us to strengthen, but what we do remains another matter.

I would be surprised if a forward, particularly with it looking increasingly likely that Theo extends his tenure at the club. My doubts over the likelihood of us upgrading in this position are derived from the paucity of options in the market. The fact someone will spunk £30 million on Benteke this summer, whilst fees upwards of £40 million are being mooted for Harry Kane, highlights the lack of quality out there. The only way I see us getting a forward would be in the form of an all-round attacker, such as Reus. It would be great to upgrade here, but I think we have more pressing needs.

A midfielder is a must. Whilst Coquelin has done well since he came into the side, with his introduction coinciding with our upward trajectory, we could do better. As much as anything else, he can’t do it alone or play every single game and there isn’t another player in the squad with his skillset. Flamini should be sent to Guantanamo, whilst Arteta’s calves are made of plasticine. Who that player is remains to be seen, but I will continue to bang the Schneiderlin drum…until he joins United.

Goalkeeper is the other position I’d like to see us make a step-up in quality. It would appear this has been addressed, should the Cech transfer go through and Mourinho hasn’t infected him with SARS or noro-virus. He’d be a great signing who has won it all, will gain instant respect and it would send a message that we mean business. If Ospina goes to the land of the kebab – his spiritual home no doubt – then all the better. If we keep Szczsney, then it’s a fantastic position to be in. A few years to learn from Cech and get his head together could leave us with the outstanding goalkeeper he has the potential to become. It’s worth noting he wasn’t dropped for being a bad goalkeeper – Southampton is the only game last season he cost us points from memory – he was dropped for being a knob.

Should the requisite business be done, should Shad continue to work his magic and should we get a bit of luck, next season could be an exciting one.

I’ll end the season review with some player ratings, which I look forward to receiving apoplectic fury and bile for.

Szczsney – C
Heaps of talent, harshly punished for off-field misdemeanours, but season won’t be fondly remembered by him. Strong performance in the cup final ensured he ended the season on a high.

Ospina – C-
Simply not good enough. Our points haul with him has been impressive, but he’s had very little to do. Top goalkeepers win you points – I can’t think of a single time he’s done that for Arsenal and looks an accident waiting to happen. Quite short. Quite fat. Silly chant.

Martinez – C
Looked okay in few games he played, but out of his depth at Stoke, where admittedly got minimal protection. Worth persisting with.

Debuchy – C
Hugely disappointing season for him, through no fault of his own. Robbed by injury and lost his place to Bellerin. Remains a top player and a good option at centre half. Will be hoping for better next time round.

Bellerin – A-
What an exciting player. Attacks with verve and gusto, whilst defending with maturity beyond his years. Couple of ropey games, particularly when Ashley Young gave him a good going over, but we have a real star on our hands. Great hair. Shit tattoos. Weird accent. Top kitchen selfies.

Chambers – C
After a promising start, he showed his inexperience. Phased out of the side after a harrowing experience at the Liberty, which he’ll be a better player for – all youngsters have those games. Clearly a much better centre half than a full back. Big potential.

Monreal – A
Peerless season at left-back, after his tough stint at centre half. Not a thrilling full back but first and foremost, he’s a fantastic defender. I can’t think of many better defensive full backs in the league. Season highlight his coolly taken finish at Old Trafford.

Gibbs – C
Disappointing. Seems to have regressed and lost confidence in ceding his place to Monreal. Neither a genuine threat going forward, nor a top class defender. Jury is out as a first teamer, but will start as a back up next term.

Mertesaker – B
After a poor start and post-World Cup hangover, he returned to form in the new year, reiterating the effectiveness of his partnership with Koscielny. Could well be phased out gradually next season. See Gabriel.

Koscielny – B+
A top class performer, but do fear his weaknesses exposed without Mertesaker. Regardless, there’s a good reason the likes of Barca and Bayern have been sniffing around him. Entering his prime.

Gabriel – B-
Difficult to judge at this stage, but impressed by what I have seen thus far. Expect to see much more of him next season.

Cazorla – A
My favourite player; and player of the season after Alexis. What stunning value he has represented for £12 million. A truly unique player, who has adapted to a deeper lying position. Hoping he gives us another season.

Ramsey – B
Early season disrupted by injury and shifted our right during the second half, but proved himself to be a top class performer. I’d expect him to play more games centrally next year.

Ozil – B+
What a player – peerless as a play-maker in England. Ability to create space for himself and eye for a pass is unsurpassed. Missed half the season with injury, but untouchable thereafter. A privelege to watch.

Coquelin – B+
Whilst Bellerin was a revelation, he has pedigree, having graduated at the Barca academy; Le Coq was a revelation. Plucked from the bench at Charlton Athletic, he provided athleticism and defensive discipline we have long missed. Passing ropey at times, but highlights benefit of a player of his ilk.

Wilshere – C+
Huge potential, some promising performances, perpetually injured. Repeat. Next season crucial. Repeat.

Arteta – C-
Top pro, brings plenty to the side, but questions over the presence of legs. Unsure of role he will play next year.

Flamini – F
Erm…

Oxlade-Chamberlain – B
Progressed this year and Wenger clearly likes him – when fit, he starts. Needs to keep himself off the treatment table and add a ruthless streak to his game. Keep him out wide where he can isolate his winger and lose the fixation with him as a central midfielder.

Walcott – B-
Looked as if his Arsenal career was dead and buried, but a flurry of goals against West Brom and a cup final salvo seem to have retuned his fortunes. We all know his limitations, but ability to score against top opposition makes him a valuable squad member.

Giroud – B
Enjoyed a post-injury purple patch and reverted to type thereafter. As per Theo, we know what he can’t do, but what he brings to the side remains valuable.

Alexis – A+
How can’t you love him? A beautiful specimen.

Welbeck – C+
Useful member of the squad and pleased we have him. Needs to score more. Great haircut.

Sanogo – A*****
Bonus marks for showcasing his shitness in the month of August to such an extent that we loaned him out and bought Welbeck. Selfless stuff.

Arsene: B
Made improvements in key areas, but next season is the big one…

That’s your lot for now and enjoy your Sundays. I am planning to start a weekly blog on various topics, for which I am open to suggestions. Work has slightly taken over my life, but should be good to go later on this month.

Until next time x

Give me a follow @James_Willson2

659 Responses to “Le Grove Arsenal season review”

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  1. Nasri's Mouth

    @Dissenter

    So Wenger effectively admitting Welbeck was a failure will have teams queuing up to sign Welbeck and for him to be also motivated for a mid table team ?

    Of course it won’t.

    Added to that, Welbeck has been praised by Wenger, so he’s not going to dump him the way it looks like he’s going to dump Ospina.

  2. london gunner

    Nasri Mouth

    “It’s not a computer game”

    Come on man! We actually had a relatively civil discourse before you spoil it with one your condescending snide quips.

    I think there would be plenty of premier league clubs who would love a signing like Welbeck.

  3. Nasri's Mouth

    london gunner: We actually had a relatively civil discourse before you spoil it with one your condescending snide quips.

    But you fail to see the realities of actual business and how it works.

    It’s like Dissenter earlier saying we should go to Real Madrid and try and sign Benzema by offering them a load of cash.

    It doesn’t work, because Real Madrid will ONLY want to sell IF they have an alternative strategy lined up. If they don’t then selling Benzema is utterly stupid for them.

  4. Blsany

    London….I agree with you on Robben and eagle took the words out of my mouth.I’s say few players in the world can decide a game. messi,Robben,Suarez and Ian gonna get slaughtered for this but fuck it. Di Maria.

  5. london gunner

    Nasri Mouth

    Ok Nasri Mouth the font of all wisdom. This isn’t dragons den.

    Welbeck will have suitors in the premier league because he is

    A. English
    B. Very cheap for an English player. Lallanna 25 million anyone, chambers 16 million
    c. Very young resale value/potential to improve
    D. Man City desperately need some english blood in their ranks
    E. With the massive increase in tv revenue for all clubs in the league some of the clubs may just get a bit silly with their money

    “It doesn’t work, because Real Madrid will ONLY want to sell IF they have an alternative strategy lined up. If they don’t then selling Benzema is utterly stupid for them.”

    Of course, but you fail to account that they may well have an alternative strategy, but one which is held back by baulking at the cost of that alternative, so by offering them substantial money for benzema it may influence them to pursue said alternative striker thus enabling benzema to be up for purchase.

    either way you don’t lose anything, by asking. Its not necessarily stupid to ask questions if anything the fear of asking them is pretty stupid in of itself.

  6. Dissenter

    Nasri’s Mouth,

    The reason why is called ruthlessness is because there’s an element of knife-stab-in-the-back.
    Wenger praises everyone, that’s the cultured person that he is.
    It’s good business to praise them because you want a drama-free transfer and it keeps the value of the transfer up too.

    It just seems that people wrap Welbeck in cotton wool because frankly any of the loaned out players i.e Podolski and Campbell would have had at least similar numbers had they got the chance too. He runs around a lot but has only 3 assists all season.

    It still doesn’t stop Wenger from doing what he has reportedly done to Ospina.

  7. MidwestGun

    The way Alexis Sanchez is playing right now, he’s a game decider. We just need to balance that out on the other side of the pitch so he can’t be marked out of matches. Basically how Chile use Vidal with Valdivia the creator in the middle Ozil role. Ox or Theo for me or Welbeck on a wing not that guy.
    That’s the piece I think we are missing. Ya Giroud isn’t the best but I actually would like Theo thru the middle if we could find an attacking mid opposite who could help with holdup and link play.Fekir or Isco type of player. Ox showed flashes but not there yet. And Ramsey played too central.

  8. Nasri's Mouth

    london gunner: Of course, but you fail to account that they may well have an alternative strategy, but one which is held back by baulking at the cost of that alternative, so by offering them substantial money for benzema it may influence them to pursue said alternative striker thus enabling benzema to be up for purchase.

    LOL, this is Real Madrid we’re talking about

    They won’t even entertain selling Benzema UNTIL they’ve sorted his replacement.

    This is what I mean about not understanding

  9. LeMassiveCoq

    Anybody who doesn’t think Cech is a good signing just doesn’t know anything about football. He is streets ahead of Schez and Ospina.

  10. Nasri's Mouth

    @Dissenter

    Wenger has said Welbeck has surprised him this season with how good he is.

    He’s not selling him. Will he sell him in a season’s time ? possibly

    He’s selling Ospina because we got him really cheaply (for an international keeper), so we can relatively easily move him on.

  11. london gunner

    Nasri Mouth

    “They won’t even entertain selling Benzema UNTIL they’ve sorted his replacement.”

    No its you who don’t understand. They may be more likely to go in for Aguero if they know that we will pay a fuck load for benzema after they spend a shit ton on Aguero.

    I am in no way suggesting they would sell us Benz without purchasing Aguero. I am saying in some way it may(even if in a small way) influence their decision to go in for Aguero.

  12. salparadisenyc

    And the Jackson Martinez rumors continue to bore, he’s literally asking for Wenger to come and get him.

  13. london gunner

    He’s selling Ospina because we got him really cheaply (for an international keeper), so we can relatively easily move him on.”

    We got Welbeck really cheaply for an english player and international, so we can relatively easily move him on.

  14. Dissenter

    Nasri’s mouth,
    For the umpteenth time, Wenger is an urbane and sophisticated man. He is the personification of the class that a manager should show.

    He’s always going to talk nice about his players, more so the players he wants to move on to preserve their transfer value and quash any rumor of a chasm.

    Wenger could have said all that about Welbeck and still move him on with the same ruthlessness that he showed to bring in Cech.
    The Cech deal will have cost may auxiliary staff and a world-cup goalie their jobs. Arsenal will have to pay off Ospina for part of his contract.

  15. nasri's mouth

    @london gunner

    If we got Welbeck for much less than he’s worth then why would you want to sell him?

    Look, we’re going round in circles. Pointless continuing it. I’ll just end up calling you an idiot. I’m off to bed

  16. MidwestGun

    Eagle –
    Lol… honestly I’ve really only seen him play for his National team and he hasn’t ever been good. But I can’t say as I’ve ever watched Porto much. His stats to me show he’s mostly a poacher. To me if Wenger really wanted him he would have done it last season.

  17. salparadisenyc

    Were not signing Martinez… he just won’t go away. Three window we’ve been linked with him and Wenger hasn’t gone there. Yet he keeps pledging his allegiance to Arsenal.

  18. Leedsgunner

    Forget J. Martinez — too old and unproven IMO and for his age too expensive. If he cost say £10m fair enough but £25m — really? For a 28/29 year old?

    If we are looking for a class striker, let’s stop playing games and go for the best striker on the market — £30m for Lacazette should do it. Although with Theo signing a new deal I don’t think we are getting a striker now… Wenger will use Theo in the middle more I think… unless Benz becomes available suddenly.

    Fine, no use crying over spilt milk. Sell our deadwood, use those funds to buy a top DM… not to replace Coq but to work together with him.

  19. Kiyoshi Ito

    London Gunner

    Pointless arguing with Nasri’s (I give Wenger fellatio) Mouth..

    After all NM came out with this pearler a couple of times to paraphraae him..”Drogba only had one good season&he wasn’t that good..”

    The most idiotic &crazy statement of all time..

    You are well versed just to laugh at the so called “he knows it all” jerk breath cult follower.

  20. tunnygriffboy

    Please may we Cech over the line then we need a DM

    The striker issue is a conundrum. Would take Benzema. Not sure about Lacazzette, thought he’d scored more than he had from open play. After much thought Higuain and Martinez too expensive for what they are

    It maybe we go with what we’ve got:

    L’Oreal is L’Oreal. Need to keep him fresh. When hecomes back from a rest he looks sharp and is difficult to play against. However as time goes on andhe plays non stop he struggles. Rotation is the key

    Other option is to develop a fluid stye of play that involves Alexis, Walcott, Welbeck and the Ox where fluidity is the key. That would be pace City

    In terms of goals I would like to see Alexis equal this seasons tally. I would hope Ox and Welbeck to score more. If Walcott and ramsey stay fit their number should increase.

    Would love a top class striker but rather than only slightly improve on what we’ve got work out a system with current option that plays to our strengths. Save the money for when top quality becomes available.

  21. erase

    Somebody actually said ronaldo is overrated and its not red truth………WE henry had a better season than Suarez when he scored 30 and assisted 20 more or where u too young to remember?

  22. Amey

    What do you guys think of Imbula. We are linked to him. 22 years old seems a decent signing and a good competition to Coq. Also talking about striker , we totally forgot about Benteke. I believe he can be a really good striker for us. What do you think about him.

  23. Dark Hei

    When it comes to letting go of either Welbeck or Giroud, I think a lot depends on who is available out there.

    If we sign someone versatile, we will be letting Welbeck leave. If we get a specialist CF, it will be Giroud. With 4 strikers on the first team and Sanchez occupying a permanent slot, we will have to let someone go in order to get someone in.

  24. tunnygriffboy

    Dark Hei

    Unless someone of Benzema’s class becomes available then we will go with what we’ve got. We should only replace with better than we’ve got. It may be an option to bring in a wide forward and when Giroud isn’t playing we use a fluid pacy combination with the other forwards we have

  25. Leedsgunner

    “I am in no way suggesting they would sell us Benz without purchasing Aguero. I am saying in some way it may(even if in a small way) influence their decision to go in for Aguero.”

    This is a fair point London… and it would show our intent. Although I suspect RM knows of our Benz interest anyways. The truth is I can’t see Benz coming here if Giroud is here.

    #ReleasetheBenz

  26. qna

    TGB: “Unless someone of Benzema’s class becomes available then we will go with what we’ve got. We should only replace with better than we’ve got. It may be an option to bring in a wide forward and when Giroud isn’t playing we use a fluid pacy combination with the other forwards we have”

    I agree that we should only be going with better than what we have got. We should be looking at CF as the priority as Giroud and Welbeck are not first choice strikers of a top top team and Walcott is too big a risk to pin our seasons hopes on. We had two ways to go – a young guy with bags of potential like Dybala or Vietto (both now completed transfers) or a mid to late 20’s player that walks into the first team. I would say that the following players fit into that category (in my preferred order): Cavani, Benzema, Reus (I know he’s not a CF), Benteke, Higuain, Falcao (on cheap loan deal with option to buy – I know he is playing shit, but I think he will suit our style not to mention service from Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere etc. Also if he finds his form he basically goes to the top of this list). I am not convinced by Lacazette or Jackson Martinez, but wouldn’t complain be disappointed like I was when we signed Welbeck. Then again, I would have taken a gamble on Balotelli last year and look how that turned out – so what would I know. I still think Balotelli at Arsenal and Welbeck at Liverpool would have been a much better outcome for all.

    I would be happy with any of those players. I will also throw Fekir and Draxler in the first category as young guys with bags of potential that can play LW or RW.

  27. Dark Hei

    tunny

    I would like to see Walcott given a chance at CF. I think he is what the reconfigured Arsenal midfield requires.

    Someone who does not want the ball. Someone who is only willing to make runs and hang on the shoulders of defenders all day long.

  28. qna

    Looks to me that the Aubameyang story is coming from Dortmund trying to drum up interest in the player that they want to cash in on to rebuild their squad. Do we really want to be buying a player who is valued so little by his club? I feel that he is only a threat when he is put and in behind the last defenders, especially getting on the end of an angled ball. We already have Walcott in this category. We need to find a striker that is effective against well organised, stubborn defensive set ups. This is where Giroud, Welbeck and Walcott basically become anonymous.

  29. tunnygriffboy

    Qna

    Notsure about Cavani or Falcao. Think they may have seen their best days. Higuain also doesn’t push us on that much further. Benteke is ok but would we be asking him to do the job Giroud does? Not sure he’d do it that well.

    I still think Welbeck has more to offer in terms of goals. There’s no doubt he has the ability to finish, and finish well. He just needs to find consistency. I ‘m not giving up on him yet. Walcott looked to have his confidence back last few gamesof the season. The season before his injury he was in excellent form showing good signs his game hsd developed. Judging the way he’s talking at the moment he seems pretty determined to do well. He’s grown up a bit as well

    Agree re Abameyang = Walcott and Welbeck. Also agree that a wide forward/play maker may b

  30. qna

    TGB: Not sure about Cavani or Falcao. Think they may have seen their best days. Higuain also doesn’t push us on that much further. Benteke is ok but would we be asking him to do the job Giroud does? Not sure he’d do it that well.

    I think that Cavani is definately a level above Giroud – no question. I think he has scored over 25 goals in each of his last 5 seasons. Its a good thing that he is not at 100% otherwise we would have 0% chance of signing him. Falcao – of course a huge risk. I am saying that if we cant get the other targets, I see a lot of upside in bringing him in on loan for a year no strings attatched. Worse case we lose his salary – but we are use to wasting Salary so he can be our new Diaby for a season. Benteke would be an improvement on Giroud and could play the same role better – I have no doubt about it. But I agree he is only a marginal upgrade and I prefer more.

    TGB: I still think Welbeck has more to offer in terms of goals.

    He better, otherwise there is not much use of him to anyone. The thing is he is not good enough. Just simple as that. You could put any striker in the Arsenal team and they would score goals simply by the volume of quality opportunities given to them. Take Berehinho, Enner Valancia etc etc. All of these guys would produce at least as many goals as Welbeck. But its the chances that they miss, which result in points that you drop, that is the difference between the top striker that Henry is calling for, and the strikers we have.

    TGB: Walcott looked to have his confidence back last few gamesof the season. The season before his injury he was in excellent form showing good signs his game hsd developed. Judging the way he’s talking at the moment he seems pretty determined to do well. He’s grown up a bit as well

    I am a big fan of Walcott. He has something about him. At the moment he is not at the level where I say yep, he is our guy for this season. So I would like us to go for Fekir or Reus. But I am a believer that Walcott has the potential to be in the class of Reus and Sanchez and if so, he can win his spot from them and relegate the others to the bench. I dont have confidence in him as a CF though. Walcott doesnt have the natural movement or instincts of a CF.

  31. Wallace

    london gunner

    “25 million for Lacazette… isn’t that bad tbh. He reminds me of a hybrid of a young Ian Wright/Anelka. Serious talent imo.”

    nope, nowhere near.

    he’s tiny, too small to play up top on his own in the PL, Berahino is a better comparison. young player with promise, but not top level.

  32. karaul

    “we totally forgot about Benteke”

    that´s very good that we totally forgot!

    Benteke is mediocore. I´d rather not sign anyone than squad players. We have enough squad players already.

    Imbula? Seems like Wenger signing –

    “In May 2013, he was voted best player of Ligue 2”.

    I don´t know much about him. He lools like he´s 52. I would rather have Vidal, Schneiderlin or Xhaka. But DM is different story. We desperately need other one. So get me anyone rather than noone.

  33. tunnygriffboy

    Qna

    We’ll disagree re Benteke 🙂 I’m not sure he’ll bring others into the game like L’Oreal does. Think Cavani’s cost would be prohibitive

    I have faith in Theo as well. He’s not one who will hold the ball up using his strength. In fact Sanchez is much better than him at it. What he is very good at isstretching defences and running in behind. We lack this too often. Also if the forwards work on the training paddock and switch positions in the game with fluidity the pace we have up top would be worrying for defences

    Having said all that if Aguero become available ! Papers saying Abeyamang scored 25 goals in each of last two seasons. Didn’t know it was that many. Know we were rumoured to have interset in him before he went to Dortmund

  34. Wallace

    “I feel Arsenal and Man United will be very strong, Man City were a little way off. They maybe feel they have to strengthen more than anyone else. We all know that second year everyone wants to beat the champions.”

    – John Terry

  35. Jim Lahey

    Imagine Cech came here as a secret agent reporting back to Mourinho and in games that counted started letting goals in and things of that nature…

    I WANT TO BELIEVE!! Do-do-do-do-do-do

  36. tunnygriffboy

    Wallace

    What’s your thoughts on Abeymayang ? Bit similar to Walnut and Welbeck ? Papers say he’s scored 25 goals each of last two seasons. Good numbers. Or is it a smoke screen for a Bender purchase ?

    Underrated

    Yep. That would be a brilliant start. 1 down 2 to go 🙂 🙂

  37. Emiratesstroller

    I think that it is fairly clear that Cech will arrive at Arsenal this summer, although it is unlikely to be confirmed before 1st July.

    Other major signings are likely to be limited as I have expressed many times before. There is now a very fine line to keep your squad happy and the potential loss of players we should be holding onto.

    I made the point several weeks ago that we should hold onto Wilshire for at least one more season to see whether he can reproduce his potential. I would not contemplate selling him to Man City under any circumstances even if
    silly money is offered. It sends out the completely wrong message.

    On the other hand I would be disposed to sell off Walcott if a decent offer is
    made or if we could do an exchange deal for Sterling. Walcott can score periodically goals, but he offers very little else to the team. The one major gap in
    the team is a genuine top class striker/forward who can score consistently goals. That is really the one MAJOR INVESTMENT needed to be made this
    Summer and will tie up more or less our entire transfer budget.

  38. gambon

    I dont get this myth that Giroud has such amazing “link-play” whatever that means.

    Compared to Benteke, Giroud does nothing that stands out.

    Passes per game:

    Giroud 28
    Benteke 33

    Chances created per game:

    Giroud 1.1
    Benteke 1.1

    Pass Completion:

    Giroud 68%
    Benteke 67%

    So playing for a much, much worse team, Benteke is doing as good a job as Giorud.

    What would happen if he was playing with Cazorla, Sanchez etc?

    Im guessing he would score more, assist more and complete a lot more passes.

    He is not only better than Giroud, he has a much higher ceiling.

    He can do everything Giroud can do, but Giroud cant do everything Benteke can. The Belgian is much quicker, much stronger and much better in the air.

  39. tunnygriffboy

    We need a couple of top class players only once we get Cech. A lot of names being mentioned do not necessarily fit the needs that we want. Our squad has real depth in quality in all bar a couple of positions

    Emirates

    Agree with you that we should keep Wilshere. He looked sharp and dtermined at end of the season. Perhaps the penny has dropped and he knows he has to perform to get in the side

    I wouldn’t sell Walcott. The season before his injury he looked as if he was really progressing scoring plenty of goals. He looked to being back the last few weeks of the season. He looks focussed and more mature in my eyes. If he stays fit he will get you goals.

  40. Wallace

    gambon

    “I dont get this myth that Giroud has such amazing “link-play” whatever that means.”

    for an example of this ‘myth’ watch Jack’s goal(of the season) vs Norwich.

  41. Blsany

    Penaldo is overrated there i said it again Amey.Messi rules the world.Aubemyang is awesome but why he had a chance to go for him last year?I dont think AW will move for him now.Benzema is the guy he be waiting for!

  42. daz

    Mourinho, though, feels Stamford Bridge was always the midfielder’s preferred destination.

    “I spoke with him 20 minutes. I think he really wanted to come to us,” said Mourinho

    “As you know, Arsenal had an option where they could interfere, but I think he was not open to that, I think he was very, very much in our direction, so it was an easy job for me.”

    Yeah I would agree with this why some people think it was as simple as “come back cesc” job done I don’t know