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:
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!
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.