Another season of disruption: Sagna, Vermaelen, Gervinho out?

Oz Gunner's attempts to keep Diaby fit have unfortunately not worked... :(

Oz Gunner’s attempts to keep Diaby fit have unfortunately not worked… 😦

It looks like we will have to endure another whole season of transition in 2013-2014. If we have to believe the rumours – some stronger than others – Arsenal will be going through another summer of change and disruption: Vermaelen, Gervinho, Sagna, Podolski, Diaby ‘out’ – Jovetic, a new DM (Capoue, Wanyama) and GK in? On top of that a number of fringe players will be let go, or put on long-term loan deals with other clubs.

The last few summers have seen a large number of players leave as well as join Arsenal. Sometimes this is necessary, but too much change is not good for the club.

I have been hoping Arsenal would finally enter a period of stability; having signed up the Brit-pack just before Christmas and having almost all our players on long-term contracts now, this should form a fine basis for continuity on which we can build further. There are funds to add a couple of quality players – say a DM and another striker, and a back-up experienced goalkeeper – to the squad, and there are also some promising youngsters coming through who can be added to the elite-corps (especially if we manage to off-load some of the players who are regarded as surplus to requirement).

But strong rumours re Vermaelen being made available for transfer this summer, and the club potentially not offering a new, longer-term contract to Sagna; are likely to lead to more and unnecessary change. On top of that, there have been, fortunately vague, rumours that Pod might be leaving us for an Italian club this summer.

Diaby will not play till at least early 2014 and we all sense now that he will never play more than the odd game for us, which means that he also needs replacing this summer, which  I totally concur with.

And now Gervinho is being linked with a move away to Turkey as well; as he is our only dedicated winger, it will surely mean Arsene will be looking for a replacement from outside the club if he were to leave (Miyaichi could become part of the squad next season but is unlikely to become a regular starter as yet).

I know many fellow Gooners get excited by the idea of Arsenal signing a large number of new players, but I really believe it will set us back again, as we run a serious risk of being in perpetual transition. I reckon we only need two, maximum three, quality players.

Key is to keep our first team players together for at least another season. Vermaelen and Gervinho should be made to stay, and Sagna offered a new contract; and we should add  a couple of quality players as soon as possible in the summer, and promote a few youth players to the first team (NextGen games have shown us some real promise with regards to our youngsters). This should give the team a chance to properly prepare for next season, and to hit the ground running from the start.

Let’s break this cycle of perpetual transition and build something up again. Enough with the revolution; it’s time for stability and incremental growth.

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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44 Responses to Another season of disruption: Sagna, Vermaelen, Gervinho out?

  1. Bond James says:

    considering we will be clearing out a lot of deadwood aka players this summer as below :

    arshavin, sq, dj, chamakh, bendtner, park, mannone, sagna (8 most likely departures) if you add gervinho, ros and diaby (injured) that’s like 10.

    we need to bring in at least 5-6 players…..if we get 5 out of the 8 I have mentioned, we will win least 2 trophies for sure…

    jovetic (i’m not sure why everyone sounds so keen on him when we can buy lewondski? ) but anyway here are the players I want in…

    asmir begovic

    Ashley Williams/hummels/samba (2 out of 3).

    Micah richards,

    Wanyama, etienne capoue (either one).

    /Isco/Gotze/nasri (yep, nasri, I would have him back). (either one)

    Jovetic ( if we already have him, then good, but we would still need another striker).

    lewondski/benzema (either one).

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Bond J,

    I agree that many of those you name are likely to leave or to be on loan next season. However, many of them do not need to be replaced as they hardly play for us at the moment, and we have youth players who can fill their squad place.

    You have picked some fine players, but if we can keep two out of Vermaelen, Sagna and Gervinho, I reckon we really only need two or three new signings this summer. Any more, and it will be just too much change.

    Definitely Jovetic over Lewandowski though.

  3. Wardy says:

    i think Gnabry could fill the void left by gervais check out my llarge forehead kouassi.
    As for Vermaelen i will be more upset at sagna going to be honest.

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Wardy,

    I would see Gnabry as a good squad replacement for Arshavin, but would still like to keep Gervinho for at least another season.

  5. Bond James says:

    i see where you’re coming from re- too many changes and the squad needing to gel together like last time but truth be told, if wenger manages to do his business nice and early (i’m thinking june/end of june max) and gets least 5 of the players i mentioned…then this gives a decent chance for all the players to settle in, mind you, great players don’t need that much time to adapt (arteta, santi, nacho – all these 3 were brought fairly last minute)…

    i think TV will stay , not so sure about the sagna or gervinho though….sagna can’t provide a decent cross for all the hard work he puts in (maybe he can play as a CB ? if TV is indeed sold, i think so).

    all the players i have mentioned are within arsenal’s grasp …..i just don’t buy this notion of sticking with the same old bunch of players who have been given more than enough time to prove their worth, look at man city for example, …if you’re good and bring something meaningful to the team then 2/3 seasons are more than enough time to prove it…either you have it at this level or you don’t.

    players like gnabry and jol campbell are good options to have on the bench in the future, that’s for sure.

  6. weedonald says:

    TA,,,,,,,here are your errors, in order of their occurrence:

    1) Taking ANYTHING you read on blogs, in the media or shite rumours spread by supposedly in the know wannabes….they are all nonsense. The ONLY place that you can truly trust is Arsenal.com!

    2) Assuming that Wenger would actually do something like letting Vermaelen, Gervinho, Sagna, Podolski, and Diaby go. Based on his previous habits, I’d bet that only Sagna might not have a 2-3 year contract but a 1 year renewal as he is 31, Wenger’s sell by date.

    3) Assuming that Wenger is insensitive to the negative impact any wholesale changes could have on the team’s confidence,chemistry or cohesion. If anyone is aware of this, it is Arsene. He does love to surprise us all with his astute transfers but, with rare exception, he usually only brings in 1-3 new players as he wants to maintain the security and confidence of his youth prodigies and his experienced players.

    What, by the way, is a ¨strong¨rumour? Does it smell more real than other BS? Does it come from usually reliable sources that you personally know to be honest, trustworthy and consistently accurate? Hold off on the hysteria and premature speculation based only on your nervous Nelly intestinal bloating, panicky ¨the sky is falling¨ imaginings and similar cognitive disfunctioning.

  7. Milo says:

    Weedonald that is a little harsh…Arsene eventually WILL give up on Diaby. We will be missing him for most of next season, so he is forced to already give up on him, in weird and twisted sort of fashion. I just don’t see Sagna signing, unless we REALLY tear it up in the last few matches, and prove to him that we can contend for the title by surpassing not only Spurs, but Chelsea and maybe City as well. Je knows he can challenge annually for the league title and Champions League crown with PSG, and maybe another club or clubs who are interested. I don’t see Vermaelen being sold this summer. Something tells me that all this conjecture is bullshit. At the same time, you and I cannot dismiss the rumours completely, because we both don’t know what exactly is going on behind the scenes. You are of the opinion that nothing untoward is occurring, and that we will keep all or most of the players who are rumoured to be departing. I am a bit in between, and TA was only speculating and assuming that most of the players he listed will leave. It’s just a difference of opinion. You don’t know anything more than the rest of us. Or do you???;)

  8. allezkev says:

    Nice post Total.
    You do a great job, it’s not easy having to provide some Arsenal subject for discussion every day.

    Yes ‘Time for some stability’, is the way to go.
    I couldn’t agree more.
    One top top quality signing (striker) and a couple to reinforce the squad, and replace those leaving on a Bosman, would suit me.
    Sagna & Vermaelen to definately stay.
    Not sure about Gervinho, might depend on the financial offer, if there is, actually one in the pipeline?

  9. allezkev says:

    Total, you asked me to name my best/favourite Arsenal captain…
    Terry Neill was the skipper when my Father first took me.
    But it isn’t him…
    Gotta be a cigarette paper between Frank McLintock and Tony Adams, with TA06 just winning by a whisker.
    Pat Rice was good also.

  10. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA another solid article that I’m sure will generate plenty of mixed reactions yet again! Should be an exciting day of further discussion with tempers boiling and tons of controversy hahaha!

    I am mostly in agreement with you, especially that we need to finally establish some stability in this squad and break the perpetual cycle of being a club in transition. It’s also quite clear that this squad needs to further add pieces this summer to be brought to new heights in order to compete with the top teams in the world. However, this in combination to further subtraction of key players would be taking two steps forwards and three steps back.

    I truly believe that Vermaelen still has a place in the team, however it becomes tricky now that Kos and Mert have once again formed a stable CB partnership the last few games. But we all know this will likely not last and one bad game will surely find TV5 back into the starting line-up. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in regards to purchasing a new CB – particularly whether AW opts for a young option with loads of potential as the fourth CB or one that is more reliable to replace one of the current 3. Amorebieta and A.Williams are the two most linked names to Arsenal when it comes to defenders, with N’Koulou not far behind.

    Also, I see no reason to sell Sagna this summer. He still has a year on his contract and the depth he’ll add to our team will be massive. He represents more than a capable option at RB, as he could be another example that times are changing at Arsenal and we are no longer willing to sell our players to make a profit. I would rather see us extend Sagna for another 2 years or lose him on a free in 2014 than sell him this summer for a small sum.

    As for Gervinho, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never had a high affinity for him. Yes he adds a different dimension to our attack when he’s on the field, but he’s too wildly inconsistent game to game (even within a game sometimes) and lacks composure in front of goal. Personally, I feel that he is a player who is definitely replaceable and if he’s looking for more playing time, he will likely have to find it elsewhere.

    Rumours of Podolski’s departure are extremely premature, as the interest from other clubs is simply just that – interest. We need to start playing Podolski more and even trying him in his favoured central striker position. He’s never been given a fair opportunity to play there and I still believe he’s our best option there for the rest of the season. He’s got the strength, pace, passing and clinical finishing to complement our desired total football approach. Also, by having him start at CF, it will allow Ox and Gervinho more minutes, while making Giroud a super sub where I ultimately see him being most effective anyway.

  11. Highbury Harmony says:

    I would like to see Arshavin, Fabianski, Squillaci let go on free transfers and the sales of Park, Mannone, Denilson, Djourou, Bendtner and Chamakh if possible. Re-loan players like Campbell, Miyachi, Frimpong etc. to gain more first team opportunities. If a good and serious enough offer comes for Gervinho, then he is expendable in my view and opens up a squad spot for a youngster. Same goes for Diaby, since it has become clear that he may never overcome the injuries that have followed him for most of his career (as painful and sad as it is for me to admit this 😦 ).

    Promote one or two youngsters like Yennaris, Miquel, Eisfeld and Gnabry.

    Sign three to four players:

    1) Top, top quality strker like Jovetic
    2) A true DM like Capoue, Wanyama, Benat, Gonalons, Rode or Kondogbia
    3) A class CB like Amorebieta or A.Williams or a 3rd/4th choice CB to grow into a starter like N’Koulou
    4) An experienced keeper to give Ches some healthy competition like Cesar

    Starters: Jovetic, Podolski, Walcott, Cazorla, Wilshere, Capoue/Wanyama, Monreal, Koscielny, Amorebieta/A.Williams, Sagna and Szczesny

    Bench: Cesar, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Arteta, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud

    Remaining first-team players: Miquel/Yennaris, Jenkinson, Coquelin, Rosicky, Eisfeld, Gnabry

  12. Highbury Harmony says:

    Sorry, forgot to add that if a new class CB is bought, one of Vermaelen or Mertesacker will undoubtedly be sold. Interest seems to be much higher in Verm and imo it’s deservedly so. Obviously, my suggestions are merely a pipedream so don’t read too much into it hahaha!

  13. Gerry says:

    TA – I’ll be brief. I am 100% in agreement with weedonald@01.12

  14. I think the boss has a team in his mind for next season already. 3 players will probably leave and 3 will be signed. Getting rid of the players has always been our problem. Selling Chamakh, Denilson, Djourou, Park would not be a problem but the others will be. I agree that wholesale changes is not the way to go and the boss has the same philosophy. I think we need 4 good players this summer. CB, DM, GK, ST should be enough. I strongly beleive that atleast two should be from the premier league. We do not want to wait another season to let the players adjust to the league. For me the two most important positions that need a seasoned premier league attitude are CB and GK. I would love to see either Samba or Ashley Williams. Both tick the strong and determined boxes and most of all are strong characters. Ben Foster or Vorm for the GK position. Both are experienced and have seen all in their careers already.

    The most tricky position to find a player is ST. Firstly, to come to the premier league and start scoring goals is difficult. Secondly, the strikers which will probably score goals are very, very expensive. To find the right balance has been our problem for a long time. I think the kid Jovetic is too similar to Gnabry in his movement. We have an abundance of wingers with many out on loan also( Chamberlain, Walcott, Campbell, Miyaichi, Gnabry, Gervinho, Podolski, Santi etc). We need a ‘Striker’ and not a winger-striker. Giroud is a good signing and he will get better for sure. We need someone to complement his as well as replace him. Negredo/Lewandowski/Soldado would be ideal. Although I do not see Dortmund selling any of their players.

    I think Etienne Capoue should be our DM. I have seen him play a few times and he is an exceptional player. He is not express fast but he reads the game very well. We lack a physical presence in midfield with a defensive mindset. He will not cost a fortune and I think will settle in quickly. Wanyama will be very expensive. He is also not a pure DM. He likes to go forward and then retreat during opposition counter attacks. With the pace and quality of the players in the premier league, i think that is not the right way to go.

    I think the boss will sign three players atleast this summer. I am not sure in which positions. Lets hope he gets it right!!! Up the Arsenal!!!

  15. Admir says:

    Morning, all! 🙂

    TA, I agree with you that too many changes could bring problems. New players need time to settle and adapt, old players need time to adapt to their new team-mates’ attributes, etc, etc. However, it is only after the last day of the season we will be able to make a decent calculation whether a lot of changes or keeping “status quo” would harm Arsenal more. At this moment, given that horrible news regarding Diaby’s injury 😦 , I believe that we will need at least four additions this summer:

    1) an experienced goalkeeper – my pick would be Soerensen from Stoke as he is both experienced and good enough to replace Sczszesny when our cheeky Pole is out due to injury or poor form; it might be that Begović has been in superb form thanks to the fact Soerensen is keeping him on toes;

    2) a central defender – we have Mertesacker, Koscielny and Vermaelen in the team, with youngsters like Miquel waiting for their chance; Djourou is on loan and probably will leave Arsenal despite new contract he signed last season; Squillaci is out for good (thank God!); I believe Wenger knows three central defenders are not enough for 50-game-season so he will sign either “Butcher of Bilbao” or someone with Premiership experience (fingers crossed for Samba);

    3) a real defensive midfielder or should I say ball-winning-midfielder – my pick would be Fellaini given that he would provide a) aerial domination after goalkeepers’ distribution and in set-pieces, b) steel in the midfield and c) plan C in attack – he could be used as tank to break defensive block plan A and plan B couldn’t;

    4) a world-class striker – Jovetić is the guy that is mostly mentioned but I would rather have Benzema in our team as with proper service Frenchman could reach 25 goals without sweating too much; Jovetić has been connected with Milan today and I wouldn’t underestimate Berlusconi’s ability to hijack a player. In the summer of 2001, Lazio already made a deal with Rui Costa who was expected to replace Juan Sebastian Veron. Rui Costa was already in the plane to Rome when Berlusconi called him and gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse (you read this one imagining Marlon Brando’s voice, didn’t you? 🙂 ).

    These are four additions that we will need and it is without possible departures of Sagna (perhaps Yennaris could step in?), Vermaelen, Rosicky and Gervinho.

    Of course, there is also a possibility that puzzle in defense would be solved by putting Sagna in the central defense and Yennaris would become Jenkinson’s deputy.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning guys 🙂

    aah some spicy responses last night: no surprise there! 😛

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    BJ,

    Thanks for responding again. Agreed that good individual settle in quickly, but as a team in take ages to get anywhere playing as a cohesive team if and when there are too many changes. The last two seasons we have suffered from this, and we are still not a cohesive, weill-oiled time 2/3 into the season.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Weedonald, what can I say? Is your high horse called Arsene? 😆

    Just look at the last two seasons and you will know how Arsene has constantly let players go and brings lots of others in. How many first team players have been in the first team, or there about, for more than three seasons? Enough said.

    Like you I rate Wenger, but just to think ‘everything will be allright, because it is Wenger you know’ is rather naive, and there is some real passive aggressiveness in fans like you.

    I mix rumours (based on the bigger papers) with an analysis of what has happened in the past. My main point is that we need to see a stop to the permanent transition the club is put through. I hope you are right re your point 2, but I reckon you are wrong.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi MIlo,

    The Times mentioned as a matter-of-fact that Vermaelen will be made available for transfer this summer and Redders connection confirmed this. I think there is truth in this, and you are probably right re Sagna as well. That would be our most experienced players gone again. Of course, this is all just speculation but given our recent past, it is likely to happen.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Allezkev,

    I like Gervinho, but I could live with his departure, as he has not become a major part of the team yet. Agreed on Vermaelen and Sagna – they should form the backbone of our (wider) first team.

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    allezkev,

    thanks for getting back to me re the best Arsenal captain. I only go back to Tony Adams and I fully agree with you he was the best captain during my period of supporting the Arsenal.

    Btw some fine comments by yourself on Highbury House yesterday! 🙂

  22. @babakrdaemi says:

    I agree with you 100%, this summer arsenal need to keep the team together not sell loads.

    I think the only regular player that will leave this summer is sagna. Vemealen may lose the captaincy but he wont be sold.

    Podolski will also stay. The players to go this summer will be fringe players not playing anyway. If what comes in is quality then it will be a good year. However, this all depends on a top 4 finish. If we dont make top 4 some players may force a move to s top 4 team.

    Come on the gunners

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, a very mature and well-balanced comment, and when we blog about issues like these we are usually well aligned. 🙂

  24. bc says:

    It would be very dangerous to keep gervinho as he would then enter his last year. I would much rather we kept podolski. The thing with sagna fabianski and vermaelen is that everyone has moaned all season about the defenxe yet now wenger has stumbled upon a solution people are still unhappy. The problem is that szcesney sagna and vermaelen do not suit the 4231 system. If I was wenger I would use 2 systems rather than 1 then play the system that best couteracts the opposition. There are other players too that are best suited to 442. For example I think ramsey would be the new ray parlour in a 442 whilst walcott could play alongside podolski. Jenkinson and chamberlain could forge a new right sided pairing in the 4231. Possible line ups
    4231
    New keeper
    Jenkinson mertesacker koscielny monreal
    Arteta new signing
    Chamberlain cazorla new signing
    Giroud

    442
    Szcesney
    Sagna new signing vermaelen gibbs
    Ramsey wilshire coquelin new signing
    Walcott podolski

    Rest of the squad mainly u21s and loaned out
    Martinez
    Bellerin hajrovic miquel meade
    Eisfeld
    Yennaris aneke
    Campbell afobe ryo

    Ok

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Abhishek,

    Fine comment and mostly agreed. 🙂

    Three quality signings whilst keeping our key, first team players would be ideal. You and HH seem to be mostly aligned on who that should be.

    Only disagree with you on Jovetic. He would be ideal just behind Giroud or Pod and I reckon he would be the missing link in our team: we might even go back to 4-4-1-1 with him in the team.

  26. AFC says:

    TA, regarding when you would release my post, that’s fine.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir,

    Thanks for another well-balanced comment. Agreed with points 1,2,3 and if we keep our key players this summer then that would be really good.

    I would prefer Jovetic above a proper CF. I reckon Podolski can be our Benzema and we also need to give Giroud better service. Jovetic looks like the sort of player who can find the perfect balance between producing a large number of assists and scoring goals himself, and we have been missing a player like that since Cesc’s departure, especially now that Theo is focussing more on scoring himself (and Song did really well last season too).

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers AFC, I will issue it around 11, if that is ok?

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi babakrdaemi

    Sagna would be an important player to keep but I reckon he will not be kept. We are desperate for some 30+ players who have been at Arsenal for a long time and represent continuity AND quality/experience….

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi BC

    Great comment!

    I like your line-ups, but why not play Wilshere in your 4-2-3-1 or Cazorla on the wing of your 4-4-2?

  31. AFC says:

    TA, sure.

    Regarding your post, I agree thar it is essential to let none of our uuseful squad players go. I agree with HH when he said that it would be no problem if we lost Sagna at the end of next saeson on a free as he is needed in our defense.

    I do not think Diaby will leave this season because Wenger feels guilty. Once in an interview Wenger said it was his fault, and that he brought Diaby on in a match Arsenal were winning comfortably and he got a serious injury which really would have ended his career years ago. He then went on to that more of his injury’s throughout his career were because of that injury and he hopes he can sort it out like Ribin did.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC,

    Agreed he will not leave, as he is under contract anyway and nobody will buy him. However, we cannot count on him for next season, and it is time to get our beast of a DM now. 🙂

  33. AFC says:

    Diaby reminds me of Hargreaves and I am sad to say this but maybe in the next few years Diaby might have to think of retirement.

  34. AFC says:

    TA, agreed. I think Wenger’s mistake is thinking Diaby is an option for DM. If I was manager I would not even class Diaby as part of the sqaud. I would buy players to add to my squad as if Diaby is not even at Arsenal and then when he can play a few games you’ve got yourself an extra player.

  35. AFC says:

    With Wenger feeling guilty about this whole Diaby situation, could we see Diaby given another job at the club?

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    There is a genius footballer trapped in a fragile body, AFC. He might get a role at the club, but I am not sure whether he has any suitable skills.

  37. Bobby Sure says:

    I severely doubt there will be as many anywhere near as many transfers as you imply here TA. Well I hope not, I just dont buy it. We hold the all the cards in regard to all but sagna. Podolski wont leave his contracts got too long to run. Juve or whoever would have to pay 20 mill at least. And they were reluctant to pay that for RVP. TV5 whiffs of media fodder, Players gets dropped now all of a sudden he’s on his way out. Classic overreaction. Gervinho – I think wenger likes him too much and he hasnt really been given a fair go of things. I think most of these possibilities can be explained away as long shots.

    That being said we could sign 2-3 players. Who they will be, I havent got a realistic clue. I know guilleme balague, is still persisting with the whole david villa thing and he is normally pretty accurate. I actually think this will be a very stable summer. You may see one big outgoing but Its probably going to be one of the rotation options. I honestly wouldnt care if tv5 left. I’ve never been sold on him and I think kos and per are much better not just basing that on recent games.

    As for your miyaichi suggestion sadly I think hes done at arsenal. He’s getting the carlos vela treatment. Shuffled about everywhere on loan and then probably sold to a mediocre top flight club where he’ll probably do well and we’ll all sit back and wonder what if.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post! 🙂

    AFC tells us about the reasons why we should keep faith with our current goalkeepers over the summer and into next season.

  39. alexgunners says:

    TA,

    Great way to bring some passionate responses to your article.
    As I discussed yesterday. We need 2-3 players in order to be more competitive next season. A striker, The beast that we have all been asking for and competition at the GK position. Yes we can try and reshuffle a majority of the squad but this will just mean that we will write off next season as well. How much longer do we need to be in transition? If we go by what so called Gunners fans want, we will spend the so called 100 million that we have, bring in a new team and hope that we will be competitive.
    Reality check. What will be the excuse when we do not succeed with a new team? How many more people will be asking for AW’s head when we are about to go 9 years without a trophy.
    What we need is a couple of strong players, integrate some youth (Gnabry, Eisfeld etc..) and get rid of some dead wood who are obviously affecting the morale at the club.

    There will always be rumours about The Arsenal, there will always be those fans who criticize everything about the team. At the end of the day, There will always be loyal fans who want some stability and what’s best for the club itself and I am one of those.

    As for Diaby, it is a real pity but it is time to move on and no longer include him as part of our plans. His body is not up to it even though his mind may be. It is so unfortunate as he showed glimpses early this season of what he is capable of.

  40. marcus says:

    As usual, great post TA,
    My opinion on the matter is this:
    Bakary Sagna must be kept at all costs. I’ve heard a lot of chatter about how Jenko is good enough so Sagna can leave if he wants to but I am against that with every single fibre of my being. Now I’m not saying that Jenko isn’t good (in fact I could make a case for how he is better than Bac going forward) but when Bac is in top form he is the best, most consistent RB in the league. On top of that, you can not replace his experience, not only about football in general but also on all matters Arsenal. Sure, he may have suffered a slight dip in form this term but class is permanent and Bac has truckloads of it. To add to that, Sagna may be turning 30 but physically he looks to have 3 more seasons left at top level and considering he has an able deputy in Jenko to share the work load, it is more like 5. It would be a grave error to let him go as any title winning side has a player like Sagna.

    Then we move to Gervinho. Well, his is a different matter altogether. This is his second season at Arsenal and I think it’s safe to say that he hasn’t quite yet adapted like we all hoped. Note that I said yet because I still think that given time he will come good. That said, Gala are reportedly offering us 12M for his services. This kind of puts us at a crossroads. We could refuse the sale but Gervinho fails to fulfill the potential he undoubtedly has. However we could sell him, then he goes and becomes world class and is signed by one of our rivals..I’ve really thought hard about this situation and my conclusion is that I am ok either way. With 12M we can bring in a very able replacement like say Alexis Sanchez which I wouldn’t mind. Also, we could place our bets on him coming good which I also don’t mind because we have enough bodies to cover for him until he does (with the potential acquisition of Isco/Gotze, we would have more than enough). So for once, we are in a win win situation.

    Lastly, we have the Verminator. Another we must NOT sell. Yes, he has suffered a spectacular dip in form but like I said earlier, class is permanent and over the years we have seen what he can do. Plus very few players have the kind of attitude he has. At his best, he has Wilshere’s spirit. How many times has he scored a goal that accords us three points at the death? Have you watched how he plays when we are losing? That is a player who will win us titles. Even he agrees that he hasn’t been good enough for us and admits that he must fight for his place back. Believe it or not, that is the spirit of a true champion and you can bet your kidneys he will do everything he has to do to win back his place. The acquisition of a 4th CB will only fuel the fire in his belly to work his socks off and regain his form and that is not a character you want to lose.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi BobbyS,

    Good comment and no surprise you are looking at it glass half full 🙂

    I at least 80% sure Vermaelen will leave this summer and Sagna is a strong possibility as well. That would be really bad as we need their club and football experience badly.

    Maybe you are right, but it all sounds too familiar to me and I for one am tired of constant change.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed Alex 🙂

    Don’t forget to do your UMF predictions before the Zimmerframe comes flying your direction! 😛

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Marcus, very fine, well-balanced comment and exactly how I see things compadre! 🙂

  44. Erik H. says:

    Sell Vermaelen, make him a future visitor and take advantage on his mistakes. What a deal ?

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