2014-2015: 25-36 Man Squad – Amazing First Team Possibilities!

The home of football will be staging some very exciting teams next season.

The home of football will be staging some very exciting teams next season.

I started this as just a way to simply list all the players that I would find necessary or beneficial additions to the Arsenal squad for the upcoming season.  However it soon grew into something a little more detailed once I realised that with careful consideration on choice the squad’s available options for the season could be greatly expanded, and in a way, I feel is fitting to what Arsene is trying to achieve here at Arsenal.

The players I have chosen are not simply all the best world class expensive players that I could think of for each position but more a mixture of very competent youth, proven excellence and even one or two wild card bargains thrown in; but it is what they as a whole combine to achieve that really amazed me, as I hope I will be able to show here.  This was my thought process as I went along:

Please note;

I don’t have a telepathic link to Arsene of course; in fairness and full disclosure, I had originally picked Aurier as the replacement right full back and was in the process of writing this as the Sanchez and Ospina signings were announced; I obviously updated each position as players were signed, hence Debuchy, Sanchez and Opsina are all represented here but not through any clairvoyance on my part.

  • In my opinion we have one of the best and plentiful attacking midfields in world football so any new signings in this area must be ones for the future or represent a cheap price bargain.
  • Our strike force is also completely adequate if it is employed properly: no one-man up top trying to be an all round perfect striker if we share the challenge between two or even three strikers up top then our strike force becomes absolutely lethal e.g. Sturridge I rate quite poorly as a lone striker but put him as part of a three player attack and all of a sudden 21 goals for the season.
  • Our full backs need to be strengthened with the obvious loss of Sagna, and Monreal looking a little weak, replacements for both would be of huge benefit.
  • The central defensive pairing has been immense this season but will definitely need backup in the future as trying to get through two seasons with no injuries there is pushing your luck.
  • The defensive midfield position is very weak probably because it almost does not exist at Arsenal, Arteta is not what I call a defensive mid; and although a legend, Flamini is never far away from a card and that kind of liability in a big game is not really what you want. With all our other areas world class, it seems logical that we only look to fill this empty position at Arsenal with world class applicants and that this should be the priority for spending in this transfer window.

Squad management 2014 / 2015 – large emphasis on defence



Squad management 2014 / 2015


25 man official squad – 36 man squad available

I have tried to give a balance in each position of proven experience, strong competition and high youth potential


36 players to choose from for all competitions is the kind of squad depth, talent, freshness and variety that wins titles.  Plus with greater numbers of defenders and ones who can play in different positions it also allows for the use of more unorthodox formations.  A three or five man defence would certainly change things up and may be as effective against certain opposition as it was shown to be at the recent world cup.

I must admit at this point I did temporarily give into temptation and started to formulate all the many possible crazy formations that one could come up with using such a large, diverse and multi-talented squad.  However I eventually took the (in my opinion) sane and correct path of choosing to show how I feel this squad would line-up in;

  • our current formation
  • a very easily transitioned form of our current formation
  • and (I had to add it) my personal favourite formation without allowing for 3 or 5 man defences that I do not feel Arsene would contemplate at this moment in time.

Points to note;

  • Monreal is missing from team selection as I would choose to sell him while he has a demand at the moment, but I have included Umtiti twice, in both centre back and left full back positions as he can play both effectively.
  • I have just seen that we have signed Callum Chambers which is a great bit of business. However I have no idea what Arsene has planned for him in relation to the team as a whole.  He could effectively replace Bellerin, Jenkinson or Lascelles in my line-up so I won’t add him myself but let you decide where to substitute him in and change the line-up accordingly.  It makes no difference to the overall squad as he is both U21 and home-grown.
  • I always use an inverted midfield and strike force, just in case you thought things were looking backwards lol




I think it is also important to note that once you remove the more experienced players in each position from the line-up you can see that Arsenal FC is not only cultivating a nearly complete young full English team but also a young international team representing eleven separate nationalities – truly incredible!

Please note;

I was contemplating adding Eric Dier from Sporting Lisbon to the squad but to be truthful I have not been able to get my hands on one, let alone enough 90 min games to judge his play, so his addition would have been purely because I wanted another English player at left centre back to make a full eleven and I couldn’t justify that.


So there you have it, with the addition of these select players to the squad, three of whom we have already signed (four if you substitute the newly acquired Chambers in), and you not only have a full 25 man squad and meet the home-grown regulations but you could potentially have three whole completely separate teams and a multitude of formation options to choose from.

Three exciting teams that I am truly happy that I can watch Arsene and Arsenal FC integrate into one for me to have the pleasure of viewing over the season’s upcoming games.

It truly amazed me what we could potentially have here at Arsenal and really drove home the true genius of Wenger, I thoroughly enjoyed jotting down all these crazy ideas and hope you have enjoyed reading them.


Written by: Steve.

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36 Responses to 2014-2015: 25-36 Man Squad – Amazing First Team Possibilities!

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Steve

    First of all, a big welcome to the select group of BK writers! 🙂

    And what a fabulous and original virgin post it is! I am going to read it again to get the full value out of it and form my thoughts. Top stuff, Steve!

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    first of all, I love the power you have put into the DM box. I would have preferred Nigel De Jong for Schneiderling but if Arsene just bought one of Carvalho or Schneiderling I will be a very happy bunny.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Your total spend is quite high, but I guess if Arsene only gets one CB and DM now, it could become quite realistic.

    I would say that Ramsey is our first choice b2b and Diaby would be ahead of Flamini as our DB, I reckon, but that is just my opinion.

    Interesting to see you have Szczesny as competition to Ospina,,,, why?

    I love the dream formation…plenty of bite and depth.. 🙂

  4. steve says:

    Hi TotalArsenal
    The way i categorized the ‘experience’ and ‘in competition’ selections was based on age nothing more i.e the oldest would be the experienced entry and then below them the ones in competition for the place and then the U21’s.
    I wanted to show the real spectrum of age we have at arsenal whilst maintaining talent throughout. If i had done it realistically then pretty much all entries would have been experienced to some degree and all would be in competition for the spot.
    I am sorry it made it look like i personally preferred Ospina to Szchezny as this is not the case – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it i say.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    No worrie Steve, and you did actually explain this in your post, so my oversight and nothing else. 🙂

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Match Day – Come on You Gunners!

  7. H Bo says:

    @steve nice post shows the depth I was talking about the other day, we have just not had it mainly due to injury and lack of experience but as you said most of the squad have experience and had at least 2 seasons together apart from new signings and Ozil but not much integration needed even Campbell knows how we play from previous preseason with the squad.
    @TA I have been up for ages can’t wait to get up there and soak up that atmosphere and sing my heart out god knows what I will be like first game of the season.
    Red Army!!!

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Nothing better than it, H Bo. 🙂

  9. VCC says:

    WOW, that was some awesome post Steve. I wish I could pay it the respect it deserves. I’m just a fleeting visitor at the moment.

    With our current playing staff I would prefer 4-1-4-1 formation. With Walcott (when fit) and Ox the outside two of the forward four, utilising their pace to get up and down the flanks.

  10. Highbury Harmony says:

    Martinez, Bellerin, Chambers, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Campbell, Ramsey, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanogo

    Szczesny, Debuchy, Koscielny, Arteta, Wilshere, Giroud, Sanchez, Cazorla, Coquelin, Akpom, Miquel

  11. Highbury Harmony says:

    Interesting that we’re going with two fullbacks in the middle. There should be some very good pace along the wings in Ox and Campbell, with Rosicky slotting in well as the conductor. Those sub options look tantalizing though!

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HH, we might be light at the back, but going forward is looking good. 🙂

  13. Highbury Harmony says:

    Steve, excellent debut article mate!

    Just some quick thoughts:

    I absolutely agree that the versatility of some of our players and the possibilities it brings for our line-ups is beyond what we’ve ever been able to imagine in the past! We can now line up to a variety of tactical formations, whether it be speed, strength, skill, possession etc.

    In the past, I’ve always been concerned about pace, but together with Theo, Alexis, Ox and Campbell, we should have plenty this season and we’ll be able to best maximize Ozil’s talents. I truly believe Ozil could be our player of the season this coming year and it’ll be wildly entertaining to see him play exquisite passes to all the weapons he’ll now have at his disposal.

    Personally, my favourite line-up would be:

    Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Diaby, Ramsey, Walcott, Ozil, Podolski/Santi/Ox, Sanchez.

    If we buy a new DM, he could replace Diaby and I would be ok with any of Poldi, Santi or Ox on the LW (each brings something different).

  14. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hi TA, hopefully Sanogo can finally score a goal…but other than that, looks very solid in mid and on the wing!

  15. Highbury Harmony says:

    We went with a 4-1-4-1, didn’t ever imagine we’d go that route!

  16. Highbury Harmony says:


  17. Highbury Harmony says:

    Beautiful goal by Campbell! Sanogo, Campbell and Bellerin looking incredibly impressive!

  18. Highbury Harmony says:

    This is an absolute thrashing! This starting 11 looks like a well-oiled machine and brings to light what a true fluid front 3 could do. Arsene looks very happy 🙂

  19. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hat trick for Sanogo! Where will this end?

  20. shrillex says:

    Wonderful scenes at the Emirate Stadium! You could see Sanogo’s confidence increase and he just can’t stop scoring at the moment. Bellerin ,Rambo and Campbell has been the really impressive, especially Bellerin. Really hard to judge Calum at the moment, hasn’t been really tested yet but hasn’t been decent so far. Really good performance so far and let’s maintain this performance boys!! Toilet break time with my new British friend ( Gooner beside me)

  21. Frozen says:

    The Cam-ogo show!! Delighted for both of them. How funny that Sanogo bags a hatty just minutes after finding the net for the first time. Perhaps a sign of whats to come..? The whole Ramsey-esque “Once he starts scoring, he won’t stop” kinda thing…

    Joel had a tough time early on but really grew into the match. Could’ve had a hat trick himself honestly. Bellerin impressive. Chambers tidy. The Ox reconfirming that he is about to have an absoultely huge season.

    Bring on that second half!

  22. shrillex says:

    *Calum has been decent so far

  23. Highbury Harmony says:

    Shrillex, did you mean that Chambers has been decent so far? I definitely don’t think he hasn’t been decent so far, considering he’s barely been tested and has looked good positionally when chances have come.

  24. Highbury Harmony says:

    Lol looks like you made the correction above.

  25. Frozen says:

    TA- If the whole Wilshere in the hole plan doesn’t end up working out, I think Chambo would be just as effective long-term. He gives our attack shape, fluidity, and undeniable power. Just a thought 😉

  26. Highbury Harmony says:

    Sanogo with his 5th lol, start him every match Arsene!

  27. Highbury Harmony says:


  28. Highbury Harmony says:

    Sanchez steps onto the pitch for the first time as a Gunner!

  29. alcide says:

    So our best scorer this season is already injured? 🙂

  30. Highbury Harmony says:

    What an amazing match! If all goes well with staying injury free, we could be set up with 5 world-class players in Alexis, Ozil, Ramsey, Koscielny and Cazorla. When was the last time we could say that about an Arsenal squad?

    Not to mention offensive players like Wilshere, Campbell, Sanogo, Ox, Theo, Giroud, Rosicky, Podolski and even a fit Diaby all pushing for playing time depending on our formation/tactic!

  31. alcide says:

    I liked Chambers, he was calmed and composed. Bellerin was impressive going forward – maybe less defensively but promising nonetheless. Yaya finally scored and as anticipated, couldn’t stop… I hope his thigh is ok…

  32. proudgooner says:

    Sanogo, once he starts to score he won’t be able to stop 🙂
    Expect plenty more goals from our Yaya now 🙂

  33. steve says:

    What not to do when watching a pre season game where anything could happen:

    Invite the lads round with the beers, wait until you see the line-up and sanogo up front on his own, have a chuckle, decide to each get a shot glass and that bottle of everclear that you bought years ago as a joke and never drank, have it as a special sanogo shot for when he actually scores………

    4 goals!!!! 4 shots of this crap!!!!
    He sure as sh*t showed me!

    60 mins gone I’m hammered and stumbling over the place, as is sanogo, the house is rocking and it doesn’t even bare thinking about the mess in the morning.
    Definitely commenting more tomorrow about such an amazing game and score.


  34. Frozen says:

    Lol Steve. Fun article by the way, very in depth. An intimidating squad indeed… In both quantity and quality.

    Seems as though Campbell is set to stay (from the Boss himsel)f. Very happy for him.

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Brilliant Steve. You won’t forget this game for a while! 🙂

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    New post New post! 🙂

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