What if Arsenal bought no one in the next 4 years?

So, here’s an interesting scenario: what if the Premier League added a new rule to their rule book, and that rule disallowed any transfers of any kind?

 All players had to be homegrown. This would remove the problem of big spending clubs buying all the talent, and it would remove the Torture Window entirely!

Now, obviously this will never happen, but it’s a good question to ask in order to evaluate the quality of your squad’s current youth players. So how would Arsenal fare in this environment? Let’s take a look at Arsenal in four years’ time, with no ins or outs. Based on potential and our current players, I’d guess our starting line-up would look something like this:

starting Dylan

Right away some people are probably asking where Mertesacker has gone. In four years Per will be 32. Many centre backs are able to play at least a few years into their 30s, however, Per isn’t the quickest or most mobile of players. I’d guess that in four years he’ll be too slow to be able to play effectively.

Others may ask where Santi is. In four years Santi will also be 32. In past years Arsenal haven’t made a habit of keeping players for very long over the age of 30. Arsenal are even offering Sagna, who is one of the best right backs in the world, only one more year on his contract because he is already 30. So I’m going to assume Santi will not still be around at 32, but it is entirely possible.

One final bit of confusion may be the position that I see Ox playing in in four years’ time. He is in the position Ramsey plays in our line-up currently. Ox played this position, and played it very well, on the final day of last season at Newcastle. Many think Ox will be groomed for the CAM position, but with the talent of Eisfeld, Olsson, and Zelalem coming up in that spot, I believe Wenger will groom Ox for a position slightly farther back in our formation, to allow these three youth players to take their spot in our squad.

I think the rest of the line-up is fairly obvious. Giroud will only be 30, but like Per, isn’t very mobile now and likely won’t become much more mobile at age 30. And following the over 30 rule, Gervinho and Poldi may not be there either. So I accounted for a team without those players, even though it’s possible they still will be part of the first team.

However, these 11 players alone are not a full squad. A full squad almost always has a full backup 11. So here’s what I imagine our backups will look like:

backup Dylan

I will quickly address the blanks in the formation. The blanks are positions I feel that we don’t have any youth players for good enough to fill in the future; meaning we need to buy youth players in those positions to back up our current players. The was kind of proven by Aneke playing CB in our latest friendly, but to be fair, we have plenty of torture windows to fill these spots in the next four years.

The only questionable spot in this line-up (in my eyes) is Joel Campbell at striker. However, I’ve heard he’s better in a striker position than on the wing, and seeing that Akpom will still only be 21 at this time, I’m going to guess Campbell would take this spot.

Overall, I’m going to say that Arsenal would have a fairly strong squad if the Torture Windows were removed entirely, maybe a little light in defense but not bad. Of course it’s highly unlikely that Arsenal won’t have any ins or outs over the next four years (*insert joke about Arsenal’s lack of spending here*), but it’s nice to look at how bright the future is even without the likes of Higuain, Suarez, Fellaini, or anyone coming in.

For now I’ll leave you with some questions:

  1. What would your Starting-11 and Bench look like in 4 years with no transfers?
  2. Do you think Arsenal will reverse their policy on over 30 year olds not getting extended stays at the club?
  3. Do you think Zelalem will follow in Jack’s/Cesc’s footsteps? (Meaning making a few senior appearances this year, at age 16. Then taking a regular first team spot at 18 and becoming the center of our team around age 20.)

Thank you all for reading my maiden post. Especially thanks to 17HT, TA, and JB for encouraging me to write a post. And double thanks to TA for suggesting what I should write about (even if I changed it a little). 😀

I look forward to hearing feedback on my first post, so I can improve on my posts in the future. Cheers! 🙂

Written by: Dylan.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

125 Responses to What if Arsenal bought no one in the next 4 years?

  1. Paul Roantree-Cooper says:

    Great Post…..If this did happen,I think we would have great chance of winning something. It would take the money bag clubs out the equation & really on coaching these young players which AW is the master.

  2. davydavy says:

    Nice one Dylan – that first XI reminds me a bit of Wenger’s first great team, with an experienced back five and a whole host of exciting attacking options up front with both pace and skill. Looking at it, I would be quite happy if there was a freeze on transfers for four years!

    Don’t forget Monreal for your second XI too. That other gap reminds me that we don’t have a commanding young centre back in the offing.

  3. melbury red says:

    no way gnarby is gunner be on the bench in 4 years……top site by the way

  4. Ollie says:

    I think Ramsey would be in the starting line up in this hypothetical world, by then I truly believe Ramsey would be one of the best midfielders in the world and second in command to Jack. Ramsey would be next to Zelalem for me with Ox in the false 11 position instead of Ryo. Zelalem will be awesome, he looks so composed on the ball but in 4 years time he will only be 20. Therefore I think early on in his career he will play deeper by at which point I think Jack will be captain and one of if not the best AM in the world. Looks a pretty decent team to me!

  5. Mike10014 says:

    Know i’m late to the party here – but A) great post B) having been sucked in to all things arsenal the past few years, and getting a good lay of the land by checking newsnowarsenal once an hour – this is the best gunners blog i’ve seen.

    most of the posts are pretty thoughful – which unfortunately, really sets you all apart. keep up the good work.

    Re: this post – thought Gnarby looked great (against the indonesian mechanics), had a lot of confidence over the ball leading up to theo’s first goal. always thought he’d slide towards the middle and end up on top…

  6. Fred says:

    Hi guys, I have to say that with our youth squad as it is (with a weakness in defence) I would revert to using 3 defenders:
    ………………………………Scz
    ………………Jenkinson…..Miquel…..Gibbs
    ……………………………….Aneke/Ramsey
    ………………..Toral/Bellerin……………Wilshere
    Gnabry……………………………………………………Ryo/Ox
    ……………………………………Ox/Zelalem
    ………………………………….Campbell

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Very fine maiden post, Dylan.

    The scenario you painted would be brilliant for Arsenal, especially if we can hold on to Wenger during the same period. Growing a team bottom upwards is what Wenger is great at, but it is key to hold on to the very best players in order to win silverware again.

  8. Fred says:

    Just realised I forgot the bench.

    Martinez, Eisfeld, Sanogo, Monreal, Akpom, Olsson and of course Rosicky.

  9. Wengerball says:

    Decent forward looking post Daylan.

    Having seen the great burst that the Ox has, I strongly feel he eventually will be given a CAM role or a winger who cuts back inside as he can both score and create opportunities near the box. All he needs to thrive in that role is to press well high up when he doesn’t have ball possession. Gedion Zelalem will drop in the CM role and thrive there fabulously with his composed cool ball possessing and pass splitting vision alongside Ramsey who for me has so far given me the best taste of technical ability in the Asia tour with his lovely skill against Indonesian XI and I believe he’s certainly keeping a cool head and letting his great contribution to the team do the quiet talking. Also in 4 years time, our MVP I believe will be Dan Crowley… and that fellow Gooners you had it hear fast. Google him please as we’ve already signed him up and he played against Sutton United last week for the AFC academy…

  10. Glic says:

    Smashing debut post Dylan along the fantasy lines of something I think we all like….bringing through a host of quality youngsters !. So it deserves a response.

    1) First Team + bench :

    Szczesny

    Bellerin
    Jenkinson
    Koz
    Gibbs

    Ramsey
    Ox

    Wilshere

    Walcott
    Akpom
    Gnabry

    Bench:

    Martinez
    Miquel
    Verm
    Zelalem
    Campbell
    Ryo
    Crowley
    Aneke

    2) I hope so, as long as a player is fit and still has class then give them more than a year, there are some fine examples out there ! : Lampard, Stevie G, Giggs, Scholes, players who have made a difference and won trophy`s, take heed Arsene !.

    3) He`s so young but looks class, maybe a similar route as Jack and going out on loan .

  11. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Nice introduction well done. What a good conception to discuss and think.

    1)
    Scsz
    Jenko Kos Verm Gibbs

    Wilshere Rambo
    Santi
    Oxo Theo Ryo

    If santi didn’t like d 1 yr extension then oxo for santi n Gnabry on d right.
    Subs;
    Martinez
    miquel
    Yennaris
    Coq
    Zelalem
    Frimpong
    Eisfield
    Campbell
    Sanogo

    Bench size will increase by then!

    2)
    In 4 years who knows what will change with policy depends who is running/managing the club. If it stays d same so will d policy.

    3)
    Only in league cup not premier league unless plague hits arsenal n wipes out most of d seniors. Or we mistakingly eat d wrong lasagna

  12. Chuba Akpom will be a superstar within the next 3 years. For a 17 year old his movement and upper body strength is exceptional.Give him some Carling Cup games.We have several great prospects and we must hang onto them and give them opportunities to show what they can do, but this lad Chuba will be special

  13. Oluwaseun says:

    Yea, i think we have a gud youth system at Arsenal. If they can step up, they wil fit in wel. Nice post 4rm U.

  14. Glic says:

    Just a taster :

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Dylan 🙂

    Hope you are able to respond to the comments at some point in the next 20 hours or so.

    Before I hit the pillow, here is my top-eleven in four years time (per your scenario):

    Szczesny

    Jenkinson – Koz – Miquel – Gibbs/Nacho
    —————– Vermaelen——————
    ———-Eisfeld———–Jack————–
    Gnabry———–Theo————The Ox

    Night all. 🙂

  16. Funminiyi says:

    Dylan, that’s impressive!
    I’m also looking forward to joining you lots someday. As much as I’d love to admit, TW is here to stay and no matter how stingy and penny-pinching worse Wenger can get, nobody is gonna scrap TW for us. I quite like your line up but I’m not sure if Ramsey will still be around then reasons being that this club will become more ambitious the moment Arsene decides to call-it a day.

  17. Dylan says:

    Paul Roantree-Cooper, I agree. Wenger’s specialty is molding young players into very special players. This scenario would definitely give Arsenal a major chance at trophies, especially over time. 🙂 A quick side note: Crowley and Raage have been left out of this, as I have not seen them play yet and have only read one match review. Another note, Monreal was left out by me due to his age in four years and Arsenal’s policy of not keeping over 30 year olds.

  18. Dylan says:

    davydavy, thank you for the compliment. 🙂 I agree, a transfer freeze would probably help Arsenal more than most other clubs, purely due to our policy of making our youths into players we can use in the future. Wenger is a very skilled coach and we all need to remember this. He may not go out and spend big money and we may all joke about how he buys young, but his coaching skills make the risk worth it. Remember Cesc? Wenger convinced Barca to sell him and then turned him into one of the best midfielders in the world. That’s a good manager. We would all do well to remember that. 🙂

  19. Dylan says:

    melbury red, it’s possible Gnabry would take Ryo’s spot, but I know that Wenger holds Ryo in very high regard. It’s likely they’d rotate very very often. 🙂

  20. Dylan says:

    Ollie, that’s another highly possible formation. I just assumed that Wenger will continue turning Ox into a midfielder. If he leaves Ox at winger though, I completely agree with you. 🙂

  21. Dylan says:

    Mike10014, thank you. 🙂 That’s an interesting thought, having Gnabry as a striker. It’s something I didn’t consider. I guess we’ll have to watch that in the next few years and see if he moves to striker. 🙂

  22. Dylan says:

    Fred, interesting thought, reverting to 3 backs. However, I don’t feel that Miquel will ever be a strong enough defender to be a lone centre back. In my opinion that takes a very special player. But it’s entirely possible that he shocks us all and becomes world class. 🙂

  23. Dylan says:

    Thank you TA. And all agreed. 😀

  24. Dylan says:

    Thank you Wengerball. 🙂 I agree that Ox could thrive in either a CAM or cutting inside winger role (similar to Santi). And as for Crowley, I’ve heard good things, but I left him out purely because I haven’t seen him at all yet and have only read one match review. 🙂

  25. Dylan says:

    Thank you for the very nice compliment Glic. 🙂 Intersting choice having Jenks at CB. I could see that conversion. Especially with the very talented Bellerin coming through at RB and many of our CB being around the same age and all leaving around the same time. His right foot would also compliment Miquel’s left foot. Good thoughts. 🙂

  26. Dylan says:

    Gooner4eva49, finally the first person to move Theo to striker. 🙂 I considered moving Theo to striker, but I think Wenger will continue to shut him out and put him on the wing. It’s highly possible that he moves to the middle though. 🙂

  27. Dylan says:

    Ian Hawthorne, I had previously thought that Chuba would be that good, and still think he could be. But he let me down a little in that last friendly. He didn’t seem to be working very hard running wise and just disappointed me. That said, he’s 17 and it’s the first game if preseason so it’s probably nothing and he’ll still be amazing. 🙂

  28. Dylan says:

    Oluwaseun, agreed. Thank you for the comment. 🙂

  29. Dylan says:

    @TA’s formation, another Theo at striker. 😉 As stated previously, it’s entirely possible! Interesting to have Verm at DM though. It could happen, but I doubt it. I think Verm will stay at CB despite me having read many times on blogs that people are asking for him to play DM.

  30. Dylan says:

    Funminiyi, thank you! 🙂 I agree, the TW is going nowhere. But it just shows how much of a true football club Arsenal are as compared to clubs like Man City and Real Madrid who just spend spend spend on built up talent when they need a new player, and don’t really work to develop players like we do. It’s a bright side many Arsenal fans should look on. 🙂 However, I disagree about Ramsey. I think he’ll come good as an Arteta-like player (someone who keeps the ball with smart, simple passes). And he’s part of our British core. However, a new manager would mean new thoughts and a new vision for the future. So who knows.

  31. Dylan says:

    @All. Thank you for the kind words on my maiden post. 🙂 I’ve seen a lot of new faces on this post today. Or at least, some that I personally haven’t seen before. I hope more new faces are attracted by this post and I hope more bring their constructive thoughts. 🙂 Based on the positive response to my first post, I hope to start writing a decent amount of posts for this site and keep improving my writing and knowledge of football. Cheers, guys and girls. 😀

  32. Wengerball says:

    Much appreciated Dylan to see you have a Thank you respond to those who read and responded to you post. You surely are energetic… Hope the Gunners take a lead from you for the upcoming season.

    I agree with you on Sanogo leading our line in future. From what I’ve seen from U20 world cup, he’s composed in front of goal, can score goals, brings his team mates into play upfront and has a cool great attitude… sheer class. I think for one of your second team up for grabs center backs position, Chucks Aneke could eventually provide competition to Miguel as he played there with Miguel moving to left back after Gibbs came of hence he could eventually play as a CM and drop to a CB if need be the same way Song used to do… and as Wenger observed, he played Aneke as a CB as he has a good physical presence.
    Great refreshing post indeed Dylan.

  33. Dylan says:

    Wengerball, I agree with you about Sanogo 100%. And I would like to comment on Aneke, but I don’t know much about him. Maybe him playing CB in that friendly is the start of a position conversion for him. I guess we’ll see.

  34. Milo says:

    We have Isaac Hayden in the youth ranks, who will be able to fill one or two positions, those being centre-back or defensive midfield!!! Don’t forget about him!!! 😀

  35. Dylan says:

    Haha thank you Milo! I figured there had to be more CBs in the youth ranks, but I could not for the life of me figure out who. I believe I’ve heard his name, but I don’t know much about him. Does he have good potential? 🙂

  36. VCC says:

    nice maiden post Dylan. Interesting subject, and as you say will never happen. On recent viewing of the recent NextGen series I take Aston Villa just above Chelsea with Arsenal coming in at third.

    Chelsea have two fine young midfielders, one was their captain.. Their names escape me at the moment but imo they are better than Zalalem..

  37. Milo says:

    Hayden has very good potential, Dylan. He is very composed on the ball, is technically proficient, and is a very good leader on the pitch. I ,for one, hope he develops in to a centre-back, as we need him more in that position, and I think he will play the majority of his matches at that position this season. With Pleguezuelo arriving he will either partner him in defense, or be utilized in midfield. I think it is more likely that he will play as a defender though.

  38. OzGoonerGuy says:

    Unfortunately, if AW and the Board don’t make more investment in the squad, then guys like Jack, Theo and others will leave to pursue greater prospects for trophies. And they will be hounded by the better clubs.

    The best protection against this is for AW and the Board to reinvest the funds they’re hoarding from Nasri, Cesc and RVP and to win something. An upward trend for the club will start from their – winning mentatlity, attracting better players, winning more etc.

  39. Gooner4eva49 says:

    TA I’m pleased to see you have verm as DM. Very clever

  40. mA says:

    thank you and thank you once more for your creative, imaginative and wishful thinking.

    As many have already commented, the scenario would give Arsenal a cutting edge. Zelalem, Eisfeld, Bellerin, Aneke and Gnabry will certainly be there if they are not lured away by money, first-team opportunities,urge to play in home countries, friends, greedy agents and others.

    This is why i would like Wenger to give them more playing time in Carling Cup and over the next year. In the PL they can be named on the bench on few occasions for them to realize that they are progressing in the right path. Moreover, giving them 1-10 minutes in the PL would boost their morale and possibly make them work harder in training. Of course there is an assumption that Wenger will be around by that time.

  41. Gerry says:

    Dylan – You have done fantastic in your maiden post, and as TA will know, what pleases me more is that I was so right to duck out of this theme because you have captured what I may have thought, and then some. Brilliant.

    To the person above who says he found this site the best around, I think there is a reason? Writers on here do not get paid for writing. They do because they have a passion for Arsenal FC, and want to share their thoughtful insights. This post is a gem from one so young – so young, even glic kept his response to footballing matters ha ha – so the future of the BK is in safe hands.

    Dylan – I will answer your questions in reverse order if i may.

    3,- Yes, Zelalem will make an impact at a young age, with two provisos; If referees protect players more from the cruder/dangerous tackles; If the club handle him more the way Ox has been brought along, and not the Wilshere route i.e too much too soon.
    But as this is a fantasy blog, perhaps we can take that as given?

    2,- Again yes. The idea of a blanket call on over 30’s, is I think, somewhat over played. It stems from when the club had a priority to make commercial decisions, and whilst that mentality may still linger for a while, the club have found it harder to compete in getting younger replacements in to compensate, and they are now in a stronger financial position to be able to retain players for both their playing ability but also for their ‘experience’. The Man u trio of Beckham, Giggs, and Scholes are testament to that? Bacary Sagna will be the player that puts this idea to bed.
    Anybody who read/heard the interview that Carl Jenkinson gave last week will know that not only was Sagna the player he wants to replace, but is a player and person he holds in the very highest regard. As a personal friend on and off the field, as a mentor/coach on the training ground, and therefore with his experience passed on has helped Carl to be a better player. The club would do well to hold him in equally high regard.

    3,- My starting 11 in four years time? Mnnn? I will just highlight the differences.

    Defence – Kos Verm ? No way, it does not work now, I cannot see that changing. Milo is right on Hayden. He should just becoming to his peak at this point, and could replace either(assuming both are still around of course?.

    Midfield – Wilshere the holding DM, or double pivot with the Ox. Oh no, not for me. If we have lost Yennaris by this time I will be disappointed, However, in a fantasy world we could see what an injury free year does for Frimpong, or whether Coquelin makes a successful return? Any two of those three would be preferable in this role if they are up to that level by then?

    Attack – I think Theo will be playing second fiddle to probably the best winger we are likely to have seen in the previous 15 years – legendary Dutchman included!.
    I refer to Bellerin. Once they stop pratting around with him at RB and realise he has skills that are best served higher up the pitch,
    On the other side, I am not sure that Ryo will be here even after this TW, but if he comes good during the pre-season,so much the better, if not The Ox may find this spot is easier to hold on to?

    Playing in a 4-4-1-1 formation, I would see the following as our key team, but with missing names rotating well enough.

    Szcz
    Jenks – Boateng – Kos/TV5 – Gibbs
    Bellerin -Hayden – Zelalem -Ox
    Gnabry
    Sanogo

    The front two could be switched behind Akpom( for the Stoke type games?), or have Eisfeld in just behind any of the three.
    Likewise in midfield. Zelalem, Ox, Eisfeld and Toral will all be strong contenders for AM’s
    By having Hayden able to do the DM job solo, it opens up the attacking strength?

    Just a few alternatives …

  42. Gerry says:

    Dylan – You have done fantastic in your maiden post, and as TA will know, what pleases me more is that I was so right to duck out of this theme because you have captured what I may have thought … and then some. Brilliant.

    To the person above who says he found this site the best around, I think there is a reason? Writers on here do not get paid for writing. They do because they have a passion for Arsenal FC, and want to share their thoughtful insights. This post is a gem from one so young – so young, even glic kept his response to footballing matters ha ha – so the future of the BK is in safe hands.

    Dylan – I will answer your questions in reverse order if I may.

    3,- Yes, Zelalem will make an impact at a young age, with two provisos; If referees protect players more from the cruder/dangerous tackles; If the club handle him more the way Ox has been brought along, and not the Wilshere route i.e too much too soon.
    But as this is a fantasy blog, perhaps we can take that as given?

    2,- Again yes. The idea of a blanket call on over 30’s, is I think, somewhat over played. It stems from when the club had a priority to make commercial decisions, and whilst that mentality may still linger for a while, the club have found it harder to compete in getting younger replacements in to compensate, and they are now in a stronger financial position to be able to retain players for both their playing ability but also for their ‘experience’. The Man u trio of Beckham, Giggs, and Scholes are testament to that? Bacary Sagna will be the player that puts this idea to bed.
    Anybody who read/heard the interview that Carl Jenkinson gave last week will know that not only was Sagna the player he wants to replace, but is a player and person he holds in the very highest regard. As a personal friend on and off the field, as a mentor/coach on the training ground, and therefore with his experience passed on has helped Carl to be a better pplayer. The club would do well to hold him in equally high regard.

    3,- My starting 11 in four years time? Mnnn? I will just highlight the differences.

    Defence – Kos Verm ? No way, it does not work now, I cannot see that changing. Milo is right on Hayden. He should just becoming to his peak at this point, and could replace either(assuming both are still around of course?.

    Midfield – Wilshere the holding DM, or double pivot with the Ox. Oh no, not for me. If we have lost Yennaris by this time I will be disappointed, However, in a fantasy world we could see what an injury free year does for Frimpong, or whether Coquelin makes a successful return? Any two of those three would be preferable in this role if they are up to that level by then?

    Attack – I think Theo will be playing second fiddle to probably the best winger we are likely to have seen in the previous 15 years – legendary Dutchman included!.
    I refer to Bellerin. Once they stop pratting around with him at RB and realise he has skills that are best served higher up the pitch,
    On the other side, I am not sure that Ryo will be here even after this TW, but if he comes good during the pre-season,so much the better, if not The Ox may find this spot is easier to hold on to?

    Playing in a 4-4-1-1 formation, I would see the following as our key team, but with missing names rotating well enough.

    Szcz
    Jenks – Boateng – Kos – Gibbs
    Bellerin -Hayden – Zelalem -Ox
    Gnabry
    Sanogo

    The front two could be switched behind Akpom( for the Stoke type games?), and have Eisfeld in just behind any of the three.
    Likewise in midfield. Zelalem, Ox, Eisfeld and Toral will all be strong contenders for AM’s
    By having Hayden able to do the DM job solo, it opens up the attacking strength?

    Just a few alternatives …

  43. Gerry says:

    mA – Yes, and key to giving them more playing time now will be our new signings. If we can be in comfortable winning positions then they can come off the bench and gradually get up to the level to start games.
    Far from stifling their ambitions, new players will help them grow?

  44. Glic says:

    Morning Arse Bandildos 😆

    Remember, our leader is in London today so everyone be on their best behaviour whilst he is away !………………………Right, who`s up for a Lesbian Gooner judging contest ?. hahaha

  45. VCC says:

    Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  46. Ehn says:

    Well great insight which is entirely base on assumption looking @ the # of prospects that have failed to make it and eventually released.

  47. Red Arse says:

    Dylan,

    There have been so many great Posts written for BK that it is easy to become blasé about it, but both the unusual subject matter and the undoubted writing skill with which you presented your maiden Post puts you right up there with all the other great writers, and has me reaching for superlatives — but not to worry, I will refrain from my penchant for hyperbole which is totally unnecessary in your case!!

    I loved it — Well done!! 😀

  48. Dylan says:

    Thank you VCC. 🙂 I only saw one Next Gen game so I don’t know much about other teams youngsters. 🙂

  49. Dylan says:

    Thank you for the info Milo. 🙂

  50. Dylan says:

    OzGoonerGuy, agreed. We need to keep improving and attracting better players. Which I think we are starting to do. 🙂

  51. Dylan says:

    Agreed, mA. I’m not worried though. Wenger is usually very good about giving our youngsters chances. 🙂

  52. Dylan says:

    Very interesting Gerry. 🙂 Especially the part about moving Bellerin higher up the field to a winger position. Do you really think Wenger would do that? 🙂

  53. Dylan says:

    Ehn, it’s true many have been released, but the majority of the players called up in this line-up are the ones with very good potential. However, it’s entirely possible that they flop and don’t become as good as we hope. We’ll find out. 🙂

  54. Dylan says:

    Thank you very very much RA. 😀

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey boys, anybody watching the match in Vietnam? Giroud already on the board (first time strike from Rosicky but keeper might’ve done better)…

    Great job with the first post Dylan! As speculative posts go I prefer this sort to Marcus’ (which was also a finely written one, as always)…This group of players actually could (italics) play for Arsenal… 😉

    In truth I’d rather stick to what we see on the pitch rather than all the more dreamy ideas and I find all the TW news depressing in the extreme right now… The original title of my post last week was Suarez, Rooney, WTF? What message is Arsenal trying to send?… I guess they’re happy to let the press run wild while we, the supporters, twist in the wind…

    As for the match today…this group has hardly started playing to be honest. Sagna at CB is probably the most interesting element… We’ve really gotten nothing going in terms of a possession game and it’s all long balls and one touches forward with nothing but hope. I was gonna say something positive about Giroud but he’s done nothing since the goal and Poldolski has spurned our best additional chances, acting a goof in the box….Maybe this is why some are keen to get the rejects from up north, you know the racist, biter, cheater guy and the wing-eared, whoring, lager-chugging fellow…

    Not me, of course, and it’s all the more depressing that the latest news out of Madrid is that Santi has agreed terms with Atletico…

    Anybody remember Alfred E. Neumann? (What–Me worry?)…With Gervinho on his way out, maybe I need to change my avatar…

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    GIROUD!!… (his 2nd, wide open but with perfect technique and placement…)

    This is the guy we’re gonna put on the shadow squad?…

  57. Dylan says:

    I’m watching 17HT. I missed Giroud’s first but just saw his second (ironically right after reading you saying he’s done nothing and agreeing with you). 😉 Oop. And now Giroud has a hattrick. Beautiful. 🙂 Don’t believe the Santi nonsense. And thank you for the compliment. 🙂

  58. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hat trick for the big guy…From Ox with a nice surge down the middle. Defense looking iffy as usual but unpunished by this opponent…

  59. Dylan says:

    Sagna looks good at CB in my opinion. He’s had some very sharp, smart tackles and looks much more fit than Kos.

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Dylan, keep up the writing. I’m. always curious what people think of the kids coming up…What are your latest thoughts about the transfer (torture? terror?) window?

    I know the Santi stuff is a joke and it shows just how ridiculous the “news” can be. Still, I would tend to believe that we are bidding on Suarez, which I cannot believe. The Guardian (usually reputable, but I’m starting to wonder…) is saying they’ll take Rooney for 10 million but United have to take Mata or David Luiz. It just gets wackier all the time!

    Anyhow, looking for some changes and maybe some midfielders who can pass the ball to each other….

  61. Red Arse says:

    It is clearly very hard going in the heat and humidity of Hanoi, but enjoyable to watch what is a training stint.

    Giro hat-trick very welcome and hopefully this is just a goal scoring start for him, prior to a successful season.

  62. Dylan says:

    17HT, My latest thoughts on the TW is how ridiculous it is that the press are saying we have no interest in bringing Cesc back so we’re not going to bid and we’re going to let United have him. Umm…no. 😉
    RA, I agree. Giroud looks like he’s improved his finishing drastically which could lead to a very good season indeed. He is a late bloomer after all. 🙂

  63. 17highburyterrace says:

    My stream (as always) has had some drop outs, so I just saw that very long shot Giroud tried in the HT highlights. Cheeky but not far off. He’s giving a strong accounting considering he (and Poldolski) are the guys likely to lose playing time if we “splash” the proverbial cash…

    Hey RA, Sagna at CB…Didn’t you tell us that it’d never happen (and, as I recall, I agreed…) I love the guy (and agree with Dylan about his fitness–what a pro!) and I hope we keep him. For me, as down as I’m feeling about the TW, he’d be my #1 LANS (“like a new signing”)…

  64. Dylan says:

    Agreed 17HT. We should do our best to keep Sagna. 🙂

  65. 17highburyterrace says:

    So are we gonna see young Jack? Did he (and Poldolski) solve their injury/fitness troubles with a few weeks off? They might be like new signings too!…

  66. Dylan says:

    I expect Jack will come on now if not within the first 15 minutes of the second half starting. Looks like Zelalem and Theo are on. I can’t see anyone else immediately.

  67. Dylan says:

    Chuba on, Ryo on, Rambo on, Per on, beautiful finish from Ox.

  68. 17highburyterrace says:

    What’s tough for me, this TW (compared to others) is that the one football page I really look to for solid info (The Guardian) has gone wonky. The blogs I check (Arseblog and 7amKickoff) are keeping it real but they’re very, very confused as well. It just seems so outrageous that we’re seriously in for Suarez…

    OX—too easy–from Theo… 4-nil

  69. Dylan says:

    Iggy is in as well. I think that’s all unless Szcz has been subbed.

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    Watching Akpom give the keeper a save it makes me thing that it’s a shame that Sanogo isn’t on the tour…Hopefully for the Emirates Cup matches…

  71. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nacho Mike (Ignacio Miquel) getting abused down the left…

  72. Dylan says:

    Sanogo will definitely feature in all the friendlies after this Asia tour. Wenger will want to see how he plays with the first team and if he’s ready to play a decent amount of games with the first team this season.

  73. Dylan says:

    Ohhhh beautiful curling finish from Akpom. 🙂

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    Much better from Akpom 5-nil…looked offside to me…Seems to like his right foot and placed the goal well…

  75. Dylan says:

    What a ball!!!! Zelalem! Amazing. Great communication from Ox and Chuba to square the ball and finish.

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    6 nil, a 2nd from Akpom…My stream had frozen and now I’ve got a pop-up… Ox to GZ to Akpom?

  77. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo first touch shows why we’re in for a CF?… Sagna blocks a shot at the other end…

  78. Dylan says:

    Chuba almost gets his hattrick.

  79. Dylan says:

    And now Jack comes on for Ox in the CAM role.

  80. Dylan says:

    Another incredible ball from Zelalem. Now Martinez, Eisfeld, Olsson, and curiously, Aneke at CB.

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ryo needs to find Jack on the overlap…I fear for him (Ryo) as he just got subbed…He needs to do well in his home country or he’ll be sold, I think…

    Theo, again, with all day long can’t get his touches right…

    More subs, Eisfeld and Olsson on

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    GZ’s got some quick feet…can he use his left?

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    NACHO MIKE!!!

    Eisfeld did all the work…Very nice…

  84. Dylan says:

    Iggy scores a CF’s goal from LB. 7-0.

  85. Dylan says:

    17HT, not sure if Zelalem can have his left. I’ll watch for that. I hope he can.

  86. 17highburyterrace says:

    Viet Nam!!!! On a goofy falling header…

    Still, our depth in defense (and keeper) might not be where it needs to be…

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    Dylan, since you’re in NY, you need to get over for some matches AND to continue your youth scouting efforts…:D It’s tougher for me here in CA…

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    Decent from Martinez on the FK! (Theo as poor this half as Lu-lu was in the 1st…)

  89. Dylan says:

    17HT, I wish I could go watch a live Arsenal match in person! 😉 Even just a U21 match or something would be cool. I will go eventually though. 🙂

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Raining cats and dogs now and Theo still can’t find the target…

  91. Admir says:

    Walcott couldn’t score a free-kick against a player on the goal. He should really leave that job to someone else. He has wasted them more than any other player I know.

  92. 17highburyterrace says:

    Shoot, I lost my stream… And I was hoping for more info on the Rosicky-Bra…

    Thanks for the chat, Dylan. You’ll get over there someday, just be careful if you take up the offers for “free” housing from some of the older regulars who post here…

    Final comments?

  93. Dylan says:

    I don’t want to say too much because I’m unsure of who’s writing a match report for tonight. Overall, Zelalem impressed me again and Akpom redeemed himself in my eyes. As well as good performances from Giroud and Sagna. Anyone know who’s writing a match report for tonight?

  94. 17highburyterrace says:

    Obviously, Dylan, you should write it…

  95. James Bond says:

    Dylan came, Dylan wrote, Dylan Delivered and Dylan rocked !

    Congratulations on a splendid maiden post, well done and keep them coming whenever you can !

    Akpom i reckon can be a solid option and perhaps be rotated with sanogo up front…can’t disagree or better any of your predicted 11’s bench or the comments up above, so i’ll leave it at that however, i do see a role and future for Nico Yennaris at arsenal.

    he is Arsenal and in the same bracket as JW / Jenko when it comes to arsenal and sharing the passion.

  96. James Bond says:

    and this is how you get your players, first you make public statements by sayign ” it won’t be good for England if Rooney is 2nd choice at man utd” and then you make bids (chelsea)…

    so it appears , Rooney might be on his way to Chelsea sooner rather than later which only means he is no longer a realistic target for us as Wenger doesn’t like to get into a bidding war whenever Chelsea get in , sad yet true

    Roll on suarez , ha ha

  97. Dylan says:

    17HT, I could write it. But I believe TA asked if Milo or you wanted to write it. If either of you want to, go right ahead. But if no one wants to I could do it. 🙂 And thank you JB. 🙂

  98. Dylan says:

    As for the Rooney thing, with Rooney in surely it’s Torres or Mata out, right? (Seeing as Rooney will either replace Torres at striker or Mata at the number 10 spot).

  99. James Bond says:

    both Mata and David L might be on their way out.

    United need Mata i reckon and they won’t mind letting Rooney go if they get Mata i reckon…David L will most likely go to Barca (after they let Cesc go )…

    so if it’s between Rooney and Suarez for Arsenal, i will go for Suarez (i know, most of you will be shocked)…

    well here is the reason behind that, although Suarez might cost 40 million and rooney may cost 25-30 million,

    in the long term, Suarez costs us less money and can be more productive (if he behaves)…

    people saying that he may miss games and so on due to discipline then i got news for all of ya, yep, players can also miss games due to injuries , so what if he misses some games due to suspension, we’re already more than used to this with the likes of RVP, Diaby, JW, Rosicky e.t.c e.t.c ,

  100. James Bond says:

    no, i don’t think Torres will be out, it’s going to be BA – Dylan.

    just my hunch 😉

  101. 17highburyterrace says:

    Maybe Torres needs to go back to Madrid…(and maybe we should pick up Mata, lol)…

    Frankly, I think the musical chair business is being oversold (by the media as they do whatever they can to stay in business)…

    We need Total to weigh-in on who should write what, but I’m sure as hell not gonna write anything…(In fact, I’m currently planning a trip that will–blissfully–take me away from the computer for several days…) Go for it, Dylan…

  102. Dylan says:

    What if Chelsea buy Rooney and United don’t go for him? Perhaps we swoop in and get him? Or they let Torres go and Liverpool buy him back, then Suarez can leave. And he either goes to us, or he goes to Madrid and Higuain can go to us. Either way Rooney to Chelsea isn’t all bad. Especially if he sucks there.

  103. James Bond says:

    Richard Conway, BBC Sport in Bangkok
    FOOTBALL
    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney: “Nothing is a secret anymore. Chelsea are interested in the player, Chelsea made an official bid.

    “What we did, we did officially, in a clean way. There is nothing more to say and nothing more to do.”

    Mourinho confirms no players were involved in a bid for Rooney by Chelsea.

    Press conference with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

    Q. Have Chelsea bid for anyone else? Mourinho: “No” Q. So it’s Rooney or bust? Mourinho: “yes”.

  104. James Bond says:

    love him or hate him, least the guy is honest and blunt, so basically that rules us out of the Rooney Race .

    Torres will be a good option to have at the emirates no doubt but like i said, i think BA will be leaving and not Torres

    it’s just madness by utd not to get mata from chelsea, according to me it should have been Man utd offering chelsea Rooney + 10 million for Mata, ha ha

  105. jnyc says:

    Dylan, excellent post, well put together. —-
    did i hear ur in ny also?. Gotta meet up at the blind pig for a match.
    i must go off topic and vent though. I have been warning for weeks that we needed to be decisive on Hig. before Napoli gets their Cavani money. Now i dont see what top striker we can end up with, all the others we want are long shots.
    —- for the record , from reading every rumour and report since it began, i dont believe Madrid asked for so much more than the original 25.6£ as has been reported lately. I havent seen anywhere that we ever reached that, only that we BELIEVED we had a deal at maybe 23. —-
    BUT, we will all know the truth if Napoli sign him. If its over or at or below 25.6. — my suspicion is that we have tried to get him for a couple mil less than the set price, thought we had a deal, and became stubborn and offended when we found out that Madrid still want more. —
    but like i said, we will know from the eventual price paid, how this became a huge missed opportunity. I hope im wrong and it somehow works out for us with Higuain.

  106. Dylan says:

    JB, Well if Chelsea are in for Rooney, we NEED to be in for Mata. He’s world class. As for Ba, he’s no good. So I don’t want him.

    jnyc, thank you for the kind words. 🙂 Yes I am in NY, but not the city. I live in western NY. As for Higuain, I think it’s Madrid messing around with us. I don’t think it’s Arsenal’s fault.

  107. James Bond says:

    Jnyc,

    or maybe it was higuain’s reps taking the mickey out all along and were in contact with naples ?

    the media reports most of them were hard to believe, for example higuain was on 60 k a week at RM…and then he was reported to agree terms of 150 k per week at aresenal (yeah right, either i’m not a gooner or people who make such rot up have no idea how Arsenal function)…

    for a player who was on 60 k and to be offered more than double wages, isn’t Arsenal…100 k sounds more realistic .

    so you can appreciate the link i am trying to make there, it was his reps feeding media the bs so to speak, to maneuver a better deal for him

  108. Glic says:

    Just finished watching the game and another fine respite from the Torture Window !.
    Interesting Vietnam had 3 Dutch players in their squad….Phung van Nhien, Nguyen van Quyet and Dao van Phong ( sounds like something Totes wears when he entertains the missus ! ), their manager is Hoang van Phuc !….this must be a Dutch swear word !. hahaha

  109. 17highburyterrace says:

    I still feel (hope and pray…) that Higuain is our guy and that Napoli stuff is just paper talk. Rooney, Suarez, Torres AND Mata all leave me flat…We’ve already got a left footed midfield guy in Wilshere. Mata has done well at Chelsea–in spurts, but they’ve also finished 6th and 3rd with him as a focal point. Of the 3 Spanish MFs playing in with top English teams (Silva, Mata, Santi) I think he’s had the most opportunity and done the least with it…(as always, that’s just my opinion and WTF do I know? 😀 )

    What bothered me about today’s run out is that it was all running and longer passes. With Cesc to Barca any sort of quick one touch passing seems gone from our game–at least in the middle of the pitch. It was all predicated on having MFs and FBs who could play that sort of game and (esp. if we’re looking at Jenkinson and Gibbs as our FBs) it seems gone, gone, gone. Maybe that’s OK if we’re re-styling ourselves as a counter attacking team, which is maybe the way we need to go if we want to do better against Chelsea and the Manc clubs. Hopefully the Japanese teams do a little bus-parking so we can see if we can break down that sort of approach. Unfortunately, I really doubt if our (so-called) British core has what it takes…

  110. James Bond says:

    man city get negredo for about 20 million,

    now here is to hoping that man city have done all their business.

    also it’s reported that man utd are very close to a signing (first major signing)…

    out of all the clubs , man city have got most if not all of their business done nice and early (even though they have only made one decent signing in my opinion of Navas) 😀

  111. James Bond says:

    well you can clearly see the likes of OX, Theo and Wilshere giving you more than enough assurances – 17HT

    however the rest will come good with time and age, Gibbs needs to stay fit though

    i hear we may have a few injury concerns already ?

    it was interesting to see Sagna play as CB with Jenko at RB, so perhaps we don’t really need cover at CB (a 4th choice one) with Sagna as an option if need be

  112. Gerry says:

    I think the Saurez thing makes more sense, purely on player skills. He will slot in well, and not only make Giro better, by creating more space for him, but the same for Poldi too.

    On the match today, we are getting to see AW’s thinking as players are moved around. Giro has certainly done no harm to his position, and he is quoted as welcoming Saurez.

    Rooney will not go to Chelsea. So we need to get Suarez or Higgy before they cast around for alternatives. The reason why he won’t go is they won’t sell to someone who who is a major threat to them winning the title. So they will do a cut price deal and sell him to RM/Napoli. Or just keep under contract.

    If we just match Napoli’s bid we could still get Higgy, but the timing suggest the £40m trigger would get Saurez, as ‘Pool need the money for their targets?

  113. Dylan says:

    Ok I wrote a match review for tonight and emailed it to TA (I wouldn’t want no one to do it and then we have nothing…that would be a disastor). 😉

  114. Gerry says:

    Dylan – The thing I like about Bellerin is he is quicker than Theo, more tricks than Theo, and can score goals. Mark my words, the boy will be a great right winger.

  115. Dylan says:

    I’ll take your word for it Gerry. 🙂 I hope we see more of him later in preseason when he’s back from vacation. 🙂

  116. James Bond says:

    yep yep , Bellerin was a proper winger before he was turned into a RB.

    same was the case with Gareth bale, winger, then LB and now one of the best left wingers in the world.

  117. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good Stuff, Dylan (on the writing)…I’m sure Total will appreciate it. I hope you slated Theo sufficiently 😉 😆

    So, JB, United about to announce Cesc? Talk about a knife in our back, so much for the buyback clause?…

    Rooney instead of Mata/Torres at Chelsea? I can see it happening. I cannot see him wandering the streets of Naples trying to find a hooker–and being in the home of pizza and with Peroni on tap, he’d be done by Christmas… It would be a bold move by Moyes and my guess is that it’s all posturing. Maybe a contract extension is the big announcement up there…

    The Spanish players coming to England are a great thing. Down there they’re always talking about the best guys who Barca and RM should sign and they lament that Silva and Santi (less so Mata and Torres…) got away. RM got Isco and Illaramendi but neither giant would pull the trigger on Navas nor Negredo so they go to Pelligrini. Interesting that Mourinho seem interested in shedding his Spaniards and the other big signing AVB made (Sideshow Bob–David Luiz). Is Soldado still linked with Spuds? (Or is Bale staying put?)…

    What say your sauces, Bond?…

  118. 17highburyterrace says:

    By the way, I’ve got an English sauce that talks to me on many an evening….unfortunately his name is Tanqueray… (Or better yet, my scottish sauce, of the same clear-headed variety, Hendricks…)

  119. James Bond says:

    apparently having the spanish connection at chelsea makes jose have nightmares , ha

    according to my sauces, one of Mata or Hazard will no longer be at the bridge, it makes sense in the case of Mata as Jose doesn’t really like technically blessed players (yeah yeah, anti football and all that)

    but on a more serious note,

    there’s a reason why we the likes of Arsenal and Man utd haven’t made any big signings as yet… so watch this place

    and no, i don’t think Cesc will be joining Man utd like ever ? just my opinion.

  120. James Bond says:

    space*

  121. Dylan says:

    17HT, I agree. Spanish players in England is always good. (Although I prefer when they don’t go to our competition). 😉 As for Mata or Hazard leaving, we know Wenger was in for both previously. Therefore, he’d probably still be interested. Either way, one of them leaving and one of them going to us would be fantastic. 😀

  122. 17highburyterrace says:

    “Oh James, you’re such a tease,” says the voluptuous double agent… :Can’t you just tell us?…

    As for Spanish players, I think the jump to being a 20 million (or more) pound guy on a major team in England (or with Barca/RM) is pretty huge. Yes, they look good surrounded by better players but are they really good enough to build a team around? In the case of Silva and Santi, I’d say maybe. Mata has looked very good at times but can also disappear. He’s pretty tough however, but for a Spanish player he’s very one footed. He was rather invisible in Chelsea’s CL miracle compared to say Ramires…

    I believe we scored (big time) getting Santi, with the price being a massive bonus. He needs smarter teammates and he is the guy who can spring our break like nobody business. IMO he’s actually less effective near the opponent’s goal–which says a lot, because he’s pretty good there too…

    Anyhow, Bond has me all wound up…on tenterhooks, etc…and it’s far too early to speak to MY sauces here…

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys! 🙂

    New Post NEW POST!

    Not had any time to read through comments, but really nice to find a MR in BK email from Dylan. A double Dylan treat – well done, Sir. 😛

  124. ProudGooner says:

    Szecn
    Jenkinson TV KOS Gibbs
    Wilshere Einfeild
    OX Santi
    Walcott
    Sanago

  125. ProudGooner says:

    Left wing Santi, right wing OX
    2 upfront Theo just behind Sanago , you have to have a few expiranced players surely .

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