Podolski, Cazorla, Ox, Flamini, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Ospina: a bench to win the PL

We all know that our coming season will be a gruelling one for our core players. We only have a realistic chance of winning the PL IF we can keep them fit, and have excellent back-up players on the bench and in the wider squad. In recent seasons, Arsene has had a tendency to overplay his key players resulting in fatigue, and, in some cases, long-term injury, which in the end cost us dearly.

Rotation is the key word, and for that we need a very good bench to start with: full of experience and hunger and game-changing ability. As per previous post, we are still hoping for a quality DM who can take his place next to Ramsey and complete the team. But say we get one, and/or Diaby will miraculously (it just sounds too good to be true/possible) come good this season (and I really don’t want to entertain the rumour that JW10 will be played in the deeper DM role next season…. utter rubbish), and Ospina will indeed sign; Arsenal will then have a very strong squad to choose from.

If we take as first starters: Szczesny, Gibbs, Debuchy, BFG, Koz, Diaby/DM-Beast (tba), Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Sanchez and OG, and a bench of Podolski, Cazorla, Ox, Flamini, Vermaelen, Jenkinson and Ospina; would we then not have a team capable of winning the PL?! There are also Monreal, Rosicky, Campbell, Sanogo, Gnabry, Arteta and Coquelin to be considered (and we hopefully also get a quality back-up CB in the next few weeks). And of course there is Theo, who should return to the team in the autumn…. And there are youngsters to be considered as well.

My point is, we are not that far off from having a very strong squad now, with the arrival of Sanchez and Debuchy, and likely additions of Ospina, a quality DM and back-up CB.

Looking at the squad, I can understand Wenger to some extent – if it’s indeed true – for having some doubt whether he should get a quality midfielder after all, given the large number of current midfielders he somehow has to fit into his plans… He will be looking at Diaby and Coquelin with strong hope they will come good now; he will also want to find playing time for Ox, Rosicky and Arteta/Flamini and Wilshere – depending on his preferences for the coming season….

My view remains that we lack a super quality DM/all-round midfielder and that we need to sign one asap…. But, standing in Arsene’s shoes, I can to some extent understand the dilemma he is facing right now. It looks like we simply have too many mainly attack-minded midfielders and too few who can actually defend at the required levels. And as long as we continue to play with a double DM-pivot in our 4-2-1-3/4-2-3-1 formation(s), we really need our central midfielders to be able to defend….

Other than a back-up CB, or two IF TV5 is allowed to leave, I reckon the ‘will he/won’t he sign a DM’ – and if not, who will Wenger play as his first choice ‘DMs’- will remain THE blog theme for the next few weeks.

Fingers crossed Arsene makes the right decisions and then our team is ready: with a strong first team, a quality bench and fantastic wider squad and youngsters to build on further.

Some questions for you:

What would be your first eleven?

What would be your strongest bench (maximum of seven players)?

What would you like Wenger to do re the DM situation: buy at all cost, or wait and see and work with the current available midfielders?

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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107 Responses to Podolski, Cazorla, Ox, Flamini, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Ospina: a bench to win the PL

  1. allezkev says:

    Interesting post Total….

    We have 39 more days of this transfer window and I’m sure that Gazides & co are working hard at bringing in a couple more players.

    Personally I see no point in having a lot of money laying in the bank mate.

    If we need a quality def/mid, just go out and sign him, especially if he could make the difference…

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Allezkev, agreed. But Wenger will at least be tempted to work with what he’s got, no?

  3. omgarsenal says:

    Still going on about the ¨beast¨ of a DM Total? I am convinced that Wenger does NOT see a need for a purely defensive ,midfielder a la Viera,Toure or whomever. He seems to want to rotate his midfielders and use some AM’s as DM’s if at all possible. Ramsey and Wilshere are a case in point. He also sees the OX needing to develop DM skills and may use him there to compliment the Flamini, Arteta/Ramsey trio. It might be a good thing to keep Diaby fit and performing but Wenger is no fool and knows he cannot rely on that prospect. He rarely if ever puts all his eggs in one basket.

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    And do you think that is a good idea, OMG?

  5. AwayGunner says:

    Thanks TA, great post.

    Starters (4-2-1-3)

    Debuchy Mert Koz Gibbs
    Flam/Ram (or Incoming DM/B2B instead of Flamini, re: Diaby – Hah, I wish..)
    Theo ElectricSanchez Ox


    Keeper, Verm, Santi, Jack (Flamini if an SQ DM comes in), Rocky (because he can change the tempo so effectively as a sub), Poldi, OG (starter in a 4-2-3-1 until Theo gets back)

    Buy a SQ DM/B2B at all costs (and watch the premiership tremble). My personal preference would be Kevin Strootman or Javi Martinez.

    Is that so much to ask for? 😉

  6. Dedie says:

    Well well let’s see how we lineup this fantastic squad..
    1. Szczesny.. 2. Debuchy.. 3. Gibbs.. 4. Per.. 5. Kos.. 6. (MUST sign).. 7. Sanchez.. 8. Ramsey.. 9. Giroud.. 10. Ozil.. 11. Carzola

    Ospina.. Verm.. Jenkinson.. Flamini.. Jack.. Podolski.. Walcott

    Things To Be Done..
    Bring in a proper DM, an anchor, a Viera type of steel whom we don’t have on board with Diaby prone to injury (Schneiderlin/Lars/Carvalho or Sami).. An experienced CB back up for Per and Kos and if we got surplus to spend, i don’t think you’ll agree with this.. A LETHAL NO.9 (Jackson or Mario) I got nothing against Olie but honestly, he ain’t there yet! No hunger for goals in him!

    All in all.. I GOTTA FEELIN.. IT’S OUR TURN this season! All the best!

  7. mk says:

    people always seem to get this the wrong way around in my opinion. Wenger was forced to overplay key players due to injuries and not having good enough quality on the bench (which we previously couldn’t afford).

    Now we have depth and hopefully will start the season off relatively injury free I expect too see more rotation.

    Anyway just another way in which the haters twist facts to attack Wenger, so it might be best to phrase it in a different way so they can finally get over this idea that all the injuries are Wengers fault.

  8. geoffchase says:


    Brief one here. I think we agree on the B2DMB which is what I am calling it now to appease all those who don’t agree that Wankondiravipoglin is not the exact answer to all our needs and desires..

    As such, my perhaps biggest wish player wise this year is to see Diaby play even 15-20 games without injury (as in plays 20, full season, no injuries of note). But … tragically, one cannot count on it. I too however can see AWs thoughts like you did … I think it will come down to desire and cost and talent. Speaking on which:

    Khedira – the talent, high cost, but desire to be here or just use Arsenal for a better deal home??

    Schneiderlin – very good, but good enough? Cost ok, desire a maybe it seems if he would rather join his old coach (gotta like loyalty?) at Spurs?

    Carvalho – very good but some risk in seeing through all the promise. Wasn’t Diaby acquired similarly (sorta) as a huge up/coming/already talent at around the same age? Perhaps showed more of what we missed than not (again, sadly).


    I think it may get hard, but there is plenty of time.

    To end on a positive, I have to say that I really like Diaby’s attitude. It would be easy to complain or become a playboy (ala Bendtner) or dejected cancer (Arshavin) when things didn’t go his way. That sort of dedication and loyalty deserve recognition.

    cheers – jgc

  9. How we could line up next season…

    Ramsey-new DM( preferably schneiderlin)

    Would love to have schneiderlin as our new DM, but i wouldn’t mind bender or Javier Martinez….
    I dunno bout you, but I think TV5 would make a decent DM, and diaby definitely would if he manages to stay fit (a very big IF)

    I also wouldn’t mind having another out-and-out striker…a cheap alternative like Remy or go for a loan move for a decent striker. Another thing we need is a CB,preferably a young one that has potiential, someone like Phil Jones or Nastasic.

    What do you think Total?

  10. tony says:

    sceszney(wats his name lol)
    Diaby(or SQ DM)..rambo

    wenger should go all out and buy a DM preferably one with EPL experience.i’d prefer wanyama(hope TTL is with me in this) or sneiderlin..and if he is afraid of spending money then diame(westham) can be a good choice.

  11. castory joseph says:

    to me a dm for arsena is very impoportant to sign,if we want to win a trophy.

  12. jnyc says:

    I cant say my choices now. Im expecting at least one super quality player to come in. Maybe 2. I would be open to selling pod or santi, but would need an excellent attacker in their place.

    I have been hoping barca or napoli would come in for vermaelen since mid season. I am uncomfortable with getting his replacement so late. Its a dangerous game with a vital position.

    I would have preferred a prem proven keeper. Ruddy, jaskelainnen, vorm. I hope Ospina was well scouted, not just in world cup.
    I have trusted Arsene and ivan since last summer, and they are proving themselves little by little. I will put my faith in their efforts, evem if it doesnt work out perfectly, or as quickly as we want.

  13. legend says:

    i think d best formation wil b 4-1-3-2…….that is 1.szcensny
    4.bgf 6.kozman 3.gibbs
    19.cazorla 11.ozil 16.ramsey
    14.walcott 17.alexis

  14. Riddick says:

    1. Szczesny; 2. Debuchy, 4. Mertesacker, 5. Koscielny, 3. Gibbs; 16. Ramsey, 10. Wilshere; 11. Ozil, 19. Kasorla, 14. Walcott; 17. Sanchez. Wenger must buy proper DM and CB, because we all know that we are like Rehab clinic – every year 6-7 starters are gone for a long time. At the moment we have 3 CB. In case of injury or suspension(for Koz that is more likely) who will be at the center? We don’t have Sagna to fill that position and Miquel is far from a best replacement. As for the DM- Schneiderlin, Khedira, Matuidi are good options and AW must go for one of them. Selling Kasorla will be HUGE mistake – you see two seasons in a row he is our inspiration up front – I’m sorry but Ozil isn’t that we all expected at the moment(and the WC2014 prove it).

  15. jozefos2013 says:

    Current squad:

    The one and only Woijciech Chesney-Hawkes
    Diaby when fit/Verm…Ramsey

    Ospina, OG, Nacho, Jack, Santi, Jenkinson, Gnabry

    Theo can be clinical at times in front of goal and with the speed of him, Ox and Sanchez and Gibbs and Debuchy we can become a proper counter attacking side again. Who’s with me? I’ll get me coat…

  16. jozefos

    I can see us moving more to counter attacking play this coming season. It was developing slowly last season. But a slow transition from tippy tappy keep posession, onto to full blown counter attack. I’m looking forward to it 🙂

  17. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Very interesting question TA..

    1. What would be your first eleven?
    Debuchy – Mertesacker – Koscielny – Gibbs
    Diaby – Ramsey
    Walcott – Giroud – Sanchez

    2. What would be your strongest bench (maximum of seven players)?
    It will depend on whose players fit before games play..
    My second team will be (with the avaliable players):
    Jenkinson – Miquel – Vermaelen – Monreal
    Arteta – Wilshere
    Ox – Sanogo – Gnabry

    And We still have : Rosicky, Flamini, Coquelin, Akpom, Miyaichi, Campbell, and others good players.. Isn’t it sound wonderful..?? hehehehe..

    3. What would you like Wenger to do re the DM situation: buy at all cost, or wait and see and work with the current available midfielders?
    I think our DM is strong enough.. Arteta, Flamini, Wilshere, and Coquelin will be good enough to fill our double pivot if Diaby and Ramsey need some rest..
    And rumours said Wilshere will be plotting for DM post.. I think that is not a bad idea..
    I believe Wilshere can do what Gerrard do for Liverpool and England..

    And I prefer to bring another CB.. Why did Wenger keep playing Mert-Kos every single game last season.. because he knew that Vermaelen is not good enough to play there.. hehehe..
    Playing with two CB will still Wenger style rather than three CB like Van Gaal.. So we must have a very strong back-five (incl GK) to make our forward go with all confident to score more than 100 goals.. hahahaha..

  18. jozefos2013 says:

    @Henry Would you not prefer a purpose-built, operationally ready solution to the DM problem though? I know I would.

    Figuratively speaking, if we’re going up against the Ferraris and the Porsches, I’d prefer to at least be going in there with a Mercedes-level DM than a souped-up Astra – no disrespect to Astras but no matter how good you can make an Astra, it will never be at the level of a Mercedes.

    I’m definitely in the buy at all cost camp. Maybe Sanchez is going to convince Vidal to come as well…if you believe what you read he’s turned ManUre down, so you never know………………….

    I think if we see a third major signing this summer it will be a CB, if we see a fourth (I can’t believe I’m even suggesting a fourth as a possibility) it will be a DM (Ospina/another GK goes without saying).

  19. AFC says:

    “I’m still on vacation,” he is quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport.”Can I say I will remain with Juve? I don’t know.”I’ll talk to Allegri on Monday and then we will see. “I’m happy and calm here, I think Juve fans should be too.”I haven’t spoken with Allegri or any of my team-mates yet, but I’m not going to Manchester.”

    Vidal’s words. So we could move for him? The fact that we are in the CL and are located in London could mean he might want to join? We could pay Juve the transfer fee they want, around £40 mill but waged could be a problem?

  20. AFC says:

    1. First eleven

    Szez, Debuchy, Mert, Kos, Gibbs, Ramsey, new DM (Arteta or Flamini if no DM is signed), Walcott, Ozil, Ox, Sanchez. Giroud can come in for the Ox some games.

    2. Bench

    GK, Jenks, Wilshere, Santi, Giroud, Roscicky and Arteta or Flamini.

    3. Wenger must buy a DM at all costs.

  21. AFC says:


  22. AFC says:

    I would play Diaby next to Ramsey if he is fit but I just can’t see him being fit for a long period of time.

  23. AFC says:

    Ozil, Mertesacker and Podolski will not be available and will miss the start of the season which is worrying. We are down to our last two CBs. Verm and Kos are not the best partnership and Verm could be out of form and/or disinterested if he really is leaving in this summer TW. Won’t all three players also miss the CL play off games as well?

    I don’t want to sound rude but didn’t Podolski hardly play at the WC and Mertesacker didn’t play in the last two matches so shouldn’t Podolski definitely be available for the start of the season and Mertesacker should be available earlier than Ozil.

  24. VCC says:

    If think Wenger will go with =







    Subs =

    My team =







    Subs =

    I would like to see Arsene buy Kadhira.

  25. Tester says:

    Hi ,

    I have been following this blog but I finally joined in. Really love the insightful posts here.

    As for the questions,

    1> First team – Szezsney , Kos , Mert, Debuchy , Gibbs , New DM (Please!) , Ramsey , Ozil , Walcott , Sanchez , Giroud (Or new striker )

    Also think Rambo & Jack are interchangeable as is Ox with the new DM depending on the team we play at Home but not for away games.

    2> Bench : Ospina (?) , Jenkison, Vermalen (Or replacement) , Cazorla , Wilshere , Oxlade , Poldi/Arteta

    3> I totally understand what Wenger says in having too many midfielders. But Arteta is older & lacks pace, Flamini fizzed out in the 2nd half of the season. Diaby? Thanks but no thanks. Really wish Wenger would get Schneiderlin. Only Javi Martinez & Blaise Matuidi can match Morgan’s stats but I don’t think they’ll move. Plus MS is PL tested! That’s the difference between having a player who knows what his role is versus square pegs in round holes.

    If it ever came to buying a DM or a new top class CF. I’d go for DM anyday. Buying a top quality, positionally aware DM also means we won’t get caught out when both full backs push up blindly like we did against Liverpool & Chelsea.


  26. AFC says:

    No Walcott Vickers? Or have you not included him because he is injured?

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon Fine Fellow Gs 🙂

    Some great AND interesting responses today. Will get back to you all in a bit.

  28. AFC says:

    Tester, welcome to BK. 🙂

    People need to look at what will happen to our squad in future years, what we will lose and what we will need to add (either externally in the transfer window or internally via the youth academy).

    Rosicky could retire at the end of next season? Arteta, Flamini and Podolski will all leave at the end of next season when their contracts are up?

    That means we will definitely need to buy another DM next summer even if we buy a DM this summer. If we do that gives us Wilshere, Ramsey, two DMs and Ox for the two DM positions.

    A winger will need to be signed next summer to replace Podolski meanwhile Gnabry or Sanogo will take Rosicky’s squad spot.

    Not adding now just means you have to add more later. The more you have to add the harder it is to add.

    Just my opinion, of course.

  29. Tester says:

    AFC : Thank you 🙂

    Yes, you raise a good point but look at Real Madrid. Assuming Khedira is leaving, they have Alonso,Kroos, Modric & Illaramendi to fill those two MF spots. That’s why I think Khedira was looked at maybe. He can fill in for say 4 years leaving enough time for OX to learn from him & develop into that sort of player.

    I’m really curious about Wenger in this transfer window though. No one knows what he will do. Just hope he does what needs to be done!

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    OMG, just what I thought. 😉

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Away Gunner 🙂

    Love the idea of those three attackers up-front, but I don’t think it will happen as OG is the first one on the team sheet again next season imo.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Dedie 🙂

    Almost fully agree with your line-up and it could work a treat.

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    mk 🙂

    I reckon Wenger had constant options to rest players earlier and rotate appropriately, but he does tend to stick to the same players as long as possible. Not sure who you are calling ‘hater’, but if it is me than you are wrong buddy.

  34. allezkev says:

    Agree Total, Arsene will be looking at what he has over these pre-season games…

    We may not, either, see our World Cup winning Germans until early September.
    So he’ll be weighing up their influence…

    All the same, we have money in the bank, if he can bring in the players to make a difference, then I’d rather see that investment out on the pitch….
    The young players will still come through, if they are good enough…

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Shrillex, fully agreed on line up and TV5. 🙂

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Love the line up Tony and the idea of Campbell on the left, to add strength and hold up ability, is very appealing

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Totally agree, Allezkev. But we know Wenger a bit now and must prepare ourselves that he will not buy a quality DM this summer….

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Balanced comments by JGC and Johnnie NYC – nothing to add. 🙂

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    legend, interesting stuff. You should write a post on how this formation would work best for Arsenal. 🙂

  40. allezkev says:

    Total, I think we might be pleasantly suprised this time…

    Just got a good feeling about this window….

    The 25 man squad can be a help as it stops the ersatz clubs hoarding players…

    Arsenal are cash rich, Arsene has 3 years to finally win what he wants the most, the CL…

    He’s only gonna do do that with a squad boasting a serious percentage of top top quality players….

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Riddick, interesting and passionate defence of Cazorla (correct spelling!). You see, I reckon Santi has been found out by the opposition and, as a result, has become a lot less effective. I like him on the bench as he can bring that bit extra when we are chasing the game and commit players forward… but I would not be too sad to see him go. On the other hand, Ozil is offers so much to our team…and it is only going to get better! 🙂

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    allezkev, I hope you are right. 🙂

    I have a different feeling but then again it could just be me! 🙂

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    ee jozef…. 🙂

    OG not even on the bench?! 😕

    In your formation, who is going to hold on to the ball and allow the rest to play of him? If we were to play counter-attacking football I could see it work, but are we going forward?

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Love the line up Henry and lets hope Diaby can live up to your expectation…. No new DM though…. but then you like us to attack and attack… 😆

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC, wow Ox instead of OG…. that is worth a post buddy! 😛

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC that is a good line up for the lesser teams but against the top teams we might suffer. Your favourite team looks better but I am not sure whether Ox, Santi and Sanchez up-front would work… But that is just my opinion. 🙂

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Tester, and welcome! 🙂

    Agreed with almost everything. Diaby fully fit… yes please! for me. I like your line up and DM before CF for me too. 🙂

  48. jozefos2013 says:


    The Handsome Frenchman was on my bench, for times when the counter is being suffocated.

    With the pace we have I wouldn’t envisage needing anyone to hold the ball up too much, having said that Ox is brilliant on the ball and is as strong as his nickname so maybe he and Theo could switch when we’re not on the counter so we’d still have Theo’s pace to make a runs in behind.

    Not keen on this Ox being a DM idea, he’s too good going forward for me…I’d rather see him taking cues from Alexis than Khedira.

    Thankfully I’m not Wenger though, so I wouldn’t have to live with the consequences of my harebrained ideas…

  49. Tester says:

    TotalArsenal : Diaby fully fit is fine by me too. But if we’re going into a season hoping Diaby stays fit…… He’s a brilliant player but sorry, time to move on. If he can stay fit & add depth, we can use him for cup games.

    In other news, looks like Ospina has signed for us. Excellent signing. Well done Arsene!


  50. blake says:

    Has anyone ever thought of verm as our DM. I believe he can play a great role in that area

  51. raul 069 says:

    being sighing debuc n sanchez isn’t enough. we need to recuirt DM(lars,kramer,javi martinez,cabaye) and also a central forward. So my team…szez,per,koz,gibbs,lars,ramsey,santi,ozil,sanchez,balo. LoL..guyz.

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Good call on Ox, Josef…mmm hadn’t thought about that one! 🙂

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair enough Tester 🙂

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Blake 🙂

    There have been several posts about it on this site.

  55. VCC says:

    AFC 14:43……..Sorry for late reply. I left Walcott out because of his long term injury, but when he is fully fit then yes, straight back into the side.

  56. Olayemi says:

    Well, in my opinion, grooming Wilshere to take up a new DM position in the squad may not be d most appropriate decision. I’d rather that Wenger consider Ox. Apart from being agile and energetic, he proves to be more disciplined and had desired an opportunity to play in the midfield for some time. Unlike him, Wilshere is naturally not cut out for such a role. He tackles very hard and that might turn out disastrous for Arsenal. Gnabry may then be given an opportunity to develop along the right wing.

  57. AFC says:

    Thanks Vickers, thought so.

    The papers are saying we have agreed a fee with Southampton for Callum Chambers. If true Jenks will be converted to CB? Or he will be sold but it seems like Wenger wants to keep him.

  58. AFC says:

    To be precise, David Ornstein of the BBC said a fee has been agreed for calim Chambers and a medical took place on Friday.

  59. AFC says:

    Calum Chambers*

  60. AB says:

    Interesting stuff around Chambers. Could mean a range of thinking – RB, CB, or even DM. I hope it does not mean the end for Jenks though. And that we are still looking for a proven top quality DM for this coming season.

  61. AFC says:

    AB, I feel so sorry for Southampton. Lallana, Lambert and Shaw have been sold. Lovren is off to Liverpool, Chambers could be coming to us, Osvaldo could be off to Inter, Rodriguez could also be off to Liverpool and Schneiderlin could be off to Spurs. That’s a possible 8 top quality players they could sell this summer. Clyne could also go? The club selling one or two top quality players is understandable but selling this many is just ridiculous.

    Right now the fans are shocked and angry at the board for selling all of their best players and they have every right to be.

  62. AB says:

    AFC. I agree, and I don’t know why they are still selling to be honest. They have brought in enough cash to be stable and keep a strong/developing team. But at this rate they will start the season as relegation contenders. I really don’t understand the strategy they are deploying.

  63. AB says:

    A question now is whether we think Arsene might let Verm go, planning to use Jenks/Chambers as CB cover? Not a question of whether the fans will be happy with that (unless you are a spud), but whether Wenger might seriously consider it as an option. It does not seem beyond the realms to me I fear…..

  64. AFC says:

    AB, an ideal solution would be to keep Verm and convert one of Chambers or Jenkinson to CB. Jenkinson is older so it might be a bit easier to convert him to CB, because of his experience?

    If Verm does leave we will need to sign a left footed CB who can play LB as well in my opinion so we have enough ’emergency’ depth as the fullbacks in our system under a lot of ‘physical’ stress.

    I think Wenger considers everything and anything an option. I think he will have a hard time deciding which is the best option. 😀

    I’m off to bed now AB. Forgot to say Wenger has said Ospina will challenge Szez for the GK starting spot so that deal is basically done. Goodnight. 🙂

  65. AFC says:


  66. Dylan says:

    Hello all! Crazy first day in NYC! We must have seen all 25,000 Gooners going to the game tomorrow! I went to the event at Grand Central Terminal, I got my picture with the FA Cup and Gunnersaurus, but sadly could barely see the players. They were supposed to stay for an hour but only stayed 20 minutes due to the crazy amount of people they said it was a fire hazard. However, on the way out I touched Santi’s car in a mob of people as he drove away. I have billions of pictures and can’t wait to tell all my stories.

  67. AFC says:

    Looking forward to it Dylan, it sounds like you are already having a lot of fun. 🙂

  68. About our DM position, wouldn’t TV5 make the best option of all the current squad members we have? He has the physical and mental attributes for being a beast of a DM. He is tall,strong and good at defending and has a wide array of passes. He is naturally a CB, which means he wouldnt be caught out of position by playing too far up the pitch. He will be playing a role similar to what Gareth Barry played at everton ,something like a third CB. This allows our full backs to play higher up the pitch( Look at how Baines and Coleman got to play last season,going forward without to much worrys)

    Also, being a DM suits him as he has a tendency to go forward to attack (That’s how he managed to score 8 goals in his first season). Being a DM means that he at least has CB to cover for him is he does go forward.

    And also, if any of our CB gets injured during a match,we can easily switch him back to play as a CB,rather than send on a ‘cold’ player that is not yet accustomed to the pace of the match. So,all in favor for TV5 being a DM??

  69. jnyc says:

    Pleeeeeeease everyone stop with vermaelen dm talk. It was a cute idea a while back. Never, ever going to happen. Sorry to tell you all the bad news.

    By the way, he has one foot and four toes out the door, if you haven’t noticed.
    I like tommyv very much. But koscielny is much better.

    And I would take a little less to send him to barca or napoli. Where I think he would fit.

  70. VCC says:

    Hi Dylan……can’t wait to see your photos and read your reports. Bet your having a whale of a time, enjoy it.

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Olayemi 🙂

    That is an option Wenger considered and tried and might indeed go back to this season. Personally I reckon Ox is an attacker with limited defensive qualities, whereas Jack can at least defend. But Jack’s future is inhe hole IMO.

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Great stuff Dylan. 🙂

    And thanks for blessing Santi! 🙂

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Shrillex, yes TV would be ideal in many ways – sorry Johnnie – but it is not going to happen – too late now.

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Chambers is one for the future I reckon, but could it mean indeed that Corporal Jenks will become the BFG’s stand in? Interesting developments!

  75. VCC says:

    Totes……..I hope your right about the Corporal being a stand in for CB. He is a Gooner through and through and had a great run a while back when Bacary was injured. I like him alot.

    With Bould as a mentor, he could turn into a CB. This might turn out to be a master stroke of Wenger. No one thought of this….making Jenks a back up CB and FB and acquiring the young lad from Southampton to be back up FB also.

    Sort a DM out and we are good to go IMO.

    Trying to find a source for the game tonight. Premier Sports??????????

    Lucky Dylan, boy am I jealous.

  76. allezkev says:

    David Ospina, Calum Chambers, perhaps Morgan Schneiderlin…?

    They seem to be getting their business done quite early this summer.

    Total, are you feeling that positivity yet? 😉

  77. jozefos2013 says:

    @Olayemi @TA

    Also Ox is listed as an attacker on the Arsenal website. I know AW said Ox could play in the middle in the future but if that’s the case I’d prefer it not to be as the ‘designated’ DM, but rather carrying it out, interplaying with the front 4, running at defenders, making them nervous. The image in my mind is not dissimilar to what TH14 used to do, although if I’m not mistaken Ox keeps it under closer control than Thierry did.

    I’m no tactical genius but playing to Ox’s strengths is something I’d love to see!

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    For once we are jealous of Dylan, and I am happy for him. To be able to see his heroes in the flesh for the first time must be awesome. Jnyc, HH, 17, Milo: are you going?

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    It’s creeping in, Kev! 🙂

    Need to keep TV though and not so sure about Schneiderlingeding, but yes it’s looking promising.

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Josef, let’s play Ox to his strength.

  81. Admir says:

    What would be your first eleven?

    1) A: Szczesny-Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs-Ramsey, Rosicky-Walcott, Özil, Alexis-Giroud.
    -Rosicky as a defensive midfielder due to his aggression, acceleration and passing skills.
    -We’d have strong flanks (Debuchy-Walcott, Gibbs-Alexis) who can make pressure on the opponents’ full-backs.
    -Giroud as the holding striker.

    B: Szczesny-Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs-Ramsey, Rosicky-Alexis, Chamberlain, Özil-Walcott.
    -Walcott as a false nine.
    -Link-up between Gibbs and Özil on the left with a bit different combo on the right.
    -Chamberlain down the middle to get more pressure on the opponents defenders and to help Walcott.

    C: Szczesny-Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen-Debuchy, Gibbs-Ramsey, Wilshere, Özil-Walcott, Alexis.
    -This one would be similar to the one Van Gaal played against Spain. Perhaps we could afford to play Wilshere – who still has to improve defensive-wise – in more defensive role with Mertesacker being a sort of sweeper.

    2) What would be your strongest bench (maximum of seven players)?

    A: Ospina, Vermaelen, Flamini, Cazorla, Wilshere, Chamberlain, Podolski.
    B: Ospina, Vermaelen, Monreal, Cazorla, Wilshere, Diaby, Giroud.
    C: Ospina, Jenkinson, Chambers, Rosicky, Diaby, Chamberlain, Giroud.

    3) What would you like Wenger to do re the DM situation: buy at all cost, or wait and see and work with the current available midfielders?

    I might regret these words…but I’d like to see what Arsenal can do with the current midfielders. We are loaded with central midfielders and unless there is a new Vieira waiting for us to sign him up, I wouldn’t spend more money. (Yes, it came out of my fingers.)

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes they came out of your mouth, Admir! 🙂

    Nice line ups.

  83. Total, there are reports that say Ospina might be better than szczesny, what are your thoughts on it?
    Admir, I agree with you, we already have a lot of center midfielders. But Morgan schneiderlin has the potential to be our new Vieira/Gilberto , and another DM who has gone under the radar but has potential( yet another southampton player) is Victor Wanyama. The guy is an absolute beast on his day.

  84. Retsub says:

    If Chambers is really coming its a kick in the teeth for Jenks. I thought he had done pretty well and was developing. I guess he is West Ham bound. I don’t think Wenger would even consider trying to change him to a CB. I. my opinion his biggest weakness is his heading, so Cb just won’t work. Shame be because he is a true Gunner.

    Still need that DM and whilst new signings are exciting, too many can sometimes be disruptive

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    I hope Wenger is open to real competition between both goalies, Shrill. Wojciech needs it to get the best out of himself. I love osprina’s energy and ability to focus and our Pole is not yet the finished article. Would you start him ahead of the Pole?

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    Good observation. Could Jenks not be thought how to head balls better?

  87. AFC says:

    TA, well Chambers is ambidextrous and Jenkinson is one footed so Chambers would make a better CB in our system? He would be more comfortable in possession and on the ball at CB than Jenks.

    If we get Chambers we would have Gibbs and Monreal for LB with Chambers who can fill in when needed and Debuchy and Jenks for RB with Chambers who can fill in.

    Mert and Kos for CB as well as Verm with Chambers and/ or Jenks as emergency options. If Verm leaves we could sign a more experienced CB who is left footed and can play LB as we would not have a genuine left footed CB. Nastasic will do, not really experienced but has EPL experience.

    Defence sorted, job done. 😀

    Then all Wenger has to do is get the Khedira deal done and our transfer business will be done. EPL, CL, FA Cup and League Cup here we go.

  88. AFC says:

    Here we come.*

  89. TotalArsenal says:

    Alternative starting eleven: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Haydenl, Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Rosicky, Zelalam, Monreal, Arteta

  90. Retsub says:

    When Thierry broke through a minute ago every Arsenal supporter in the world knew where he was going to put the ball

  91. Admir says:

    Check out for Miralem Pjanić’s goal vs Manure during the break.

    Anyway, it’s hard to beat anyone without a striker. I hope for Akpom in the second half and love Thierry Henry as much as one heterosexual can love a player.

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    Struggling to get a proper stream. Looked like a clumsy goal we conceded there.

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Some fine effort from Pjanic, Admir: a hole in one! 🙂

  94. Frozen says:

    Pre season or not, some pretty pathetic play from the boys in yellow..
    Gives a bit more perspective on all these “promising” youngsters.

  95. Shrillex says:

    Dang it, my stream of the match was crappy. Can anyone give me a link to a website where I can stream arsenal matches??

  96. shrillex says:

    Total, probably not. While Ospina is a good keeper, his height is a big worry for me. In the PL, crosses come in left and right, being 6ft is sort of short compared to PL keepers

  97. Total

    I’ve posted my GunnersoreArse Sunday supplement this morning with a poll, I hope you don’t mind me asking your boys and girls (and Hair Transplant and Cockie girlies) to vote.

    Ta very much 🙂

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    Not a problem NB69 🙂

    I voted for Cazorla….. We like to get between £10-20m pounds back every summer 😉

    Love the art as well. My favourite is searching/looking for Matisse.

  99. Cheers TA

    That is one of my favs as well, I need to do more like that 🙂

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    It made me want to go to the South of France again which, for once, we are not doing this summer! 😦

  101. I see Ospina has been officially unveilled on Arsenal.com. Well, someone on another blog mentioned it, I haven’t had a looksy 🙂

    I love this region TA, the house I used to stay at (where I did that painting) belonged to a girlfriends parents, but I don’t see her very often theses days, she swapped me for a younger model 😦

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    Which area was it, NB?

    Sorry to hear about the girlfriend dumping you for a younger specimen. But as my dad always told me… not a hand full but a land full of fine women! 🙂

  103. Just south-west along the coast from St Tropez. Lovely spot, near Cavalaire.

    France is defo the place for fine women, wish I’d discovered it years ago. But as my old man used to say, better late than never. 🙂

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha, yes better late than never…today is the first day of the rest of your life and all that sort of stuff….Terry lives by this mantra every day… he has to to survive! 😆

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    Josef treats us to a fine dish of Ox!!


    Afternoon TA

    Apologies for not been around for a while TA. Myself and my latest girlfriend, a lovely lady from Southend went up to North Wales for a break.

    I dont know what happened but when we stopped in some remote area so i could take a leak, I then got lost. I could see the Southend bint drive away, and despite my yells, she cant of heard me and sped away.

    It was awful TA. For three days and nights I travailed the Northern cliffs bereft of food and water. Luckily, my Greek Commando training taught me that rain water is drinkable, and the last 24 hours I took comfort with a sheep.

    I called her to apologise for getting lost, but she has not yet returned my call. She may have been searching for me and then got the wrong idea seeing me with that sheep, I dont know?

    The more time goes on TA, the more I come round to your way of thinking about a holding midfielder. We need an enforcer in there, some one who is negative enough to be ignored at parties and intelligent enough to only bash up opponents. We dont want him getting the wrong idea and attacking Ozil.

    I am also concerned with the centre half situation. Even if Thomas stays, I feel we need another. He dosnt have to be brilliant. Just big and ugly enough to audition for a hammer horror film.

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    hahahaha the comfort of a sheep and fresh rain water: what else does a man need? 🙂

    Nice to see you back and agreed on the CB situation. We need an UMF, of the VCC kind! 🙂

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