Arsenal might finally have the new Bergkamp, Henry, Pires and Ljunberg


The new season is almost upon us, and with new signings coming in fast now there is plenty of reason to be positive. I reckon Giroud will once again be the first ‘attacker’ on Wenger’s team sheet this season, but I will devote a separate post to this at some point this week.

This post is about the possibility of a serious plan B, if not a future plan A: the reintroduction of 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1 without a ‘holding centre forward’. We now have the players who can come close to the most magnificent combo of attackers I have ever seen at Arsenal, if not in any team: the Invincibles of Bergkamp, Henry, Pires and Ljunberg. The main reason I feel so positive about the possibility to resemble these ferocious, fabulous four is the arrival of Alexis Sanchez: he holds the key.


Alexis = Dennis in the making

For me Alexis is a player who comes very close to what the one and only Iceman once had to offer to us. I watched the Holland – Chile game again this week and studied Sanchez closely. As many know, he is a very good finisher and winger, but he can also play centrally, either up-front or, ideally, in the hole – ala Bergkamp. He can play with his back to the goal, can turn quickly and attack space and/or players with menace, has great ball control and composure, and he can also spot and execute a killer pass at the blink of an eye. On top of all that, he has a great shot and can be a fox in the box too. Sanchez in two words is ‘attacking versatility’ – just like DB10 was – and that is just what we need at Arsenal right now.

So for me Sanchez could be our new Bergkamp. This might take time, but he has the right attitude and in Wenger the best tutor to get there.


Mesut = Robert in the making

Now this will not be universally supported, but I reckon Ozil best position is in the ‘free role’ on the left. Ozil needs freedom and movement and does not naturally hold the area between the opposition’s ‘D’ and the middle line. He still does well at Arsenal in the hole and this is partly because Giroud is so good at holding onto the ball in the middle, allowing Ozil to roam freely; but this is for a different post.

I would prefer Sanchez, or even Jack, in the hole as they both are more natural in owning the area. Ozil is a great player who will ALWAYS add value to a team, with his movement and immaculate positioning and passing, and for me he will be most effective if played on the left with a licence to roam – including into the hole. As such, I can see Ozil developing in our very own new Pires, who was also not a typical left winger. Mesut will always produce assists (and penultimate assists, for a lack of a better word), but in this new system there will be space and time for him to start scoring towards 15 PL goals a season. The beauty of both Mesut and Sanchez is that they can interchange positions, which will make it really hard for opponents to eliminate our ‘creative force’.

Theo soring against Udinese

Santi, Alex and Theo = Freddie in the making

On the right, we need the ‘new Ljunberg’ and this place is up for grabs for the likes of Santi, Ox and of course Theo (and maybe Gnabry eventually). Santi is possibly to slow and lacks defensive discipline at times, and Theo lacks the close ball control skills Freddie possessed, but they both can produce the assists and goals the Swede once produced for us. I reckon Ox come closest to a Freddie-esque player but he would have to work hard to get there; maybe Santi or Theo could play there until he is ready? And there is still scope for Santi himself to work hard and become our very own new Freddie.

The Ox: ready to add the extra spark next season?

The Ox: ready to add the extra spark next season?

Theo, Joel or Alex = Thierry in the making

But who could be the new Henry? At this stage, I can see three options: Theo, Campbell and, my favourite, the Ox. I need to observe more of Campbell’s talents to be sure whether he has all the attributes to develop into a Henry-esque all-round attacker, but what I have seen until now is very encouraging. He has good close ball control and speed, he possesses a great shot and finishes well in the box, but most importantly, like Henry he comes for the ball all the way to the middle, and makes things happen once he has got it. He has presence and attitude and a good engine, despite having to improve his fitness a bit more. He is comfortable with the ball, and also makes good runs with or without it, and he can also pick a good pass. Of course, he still has a lot to learn but he is a very exciting prospect for us, and I hope we hold on to him this season (which is really not a given right now).

I reckon Theo could be lethal in the ‘free central forward’ position, IF played in front of Sanchez, with both Ozil and Santi/Ox on the wings. Key in all of this is Sanchez being our central anchor, who can play with his back to goal and orchestrate our attacks from the area in front of the ‘D’. The one limitation of Theo is attacking players in front of him with the ball (in tighter spaces): Theo needs to be released into space to be at his best and he is not so comfortable with the ball as Henry once was. I find him still more suited to the wing than centrally up-front, but would like to see more of him there with the right players around him.

And that brings me to the Ox. For me he comes closest to what Thierry Henry offered us for so many years. He also needs Sanchez to be in the ‘Bergkamp role’ as to have the freedom to make runs with and without the ball and not have to be the holding man (ala Giroud). Jozefos2013 excellent post yesterday, about the many options for the Ox, has made me realise even more that his best position might well be the Thierry role. Ox is brilliant with the ball when attacking space and/or players: that is his strongest skill. As such, he can play on the wing, just like Henry once used to do. But there is a real thrust in his play: a power and determination to make it to the goal and score, and for this he has the physique, the stamina, the speed and the close ball control/dribbling skills. The Ox also has a good to great shot and a good eye for a through-pass too. I would love him to be played up-front with Sanchez behind him; I reckon he would be revelation there.

I know I am dreaming when I write this, but the prospect of Ramsey and a beast of DM/Diaby (everything that sticks out crossed he stays fit for a long period!) in the double-DM pivot, supporting Ozil, Sanchez and Theo/Santi up-front with Ox/Theo as our furthest forward gradually growing into our new ‘Henry-Bergkamp-Pires-Ljunberg foursome’, has me very excited!

I doubt strongly whether Wenger has these sorts of plans for the team, at least not in the short run. And that is okay, but the prospect of having a really attractive plan-B potentially in place, and that we might have the players now who have the talents and could reach the heights of our former super-attacking Invincibles, is just fecking exciting!

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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137 Responses to Arsenal might finally have the new Bergkamp, Henry, Pires and Ljunberg

  1. Erik Eikebrokk says:

    I like the idea, but this is unreal. Sanchez is not close to what you describe, neither is Ox, and in total, nor is the formation.

  2. geoffchase says:


    Actually, I have been thinking we could go more attack oriented as well and along similar lines. I too had Theo and Ox as possible Henry’s tho Theo suits the role better, IMO. Ox could be Freddie, but I strongly doubt he could support the hair colors?!?

    But, still something has to change, right?

    The B2DMB is key to me, as it unlocks all sorts of arrangements for attack from those you noted to pure 4-3-3. A strong up coming defender like Chambers is also good for the future IMO as any good offense is built on a foundation of solid defense.

    Note that I reckon our back 4 are better (or as good) as then with good backup. The missing piece is the Vieira piece… Maybe it *is* JW given his mongrel? with AR in the Parlour role?

    cheers — first?? — jgc

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Erik, you have got to explain yourself more for me to respond. These are just statements right now. 😉

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes he liked to mess his hair up – had real character, jgc! 🙂

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Jgc, I have a slight preference for Ox as he is more comfortable with the ball at his feet and attacking space with players in it. This is something Thierry did constantly. But theo is further in his development and a better guarantee for goals of course.

  6. Kaboom says:

    ack wilshire not in plan?

  7. Shrillex says:

    Wonderful post Total!

    I completely agree with you on Sanchez. The way he plays is similar to Dennis. He plays in a 9.5 position that is similar to how Dennis plays.

    Though it has to be said,as much as I like Theo playing as a striker , I think he is much more of a threat when he is deployed on the flanks.

  8. ron says:

    Good article. I saw sanchez at wembley and i felt i was watching Bergkamp. The way he played in the spaces. I can see your vision as you do.

  9. geoffchase says:


    Just a thought but Henry’s favourite goal scoring position was to come sliding in from the left upper corner/side of the box onto a sneaky through ball…. Could be Theo also, no? 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  10. allezkev says:

    Very interesting post Total….

    And, dare I say, bordering on the positive….

    Must be all these new signings mate… 😀

  11. shrillex says:

    @jgc. Hmm…it’s definitely possible and what Theo will bring if he plays as a striker is goal threat. However, AW likes his striker to be able to hold up the ball and link with his teammates. Theo is not very good at that. I feel that his presence off the ball is much more threatening for the opposition. He has more space for him to exploit on the flanks and it is easier for him to get into goal scoring positions.

    That being said, I prefer Ox as a winger. He prefers staying on the flanks more than Theo, which gives us much more width and more space for our midfielders to work their magic. Theo on the other hand likes cutting inside as a second striker. This also has its advantages. His presence will will force a CB to mark him and make the LB confused as to whether to mark Theo or stay on his flank to mark the advancing RB( in this case Debuchy)

    Both has it’s advantages and really, it depends on what kind of oppositions you face.

  12. Constructive and Decent Comment!

  13. If anyone can be the new TH14 in the current team it would be Campbell. However, my preferred possible TH14 in the making would have been Lacazette from Lyon. But it seems AW has stopped his interest in the player.

  14. VCC says:

    Fine post Totes. I cannot do full justice with my reply as it will have to be short. Life is so hectic at the moment.

    I agree with most of your thoughts, but have slightly different angles on it. I would prefer to tweak the alternatives a tad. My take would be =





    Parlour/Gilberto……….New DM





    With Sanchesz being the lone striker we would have to have pace down the flanks to support him quickly….thats where Walcott and the Ox comes into play. Sanchez can score/hold up/take on opponents/pace to burn. They are all attributes that the modern day Premier league CB hates. Can you imagine Terry and Cahill facing that pace?

    Ozil can be our orchestrator ala Bergkamp. The likes of God don’t come round too often in ones lifetime, but Ozil could fill this role admirably imo.

    As said above, Ox and Walcott have pace to operate down each flank and have the energy to help the full backs and get forward quickly to support our front 1/1.

    Ramsey is starting to show qualities that every premiership side would die for. He can score important goals and take the ball forward at will. He needs to brush up on his tackling though.

    A new DM is a must in this formation (Hope you are reading Arsene).

    Gibbs is a fine attacking FB but he too needs to up his defensive duties.

    Debuchy…….this we will have to wait and see. Not many supporters had their heads turned last year when he was with Newcastle, so my judgement is still on the line. Hopefully he will prove to be a super replacement for our wonderful ex FB Sagna.

    Szezney. This guys looks to me to be a goalkeeper that will stay with us for a ling time, and perform well. I like him and his attitude. Ospina will give him the gee up needed.

    All in all, a fine idea of yours. I would like to see what Stretch/GLiC thinks of this line up.

    You never mentioned subs/back up. We should have a fine bench to support our boys too.

    Vermaelen/New young CB

    Can’t wait for the start of the season.

  15. joel can do it like henry if given playing time with ozil, sachez, theo, santi and kedira behind him.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Kaboom, he would have to fight for one of the positions, but in this sort of formation not automatically first choice IMO. What would you do with him?

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Shrill 🙂

    I tend to agree on Theo but would just love to see him ten games in a row as our CF – to see whether it would work.

  18. GoonerPJ82 says:

    Nice front 4 idea but mine would be….. Pires-Cazorla…. Bergkamp-Ozil… Ljungberg-Walcott\Ox… Henry-Sanchez… Only thing missing from the Arsenal XI is a DM, I think it can be Diaby but I am realistic that he won’t stay Fit (Would Love Pogba but it won’t happen) so I would go for Vidal (possible)… William Carvalho (Probably) or one of the Bender twins (Lars or then Sven)….

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Ron, you can come again! 🙂

    Allezkev 🙂

    getting there quickly now. But you know what still needs to happen…. 😉

  20. goonerpj82 says:

    Nice front 4 idea but mine would be….. Pires-Cazorla…. Bergkamp-Ozil… Ljungberg-Walcott\Ox… Henry-Sanchez… Only thing missing from the Arsenal XI is a DM, I think it can be Diaby but I am realistic that he won’t stay Fit (Would Love Pogba but it won’t happen) so I would go for Vidal (possible)… William Carvalho (Probably) or one of the Bender twins (Lars or then Sven)….

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Why not Ox, NB69?

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Super comment Vickers and I agree with a lot. But Sanchez in the hole for me.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome GoonerPJ82 🙂

    You and VCC seem aligned. I reckon we will be more effective with Sanchez in the hole and Ozil in the free role. Someone needs to own the area in front of the D ala Bergkamp and for me Sanchez has it all. But Ozil and Sanchez interchanging is an added bonus. Upfront I want a beast with thrust ala Henry….. Ox, Theo or Campbell…..or Cavani? 😉

  24. goonerpj82 says:

    Thanks TotalArsenal… For me I think the Ozil would be wasted out on the wing.. having players left and right of him, willing to run beyond defenders, I think in the bergkamp role, he will be frightening. The most exciting part of the squad (and you can see from the comments) is the adaptability of the players…. opposition players will be confused on where a player will be playing and who they should be marking…. also you have Ramsey adding to the attack…. If only we had a Vieira or Gilberto for the DM…. Giroud is a useful option against certain opponents in the league…

  25. TotalArsenal says:


    For me the man in the hole – the DB10! – needs to be able to hold the space, to be excellent with his back towards goal, and to be able to turn and attack space and players in front of him and produce a quick killer pass….And that is Sanchez for me, more than anybody else…..even Cesc!

    Ozil adds value everywhere and together with Gibbs could be awesome on the flank as well IMO.

  26. Shrillex says:


    Hmm…true, I would also love to see him as our CF next season. However, I personally think he would get more space on the flanks, or deploy him alongside another striker so he has more space to operate in. If I had to play Theo as a CF, it would definitely be against the top teams. With him up front, we would definitely have more space as he would cause the opposition to drop slightly deeper subconsciously as they would be afraid of him. It would also work in our favor as we would probably be playing the counter attacking game against the top teams.

    Unfortunately,I have to disagree with your reply to pj82. I think ozil should play in the hole and Sanchez with the free role on the wings. Of course, they can interchange positions anytime during the match. Though Ozil really wants to emulate Dennis, he has to improve on his shooting. Even when he was at RM his shooting really wasn’t up to par.

    Cheers, Total 😉

  27. Retsub says:

    Great right up TA. The yardstick set by the invincibles was about as high as you can get. As well as being great individuals they also had an almost telepathic awareness of each other. We certainly have players with the talent, but the telepathic bit is going to take some time to work. Lots of a variables at play as well, most importantly key players staying fit. In my opinion the player who is due to really come good this year is the Ox, if he can do a Ramseyesque anything can happen.

    I think the missing component is Henry. I don’t see anyone coming close to his finishing ability, but maybe I am a little biased. I have to admit I loved DB but a Henryesque website would have been my first port of call (sorry)

    Just saw Van Gaal being interviewed and he was asked if he pronounced his name with a G or a H
    Must admit after he answered I am no clearer. Also took a look at their first 6 games. They don’t come much easier than that

  28. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hey TA 🙂

    This is a wonderful thought article that relives the glory days of the past. Your comparisons have taken a lot of analysis and I wanted you to know I enjoyed and appreciated it!

    However, you assumed correctly that some would not necessarily agree with you on Ozil’s best position being at LW. At the WC, his best games came at CAM and not at LW. Yes, he is a fluid player that can interchange with others in the attack and be dangerous anywhere. I understand the whole “shape” argument, but Ozil’s best football at Real came when he played in the hole. Giroud is good at holding the ball up, but Ozil is more efficient playing with a striker with actual pace and more technical ability. I still think it could work with Giroud up front, but having him at striker makes us neither here nor there in terms of a plan of attack. What I mean by that is he is a versatile option, but doesn’t directly fit the fluid, skilled possession style Arsene likes the squad to play.

    In either case, I think football has changed a lot since the Invincibles and perhaps it’s time to look beyond them and realize we have a core group of players that are different than them, but will be just as enjoyable to watch in their own right. With Theo, Sanchez, Santi and Ox on the wings, I’m extremely excited to see what Ozil can do (not to mention the tantalizing prospect of playing Sanchez at ST!).

  29. Highbury Harmony says:

    To the note on Sanchez being better on the wings than in the hole, I’d have to agree. His pace, one on one ability and movement means that he’ll be better able to beat and slip past defenders on the wing than in the center of the pitch that is often clogged up by our opponents. However, I also agree that Ozil must improve his shooting since that is one aspect we really lack up front in the center where Sanchez would help immensely.

  30. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also, Jenkinson is likely off on loan to West Ham.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Shrill, happy to accept your views re Ozil in the middle and it might still work. Let’s see what happens next season! 🙂

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Retsub, why not start Henryesque?! A wonderful,wonderful player.

    But Dennis has that special place in my football heart, and it’s not just about his football, or the fact he is a fellow Dutchman. The Man was the embodiment of a footballing philosophy and high morals, he was a true artist – a creator of beauty.

    Agreed though that Thierry’s replacement is the biggest challenge, but there are more than decent candidates…. Time will tell. 🙂

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Oh and only the Scousers could pronounce Van Gaal’s name properly. The ‘G’ is like the ‘ck’ in a Scouser saying ‘a paCKet of crisps’! 🙂

  34. Retsub says:

    A scouser saying a packet of crisps…… Funny. TA you are a one off

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers HH, all good and recognisable comments. I am planning to do a post on Giroud next so will keep my powder dry, but in many ways we are in agreement. It is not black and white anyway. Re Ozil, I still hope you are right and let’s see how much further he develops with the likes of Sanchez, Theo, Ramsey, Ox, Campbell devouring his services… 🙂

  36. Shrillex says:

    Total, we will see what happens next season. Those were just my own opinions. 🙂
    Can’t wait to see your next post!! Make it quick *wink wink*

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Eeeehm, a zsees sanwhich, a coaka coaaaala and a pachet of crisps, please! 🙂

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Shrill, first we will get an eye witness report of Arsenal’s visit to NY by Dylan, which I am hoping he is writing right now. 😉

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Definitely Henry potential, just the end product needs to develop…

  40. Sorry Totes for my late reply

    My siesta came between my last comment and now 🙂

    I don’t see the Ox as a TH14 type player. He’s a bit too bulky and I see him much more as a midfielder, perhaps CM. But not as a CF.

  41. That vid won’t play for me Totes?

  42. VCC says:

    Hey Totes. Just to prove I don’t agree on all you say…….I would not have Cavani.

    I still say we would be better equipped with Sanchez up front and Ozil in the God position. When Theo gets back and the Ox on the other side we will have a strike force that will be the envy of the Premiership.

    We obviously need a DM and I would also say we need to think about getting a SQ Defender in to take over from Merts. As much as I like the guy, he is exposed when we play the big boys.

    Where’s Gerry n GLiC?

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Did football get sexier than this? Just look how deep Henry often comes and then starts an attack, and with such control of the ball…. That is what I am seeing in Ox and possibly in Campbell.

  44. Prince says:

    Hi Totes.
    Sorry bud, but you got it all wrong @14.36.
    A scouser would never say ‘please’ when shopping out of a bin 😉

  45. VCC says:

    Totes 14:55…….exactly what I’m saying about having him on one side and Theo on the other. That pace will put fear in any defence. Imagine that pace and trickery with Ozil and Sanchez up front. My mouth is watering with the thought. Even Cockie would have those initials carved on his todger.

  46. VCC says:

    Hey Totes…what are you doing on Friday 26th December 2014 at 15:00?

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    What’s wrong with Bulky, NB69? It’s needed for the Henry role, plus he is fast and has the much needed ball control. Just the finishing needs to improve…no?

  48. I always see TH as lean, perhaps Ox will lose some of it. But he really would have to improve his finishing. He controls the ball well from passes, first touch is good and runs at defenders. The potential is there but doubt if Aw would play him there.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Vickers, just threw Cavani in for fun, but I do rate him v much.

    Are the Hoops coming to the home of football on Boxing Day? But you will want a draw, bad karma and all that! 🙂

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    You are right there NB, Thierry was an effortless athlete for us, such grace and control. Just like a panther. Oxy needs to relax and for this he needs a few goals to start with…. 🙂

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Prince, yeah good point.

    What’s the weather like in Sydney (?)?

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC, Gerry is okay but taking a break from BK blogging. Not sure what is up with the Glicster…. Hope he and his missus are okay? 😕

  53. On to the subject of Cavani and Falcao…. I’ve seen a great deal of them on French TV and to be honest, I don’t rate either. A bit like Diego Costa, a lot of hype over nothing. Costa really doesn’t understand the off-side rule. Wait till you see him playing in the PL….. every time, he’ll be 2-3 feet behind the defenders when the ball is passed forward.

  54. Prince says:

    Frrrrrrrrreezing cold Totes.
    By our standards, anyway. Sorry, will get to the post in a bit. Im in the middle of sorting out some invoices, and the crew’s pay (excitement plus 😉 )

    I do have to say though, that i feel a little uncomfortable comparing any players to the invincibles. Especially the Iceman. To me that borders on blasphomy…….off to confession, err, i mean business… back laterZ

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    I don’t watch FRENCH footie if I can help it, NB, but saw quite a bit of Cavani for Napoli and he was beastly good.

    Re Costa….. Could that be the reason for Maureen getting Drogba back….save egg on his face and all that?

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Prince, there was, is and always will be, only one Dennis Bergkamp….. Of course! 🙂

  57. Then perhaps the move to PSG for Cavani wasn’t a good one…. he’s had to compete with Zlatan. Actually, the Drogba thing could be to save embarrassement for the Costa purchase. I watched the Chavs friendly against, Lubiana, I think, the other day and although Costa got a goal, the rest of the time I saw him off-side, even before the ball was passed forward, he would be standing ahead of the back four, looking totally unaware that if the ball came to him, the flag woud be up.

  58. VCC says:

    NB69……I’m with you on Cavani and Falcao buddy. Don’t rate either of them. The same goes for the Bender brothers and Reus.

    Still, that’s what’s good about football. difference of opinions and all that.

  59. VCC says:

    Totes 15:17……..NEVER want my beloved Arsenal to lose.

    I’m rather hopeful QPR can stay up this year. On paper they have a reasonable side. I hope Remy stays with them, and they have a fine CB pairing of experience and yooooof.

    I have my hooped shirt on the ready. 😉

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Music to my ears, NB!

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahahaha, VCC, got you there!

    Would love to watch the game with you but not sure what we will do around Xmas this year….

  62. VCC says:

    OK….as you know it’s the first game I try and get to see.

    We need one more signing. A SQ DM an we’re ready to go.

  63. proudgooner says:

    I am glad you pointed out the QPR match on boxing day.
    My old man is an R’s fan so, so we could well be boxing in the living room if we have to many sherbert’s . He is already on about getting us tickets for the game at Loftus road.

  64. proudgooner says:

    I like your idea for the Ox and your formation, i think both could work a treat.
    I also agree with others formations and playing Ozil as God, young Marty Freedman does afdd value everywhere indeed. Except the photo’s of course.
    It is a bit of a headache but lucky, we still have the gaffer who created the Invinceables to sort it all out and to put his dream team into the right positions. I am sure he will get the best out of what he has. 🙂

  65. proudgooner says:

    What i will say is , our team will scare teams when they look at the team abd see most have not even started Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski, Campbell and so on etc’s
    I mean Cazorla is very capable of playing in the hole
    you could have —

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers PG, am not a fan of Cazorla in the hole, but it know you rate him highly. 🙂

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC, a SQ DM and the champaign will flow! 🙂

  68. proudgooner says:

    No i agree with your formation more i was just throwing it out there.
    I must admit i would like to see Cazorla start if at all possible though..

  69. AwayGunner says:

    Re: Ozil

    The added speed and quality across the front line will keep opposing defenses on their back heels and afford Ozil that extra split second of time on the ball in the hole, and that will make all the difference in the world for him.

    BUT, TA also has a great point (barring injury, we really can’t go wrong here..) in regards to Ozils’ wing play. His off the ball movement pulls defenses to pieces (too bad there isn’t a stat for that) and coupled with his tendency to cut a juicy ball back to the top of the box (if there is a late run a la Rambo et al) then you can see how effective he would be at enabling our B2B mid-fielders.

    Give him the movement and targets and he will damage opponents no matter where he plays.

    Great Post

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers AG 🙂

    Fair point re now having better players who will allow Ozil to be moe effective in ze hole. I do expect Arsene to continue with Mesut there and I love to succeed, but if it was up to me, I’d play Sanchez there.

  71. proudgooner says:

    So who would you start up front now? I like the idea of the Ox but he is not ready yet and Theo would be in front of him at the moment.
    Theo is also out for the first game of the season. It gives me a bit of a headache thinking about it, a good headache though.
    Wenger is the perfect man to work it all out though.
    What would be your team to face City in the community cup? With Theo out?

  72. Team to face City:

    ————– chezzers———–
    —————-Arteta (capt)——————-

  73. just realised….. Ozil probs won’t be ready for the game…. oh dear

  74. proudgooner says:

    I like it NB1969,
    It is balanced and strong both offensive and offensive. I think Wenger will also pick Giroud and not change the team a lot straight away.
    Oh i just noticed Verm instead of the BFG i would go for the BFG.

  75. and if Verm is on his way out……. oh dear

  76. proudgooner says:

    Oh perhaps Sanchez in Ozil position and Cazorla on the left wing. . Oh i see why you left the BFG out now so yeah TV5 it is then.

  77. PG

    I don’t think ze Germans vill be back in ze training……

  78. AwayGunner says:

    Ya gotta love the possibilities..

    I wouldn’t mind trying ElectricSanchez in the hole either; adding ferocity to the middle of the attack can’t be a bad thing. Deploying him there (assuming he will dribble early and often) would require a beastly DM though, no?

  79. proudgooner says:

    Oh so Verm is jumping ship. Oh dear another head ache. Maybe young Chambers get a go at CB ?

  80. proudgooner says:

    Or Flemini could play CB.

  81. Lots of possiblilities but a frigging nightmare… what wiv ze germans still on ze beaches, two or three new gunners…… and Theo still injured. Would AW take a risk with Diaby in what is going to be a very physical game?

  82. proudgooner says:

    I think Diarby has to be playing as many games as possible. We cant always wrap him in cotten wool, as long as he has a good pre-season then i think he should just play him if he is the best man for the job..
    Or maybe Le Coq might get a run out.?

  83. VCC says:

    proudgooner 16:57………….my dear old Dad was a QPR fan too, and most of my cousins and uncles.

    It was the game we tried to get to see together. Unfortunately not many 😦

    I always look out for their results. I’m hoping they can stay in the Premiership this coming season. My Uncle used to look after the away team dressing room many years ago when they were in the old third division.

  84. VCC says:

    NB69 18:20……………all three Germans are not back until the Monday after the Emirates cup, so we won’t see them performing.

  85. proudgooner says:

    Yeah me to, that is hope they stay up and have a good season. They have some great fans and from were i am from they is many of them.
    Though my dad was put of by the season ticket prices this season, he should hopefully be able to get us tickets to watch them v Arsenal this season. I shall have to keep very quiet of course though if i am sitting with all the hoops fans lol.
    They should stay up, though it will be a struggle i think.
    Nice to hear your uncle had a great job, that is a job of passon more then a man seeking lots of cash.
    1 of my uncles had a trail for QPR he was a good player but it did not work out.

  86. VCC says:

    pg…….I am from Shepherds Bush, so QPR were a stones throw from my birth place.

  87. proudgooner says:

    Oh right so your right there, i was born in Privale Ealing.

  88. VCC says:

    Not any more pg…we moved to Essex when I was three. I wouldn’t want to live there now, I enjoy the countryside more.

  89. proudgooner says:

    I moved out to the countryside myself, out in Bedfordshire.
    I still have family down there and still like it , but i know what you mean.

  90. proudgooner says:

    I just thought we are missing the Germans for the community shield , but City may be missing a few Argentines in Zabaleta, Aguaru and the CB with a pony tail.. That means we will probably face Sagna

  91. proudgooner says:

    I really want us to beat City in the community shield it would be great for the teams confidence and get us up the Wembley stairs again straight away. I think its quite an important game in that sense.
    Is it me or does Szcs look like he is bigger and stronger now physically ?
    He should come of age now andf the new keeper keep him on his toes.

  92. davydavy says:

    Nice post again!

    How about Theo as Henry, Ozil as Bergkamp, Ox as Pires, Cazorla as Freddie, Ramsey as Ray Parlour and Sanchez as none other than Sylvain Wiltord!

    Agree 100% with everyone saying that the biggest one missing is Patrick Vieira and they are not so easy to find. Carvalho could be the man, but I’ve only seen him on YouTube where he looks quite good.

    Wonder how we’ll do in the Community Shield … I remember the win against Man U where a young Nic Anelka gave their whole defence the run-around and we won 3-0 I think. More of that will do nicely please!!

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers davyx2 🙂

    Sanchez as Wiltord….. Wow that is left wing buddy – 10 points for originality!

    Am surprised how few see Sanchez as THE new Bergkamp and how many prefer Ozil in the hole. The good news though the are both Gunners and wherever they play they’ll cause havoc! 😈

  94. VCC says:

    Totes…….you have put out a great post, and it’s brought some good comments, but I have to say Sanchez would be better up front firing, with Ozil loading the bullets. I can see this combo coming off, especially with two wide young speedsters ala Walcott and Ox.

    Our main priority is to bring in a SQ DM as almost every one but Wenger is saying.

    My fears is that Wenger will go with Diaby. This is obvioucly fraught with high end danger that has back fired on him before.

    I’m hoping Debouchy has pace, he will need it to cover the BFG.

  95. shrillex says:

    VCC, hmm… If a had to choose between Theo or Sanchez as our CF, I would pick Theo. As much as I like Sanchez as a striker, I feel that he will thrive by playing slightly deeper with a free role on the wing. He is a Suarez-esque player as he can see space left behind by opposition players and create something out of nothing. Also, I feel he can create more chances for us by dropping slightly deeper and picking out teammates 😀

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    Fully agreed Shrill, Sanchez would be wasted as CF. He is a footballer first and for all.

  97. shrillex says:

    @Total. Haha we seem to share a lot of opinions 🙂

    However, what are your opinions of Ospina? Do you think he will thrive in the PL and snatch the no.1 position from sczsecny?

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    Good question, Shrill (and yes we do have a lot of similar views…. Just like Kenyan Gooner btw, although he has not posted for a while…).

    I normally don’t believe in the stance that competition is needed to get the best out of a player – I believe confidence from the manager is the best motivator – BUT for Szczesny it’s necessary, and Ospina will push all the way. I hope Wenger will give them both a fair chance. What do you think?

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    Sorry Vickers I reckon s it will be Giroud upfront next season, with the rest picking the fruit of his hard labour. But you just have to judge him against different criteria. 🙂

  100. AFC says:

    No time to comment on your article TA, but apparently Lukaku is going to Everton for £25 million!!!

  101. shrillex says:

    Total, I believe Oapina is a very underrated keeper. He is very good and he is really athletic and has good reflexes. Szczesny is a good keeper too but Ospina is better in those regards. However, Szczesny is far from being a finished product. He has the quality to be the best keeper in the world if he continues this progress.

    Ospina has a few flaws too but the most glaring one is his height. Being 6ft isn’t exactly tall is it? My friend who keeps tabs on the French league tells me that Ospina is very good at claiming crosses and high balls. However, the Ligue 1 is not as physical as the PL and this particular flaw worries me. Imagine him trying to claim a ball that’s coming for Peter Crouch, I have a feeling Peter Crouch will still manage to head the ball even with Ospina’s hand stretched.

    Knowing AW, Ospina will definitely get enough time to prove himself. Well, it will be truly interesting to see who will come out on top. 🙂 Only time will tell

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes he isn’t the tallest, Shrill, but neither is Koz and yet he wins almost every ball in the air. I just wanna see more of him before I can judge. Key for me is his decision making when under pressure and his ability to work in partnership with Koz and BFG.

  103. proudgooner says:

    Do we find out who we face in the champions league after tonights CL games?

  104. proudgooner says:

    I just see some highlights of the chavs friendly game tonight.
    It is going to take some getting used to, to hearing them say Fabregas while playing for the chavs 😦

  105. proudgooner says:

    we find out on the 8th of Aug in the draw who we face in the CL

  106. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers for the update, PG 🙂

    A long season lays ahead and we could really have done without playing a tricky CL qualifier next month…

  107. AB says:

    Evening TA. I’ve not had the space to write much of late, but I’ve kept tabs on what’s been commented on BK. I mostly buy what you have set out above – whatever the exact configuration, its a promising position to be in for us. As you say, Giroud will be plan A for sure, but Wenger may try an alternative if our other forwards find form and stay fit. The missing part in our makeup, as Retsub has said, is we don’t have an Henry in sight – lots of potential, but unlike the other positions, still a long way short. That’s ok though, as the squad is young, and we have far more to draw on off the bench than in the golden 1st 11 days.

    Having bought so strongly this far, the transfer speculation all feels very plausible now. Do I think we will buy a top DM? You know what, I actually do! I suspect we will end up with one of Khedira, Carvalho or a Bender come the end of the TW, and the first of these is looking increasingly likely.

    The news/gossip around Reus is also fascinating. Would I take Reus ahead of Sanchez? Before the WC I probably would; right now, I think I’m happy where we are. But the mutterings around Santi don’t go away, and you just wonder if there’s a deal that might yet be done involving Santi and Reus. It would be exciting times, but I’m not sure I really want much more churn with our squad and particularly our first 11. A new DM would mean 3 new players in our first 11; that feels enough to me, and any more risks getting into a Spurs place – yes its bizarre to be even writing this after the years we have been through recently! But Khedira then Reus……., blimey, wake me up if it happens!

  108. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice comment AB 🙂

    We still need that extra midfielder, yes, but things are looking good, agreed! Reus for Cazorla…. now you got me dreaming as well! 🙂

    Night all 🙂

  109. TotalArsenal says:

    Before I go, Dylan, what is up buddy? Can we still expect your Gunners in NYC report?

  110. proudgooner says:

    Oil City V Liverbog is on just kicked off, 10 mins and it 0-0 hope Wenger and the boys are watching. We want to beat oil city in the community shield! A good solid defence will be needed and a clinical attack, I want us to be ruthless in front of goal this season

  111. proudgooner says:

    TA ,
    I would still really like it if we got Jovetic I think the vampire really rates him but a cheeky bid would do no harm.
    Also Arsene bid for De Jong he would be perfect for us, plus we would have a good Dutchman in the team like we always have.

  112. davydavy says:

    Marco Reus, wouldn’t that be a fantastic signing? I see him as the new RVP rather than as a sub for Santi Cazorla, and his pace and eye for goal would fit in perfectly with our newly enriched midfield.

  113. proudgooner says:

    Jovetic scores 2 for city, city 2 v lfc 1 67 mins played.
    He is a good player, 1 we wanted and should have had 👿

  114. shrillex says:

    Total, fully agree with you there buddy ! 🙂 personally I haven’t seen enough of him to really give a verdict. Though at the world cup I have seen him make one or two bad decisions.

    Another fact that worries me is his disciplinary record, 11 yellow and 4 red cards is quite astonishing for a keeper. Most of it is because of him time wasting , arguing with the officials and players etc etc. Well, he probably can’t do it with Arsenal though, not without AW and Flamini giving him an earful. 😉

    Hope to see him play at the Emirates Cup 🙂 Maybe I’ll even write a post about the Emirates Cup if no one is doing it 🙂

  115. jozefos2013 says:

    Shrill, have really enjoyed your comments so far so I’m looking forward to your debut post. Did you say you are going to both days? I’m going for Arsenal v Benfica so it would be great to get a different perspective on what I see (I’ll mostly be encouraging my son to join in any chants)…

  116. jozefos2013 says:

    * your debut post, whenever it may be

  117. Highbury Harmony says:

    So are we all full tilt on Carvalho now? He seems to be the natural way to go in terms of team needs – he plays the holding midfield position in a way that would satisfy everyone: strong, tall, physical (doesn’t use brute force but uses his strength/size to shield and tackle kind of like Diaby), technically gifted and has superstar potential. Obviously, he lacks the refined offensive game that Khedira would bring and does not have the instincts going forward that you would get from a B2B player (Bender, Matuidi, Vidal, Pogba etc.). However, he is much more talented than Wanyama so he could represent middle ground for all of us on opposite sides of the debate (beast DM vs. defensive B2B mid).

  118. shrillex says:

    Thanks Jozef! I’ll be going for both days but I’ll only be going back to Chicago on the 5th , so don’t expect me to post anything until then. 🙂

  119. jozefos2013 says:

    HH, I liked what I read about him while I was briefly researching him and he would be my choice over any of the other candidates…a pure DM will give us a shot at the title IMHO.

  120. shrillex says:

    HH, almost fully agreed on your comments but I have to disagree your statement that Cavalho does not have instincts going forward. I have watched him play on a semi-regular basis and to me, he is decent going forward. He isn’t the pure defensive DM everyone assumes he is. To be honest, there hasn’t been any since Makelele. Heck, even Vieira isn’t a pure defensive DM, more of a b2b midfielder to me. Though I have to say, Carvalho is very much like Vieira in every aspect.

  121. shrillex says:

    Jozef, I have watch Carvalho and there are a few things about him that worries me.
    One of Carvalho’s weaknesses arises when he plays against a technically gifted number 10. Because that player usually falls within the same playing area where William plays, his offensive skills are greatly impaired by the performance and the positioning of the opposing midfielder.
    He has to learn how to cope with this threat while at the same time playing the ball and contribute to the offensive transition of his team.

    Even his defensive side seemed shaky when playing against top midfielders. However, these are flaws that can be fixed by training and gaining experience. That being said, I certainly wouldn’t mind having him on our team 🙂

  122. Highbury Harmony says:

    Shrillex, when I say he doesn’t have the offensive instincts going forward, I mean he is no Khedira, Ramsey, Vidal, Pogba etc. Not your prototypical B2B midfielder, which is just fine given our set-up. I prefer a defensive B2B mid personally, but Carvalho reminds me more of a conservative Vieira. He’s very efficient at controlling the ball and making smart passes, but I wouldn’t count on him regularly joining the attack, as he’s very disciplined positionally. I think if we could combine Diaby and Carvalho, we would have the next Vieira.

    That said, I don’t think Carvalho is anything like Makalele since the latter was far too one-dimensional, where as Carvalho commits to more of a 65/35 split in terms of defense/offense from the games I’ve seen. If anything, I see Carvalho as a younger, faster and stronger Arteta who is willing to add more variety to his passes, opposed to just recycling the ball constantly.

  123. shrillex says:

    Hmm… True, he is good defensively and isn’t the best in attack, though he is pretty decent at it. he is like Koz in the way of his reading of the game and composure on the ball.

    Oh btw, when I was mentioning Makelele before I didn’t mean that Carvalho is like him. What I meant was Makelele is the last true pure defensive DM I’ve seen and that Carvalho isn’t a pure defensive DM.

  124. Retsub says:

    Don’t think I have ever seen such an interesting transfer window. I don’t profess to have a great knowledge of the current batch of defensive midfield candidates, but like many people change my views on a daily basis depending on the press, u tube, blogs etc. I see big mouth Stevie Gerrard has come out and said Arsenal weren’t.good enough for Suarez. Of course if Gerrard was any good Liverpool would have won the league and England might have put on a better show in the World Cup (ok am being a little harsh). Somebody stick a paCKet of crisps in his gob and tell him to shut up.

    Looking forward to the Emirates cup this weekend. I went to a bbq in North London ( I live on the south side). And took a train in to the Emirates kitted out in red and white. Didn’t realise the train stopped at white hart lane, that was a pretty unpleasant experience. The only other time I have been their was the night the boys won the 1971 double. I was locked outside with about 50000 Gooners listening to a tranny radio with fast depleting batteries. Those were the days

  125. Highbury Harmony says:

    Retsub, if you’re on a Gerrard rant, you’ll enjoy this mate:

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys, some fine comments today. Cheers! 🙂

  127. TotalArsenal says:

    Love the vid HH 🙂

  128. TotalArsenal says:

    Retsub 🙂

    Did you sing ‘you won the league in black and white?’ Hahahaha 🙂

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    Probably the best for Jenks, AFC. Hope he has a beast of a season!

  130. Retsub says:

    Thanks HH enjoyed that

    TA I sang for about a week

  131. Frozen says:

    Jenks gone, Joel grabs a squad number (#28). I really do hope he gets to stay this season.

    Not sure I like what I’m hearing about Santi heading to Atleti and Porto’s Quintero replacing him. Might be one too many new faces– especially if (and rightly so) were in the market for that DM…

    Either way, looking forward to this weekend!!

  132. TotalArsenal says:

    Frozen….28 that is twice TH14…. The man has ambition hahaha! 🙂

  133. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

  134. Amrish says:

    Gustavo could be our Gilberto,Ramsey-vieira,cazorla-pires,walcott-Ljungberg,Ozil-Bergkamp,Sanchez-Henry

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