Thursday, 1 September 2011

Arsenal Squad 2011: are we stronger or shambolic?

Goalkeepers: Szczesny, Fabianski, Mannone

Verdict: Top No1 and reasonable backup.

Fullbacks: Santos, Sagna, Gibbs, Jenkinson

Verdict: Santos needs to prove he can defend and if Gibbs can stay fit then looking strong at left back, Jenkinson is raw but can be a decent backup to Sagna.

Centre Backs: Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Djourou, Miguel, Squillaci (unfortunately)

Verdict: Vastly better than last season, the arrival of the experienced German international is a potentially good move but there doubts over his pace, Vermaelen can hopefully stay fit and if this is the case we should be more robust defensively.

Midfielders: Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Rosicky, Benayoun, Song, Diaby, Frimpong, Coquelin

Verdict: Fantastic in terms of young talent and although it was never going to be possible to replace Cesc, Arteta is as good as we could have realistically got at this late stage. Overall we're looking pretty strong offensively, I just have slight concerns about the lack of any experienced backup for Song, but it should be noted that Arteta has played the holding role for Everton.

Wingers: Gervinho, Walcott, Arshavin, Miyaichi, Oxlade

Verdict: Gervinho appears to have the potential to more than replace the erratic Nasri, the youngsters add a bit of depth in wide areas. The form or lack of it from our small Russian has been a concern for some time, in my opinion he has to play more centrally and cannot cut it on the wing. Walcott needs to step up this season. Overall we have more pace and more width in the squad though.

Forwards: RVP, Park, Chamakh, Afobe

Verdict: Excellent to have RVP fit (for the moment) and Park promises to be a useful addition. I am deeply concerned with our ability to score goals beyond RVP though, Chamakh is looking dead on his feet and there is no other quality top notch striker to lead the line after RVP. I am amazed that we have let Bendtner go out on loan when is clearly our second best striker after RVP. Why not convince him to stay?

Overall I am much happier than I was a week ago. The defence is stronger, we have more pace and width in the squad, and we have no one who is not committed to the cause now that Cesc and Nasri have gone. I am most concerned with our striker situation, with Bendtner going we have very little quality backup to RVP, Chamakh looks drained of all confidence, a lot of pressure is going to be on the new South Korean Park and it is asking a lot of him in his first season.

However serious questions need to be asked as to why things were left so late in the day when so much of this business could have been done earlier in the day. Most seriously for me, our wage structure needs to be completely revamped, it overpays lesser squad members and is not competitive in terms of the top salaries. We absolutely must have a competitive wage structure. Players like Mata have slipped through the net because of our wage structure and this cannot be allowed to continue in future years. It is time to rethink, restructure or die. Come on you Gunners!


mattdred said...

definately got a decent blend of youth, experience and qaulity.....still early enough in season for us to recovor from disastrous start ! ....all good signings .....happy gooner this morning !

guttedgooner said...

shambolic QPR and stoke showing more ambition than us. de rossi would of been the midfielder to buy the experiment has failed .mid table at least.walcott all pace no substains .thomas r,arshavin awfull. wenger and board laughing at supporters again

Osasco said...

The buys are the "kick in the pants" that the fans have been crying out for. No buy is a guarantee of success, but I admire the fact that the manager saw the writing on the wall in OT, and has made amends. As supporters, we now need to stop complaining and get behind the team. I tell you, these guys can do the business. Come on gooners! Lets end the trophy drought.

Anonymous said...

guttedgooner?? it is all in the title isn't it really!!

no pleasing some people and you are not needed.

Don faith said...

Am very happy with all our transfers, mostly our latest transfers this season. We are definitely stronger. With our squad now we can face any team. Up gunners.

Ryanthegooner said...

This i think is five good signings and soooo glad there at the club .
Arteta is a real bonus and per at the back will be great he has 75 cap's for Germany so he knows the game just what we needed love it !!!

p.s GUTTEDGOONER ; you are not a arsenal fan go and support the rubbish down the road ....

1979gooner said...


What are you on?

Stoke and qpr have signed pure mediocrity.

De rossi? He's no creator, unavailable and no pl experience. No no no on three counts.

Utter nonsense.

Ted said...

We are definitely stronger than last year, on paper at least. By my reckoning, this is Wenger's biggest shift of players since 1997, so that bodes well.

Our foreign signings have been hit and miss in recent years. Arshavin has been a big disappointment, for example. So those comments above asking for big money transfers from the French or Italian leagues need to wake up.

Its taken AW far too long to sign a big player like Per Mertesacker. Lets hope the signals a return to form for the mighty arsenal....

Kevin said...

After all those rumours about Cahill, Dann, Jagielka, etc we get a bloke who's only got like, 75 caps for Germany, for much less than any of the English CBs would have cost. Nice bit of business! I know Mertesacker will have to adjust to the Premier League, but he's exactly the sort of quality player Arsenal need.

Arteta and Benny will bring Premier League experience to the midfield and hopefully wake up piss artists like Rosicky and Arshavin who have been coasting for some time now. Santos and Park are - for me, at least - unknown quantities, but you don't play for Brazil or captain South Korea if you're not a half decent player.

A mad end to the transfer window: these deals (and those involving Cesc and Na$ri) should have been concluded long before the start of the season, but hey, we are where we are. Unfortunately, that's 17th place right now, but things are looking up. Hell, after Old Trafford, there's really no other way. CYOG!

Anonymous said...

The reason things were left to the last all boils down to ending 3rd or 4th in EPL. By finishing 4th, no big-time player would sign on if there was a chance of not getting into the main CL games, and bean counters in management wouldn't sign any players of note if there was a chance of not advancing. And whose fault was that, Mr. Wenger?

manjosh said...

Well written article. However, I will like to disagree with the statement "I am amazed that we have let Bendtner go out on loan when is clearly our second best striker after RVP. Why not convince him to stay"? I don't think he needed to be convinced to stay. Every Arsenal fan knows Bendtner was scrub. Maybe 1 out of 10 supporters would have voted to keep him in the team

Anonymous said...

Great points about the wage stucture for competitiveness sake.
AW did well with the aquisitions, he knows they can fit in the team. I suspect we will play a back 3(like Bremen) w/Santos maurauding. I expect some more changes come next season, with Rosicky and Squillaci out.
However, as demonstrated by some "fans", some will never be pleased, and will even make comparison to Stoke.

Loose Cannon said...

First of, what is this guttedgooner idiot on about? Clearly brain-dead!

The squad is def better imo, the team has options in most positions. There's serious competition in midfield and defence now which is what we asked for...

Santos is a good addition, im hearing of comparisons with Clichy, but he has more end product. He's experienced international and, therefore, can help young Gibbs. Only worry is when he bombs forward, we need to cover space behind him, thats where i would've liked M'villa to come in.

Mertesacker could be a shrewd buy from the boss, his height and composure should help.

Arteta and Benayoun will add to a midfield already lacking in experience and know-how. They are both quality and seasoned campaigners.

You've pointed out that Arteta has played as a DM for Everton, his tackling is solid and gives us the option of using him in a classic 4-4-2 formation.

Park is a complete unknown to me, a wild card signing, hope he tears it up. But im worried too that we havent added another CF. AW may opt for Theo as a CF more and Gervinho could be another option.

Overall, we've added quality and experience. And a LB, which i didnt think AW will buy. The squad is def stronger and more competitive. There's less star appeal and more team players. Im optimistic, very optimistic about the season now.

Of course, everything depends on how the new recruits gel. I think everything will be alright...Nasri who?

Anonymous said...

I feel that the team is more balanced now: ie youth visa experience: and overall from back to front. Every position now has a strong back up. People are complaining as to why Arsene has not engaged in the transfer market over the years and always depended on nurturing young players. Give the guy a break, for starters as I can remember this policy was forced upon him by the clubs longterm plans ie staduim development and so on. When the chickens come to roost as UEFA's FFP rules come into force people will realise how far sighted our manager was.I believe over the next few weeks as this team starts to gel he is going to have the last laugh. Look at the quality brought in not the cost price; he is right. lets stop all this nonsense and nitpicking and get behind the team. Or if not then apply for the job.

A true gunner - for good or for worse!

Rhinogooner said...

I'd curious to know how many of the 5 players we signed just before the deadline, were Mr. Wenger's first choices in their positions.

I'm not saying they're bad buys necessarily. I'll reserve judgment for now. But I suspect none of them were top of the