Arsenal Analysis of who will stay or go – Part 2 Midfielders

Hi Guys, I hope you liked first part of my article “Arsenal Analysis of who will stay or go – Part 1 The Defence” for those who missed it this is the link to the article. This is the second part and I am covering the central midfield options we have at our disposal.

Typically we play a formation where we have 2 Central midfieldiers where 1 acts as a CDM and other acts as a Box to Box player. If we look at the personnel available for these two positions they are as follow:

A) CDM : Coquelin, Arteta, Flamini, Diaby, Bielik (New 17 year old kid), Chambers

1) Coquelin he has been a revelation this year, Stats shows he is the best CDM right now in Premier League and aged just 23 he has a bright future ahead of him – provided he continues to develop and plays as well as he is playing now

2) Arteta: Our club captain, When he was at Everton he used to play the role of attacking midfield. Wenger gave him the more important role of playing as a midfielder sitting in front of our defense. Even though he might not be the best candidate and even if he is on the wrong side age-wise he still has the best stats when it comes to passing.

3) Flamini: Signed as a free transfer, In my opinion he is the worst of the lot. Whenever I see him on pitch it seems as if we are playing with 10 men! The only thing he does is shout and shout!

4) Diaby: Every Arsenal fan knows that when Diaby is fit (and that is a BIG if), he is a beast of a player, but unfortunately he is never fit. I don’t even remember the last game Diaby played for us, so thinking of him as a part of our current squad and future is not very rational.

5) Bielik : New kid signed last transfer window, Honestly I have never seen him play but I remember Wenger saying he is a first team team player so I can assume he has some talent

6) Chambers: Even though most people see him as CB/RB i think CDM is best position for him. If I am right even Wenger mentioned the same once. He played as a CDM yesterday for U-21 game against Germany, Aged just 19, I think he can be moulded into a good defensive midfielder.

Now most people on JustArsenal as well as around the globe say we need a new CDM, Top choices for the job are:

Morgan Schneiderlin

I would prefer Morgan over all of the above as he has Premier league experience and he is kind of hybrid of Arterta-Coquelin, but here is the tricky situation; for instance if we buy Morgan and sell Arteta, Flamini and Diaby we still have Coquelin, Bielik and Chambers for the position, I can ignore Bielik as he is young and has lots of time. For the same reason I am ready to ignore Chambers but we still have Coquelin for this position. I know many of you will say that we are injury prone team and rotation and stuff but the problem is if we buy Morgan I find it difficult to see Coquelin even on the bench – and here is why:

We are allowed to put 7 substitutes General pattern being 1 Goalkeeper, 3 Defenders, 2 Midfielders + Wingers and 1 Striker so the competition is for 2 places on the bench where we have the likes of Wilshere, Welbeck, Walcott and Chamberlin

It might be a possibilty that we may change the pattern and opt for 3 instead of 2 on the bench but still will Coquelin be happy to play as a second fiddle to Morgan since he has performed excellently since his comeback – and will it not hamper his development ??

I think we have a CDM which we can count on but on other hand an injury to him and we are back to square one (Provided we are selling Arteta or Flamini). At the same time if we buy Morgan then what needs to be done with Coquelin? Mr Wenger needs to think this through and act accordingly, as this is a very tricky situation.

Verdict: In Coquelin we have an excellent CDM but we do not have any backup for him, Chambers and Bielik are too young and so we should definitely sign a CDM but as a backup to Coquelin and not to replace him.

Possible Outgoing: Arteta, Flamini, Diaby
Possible Incoming: Schneiderlin or Kondogbia

B) CM: WE have four options- Wilshere, Ramsey, Zelalem (He is in our squad according to and Rosicky. I dont think we need any improvement in this area as Santi can also play at this position very well, The only thing which i can see happening regarding this position is if Rosicky leaves – then we may promote someone from our academy.

Possible Outgoing: Rosicky
Possible Incoming: No one!

Who agrees with me?


Tags bielik Chambers Coquelin Schneiderlin


  1. I do prefer Sissoko over Schneiderlin if he can somehow be more disciplined defensively … Sssoko is a real beast I believe he can be a good DM/CM and can also play with Coq … He often used in Newcastle more offensively as he can drift with the ball forward and pass defenders and has good eyes of the goal “shooting + positioning”

    1. You said about Sissoko “if he can somehow be more disciplined defensively”. Schneiderlein already meets that criteria. Both are equal in terms of being a beast physically. And if you have watched MS regulary, you should know he can change gears from Defense to attack efficiently and dangerously if needed. We do not need forward minded DM. We have plenty of attacking force in MF. We need someone like Coq who just focuses on provding shield to the back line and anchoring the MF. For me its MS all the way. Sissoko for me is plan B.

      Warning : Brace yourself! Sami Khedira rumours are coming soon! Admin, please spare us this time. A humble request.

  2. I love all our players but Arsenal comes first so:

    – Arteta – one year extension. Am sure he would be okay with a bit part role in the team plus his good in the dressing room. I see him having some role at the club after his retirement and I feel he should retire at the club. Good to have a cool head with nice hair for the kids to look up too for guidance.

    – Flamini – Am sure he can secure another contract with another club (even in the EPL) which would be good for both him and us. His a good spot though his time might be up at Arsenal.

    – Diaby – its good to see him playing again (reserves) though the time is up for the big guy for me. Some things just don’t change I doubt Abou will ever be the player he once was. If we can help him secure another club even back in France that would be good.

    From the proposed list of DM’s I would pick Morgan to come and battle it out with Le Coq. Bielik , Chambers and Arteta to provide cover for the two.

    1. if we could get £30 mil from city which is what papers are saying i think we should bite their hand off and run!

    2. Why are fans so keen on selling wilshere!!!
      He is still young and was having a very good season till he got injured. He gives it his all in every game he plays and is a true gunner.Also an added bonus is that he is homegrown.
      Give him some time, he will come good.

      1. Why do you have to ask?
        We lose more games when he plays fact!
        Good season? Did I miss something?
        Stats from this season show we lose more games and make less come backs from behind when he plays.
        The real question is why are so many fans loyal to him?
        He is an average player and not good enough for Arsenal.

        1. Arsenal on the whole play poorly when sanchez is playing well.
          Whats your point?

          And he was having a good season till the injury.
          Was coq good enough to play for arsenal till this season?!
          Jack is only 23! He has a LOT of time to improve. Technically he already is very good. He just needs to find his position.

  3. I’d prefer Flamini and diaby to be released
    I’m happy with Arteta having one more season

    I’d like Kondogbia or Schneiderlin to come in.

    I would not mind another box2box midfielder like Gundogan, Khedira, Lars Bender to compete with Ramsey but it’s not necessary

    But Coquelin def needs competition to push him.
    Again Schneiderlin or Kondogbia would be excellent

    Arsenal 3-1 Liverpool

  4. sorry !…… Ain’t Letting TR7 Leave …….. When are we gonna have another Legend retiring at Arsenal?

  5. I will probably get tons of thumbs down for this but I think I’d take the risk with Kondogbia over Schneiderlin. We need someone Tall, physical and someone who will put fear into the opposition! Kondogbia is what we have been missing recently, he’s like a Vieria player ( don’t know about being a leader on the pitch like Vieria was though)!

    That being said i’d still be over the moon with Schneiderlin 🙂

    1. I think Schneiderlin is big and tall enough for that role. I noticed an interview with him in which he sas that he had bulked up a bit. He mentioned also that if he bulked up to much it would slow him down. I think there is a fine balance. I would be happy with both Schneiderlin or Kondogbia. We can have the following types of midfield setup.

      Schneiderlin & Coquelin – Very defensive minded midfield.
      Ramsey/Cazorla/Wilshere & Coquelin – Neutral minded midfield
      Ramsey/Cazorla/Wilshere & Schneiderlin – Attack minded midfield
      Ramsey/Wilshere & Cazorla – Very attack minded midfield, like in the Monaco game.

      With a more mobile centre back pairing we can also be more creative in the midfield. I basically see these 5 fighting for positions. Where as Wilshere & Cazorla are also comfortable as CAM.

      With this I do not see much room for Arteta. Plus remember we also have Isaac Hayden from the academy and apparently he could make a good CDM in the future, he is also a Centre Back. I could see him go on loan if Arteta stays and we get another Centre Back.

      I agree with the B2B players here if we sell Wilshere though I want Pogba as his replacement. However I think we are nicely stocked there.

  6. “I don’t even remember the last game Diaby played for us”

    Diaby played for US in an indoor friendly game against Brentford yesterday 😉

  7. I think you are thinking too much about something that may or may not happen. Going into the Coq not making bench and having three defenders on bench etc. Anyhow 1 cb and a fullback will be on bench usually along with a defensive mid or a player who can play there.

    1. This. Also, do people forget that Le Coq has been used as a LB quite a bit in his career? He could easily be used as cover for both positions on the bench, with a Chambers or a Debuchy that can cover for multiple positions on the other side.

  8. This is beginning to be a problem with arsenal fans – as soon as we have a decent squad people begin to say sell them. We should have 18 first team players not 11 which is what we used to have when the likes of denilson, scquillaci, park were our bench players. Do you think madrid fans feel sorry for khediera because he is on the bench depsite being a world cup winner and a class player as just one example.

    You need a squad to win things. Scneiderlin/ kondgobia would be great to get in, not to necessarily dislodge coquelin but to compete for a place and they will both get games when considering injuries and the aount of games we have. Competition makes players play better!

    1. @cramer, exactly competition gets the best and also allows us to sell players later one for good money. Look at Chelsea & Madrid and how they get good money for some of their players.

  9. Well, I’m sure I will get flogged for it, but I believe Schneiderlin is a better version of Ramsey.

    Sure, Ramsey had the one good year, but the team was built for his runs in the box, and he capitalized on them well. But unless he can play like that consistently, and improve his defending as well, he needs to be thought of as a rotation player and not as a savior like many here think he is.

    Morgan is a good player both ways. He doesn’t have the ceiling that Ramsey does in attack, but he will be a much better defender, and he will not hurt the attack as much as people think if he is played alongside another DM like Coquelin and pushed forward.

    Most of all he is versatile. He can switch from attack to defense very well, and is quite good at both. Ramsey is not good enough defensively to play as a DM for me, and his ball retention and passing lately has been very poor as well, hurting our attack at times.

    I hope we get Schneiderlin, but I think of him more as a B2B player rather than an out and out DM, so I think he would be competing for time on the pitch against Ramsey more than he would against Le Coq.

    For a DM, Kongdobia or Bender are more strictly DM’s that will strengthen the defense. It all depends on what the team shape and play style will be as to what kind of holding player we need.

    I would prefer we sign BOTH Schneiderlin and Kongdobia/other young(ish) DM.

  10. Gonalons is the best DM in France by a mile, amazing what playing well against Arsenal suddenly does to your rep (kondogbia).

    Schneiderlin or Gonalons for me, MS based on prem experience.

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