Arsenal best 11 in 2017: Szczesny in goal, Jack in the hole, Stones CB, Akpom CF?

Two great guys, but will they still be at Arsenal in 2017?
Two great guys, but will they still be at Arsenal in 2017?

Eight questions for you to answer.

I have been to three matches this season – Liverpool at home and Newcastle United and Sheffield Wednesday away – and have watched most other games on TV. I reckon we have a good chance to win silverware again this season, and our main focus should be on winning the title.  I also believe that Wenger is not finished developing this team further and will add quality if and when possible.

It is clear, though, that a strong first eleven is coming to the fore: Cech, Bellerin, Nacho, Koz, Coquelin, Santi, Ozil, Alexis, Rambo are all top quality first team players. When all are fit, Arsene can pick from Giroud, Theo, Ox, Wilshere, Ospina, Gibbs, BFG, Gabriel, Debuchy, Rosicky, Flamini, Arteta and Welbeck to complete his team and rotate players when necessary. That is a pretty fine squad to pick from right now, and let us hope the medical team will get on top of the injury issues rather sooner than later so we can make full use of these players during the remainder of the season.

But what will our team look like in two years’ time?

We have the money now to keep our best players and to add top quality international players as well as good, experienced PL players, annually. I reckon we have a fine squad right now that can win us silverware. But, as you will have noticed, I think we have two positions for which we are likely to seek new players: CB and in attack. Furthermore, the likes of Rosicky, Flamini, Arteta and the BFG will probably have left the team by the summer of 2017, and will also need replacing, either from within (youth) or through buying experienced PL/European players.

I have no doubt that Giroud and Theo will still be at Arsenal in two years’ time, but I am less sure that Welbeck will make it. In fact, I would be very (pleasantly) surprised if Danny would really make it at Arsenal, but that is for another time/post.  Both Theo and Giroud are important team players, and Alexis is a versatile attacker who can play anywhere up-front, but Wenger will in likelihood reinforce our attack with another star player during the coming summer.

Furthermore, I am a big fan of the BFG but don’t think he will be a first choice player anymore in 2017. There is a good chance that Wenger will make Koz and Gabriel our preferred CB pairing, but part of me believes Wenger will go for another ‘organiser of defence’ rather than two full on CBs ala Koz and Gabriel.

I have some ideas who Wenger should go for but do not want to influence the discussion too much, so will keep these to myself for now.

So, for just a bit of fun, my eight questions to you are:

  1. What will be our best eleven in 2017 from the currently available players (assuming everybody is fit and nobody is bought between now and then)?
  2. Being able to spend about £45m in 2016, and then again in 2017, who would you try to buy to add to our strongest first eleven and why?
  3. Where would you play a fully fit Jack Wilshere?
  4. Will Wojciech Szczesny be our nr.1 goalkeeper if it is up to you?
  5. Which ex Gunner, if anyone, would you love to be back at Arsenal?
  6. Is Steve Bould the best man to be Arsene’s right hand man; if not, who should replace him?
  7. Do you want Arsene Wenger still to be in charge in 2017?
  8. Do you think Chuba Akpom will make it into our best eleven by 2017?

By TotalArsenal.

40 thoughts on “Arsenal best 11 in 2017: Szczesny in goal, Jack in the hole, Stones CB, Akpom CF?

  • 1) —————Cech————–
    Bel —- Gab ——Kos —–Mon
    ——– Coq ——–Jack——-
    Ox ———- Ozil———–Alexis
    —————Theo —————
    ( hoping Ox has come to his potential by then and Theo learnt the ropes).

    2) Pogba — top draw, versatile. Vardy —- looks the real deal to me and I rate him better than what
    we have.

    3) Jack — box to box.

    4) Zesny —- no.

    5) Ex gunner — none.

    6) I know that our defensive performance has improved
    tremendously so he should be retained.

    7) Wenger — yes. 3 more years for him to achieve his grand design of putting us on the level
    where we can compete, pound for pound, with any team.

    8) Chuba — no.

  • Excellent piece and intriguing as only Bergkampesque can be. 🙂

    1.Martinez-Bellerin, Koscielny, Gabriel, Gibbs-Coquelin, Wilshere-Ox, Ozil, Alexis-Welbeck. (This is without purchases.)

    2.John Stones would be a great addition for our defence but we also have Chambers so I reckon will go for someone else. Ilkay Guendogan looks like a Wenger-esque player and it’s irrelevant if Wenger will be in charge or not – I see the German as our target. And, Bale could be a special purchase as well.

    3.Wilshere? I expect him to be a part of our midfield engine room next to Coq. Sadly, his injury record suggests he won’t fulfill the potential. 😦

    4.He would be learning from Cech – I think our Czech octopus will still be around in 2017. However, I included Martinez in my line-up. Chez used Past Simple in his last interview when speaking about Arsenal and “have to” when speaking about possible recall from a loan. He knows Cech is second to none in EPL and probably in Top 3 in the world. Martinez has physical attributes to replace Cech and – I think – more patience to learn from Cech and wait for his chance.

    5.Nobody. I want Mert and Arteta to stay around after retirement to teach our youngsters about positioning and tactical intelligence. I love Ian Wright but I don’t think he is the right man for any role in the club.


    7.He’ll be 68. If he doesn’t win the league by that time – no. If he does – yes. Maybe he should retire with a title and pass the batob to Pep.

    8.No. I think he won’t cut it. Iwobi and Gnabry – perhaps but Chuba….no.

  • Cheers PE, good to see BKers are still alive, well at least some! 😜

    Pogba yes, fully agreed, even though we are fine in midfield, it’s a player that would strengthen our team. Vardy… Nah not for me, but he has been amazing until now.

  • Great response, Admir 😝

    You also don’t have Ramsey in your current players best eleven which intrigues me.

    I have high hopes for Akpom, but you are probably right.

  • I reckon getting Stones would be on a par with getting Sol Campbell all those years ago. Dennis next to Wenger would be bliss, but I would love to keep Bould too.

  • He said once he’d find difficult to reject an offer from either Spanish giants. Can’t recall the exact sentence though and I’m not by my PC. 🙂

  • Guys,

    For me, I am all for a stable keeper, which historically has won us cups and league titles when we have a stable keeper in the squad.

    1. What will be our best eleven in 2017 from the currently available players (assuming everybody is fit and nobody is bought between now and then)?
    Cech; Bell, Gab, Kos, Gibbs; Santi, Coq; Jack, Ozil, Alexis; Akpom

    2. Being able to spend about £45m in 2016, and then again in 2017, who would you try to buy to add to our strongest first eleven and why?
    A really good unknown striker. Being frugal has not cost us titles. Our players have, in recent years, not been fit as a whole to challenge for titles, until Alexis shows up.

    3. Where would you play a fully fit Jack Wilshere?
    Right Wing.

    4. Will Wojciech Szczesny be our nr.1 goalkeeper if it is up to you?
    No. He will be number 2 until Cech retires.

    5. Which ex Gunner, if anyone, would you love to be back at Arsenal?
    Alexander Hleb. He is similar to Rambo and Flamini, and if the squad is light he will be a good replacement for the AM positions.

    6. Is Steve Bould the best man to be Arsene’s right hand man; if not, who should replace him?
    Patrick Vieira / Tony Adams.

    7. Do you want Arsene Wenger still to be in charge in 2017?

    8. Do you think Chuba Akpom will make it into our best eleven by 2017?
    Yes, if we do not get anyone new into the squad.

  • Admir, TA,

    I will give Rambo 2 years to establish himself in the first team. If not, he can play anywhere he wants. We have more than enough players that is able to do what he can do.\


  • TA, don’t you reckon Jacko can do the same if he is fully fit?
    The issue is IF Jacko is fully fit.
    If not, Rambo will do us fine 🙂


  • Jack likes to run too, but is not a natural like Rambo. My dream is to see Rambo, Jack and Ozil running our midfield eventually, with Le Coq behind them.

  • TA, that’s the optimal scenario, but who alongside Le Coq? A double pivot or Jacko alongside Le Coq first and then ahead of him for counter attacks?


  • Good post Total.
    And the last one by 17 was a good ‘un as well.

    What will our team look like in 2 years time,
    phew, that’s a question with a zillion twists and turns?

    You only have to go ‘back’ 2 years to see how things can change…

    Going out on a limb, I think that Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be in the senior squad and be making a Coquelinesque impact…
    I also think that Krystian Bielik could be there or thereabouts.

  • Who would I buy?

    Jamie Vardy this January…
    He’s scoring goals, he’s English and is settled in the country and football.
    He could give us those goals that would push us over the EPL finishing line in 1st place.

    Long term, is more difficult.
    If possible I’d get Lewandowski.
    And Costa is very good, but they ain’t leaving Bayern for us any time soon.

    Reus is still a possibility, but I get a feeling he’s bound for Spain.

  • The Jack n Szczesny question…

    I see Jack in the Ozil role, but he’s not supplanting Mesut so I guess alongside Coq.
    Of course AW can play him in both roles, rotating Mesut and a 33 year old Santi. 😊

    I’m not sure that Szczesny is gonna be an Arsenal player next season, let alone 2017.
    I would guess that Cech will still be our Número Uno in 2017.
    I hope so anyway.

  • Ex-Gunner = can’t think of anyone tbh…

    Steve Bould has done a good job so far.
    I think he could do more if Arsene let him…
    I like the connection with the famous old defence.

    Wenger in charge in 2017 is probably a certainty.
    I can’t see Guardiola being tempted by Arsenal.
    Remi Garde if he does well at Villa, could be a long term replacement for AW.

  • I can’t see Chuba Akpom being anything other than a fringe player in 2017…

    I expect to see Giroud, Walcott and Welbeck still in place in N5

  • If Jack would have uninterrupted footballing from this Xmas to the summer 2017 he will be the first name amongst the whole of our attacking midfielders. He is that talented. A very special talent that seems to lack an early warning system for approaching danger.

  • Jack needs a heart transplant, a Spanish heart that knows how to skip out of a bad tackle and still get the whistle on his side.

  • You shouldn’t play like a Spanish, and proceed to equip yourself with an English heart!

  • 84,

    Next to Le Coq, I would have Rambo in 2017, as he is my ideal box to box midfielder; in front of these two, I would have Jack, Ozil, Alexis, with Jack and Ozil swapping positions.

  • Allezkev 🙂

    You wrote: ‘Going out on a limb, I think that Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be in the senior squad and be making a Coquelinesque impact…
    I also think that Krystian Bielik could be there or thereabouts’

    Well that would be nice. Two young players to make it into the first team would be quite an achievement, given the competition and the money sloshing round in the bank…

  • Allezkev, Reus is still a good call. One of the Gooners on this blog knows somebody who knows Reus really well and apparently he is a big Arsenal fan. He has been injury prone recently, so Arsene might not go for him anyway, but it could be a great signing for us… Would you play him on the wing or as CF?

  • Hi Total, not sure that both AMN and Bielik would be starters in the squad, but where was Bellerin in 2013..?
    I think that they could be in the squad mate…

    As for Reus and Pep, if they both come to pass Total, then I would be very very happy.

    Reus on the left wing for me, or the right, or anywhere, he’s that good amigo…

  • Zelalem’s vision and technique is Ozilesque. Just 10 extra pounds of muscle to add and he is in the mix.

  • Exactly Allezkev, where was Bellerin in 2013?! It will be harder now to get into the first eleven as Wenger has money now and time is precious, but he will still give our young players a chance.

    Reus on the left wing would make sense, but yes, he can play everywhere, and I wonder whether there is a Henryesque CF waiting to come out of him at some point…

  • Guys, re-Zelalem, why not we put him as the box to box player?

    Ok, i know we have lots of young gunners that plays in that position, but i do not see anyone unsettling Ozil yet.


  • Hey folks… I’m still down about the Paris happenings and very concerned about the political repercussions… Football and eating out (less so the heavy metal concert..) were things I did just a couple of weeks ago in Europe. Those sorts of things will be done differently going forward, I fear…

    I guess we fight this sort of thing by keeping at it, however… So here are a few of my thoughts…

    Photos of Jack Wilshere (not a cigarette in sight) are getting Gooners (& maybe 3Lion fans…) excited, it seems… PE, I like (very much) that twist up re: English & Spanish stereotypes… If all Jack’s injuries were simulations, we’d likely have a VERY strong player on our hands… GZ, up in Scotland, too… Maybe TA needs to take in a Rangers match. Here in the States, I keep fingers (and toes) crossed that he comes good…

    Inter-dulls are good times to think about the future but I think ours is already pretty bright and I’d prefer to stay a bit more in the moment… Oh-Gaat, I think, they say in the Netherlands… 😀 The current post seems sort of the opposite, i.e. too many hypotheticals for my taste… Everybody fully fit? Can I have some of what you’re smoking?… 😀 Arsenal buy nobody? (The horror, the horror…) I like ‘Stones’ in the headline, but not in the post… That took, er, stones, as we say over here… (I think bollocks is the English term…) Have we registered a bid for him?… Is that the 45 million you’re talking about?…

    Of course, it’s as good a topic as any and maybe it’s this sort of thinking that keeps the hair on Arsene’s head (and finds it rubbed all shiny on Steve Bould’s)… More smileys… Keep putting Stones in the headlines and (surely) we’ll generate more traffic for the site…

    My take is very different–and in fact I could write a whole post about it. (Winky face…) Unfortunately, it would probably go over like my last one… More smileys (or sad faces… Cheers, A-kev, above)… I like our current team (a lot) although it’s very (very) thin at the moment. I hope some players get fit–and do a job for us–this season, even a couple here before January. At that time we can call in some loan players and/or do some buying, esp. if (dennis forbid…) we drop into that Thursday football in Europe (and Western parts of Asia)… My hope is that most (if not all…) our current first team players are still putting the team first (as it were…) in 2017…

    That’s just me, and change, of course, is inevitable. My take, however, is that these days, for the bigger (money) clubs, it’s all about spreading risk, i.e. if we spend it, we are best served by buying 2 or 3 (younger, under the radar…) players with that 45 million you’re suggesting (or paying it to good servants of the club by extending contracts). Buy low, sell high (if you must sell…) and loan what you can (making nickels and dimes, as we say…) while they develop (or not), while hoping, of course, that one or two or three really play great (and work together for the team) before they get their heads REALLY turned by all that money… Boring, boring (and even more boring when you try to blog about it)… For every player who does what I’ve just described there will be many (many, many) more fine players who will ‘earn’ millions of pounds with many seasons spent in the physio-room, on loan or in the reserve teams, playing their most memorable football on highlight reels… The post, in fact, names a few such players, I fear…

    But that’s no fun at all…

    Corallary Question: How much of a player do you need to see before you make a definitive statement about him? For some, it’s one mistake with Arsenal (out) and one video on youtube (in)… ALL observers are affected, no matter how ‘reasonable’ they purport to be… In Oslo, just two weeks ago (nursing an $11 pint…) I watched Gary Medel (formerly of Cardiff City, now at Inter Milan, plays with Alexis for Chile…) score a dribbler past Szczesny to beat Roma 1-nil. On that moment alone, I find it hard to see him back at Arsenal…

    But, Sir Chez is still young (for a keeper–and he’s still tall…) and so is Chubakka-pom… (Sorry, his name reminds me of a Star Wars character…) They’re both good players and you never know. So much is a question of players taking their chances when they come. (The Famous) Coq and Bells (what they should call that boozer closest to the Highbury-Islington tube station…) are GREAT examples. On the other hand, you don’t have to be 007 to think Whoa-Check took a few too many sneezes in an Arsenal shirt… Gooners, having maybe seen Akpom spurn chances in the Emirates Cup (or in cameos last spring) might prefer what they saw from Lacazette (nothing…)–or at least what they see on the internet about him… “The Jeff” might be the answer for others… We ‘own’ two out of three, which, when the fat man sings it, ain’t bad…

    I could go on and on, but maybe I should answer the questions posed…Or at least give the floor (airspace?…) to others… Apologies for length, cheers for reading…

  • Morning Total/17

    Good comments.
    Yes, Arsene does have a lot of dough to spend TA, and I hope he spends a bit of it this January. All the same, he’s got a few players to replace and I can see him promoting from within before he goes into the transfer market…
    I’m pretty certain that his policy of giving youth a chance will remain, whatever the situation concerning his future is, at any given time…

    17, forgot about Jeff 😕
    Thanks for reminding me, as he is potentially a big talent…
    Have a good day fellas…

  • 17ht, nice full post length comments.

    For the youngsters, do we have more than just highlights from to see how they are playing? Not forgetting those on loan too.

    There was an interesting post on this morning, based on the Star. Messi would like to come to Arsenal, for 600,000 pounds per week, and on top of that, a 175 million pound release clause :-X

    Sorry Messi, we are not dreaming, and we cannot afford you.


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