Great FA Cup, but now Arsenal need to invest to win title!

Great cup win – now for summer buys by BB

Arsenal won emphatically yesterday, playing with the same swagger and confidence which characterized the second half of our season. Moreover, top players – Sanchez, Cazorla, and most notably Ozil – played as well as we know they can in a massive match.

Since the turn of the year Arsenal have found a balance between defence and attack which works brilliantly, with Coquelin providing the back four with a shield which has seemed able to withstand all that has been hurled at it. Indeed, this side, bursting with resilience and creativity in almost equal measure, has got fantastic results – highlights must be the two away wins in Manchester – 2-0 against City in the league, and 2-1 against United in the cup. For Arsenal, I see the problem as a lack of consistency, and sometimes not performing on the biggest stages, rather than a lack of quality.

Starting at the back, I think a new goalkeeper is all but essential to challenge for the title. Szczesny yesterday played well, particularly at the start. But his horror show at Southampton, and a couple of flappy punches yesterday, suggest he shouldn’t be our number 1. Ospina has looked good, calm and collected since being given the nod in the league. Indeed, his presence has clearly had a calming influence on the back four, who have looked like a strong unit for the past six months or so. However, even Ospina is susceptible to the odd mistake, and compared to the goalkeepers at other top clubs (De Gea, Courtois and even Hart) he looks a little average. The obvious choice here is Cech. He is just 33 giving at least another 5 seasons at the top of his game, and he has premier league experience, and a winner’s mentality. Whether Chelsea will sell we don’t know, but for £10 mill Cech would be a great investment. Interestingly Lehmann was the only player Wenger brought into the squad before the Invincibles’ season.

I think the rest of the back four look good. Our first choice centre back pairing seem unfazed in all circumstances, and the pace of Koscielny is able to cover for Mertesacker. The latter’s positioning is also so good that many attacks are stifled before they really get going. The fullback positions are also well filled. I think we may want to consider keeping hold of Jenkinson. Between him and Chambers we would have enough cover at both CB and RB.

Coquelin, as I have already suggested, has been phenomenal. He manages to break up play, covers our fullbacks and can then build our attacks with Cazorla who has been electric playing as a deep-lying play maker. To really progress though I think we may want to bring in competition for Coquelin though. We have been linked a lot with Vidal, and though he would be a great signing I think he may be more attack-minded than we need. Instead I think we should pursue Kondogbia. He is in the Viera-mould and able to boss a midfield, and Monaco look as though they are ready to sell.

Further forward, I think we are set, provided Walcott signs a contract extension. If he doesn’t, use the money from his sale to bring in a replacement – Reus or Sterling would be my choice. Up top, I think we look good. Giroud is fantastic, particularly in his hold up play and off the ball running. Ozil, Sanchez and Walcott are all able to chip in. The first two’s defensive work rate this season has also been fantastic. I think if we are to bring someone in, we should go with Lacazette. He offers something really different to Giroud, with real pace. His ratio of nearly a goal-a-game in the league also suggest he is really class.

Looking at next season, I think there is good reason for optimism. The players and staff made clear yesterday that Arsenal’s aim is the league title, and I don’t think we are all that far away!



  1. We dnt need Cech, will agree on Lacazett and Kondogbia. Szc and Ospina are better than the current Valdez and Casillas. We really do need a serious striker and Dm.

    1. We need a new goalkeeper, one that makes saves beyond what’s expected. Top goalkeepers will win you 5 or 6 points a season. De Gea has won United at least 10. If we are to win the title then we aren’t going to run away with it like Chelsea. It will be close, every point will matter, it could very well be those 5-6 points that decide who’s 1st and 2nd.

    2. Cech would allow Szcz to go out on loan which I think would be best for him as he needs regular game time now, he had a good FA Cup final but that is a single game and he hasn’t shown the consistancy we need to win the EPL, last season we all seem his potential and I do hope he can maintain it.

      So for Szcz development, if we can find a team in the EPL that has to defend a lot then get him there for a season, the amount of experience he can get will be more than he will if he stays… even if he is number 1, Arsenal won’t be defending as much as other teams do.

      Cech can still have some resale value in a couple years time and I would hope that Ospina has improved due to the competition and Szcz would be more experienced. There is no harm in buying in a ready made GK who can help us win the EPL while pushing both Ospina and Szcz in their personal development, they both have close to another decade of top GK so a couple years will not destroy them… They can become better than they are now if they don’t have the Arsenal fans on their back for each error they make and create unflattering nicknames like Flapihandski to haunt them years after.

      1. Must admit I am a few mixed feelings and I a bit confused on the whole GK thing. For example, I look at Courtois and am ready to believe whatever the “experts” say about him being one of the best GKs in the world. We know if you get told something often enough most of us are happy to assume it must be true. He definitely looks the part. But then he has played behind two of the most effective and ruthless back 5s in world football at Atletico and Chelsea. Notwithstanding that though, he has (quietly) had quite a few howlers lately – goals that we would have properly slaughtered WS or DO for if they had done the same. Lloris and De Gea have had more goalkeeping practice(!) than most this season and have pulled off a fair few “lights, camera, action” saves. And we cannot say they are well protected with the back-line in front of them. But Lloris has not been flawless this season – a long way from it in fact.

        We jump on our own GK errors, or even “half-errors”, like wild dogs who have been thrown a bone. I knew with Ospina that people were lurking just waiting for him to have an error and it happened in the end with Swansea. And we can do this with some authority and certainty because most of us watch every minute of every Arsenal game. I wonder how many have matched Tottenham’s or Chelsea’s or United’s entire PL seasons and all the GK performances? We see the saves on MOTD but little else.

        Cech was the best GK in the world, no questions asked. Some say he is still up there, others are not so sure. Personally I don’t think anyone knows for sure and how his year off may have affected him. I have no problem with the idea that Cech is better than what we have but I just don’t see Wenger giving up on WS/DO and DM at the drop of a hat. Just don’t see it – and everyone on here will know it would be very un-Wenger like to do so. Having said that I was surprised when he dropped WS – seemingly indefinitely.

  2. More than that, we need to be consistent with our play. Yesterday is who we are. Let’s be us “every” match…

    1. thats not realistic bro.
      grindin out victories is what wins those titles in the end.
      yesterday was a sample of what we can be on a good day. but even barcelona have bad days.
      60 plus games at the highest level is a long arduous process

      we definitely need reinforcements.

      1. @muffdiver
        Exactly. Thats what reinforcements are for, to help you maintain your level of consistency…

  3. Enough with this fruitless demand of looking for a new GK…..Ospina does the job, Zsc it’s a good second choice….our Dfence since Coq came in looks solid, we need to back him up though with a second DM….with Gabriel, Debuchy and Chambers we are covered….no one in the league has a better Midfield, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil (especially as he played yesterday), OX, even Wheelchair lots of potential, Walcott proved he can be our Striker, the rotation Wenger played yesterday with Walcott and GIROUD could be the solution to our problems, each one scored in each halve……Welbeck well there might be where we need a third striker, Welbeck is not consistent……so an backup for COQ and a third proven Striker should bring us the title next year

  4. people are gonna say wtf but thinking long term i would take kondogbia over vidal- if a choice was to be made.
    i love vidal, but this season pogba has overtook him hes 28 an baring in mind the big injury he had an his age an the hard work his role requires- we will get 2/3 years out of him max- for 25 million-im not sure

    1. Two different players aren’t they? Vidal is more a Ramsey type player than a Coquelin. Box to box, high energy, high work rate and good all round, both in defence and attack. Kondogbia is an out and out defensive mid.

      1. yes indeed.
        were not getting vidal an a defensive mid- not if i know wenger

        so if a choice was to be made…..

      2. No he’s not, toulalan is the dm. Kondogbia is a Ramsey type b2b but can do the job at DM just like Ramsey wilshere Schneiderlin Vidal pogba.

    1. They would be good signing. Those 3 players will cost
      Schneiderlin 25 m
      Martinez 28 m
      Cech 10 m
      Total just 65 m and we have good chance to win UCL and BPL.

      1. Why do you all think Schneiderlin will cost 25m, soton are in Europe and he’s their best player. Shaw cost 27m after one good season in pl. Schneiderlin has been good for 3 in pl so he’ll cost at least 35m.

  5. Goodness me. Chelsea fans crying about Arsenal’s parade of the FA Cup ‘it’s an irrelevant trophy’. Chelsea’s league titles and FA Cup wins combined is still fewer than Arsenal’s league titles. Then they cry about Wilshere insulting Tottenham. Then they stage a celebration at Tony Adam’s statue at the Emirates of Chelsea winning the league.

    Honestly they’re so desperate to replace Tottenham as our rivals it’s embarassing.

    All the plastics flocked to their club and celebrated winning, then they realised that no one actually cares about Chelsea. They don’t even have a derby, so they desperately try to start something with Arsenal as we’re the prime target in London. Even Jose Mourinho does it. Why else do you think he slates Wenger all the time? Unprovoked I might add.

    Desperate as they may be, the North London Derby with Tottenham has something that even as a football club Chelsea don’t have – tradition and a history.

    1. Chelsea will for me forever be a club who can thank the fall of communism in Russia for their success. They’re the london version of Everton, just doped up with russian currency. As for the fans, they manage themselves to embarass Chelsea, which is a pretty damn good accomplishment, seeing how prideless the club is.

    2. Have you noticed the difference in the number of fans at the respective parades, you’d think chelski are a foreign team there were no fans cheering them.

  6. When Alexis, Theo, Coquelin etc had their post match massage, I hope they were given a “happy ending” because they really deserved it 😉

    Loved the Open Top Bus Parade in North London Today Awesome 🙂

    Hope we enjoy lots more of them together, fellow Gooners

    Happy Days 🙂

    1. Buddy I couldn’t agree more. 3 is all we need. That’s it!

      Any three of these would do it:
      GK: Cech
      DM: Vidal, Schneiderlin, Kondogbia
      ST: Lacazette, Martinez, Cavani, Benzema
      My choice is Lacazette. He is a goal machine

      I hope Wenger shares our opinion on this.

      1. Personally prefer

        Gk. Lloris…why go for cech? What’s lloris got at the spuds? He’s got years on Cech.

        CDM. One of Vidal, schneiderlin or kondogbia

        Striker. Lacazette for me as Martinez is only a striker and too similar to Giroud, whereas lacazette can play wide left or striker and is much pacier.

        1. How many years does Lloris have left on his contract? Unless it’s approximately one year and he demands being sold, I can’t see Tottenham selling him to us.

          CDM: Neither Vidal or Schneiderlin are true defensive midfielders, Kondogbia however…

          Striker: Agree with you, Lacazette is young (24), good enough for the starter XI and something inbetween Walcott and Giroud. Fast, but not Walcott-fast and strong, but not Giroud-strong. He strikes me as a more of a goalscoring machine than both of them, something 27 goals in Ligue1 also applies. He’s kind of a bit shorter Welbeck with goalscoring abilities.

  7. To push for the title, I think we need to be on par with Chelsea at the very least. Lets compare our 4-2-3-1 with their 4-2-3-1

    GK: Obviously Chelsea
    RB: At par
    CB pair: Koscielney is at par, but per isn’t, I think and hope Gabriel will make us at par
    LB: Tough call, but Chelsea I think
    CM pair: At par with the emergence of Coquelin, but I think we need cover for him
    RW: Walcott/Ox any day compared to Willian, but not Ramsey at RW please
    LW: At par both Hazard and Sanchez
    AM: Özil over Oscar
    CF: No comments, of course Costa

    First I think we need to buy a new CF, in EPL I think most successful strikers have four traits: Height, Pace, Dribbling and finishing. Giroud has height and now good finishing but he won’t have the pace and dribbling. On the other hand Welbeck Walcott have dribbling and pace but not the height and finishing. We need a complete package here. I personally would have gone for Lewandowski or Cavani.

    DM: I think one of Vidal and Schneiderlein is a done deal if the reports are true. I would be happier with Schneiderlein.

    Lastly I think we need a GK, Ospina or Sczczesney both are very good 2nd choice keepers. Both are error prone but Ospina’s error went unpunished most of the times and that’s why his stats are a bit misleading I feel.

    I would be very happy with Arsene addressing the first two positions. But only world class players now please, no Ki Sung Yeoung types anymore

    1. Completely agree with u. Our keepers are good at best but not world class. Courtois is way better than our keeper. Giroud is also good at best. He cant score in big games and lacks pace to trouble better defence. Costa is better than our strikers. CDM we have only one if he gets injured we are done.

      1. Agree

        Ospina is very good and better than Szczesny but not WC (yet) like Courtois, Neuer, Lloris, De Gea etc

        Giroud is good. Has scored over 50 goals. Actually could be a SuperSub. However, he isn’t as good as Costa, Suarez, Martinez. He is also near 30 so won’t be improving a lot.

        I think Cech and Lacazette or Martinez would be excellent signings if they happened

        1. Wow, Giroud is turning 29 this year. I remember him as the 25 year old french “nobody” who randomly became top scorer with his “noone” team Montpellier winning the league back in 2012. Time flies! If Giroud becomes a supersub, it would mean the reduction of Welbeck to a squad player for rotations until Giroud is no longer fit enough

    2. Costa isn’t as good as you think, I don’t think he’ll get 20 next year. He’s hardly outscored giroud in all competitions whose only played half a season. Hazard is great but moron is holding him back, if the officials don’t fall for the campaign bs again I don’t see him improving. Chelski won’t win the league again if they don’t but cam and st

    3. Not sure about the “height, pace, dribbling and finishing” pre-requisite for PL centre forwards. Name me a central striker with all four of those attributes in abundance. Would also put strength in to the mix as an attribute. Depends also on team system and style of play as to what the ideal photo-fit is for your man leading the front line. If you are knocking it long all day or playing with out-and-out wingers to knock the crosses in then height and finishing are the main attributes required. Height is more a hinderance than an attribute for fast good dribblers where low centre of gravity helps – Aguero for instance. Think of a fair few top strikers with average pace; Ibra, RvP, Mandzukic, Falcao etc. Some of the best finishers and prolific goal scorers in history had hardly any pace whatsoever; G.Muller, Linneker, Totti etc.

      Giroud is so obviously not deployed to play high and get in behind – with Alexis and Walcott running off him it is never going to be a problem. People on here can deride “hold up” play all they like but frankly it shows ignorance – if you want your attacks to stick and not break down instantaneously every time, you need some form of hold up play. How many goals do you imagine come from a 1st phase central attack? I’ll tell you, not many. Admittedly they look good when it happens but it is not the most effective or commonplace way to score. If your system features talented finishers and link-up players in the second wave and goal scorers coming from deep then the hold up aspect is essential. If we want that type of striker then we will need to re-adjust and will need different types of wide players – you can’t just have 3 runners converging on the opponents goal every attack with no variety. If Giroud had non-scoring wide players along side him (eg: Nasri/Willian) then I’d be very worried indeed. But he doesn’t he has 2 players who have both got 20+ goals in recent seasons.

      Rooney, Ibra or Lewandoski are all better players than Giroud and could do the job than he does better. Not sure which of them is properly available. Can’t think of many others who could do the job he does significantly better – note the “job he does”.

  8. Actually, Giroud’s goal was a thing of beauty. It wasn’t an easy goal but he made it look so simple

    If I ranked the Goals from best

    1. Alexis
    2. Walcott
    3. Giroud
    4. Mertsacker

    At the end of the day a goal is a goal and we got 4 of them with a clean sheet. Awesome evening 🙂

  9. On a side note, I’m really pleased that Szczesny played well yesterday. Was dominant in his box and neutralised Benteke’s threat on crosses. Came out and was able to get far higher than anyone else. Made Villa stop putting crosses into dangerous positions and rethink their attack by bringing Agbonlahor on. That’s something Ospina can’t really offer us. Very good performance, despite not actually making a single save. And a clean sheet for Szczesny at last! I can’t remember the last time he kept a clean sheet. In fact I think it was all the was back at the start of the season vs Aston Villa away.

    Coming for crosses in his box is something he hasn’t been too good at in the past, despite being a very big, tall keeper, good to see an improvement. Shows that he can still improve. I think we should loan him out next season to get more experience. I don’t think he’s at the level we need for a goalkeeper at the moment, but he can still get there, so a loan would do him a world of good, plus it would mean we can bring a top goalkeeper in for next season without wasting anyone on the bench.

    1. Yes Szczesny looked really confident from the start. I was impressed

      But whenever Szczesny came out to catch or punch the ball, I can’t say that I wasn’t nervous lol.

      But Yes Szczesny performance was very commendable.

    2. Szczesnys confidence is kind of what makes me worried having him as the goalie. I can’t think of any other keeper (Neuer maybe) who would think that running 7m to box a cross away is a better option than to let the defender try to do his job alone, and try to save the potential header from a GK position.

      He makes strange decisions. Sometimes they end up with a good result, sometimes he f*cks up. Ospina on the other hand may be too inconspicuous in the box, only sticking out whenever the defenders either let through a shot or allows the ball to come through to a clear GK interaction.

      In my opinion on keepers: We have good stats with Ospina, and Szczesny is a good 2nd choice – I welcome the likes of Lloris or Cech, but I’m not crying out for a new keeper this summer. Seeing how we have limitations on spending, compared to manure, chelski and city, I would put the prio elsewhere.

  10. Buy Cech, Morgan & cavani and with no injury plague we can seriously challenge for the title next year and who knows maybe make it into the Champions League quarters.

  11. Get rid of szcesny,diaby,flam, podolski, myachi , sanogo,
    Loan jenko, gnabry, akpom,
    Buy, cech, kondogbia or schniederlin & Reus.

    Job done weaknesses covered, 2 quality players throughout team which is needed to push on don’t do it then hope for another champions league spot n cup run in f.a cup.

  12. We need to change some players,even if they are good players to make our game more dinamic,more complete.If Walcott will leave,definetly Sterling is the right choose to play with Sanchez.If Bayern will want Ozil,I think we should let him go.I think mutch people will be not agree with this,Ozil is a great player BUT is not a complete player,doesn’t have enough speed and is seems sometimes like he is not involved in the game.I think a switch with Gotze can be benefic for our team,he run alot,is creative and make the defensive as well.We need a Striker to,but a good one,someone like Benzema or Cavani,someome who can get at least 20 goals per season.A new DM is what we need for balance the game,I think Vidal is the best in the world in this moment(is just my opinion),he working hard in defence and can win a game with a long shot.This is the way I see footbal.

  13. Schneiderlin has said he wants manure.
    AW has said he is not in for Vidal.
    We all can see Vidal (when he’s not injured) is probably one of the best midfielders (most complete) in the world.
    What we don’t seem to see is that Ramsey isn’t really that far off – so anyone we bring in has got to be an improvement over Ramsey. Now who out there is?

    Benteke wants 150k – hmmm
    Lacazette – how many of his goals were penalties? 7- 8? and most of his goals against the lower rungs of Ligue 1 – is he really going to improve our striking options? In Ligue 1 he has not scored against Monaco, PSG, St-Etienne or Marseille (the Top 5…but he did get 2 against Bordeaux the 6th placed club)…we all know the quality in Ligue 1 quickly drops right off after the Top 3-5 clubs. Not convinced.
    Martinez is 29 – enough said
    Benzema – that would be interesting..

    Cech – 10M is worth it.

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