Montoya, Costa, Gündoğan, Bender: Who’ll move Arsenal forward?

How I’d Help Wenger Win the Title

I was originally writing a comment to TA’s post asking what everyone would do if they had a minute in a lift with Wenger to tell him what they’d have him do to win the title. After writing for about 45 minutes, I realized that this probably couldn’t be explained in a minute. Maybe, if I could have an assistant manger’s position at Arsenal for a few months I could explain this all to Wenger. 😉

So I decided to write a post of my own to explain my rather long (and maybe extremely boring to some) plan to bring the Premier League title (and other trophies) to the Emirates Stadium, where they belong. So I’ll do my best to put my plan into words, and justify why I think it’s a good one.


First Wenger needs to sign Montoya on a pre-contract and Costa, now or in the summer. Should Costa arrive now, he’d give us a huge boost for the rest of the season and probably push us to a trophy. If we have to wait until the summer, Bendtner will be able to fill the backup role very well. Costa would be the finisher Ozil (and everyone else) would love to link up with. He’d score boat loads of goals as well as have the “SQ Signing Affect” (like Ozil) and bring a renewed confidence to the team.

Costa could play as a lone striker, behind Giroud as a CF, alongside Giroud as a RS/LS, or even be a super sub when he’s too tired to start. Montoya would be a great attack minded RB to take over from Sagna. I’ll explain more about the role Sagna would assume after Montoya arrives in the next step. Also Montoya comes from Barca, so he really knows how to play football. He would give Jenkinson time to grow, as well as competition when Jenks is ready for full time first team action.

Next he needs to resign Sagna and Bendtner to new contracts. Nicky B is a highly underrated option and has years ahead of him to grow still. He’s a great option to start the odd rotational game, be a super sub, and strikes fear into our opponents with his legendary ponytail. 😉

Sagna goes without saying. He’s Mr. Reliable as TA calls him! He can do the job at RB for maybe another season and then move to the middle and give us cover there for a few seasons. He’s also a real leader and seems like a stand-up guy. He has stuck with us through all the hard times (one of the few) and deserves a big paying contract for 3 or 4 more years before hanging up his boots. After that I see him as the kind of player who would get his coaching badges and I’d love a legend like him to join us as a coach.

The next step is to utilize Bendtner and Gnabry more. Giroud is the kind of player who loves to play every game, but we all know he can’t. Very few players can. Nicky B is a similar type of player, better in some ways and worse in others. They are both quality target men who hold up the play well and can finish a chance in the air or a great cross on the ground. However, Giroud is more of a link up man. He likes to spread the ball around. Nicky B seems a little more dynamic and likes to take a man on right on the edge of the box and have a shot. He’s selfish, in the best of ways.

They’re different players whose talents should be recognized and utilized. Maybe we should even try playing them together sometime. Because they’re both target men, this seems like it would be a waste of a field position, but let’s look at the perfect example this season: Soldado, he can score the occasional goal by himself, but quite frequently has looked stranded up front at Tottenham this season, as he’s a target man getting too little aerial service. Then in comes Adebayor, another target man who is slightly more dynamic, who has been on the fringes of the club for a while (similar to our Nicky B?). Suddenly Tottenham have learned to score goals from open play. They even recently beat Manchester United at Old Trafford! Something the mighty Arsenal, a much better team (in my opinion), couldn’t manage.

Perhaps putting Bendtner and Giroud up front together would help us in games where one striker would be too stranded? Sometimes a change of tactics can make all the difference. Then there’s Gnabry. He looks like a quality youngster, and I’d love to have him loaned out in January to a big team, someone who really knows how to play football, like us (Wigan, Southampton, etc). But if he’s not loaned out he needs to be used much more than Wenger does, mostly as a super sub, with the occasional start. He has the X-Factor! It’s his first season! We need to use him before he has second season syndrome next year. He can play winger on both sides of the pitch, CAM, and even striker. He’s unpredictable at his young age, one might say mercurial. He should be used now, or loaned out to get first team minutes regularly.

The next step would be to use this January window to address our biggest needs (aside from those already covered by Costa and Montoya). This would be the DM position, a slightly more attacking CM, a young CB to learn from our aging players, and perhaps a backup goalie of quality (seeing as Viviano has yet to make an impression). So first things first, a beast of a DM to take over where Vieira left off and where Flamini is temporarily filling in. There are two major, realistic options; here they are in order of preference:

  1. Yann M’Vila

Yann is a quality player who we’ve looked at in the past. He’s young and French and a beast (a true Wenger signing). Hopefully we could get him for fairly cheap from Rubin Kazan. He seems to be in the mold of Vieira and Wenger could definitely train him to be that player.

  1. Lars Bender

Rumor has it we already have a deal set up for him in the summer. He would be a great addition to our German core. He could step in and learn a lot from Flamini and be a real terrier in our midfield for years to come. He would cost us a good bit, but is also young and would be worth it in the long run.

The next position to fill would be a slightly more attack minded CM to eventually replace Arteta. Once again there are two major, realistic options.

  1. İlkay Gündoğan

A young German player to add to our growing German core. He looks exactly like a young Arteta to me. He’s already a world class player and under Wenger could be one of the best midfielders in the world. He would cost quite a bit, but could realistically join us and fit right into the squad.

  1. Paul Pogba

An extremely young CM from Juventus. Another young, beastly, French player. He’s admitted he dreamt of playing for Arsenal and would surely jump at the chance to join us. He would be a great addition who could learn a lot from our current squad and is a fantastic player for the future. He would also cost quite a bit (admittedly, probably less than Gundogan), but with his potential almost any price for either player is worth it.

Next a young CB to learn from our aging group of centre backs.

  1. Kurt Zouma

Yet another young, talented French man. He looks like a younger Koscielny to me. I watched him quite a bit in the U-20 World Cup this summer (along with Sanogo, Pogba, and Kondogbia). He could be a wonderful talent from the French league, just like Koscielny was, and would probably come quite cheap.

  1. Fabian Schar

Admittedly, I’ve only seen him a few times (all in Champion’s League matches), but people have linked him to us quite heavily this year. People say he is also the next Koscielny, but from what I’ve seem he’s more like the new Vermaelen. He seems to enjoy picking up the ball and running out of the back, as well as going forward for situations centre backs wouldn’t usually be in (for example, he is the penalty taker for Basel, from what I hear). I believe he could be a great prospect for the future. For me, bringing in Zouma and Schar would be ideal. He should also be quite cheap.

  1. Matthias Ginter

We’ve been linked with him for a while. I must admit I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him play, but from what I hear from other’s and what I’ve seen on YouTube he seems like Vermaelen. He seems to be more attack minded and can play CB and DM. He also would probably be relatively cheap and would be a good young German prospect.

Finally, a bonus of a talented backup keeper. There are actually very few options that would likely come to Arsenal in a World Cup year and risk not starting every game because of Szczesny’s talent.

  1. Julio Cesar

He may not play every game, but it’s better than playing no games for QPR. He needs to earn his place back in the Brazil squad and he’s an aging keeper who could cover for Szczesny for a year or two and will be motivated to play well and challenge him. And the best part, he’s free!

  1. Iker Casillas

One of the best keepers around, if not the best, but he can’t seem to break into the Real Madrid squad. From what I hear, he wants to leave and he’s been linked with us and City quite a bit. I’d rather us get him than City, so it’s worth a try. He’ll be motivated to beat Diego Lopez to a Spain spot and prove he is really the better keeper.

  1. Guaita

At one point in the summer we were all told by the media that we had signed Guaita from Valencia, and that it was all but a done deal. In the end, it was either lies or it fell through as we don’t have him. This kid is younger than the other options, but perhaps this is good as it would give Szczesney competition for years to come and seems a fairly good keeper. I haven’t seen him play, and I doubt he’s in the same class as the other keepers listed, but perhaps a good option. He would probably cost considerably more than the other two.

Finally, Wenger needs to get this team playing like we’re fighting relegation every single game, and we need maximum points and pluses in the goal differential column as possible. This team seems to have great spirit and desire and Wenger needs to bring that spirit out every game. The perfect example is the second leg against Bayern last season. The team needs to play like we have nothing to lose, play for a clean sheet every game and focus on keep our possession stat as close to 100% as possible. We will have to take our chances up front and there may be a few 1-nil’s, but that’s how you win titles. The team needs to be fearless, like we’re the best in the world and we just need to play our football and win every point and bit of goal differential.

(Note to the readers, this post was written before Lewandowski was announced as a Bayern player and before it was announced that Theo would be out for 6 months. As a result I have edited the post to change the paragraph about Lewandowski to being about Costa and I am now adding a paragraph about Theo replacements.)

Today (January 6, 2014) it has been announced that Theo Walcott has torn his ACL in the FA Cup game against Tottenham and will be out for 6 months. As a result, we only have Giroud who can play a striker role well in our current system. We also only have three wingers again, at least until the Ox is back. Therefore, we have to buy a winger who, like Walcott, can play winger and striker.

  1. Marco Reus

Marco Reus was originally a striker converted to winger (similar to Theo). He would add to the German core and would give us pace on the wing or in the middle. He can also play CAM and is still young. He could be developed into a player who could play any position Wenger would want. He could become a world class player with us and will link up perfectly in Ozil.

  1. Stephan El Shaarawy

El Shaarawy is a player Wenger has admitted liking in the past. He is even younger than Reus and can play winger or CF. We could switch the system to play a false nine type CF (similar to Barcelona’s system) and play El Shaarawy there. This system would also be on that Podolski would thrive in. El Shaarawy is a skilled player and more of a true winger, but could possibly fill the need if required.

One final bonus that would please every Gooner is the return of a legend. Bringing back Cesc Fabregas would be the icing on the cake. If we were to switch the system to play with a false nine CF type player, Fabregas could slot in there when we needed someone to fill the role. Should we not do that system, Cesc can play the DM role of our pivot, the CM (box to box role) of the pivot, and even the furthest forward CAM position when Ozil needs to rotate out. Imagine the midfield we could have with Ozil, Santi, Wilshere, Ramsey, AND Cesc! We could possibly have a better midfield than Barcelona and Real Madrid! This signing would also give us that “SQ Signing Boost”, as well as give us back an old captain and a son of Arsenal and of Wenger. Whether he’s signed this month, or next summer, this signing would be the best possible thing for Arsenal. It will represent a complete turnaround from previous years of letting our captains go. Bringing back Cesc is ideal and would secure trophies for years to come.

If these steps are followed we will win a title/trophy this season, as well as being set up for success for many seasons to follow. This coach, with this team, and this transfer budget is a recipe for success. We just need consistency.

Thanks for reading! 😀

Written By: Dylan.

96 thoughts on “Montoya, Costa, Gündoğan, Bender: Who’ll move Arsenal forward?

  • Super stuff, Dylan and thanks for sharing your impressive player knowledge with us: a very impressive post which I am sure will lead to plenty of debate! 🙂

    I reckon you want too many additions for too many positions with the risk of destabilising the team. Wenger builds his team incrementally – remember the Russian Dolls principle? – and it will be at most two new quality players in 2014, imo. Agreed with new young talents for the CB position and a new DM with additional skills is a must. Another attacker/winger would be icing on the cake.

    Back in a bit.

  • The two 2014 quality dream signings for me are Bender or Strootman and Reus. A winger who can play a central Giroud like role and a DM who can play football – now that would be bliss. 🙂

  • Dylan? no Balotelli on your list. That saddens me. 😀 He is the best option out there in my opinion for ST. He would be able to perform the holding striker role which Giroud does while offering more in terms of goals, scoring important goals and being a match winner while still being very young. He would be an upgrade on Giroud and we would never ever miss a pen again
    🙂 😉 😀

    Same goes for Song. I would take him back in a flash and would be a really good long term replacement for one of Arteta or Song. I would be over the moon if we just signed Balotelli. The GK can wait until the summer as could strengthening other positions. Great post. 🙂

  • AFC:)

    Balotelli is not going to happen, never. He is a liability in the team and on the pitch. Great player but not a Wenger signing at all….

    Song yes please, but I cannot see Wenger bringing him back.

  • Why would sagna want too play in the middle for the last years of his career?? More than liely as a sub?? He will go somewhere to make money and retire. Too me giroud isn’t the answer, good player but could u put him even close too rooney rvp aguero suarez an co?? When he plays, team push up against him cause he has no pace, and it squeezes or mmidfield. use might not admit but at times wee are very easy team too play against, just thank goodness wee seem to have learned how to win ugly! COYG!

  • TA, I think he can change. A lot of the things Balotelli did were just immature rather than spiteful. If Suarez can change Balotelli can?

    Wenger wanted Suarez and in my opinion TA he is the best striker we have the chance of getting.

  • You might be right, AFC. It takes years to get a team of very committed, talented and positive professional players together into one team…. one player can mess it all up again. I agree Wenger might take a risk but Balotelli…. just cannot see it happen.

  • Sagna would be brilliant in the middle and it might add a few years to his career as less running is involved… Offer him a good deal and our CB cover is sorted for a while.

  • Sorry Dylan, I don’t understand posts like this. To me, they have no basis in reality. On the other hand, it’s good to know the players you like in European football and how you see them fitting in at Arsenal. (To that extent, why NOT include Lewandowski, if not Messi, Ronaldo, etc., etc.) In the end, I’m with Dandy, this is fantasy stuff. Finally, I’m sad that you feel the current Arsenal squad is (obviously) so far from your liking and that you’re interested in so much change.


    Ah well, to each his own…

    Back in the real world, Man U lose ANOTHER match, this one 2-1 at Sunderland…Only the first leg of the semi, but still…

  • TA, don’t worry. I get where you are coming from and I doubt it will happen sad considering he is my favourite ST in the world.

  • Hi 17

    Mancs are looking down and out. They put out a strong team but once again not good enough. Ferguson left Moyes with a mediocre team, or is it all down to the latter not being able to deal with the pressure…

  • Dylan….your ¨beast¨of a DM is getting a bit stale! however i don’t see Wenger going for anyone you’ve recommended since they are mostly Cup tied or not an improvement on what we already have, two things among others that AW always points out. Otherwise nice article!

  • TA, can you believe he has missed two pens at Milan. He must be unsettled as he just doesn’t miss.

    An interesting quote from Balotelli regarding pens.

    “It’s just like a mind game between me and the goalkeeper,” he told the Daily Mirror. “Me, I know how to control my mind. When the keeper moves before me, it means that in this mind game he has lost.”

    Now I’m waiting for JB to come and point out Szez moves before the player when trying to keep out a pen. 😀

  • AFC……I completely agree about Balotelli and Wenger is renown for handling head cases so there might be a fit. That said, would Milan even consider a deal? I also think Torres could do very well with us because all he needs is confidence and a chance to play with a top team (that’s NOT Chelsea) and a top manager (that’s not Mourinho). There is also Pato, who at one time was considered the great hope of AC Milan….would any of these guys be available…affordable and willing?

  • OMG 🙂

    The Beast of a DM is my nr1 wish (and phrase) and if you think it is getting stale then I reckon you are no longer watching our games.

  • Total,

    Of course (as I mentioned above…) it’s only the 1st leg of the semi…

    Re-reading the rest of my comment (and I thought about just trying to stay silent…) I don’t want to come across as too harsh. Your writing, as always Dylan, is very impressive…

    I think posts of this sort can be done but they have to have a basis in reality. Go position by position, talk about how badly (if at all…) we need reinforcement then list your options. Give some thought to costs (transfer fees + salaries) and the likelihood that the player wants to come and the selling club would sell. This is not a computer game, so if you don’t want people to dismiss your post as such, you have to consider the real world issues… It’s fine to talk about options and add observations about the talent out there; when you couch it in terms of “advice,” however, it quickly becomes ridiculous (i.e., too easy to dismiss)…

    At the bottom of the previous thread, I actually wrote about a player I’d like to see come to Arsenal in this window, proving that I don’t think the squad, as it is, could not be augmented successfully. Of course, it too is a dream…

  • Evening Thirsty Thrusting Thoughtful and Thrifty Theo Thankers!!! 😆
    Thank you Dylando for a very thoughtful and insightful post!! It’s stimulalting my 17h expesso loving Sasquatchnova!! 😆 I know what you mean about the dreaming but isn’t great to play football manager once in a bit? Now just using Stretches fine analogy in the other thread …. 😆 just imagine when your out sasquatching and you just happen to meet 2 sasquatches at the same time?? Haha!! 😆 Now as Sasquatchanova you can decide whether Sasquatch number one is like Suarez and will give you a acupuncture rodent like blowjob or if Sasquatch No 2 is an Ollie G with a supersize cock who actually would come in quite handy for clearing the drive!! Haha!! Now that’s the benefit of playing 1 up front rather than 2!!! Hahahaha!!!! 😆
    Ultimately you … As Sasquatchanova will not be able to resist both!! Which will result in an award winning cock acupuncture world discovery and a clean drive … Not just for you but the whole community!!! Haha 😆
    I think you deserve another expressi my friend!! Haha 😆

  • Nothing wrong with a bit of shop therapy, 17! 🙂

    And you have all the sunshine whilst young Dylan is shovelling snow away”… 😀

  • My wish list
    1. Reus
    2. Lars Bender
    3. Draxler

    I would like a cheeky testing bid on Jackson Martinez in this window and if we don’t get our SQ would like to also give Cavani or Costa a try for Summer.


  • Bloody hell, Fozzer, if it is up to you we have the whole manshaft playing for us

    ——– BFG —— MarleyKaiser

  • Yes Totes and my eyeballs are hanging out of
    their furry skull (yes along with my marbles Cockie!) I think everyone is Theo mourning … The news is really starting to sink in now… Oh well it’s Gnabrys big chance!! I would rather a bid be put down on Loic Remy than the 2mill being floated for Morata .. Unless there was a permanent buy clause in there because then it would definitely be worth it. Otherwise it’s a bit short sighted as we haven’t replaced Chamakh and the Danish Samurai is sure to go. I think Remy would be good back up. What do you reckon? 😀

  • I reckon Remy switches off during matches, Fozzer. Not the biggest fan and Wenger let him go twice now….

    Are you sure the vain Dane will leave this January?

  • Dat ish vight Herr Totes!!! Ve haf vays of making you schore!!! 😆 s
    See all this talk about scoring and Sasquatchanova has ventured outdoors with his Daft Wenger “mental strength” condoms … Thermal – self loading edition!!! Hahaha 😆

  • Haha Fozzie… There’s only one thing the Sasquatch hates worse than fantasy transfer talk and that’s talk about formations… This is why we’re never seen except in those blurry films where we’re always running from something…

    Nope, for me, (from the last thread) if we’re looking at impossible dreams I want the Smilan Mayan, the Chipper from Cancun, el que ya se fue (or is it, lo que se escapo–the one that got away)…Carlitos Vela. Note: he brings tranny prostitute to team parties too…


  • Thanks Dylan, I love your enthusiasm.

    My wish is that we buy no one. Lets wait and see how we progress till the summer and then take stock.

    If an opportunity arises that Arsene feels is right, then that would be great. Nothing wrong with speculating, but its Arsenes team and he is the moulding and nurturing it, not us.

    Rather than drool over individual names lets look at the bigger picture. Our squad is full of players that have “improved”. This is what the current Arsenal model is all about, and as long as Arsene is in charge, will continue to be.

    The Ozil buy was great. If a top club like Arsenal is run properly then big transfers should be the iceing on the cake. What we have already is not an accident. Its a squad thats been carefully constructed

    Arsenal are a very powerful and stable club who are on the verge of something special. Lets see this philosophy through.

  • Oh yeah … Carlos Vela is back in!! Haha … 😆 I just realised i wrote
    Ve haf vays of making you schore!!!
    Schore sounds Dutch and what Ollie G Sasquatch no 2 would make us indeed!! Haha 😆

  • On a more serious note…How do we know these players will actually improve the squad? Is Montoya (we never actually get a first name, even if he leads the headline…) better than Ramsey or Wilshere (or Gnabry or the Ox? Hell, I watch a little Barca football now and again and I’ve never seen him play… What position does he play?

    Like I say, tell me where we suck and then do a side by side of some of these guys we might bring in…Highlight reels are one thing but if we buy these guys were STUCK with them. I would hope Arsenal identify players and watch them for whole matches over long periods of time. My guess is that not many posting here do likewise. If you are the exception tell me what you’ve seen that suggests it’s worth the disruption AND the costs…

    That being said, I do think we’re light up top and could use somebody for the right here, right now. If we can’t get Bela (B as in Barcelona, B as in Balencia…) then I say Benz or Berbs. If Sir Alex paid 32 million for the latter surely he could be worth a 16th of that amount to us…

  • Oops, I guess Terry just said more or less the same thing (minus the Berby love…) but in far nicer fashion, no wonder the birds are always feeling for his perch… 😀

  • TA, If you mean do I have a long flowing beard, black robes, and believe in the mantra “Work, or I shall lash you with this rather bent, but still highly dangerous disused car aerial”, then the answer is yes. hahaha

  • hahahaha Fozzie. What a dick. I bet it wernt even cold. He probably saw what all them inbred Kentuckians looked like and legged it back for his own safety.

  • Vickers!! Whatever you do good fellow do not venture to the Chinese and advise the Trannys not to work the corner!!

    From the Star … Poor bugger R I P
    “The storms claimed another life on Saturday when a 47-year-old man on a mobility scooter was swept into a river in Osney Lock, Oxon”

    Goodnight all 😆

  • Thanks Dylan . I have to admire and respect anyone who writes a lengthy detailed post such as yours.
    Bit confused with all the players having a “1” before their name, you must have went to the same school as JB and his 1, 3, 5 system of counting !. hahaha
    Still confused….so how many players do you actually want in this window … it 1,2,3,4,5 ( or as JB would say…1,3,5,7,9 ? ). We will be lucky to get one and doubt that will be SQ !.
    I suppose it does come across a bit “fantasy football” and I will not be surprised if Stretch doesn`t ask you to do a similar post about Pigeons !. hahaha

    Is this a visual take on……..getting backing from the board ?.

  • The thing is its easy to say buy him or him or him or Messi or Lewendolski or Costa. The problem is and from now on will be the other clubs letting us have them Liverpool and Suarez being the perfect example .
    If Costa has a release clause and as i understand it if its 34 million you offer it and they have to accept if the player agrees to the deal, then i would say we should really consider it and imo do it and asap! But still Costa might want to stay so that is still not a defo. Wenger said the 34 million was not true and it was more like 100 million. I would believe his word over the papers any day.

    I am thinking that this season is now set up perfectly for Podolski to really step and and become an Arsenal legend. He showed some real class against the hammer’s and as i have said many times i have BIG hopes for him , i think he is going to do great things with us.
    Plus we have Sanogo back in full training and should be just weeks away from full match fitness, of course we should not expect him to set the world alight this season but again Wenger rates him highly and expects him to at some point, the sooner the better.
    Wenger is a true master of the transfer world , what he does not know about transfers is simply not worth knowing, i feel the nerves that you all are too that we could throw away all this hard work the team has done because of injuries and not signing a striker.
    I have faith in Wenger i always have.

    Too anwser the question of the post , with the information i have and most is newspaper bullshit no doubt. I would go for Costa, but i fear Wenger is right in saying the price is much MUCH higher.
    So back to the orginal point its not a case of who we want , its who we can get from a club willing to sell and we just don’t have that information.

  • Hi Dylan, I can see what TA meant by us being at the different of the age spectrum, but having a lot in common? One, is having a feel for something and running with it?
    It is a fine post, well done ….. but you have critics.

    For us fantasy bashers it is a great read. Alas, so much detail does open you up to criticism from those who like their fantasies laced with realism. Perhaps you allowed yourself to to stray too far towards the former, which, and this is where the age difference comes in, if I were detailing the players above, a simple tag line of how likely it would be to sign, could have deflected much dismissive criticism? But that is just a thought for you, should you be inclined to do another in the next TW, or the next, or the one after that? 😀

    Don’t be too downhearted.

    Personally, I have no problem with wish lists, so I enjoyed reading your thoughts. AW is the one who decides, and as long as we are happy to live with that, and posting names does not have any affect on the real chances of him getting who he wants, there should be no harm in indulging in a bit of fantasy. With so many names swirling around at the moment, I doubt that anything can get more confusing?

    Deep down though, Terry is right. You start with what we have already, and also what is to come from our academy?

    Let me give you an example. At RB at this moment in time we have probably the best RB in the league? Certainly the most consistent and reliable. His back up is a young guy who still has plenty to learn, but has improved immensely over the player he was when he first came. He still has some weaknesses to iron out. These are exaggerated by the quality of the former.Yet behind these two is the slightly forgotten Bellerin? Currently extending his loan period with Watford, after getting high praise from their former manager, and now looks to impress their current boss. That is difficult to do, as most loanees have found? Because they have to compete with players who are staying with the club, and they are only temporary. But if Bellerin holds a regular spot and comes back in the summer as near a top professional wingback as can be at 17 years of age? What then of a shiny newly purchased RB on an equally hefty salary and long contract?

    So much in the football world carries a big ‘IF’, and is about timing. No manager can be 100% sure he has got it right, but AW in the main, is as good if not better than most.

    In the above example two things are clear. Getting Sagna to sign a new, more expensive contract, is still a better bet than in the short medium term, than; a, buying somebody who has to adjust to the pace of the EPL,; b, will require a salary at least what Sagna is currently on; c, the fee involved is likely to be more than what we might get from Sagna’s departure. So the only gain is in the longer term, if it a younger guy that comes in? But the short term still leaves the same back up problem? However, and here might be the big ‘if’ that AW will gamble on, ‘IF’ Bellerin gets even close to is full potential by the start of next season, by the time Sagna either moves inside, to the less demanding role than running down the line, to CB – and Puyol of Barca is the example why Bacs might want to do this, to extend his playing career? – then his younger replacement is ready and waiting, albeit overtaking the current understudy.

    That is why the bigger picture is so much more complicated that just looking at players who might, or might not, improve our current squad. Add to that our personal preferences, – lucky for me you have only named one of mine 😀 – then it becomes even less likely we get our wishes granted. At the moment, I think CB is the one area where we have no obvious long term candidate from the academy ranks. But that can change as players of this age can develop the right qualities for a specialised position very quickly. Young Isaac Hayden is the only one who has seen first team action, and then at DM, and may yet be an answer in one of these areas/. Players can also regress just as quickly. The DM spot that looked nailed on for Coquelin? Sadly, now looks fast disappearing with some up and down performances whilst on loan in Germany. Now whether this experience has improved him remains to be seen, but if both he and the unlucky Frimpong depart then this too could, and probably will be, a vacancy filled from this, or the next transfer window?

    I don’t think there is much point in discussing the other midfield area, as a signing looks like being completed, probably to take to place in July, and we have an abundance of young talent that might make future transfers will be a rare occurrence indeed?

    The ‘biggie’ is in the striker area where much discussion and heated debate will no doubt continue, i think AW was hoping to get by until summer with the options he had? But the triple injuries we have currently is probably one we cannot sustain beyond the very short term. I confess, I am as guilty as any for seeing vids, or reading glowing reports of X or Y, and forming an opinion. But, again AW is the one who gets the low down on the characters of likely signings, as well as looking at how well they might fit into our squad. Disruption to what we have already is far more destructive than any player can bring in extra quality. So I am happy, to a point, in leaving this to AW. The tipping point is ‘hesitancy’ for me. We do have funds. Not unlimited like some, but enough to close out a deal if we don’t try and squeeze that last ounce of value, that allows time and then enables our rivals to steal away with goodies at the last minute! ……. I have said it before, the daily mantra must be;

    Identify; Agree terms; Get it done.

    Then we can all relax and let battle commence.

  • PG – I agree with you on the Costa – lot more thing.

    As I discovered yesterday, Athletico probably had to buy Costa’s image rights from his previous Club, who paid £833,000 for 30% of his image rights. Now, initially I thought that meant an end to his 3rd party ownership. But on reflection, it may mean, from the way it was worded, that another 70% of his image rights is still in the hands of the 3rd party?

    This explains two things:

    a, Athletico President saying,’Yes, Diego has a £32m release clause(38m euros), and English clubs all know that’ – Why would he would so confident of keeping the player and make that public statement? ….. Because he knows we cannot have player with 3rd party ownership in the EPL.
    b, Why AW did not say any old figure as to how much Costa would take from our budget, rather a very precise £145m? Now Costa is hot property the 3rd party can hold EPL managers to ransom?

    Costa – no deal now, next summer, ever. FORGET IT!

  • TA, you have mail!

    Dylan, nice post. I’d like the beast DM in summer please, and some kind of solidity at ST now if it could be gotten… I’d settle for Sagna signed before the end of the TW..

    My post will hopefully spark some thoughts as it’s a different take in this post, less specific and more, more,.. something else.. 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  • nice one Dylan,

    I think you have Arsenal football club confused with Man utd – yep, we don’t really require that many personnel changes to get stronger or recruit them many players to be honest.

    all we need are maybe 2-3 from now and the summer combine and we are sorted, whether we sign 1 now and get a further or 2 done in the summer, sorts it all out for me.

    some of the players you have mentioned are fine players, so it’s a nice scouting report done as usual, I remember you did a similar thing in the last TW , on that front, well done and keep up the good work !

  • AFC,

    so what are you trying to tell us all ? that Sczny isn’t that all ? don’t be scared , you can say it how it is, besides it’s no hidden secret that Sczny likes to shake his ass and give it a mightly hee haw before shaking it some more and giving the impression that there are ant’s in his pants ? is that the reason why he hardly saves any penalties or is beaten so easily ? maybe Balotelli is the answer, ha


    are you surprised ? they also drive on the wrong side of the road , I won’t be surprised if that’s how young Dylan is taught maths at school as well 😀

    in short Glics, if you thought my numbers were odd then welcome to the never ending 1’s 👿

  • also, not to ruin the day for 17HT but Dylan,

    from the list you have given us , how many players are realistic targets ?

    for example

    Wayne Rooney, he has 16-18 months remaining on his contract and he is doing a RVP on man utd, he is a realistic target for many clubs and if things can be worked out then he would be a perfecto signing for us, in an ideal world…. that’s one signing that secures us the PL and FA cup, and we can then go out and get our other 1-2 main targets in the Summer.

    Wayne Rooney might be 2nd coming of shrek and a granny shagger but let’s not forget he also has an intelligent footballing brain and he was the one who even tried doing Man utd and SAF a favour by suggesting Ozil as a top priority buy at the time ? 4-5 years ago ?

    It may sound impossible to most with 17HT wishing for Ronaldo or Messi next, but hey, stranger things have happened in football

    Ozil playing behind Rooney may yet happen still.

    instead of spending 35 million on costa and anyone else, put in a 35 bid for Rooney and see his head turn (17HT will argue that it’s already turned, ha

  • oh and did I mention Costa ? maybe I did but perhaps I didn’t in the scenario below…

    it’s public knowledge by now that Liverpool offered a 5-6 year deal to Costa and offered 25 million to ATL-M in the summer, yes ? but Costa refused in the end (because of his ongoing Spanish Naturalization process ? – now that’s done, he is a Spanish national.

    let’s say , if Liverpool still haven’t given up on Costa – then does that mean, they are resigned to the fact that Suarez is a Goner (Gooner ? ) 🙂

    makes sense doesn’t if, if you can get Costa for 40 million and there about’s and sell your star player in excess of 60 million – good business ? I would certainly like to think so.

    let us ignore the 145 figure quoted by AW.

  • disclaimer, the above is based on wishful thinking, I thought it would be appropriate for Dylan’s post, ha

    seems like no one is here, and I thought I was having a busy day at work !

  • JB…..your days at work would be a lot shorter if you learned how to fcuking count properly !. hahaha
    For such a young one, Dylan`s Winter TW wants, are in delusional terms, up there with the very best delusional BKers !. Well done Dylan in joining the likes of ?????… know who you are !. hahaha
    I think I know why it`s a bit quiet !….obviously many of the BK Arse Bandito`s are a bit uncomfortable with the news that Thomas Hitzlsperger has emerged from the “Closet” and are not ready to come out of the BK Closet themselves !.
    Be strong Shifty Shirt Lifters, we are a site that does not judge on Shirtfiftyness, Race, creed or Colour !………..only on what team you support !.
    Shit Goal Sperm Hertz ( TH`s anagram ) has been brave, so can you !. As a dark skinned in the summer and pale skinned in the winter Lesbanian Jedi Knight !……may I Force it in you !

  • 007, The sauce must not be talking with you if you’re letting your Shrek dreams take hold again… Did you see my own re: Carlos Vela, bottom of the last thread? Yes, strange (and wonderful) things CAN happen even if yours and mine are almost diametrically opposed… 😀 Personally I’m still awfully chuffed that we got Ozil (and before him, Santiago…) I also like that some of our younger guys, Ramsey and Theo, in particular, were making better contributions than I ever expected. Hopefully Rambo at least can come back from his injury and get back on his horse sooner than later…

    Hopefully I (and others) didn’t put Dylan off with our comments here. Like I said, different strokes for different folks, but I try and see the best in our own players. As such, the biggest tangible news out today is that Giroud and Oxlade-Chamberlain are back in training. It also sounds like Gibbs, Ramsey and (the legendary…) Yaya S. aren’t that far behind. I dunno, but nothing I’m reading in the transfer stuff seems very likely at all…

    Tell me different if you know anything…Otherwise, sweet dreams… 😀

  • those Accountants who can count properly are often the ones, that send you huge tax bills to pay 😉 read between the lines, Glics – ha

    not sure why being “Gay” is such big news in today’s world, The Beeb had it as their main story today, I mean really – Let people be whatever they want to be, blue , gray , gay or rulers of Lesbania 🙂


    that was a quality comment on Vela by the way, and one I fully agree with, he’s a bargain at 4.5 million, in my opinion and he could be persuaded to come back easily , considering we are potential champions in the making and he could always help us win the FA cup even if he is cup tied for Europe – its a win win for everyone, really – and a much much better option to have than to spend 2-3 million on a loan signing ? (be dodged a bullet in Sahin with the loan deal as well).

    yep, good news with all our main players coming back and it’s only the likes of Theo and Diaby who will be out injured for the unforeseeable future – compared to years gone by, if we don’t lose any more players from now until the end of February at least, we should be fine with a +1.

  • sorry folks, I was trying to keep it real with the Rooney one,

    another one is Remy, if you may

    8 million release clause ?

  • Yes, have to agree about Vela. I always liked him, he`s a cool finisher in the Eduardo mould and apparently was second only to Theo in the sprinting stakes at Arsenal !. Now there has been a lot of talk of him being only £4.5m on a buy back, if true then why not get him back, there will be no settling in period club wise and even if it doesn`t work out, he`s got to be a minimum £10m player at least to sell !. It`s a VCC in my books ! ( no brainer ! )

  • he was @ Gerry ?

    has he lost his mind or what ? must be on his usual drugs then , as per my understanding, when he signed for Qpr he had a release clause of 8 million or there about’s , perhaps that expires in the summer of 2014 ?

    he can go f himself for 16 million though, ha

  • Even all, It is quiet on here, I might have to have another hour with ‘Stargazing live’ to see some action.

    I was great on Saturn’s rings last night – TCM will be sorry he missed it?

  • yes, Gerry we know it’s mold and not mould, so don’t you dare even think of having a go at my amigo Glics for what he wrote 😀

    and Glics, the player must want to come back to Arsenal as well, no ? meeting the release clause is all jolly good, if you are unable to meet terms and persuade the player…agreed with the rest though

  • The best bits of gossip on TW is all in Portugal:

    Carvahlo, with a bit of Martinez thrown in?

  • mind you, and wait for it

    when we were interested in buying Giroud, we were quoted 60 million as well (I kid you not) but guess what, we got him for 11 million or there about’s , how ? – RELEASE CLAUSE.

  • TA, thanks for covering me until I could respond! This certainly did stir up debate but seemingly more of a negative kind! I believe this is more because of misunderstanding more than what I said though. I’ll clear it up!
    DanG, I don’t think that will help! Wenger is not one to listen to fan made transfer input!
    Dandy and silentstan, I agree the amount of money would be quite a bit, but we do have most of the money and some of these purchases may have to come over the next 2-3 seasons, not all now.
    AFC, I don’t think Balotelli would join us. He’s more likely to go for a mega rich club like Chelsea. 😉
    Sensible Gooner, Sagna has said before he is more than willing to play the last few years of his career as a CB if it means extending his career!

  • Mold is an old one – I know HT17’s spellchecker can get annoying, which is why I thought I’d help him out – glics got no excuse 😀

  • I did watch Stargazing Live last night, Gezzer !…..I even went out side and looked across the border to your direction and saw what I thought was Uranus !….but turned out to be the evil ring piece of Satan……the locals know him as G……. hahaha

  • 17, I think you’ve misunderstood terribly my friend and I hate to upset you! I don’t want to be rid of anyone in the squad! It’s just that my opinion a team should have two quality players in every single spot on the field. Two players that you can’t differentiate too much between because they are of such high quality. For example, bringing in Pogba. I absolutely love Jack, Ramsey, Flamini, Arteta, etc. However, as Flamini and Arteta are aging, I believe we need one more DM/CM to fight for a place every week. So for now Flamini and Arteta are great, but perhaps next summer Arteta’s quality won’t be good enough to continue playing full time and a player like Pogba will be needed to rotate with Jacky and Rambo and such. I’m terribly sorry to have upset you!

  • One again the ‘lazy writer syndrome ‘ strikes again? Mention Carlos Vela on here, and sure enough it pops up on NewsNow within 36 hours?

  • Dara O`Briain is a big Gooner, as a lot of comedians are !…I suppose it`s that there is so much material for making fun of the Spuds !. N17…a bottomless pit for piss taking !.

  • OMGArsenal, thanks mate!
    Benny Armias, you’re entitled to your opinion!
    Hahaha Fozzie. 😉
    TMHT, very interesting to see you say buy no one. I’m of the opinion that a squad is never really good enough. But, you do make a fair point. I like the idea, but I still think one to two signing is what we should get in January. Preferably a striker or winger who can also bring striker. Then wait until the summer and see what happens. 🙂

  • Yes,the only thing that annoyed me was the bit were they said about finding stars …looking South.
    I have a ruddy great hill in the way!

  • I did the Carlos Vela one intentionally @ Gerry – so people could pick it up and it goes Viral 🙂

    don’t blame me for making sure it reaches all the right and relevant people 😉

  • 17, Montoya is a right back who I (honestly) can’t find a first name for! I’ve head Martin? Maybe? But he wouldn’t be a Gnabry or Ox or Wilshere or Ramsey replacement like you seem to think. Simply someone to bridge the age gap between Sagna and Jenks. 🙂 Also, I don’t rate Berbatov. I would’ve taken him on a 6 month deal if we were getting Lewandowski in the summer, but that’s not an option now. So now I am interested in a different B. 😉 Batshuayi is a name I hear a lot and his agent confirmed recently that he has a release clause and that he has been given permission to negotiate a transfer if it is met.
    Dave, haven’t seen him play much.
    TCM, it does seem a bit fantasy but that is because I got quite excited and should’ve specified that it is a 2-3 year plan! Also, no idea why all the lists say 1! I numbered then 1,2,3,etc! Who knows!
    PG, fair play. I have faith in Wenger as well and we will let him work.
    Thanks Gerry. Not much more to say than that. 😉 Thanks for the backing and I agree with what you say.
    Jgc, thanks. 😉 Can’t wait!

  • AFC – I saw the link yesterday, but the surgeon did point out that Arsenal have their own people, and it was a delicate matter.

    Sounds good. I would like to know if he has some long term successes though. I am not sure if the club will take him up on it though. I would imagine it is a bit more painful having the internal clamp, but it should be better once it has settled in?

  • JB, yeah this is more of a 2-3 year plan which I explained horribly. It was also more of a list of options than a super realism post. 😉 Also, I don’t want to hear about shrek. 😉 Only joking, but in all seriousness I’d rather not bring him in. We could do better.
    TCM, as I said before, I should’ve stated this is not all for this window. 😉 Haha I really dropped the ball explaining that!
    17, You’ve not put me off! And I do love our players. I think most everyone knows that. I’m a big fan of young talent! 🙂

  • Thank`s for clearing it up Dylan !. I thought that was a lot of players to just buy in one Winter TW…..even for someone as rich as Man City, let alone Arsenal !. 🙂

  • Yay, new post just in time! Hopefully most everyone reads through my responses and forgives me for making some upset! 😉

  • you didn’t upset anyone as such @ Dylan

    it was a nice attempt and I thoroughly enjoyed it

    what is it with you and writing quality players off ? first Rosicky and now Rooney, come on D – cut me some slack 🙂

  • Dylan, I understood your post as a brilliant walk along the January footballers shopping windows and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also reckon one of the names mentioned might well end up in our team come the end of the month and then we will all be looking back at your post. Top stuff buddy and keep it up! 🙂

  • Dylan,
    It was a good post, many said it is fantasy football and it kind of felt like most people just saw it as that fantasy. When I get what you want to do and know your intelligent enough to be real in your wishes.
    The players you named would all add a great deal to the team, though for only position needs addressing in this window, striker of course.
    Thanks for the info on Costa I have to say I think you are spot on it a no no. Wenger made that clear.
    But the reason for this comment is we are in a strong financial position now so I think the players you named we should be going after there for it’s not fantasy at all, but nearly all will only be possible in the summer and I am sure you only mean 2 players from your list would make you happy.

    It is a very hard job for Wenger to get a striker this window because I can hardly think of any realistic strikers we could sign and if I could then the clubs would probably still not sell anyway. Wenger is the master wheeler dealer if anyone can then he is the man. But I see it as a very very hard task, good luck professor.

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