If I was Arsenal manager for a day…

This season has been a tough one for the Gooners.  In amongst the bad start, improved middle and testing end there have been some players who have pulled their weight and some that just don’t fit within our team any longer.  I think its time for Arsene to focus on strengthing up the squad and sell the ‘deadwood’ and loan out the out of form stars.  Our wage bill is is as long as our squad list and I think there are a lot of players we could do without and reinvest the money into better suited players for the team. Here is my opinion on our players and who has made my keep, sell and loan list

The Keep list

Wojeich Szczesny- Last season I got nervous when he was in goal, but I have to admit, I’m really glad Wenger perservered with him this season.  I think he has made some incredible saves and he has been a strong goalie.  Obviously he has had a couple of bad games but I think that considering his age and experience that is to be expected, not to mention the failures of the defense this season haven’t helped.  I wouldn’t like an Arsenal team without him.

Bacary Sagna- He has had some bad luck this year but when he is in the team his presence is felt.  He is an solid defender for us, he has the ability to skillfully tackle and run rings round players,  he not only defends but he is a great attacking player too. He has had an unlucky time in regards to leg breaks.  I feel for the player but hopefully next season he’ll be back.

Laurent Koscielny-This player has impressed me no end this season.  The young, and careless Koscielny from last season disappeared and this season he has grown so much as a player.  He is definitely a great asset to our team… I will admit he can be a little harsh with his tackles but as a defender I think you always run the risk of getting booked more than other players because of the nature of what you have to do to stop someone scoring.  He is quick and immense and doesn’t let anyone get past him.  He has been our best defender this season and when he is not in the team we miss him. Give him a year and he will be the defender that will hold the whole team together.

Tomas Vermaelen-Another great defender for Arsenal.  He certainly has had a less injury prone season which has been great as we don’t have many a great replacement for either him or Kos if they are injured. Together with Koscielny they have built up a strong bond in the back 4.  Vermaelen has been a great part of the defense, he is strong and formidable, he blocks and tackles. Although he has had a hit and miss few games over the last month I still think with another new defender he will continue to be a valued part of our back 4.

Andre Santos-A few months ago I actually wrote that this guy should be sold…Well I’ve changed my mind, now that he has had a few more chances I really like his style.  There aren’t many defenders like him anymore, he is the player that never goes down, he is a defender that attacks, can drop back and move forward as and when needed. He generally stays to where he plays best.

Kieran Gibbs- I love this young player, He is so versatile, able to play in many positions.  At the moment we are choosing to keep him left back and thats a good spot for him.  Give him another couple of years to mature and he could possibly be one of the best defenders we’ve ever had.

Mikel Arteta-Wenger said last summer that he was forced to buy Arteta and that he wasn’t his natural choice for a midfielder…well whoever forced wenger I applaud them because he is a great player.  I think Mikel Arteta has been one of the strongest players withing the Arsenal team this year.  He is up there with Van Persie as my choice for top players of the season.  He has created some incredible chances from the midfield role, he has taken some great free kicks and he has scored a few goals, especially that all important one against Man City. We have never had a player settled into our team as much as Arteta. Great season for him and a must keep.

Alex Song- Great player, he has had some criticism online but I will continue to defend Song, his statistics this season are amazing, he has assisted 15 goals and gives his all to each game.  He works so well with Van Persie and he can read the rest of the team so well that he picks up those all important passes that lead to goals.  We need to keep him for sure.  He is a player that our younger midfielders can learn from too.

Tomas Rosicky-We’ve already signed him up for another 4 years and I am really glad.  He is a fast and nifty player, he can swerve and gravitate amongst and through players to get to where he wants.  He has the skill to run away with the ball and the preception to know where to pass and who too.  He has been unlucky with injury but he seems in full flow now.

Yossi Benayoun-When Arsene loaned him I had no idea how well he would fit into our team but he has had an amazing season at Arsenal.  I really hope Chelsea let us keep him, but I got a funny feeling that they won’t.

Jack Wilshere-Although he has been out for the season, we have to keep him because he simply looks like he has the makings of a world class midfielder written all over him!

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain-This is the man that has caused many an Arsenal debate this season, he has also Twitter Trended on every Arsenal game over the last month as #GetTheOxOn.  What an amazing player, we all just wish Wenger would play him more often or even give him 45 mins a game instead of ten mins at the end.  He is just brilliant.  I can’t wait to see him in the team more often, especially upfront with Podolski and Van Persie or on the wing in a 4-4-2 formation.

Theo Walcott-This player has some incredible games.  After a really bad start to the season, he took some abuse and then comes out for the second half of the season on fire! I think he has had confidence issues but we should definitely keep him.  If he falls to the wing on a 4-4-2 formation, thats where I think he does best.  If not then upfront with Van Persie and Podolski would be an experiment I’d like to see.

Robin Van Persie-Our saving grace, we would be lost without this man.  He has been responsible for 80% ofn our goals this season and we as fans a truly grateful for him. 30 goals and 12 assists in 37 games is a record to be proud of, not to mention that he won PFA player of the year award as well as the Writers player of the year award and on target for the Golden Boot.  He has had a fantastic season, especially as Arsenal haven’t.  He has played consistently and scored some classy goals.  I hope more than anything that Arsenal get him signed up as we love him and also I am excited to see what him and Podolski can do togther along with The Ox.

The sell list

Almunia and Fabianski (flappihandksi)-Both are disastrous keepers and when they play, we concede lots and I always feel nervous watching them. Neither of them have ever impressed me and we need to reinvest in a decent no 2 keeper

Johan Djorou-Never have I ever seen a defender this bad at Arsenal, I think even I would make a better defender and I am 5ft2 and played in midfield.  He has a donkeyesque presence about him and doesn’t ever seem to actually be aware of his own surroundings.  He concedes goals and makes too many mistakes.

Per Mertesacker…I know we only signed him last year but he doesn’t suit our team.  If Wenger wants to continue with the ‘beautiful football’ philosophy then he needs to get a faster person than Mertesacker.  Don’t get me wrong, he has some uses;being a great blocker is one of them but other than that he just doesn’t suit Arsenal.

Sebastien Squallaci- One of Arsene Wenger’s bad buy players.  He is just an awful defender.  I even watched a couple of reserve games and he just doesn’t play that well.

Andrey Arsharvin-This was a slightly hard one for me, up until this season I actually really admired Arsharvin as a player but I have realised that his form has dipped I think it was as a result of Nasri and Fabregas leaving but if a player can’t adapt to a new midfield around him and continues to play out of form then it’s time for him to go.

Gervinho-I think this is going to be the one that some Arsenal fans just won’t agree with but he has not impressed me much at all.  I don’t see him as unsettled player I just don’t think he is good enough for Arsenal.  I considered putting him on the loan list but I think we should cut our losses with him and agree with Wenger that he was a panic buy.  One that in my opinion hasn’t worked out.

Maroune Chamakh- I so badly wanted this guy to be a great partner for Van Persie but other than looking dangerous for 20 mins against Norwich he hasn’t really provided much excitement.

I think we should sell Park, Vela, Miayachi, Denilson and Bendtner too.

All the money from selling these plaers can be reinvested to strengthen the squad with players that will suit Arsenal’s playing structure.

The Loan List

Aaron Ramsey- We all know he’s been off form this season and is under major criticism from a lot of fans and pundits.  In his defense he has suffered a horrific injury early on in his career.  I think it’s risky loaning him because I think he might want to leave at the end of it but I just don’t think we should sell him just yet.  I don’t think we will have the need for him next season especially if we have signed M’vila and we will have Wilshere back but he will improve with a little more practise on his finishing and passing.

Carl Jenkinson-he has the makings of a good defender but just needs a bit more experience

Emmanuel Frimmpong-I think he has done pretty well on his loan spell but I’m still not sure he could make it into the Arsenal first team, maybe as a squad player.

So this is what I would do if I was Arsene Wenger for a day, I’d sell and reinvest! Please comment with anything you do or don’t agree with.

The Buy list

It has been speculated already the last few days that Arsene is interested in Vorm as a second goalkeeper.  We definitely need another one now that we are selling Almunia and Fabianski. I think Vorm is a great choice but if we can’t get him then I think Ali Al Haabsi or John Ruddy are also good choices.

Gregory Van de Wiel- Right back.  He is 22 years old and plays for Ajax.  He is a strong defender and plays often and is a very fast attacking player.

Marcelo-Left back for Real Madrid-I don’t think we or anyone else would have a chance of getting this player but he is brilliant and has been all season.  He is one of the best young left backs in the world at the moment.

I think our midfield is pretty strong, especially if we complete the signing of Yann M’vila. But I also really like Albanian/Swiss player Granit Xhaka who plays for Fc Basel.  He is a young midfielder with great promise. He also plays international football on a regular basis.

Clint Demspey- Fulham midfielder who has had an impressive season.  He has been their best player by far this season and everyone wants to buy him.

Junior Hoilett- An awesome winger who has impressed for Blackburn this season.  Now that Blackburn have been relegated that will give Arsenal an advantage in negotiating a sale for him.

Ricardo Vaz Te-He used to play for Bolton but failed to impress but I’ve seen him  for West ham this season and he is impressive.  He scores goals and has a pretty good finishing technique. He is rumoured to have a bit of a bad attitude but Wenger has always been pretty good with players like that.

Daniel Sturridge is a promising young striker.  If we could prise him away from Chelsea, even on loan for a season I reckon he would fit into our team really well.

So that would be my buy list.  please comment whether you agree or if you have any players you’d like to see at Arsenal.

12 thoughts on “If I was Arsenal manager for a day…

  1. I would sell santos as well tho, brazilans hate him as he leaves the flanks far to exposed when he goes forward – which is far to often we need that ole left back who stays back to cover the flanks

  2. Bendtenr actually gets £52,000 pw hence the number he chose 52, ibbs also i would sell as he is too weak and i would buy baines instead

  3. I have to disagree on Miyaichi (why would you sell this guy?!), Djourou, Mertesacker and Gervinho. Miyaichi as he has soo much potential and could be a very good winger. Djourou because he’s a more than able 4th choice centre-back and is nowhere near as bad as your portray him to be – he’s strong, tall and decent at tackling. At some point in the last year, he was a phenomenal defender.
    Mertesacker – great presence and fantastic at reading the game.
    FInally Gervinho – great pace, good passing – if he can improve his shooting/crossing, we’ve got a great player.

  4. Thank you for your comments John, I really appreciate the time you have taken to make them 🙂

    I debated Miyachi as yes I do agree with you on the fact he has had a great season but who would we drop for him? Walcott? The Ox? Definitely not Van Persie and we’ve only just signed Podolski. Miyachi is insistent he wants first team football almost every game and we can’t give him that. if he was happy to be a squad player then maybe. I agree with what you said about Mertesacker but he is still too slow. I completely disagree with Djourou, i just don’t think he has enough to be an Arsenal defender, he makes far too many mistakes.
    Ahhh Gervinho, you are not alone in this and maybe I a missing something 🙂

    • No worries =] I do enjoy getting other people’s views on the team, after all, we all support The Arsenal.
      And I think that Miyaichi perhaps needs another loan spell – at the risk of him turning into another Vela/Lansbury where he spends consecutive seasons on loan, I believe he’s a fantastic winger that could probably compete with Gervinho on the left. Also, I’m not entirely sure we’ll stick to the 4-2-3-1 formation so that’s all up for change.
      On Mertesacker, I believe that the Norwich game was a perfect example of why we need him – the fact that he is a little slow has meant he has developed his game so that he doesn’t NEED his pace – he sits back, allows his partner to attack the ball carrier while he ‘mops’ up. I’m convinced that if we had Mertesacker against Norwich, we wouldn’t have conceded the last 2 (rather silly) goals as he wouldn’t have been haring up the field likeVermaelen was doing =]
      and I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on Djourou – If you consider the fact he’s another layer between first team football and Squillaci, I’m more than happy 😛

      • Ah thats a great idea for Miyachi…if he was willing i’d definitely consider the loan deal for him. I think he would do well within the team but obviously alternating 🙂

        Actually you have a point on Mertsacker too, I’ve always said he is a great blocker and defender just not with pace but yeah sometimes that can be a better option than a defender that moves forward too much (vermaelen)

        I will 100% agree with what you said about Djourou at the end, he is not anywhere near as bad as Squallaci but definitely needs work. that made me laugh 🙂

      • I think that at the end of the day, I trust Arsene Wenger. He’s privy to a hell of a lot more information than we are and that’s on top of his ridiculously large number of years managing Arsenal and unconvering hidden gems. If you think about it, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira were both players there parent clubs were happy to see their backs of, till a few months later with Arsene Wenger, they were being begged to come back! xD
        If he happens to see something in Miyaichi, and I don’t think it’s exactly hidden either, I’m sure he’ll work in whatever team he’s put in =] Finally, one point I always like to say about Mertesacker, I don’t think you accumulate 90-odd caps for Germany, without being a fairly decent player 😛

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