Management Material: Per Mertesacker

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Feels good people. Feels good to be penning a blog on my mobile phone again. Feels good to be writing about Arsenal as title contenders.

The afterglow is still white hot after our excellent win against Manchester City on Monday. Best part about that Mesut Ozil performance is he’d been sick all week… Cue joke about ‘sick performance bruv’… I like that he’s summoning a bit of Tony ‘run it off’ Adams. Not sure he was that guy when he came over from Madrid.

Now he’s fire, there’s talk about his next deal. You kind of feel the £180k on that table is quite weak considering he’s the best creative in the business. Wayne Rooney is rocking £300k pw for very little. Most top end players are over £200k pw. If I were his agent, I’d be pushing harder than the figure being proposed. You’re only in your prime once!

Great thing is this… He’s not going to go to Barca (pray) and he’s done Madrid. Bayern are a great club, but they’re not the same without Pep. Plus, that league is pretty uncompetitive. So unless City come in for him… and Mesut would hate Manchester… where’s he gonna go?

Especially if we pull our finger out and win the league!

… Per did chastise our title dreams in The Standard.

“We haven’t proven anything yet and we haven’t been that consistent that we can talk about that – that is my opinion,”

Bang on the money Per. There’s a lot of triumphant fans at the moment assuming 2nd now means 1st in May. Sorry people, but our position is lovely. Enjoy it by all means, but we are more than capable of back to back losses in our next two games. Remember, this Arsenal team lost to Sheffield Wednesday on a cold midweek night and they also took a tanking at Bayern (plus the other two losses in the CL). It’s game to game right now.

Per also elaborated on our tactical flexibility.

“We are capable of doing different things sometimes, and that is what makes it harder for the opponent,”

“Last season we played at City and we showed a different kind of game-plan. We go game by game,  and concentrate on having a game-plan and trying to implement it. That has been our strength so far against the big teams, and it makes us stronger as a unit.”

“We aren’t looking for excuses, we need to find solutions,”

“That is how we approach things at the minute, how we approach the season and every single game.”

Playing the way we did against City is no longer new, we’re getting better at executing game plans now and I think the players are enjoying working as a unit. Tactical naivety isn’t an issue anymore. What is an issue is focus. We have all the ingredients to win the league this year (well, a DM and a mobile forward would be perfect), the main question for me is focus. Can Wenger instil desire and fight in February? When we lose our next game, how quick can he rally the troops? Who are the leaders?

Per sounds like a future manager to me, he’s really smart, he’s humble and he has World Cup winning desire.

Other leaders? Nacho Monreal. An absolute warrior of a player, he’s my underdog player of the season so far. Ozil has shown a lot of balls. Alexis has redefined what hard work is by leading through example. Same for Giroud.

… and obviously, Petr Cech. The absolute best signing we’ve made in 10 years. He has been everything and more. Taking a doubted legend was a master stroke. Wenger has been waxing…

“I don’t want to be detrimental to David Ospina because he was exceptional last year, but Petr Cech has done it all, so he is someone who gives you an aura, a charisma that is always important in the big games for the players.

“I met him before I signed him and we had a long discussion about the game and the job and his position, and I was deeply impressed by his knowledge, by his professionalism, by his detailed knowledge. So since I have not been surprised, because I got the whole package in one go.”

He then went on to talk about how important the keeper is, sharing a Casillas anecdote.

‘There is no history of teams winning big things without having a great goalkeeper,’

‘I’m 30 years in the job and what you learn over the years is that the goalkeeper is the most under-rated position in football, and maybe the most vital one to win things.’

‘You’ll always have in life the strikers being better paid than the goalkeeper, but are they more important than the goalkeepers?’

‘In the big games that the number of shots on target shrink. But the one save can be the difference in the end result.’

‘When Spain won the World Cup [in 2010] I came out thinking every game [Iker] Casillas saved a one against one at 0-0, or a decisive ball, even in the final against [Arjen] Robben. Instead of being 1-0 down you’re 0-0. At the end of the day he makes the difference.’

I know the issue is addressed now, but face palm me up here people. How can Wenger be so assertive about great keepers knowing his record of keepers is fucking dismal. Wenger has never pursued a ‘great’ keeper. He’s gone for cheap and average. In fact, I was told that we sought out a keeper with mid level stats so we could build them up when we bought that Italian chump (yeah, chump is a big word for 2016) who was so bad we couldn’t even put him on the bench!

We’ve missed out on some names as well… so many names. We’ve also stuck it out with some dross. Almunia for 4 seasons. Chezzer for 3. Both painfully average. No hopers. Amazing how many fans were fine with these guys as well. Still, rectified now. It just baffles me to read comments like that… devoid of reflection.

Anyway, a positive week for us. We have a big game against Southampton on Boxing Day, they’re struggling this year. The defence is a bit shite and they’ve lacked last seasons consistency. They can damage us though. This is the sort of banana skin game that wipes out any good you’ve dropped on a City 3 points. A drossy draw is exactly what we don’t need here!

If we can get through to new year maxing out points in December… how incredible would that be? AMAZING.

Right, I hope you enjoyed your mobile friendly news update. See you tomorrow.

LOVE BEING BACK IN LONDON. X

P.S. Check out my Arsenal DNA

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218 Responses to “Management Material: Per Mertesacker”

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  1. vicky

    Tunny

    True.

    These were the same reporters who were building all the hype around LVG when he was about to join United. At that point of time they were busy hunting Moyes. They ran a similar propaganda against Brendan. Seems Pelliagrini and LVG are their current targets. I am not suggesting managers should not be sacked if they fail too perform but these media houses whip up emotions of fans who then build pressure on the manager. The shameless media is working over time to build a hysteria around Mourinho to United now. There was a hysteria around klopp and possibly now around Pep. It’s disgusting. No ethics, just sensational propaganda, little understanding of the game and obnoxious vile intentions.

  2. underrated Coq

    “Assists are carving up openings for your teammates to score and not as in Walcott’s case being the last player to touch the ball before Walcott scores”

    Lame. That’s akin to saying tap-ins shouldn’t be credited to the scorer.

  3. nigel tufnel

    Underrated coq,vicky,

    Why do you bother with Bamford.? You know he reads the net, listens to tv pundits, then spouts as if he’s watching and making observations himself. Never offers anything new.
    Oh really, bamford, mertesacker isn’t pacey? Are you sure you’ve never worked as a football scout? Please tell us more.
    If Per is so bad, its amazing that we’ve had one of the top defenses for a few seasons now, With szcezny even sharing a gold glove. Now give us all the reasons we did it IN SPITE of Merts playing amost every game.
    Just a pretend expert. Never had an original thought or understood what he’s seeing in a match.
    It’s rich him asking Vicky to provide evidence that the manager actually has something to do with how we play.

    This clown has never lived in tbe real world. He thinks he’s debating.

    Bamford, can you provide evidence that you’ve ever been with a woman? Or a man? Because you seem really sheltered.

    I ask you again, what did your daddy do to you?

    And notice that he’s hedging on whether he wants or predicts Arsenal or man city…,
    He will wait till the trophy is lifted, then write a novel about how he pointed out the reasons why it happened.

    Loser

  4. nigel tufnel

    Redtruth is actually funny and clever. His posts make me laugh.

    Bamford, on the other hand is truly annoying.

    I think that if we actually knew the details of bamfords life, it wouldn’t be annoying… just sad.

    Im also looking forward to the next gambon post, when something goes wrong for Arsenal.

    He made his big appearance before tje last game, in hopes we would drop points.. then he would’ve been back on to revel in the misery.

    Sorry to disappoint you gambon. 3 points for Arsenal. Bottom half for chelsea. Shame for Mourinho.

  5. Nasri's Mouth

    Nah, Bamford is funny because he actually believes what he posts, redtruth is just a troll trying to be contrary.

  6. Brooklyn

    Thanks Karim. How good is his work-rate, team plays, playing intensity without ball??
    You tube shows that he has great dribbling skills.

  7. London gunner

    Assists are carving up openings for your teammates to score and not as in Walcott’s case being the last player to touch the ball before Walcott scores”

    Yeah but the player who makes that simple pass has to be in the right spot at the right time to make that pass. It shows good reading of the game, timing and positioning ok it’s not as impressive as a threaded pass but don’t discount the skill required

  8. somerandomperson

    @Underrated There is nothing wrong or classless about what Wenger said. Imagine being Pellegrini and his impact on the City players. This is all because he announced early that he is leaving. Even Real Madrid let their managers go after the season ends.

    But then I can be wrong it may actually be Bayern who announced Pep will be leaving.

    Even if you want to give your employers enough time , you tell that to your employers and talk to your prospective employers.

    Irrespective of Guardiola Bayern will win . Bayern are far better run club than Barca. Guardiola leaving is not really going to affect anyone. It probably can screw up Man City’s season though , not that I am complaining 😉 .

  9. somerandomperson

    I hate to say this but I kind of agree with Red . Some of the stats are very misleading like total number of goals. Giroud has never been our Penalty taker . But everytime he is being compared against the strikers who are first choice penalty takers.

    For e.g. Lacazatte’s and Aguero’s goal scored stats were heavily padded by penalties.

    But that said it is harder to identify “the main” creator in a move. I thought key pass is supposed to do that , but that is just as useless. Key pass is just total number of chances created (the pass before a shot) + Assits .

  10. London gunner

    Nasri mouth

    I read that article about Grujic father.

    Not really sure what the fuss is about?

    To be honest it’s a great opportunity for his son and even if he doesn’t mAke it at Liverpool he will be on massive wages compared to his own country for a few years at least.

    His father sounds like a real odd ball

  11. Nasri's Mouth

    somerandomperson: But everytime he is being compared against the strikers who are first choice penalty takers.

    Any decent comparison would be NPGs/90 and also include goals per shots ratio

    For the record, I think Giroud is right up there at the top of the list over the last 18 months

    (non penalty goals)

  12. somerandomperson

    @NM Agreed . Giroud is the most underrated striker currently I think. Nobody else will get slaughtered after scoring 30 goals in a calendar year.

    He will be good for another 2 years at least it is not like he can get any slower 😉

  13. Honest Bill

    What Özil did for Theo’s goal shouldn’t really count as an assist, but it does. And guess what? Those count exactly the same for every other player. If it were so easy to just rack up accidental assists, then every Tom, Dick, and Harry would be putting up similar numbers to Özil… But they don’t. It would be exceptionally naive to think his stats are based on luck.

    I know it upsets a lot of people that Özil is getting the credit that he deserves, but for those of us who are Arsenal fans we shouldn’t let these people influence our perceptions and discredit our players.

  14. BacaryisGod

    Well, I have to eat a little humble pie because when I looked at the respective Arsenal and City squads, I was sure we would get a beating. Unlike some of the trolls on here, I have a couple of points in my defence.

    First, I said we needed to be cautious or we would get killed on the counter. De Bruyne’s miss was an obvious example of that. Monreal caught high and Walcott caught watching. A minute later Theo scored a goal few thought he was capable of. It was more like an Alexis goal.

    Second, I really didn’t think Pellegrini would play with such a negative formation. I expected Sterling and De Bruyne alongside Aguero with Silva behind them, like they started the scene half. Arsenal struggle with the high press with Giroud upfront.

    Talent-wise, City should have beaten Arsenal with us being without Alexis, Coq and Cazorla.

    I’m glad Pellegrini screwed up and helped push us towards the title even if there’s a long, long way to go.

  15. BacaryisGod

    Spot on Honest Bill.

    There’s a better argument as to whether a penalty should count as only a half or even a quarter of a goal as most players will make the majority of penalties they take.

    On that note, why doesn’t the player hacked down that leads to a penalty get an assist?

  16. Leedsgunner

    Rumblings about a new contract for Wilshere… sigh… for doing what exactly? He hasn’t played since November and probably will be fully match fit in May just as the season wraps up. Nice packet for a months work.

    Tell you what why don’t we plough that money on hiring the best possible medical and rehab staff so we don’t end up with another Wilshere on the books?

    Potential never realised is worth nothing to the club. We don’t need another Diaby to suck up valuable resources we apparently don’t have.

    I wish Jack the best but to give him a new contract when he’s been so injury prone since his last contract is foolhardy.

  17. Bamford10

    Underrated

    “But anyhow Vicky is right in that Bamford’s assertion is laughable.”

    Except he misrepresented my assertion, just as Rambo did (twice, in fact).

    That’s ok, gents. Not a big deal. I think we are better defensively now than we were last season, that we have improved the shape and organization of our deep-sit, that we are more confident in this set-up, more sure of what we’re doing, and smarter on the counter, and I think this was evident in the City match.

    You all see no significant improvement, no real difference between this performance and last year’s. For you, this recent City performance was no more professional or polished than last year’s.

    I disagree. I see a MUCH improved side, a much better organized and unified side, a much more confident side.

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    p.s. Nigel – Get a life, mate. Your fixation on me is a bit odd. You know fuck-all about me and your guesses are wildly off-base and laughable. And one thing you have COMPLETELY wrong is the idea that I borrow my opinions from others. I don’t. Not at all. Frankly I’m too arrogant for that. Right or wrong, my views are mine. Who the fuck would want to come here and argue about OTHER PEOPLE’S ideas? Not me.

    Find something else to talk about, you fucking moron. You’re a bore.

  18. Black Hei

    underrated Coq

    Disagree, I think Wenger paid Pep one hell of a compliment.

    He is basically saying that it is not whether you win but how you win that stays in the minds of fans.

    And for Wenger to say that about Pep, it means a big deal.

    To quote a Messi advert, “Winning is not everything even if you win everything”

  19. Black Hei

    As for this season vs last season, I will say the big difference is Cech and Walcott.

    Our attack is all the more better with Walcott’s direct, off the ball movement. When we have Walcott, we always have a chance to win. Keeping him fit is essential. Without him, our attack slows down. Sanchez drops deep, while Giroud and Campbell are not that quick getting into positions. Ox is quick but his off ball movement is not great.

    Cech is of course the other game changer.

  20. qna

    BH: As for this season vs last season, I will say the big difference is Cech and Walcott.

    Walcott has 5 goals and 3 assists in 15 games. Hardly a major difference between last season. I dont think Theo even earns a spot in our starting 11 when everyone is fit. I am a big fan of Theo, but the biggest contribution he has made this season is the kick up the bum, by way of competition, he has given to Giroud.

    Agree about Cech 100%, but have been calling for such a step up in keeper for years. Schezeny has clearly not been the world class keeper we have needed for many years now and it is a shame that we have not corrected this earlier. In fact, Ospina made a similar difference last season vs the season before and now Cech has taken that difference up a notch.

    We are riding good fortune at the moment in that we have not been punished in central midfield since the loss of Cazorla and Coquelin. Ramsey and Flamini are a good short term back up, but since the former are both long term injuries, I am worried if we can hold on until they return. Very much hoping we buy a hard-man type central midfielder this January.

    I would also add that for the last 18 months or so, we have been successful with a subset of our squad, with a number of players in our squad not having to be relied upon to pull us through. When they have been called upon, a noticable drop in quality can be seen. I still have major question marks about the level of the following players (including loaned out players): Welbeck, Arteta, Debuchy, Gibbs, Gnabry, Akpom, Rosicky (post injury and at age 35), Schezeny, Chambers. In my mind these guys may bring us down considerably if called upon. I think Debuchy does provide some perception of quality that may push Bellerin to be as good as he is, but have not seen him play well for a long time.

    Oxlaide is now a big concern, his development has gone backwards, he doesnt seem to grasp tactically how he needs to play in this current arsenal team. I still think he has huge upside though. The question is now, how does the club realise his potential. Maybe a loan deal is needed to fast track him back to where he was.

  21. qna

    I must say also, that I am loving Leicester City’s run. I hope they can keep it up. It is almost like in cycling where the race leader does all the hard work for the eventual winner to come out of his draft at the very end. Mentally this must take some of the pressure of expectation of the players to be still chasing the leaders rather than leading – something which we have not done very well for many years.

    Having said that, I would also love to raid them for Mahrez in January, which would no doubt kill their current run. Better us than Chelsea though.

  22. qna

    Red. For sure. But the same can be said for Chelsea’s title last season. They took advantage cause nobody else stood up. Now its a similar situation and whoever wins the league gets the trophy. Not the first time in history and not the last but the trophy bares the winners name regardless. Not saying we are up there with Barca and Bayern by any stretch.

  23. qna

    Underrated: top of this page

    “Assists are carving up openings for your teammates to score and not as in Walcott’s case being the last player to touch the ball before Walcott scores”

    Lame. That’s akin to saying tap-ins shouldn’t be credited to the scorer.

    Not to mention all the chances that he has created that nobody puts away. The other thing is that he did create walcotts goal, not only his pass but his run opened up the space for the shot. Brilliant finish by wall. Unlike in Barca where 50 assists a season are given for the last pass to a brilliant messi goal, at Arsenal assists are hard earned usually.

  24. Leedsgunner

    Bamford is entitled to his opinion like anybody else – if you don’t agree with him challenge him with reasons. In my experience he’s been decent enough to sensibly reply. Just to name call someone for saying something against the grain just weakens one’s argument personally.

    I don’t always agree with him but I want to hear what he has to say if nothing else because he might offer a viewpoint I might not have seen before.

    Difference is good… uniformity for the sake of it is boring and stifles progress and debate.

  25. Samesong

    I want to spark off a debate.

    If Roman offered £50m for Theo would you take it?

    Personally I love the guy to much, but I would like to see other opinions?

  26. Nasri's Mouth

    Danilo (the Porto one) being linked to us this morning.

    Porto do need the money at the moment after losing their case with Dojen

  27. Black Hei

    Samesong

    The 50m need to net us the following qualities.
    1. Extremely fast
    2. Great movement off the ball
    3. Not particularly fussed about not receiving the ball.
    4. Good shooting and finishing skills.
    5. Can play on the wing alongside a target man or up front on his own
    Those are the 5 main qualities Walcott has.

    On top of that if that someone can also have the following.
    1. Great technique and touch
    2. Very good on the dribble.

    SOLD! If we can find someone like that, great! For 50m.

  28. Black Hei

    Brother Red

    “You telling me if Ospina was in goal Chelsea would not have lost 9 games and Man City 5 games….lol .You jokers”

    Its call destiny my friend. Because we have Cech in goal, Chelsea lost 9 games and MC, 5.

  29. Nasri's Mouth

    Amongst his posts Bamford made a selection of points as I see it.

    In summary

    1) Bould is in charge when we play well. Wenger is in charge when we play badly.

    So obviously BS and agenda driven, with ZERO proof, it’s the conspiracy theory of a fantasist. If he others to come up with some arguments against it, he first needs to find some evidence for it. He has none.

    2) After beating Man C we’re suddenly title contenders

    We were title contenders before. We’re now slightly more likely to win it, given the 3 points etc. but while we played well, we’ve played equally well if not better in other games this season.
    We’ve also played poorly in several too, and in no way does this one game mean we wont replicate some of those poor performances later on. Nailing your colours to the mast after this result is hasty to say the least

    3) The style of play shows we’ve changed.

    Bamford has suggested that it was the players decision and their tactics not Wengers, citing quotes by Mertesacker post the ManC win last season. What he hasn’t realised is we’d played the same way in some of the previous games, and previous seasons, so nothing to do with the players, everything to do with Wenger and the coaching staff.

    So in all 3 points he was incorrect to varying degrees

  30. vicky

    Nasri

    That’s Bamford’s modus operandi.

    He says something ridiculous and then tests the waters. If everyone laughs off his suggestion or point, he accuses others of misreading or misreporting what he actually meant to say. For example : This theory about Wenger and players regarding our defensive set-up.

    If he does find a couple of takers, then he beats his point to death until he is finally proven wrong. For example : He argued for months on end how Coquelin was absolutely ordinary, not Arsenal class. After repeating the same point for ages, he realizes he was very wrong in his assessment. Then “Coq is good but not as polished as Morgan or Matic” and another loop starts and continues until he is proven wrong again.

    Not saying any of us does not get it wrong in assessing a player but the annoying thing is he will ridicule anyone who refutes his claim/assessment and then will continue arguing the same thing umpteen number of times until proven wrong. Mind you he is often wrong than right and yet his conviction only increases.

  31. karim

    Brooklyn

    I’ll be honest enough to admit I haven’t watched Lille play a single game this season. Nonetheless, he seems to be a hard-working player which is promising given his technical attributes and his young age ( 22 ? ).

  32. qna

    Hearing that Chambers might go back to Southamton on a 6 month loan. Great idea. I think he will develop there, provided he is given game time. Wouldnt be the worst thing to send Ox back as well (on loan to get game time).

    Regarding Bamford and his quite incredible turn-around. It is a little amusing. At one stage, very recently his faith had waivered so much that he was only going to be posting once a day. And our performances in the first two champions league games were proof of the utter demise of the club. To be fair, it was one of the lowest points in the last decade to be in that situation, looking at Europa league as a best case.

    I would say it is a bit of a stretch to say things have changed so much since then. I too am definitely feeling extremely positive right now and am just enjoying the moment. But I agree with RedTruth that we are in this position mainly due to what has happened to the other teams around us. They have fallen by the way side, while we have maintained, if not improved slightly. I dont see any major transformation. The big difference is that we are finally converting the chances we create. But I think Cech has added a level of steel to our defense where we just look more assured.

    We need to take a step at a time and the first step is to take advantage of this position and take the league now. The other thing is that I have not written off our chances against Barca. I think we have a chance to get past them. Odds are against us, but that works for me. I think we have the players that can unlock the Barca defense and a defense that can hold them to a couple of goals over both legs. That is enough to give us a chance.

  33. Samesong

    RedTruth that we are in this position mainly due to what has happened to the other teams around us. They have fallen by the way side,

    the bigger teams have spent more money this year and still got smacked down. A win is not a given in this league.

  34. Dream10

    qna

    It seems that Chambers will go on loan back to Southampton only if Debuchy does not secure a loan to West Brom.
    It will be a good move for the lad.

    AW rarely loans out a player who is earmarked for first team duty. If Chambers moves to another PL club on loan in January or July, he is essentially being put in the shop window. Unlikely Ox will be loaned.

  35. Rambo Ramsey

    I ll give bamford one thing. he’s a good spin merchant. kept lauding City all the bloody time. when they were smashed by them Spuds he spinned it into ‘only because of injuries to City’s key players’.

    They have been piss poor for months and for some strange reason he continued to claim City were superior to Arsenal. now that City’s almost full strength team were shown up by an injury depleted Arsenal, bamford had nowhere to hide. so he put the spin machine in action again, avoided talking about how wrong he was regards to City and instead spinned it as some sort of never seen before Arsenal performance, a showing that was so Soooooo good that it suddenly makes us genuinely title contenders for the first time blah blah

  36. qna

    Dream. I dont see Chambers ever making the top level grade that is needed at Arsenal. I have said this many times. But if he is to prove people like me wrong then he needs to play minutes – thousands of them. So he needs to go on loan to a club that will put him in their first team. Not sure he is good enough to make the Southampton first team either. We should have got somebody like Rugani with that 16m. Even now, we should be going out and getting somebody like him.

    Of course I know Oxlaide wont be moving on loan either. Its not even being suggested. But it would be a good idea I think. He has past his age window to really develop to the top notch and I am convinced he would have developed if he had been playing premier league at any other club week in week out. Of course his injury record hasnt helped, but even when fit he hasnt been able to express his talents. I really rate Oxlaide, but I think we are repeating the same things over and over and expecting different results with him now.

  37. Dream10

    qna

    Agree with you on both. Young players need the opportunity to make mistakes Chambers would be better off at West Brom or Norwich so he can play 100 matches over three seasons

  38. Dream10

    Would prefer if we sign Mustafi over Rugani. He is quality and is ready to compete with Koscielny and Per Only 23 as well

  39. qna

    Debuchy is a big dilemma. I think that Bellerin’s form must have something to do with having to keep ahead of a top class, experienced France international. Even if he may be over the hill, Bellerin cant take the risk that he is not. I think that competition is one of the motivators for Bellerin. I would hate to upset that balance by taking out Debuchy and replacing him with Chambers or Jenkinson, who any right back in the EPL would be equal to or better than. For that reason alone, I would like us to keep Debuchy until the end of the season.

  40. Emiratesstroller

    I am astonished by some of the rumours circulating about potential departures in January.

    At the moment we have an enormous injury list with key players out for many weeks/months. Yet we are talking about departure of Ospina, Debuchy and now Chambers going out on loan.

    Frankly we need at least 2 players to cover each position on the field. We are
    already scraping the barrel to cover players in starting X1 let alone the bench.

    There is absolutely no need to offload any of the above players unless we find
    replacements in January. They are all under contract.

    For example we used to have 3 goalkeepers in our first team squad. Now we are down to just two with Macey who has no first team experience as third string.

    When we discuss departures of either Debuchy and or Chambers who exactly
    will come in? We will get peanuts for both these players if they leave either on
    sale or loan because of their high wages.

    Arsenal’s priority this January should be recruiting one or two players in midfield and not talking about departures. Let’s face it Wenger is not going to bring in three new players in January, which is what he would have to do if two
    or three players in squad are leaving.

    Destabilising our squad at this stage of season would be madness.

  41. qna

    In terms of this season, yes, with our injury problems it is inconceivable that we would send anybody out on loan or permanently. But if we are bringing replacements first, it wouldnt be hard to match the performances we have been getting out of Debuchy or Chambers. In the long term, Chambers needs to develop and fast, but its questionable whether he will develop on the Arsenal bench.

    I would love us to get a couple of worldies like James this January, but we know that is fantasy. In fact, I cant see why Leicester would even consider selling Mahrez with the position they have got themselves in. If anything, his value is likely to increase in the next 6 months. But its worth testing their resolve. Its harsh to bring in somebody to take Campbells spot – I myself am very excited to see him develop with some game time in the next few weeks, but I am not ready to bank our challenge for the title on him, so Mahrez would be an ideal addition.

    But most importantly as we all know, we need to bring in a central midfielder (which we should have done in the summer already). Everybody knows the names that are being thrown about here. I like Rabiot and if we could sign him permanently, then I would be a happy man. I know many on here are not fans of his, but to me he is a future star that can do a job for us already.

    Really disappointed we didnt sign Vidal in the summer. But whats done is done.

  42. Sam

    Chamberlain scored the winner last time we beat Chelsea. It’ll be a concern If Campbell wasn’t performing.
    You guys need to lay off him. Surely he’s working hard to win his place in the starting line up n it will happen this season

  43. Redtruth

    gonsterous

    Chelsea are 15th…if we did manage too beat them would that be because we are flat track bullies or because we have beaten a top side ..what say you?

  44. Bamford10

    Nasri

    Except I’ve said none of those three things. You’ve misrepresented my view, yet again.

    1. I’m not attributing victories to Bould, Mertesacker and Cech; I’m attributing what we do on the defensive side of the ball to them. Wenger is no defensive mastermind and we were crap defensively under Wenger for years. Our defensive improvement has come with Bould. You can believe that Wenger is the one giving instruction in training re the deep-sit; I don’t believe that for one second. Defensive tactics are not his thing. That is obvious.

    2. My point was that the City game showed me this team has the mettle, intelligence and desire to compete for the title this season in a way that no previous game has. It has been years since I believed an Arsenal team were legitimate contenders. That you already thought of them as contenders is irrelevant: you think Arsenal have what it takes to contend every year, including the past 3 or 4 when we didn’t contend at all.

    I’ll deal with your third lame point when I’ve had some coffee.

    Vicky

    Except I didn’t say Coquelin wasn’t good enough for Arsenal. I said he isn’t good enough to get us to the next level, ie, best team in the EPL, one of the best five teams in the world.

    Many here agree with this, actually.

    And Matic and Schneiderlin are more polished and better on the ball than Coquelin, so I fail to see how I was proven wrong there.

    Good effort, though.

  45. AFC SWED

    FC Basel and Egypt defensive midfielder Mohamed Elneny has signed for Arsenal, according to this reports. #AFC bit.ly/1QKrw0S