Why We Cannot Afford to Sell either Auba or Laca and NEED a ‘Zaha’ too

… and keep our romanticism re using lots of youngsters under control…

Remember those bad first halves we used to play at the start of last season? We sat back and made ourselves seem vulnerable and thus invited and encouraged the opponents to come and have a go. We were desperate for space to operate in, and by sitting back and having a go at teams with quick rebounds and counter-attacks we sometimes got the first goal. Unfortunately, it just as often did not work as we regularly conceded during those first halves, leaving Emery no other option than to take off players during the break as to turn things round again (and in the process affecting their confidence and not doing much good to the player-manager relationships – the days of the effective autocratic manager are well and truly behind us, thank Dennis).

Luckily, we had the likes of Torreira, Ramsey and Auba on the bench: the sort of big guns that can really make a difference. For a while, this formula worked but during the second half of the season we saw our super-subs more and more used from the start rather than from the benh.

There is no doubt that we cannot pooh-pooh the need for having a strong bench of players to change things round if and when necessary. For this we need experienced and self-motivated players who have the quality and confidence to have a meaningful impact on the game within a short period of time. Youngster are almost always not suitable for this.


Ramsey is gone and Torreira really has to feature in games from the start, so Auba is the only one left who could start on the bench and be our supersub-hero later on in games next season.

I am going to state the bleeding obvious that to win games we need to score goals – lots of goals given our lack of prioritisation of defensive discipline these days. Auba and Laca had a share in 48 of our 73 PL games (35 goals and 13 assists), so it does not take a genius to realise how dependent we are on them. That is why the idea of selling either Auba or Laca really does not wash with me. We need them both, and if we don’t buy another quality attacker (like Zaha for example), Arsenal will simply not score enough next season now that Ramsey and Welbeck are no longer donning the home of football.

It is all good and well to say we need to give more of our youthful players a chance, but you only have to look back at the likes of Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, and many a young CF, to conclude that the one thing young players struggle with is producing the bread and butter stuff: assists and goals.

So for me it is clear that we need to keep both Auba and Laca and need to buy another quality attacker to add both assists and goals next season. We need to have the firepower at the start of the game and on the bench if and when it’s required.

But what do you think?

By TotalArsenal.

19 thoughts on “Why We Cannot Afford to Sell either Auba or Laca and NEED a ‘Zaha’ too

  • hi, everybody
    i totally agree with the “conservation” part – there is no way at all we should let either laca or auba go their own way
    i actually feel very conservative at the moment – i don’t want to indulge in wishful thinking, with stan the miser at the helm
    so i would have no problem at all suppporting the following squad with all my heart and lungs:
    bellerin- torreira-xhaka-kolasinac
    ++: okonkwo-amaechi-balogun-johnjules-smithrowe-nelson
    of course, the hierarchy would not have to be as clearcut as it appears to be here (smithrowe, nelson, in particular should have to be given a serious number of opportunities to shine – and they sure will)
    then again, all depends on the way this quality squad is managed: either they are made to adapt to the opposition, and we will fail, or they are made to jump down the opponents’ throats from the word “go”, and we will suceed
    having said that, and to get back to your point; to ensure we sustain – or improve – our goal-scoring record, one or two additions wouldn’t hurt: stan’s miserable 40millions might be inflated thanks to a few sales (elneny, kos, nacho, jenko), and to the savings in wages (rambo, danny, petr, lichtsteiner), so we could afford buying lads like chilwell (sure improvement on kola – very reliable as chance-creator) and ward-prowse (so far, we appear to be very short in midfielders), who would be great “assist-wise” – he is a very efficient free-kick taker as well
    we’ll see …
    a very nice summer to youl arsenal fans

  • Well LeGall, that is fine and sensible comment there. I like the line-up and there are players in the second team who can play themselves into the first team, no doubt. I like the idea of Chilwell and Ward-Prowse I have always valued.

  • Hey TA, I need to run…but I also need the sun to warm things up just a bit before I go…

    Your enthusiasm for Arsenal’s summer business and restructuring of our playing squad is impressive. From where it comes, I’m not quite sure, but your optimism is (almost) contagious.
    (Certainly, it’s enough for me to write something, so here you go…) Or maybe it’s the (other) sport on grass from England that I’m enjoying… Fulham went down, but they’re playing some good tennis in that part of London (Wimbledon)… It’s a shame we can’t buy Felix Auger-Aliassime… One for the future, I’d reckon…

    Personally, I think Emery has little interest in players like Depay or Zaha and our bid for him reminds me of our trying to get Luis Suarez for 40 million–plus a pound. That we haven’t pushed out the extra quid, IMO, says it all… Do I think we’re gonna end up with a “proven” wide attacker who can get by a defender (on his own) and then score–or at least dive for a pen? No, no I don’t…

    This is because–just as you stumped for a back four last season (match after match after match) as the team imploded down the stretch–I’m quite sure that Emery’s “system” is now a back 3 (or 5, or something else that means wingbacks rather than attacking wide men). To say that the coach doesn’t prioritize defense (or priotise defence, if we’re using the non-American English…) seems at odds with the cowardly approach you’ve identified as our style for so much of the season. You’re right, of course, that it didn’t work and that it wasn’t good to do all that swapping and switching. Amazingly, we finished every match with 11 on the pitch, I think… This season, I expect that streak to end and for us to limp home in a few critical matches in the autumn. Emery sacked by January with Freddie as care-taker for the spring run (or limp…) in 😮 … That’s the scenario I envision… 😦 Sort of a poor man’s (or club’s…) OGS… 😉

    But, I agree, those who have embraced the (fantasy manager?) stuff about selling our best assets (the two goal scorers up front) or the (just plain fantasy) stuff about offloading un-favored guys on big contracts (Ozil, Mkhi, Mustafi, Xhaka) or younger and more hated types who are progressing decently (Bellerin, Iwobi)…are overly optimistic about young (and/or purchased) players coming in seamlessly and doing a job. While I understand the urge to believe that highlight reels and stats from lower levels of the game translate to “plug and play” results with Arsenal, the reality (I think) is (or would be) quite different. Emery wants positional discipline (the opposite of Wenger’s “self-expression”) and young guys might do OK (in the manager’s eyes) in that regard. In front of goal–or defending in our box–and I’d expect even more than the usual amount of choking (bottling?…) of goal-scoring chances or (other end…) the giving up pens and making critical errors that lead to opposition goals. In general, until we switch managers, I’d expect the balance to improve just a bit (fewer goals scored, fewer conceded) but the boredom (and misery) to increase…

    So, whether or not we make BIG changes in personnel (or just a few small ones) I just can’t see it mattering too much. We’re doing business like a mid-table team AND we’re being coached like a mid-table team, so, logically, I would expect that that is where we’re headed… But, like PE pointed out (I’m trying to tip my hat to previous posts, to suggest that I still am reading the blog…) we ARE the Arsenal…so, we could always outperform and still eke out a top-6 finish…

    Happy Hump-day…

  • Very quickly… I think Gooners best bet is taking pleasure in the failures of our rivals…and there are lots of folks (out my way) who are ManU supporters… Now that we’re no longer paying the great man, I can’t go on and on about the idiocy of Gazidis extending Wenger’s contract before getting him sacked (and then doing a runner himself), or whatever that was, but AT LEAST we didn’t put Emery on a contract like ManU did with David Moyes… https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2019/jun/26/david-moyes-manchester-united-contract-end-manager-old-trafford

    On the other hand, if we’re gonna be shopping for new managers (see my previous comment above…) Moyes is out of contract AND still younger than Wenger…

    So, those could be some blog posts for the future… “At Least We’re NOT ManU…” or Former Players as Managers at “BIG” clubs…(Couldn’t Arteta Out-Coach OGS AND Lampard?)…

    OK, my time has come…

  • Super comments, 17HT, and all agreed. You know my view re Emery and if we have to go on for another season we may as well remain as positive as possible. Nobody and I mean nobody has explained to me what Emery’s plan is, what the big lines are under him and what our preferred system of play is. The only thing I am getting is that Emery deserves more time and that he inherited some bad players…

    Hope you had a good run! 🙂

  • TA, if we can plug all the holes behind our two top strikers, then no point at all selling one of them. However, if the right balance (the more critical thing) can only be achieved by selling one of them, then am all for it. I hope it’d be the former but I fear it’d be the latter.

  • TA, if we can plug all the holes behind our two top strikers, then no point at all selling one of them. However, if the right balance (the more critical thing) can only be achieved by selling one of them, then am all for it. I hope it’d be the former but I fear it’d be the latter.

  • Hi PE

    I am not following you. What is the point in plugging the holes (which ones are you exactly referring to?) if we have only one remaining top attacker to score the goals? Sell one of Auba and Laca and we will at least lose 1/3 of our PL goals potential… It must be a given that we keep both and add additional firepower to compensate for the loss of Ramsey and Welbeck’s goals. No?

  • PE, the whole formation and the lineup is still reeking of Wenger’s legacy tactics last season. There is little or no change to it. Or maybe that Emery felt that Wenger’s tactics and formation suits the best for the current team. We have seen the same formation over the last season and a half, and it does seem worse rather than better.

    The 4-5-1 (or 3-5-1-1) system attacks through the wings in a great deal, thus needing only one striker and making the midfielders act as a second striker. At certain times we scored via the middle part, and that is only via a small percentage when the midfielders overload the box.

    Our formation and tactics is very easy to read and be countered by the opponents. We need a more dynamic formation to force the opposition to second guess what we were doing.

    I would want both Auba and Laca to stay and strengthen the central midfield and defensive core. Those non-performing midfielders can go, and the core is a very important aspect of the team. We need the main players to be staying.

    We can stick to a striker trio formation, but the AM needs to work harder and read the game better. The game is won or lost in midfield. If we do not have an answer to replacing Rambo we are good as gonners for the next season, however strong we are at the back is no longer a factor if the midfield is rubbish.

  • TA by the holes I mean the weak areas of the team apart from the 2 front men: the mid field and the defence. If we have the funds we keep the two which is agreeing with you completely. If we can’t strengthen the MF and Df because of lack of funds I’d say we sell one of the strikers to invest his funds on other weak areas. Balance to me is the key. It’s all a tale of the ifs.

  • njk, that’s 100% all you’ve said but thsts assuming we have that much funds.

  • This season we are going to miss Rambo big time,especially in crunch matches.A world class defender is a must too if we want to qualify for champions league .Forget about any trophy till we invest a minimum 150 million till then just hope that we qualify for champions league if we fail to buy that world class defender.

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