Does Arsenal have a good enough squad for the Premier League? By Twig
It has yet again been a really anxious Summer transfer window for Arsenal. Yet again, Arsenal is dominating the transfer rumour market but with little solid transfer to show for it. Let’s leave the transfer market for a moment and assume we’ve finished business for this window. I know this will be a very difficult exercise for Arsenal fans to do, but believe me it is very possible we wouldn’t be signing any new player. Recall last season when Wenger captured Petr Cech and then went on not to sign any outfield player?! Also recall Wenger said we wouldn’t sign more than 3 players and in Granit Xhaka, Takuma Asano and Kelechi Nwakali, Wenger has ACTUALLY signed 3 players just like he said he will?
So assuming we have finished business for this window, do you think we have the squad to win the league? In Ozil, Cazorla, Sanchez, Koscielny and Cech we have genuine world class talent who can match up to any of their counterparts on their day. In Giroud and Monreal, you have very good players who will get the job done without grabbing much headlines. With Wilshere and Ramsey, you never know what you’ll get. Both players are injury prone and they’ve really not had the opportunity to show what they can do. However, they both seem to be favourites of Wenger and will play if available. Then there’s the exciting talents of Bellerin and Iwobi, whom as you’ll expect from young players, will be a bit up and down, with occasional mistakes. And then there’s Welbeck, who will score crucial goals for us towards the end of the season when it’s probably too late!
In short, the squad looks a bit here and there. The team seems to lack a bit of something. Without a new centre forward, we’ll definitely struggle to score goals as it’s increasingly clear that Giroud is more of a second striker who creates for others rather than score himself. Ozil and Sanchez are our best players on paper, but neither player has given us consistent game-changing performance over an entire season. (Think of Eden Hazard two seasons ago and Vardy and Mahrez for Leicester last season). Ozil came very close last season, but faded very badly towards the end of the season, eventually failing to beat Henry’s assist record, even though he looked certain of smashing it. Sanchez is increasingly injury prone of late and takes a while to get back to form after an injury. More worryingly, it seems the league’s defenders have figured him out, especially when he’s been played on the left wing.
Elsewhere, our rivals are spending very ambitiously as expected. Chelsea have just got Batshuayi and Kante – two players, who’ll add speed, youth and aggression to their ageing side. Manchester United have made a massive coup with the signing of Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan. With Mourinho as manager, Manchester United look to be the team to beat going into the new season. Although City have been relatively quiet, they’ve got themselves a manager who wins wherever he goes. Meanwhile, if Leicester manage to keep Mahrez, I don’t think they’re much weaker than they were last season, even with Kante’s departure. Ahmed Musa is relatively unknown, but he’ll surprise many fans with his pace and athleticism. It might yet be another steal by Ranieri.
With everyone fit, it seems this will be our first eleven. The biggest battle for selection will be in central midfield where we have very good technical players in Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Coquelin, El Neny and Xhaka (one midfielder too many?) Currently, it seems Ramsey is guaranteed a starting spot after his starring role for Wales in the Euros. Cazorla might have aged a bit but he’ll add experience, technicality and leadership to the side. Xhaka was one of the best players in the Euros and will probably be accelerated into the first team setup. So Gooners, do you trust this starting XI to go all the way and win the TREBLE for Arsenal next season?!
_______Sanchez Ozil Ramsey
Monreal Koscielny Mertesacker Bellerin
I think with another quality striker we would be top 2 and possibly win the league. It pains me to write this but by just looking at the quality of teams at this point I would put us more in the 3rd-5th range. Man U, Chelsea, and Man City have strengthened considerably at this point and still may not be done in the transfer market.
As usual, our striker options are limited at this point due to lack of inactivity. Maybe I”m wrong and Asano will be a revelation.
It’ll be great if Asano turns up good. Sadly, we haven’t had much luck with Asian players in the past.
If we add Lacazette and Manolas to this squad, then i guess we can challenge for the title and even reach quarters in the CL.
Asano’s signing is somewhat complicated ….just as the Nwakali deal
hasn’t been announced on BBC yet (only in fragments) and no record fee stated!…… He’s not a full fledge Arsenal player yet!
Being a private company Arsenal don’t have to reveal their transfer fees (and usually don’t). Only being revealed in the end of year accounts 😉
Nicola Lombardo – Napoli’s head
of communications, has revealed that the club are expecting Higuain to report for pre-season training in little over a weeks time.
“Gonzalo never said he wanted to leave. “Juve have never asked for him and [President] Aurelio De Laurentiis does not want to sell him.
“We are talking about rumours that are fuelled by the press, who write story upon story. But he will be here in Dimaro
does this finally put the Rumors to bed?….. Or is there anymore fuel Left for the fire?
The assumption is that all of these players will be fit and probably be at the peak of their powers.
With so many competitions in the summer it is unlikely that players of any of the teams are going to be fully fit.
Our first team is competitive but what about the backup players ?
Can we cope with an injury to our main players – Alexis, Ozil, Cazorla, Kos or Bellerin ?
The team will just crumble and the less we talk about walcott and the Ox the better. So all in all it is a question of having good/great players and able deputies ; specially for Arsenal where injuries is a top four opponent.
And on both accounts I think Arsene has failed us. I will not have any hopes for this season and just hope Wenger leaves next season and Arsenal still has the pull to get a top class coach to replace him.
No matter how much I love my team I see no way how we can finish above Man city, Utd and Chelsea. All these teams have better coaches complemented with better players.
It will be a fight till the end for the fourth place between Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Let’s not kid ourselves- a higuain deal will not solve our problem.
We always knew that we need a world class winger, a striker and a defensive partner for Koscielny was a priority. Why did we get Xhaka if we are not going to sell any of Wilshere/Ramsey ? does not make sense to me; if that is what we needed why did we buy Elneny? We keep stocking mid fielders and keep ignoring areas which need immediate strengthening. And this has happened for years. I cannot really blame Alexis, Ozil or Kos wanting to leave us because they all want to win and in Wenger they don’t see a guy who can get them there.
How do you know for certain all these teams are going to finish above Arsenal. Same was said last season. We ended up finishing above Utd, city and Chelsea. I recall people constantly nagging cos we didn’t sign da likes of balotelli, Jackson Martinez… How did that turn out. Notwithstanding we seriously need a striker, even Ray Charles can see this but Wenger can’t.
I don’t know who said that- I didn’t. Chelsea was a case of meltdown. I don’t rate Van Gaal and Pellegrini that highly. Those guys have been replaced by Mourinho and Pep; definite upgrades. And before you point out I think it’s highly unlikely that Mourinho will fail again this year. You also have Conte who again is probably a more hungrier manager than Arsene (at least from what I saw in the Euros). I don’t like putting my team down; no one does but I am just being a realist. Like everyone every year I hope that Walcott and Ox will turn it around and make it their year; Wilshere will have an injury free season and Rambo will re-discover his goal scoring touch. But on evidence the chances of those happening and Arsenal winning the league are fast disappearing.
Also I mention this not because of the lack of transfer activity but due to a lack of transfer policy and ambition.
We’re not winning the league w/o a quality CB to go along with a new ST, like the optimism though.
Well Twig you already said that Sanches playing on the left is his bad position,so why put him there. As for Ramsey his best is in the middle like for Wales which means Sanches on right Iwobi left. Gazola on bench to see how Ramsey goes. Why Mertisaker. CB
Kostas Manolas for Mertesacker
And a more mobile/poacher striker ala Griezmann or Lacazette or Icardi.
From these only the last two are possible for us at the moment. Then there is Higuain, but that has been the story every year.
“ANOTHER quality striker”??????
Hahaha ? ? Hahaha ? What? ? Hahaha ? ? Hahaha ? ? Hahaha ? ? Wait! ? ? ? Hahaha ? ? Hahaha ? Hahaha ? ? I pissed myself ??? Hahaha ? H Hahaha ?? My sides ?? Hahaha ? ? Oooh dear ?
And the Answer is. … Of course.. NOT! but thanks for the laughs ?
So, we can as well skip to the 2017/18 season? 🙂
You know we can’t win it with this squad. How will this season be different to last season. Delusion is haunting anybody who believes we could. We need minimum 2 more top quality players including a world class striker. “If things don’t change they stay as they are”. Giroud is the “sow’s ear” who cannot become a “silk purse”.
@arsenal-steve…….. LmFaO….. I just Love the concluding Line of ya comment…..something to do with the Sow’s ear!
Did Arsenal win the League with such a squad (or Lesser) for the past number of seasons?
Or better still ask urself, can we win the League without a prolific striker, An extra CB, a proper winger or a LB?
*shoves MIC and Joins fatboy in the Laugh fiesta*
Nothing has really changed from last season. Arteta/Flamini have been replaced with a better player. That’s it.
When our current striker goes 15 games without scoring, there’s nothing Xhaka can do about it.
I doubt Giroud will go 15 PL matches without scoring
Just because it happened last season is no guarantee that it will happen this season
Also xhaka will strengthen both our defense and offense
But i agree NO we cant win the PL without a top striker or another CB
More or less the same squad we had last season…. To be honest we can’t win the league with just Xhaka as the only signing. Let’s see how the team will look like when the season starts.
We need a striker, winger and CB but at this stage we desperately need a striker. Wanted Benatia to replace BFG but he has gone to Juve onloan. Hopefully Gabriel will improve if given a good run of games. We know Mertsacker strength and weakness. Let’s see how he fares this coming season…
With the right signing and attitude we will fight for the league. New managers coming in and they are already signing… People love what Mourinho is doing with manu but I like Conte approach already…. Anyway one thing is for sure…the season will be a Banger
Not a single chance until a quality mobile striker is bought.
Now we have Xhaka and Asano we’re going to clean up! treble winners and the CL too? no?
I actually laughed at the spuds for suggesting we are a club in decline last season only to watch Liecester win the title and us only finish above them because they threw it away on the final day. Sadly they may have a point and they’ll soon have a bigger stadium than us 😀
It’s a debacle, embarrasing who is overseeing it? who do we blame? Wenger? the board? Brexit :D?
NO Arsenal will not win the League with the present squad. Arsenal need a TOP CLASS STRIKER
and a TOP CLASS CENTER BACK PLUS A LEADER ON THE PITCH. But I am afraid this will not happen. Mr Wenger is up to his old tricks by saying it hard to sign Quality Players.
Well Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City & Liverpool have no such Problem. So what is the Problem
I think it Mr Wenger dragging his heals ans penny pinching over the price of such Players.
We get this year in year out from Mr Wenger. If Arsenal are serious about winning the League and more then Mr Wenger’s way of doing business has to stop he needs to spend MONEY.
Arsenal overall squad is good enough to win the league this season, it was also good enough to win the league last season. The problem we had last season was the way we approach games, the manner in which we played. When Arsenal scores an early goal in a match for some reason it seems to destroy them mentally, their overall football in terms of ability in maintaining possession and holding good shape whilst defending tend to disintegrate until the opposition score on them.
In many matches last season once Arsenal comes under any sort of pressure from the opposition, they simply sit deep in their own half and Petr Cech kicks the ball long up field directly to the opposition players allowing them time and space to come at them. This was Arsenal lazy style of football under pressure. In my opinion, Mr. Wenger main objective is to improve on the way Arsenal play rather than buy players.
I personally would sell Olivier Giroud and buy Mario Balotelli for £16 million. I would certainly not spend 30 million on a Xhaka and pay him as much as £120,000 per week, I would give Flamini a one year extension instead. Xhaka is a waste of money.
It’s too early to say wether he’s a waste yet tbf, he hasn’t played a game yet? He certaintly wasn’t our top priority but as long as he doesn’t spend half his time at our club on the treatment table he’ll be better than we have had over recent seasons in his position.
We DO still need another ST and a proper CB before we will be ready for a title challenge
Xhaka plays in an identical fashion to Coquelin, he sits deep and hold his position and pass the ball early and simple without taking any risk his best attribute is tackling. This is exaltly what Coquelin has been doing his also the same age as Coquelin.
Could you please explain to me one quality Xhaka brings to Arsenal or poseses which is superior to coquelin which would justify the £30 million Mr Wenger spend on him.
Xhaka has better passing than Coquelin
Xhaka is more of a goal threat than Coquelin is
Xhaka is taller and stronger than Coquelin is
With time, Xhaka will probably be in contention for the captaincy
If there’s an area that Coquelin is superior, it is in disciplinary record. Xhaka will probably get sent off a couple of times, LoL 😛
I beg to differ with you, Coquelin is what i call a true DM he protects the back four by breaking up attacks, Xhaka is more a deep lying playmaker which has to take on other duties of tackling in the defensive third. I have watch couple matches in the German league and the euro’s recently i have found him not to be very mobile(pace). One thing of note, he is an excellent user of the ball and as a more physical presences, therefore i think he is better suited for the Cazorla role.
He is not a player we really needed, because he is not a true DM and we are more in need of a regular goal scorer, either from the wide position or up front.
So i agree with you we could have spent the money on a position that is of most importance to the club
Surely that last paragraph is a wind-up yeah?…
Balotelli and flamini over xhaks and giroud?
I think that’s a rhetorical question,but I will answer you………Arsenal can’t and will not win the league with that squad. And With Wenger in charge
Hell NO. What makes us think to win this season when we couldn’t last season. Leicester freaking won the tittle while we were celebrating overtaking spurs. We were never in the race last season.
Let us get real, Mourinho is back in town and this time with more motivation.. We can all say whatever we want about him but he is a winner a proper winner. Him joining forces with Manchester United is the last thing I wanted to see as an Arsenal fan.
Then there is Pep who will no doubt mount a proper title challenge. He is not a joke or won’t celebrate finishing 4th. moreover they will sign one or two top players. No way can I see arsenal pipping city in the league.
Cheslea have added some solid players aND will no way finish 10th or something like that this season. How funny we all tease chelsea for their history yet they sign top players without any European football.
Liverpool and klopp will do better. Klopp knows anything outside top 4 this season will seriously question his credential. He knows finishing top 4 is the priority and he will do anything to get there.
Then there are spurs and Leicester who cannot be just ignored. They may not be competing for title again but will surely be the party poopers to finish in top 4 at the expense of course like arsenal and liverpool.
I like xhaka but he won’t be enough to bring us any title. Not that he is a bad player but he is no Zidane or Scholes. To be fair we are just looking for another top 4 finish and will celebrate at the end of the season after finishing 4th.
“Hell NO. What makes us think to win this season when we couldn’t last season.” Second to first is hardly a massive jump- is that the same for the other 18 clubs, shall we just give Leicester the trophy again? Oh wait…. everyone is going to do better apart from us? I see.
Second to first was an 11 point jump last season which was a larger gap then 2nd to 7th.
West Ham was closer to us then we were to Leicester.
Granit Xhaka is waste of money. Always invisible. Absolutely average
I smell a troll…
Noo, with this squad our best position is probably 5th 4th… Next season every game in Bpl would be like Cl semi-finals.
I understand all the negative comments – I do- But – if only as an exercise – let’s take a positive look at this-
If Leicester hadnt had the most incredible heroic season – we would have won!
Arsenal fans had been screaming for defence midfielder for years until Le Coq came back. We know have Elneny and Xhaka – so we have extensive solution there with backup.
Iwobi had an outstanding breakthrough season, and chance he can build on that – adding goals to the team. He scored lots in our youth teams.
Ozil was sensational. And now knows how to play in Pre’ship. I’ve even seen him track back.
Giroud had a fantastic Euros and has surely grown in confidence.
We had big injuries to Carzola, Wiltshire – and Sanchez had an indifferent season. As far as I know we currently have all our players fit, despite the euros.
Or biggest rivals have new managers, new players, and will certainly take time to build good team-play. That’s a massive advantage for us
If we could keep largely injury-free (the most injury free team has won the last 3/4 seasons) – if we can get Sanchez and Ramsey back to their best and scoring goals – we definitely CAN add another 4/5 wins to our last season – which in theory would win us the league.
The reality the TEAM is more important than the individual cogs. We have a close-knit team. We grown in consistency, and in determination during last season. We dug deep in some games – and that’s why we finished 2nd.
And we’ve improved the team since then, without making wholesale changes
So even if no more players arrive – let’s live the team- and cheer them towards greatness – we have a role to play too!!!
This squad will not finish in the top 4. There will be so much negativity around this club if we don’t do any more transfer business in the form of a top striker that at the first sight of failure the negativity will be even greater than last season. This club needed a lift in the form of a marquee signing in the form of a top striker.
A squad that has to play a central midfielder (Ramsey) on the wing because they don’t have a better option, and a squad that has to have Mert cover the likes of Aguero, Vardy, Kane etc is simply not going to win anything big
I expect more more from Liverpool, Chelsea and Man U this season, I expect Spurs to be good again and I expect City to compete for the title. That is a lot of upward pressure from teams that finished below us without us haing improved our squad meaningfully IMO.
Finally this squad has shown over the years to lack character and fighting spirit resulting in an ever predictable amount of dropped points against small teams and an inability to deal with pressure. What has been done this transfer window to change that?
Are we talking about winning the league? Fully strengthened and determined title contenders like city, Chelsea and united will not have champions league injuries or fatigue to worry about. Spurs, Liverpool and west ham will be hoping for an improved season and don’t expect Leicester to be pushovers either. I fear this is the season where we don’t make top four. I’m thinking stoke, everton and Southampton will be our main rivals next season