The future is out there. How we progress is right here …
The Shopping List: DM, ST, RB, GK and CB…
I find these transfer windows both absorbing and time wasting. Absorbing for the possibilities. Wasting for the contradictions and lies.
I know my post about up to 8 signings was met with some scepticism, and 17HT, I take your point about players coming through the ranks and progressing into the team. But, there have been 11 players released so far, and whilst I wish them all the best, I have a feeling Zak Ansah could have dropped lucky if he gets his move to Charlton. But just like the TW, we cannot have everybody. Again, as 17HT says, we are not a club that can afford SQ player for the bench, which may have been the case with Fabregas and Ozil? A sore point I know, but it exposes the truth in what HT was saying.
However, just want focus on the strength behind the quality players, and make a case for a number of signings?
To start in the key areas of need: RB, DM, and back up CB, where I feel there is not an immediate candidate who can step up at the present time.
RB,- Bellerin, who I have not seen enough of recently to know how he has progressed, and his loan spell was unsatisfactory, so probably needs another year? Whilst Jenkinson has all the qualities in spirit, he also has some weaknesses that cannot be ignored.
DM: We have Hayden, but is still a novice in such a key area. Arteta, sadly age and pace do not tend to have the same life cycle? Flamini you would not want to count on him to avoid a suspension or two?
The academy CB’s are at least two years off even being considered. Vermaelen is solid when fit, and when with Mertersacker. Add to the loss of Sagna as a 3rd CB, we most certainly need cover. The look on TV5’s face at the Cup Final tells me he does not want a repeat of that, and if he leaves, then I think another youngster will be found? Unless young Miquel does well in pre-season, and does not find the regular games he got on loan more appealing?
So they are the probable three signings, two of whom need to be quality ready to slot in. The CB I have in mind, is quality, but would need time to be up to the pace and threats in the EPL. I have no doubt that is what AW is also looking for. The possibility of a young CB could still be an option too.
Then we come to strikers. Outside of Giroud, we have Sanogo who is still a work in progress. So to consider him as a full time replacement for anything more than a Cup game would be unfair to him. For those who are expecting great things from Joel Campbell, and I am one of them, let’s be realistic. He cannot do 90 minutes in such a demanding league as ours, right now. If you noticed he tired badly in the second half in his WC games, and was subbed against England. His skills are there to be seen, but push him too hard too early, and it could destroy him? However, I do see him alternating with Walcott on the right, which should keep both fresh and fit. Along with Sanogo, we have yet to unleash the beast that is Serge Gnabry. I think between the three of them they can be a force to be reckoned with as the season progresses, with or without Giro.
The problem is, they and Walcott are predominantly right side/central players. Whilst it is true the latter, and Oxlade Chamberlain can add pace down the left, both would rather be centre/right? Otherwise, on the left we have Podolski. Those keeping up to speed with my posts recently will note I did not have him amongst the possible departures? The reason is having ‘options’. If he is happy to play less full games then he gives us a real goal threat down the left. But, he has his limitations.
Apart from the over worked Gibbs, we have no real pace down the left side, especially out of defence. We become predictable. High ball for Giro to hold, or ball out to Sagna … who we haven’t got any more! – and if you read this Bacary, I agree with you. You did this club proud for the whole time you were here. EVERY Gunner’s fan should respect you for that!
I think this gives an option to purchase pace on the left. Currently, that is from midfield in the shape of Ramsey, but he is better with late runs more central? Ozil? The problem with him is it limits his creativity to some extent?
My feeling is that when the signing of a second striker is made, it will define who we need on the left. Alexis Sanchez ticks a lot of boxes, but if we get him, it still leaves us without pace on the wide left, Gibbs apart. Sanchez, with Chile, has been central, or right side, but has the skill set to be versatile on the other side of centre. I am not sure we will sign him, as the main reason for Barca selling him, one assumes, is to fund the purchase of Suarez. That may no longer be the case? But Liverpool are in strong position to bargain, if they lower their valuation of Suarez?
That will run and run I fear. Barca have been very difficult for us to do business with in the past, and I can see this being no different?
Which brings me back to our needs: ideally, a left sided striker/wide player that can be the outlet ball down that side, as well a fulfilling the role of much needed support to Giroud. To be of a quality enough to draw defenders to him, is also a major requirement. So the striker becomes the switch that sets in motion other targets, or not, as the case may be. That would be the 4th essential signing.
However, back up to our ‘Chezzer’ is probably still on the cards.
So, 5 signings made up of: Two SQ (DM & ST); One Solid(but with potential) RB; One Experienced (GK); One Gem(who will be SQ in the near future) CB. Replacements for any other departures beyond Bacary Sagna, will be open to who is available? Some may not need replacing if the above signings have already displaced them though?
If we get the right players that gives us options to keep the balance and shape to the side, and more importantly, keep the unity intact, then I think we will have a cracking side to match up to the money clubs. I also believe we will be able to give our promising young players more game time by introducing them into a confident winning team, where they can strut their stuff without the pressures of the past season. Our fixture list gives us an opportunity to rest key players approaching big games, but only if we have the options available?
This is my blueprint for a successful 2014-2015 season?
So what do you think?
1) Will Arsene Wenger be as bold as I think he will, or pretty close to it?
2) Have you gone over to the dark side before the TW opens, and think he will buy a so-so striker like Remy, promise big over DM, but fail to deliver, and miss out on quality RB, and settle on another youth player. Going for the bare minimum and probably miss out on all silverware, and even 4th spot?
3) Or in the SQ camp for one, but no more than two quality signings, plus a couple of solid players as backups? So we challenge on all fronts, but the injuries that have plagued in the past proved to be our undoing at the final hurdle?
Time to be bold. Arise Sir Arsene Wenger ….
Written by: Gerry
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