Perfect preseason.

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2 trophies and the season hasn’t even started!

I didn’t catch the whole of the Emirates Cup game. But the parts that I did catch made for impressive viewing.

We’ve beaten one of the best sides in Germany and we destroyed the second best team in France.

Sure preseason doesn’t account for much in the grand scheme of things, but this preseason gives us a full compliment of players to pick from heading into the Charity Shield. We’ll have some continuity of our approach that was so successful at the tail end of last summer. We’ll also have a monster truck load of confidence.

Makes me a bit nervous. It’s all going a little too well. Where’s that banana skin?

News buzzing around the airwaves is that Pep Guardiola is going to takeover at City next season. That makes me worry. He’ll get things ticking over there. So this feels like a very good season to make some heavy progress before things get really tasty. I wonder where Klopp will go?

There’s still no major news on the transfer front. Madrid haven’t done any major damage in the transfer market yet. United have chilled their beans and don’t seem to have managed a striker purchase. Chelsea haven’t done anything major for once.

Surely there’s more to come from this summer?

So will definitely have a good post for you tomorrow! Delayed because of match noise.

Tune in.

750 Responses to “Perfect preseason.”

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  1. Nasri's Mouth

    Seen the video of Alexis on the beach?

    Is he sunbathing ? Is he catching some rays?, fooling around in the waves?

    Nope

    He’s doing sprints.

    Gotta love him

  2. Biggus

    DM and Bankz sleeping on the Emirates trophy…Might need to entice Pedro with some tickets to get a head start.

    Still buzzing from this weekend and good showing from some of the youngsters. Excited about the Adelaide kid, but not sure about wing play; lacks a bit of speed but a trickster nonetheless.

    Iwobi looks ordinary to me but I am keen to be proven wrong on that. We definitely need another Midfield destroyer to either deputise for Coq or compete with him. Coq should have a headstart as he’s been consistent for us.

  3. Uwot?

    The banana skin pedro is “fernando f******ng Llorente!skinflint wenger going for the cheap as chips option as always.will he ever,ever learn?

  4. Rich

    We’ll play some great stuff this season, not sure we’ll get the results required against the big three to take the title.
    Our Midfield’s still lightweight when you take Coquelin and Rambo out of it.
    Think Oxlade Chamberlain will be the new star of the PL this season providing we keep him fit.

  5. Jim Lahey

    ‘In the beginning of Mr. Abramovich coming to Chelsea, Chelsea was buying the title,’ said Mourinho.

    ‘Now, they are buying the title. All of them, they are buying the title.

    Okay can we talk about this for a moment. There is one of two scenarios going on here.

    1. Mourinho is just “trolling” – on the wind up, and is coming out with these statements considering he has once again spent a fortune on players to buy back the league. So this means he is a child, trying to get a rise out of whomever his is trying to get a rise out of. He is a petty man and its pretty sad.

    2. He actually believes this, and this is even more worrying. He has performed some metal gymnastics to the point were he actually believes that he isn’t in the same boat as City and United. We call Wenger out on his delusions all the time on this site. But this… this is beyond delusional.

  6. DUIFG

    Quite embarrassing yesterday B52 being clapped off, apart from taking us to the cleaners financially for 4 years what did he offer? booing would have been more appropriate

  7. Master P

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  8. Nasri's Mouth

    @Uwot

    1. Doubt we’re going for Llorente. Media BS

    2. Who we sign comes down to who wants to leave and is allowed to leave

    Dunno about Wenger learning, but will fans ever learn about not believing everything they read in the media and assume that it’s simply a case of offering money and the player automatically joins us?

  9. Jim Lahey

    @NM ‘Seen the video of Alexis on the beach?Is he sunbathing ? Is he catching some rays?, fooling around in the waves? NopeHe’s doing sprints.”

    The antithesis of Lukas Podolski.

  10. Nasri's Mouth

    @Jim Lahey

    I suspect Mourinho is doing it to remove pressure from his extremely expensive side and try to put it on other extremely expensive sides

  11. Wallace

    ES

    “Adelaide is a good physical specimen who will cope in EPL as will both Iwobi
    and Akpom. Of the three players I thought that Iwobi was the most likely if
    any to make first team this season.”

    nah, on the weekend’s showing Reine-Adelaide is miles ahead of the other two. there’s a calmness, and like abpf says, a maturity about his play that is kinda freakish at his age. Iwobi and Akpom are good, Reine-Adelaide is special.

  12. kulastu

    What was the mini exclusive you spoke of yesterday Pedro?
    I may get shot for saying this but Adelaide reminded me of a young 17 year old David Rocastle – no player has ever reminded me of Rocky but I have a feeling Adelaide could be pretty special.

  13. bennydevito

    DUIFG,

    Why boo him? He wasn’t disrespectful to us, he tried his best even when he kept getting shunted out to the right wing.

    He was one of ours. I clapped him.

    Booed Schurrle though!

  14. YoungMurphy

    Was it just me or did it look like Chuba was trying a bit too hard? I know he’s keen to make an impression and should have scored at least once over the two games but was a bit selfish in parts.

    Iwobi – very well taken goal but still need to see more of the all-around play. Uncle Jay Jay would have been proud

    Jeff reine-adelaide – Really good assist and looks something special.

    While I know AW wants to keep them all close, I can’t help but feel that a season on loan in Championship or bottom rungs of the PL would do them some good. Realistically not sure how much they are going to play.

    Otherwise this has pretty much been the perfect preseason. Bar Welbeck, no massive injuries and we’ve won every game conceding just one. Even though it is just charity shield, I really hope we beat Chelski at the weekend.

  15. Jim Lahey

    @DUIFG – What would booing have solved? He got an equal cheers and sarcastic cheers whenever is messed up.

    Football fans are a fickle bunch to say the least, they booed Kevin De Bruyne who played a handful of games for Chelsea yet we all clapped and cheered for Cech who played with them for 11 years!

  16. Rocky Pires

    Great viewing over the weekend good results, good interplay, players looking sharp, confidence boosted all good.

    As regards Santi-Jack- Ramsey-Coq-Arteta I think for most home games we will line up in with the Engine that is Ramsey and the Clutch that is Santi, Be clutch I mean he makes us move through the gears, dictates the tempo, gives us a smooth transition into attack .
    _______Ramsey__Santi
    Ox/JAck____Ozil____Sanchez

    Ox/Jack will be told to be defensively astute and help out/ cover for Ramsey if he goes forward, Santi will sit deep .

    Away games Coq will start with one of the two as required alongside him, with maybe Ramsey RW.

    I think alot will depend on the form of Ox and what he does.

    Its great to have such competition in the squad and I also think its prudent to buy a striker as Sanchez may not be on form or simply may need a midseason rest after all hos exploits so playing Theo LW and having a mobile striker would make us a serious force with a PLAN A, PLAN B and PLAN C .

  17. abfp

    Imagine the huge steps forward we have made considering a couple of years ago Bendtner started on the right wing for us. Now we have so many good options on that wing that Wenger has a mighty headache. Walcott, Ox, Ramsey, Wilshere are just the senior players. Look at the young’uns coming through. Exciting times.

  18. YoungMurphy

    To be fair, can’t be mad at B52…AW always played him out wide when he has 0 pace and if anything is more in the mould of a classic no 9. He also scored some vital goals for us in his last season for us.

    He also looked a bit tubby as well!

  19. Jim Lahey

    @NM – Maybe, we would (and do) all slaughter Wenger if he made ridiculous comments like that, but Mourinho seems to get away with what ever he likes.

  20. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    I am not discussing here natural talent, but the player who is likely to get game time in physically demanding EPL.

    Adelaide is a midfielder who has to compete with Ozil,Cazorla,Ramsey, Wilshire and Oxlade-Chamberlain for place in team. I don’t think that will happen this season.

    Iwobi’s opportunity could come if Wenger fails to buy striker and both Walcott and Welbeck are once again injury prone.

  21. Biggus

    Nothing wrong with clapping for Bendtner. Yes he was deluded about his skills but he never took us to the cleaners. Always fighting to be in the team even when he was Sanogo was ahead of him which is a joke by itself.

    I think Akpom should go on loan, he’s trying to hard to force things here which I think might take focus away from his talent. If he goes to another club, he can try to play with more freedom and enjoy himself a bit; kid looks too serious.

  22. DUIFG

    Nothing wrong with clapping for Bendtner. Yes he was deluded about his skills but he never took us to the cleaners. Always fighting to be in the team even when he was Sanogo was ahead of him which is a joke by itself.

    lol he wasnt even fit! he was blowing out his arse, while taking 11 million in deadwood wages over 4 years, im glad you feel he is a good lad!

  23. abfp

    Biggus

    ” kid looks too serious”

    He could have learnt from Podolski on how to be more casual. Extremely casual…

  24. Biggus

    abfp,

    Not that casual though 🙂

    I just feel maybe he should enjoy the occassion and try to be part of the team rather than a one man juggernaut that wants to prove he’s worthy. Saying that, I’m not sure what sort of pressure he’s under at the moment as it looks like this season is the chance for him to prove himself.

    I just feel a more calm manner will suit him. He’s tall, strong, fairly technical and fast; all the ingredients needed. He just needs to add a calm head and things will look up.

  25. Wallace

    Bendtner’s cult. like Eboue. he’s amassed a fortune – most of which he’s probably pissed up the side of a taxi – out of a miniscule talent. got to respect that.

  26. abfp

    Steve Bould thinks Akpom should be put on an individual training program to improve his composure.

    He also thinks that the player’s depelopment would improve by more exposure to first team football.

  27. SRG#FreeN5

    Out of Iwobi/Akpom/Adelaide . Akpom was the worst and I dont think he will make it at Arsenal. Adelaide’s maturity was just too good and the skills to go with , if he keeps up he will be getting 20+ games next season.

  28. Savage

    Wenger was questioned before the Cup about Akpom and Iwobi and he said Iwobi was suited to the style of our team play – certainly he did a far better job than Akpom in that respect. Akpom’s distribution yesterday was flat-out shocking. For all the Sanogo bashing – he’s way ahead of Akpom in that department.

  29. qna

    Akpom could be our Welbeck. Now only need to find a sucker to take him off our hands for £16m. More with the new TV deal.

    Dont think Arsenal have the youth system to produce stars going by our record. Still can make a tidy profit hopefully. EPL is full of not-stars.

  30. DM

    Been stuck in flipping traffic all morning after some poor bugger crashed into a police car :/ should’ve been checking on my phone so my fault really. Alas, no DM 1-2-3-4 today. I did get a rare Sunday win yesterday though!

  31. blsany

    Oh come on be fair to young Akpom ffs.This boy is a striker and knows his way to the goal.Having to play on the wing instead of through the middle may have been the reason why he was selfish.On the few chances i saw him as ST he linked play up,made good runs.He was just too eager imo.

  32. bennydevito

    Abfp,

    Lol!

    Steve Bould think Akpom should be placed on the transfer list as he isn’t of sufficient calibre for the Arsenal first team.

    What FM are you playing? I’ve got FM 11 and have edited the database. The new ones have got too much going on and having to connect to the internet just takes too long to get through a season.

  33. SRG#FreeN5

    Having played Fifa 14 FM , I can understand what Wenger went through when Cesc / Song wanted to leave.
    I picked up a 16 year old from Croatia and then continuously played him for 3 seasons , as soon as he became a good player (82+) he thought he was too big for the club.
    And forced me to sell to Bayern .

  34. Nasri's Mouth

    Akpom’s ok, will make a decent career out of football. It might be at Arsenal, but at the moment, he’s trying too hard to get those goals.

    If they come he’ll do well, if they don’t then we’ll probably have to shift him

  35. Marko

    People are being way too harsh on Akpom and probably basing it mostly on that 3 on1 situation he messed up. He came on yesterday and just simply tried way to hard and it affected his game. He cam be thought out of that. Whether ornot he’ll make it here is another question altogether.

    And on the Bendtner love it’s a complete myth that the reason or one of the big reason for him not making it was he was played out wide that’s bullshit. He was never that good very limited and cared more about himself and his dick than his career

  36. gambon

    Good day Saturday, and great win.

    Wont read too much into it, both in terms of the result, and Jeff Reine-Adeleide, who people are gonna go way over the top about.

    Was good to see a kid of genuine ability. Arsenal fans are terrible for going way over the top everytime a half decent kid shows up.

    Akpom for example, more than likely wont make it here. Jeff however, is certainly a cut above ability wise.

    Iwobi wont be an Arsenal player long term, but it was good to see him have his moment of fame.

  37. gord

    Akpom lacks the quality. he can’t look up with the ball. missed several setups cos of that. but I really like the player tho. Jeff looks ahead, Iwobi a close second. I think Hayden can make it if he defines his game better like Le Coq

  38. Sam

    Am I the only one that thinks that we have the most balanced squad of all the title challengers this year? i’d even say that we have the best squad, period.

    In every position we have at least two solid/good players and our first 11 is good enough to compete with any team in the prem.
    Player for player, and squad for squad, I do think we have arguably the best in the prem this year. It’s now just about staying fit and executing.

    I think if we approached a season in a methodical pragmatic way (dare I say it, like Mourinho) we could have a real shot at the title.

    This is essentially figuring that we’ll mostly beat all the teams outside the top 7 baring the odd blip. Then making sure that we win all our home games against the top 7 and then setting out for draws away from home. The key is not losing those huge 6-pointers against title rivals even if it means setting up ultra defensively both home and away just to nick a point.

  39. gambon

    “Am I the only one that thinks that we have the most balanced squad of all the title challengers this year? i’d even say that we have the best squad, period.”

    Would love to know why you think we are better than the Chelsea team that easily beat us last season, after just the arrival of Cech.

    Agree we are much more balanced than the likes of CIty and UTD, who keep changing their team massively.

    Chelsea though, are probably more balanced, more stable and more “cohesive” than us.

  40. Red eye

    Can anyone shed any light on the ridiculous scoreboard graphics giving players red eyes and a powered by puma transformer body during the Emirates cup.

    It was rubbish at the weekend and it will be even worse when there are away fans to mock it. It looked so cheap.

    Please don’t let puma make us look like a bunch of twats before the season has even started

  41. Wenger's Plastic Bottle

    The same ol ‘ we got best squad bollocks’ then by December key players are injured. Mentality depleted.

  42. Marko

    Thanks Jim.

    Yep don’t agree Sam. Probably just another midfielder and forward away from that near perfect squad you were talking about. For example fitness and performance wise Arteta can’t be depended on for more than 15+ games for me if that and if Coquelin was to get injured you’re talking about unbalancing the side to fit in Jack or Ramsey as a DM so we need another body there. And we need another striker or forward full stop

  43. Sam

    “Would love to know why you think we are better than the Chelsea team that easily beat us last season, after just the arrival of Cech.”

    If you read my comment, i actually said we have a more balanced and better “SQUAD” not team.

    The difference between us and Chelsea is the stability they have get from players who stay fit the whole season. This what builds their cohesion. When we had a fit squad we also began developing that cohesion which culminated in our great run at the end of the season.

    If we can stay fit, I don’t see why we can’t challenge Chelsea. They currently only have 5 senior defenders and only fabregas and oscar as their creative midfielders. We have a good squad depth with real quality for once and even when you compare first 11’s besides the odd player I think we match up to Chelsea pretty well.

  44. Captain wenger

    Watch this space no more players coming in apart from cech le senile thinks that giroud is good enough wouldn’t even start at clubs like city, United or Chelsea . A total joke Wenger is .

  45. Sam

    “Yep don’t agree Sam. Probably just another midfielder and forward away from that near perfect squad you were talking about. ”

    Guys remember I’m talking about our squad compared to our direct competitors. Yes we still have holes (although very few) but we have fewer holes than our competitors.

  46. Nasri's Mouth

    Sam: Am I the only one that thinks that we have the most balanced squad of all the title challengers this year?

    close to it I guess. Chelsea are pretty settled too.

  47. Nasri's Mouth

    Sam: If we can stay fit, I don’t see why we can’t challenge Chelsea.

    This is the most important issue at the moment in my opinion.

    Get close to Chelsea’s fitness record and we have a chance with the current squad.

    Have another season like last season (and previous ones) and we’re already out of it

  48. vicky

    Sam

    We can’t win the league with Giroud as our first choice CF although we do have a great squad. Even, Wally is good for a few cameo roles as a striker, has not got enough in the locker to start many matches.

  49. kapslock

    Think Wenger will rotate the team a lot more this year as he genuinely has good players who will be on the bench rather than having to deal with the likes of Squillaci et al.

    Welbeck, Walcott, Wilshere, Gabriel, Chambers are not starters for me but are good enough to come into the team and perform. By rotating more we should mitigate risk of injury but with Arsenal you never know. I still think he’ll sign one more player but it won’t be until late in the window.

  50. Sam

    “Get close to Chelsea’s fitness record and we have a chance with the current squad.”

    Agreed. Chelsea only had 6 first team defenders last year and still managed to keep everyone fit. We had the same number last year and ended up with Monreal at CB.

    That’s the difference

  51. vicky

    Donyell Malen is our latest acquisition. Reportedly, a “highly rated” striker.

    Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Yassin Fortune, Vlad Dragomir, Kostas Pileas ,Jordi Osei-Tutu and now Donyell…….a massive overhaul in our youth personnel, I must say.

  52. Sam

    “We can’t win the league with Giroud as our first choice CF although we do have a great squad”

    I really love and rate Giroud, but I do agree with you. We need someone who top defenders will be at least worried about. At the monent it’s too easier to nullify Giroud and it seems even Theo strikes more fear in defenders than Giroud.

  53. Marko

    Kapslock I like the idea of more rotation but Gabriel and Ospina aside you. just know he won’t rotate that much. Depending on form 90% of the team will pick itself and if (I still think one will) a midfielder doesn’t come in I’m more than happy if Arteta isn’t rotated that much this season.

  54. Nasri's Mouth

    @Sam

    We went into the season with Koscielny still suffering from the previous seasons issues, and Mertesacker suffering from post WC winning syndrome.

    Without going into the obvious situation that we should have legislated for both of those issues, we’re a lot better off this season. (Plus our full back situation is better too)

  55. Al

    I would rather play 3 at the back than have Arteta anywhere near the side.

    He just not have the physical attributes to play there.

  56. Marko

    That’s another thing everyone talking about the Adelaide kid but now I’m wondering how good this other Lens lad might be too this Fortune. Certainly giving Jonker something to work with these days

  57. Nasri's Mouth

    @vicky

    Don’t forget Bielik from January too

    Whether any of these come good or not, what’s nice to see is some positive action being taken.

    A good selection of players from various leagues, all with their decent levels of ‘hype’

  58. DUIFG

    Arteta beiung ripped a new one but it was pre season and he is 33, he will improve, hgis role will be in closing games down, he is very much the back up at this point, no need to flip

  59. SRG#FreeN5

    Why are people so sure that we cannot win the league with Giroud as a striker ?
    Last year Costa and Hazard scored 34 goals and 4 of them were penalties.
    Giroud and Sanchez scored 30 goals with no penalties and in lesser minutes.

    What is the logic behind this statement ?

    But than Chelsea really have goal scoring defenders . Terry scored 5 and Ivanovic with another 4.

    Our goal output outside of Giroud / Sanchez is worrisome.
    With Cazorla having 7 but 6 of them were penalties.
    Ramsey 6
    Walcott 5
    Welbeck 4
    Ozil 4
    Wilshere 2
    Ox 1

    It is in the rest of the team we will have to improve our goal output.
    We need one or 2 more to hit double digits. Most likely candidates will be Ozil and probably Ox.

  60. Nasri's Mouth

    DUIFG: Arteta beiung ripped a new one but it was pre season and he is 33,

    The guy has played about 90 mins since we lost him from injury 8 months ago.

  61. Nasri's Mouth

    SRG#FreeN5: Our goal output outside of Giroud / Sanchez is worrisome.
    With Cazorla having 7 but 6 of them were penalties.

    Which is probably why Wenger talks about getting more goals from within the existing squad.

    By all means lets add Benzema, but let’s also get more players scoring more goals.

  62. Marko

    DUIFG I hear you and I’m not usually a get your panties in a bunch kind of guy but Arteta fitness wise kind of scares me. He’s back up that’s likely to be injured or at least on the cusp of injury most of the time. When we get to 3 games a week canhe be depended on? I’m honestly not so sure. At least when Flim Flam was there there was always a back up which iskind of why I still think a midfielder will come. Arteta was out for so long last season and his age I just can’t see us taking a chance on just Coquelin and Arteta as DM’s

  63. kapslock

    @Marko – not sure mate. Like I said Walcott, Welbeck and Wilshere not automatic starters for me but they’ll want to play especially with the Euros next year and I’m sure it’s been discussed with Wenger. All the players can see what a good squad we currently have that they’re all be pushing hard for a place. I can’t see a midfielder coming in because we’re well stacked in that department but can definitely see us go strong for a forward.

  64. DUIFG

    Marko I agree obv it would be great if we could have a working dm understudy, ki or wenyama for me, looks hugely unlikely at this point though.

    Really cant see arteta being used a hell of a lot, it will literally be only breathers for coq, the real issue is if coq gets long term injury, thats what wenger is gambling on, no need to gamble but you know what wenger is like,he likes going in light and making do.

  65. Marko

    If Oxlade stays fit he’ll score. He loves a shot that lad. Also Cazorla isn’t getting you many goals these days cause he plays deeper and while I agree Mesut should be scoring more it doesn’t appear to be a natural partof his game for me. Say this season he hits 8 goals and 15 + assists then I’d be delighted

  66. Emiratesstroller

    Sam

    I tend to agree with your analysis. I think that we have better squad depth than
    Chelsea and the gap between both clubs post Christmas was very small in terms of points, goals scored and goals conceded.

    Chelsea managed of course to keep their players more fit throughout the season.

    Nevertheless most of the Managers including Mourinho acknowledged the strength of our squad.

    However, I don’t think that we should be too complacent. I think that the club
    is still short of the following:
    1. Additional World Class Goal Scorer who is a reliable and clinical finisher.
    2.An additional Defensive Midfielder. I don’t want to see Arteta play.
    3.Possibly a better left back than we have got.

  67. Sam

    “Why are people so sure that we cannot win the league with Giroud as a striker ?”

    SRG#FreeN5,

    I think when you look at overall stats Giroud is great. He’s extremely selfless and get great output despite his limited pace and finishing.

    However he’s not a match winner and that the main issue. When things get tight and you need a hail mary goal or you know you’ll get only a limited amount of chances or half chances, you just can’t rely on giroud to deliver. It’s shame because he works extremely hard and he’s improved every year but he’s still just short of that WC match winning striker we need.

  68. SRG#FreeN5

    Not sure why people are upset of Arteta from yesterday’s game. Dont know what more was expected of him . Arteta is limited and we kept a clean sheet , not many dangerous moments either.

    If anything Bellerin and Chambers were letting so many crosses in.

  69. MadeToLoveMagic

    “Arteta beiung ripped a new one but it was pre season and he is 33, he will improve, hgis role will be in closing games down, he is very much the back up at this point, no need to flip”

    Cant agree with this,,,,,

    In a 60 or so game season, Coq cant be asked to start more than 40 really.. Plus we have no idea if he will be injured or have a confidence crisis mid season.

    Point is we need someone who can cover

    Last season we started with Diaby Flamini Arteta. Diabys gone and flamini is on his way out.

    Arteta is a good, no great player and i’ll always love him for what he did for us but he is 33 hes been injured ALL of last season and now we expect him to come back and play in a position that isn’t even his natural one, where fitness mobility and power is everything?

    I think the reason we are not seeing a new Dm is Wilshere. Jack at the moment is floating on the edges of the team and Wenger is afraid of losing him, especially as Santi is getting on a bit……

    I think wenger is keeping us light in the DM dept so that Jack can play there when the inevitable injuries happen

  70. Captain wenger

    What can people honestly see Wenger doing transfer wise no one knows he’s that unpredictable lol

  71. qna

    Arteta, Flamini, Gibbs and Welbeck are all liabilities. If we are forced (through injury) to give them minutes in big matches (against top 8 teams or against round of 16 level UCL teams) then we will drop points/lose matches. They will suffice against teams that we usually flat track bully.

    We sort of drop to the level of say Spurs with these guys. Good enough against some teams, but still poor enough to dump us out of the running for all the big trophies.

    Sad thing is its a relatively easy fix to replace these guys and probably for less money than theae guys earn.

  72. Leedsgunner

    At least with all these youngsters in the side we can give the first teamers a rest with the Carling Cup games.

  73. Sam

    “However, I don’t think that we should be too complacent. I think that the club
    is still short of the following:
    1. Additional World Class Goal Scorer who is a reliable and clinical finisher.
    2.An additional Defensive Midfielder. I don’t want to see Arteta play.
    3.Possibly a better left back than we have got.”

    Emiratesstroller,

    I’d say of all that the WC striker is the only really need. I think a DM and a LB are more additional luxuries than necessities. Gibbs and Nacho are both solid LB’s and are more than enough to deal with the wingers in the prem.

    And I feel that the combination of our Le Coq, Santi, Arteta can man the DM role. It would be nice to get someone else in but I don’t personally see it being the reason we don’t challenge. What do you think?

  74. Nasri's Mouth

    qna: We sort of drop to the level of say Spurs with these guys.

    So, what you’re saying is that our back up players are good enough to start for the 5th placed PL side?

  75. SRG#FreeN5

    @Marko I agree , we should not expect more goals from Cazorla in a deeper role. With our attacking so many players get closer to goals at various points. We need rest of our forward line to step up. It is not impossible to visualize another 8-10 goals from the same squad .

    I am not saying Giroud should be our starter , but it is far from “We cannot win the league with Giroud” .

    Manchester City had 70 goals between Aguero / Silva / Toure / Bony . Irrespective of which striker we sign , many of our players need to improve their goal output.

  76. Sam

    “In a 60 or so game season, Coq cant be asked to start more than 40 really.. ”

    MadeToLoveMagic,

    Yes he can. In fact Coq, Ozil, ramsey, and our other key players have to be cable of starting between 40-45 games. It’s the only way we’ll challenege. Look at all the other big teams. Their key players start that number of games. Buying players will not work if we can’t keep them fit.

    I’ve said it before but I’d trade a benzema type signing for an injury free season for our key players

  77. Nasri's Mouth

    Sam: Yes he can. In fact Coq, Ozil, ramsey, and our other key players have to be cable of starting between 40-45 games

    Agreed.

    That’s how Chelsea won the league. Their best players stayed fit, and getting ours to play 45 games a season should be exactly what we’re aiming for.

  78. Nasri's Mouth

    Sam: I’ve said it before but I’d trade a benzema type signing for an injury free season for our key players

    Yep, me too

  79. qna

    NM: So, what you’re saying is that our back up players are good enough to start for the 5th placed PL side?

    Yes. And Barcas/Madrids enough for ours. Whats your point? Spurs wont win the title either.

  80. Nasri's Mouth

    @SRG#FreeN5

    I think we’ve currently got a very good LB in Monreal and a decent back up in Gibbs.

    Monreal took a good step up last season and looked excellent, Gibbs took a step backwards and didn’t look as good as 2013/14, but the pair of them are fine and there’s no reason to look at changing it

  81. MadeToLoveMagic

    Sam

    That’s what Im saying

    he wont start more than around 40 games…

    Is arteta good strong or fit enough to start the rest?

    What if Coq gets injured……? Who have we got…..

    Im sure W3nger sees Wilshere or Maybe even Hayden as the solution

    Wha gwan with Flamini?

  82. Jamie

    Afellay to Stoke on a free. Shrewd. Decent, when you consider they also have Bojan returning to fitness.

    Vicky – re: formation

    A RB and a LB playing as CBs? Monreal didn’t look so hot in that position early last season. Not much height in that defence either, so we’d be at risk of long-ball football into our box, no? Also, Santi as a wing back?

  83. Nasri's Mouth

    qna: Whats your point?

    Back up players aren’t as good as 1st choice players, that’s why they’re called back up players.

    If they’re ‘only’ good enough to start for the 5th placed side, then there’s not much wrong with them.

    If our back up players were of Championship level, or poor PL side level, then I’d be concerned, but…

  84. qna

    We should have done simething about Gibbs years ago. There are solutions even now. I like Baba Rahman but he may be a bit pricey. Would rather we focussed on Benz/Reus.

    Flamini we should have never resigned. We needed a proper DM even then. At worst we shoulf move on vith Arteta and Flamini now. We should be bringing in a proper DM to compete wih Coq.

    Welbeck was simply another in a long line of talent scouting failures that include the names Gervinho, Chamack, Sonogo, Podilski.

  85. Sam

    “Is arteta good strong or fit enough to start the rest?What if Coq gets injured……? Who have we got….. Im sure W3nger sees Wilshere or Maybe even Hayden as the solution”

    if we assume that Coq stays fit, big IF I know but that’s what we’re aspiring to here. But IF he stays fit, the other 15 games should be a combination of capital one, early rouds of FA cup, easy (easy he says) prem and UCL opponents.

    That’s workable don’t you think? Personally don’t see a pressing need in this area

  86. MadeToLoveMagic

    It is great that our fitness semms to be getting so much better but even if Shad sorts out the entire set up it doesnt stop the fact that any player could be injured at any time, through the laws of basic entrophy….

    I agree i wouldnt want a super WC DM to come in because i think coq has earned his chance, its just I worry that Arteta will let us down.

    Like you say though if Coq can stay fit and we use Arteta to close out games it could work , its just risky…

    I would have loved to see a player like Samper to come in…. A young potentially amazing DM who would have been happy to play back up to coq…

  87. vicky

    Jamie

    I was just referring to the formation. In defense, we could try different personnel. By the way Santi is not a wing back there. 4 midfielders in the middle – Santi,Coq, Ramsey and Ozil, Coq and Ramsey a bit deep. Then 2 wide players in Ox and Sanchez. No wing backs. That is why 2 wing backs in the defense along with Koscielney. Both Debuchy and Monreal has some experience of playing as CB as well.

  88. Sam

    “I would have loved to see a player like Samper to come in…. A young potentially amazing DM who would have been happy to play back up to coq…”

    yeah I’m with you MTLM, sad that that link seems to have gone quiet 🙁

  89. vicky

    Muzzi is a knob.

    He tweeted a few minutes ago : ” talks are ongoing”

    ffs, does not take a genius to figure that out during a transfer window. Always evasive and vague.

  90. Willow Wilson

    Another day of happiness………………..

    SRG
    “Our goal output outside of Giroud / Sanchez is worrisome”.

    Against Lyon we scored 6 goals and had 6 different goalscorers.

    Last season we topped the PL for having the highest number of different goalscorers.

    qna
    “level of spurs with these players”

    Lol. It is ridiculous to say you have to have two top three teams in your squad, as you seem to suggest. How good is Chelsea’s second string, a team with no Terry, Ivanovic, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Costa? What about Man City without Aguerro, Toure, Kompany, Zabaleta etc?

    I think Nasris Mouth has already answered this.

    Interesting to read what Ray Parlour had to say:

    Parlour: “It’s definitely the best squad since the Invincibles. They need to steer clear of injuries. Last season, if the injury list was a bit lighter at certain times then they would have been a lot closer. The most important thing in any squad is to have the right team spirit and harmony. Everyone has to be pulling in the same direction. You can’t have some not getting on with others, a personal feud or something like that. At the moment, it’s the best I’ve seen in terms of team spirit for a long time. I think now, winning the two FA Cups, they believe they can go to the next level which, for me, is winning the league”.

  91. Nasri's Mouth

    MTLM@ It is great that our fitness semms to be getting so much better but even if Shad sorts out the entire set up it doesnt stop the fact that any player could be injured at any time

    This is true, but if we’re going to persuade a player to join us based on a first line of “We’d like to sign you because there’s a chance our 1st choice player is going to suffer an injury at some point” we’re going to be shopping in the player equivalent of Lidls.

    It was a choice between bringing in someone ahead of Coq in the pecking order, or go with what we’ve got.

    So it’ll be Coq as 1st choice, and then, depending on the games and Wenger’s view on things, Ramsey/Wilshere (possibly together) with Cazorla, or Arteta as 2nd choice.

    Coq will play 45 games I’d imagine, possibly a fair bit less if Wenger wants to try a more pressing and possession based game. He’s not prone to injury, he should be fine.

    I know if (when) he gets injured and he’s out for 4 months everyone on here will go “see, see, I told you so!!” but I’m not sure you can legislate for that kind of thing.

    Meh, maybe he’ll bring in Ki or similar in the next 4 weeks

  92. Relieable sauce

    MU sign GK Romero.
    Stoke sign Afellay.

    Seems like Peps 1st season in the Prem will be LvGs last in football.

    Klopp to Liverpool this season or next…

    Need to make hay while the sun shines & complete the squad with a good CM/DM & WC forward, if possible.

    Some people saying they are fine with Arteta playing 5-10 games & that he is good for shutting out games??? dont know why, I dont see that at all. He shouldnt be anywhere near to being a squad player for us & how do we cherry pick 5-10 games for an ageing, possibly injury prone DM(who isnt actually a DM) anyway?

    Coq cannot play 40+ games without suspensions & fatigue having an impact, loss of form & injuries should be expected as well. We NEED a CM/DM.

  93. Nasri's Mouth

    @willow wilson

    I like Parlour, but he’s got the bland punditry down to a tee. Talked about signing a new CB, then talked about Chambers possibly becoming a top CB, and then admitting he hadn’t seen much of Gabriel, and that Per and Kos would still be 1st choice.

    Covered all the bases nicely

  94. SRG#FreeN5

    @Willow there was nothing for you to defend there. Wenger himself told we need 10-15 goals . In the last 10 years only one team scored less than 72 goals and won the title.
    But that Man U team conceded only 24 goals , we conceded 36 last season.
    These trends suggest , we either need to conceded 10-12 goals lesser or we need to score 10-15 goals more to win .

  95. MadeToLoveMagic

    nasri

    Thats why i said Samper would have been a perfect signing for us

    You still havent addressed what happens if Coq gets injured or loses form….. is arteta gonna b able to cope, or should we use Hayden, ? Wilshere/?

  96. Sam

    “Ronaldo through the middle…”

    I think it’s Jese through the middle NM, that’s how they played it last time Benz was on the bench

  97. Uwot?

    Jim & Vicky-I have a horrible feeling it’s llorente.no smoke without fire “cheap as chips”a wenger buy written all over it.depressing.so f******ng depressing…..

  98. Kane

    Muzzi Ozkan is the new Myles Palmer….

    I totally get it – you cannot specific details – like a players name or clubs, etc while negotiations are ongoing… but he is the very definition of vague with his posts…

    Hey Arsenal fans – huge news!!!

    Arsenal are in talks to sign a top player… if they pull this off it will be the best signing ever!!!

    I won’t tell you the position of the player – or which country he plays in or his position or his nationality or anything else of importance!!!

    But TRUST me – I am IN THE KNOW!!!!

    lol twat.

  99. vicky

    Uwot

    I don’t believe Llorente rumors. 30 years old and a very average player. A bit similar to Giroud as well. Would not make any sense to me If we signed him.

  100. Sam

    “But TRUST me – I am IN THE KNOW!!!! lol twat.”

    Guy’s a fraud, however transfers rumors are a mugs game. Best for all not indulge in them period.

  101. Relieable sauce

    NM

    Upgrading the LB position now offers the least risk if we do want to take a punt on a young player.
    Monreal looks like he will be gone in a season or 2 & we will only have a LB who is “decent back-up” & not up to 1st team standard. Meaning we will have to shell out top dollar on a proven LB or, more likely buy/promote a LB that is unproven.

    We can sell/release Monreal if needed & Gibbs is expendable. We have options now to address a weak position with little to no impact, in a season or 2 our options arent as good & the effect could prove costly.

  102. Marko

    Absolutely no chance not a single chance we’ll sign Llorente. No way. Benzema, Lacazette, Reus or someone big will be the marquee signing. Surprised Anderson Talisca hasn’t been mentioned again. Good player and has excellent potential. But he us Brazilian…

  103. Kane

    Went to the game Saturday… an enjoyable day out watching an exhibition match.. was hard not to be impressed by the fluidity, link up play and overall speed and directness of our play as well as the fact that everyone on the pitch was in their right position for a change!

    I think it has been said, but if you lay last season out.. we suffered with injuries for much of the first half of the season and it hurt us.

    Our injury record in the second half of the season was much better and IF we can keep our squad fit then I believe we can compete for the league.

    Still a worry re DCM (Coq was incredible again, but if he is out for a while, then we do not have adequate cover in that position), and if we can bring in Benzema and ship out Welbeck then that would be a dream come true, but I cannot remember a season where there has been so much confidence and optimism going into a new season.

    The performances are there, the squad is looking good and playing well and our fitness issues seem to be a thing of the past…

    Let’s hope this year can be our year!

  104. Marko

    Shame Jese got that injury back when he did. If he hadn’t mark my words he’d be right up there with some of the best right now. He’s absolute class

  105. Nasri's Mouth

    @MTLM

    I think Samper is after a better deal (more playing time) where he is, and we’re being used as a bargaining tool. He’s not going to want to come here and then be in the same situation as he is at the moment.

    If Coq gets a big injury then it’s going to be a problem for us, but that’s often the same with any club really. Someone above mentioned how few defenders Chelsea had last season, or what would have happened if Costa had a big injury.

    I just have this feeling that Wenger will look at playing some games without Coq or Arteta. In theory with players like Ramsey, Alexis, Welbeck, we’ve got the energy to cover without a dedicated DM.

    Arteta should be fine for the games we actually need him for. If he has to play 2 games a week, then we’re going to need some energetic players around him.

  106. Nasri's Mouth

    @Sam

    Serves me right for guessing 😀

    @Karim

    LIkewise… dammit, thought it was Benitez trying out his ‘new’ system

  107. Marko

    Gotta say that first half it didn’t look like Kondogbia knew what position he was playing. Kovacic was playing DM and Kondogbia was more a AM? Nah mate

    Also kinds of sums up Chesney doesn’t it. None of the club’s have mentioned anything official yet only for Wolly to announce it on his…instagram account

  108. Emiratesstroller

    Sam

    Actually my major concern is not a world class striker, because Arsenal have been capable since January to score goals albeit that a “clinical finisher” is
    wanted.

    My priority is the DMF. You need only compare how we played in the two games over weekend.

    Against Lyon Coquelin was the “cement” which bonded team. He gives the
    defence time and allows the attack to express themselves freely. We played
    the game like we did throughout SECOND HALF OF SEASON.

    The team which played yesterday particularly in first 60 minutes looked more
    like the team which played in FIRST HALF OF SEASON. It was vulnerable to
    counterattack and the lack of a physical DMF was obvious. Arteta is slow and
    now very easily overrun and the performance of Cazorla was definitely affected by absence of Coquelin.

  109. Nasri's Mouth

    Uwot: I have a horrible feeling it’s llorente.no smoke without fire “cheap as chips”a wenger buy written all over it.depressing.so f******ng depressing…..

    When it comes to transfer rumours the saying is

    “99 times of out 100, there IS smoke without fire”

    In this case it’s 100% made up BS.

  110. Carts

    Solid pre-season. Bit all to familiar but solid nonetheless.

    As Jack said, fitness (and sharpness) is the most important aspect. The result and performance against Lyon was nice. Wolfsburg made it more of a game.

    Numerically we are ready, but we still need 2 more signings imho. With that we will give ourselves the bet chance at mounting a genuine challenge. The rest is down to Wenger getting the recipe right

  111. Nasri's Mouth

    Relieable sauce: Upgrading the LB position now offers the least risk if we do want to take a punt on a young player.

    I don’t think so.

    If we signed someone with ‘potential’ then he’s not going to get any games to show what he could do.

    Bellerin got his chance last season, but only because of serious injury to Debuchy, and he looked pretty shaky in his first few games too, so had Debuchy only had a minor injury he’d have come back in, and we’d all be saying Bellerin looked ok, but nothing special right now.

    Better to start looking at top LBs during the next 12/18 months and get one in place to replace Monreal when he goes in 2 years.

    We’ve got money now, we can afford to spend it on a proper 22-26 year old, who can be 1st choice from day 1.