Arsenal already have a ‘new’ CB: the ideal partner for Vermaelen

Mr. Reliable. Sagna has been one of the best right backs in Europe in recent years.

Mr. Reliable. Sagna has been one of the best right backs in Europe in recent years.

Come the summer transfer window, most Arsenal fans are expecting to see Wenger bring in a new defender, as it is clear that Johan Djourou, André Santos and Sebastien Squillaci are no longer in Arsène Wenger’s future plans; with Djourou and Santos put on loan for the rest of the season, it being extremely likely that they will be sold in the summer, and Squillaci told he can leave for free when his contract expires at the end of this season.

This now means we only have three CBs who Wenger deems being capable of having the quality required to play in our matches. Some may say that Miquel can come into our defence when needed, but I feel, although Ignasi may be in Arsène Wenger’s future plans, Wenger does not think he is ready yet. In reality, Wenger needs four CBs in which he can place his trust for squad rotation reasons, and as during long football seasons, many players are likely to sustain injuries at one point or another.

Many fans say that we need a new experienced CB to solve our defensive problems but there is an issue regarding the addition of a new CB.

The CB partnership is one of the most important partnerships on the pitch and any new CB we acquire would need time to settle in at Arsenal; adapt to our style of football; get to know his team-mates, and most importantly, the CBs who he will be playing alongside with. In most cases, players need at least one season to fully settle down, and I am not sure we can afford to wait for a new CB to settle in and form partnerships in one of the most important positions in our team.

People may point to the fact that Amorebieta will be available on a free, but we cannot be sure that he will come to our club. Amorebieta also does not seem much different from the CBs we already have in Mertesacker, Koscielny and Vermaelen. His size, physical and technical attributes seem very similar to our other CBs. If he did come to Arsenal, I do not see him offering anything different to our defence, which we do not already have, or improving our overall ability as a team to defend.

That is why I proposing that Sagna’s position in our team should be changed from RB to CB starting from next season.

I feel Sagna playing as a CB for us could be the answer to solving our defensive problems caused by our current CBs for a number of reasons.

Many times during this season we have conceded goals because of our CBs often panicking when put under pressure by opposing players in possession, which has led to them giving the ball away or making mistakes when in possession. Sagna is very reliable and composed in possession, and has been so in his many years at playing at RB. Pairing Sagna with one of our CBs would improve our overall defensive composure in these types of situations.

Also, because Sagna has been at the club for so many years, he will not need time to settle in at Arsenal and adapt to our style of play. Sagna will not need to learn how to play Wengerball as he has been playing at Arsenal for a number of years and knows our system very well. When Mertesacker first came to Arsenal he needed time to settle in, build partnerships with our other CBs and learn to play Wengerball. During this time our defence was often weak, which led to our defence making many schoolboy errors, which we were punished for in many of the matches we played.

In addition, Sagna playing as a CB will also offer something very different to our defence. He is much more agile and faster than our other CBs because of his smaller stature and body type in comparison to our current CBs. This would mean that he would be perfectly suited for dealing with the quicker and more nimble players in the opposing teams; where in many matches this type of player from opposing teams have used their speed, agility and dribbling skills to score vital goals against us, with our current CBs failing to stop these players because of their lack of speed and agility.

Mertesacker and Sagna both have the ability to read the game which makes them very effective players when it comes to breaking up attacks. We have seen this already this season with our defence being improved dramatically when Mertesacker is paired with Koscielny or Vermaelen. But now, with Wenger convinced that our best CB pairing is Mertesacker and Koscielny, our captain Vermaelen seems no longer to have a place in our starting line-up and does not have a CB partner.

If Sagna could be linked up with Vermaelen, we could have two really good CB pairings. In each of these CB pairings we would have two players who compliment each other technically and physically.

Wenger, early this season, said that in 1-2 years Sagna will be ready to play as a CB. Why not give Sagna the opportunity to play CB for us next season?

Wenger would have to buy a new RB to replace Sagna, and a new RB would also need time to settle in and adapt to the style of football we play, but it would be much easier for this new player to do this, as there would not be as much emphasis on this player to have to form an important partnership, compared to a new CB.

Please note, I am proposing that Sagna is turned into a CB (If he does not leave in the summer) for next season with Wenger buying a new experienced RB.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

Written by: AFC.

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242 Responses to Arsenal already have a ‘new’ CB: the ideal partner for Vermaelen

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi AFC

    Thanks for a fine post and fully agreed! 🙂

    Sagna would be good as a CB, and he could play with any of the other three and form a good CB pairing. I like the thought of him being paired with TV though.

    He is also the sort of player we do not want to leave out of our team a lot, as he brings both the much needed experience and character. So, Jenkinson could become our nr1 RB, with Sagna regularly replacing him, or playing as one of our CB’s. As said in previous comments, I would like to see somebody promoted from within to be additional cover for Jenkinson, as we have real talent available in our squad (Yenaris and Bellerin).

    Back around nine.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Btw, you now have your own page: ‘AFC posts’: see top of the blog! 🙂

  3. Rohan says:

    I dont think the problem with oour defence is pace or technique …. Its more a question of adopting the right tactics and being more aggressive while dealing with set pieces ….Team defense should be the order of the day , With the midfielders pressing the opposition team passers

  4. marcus says:

    Good news..Wenger has said he’s been grooming poldi for that CF role. Poldi is our best finisher but he needs a little work on his movement (which is what I’m assuming Wenger means by ‘grooming’)..I reckon if he can add that to his game, he’ll be golden boot contender next year.

  5. Red Arse says:

    Morning AFC, 🙂

    An interesting thesis, but for once you have not carried me with you.

    We have had too many examples of players being asked to play in roles that are not their natural positions, or that they are not suited too.

    I think Sagna has been a very valuable player during his career at Arsenal, but since his two leg breaks he has not returned to the same levels of excellence as prior to that.

    Time moves on, and so to will Sagna, I think, but use him as a CB? I don’t think so.
    We have pretensions to be considered as a top club, and there can be no value in converting a small, ageing RB, at this stage of his career to the physically demanding CB position.

    We should make more use of the young players, in this instance Miguel, when there is a need, or more pragmatically — simply go out and buy a suitable quality player, if needed.

    That is my basic belief regarding all members of our team. No more ‘make do and mend’!

    This is just an opinion, of course, and has no more validity than yours – but looking to the future, I would be disappointed if AW does not start to respond to player resource problems in the way that all the top teams do.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    I saw that too on Arsenal.com =, Marcus. Good news indeed.

  7. @Percroonz says:

    Although a defender, I have seen nothing that indicates Sagna has the attributes for the CB role.
    CB is a specialist role; and I would settle for a replica Kos or Mert to reinforce the defensive lineup.

  8. jgc says:

    AFC

    Great post, one major question for those that know the players around europe better. Specifically, given our budget etc, are there more / better RBs around than CBs..

    I get the feeling great CBs are a bit thin at the moment (or way over priced), but perhaps less so for outside backs

    Equally, do you think that this would offer Arsene more flexibility to get the beast DM everyone wants, and/or that great forward TA is going to talk about soon(?)

    TA: so you grew up near Liege?!? I call it southern Belgium, knowint it is also more east, because there isnt much sout of it barring the beautiful Ardennes.. to me it is south in the bit I might spend any major time.. 😉

    cheers – jgc

  9. jgc says:

    All

    Some other good points. I would like to add:

    a. CBs arent alone. They are also matched with the 1-2 shielding midfielders. To others, I’d ask, does Sagna make sense with Arteta in front, or more / less so with a new “beast” DM?

    b. Equally, do we lose anything in our wide pairings of outside backs and outside midfielders/wings. We already see some debate over the Gibbs/Pod vs Nacho/Santi pairings being kept together..

    thoughts?

    cheers — jgc

  10. jgc says:

    Finally,

    Per the note I left on the last post, if it is true that Podolski is being groomed for the ST role up front then I think it’s great. He is certainly quite “clinical” in front of goal, and by the look of the stats, more so than a certain greedy badger..

    cheers — jgc

  11. Gerry says:

    AFC – I cannot resist this one, despite pressures elsewhere .. ha ha

    It is quite funny really, because I would use all your same points for play him at DM, and starting this season. So added to your excellent reasoning, he would get two positions to play as and when next season? (Not hijacking your post for that discussion though)

    For the relatively modest fee, and even more modest saving on the wage bill, it makes no sense to me to let an experience and, let’s not forget, LOYAL gunner to leave? I am still hopeful that something will be worked out on the contract issue before the end of the season. A benefit match between ‘old(er) and Young gunners would be one idea that springs to mind? Not only that, he might also be tempted by the rising possibility to win something next season, that to stay on current salary with the above and loyalty bonus at the end of his contract could be enough.

    The likes of Bellerin could really do with someone of his experience as they make the transition to first team pressures over the next couple of years.

    I am glad also you mention Amorbietta … Has anyone looked at his disciplinary record? I just cannot see him surviving long in the EPL before becoming a ‘marked’ man regards the referees?
    Plus, a ‘free transfer’ will hardly be that if you are trying to outbid on the signing on fee/

    Great post AFC, can I suggest a follow up on Gibbs now? Not as CB, as a sometime double pivot DM … have another look at the Norwich game and see where he positioned himself? It could be the reason AW played him there with a view him playing as well as Nacho in the near future?

    Whilst on that point … the reference to the ‘unecessary foul’ that led to the goal(from yesterday’s post). I’m sorry, am am with Gibbs on that one, I didn’t think it was a foul. Similar thing in the Cup semi yesterday, nothing given? The two players were going at a 90deg angle, who has the ‘right of way’? Another ref, another time, no foul, no goal, and Gibbs gets a decent mark, despite some poor crosses, but at least he put them in??

  12. seun says:

    i agreed wit wat u said

  13. Joshua says:

    Dat is a gud ideal

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rohan

    It is exactly that which Sagna brings to the party; aggression and physicality. And I reckon he would work well next to an ‘organiser’ type of CB.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning RA 🙂

    Agreed on Miguel getting a chance too, and it would be good to have both available for that fourth CB spot. I reckon Sagna would a brilliant CB, but I can see where your reservations are coming from. Small and ageing RB is a bit unkind though: did you see him defend against Sunderland a few ago? He was a beast in the air! 🙂

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Haha jgc 🙂

    It is definitely south of Holland! 😛

    The Ardennes are beautiful and so is the Eifel area in Germany. What do think of the Belgium ladies and their fashion/style?

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Gerry, you might as well face it you are addicted to BK! 😛

  18. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, 🙂

    Glad to see you back!

    I find these discussions about where we might put players in different positions fascinating, and well done AFC for coming up with it.

    Of course, at the end of the day these conversation tends to divide into what each blogger thinks of the player(s) concerned, and I have never yet seen anyone prepared to be persuaded to change their mind. 🙂

    My own view is expressed above, although I added the question marks regarding Sagna’s current abilities, just to go with the flow.

    However, there is no getting around the simple, one word question. Why?

    I would no more want to convert Fabianski into a CF than fly to the moon, even if he is big enough, has a great shot and can head the ball. The same is true of converting Rambo into a winger, or Rosicky into a CB. The question is still, ‘why would you do that?’.

    We are Arsenal — we need a top CB — go and buy a quality player who is a specialist in that role. If we need a GK — go and buy one who who is a specialist in that role.

    No amount of rationalising will change my mind on that simple premise. Why would any team take chances playing around with ‘maybes’ or ‘he might be OK’, or ‘what ifs’, let alone a team who hope to be in the top 4.

    Gerry said above, on a different matter, that Sagna is a LOYAL gunner, and we should find more money to keep him. When will people learn that professional footballers and their agents do not know the meaning of the word loyalty.

    Sagna has a contract, at an agreed salary that he agreed to, which runs for two more years. Let him be ‘loyal’ and fulfill this obligation to our club — or else — F*ck off — just like that ‘loyal’ tosser, Sir Brave Bollocks did.

    My opinion, as I said before, is no better or worse than anyone else’s, but I find it difficult to square the criticism AW and the club get, in many Blogs, for not being professional about players, the value they bring to the team, (or not) and the question of sorting out the way contracts are handled, when it all comes down to wishful thinking about what position a player ‘might’ be good at, for back up, or giving him a bigger contract when he blackmails the club with the threat of walking away.

    Not for me. That is not the way to run a good business! Sorry.

  19. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Fine post AFC.

    Nothing wrong with using Sagna as a make shift centre back. Hes a a very strong and experienced guy who gives it his all. I feel very comfortable about our options in this area so Sagna as a back up? why not.

    Redders @9.50, spot on Sir.

  20. glic says:

    Morning Semenarian`s 😆

    Thank you AFC for another fine post.

    Arsene has said in the past said Sagna could play in the CB position and Sagna had a Man of the Match game against some team recently in that position, the game has completely gone out of my head….who the f**k was it?….I`m sure someone will remind me ! .
    Just one gripe, you imply Sagna will offer something different in being better equiped to deal with the small fast tricky players, but both Koz and Verm are equally equiped to deal with such players, neither are slouches !.
    I hope his his contract is extended as your proposal is an option if needed and with Jenks and the talented Bellerin in the waiting, all bodes well !.

    UMF predictions :

    Ranger Spanks Queer Vs Yeti Stock

    A Wobbliest Inch Worm ( nothing to do with my hampton ! ) Vs Delicate New Nuts

    The Wise Mad Nut Vs I Watch Genital

    That Sperm Shoot Nut Vs Cinema Stretchy

    Decent Manure Shit Vs Anal Slot IV

    All Draws

  21. I tink wenger shud break de bank n buy a quality cb like hummels or probly ashely williams n dismis de idea of converting sagna frm rb 2 cb. I tink de problem with wenger is his idea of buying flop players with de likes of martin skrtel n co.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    jgc at 8.26

    I reckon we still need a beast of a DM, regardless of Sagna becoming one of our CB’s. I also agree with Gerry that Sagna is DM potential. He has a lot to offer physically, technically and tactically/reading of the game.

    The Sagna-Theo train was brilliant last season, and it is true that we have not seen another good RB-RW relationship developing this season…. Good point! 🙂

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic, have you been anagramming again?! 😆

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry all agreed 🙂

    I would be disappointed if Arsene/al would led Sagna go this summer.

  25. VCC says:

    GLiC, 10:01 It was against Sunderland, Saturday 9th February, 2013. KO 15:00.

    We won 1-0, you senile old Codger. 😉

  26. glic says:

    Yes Totes 🙂 I may be bottom of the UMFL, but I`m top for doing it a little bit different !………..Which has probably pricked up the ears of the BK WAGS, they are crying out ( my name ! ) for some inventiveness !. hahaha

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, the idea that players are specialist and can only play in one particular position, does not wash with me. 🙂

    Good footballer players can evolve and be taught to play in different positions and I reckon Sagna would do brilliantly in that position. Yes, we could buy a specialist, just as we did in recent years with Vermaelen, Koz and BFG. But if we can convert a player who is a loyal and dedicated Gunner, who knows our system well and knows Wenger’s methods really well, then that might be a far better solution. And I think AFC is on the ball with this.

  28. glic says:

    The Senile Old Codger with the Memory Stick Todger !.

  29. glic says:

    That sounds like Total Football Total !.

  30. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha. alright admit it. Has any one ever been doing the deed with a lady only for them to cry out another mans name? This happened to me once but i did tell her my name was Themisteclephanos, so its understanable. Mind you, its quite different to Mark?

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi nutbum 😛

    It is only a bit of total football, really. A proper total football system has all players being able to play in at least two positions, which I don’t think is what Wenger believes in.

    As a general question, is there anything in the CB job description that Sagna cannot do?

  32. VCC says:

    Terry,whilst doing his deed, GLiC’s had many girls say to him…Is it in yet?

  33. VCC says:

    GLiC’s odds = 893-1

    All draws.
    QPR v Stoke
    Spurs v MC
    WBA v New
    WHU v Wigan
    MU v AV

  34. oz gunner says:

    Morning all. Thanks for the post AFC. I’m with RA on this one, definitely not for me!

    His speed has slowed down I feel (largely due to 2 leg breaks) but with father time creeping up on him it’s only going to get worse. The thought of him being caught out in the air against a graham holt type scares me. With Diaby out of the team and no bigger bodied DM we lack height (not helped when ox, santi, jack, and theo are all tiny), Sagna will only compound this problem further.

    If Sagna wants more money then it may be time to put him out to pasture like we did to Clichy. He’s been a good servant to us and a consistent performer but he will probably get one last big pay day from a team like PSG. I feel Jenks has passed him by so it may be time to give him the spot next season. If Sagna doesn’t want to play second fiddle (nor should he) then hector bellerin or yennaris are chomping at the bit also.

    We have far more pressing issues position wise.

    Fourth should be Miquel. It’s his time now, he has played well when asked upon (pre-seasons ect), he played out on the left, he’s bulked up a bit more. Time to play him before some Spanish club snaps him up. I don’t want another club to steal away our talent like Swansea did with Bartley. We all know what Arsene does in those situations (he doesn’t want to hold a player back so lets them go).

    Cheers again

  35. VCC says:

    Totes.10:15…….careful, that’s eleven letter’s, you’ll confuse the old codger.

  36. glic says:

    Hahaha Yes Stretch. I was making love to a beautiful women, when she cried …..TYSON !…..I said….” No my darling, It`s Glictorious ! “….she cried “no !….TYSON !…..my husband TYSON has walked in and is standing behind you ! “.

  37. oz gunner says:

    @ GLIC

    and after that you could never make love to a woman again.

    Especially after Tyson bit it off and threatened to eat your children!!!

  38. Cesc fantasticPass says:

    Would be terrible. Sanga likes to burst down the wings and has done his entire career, putting him at CB would find him instinctively wandering forward! Verm is well known for his runs into the other half also, given the defence struggles as it is to communicate it would leave a massive gap at the back and tactically all the other team would need to do is sit back and then hit a counter attack. Which is already a huge weakness as it is. What we need is a defender who can lead and organise. I’m a massive fan of verm and kos but their game is too similar, they need a strong leader beside them. Look at all the best defences and they all have a leader. Kompany, Vidic, Terry….look what happens to those teams defences when those players are missing.

  39. glic says:

    Vics

    By the time you have set up your Zimmer Frames adjustable legs for doggy style, the missus would have cleaned the house, done the washing, made dinner and fell asleep !. hahaha

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Oz,

    I reckon you put too much trust in our youth. For example, how we could have done with Clichy last season when we had our FB crisis. Sagna’s experience is invaluable and how many times has he lost out in the air? He also ain’t slow at all to me.

  41. glic says:

    Bit it off OZ ! He used it as a tooth pick !. hahaha

  42. VCC says:

    GLiC…10:48…how right you are Amigo. hahahahhahaha 😀

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome Cesc fp

    Don’t you think a player can be taught to stay put and stop forward runs? Did Sagna start running forward when he filled in as CB against Sunderland?

    Good point about the need for an organiser/good reader of the game. We have Mertesacker to do this, and it could well be that Arsene will buy another such a player this summer. I reckon Sagna might be good at this as well though, but I am not entirely sure. Also, these sort of players – especially if they need to be (PL) experienced as well – are hard to find.

  44. AFC says:

    Always good to hear form you TA. 🙂

    The only thing I could say is why Wenger would trust a promoted young player like Bellerin to come in and a job when needed? Wenger does not even trust Frimpong or Coquelin and these players have far more PL experience that the likes of Bellerin so I fell Wenger might not trust the young players.

    The problem with make Jenkinson our first) is that in my opinion he still has a lot to learn and is around the same level as Gibbs, where he need a more experienced RB to learn from. The new RB would be rotated for Jenkinson like Monreal is being rotated for Gibbs.

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi AFC

    Find post, generating some great comments. Well done, Sir! 🙂

    Arsene trusted Gibbs, Wilshere and Ramsey in the past and when he feels a player is ready, he will play them. Also, the experienced back up for Jenkinson is still….. Sagna, with both him and Bellerin or Yenaris learning from the master again next season. Seems a win-win-win situation to me.

    Re Jenkinson, he does really well if and when he plays a run of games, and I reckon in Mertesacker he has a great colleague on the pitch.

  46. AFC says:

    Rohan, thanks for commenting.

    At times our defence has been the problem for us. Often out defenders have been caught out while playing a high line and not having the speed to get back or even not knowing how to prevent these situations. Sagna has perfect positioning, I would say better than Vermaelen and is the defender we need.

  47. VCC says:

    AFC…fine post, yet again. It’s becoming an easy production line model from your good self, keep it up.

    I remember the Sunderland game very well and thought Sagna had a great game deputising at CB. However I’m in the camp for him to be tried at DM, With his athleticism and tenacious tackling I think he would be better playing this position than CB.

    As Red Arse says, we should be looking at a specialist CB in the Summer.

  48. AFC says:

    You could be exactly right TA. Jenkinson developing whiles Sagna can be called upon for the CL matches if Wenger feels he is not ready. The only problen is Sagna is starting to lose a bit of his pace and attacking sense. So by next season he may not be the ideal RB. If he stays at RB he only has 1-2 seasons left where he can play at the highest level whereas as a CB he easily has 2-4 seasons where he can play at the highest level. What do you think?

  49. AFC says:

    Marcus, has Podolski not been playing the CF role for years? He is as experienced as they come.

  50. oz gunner says:

    @ AFC

    Jenks hasn’t looked out of place at all to me. I can’t think of a time where his inexperience has cost him (bar the Man U red but that’d be very harsh on him).

    @ TA

    true he would have been useful but that really was unlucky. It can’t really be said though as Santos was injured and was clichy’s replacement. It’s not like we would have had Santos, Clichy and gibbs at one time.
    Sanga doesn’t lose many aerial duels you are correct. However, those are in wide positions where he gets a good run and jump for the ball (great vertical leap). Something that is not easy to do when you are being leaned on by a solid CF. In the Spanish/Italian leagues maybe…English premier league he would be butchered. Kozzer/BFG/Verm would be forever trying to cover for him I feel.

    I’m all for keeping him but if he wants a lot more money I’m not for it.

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC, I simply think we should offer him a decent contract and play him in either position next season. He could gradually become a very important squad player and his experience and attitude will remain invaluable.

    Has he really lost speed or attacking nous? I thought he was brilliant against Norwich with some fine crosses into the box. He is always an attacking option and was one of the very few who actually stuck to his role by stretching the Norwich defence.

  52. AFC says:

    RA, always good to hear from you. 🙂

    The problem about buying a quality CB is that we could be paying in the excess of 15 mill. That is if you want the real deal. Someone like a Hummels which I think Wenger will never do.

    I do not really get your point about players only being able to play in one position. Look at Ramos. From what I recall he can RB, CB, LB and DM. Look at Eboue. That guy could play anywhere.

  53. AFC says:

    TA, he seems to be losing either a bit of pace or stamina. But I would be happy to alternated Safna between CB and RB with Jenkinson as our RB.

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, are there any quotes anywhere he is after lots more money? As far as I can see it, he just wants a new, longer contract, which seems to make total sense to me?!

    I will have a look at Sagna’s heading ability again, but I must say, I did not have either Vermaelen, Koz or BFG down as better headers in the box…

    His upper-body strength is immense and like you say he has a great vertical leap, unlike Glic, who has a Southampton crumble hahaha 😛

  55. AFC says:

    @Percroonz, thanks for commenting. Do you want Sagna to go to CB and for Wenger to buy a replacement for Kos or Mertesacker?

    If you are that will nevr happen and it does not really make sense. Mert is doing a fantastic job for us and Kos is also doing very well when partnered with him.

    Good to see you agree with Sagna being played as a CB. 🙂

  56. VCC says:

    UMF as at am 15th April, 2013.

    Overall leader board =

    Zimmerdine…………………..100 ……….Vicky

    Laughable…………………….. 90…………Mr.Chan

    Rag By Him….Horny Uh 86…………Harmonious

    Volatile……………………………82…………Pincer

    Almanac Dic (tionary)……….81………….Dear Ser

    Boomerang……………………..75………….Ozi..Ozi…Ozi…..Oi…Oi…Oi

    Von Cloggenstein…………….72…………..Dutch

    Handsome F*cker……………72……………Stretch

    Bra zil…………………………….70…………..Nuts

    Unstable………………………….69…………..Orcky

    12″………………………………….44…………..Hampton

  57. AFC says:

    Jgc, glad you commented. 🙂

    You got one of the real points of my article. If Wenger is looking to buy another top defender he would be better of converting Sagna to a CB and looking for a RB. For me you could get someone like Caceres for a decent price. Looking for a top quality CB is very hard. Look at Hummels. Anyone looking to buy him will have to pay around 25 million. Money which we do not have at the moment. RBs are generally cheaper than CBs.

  58. AFC says:

    Jgc, it would certainly save money for a new top DM and CF/ST to be brought in.

  59. ahmad says:

    You’re judging him based in the Sunderland game, 1 good game doesn’t make a good CB! Beside, because of his height, we will concede more goals from set pieces and aerial battles!

  60. AFC says:

    Gerry, always good to hear from you. 🙂

    Sagna is that good he can play in a number of different positons. Did you think of Santos for DM/LW. That could have also have been a good option. I do not know if Wenger will play Sagna as a DM and I think he would be better suited to CB where the younger players like Miquel and Bellerin can learn from him. Wenger is also getting a new DM in the summer and it is likely Arteta will be played next to him so I am not sure where he would fit in.

  61. VCC says:

    UMF weekly scoreboard =

    Alex……….8
    HH………..8
    Henry…….7
    TMHT…….7
    Gerry……..7
    RA…………6
    Total……….6
    PPP……….5
    Rocky……..5
    VCC……….5
    Oz…………..4
    GLiC………..3

    5 Week ends left guys. Enough for someone to come along the rails and pip Vicky. Get your thinking caps on this week.

    Fine 8 points from Alex and HH 🙂

    Special praise to Alex. First UMF’er to get all 5 predictions right this season = 2 homes and 3 away’s……… Ars + Eve + MC + MU + Wigan. 😀

    We have 1 centurion, Vivacious, Vulpine, Victorious. 😉

  62. AFC says:

    RA, we only have 70 million in the summer. If Wenger wants top buy a top defender that is around 15-20 million and do not forget wages. He probably want to buy an experienced GK for around 5 million excluding wages and then he needs to buy a top quality DM and CF/ST. It cannott be done. Maybe if we had around the 100 million mark we could.

  63. Fred says:

    Hi guys, great post AFC, I couldn’t agree with you more, especially if you look at what Wenger has been saying recently. By this I mean the heaps of praise he has been putting on Sagna, Jenkinson, Gibbs and Monreal, whilst also hinting that Gibbs and Nacho could start together and now the Podolski been groomed to play as a striker makes me think that there will be a change of formation next season. Which I think could potentially look like this:

    ……………………..Sczney
    …………….Sagna……BFG/Koz……TV
    Jenkinson………………………………………Monreal
    …………………………….Wilshere……………..
    Walcott……………………………………………….Gibbs
    ………………………………..Santi
    …………………………………..Podolski/Giroud

    With any new signings being purely squad players who could fit in with a squad rotation, highlighting Ambriotta would be good as he is a good player and would be a good back-up if either of the three main CB’s I have listed above go out injured.

    However, the bigger problem facing us in this formation is that of RB or DM. Whilst Wilshere and Arteta are both good DM’s they aren’t quite physical enough, which is why I can also imagine Arsenal signing Capoue.

    That only leaves RB, which Sagna can also cover and with the signing of Ambriotta, who is
    probably good enough cover for Sagna at CB.

    In addition ot this Wenger in my opinion would also need another striker, the rumours are that we are going to go for Remy if QPR go down, and whilst he has been good for them, I personally would prefer it if we did sign Jovetic or Reus both of whom offer us a little more versatillity and can replace either Santi as an AM/CF or Podolski or Giroud as the main striker.

  64. AFC says:

    * cannot

    TMHT, Sagna is a very good option for CB and can play in a number of positions. As I said to RA buying a nðew top quality CB could cost us 15-25 million. We would then have very little money to strengthen the rest of our squad.

  65. AFC says:

    Good to hear form you Fred, as I know you was looking foward to this post.

    Sagna for CB is a very good option. If you want to use a formation with 3 CBs as you suggested Sagna would be perfect. I am not sure if Wenger would play with 3CBs. Wogan have used it to great effect and it could be the change needed to make us less predictable.

  66. AFC says:

    Good to hear form you Fred, as I know you was looking foward to this post.

    Sagna for CB is a very good option. If you want to use a formation with 3 CBs as you suggested Sagna would be perfect. I am not sure if Wenger would play with 3CBs. Wigan have used it to great effect and it could be the change needed to make us less predictable.

  67. AFC says:

    Glic, I think he played CB against Sunderland. And do not forget Jenkinson was sent off and he had Ramsey playing RB beside him.

  68. Red Arse says:

    AFC,

    My comments were specifically addressed at Sagna, not as a generalisation regarding a player moving from one position to another where he is better suited.

    There have been many cases of a player starting out as a winger, and converting to either a left back (Cole, Gibbs) or a left back becoming a midfielder or a striker (Bale) and so on.

    The key difference is they have always been young, and that is hardly the case with Sagna.

    The old English adage ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ applies to him.

    In addition, I mentioned that switching players to positions in which they are not naturals, does not work for me. [e.g. Rambo from midfield to the wing – not enough pace, or Theo from the wing to CF – not physical or skillfull enough, and has limited spatial awareness etc.]

    As I said, I liked your Post, but I am reluctant to engage in these conversations, as they are pointless because everyone has fixed views about the players they like.
    I once had a one eyed dog, with a bad limp following an accident, when I was a kid, but I thought he was the most wonderful and handsome dog in the world, even tho’ everyone else thought he was an ugly, knackered little sod. Football fans can be the same about, old, past their best players — and it is pointless to argue with them.

    I am a logical person, and I am not going to be able to change now, so, if I think someone is a one trick pony, or too small or too slow, or just not good enough, no amount of protesting by someone else is going to change that basic evaluation.

    We (Arsenal) have to adjust our modus operandi to improve, and if we need a new CB, we damn well should go out and buy one, not simply try and make the best out of what we have got. That should be a thing of the past.

    As I always say, this is just an opinion, and I am usually open to be convinced otherwise, but not on this.

    It goes to the way Arsenal should manage their players, and if we have to be ruthless — that’s simply business. Players make it clear, time after time, by the way they behave, that they are just ‘guns for hire’, like RvP, and that’s fine by me — but they too can expect to be treated the same way — luckily for them I am not running the club! 🙂

  69. AFC says:

    Abang atugurik, what you have to remember is that we have 70 million including wages to spend in the summer. If we buy Hummels for around 20-25 million and pay his high wages, Wenger would have very little money left over to buy an experienced GK and top DM and CF/ST. Also do not forget this defender would not have any PL experience. That is why I said Sagna going to CB would be a very good option.

  70. Fred says:

    True it would need to be changed every so often, but with the players we’ve got it could be shifted quite a lot even during the games as we have some very versatile players, as many have mentioned gibbs could play at DM which could see santi shifted to the left and wilshere behind the main striker, then With Koz, Ambriotta and Miquel as back up CB’s we have good cover for at CB and 2 RB’s which should be enough. This system would only need probably 3/4 more additions which could easily be done with the 70m, especially as one of they is free. Not saying that this is what I’d want, I would personally prefer more signings and a slightly different formation but I have a feeling that this could be a likely starting line up for us. With the bench looking like: New GK, Chambo, Arteta, Ambriotta, New Striker (preferably Reus), New DM (probably Capoue) and either BFG or Koz whoever isn’t playing that game. That would leave us with a very versatile team – something which wenger loves and should come in within the 70m that we are rumoured to have.

  71. Red Arse says:

    Hi VCC, 🙂

    You have a typo above in the UMF league table.

    You put 12″ down as last, but I think you missed a “.” — it should read as 1.2″, thank you! 🙂

  72. AFC says:

    RA, I respect your decision entirely. 🙂

    Oz gunner, remember Sagna would be playing with a bigger CB partner so he would not get bullied by the likes of Holt. He also has a big leap on him as well which to me suggests he could handle these type of attackers on his own.

    Fred, could be a formation for the future. You are right.

  73. VCC says:

    Red Arse 11:57……yes your correct……I just confirmed it with his missus. 😀

  74. glic says:

    Maybe I should change my name ( not my team ) to…..West Bromwich Albion = A Wobbliest Inch Worm ! or to the rightfull name of……”The Hampton That Has Pleasured So Many !” or maybe….” The Impregnator ! ” hahahaha

  75. Red Arse says:

    AFC @ 11:39,

    As an accountant, I like your good housekeeping, and trying to keep within the rumoured £70m budget.

    For the purposes of these chats, I do not think we need to bother about hypothetical ‘transfer pots’. That frankly is Arsenal’s problem — or ‘challenge’, as we like to call it. 🙂

    In fact, even if the transfer funds available do total £70m, it would not be beyond the pale for that amount to be increased by an additional £30m, if we needed to shore up a particular position, or if we need to sign an additional player to replace someone like Diaby.
    In the latter case we could expect to receive some compensatory monies from the player insurance policy.

  76. AFC says:

    Cesc fantasticPass, TA has said everything I would have said to you in my response so I cannot add anything to his great response.

    VCC, but how much would this CB specialist cost. We only have 70 million. If we spend 15-20 millio on a CB we do not have much money to spend on an experienced GK, top DM and top CF/ST. Also do not forget Sagna has years of PL experience.

    TA, forgot to thank you for giving me my own page. I appreciate it very much! 🙂

  77. VCC says:

    GLiC….It should read = Noodle follies………….. 😀

  78. AFC says:

    RA, 12:13am. Good to hear that. 🙂

  79. rufus says:

    Wenger speaks with forked tongue, their is no way Monreal and Gibbs will start together. And on what basis should Sagna become a CB ?

  80. glic says:

    Dont be silly Vics, If I was an old senile fool, I wouldn`t be able to write such crap !. hahaha

  81. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    rufus, hahaha “Wenger speaks with forked tongue”. I will call Geronimo immediatly.

  82. glic says:

    Arsene Wenger….aka….” The one whose silky grey hair shimmers in the moon light at night games ! “

  83. glic says:

    Abou Diaby….aka…….” One who has medicine man scalping himself ! “

  84. VCC says:

    AFC……I’m assuming Sagna will be our DM with Jenkinson RB and Bellerin as back up.

    That would leave Experienced CB and ST (£70 mil?) if there’s any over as Red Arse says I would go for a Winger.

  85. glic says:

    Olivier Giroud…..aka ( according to HH )…..” One who can not hit a buffalo`s arse with a mighty totem pole ! “

  86. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha yes Cornwall, thats his name.

    Famous for the battle of the “Ive got the Big Horn” were he was soundly rogered by “Sitting Cock” hahaha

  87. glic says:

    Lukaz Fabianski…..aka……” Mountain Cat that drops his own fur balls ! “

  88. rufus says:

    Has anyone else noticed that Wenger needs reprogramming, i suggest a Sofware Update to fix his jumpers for goal posts approach to football.

  89. Red Arse says:

    Glic @ 12:32

    Imagine how much more difficult it would be for you with a tiny totem pole!! 🙂

  90. AFC says:

    VCC, why would Wenger make Sagna our DM when he is already buying a DM in the summer?

  91. VCC says:

    AFC….is he? when did he tell you that ?

  92. AFC says:

    VCC, it is very likely Wenger will buy a DM. It is said in January he went for Capoue. He knows that the two main positions he has to buy for are DM and CF/ST.

  93. jgc says:

    RA and AFC,

    For me, the reason I agree in part with AFC, is in fact ruthlessness, or at least efficiency… Both words used by RA in responses I dont disagree with (really!).

    Flexibility in spending is to me key. We know, regardless of size, we just cannot buy everyone we all might wish on a year-year basis.

    What people may forget is that even tho a player is avialable and moves, they may not come to Arsenal (shock!, I know ;^) for any number of good or bad reasons. No matter that we want them. Money is usually the reason (for club or player).

    That said, flexibility lets us get the best available players we need, where we need them most (give or take who willcome). Thus, I think moving or considering to move Sagna is actually ruthless/efficient, as it may open options given who is avilabale.

    Like RA, I dont think the hypotheticals are worth it, but, whether Sagna stays or goes, considering this option, I think, adds some potential value to the team.

    It could be that CBs and ST/F are all that is available to us at high quality, and the DM has to go, in which case Sagna might want to go if a reasonable extra outside back were about (too). Equally, if no CBs are available for a price/quality we can afford along with a DM and ST/F then perhaps his staying is good

    Just my 32 p

    — jgc

  94. jgc says:

    TA,

    I have 4 Belgian PhD students, 3 of whom are women… Thus, I am legally restrained in every way from commenting on their fashion sense and style! 😉

    cheers — jgc

  95. VCC says:

    AFC……regarding Wenger purchases. . Don’t hold your breath.

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha jgc, I bet one of them is called Chantalle, Goedele, or Manon? 🙂

    You just have to comment on the women you see in the street then (no euphemism intended).

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    When Rijkaard returned to Ajax, age 32 or 33, Van Gaal turned him from a midfielder to a CB. He was fantastic in that position, and made all the difference. Rather than sticking to the mantra of buy, buy, buy let’s be a bit more imaginative and use what we have better first; after which we can spend money where it is really needed.

    For me, considering moving Sagna into a CB position is not just about saving money which can be spend somewhere else, though; it is about getting a very multi-skilled and fantastic player into a position in which he can add even more value to the team.

  98. AFC says:

    TA, do not forget all of the years of PL experience he has and all the years he has been playing in our system. 🙂

  99. jgc says:

    TA

    Sophie, Sabine and Sarah… “S” was apparently a popular letter about 22 years back..

    On the street, the engineer is amazed at the level of dynamic stability expressed by the women of Liege on top of such tall thin spiked heels. The rest of the outfits are nice too! If there was an overarching sentiment it would be fit and overdressed in a very fashionable way. Unlike the french they also seem to accomplish a good look with a budget..

    Highly impressed says the American from NZ

    cheers — jgc

  100. jgc says:

    TA,

    PS: oh, and very very short more often then not.. Was there a protein shortage 20 years ago?

    — jgc

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    jgc – I am impressed with your 13.50/51 observations of Belgian and French women. Yes, Belgian women are mostly petite, unlike the West/North of Holland ladies who are among the tallest in the world.

    Belgian ladies spend a great deal on fashion and take pride in being fashionable. French ladies tend to keep it a bit more simplistic and ‘within budget’.

    All girls start with an ‘S’ hey?! Maybe it is a good letter for alliteration: sexy, sensueel, serieus (serious), soccer, suikerzoete (sugarsweet)…

  102. oz gunner says:

    @ AFC

    Yes he can partner with a more robust CB but what happens if a bigger striker or crouch sits next to Sagna for the whole match? That means Verm and co would have to leave their position to help out leaving a gaping hole in our defence. A vertical leap will only get you so far, especially when you are flat footed and have a bigger individual leaning on you. A 5’9 CB in the premier league…asking for trouble!!! I’d take miquels 6’4 with CB experience any day of the week!!!

  103. Red Arse says:

    Glic,

    I am indebted to you for your mental dexterity. I passed on a phrase you have often said, and it made me famous.

    I said, when asked for some advice on life experiences;
    “Don’t sweat the petty things; and don’t pet the sweaty things!”

    Perhaps we should tell Terry!! 🙂

  104. AFC says:

    Oz gunner, I will liken it this situation. There are plenty of slow strikers around but they make up for it with their positioning etc. You could have Mertesacker over the a tiny striker but if the tiny striker has the intelligence, positioning he can outsmart the defender. Sagna is the same. He would just use his positioning, agility and speed to outsmart the bute of an attacker.

  105. Red Arse says:

    Not that I want to say I told you so, but has even one person changed their mind today from when they started?

    Thought not! 😀

  106. AFC says:

    * brute

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Height is so overrated, Oz. Look at Sagna’s reading of the game and positioning:

  108. AFC says:

    RA, you are right. 🙂

  109. AFC says:

    TA, that is exactly what I was trying to say with my comment at 14:34.

  110. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Redders, i havnt changed my mind because i dont know what my mind is. Ime sure you noticed earlier on that i agreed with you and AFC. In other words i agree with every one but agree with no one. Hope that makes sense. hahaha

  111. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC, we are on the same line re Sagna, proven by the fact that our comments match up! 🙂

    RA, you are right we are a stubborn bunch! 😛

  112. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    In the spirit of agreeing with every one and agreeing with no one i can totaly see Oz babys point about height and frame, thats one of the reasons i like Mertsacker. on the other hand TA’s video also proves that height is overrated.

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    Rufus, what about zip-coats for goal posts?! 😛

  114. AFC says:

    It’s like playing two striker up front. You often have a brute with a smaller more quicker striker. I think if Mertesacker and Sagna were paired together we would have the best CB pairing in the PL.

  115. Fred says:

    Sagna would make a great CB in my opinion, although in a conventional 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 setting I think his best partnership would be formed with BFG, they both cover each others weaknesses, with BFG winning the aerial battles and Sagna being faster and more mobile, that combined with their experience and good reading of the game makes me think that they would be in theory a better CB partnership than TV-Sagna.

  116. TotalArsenal says:

    I would love to know how many goals are still scored as a result of height-advantage in the PL?

  117. Fred says:

    AFC, we seem to be on the same wavelength again, good to see another gooner with the same/similar ideas!

  118. oz gunner says:

    @ TMHT

    fence sitter! I know the pickets feel good but come on man pick a darn side! 🙂

    @ TA

    He did do well but I still reserve my judgement and say “in case of CB emergency – use sagna”

    Also Dutch people don’t know defending nor do you have any decent CB’s…check mate 🙂

  119. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry, you are a born diplomat – I can see why you are being considered by the likes of VCC and Glic as a master of female seduction 😛

  120. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Oz, you have got me there! 🙂

    We only know Aanvallen, Aanvallen, Aanvalluuuuuuuuhhhh!!!! 🙂

  121. allezkev says:

    Sagna is a top quality footballer, and the time has come, for Arsenal to stop selling players of his ability.

    There is no reason why Bacary Sagna cannot continue to play at the highest level, well into his mid 30’s and beyond.
    At both full & centre backs.

    And absolutely no reason why he cannot do it in an Arsenal shirt…

    Good post.

  122. AFC says:

    Fred, I only said Vermaelen in my article because Wenger seems happy with Kos and Mert but if I had the coice it would be Sagna and Mert.

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed on Mert-Sagna. Also like the combo Koz-Sagna. Ils parlent la meme langue…. Koz can grow into the organiser and Sagna into the beast of a CB…

  124. Fred says:

    Oz I do see your point about height, but if Sagna was paired with Mertesacker I personally think they would compliment each other well, with Sagna making up for Mert’s lack of pace whilst the BFG would make up for Sagna’s lack of pace. Also just out of curiousity would you define Ramos as a small CB at 6 foot tall? Only 3 inches taller than Sagna and arguably one of the best CB’s in the world at the moment.

  125. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    TA, yes, that, the chlorofom and stocking over face works wonders. hahaha

    Oz, i am sure we can agree to disgaree that we both agree with everybody but also agree with no one. hahaha

  126. glic says:

    Diplomat = Limp Toad = Soft Tadpole = Watches Frogs porn !.

  127. AFC says:

    allezkev, thanks for commenting.

    Sagna is just quality. He can play anywhere in the defence. He even played well at LB. If he plays at RB he has got 1-2 seasons at his best. If he plays at CB there is no reason why he cannot retire at Arsenal.

  128. glic says:

    Who needs Viagra when you have Chloroform !.

  129. Fred says:

    AFC, got another bit of evidence to help support the argument of moving Sagna to CB, look at Puyol, started off as a RB and Barca moved him to CB as he got older, now he is one of the most if not the most important defensive player at Barca. Added to that he is only 5″10 just 1 inch taller than Sagna, shows that Barca – arguably the best team in the world, do not have a problem with a “short” CB, so why should we have an issue with it?

  130. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, i find both to be a very exciting combination. Next time i see you will sort you out with a few tabs. But dont blame me if something goes wrong. hahaha

  131. oz gunner says:

    @ Fred

    Spanish league isn’t as physical but some players can cover for their short falls. Verm is only 5’11 but he’s as tough as nails and bosses most strikers. Sagna is of a different build though. Yes BFG would complement him well (against teams that don’t pose an aerial threat but if a Crouch/holt/lukaku decided to stand next to Sagna what then? Lukaku did it against Sagna the other day and good a lot of the ball.

    @ TA 14.54

    That’s because on weekends he likes to unveil his lady attire with his tina turner syrup. He’s experienced life as both sexual orientation. But as Glic says you don’t need seduction when you can hide down an alley way with a chloroform soaked rag in your hand 🙂

  132. glic says:

    Hahaha Stretch , although I think Chloroforming Vic`s and leaving him at the hands of some Brentwood trannies is more appealing, being senile, he wont remember, but will be confused to why he has a constant sore arse !. hahaha

  133. AFC says:

    Fred, you beat me to Puyol. 🙂

    And do not forget Mascherano. He is 5’9 like Sagna.

  134. AFC says:

    Oz gunner, these players have done it in world cup, Euros, CL. They have faced teams of who have all kinds of different players and every kind of style you can get and have prevailed.

  135. Fred says:

    Oz – even if you assume that “short” CB’s can’t make it against teams with bigger players I would have to say I strongly disagree with you. Puyol has won tonnes of trophies with Barca including the champions league, in which he would have faced more “physical” strikers. In addition to winning the Euro’s and the World Cup. My point is if Puyol who is of a similar build and height to Sagna, with the exception of Sagna being faster, can be successfully converted from a RB to CB and go on to win many trophies including the Champions League with Barca and Euros and World Cup with Spain when they would have had a more “physical challenge” than they get in La Liga then surely it can work with Sagna at CB who in my opinion is currently a better player than Puyol.

    Also as AFC mentioned Mascherano is the same height as Mascherano and he’s been a revelation at CB for Barca both in La liga and the Champions League.

    However, if as you say there are problems with Sagna at CB and these do emerge then surely we could just use this tactic of Sagna against teams that don’t posses an aerial threat. Let’s all be honest what we are talking about here is in theory, we only have one game to go on of Sagna playing at CB and he seemed to play well there. What I am going to say is nothing ventured nothing gained, if we try him out there and it doesn’t work then move him back to RB but it does seem to have worked with other clubs of having a “short” CB paired with a taller CB so it could well work with arsenal as well.

  136. glic says:

    Terry Tickle Tackle, have you been loaning out your Tickling Stick again ?. Them Spuds are still not happy !. hahaha

    http://www.thefightingcock.co.uk/2013/04/arsenal-and-their-tickling-stick/

  137. Red Arse says:

    Glic,

    You are not paying attention to this exciting discussion about who Sagna partners at CB.

    We all know it will never happen — but you should not let that stand in the way of a good argument. over nothing! 🙂

  138. jgc says:

    RA at 14:37, nonsense!!! I kept to both sides of this one, to an extent, AND changed my lunch order as well as watching the weather change (often) here while changing my mind frequently about what bus to catch!

    TA: so yes, the belgian women are pleasant on the eyes, sadly my wife seems to feel she has some agreement with me about the bits that come after looking! 😀 … will have to leave it to glic to sort out any deeper differences…

  139. glic says:

    hahaha Redders. I have nothing but envy and admiration the way authors on BK and AA knock out quality posts ,but I do tend to wander off elsewhere after a while as it can get a bit monotonous to me and anyway ,others can say what I want to say better than I can. I prefer to add the nonsensicle crap as a contrast !. hahaha

  140. Transitioning Sagna is a great way to keep him on the squad, add to depth, and keep a quality player. Folks have (seemingly) forgotten that Sagna broke both legs last year and injuries like that no matter how minor (relatively) take time to recover. We will see a better RB from Sagna next year, but longer term he can play CB.
    Agree with most of the thinking by the author over the past few weeks.
    1) Keep Sagna and begin moving to CB.
    2) Poldi at center…maybe tomorrow?
    3) Needs of the team going forward are straight down the middle…CB depth, a DM beast, another striker. Otherwise the team looks really good going forward. After these buys the let’s see what the young players can do.
    4) Also agree with a prior post that AW needs to rotate more frequently. Keeps the legs fresh. AW has cost the team points over the last three years by not rotating IMO. Young players need to play and old players need rest.

  141. Red Arse says:

    Your nonsensical crap is a work of art in itself, Glicster. it is the yeast that leavens the blog! 😀

    That turncoat, Terry, on the other hand, who is unable to decide what he thinks, is now hated by all sides of the argument! 🙂

  142. Red Arse says:

    Well there you are jgc, you have proven the point admirably, indecisive at the start, and throughout lunch, and you finally kept up your consistent inconsistency throughout. 🙂

    A sterling effort. Altho’ some may say there was no mind to change — but I would never be so rude as to say such a thing!! 😀

  143. AFC says:

    dark and bloody, thnaks for commenting and glad you are taking an interest in the site. 🙂

    Sagna moving to CB is a good long term solution. We have seen the likes of Mascherano from Barca and I think it is the way forward for Arsenal and Sagna. Sagna is getting older and soon will not be able to be effective as an attacking RB. It is something I would like to starting from next season.

  144. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC,

    Well done for getting back to everybody today, and writing a proper football post. The idea of Sagna being one of our CB’s next season has become a real possibility, and if it indeed happens, you will get the credit for it! 🙂

  145. Red Arse says:

    And will I get the credit when he doesn’t TA? 🙂

  146. Lee says:

    Sagna has actually become a little slow for the marauding RightBack role and CB would be better suited for him, but ultimately he would be 4th choice and at this stage in his career i think he’ll want to keep playing and end up going back to France

  147. glic says:

    Flappyhandski could miss theToffee game after a kick in the spare ribs !. I will not take credit for this though, I`m just the messenger !.

  148. AFC says:

    Lee, thanks for commenting. 🙂

    I think the CB role would be better for Sagna in the future. In my opinion he is also starting to lose pace or stamina (not sure which) but he would still be very fast for the CB role. Not sure about him going back to France though. PSG are said to be interested but I think he just wants to be offered a deal which suits him. He does not want to sign a one year contract and why should he. He has been a loyal servant for our club for a number of years and has been one of the best RBs in the PL.

  149. TotalArsenal says:

    You are already maxed out on credit, RA 🙂

  150. AFC says:

    The only thing I so not understand is why Sagna or Jenkinson where not played at LB when Gibbs was out for a number of matches. They have played at LB on numerous occasions. Santos clearly is more of a wing back or winger and looked out of his depth at LB and Vermaelen is much better at CB. Maybe if Wenger had played Sagna or Jenkinson at LB when Gibbs was injured we would have been in 2nd place now.

    Can anyone shed any light on this?

  151. Red Arse says:

    You have had a great number of quality comments today, AFC, and deserve a great deal of credit for that, as a start!

    I do not know why AW did not start either Jenks or Bacari at left back, but (not wishing to score cheap points) perhaps he did not think they would be better than a left footed Santos or Verm.

    For myself, I was disappointed he did not give Miguel another start there. He played there for a number of games last season, and then suddenly he is overlooked.

    Just had a read of Jorge Birds’ blog regarding the kids, and think it is sad how many of them are likely to be let go, as I wrote on here a while ago.

    Lads who I thought had strong chances for a first team place in 2 or 3 years time have already either gone (Angha), or have been told they will be released, James Shea (GK), Embicilio (AM) and Bihmoutine (MF) and there are many, many more who will go.

    It is a side of football life that is tough — multi millionaire or out of work — tough. 😦

  152. AFC says:

    RA, I know very little about the youth players but I heard Angha was very promising. I think I saw him once in the CL and when he came on he wanted to make an impact and beat defenders.

    The LB thing I do really not get. There are plenty of left foot players who play RB and right footed players who play LB. Maybe he wanted top give Santos a chance. Who knows? That will always remain a mystery to me. Anyway most defenders from Brazil cannot defend to save their lives and as soon as Wenger found out Santos was from Brazil he should never have brought him. Ha! 😀

  153. AFC says:

    * to

  154. Red Arse says:

    I think you are right, AFC, especially about Santos, but I would have kept him with the squad, myself, because he has great technical skill, but not at LB.
    I see him more as a left wingback, and (ooer, I will be in trouble with Meinheer Clogmeister) a better bet than Gerv the Swerve as a back up to the Pod! 🙂

  155. AFC says:

    RA, I think I was telling HH that we should have kept him for the LW. In matches we could have played him in front of Monreal or Gibbs. I think HH was right when he said Wenger is too stubborn and would never have turned Santos into a LW.

  156. Red Arse says:

    Well, it looks like one of our CB targets has gone elsewhere.

    — “Fulham have reportedly agreed terms with Athletic Bilbao centre-half Fernando Amorebieta in a move that will see him join the Cottagers this summer.

    The 28-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal since announcing his intention to leave the Basque club this summer after rejecting offers of a new contract. Russian duo Anzhi Makhachkala and Zenit St Petersburg have also been reported as possible suitors, but, according to Marca, Fulham have beaten the competition to the defender’s signature, agreeing a four year deal with the defender.

    Athletic Bilbao reportedly offered Amorebieta a new five year contract worth €1.8 million a year in efforts to keep him at San Mames, but he has opted to join Fulham on a reduced wage.

    Too old anyway!! 😀

  157. AFC says:

    RA, do you know if Wenger is still interested in Rami?

  158. Red Arse says:

    I’m not sure I agree with all this ‘too stubborn’ stuff, AFC.

    It is more likely that AW agrees with Total that Gervinho was the better bet. That’s fair enough, but I disagree with our excellent manager on this!! 🙂

  159. Red Arse says:

    No, I am sorry, AFC, that has all gone quiet — which probably means we will get him. 🙂

  160. Red Arse says:

    Have to go, AFC, enjoyed chatting with you and the other guys. See you later. 🙂

  161. AFC says:

    See you RA. 🙂

  162. glic says:

    Indeed Redders, Santos is a highly skilled player and if he had Gervs energy and stamina he would be a half decent player, but imo, it comes down to the ” Arshavin Factor ” and one of my favourite gripes about certain footballers, their lack of fitness and stamina, something that costs nothing just hard work and a bit of dieting wouldn`t go amiss, more Santos ,less Fray Bentos !.

  163. AFC says:

    Glic, Rooney has got to be in that category when he comes back to Man U for the beginning of a new season. 😀

  164. glic says:

    Andre Fray Bentos….our new fat f**ker left back !. hahaha

  165. glic says:

    Stiffs have just kicked off at Wolves, live tweets.

    https://twitter.com/ArsenalLive

  166. Bond James says:

    nice one , AFC

    i don’t see why we can’t use Sagna as a make shift every now and again, but to do it week in week out – not a fan of that

    if i were to have it my way, i would use him much more as a DM or along side Arteta in the hole, allowing Arteta more freedom

    Sagna is one of those players that can fit anywhere in the back 5 for me, he has a big heart and it showed in against the games vs sunderland but saying that, no disrespect to sunderland it was only against sunderland, i wouldn’t play him as a CB at arsenal on a regular basis….i much rather him work on his crossing and get back to his best – for me he is still functioning at 65% due to his injuries and match fitness.

    we need a new CB and it’s a priority since we will be losing 2 in the summer (hopefully we can sell dj) and keep the current 3.

  167. brandonmwamlowe says:

    That’s good move for better of the team.

  168. AFC says:

    BJ, good to hear from you. 🙂

    Sagna is getting older so I think he only has 1-2 seasons left where he can perform at the top level for us. At CB he could easily retire at Arsenal. He could still play at CB and when we have important matches Sagna could go to RB.

    Amorebieta has gone to Fulham apparently from a source which RA has shown me (up above) so to buy a top quality CB we would need to spend around 15-20 million.

    Do not forget all of the PL experience what Sagna has and I think if he was paired with Mertesacker we would have the best CB pairing in the PL.

    There are some comments made by myself and other bloggers above which support why Sagna playing as a CB would be good for us.

  169. AFC says:

    brandonmwamlowe, Sagna also knows our system very well and our other players which means that he would not need time to settle in and adapt to the Pl which is often a hard thing to do.

  170. Bond James says:

    AFC,

    i read the comments and hence offered a different perspective and opinion, i don’t see sagna as a long term solution or a solution at all as cb, he only played once against a team who don’t really have a potent strike force.

    on a slightly different tangent , we should be looking at these players and making bids

    better late than never.

    if i could add 3 quality players to this current arsenal squad then they be,

    Suarez ,

    Fellaini ,

    Cesar / Casillas

    a decent CB

    70 million worth spent.

  171. AFC says:

    BJ, Suarez is quality as I have said before but he is a racist scumbag who likes to dive. Wenger and a lot of fans do not want players like this at Arsenal.

    Cesar definitely if we can get him. Casillas will never happen in my opinion. He will also cost too much and his wages would be too high.

    Have you got any names for CB?

    A lot of people have said Fellani has only played good this season and before that was pretty poor. He has a release clause so if he was that good he would have been poached by a good time by now. Also he would not be worth the transfer fee we would have to pay.

  172. AFC says:

    * team

  173. Bond James says:

    Suarez is quality, with a better manager and better communication all that nonsense associated to him can disappear – your players show what you educate them in, it’s not entirely his fault that he has been seen to be or been branded as a diver….Bale is a far worse diver than Suarez, yet he doesn’t get half the stick Suarez does… Suarez is the missing link in our attach, his wages we can afford, champions league football might be the lure his needs to get swayed away from anfield…

    Fellaini has been having rock solid seasons for Everton, people only notice him this season because he has been given free roles in some games hence they noticed, he has known to be a bit short tempered and his disciplinary record isn’t that great but that is not to take away his footballing skills, he is that beast of a DM we really could do in our team – just for the record he has had Quality 3 seasons at least if not more….he has been the lynch pin in moyes side and i hope he has a fairly poor game tomorrow as he can be a bully in midfield.

    names for Cb ? i have plenty but let’s save them all for a future article, i don’t want to deviate from your well written article – but just to give you something to ponder upon i reckon samba wouldn’t be a bad shout, i was surprised why we lost out on Samba /Gary C in the first place.//least we will get another bite at the cherry when qpr go down.

  174. AFC says:

    BJ, Fellani seems to play better as an AM or a support striker. That’s just my opinion.

    The last thing we need is Suarez being racist to one our players and unsettling the whole team or getting himself another 8 match ban for racially abusing a player from another team. Players from our team would not even want to work with him. Why would Sagna and all the other French players work and respect Suarez who racially abused their fellow countryman. Actually the whole Arsenal team would not want to work with a racist. We are one of the leading clubs in fighting racism so why would Wenger sign a proven racist. That would make Arsenal hypocritical.

  175. Milo says:

    I haven’t had time to read all the comments, so this might have been said already, but I don’t understand why most people and fans of Arsenal do not rate Jenkinson good enough to play right back for us, on a consistent basis next season. He had ONE poor match against Sunderland, and suddenly he’s not good enough??? These are only opinions, so I cannot emphasize my side of it with a “go to hell” after that last question mark, but it is mighty tempting. He’s worked his ass off last season and this season, improved immeasurably and will continue to improve. He also hasn’t said A PEEP about having to sit on the bench for most matches, now that Sagna is fit. It would be a shame, if he is released or seeks a transfer due to lack of playing time. No, he will never be confused with Dani Alves, but then again neither was Lee Dixon, and he turned our alright, didn’t he??? I think Jenkinson should be our right back next season.

  176. AFC says:

    * hypocritical football club.

  177. AFC says:

    Milo, I Jenkinson is a good player but I feel he still has a bit to learn. Same with Gibbs and the Ox. They need experience and the best way they can gain this experience by learning from a more experienced players. All these players will be ready in 1-2 seasons.

  178. AFC says:

    * without the mistakes

    Milo, Jenkinson is a good player but I feel he still has a bit to learn. Same with Gibbs and the Ox. They need experience and the best way they can gain this experience is by learning from more experienced players. All these players will be ready in 1-2 seasons. Remember these player are still very young and they need to be nurtured. These player can all start matches. They have the quality to. But to ask them to perform in our toughest matches I.e. Champions League is probably to much too ask.

  179. Milo says:

    There is a fine line between nurturing a player, and NOT giving the player sufficient time on the pitch, in meaningful situations. Do you reckon that Jenkinson will want to spend ANOTHER year playing back-up to someone??? He played more than well enough at the beginning of the season, to warrant full confidence and faith in his abilities, in ANY match. At one point, he was our most consistent player, and one of our only defenders who wasn’t playing as if his head were stuck up his wazoo…I think he’s ready now.

  180. Bond James says:

    Proven Racist ? just because he used a word that is used rather freely from where he comes from doesn’t make him a proven racist or if the FA punish him for his ignorance doesn’t make him a proven Racist either.

    i guess you have been reading far too much of the garbage published in the media against him, for me not one person from his own club has gone against him or have uttered a word against him, his attitude towards his team mates is top notch – for me that’s an indicator strong enough to gauge a player not what the media writes – if he was a proven racist then he still wouldn’t be playing in England and would have been sold – mind you he does have to play with plenty of players from most origins in LIVERPOOL and everyone supports him and backs him.

    i do think you have gone over board re- Suarez being a proven racist there – if anyone comes close to being a proven racist then it should be terry not a Suarez.

    get Suarez, educate him, tell him what is expected of him in a big club like arsenal and see him follow the rules like any other player – if he doesn’t do it then fair enough but i doubt his professionalism will be a problem or in question.

  181. Bond James says:

    Milo,

    i suspect if we sell Sagna this summer, then Jenko will be the first choice RB with Hector Bellerin as his understudy.

    i do feel like yourself that Jenko is almost there and ready to be the RB week in week out for us.

  182. AFC says:

    BJ, surely you cannot buy all of that crap. He has been playing for Liverpool for how long? He knows what is racist and what isn’t. These words are known all over the world as being racist. Suarez is a racist just like Terry is. What was going on then when he did not want to shake Evra’s hand after Evra was the bigger man and offered his hand. The Liverpool players were to scared to say what they really felt because they are scared of manahment just like all the Chelsea player signs written statements backing Terry when he was racist to Anton. He is a racist!

  183. AFC says:

    BJ, surely you cannot buy all of that crap. He has been playing for Liverpool for how long? He knows what is racist and what isn’t. These words are known all over the world as being racist. The PL is a diverse league and has been for many years. Suarez is a racist just like Terry is. What was going on then when he did not want to shake Evra’s hand after Evra was the bigger man and offered his hand. The Liverpool players were probably to scared to say what they really felt because they are scared of management just like all the Chelsea player signed written statements backing Terry when he was racist to Anton. He is a racist!

  184. Bond James says:

    i wouldn’t brand anyone a racist based on what comes out in the media or based on them not shaking someone’s hand.

    but you surely must be having a laugh when you say that the liverpool players were probably scared, so that’s Stevie G being terrified of Suarez hence asking time and time again for him to be the player of the year ? : ) i doubt if your captain and manager would keep asking everyone to vote for him as the player of the year if he was indeed, a racist.

    i for one would love to have Suarez in this Arsenal team.

  185. adah says:

    Can you please stop further write-ups like this? Where did this idea come from? What on earth made you feel what we have now can compete with those in clubs gunning for titles? I now know people like you make Wenger feel he has what it takes to challenge for titles. I feel hurt reading your piece and I enjoin all true Gunners to avoid your piece like plaque. If you have not suffered enough, the rest of us have.

  186. Milo says:

    Bond James, “Stevie G” (I hate that nickname, what are we 2 years old here?) is not exactly a paragon of virtue and all that is right with the World either. Sorry, I’m with AFC on this one. I wouldn’t want Suarez within a mile of our great and esteemed club.

  187. AFC says:

    Adah, you will have to explain to me further what you mean. I have in no way said we are ready to compete for titles and have the players to do so. I am a blogger who daily calls for reinforcements to be brought in.

  188. TotalArsenal says:

    adah,

    Who is ‘us’? And why do you believe you are a true Gunner?

  189. AFC says:

    Milo, glad to see you agree with me regarding Suarez. 🙂

    BJ, this is something we clealy disagree and I respect your view but I have my own view on Suarez which does not follow yours. 🙂

  190. AFC says:

    Adah, you are entitled to your opinion but I think you have misinterpreted the article what I stand for and what this site stands for.

  191. Bond James says:

    adah,

    that is very harsh and uncalled for,

    we all have our opinions and not everyone agrees with everyone most of the time but that is certainly going overboard.

    Milo,

    it’s tough you don’t like my use of “stevie G” and you find it better fits a 2 year old – i’m not here to say things to please you or according to your approval, so i’ll stick to Stevie G.
    😀

  192. Milo says:

    I wasn’t saying YOU are a two year old, I was saying that the nickname reminds me of something that would come from a two year old’s vocabulary. Tonnes of people use it, and I think it’s infantile, that’s all. The name, not the people who say it!!!

  193. Demjef says:

    That is unthinkable

  194. Bond James says:

    Milo,

    it’s ok, not the first time nor last someone’s directly or indirectly implied @ me being a 2 year old 😉

    on a more serious note, are we not having an article on tomorrow’s starting 11 ? @ TA

    i’ll get the ball rolling

    Sczny (although i really hope fabianski passes the late fitness test)

    Sagna Kos Per Nacho

    Arteta Ramsey Rosicky

    Theo Podolski Cazorla

    Subs in the 2nd half : Jack for Rosicky – Giroud for Podo – Ox or a defensive player for Cazorla depending on the situation we face

    3-1 Arsenal

  195. AFC says:

    BJ, why no Cazorla?

  196. Bond James says:

    he’s there on the left as usual

    i have podolski playing up front and santi on the left interchanging with Rosicky

  197. AFC says:

    BJ, sorry, I did not see Cazorla.

    Could we see Wenger play a 4-4-1-1 with Podolski behind Giroud?

  198. Bond James says:

    from my analysis and reading of wenger’s comments or little understanding i have of wenger over the years (which might not be much) i reckon he will start podolski and bench Giroud

    i also said a few days ago that he is saving Ros for Everton and he’s been given a breather, so if he starts tomorrow then it’s happy days

    we could see poldi behind G, if we’re trailing in the 2nd half…i don’t rule it out but it’s difficult to see them both start

    what would your starting 11 be @ AFC ?

  199. oz gunner says:

    @ AFC

    I also feel hurt and strangely feverish after reading this piece haha. How do you sleep at night knowing your great writing hurts so many people. Forget the black plague it’s BK we should be looking out for. 🙂

  200. AFC says:

    BJ, the starting line-up Wenger is likely to use if all the players are available.

    Fab

    Sagna. Kos. Mert. Monreal.

    Ramsey. Arteta.

    Wilshere

    Rosicky. Giroud. Cazorla

    My starting line-up would be

    Fab.

    Sagna. Kos. Mert. Monreal.

    Ramsey. Arteta.

    Rosicky

    Cazorla/Walcott. Giroud. Cazorla/Podolski

    Any combination on the wings for me.

  201. TotalArsenal says:

    BJ 🙂

    You love doing line-ups don’t you?! 🙂

    If you ever fancy writing a pre-match, let me know!

    BJ, Milo, AFC, well done for discussing the Suarez/racist issue in a mature way. 🙂

    AFC, your post has almost had 10000 views and over 200 comments today. Very impressive! 🙂

    Pre-match report will come out around 10am tomorrow. Unless Oz is volunteering! 😆

  202. AFC says:

    Oz gunner,

    regarding adah, I would have loved for him to stick around so I could hear his misinterpreted views and correct him. Eveyone is entitled to their own opinion, we have seen that today with fellow bloggers like yourself and RA who completely disagree with me and fellow bloggers like Fred, TA ect who completely agree with me. At least you told me why you disagree with me. Who writes a comment that is completely wrong and then does not stick around for the response.

  203. AFC says:

    Night, TA. 🙂

  204. oz gunner says:

    Agreed AFC. If we can’t all be reasonable and civil we might as well go back to sitting in trees and flinging crap at each other. Always good to have a debate when it involves Arsenal so well played.

    @ TA

    haha i wish trust me, beat this dribble. Have a 30min presentation in front of the whole school tomorrow…should be interesting.

    Nite

  205. AFC says:

    * everyone

  206. Bond James says:

    TA,

    i see what you tried doing there, very canny and slickly smart of you 😉 don’t blame you for trying but i rather stick to me commentating and adding to all the insightful articles you folks are writing already.

    but thank you for the invite !

    AFC,

    Fab has an outside chance of playing and i don’t see wenger ever using Ros on the right wing as using Santi on the left wing with the likes of Gervino/Podolski/theo/OX on the bench – our team will become one dimensional in the system we currently deploy 4-3-3, unless we changed our system to 4-6 then yep, we can see wenger utilizing the line up you’ve suggested for as Wenger Likely one 😀

    mind you, i am a in favour of a 4-6 with no strikers up front, so take out Giroud from that suggested one and draft in either OX or Podo – Perfecto but sadly wenger is not as adventurous as most of us 😀

  207. AFC says:

    BJ, I am sure Rosicky has played on the RW in one of our last few matches. I would have to look up who has started our last matches to confirm this.

    BJ, good talking to you, I’m off now. 🙂

  208. Bond James says:

    yep, i’m sure he must have if either Gerv/OX or Podo started on the left;)

    laters, see you tomorrow hopefully after we’ve bagged another 3 solid points !

  209. Danny says:

    Sorry I’m late to the party, good read AFC. Seems like you’ve got a lot on your mind as of late.

    But on the topic of possibilities, I think most of us (I’d like to say all but im sure theres some) are really overlooking a certain DM whos currently contracted at Real Betis. Benat Extebarria is a real pitbull of a DM and would fit the under-the-radar, steal-of-a deal kind of business that Wenger likes to run. At 26, he’s a decent age where he could easily provide a solid 5 years of service to the Arsenal (especially for his particular position). I have no idea how much he is worth but certainly no more than cazorla. Probably a fair bit cheaper to be honest. Anyway, take a look for yourselves http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVfS9hr-BDU

  210. JM says:

    Re: Rosicky

    against WBA, Reading and Bayern Munich, he was playing the CAM (Centre Attacking-Midfielder) in our 4-2-3-1 formation.

    Even Arsene himself said so:
    http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1402844/arsene-wenger-hails-tomas-rosicky-impact-on-arsenal

    Quotes on Rosicky by Arsene,

    ” “Before he played too far away from the box. Before I played him always wide but he plays more central now and he’s more dangerous. I said to him: ‘It’s a special game for you because you scored two goals.’ ”

    ” “There is the problem with injury and then there is the problem with competition for a place, with Wilshere and Cazorla, but he’s such an important player who turns the game forward, brings movement into the game, makes the game look simple and always you feel when he has the ball that something can happen. Not many players have that in the locker.” ”

    ====================================================================

    @ Danny, April 16, 2013 01:00

    On the possibilities of Benat Extebarria (Real Betis and Spain national team) coming over, there may be something in the works, with Real Betis in talks with our management on a working relationship (transfer partnership) which could work both ways (Joel Campbell is already on loan with them).

    ====================================================================

    Back to the headline topic,

    Sagna is good to remain with our club (if he wishes to extend stay with our club and our management and Arsene wishes to retains his services for a longer period, with Sagna imparting his playing experiences and professionalism to our younger defenders/players).

    Whether he continues at RB or moves to CB is secondary as Sagna is easily adaptable and competent across the backline (He should remain as an option at CB, after the regulars of Mertesacker, Koscielny and Vermaelen; Miquel would probably continue another season as captain of our PDL1 U-21 reserve side, while getting odd appearances in league and cup games). All that can be arranged in due time if he stays beyond this season and next.

    Should we buy a new (specialist) CB to compensate for the departures of Squillaci and eventually Djourou?
    I would go for the option of getting a new “destroyer”/”21st century liberio” (or what most of you would term the “DM”) instead, and have this new signing be available for CB duties as when required, (e.g. of a player similar to Javi Martinez & Luiz Gustavo @Bayern, Sergio Busquests & Alex Song @Barcelona, Daniele de Rossi @Roma and Italy, Oril Romeu @Chelsea, Maxime Gonalons @Lyon, Etienne Capoue@Toulouse, Jeremy Toulalan @Malaga, Stefan Reinartz @Leverkusen, Victor Wanyama @Celtic etc). There .. I just named most of the players we wanted to sign and see perform the “destroyer” function in our 1st team.

    This way, both this new signing, Sagna and Miquel (at times) could compensate as an irregular option CB alongside our 3 specialist CBs (Mertesacker, Koscielny and Vermaelen).

  211. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hi all, sorry for not being able to join you for what looks like an excellent discussion!

    The weather has been beautiful and we are getting quite a tan! Unfortunately, there was no wifi from our boat we just bought and we were out on the ocean all day, before arriving back home at our place!

    AFC, another top quality post and I’ve come to expect this from you :). I agree with many of your points about Sagna adding further stability and being perhaps the physical, assertive, veteran presence we are lacking in the heart of our defence

    However, RA makes a brilliant point in mentioning that not all players can fit into certain positions and that the player himself may not want to make the switch too (especially if another club will give him starting minutes, valuing him at his preferred position).

    Also, I’d like to add that Sagna and Verm may not be an ideal partnership since we need an organizer to keep everyone in line, like Mert. However, I would like to see a more mobile, quicker decision maker, technical and assertive version of Mert added in the near future ;).

  212. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also, it may be the sunshine talking :), but I’ve turned a corner on evaluating on our players! We had lunch at a patio restaurant on Lincoln mall road yesterday and there were hookah’s everywhere! It was quite the relaxed atmosphere and a fellow Gooner spotted out my jersey as I sat down for the meal.

    He was an older man (kind of ancient like VCC and Glic 😉 ), and was incredibly wide and insightful into the past and present! We went through past teams and present and shared our thoughts on many players, the two stadiums, change in style of play etc.

    After we spoke, his word of advice was that after years of being discontent with a couple players on each of the teams over the years, he had finally learned that life is too short to rag on or hate any of our players. Instead, he just observes the club as a whole and the greater symbol it represents and is happy viewing the beautiful football display we put out game in and out.

    Anyway, it seems to have really rubbed off on me an I’m going to adopt his approach and just be happy with the players we have for now and trust that AW will reinforce the necessary positions this summer. And his words on Ramsey and Giroud were that they aren’t the most skilled or his favourites either, but that he’d rather see two hard working players than two lazy ones. Also, he was happy that they embody the Arsenal spirit and are not scoring goals or setting them up against us!

    He was an outstanding individual to speak to and put my perspective back on the right track. During the Invincibles years, there was not a single player I hated; he reasoned that it’s different now because we’re nowhere near the talent of that team and that if we’re patient we might get there again!

    Just enlightening stuff and I’ve seen the light both figuratively and literall (the sun) hahaha!

  213. Highbury Harmony says:

    Wise* not wide hahaha!

  214. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also, for anyone interested Amorebieta has penned a pre-contract agreement with Fulham.

  215. Len says:

    I can’t agree more. Who was Sagna’s partner in the Sunderland match? Sagna did so well.
    He still have the pace & good in the air too. So much rubbish talk about his exit just because he has turned 30! Maybe he could even be a holding Defensive MF? He tackles and holds the ball well in his RB position. If we look closely on all the FBs in the Premier League we shouldbe thankful that we still have Sagna. I had said before a CB can usually play up to 33-35, Wenger should not think of selling him.

  216. TFG says:

    Interesting piece. I have been told that Sagna is leaving in the Summer. As always, time will tell.

    @tfgwrites

  217. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning, People, 🙂

    Tense game tonight — fingers, toes and eyes all crossed!

  218. shehu s mohammad says:

    sagna as full sentre back is a new innovation.

  219. VCC says:

    Morning all fine Gooners.

    Looking forward to this. We should be up for it straight from the start. Everton are a decent side so we won’t take them lightly.

    COYG

  220. ferro says:

    Sagna could replace an injured tv5 or kos… but that would leave us with two left footers if its tv and if its either of them then we just dont have enough height at the back.

    We need asomeone who will come in when mert is injured… a big tall brick wall of a defender.

    Also unless we get another LB Sagna will still be playing and could easily get injured. Also i dont think hes going to be a fourth choice player for any team. Also dont think hed want to stay if he werent getting picked often in the LB position.

    Leave him were he is, if there is a catastrophe in CBs injuries like our three main ones out, well then we can still have the benefit of Sagna. Also if he starts to decline at LB we have jenk and bell untill reaching the winter window.

  221. ferro says:

    Meant two R footers

  222. AFC says:

    Danny, good to see you liked the post. 🙂

    Regarding DM I think Capoue would be a better option than Benat. It is said that Wenger went for Capoue in January. It could just be a rumour but who knows. However as I have said before, any player we go for is likely to be off the radar/player who you and myself never thought we would see come to Arsenal. So with that in mind their is a possbility we could see none of these players come to Arsenal.

  223. AFC says:

    HH, RA told me yesterday about Amorebieta going to Fulham. 😉

    I have heard that Sagna really enjoyed playing CB and Wenger himself has said that Sagna will probably end his career as a RB so would be a good option going forward. I said yesterday that he would work best with Mertesacker but I said Vermaelen for my post because it seems that Wenger does not want to split Kos and Mertesacker who are doing really well together.

    Do not forget that I also said in my post, how can we be sure Amorebieta will come to Arsenal. 😉

  224. AFC says:

    ferro, thanks for commenting.

    There is a video of Sagna against Sunderland which shows you do not need height to be a good defender. Sagna makes up for it with his agility, positioning etc.

    Jenkinson could be our no, 1 RB with Sagna coming in for the more important matches i.e Champions League matches. But as I have said in my post, another RB could also be brought in. For instance Caceres from Juventus could be a good option for RB.

  225. VCC says:

    AFC….With Jenkinson waiting in the wings, I don’t see the need to bring in another right back (Caceres)

    He played extremely well when called upon last season. He is an athlete and one of our better crossers of a ball.

    I still think it’s worth a try with Sagna as a DM. This would free up money for other positions that need strengthening.

    Your post has proved quality, with the responses you have received, well done.

  226. AFC says:

    VCC, Caceres would be like Monreal. He would not be there to replace Jenkinson but he would be there to allow suitable rotation between the RB position although a new RB would not have to be brought. Sagna could slot back into to RB for the more important matches if needed.

    I think Wenger will never play Sagna at DM. Just like people have been calling for Gibbs to also be played at DM. Sagna is not real a midfielder so I do not know if Wenger think he technical attributes needed for DM. Wenger has said Sagna is likely to end his career as a CB. He certainly has the physical attributes for it though.

  227. AFC says:

    JM, thanks for commenting.

    I though Roiscky started on the RW for one of our matches in a free role. That is how MoTD showed it on their line-up. I could be wrong and maybe Santi or Gervinho have played RW for us with Rosicky in the middle.

    It is very hard to find a DM who play at the highest level. It is even harder to find a DM who can also play CB at the highest level. Capoue plays CB sometimes. Burt that is in the French League. The PL is a much more demanding league. I think there are very few DMs who could play CB for us at the highest level.

  228. AFC says:

    TFG, the only way I can see Sagna leaving is if Arsenal do not offer him a suitable contract. He wantsa contract longer than two years but I think Arsenal will soon give it to him. I am sure you do not want Sagna to leave and neither do, so I hope Sagna and Arsenal can come to some sort of an agreement.

  229. oz gunner says:

    @ Old man winter

    The free up money option would go a whole lot better if we used Coquelin in that position as opposed to moving Sagna into midfield (a position he’d offer very little going forward)

  230. Gerry says:

    Redders – No need to cross toes or fingers tonight .. Just a quick blast of One OK Rock does it for me. I played it at half time last game Rosicky played, and he scored within a few minutes!

    I see the Young guns have picked up the same habits … went 2-nil up, then 2-1, centre back sent off, 2-2 with 23 minutes to play. Hold out until the 90th minute, then grab a late winner. I followed the tweets, and it seems MOTM was the versatile Nicco Yennaris, who was already running the show in midfield, did a Sagna and filled in as CB

    Which brings me neatly to your stubborn views of yesterday …

    The trouble with you accountants, you like the world to be run on a spreadsheet. The world of football is not just any business. It is an ‘Entertainment Business’. That means a short shelf life for players, and for some a very profitable one. However, they are also in the public eye, not in some back room shuffling numbers around until they show a profit. Even the humblest club has it supporters who look to players with great affection, and hopefully, good role models for their children.

    Bacary Sagna is one such perfect example. So perfect he could not manage to do a proper job on the twat Bradley – who, let’s not forget, was the guy who stood on his leg and broke it for the second time – correction from yesterday whoever said it, it was the SAME leg that had been broken before, (off the pitch, by Zabaleta), because he trod on the plate that was holding it all together – The said twat was niggling at him all game, but as Bacs is not Roy Keane, he is still able to play in their next game … and whilst we will ‘enjoy our 3rd spot’, I hope he enjoys life in the championship! Ta Da

    So having established the difference between football and other business. Which btw, the club make a profit on shirt sales, etc by having such ‘role models’, let’s not forget. I will move on to the next point.

    You say buy a person who is a specialist at CB. Fine, except good CB’s say, like Hummel’s would expect first team play, not to be back up? Indeed, fans would expect first team play if the club spent £20m on him …. Where does that leave Kos, Per and Verm? Each of them will be looking at their prospects, and their international position without regular games? So the likelyhood is you have to buy a lesser experience guy as back up should either leave? If you buy that type of player in the first place, and don’t pay the ‘EPL’ premium, then you have to get him acclimatised?

    The beauty of having Sagna on the pitch, a la Sunderland, he can slot in, the same way Song did, without having to wait until you get your sub on? And more importantly he knows what to expect?

    My suggestion to try him as a DM this season is partly to see how well it works so should we get a ‘beast’ in the TW, or any DM for that matter. As we could then find we have a decent back up for that position, or indeed, in some tricky game as an extra ‘strong’ support to the other DM?

    This is not ‘make do and mend’ as you put it yesterday. It is being ready to be more proactive should the situation require it. ‘Make do’ would be keeping who we have. Mending would be wasting( a fit) Jack’s talent filling in?

    That is the alternative view to change your mind …ha ha

  231. Gerry says:

    HH – The new you won’t last. For somebody who denies getting emotional in his comments, you use that very emotive word ‘hate’ an awful lot?

    When you are calm and rational, you do, rightly, differentiate between hating the style of play, to hating the person. Unless you have had dealings with the individual then you cannot ‘know’ him? So I do hope the pearls of wisdom do aid you in this respect?

    And here is your first test …. Take a deep breath, calmly think about what you are going to say in reply …

    Only winding you up HH ,ha ha

  232. Gerry says:

    AFC – Who else said Gibbs for DM? I demand to know. I thought I was alone with my observations … Perhaps it is the beginning of a following and together we can change AW into an adventurous, try anything, manager …

    Where was I, oh yes, out with the dogs ..

    Enjoy One OK Rock before the match …

  233. VCC says:

    AFC…..why spend good money on Caceres when you already have Jenkinson, and Sagna as back up, AND Belleriin waiting in the wings?

    Oz……I’m not against your idea either. Use Coquelin by all means. This also, would free up money for CF + AW.

    I’m just saying give Sagna a try at DM. He has the physique and power for this position (ala Song?) This would have beneficial affects on Jenks and Bellerin. ..No?

  234. oz gunner says:

    @ Gerry

    I agree, I’m not fooled by this new sun-induced HH. He’s clearly suffering from heat stroke.
    He’ll be back to hating players, me, and anyone who disagrees with him 🙂

  235. oz gunner says:

    You’re a wise old head VCC. You make some good points…for a gymnast. Yes it’d be beneficial for Hector and jenks but not so much for frimpong, coquelin, yennaris and aneke

  236. VCC says:

    Oz………now stop all this chatting and get busy on a pre match. We have missed your inout these past weeks.

    We have Highbury Harmony doing a great job with after match reports, now we need you to get back in the groove….Sorted….Now, run along and get busy. You have 3 hours should you choose to accept this assignment. 😉

  237. AFC says:

    VCC, Wenger may feel that Bellerin is not ready. He has no PL experience and he could be put on loan. Just my view.

    Gerry, you are the only person who has suggested Gibbs for DM. I was referring to you only in my comment.

  238. TotalArsenal says:

    New POST NEW post! 🙂

    HH, wow, I am very impressed with you buddy! Letting in a little doubt and humbleness is a sign of a man who will make a lot of progress in his life. Sounds like you had a great day and I reckon this one will stay with you for a long time! 🙂

  239. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    AFC.. good post.. But I don’t agree with you..
    I don’t want Sagna to play CB.. If he stay next season then he will remain our RB..
    No way will Wenger put 2 youngster in the same position.. Jenkinson and Bellerin..
    He maybe good at CB but he may only there for substitute our CB if they all are not in their best performance.. And unless We buy a new RB.. then Sagna must stay at his best.. RB..

    About TW players.. We will never know who will sign untill Wenger bring them to Emirates..
    And I don’t surprise if Amorebieta now link to Fulham.. cause like usuall.. Most player who link to us didn’t really come.. And Wenger will do that again in this summer TW.. hehehehe..
    In Indonesian we used to say.. Only He himself and GOD knows.. hahahaha..

    For DM.. I don’t really like a clasical DM.. I want a attacking DM..
    Strootman and Clasie (holland) will be a good sign.. but I just feel that they will not come.. I like Yann Mvila.. also.. hehehe..
    Yes.. I know.. you will disagree with me about him.. hehehe..
    I don’t know why Rubin Kazan buy him for 9,6 million.. and let him freeze and never playing him.. I just wonder if he playing with Natcho is DM position.. then maybe Chelsea will not survive in Euro league.. hehehehe..
    I hope Rubin sell him cheap.. 6 million will be a very good price for us..

    Podolski for Centre Striker/Forward.. Why not..??
    He is the only Striker who never been place as a CF.. hahaha..
    Walcott, Gervinho and Giroud was there.. now maybe his turn is come..
    Maybe he will be good at that position.. and will surprise us.. and (hope) Everton tonight.. hehehe.. So if he succeed with his new position.. then maybe we will not need Jovetic.. hahaha..

    Let’s forget about TW.. let’s focus to our last 6 games..Begin tonight with Everton..
    If we bring such a spirit that we show last game.. then no one will beat us down.. not even MU or City..

    Go Gunners..

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