Tuesday 10 August 2010

Trickles and squad thoughts

I'd imagine most Arsenal fans are thinking the same things at the moment. The season nears and there are still some rather big gaps in our squad, most of us are waiting to see what happens over the next few days particularly on the goalkeeper and centre back front. In some areas we are very well equipped, others not so, these are my brief thoughts for what they're worth.

The goalkeeping situation makes no sense to me. Almunia is our best keeper but has hardly featured in pre season, but when he has he has looked far far better than Fabianski. Fabianski is not good and a liability when between the sticks, if continental opposition can target him effectively as such a weak link, think what the likes of Bolton and Blackburn will do. Szczesny is a great talent and has shown a lot of promise thus far. Mannone looks decent. Overall I am just a bit perplexed at the management of our goalkeepers, we have no stand out no 1, our best keeper does not have backing and the error prone flapping one is being given too many chances.

We are very well equipped at full back with two quality players on both flanks. At centre back it is another matter, the fledgling partnership between Koscielny and Vermaelen needs time to develop, there are some concerns that this pairing may be a little too lightweight for the rigours of the Premier League. Perhaps if Johan Djourou can shake off his injuries and become a bit more aggressive then there is a chance he could form a partnership with TV. Either way with Bartley out on loan for the season, we badly need one more centre back for the squad, three centre backs is not enough for the long season ahead.

With all our players fit we are well off for midfielders. Song, Diaby, Denilson, Cesc, Nasri, Arshavin, Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey, Frimpong, Lansbury, Eboue is a decent collection of players. The main thing is getting the balance right between defence and attack, without Song we always tend to struggle to shield the defence adequately, hopefully Frimpong can add a bit of bite from time to time, while it will also help if our more attacking players can get stuck in as well. One thing I have noticed in pre season is that Nasri and Wilshere have been getting their feet in when needs be, this kind of application will be needed from everyone week in week out.

Up front we are nicely stocked, Chamakh looks a tidy player, RVP is fit for the time being, Bendtner's injury woes continue and he is out for at least another month or so. There is a real chance for the likes of Walcott and Vela to make a claim for a few more starts, Theo needs to refine his game and become more efficient in retaining the football, it is make or break time for Vela.

Overall it's potentially a rather open title race this year, although I don't think it's quite as open as Arsene suggests. Man City have spent massively and have assembled a large squad, they may push on. Chelsea and Manu don't look any stronger but they don't look any weaker either. If Arsene can make the right additions to the squad in the next few days then I think we could have a good chance of being in the mix this year, but that's a big if isn't it? Anfield on Sunday is a great chance to see if we have what it takes.


Anonymous said...

where is eastmond. Im really confused.

Carmelo Pace said...

Just a suggestion,we have been reading a lot of bloggers anguih re3garding our back four sortage,which in my humble opinion can be easily aderd to,why doesn't mr wenger play on a regular basis song and diaby as cover centre backs during training sessions?i think they can do a good job,both are tall,strong guys,good ball control,good passers of the ball, and arent afraid to tackle where it hurts.hope mr WENGER give this suggestion a try,there is nothing to lose and plenty to gain if successfull.

Anonymous said...

No Fabregas! Do you know something we don't

1979gooner said...

Well, I think there are few reasons for this.

First Song is needed in midfield and there is no one to replace him there.

Second Song has barely played at centre back and it would take him ages to learn that position.

Third Diaby has never played there and wouldn't be suited at all.

Overall Song is ok in extremis, but you need four centre backs minimum for a season where you'll be playing two games/week for a lot of it.

1979gooner said...

Cesc is Fabregas!!!!!!

Eastmond is clearly not in Arsene's thinking as Frimpong has moved ahead in the pecking order at this stage.

Anonymous said...

I think it's more make or break for Walnutt. Vela's twice the player he is - I'm convinced Carlos can come good but he needs more of a chance & a few less trips to Mexico!
Defense/Keeper is a shambles. We tried to sign a keeper over a month ago. Fulham have confirmed that. Wenger publicly stated we're short in numbers at CB weeks ago. Yet days away from the first game and nothing. Gazadis - how long do you want to sort out a transfer mate? You record currently stands at about 2 months!
Wenger also said he was looking for another midfielder but then after Frimpong's pre-season has decided not to bolster the DM position. Frimpong's done well but he is not ready to play for a championship winning side. Therefore if Song get's injured we're struggling.
I understand with the stadium debts that in the past he's needed to be frugal. But now it's looking like he's just used the stadium as an excuse.

Ted said...

I would like to see a new goalkeeper and CB but I am not optimistic. There are not many good players available and it is very hard to keep reserve choice players happy.

I really don't think we will sign a specialist CB to be 4th choice. It makes no sense - the kind of player who is happy to be 4th choice is not going to be a good one.

Alex Song does have some experience at CB and is more than capable for short periods there. Don't hang him for the performance against Barca. He was excellent at CB against Manure I recall.

I also think Sagna could play CB if required in desperation, allowing Eboue to play RB.

If you get to January and Song is needing to play regularly at CB, then you need to sign someone. But there is no need for panic yet.

Spurs are shopping for a CB, Chelsea have just lost Carvalho, Manure's third choice CB is Wes Brown, I have no idea who the reserve Cbs are at Liverpool. Arsenal are not in crisis at CB at all.

Anonymous said...

Ted I know you are an Arsenal fan but do your homework a bit. Your last paragraph implies that Arsenal are no worse off then most at CB but you are way off the mark in your assessment of other sides.

Spurs may be shopping but when isn't Harry shopping? They have quality in there with King, Dawson, Bassong, Corluka and Kaboul with Woodgate still to return from injury.

Chelsea I grant you, are short at the back.

Liverpool, if you did just a little homework, have Agger, Carragher, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos and excellent young talents in Daniel Ayala and Danny Wilson. Not spectacular but decent quality at the back.

And, finally, 'manure' as you so hilariously put it, well Wes Brown, I hate to tell you, is not third choice defender. He is probably about 5th choice. Certainly behind Vidic, Ferdinand, Johnny Evans and quite possibly behind Chris Smalling.

So while I think Arsenal have good quality at centre back, you are kidding yourself if you dont think that Arsenal have a big problem there. Djourou's injury struggles really poses Arsenal with problems

Ted said...

Thanks mr anonymous.

If you think Dawson, King and Bassong are 'quality' then you are a retard.

Anonymous said...

Very mature Ted

Way to ignore all the valid points and simply dish out one ignorant insult.

And unlike you, I have a little bit of perspective and can see that Dawson and King, on their day, are an excellent partnership. Added to that, I can see that Bassong is a more than decent back-up to those two. They conceded the same amount of goals in the premiership last season as Arsenal's backline...but apparently there is nothing to worry about with Arsenal's CB's so that's ok.

Ted said...

Panic. Panic. Panio. Its all we ever hear from anonymous moaners.

I am extremely circumspect, if you did your homework, then you would know. The facts are that King is occassionally good but almost always injured. So is Woodgate.

Bassong and Dawson are very average premiership players, who will be caught out time and again against the better teams. Did you see Dawson's howler last night against Hungary?

Liverpool are all over the place at the back. I really don't understand how anyone can say that their list of CBs is impressive.

It seems to me that so long as you have 4 or 5 names on the list, then anonymous moaners are satisfied that you have "decent cover" and the job is done.

But if you spent a millisecond to read my comment above, then is wrong. None of the teams you mention have "good players" as their 4th choice. Manure probably have the best looking list of names, but Wes Brown and co are all quite flexible between full back and CB, so there defensive cover is not as good as your list suggests. Eboue and Gibbs are at least as good cover full backs as any other team in the country.

So the idea that we could sign a good player as 4th choice CB is just not sensible.

Anonymous said...

When you grow up and stop calling a club 'Manure' your comments will start to have at least a little more weight. Don't bring us Arsenal fans down with you, the guy made a valid point which you have disagreed with. Leave it eh? and get a little perspective, the world doesn't revolve around Arsenal.

ps. I'd take Dawson at Arsenal

libero said...

Odd that you lot think Chelsea are short at the back with Ricky Carvalho leaving. JT and Alex as first choice pairing with Ivanovic and Bruma (18 year old who made his debut for Holland yesterday) as 4th choice. Mouthwatering backline in anyone's book...

Ted said...

Libero - its a fair point, but I just feel that Carvalho has been one of your finest filth monsters in recent years. A really excellent defender, who will be missed. I know he is not popular in all sections at the bridge, but he has always been good against Arsenal and I think you will miss him.

Anon - I could not give a steaming turd how much weight you give my thoughts. Don't get carried away that my oh-so-witty name for Manchester United is Manure. Its not the best joke in the world, that's true, but I don't intend it to be. Its just habit over the last 2 years on this blog.

You however, seem to be a spineless pussy who stays anonymous and now pretends not to be the same "anon" as above.

Well I can write in the third person too.

Ted is a legend, is correct 100% of the time and why do pussy anonymous moaners dare to disagree with him? You are not even a gnat on the Ted's giant dick. Back the fuck up. Hello Marcus?

Anonymous said...

Wow, meltdown. Mate you only make yourself look like an imbecile with posts like that, a paranoid one at that, why do you have to start with massively insulting, expletive laden rants just because somebody disagrees with you? Are you not intelligent enough to express your points in simple words. Your points had validity but so did the other guys' and the fact that me and some others haven't registered for this blog hardly seems surprising considering the warm welcome we've just received from yourself. The uber defensive manner of your post makes you look pretty silly and like you are incapable of backing up your argument. Calm down, the hostility is way too much.

Ted said...

Seriously. Give me your name or fuck off. I cannot believe you are pretending to not be the anonymous arsehole above.

'Hey Ted, anonymous is just speaking his mind. Have some respect'.

You anonymous moaners lay it out but you simply cannot take it.Pathetic.
You want to see some unjustified hostility? Go read your own anonymous bullshit.

I'm Ted. clockend Highbury. Then block 6. Who the fuck are you?

Anonymous said...

Ted for goodness sake how paranoid are you? My name is Ethan Dornan, does that really help with your odd rant? I simply came across this blog a few months ago and have followed it since then. Am I less of an Arsenal fan because I haven't registered for this site? Honestly, you need to grow up, other people are allowed to state an opinion. How do I know that some other random anonymous comment is not you when you aren;t logged in as Ted?

Again I must ask, are you not intelligent enough to be able to construct an arguement without descending to name-calling and expletive laden rants?

Anyway, try to enjoy the game on Sunday eh?

Ted said...

Hey, thanks Ethan. Welcome to the site.

Please just add your name to the bottom of your posts, so no need to to register. If you have something worth saying then put your name to it. I never post anonymously, neither does 1979, or Rhino, or Obsinho, Uncle Mike, all who have been posting here for over two years.

Let's pick up the issue of defenders again next week on a fresh post from 1979. I have already answered your comments, but if you disagree, then you can tell me next week.

I look forward to seeing Ethan's comments!

Anonymous said...

'Please just add your name to the bottom of your posts, so no need to to register. If you have something worth saying then put your name to it. I never post anonymously, neither does 1979, or Rhino, or Obsinho, Uncle Mike, all who have been posting here for over two years.'

Unfortunately you have no proof of that. For all I know, you could be all these personas and simply use this site as a little ego boost.

At least you calmed down a little in that last post and weren't as ignorant as to disregard other people's opinions as retarded because they do not go in line with yours.

Well done on your sterling work here though. I'd urge you, though, to try and not be so narrow minded and see that Arsenal aren't the centre of the footballing world. You can hang around here patting yourself as much as you want but it doesn't make you any more of an Arsenal fan than people who have the ability to not be completely ignorant of their own bias. The treatment you dished out to someone simply wanting to state his opinion was nothing short of pathetic.

So stay in your safe little world of the Arsenal Blog, ignorant of other views of you feel you must but please grow up a little.

The other contributers on here, specifically 1979 Gooner, are passionate about their club but have the ability to wind their neck in and see perspective. They treat the commenters with a bit of dignity and respect. You could at least try that yourself.