Monday 1 August 2011

The Arsenal Squad 2011 - stronger or shambles?

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

Verdict: Fantastic in terms of young talent but there is an obvious lack of experienced combative players who can stay fit, that is my huge concern, because we look too small and lightweight at times and should not rely on Jack and Aaron, they are young developing talents.

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. I also have concerns about the midfield as we are looking very reliant on our younger squad members, we really could have done with one M'Vila type of addition.

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!


Anonymous said...

apparently Santos can also play in midfield

Anonymous said...

Ad Arteta to that Midfield and it looks quite appealing.

Anonymous said...

I think the signings we have made are solid and provide the depth that we've been missing thus far this season. If Arteta ends up coming as well that is yet another solid buy. My only gripe is why haven't we spent our entire transfer kitty? Based on my calculations we have only spent half of what is available. I still think we are two super star players short to mount any serious challenges. I would have liked to have seen a WC creative midfielder and striker come in. I know that Wenger says that it takes three parties to be happy for a sale to happen, but we don't seem to want to pay over the odds on anyone even if we have the money.

Regardless I do agree we are on par/a bit better off than last year and am looking forward to the rest of the season!

BigL said...

Generally it's underwhelming, but I'm a lot happier today than I was last week.

I just wish we had done this earlier in the season and not last minute.

Still, it's nice to be part of the transfer activity rather than bystanders. Also good to see fans outside the Emirates getting excited about transfers

Anonymous said...

Deluded if you think selling your 2 best players and replacing with more mediocre talent. Time for the board to go and bring in Usmanov, wininng brings financial muscle and stability long term. Selling clubs always remain small like arsenal now.

Anonymous said...

i wouldn't describe the squad as a shambles but its definitely weaker than last year.we've lost fab and nasri and replaced them with who? benayoun and gervinho? at the end of last year wenger promised he would strengthen. if he had done so early in the window then its possible that nasri may have stayed.we have zero chance of top 3 and fourth is the best we can hope for.what's going on at the club?i'd like to believe its the board's fault that we keep selling our best players and replacing them with cheaper and marginally inferior players.if not then wenger's time is up.

personal injury said...

This won't really have success, I feel like this.