Saturday, 2 June 2012

Team Analysis

 Team Analysis


Thankfully we’ve managed to release Almunia but with Fabianski set to leave, we need an experienced keeper to not only compete with Szczesny but some who can help bring his game on. Szczesny has made some poor decisions at times this season and having someone to lean on in a playing capacity can only be beneficial

Verdict – Experienced Keeper is a must 


Right Back

We need more depth at right back, it’s hard to compete with someone as good as Sagna but we need a more experienced full back to deal with long layoffs, as Sagna’s health is now somewhat in the balance after breaking the same leg twice in the same season and no, I don’t consider Jenkinson to be a first team player just yet.
Required –Cover/Competition for Sagna

Left Back
Santos or Gibbs? Well in truth, neither. I enjoy watching the Brazilian on his forays going forward and I think he’s excellent in the challenge but he can be lethargic when in possession at the back and he gets caught out of position too often. Gibbs still has to prove he can stay fit, again that’s his biggest challenge heading into another season.

Required – A new left back preferably one that can defend and attack.

Centre Backs
We have one world class defender (Koscielny) and two very good partners in Vermaelen and Mertesacker. Personally I prefer the Mertesacker and Koscielny combination because they both just defend and I’m a bit tired of seeing defenders that mask their own deficiencies just because they score goals. That will probably not go down too well but our back four needs to learn how to walk before it can run. A new centre half would be a nice addition but with Djourou and Squillaci looming large it’s unlikely.

Required – A new face if we manage to offload dumb and dumber.  


As starting midfield trio’s go Song>Arteta>Wilshere is a pretty respectable combination but the trouble is we’ve never seen that line up.

We have seen Rosicky occupy the main attacking role but with all due respect, he doesn’t score enough and we need a playmaker who can take some of the pressure off van Persie.

 Is it worth discussing Diaby? Really? I do think some sections of support forget how inconsistent he is when he returns. I don’t think any side loses any sleep over Diaby and it would be nice if he could take part in a campaign for once. That would be a positive in itself and it would allow us to rotate.

After that we have youthful exuberance in Ramsey, Frimpong & Coquelin. I do fear that Le Coq is seen as cover at right back but I think this hinders his development in the middle, as he should be cover for Song. His performance against WBA on the final day demonstrated a player not used to patrolling the centre of the park.

Required – A playmaker and a defensive midfielder both of which need to be quality

Attack (aka van Persie)

Where do I begin?

Chamakh/Park– hopeless/never gets a look in. Neither of these figures in our plans but are both are burning a hole in the clubs pocket. We were 3-0 up at Wolves late in the season and the home side had been down to 10 men since the opening minutes and still Wenger wouldn’t bring on either to give RVP a rest, need I say more?

Gervinho had a poor season but I see something in him, I like his direct approach but another ACoN beckons and I don’t think that helped him last season year and I fear it will be the same again this year.

Walcott improved last term but he still lacks in far too many areas.  When he gets in-between fullback and centre half he can be devastating but most respectable full backs (exc. Cole) suffocate him when he is in possession. He could certainly be replaced that’s for sure and if you listen to van Persie, Afellay wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Oxlade-Chamberlain –I often find the clamour for his involvement in the first team rather embarrassing in all honesty. Wenger knows how to introduce these youngsters into the team and we all need to be patient. He is an excellent player but he’d be even better if the personnel he trained with every day were much better than him.

Required – Well we have Podolski who is a superb signing but I see him more on the left. So I think we need a quality striker (or two…) and also a more consistent winger

So after assessing our squad I think we need seven new players, which is obviously not going to happen but it’s what we need in order to compete. Until we start addressing the issues that presents themselves with this squad then we can never expect to challenge for anything. This is probably what van Persie wants to get him to put pen to paper but in truth it’s not about appeasing his needs, it’s about meeting our expectations as supporters. We finished 19 points behind Man City and whilst we did finish third, I see that more as a reflection on the poor standard in The Premier League. We have to start resurrecting ourselves on a domestic front and our lack of depth means we can’t actively compete on every front.  


  1. Agree with requirements identified. Can we cover from the balance of the bloated squad?

    Mannone: Loaned to Hull last season but not top drawer
    Martinez: Well regarded in club but only 19 but can be third choice if Fab stays.
    Yennaris- Aged 19 first team debut last season and well regarded; Jenkinson aged 20 is only just ahead. Ideally there would be better back up for Sagna but these are two of the best young prospects. Coquelin might push ahead of both.
    Botelho- Aged 22 playing in Spain due to work permit issues unknown in English conditions
    No youngster/loanee coming up as Meade/Hajrovic both aged 19 have had no first team exposure.
    Bartley- aged 21 like Lansbury below crunch time
    Miquel - aged 19 - well regarded but not ready for regular first team football
    Boeteng - aged 19 - not proven yet.
    Suggest Squillaci is replaced by experienced defender who can play left back
    Denilson- likely to be sold or loaned
    Lansbury- aged 21 will either be in squad or sold
    Eastmond- aged 21 had a series of loans and now behind those listed below
    Henderson- aged 20 most likely to be given chance as training with first team before injury last season but unproven
    Galindo - aged 20 see Botelho
    Aneke- aged 19 promising but needs more time
    Eisfield- aged 19 has not played much since arriving in Jan 2012 but seems in favour.
    If not biting the bullet on a young player, agreed at least one player needed for reasons stated.
    Ashavin- indications are will be sold
    Vela- indications will be sold
    Bendtner- indications will be sold
    Watt- aged 21 had a series of loans and now behind those listed below
    Ryo- promising but not ready
    Campbell- ditto
    Afobe- ditto
    Wellington- ditto and work permit issue
    RVP needs back up but unless a punt taken on youngsters need to buy a new player or retain one of loanees and current strikers.
    Overall club needs to decide if it wants to fill deficiencies in current squad using Martinez, Yennaris, Jenkinson, Miquel, Frimpong, Ramsay, Coquelin, Henderson, Aneke, Eisfield, AOC, Ryo, Campbell, Afobe- who will not peak for 2 or 3 years.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      I agree with Martinez gaining experience at #3.

      I'd like to see Yennaris push on and hopefully he can go on loan again.

      Big year for Miquel coming up, although judging from a recent reserve game he needs a lot of coaching before he's ready to make the leap.

      Denilson/Lansbury/Eastmond - Sell.

      Aneke needs more loan experince but hopefully at a better side than last year.

      Arshavin/Vela/Bendtner/Watt - Sell

      Ryo -EPL loan again.

      Overall the youth system has masses of players but I feel we'd be revisiting previous mistakes in the Wenger regime by believing in youth again. If they are good enough, they'll make the grade.