Wednesday Wishing–What Will Wenger Want in the Window and on the Weekend?

What do Gooners want to see and just how dire is the early season situation at Arsenal?  Are you as frustrated as Aaron Ramsey?

Editor’s Note: We were hoping to have a “man at the match” report from TotalArsenal who attended the Liverpool match.  Unfortunately, He’s a busy fellow and faced with a short week as he will also be traveling to Newcastle for that one.  Hopefully we will get a full report from him about his impressions of BOTH matches over the weekend.  In the meantime, you get this…

Early Season Arsenal Discussion Points:

–4 ponts from 9, 5 points off the leaders and only one player, Petr Cech, in during the transfer window, which now closes in less than one week.  Is Arsene Wenger under pressure to buy due to results?  (Or is he under other pressures, i.e., should he be sacked?  Surely some must be ready for the Steve Bould era…)  Where must he improve the team and which players might he actually bring in?  It’s fine to say “world class striker” but what (who) does that actually mean?  We’re you OK with the transfer activity after the Community Shield and has that opinion changed?

–What is the cause of Arsenal’s early season difficulties, especially on the home pitch.  Are tactics and squad selections correct or are they misguided?  Is there a deeper issue at play given that we have only scored in one of our last 5 league matches played on our home pitch?  Is this Arsenal team likely to be vulnerable on the home pitch all season long?

–What should Wenger be thinking heading to Newcastle this weekend?  The Toonies finally won a match yesterday under new manager Steve McClaren (beating Northampton 4-1 in the Capital One Cup) and they are coming off a nil-nil of their own at Manchester United in league play.  Is this a good time to be making the trip to the Northeast?  Should Wenger ring the changes for this match or stay the course knowing that his best players will have two weeks off due to an International break?

–Speaking of the Capital One Cup…What say Gooners about being drawn against Spurs at their stadium up the Seven Sisters?

–3 matches into the season…Is all hope gone?  What have we learned and what adjustments must be made?  Is it too soon to flush the baby down the drain with all that soiled bathwater?  I understand that fans pay (with their time and energy, some even with the tickets that they buy) and are privileged to live and die with each result.  Still, I (sometimes) hold out hope that those who like to get on the blogs actually try to think more like a manager than in this other way.

Overall, have at it… I’m under the weather (and stressed due to other things) while TA is pushing hard as a working man and traveling Arsenal supporter.  We hope to bring you better coverage and analysis, sooner rather than later, but, in the meantime, we appreciate your intelligence in the comments.

😀

by 17highburyterrace

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54 Responses to Wednesday Wishing–What Will Wenger Want in the Window and on the Weekend?

  1. The Cockie Monster says:

    Thanks for the post 17, but sorry, I cant do intelligence !…..not when the manager treats us like idiots !………….. so I`ll just carry on like an idiot whilst Arsene admires the healthy bank balance and will no doubt get an extremely large bonus for a balance that is so in the black it has swallowed up a black hole and we are stuck in the event horizon of having the wool pulled over our eyes !. 😀

  2. Pity, Cockie, as you, I think, actually know your football (better than many)… Who (exactly) should AW be buying?

    IMO, and, of course, it’s just me… Buying is fun and, if we do buy, I’m gonna hope that it adds to the team. On the other hand, it’s cool when a couple of kids come through or even when some below the radar types come good or some bargains work out. I’m thinking back a few years to a blogger telling me how (10 million pound) Squillaci was a proper signing relative to (2 million pound) Koscielny… That said, it sounds like LK6 is suffering back troubles and will miss the Newcastle trip (and any France matches). Recover well… From personal experience I know those sorts of troubles get no easier once you’re past 30…

    Unfortunately, as much as we’d like some simple solutions I think we’re looking at a need for our current group to start grinding out results. A bit of luck (refs who see things correctly, for example) could help…

  3. mike says:

    i can’t see the reason why Arsene should drag the this far in the window without a striker but other clubs are buying world class strikers and he keep on asking who can we add to the team, is quite annoying!

  4. The Cockie Monster says:

    Drop off £200M into my bank account, 17 and I`ll get you an SQ player !……………….but none of that drug laundering stuff please !. 😆

    Early kick off ( here) Saturday and our leading scorer ( Koz) against Newcastle is out !…………..lets hope our piss poor Emirates record of not scoring in 5 out of our last 6 games isn`t contagious and effects away from home !.

  5. ritikparikh says:

    All i want from Wenger is not a “World Class” striker, i just want him to get someone better than Welbeck who can really give Giroud sleepless nights. Only then will Giroud start scoring consistently.
    Also, i want to see Ozil chipping in with more goals.
    We should be ok if we sign a Chicarito also. But go ahead and make that happen Wenger.

  6. Gerry says:

    Well I’ve just lost my second comment of the day …..Grrrr!

    Briefly:
    Discussion1: Yes we should try and improve the squad …if possible.
    Who should AW go for? Striker first, perhaps, as that may well define how much is left in the kitty? In the absence of KB (unless RM actually want to buy someone and decide to sell), I guess it is up to AW. However,remember he selects the players, IG and his team do the negotiating(on behalf of the BoD), so it is they who have the final say over what fee they will pay. Not AW, imo. Although I am sure his opinion is taken on board.
    If that means we turn to the Russian League, rather than a Cavani or others that were linked with, I’ll go with that. Well at least give him the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.
    Secondly: Ideally we would sneak Pogba from under Chelsea’s noses. But Kk would be a big plus imo. (Gregor, to give you another clue)
    My 3rd choice may depend on any striker coming in, and that is a winger. JD is my first hope, and around £23-£25m is the right price range. Greizeman would be slightly dearer if other monied clubs are looking to add to their stockpile, but is also what we need to provide absolute width with out involving the fullbacks, as that can over-expose us to counter-attacks.
    JD and the Russian would make a tasty attack with Alexis or Walcott, and Ox on the other wing. To fit them in we would lose both Coquelin, Cazorla, and Ramsey, and need Kk at the back, with Ozil doing the feeding. Of course there are other permutations you could apply.

    Discuss 2: No, we are not out of the league after three games. But if we do not start getting the best out of the players we have, and suggested upgrades above should help there, we will not be looking at a top 3 finish. Rather a 5-way battle for 4th, where we could easily finish out of even a Europa League spot.
    Now that is a sobering thought!

  7. Gerry says:

    I see that ‘Discuss 2’ was more like ‘Discuss 5’ … hey ho, it is that sort of day.

    Discussion 2: Clearly the squad of 18 is more or less the best we have, so no point in going any further with that angle. Yes, it will be a danger of continuing all season long if nothing changes.
    Some aspects will get better, we hope, in regards sharpness and linking better.
    However, and this is only my opinion, finding options that work well and at the same time give a better balance has got to be a good place to start. Tweak with rotation, or change wholesale according to the opposition is another. Obviously fresh faces could help or hinder that process, but the status quo is not going to work any better at the higher level.

    I do not think it is just an ‘at home’ issue. It just gets exaggerated because we are expected to be the dominant force at home. Expectation of course does not help, so perhaps if were are in double figures behind the leaders we may improve, he says tongue firmly in cheek.

    Getting the balance right is the harder thing to achieve, but if we have a clear idea of how we want play, with due regard to the strength of the opposition, which in turn will involve the larger squad not just a basic 11 or 12, and perhaps it will keep all on board? Although I wouldn’t like to be the one to tell Alexis ‘You’re not playing this week because you need a break’ (and because we need a different type of player in the front line? …. Not that it would happen that often).

    Bottom line is, it is up to AW to sort it out, and be a little more pro-active when it is going wrong.

  8. Gerry says:

    Discussion 3: The Newcastle game

    Some changes will happen anyway, if Per comes back in. But Newcastle could well be a side that punches above their weight in this early part of the season. However, if we play our A-game then we should have no fears.
    The big questions, and the ones likely ignored, is Alexis a liability while he is either not fully fit, or just coming to terms with post-Copa America?
    Does Ramsey on the wing upset the balance of the side?
    Should Coquelin be dropped, and replaced with a Ramsey-Arteta duo.
    Does Walcott get one more chance up front as we go for pace, or stick with Giroud.
    When is the right time to play Debuchy?

    Only questions that AW will answer, or not as the case may be?

  9. Gerry says:

    I’d rather worry about the Spurs game after the TW closes Thank you very much.

    Talking of the TW, let us just see how many bids we are ‘preparing’, ‘lining up’ or ‘deal close’ without any having more than an ounce of truth in them.

    Damn it, that means the Russian isn’t coming either!

  10. Gerry says:

    Nor is the Pole! …. Pogba it is then? ……………No, not Wany pleeeease!

  11. Gerry, There was really no rhyme (nor reason) to my discussion points… I Just wanted to start a new thread and see what people had to say. Unfortunately, the knee-jerks from the disappointing result will likely not pop up today… I’m not feeling my best, either, and need to get out in the sun and away from the (faltering) financial markets… Overall, I think, we need a little more information (results) before we leap to too many conclusions…

    The disappointing element is that all the good feeling from the pre-season seems to have evaporated once the results started counting. We’re on level ground with Chelsea but City (who had been written off…) are (now, suddenly…) gonna run away with the title. Pool and United are ahead of us and have yet to let in goals so there goes our top 4 spot… After all, if they don’t ever concede a goal, we cannot beat them… 😀

    I believe that ALL those teams will have some tough periods over the course of the season and we (and Chavs, and Spuds, btw, nobody very keen on Kane, any longer, it seems…) are having ours now. This collective rush to judgment is just ridiculous, but, with the window still open, it’s bound to happen.

    The thing that really gets me is this simplistic x + y = z thinking which a million sites seem happy to throw out there. Even the old heads (see Cockie above) lap it up. We have money so we should buy trophies. I hate to tell folks, but we were 2nd in trophies a year ago amongst the English teams, and the two Manc clubs spent a hell of a lot more than we did to tie (with all the rest…) for third… 😀

    Still, what’s the harm in speculating…after all it’s still a bit chilly outside now that we’re into late August…

    If we buy here at the deadline, I think we’re looking at players who might be an upgrade to (or at least provide competition to) the likes of Welbeck, Wilshere, Ox, Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky, and Chambers or be better long-term bets–mostly because they’re younger or less injury prone. Is Draxler an upgrade? Probably (at least over Welbeck…) if he stays fit, but then does he really want to be the third sub on a night like Monday?… That Russian fellow might just fit that (sort of) bill. (How would I know, but at least he’s a warm body…)

    I’m not sure where people get into the ideas about players like Pogba–Overpriced at half the quoted value, I fear. Is Arsenal really the club to splash that ridiculously? Let’s be clear, he would have to go on money at least 50% over our three biggest earners (Alexis, Ozil, Wenger). If he’s in play I’d suggest he goes to Real Madrid and Benz comes our way, but then we sit Giroud and Theo (week in, week out at a combined 250K/week)? In other words, why waste the time writing these sorts of things? It’s pure fantasy. Unless it isn’t–in which case you called it!! If Ozil wasn’t worth the money, there is no way in hell that PP will be…IMO, of course…

    Then there’s the Polish fellow with the Ks? Have you seen him play? I mentioned Squillaci above, the last guy we bought from Sevilla… I’m not saying the Greg is NOT the answer, just wondering (on what basis) people believe he IS. I’m only starting to appreciate what Le Coq can (and cannot) do…In other words, who are we to speculate after watching a match or two–or a youtube compilation?…Mostly, I fear having to learn how to spell the name… 😀

    Overall, if you’ve got nothing better to do there’s no reason not to speculate on this stuff, if you do, however, it seems awfully harsh on some mighty fine players like Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey and Giroud (a group, I’ve been told, who cannot play together…) All told, I’m thinking if the linesman does his job (maybe) things aren’t quite so bleak… Maybe AW (and the players) doing their thing up in Newcastle can edge us the points, so that we can buy from a position of strength rather than desperation…

    Fun times…

  12. allezkev says:

    Cheers 17, good post…

    Just a quick one on the League Cup…
    As our away form is currently better than our home form, going to that dump doesn’t phase me at all…

    Yep, it’ll be their Cup Final, but Arsene has a pretty good record against them and by the time of the game Jack, Rosicky and Welbeck should be available so we can send a team over to that tip, that can do a job on them….

  13. Gerry says:

    Sorry to hear you are suffering financially as well as healthwise, HT? It is those damned Chinese, they don’t know how to run a stock market do they?
    The Dollar is still strong strong, so your market should ride out the storm … unless they call in their debt relief?

    I wasn’t serious about PP btw. And Krypchoviac (sp?) is the real deal, in the Presence! sort of way. Except he isn’t, because he is staying put. They are in the CL now. The time to buy was before that.

    I keep thinking that there must be an alternative to Wanyama. The best I can come up with is Gabriel, with us asking Virgil to move away from TA country?
    Oh, there is nothing wrong with Coquelin, except you wouldn’t want to leave him on his own too long. Mind, that is nothing that Gabriel wouldn’t put the fear and dread into? Bang goes our ‘Fair Play’ award though. 😀

    Funny you should mention YouTube videos. I looked at the Russian’s one just now. He looks much as I worked out from his profile. Nifty with his feet. Knows where the goal is. And can play a decent pass. Only trouble is, we play with real goal keepers and defenders that mark tightly. But apart from that he will be fine :LOL:
    His stats put him slightly behind Giroud (WhoScored), but he is definitely more mobile.
    Quiet at the back!

    As for JD? No, don’t get me started.

    Nor on the quartet you mention. I’ve said it before, there is playing together, and playing well together … consistently that is.

    Right I’m off for the evening. I am hoping Sky might cover the Ranger’s match, with our GZ playing his debut, as I noted on the last post.

    I’m sure others will comment later …
    Cheers

  14. jar09 says:

    Pedro and Schneiderlin would have really improved the quality and depth of the squad. Plus added feel good factor. They were both do-able and within our reach price wise but again Wenger probably decided they didn’t represent value regardless of what the market says.

    For me Pedro could have been the new pires or lunjberg and arsenal have missed out! A winner with real goal threat.

  15. OK, heading off to the beach in a moment…so nobody needs to cry for me…

    Kev, The point you make about playing at the Lane is a good one. I think we have a “real” situation on our hands about playing at the Emirates. Maybe it’s worthy of its own post during the Int’l break, and perhaps TA can comment after the Newcastle match (having seen two in a row, one home, one away)… My take is this: The home ground is not a fortress for several reasons, but one big one is because Gooners have bought the hype–we believe that all we have to do is turn up and enjoy the spectacle. Unfortunately our opponents have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If we don’t score early (and for fun) everybody gets nervous and it only gets harder and harder. Rushed chances happen and we finish on the bagel…

    Why is the takeaway from Monday night that “Ramsey can’t play on the right” (hint, he didn’t) rather than “Rambo got feckin’ robbed!?”

    The team is under enormous pressure (due to expectations) and we need outings in the home stadium where everything clicks and we dispense with our foes at a canter. Of course, the real proof is when we overcome all adversity and grind out victories even when things go against us. So far in this early season we’re 0 for 2… so there is need for improvement… (Sorry, the EmCup doesn’t count….)

    Gerry, done for the evening, so no need to get back into the speculative stuff for me… What will be, will be… At least we’re in with a shout to boss things on the last day if we so choose. Cech also looked a better signing in the more recent home match…

    JAR, Welcome… IMO, Pedro would mean the end for Theo (And Welbs and not such a happy time for the Ox, not to mention Campbell, Akpom, etc., etc) and Schneiderlin the end for Flamini and Arteta (which maybe makes more sense). A feel-good? For us (Gooners) if not for the players, I think, must be what you mean… Of course, if you want to play with the big fellas, you gotta toughen up… Just as those (benched) Chavs doctors… Sheesh, going onto the pitch just because the ref said you had to (and your star player was faking injury)… Anyhow, stick around, we have a few Moo Luvahs here so you shan’t be lonesome… 😀

  16. AB says:

    Evening HT. Firstly a thanks to you for this post and for keeping the spirits up and balanced/considered. I am, as usual, in much the same space as you around all this. My sense of the strength of our squad has not changed since the summer highs of beating the chavs etc, but I can’t deny the sense of disappointment and frustration by our all too familiar slow start to the season. I can’t explain why we have started like this – and Wenger and his coaching team must take some blame for this – but the knee jerk reaction from some quarters that this is because our squad is rubbish is frankly risible.

    Like others, I can’t help but get excited when we anticipate new transfers (in that is!), and there is no escaping the fact that big/big money deals are particularly thrilling. But the challenge you pose, and others have done on this site, around who we would actually buy that might improve the first eleven, is a very tough one. Players like Draxler (who I would love us to buy) would not be automatic first team players. The same applies to Bender, KK, and very probably Schneiderlin, had we bought him. Each of these 20 – 25M players, just to add depth to the squad but not the first team….? Is that really what we wanted? Personally, I think we could do with another quality DM, and that Flamini should be let move on; but just like I was not sighted on Gabriel as our cover for CB, I am probably not sighted on whoever Wenger is really looking at for DM options.

    So then there’s the SQ Benzemas and the Pogbas. Well, sorry cockie, but even if we have £200M in our pockets we still need the other club to be willing to sell and the player to agree to come to us. When all the stars align we can land an Ozil or a Sanchez – but we can’t just make this happen as and when we wish. I am interested by references to other clubs buying world class strikers – what club in Europe has done that this summer thus far? Perhaps one in Turkey….. ha!

    So what do we really need? The truth is fairly simple fare. I think look well placed currently at LB, but without the sort of young talent that Bellerin provides at the other flank, and this is an area that needs addressing – hopefully without losing Monreal in the process. I think we are covered at CB, despite Chambers being so poor on Monday, and we can only buy again if we decide to shift one of our first 11 – this is more likely to be down to a super club pinching Kos than us deciding Per has had his time. DM we need more depth, a younger alternative to Flam for cover, and preferably someone with some presence – but we will only pay 25M plus for someone clearly better than Coq, thereby pushing him to the bench; I don’t see this happening this summer to be honest.

    I think we are covered up front, unless, as Wenger has repeatedly stated, a real top talent becomes available who would be our automatic first choice striker. It could happen next week, but we won’t be alone in our interest if it does – manure must be on the lookout for anyone worth having. That leaves the wings, where I could see us buying a player with the potential to play across the front line – but given the depth of talent we already have, we need something quite different here. I presume Campbell may well go in the next few days – but he is someone different, and as we know from the Coq, things can all click quite suddenly.

    In summary, what do we need? Nothing. What would I like – a DM cover, a dynamic winger/attacker and a super talented young potential for LB. What do I expect – probably nothing, but possibly a mid-range DM cover if we shift on Flam. There – all set up to be pleasantly surprised next week, but in truth more hopeful that our current squad show us their real potential on Saturday.

  17. proudgooner says:

    Young gun Crowley just scored for burnley to put them 3-2 up v Everton
    Very well taken
    Il read post now and add my pennies worth 17ino
    Thanks

  18. proudgooner says:

    Err Cockie
    When we get Jack and Danny back there be like new signings
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha

  19. proudgooner says:

    Barnsley even lol

  20. allezkev says:

    Definitely agree on the home form problem 17.
    Not sure what the answer is mate, it’s a confidence thing of course, but the only way they’ll turn it around is to grind out a few home wins…

    How they do that?

    Maybe a bit of luck.
    A linesman who doesn’t rule out a good goal (Ramsey) is maybe what we need?
    Take the lead and our players relax, the fans relax and we give someone a good thrashing…

  21. Back from the beach…just a tad windy for my taste so the umbrella was moving around disturbing my shade pattern just enough that I couldn’t quite get perfectly settled… 😀

    A little like being an Arsenal fan, perhaps… More smileys…

    Don’t get me wrong, I find (almost) endless amusement in the way you folks get so worked up about the football stuff–very different than over here where the leagues are balanced for a deeper level of competitiveness and everybody knows that the spoils will (eventually) be shared. It seems like y’all (as we say) enjoy having the anger sown by way of the “journalism” (including the blogging and punditry) so that it’s almost a wonder anybody ever makes it through the dark season… It starts with the pounds per week salary figures–even if almost nobody understands that it’s this element, not the transfer fees, which Stan and his managers (and accountants) care about–and then it just gets deeper and deeper…

    I look at it like a round of golf…OK, even though we had a great session on the range, we hit one out of bounds and then missed a short putt at #3 (when somebody sneezed in our backstroke)… Does that mean we throw our clubs into the lake? If we’d started out with a run of birdies (like City…) does that mean we’re going to shoot 54?…

    In golf, no matter how a round starts, the golfer tends to find his level. Too much success too early leads to trouble at the first adversity, too much trouble and the pressure is off and you can (finally) play your own game… Real improvement can happen, but rarely happens all at once. In my observation, we’re headed in the correct direction, people just need to stay with it… The problem is that it’s a self-reinforcing cycle. Results improve confidence, which means we can take more chances (rotate more deeply into the squad, etc., etc.) Playing conservatively, all the time, and grinding out results just isn’t that much fun–even for the fans. That’s why Mourinho gets fired, isn’t it?…

    I guess that answer was for A-kev… Sorry…

    AB, You sum up the TW well, so maybe our scouts are onto something with the Russian guy, or maybe not (and/or maybe there’s something in the works in the more rearward positions)… I thought Welbeck was a good pick-up at the deadline a year ago but if he’s got persistent fitness issues another (strong) body seems good. We only used the two subs the other night going for the win and maybe #3 could’ve worked a charm. (Thanks for the in-match chat, btw). I still think AW might be seeing Chambers as more of a DM type (that was a fancy stepover before the worst of his turnovers the other night–better to be doing that stuff further up the pitch)… Like you say, if we buy nobody it’s not the end of the world…Unless, of course, we don’t take full points up in Newcastle… 😀

    Big money signings are exciting but, even with ours, I don’t understand how people can be so definitive. I had seen a relatively large bit of Ozil and Alexis when they played in Spain but it’s totally different when you watch them play–with your personal happiness on the line–match in and match out. If you expect them to roll in twenty footer after twenty footer or split 14 fairways at 350 yds each (back to the golf, not the real kind but the–highlight–reel variety…) then you’re going to be disappointed. I’ve seen plenty of footballers who looked “interesting” but how do people *know* they can make the big step up?

    Well, it’s not our job to know, they say, but then they STILL get upset when we don’t push out the boat for X, Y, AND Z… What’s a (real) manager to do? How can ANYBODY live up to that?…

    Anyhow, I could go on and on and I guess that’s why they call it the torture window… Thank Dennis there’s only 6 days to go… 🙂

  22. FLO8 says:

    Where to start?

    Arsenal’s start to the season has been somewhat underwhelming but not catastrophic. Whilst I was hoping for 9pts and expecting at least 6pts, 4pts is better than none. For me, the most disappointing aspect has been Arsenal’s attack or seemingly a lack of a logical and coherent attacking approach. Whilst Arsenal appear to have reverted to a possession hoarding attacking approach rather than the more counter attacking style they displayed during the second half of last season, the lack of one touch combination play, penetrative off the ball movement into and within the opposition’s box and packed defences, has meant our attacking play has been laboured and predictable. Also the team’s tendency to resort to aerial crosses into the box if they are struggling to break the opposition’s defensive structure down, seems like simply a waste of possession as rarely is that attacking ploy successful.

    Personally I would prefer to see: Arsenal’s front three comprised of quick players with dynamic (and almost relentless) off the ball attacking movement into and within the opposition’s penalty box; and our fullbacks, Ozil/Rosicky and Cazorla/Wilshere having the responsibility for the lateral movement of the ball to create width and playing the final ball into the box to one of Arsenal attacking trio. The problem with that approach is that of the squad, only Ramsey and Theo appear to be naturally inclined to make penetrative off the ball attacking movement into and within the opposition’s box. Our other attacking options like Giroud, Sanchez, Ox appear to prefer coming to the ball which negates the effectiveness of that attacking strategy.

    Whilst diversity in attack can be good and Ox and Sanchez’s direct dribbling ability brings its own threat, like Giroud’s lay off ability, I don’t think a front three of Giroud, Sanchez and Ramsey provides enough attacking off the ball and penetrative movement into and within the opposition’s box to pose packed opposition defences problems.

    As such I have and continue to advocate for Ramsey and Walcott to be deployed in at least two of Arsenal’s front three positions.

  23. njk84sg says:

    Guys, I think I have said alot in the last comment.. we have loaned more than we can do to keep our squad injury proof, and now we do not have an idea of the transfer situation.

    17ht, yes the other blogs are like OK, we have money and profits and we should buy. Yes we have to buy. But who can be better than Alexis and Theo? Simple thinking is not the sentence I would use.

    However I am also guilty of this, so I would not say my line.

    Cheers,
    JK

  24. JM says:

    Randam mumblings ….

    In midfield:

    Our club would be looking at one “İvan Gazidis”, who signed an extension this summer, for the long term solution next summer (in the likely departures of Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky – end of contracts).

    Presently, should the opportunity present itself and we decide to go for an alternative 2nd-choice player, one “Arsene Wenger” might be pursued. His team qualified in the UCL as their domestic league champion. Might be the right time (and age) to return back to West Europe.

    ===

    In attack:

    A veteran forward with an eye-for-goal and goal+penalty area know-how could be pursued instead (while our youth & squad forwards develop), one such being “Stan Kroenke”, whose team has just qualified for the UCL.

    ===

    “İvan Gazidis”? with a İ, ü, ğ
    “Arsene Wenger”? in full = (A.L.A.L.W.)
    “Stan Kroenke”? with a ß

  25. Gerry says:

    JM – Interesting take on ‘random mumblings’ ha ha.

    I’ve tried to make sense of in the literal way, but get stuck with Silent Stan. The I get stuck when I work backwards from ‘Attack’, and thinking the allegorical approach would be Thierry Henry(who Stan’s son would pursue?) for the new manager.
    In midfield, a returning ‘outsider’ could be Dennis Bergkamp, as the No 2 on the manager’s bench.
    But then I struggle to find the long term solution that has a bearing on the departing threesome?
    If it is a player, then who? Isaac Hayden? If not a player, then is IG himself taking full control of transfers.
    Nah! Too deep for this time of day …

  26. njk84sg says:

    Gerry should we bring lord bentner back? He looks good but isn’t liked by wolfsburg.

  27. JM says:

    (1) The letters İ, ü, ğ in this player “İvan Gazidis” for the ideal 1st candidate midfielder next summer. Intelligence in possession, tactical discipline, tireless energy, great mobility & creativity, a suitable long-term partner for Francis Coquelin.

    (2) The letters A.L.A.L.W. in the full name of this player “Arsene Wenger” for the alternative 2nd candidate midfielder this summer. Adaptable in defensive, offensive and side midfield roles. Well-travelled. He could form our own “Brash brothers” unit with Francis Coquelin.

    (3) The letter ß in this player “Stan Kroenke” for the veteran forward. Poacher & target man with work ethic & eye for goal. Currently on a 0.42 goal/league game ratio with his club (for 10 seasons), and was his league’s top scorer some years ago. As tall as Giroud, but deceptively quick (gangly with long strides). Reminds me of a certain “Pippo Inzaghi” in prime – nothing flashy, just opportunistic – right place@right time … BAM!

  28. njk84sg says:

    JM, I am sorry but i do not understand your wordplay there..
    It gets me all mixed up.

    Sorry 😦

    Cheers,
    JK

  29. JM says:

    JK,
    Those are just random mumblings firstly, no stress.

    Gerry, JK & readers, here are the answers to the mystery 3:

    (1) “İvan Gazidis”? with a İ, ü, ğ
    “(İ)”lkay “G”(ü)ndo(ğ)an, ideal 1st candidate midfielder next summer.

    (2) “Arsene Wenger”? in full = (A.L.A.L.W.)
    (A)xel (L)aurent (A)ngel (L)ambert (W)itsel or “A”xel “W”itsel in short, alternative 2nd candidate midfielder this summer.

    (3) “Stan Kroenke”? with a ß
    “S”tefan “K”ie(ß)ling, veteran forward. A gangly big-body to work with Giroud and to provide an alternative as well.

    Not that any of them are confirmed to be joining our club, of course. Just random mumblings …

  30. njk84sg says:

    JM, all 3 are quite good, but bar number 1, the rest have no EPL experience.

    Is AW looking at lesser known players that he can buy on the cheap?

  31. Gerry says:

    I seem to have lost a post in the ether?

    Thanks for unscrambling the puzzle JM. I would never have got it ,so I am glad I gave up at two attempts.
    It reminds me of how chuffed I was when I caught one of the ‘Child Genius’ programs, and found that even with their high IQ’s that they were no better than I am at anagrams 😀

  32. JM says:

    Number 1, “(İ)”lkay “G”(ü)ndo(ğ)an does not have EPL experience either; he has UCL experience and is a domestic league and cup winner. A future longer-term conductor in our engine room, to ponder upon only next summer, when and should our 3 experienced veteran midfielders (Arteta, Flamini & Rosicky) move on, and Cazorla plays a lesser squad role.

    “A”xel “W”itsel (ALALW) & “S”tefan “K”ie(ß)ling are effective in what they do on the pitch, the price (either expensive or cheap) is irrelevant. It is the functional qualities we need in a good team.

  33. Gerry says:

    Mmnnn. The latest news about Per is not encouraging? Although we have been down this route before, and a player miraculously turns up on the day.
    Anyway, in view of that, here is a post I made earlier, as the latter part has some relevance. Mind, if you get a repeat, blame admin ha ha:

    FLO8 – Much agreed on the type of game we should play. But again I think we have to get away from this one type of play suits all, into having a viable alternative to play in other games. I’m not sure I can go along with AW’s idea that the players on the pitch can change tactically if something is not working, as it invariably means a change in personnel to be fully effective?
    This brings me back to the previous post, and Admir’s list of 6 choices. My first thought was his mistake in saying Arsenal should do ONE of the 6 options. It is similar to Simba’s picking out ONE player for our failure to win against Liverpool?

    To my mind, in order to make effective changes you have to look at the other areas of the pitch to see what difference the first change makes. Then look for how the balance of the side changes.
    Then there is the simplified thinking as to player’s positioning (e.g.HT above, ‘…Ramsey playing out wide (he doesn’t!)…..)’ as revealed in this link, to see what the REAL effect is:

    http://www.allarsenal.com/2015/08/news/arsenals-actual-formation-revealed-by-heatmaps/

    All of this has to be considered, so tinkering with say the No 9 position, might need a double change in midfield to make it work better? And that might lead to a change in either full back positions. I think the GK position is safe … for now at least. 😀

    This will be even more acute when Wilshere comes back into contention. He is far better in that No 10 position where his quick burst of pace into the box can be used. To my mind, that is when Ozil can take a mini break. But does that mean Cazorla advances further forwards? Then what about DM? etc…..

    All this and no mention of any double injury catastrophe that might occur again. But that was an example where having to make a change, a further change could have helped? i.e Debuchy at RB. That in turn might have needed the Ramsey tweak to not further deplete our challenge down the right, by having Ox in that slot.
    Like transfers. It is not that simple.

  34. Gerry says:

    Interesting post on a similar theme of how to get the best out of our players.
    There is this one below, but if you link to their previous one on ‘Pace’ (from within that blog, bottom right-previous posts), is also a good read.

    http://www.gunnerstown.com/arsenal/2015/08/27/walcott-never-will-be-an-impact-player-against-a-compact-defence-but-giroud-can-be-so/?

    JM – Are Dortmund going into some sort of meltdown, disposing of their players so readily?

  35. JM says:

    Midfield Diamond is a viable option (4-1-2-1-2), should Mertesacker & Koscielny fail to recover in time vs Newcastle(away).

    Cech, Bellerin, Chambers, Gabriel, Monreal continue.
    Base of midfield: Arteta(captain of the day), deep-lying playmaker
    Double-flanking midfielders: Ramsey(right guardian & runner), Coquelin(left guardian & runner)
    Tip of midfield: Ozil
    Twin forwards: Alexis & Giroud

    Cazorla (standby for Ozil), Walcott (standby for either Alexis or Giroud), The Ox (standby for either Ramsey or Coquelin).

    The Arteta-Ramsey-Coquelin-Ozil diamond somewhat mirrors Juventus’s previous diamond of Pirlo-Vidal-Pogba-Marchisio.

    A setup for this match vs Newcastle at least, until the ill and injured return to fitness after international break.

  36. JM says:

    @Gerry, August 27, 2015 at 13:00
    “Are Dortmund going into some sort of meltdown, disposing of their players so readily?”

    Not that I know of. They have the new coach, Thomas Tuchel, of course. Kuba(Błaszczykowski)? He might be seeking more game time. Dortmund have Kampl, Hofmann, Weigl as alternative midfielders.

  37. Gerry says:

    JM – I have some problems your team selection, that I have alluded to before. Namely, if Bellerin is going to get forward, and you know he will, to provide width on the right. If Ramsey follows his heatmap from my previous link, and you know he will, by drifting to the wide left area?
    Who is going to assist Chambers? Arteta perhaps, but I suspect he will have his hand full if Coquelin advances with Cazorla and they counter?

    No doubt Newcastle will target Chambers after the last game, either directly with one player, or double and try and get him to spill it. I think it might be the case, barring a Lazarus appearance of Mertersacker, to go for a more secure option of Debuchy at right back, or even at CB? However reluctant AW is about removing players after a difficult game, he will not want to go into the break with another loss?
    I am not sure if Arteta is up for a full game either?

    Another thing, I don’t see Cazorla being removed from his assigned role, after publicly reminding AW of his decision (no coincidence in that message?). So I think it will be Ramsey be on the bench, and Ox down the right. That way, Debuchy can stay deep to stem any attacks down that line, as well as be available for Chambers ‘out ball’ if he keeps that CB spot, and we keep width on the right?
    Again, AW is unlikely to play Alexis closer to Giroud without any obvious width on the left, much as I think it might work for Giroud.

    Do you get the feeling I am not a fan of a ‘diamond’ formation? 😀

    No doubt a fuller version of this discussion will come along with any preview that might appear later?

  38. JM says:

    @Gerry,
    If Mertesacker is unable for this match, Arteta has to sit in as the captain for the team. Cazorla has his brain occupied captaining & galvanising the team while doing his deep-lying creativity work in the engine room. He is 3rd captain, while Arteta is 1st captain and has done both roles regularly previously.

    The diamond is dynamic, not static. The diamond form can expand(attack) & contract(defend).

    Should our play forward-attack come from the right, ie.Bellerin & Ramsey combi vs their LB & LM(if any), the other midfielders moved accordingly with shifts right-wards; Arteta shifts slightly in front of Chambers, Monreal moves up to occupy Coquelin’s left-centre midfield post, Coquelin moves centre pitch, Ozil supports at attacking 3rd, Giroud pulls CBs with him towards right, Alexis to exploit space b/w RB & R-CB. (Overload right)

    Likewise, on forward-attack. Monreal+Coquelin combi vs their RB & RM(if any), Arteta shifts in front of Gabriel, Bellerin occupies Ramsey’s right-centre midfield post, Ramsey moves centre pitch, Ozil supports at attacking 3rd, Alexis pulls CBs with him towards left, Giroud to exploit space b/w LB & L-CB. (Overload-left)

    Defending & counter: Ramsey & Coquelin intercept/breaks play mid-way, gives ball either to Arteta (deep-lying playmaker) or Ozil(advance playmaker) for switch.

  39. JM says:

    Well, something like this: (at least for this match vs Newcastle, if Mertesacker & Koscielny are unable to recover in time, and not the entire regular season).

  40. JM says:

    1st interception line: Ramsey & Coquelin (further away from our experimental defence)
    2nd interception line: Arteta
    3rd interception line: Bellerin, Chambers, Gabriel & Monreal
    Last line: Cech

    Option to play offside trap and a higher line to catch opponents off-guard; Monreal & Bellerin to make calls from near & far side (since they should be able to see across the width of pitch, which is in line to what the linesmen would be seeing across from the sidelines).

  41. Gerry says:

    I agree in theory JM, but, no, a bigger BUT, it relies on Ramsey in particular not to go towards the space on the left of Giroud, as is his want.
    The other major weakness as I see it, there is no pace to bring the ball out of our defence?
    Arteta will not pass forward unless someone ahead of him is in the clear.
    Ramsey will not off load the ball quickly either, and he is not a ball carrier, more a receiver of a ball when he is running – like his disallowed goal last time.
    That leaves Coquelin to run with it, or try a risky long pass if Ozil is not available.
    Or Ozil to come deep and have only Giroud ahead, and Alexis nearby. The rest playing catch up.

    I do not see any overload in that scenario. However, make Cech captain and leave Arteta to come on and seal it up at the end, and you have more sprightly options available?

    Just a thought ..
    Cheers

  42. JM says:

    Bellerin can run with ball along sidelines, as does Monreal on the other side. Arteta can pass forward short, long or direct from his position in deep midfield (He will have 8 options to choose from: Bellerin, Ramsey – right; Monreal, Coquelin – left; Ozil, Alexis, Giroud – front).
    Attacking comes from right: Bellerin, Ramsey, Ozil & Giroud – overload; attacking comes from left: Monreal, Coquelin, Ozil, Alexis – overload.

  43. JM says:

    Oh, there is also (the diamond retreats into a compact defence) form (from picture above):

    Arteta moves back behind Chambers & Gabriel as liberio/sweeper (he can collect the ball from Cech directly to start playmaking way behind friendly lines). The rest of the diamond moves back; Ramsey & Coquelin will then be shielding Chambers & Gabriel; Ozil in centre-field; Giroud & Alexis between centre-field & attacking-3rd.

  44. Gerry says:

    JM – That is the other worry. Involving both full backs to run the lines. Not at the same time, but whoever is forward, it leaves a hole behind.
    Yes I know you are saying Arteta will cover the right side, and Coquelin the left, but depending how high our CB’s push up, I think two quick players on the Newcastle counter, and they will fancy themselves against Arteta and Chambers?
    I don’t think Thauvin will be quite so keen against Gabriel?

    For me it is not that complicated. Away from home, attack with 4 on the counter, look to nick it off them once in our half. Hit them with proper pace. Walcott, Allexis, Ox, and Ozil.
    If we don’t get a shot away, then play it back, regroup. Tire them out chasing shadows.
    Keep passing and moving is the way to go.

    Only in my opinion of course. Your way may work too. We shall see tomorrow?

  45. JM says:

    Ramsey & Coquelin’s functional roles (break up play & counter up field) are also similar & dynamic; Coquelin can go over to right-centre field & Ramsey can go over to left-centre field.

  46. JM says:

    “That is the other worry. Involving both full backs to run the lines. Not at the same time, but whoever is forward, it leaves a hole behind.”

    Ans: One fullback at a time of course.

    “Yes I know you are saying Arteta will cover the right side, and Coquelin the left, but depending how high our CB’s push up, I think two quick players on the Newcastle counter, and they will fancy themselves against Arteta and Chambers?”

    Ans: We still have Coquelin at centre-pitch, so he will be the 1st reference to intercept, then Arteta, Chambers & Gabriel. Monreal’s new position will be defensive left-midfield.

    I don’t think Thauvin will be quite so keen against Gabriel?

    Ans: Depends where Newcastle will counter-attack at that time: right, centre or left.

  47. JM says:

    We will have to manage with whoever is available at full match fitness on the actual day. It could get better (either Mertesacker or Koscielny recovers) or worse (more sudden illnesses and injuries).

  48. Gerry says:

    Come on JM, what ever the formation is, notional or real, it will retreat into compact lines.

    Where the problems arise from, is not having the personnel to match the requirements of said system.
    I don’t think the players you have put up will damage Newcastle if they too are disciplined enough to get back quickly when they lose possession? The thought of Arteta playing a cunning ball from behind friendly lines, means that the majority of their players are ahead of him? So at best we are the ones who are undermanned upfront to the tune of at least 8 to our 6?

    Sorry you are not going to convince me that the result will be anything other than a tippy,tappy stalemate, however well the diamond works.
    On the other hand, Le Coq to Santi, Santi to Ozil, Ox, or Alexis, and the 3rd pass we are within shooting range inside their box? …… If they all play to their best of course. It is never that easy.
    😀

  49. JM says:

    Newcastle players would be running back to their defensive positions when we counter, and
    Arteta could ping a direct ball: towards Giroud for a knock-down to Ozil, Alexis; or towards Alexis/Walcott to break their deepest line in front of GK; on towards offensive 3rd right or left touch sidelines where the space is available for our furthest line breakers, Ozil, Alexis & Giroud/Walcott to gather. A direct fast break.

  50. JM says:

    Probably a 3vs3 (1 AM, 2 FWs vs 1 DM, 2 CBs) or 3vs2 (1 AM, 2 FWs vs 2 CBs) situation in our favour.

  51. JM says:

    Trajectory of an accurate direct ball travels faster than the speed of player running back facing own goal area or vice versa? Maybe Usain Bolt can catch up with it.

  52. JM says:

    The will of the attacking play is imposed by a real playmaker, whether a faster break or a slower build-up is the best way to goal.

  53. Gerry says:

    I ducked out to see how we fare in the Cl draw: Doable, but not easy.

    Bayern
    Olympiacos
    Shaktar D

    Not too heavy on the travelling, But holding BM for top spot will be a big ask/

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for the interim post, 17HT, which has let to some interesting contributions. 🙂

    I had a bit of time tonight to write my thoughts on the game, so…

    New Post New Post 🙂

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