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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.