Gibbs, Nacho, Sagna, Vermaelen: who could be our ‘New DM’?

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Do Arsenal already have a new ‘Beast of a DM’ in their midst, and will he break up the wall of RamTeta?

With Coquelin on loan, Frimpong disappeared in to the background, and no news of a new signing, we are looking rather thin in the double DM-pivot at the moment. Wenger said this week there was a lot of competition for the midfield positions, but I cannot agree with him from a skill-set point of view; how many of our midfielders can actually defend?

The wall of RamTeta is likely to form the core of our midfield once again next season. Many are not entirely happy with this, and want a typical beast of a DM to boss the midfield whilst the rest join our attack as much as possible. Although I would really like to see how Ramsey and Arteta will fare next season, I also want us to get a proper, yet capable of football, DM this summer.

We have discussed the external options in previous posts and we might well still get a DM: your guess is better than mine.

But as others have mentioned on BK in previous comments, there are one or two, or even three or four potential internal options for this crucial position. I am looking for a player who can defend first and for all: strong on the ground and in the air; he also has a fine engine with tons of stamina; has Presence!; reads the game, and positions himself, well; is a decent to good passer of the ball; and ideally has a fantastic long distance shot too.

My four internal candidates are:

  • Gibbs
  • Nacho
  • Sagna
  • Vermaelen

Gibbs

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Our young English LB is a versatile player with plenty of scope for growth. Both Gibbs and Nacho are too good in my opinion to be back-up for each other, and I would not be surprised if we see them play together regularly in the future. I can see Gibbs do the DM position, although I reckon he might miss presence and be too injury prone for such a ‘body on the line’ position. But he could be further developed into a DM by Arsene…

Nacho

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Our one and only January signing has really impressed me, even though he is not the fastest of LB’s I have seen. I love his toughness, defending skills, ability to read the game, and general attitude. Monreal would have the Presence! to put fear into the opposition and he is a tough tackler and battler in the air; he is also a good passer of the ball and very organised/disciplined. It remains to be seen, though, whether he can read the game, and position himself effectively, in midfield.

Sagna

Will we see more of Mr Reliable as one of our CBs on Friday?

Our French monsieur Reliable is a tough defender who reads the game well. He has plenty of Presence! and stamina and, as he has shown in recently friendly games, is a good communicator. Bacary is also a decent passer of the ball and offers forward thrust if needed. Is it time to move him into a more central position i.e. CB or DM?

Vermaelen

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Many on BK have suggested to make TV our DM. Apparently, Wenger has said that TV will remain our captain, and as a captain needs to play, and Koz and BFG seem to be our first choice CB-pairing, it makes you think whether the Belgian could be turned into a DM…. Tommy has everything for it, it seems: great defender and tons of Presence!; reads the game well and is a good passer of the ball; he also has plenty of thrust and a great long distance shot. A captain needs to play and we need a beast of a DM; is TV the answer?

And there is one more question: if Arsene were to turn one of these four players into a DM, should they take the first team place of Arteta or Ramsey this season?

Plenty of food for thought, I hope! 

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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90 Responses to Gibbs, Nacho, Sagna, Vermaelen: who could be our ‘New DM’?

  1. TomJ says:

    I can understand you proposing TV5, even if I disagree, but the others, you must be joking? Arteta and Ramsay, the more they play together the better the understanding and the faster the tempo gets. We do need backup but I am sure Arsene is thinkiong Jack can go back, Ox can deputise. We do need one more midfielder. But i dont think he has to be a beast. The day of the tough tackling defensive defensive midfielder like Makelele is gone. We were just lucky with Vieira, he was a beast but also a great passer, with fast tempo and great dribbler and ball carrier. Pity Diaby didnt have his strength

  2. JB212 says:

    I’ve been banging on for Vermaelen to become our new defensive midfielder. With him playing there it also gives us the ability to change our formation during matches, go from 4-2-3-1 to 5-2-3 in a flash.

    It will also allow for greater rotation among our defensive midfielders.

    + what gooner doesn’t miss seeing Vermaelen storm up the pitch and pile driving a shot in every now and then.

    Would have had Coquelin rotating with Arteta and Ramsey without a problem, just look at how he played against Man City when he was partnered up with Frimpong. Bossed their midfield.

    But I doubt that’s gonna happen, as this would mean Wenger would have to buy 2 defenders unless he trusted Miquel.

    Wenger will just say Aneke showed enough during the pre-season and warranted a rotation role in the double pivot role.

    Don’t forget Diaby too !

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    TomJ

    I am not joking at all. We have missed a strong defensive presence in midfield at times and all four have potential to be a success in that role. Jack can defend, but Ox is lightweight in defensive duties. An injury to Arteta and we are on our knees right now, no?

  4. Londonboy says:

    Alot of speculation here and maybes, the only potential DM i would try to adapt is Vermaelen but why you worried about apapting players we have surely theres many out there we could have signed or can sign for the role its not like we dont have the money and we need the depth, gibbs could maybe evolve into a left mid, nacho is all left back i dont see him being able to be a dm, sagna is done i recon hes got one more season and will be shipped as his pace and injurys seem to be really holding him back in his old age.

  5. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, great idea for an article and you could make a case for each one.

    An interesting dilemma arises if we promote a player from another position to play DM. AW converted Song into a quality DM and discovered an attacking side to his game that was previously unknown.

    I believe he could do the same for Vermaelen and his many gambles that he takes during a game would be less noticeable and costly as a DM than as a CB. However, if Vermaelen is converted to a DM, it inevitably means we become light at CB; thus it would require us to purchase one of A.Williams or Rami, which I am completely fine with.

    I believe Vermaelen to be the best option of the four mainly because of his natural aggression, burst of speed and penchant for making timely sliding tackles to save goals. He would be adequate in hounding the opposing attackers and potentially even instilling a bit of fear if he can play in more of a free role. I believe there would be less pressure for him to perform at DM since he would not be the last line of defence and his passing/ball skills are better utilized at a more forward thinking position.

    In the beginning, I would not start Vermaelen at DM over the combo of RamTeta, mainly because he’ll likely need time to adapt and learn the role. However, if he shows an advanced understanding of the position and performs well in cup matches, I would start him over Ramsey and have Arteta play alongside him as he did in combination with Song in 2011-12.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    JB212 🙂

    All good points. I have not forgotten about Diaby but I ain’t going to count on him. I like the bit about formation change.

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Londonboy 🙂

    I am looking at our internal options. Either Nacho or Gibbs is likely to be on the bench a lot and TV could have the same faith…. better to have an additional position for them, so there not wasted, no?

    It looks like Sagna is going to stay for a while and prove you wrong about his fitness. 😉

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers HH 🙂

    Yes, we would need back filling for CB, and having watched Miquel closely for the last few games, I reckon we need to do so anyway. You are selling TV as DM even more to me. We could even start with TV and Jack in the double DM, but TV and Arteta would make sense too.

  9. 17highburyterrace says:

    HH has got it spot on and states the case very well…Let’s not forget that he’s got a left foot to match Xabi Alonso’s (or Arteta’s) right…Those long swervers can catch a keeper flatfooted now and again…

    It’s all about the signings 🙄 — If we buy an attacker, and we appear serious with La Mordita (Suarez), then giving time in a deeper spot to Ox-Cham seems logical. After all, he finished the season in that spot when Arteta went off lame at Newcastle. Also, it would mimic the way Jack was used before his lengthy injury. Remember, he’s still just 19 and it’s hard to say that he’s a poor defender just yet. Some of his abilities with the ball, esp. with a single touch, are very special, IMO… It would take a lot of stamina (also unproven with the Ox) but, personally, I’d give him a few in place of Ramsey and see if he can win the spot.

    Given that we’ve sent Djourou (who played a little DM, as I recall…) and Le Coq to Germany on loan AND Diaby, Vermaelen and Nacho will ALL not be available for the start of the season it seems that we MUST be thinking about using our HUGE war chest to BUY a versatile defender of one sort or another, internal solutions notwithstanding…

    Right?… 😀

  10. AFC says:

    TA, very thought provoking post. 🙂

    For me the top two options are Sagna and Vermaelen. I say this because Sagna is a very versatile player with experience. He has played RB, RM/RW, LB and even CB. His positioning, calm approach and tackling ability would make perform well in that role. I feel he would compliment Arteta very well in midfield. Vermaelen to me seems a bit dangerous and wild and reminds me of David Luiz. He would be able to operate more freely in the DM role and express himself.

    However turning any of these players into a DM would mean we would be left short of cover in defence which means AW might have to purchase 1 or 2. New defenders. The player converted into a DM would need time to adapt to the role so there is another thing AW could do. Play a 5-2-3 formation with a combination of Mert, Kos and Sagna/Verm with Sagna/Verm coming into midfield when need if the midfield becomes overun or outnumbered.

  11. AFC says:

    17ht, I would look to loan Miquel to a newly promoted EPL team. His performances while on loan would give AW and better idea of whether he has potential which needs to be nurtured through playing games with the first team the season after next season or whether Miquel is just not what he needs like AW has noticed with Coquelin and Frimpong.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    17 🙂

    Good points. I just cannot see Ox doing the the double DM thing unless he has, at least, a beast of DM thing next to him.

    I agree it is still most likely that we buy a DM rather than promote/job rotate one this summer.

  13. AFC says:

    TA my comment at 00:51 was meant for you.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC 🙂

    All good points. If we move one of our defenders into the DM position, we need to strengthen our defence.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC – I am not sure anybody in the PL would have Miquel right now. Maybe he should go on loan abroad?

  16. AFC says:

    TA, this is what I do not get. During pre-season why did Wenger not play Sagna or Vermaelen in the DM role. I know Verm got injured but surely he could have played him there in the first match. AW had many opportunites to play Sagna at DM also but chose to play Aneke there instead. I know he is one for the future but he will not be able to contribute much to the first team next season. Is pre-season not about experimenting with various formations and trying players in different positions?

  17. AFC says:

    TA, agreed. The newly promoted EPL teams are likely to have their own young promising CBs from their own youth academies or bring in the finished article.

    I would look to loan him in Spain. I think we have a relationship with Real Betis. I am not sure if that is still going on.

  18. Highbury Harmony says:

    As you can see TA, I am well capable of discussing Arsenal and “football”. Just a matter of getting the article right my friend! Perhaps the comparison of our system to that of Dortmund’s hit a nerve of mine ;).

    I don’t see a reason to not try Vermaelen at DM, unless he is reluctant to play the position. However, I’ve never known of a player to turn away potential playing time and I believe everyone just wants to play. It would be the best opportunity to get Vermaelen into the starting line-up again and I reckon it could be the beginning of a beautiful partnership with one of Arteta/Ramsey!

    What makes Vermaelen at DM more interesting is that he has also shown that he is not adverse to taking some risks. With the ultra conservative Arteta and Ramsey, it’d be a nice change of pace if AW could improve Vermaelen’s range and variety of passing.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC – good points. I guess Arsene wants to know whether Ramsey & Arteta can be his first choice again this season. It was also good to have a closer look at Aneke.

    Maybe he would have tried TV or Nacho, but they were both injured…

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, the calming influence of Arteta could give the VermArt combination a good balance.

    Off to bed now guys, catch you tomorrow.

    good talking footie with you 🙂

  21. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA,

    VermArt, I really like the sound of that for some reason! Have a good night, our fearless leader, looking forward to some more footy discussion tomorrow :).

  22. AFC says:

    TA, for me Wenger is too rigid in his systems, formations etc.

    With the injury-prone Gibbs as our only LB going into the season why did Wenger not test out a formation using 3 DFs. That would have been very good prepartion if Gibbs gets injured during the season with no back-up.

    What if we do not sign Suarez or a new ST. We know Giroud needs the help of another ST. He could have played a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 formation with Podolski or Walcott behind or beside Giroud.

    Why did he not try Jack out wide in a free role which Iniesta and Santi play?

    For me Wenger missed the chance to experiment properly with his squad.

  23. Highbury Harmony says:

    If anyone is wondering what VermArt is, the first picture of that animal is what it would look like!

  24. AFC says:

    * preparation

    Night, TA. 🙂

  25. Wengerball says:

    Interesting read on transitional play from defense to attack JB212

  26. AFC says:

    I’m off now. Speak to everyone soon. 🙂

  27. Milo says:

    Well, looks like I was wrong about Cesc going to United!!! 😀 I am happy about being wrong, because I really did think he was going to do it!!! Maybe I SHOULD trust his word a bit more, when he said the only two clubs he would ever play for are Barcelona and Arsenal!! 😀

    As for this article, I would try Vermaelen there ONLY IF HE IS WILLING, as a few people have pointed out before. I cannot see why he would refuse this unless he thinks it harms his chances of making the Belgium squad or starting at the World Cup. Fellaini plays there for Belgium, and he might find it hard to get in that side at that position. This is why I think he COULD refuse to play there and try and win back his centre-back place in the first eleven at Arsenal. I could very well be wrong though!!! I hope he decides to give it a go, if only for a short while.

  28. Dylan says:

    Fantastic article TA. 🙂 My choice is Monreal. His Spanish style and good passing coupled with his (surprising) strength is just what we want in our DM. Even if he’s backup and still switchs in at LB for Gibbs and such it’s still good. I’m still hoping for Bender though. 🙂
    JB, it’s almost Tuesday (my time), where’s our transfer news?!?!? 😉

  29. useroz says:

    No way gibbs and sagna could play DM though nothing is impossible. Gibbs so fragile and single footed it isn’t funny; and he cannot shoot at all. Not dissimilar with Sagna but at least a robust kind of guy.

    Don’t know enough about Monreal but gut feel says no. ‘Strike fear’ into opponents?? C’mon…

    TV is an interesting one and people been talking about his ‘conversion’ for some time. I think the concern is his stamina and pace. If you recall times when he sat in as the LB; he made quite a few last ditch tackle/fouls because he got skinned/outpaced. With MF a large area am concerned TV would be another sluggish Song.

    But if we must pick one, TV would be a no brainer in this lot.

  30. Isaac paul says:

    Tv is a best dm according to his difensive abbility and shooting style

  31. VCC says:

    Sagna for me. I think he could perform this role adequately. Gibbs is a no,no, so one footed and cannot defend. Vermaelen a bit like a headless chicken. Montreal a possibility, haven’t seen enough of him yet.

  32. Rio says:

    Ever since song left wenger has been confused as to what a dm needs would you ever see mourinho put mata in dm

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning guys 🙂

    It is JB’s BIG T for Transfer Tuesday hahaha 😛

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC 🙂

    Good question about Wenger not trying out different systems during the pre-season until now. I guess we know that he likes to perfect a system and rather tries out different players in it than playing with different formations. The quick turnarounds and better use of wingplay has been encouraging though. We remain vulnerable to injuries in certain places, though; something Arsene needs to deal with before the season commences properly.

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    HH 🙂

    VermArt has both a nice sound and a good feel to it. One deals with the vermin and the other adds artistry…

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Milo 🙂

    I think Vermaelen would put his club career first, AND he will also know that an often and good playing TV will have a better chance to be in the Belgian first-11 than a bench-warming one. And let’s face it he has already big competition for the CB positions at the Rode Duivels.

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Dylan 🙂

    We know least of Monreal, but I am with you to some extent. I have a feeling Nacho could be a very, very good DM. There is a bit of Flamini in him, in terms of style and hardness. I love his energy and passing skills as well. He is also quite organised and I expect him to position himself well. And the big point remains that a fully fit Gibbs and Nacho are too good to be on the bench a lot.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    useroz 🙂

    Good point about TV’s pace and stamina. My gut feeling is that TV would enjoy a more constant-involvement sort of role. He has the energy and drive for it imo.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC – ‘Gibbs cannot defend’…. you have always said that! 🙂

  40. pinggaa says:

    sorry but none of them are technically sufficient to play in midfield..

  41. Funminiyi says:

    Good morning gooners,
    A nice post TA, once again. In my own opinion, I think our best bet will be hijacking Cardiff’s deal for Capoue, and if this does not materialise, then we can turn to the Verminator out of the aforementioned players.

  42. Funminiyi says:

    Meanwhile, the combo of Ramsey and Arteta should be ahead of whom ever we wanna pair the Verminator with. He’ll come in handy replacing them in closing stages of demanding games or betterstill, in cup games.

  43. This being the season for wishful thinking and rumours, I hate to throw a wet blanket on some of these overheated imaginings, but, with TV5 and Monreal out with injuries, Gibbs being injury-prone himself, and Sagna the only right back who can occasionally put an aerial cross anywhere near the heads of Giroud and Podolski–when he’s not needed as a backup CB with TV5 out, it is extremely unlikely that any of these four will be shifted to DM this season, let alone anytime soon.

    Unless Wenger makes a last-minute bid for Fellaini before his out-clause expires, in all likelihood you will see Ramsey and Arteta alternating or occasionally paired at the base of Arsenal’s 3 man midfield triangle this season. Oxlaide-Chamberlain may play some in a pairing with either Arteta (more likely) or Ramsey (less likely) from time to time, but, if that happens, he will not be the one given the primary defensive responsibilities in such a pairing.

    That does not mean, however, that the man that A.Wenger sees as fitting most of the requirements laid out in this article for the position is not already at Arsenal. It’s just that he may not be ready yet to step into the shoes of the man that he somewhat resembles physically that Wenger had hoped would be the one filling this position now.

    At the beginning of the Asian tour there was something that may have slipped past the notice of a lot of Arsenal fans–especially those who automatically reject the notion that an Arsenal youngster might develop into a world-class player: Chuks Aneke, who, up until now, has been used pretty much exclusively as an attacking midfielder, was given a run-out at DM and, if I’m not mistaken, CB.

    Given the fact that Aneke is almost the same size as Abou Diaby and that Arsenal has an abundance of very talented young offensive midfielders (Zelalem, Eisfeld, Ollson, Gnabry, etc.), moving him to DM would not only give him a chance to maximize his skills, but also address one of the club’s greatest needs from within. While Aneke’s skills may not be quite as polished as those of some of the other young offensive midfielders, he is big enough, fast enough and a good enough passer to become a pretty good defensive midfielder with the ability to go forward and make plays occasionally…which is what the club needs.

    There are only two things that Aneke may lack in order to play the position: I’m not sure if he is strong enough yet, although he does have good size and he really has no experience playing as a DM yet. I’m sure that Arsenal’s trainers already have a pretty good sense of how strong Aneke is and can get him in the weight room if he needs to put on a little more muscle. So, that’s a problem easily solved. And, as for experience, as in any job, the only way a youngster can get experience is by doing the job–in this case by playing.

    Arteta doesn’t get enough credit for the work he does defensively. Statistically, he is a actually a very good tackler and a much cleaner tackler than Ramsey. Ramsey, on the other hand, is more physical and a shade quicker defensively. Still, while they don’t offer the bite and box-to-box dominance that many Arsenal fans have come to expect thanks to Viera, as last season progressed Arteta and Ramsey showed that, together or used individually in certain situations, they are capable of providing sufficient cover for the back four to allow Arsenal to win a significant majority of its matches. Enough to allow Wenger to stick with them this season if he chooses while giving Aneke time to gain experience playing at DM, either at Arsenal or on loan (which might be more difficult because there are probably many managers who would prefer to play Aneke as an offensive midfielder if they got him on loan rather than let him play more defensively).

    Let me remind those who might find the idea of Aneke moving to the DM position to be absurd on its face that Diaby didn’t start out playing primarily as a DM. Like Aneke, he was used in a more offensive role as a youngster and was slowly given more and more time at DM in between injuries. Also, Aneke has already had at least one successful loan spell already and really isn’t that far away from being ready for some first team football. All he may need is one more loan spell this season and a couple of substitute appearances in cup games before he is ready to be given a chance to start playing some first team football. He’s a good passer, who sees the pitch well and already has enough offensive skill for the position. What he needs to learn is how to see and read the game from a DM’s perspective and the defensive responsibilities that the position requires. And, most importantly, Wenger likes him and has praised him in the past.

    While I can’t say for certain that Aneke is the player that Wenger has in mind to be his “next Viera”, given the course of Diaby’s development (when he has been healthy) and the patience that Wenger showed with both Diaby and Song, the fact that Wenger took Aneke on the Asian tour and then ran him out, not as an offensive midfielder, but as a DM could very well be an indication of what Wenger is seeing Aneke’s role with the club to be in the near future. If Wenger doesn’t buy Fellaini or another young DM, I can only say that this would not something to sleep on.

  44. VCC says:

    Morning Totes……..It may seem I have always been critical of Gibbs, but you have to remember he started out as a winger and Wenger converted him to a full back, as he likes to do. It doesn’t always work out imo.

    He is good going forward, but lacks the urgency and power to defend properly, and goes to sleep far too often for my liking.

    If he had stayed as a winger/wing back he may have improved upon his crossing, which you must agree is woefully shocking for a Premiership player. If I were lucky to have played at the top level I would have worked on my crossing, he doesn’t seem to have done so, if he has, then it simply isn’t working.

    I don’t dislike the guy, as I love ALL players that put the Arsenal shirt on, but I cannot hold back in criticising what I feel is not adequate to be top of the tree and win things.

    Gibbs for me, is not in the top tier of full backs. You must agree I have been banging on about us buying Baines (long before the pundits have been) This would be fantastic to have a TQ full back either side of Kos and Merts. (Sagna + Baines)

  45. VCC says:

    AmericanGunnerFan………great observation about Aneke. I did find it strange when I saw him performing deep. You are correct in your assumption, that he did in fact come on as a sub and played CB.

    You could well be right that Wenger is grooming him for this position, considering the lack of fitness with Diaby, the age concerns of Arteta and the lack of tackling finesse from Ramsey.

    Good shout indeed. Say Hi to Uncle Sam for me please. 😉

  46. Admir says:

    Great article again, TA.

    Vermaelen and Arteta would be an interesting combination in the midfield. A captain and vice-captain, playing next to each other, would make our team a bit like Doctor – a versatile two-heart-organism.

    Still, I’d sign Fellaini before that contract clause expires.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Funminiyi, AGF, VCC and Admir for further comments. I will get back to later today. 🙂

  48. jgc says:

    TA,

    To me, current injuries hopefully a brief aside, it’s about, as always, flexibility. For your article, I like TV, Nacho and Sagna. Each brings something different. Specifically:

    1. TV: good on attack, aggressive goinng forward, good tackler, likely too ‘vicious’ for CB in the EPL Diving competition, but perfect then for DM

    2. Nacho: More composed, balanced version of TV, for when you want the more positional approach to the game. Might work well to have an all spanish spine from Arteta to Nacho to Santi? I think that with Nacho you would have what you do now, a bit more defensive than not but , but with efaster turnaround and more accurate passing/tackling

    3. Sagna: Brings what TV might but with more pace and, I suspect without proof, more workrate. A touch more hyperactive perhaps.

    Flexibility wise to me it wouldnt matter too much which if them played allowing us to mix and match across that back group as needed for injury or rest etc.

    Equally, flexibility, this TW seems like DMs and mids in general are a touch thin on the ground and/or unwanting to move as much. So, perhaps a defender or two would be easier to get best quality(?) Again, playing what the game is giving rather than forcing it..

    cheers — jgc

  49. jgc says:

    PS:

    I would also note that IMO defenders are less risky buys in that they can often thrive in any team/system more so than attackers who suddenly find themselves bereft of service or position that they used to enjoy and can suffer a real fall off..

    Equally, I am still banging the drum for 50M for Cesc! 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  50. Funminiyi says:

    I just hope we’re fortunate on the injury front as such, we’ll be able to experiment but all the same, I’ll like us to sign further defensive cover to give us depth.

  51. jnyc says:

    Im not happy with any of these conversions. Sagna to cb is enough.
    I want us to bring in some depth by transfers so that guys like arteta ramsey jack are not run into the ground by being overplayed, as they often are. Arsene doesnt rotate enough.
    time to pull the trigger on some deals, and spend some money.
    i dont want our season start to be disrupted again, lets get some quality in soon. Stop haggling.

  52. James Bond says:

    nice one , TA

    right then,

    Gibbs = injury prone, attack minded, still is settling into the LB position besides, when was the last time he played one proper season for Arsenal at LB let alone to be moved else where ? he is still learning and will improve further – should be kept where he is and let us all hope that this is the season where he manages to play without any injury problems as such.

    Nacho = i’m not sure where would he bring in that “Presence we’re lacking”, he will be far too easy to out muscle, if you don’t believe me then watch that game against Reading, he was struggling like no tomorrow against one of their more physical players down the flanks….he lacks the pace for me as well in case his marker gets away from him, even though he was still pretty new when we played Spuds but it one of the goals were due to his mistakes, if not entirely then he was the catalyst.

    Still better defensively than gibbs, has a decent foot and eye for long balls. however, doesn’t do it for me at DM.

    TV5 = out till october, not had pre-season done, was down on confidence and that won’t get any better by having this injury which keeps him out till october, although a good option at DM but unlikely to happen.

    Sagna = now you’re talking , decent reader of the game, not bad at passing ( even though his crossing leaves a lot to be desired mostly), can have that “presence ” as the DM as he wins most of the headers in the air as well, doesn’t he ? good at clearing, can run forward with the ball and release/free up other players….. the only viable option out of the 3.

    who would i prefer as our DM ? none of the 4 above.

    may i introduce to you “Laurent Koscielny”

    Kos = determined, a fighter, good at interceptions, reads the game well, never give up attitude, has the pace, physical presence, the only thing he will need to improve on is his passing but no reason why he couldn’t deliver the goods as he has all the attributes needed and technically is very good, hell, we could even try him as a striker after that acrobatic CL entry goal vs the Geordies, ha

  53. James Bond says:

    Dylan,

    you better be careful nudging me for TW gossip and rumours as i was given a right scolding and earful the other day by our headmaster for talking too much transfers 😀

    on a more serious note, yep, tuesday is still ongoing and i am trying to ring my sauce but suffice to say he’s mobile is switched off, no worries, i’ll be personally paying him a visit on the weekend to sort him out, usually gets them right , unless he meant Bendtener to Malaga or Yaya doing his first training session at the Emirates today 😀

    anyhow, something is better than nothing and it kept me going till tuesday, now we keep going till the weekend and look forward to the Emirates cup.

    i am gutted as everyone else as i was really looking forward to a signing or 2.

  54. Dylan says:

    JB, keep me updated then. 😉 Any news from your sauce us welcome. 🙂

  55. Dylan says:

    *Is not us

  56. James Bond says:

    will do , Dylan

    it’s only imperative that we get in a few quality players before the TW closes, isn’t it

    why do i say that ?

    everyone except Man utd have strengthened their squads/teams with decent signings, we’re the only ones who have stood still so to speak

    rest assured, AW knows that as well, we’re already 3 players light and i can already see the curse of injuries striking once more (hope not) if , we fail to add depth and quality to out existing squad….

    let’s just hope AW has learned his lessons after 7/8 years of the same excuses.

  57. Dylan says:

    JB, I think the purchase of Monreal is proof he has.

  58. Dylan says:

    News today is reporting a Gamez, Bendtner deal with Malaga. All I know about Gamez is that he is a Spanish RB who is 28. Our good relationship with Malaga and their well known interest in Bendtner coupled with a need for an RB to cover for either Sagna moving to the middle or retiring. He could give us cover for 2-3 years until Jenks is 100% ready? Thoughts?

  59. AFC says:

    Dylan, I think that is what AW could be think. I do not know much about him. He seem a bit old but we would be getting him for free (I presume) and just paying his wages. I would prefer Abate, Rami, Caceras to come in but we would have to pay around £10 million for each. It would still be a very good deal and would allow us to spend money on other players i.e. AM/no.10 or RW.

  60. AFC says:

    Forgot to add that the likes of Monreal and Cazorla would make it easier for him to settle in.

  61. Dylan says:

    Agreed, AFC. Rami is my first choice, but this guy could be a very good option. And getting both would be good business to me. Maybe give Jenks a year out on loan in the premier league, let Sagna and Gamez battle it out at RB like Nacho and Gibbo at LB, and bring in Rami so we can have 4 high quality CBs like all other top clubs. Sounds good to me.

  62. James Bond says:

    Sagna can play at LB as well, so perhaps getting another RB might not be a bad idea, but might be bad news for the young and promising Bellerin

    if i was AW and if i had the powers that he posses, i would buy Micah Richard…sorts out all our problems at the back really.

    he can play CB,RB and could be that beast of a DM as well..alternatively if, we were short at LB with injuries to Gibbs, Sagna could play LB, no problem…

    problems with any of the CB’s, no worries, slot in Richards, he is versatile as well (and happens to be a Gooner).

  63. James Bond says:

    Dylan,

    the purchase of Nacho only confirms one thing and one thing only.

    that happens to be, we only buy when we’re in a state of panic or when are faced with an injury crisis… you can bet your bottom dollar he would not have brought Monreal, had Gibbs not got injured.

    some people never learn and i am hoping AW isn’t one of them (although , the past suggests otherwise).

    rewind = we needed players coming in to replace the departures of our key players in cesc, nasri e.t.c but that didn’t happen – we played mancs got thrashed 8-2 and then as usual we reacted with panic buys which got us you know who and who.

  64. Dylan says:

    JB, I’m a fan of Richards too and now with Maicon gone from City he’s said he’s staying. But I would definitely want him. As for the Nacho and the panic buys, let’s remember that we also bought Arteta and Mert along with Santos and Park during that panic spree. And Monreal in January. I also believe that someone (either Nacho or AW) said that it was planned for Nacho to arrive in the summer (right now) anyway. And that Gibbs’ injury knocked the transfer forward. I think AW has targets and as usual will wait until the last minute to buy.

  65. James Bond says:

    “I think AW has targets and as usual will wait until the last minute to buy.” (Dylan wrote).

    which only re-confirms what i was saying earlier , we still refuse to learn.

  66. Dylan says:

    JB, I see what you’re saying, but I worded it poorly. I should have said something like: Wenger has his targets, but they are at a higher level than the players he is used to targeting and he is unsure/scared of his choices and is going to his comfort zone of waiting until the last minute.

  67. AFC says:

    JB, the only problem with getting Richards, Caceres, Rami, Abate, Williams etc, is that they will also cost around £10 million.

    So if we get this guy we would have a lot more money to buy a DM. I would offer £30 million for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. He is a very young and promising German talent who is ready step up now but has not nowhere near reahced his full potential. I know Dortmund want to offer him a new contract but the prospect of playing in the EPL and with fellow Germans Podolski and Mertesacker could make him want to sign for us.

  68. AFC says:

    * reached

  69. AFC says:

    Dlyan, I doubt Wenger would send Jenkinson out on loan but it would be a very good idea. We would be able to loan him to an EPL team where he might be a guaranteed starter and take his game that stepp further. I think Stoke wanted him before. Wenger might even just bring in this RB send Jenks out on loan and have Sagna as first choice RB and fourth choice CB.

  70. James Bond says:

    Pepe is 30 and yet Man $hitty are not hesitating in paying close to 20 million for him ?

    We are a big club, about time we started to act like one as well, that is why i like our chase of Suarez so much, saying that we need to get other players for other positions whilst the Suarez one is being worked at – why should we wait to strengthen those positions until we get Suarez ?

    i don’t see Dortmnd selling Gundogan, the only way he can leave is the Lewandowski way i feel – on a free when his contract expires.

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi guys

    Just a quickie: I will be working most of the next three days, so if any of you have some creative juices flowing (except Glic that it is), please put them all into a post and email to me! 🙂

    Back around 10pm.

  72. AFC says:

    JB, every player has a price. Even the likes of Bale, Ronaldo, Messi and Wilshere have a price. I think we could get him for £30 million. We need to get serious because we are a big club as you have said.

  73. jgc says:

    All

    A few thoughts, most controversial, I think, to least:

    A. Why do we assume just because someone buys a top prospect from the XYZ national team and top WSX FC that sold him (for inexplicable reasons beyond a mtn of cash) that the team has improved? Have we not been mocking Pool for their Carrol et al escapade, or Torres at Chelski, or Tevez (no gone from) city, or our own Aeshavin et al… Only something like 15-20% of such buys work out at all…

    –> caution is warranted, IMO.

    B. I like food free defenders for Bendtner. It’s like TWO new signings. A defender we need and no more Bendtner. Nothing at all wrong as we win even if said defender is blind, deaf and has a torn ACL..

    C. My frustration. We need, IMO, one big signing in the right spot. Despite my A above that may be worth OVER paying for, be it Gundogan, Bender or Cesc. Plop the damn 30-50m down and say I want X for this Y million and be as done with it as possible. Why? Cause if it is the right call, the it all pays off…

    My summary of A-C? Patience, Patience, And a touch of faith that the guy who got us DB, Titi et al, will get it right again for 30-50M down…

    Cheers — jgc

  74. jgc says:

    Argh “GOOD” free defenders… Sigh, damn iPad… jgc

  75. Dylan says:

    JB and AFC, I have to say that every player has a price, but we aren’t Man City or Real Madrid. We can’t spend absurd amounts of money on players. Now, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay those few million pounds extra for a good player, but for example, Man City spending £40 mil on Fernandinho is ridiculous. He’s not that good. If the price is too high, you may as well find a better player for that price. I think a good example is our Suarez chase.
    TA, I’ll try to get you at least one over the next 3 days. If you need more than one tell me and I’ll write as many as you need. 😉

  76. AFC says:

    JGC, agreed. We would be getting a free RB which could allow us to play Sagna at CB more regularly and maybe send Jenks out on loan to an EPL team.

    On the subject of big buys I would only start to get ‘wary’ when it reaches over £30 million pounds. When you start to go over £30 million that is when the ‘big flops’ can happen and leave you seriously out of pocket. Regarding Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan if we want just offer £25 million and do not mess around rather than just offer a fee you know will get rejected. If the £25 million bid is rejected up the bid to £30 million and see what happens.

  77. AB says:

    TA. I’m late to this exchange, but a good question posed here.

    Of your selection I would rule Gibbs out first as simply not tough enough – he would be crocked in no time. Sagna, perhaps 5 years ago, but if we want someone to provide force and guile I’m not sure now is the time to be trying this move; I hope the CB option proves a success though as I’d like to see him stay with us as an experienced pro. Verm has always looked the most obvious choice, but there are questions a) about his mobility and b) his positional discipline – I’m sure Arsene moved Song on because he got carried away going forward sometimes, and I suspect Verm would tend towards the same. The interesting one here is Nacho, and thinking about it (I had not considered it before) I can see it. Whether he has the positional smartness or not only a trial would tell, but as a Wenger signing he won’t be stupid and I’m sure could learn. The problem with both Nacho and Verm as others have stressed is that we have so little cover in their positions that we could well create a bigger weakness than we fix.

    Flamini has been referred to above, and my sense is that Wenger is hoping that Ramsey will turn into the Flamini we saw in his final year with us; he has the engine and the drive, if not the physical bite yet. I agree with you fully that Ox is not the answer (even as cover really) at DM, and it will take a lot to put any faith in Diaby providing more than a cameo. Yes Jack can play here, but its not where he should be if he is fit and playing well.

    So, could we develop Nacho as cover at DM, yes quite possibly. But unless we get more cover at LB, or Gibbs changes into a more robust type, it would have to be as a risky exception rather than a regular playing position. Which, as ever, leads one back to strengthening this position. I still look at the decision to loan out the Coq as being an indication that we will buy in this area; I can’t see any other reason.

    What’s your view on the Bale speculation today TA? I’d still rather they kept him than took a stack of cash to spend on strengthening the squad. But I can’t believe Levy would pass up the sums on offer – its crazy, since when has Bale looked as good as Messi or Ronaldo???

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Funminiyi 🙂

    All agreed. Capoue would be a fine addition and TV is a good alternative, but only as cover in the first instance.

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    AGF 🙂

    Fine comment in support of Aneke and he could well become a good DM for us. But for now, I am hoping to get somebody with more experience and physical strength.

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC 🙂

    I can see your points about Gibbs. For me, he has great potential and at times he shows. His performance in the away game against Bayern was brilliant (and so was Jenkinson’s).

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    jgc 🙂

    Good point about flexibility – it should not be too hard to train the likes of TV, Sagna and Monreal the ins and outs of the DM role. Also agreed on the need/easiness of signing an extra defender.

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    JB 🙂

    Nacho is strong and does not easily get out-muscled. Koz is indeed a good alternative but he is needed as CB first and for all. The fact that TV is injured does not really matter too much imo, Wenger would wait IF indeed he has earmarked him for the DM position.

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    jgc ‘Food Free defenders’ hahaha – you confused me there for a minute 😛

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Dylan, one would be a good start 🙂

    AB 🙂

    All good points. Maybe Miquel will get more chances at LB and Monreal could be freed up to become our DM. It is pie in the sky thinking, but I reckon Wenger will be thinking of using both Gibbs and Nacho in the first team in future.

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    AB – I would be absolutely stunned if RM would spend anything above £40m on Bale. Maybe they are desperate to find a replacement for Ronaldo who might want a way out….. The Spuds would be mad not to take the money RM are offering (if true). With £80m additional spending power, AVB could strengthen his team significantly. So I am with you; I hope they keep him this season.

  86. VCC says:

    Total 22:36……I’m not saying he doesn’t have the odd outstanding game, but he is not a top drawer defender and will never reach those heights, IMO. Of course I hope I eat my hat, lol.

    We need him to step up to the plate and perform on a regular basis. Perhaps the addition of Monreal to the squad is the kick up the backside he needs, fingers crossed.

  87. VCC says:

    If Real Madrid give Spurs a significant fee for Bale you can be sure Mr.Levy will invest in the team he has at White Heart Lane. He will not stand still like Wenger and Gazidis.

    That could spell trouble for us, as we may struggle to meet our usual goal, which is fourth in the Premiership.

    Nail biting times for us Gooners.

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed VCC, we need him to have a long, consistent run of form this season. 🙂

  89. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post! 🙂

    Dylan comes once again to the rescue with a proper transfer fix of a post. Happiness is a warm, yes it is, Gun!

    Enjoy! 😉

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Vickers, not much fun at the moment. 😦

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