The Questions That Nag Me As An Arsenal Supporter

By on July 26, 2010

With the silence of Arsenal transfers growing to deafening proportions, I find myself being nagged by numerous questions as the Emirates Cup and the Premier League season proper grow nearer with each breath. I long ago ceased being one of those supporters infatuated and enthralled by every summer transfer rumor no matter how ridiculous. What does that leave for a supporter like me to do during the summer, then? Well, this summer, like many I assume, I am mostly just worrying about the following questions:

1. Where’s the defence?

This question is not number one by random. One cannot help but wonder how it is already almost the beginning of August and Vermaelen has no partner in the center. For me, the thing that separated us from United and Chelsea last season, and for the last couple of years, is both are much stronger defensively than we are and concede far less goals than we do. Even considering that we conceded a bunch of goals last season late in games when we were leading by 2, 3, or 4 goals, we continue to allow alarmingly soft goals far too regularly. Even bringing in a new signing will mean time for a true partnership to develop. Koscielny is not the answer. I can’t believe that the Boss has bought him thinking he will play regularly this season. I am willing to wait and see with Koscielny but close your eyes and picture him up against Drogba… What do you see? Scary, innit? Djourou is the in-house option, but, after almost an entire year off the pitch, who knows how he will return or how well he will partner with Vermaelen.

2. Who’s the keeper?

Almunia appears to be on the outs and Fabianski has turned into our very own version of David James. Szczesny has a lot of potential and performed well on-loan last season but is he ready to be the number one at a club challenging for the Premier League? I don’t think so. Arsene obviously realizes the problem as he had made numerous attempts to pry Schwarzer from Fulham, but, at 37, Arsene would only be using him as a stop-gap solution until either Fabianski or Szczesny are ready? We could not win the Premier League with a keeper of Almunia’s quality and neither Fabianski or Szczesny are much better, at this point. This question could almost bundle up with #1. Since Lehmann left, we have not had a real physical presence in goal and the same goes for the central defense. Weaker teams have targeted our weaknesses here and have been successful enough to keep us from winning anything.

3. Even if Cesc stays, will his heart be in it?

I read alot of people saying, “I hope we get at least one more year out of him.” And, don’t get me wrong, I want Cesc to stay as much as anyone. But, there can be no doubt that if he does stay, Barca will only ramp up their player-driven, management-sponsored media campaign next summer. If Cesc comes back knowing he will leave the following summer, how will that affect his performances? It’s especially disappointing as just one year ago, Cesc came back from the summer break rejuvenated in his desire to win something for the club and turned in an almost-heroic season as captain, i.e. winning the crucial Villa match single-handedly as an already injured substitute. Fast-forward 12 months and it appears his attitude and commitment have changed. Now, I know Cesc is never one to just play on auto-pilot, but how will it affect the team as well knowing that their captain, and what Americans call a “franchise player,” is likely to leave at the end of the season?

4. Will Ramsey suffer from “Eduardo Syndrome?”

In the long-run, this question is probably even more worrisome than the previous question. When Cesc leaves, his job would likely fall to Nasri and/or Ramsey. Or should I say “would have fallen?” Will Ramsey come back without the reticence that seemed to plague Eduardo upon his return? Even worse, will he be subject to the same little niggling injuries that are unrelated to the break but inevitable after such a long lay-off? Personally, I believe that Ramsey’s youth will be on his side. I think it is easier for a younger player to return from an injury like that without the mental and physical baggage that accumulated in Eduardo. But, we cannot know for sure yet, and it likely will remain a viable question until a few months into the season.

5. Is Arsene ready to give Wilshere and Vela the minutes they need to develop and contribute?

Arsene’s reluctance to let Wilshere go back to Bolton is a good sign that Wilshere may finally get a run of real league minutes. One can only hope the same is in store for Carlos Vela. Vela played a full season as a regular starter in La Liga and turned in some promising (and some absolutely stunning) performances in his first Carling Cup matches. But his League starts have been few and far between (3 out of 25 appearances). For me, Vela is just as promising a player as Wilhsere but he needs minutes. It is the only way for him to realize his potential. Obviously, his forays with the Mexican National Team have not helped his situation at the club, but I believe underusing him or, even worse, eventually losing him due to underuse, will prove to be highly regrettable a few years on.

6. Is this team really capable of winning the league?

No. The team we have RIGHT NOW, with only 3 CBs and no real keeper, likely cannot win the league. If Arsene adds the CB and keeper we desperately need, then a re-assessment would be in order. With even just a solid keeper and CB added, I believe we will once-again be in the mix come March. Just as big a factor in our potential title chances, will be injuries. I firmly believe that if van Persie had not been injured on international duty last season we could have carried our challenge even further and perhaps to a different conclusion. But, the injuries have plagued us for years now and I don’t see any reason to believe that things will be different this year. However, should it all come together and we actually get through a campaign without any long-term injuries to key players, this could also put us in a position to make a push for the title. In other words, at the moment, it appears that the stars will need to align just right, if we are to carry a title challenge to fruition this season.

There is also a sense that we are playing on borrowed time before another £250m buys City a League title and more profligate billionaires invade the game. I have always been a staunch supporter of Wenger and his youth and transfer policies. However, the dynamic of the league and football in general have changed significantly in the four or five years of Wenger’s youth project. I don’t see how, with other sides continuing to spend, we will be able to continue to compete as we have without making some changes to our approach. I firmly believe that if Arsene and the Board would only loosen their grip on the purse-strings a little bit, we could make the push that we need. When you take the amount Arsenal have spent on transfers in the last 5 years and subtract their sales of players, we are over £30m in the black. Surely, a real title challenge is worth spending £30-40m in a summer when your club has two glaring deficiencies. For once, I would love to see a little aggression (but not Barca-style aggression) in the transfer market. We should recognize that Chelsea and City have created a dynamic in the last five years which means spending is no longer just important but necessary to maintain and improve our chances. Why not spend he £25-30m it would take to bring in, say, Mertesacker and Akinfeev, two proven players in positions which need filling?

Overall, I am hopeful but cautious about the upcoming season.


  1. Tian

    July 26, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Mertesacker is pants.. I really hope we don’t sign him, his only plus attribute is he is tall, nothing more.

    • Martin Nunes

      July 26, 2010 at 11:43 am

      You obviously did not watch the World Cup as Mertesacker was outstanding for Germany and is just the player we need to shore up the defence.



  2. Arsenalaction

    July 26, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Good stuff

    • Westbrom16

      July 26, 2010 at 12:47 pm

      A good article, and really points out the big problems for the team. I’d love to see Arsenal win the league as they really do deserve it with the performances that they put out, being my favourite side (aside from West Brom).

      I think Wenger’s clever enough to have spotted a lot of these highlighted issues, a centre-back will probably be his chief concern, and a goalkeeper, too.

      Remy would be a nice signing, and I don’t think loosing Fabregas will be the end of the world – he’ll probably put in lacklustre performances with his ‘must leave’ mindset at the moment if you -do- keep him.

      Get the money, spend it wisely, give your great young players a chance and you’ll be on-course to really challenge for 1st place.

  3. goonerjay

    July 26, 2010 at 11:38 am

    bang on the money… those are all the things worrying me and the bottom section regarding transfers and our net spend over the last few years is something that has been bugging me for some time

  4. goonerjay

    July 26, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Tian… that’s what we need. We have the quick, football playing centre back that can read the game well… we need a beast that can bully the likes of Drogba and win the ball from set pieces. He looked a pretty good player at the WC to me

    • ArsenalStation

      July 26, 2010 at 11:43 am

      Spot on, goonerjay. I think he is exactly the type of defender we need to partner with Vermaelen.

      • comrade23

        July 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm

        Agreed. If you look at the pairing of Sol and Kolo on the Invincibles, you had a big, aggressive defender in Sol, and a quick player to sweep up in Kolo, and 49 matches unbeaten speaks for itself. I maintain that the reason Kolo and Gallas didn’t mesh well was that neither wanted to go after the attackers. TV5 was able to be that guy last season, but he seems like the kind of defender who’s at his best when free to roam and break up attacks (and score the occasional goal) knowing his partner is dropped back to pick up the counter. Mertesacker could certainly fill that role, although I still think that particular transfer speculation is hopeful at best.

  5. gooner0609

    July 26, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Man Utd. – 2 crocked defenders and an ageing Keeper.

    Chavski – a want out Potuguese 30+ yr old, a crap aging English centre half and a keeper with a bum knee and a crash helmet.

    Menstrual City – 200 million pounds of fertilizer. toxic and unable to mix with anything.

    Spuds – of for f*cks sake please!!!!

    Arsenal – in order to beat them you will have to score 3 or 4 goals as that is what we will be getting a game. Eevn with what we have thats a tall order.

    Don’t panic mate. Enjoy the season.

    • ArsenalStation

      July 26, 2010 at 11:45 am

      gooner0609, I’m not panicked, but, as I wrote, I am a bit worried about the problems listed. I tend to be very optimistic and so I probably have a rosier view of the upcoming season than most, I would suspect.

      But you are right that the rest of the top of the league, except for Man City, don’t seem to be improving greatly, much like last season.

    • goonerjay

      July 26, 2010 at 11:50 am

      “Arsenal – in order to beat them you will have to score 3 or 4 goals as that is what we will be getting a game. Eevn with what we have thats a tall order”

      Not so sure… The goals dried up in the 2nd half of last season and we were losing games due to shocking defending… against teams that defend well and narrow like the chavs and mancs we struggle to score and then get caught on the counter attack or Drogba bullies our defenders and we end up losing.

      I love your optimism but blind faith isn’t going to change the facts… we need a new Keeper and Defense to atleast try for a draw in those games

  6. comrade23

    July 26, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Spot on. Each one of these questions have gnawed on the minds of most Arsenal fans, myself included. But as a subsection to Questions 1 & 2, I find myself asking “Why haven’t these needs been addressed?” And frankly, I can’t come up with a logical answer. I keep coming back to “Arsene thinks this group/this player can do the job.” And he may be right; after all, no one knew how TV5 would do with us before last season. But I think there was some optimism with his signing that has been noticeably absent with the Koscielny signing, and rightly so. What we knew about Vermaelen already was that he was already the Ajax captain and a full Belgian international before he came. What do we know about Kos? That he was voted the best at his position in Ligue 2 (a somewhat dubious distinction, to be sure) two seasons ago, and was apparently pretty good for L’Orient last season. On top of that, if Koscielny is another “one for the future” (and a tiresome phrase that is), and JD20 is the man, what then? He’s never stayed healthy long enough to make a real impact, and is also prone to mistakes (getting caught on the turn).

    Then there’s the goalkeeping. The ONE AREA every single fan wanted addressed at the end of last season, presumably because we’d sat through so many madness-inducing displays of ineptitude last season along with Almunia’s Jeckyll and Hyde act. And as of now we’re looking at making Fabianski, the least effective option in my opinion, our number one?

    I’ve always backed Arsene down the years… he’s the only Arsenal manager I’ve ever known. But failure to properly address these areas (and for me, Schwarzer is not properly addressing the goal) will amount to dereliction of duty on his part, and the grumbles will grow progressively louder if this is another season without anything to show for it. Arsene has always said “Judge me at the end of the season.” I’m afraid that those chickens may come home to roost this spring.

    Sorry to sound so pessimistic, I’m just terribly worried about the state of the squad as it is right now, and we’ve all seen the “We’re looking to sign someone/Whoops, it’s September and we didn’t sign anyone” song and dance before.

    • ArsenalStation

      July 26, 2010 at 11:47 am

      I feel exactly the same way. I have always backed him as well. But #1 and #2 are without a doubt recurring deficiencies that can no longer go unaddressed if the club is serious about challenging for the League.

  7. Ted Harwood

    July 26, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I don’t necessarily disagree about the defense, but I do wonder how you see the situation regarding Wilshere and Vela as different from the situation with Djourou and Koscielny? In other words, do you see defense as being much more crucial than attack (which would make sense, perhaps, from the standpoint of us being relatively weak in D last year)?

    I’m inclined to wait and see with Koscielny and Djourou, myself. I’m not convinced about them either way, but if Vela and Wilshere need minutes to improve, surely the same is true of Koscielny and Djourou? Is there another alternative besides the obvious two of 1) just letting them play, and 2) constantly buying solid, prepared, Premier League-experienced defenders always developed elsewhere?

    If they don’t have the quality, they don’t have it, granted. But I think two preseason games is, for me, not enough to go on yet.

    • comrade23

      July 26, 2010 at 12:02 pm

      Ted, I understand that point of view, but at the risk of sounding like Le Grove, does “wait and see” feel as secure as “this guy is money”?

      On Wilshere/Vela, that’s hardly as pressing as points 1 & 2. We have a plethora of attacking options to choose from in midfield and attack, and while I very much want to see what Jack can do (he was quite impressive for Bolton on loan), it won’t matter if he becomes another Liam Brady if we’re leaking goals as we have the last couple of seasons. Central Defenders and Keeper are the points that (still) need sorting. Blooding in Jack and C-Los would just be icing.

    • ArsenalStation

      July 26, 2010 at 12:23 pm

      The difference for me is, like you said, the starting defence is more important than attacking additions. But also, we have seen brilliance and potential from both Wilshere and Vela. On the other hand, we have not really seen any evidence from Djourou that he can be a full-time starting CB for a top PL team and we haven’t seen anything AT ALL of Koscielny yet. I’m not saying that they can’t do the job, but none of us know if they can and I’m worried that we kept hanging our title chances on the possibility of players being able to do the job rather than getting someone we know CAN do it.

      • Ted Harwood

        July 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm

        I totally understand. I just wish that defense didn’t feel like an area where the only solution, ever, was to buy proven players at exorbitant rates. We, and I think every team has this to a certain extent, we have a ton of attacking options and room to experiment there, but the same is never true in defense.

        I didn’t mean to propose inaction. I do wonder, though, if there is something intrinsically different about defense that means it cannot be nurtured in the same way. Perhaps it’s just the sheer number of players who want to play defense? For every Tony Adams, there’s three Ray Parlours, or something?

        • ArsenalStation

          July 26, 2010 at 7:16 pm

          What it is that’s different about central defense is that it takes more maturity, especially to deal with it on the level of the PL. Strikers or midfielders can now be expected to hit their prime much earlier than a CB, for whom much of their expertise comes from experience rather than creativity. Throwing an inexperienced 21 year old winger into a PL starting lineup is much different than doing same with a 21 year old inexperienced CB. That is why you usually need to buy them as it takes years and years to produce a quality centre-back inside the club.

          • Ted Harwood

            July 26, 2010 at 8:23 pm

            Precisely. This worries me, though, because it seems to put Arsenal in the position of only ever buying defenders that have been “pre-cooked” at lower-level Premier League clubs and never developing any of our own. It is hard to say whether this is really the case now and going forward, but it must suck to be a young defender and know that your place is constantly in need of instant action. Or maybe that’s just the situation now because the club is challenging for titles. I don’t know. I just wish we could bring some of the youngsters through and let them develop by fire, but I suppose that being on the cusp of silver doesn’t currently allow for that.

          • Greg

            July 26, 2010 at 8:45 pm

            This has now been repeated so often that it’s recieved wisdom. But it’s not true, or at least not always.

            Lucio moved to Bayer Leverkusen aged 20/21.

            John Terry became a first-team regular at age 20, voted player of the year, and made captain at 21.

            Ferdinand got his first England cap at 23.

            Fabio Cannavarro was named Serie A Defender of the Year before his 22nd birthday.

            Oh, and Tony Adams became club captain at 21.

            Not having a go at you directly, but it worries me that what’s happening with Arsenal fans right now is that those who shout the loudest are being heard. It just so happens that they’re shouting nonsense.

          • ArsenalStation

            July 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm

            I totally get your point Greg but those players you point out are by and large great players… in other words, the exceptions that prove the rule. And the loudest Arsenal fans also being the most ridiculous is something we’ve had to deal with for the last two years at least.

  8. jay4741

    July 26, 2010 at 11:55 am

    great post. questions every arsenal fans want answering and you just know wenger is not gonna answer them. If we dont sign anyone before the emirates cup i think you can forget about any signings.

    Wenger responses
    1. i think we will have enough
    2. i tried to sign super super class, but price was too high.
    3. We have great spirit and mental strengh in the squad we will challenge for the title.
    4 . There is no no.1 keeper they all fight for nO.1

    • comrade23

      July 26, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      Jeebus Jay, it’s like you just channeled Wenger…

    • jamie t

      July 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm

      you forgot the classic one mate.

      are player’s coming back from injuries are like new signing’s

      • comrade23

        July 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm

        Ugh… I’m going to lose it once he breaks that old chestnut out.

  9. Jaygooner

    July 26, 2010 at 11:59 am

    The guy who came to service my boiler today looked at my signed and framed Thierry Henry shirt and smiled. We talked for a while and he produced his Arsenal season ticket pass. He then sighed and said although he will ALWAYS be a gooner, he couldn’t see this great club winning anything soon unless we went into the transfer market on a large scale offensive raid for the best available. I told him to “keep the faith”. He is due back next year. If he is right, I will join the fans screaming out for new players. However, I will continue with “In Arsene we Trust” for another year. Hope my boiler don’t blow up in the meantime lol.

  10. gunnie

    July 26, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Would I support a club like Manchester City: never. Just buying players does not make a team (and players sign just for the money, and the amount spent is disgusting).
    I am from Holland and started supporting Arsenal because of Bergkamp. He is gone but I still support the club because it is, in my opinion, the most decent club in England, giving young players a chance. Why having a youth acadamy if you buy your players elsewhere?
    And I think the keepers are oke, they only need some better defenders to help them.
    The graass is not always greener elsewhere…

    • ArsenalStation

      July 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      A bit OT but since you mention Man City… I don’t understand what City thinks the return on spending £300m to win the league will be. Winning the league will not break them even or even half-even. Big clubs increasingly make money from merchandising… United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool have large international fanbases on every continent. I don’t see millions of football supporters (not the kind who buy kits and stuff anyway) all of a sudden becoming City supporters even if they win the league. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. I mean, if you have the money to blow, then I guess go ahead, but City will never be considered a CLUB on par with United, Chelsea, Liverpool, or Arsenal internationally, not the least because they are buying success rather than creating it.

      • sam

        July 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm

        but you would have said this about Chelsea in 2003?

        • ArsenalStation

          July 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm

          That is very true, sam. However, I still don’t see that happening for City. For one thing, I think Chelsea picked up fans opportunely by winning titles at a time when the league was exploding around the world. I think there are far less people in the world now following the league but uncommitted to a club (bandwagon jumpers notwithstanding). Then again, you never know…

      • comrade23

        July 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm

        Isn’t buying success exactly what Chelsea did? I know we need to consider them part of the Big Four, but that doesn’t mean they got there any other way than spending ridiculous sums. Chelsea were an also-ran until Abramovich started flooding the coffers. Additionally, I don’t think City are being run as a for-profit enterprise, so them taking losses is missing the point. They have unlimited funds, and their owners want to win, now.

    • Barry from Malaysia

      July 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      Yup…You are 100% right. This is the reason why i am still a fans of Arsenal. I can see out of the 20 premiur league team,none of them did what Arsenal did (young players given a oppotunity to play). I hope Arsene Wenger will prove his vision by winning the league with the help from his young guns this season.
      We came so close last season but only lost to the big spending team….

    • NorwayGunner

      July 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm

      You are spot on mate! The last 10 years AW have built a reputation that Arsenal is a club that gives young players a chance. This is attracting many of the most promising youngsters in the world and with a great new stadium we have a very promising futuere.
      The last few years it havent given us a lot of trophies but I am very positive this will change IF we dont loose our best players every summer! If we can keep fab4 at the emirates we will challenge for the title, i am sure of that. Many of our young players are approaching their prime age, and they have a lot of experience from both PL and CL, and keeping this squad together must be AW’s number 1 priority. I think we should give Djourou/Kos/Nordtveit a chance next season if we cannot find a good CB for a reasonable price. Even if we pay 25m for a player it wont guarantee that we will get a player that will fit right in. This is real life not “Football Manager”

  11. Rodale

    July 26, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Please can you write an article on a tribute to Raul Gonzalez

    • comrade23

      July 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm

      Um… I think you need to look at the name of the blog, “ARSENAL Station.” Real Madrid Station is another site, I’m sure.

      • ArsenalStation

        July 26, 2010 at 12:25 pm

        Is there a Real Madrid Estacion?? LOL!!

        • comrade23

          July 26, 2010 at 12:36 pm

          I don’t know where you get these people, man.

          • ArsenalStation

            July 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm

            WordPress has a built-in spam filter but they haven’t come out with a moron filter yet.

    • comrade23

      July 26, 2010 at 12:38 pm

      How about an article on a true great?


  12. Canapol

    July 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    We need a good defence not necessarily keepers. If the defence is solid, then the keeper has more confidence & therefore plays better; he’ll also have less shots to stop and will not be playing mind games with himself – whoever it may be. (just look at what’s happened to the Chelsea keeper last season as the defence became leaky).
    WE DO NOT NEED TO SPENS LIKE CITY or CHELSKI to win titles. That sort of spending is unsustainable – anyone who has ever ran a business will know that. It’s only morons who keep crying out for us to spend any left-over money immediately. Dont forget that Wenger has a degree in Economics – he knows what he’s doing, trust in Wenger daniel son, trust.

    • comrade23

      July 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm

      I don’t think anyone is asking AW to spend like City or the Chavs, but a moderate outlay of cash to shore up areas of need is not just necessary but critical. And having a keeper that inspires confidence in the defenders because of his ability to stop shots and manage the back four can only make us better. Fabianski does NOT inspire that confidence. Dread, perhaps, but not confidence.

      • goonerjay

        July 26, 2010 at 12:25 pm

        Sorry Comrade… I just noticed your post and looks like I said pretty much the same thing…

        • comrade23

          July 26, 2010 at 12:38 pm

          Ha, noticed that as well. Great minds and all that lol.

    • goonerjay

      July 26, 2010 at 12:20 pm

      But that works both ways… A good keeper can organize a defense and give his defenders confidence and allow them to play better.
      Nobody is saying we need to spend like City but the fact that our net spend is the lowest in the league and our deficiences aren’t being resolved is a big issue for a club that claims to make so much profit… this is a football club and should not be making profit without re-investing in the team… to use Wengers words a club should buy players with the money made available through club revenue and we are not even doing that. I have trusted in Wenger for the past 5 years but it hasn’t got us any where has it

  13. Erichero

    July 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    The questions that bug me:
    – What new solutions do have for the 10-man defence?
    – Who will supply the crosses for Chamakh and Bendy to head in?
    – Will RVP stay mostly injury free?
    – Will Arshavin put second season syndrome behind him?
    – Will one of Diaby, Denilson and Nasri stick their hand up this season for the 3rd midfielder role?
    – Will we take the FA Cup seriously?
    – Is Vela the real deal?
    – Will Wenger allow us to shoot from distance more often?

    I do believe that Wenger has the scope to answer all of these questions, and I’m really keen to see the new season start and look at the answers. Bring it on.

    • comrade23

      July 26, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      All good points, but if you look at our stats, we scored more goals from outside the box last season, I think, than any other team, and even got a few cleaning-up goals off of long shots (Bendtner’s late winner at Hull springs to mind).

    • ArsenalStation

      July 26, 2010 at 12:26 pm

      Those are all great individual questions. I tried to keep mine more focused on the team singling out Cesc because he’s the captain and Wilshere because he’s our most prominent youth player and both of those questions will be determined by either sticking with our current philosophy or altering it a bit.

  14. Cpt John

    July 26, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Good article and the questions on every Arsenal fans minds. However, I would be extremely surprised to see another new face at the Emirates this season. That statement is usually followed by “I hope i’m proved wrong” but I don’t expect to be. This is the first summer that we’ve not “YET” been in the black in terms of moneys spent – moneys received but we’re pretty close at 4 million in the red. I think Wenger is going to rely on what we have and Sol Campbell (he hopes). Will it be enough? I believe if the defense stays relatively injury free it just might. We have enough toughness and aggression in there to handle most teams. I think Wenger doesn’t want to (and rightly so) pay over the odds for any one player like he did Kos who he felt was the most value for money option. That is probably more true than most would care to believe as I can see him being a lot more mobile than a lot of the oversized bulky defenders out there. I’m always a lot more optimistic than most at the start of every season anyway. Lets wait and see what transpires but I would be pleasantly surprised if we were to sign anyone else in this window!!

    • goonerjay

      July 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm

      Problem is we’ve had 4 maybe 5 (depending on Sol) players leave and only brought 2 in and the least few seasons we have seen this same pattern… we can’t contuinue to lost experienced players and not replace them… we all know the money is there for Wenger to spend without bankrupting us but it won’t be spent and for the life of me i can’t understand why when we so clearly need more than what we have to really challenge for the title… call me a pessimist but i like to think i’m more of a realist

      • Cpt John

        July 26, 2010 at 1:08 pm

        I totally agree with you on that. I have thought the same thing for the past few seasons. Don’t confuse my optimism for a lack of realism but if you think about the players that have left this year. (Big Phil, Sylvestre). These are 2 players that didn’t really figure all season long anyway and they have been replaced by Kos and Djourou. Eduardo has been replaced by Chamackh and Gallas is yet to be replaced and that’s why I would love to see 1 more signing though highly unlikely. The promotion of Nordveidt seems to be Wengers choice on that one. It beats me as well knowing how much profit the club has been making since the move to the Emirates and yet it hasn’t been transformed into the purchase of senior playing staff needed. Quality-wise I don’t know about Kos but maybe he could be a Carvalho-type player who’s not the stockiest but is extremely aggressive in the tackle and reads the game well. If that is the case then we just might be ok. There’s perhaps where my optimism deviates from the realms of reality!!!

  15. Canapol

    July 26, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    What’s considered a moderate outlay of cash? Is it a 30 or 40 mil possible flop? Or is it 10 mil for someone who we do not know that well? I don’t have the answer; I can pretend to & put together a wish list but, and this is a big but; a player who is successful with one team does not always guarantee succes with a different team.
    As for keepers, I can’t defend Fabianski but I do believe he would be a much better player if given a better defence….. I guess the same can be true the other way.
    Lastly, I really do think Wenger knows what he’s up to. Chamakh was brough in to hold up the ball & score with his head – Gibbs will be in the first team more regularly and will supply the crosses as well as Wilshire on the other side. Also, if the wingers see that someone is always there to put their head into it, they will cross more often & therefore will give =us a new dimension to our attack.

    • ArsenalStation

      July 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm

      I would hope that our attack would prove more consistent (though that was an incredible goal-scoring run over the first few months) than last season, but it really is the defence that matters most. More points are there to be gained over last season if we were to improve defensively than offensively, I believe. Like I said in the article, what separates us from United and Chelsea is in defence not attack.

    • comrade23

      July 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      re: Fabianski, the defenders didn’t knock the ball in our net or pick up a back pass against Porto. That’s only one game from a litany of mistakes made by not-so-Fabs. A defence will help a keeper, but a great keeper improves his defence.

      I don’t think anyone is waiting for AW to spend 30m+ on a single player, but on two or even three who would solidify glaringly obvious areas of need? I don’t think that’s too much to ask from one of the most profitable clubs in Europe.

      • ArsenalStation

        July 26, 2010 at 12:41 pm

        Exactly. I think most reasonable supporters, especially those who have backed Wenger the entire time, aren’t asking for him to mortgage the club, but to make a reasonable outlay of £30m (especially considering the sales of Adebayor and Toure last season) to actually give us a genuine chance of winning the league.

  16. Danish Gooner

    July 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    The feeling is that Wenger will resign Big Sol and that will be it but it simply isnt enough we need a commanding CB.

    • comrade23

      July 26, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      Sol is a commanding CB, but at his age, he simply can’t play 90 min. every week, let alone more than once a week (which we would need). I do think you’re right, and that we need a solid player to fill the position. Although if Kos or JD20 prove to do the job, I’ll gladly eat my words.

  17. Jack

    July 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I’m not so sure we will need a new centre back if campbell signs his new contract, that would mean Vermaelen, Djourou, Koscielny, Campbell and Nordtveit at centre back so we are well stocked. However if you look at the 41 goals we conceded last season, an unbelievable number of them were due to goalkeeping errors. Of the top of my head i can think of at least ten such goals we conceded in the league. I would argue that all we really need is a goalkeeper who is strong on aerial balls and commanding the area

    • ArsenalStation

      July 26, 2010 at 12:43 pm

      I might agree with a great keeper reducing the need for a new CB if Djourou didn’t have such a propensity for getting injured. It’s less his talent than his proneness to injury that makes him unreliable as a starting CB over an entire campaign. And if our next best option is either the old, slow Campbell or the young, weak Koscielny we will be at a severe disadvantage should they have to play for any prolonged stretch.

      • comrade23

        July 26, 2010 at 12:47 pm

        To be fair to Sol, he was actually surprisingly quick last season, esp in the latter stages when he’d gotten fit. I think Twitchy’s training regimen of “eat pies till you’re full and wash it down with a few pints” at Pompey did him no favors…

    • comrade23

      July 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm

      I’ll be glad to have such a quantity of CBs in the squad, but the question isn’t how many, it’s who will partner Vermaelen? We have two completely unproven options (we can’t seriously expect Sol to play every match at his age, it’s not realistic). I think that’s where the apprehansiveness comes from. At least, that’s where mine originates, that and the fact that we’ve been in defensive disarray for two straight seasons now, with cracks appearing even in 2007-2008.

  18. ArsenalBoy

    July 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    1. “Koscielny is not the answer” – funny, around 365 days ago every Arsenal blog was saying the same about TV.

    Until he gets a few games in we simply wont know, so I’d say wait and see.

    I’d like another CB but I would not be surprised if we just stick with TB, Koscielny, Sol, DJ, Nordveit.

    2. Completely agree we need some real class here.

    3. I think even if Cesc does leave in a year I am sure he will play just as well as he did last season… his attitude wont be “oh well, just 1 year and I go” is more like:”I got a year to give it all to this club that had faith in me since I was 16″

    4. Fingers crossed that his age will be the main factor that will help him come back the same player he was.

    5. I never understood why Wiltshire went to Bolton, we needed a player in his position several times last year but could not play him. I think our system might not suit Vela too much but if he is to adapt to it then he definetely needs more games because I beleive this kid is class.

    6. I beleive we are capable, is just down to injuries again… hopefully that gps tracking system for the players will benefit us quickly.

  19. Arsene Wenger

    July 26, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I feel we have a good mixture in the team. They are a young team but have fantastic mental strength and spirit. It was a little bit hard to swallow last season losing in the big games, but we take each game step by step and at the end see where we are.

    I am still looking for top, top quality players. No, we have not signed anybody, no. We don’t need more players in that department. I said at the beginning of last season if we don’t win anything we will have to change our policy but as you can see that hasn’t happened. I also said after last season that we would do our business before the World Cup, as players need to be in the squad and settled before everything starts. Yes, I signed Chamakh and Koscielny, and those are the only players I’m going to sign.

    I think players like Denilson, Bendtner, Diaby, Fabianski, Clichy and Vela are top, top class and are as good as Xavi, Torres, Busquets, Cech, Alves and Messi.


    • NorwayGunner

      July 26, 2010 at 7:08 pm

      There u said it, lets buy Chech for 10m and Messi for 30m there problem solved! I’m sure they are both available if we just try!

  20. ArsenalFan

    July 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I agree with you 100% arsenalboy i don’t think we should judge kosienly by his image.we have to see how good he actually is before knocking him.Does anyone know if its true that arsenal are trying to sign jagekla?

    • comrade23

      July 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm

      All i’ve heard is that before we signed Koscielny, we mad an offer of 6m for Jagielka, which Everton promptly rejected as they value him closer to 14m. We never made an improved bid that anyone can confirm.

    • ArsenalStation

      July 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      I’m not knocking him. I don’t think it’s a knock on a slight-of-build young player newly-arrived from Ligue 1 to say that he likely will not be able to step in as a starting CB at a top PL club. It may happen, but we certainly can’t put all our eggs in that basket.

      @comrade, I read Moyes saying they valued him at £18m… that would end all discussion right there. For me, on ability, he is worth £8-10m max. The extra £4-8m is essentially the “But, he’s English-Tax.”

      • comrade23

        July 26, 2010 at 2:51 pm

        I’d go as high as 12m for the Premier league experience he’d bring, but no more. Moyes is on crack if he thinks he’s getting 18m. Even City aren’t that dumb. Well, ok, maybe they are.

        • ArsenalStation

          July 26, 2010 at 7:18 pm

          I agree. if it comes down to Jagielka for £12m or no CB signing, then you bite the bullet and pay the money. Then again, Moyes could just be grandstanding and stalling to get a better price as the opener gets closer. He cant believe that anyone would pay £18m for Jagielka. Also, I can’t see the player not seeing himself constantly linked with Arsenal and not being inclined to leave Everton for Arsenal. I wouldn’t be very surprised to see this deal go down 2 weeks from now for £10-12m.

  21. piken79

    July 26, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I guess since everyone has “questions” I have the answers. If we are all sincere with ourselves as Arsenal supportors, we know with the current team we can only finish 3rd or 4th, this I am very sure off. The problems/questions with our team has been the same for the last 4 years, Wenger knows it, I know it, the pundits know it..sh*t even my 18month old daughter knows it! The real question is, is Wenger willing to address those problems? Its not going to take 40M for us to win the League. We only need some decent players, they don’t even have to world class. 1 goal keeper 1 center back and 1 DM cover for SONG will do the trick. Perhaps the board has set 3rd as the standard for Wenger and if he keeps getting there he doesn’t need to do more. W/out these signings we are going to repeat whats been happening for the last 3-4 season. its not rocket science, we all know it…so there is your answer!

  22. Ted Harwood

    July 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Can we compile a list of realistic central defense options we could sign? Again, I’m not saying that we have the central defense we need, necessarily, but who is out there? It’s really thin. So far, I would say:

    Gallas (ugh)

    I would say Jagielka, but never for 14m pounds.

    • comrade23

      July 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      I would’ve suggested Jerome Boateng before City snapped him up. I haven’t seen too much of him for Ajax, but the few matches I have seen I’ve been impressed by Verthongen (although he’s also left-footed, so AW prob wouldn’t want to pair him w/ TV5). I confess I do like Hangelaand, and Gary Cahill from Bolton would’ve been reasonable as well.

      • Ted Harwood

        July 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm

        Cahill and Hangeland are both good players, it’s true. I admit, though, that I despair of Arsenal ever getting players with Premier League experience for something like a fair price at some point…

  23. Gunner38

    July 26, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Same old shite coming out of Arsenal. AW says we need 2 or 3 super quality signings, the fans get uber excited and watch every Sky sports bulletin. Meanwhile, AW flicks through the bargain basement/free catalogue and then tries to convince us that the squad has come of age blah, blah. We need/must get a decent keeper – one who can catch the ball and not be bullied by nasty northerners. We need a DM, cos if Song gets crocked we only have Denilson? We need a CB, cos TV can’t rely on Sol – even though once he was brilliant. Time to spend Gallic man, or this season will surely be your last.

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  25. lz

    July 27, 2010 at 12:54 am

    if everybody thinks wenger has lost it because he’s not doing the required signings, then there are but 2 things that can be done. 1. write a petition to ask the board to replace him – who then? 2. start a fund to raise the 30m pounds or so that he seems to be saying he doesn’t have and give it to afc on the condition that they use the money to buy the players you want.

  26. Arsenal Future Manager

    July 27, 2010 at 2:56 am

    1st Team:
    Sagna – Koscielny – Vemalean – Clichy
    Fabregas – Song – Nasri
    VanPersie – Chamakh – Arshavin

    2nd Team:
    Eboue – Djourou – Nordtveit – Gibbs(Traore)
    Wilshere – Denilson – Diaby(Ramsey)
    Walcot – Bendtner – Vela

    Almunia and Rosicky as back up,

    3rd Team:
    Eastmond – Bartley – Miquel – Botelho(Cruise)
    Coquelin(Henderson) – Frimpong – Lansbury(Randall)
    J.E.Thomas(W.Silva) – Simpson(Sunu) – Barazite(Watt)

    We Have So Many Players:
    CB – Vermalean, Kos6, Djorou, Nordtveit, Campbell.
    The Key Is In Mid –
    Fabregas(Xavi) – Song(Busquetes) – Nasi(Iniesta)

    But if we are really that desperate for a GK,CB N DM we shud get
    GK – Mark Shwarzer.
    CB – Mertseaker, Micah Richards.
    CB+DM – Jan Vertonghen.

  27. Andy Mack

    July 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Not sure how you could doubt Cesc. The man was the best player on the team with a broken leg.
    As someone said, He’s like a kid with separated parents. Just because he’d like to live with one of them doesn’t mean he hates the other. He’ll be our best player again (provided he’s not exhausted from WC – not many minutes but lots of training and tension) but not by such a big amount as we are due a big step up from so many of the squad.

  28. Jonathan

    July 28, 2010 at 4:22 am

    we do not have a chance for the title this season. i hope the boss understands what he needs to do, and get some strong players in the back, if we want to even finish in the top 4.

    the injury fairy has been flying its ugly head around our team for far too long now, and lets keep our fingers crossed the rvp will stay healthy this season…well the whole team for that matter.

    im gonna be crushed to see cesc go, but i really think that he will give his all for arsenal no matter if he stays for one season or the next five.

    keep the faith-gooner for life

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