Given Arsenal’s improvement, do we still need a summer clearout?

Arteta to totally overhaul the team in the summer; yes or no? by Lagos Gooner

Good morning once again to everybody around the globe. Today, I want to bring, for your reading pleasure, an argument that ensued between me and a friend of mine. My friend, who sees nothing good in this current set of Arsenal players despite their recent resurgence, thinks it will do Arsenal a lot of good to let go as many as twelve first team players in the summer. I, on the other hand, believe these players are not as bad some people paint them to be; they just need a reason to be motivated for the club.

My friend’s argument: “Arsenal has been struggling with mediocre players for a while now. The only time we had players who can be qualified as world class players was during the era of the Invincibles. Ever since we moved away from the Highbury, we have been struggling to attract world class players.

“Fine, in some instances, we have been able to attract world class talents like Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and even in recent times we have signed world class players like Alexis Sanchez and Pierre Aubameyang. But despite these players I mentioned, we have not been able to win major laurels in football. Why is this so? Because after signing one or two world class players, we compliment them with players who should never play for Arsenal.

“When we have just two or three world class players in a team of eleven players, how do you expect the team to fare well? These world class players will try their best to lift the team but then the ones who don’t know how to play for a team like Arsenal, would thwart their efforts. I feel sorry seeing the likes of Aubameyang struggling to move the team forward, while the likes of Mustafi end up destroying his efforts by making silly defensive mistakes at the back. My friend, we need to start signing players that are of Arsenal quality and do away with the likes of Xhaka, Mustafi and their likes.”

My Argument: “Arsenal may not have world class players, but we have players that can be drilled to play effectively. A team like Liverpool has maybe two world class players, but the whole team contributes to making Liverpool tick. Every time a new manager gets appointed, what everybody starts saying is “let us give him time to build his own team.” I am not against building a team, but while building the team, the manager should realize that he has a team of good players who just need to be drilled and grilled to effectiveness.

Building a new team takes time and that time is what Arsenal cannot really afford at this period. We have fallen from grace to grass in recent times and the earlier we start turning players into machines, the better for us. In the summer, we could add one or two more extra good players, and then we try to build an effective team with both the old players in the club and the new players. What I am trying to say in essence, is that given the improvement already under Arteta, we don’t need to totally overhaul the team completely.

Who is right and who is wrong between my friend and I?

We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua


    1. @ Francis
      Why worry about what players are earning?….its not like their wages come from your pocket. You not gonna be getting a share of the profits made from such sales either. So whats your problem?

      1. Absolutely correct, gunnerphyte.

        It’s absurd how much fans keep on about this – if kronkie is happy with the situation as sole owner of the club and it’s his money paying for the grotesque salaries, who cares?

        I’m sure fans of pool or city don’t give a damn and I wager MA doesn’t either!!!

      2. A disappointing comment of yours to read. Rather like arguing why do floods matter as long as it is not YOU who are flooded, I’d say! You seem not to comrehend how connected finances of any one organisation is to others. Of COURSE any Gooners who watch at the ground or by Sky, BT Sport etc, do help, albeit indirectly, to pay for the wages. If you cannot see that there is no point discussing further. If others problems are also not yours then surely you will not amount to much of a person , I’d suggest , Hope that is not too profound for your intellect though!

  1. I agree we need a clear out but more importantly we need to hang on to our best players,first of all we need to raise money to buy new players but when everyone is fit we will have too many CB,s,most players on loan will definitely be sold but when it comes to buying new players we need to go for quality over quantity.

  2. People forget we have the worst midfield in EPL, thats xhaka, guenduozi and toreira but we will never accept that… Our midfield is a biggest weakness period

    1. ozil no longer part of our midfield? First goal since April, and how many assists? Weak links all over the pitch for this side. I hate how quickly we get carried away after one good result… We are 10th in the table folks.

      1. Midfield needs a major overhaul, plus evaluation of CB requirement, given improved form and availability of Mari and Saliba next season.

  3. Completely agree. Replacing that many players would not only take a lot of time getting players to gel and turn into an effective unit. An even greater risk would be that some players are not compatible and we would need to reshuffle again in a years time. Only the agents would win.

    We have a good enough squad once our full backs are fit again, maybe with the exception of a world class 8. Xhaka is a better 6, Torreira is more of a 6 as well as passing range and vision limited and Guendouzi has some growing up to do and lacks passing accuracy and reading of the game. Ceballos lacks engine and defensive steel.

    Obviously if players leave, we need to replace and Luiz and Sokratis are not getting younger. Smith-Rowe on the other hand is too young to be a credible Ozil back-up and Willock is very good but maybe lacking the creative edge a little.

    Laca is going through a confidence crisis like most striker occasionally do and Pepe was always going to need a season to adapt.

    With a clear-cut, all the work Arteta has put into changing the mindset of the team and establishing a fast passing, high pressing philosophy where both wingers act as secondary strikers would be for nothing and work would have to start again next year, hindered by more divas.

  4. One it all depends on if arsenal can finish 4 or 5 by that the owner of the club can release the 261.5m they have for mike ateta to spend

  5. We truly need a world class attacking midfielder, let these new loaned player leave and buy one too top class cb, upermencarno, has to be signed he’ll be our van dyke . Noir sure why we wasted money on a injured right back, or a c.b that’s playing in the under23’s, but there you go. I like the sound of this David player from gent. 20goal and 11 assists so far this season, playing attacking midfield. We need that kind of player. Yes we need to get rid of five six first team players and replace them with some real guttsy class players.

  6. Liverpool has as minimum 5 wc players in Alisson, van Dyck, Alexander Arnold, sane and Salah. And u could also agree firminho.
    Then u have very good and funcional players in Robertson, lovren and wynaldum, etc

  7. The improvement you highlight is evident but needs to be translated into wins for us to climb the League table.We are currently a mid table team which is a reflection of our performances and the quality of our squad. A mid table position is not acceptable to a Club which has been at the top for some time and consequently there is a need to strengthen the team particularly in defence and in midfield where we lack a fast, powerful player to deal with the opposition’s counter attacks.This is an area where we remain vulnerable and showed again on Sunday.Luckily for us Newcastle failed to cash in on our weakness but against a better team,perhaps Everton , we may be found wanting.We need to ship out 6/7 players who are not of the quality we need if we are going to regain our top four status which is the objective of our bright and impressive young Manager.

  8. This players have gone through hell together. A relationship that went sour with the former manager, being abused on social media, on the field by the fans, getting bashed by the pundits every week (former players of the club included) for I’m not sure how long but this guys had endured a lot and it’s not over just yet. So this guys have one thing in common because of the adversity they faced, and that gives way for a real bond within each player and that is what we’re seeing on the field rn each player fighting for one other which means the foundation for a bright future had been already built and now it’s up to MA and how he might take advantage of this bond. So no overhaul is not needed, this players now exactly where they were at fault and from what I can see they’re doing their best to rectify that. Look at Mustafi for Christ sake?! Aren’t you happy for him? How he slowly turned the tide around is something that is admirable and I hope he continues to do so cause the jury is still out. Same goes to xhaka, another strong character who has earned the respect of the fans with his great display. special mentions could go to; torreira, luiz, ozil, niles & even socratis.
    All I’m saying is things are looking up for us and we should be patient. An overhaul in the summer would only regress us back to where we started in the first place!

  9. Who says we are having a major clear out?
    Only very few players will leave and only few will join, if at all.
    Let Arteta finish with his half season and assess what he has. Even we players will be marveled next season.
    We don’t have all deadwood players. We have lots of very good players who represent well at National level.

    1. John, One mans major clear out may be as few as three players . Anothers may be perhaps as many as twelve . I would be very surprised if fewer than six current first team squad members are not moved on this summer. I cannot in truth say I expect them ALL to be adequately replaced though. I would call that a sizeable change(though not anywhere near enough) but not perhaps a major clear out.

      1. I agree with you Senior Man. Clear out can be relative.
        I am waiting patiently to see how our fortunes change for the best in a matter of few years under Arteta. I am so optimistic

  10. improvement? One game? Of course we still need a clearout. It’s about having playesr that can consistently contribute. Many of the players that played well last weekend have done next to nothing since August!

  11. Sylvester , You are making much improvement with your articles of late and this is a well constructed , well written one. I doubt that this is in fact a true argument between you and a friend as it is shows too much sensible nuanced debate to represent what might have been actually said between friends. But less that pass, because both views are valid to a degree. It is certain, in my view, that a number of lesser players will be gone this summer, one way or another; sold, let go or leaned on to move. And that is what should happen. As to HOW MANY, that is the real question. I would be surprised if fewer than 6 squad members leave.

    We certainly need a number of top quality replacements and some will come in but again, HOW MANY is the key. I think you can only improve poor players overall team effectiveness so far and can NEVER, repeat, NEVER , make silk purses from sows ears. Currently, we have too many sows ears and a few only silk purses. The ideal is no sows ears at all and all silk purses. In that respect, I lean more towards your “friends” argument than yours.

  12. There will be a massive clear out of the big earners in the summer, the end of contracters and the not worth the salary players thats for sure. If we are not in the champions league, we will be in trouble with the wages players earn, that a fact, not opinion. If we are in the champions league, it will make a difference but only small. From my take, if the big earners cant get us CL football they aren’t good enough to keep anyway, so lets start afresh asap and reform the team.

    1. My personal opinion and for different reasons. If an acceptable offer came in for, Auba, Lacca, Ozil, Kolasinac,Mustaffi, Bellerin, Socrates, Torreira or Luiz then i can see them going, that doesn’t mean all will get offers and not all will go but we need money and we need an overhaul. Most or all have a question mark against them as far as the future of Arsenal.

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