The Future is Bright – The Future is Red and White!

Steve, one of Bergkampesque’s favourite regulars and a recent Ozil-convert lol, posted a number of key questions late last night. I like to invite you all to respond to his questions, and in order to get the discussion going, I have added my responses.


Question 1:

Do we start the next season having retained both our loanees on the wing (Campbell and Silva) and let them fight it out for the chance to become a first choice sub, or do we grab the money and run choosing instead to replace them for one of the supposed transfer targets (Dybala, Draxler, Reus etc)?

I reckon Arsene will sign one to two super quality players every summer, as he started to do so two summers ago. This is what we always wanted: hold on to our key players and add quality gradually. This will also allow us to have a bit of space for new talent and youngsters into the team.

Campbell did not get many opportunities to show us how good he is, but when he was on the pitch he was underwhelming. I have a feeling this will be another Carlos Vela situation and he will get sold eventually. Wellington is harder to predict.

Not sure whether we will buy a (super) quality winger this summer. It depends on where Wenger wants our width and wing play to come from. A super quality left back with a great assists ratio could also be an option… I would love Reus, who can also play centrally I reckon, but the young Dutchman Memphis Depay is the one to go for I reckon.

Question 2:

Do we buy one more CB to partner Gabriel and provide complete top choice cover in every position within the team (Kos and BFG could both be injured at the same time, crazier things have happened just look at this season) or do we leave the position vacant for one of the youngsters to fill after all Chambers didn’t do himself any harm there this season?

I reckon Wenger will have a good look at his internal options in the next few months. With Bellerin developing so strongly and Chambers having had such a strong start as well, he might look at Debuchy as cover for the CB positions. The Frenchman reads the game well and could be a good organiser and leader of our defence. I also feel that Chambers could become a solid CB but this will take time as he is still so young.

Question 3:

Do we make every effort to grab the one that got away this transfer window and sign Schneiderlin to replace our captain as the first choice DM and in doing so probably resign Arteta to a fringe role?

Arsenal have, apparently, been in the market for a DM for a few years now. Yet we never sign one. I don’t know what to think about the Schneiderlin rumours but would love to see him in red and white this summer. You would say he is exactly what Wenger would want in a modern DM and he would combine well with Coquelin as well, if and when we need steel and ingenuity in front of our back four. Arteta will keep playing a role in our team and the captaincy seems to mean little to Wenger. Only time will tell how it will work out exactly, but if Coquelin does indeed sign a new contract we might not see a new DM at the Groove for quite a while.

Question 4:

And who will be left in the fringe player group come the start of next season, will it be the mass culling that a few think it may be or will Wenger continue his unwavering faith in the surplus resources he has, Coquelin has surely shown the benefits of this approach to player management evolving from surplus to requirements into absolutely vital?

The core group, which will be about 18 players, will stay the same other than the addition of a super quality player. Some will be let go off, both old and young, and Wenger might sell one of his creative midfielders to make a bit of room for up and coming talent. But this will not be dramatic at all and just business as usual. The formula of: 1 to 2 SQ players (like Ozil, Alexis) + 1 to 3 young players breaking through + 1 to 2 solid quality additions (like Debuchy, Monreal) and letting three to six players go from the squad, is likely to continue imo.

Question 5:

Do we selfishly hoard the young stars we have at our disposal providing excellent cup match options and injury crisis cover or will most of that team be loaned out for proper game time gaining the experience they need to continue up the Arsenal conveyor belt of talent to the first team?

A mixture of both. Loaning out players is a brilliant way of fast-tracking a player’s development or testing them properly, so we will see more of this. Some players need Arsene’s and the coaching staff’s direct attention and will be ‘nurtured’ at home. Just look at Jenkinson and Bellerin: one is developing fast at West Ham and the other one is doing so at home…. Another example is Sanogo and Akpom: one is getting a chance under a manager who believes in him, Pardew; the other is now given a proper chance at home. It is all about making the right developmental decisions and at the moment we seem to be getting it right.

Strengthening the team bottom upwards and with quality buys, whilst holding on to our top players, is a great strategy of building the best team in the country, and hopefully, Europe.

The Future is Bright, The Future is

Red and White.



Written by: Steve and TotalArsenal.

39 thoughts on “The Future is Bright – The Future is Red and White!

  • haha TA you’ve got to stop turning my comments into posts lol, this one most certainly does not deserve to be made into such.
    The comment was meant to give an overview of our insane squad now most are back fit and with the new arrival in this TW.
    The questions were merely an afterthought that only really deserve attention nearer the time (summer) but of course i couldn’t help myself and gave my opinion as it stands now.
    I think the time to discuss who should come and who should go has well and truly finished with the closing of this transfer window. The casting doubt on certain players and adding speculation to other potential ones should be at an end for a while and is why i thought i would sneak the comment in late last night – that kind of backfired lol

    Luckily in my view the squad is almost completely solid with only a few fringe players that may be heading for the door during this summer and none that will come as much of a surprise either so the answers to these questions (hopefully) may not be too drastic or damning.

    As for your answers TA, i don’t know how you do it mate I find myself nodding away as i read through, finding no fault in your logic and agreeing with the conclusions you have come to only to realize afterwards that most are in complete disagreement with what actually think lol.

    1. I kind of agree with you and as i said before this one could go either way although i’m all for giving a player a real chance but a SQ player in this position would spell the end for the loanees i think.

    2. Again i would be happy with internal solutions to fill the spot as you have suggested but would ideally like to see a ready made and fit for purpose addition here.

    3. I can see where you are coming from but have to disagree, i think Schneidy will be a top target in the summer with Le Coq to rotate to keep the position fresh and strong.

    4. Nothing i would disagree with

    5. Yep you hit the nail on the head and realistically this is what will happen, a nice blend of some out on loan and some retained, it will be good to see some of the young stars pop up with excellent first team displays over the season even if its not for our team atm. Would have made a stellar cup team though!!

    The future (and present) certainly does look bright indeed!!


  • Here is my reply copied over:

    Well it is over, and we have what we have … almost? As both Coquelin and Akpom are able to sign pre- agreements with any club on the Continent, or come May, any club in the in the FA jurisdiction. Worrying?

    Naturally I was hoping for more, but very happy with what we have. So on to your questions Steve.

    1, Returnees Campbell and Silva? However I would throw in all loanees as not returning, including Jenkinson. Silva, if he came back he would go straight out on loan to a club here, but that just keeps him dangling. I admit, I do not know enough about him to be sure he cannot make it in the EPL, but the odds are stacked against him. Campbell will not fit into our system. Simple as that. We are playing a high tempo game, particularly in and out of transition, and while Campbell has pace, I don’t see him lasting more than half a game. I wish him all the best and hope he makes it good at Villareal as the Spanish league will suit him a lot better. Jenks has found his home at WHA, and with no change of address, he has it made, albeit, not at the club of first choice. Toral, and probably Sanogo too are likely losers to make way for a gentle shift in the summer, as Arsene tightens up the squad to 16 or 17 ‘hard core’ regulars, the rest made up by developing youngsters, both those we have and new faces in the summer.

    2, CB cover?Mmmnnn. I think they have missed out on one target. I watched the Empoli match on Sunday, and the youngster there looked very, very good. Unfortunately, the part-owners have bought out Empoli’s share, and will be moving to them in the summer. I cannot see him leaving except for a very big fee. ‘Ty from the Fens’ might be an alternative? I don’t see V v D moving to be 4th choice though? A young improver would seem more likely?

    3, MS? I got terribly confused on this one. Even JB seemed to think his contract ends this June after initially arguing it was next year. Yet I have seen more than one web site proclaiming his contract runs until 2016. The other confusing thing is, MS himself apparently told French journalists he had agreed (personal) terms with Arsenal. Well unless he had permission to have contact, via his agent, then we are patently tapping him up? However, the only logically conclusion I can come up with is this. Yes his contract does run until 2016, but within that contract there was a clause/verbal agreement/whatever, that if any club made an acceptable offer then he would be allowed to leave. That was broken in the last window, but promised to honour it next time. Hence, they gave him permission, because possibly/probably they have an acceptable offer from us. In return, we did not press for his immediate departure – the ‘Coquelin’ effect? – but pay less than the £25m they said it would cost last time. How binding this is in the real world we will have to wait and see. Personal view is Southampton have spent £10m of hiss fee to keep him until June, and have a player on loan/ future purchase? as a replacement if Clasie is not available. Problem area solved?

    4, Yes, a cull seems likely. But mainly of the players you speak of plus the loanees I added.
    Gnabry has a few games to impress, but I think a loan could be likely, and he will be back next season, if all goes well. Akpom will continue to be given time from the bench, and might be given the odd start. Depends if he signs a contract before the loan window closes. I don’t think Welbeck will be especially happy to play second fiddle, and he could be a casualty in the summer. Remember he was not a Wenger signing. His work effort and everything is sound. Pace and height, and abundance of stamina. But he will be playing out wide until the Akpom issue is resolved. Arteta has signed an extension, but that does not exclude a move if he wants more playing time? Similar comments apply to Rosicky. If slots allow, he too would be great to have him around. Depends on summer aspirations being filled I guess. Wilshere is probably safe for another year, but he may not take kindly to not being an automatic first choice? We will have to see how well he fits in during the remainder of this season? My personal view is he represents the biggest disruption to the balance of the team that we have seen over the last few games. Injuries can change all that of course. Down the lower order, more academy players will be shown the door, and hopefully they get a decent chances elsewhere.

    5, A fresh influx of players is almost guaranteed. Meanwhile fresh loans during this season may decide the fate of those close to the first team. But expect a much more targeted approach to youngsters coming in. Particular from S.America requiring a sizeable fee, thus getting around the work permit restrictions.

    Summer signings? That once again comes down to where we finish in the league. CL can attract players who might turn down more money. I hope we get to follow up on some of those we were looking at this time around. I think AW is very good at developing trust from other clubs, and respecting their decisions, even if for a short delay before the next inquiry is made. That can help if we can get in before the big money is splashed about. it will also help if we continue to play attractive football and look like a side going places. Not all teams will be as accommodating as Villa.?

    OGGAT it is then. With the big one next.

    However, a touch of OGA is not too much of a bad idea in terms of planning a little rotation, and Leicester provides the ideal opportunity the following Tuesday? Just saying ….

  • Hi Steve, it is just a bit a fun in the end. 🙂

    Re answer 2: a solid, quality CB is of course very welcome.
    Re answer 3: well let’s hope so: Schneiderlin would be a great fit.

    Let’s add a question:

    With regards to our squad what are our top three biggest risks?

  • Hi Gerry, nice responses 🙂

    What makes you think Jenkinson will not return? Anything Arsene has said?

    And I reckon Welbeck will stay at least another season after this one. His objective will be to come even or better than OG. Not easy but something to fight for.

  • In response to TA’s answers:
    1, – I do think we need a proper wide left attacker. Reus on his £25m release fee will certainly be at the top of AW’s list, but also many others. He certainly has the qualities that fit our style. Draxler’s fee would have to drop to around that mark, but is interesting if his form can be rekindled. He would be the choice for growing with the team, as would the ‘man in pink’ my personal favourite. Depay would fit that bill too, but likely to be the most expensive as the many clubs will be keen on him.
    I partially agree with you take on Campbell, but I think lack of game time to get to know how the team clicks was the problem. A problem that will continue if he is not given regular starts should he return. If he gets that at Villareal then he will develop into a fine player.
    On where the width comes from is an interesting point. I think that overlapping wingbacks can only take you so far. A proper wide attacker is more likely to score from similar positions that say Gibbs has got into for instance. We could develop him back to a winger, but I think if he was used more sparingly going forwards he may find he has less injuries. ‘Ty from the Fens’ is my idea of LB cover, with one eye on Koscielny’s spot down the line.
    2,- I agree, no need for extra cover at RB, as Gabriel I’m told can also play there. Chambers will more likely end up as DM eventually, but not now. I can see him slotting in behind Bellerin in games where we need to turn a draw in to a win. For me Bellerin is the slightly better option until Debuchy is back.
    3, – I agree more with Steve’s reply on this one. If Coquelin signs up and stays, then him and MS would be a good pairing.
    4, – I think we have a little gap between promising Under 18’s and our current playing midfielders. This is the target area that AW will try and resolve as young players like Bielik come available. For this reason I fear for Isaac Hayden’s future here. I hope his contract gives him next season to prove his worth, which would be made easier if Coquelin moves on. Not such an easy choice in my eyes. One is a proven, disciplined performer, the other has more physical scope perhaps, to develop further? Bielik is hot on their heels for the same role. In the attacking mids we have, Crowley and Zelalem, the former is getting the advanced role, while the latter the deeper one. Currently in the first team we have the Zelalem model in Ozil playing higher up, and the smaller, more physical player in Cazorla excelling deeper, where one might expect the Crowley model(more Wilshere) to be best suited? But they 4 years behind Ox in he similar area. So I expect a quality youngster around 19-20 year old to be among the summer additions.
    5, – Continuing the theme for additions. I think it is a problem to give youngster game time to helm them develop. Loan moves do not always benefit either. Nor is there any guarantee when a successful loan spell ends they can reproduce, if again not blessed with regular playing time. So there will be some loss of very good talent along the way. Sanogo will be a test case for it, but my feeling is, like Campbell, he will find it easier elsewhere to develop into a top, if a little quirky, striker. But targeting quality youngsters will be the bridge between needing to buy expensive top end players, and the youth we cannot fit in.

  • Dogs awaiting to be fed and you throw in another question TA!

    Top 3 vulnerable squad players, subject to further additions.
    1, Rosicky.
    2, Welbeck.
    3, Monreal, depending on contract length. Cazorla if he gets messed about with over the next few months. Gibbs, if injuries pile up. Wishere if he gets the hump. Coquelin, if the latter pushes him aside for non performance reasons.

  • Hi All – Interesting questions Steve (and nice turning them into a post TA!) 🙂

    1. I think that Campbell will return to see if he can make the most of his chances. Wenger has often talked about Campbell being in his long-term plans and I believe that the loan to Villareal does not have an option to buy. From what I have read it does look like we had plenty of offers for Campbell. But Wenger chose not to sell. Given that, not sure why Gerry thinks that Campbell will not fit into our system. At the present moment I agree that it is difficult to see him dislodging anyone from the present first team. So, it is likely that he will play in the league cup and come in as sub. Silva – I have no idea about.
    2. Unless its someone like Hummels, it would be surprising if we got another CB. We seem to have sufficient cover especially if Chambers continues to develop.
    3. Nothing further to add
    4. This is a difficult one. I suppose it is safe to say that the Pod is gone for sure. I suspect others technically on the books like Ryo might also disappear… and Diaby too ( 😦 ) Not sure how many of those retained in London will go though. Jenks is in an interesting spot. Wonder if Bellerin’s recent performances and the presence of Debuchy might render him surplus to requirements. Any other names? What about one of the GKs? Scz? 🙂 Ha! just kidding. Despite the extreme opinions he generates difficult to see him departing unless he does something really dramatic behind the scenes.
    5. Sanogo is clearly one that Wenger has high hopes for. Has Toral shown enough improvement while on loan to merit a chance? I think that most of the other youngsters will undergo some loan spell possible exception being Zelalem.

    To the bonus question TA 🙂 – having seen Ospina these last few games, I have to wonder how much Scz has developed in the last couple of years. Based on current form, GK might be one of the areas with a question mark. Seeing De Gea, Lloris etc. a really strong GK would make us really solid. Hope Ospina (or Scz MkII) will join that club.

  • TA, did you mean “who” are the three biggest risks i.e with regards to players?
    or was it meant as it was said “what” i.e injuries, balancing rotation etc?

  • St Henry – You are quite right to question my view on Campbell. It is up there for discussion after all.
    In part you answered the question I have about him. When he returns will he get a regular spot starting? I am now talking of those pre-season stuff, as well as league games in August? Probably not.
    Does he look like a ‘game changer’ from the bench?
    Not on existing eviidence.
    What made ho so good at Olympiacos and Costa Rica Nationally?
    Playing regularly with team mates who both understand his game and he theirs.
    To add to that I would say end to end games suit him better than the more tactical, disciplined role that AW is aiming for. Moving back into position in defence and springing forward from deep. I think, like Ox, he has a build that does naturally embody lots of stamina. Strength, yes.
    Just as with horses, big powerhouse backends and big chests make for sprinters.
    Put all that together is my reason for thinking he will be a very good player where he can utilise his talents best.

    I might have been expected to put WS1 at the head of the danger list, given comments I’ve made? But, it all depends on him over these coming weeks.
    AW has the perfect scenario as it stands. A cheap, but so far, a very good keeper in prime position. A contrite number two, who has the potential to be a very good keeper if he accepts that he has a bit go before he achieves that.. An excellent number three in Martinez who will take each opportunity as it comes along. To bring anyone in better than Ospina, might, if he extends his current form, take that as a cue to look elsewhere. And if WS1 cannot dislodge Ospina, he will have less chance with the new one? So in the end you are back where you started …. looking for the right number two?
    It will be down to Szczesny how this goes. But if he takes his playing opportunities when they come along, show improved skills throughout the game with no ‘brain farts’, then he is back on track?

  • i will just guess lol,

    1. Coquelin getting injured or getting red carded, I’m not convinced a returning Arteta could integrate into the tempo and pace of the game and system we play now as a lone DM and Flamini was imo one of the contributing factors for our teams in-cohesion within the defense during the first half of the season so a very worrying result if that where to happen so a big risk there for me.

    2. Monreal getting a long term injury, i am not questioning Gibbs ability to do the job there in fact he is arguably still the first choice but if Monreal was out for a long time and Gibbs was to get one of his routine 1 or 2 week strain injuries then it would leave the LB position very light. There is no greatly promising talent in that position from the youth in the way that Bellerin or Chambers are there for the RB position.

    3. Gabriel taking a while to settle in properly, with Kos’s Achilles and BFG playing nearly every game of the season so far one will need a break sooner or later. It can take players used to different leagues a while to click no matter how good they eventually go on to become but now we have finally found some stability within the back four this is an definite area we could do without this common occurrence.

    Its no coincidence that all the potential risks come from the defensive side of things considering how strong we all in cover and wealth of talent in attack, but thats my 3 for now 🙂

  • haven’t read the big comment yet Gerry but just seen you are waiting for an answer for something, but i have to pop out so you going to have to wait a bit longer sorry mate 🙂

  • I see good news regarding Akpom signing a new deal.

    Bad news from the FFP site, as they have Alexis as only having a 25% chance of playing in the NLD

  • With risk I did not mean likelihood to get injured but impact on the team’s performances, as in the biggest risk to the business. A key consideration is therefore back up cover….

  • And there it is … Thanks TA.

    1, – Whoever replaces Coquelin
    2, – Whoever replaces Santi on current form
    3 – Apart from Rosicky, whoever replaces Ramsey alongside Coquelin.

    Its the Coquelin effect. We did not know we had him. Now cannot do without him.

  • it might be simple for you, but that would not be my three biggest risks for Arsenal, Gerry.

    Coquelin is a risk now. He can be replaced by Flamini or Arteta but we do need to play deep and compact. We will not miss him too much then.

    Santi can be replaced by Ozil and Rosicky, Not a big risk at all imo.

    Ramsey is the bigger risk as we are still without Jack. However, Rosicky or Arteta or even Alexis can play that role.

    Biggest risks imo are:
    1. BFG: nobody can play his role combined with his height;
    2. Giroud: without him we lack the shape in our team
    3. Koz: vital player and we dont know how quickly Paulista will settle and can replace him.

    All three players are part of the spine. Nr 4 and Nr 5 are Coquelin and Ospina.

  • All very true TA – But replacements are not like for like.

    In my OGA moment, I think Gabriel will start to the right of BFG, resting Kos, and it will be seamless. This in the Leicester game you understand.
    And if BFG is out, then Kos steps up alongside GP5.
    Not a problem imo 😀

  • ahh i see TA, here you are then;

    1. Coquelin: Arteta and Flamini are light years behind him (in the form he is in atm)
    2. Cazorla: in the form he is in atm no one comes close. Ozil may have his vision but absolutely nowhere close to the work Cazorla does in midfield atm. Rosicky may be able to stand in but i think the team would suffer.
    3. a three way tie between Kos, BFG and Bellerin as a replacement of any would have to be provided by either a youngster in a bit of a dip (Chambers), a left back out of position (Monreal) or a new arrival untested in the team and this league (Gabriel).

    Just a quick shout towards OX maybe stepping into the Ramsey role should he be out for whatever reason. He has been the closest to successfully trying to mimic Sanchez’s work rate this season and constant tracking back coupled with determined drive forward down the wing could easily be mirrored in midfield, isn’t that exactly what B2B means after all – just a though 🙂

  • Interesting Steve. As you know I dont agree with that top three, but everybody looks at it differently. The key with looking at the biggest squad risks is that this is what is most likely to drive the recruitment activities this summer. It also explains what the BK bloggers see as the biggest challenges.

    What would Wenger think of our individual top threes of risks?

    I reckon he would be mildly agreeing with you and Gerry on 1, although I reckon there is a lot of overvaluing of Le Coq going on right now. I watched the Villa chances again and more than once I thought he did not get close enough to the chance creators, for example. We also have been playing a lot deeper every time Le Coq played for us and this would suit both Flamini and Arteta just as much as Coquelin. The beauty about Le Coq is his energy and willpower but Arteta and Flamini have the experience. Therefore, this risk can be managed in the short term.

    I reckon he would not agree with you on risk 2. There is nothing that Cazorla can do that for example Rosicky, Ozil or Alexis cannot do. He has had a good few games but so have the others, and we have plenty of fat in this area.

    Your third risk is too vague hahaha: be specific! 😛

  • Gerry, the right of BFG is the RB position…. is that what you mean? 🙂

    A risk is not related to a single game but a large number of them, as in a couple of months or the rest of the season without a certain player.

  • Hey St. Henry 🙂

    Nice to see you back here again and fine responses. Fully agreed on Sanogo: Wenger is very keen on him and so is his current manager. This boy can develop into Giroud’s long term replacement as he has all the qualities needed to succeed. The holding striker is key to Wenger’s new system of football – it all started with Chamakh years ago – and we need one on one back up for Ollie. I expect Sanogo to become this guy as long as he can get his fitness and finishing sorted.

    Good point about your proposed squad risk…. it will be music to 007’s ears as well hahahaha 😛

  • Of course that is what I meant. If you rest Kos, in order to keep BFG in his usual position and have BP5 on his right side you condense the field to that channel. Mind Monreal has a lot of ground to cover on his side ….

    Or perhaps you spotted the flaw in my thinking, in that GP5 would play where Chambers does on such occasions, but you thought it would make a good deflection from the point I was making that BFG’s position can be covered.

    You will be pleased to know I shall not be blogging quite so much in the coming weeks as I turn my attention to horse racing. Flat season is back in 7 weeks!

  • Fair points Gerry regarding Campbell. He has not had a consistent run of games yet with Arsenal. Here’s hoping that he’ll surprise us just as LeCoq did after this loan! 🙂

    TA – Given your criteria, i.e. what would drive recruitment in summer I am struggling to see how Giroud, BFG, and Koz make the cut. Wouldn’t it be Le Coq since everyone has been talking about MS as a potential addition? Or a winger on the left (Reus / Draxler)? If, on the other hand, the question is “which one of the starting XI’s absence will we feel keenly today” then yes BFG /Koz would be huge. Giroud while really important – I wonder if Welbeck might not be a capable second option. Just wondering….

  • Gerry, that is an example of cover for BFG but I am sure you forgive me when I say I am not convinced about its validity. I am looking fwd to see PG05 in action and let’s see what he can do. 🙂

  • I’m in the same boat as st. Henry on this one TA.
    I was working on the assumption you meant right now and so much of my answers were based on form that i’m not sure is like for like replaceable atm.
    But as far as driving recruitment in summer, well thats a different matter and like st. Henry i would have to say a left winger and DM.
    Cazorla is not exempt from replacement as for much of the season i felt he was under performing but he’s is riding high atm just like Coq (who could also face a blip anytime) and as it stands now both will be keepers for sure in the new season.

  • Clearly guys, it is about both. They are not mutually exclusive.

    But agreed,a proper back up for Coq is also a priority going forward.

    Alexis is our left ‘winger’ and we have Rosa and Ozil who can play there as well, so for me it is not an area of risk, but of course that is just my opinion. 😉

  • St Henry,Welbeck is a work in progress but I don’t think he is holding striker material. A good plan B mind you, but we lose our shape without Giroud. His return has made a huge difference Imo.

  • My thinking is that those players who have a skillset on which we depend strongly but for whom we do not have a like for like quality replacement, are our biggest team performance risks and therefore also potentially drive our summer recruitment activities, as risks need covering, no?

  • heres a question for you TA.

    Am i correct in assuming (should the personnel ever be put together in such a way) that this team from front to back would probably be the paciest team ever put together in the premier league?

    —————The OX—————–Sanchez————-

    Just a completely off topic question that was rattling around in my head 🙂

  • I was just tinkering with different options in midfield then after chucking in a few more names including the rocket right back Bellerin i suddenly realized fucking hell thats one quick team!!
    Think of that lot on the break!! good job we’ve got slow motion these days 🙂

  • Great news re: Akpom.
    Now for Coquelin…

    Terry, it’s good to see that you like socialising with some of Londons finest…
    You are obviously a man of taste… 😉

  • Would it not have been a good opportunity to give Paulista a twenty/fifteen minute run out at the end of the Villa game when we were coasting. Surely Wenger will not try him out against the Spuds?

  • Hi All..
    Isn’t it to soon to talk about next season players..?? hehehehe..

    I just loved the rumours about Marco Reus and Morgan Schneiderlin..
    If it’s were true that we had already secured their next six month contract.. than we didn’t need another players anymore..

    TA.. to Answer your Questions :
    1. If Reus is in our hand then no need for other LW.. I prefer Reus than Draxler or Dybala..
    Yes, I think another Vela’s will happened.. Campbell will be sold..
    but I don’t know about Silva.. Never heard any news about him.. but if we assume that we already had Akpom, Gnabry and Sanogo.. than Silva will also out..

    2. No need for another CB..
    We have 3 CB and 3 other players who can play as CB.. Monreal, Debuchy, Chambers..
    And if something bad happened we must lost all of them.. I think we still had Hayden and Ajayi..

    3. Again.. If Schneiderlin is in our hand.. then we don’t need another DM..
    Flamini will go instead of Arteta..
    Diaby also.. sad to see it.. But there is no reason for Wenger to keep him..
    Ramsey and Wilshere will always be Wenger’s man..
    Rosicky will add for another one year contract or leave to USA.. But I like to see him end his football carrier as Gunners..

    4. If Debuchy and Wilshere are back.. + Reus and MS.. then I afraid there will be no place for our youngsters.. but as we know “INJURY” will always come to our team.. then we will see Akpom, Gnabry, Bellerin, Chambers, Zelalem and our new Beilik played..

    5. “Loan” isn’t the only way to improve youngster.. playing in the training ground with such great players are also do..
    So as I believe in Wenger.. he will know who will stay or loan or even sold..
    At least he never did what MU did for Pogba.. Let him go for free and try to bring him back for 60 millions.. hahahahaha..

  • As always, interesting questions TA and Steve.

    My thoughts are:
    1. Sell one of Wellington or Campbell and sell one of Gnabry and Akpom with the retained two deployed to occupy the wing positions in the Under-21 side for the duration of next season. With the likes of Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott and Ox competing to fill the two forward positions either side of Giroud/Welbeck in the first team, I just don’t see any of those four players getting much game time in the first team. That said, I believe in appropriate strength in depth (not too much not too little). So I think retaining two of the above four players will suffice and provide much needed strengthening to the club’s Under 21 side.

    2. I personally hope we don’t buy another centre back. With Per and Kos locked in as our first choice pairing in that position and with traditionally limited squad rotation in that particular position, I think an additional centre back would be a waste of money. I’m confident Chambers will develop into an excellent Per style centre back and am hoping Gabriel proves himself to be capable of filling Kos’ role when needed.

    3. I’m torn with this question. Personally I believe the club should have two top quality players competing for each position, with Under-21 players making up the third choice option (e.g. at right back, Debuchy and Jenkinson are in my view the top qualities players who will be competing for that position next season, with Bellerin the third choice option). Part of me thinks that Coquelin and Arteta (should he be officially resigned by the club) would make up the two top quality players competing for the defensive midfielder role in the team, with Bielik making up the third choice option. However, I don’t know whether Arteta is still at the stage of his career that he can provide sufficient internal competition to push Coquelin’s development. That said, I think we have let go a number of quality experienced players in the past too soon (e.g. Pires, Gilberto, Toure, Lauren). So I’m leaning toward not bringing in another defensive midfielder should Arteta be resigned. If he’s not resigned though, I think an additional established player in that role will be required. On the issue of the defensive midfield role I actually think we are currently overstocked in that particular position if you also consider Flamini and Diaby, who have been identified by Arsene as alternate options in that role. However, with both of their contracts also expiring in the summer, that is the one and only position, amongst the top 22 players at the club, where I think we might see Arsenal involved in some transfer activity in the summer transfer window. I would be aiming for higher quality than Schneiderlin though (no disrespect intended).

    4. I preference continuity squad management over radical changes. That said, I think our current squad has far too much depth in forward and some midfield positions to maintain a positive team harmony going forward. To identify who I think are the surplus players who could be sold/released in the summer transfer window, I thought I would first identify who I think Arsenal top 22 players will be for next season (and the Under-21 player who will operate as third choice):
    GK – Ospina; Szczesny (Martinez – 23 year old)
    RB – Debuchy; Jenkinson (Bellerin – 20)
    CB – Mertesacker & Koscielny; Chambers & Gabriel (Hayden – 20 & ?)
    LB – Monreal; Gibbs; (?)
    CDM – Coquelin; Arteta (Bielik – 18)
    CM – Cazorla & Ramsey; Wilshere & Rosicky ( Crowley – 17 & ?)
    RW – Ozil; Walcott (Wellington – 23 or Campbell – 23)
    CF – Giroud; Welbeck (Sanogo – 23)
    LW – Sanchez; Ox; (Gnabry – 20 or Akpom – 20)

    On that basis, I think the following players could be sold/release come the summer transfer window:
    GK – Vickers; Macey; Huddart; Iliev
    RB – Moore
    CB – Ajayi; O’Connor
    LB – Ormonde-Ottewill
    CDM – Flamini; Diaby; Kamara
    CM – Jebb; Maitland-Niles; Zelalem; Toral
    RW – Iwobi; Wellington or Campbell
    CF – Lipman
    LW – Podolski; Miyachi; Gnaby or Akpom

    5. I don’t believe in the loan system to develop players as far too often it takes the players outside of the unique tactics and strategic approach used by the senior Arsenal side and destroys players’ development as future Arsenal players. I think Arsenal need to really focus their efforts in the summer transfer window on populating their Under 21 side with the best talent they can find and maximising the overage rule (three overage outfield players and an overage goalkeeper). That way the Under-21 team can actually be used as a source of players for the senior team. The fact that the club is the 2nd Division in the Under 21 League is quite frankly embarrassing. The Club has obviously fallen far behind the likes of Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City and Liverpool in terms of youth development. Andries Jonker has been brought in as Youth Academy Head to rectify this obvious problem and he is slowly acquiring “better” coaching staff to try and improve the development of the club’s youth players. Personally though I think the club need to:
    * drastically improve recruitment at a Under 21 level (i.e. pursue the best of the best between the ages of between 17 and 19 in particular);
    * have the Under 21 players train with the top 22 players at the club under the guidance of Arsene Wenger and Steve Bould;
    * utilise, as much as possible, those top 22 player who aren’t regularly playing for the first 11 in the Under 21 side.

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