£50 Million to be spent on 4 Premier league players for Arsenal to challenge once more

Time to buy from home
Time to buy from home

 

Today’s blog has been in my head for a while now but my conviction about the content has grown. I fully accept that most will not agree but read the piece first before you reach your conclusion.

Whilst I have in the past highlighted players who I feel would fit Arsenal’s salary structure and playing style from abroad I am feeling increasingly that for 2013/14 and the challenges we face our new additions should all have Premiership playing experience. In fact I would go further and suggest all our summer purchases should be from other EPL clubs so all our new recruits will bed in swiftly in August.

Now already those of you who are desperate for Falcao, Villa or Jovetic are wondering whether to even to read on. Here goes Dave again suggesting bargain basement or kids with potential when we want Arsenal to buy world stars!! I am not against heavy investment as you will see but can we really afford to wait a season for a player to produce what he is capable of? I said that Hazard would not shine in his first year and despite the odd flash of brilliance I would say I was right. Arsenal cannot afford to wait for success any longer we need it next season.

For me this is not about the money or the wages necessarily but it is about installing a new spine at Arsenal. A spine who know what it takes to compete in this league, but also a spine hungry for success.  Now however I will type the bit no one wants to read but you know you need to – A spine that has top quality but that will still come whether we are playing European Champions league or Europa League in 2013/14. Don’t get me wrong though the players I think we need are good enough to play at the top table but currently they are not doing so.

Despite my misgivings about the current management structure I am not totally disheartened by the playing staff and we do have a core of talented players. However we do seriously need to address the lack of quality and/or consistency in crucial areas. For me this will literally be the spine of the team so the 4 essential additions need to be a goalkeeper, centre back, central defensive midfield and centre forward.

Before I suggest the players I admire and would like to come in I should first briefly explain why I feel these are the key positions that need strengthening. Huge detail not required because much of this is obvious to any Arsenal supporter and I will have touched on most of it in recent blogs.

I feel awful in some ways. Almost disloyal to a fellow Gooner but Szczesny if not quite the ‘Real Deal’ he thinks he is and if we are honest most of us hoped he was. Yes he makes remarkable saves but his decision making is erratic, if I am being kind and his inability to either hold on to shots our parry them out of the danger area has cost us. His kicking leaves a lot to be desired as well. In short he will be a great keeper but not many have been at such a young age and he needs time to mature without being continually in the spotlight. What I do admire about him is that his mistakes don’t seem to faze him and he bounces back instantly but we need another Seaman. We need a keeper who actually wins us additional points and since 2007 we have had keepers who cost them.

In my last blog on Sagna I touched on the woes of our central defence. I am not a Mertesacker fan and I have no idea what has happened to the Thomas Vermaelen of 2009/10. We need a dominant leader who will inspire and organise us, to play alongside probably Koscielny. In short we need a Sol Campbell like figure to head the ball all day long who along with a new keeper will assist in removing the crowds’ collective hands in mouth every time we conceded a corner.

If we are to continue with the 4231 system or even is we finally accept that our formation can actually changed from game to game, we need a stronger holding midfielder. I championed Arteta for the role and I still admire his ability enormously. He has the intelligence and the distribution required without doubt but I am beginning to question whether he has the pace and the strength. Too often our defence is left exposed because Mikel is just not able to cover the ground fast enough. I also accept now increased height in that role could be an advantage. We need a player who loves to sweep and is defensive minded first and foremost.

Lastly again if we stay with a sole striker system or with a pairing we simply must have an alternative to Giroud, who is a fabulous team player but needs to be pressured. The current manager, strangely,  has only played Lukas Podolski centrally in one game all season, for which I can see no explanation at all, but even so we need another target man.

So here we are the moment of truth arrives. Which four current  Premier League stars would jump at the chance to move to the Emirates this summer and are good enough to improve Arsenal, blend with the current talent and give us the backbone and leadership we so obviously need.

Goalkeeper – Asmir Begovic

The moment I knew he was Gooner to be!
The moment I knew he was Gooner to be!

The Stoke and Bosnia keeper is for me arguably the best keeper in the league right now. Certainly he is on a par with Joe Hart. His consistency is incredible and his presence quite frankly scary. He has an aura about him which the very best have. Seaman and Lehmann had it and Joe Hart has it but our young Pole does not.

This video shows quite clearly the athleticism on this giant of a keeper but watch closely the distance and direction when he parries or clears.

[youtube.com/watch?v=Salsd3v4P9M 100% 250]

What we also know is that Stoke seem to have accepted that Begovic wants to move to a bigger club by securing the services of young England stopper Jack Butland from Birmingham. The Bosnian has been lined in the press with Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United during the last window. Fergie seems to have come out strongly behind De Gea however so the race for this top keeper’s services could be one with only 2 horses. The way I see it is that one of Arsenal or Liverpool will not be playing any type of European football next season and Begovic will go to the one that is. That will be Arsenal

I would expect us to have to offer between £12 and £15 million but it would be well worth it.

 

Centre Back – Ashley Williams

Williams - Arms as wide as Mertesacker's legs
Williams – Arms as wide as Mertesacker’s legs

Certainly not claiming an original thought here but whilst he impressed me last season his first in the EPL I wanted to wait and see how the Swans progressed in the dreaded second season.

He is not ideally as tall as I would like to see for the dominant centre back but everything else about him fills me with confidence. I remember writing a blog last season on Arteta and at that time only our Spaniard and Yaya Toure had better pass completions stats in the EPL than Ashley Williams. Now I knew Swansea were a passing team but to see a centre back at that time close to 90% was an eye opener. To be fair you need this to be and Arsenal player but reassuringly however he is a proper defender in the true sense knowing that at times row Z is the best policy. I was always coached as a boy if in doubt kick it out and Arsenal defenders post George Graham seem to have forgotten that golden rule. Williams averages over 11 clearances a match in the league which I love to see in a centre back. For me the best traditional centre half in the Sol Campbell mould right now is Distin and even he only averages 9 clearances per match.

There is calmness and an authority about this guy that appeals to me and he has learned his trade the hard way, in the lower leagues. Now captains his country and a trophy winning Premiership side. Ashley Williams is a winner, a leader and a proper traditional non nonsense centre back who can also play. The perfect foil for Kozza as Sol was for Kolo, particularly as he is a talker/organiser as well.

At 28 the perfect age for a centre back and £10 million would see this one done I suspect, although he may not be in a hurry to leave his spiritual home.

You all know my next one:

Central Defensive Midfielder – Morgan Schneiderlin

Beat Fergie to Schneiderlin
Beat Fergie to Schneiderlin

I have already written a blog recently comparing this relatively unsung hero of Southampton with his more talked about French peers. All Arsenal fans seem to want Matuidi, Capoue or Gonalons but many did not even realise MS was from France. You can read the full post here.

I live in Southampton these days and therefore have many friends who are regulars at St Mary’s so trust me when I say this chap is exactly want Arsenal need in front of the back 4. He is dominant in the air, passes superbly and efficiently and currently leads the major leagues in Europe for combined tackles and interceptions. As I was writing this piece I was informed by a friend on twitter (@asrbiswas) that albeit in a losing cause Schneiderlin managed 10 interceptions and 8 tackles in the QPR defeat, probably a league record!

He has just signed an extension on his Southampton contract as I wrote last week,  but the word is down my way that Ferguson wants him to replace Michael Carrick. If this is indeed the case and it would make perfect sense, Arsenal need to move swiftly in June and make the Saints an offer that cannot refuse.

I feel very strongly that this player is the missing piece in our midfield jigsaw whether in a 4 or a 3 and he could finally be the successor to Gilberto Silva. £15 million cash on the table soon would would secure his services.

 

Striker –  Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku - The Drogba we never bought?
Lukaku – The Drogba we never bought?

This may surprise a few but I would love to see Arsenal make an aggressive move for Lukaku this summer. As a club we were heavily linked with him in the summer of 2011 but Chelsea blew us out of the water with a crazy bid and that was the end of that.

We did not really get to see him truly in meaningful action in his first season and I wondered if he watched the youngsters getting game time at the Emirates thought what might have been. This year however we have seen his huge athletic 6 foot 3 inch frame bossing the most experienced defenders whilst on loan at West Brom. This guy is like Adebayor in his 2nd season at the Arsenal when he hit 30 goals. He has it all from my perspective, hold up play, technique, and great heading ability, the vision to bring team mates into play and startling pace for a big guy. He has one hell of a shot on him too!

However unlike Adebayor he is grounded, humble and willing to learn. As recent quotes from his current delighted boss Steve Clarke will affirm:

“He is very level-headed, he understands where he wants to go in the game, what he wants to be, how good he wants to be, and he’s prepared to work hard at that,” Clarke said. “For me as a coach, that’s refreshing.”

The powerful Belgian who does not turn 20 until May has already scored 12 Premier League goal in 25 appearances but just to put that in context he has only stared 12 of those games. Since the turn of the year he has however started 8 out of West Brom’s nine matched and has scored 6. For no other reason than I just want to type this, 6 league goals in 2013 is one more than RVP!

Everybody will have marvelled at the combination of pace, strength and skill that saw him earn his team the points at Sunderland. Here’s the tribute from his team mate Ben Foster after the game

“He’s a tank,” Foster said. “I’ve given him so many plaudits already this season, but he deserves them. He is a really good lad and works so hard.

“He is always one of the last ones off the training pitch and in the gym doing that bit extra. I’m really pleased for him. He has none of that ‘big-time Charlieness’ about him. He’s a good, grounded kid.”

I have no idea whether Chelsea will sell him but having invested in Ba I cannot see the buying cease there. Even if they offload the hapless Torres there is little doubt in my mind that the Russian oil money will be making a statement this next transfer window. West Brom are making noises about a second season on loan but if we are honest they cannot avoid what he will cost and we can. What is for certain though is that however humble the lad is, with a full season under his belt and by May perhaps close to 20 goals Lukaku will want to be playing regularly.

Arsenal could offer the striker constant action and he is most definitely the type and quality of player we need. How much loyalty can the player have to a club that bough him and then gave him 4 starts in a whole season them loaned him out?

The Transfer Market website estimates his value at £16. 5 million and I would gladly see Arsenal over £17 million to tempt our West London neighbours to sell. The fact that we appear to be linked to Lukaku’s younger brother Jordan adds a further dimension

So as you can now see this is not about doing things on the cheap. These 4 players would cost a total of £50 million plus. Money we have readily available to test the resolve of the clubs in question

Here’s how it might look assuming current formation:

 

 

 

Here’s how I would like it to look:

 

With this investment, with Giroud to compete with Lukaku and Ramsey, Oxlade- Chamberlain, Rosicky and I sincerely hope Joel Campbell applying the pressure and proper squad competition 2013/14 could look mighty different.

So they you have it. I am not suggestion bargain buys, far from fit. Indeed we may pay a slight premium to wrestle some of these guys but all of them would make an instant and profound difference to our fragile team. Crucially an whilst sincerely hope it does not happen, if we do miss out on Champions League all of these players would still see Arsenal as a big move. If the worse scenario does occur it is this type of spine coming in that would ensure our absence was the briefest possible.

Interested to hear you views.

 

Like what you read? Agree/disagree? Leave a comment below or follow me or comment on this blog on Twitter – http://twitter.com/goonerdave66

 

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57 comments

  1. Need to have a skillful winger as well for that we need to go out of BPL an “Isco”. On Lukaku highly doubtful they’ll sell him. With FFP kicking in they might make do

  2. It makes sense to buy from within the PL, I’m not sure about Williams through. Centre back is the position I most want us to blow the bank for to buy someone of a high profile who will immediately have the respect of the rest of defence. Williams may be a talker but would he have the stones to move to a bigger club and order the defence on the pitch from day 1?

  3. Sagna might leave at the end of the season, so a right back may come in handy. Micah Richards is good apart from his injury nightmares & heard he was a Gooner too plus can play Centre back. Apart from that think your blog is spot on

  4. agree with all your points except striker…Jovetic is tailor made for Arsenal…Jovetic needs arsenal and arsenal needs Jovetic…and if QPR gets relegated we can get Remy too

    That saints CDM is class…been watching his since december

  5. Wenger will not pay inflated fees to other Premier League Clubs for their star players-whilst he is happy to sell his own given the same understanding.But this is only the tip of the iceberg.There is no point bringing in any new players whilst the Manager continues to set his team up without any proper gameplan and a defensive capability which is non-existent.If he’s allowed to continue in the same way.then new players will continue to underperform and the existing ones will continue in the same erratic way that they have done throughout this season and the last!Whilst the “Dictator” remains nothing will particularly improve.

  6. I agree with the first 3,but lukaku?I don’t know.not sure bout him. Anyway, this all then come one big reality. Can we have the £50 m freely? Considering we still hv £255 m of debt on our books. Like it or not, cash is the reality.

  7. Good one Dave. I’ve got alternatives too though. Begovic yes very good but the AW might not want to pay over the odds for him so i suggest Simon Mignolet. Ashley Williams good one. I fell in love with him when he kicked the ball at *the cunt’s* head. I’ll take him even i i’ll prefer him and Howedes from Shackle. Our young french DM from saint Marys, well He’s good but i still need Capoue. For the striker role Chelsea won’t sell Him. They won’t be that foolish, but i’ll accept him with arms wide open. But i’d take Adam Szalai or Andre Schurlle IF they refuse to sell us Lukaku.

  8. Can’t fault the logic fella. Can’t really see it though. Arsene moves in mysterious ways (sometimes too mysterious) but transfer-wise what appears obvious to many of us just doesn’t seem to get done :-/

  9. cazorla on the wings never works. it’s great going forward but leaves huge gaps behind on defense.

    lukaku is a dream buy, never going to happen. the other 4 are great shouts though.

    1. note: my cazorla point also applies to Walcott on the right. we need proper wing players like valences, if you ask me. we’re okay going forward but CDM, CB, and the wings need improvement. our wingers rarely trackback which leaves the deepeat midfielder and defenders a hell of a job to do

    2. I agree wit that and have him as CAM in current set up. The other formation I like is fie for him as it was for Pires and Freddie. This is not a out and out winder system. Just as in 2007/9 we had TR7 and Hleb in the LM and RM positions, not wingers

      1. not wingers, buy very good at tracking back. I don’t mind if we don’t have out and out wingers but whoever plays wide needs to track back. just doesn’t happen at the moment

      2. Agree and partly why I don’t like the system, or lat least the way we play it. I like our old system which is how I see City now. I holding player Barry/Garcia behind Toure with 2 od Silva, Milner or Nasri either side with 2 striker

    1. Wilshere as box to box in current set up is perfect. It is Santi who need to improve final ball as CAM

  10. I completely agree with the first 3 suggestions. Them or exactly similar players is what we need. not sure about Lukaku mostly because I have not seen enough of him to rate him over OG. That said I would infact prefer a busy stiker upfront like suarez/tevez to play alongside OG.

    But overall, it can be done. Within our means. That is for sure.

  11. for a winger i´d rather have routlegde(not so sure of the spelling) from swansea) God the guy is a complete winger

  12. Great post finally some sensible suggestions for our squad because we know we won’t get the likes of Cavani which is a shame of course. For me you got it pretty much spot on except for Lukaku who Chelsea will never sell and funnily enough they have a policy to not sell players to rivals crazy I know. But I think the type of player is spot on but I have an alternative in Wilfried Bony I know he is in the Dutch league but he really is the next best option. Watched him play and he is Drogba all over and only 25. If fergi wants snijderlin then we can forget it as he will want to go to the EPL champions but again in the dutch league there is a very similiar player called Strootman who is amazing. He plays for PSV and has a very similiar style of play and most importantly he is big, physical and a leader. The mad thing is I could make you a list of players from every decent league in europe that could fill these positions but as you say EPL experince is priceless but AW doesn’t see it that way. AW feels that not winning is ok and he communicates as such with his fourth place nonsense. None of the players you suggested would tolerate this attitude and this concerns me as they will go to clubs who appear to be on an upwards spiral even without european football.
    The thing is if the board and AW grew a pair in the transfer market and did somthing similiar to this or even better with a cavani or falcao which is possible with the money we have and could borrow (ewww debt ) it would shut everyone up because all we need is a sign from the club that they value us the fans and are prepared to put the kind of faith in us that we have given them for so long.

  13. Even though Romelu Lukaku plays for a PL team, he is far from a ready player that you say Arsenal need. While Lukaku can develop into a beast we need,he still needs time away from the pressure and Chelsea will probably promote him anyway.IMO,we need to look at the Soldados and Jovetics who are in our price range.

    Theo and Podolski are end-product players,who score and assist without doing anything else in abundance.Starting both of them limits our creativity and hence we need to play wide players who complement each other. Besides,if Theo wants to play as a winger,he must play like a winger,stay wide and track back instead of tucking infield whenever he wants.

    Agree about the goalie and the defenders.A cohesive unit requires much more than quality defenders but having players who’re assured of their abilities would be a decent start.

    —–
    Simply too many changes will have to be made for Arsenal to challenge again and frankly,that cannot happen under one regime. It would also not be sensible to let a manager on the last year of his contract spend 40-50m so I don’t think next year will be our year either.

    1. Depressing but fair. I do feel Podolski can do so much more as he did in early season. He has a great end product but we should getting additional work rate/motivation

  14. Great article and read.
    I agree with Begovic and Schneiderlin, I feel they would be great additions. I am a Lukaku fan but i couldn’t see him joining us. Unless Chelsea were to tell him his future at the club isn’t certain. Williams would be a decent buy but if we lost both TV5 and Per I’d still like another CB also.

  15. Not anyones dream list but we could do worse than bring these players in. We could probably afford to too. Chuck in some sexy talent like Isco or Gotze (ha?) as mentioned above and I’d be happy.

  16. I do like a bit of Champ Man in the close season – and right now, in this mini inter-lull – it kind of feels like close season – so let’s play!
    Lukaku is seen as ‘the future’ of Chelsea so that won’t happen. I thought we could have gone for Ashley Williams before Swansea came up – but not now, not pushing 30.
    I prefer Michel Vorm to Begovic – but yeah… I’m finally in favour of a new keeper.
    Morgan Schneiderlin’s an excellent shout.
    I heard a vague Benteke rumour last week. Interesting shout.
    None of these are top top quality best in the world types. If we miss out on the CL (and even if we don’t) I think we might see a bit of a splurge on some top tier players.
    But let’s the current squad can do something special in Germany, and put a run together for the final sprint in the league – and inspire more confidence in themselves for next season.

    1. Cheers Dan. Can honestly say I am 47 this year and the last computer game I played was Space Invaders but take the point. It is fun though isn’t it?

  17. wenger should buy 4 player…
    striker > jovetic @ villa
    defender > ashley williams
    keeper > begovic
    wing > sevilla player…

  18. My Top 4 choices(2 from Europe, 2 from England)

    Goalkeeper
    1.Asmir Begovic
    2.Simon Mignolet
    3.Casio(Corinthians; FIFA CWC winner)
    4.Vincent Enyeama(Maccabi Tel Aviv)

    Defender
    1. Ashley Williams
    2.Chris Samba
    3. Fernando Amorebieta(Ath. Bilbao)
    4. Angelo Ogbonna

    CDM
    1. Kelvin Strootman (PSV)
    2. Etienne Capoue(Tolouse)
    3. Yohan Cabaye
    4. Schnerderlin
    STRIKER
    1. Papiss Cisse
    2. Niki Jelavic
    3. David Villa(Barcelona)
    4.R. Lewanddowski/ S. Jovetic

    1. Lost of players there. Some I agree with and some I strongly disagree with but that’s football. All about opinion and my no more valid then yours.

  19. A great and thoughtful post. I like the players that you suggested, but I’m not convince by half the player that you’re suggesting. In fact, only 1 players that I might love for Arsenal to buy and that is Begovic. Williams, Schneiderlin, and Lukaku are decent but to think of them as a spine of a title winning champions? A Champions league winner to compete with Barcelona Pique/Puyol, Busquets, Messi? Real Madrid Ramos/Pepe, Xabi/Kedhira, Ronaldo/Benzema? Man Utd Vidic and Van P (their midfield suck though)..? No, I don’t think so.

    So, who would I suggest? Hummels or Chico (Yes, if you want a Swansea defender, I tip him more) for CB, Vidal (A better tackler than Schnedeirlin and have a great end product, he is very close to our Vieira) or Capoue (Rarely get dribbled= 0.5 compare to Schnederlin 1 in every game) for DM, and lastly for ST is Lewandowski and to outstretch one of Suarez, Cavani, or Falcao. Most of them are player that are highly regards and players that no matter where they play, they will come great and fast, like Cazorla for example.

  20. I think cash spent on Lukaku would be better spent on Jovetic. Very RVP-esque in his style of play, not exactly a physical masterpiece but he has great dribbling, great shooting, positioning, and passing. Then as a DM, Morgan Schniederlin seems a bit unproven, as well as not exactly intimidating. He’s like a mini-arteta in regards to his defensive duties, excellent against passing sides, but against sides which run at him he’s not brilliant. Hence Capoue. In goal, Begovic is a great choice. At CB, if we can afford Hummels, we need to go all out for him, simple. He’s that good

    1. If we changed formation I would agree with you. Jovetic is not a sole striker from what I have seen?

      1. Yes he’s not a Sole striker. He said after their Inter game he doesn’t enjoy playing as a sole striker.

  21. mmm agree with most..
    not only is it a risk in buying talent from abroad, as it normally takes a year to settle unless truly pecial, or as they are saying now, that Bundesliga players seem to adapt quicker, the jury’s still out on that one..
    Begovic, i totally agree with, he is pure quality, and i do not believe Chelsea let him go.. (I’m right, it was Chelsea, he came from, am I ) is beyond me – exactly right he has a presence, and aura, and he fills the goal, so the quick glance the striker takes at goal all he sees is him filling it… and hard as nails to boot..
    But i think Man Utd are on the case there unfortunately , i think De Gea might be used in the return of Ronaldo and then they’ll move for hm, but who knows..
    Williams i love, he’s all heart and a dam good player to boot, he not only could be a great signing for us, he could be a great captain for us, he epitomises what a captain should be, even taking it on himself to learn Spaininsh so he could communicate with the growing number of Spainiards coming into his club – thats quality whatever way you look at it… I just have 1 slight niggling worry, and that is, ia it because he has a connection to the club, the fact of being Welsh and being at home, the club means so much to him, would he bring that with him to another club, and remain unfazed by the surroundings etc.. i do think he’d have n problem in doing it, but i’m just trying to negate any risks involved in our signings as we can’t afford any more fuck ups..
    Schneiderlinn i’m not sure about, but the style of player he is, i am sure we most definately do need.. its become so obvious in recent games especially that we lack a DM, v Bayern for example, kroos goal, the space in front of our back 4 was alarming, TV5 didn’t know whether to shit or wind his wristwatch to steal a quote.. he wanted to cover the space inside, but didn’t want to leave Lahm, so ended up in between and looking like a tool, where as if there was a man sitting in front, Lahm wouldnt have had the space,so no cross, and even if cross did come Kroos wouldn’t have had the time and space to get his shot away…
    Lukaka i like but i don’t think it would ever happen so i wont spend much time on, but Benteke on the other hand revealed in his first interview as a Villa player that the Villa move was a stepping stone to getting to Arsenal…
    Anyhow with all the stories of us having money, i’m sure the faithful moany brigade wouldn’t be happy with any of these signings bar Begovic.. you know they wouldn’t be hip enough or a big enough name but for me could be the best thing we could ever do….

  22. what a rubbush post by a rubbish journalist, asmir begovic will go to the team that will be playinh in europe next season, that will be arsenal! phsycic? or just full of it?? really the most smug ever, by the way you cluless reporter, if man-city or man-utd win the fa cup then 6th place gets europa league as well just like 5th where you think arsenal will finish, not much diffrences there, both play in the europa league so thats your theory smashed to bits, then how did that logic work with Nuri Sahin? he actually choose liverpool over chamiopns league football!
    Then this lukaku rubbish, suggesting 17M pound would get him when that is what they paid for him and he has proved himself! so they will tell arsenal NOT FOR SALE or ask for 30M pluss something arsenal never ever spend!

    1. Not full of it at all mate. Most Gooners think Arsenal will make Champions League and I do not. You are probably right on price for RL as it goes.

      By the way Sahin wanted AFC but we wanted a buy option ion deal which Madrid would not give us so we pulled out.

  23. Excellent post….i thought it was insightful also.Hamada i think you are myopic and arrogant. Definitely Begovic would be a great buy

    1. arrogant because i am trying to be realistic?, well well…alright, but to be honest arsenal supporters are great and my 2nd favorite team always in the premierleague ,but way too dreamy, because before any talk about transfers there is alot going on behind the scences,
      maybe a new manager? that will make it a summer most arsenal fans doesnt want, new managers will take time to assess the squad and so on and then make some moves, begovic would be a great buy jamaica gunner, but only god knows if arsenal will actually qualify for europe next season, i was just saying i felt the article starts totally wrong when you say Begovic will choose Arsenal over Liverpool because liverpool wont be playing in europe next year?
      you are 5 points ahead of liverpool and there are 10 games left, anything can happen! also liverpool will be needing a back-up keeper for reina who looks like he will be staying, and begovic will defently not go to sit on nobodys bench so i really feel arsenal actually can pull this off, but not for the reasons the article suggests..sorry for my badly choosen words, i have anger managment issues, but hey we are all trying to be better people….Hope arsenal rise again because the worst of all whats happening right now, is spuds thinking they are the worlds biggest team suddenly :(((((((

  24. I completely agree with the reasoning behind these suggestions and the reasons, however I don’t really agree with the players mentioned.

    Gk – as good as begovic is, I can’t see wenger paying that much for him especially when he could have got lloris last year for a similar ball park figure. I can’t see wenger going for begovic is he didn’t go for lloris a more established and consistent keeper over more seasons. I believe it more likely he tries to go for a mignolet, krul, vorm or if qpr relegated cesar.

    Cb- the toughest option of all and the most necessary. It needs to be a British cb first and foremost, the reason, I can’t think of any team that’s won the league without a solid consistent British cb (even man city had Richards at cb lots last season), and looking at our own team we haven’t since Campbell. Whilst I like Williams, he plays in a well drilled Swansea defence, when he plays for Wales he looks a different player and more erratic like those we already have. The only problem is all the good British cb’s are already at united, Chelsea or city and I can’t see them selling. This would leave Taylor of Newcastle, shawcross and mulgrew of Celtic (not premiership but same language, weather etc so as similar as can get) as the only possible options and of those Taylor is not good enough, shawcross has the Ramsey history and mulgrew would be a huge gamble.

    CDM – schneiderlin is a quality young player but again the price is the issue, wenger won’t pay £15m for him and to be honest saints will want closer to £20m and even then probably only sell if relegated. I think a more likely player would be cabaye or tiote from Newcastle, experienced and generally reliable.

    St- Chelsea won’t sell lukaku to arsenal, plain and simple. Transfer market may have him valued at £16.5m but they also value per at £14m..based on a value of the German at £14m then surely lukaku is probably a £25m player at a minimum. Realistically I think wenger would go for a player like kone at Wigan, or if relegated remy from qpr. Both are quick players who can and like to drift out wide which is typical wenger attributes.

  25. I am surprised nobody mentions Dzeko as a potential new striker. He is likely to leave MC at the end of this season and I think he can give much more in Arsenal than he did in MC under Mancini. His price is around 17 mil. but his salary might be a problem. Otherwise, I think he is more experienced than Lukaku, has an excellent hold-up and link-up play, is good in the air and has a cannon in both of his legs (remember the 4th goal against the Spurs last season).
    Also, I think we need another RB to replace Sagna. I like Jenkinson but he is the ‘work in progress’…it is hard to rely on him against the best.

    1. Good call. If Sagna goes I would go with Jenko as it goes. he was our best players last week.

  26. Good article, however i wouldn’t put carzola on the wing, leave walcott there, put monreal at right wing and use pols upfront, chelsea wont sell lukaku however if by some miracle we get him that would be awesome

    1. Alva I would not have him on the wing. We have wingers now but in old formation which I prefer we had Right and Left midfield, Freddie and Booby. Neither were true wingers in the sense we play them now. Agree Theo should work back more

    1. It is all about opinion. I just happen to blog mine as a hobby which does not make my opinion of any more value than the next fan. Dave

  27. I’ll never understand why people bother trolling other clubs blogs and feel the need to post hatred and bile. Faceless and cowardly as it is, as non Gooners their input is defacto meaningless anyway. Just wish I had a virtual dummy to stick in their gobs.

    goonerdave66 it’s good to see a bit of lateral thinking.

    Now is the time to look at what we have. According to AW, we have a very good team, one that arguably as a fan seems to be misfiring. I for one don’t think it’s as easy as a lot of people say. I honestly think that their is no one band aid, but acknowledge that addressing several of these issues could see the old magic revisit our hallowed turf. It would make sense to evaluate what we have and why its going wrong.

    Szczęsny has a few issues, a few too many for me given that we don’t have any choice BUT to play him. Their used to be a school of thought that keepers should primarily try to hold onto a ball, but with increased athletic ability and different ball design that seems to have been replaced with the parry it school of thought. Like punching it away, it should be firmly done and arguably away from the danger area. Time and again he seems to parry it with a effette wrist back into trouble and we’re back at the centre circle. Keepers like bergovic seem to have understood the relationship between direction and combined with a physical presence that our young lad lacks, would be a good shout. I don’t think you can understate how much confidence a keeper gives his back four. Bringing in Bergi would let Szczęsny develop and potentially even surpass Begovic. I do think he has that as we see it in flashes.

    Several of our players have stated that its the individual errors that are costing us too many points. I’d add to that we have had players, great players like Sagna and Vermaelen who have at times been shocking and nowhere near the level we expect, not just for a moment but entire games. Monreal adds a different wrinkle as he doesn’t as yet speak the Queen’s English and that cannot help. Take again the changes, the revolving nature of our centre backs it isn’t hard to see why we have a few issues there. Bringing in a new element into this without fixing the problems we have might not be as helpful as it might be. Tactical stability is something AW has clung to as a means to address some defensive issues; at least I would argue, but clearly this has not been as successful as he’d hoped. Given we’ve had injuries a certain amount of changing is expected, but I think it’s time he put a center pairing together that we stick to. Tactical flexibility is nice, but how about we master the one we use every week first? Now it’s leading up to summer and the inevitable “name here” to Barca and Man C”media time. Notably Vermaelen has already been linked and all things considered, I still think that would be a loss. I think AW painted himself into a corner giving him the Captain’s armband and he’s started at the expense of our better pairing of Per and Kos due mainly I should think of this. Form wise they have the edge. Now bringing in a complete CB does appeal, as does passing the armband to Jack. Both moves could potentially create the outcome we desire. I’m not sure bringing in someone like Amorebieta is the right move if we actually buy a bespoke DM, but failing that, could add a foot of steel to the defense. Given that I’d like to see a DM, I’d look at better options, one that gives us an option at the back to compliment our overall style of play. One that could pick the right ball to safely begin a counter or pick a seat in row Z if none such is handy. Someone that marshals our defense and doesn’t disappear upfield creating huge holes and overlaps for the remaining CB to magically fill. In this regard, Williams fits.

    I do think that in midfield we have the strongest component of the team given the tactical setup and admit that Arteta has done surprisingly well in the DM role. However, we’re here talking about how to make it better, and in that regard we have a template of Viera or Gilberto, two different types of DM. I think given that AW will never change the tactical setup, I’d prefer to see a Gilberto type, someone who plays the simple ball to our creative forwards and lets them do that, all the while breaking up possession giving cover to the back four and forces teams out wide and into coverage, slowing the attacks and not letting them come at us through the middle. Arteta plays the ball well, but lacks the physical presence and speed to cover the ground. We have such a player in Diaby, but lets be honest, at this point in time its favorable to bring in someone who we can expect to be in the lineup for more than 2 weeks at a time before once again being banished to the black hole that is the physio’s room. Cabaye is a nice option given that he has PL xp. Another choice could be Daniele De Rossi.

    Up front we need someone who can actually put the ball into the net. So many times this season we have laid siege to our opponents goal to no effect. I often wonder if Ray Wilkinson is our attacking couch as so many times when in scoring positions we pass sideways. It’s frustrating and at times mind boggling. So I’m looking outside the PL and looking at Radamel Falcao García. Yes he’s going to cost, yes he’s worth it and given who will be in for him, unlikely, but here’s the thing… does that mean we don’t even try? I bleeding well hope not. Now there are other options, but again fits the bill to left, compliment and transcend this team. Top four isn’t something I feel going forward is what we, the fans want. We want more and for the first time in a long time, feel that we have the financial wherewithal to fulfill this. Now buying these will help, but without tactical reorganization, armband issues and having errors eliminated and brought into a culture of personal responsibility when they do occur, we’ll just be throwing money down a pit.

    It’s not all doom and gloom. Anyone else remember when 1-0 to the Arsenal was our song? It’s true we have issues, it’s not all down to one thing though. Sometimes we just over simplify the factors involved. If replacing AW was THE thing to do, then that too would have to be called for, but take a look at Chelski, 10 managers in 10 years…doesn’t seem that is as simple as all that does it. Still. sometime, somewhere it has to be addressed and there’s no time like right now.

  28. Like Begovic and Williams even though i think there are many better cbs out there, Williams is better than what we got now so why not. The young lad from saints sounds a good player but would prefer Wanyama as i dont care if the area in question has a good passer or not as long as hes a destroyer who intimidates before the game has even started.Wouldnt want Lukaku and dont think che would sell to us, and anyway hes very similar to benteke.Want a striker who has pinache when in on goal and who is also greedy. I think we need more creativity, so a winger slash roamer with skills and great vision would be great in complementing the striker.
    Begovic
    Hummels/Williams
    Wanyama
    Ben Arfa
    Higuain/Soldado/Villa

  29. Loved the piece! Agree with you strongly when it comes to the importance of signing players with Premier League experrience. Been asking for those type of signings for many seasons now. People underrate the quality of Premier League players like for example Schneiderlin. Must honestly say that I would rule him out, if it wasn’t for your piece. Looking forward to do some scouting.

    I love the fact that you mension Williams, would be a dream signing for me. Brittish, experrienced, influencial, composed and good with the ball. Perfect suit for us!
    I also strongly feel we need a DM, but would disagree with you on Schneiderlin, though I will have a closer look before I judge. Personally I would perfer Wanyama, based on what I’ve seen of him against quality oppositions in the Champions League he is exacly what I miss in the team. Strong, good tackler, quick, tall and good in the ball, can play CB as well.
    When it comes CF I would love a player with the ‘x-factor’ though I can’t see Cavani, Lewandowski etc. happening. So would welcome Lukaku with open arms, but isn’t this a bit farfetched? Acctually think Villa could happen. Or a young striker like (as you earlier have written) Alcacer would also do good.
    Don’t know if I’m naive, but as much as I would like to see Begovic in an Arsenal shirt, I would also love to see Arsenal make a man out of Szscesny, he has the Arsenal-DNA flowing in his veins. So for me;
    Williams, Wanyama and a new striker, anyone.

    – @Francoroche

  30. Wenger should take a look at the lad Morrison at Reading,a young English centre half that heads the ball all day long and has a bit of pace to his game.I reckon a bid of about 6to 7 mil will get him as it looks as if Reading are going down and will need the cash next year.

  31. I like and totally agree with your suggestions and it would be great if we can sign Lukaku. Only thing is would Chelsea let him move to The Emirates?

    With Premier League experience, we don’t need to wait for a whole season or a few months at least to see these players at their best.

    Another position to highlight is RB in case Sagna leaves or AW decides to play him as CB. We need an experienced RB to give competition and guide Jenkinson. I still believe Jenks need at least a couple more years until he can play as 1st choice right back.

    Nevertheless, Wenger needs to reshuffle the team this summer if we want to challenge for top honours again.

    By the way, with Coquelin, Frimpong and possibly a new DM (i’m hoping Schneiderlin too since he has PL experience and your article about him had me convinced too), Wenger should move Arteta back to his natural CAM position where he’s more effective.

    We can then have high quality starting 11 for cup games too. (I’m guessing i can dream on for this to actually happen).

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