Arsenal have two starting 11s that make us title challengers this season

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Everything is sh*t right now. You ever get those moments in life? The world is crashing down around me.

BUT. You have to put your silly little Western problems in perspective. You’re not dying. And that is golden. Cherish that shit because life is like a box of John Terry’s.

So, look, here’s what I think… my vibe after considering some of the facts is that we’re not signing anyone.

I might be totally wrong. But look, all the DMs have gone or they’ve picked up long term injuries. There aren’t really any strikers of note. If there were, United would have bought them for 6 times the market rate.

That doesn’t leave many other spots.

Then you look at our squad and it’s pretty damn good. We have two starting 11s that are capable of dishing out spankings. Two starting 11s that could compete with most teams in the league.

In defence, look at what we have.

Cech, Monreal, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Bellerin

Chezzer, Gibbs, Gabriel, Chambers, Debuchy

I mean, it’s much of a muchness, right? But bar Chambers (and who knows how good he’ll be this year), those are two very capable defence offerings.


Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil

Wilshere, Rosicky, Ramsey

I’ve excluded Arteta, but he’s another capable player. Both those midfields are more than capable of owning games. All those players are interchangeable and in a very positive way. Throw in the fact that they’re now equipped with tactics and off ball tactics that are up there with the elite of Europe (maybe not in execution, but it’s coming), well, it looks good, right?


Sanchez, Giroud, The Ox

Gnabry, WELBZ, Theo

Ok, so what we lack in potency, we gain in power and pace. Giroud does a job. He does a better one when he has zippy players buzzing around him. That forward line is scary to a defender, especially as they’re now learning the Barca art of swapping in and out of position.

Now think about how all of those names can interchange between the forward line and the midfield. I mean, for me, that gives me a twitch in the pants. Sure, it could always do with a couple of additional names, but if you keep that lot fit and keep the energy in their legs then you have a very, very good chance of doing something special.

First time I’ve really looked at it that way… but we really do have two starting 11s that could do some damage this year. The vibe around the club is the most positive it’s been in 10 years. There’s the feeling something special is afoot.

We have an approach to fitness that now sits in the world class category (not top Legs, Bums and Tums class).

We have our world class keeper who has winning experience and probably loads to offer the club from a Chelsea insider perspective.

We have a liberated backroom team that’s had expertise added to it over the summer.

We have a team buzzing in preseason and ready to rock.

You also have the fact that these players know each other. They’re all pals. They know each others games inside out. They’re also coming into their prime AND THEY WILL ALL BE FIT.

I mean, when you look at it, it’s hard not to envisage a proper challenge this year.

What do you think? Do we need more players? Or do we have enough?

Let us know in the comments!


673 Responses to “Arsenal have two starting 11s that make us title challengers this season”

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  1. nasri's mouth

    Kike saying Wenger is still after Benzema but also has a 2nd choice.

    Dunno whether he’s BSing but he’s been consistently on about Benzema for ages.

  2. Dissenter

    Nasri’s mouth,
    You raise a very plausible counter argument.
    You don’t think we’ll still have to pay him off in some ways.
    Flamini can go through the motions and insist on playing out his contract and leave on a free next year. We are contractually bound till next season ends.
    The onus is Arsenal to move him out in order to bring someone else in.

  3. nasri's mouth


    I think Martinez is saying that Chelsea should follow the official path and make an offer through the normal channels and keep it quiet, which Everton would then reject. As it is Chelsea have apparently been publicly vocal in their admiration of him.

    But unless there’s something else going on, Martinez is protesting a bit too much really. Probably trying to push the price up by being the aggrieved party

  4. nasri's mouth


    I’ve no idea what the deal will be with Flamini.

    But I’d say that a player of his age doesn’t play for a year he’s in danger of dropping off the radar. In 12 months time no-one might want to take a risk on him. Taking a long term deal now but at lower wages might be more beneficial for him.

    Either way, if we get any fee for him, it’ll be a first.

  5. Gustav Graves

    “Lol, this place is full of utter r3tards. The IQ level is astonishing.”

    I start the blog feeling smart then when im done with the comments section I feel like i have to go solve some math problems or something…get the juices in my brain running again.

    And before anyone comes and says “well don’t read blah blah blah….”
    How the hell else am I supposed to get my daily dose of comedy?

  6. MidwestGun

    Surely moving Flamini is a positive sign… opens up a roster spot. Despite that damn negative Pedro…. still think at least one more player is in the plan. Don’t need a Vermalean one man leave. … no man enters situation.

  7. BacaryisGone


    We actually did replace Vermaelen with Chambers. We just got very lucky the season before that Kozzer and Mert barely missed any games and when they did I think Bacary stepped in.

    Pretty sure it was Sagna, Jenks, Mert, Kozzer, Verm, Gibbs and Monreal.

    We’re actually gained in numbers with Debuchy/Bellerin replacing Sagna/Jenks and Chambers/Gabriel coming in for Vermaelen.

  8. nasri's mouth


    At the start of last season we had two players for that position, Arteta and Flamini.

    If Flamini leaves, we still have 2, Coq and Arteta.

  9. Radio Raheem


    Howdie partner.

    GOT was nuts absolute nuts this time round. The last few episodes was end time stuff I tell ya, telly shouldn’t be that good.

  10. MidwestGun

    BiG –
    Assuming Bellerin was planning to start. … maybe. Anyhow, I’m taking it as
    A postive regardless. Means there is intent to clear space. Hopefully it’s not for Bielik.

  11. Arsene's Nurse

    Where is this Flamini moving on news coming from? All I can see is Metro and Talksport. If it’s true it’s a positive step because we need an upgrade.

    However, I’m more interested in a CF. I think we’ll see a late transfer move in the same vein as Ozil, because other clubs will make moves in similar areas and then the dominoes will fall. For us to challenge this coming season, we really need a better CF.

  12. bennydevito

    Willow WilsonJuly 21, 2015 13:21:32
    Anyone off to the Emirates this Weekend? Few of us going up Saturday nice and early if you fancy a sherbert?

    I’m hoping to get over from Bristol but haven’t got a ticket. What are the chances of getting in at the gate? Was then thinking of staying in a b&b or something and do it all again on Sunday!

    Karim, did you hear from N5?

  13. MidwestGun

    Nasri –
    Yep…..I prefer an attacking option regardless would need to clear a spot and I’m definitely ok with it being Flamini. .. think probably Campbell will go also. Didn’t have a great Gold Cup.

  14. Marko

    One of the keepers to leave then Flim Flam and Campbell. Plenty of money left, spaces in the squad and wages left for two more to come in. A forward and a midfielder I expect though who is anyone’s guess.

  15. Radio Raheem

    The sour note in GOT for me was the storyline with the little Stark girl. Even her butchering of the Lannisters’ security head didn’t do much to undo what felt like a plot filler throughout the season.

  16. Romford Ozil Pele

    Honestly if we sign Benzema I’m likely to get arrested for indecent exposure. Wenger would’ve signed two of my favourites. He might as well complete the set by signing Neymar next summer 😀

  17. Romford Ozil Pele

    Draxler to Juve? Feck what a signing! They’re gonna have the most hipster front line next season. Either:

    Morata Dybala
    Draxler (4312)

    Draxler Morata Dybala (4-3-3)
    And they’d be set for the next decade, all under 24!

  18. MidwestGun

    Radio –
    Season wasn’t my favorite… took too long to get going but last 3 episodes were awesome. Really missing it already. .. might rewatch it just for kicks.

    Romford –
    Lol…… you and Sal streaking around the city…..
    what’s Rihanna saying….. it’s the only source I trust.

  19. MidwestGun

    The Old Lady has some sort of voodoo hex on players… thought it was the Pirlo factor but maybe it’s just guaranteed CL and title most likely without much effort.

  20. salparadisenyc

    That Juve attack has serious potential.

    We sing Benz? Oh brother it will be interesting in Sal’s compound.

  21. Marko

    Radio her story line was pretty much as isfrom the books but the sansa stuff and particularly for me the Stannis stuff they butchered at the end. The dorne stuff they made lame also.

    Romford guarantee you when the Draxler signing goes through every tom dick and harry on here who previously said we should look to sign others over Draxler will be having kanipsions on here about us not signing him

  22. Radio Raheem


    They should’ve have cut that bit off, didn’t add much to me. In a perverse way I enjoyed all of Stannis’ bit. At his end, I almost felt sorry for a man that sacrificed his own daughter. The Dorne bit I thought was good, Jaime Lannister and Bronn are always a good watch, Bronn especially. Besides, the girls in Dorne are pure wank material, it’s an important part of the show.

  23. salparadisenyc

    Jan Aage Fjortoft ‏@JanAageFjortoft 1h1 hour ago

    Draxler was very close to Arsenal. Very close. My personal opinion is that it’s time for him for a new challenge

    Thought we had him… rumors that we underbid a release clause, if thats possible.
    Not to worry Kallstrom came in and secured the cup.

  24. London gunner


    What they did to Stannis was unforgivable. It made no sense. Forgot the name of his daughter but Where was the logical sense sacrificing her as she was his only heir and as his whole shtick was that he was the rightful king and thus his daughter the rightful heir to the throne it made no sense butchering his own line/dynasty/legacy!

  25. Radio Raheem


    I agree with you it took a while to get going. Might have been intentional. It made the final episodes even more memorable.

    Although, this season may not be the best yet, I don’t think the other seasons left me pinning for the next episode like this one. It probably had the best 3 or 4 episodes.

  26. karim

    Haven’t been able to talk to him for the last 2 weeks unfortunately mate.
    Don’t know what happened, he just vanished, sounds weird.

  27. salparadisenyc

    Whats up Radio R?

    I could of done with more Gwendoline, she spent the entire season waiting for the god damn candle to be lit in the belfry. Then missed it.

  28. Marko

    Says a lot about Schalke they refused a 23 million bid from us a while back and now are apparently loaning him?!? Seems smart

  29. Willow Wilson

    “I’m hoping to get over from Bristol but haven’t got a ticket. What are the chances of getting in at the gate? ”

    Better to book. Lots of the best seats are gone. If you are going with other people I recommend you book online so you get to sit together.

    I’m going Saturday, only because I can make a really good day of it including lunch and meal after both games and drive up. If you’re driving up from Bristol you may prefer Saturday. Good parking in The Business Design Centre in Upper Street, about twenty quid.

    Tickets are around £29.00 for upper tier but I wouldn’t go much above level 17. I always prefer near halfway line, club level or one of the lower upper tier seats. If you go the website, providing you have Adobe flash, you can choose your seat on the virtual stadium. Be a great day, cant wait.

  30. MidwestGun

    N5 is missing? Hmmmm. Strange. .. he’s usually on top of stuff, especially pertaining to tickets and whatnot.

    Maybe have Pedro e-mail him on his sign up e-mail.

  31. BacaryisGone

    How about signing Cambiasso for a year to replace Flamini? Used sparingly, he could be a great addition.

  32. Radio Raheem


    All good man. Howzit hanging?

    Not enough of her I agree. There has got be a showdon between her and the bastard Bolton boy at some point.

  33. BacaryisGone

    I’m sure that Premier League success this season depends on whether the British contingent can step up and make the necessary improvements to their output. Some of this requires staying healthy too.

    Premier League stats:

    Gibbs-18 starts, 4 sub (0 goals, 3 assists) Not expected to score but team improved when Monreal became first-choice.

    Chambers-17 starts, 6 sub (1 goal, 1 assist)

    Oxlade-Chamberlain-17 starts, 6 sub (1 goal, 1 assist)

    Ramsey-23 starts, 6 sub (6 goals, 6 assists)

    Wilshere- 9 starts, 10 sub (2 goals, 1 assist)

    Walcott-4 starts, 10 sub (5 goals, 0 assists)

    Welbeck- 18 starts, 9 sub (4 goals, 3 assists)

    Not including Chambers and Gibbs, the other 5 players had 71 starts and 41 subs (out of a max 190) with a combined season total of 18 goals and 11 assists.

    Compare that with Alexis’s 16 goals and 8 assists for the season!

    This is our greatest challenge. Not only do these 5 players (who probably receive a combined 400-500k per week) need to stay healthy, they need to be a lot more productive when they are fit.

  34. MidwestGun

    Karim –
    Hmmmm that’s a bit worrying. Maybe just have Pedro check on his health. Where’s Cesc Appeal? Think he does that online gaming stuff with him
    Not like him to at least say I can’t get tickets or whatever.

  35. salparadisenyc

    Honigstein in on Draxler now…

    Raphael Honigstein ‏@honigstein 45m45 minutes ago
    Find it hard to believe that S04 would sell Draxler for €15m less than his release clause – €45m – just because it expired three weeks ago

  36. Ozy

    I have N5 on my PS4 friends list but I have no idea where my controller is. I’ll try to look for it to see if he goes online one of these days.

  37. bennydevito

    Thanks Willow.

    I’m going to try to see what I can book on Friday. All a bit last minute for me as have been laid up with a back injury. I’ll be coaching or training it so I can have a few drinks. Would be good to meet up with some of you Grovers.

  38. Dark Hei is the most undependable thing as far as transfers are concerned. I might as well just make some stuff up by getting my little girl to doodle some predications.

  39. Wallace

    the 45m euro release clause in Draxler’s contract expired June 30th. Bild thinks Schalke will accept 35m euros. Juve are in discussions with the player, but have made no concrete offer yet.

    his career seems to have stalled a bit over the last 18mths, but when Wenger likes a player….i’d be surprised if he hasn’t considered making an offer.

  40. Dream10

    nasri’s mouth

    not sure. I’ve seen tweets from journalists saying he’s in discussion for one year loan.

  41. gambon

    Dont think Draxler makes any sense.

    Hes another player that desperately wants to be a number 10. We have enough of those.

    We need a player hat desperately wants to lead the line, run in behind the defence, and score goals. That isnt Draxler, as good a player as he is.

  42. Jim Lahey

    @London – I wasn’t a fan of what they did to Stannis in the show, as he is one of my favourite characters! His sacrifice of Shireen was very out of character for him, but the show is taking a different direction than the books and thats fine! There are a couple of tinfoil hat theories that he is still alive.. I think he will die in the books eventually so who knows. Also Stannis is meant to be the finest military tactician in Westeros so his actions at the Battle of Winterfell was a bit odd!

    Anyway…. Does anyone know anything about Sergi Samper?! I’ve never heard of him, but I hate Barca so I am all for stealing their players away from them!

  43. gambon

    Sergi Saper was the most highly rated kid at La Masia a few years back. Way ahead of everyone.

    Doesnt seem to have made huge progress. Think he played one CL game last season. Hes in the Arteta mould, a DLP / Passing DM.

    But age wise, is he really what we need?

  44. nasri's mouth

    Samper would be worth the risk, but I bet this ends up with him being promised more playing time or going out on loan.

    We didnt get him the first time.round, won’t get him this time.

    (Will be happy if I’m wrong though)

  45. qna

    Havent seen Samper play at all. But for me Rabiot is on my superstar watch list. I think he will be one of the great central midfielders of the next decade. I think he is already better than what have, but he will also improve from what he has. For me this guy has everything that you want in a b2b. He is tall, but fast. He is skillful, but hard to disposess. He can read the ball and intercept/tackle. Not sure what his value is to be fair. He is not established and therefore shouldnt have the same fee as say Kondogbia/Schneiderlin. But if you factor in potential, they may well be asking around the same fee as those two. Hopefully 20m euros will be enough. Think its a good idea to buy these 21/22 year olds as we are not going to genuinely challenge anyway.

    If we are looking to add players that will allow us to genuinely compete for the league this season, there are not many players that will make any difference to our current squad. I would say we are 99.999% not going to win the league unless we can add one of three or four players (Lewendowski, Reus, Benzema, Cavani). Even if we did sign one of these, I dont think we would win it. Mentally, I dont know if we are up for it – we are not use to playing with pressure and expectation that is needed. But we would at least have a shot.

    For me signing Rabiot will (just about) make up for missing out on Kondogbia, Vidal or Khedira.

  46. qna

    Jim. It makes it hard to compete if we spend so much of our wage bill overpaying, under qualified/skilled players. Giroud is a squad player at best – no way he is worth 130k/week. Especially, that we will be adding Theo, another squad player, to the over 100k/week club.

  47. Jim Lahey

    @qna – Then I would take both Rabiot and Samper. Rabiot because if he is as good as you say he is then we should have him in our team and Samper simply because I hate Barca and love taking their players from them!

    I think Theo wants even more than that! Fucking axe both of them and pay a superstar £200,000 a week…

  48. Biggus

    I will not be impressed if Giroud is now on 130k/pw that’s a waste of money i feel. Max that guy is worth is around 80-90k mark based on the fact he’s unfortunately our main striker, nothing more

  49. Alfie

    “I think Theo wants even more than that! Fucking axe both of them and pay a superstar £200,000 a week…”

    Would you sacrifice both Giroud and Walcott for Benzema?

  50. NewCoArsenal PLC

    Sorry VP, three comments got eaten by wordpress, so I gave up.
    I’m with you on the BSM, they represent the traditional values of the Highbury faithful, most of whom have been priced out by football’s new shiny corporate model.
    Arsenal are undoubtedly the classiest club in the world, but all through the time of the Hill-Wood’s and Bracewell-Smith’s ownership, there has been an inverted snobbery that doesn’t lend itself well to the cut and thrust of sharp-end competitiveness.
    It’s no coincidence that our two most successful clubs by a distance both come from traditional working-class areas, with a hunger and desire for success not seen at Arsenal since the glorious 1930’s (which none of us were around to see!).

  51. Wallace

    minority view no doubt, but i think Alexis, Walcott, Giroud & the Ox is a nice mix of goals, power & pace. Benzema would improve it, but happy to go with the above if we can’t prise Benz from Madrid’s clutches.

  52. Biggus

    GOT – I for one was glad that Stannis met his end (though it wasn’t shown). I’m taking a trip next month and plan to read the books on transit; started already.

    As for nice mix of goals for what we have, I agree but i’m not keen on Giroud getting a high salary. He’s managable, that is all. I don’t mind him there if we can’t get someone better but don’t pay him a higher salary for being okay!

  53. Jim Lahey

    @Alfie – Stannis of the House Baratheon, First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm.

  54. Alfie

    ” Stannis of the House Baratheon, First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm”

    Ohhhhhhhh – that Stannis.

  55. VP

    Retail revenue absolutely counts as commercial revenue.
    Still, even including that we’re behind Liverpool.

    Retail and licensing can be regarded as commercial revenue but in respect to classification and accounting treatment in the accounts it is not. It’s a separate item and does not fall under commercial income.

    The figure suggested yesterday of £77m that we all agreed was correct, is the amount disclosed as Commercial income in the interim accounts, and does not include Retail and licensing revenue. But as you say, even it is included it still falls short of Liverpool’s.