Is Arsenal’s squad now strong enough to compete on all fronts?

We are less than a week away from the Community Shield clash between Arsenal and Chelsea, and less than two weeks from the kick-off to the Premier league campaign, but has our club strengthened enough?

The Gunners have moved to bring in club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon this summer, who had a uber-consistent goalscoring record in Ligue 1, and is strongly believed to be the striker we have been longing for since the departure of Robin Van Persie.

We have also moved to bring in Sead Kolasinac, who appears to have been a great coup, especially considering we landed him on a free transfer. The exciting full-back come wing-back was considered the best left-back of the Bundesliga last term, and has impressed in pre-season thus far.

The biggest thing to take from the window thus far has been our ability to keep Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, who all have only a year remaining on their contract. The window remains open until August 31 of course, but so far they look to be staying put.

Our current best XI IMO:

Holding  Koscielny  Mustafi
Bellerin  Xhaka  Ramsey  Kolasinac
Ozil  Sanchez

This leaves our bench to consist of the following:

Cazorla (long-term injury)
Wilshere (seeking move)
Mo Elneny
Perez (seeking move)

The starting XI could easily switch in the Ox for Bellerin, or Monreal into the back three or out wide without losing much impetus, and Olivier Giroud will be eager to get his chance to fight Lacazette for his starting spot, which can only bring the best out of him.

The biggest question mark in the squad may be Petr Cech however, after a number of disastrous displays in goal last term, but he has come back strongly for Chelsea previously, and may well have a better season.

Is our squad good enough to challenge currently? Where is our weakest position?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Cech


  1. Jerick says:

    And you name our best eleven without Monreal? He is as important in our defense as Alexis is to our attack but ok.

    1. Kostafi says:

      It should be Monreal for Holding who is still a bit raw with one or two mistakes per game in him.
      IMO Bellerin is a better RB, but the Ox is our best RWB. Hell that’s what Chelski want him for?

      Giroud plays better when competing for ‘his’ place and Cech suffered from defensive personnel ahead of him. He did win the golden glove with Koscielny & Mertesacker ahead of him. Xhaka is not a DM and playing him without one exposes the CB’s and Cech. Playing him with a positionally unaware Coquelin is worse… The new 343 system suits Xhaka (and Rambo). AW just needs to cut out the experiments with a makeshift back 3. It is no place for El Neny or Maitland-Niles.

      First and Second teams imo below


      Holding-Mertesacker-Chambers (or Gabriel)
      Bellerin-El Neny-Wilshere(or Coq)-Gibbs
      Giroud (or Welbeck)

    2. ZA_Gunner says:

      Montreal cannot shadow mark a player. The problem is both Monreal and Kolasinac is vying for the same position. There is nothing wrong with that line-up, it’s either Monreal or Kolasinac.

  2. ashebir says:

    it is too difficult to be competitive with other clubs with this squad and also Liverpool 3-0 defeat Bayern Munich is an alarm for arsenal#Not only the goals ,but the way how they defeated!!!!!!! wake…wake ….wake….wenger!!!!!!!!!@@

    1. Benjas30 says:

      Meaningless result, pre season 2016, Liverpool 4 Barcelona 0, what good did that bring?

      Come back to earth man.

      1. ZA_Gunner says:

        They did finish above us, which is an improvement from previous season

  3. Same Old Shhh says:

    Not even close and I still think Ozil or Sanchez might go.

  4. WengerBooi says:

    I think this set of players just needs to gel properly. No doubt we need about 2 additions to compete. But that Sead guy looks like he’s going to have a fantastic debut season.

  5. fovana says:

    Average and mediocre squad.. compared to the Chelsea defense, Liverpool attack and man utd midfield. .

    1. Sir Muda of Arsenal says:

      how on the earth do call our attack imperio to these ? Our central midfield is substandard yes, but our defender is as good as any teams.
      Kolasinac-boss-Musti-bella how it that poor?

    2. GunnerJack says:

      Sensible Person: ‘Arsene, because we won’t have Santi back anytime soon we’ve just got to sign this guy’
      AW: ‘He’s a bit small don’t you think?’
      SP: ‘He’s bigger than Santi and the same height as Ngolo Kante, a player he resembles in many ways mainly for his skill and his non-stop action.’
      AW: ‘Hang on, we’ve got Ramsey for non-stop action!’
      SP: ‘Yes, but Seri actually does something with the ball, has great skill, makes tremendous long and short passes and also scores at least as often as Ramsey.’
      AW: ‘But if we buy Seri he would take Ramsey’s place in the team and we can’t have that can we’.
      SP: ‘Well maybe you can’t Arsene, but a hell of a lot of people think that would be the main reason to buy Seri! Besides, you can do as you’ve always done and play Ramsey in someone else’s position. For instance if you buy that Lemar chap and play him on the left wing you could easily drop him and play your favourite son on the left wing instead.’
      AW: ‘Hmm, yes there’s always that option. The trouble is our fans don’t seem to like it. They don’t realise that Ramsey is a football god and that he must play somewhere, anywhere, in the team. The fans are misguided and clueless.’
      SP: ‘That’s strange – that’s exactly what they say about you! Oops, sorry.’
      AW: ‘You can collect your cards on your way out – only Yes Men are allowed on my staff!!!’

      1. Oko says:

        I like ur post Gunnerjack, some Arsenal fans re yes men. If we do not sign another quality winger or midfielder then our best hope 4 next seasson will ne top4 and nothingmore.

  6. Haxan-Sword says:

    strong enough to compete on all fronts?” its not even string enough for the Carling cup

    1. G-Rude says:

      God you are a miserable twat. Start supporting your team, whoever that may be!

  7. The squad is not that strong with the transfer saga surrounding Alexis, but whether Alexis goes or not, we need a goal scoring winger like Mihrez.forget Lemar.

    1. Gabriel says:

      Mahrez can not defend, I don’t know how he can fit in back 3 system. we just need Chambo add goals to his game, Walkot too

      1. ZA_Gunner says:

        Chambo can’t defend either, neither can Walcott. What we need is a defensive minded bullish midfielder who can cover for them. Players like Mahrez, Chambo and in lesser extent Walcott are more attack minded and should play to their strengths. An example would be Arjen Robben.

  8. Chuks says:

    not strong enough.Ramsey d weakiest link

    1. Bigperf says:

      Thats funny when the numbers say we up there with goals

  9. Dianjuh says:

    Last season we had a squad capable of challenging and we still failed even to qualify for Champions League.

    Lets have a look at last season team:-

    P.Cech – D.Ospina
    H. Bellerin – Gabriel
    S. Mustafi – R. Holding
    L.Koscielny –
    N.Monreal – K. Gibbs
    T.Wlacott – A.Chamberlain
    S. Cazorla – MElneny
    G.Xhaka – F.Coq
    A.Sanchez – A.Iwobi
    M. Ozil – Aaron Ramsey
    D. Welbeck – O. Giroud – Lucas Perez.

    From this team what are the improvements?

    Goal Keeper – Same personnel
    Defense – Sead for Gibbs – this is an improvement
    Midfield – Same personnel – we’ve lost Cazorla from start of last season.
    Attack – Lacazette for Perez – I am still sad we never gave Lucas enough chances as I feel he would have been as good as Lacazette.

    As it stands now I dont think we have greatly improved personnel from last season. Maybe just slight finishing quality.

    Lets not kid ourselves – We need to sign maybe a Seri in Midfield to give us drive and creativity and Lemar as well to add to our attacking qualities.

    But even then its all for nothing if Wenger doesnt adapt his tactics.

    1. Pick formation based on opposition
    2. Pick team and tactics based on personnel available.
    3. Make substitutions timely based on match status.
    4. Respect opposition.

    I find it weird that only Arsenal fials consistently against big teams. No one can bet on us beating Bayern, Real, Barca, Chelsea, PSG – not even Monaco 🙁

    This is not just Personnel.

    1. McLovin says:

      And let’s not forget the uncertainty looming over 3 of our regular starters OX, Özil and Sanchez.

      If we are useless with our contract extensions, Schalke sure is even worse. They let Matip go for free last summer, Kolasinac now and Goretzka is free next summer.

      De Vrij, Isco, Keita Balde, Goretzka, Jose Gimenez, Matuidi. That’s a list of players whose contract runs out next summer. Surely some of those players would improve if Wenger once again wants to penny pinch?!

      And I find it odd that United have Shaw, Blind, Mata and Herrera all 1 year left but there are ZERO rumours about them leaving, unlike OX and Sanchez for us.

      1. jermaine bryan says:

        I would take de vrij and goretzka adding height and ability

    2. ZA_Gunner says:

      I have this feeling whether this season will be make or break lies in whether our midfield can dominate opposition teams. I think this is going to be the key area that can get exploited. Over the years we are slowly starting to lose control of that area and it coincides with Cazorla’s injuries.

  10. jacob says:

    lol..this present squad will not make top 5..let us call a spade a spade..we need more than lemar in this team..we need a dm,a top playmaker,a winger and properly a centre back..we shud b dey people signing players nad city and the rest..takeout ozil and carzola who in our midfied z a world class player..we are too average.
    jus watch our game against sevilla nzonzi was feeling like a boss..we need players n I c our club z still nad prepared as usuall

  11. Faithful p says:

    Almost good to go but still need two more good signing weger

  12. Declan says:

    Sorry Pat I do not agree with the wing backs. Imho they should be Ox and Monreal. Yes it is difficult not to include Kolas but they have proved themselves in these positions. Laca still looks a little lost to me but will hopefully grow into his position.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Some players are gonna give Lacazette some special treatment. They wouldn’t have got far doing it with Vieira Keown Parlour Grimandi around. Kolasinac looks to me like he would bundle someone over if he seen Lacazette getting targeted physically, we don’t have enough who take this personally. Oxlade has to play, how can some people not see that. Bellerin struggles a bit with wing-back.

      Monreal had a terrible season last year, from the off he was causing us all sorts of trouble. But as wing-back when we made the move, I have to say Monreal was one of our best players, it suited him well. Wenger might put him in with CBs, I expect Monreal to play CB in our first league encounter..

  13. ArseOverTit says:

    Expect the same result as last year although perhaps without the fa cup.

    The team does not have the tools or the grease to be an effective winning team and Wenger is still

    1. G-Rude says:

      And you are still miserable! I thought you said you were gone until Wenger leaves? You just can’t live without a bit of moaning can you?

      1. ArseOverTit says:

        Mind your own, Mr I stole your use of Giroud.

  14. Milton John says:

    If Alexis is unhappy then the best option is to swap him with Aguero. Sell Theo & Perez buy Lemar. Sell Wilshere & Coquelin buy Seri. Jenkinson, Debuchy, Gibbs, Campell should be offloaded with immediate effect. if Barca wants to add Ozil to them for £50 million encash him as well. Buy Isco, Goretzka and Kostas Manolas. In short unwanted players are sold and save millions in wages. So team will be like this

    Goalkeeper: Cech and Ospina
    Right wing back: Bellerin and Chamberlain
    Left wing back: Nacho and Sead
    Defense: koscielny, Mustafi, Manolas, Gabriel & Per.
    Defensive Midfield: Xhaka, Seri
    Attacking Midfield: Isco, Goretzka and Nelson
    Center forward: Aguero and Giroud
    Left wing forward: Lemar and Welbeck
    Right wing forward: Lacazette and Ramsey

    Sent Iwobi, Elneny, Maitland, Chambers and Holding on loan for regular football and they’ll be ready for next year. We are not in a position to offer regular football for any of these players and once they play one whole year with teams on the lower side they’ll improve like to optimum and we’ll be have ready made replacement for the ageing Per, Koscielny, Santi.

  15. Nothing changed says:

    It is ground hog day all over again. I guess we can not help it as fans but…

    Why does anyone think we can compete for the PL? What has changed for us to be confident to close the nearly 20 points to the top of the table? Most of our competitors have done more in the transfer window then we have. Has Wenger changed? Not on the evidence of all the players he has played out of position this pre-season. Has our squad acquired some strong leaders? No.

    If any thing we should be worried about Alexis. If he stays what influence will that have? We can not be sure. My bet is that if he stays he will not risk injury and probably desert the ship in terms of his effort as soon as we have our annual implosion. Also in January, his agent will be free to talk to other clubs and stories of where he will go can only distract the squad.

    If he leaves, who will replace him? Lemar? Might be talented but has proven nothing in the PL and has had one year of success in a highly talented disciplined team. We are not that.

    If we as fans believe we have a reasonable chance of winning the PL we have learned nothing from the past. We should pray we make it back into the top 4 which I personally doubt. Because I have seen nothing at the club that makes me believe this year will better than last year and all our competitors have better managers and with the exception of Spurs have done more business than we have.

    Wake up and smell the coffee. This is not a team and club that have been transforemed in serious title candidates. If we are title candidates than Wenger should have never have been questioned last season. because either he was not the man to take us forward (which more than half on here thought) and then we are not title candidates, or if we are title candidates then he should not have been doubted last season.

    1. ArseOverTit says:

      You speak sense, and therefore those who do not like facing truths down you for no other apparent reason other than a knee jerk reaction of defense.

      We will most likely loose Sanchez at the end of the window, we have added no fire or drive in midfield. We have a striker who has promise for the future but will need time to settle in our league.

      The dead woods remain and per is featuring in preseason matches (why?).

      We have the same coach, point of motivation and decision maker who has (aside from the fa cups) failed both domestically and in Europe. We also have the same money taking and making American with no love or interest other than financial in AFC, so tell me optimistic ones what has changed and what do you believe will be different this time around?

      You are like goldfish..with a 10 sec memory. Grow up/face up…and you won’t be dissapointed.

      1. Nothing changed says:

        ArseOverTit – completely agree with you on this one. Me coming on here and spouting we are going to win the PL title doesn’t make me a good fan. If anything it hints at me being either naive to the current power situation in the PL or having successfully been brain washed by owner/manager.

        I look forward to the season in the (somewhat naive) hope that the 3 at the back will make us a bit more consistent and I look forward to seeing how our two new signings fair. Do I expect miracles from them? No?. Do I hope and pray we will get back into the top 4? Yes. Because I know Wenger is here to stay so we might as well regain a top 4 spot but at the moment that is the most realistic hope we have and a big ask for this manager and squad.

        Last year when we went through our difficult period many came on here asking for Wenger’s head. In fact close to 80% thought he was the problem. To me, it is clear now that those were just the fans who complain when we lose because they need to blame someone. I have little patience for that. Losing is part of the game. Repeating the same pattern for 13 years is not part of the game but part of building a “loser”.

        Come January we will be double digits away from 1st place in the PL. And to those who think today we will challenge for the title something must have gone wrong if that is the case. But most likely they will speak about injuries, the absence of Sanchez or the fact he doesn’t try hard enough, the fact Lacazette needs more time or any other excuse in the book.

        The fact of the matter is that many of our fans are now used to losing and content with it. No ambitous fan or person would think we have done enough to be considered title contenders.

        And for those of you who want to thumb me down, I want us to win as much or more than you do. I just don’t live in a fish bowl. I see the business City, Man U, Chelsea, Everton do, I watch their games, I study the players they acquired and I don’t see an easier path this year then last year.

      2. desire to excel says:

        Hats off to you and some others. You manage to type in such long rants. Your patience is exemplary.

      3. Seajeff says:

        For as long as Wenger remains the man in charge nothing will change.. even though we have eleven Lionel Messi in our team we still won’t win the major trophies..

  16. Nothing changed says:

    Also in your current best 11, I disagree with bellerin being our best right wing-back. Ox beats him hands down. I was never a bick fan of Ox but as a wingback he is great.

    To me, Bellerin is not spectacular going forward, has a poor cross and is easily pushed off the ball. Ox is much better at crossing and going forward, is more physical, a more likely scorer and is learning to improve his defending.

    Bellerin is a bit like Theo in his younger years. Has amazing speed which allows him to close down attackers when he is found out of position but for the rest he has stagnated last season in his development.

    1. iffybright says:

      Ox is very vital to the success of the new formation Arsenal is playing recently…..he is very dangerous going forward in that new role…any time he bombs forward like that, chances of scoring increases……Is there a better crosser of the ball at Arsenal than Ox?….Am just happy for him because many Arsenal fans never gave him a chance…….Ox and Sanchez are presently the only guys sure of creating good chances even in tight spaces……Monreal on the bench? no way bro………

      1. Nothing changed says:

        Honestly, it shocks me that the club has not yet signed Ox and has allowed all this speculation about his future to go on. Can not make this player feel very loved.

        He should start at right wing-back and if he does his desirability will only go up for clubs like Chelsea, so not securing him is a mistake even if we end up selling him. Having him start the season with less than 1 year on his contract is simply irresponsible.

  17. jakseth says:

    arsenal 2017 or expecting different result with similar ingredients.
    our midfield looks too light to fight for the premier league.

    Ozil is not a leader and he will only flourish if he has incredible quality behind him ( ie cazorla at his best).

  18. MWNN says:

    Everyone’s got their different ideas and selection permutations as to how the team should line up, I have too. But, I think without listing another preferred first XI the team should be the strongest and most potent XI that we have barring injuries and or suspensions.

    In terms of being able to cope on all fronts, I think we do. We’ve got the odd outstanding player in the team with the majority being more than capable but, without a unified approach to how they go about their business on field it could well be another season where we just scrape through.

    If we have a singular game plan, even if it’s aesthetically ugly, but gets us through the game with a win then we should do it. Start to get cute and mix and match the team based on a whim and we’ll be in the same position we were last season of not totally disgracing ourselves but with little to show for a seasons efforts.

    If Wenger is courageous enough to put aside his football experiment of the last 12 years or so and be a bit more pragmatic as well as using a players in a tried and trusted formula, then we can definitely compete on all fronts………..and successfully

  19. BIG G says:

    Compete yes, win no unfortunately, we have a large squad among the best in the league but our first 11 – 15 players are not the best in the league and last season we should have won games we either lost or drew i.e Man City.
    So far this transfer window we have brought in 2 players, Lacazette and Kolasinac, both are extremely good players who can help our cause but because of our attacking play we are always going to concede goals and therefore I believe we still need a top class CB and DM.

  20. ruelando says:

    Looking at our squad i think we are still short 2- 3 players, we need a young forward/winger, a Cazorla like player and a defensive midfielder. I would not say defence because i think we have enough players.

    In house solutions

    Cazorla like player – Jeff, Bennacer, iwobi ( all are young and inexperience in that area of the field, but will in game time (Europa)

    Defensive midfielders – Niles i think is ideal high energy, good technically and has pace which makes him very mobile, my other two choices are Chambers and Beilik, both are considered defensive prospects, but both have the physicality, technical ability and some experience to act as DMs which i think could suit them nicely ( a Dier situation)

    Young forward/winger – Akpom, Mavidi, Malen and Nelson could do the job, these players can only improve if given the chance, Akpom has not really been given an opportunity, while Mavidi, Malen and Nelson are hungry players.

    Outside solutions

    Cazorla like player- really difficult to find Seri, Lemar and of course one we actually hate Nasri already knows the league and style of play

    Defensive midfielders – Krychowiak, Kondogbia and of course Nzonzi who already auditioned, all physical specimen, with good ball skills.

    Young forward/winger – Schick, Dolberg and Iseka(Batshuayi younger bro).

    Bringing players is not really the solution, it is the mentality of our players, we can compete with any team on our given day with the squad at present, the only teams that we actually had serious issues with in the league was Liverpool and the Tots, our players seem to suffer from attention deficit disorders, meaning we can not remain focus on the task at hand for long periods

  21. ZEN2OH says:

    NO,NO NO, and NO. But Adding a top and EPL experienced CB in the Mould of Van Dijk and also a No-nonsense top DM that is strong physically,fast, can score goes, take-ons opponent, Tackles, wins Ariel duels, Intercepts play in the Mould of Fabinho(He can play as DM, CM, RB and even CB if convert) Would do. I personally think adding those two would make our squad stronger to challenge at all fronts. Put £80 -90 million for Monaco for Both Lemar and Fabinho. sell Debuchy, Jekinson, Gibbs, Maybe Perez if Lemar comes, chambers for £20 mill but put a buy back clause and bid £50 millon for Van Dijk. or £40 million and we offer them Chambers but with a buy back option. then those at least two or three additions will strengthen us. Most need positions CB, DM. Lemar would be and added attacking option. But am still trying to figure out the formation we would set if Lemar comes. looks the best that suits Lemar, but Wenger wants a formation.

  22. Gooner Craig says:

    Is the squad even good enough for Top 4?! Let alone challenge! Let alone on more than 1 front lol

    GK: Cech is past it! Ospina isn’t good enough (just stop it! He isn’t!)
    CB: Koss is likely to get injured, BFG is past it, Gab is a liability, Chambers/Holding both talented but aren’t going to win us the league!
    CM: Ramsey loool enough said!!!!
    CF: Let’s hope that Laca can be the WC striker we’ve long hoped for! If he flops or gets injured, Giroud isn’t clinical enough, Welbz is not clinical at all!!!!!

    It’s going to be a longggg season!!! Longer than usual!

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