Arsenal has a backlog of midfielders just waiting for game time!

At every Premier League football club you are likely to find a number of players who get nowhere near enough minutes as they would like to on the pitch. You only have to look at Chelsea’s loan system to tell you that clubs are notorious for having far too many players for each position. However of course a fair amount of players is necessary for a number of reasons, including an injury and suspension crisis, squad rotation and for a higher level of competition for places in the squad.

At Arsenal I don’t think there is a position on the pitch that has quite as many players as our central midfield does and although it’s good to have so much competition for places in the centre of the park, I can’t help but feel that certain irregularity as to who will be in the starting eleven may cause a little unrest. Players becoming frustrated at a lack of minutes is another consideration to make and it may be the case that at least one or more players may choose to leave or be put on the transfer list this summer.

At the moment we seem to be going with a midfield duo of Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey. On days like yesterday, the duo seems to work wonders, however it doesn’t take much to remember how it got torn apart time and time again against Tottenham Hotspur a week earlier. Xhaka and Ramsey should, on paper, work well together because they are both good passers of the ball (on their day), and whilst Xhaka is more defensively minded, Ramsey holds more creativity. However time and time again such a combination doesn’t pay off and as a result, Wenger has to toy with the idea of completely replacing his midfield options.

Francis Coquelin is considered to get a fair amount of game time, with the Frenchman usually starting or at least coming on to add cover to the defence. He’s a slightly unstable character on the pitch, often being quite reckless in his challenges, but I think his position in the squad is safe given the job he can do in putting his body on the line.

Mohammed Elneny is a player who in my opinion, should probably go during the summer. A bargain buy under Wenger, for a cool £5 million, but the price tag reflects how he doesn’t bring a lot to the team. Besides a lot of sideways passing and good positioning, I don’t think he brings a lot to the team and I wouldn’t consider him a starter let alone Arsenal quality. In my opinion Id rather Wenger introduce a youthful player on the fringes of the first team, than stick with Elneny in midfield.

Cazorla is a player who needs no explanation, but as to whether he’s going to make a comeback into the Arsenal team, I’m not so sure. He’s really struggling with injures and with age not on his side, I think his role in the team is going to be limited. He’s one of those players who you’d think is almost guaranteed a starting role when fit, but if others are pressing for his position in the squad, Cazorla may no longer get to start.

Jack Wilshere may not be a player currently playing with the squad, but he’s still on Arsenal’s books and set to return for Arsenal’s lineup next season. Wilshere has had a really strong season in terms of fitness until his recent season ending injury, and it was promising to see that he could still potentially have the fitness levels to remain with Arsenal. However he hasn’t really persisted with his attacking gameplay at Bournemouth in the sense that his performances aren’t backed up with goal and assist statistics. It’s a slight concern for me next to the injury problems of course, and it may be a consideration for Arsenal as to whether our former wonderkid can truly become the Arsenal great that was expected of him.

In my opinion at least one of these players will be making the move during the summer because although six players for two positions may come in handy when there’s an injury concern or suspension, it leaves some players on the bench or not in the squad at all. This is not to forget that players like Zelalem, Crowley and Maitland-Niles also remain on the fringes of the Arsenal first team and could be considered for bigger roles in the not too distant future!



  1. Trent Schmidt says:

    Looks like a good FIFA Stratergy, thats about all it is.

  2. JembutArsene says:

    Arsenal, under our Great Leader Arsene Wenger, are famed for their youth policy – giving players chances from a young age and developing them with the right philosophy into stars ready for the first team rather than the usual alternative of top clubs buying stars. But there is a lot more to it – much more than we’d think. The main vision and philosophy of the Arsenal academy is to produce first team players, ensure a professional and ethical way of operating as an example of best practice, be self-sufficient and generate profits, the emphasis is on providing players internally to the first team, saving money on huge transfer fees as well as time on potential deals in the process. The prospect of having players raised under the “Arsenal way”, as well as those who hail from London, is enticing. Also, it lowers the chances of a departure if the club want to keep the player as well as lowering the chances of the player needing to adapt. Players like Zelalem, Crowley and Maitland-Niles are the future, I would make it a 5 year contract instead of two in order to ensure the transition of the next generation of the torals the bieliks, etc.

    Arsenal fans are brainwashed to be negative by biased medias and many low IQ pundits whose showering the constant negativity surrounding our beloved classy team.

    As our beloved and classy Master of Beautiful Art Football said “On one side when people are not loyal, people criticize; when they are loyal, they say they are there for too long,” he said. It’s always an excessive reaction and that’s why people in charge have to take a (step back), more than ever. Being responsible in life is to do things you think are right, it’s not to react to what people say. If you listen always to what people say, you go five minutes one way and 10 minutes later you go the other way. When you have responsibilities you have just to focus on making the right decisions and if they’re not right, you say ‘sorry, I’m wrong’. When we lose a game, I’m wrong.”

    That was a true classy statement of gentleman that is our great manager ever.


    1. John0711 says:

      I’m sorry everyone is allowed an opinion. But I thought no your just winding people up on purpose. Way to exaggerated in every sentence

      1. Quantic Dream says:

        I agree with you John0711. Quite frankly, I am tired of JembutArsene”s fangirlism of Wenger always in line with Midkemma to circle-jerk on Wenger and defend him from any criticism whatsoever. Wake up and smell the coffee bro, the youth system has got us nowhere! That is why Wenger tried to splash out 100M and wasted it this season. Anyways, what do I care for a profit-making philosophy for my club? Will you or I be sharing the millions with Kroenke and the board? I don’t think so.

        1. Guneal (English Arsenal fans are gullible) says:

          The youth policy was a failed project. How many players from our youth teams made it to first team and cemented their position there.

          We have mediocrities given the chance to play regularly even when it was obvious the are sh##.

          Its no fault of Wenger. Business must have a philosophy but the problem is how long will it take to realise that this philosophy is a failed experiment.

          A manager that has tried just three formations in his life time.
          It goes to show how stubborn and clueless manager he is.

          And to all ya fickle and gully Arsene_butt_kissers that feel an occasional win is just enough. When Arsene leaves do well to go with him.

          1. JembutArsene says:

            Not a surprise you ain’t getting this whole football and the youth policy was a failed project thing with your limited brain power. If that belligerence makes you uncomfortable its only due to the crudeness.

            Last thing to add is that there are numerous effecting factors of which we are unaware. Things to do with individuals and, in a wider sense, the team. I think we ought to bare that in mind when it comes to anticipating or second guessing AW use of squad. In general I have approved our structured approach as it seems the most workable arrangement. The trouble with abandoning it is you can quickly spiral up and out of control. Here is an example.Today’s senior high earners may fail to deliver but a kid has a breakout season. Kid pushes for a raise to match his contribution. The club can resist and run the risk of losing the kid or give him s fat raise. Now the kid is on par with seniors. That only has to happen a couple of times and you’ve push your budget over. In other words your budget is more subject to the vagueries of form. And since nobody takes pay cuts things can get out if hand very quickly. Our method gives players a very generous base and a clear and unambiguous path. Neither way is perfect but ours is more manageable and arguably better for moral.

            For most of my life I felt the Club was property of us fans.
            We supported both in spirit and in real terms.
            The more we supported the more our club could grow.

            1. odein4 says:

              Wenger is that you? Pls tell us it’s you or probably a Spur fan who wants you to remain so we can be trashed again, again n again… no matter how much you continue to support Wenger someday he will leave. So my question is, if he leaves would you go support the team he’s going to coach or you will support Arsenal? cos as far as am concerned you are just a Wenger Fan. After what is happening to Arsenal no right thinking person except for Wenger would want him to stay

        2. JembutArsene says:

          I’ll always put the Club above any manager or player.

          I simply see things differently from most people here.

          For me AW has been, and continues to be, an excellent manager.

          For me its not simply about results, – but even if it was, his record is extraordinary – its about his commitment, ethic and vision.

          As far as I’m concerned he can stay as long as he wants.

          However, when he does leave I’ll be right behind his successor and on we’ll go together.

          I’m an Arsenal fan whatever.

      2. JembutArsene says:

        No secret.

        I’m staunchly pro Wenger.

        I know that’s provocative but somebody needs to stand up for him around here.

      3. JembutArsene says:

        For the record, I understand many of the standard arguments against AW, though I don’t think they stand up.

        What I don’t understand is the level of personal animosity and character assassination that goes with it.

        I find it offensive and its the one thing that earns my disrespect.

        1. Nuttyone. says:

          Memories are short indeed.
          Hark back to the pre George Graham era.
          The delights of watching the likes of paul Mariner, Tony Woodcock et all.
          Loose Wenger and we will be mid table fodder…then you can moan..

  3. frustrated gunner says:

    Arsene is the best manager everno doubt. some ignorant fans cant see what he did for the game and arsenal keep them aside. hail Arsene

  4. Janssen says:

    I think you raise a few good points. This year I see one of our failings being that our midfield has been over ran by better opponents of whom there seem to be more and more as the season progressed. This was probably the reason Wenger was forced to abandon his long held football principles and switch to the 3 at the back system.

    Our youth policy has not really produced any world class talent in the making like some of the bright prospects we see at Spurs or Man U. And if it wasn’t for the Barca academy our only promising world class prospect Bellerin would likely be a name we never heard of.

    This has forced us, like other clubs, to try to buy midfield talent. Personally, I don’t blame Wenger for Elneney and think that for 5 million he was probably a good buy given our situation and given that Wenger realised he had no one in his faulty academy. Xhaka was a much more expensive gamble and sadly for the moment, the jury is still out on him. We should give him one year in the PL to adapt but that does not mean that it is not accurate to say that his first year lacked any real impact.

    I think most of us know that Ramsey is a liability more often than not but in his defense, Wenger moves him around often never giving him the time to master any one position. But he loses the ball too often and is too predictable in his sideways passing. Wilshire, as promising as he was, should be moved on not only because like Ramsey and most Arsenal players under Wenger his development has halted way too early on in his career but more importantly we should stop building our hopes on injury prone players.

    To me the only dominating world class midfield player we have seen since Cesc left, is Santi but as you rightly point out his age and injury problems mean it would be unwise to build our plans on his availability.

    Who to keep? Well, I have been assuming that Wenger will remain manager since his integrity doesn’t go as high as stppeing down and forsaking his 8 million comp no matter how well he might know he is no longer qualified for the job.

    If Wenger stays it remains to be seen if he is willing to throw his entire philosophy of football out the window and stick with the 3 at the back. If he sticks with the 3 at the back next season he will be looking for wingbacks and in true Wenger style, he will try to convert some players to that position hopefully with success. I think we will also need a more disruptive dominating midfield player like Kante or Matic or Wanayama, the 3 at the back sytem reallt needs that type of player.

    Ox at the moment is our only truly promising wingback IMO. He needs to work on his positioning whilst defending but going forward he is ideal IMO. Wingbacks need pace, that alone means Wilshire can not be converted. Ramsey has been played with no success on the wings so this means in Wenger’s mind he is an option for that position as well as in the middle next to Xhaka. Wenger has also come out and stated that Ramsey is the future of this club so expect Ramsey to stay. It might be best for Ramsey if Ozil leaves. I always thought Ramsey could be the creative midfield inspiration of a top 7-10 team and if Wenger stays and Sanchez and Ozil leave, depending on the successful investment of Everton wealthy owner and their ability to hold on to Koeman 7th will be the target for Wenger next year.

    Personally I like what I have seen from Maitland-Niles and wish we would have seen more from him. But I doubt our academy will all of a sudden awake form its slumber and actually produce a world class talent Wenger will give a real 1st team chance.

    In todays football when you are 18-20 (Mbappe, Alli, Jesus, Rashford) and a world class potential you should have broken into the first team. I don’t see too many if any players of that caliber coming through. This means we have to go out and buy them which in toadys market is near unaffordable for a club with Arsenal’s ambitions.

    The best case scenario for Arsenal would be a new Quality manager who is given 5 years to get this club back on track because with our budget it will take at least 5 years to undo the damage done by Wenger particlularly if you take in consideration the age of our squad, the departure of Sanchez and Ozil and the absence of CL football.

  5. chris says:


    If you are staunchly pro Wenger ….. where have you been for the last 7 – 8 years !

    1. Guneal (English Arsenal fans are gullible) says:

      Jembut is a mischievous spud that wants our dear club retrogression to continue so he can keep having a laugh in his white and black jersey.

      You don’t have to keep playing that. Mr. Wenger has given you a reason to laugh yourself to a coma.

      How do you even do it? Constructing comments that is so lengthy than Pat J’s and yet senseless!

      Be careful! You have no idea what we do to spuds here.

      1. JembutArsene says:

        I understand your frustration but is it possible that Wenger’s perceived failings have been as much to do with fate and history as his own weaknesses? How do you cope with Chelsea and City and Barca ? When the money was not there AW built a wonderful young team but saw it decimated by injury and vultures. It took some tough seasons and changes to start over but prudence allowed us to build slowly and know the club is very strong again. How is that possible if Wenger is so flawed? As prospective teenage signings know they will be given the opportunity to flourish at Arsenal, Wenger is confident the Emirates Stadium will always be their preferred destination. It’s harder trick to pull off buying younger players ashe said, butnot that worried about the competition because players always go where they think they get a chance and not many clubs have the patience to give them that chance.They will make them wait until they think they are good enough, because we start them early, they mature earlier and people integrated into our training sessions know exactly what they have to do. Wenger explains his position most eloquently.

        I try not to be insulting but you are a total !mbecile.

        Wenger was never going to come out in the press and say:
        ‘look ,I’ve got no money to spend, the club’s owner is keeping funds at the club for the foreseeable future and we have to be self sustainable’.

        How do you guys not get bored of Arsene is crap, no he is not talk? It’s been on for 10 years and some of post this in various ways about 100 times a day.

        1. Guneal (English Arsenal fans are gullible) says:

          I will never trade insult with you.

          But I’ll leave you with the words of Michelle Obama, ” when you go so low, I go so high”.

          1. JembutArsene says:

            Then, I’ll leave you with the words of Hillary:

            “The worst thing that can happen in a democracy – as well as in an individual’s life – is to become cynical about the future and lose hope. You have to be true to yourself. What we have to do is to find a way to celebrate our diversity and debate our differences without fracturing our communities.”

            And the best quote: “You don’t walk away if you love someone. You help the person.”
            Same as supporting our club and our great manager through thick and thin.

            It must be difficult for you, exhausting your entire vocabulary in one sentence. I don’t have the time or the crayons to explain it to you.

            All smokes and mirrors

            Arsene will not work under a DoF and Ivan knows this. Ivan also knows that Arsene has Stan’s ear and he can’t 100% rely on Sir Chip or anyone else.

            There will be some changes in the backroom staff (If Arsene decides to stay) and i am sure he is aware and has probably agreed on that, but i am also betting that he has told them he will not tolerate a DoF being appointed.

            Final decision will be left for Stan K to make as the owner and that’s where we are at.

    2. JembutArsene says:

      Well, I am new to this site if that’s what you meant.
      And still think every non gullible arsenal fans should spread the positivity around our clubs including in blogs.

      Arsenal fans are brainwashed to be negative by biased medias and many low IQ pundits whose showering the constant negativity surrounding our beloved classy team.

      Supporting the club, the players, and the manager is the decent fans should be all about.


  6. Yossarian says:

    This article highlights some good points. Arsenal’s squad was very unbalanced with the old formation. Now that we’re using a 3-4-3 it seems a lot better, and presents an opportunity to have a good balanced squad for next season.

    Things have got easier in central defence, with Holding-Kos-Mustafi looking like a good back 3, with back-up possibly coming from Chambers, Monreal, and Gabriel (Although that’s not good enough if it’s long-term injuries). The situation up-top has improved by having less emphasis on proper wingers but rather wide-forwards and a central striker. We still really need a top-top striker to make the best of this (Giroud not good enough, Wellbeck not enough goals, Sanchez leaving?)

    We need really somebody like Cazorla playing, and if he’s not going to be fit enough to play, then we must buy a top-quality creative mid-fielder to play his role. We need to stop all this nonsense with Jack Wilshere. It’s just Diaby all over again.

    Will the Ox cement his new role, or should he be played centrally? Should Bellerin be playing as wing-back? Is Kieran Gibbs going to be good enough and fit enough to play? Will Kolasinac fit that role? All that needs to be sorted out ASAP.

    The new formation presents a great opportunity to get it right next season, but the transfers need to be done as early as possible (None of this last-minute rubbish) so that everybody knows exactly what they’re supposed to be doing BEFORE it kicks-off in August. And that’s where the problems usually start with Wenger…

    1. arsenalonly says:

      building team in pre season is a good thing, and nobody will complaint about his position in the team

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