Is the Arsenal squad ready for the new season? (Midfield to face Man City? Captain? Defence?)

Is the squad ready for the start of the season? by Konstantin Mitov

Hello lovely Arsenal people! It’s been an eventful summer for the club so far, but with just 2 weeks left till the start of the season, we must have built some ideas of how the squad will look like.

The Singapore tour gave some youngsters the chance to shine with Emile Smith-Rowe making notice, but the star of that show was Guendouzi for me. His performances reminded me of what we bought Xhaka for, that never really came to be.

Will he be a starter though? Ramsey and Torreira are the two main candidates for the CM and DM position. But what if we sell Ramsey? Who do you start against Man City? I don’t see how Lucas will have enough fitness to start the season, nor Xhaka. Right now it’s Ramsey and Guendouzi in my opinion.

We need a good start of the season. It’s a result based business in the end. If we lose to City and Chelsea, people will immediately throw questions about whether Emery was the right man, wether his tactics are right and so on. Some will even draw comparisons to Arsene.

We need our absolute best against the champions and selling Ramsey to Chelsea will be so bad considering his pre-season is with us and he can explain our ideas to Sarri.

Then again Arsenal do love a pile of cash and after the Alexis drama we might sell. I think up front we have enough goals and we do have a lot of players for the CM role, but I still go with Ramsey for the footballing reasons.

Moving on, we have a lot of players with a point to prove. The whole Ozil drama was very poorly handled by both sides. First, taking pictures with your football shirt with a man who fired and jailed tens of thousands of teachers and intelligent people due to his fear that he might lose his power is not exactly the dictatorship image I’d want to be associated with, let alone embarrass my football club with it.

Then the way the DFB used this to single out Ozil as the scapegoat for Germany’s world cup failure was pathetic. Muller, Neuer, Boateng, Hummels weren’t any better and wasn’t the coach the one who picked him? This reminds me of the way Wenger used completely unrelated topics to excuse for his failures. Yet I didn’t like that Mesut quit. It’s the easy option, and now puts even higher pressure for him to deliver at Arsenal. He has nowhere to hide now that Wenger is gone and he must prove everybody wrong with performances and I hope he does, because he has the quality and it was nice to see him on the score sheet with the armband!

The captain issue remains unresolved though and I would really like to have 2 players selected for it and get it done with. But who will they be? The most senior players or the ones that actually play? Do we have a character that will scream and shout at everybody else and they will listen? It remains an open question.

But in terms of others with a point to prove, Cech and Mustafi were solely responsible for quite a lot of the goals we conceded. They’ll be given a second chance and I remain conscious of both. We made some defensive errors in the friendlies that were so last season. While it’s impossible to change our mindset in a flash after years of going backwards, we need to look for shortcuts to a successful defence as the amount of conceded goals really cost us the past 2 seasons.

There were some signs of the winds of change though as we saw some more direct play, like long balls to Aubameyang and abusing the pace he has. Liverpool do this a lot, where they bypass their midfield and let the three up front do the job and it worked. We need to play to the strengths of the players we have, not trying to play a brand of football we cannot.

Overall, I hope we are well prepared for the start. Man City spanked us good last season, so we have a lot to get back at them and getting some good results against the big teams will help boost the confidence in the new coach and his ideas. Not a lot of time left before we see the new Arsenal in real action!



  1. Sean Williams says:

    Guendouzi looked like a long legged hippie version of Pirlo. Could he be ready at 19 years old? Maybe we have the next ‘phenomena’.
    Last season Dortmund shipped lots of goals in a few less matches and Sokratis looked slow just as he does here. But in his favour he is a Tony Adams type character and will shout at everybody. Mavroponos is a year away from being a top CB, Chambers cannot pass the ball, Holding is a bag of nerves and Mustafi makes one serious clanger per game and sometimes it costs us. So all this leads to Yerry Mina. Young, tall, athletic, fast, mean, intense and good on the ground and in the air. That’s the man we saw almost see of England. He’s available right now and is a real footballer. Come on Sven bag him.

  2. Innit says:

    Generally speaking Yes.
    Most of our starting 11 is good enough
    But not sure about our defense. Esp RB and CBs
    Also we need for Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil, Torreira, Monreal/Kolsanic, Cech to not have any long term injuries. Because our bench is bang average.

    However I wish we could have signed 3 players
    1. High quality whinger
    2. High quality box2box central midfielder
    3. High quality centre back

    1. OzzieGunner says:

      Innit, I concur with your assessment and “wish list”. However, it is what it is and under Kroenke ownership don’t be surprised if Arsenal make a nett profit at the end of the transfer window.

    2. Admin says:

      We got a few high quality whingers on here!

      1. Declan says:

        You beat me to it Sir Admin

        1. OzzieGunner says:

          I am not winging and am looking forwatd to the new season under Unai Emery. However the Kroenke ownership is what it is and I am only stating an opinion based on previous transfer windows. We do not have an owner who is interested in Arsenal winning things and his statements and actions back this assessment.

  3. Richard says:

    4 points from opening two games would be good enough considering the start we have. Guendouzi looks like he could play himself in to a starting position giving Torreira and xhaka the time to gain full fitness. Xhaka may have an issue getting back in if Torreira and guendouzi really hit the ground running. We can play possession based football what we lacked last season and for a few seasons is the ability to change things about. Will we be ready for the start of the season I believe so but don’t be fooled that City won’t be because they had so many stars in latter stages of world cup Guardiola will have the team he puts out ready to fire. I will be watching next two games with interest I believe that will give us the a greater insight to the starting 11. Keeper is where it gets interesting cech has only conceded in the penalty shootout against Atletico Madrid the rest of his game time he has kept clean sheets Leno has conceded one and Martinez one though that was via another penalty so some leeway to him there.
    The only concern I would have is that kolasanic at left back hasn’t found any form and has looked suspect that needs to improve and improve quickly if we are to challenge for the top four at least.

    1. Maks says:

      3 points from 1st 2 games looks good to me.

      1. GunnerJack says:

        I’ll be happy if we don’t lose. I know that’s aiming a bit low but the teams we play are good and our squad is in transformation. Hope whatever team Unai puts out will quickly get used to the EPL and hit the ground running. There looks to be a great team spirit now so I’m hoping for the best. In fact I can hardly wait!

        1. Maks says:

          Me too! 🙂

  4. Tatgooner says:

    the squad we have is fine if they are ready to turn on. and work together
    buying a new winger will require two of miki ozil or lacazette to be dropped because auba is sincerely untouchable.
    a new defender would require us to sell one
    and have the rest just onlookers from the bench and i honestly dont see that happening because i think our cb pairing for the oncoming season will be from our current quota.
    the most probable starting xi
    lichtsteiner mavropanos sokratis kolasinac
    ramsey xhaka
    miki laca auba

    1. Tatgooner says:

      sorry ozil for xhaka

    2. GunnerJack says:

      Don’t really understand why ONE new winger would cause TWO players to be dropped.

  5. Malch95 says:

    If mustafi could be the player he was when he first arrived we wouldn’t be in this mess. I really think he isn’t a bad player just in piss poor form, same with Xhaka if these guys step it up then we definitely have a complete squad but personally I would start Elneny and Ramsey in the pivot just cause we need some one to be super defensive and that’s what Elneny is good at.

    Bellerin mustafi/Monreal Sokratis kolsinac
    Ramsey Elneny
    Myki. Ozil


    1. Maks says:

      Very bad team…. midfield defense jesus! We have so many better players now.
      Do you know that Wenger is out!

      1. Malch95 says:

        @Maks With what’s available that’s the best we’re gonna get imo. What team would you field?

        1. GunnerJack says:

          Don’t know about Maks but as we have about half a dozen centre backs why on earth would you want to put Monreal in there and add to the congestion? He’s our best left back so why not play him there?
          Then replace Elneny with Torreira and maybe Ramsey with Guendouzi.
          The front 4 are find by me and can go where the hell they want to confuse defences and drag them out of position.

          1. Maks says:

            I agree with you GunnerJack

          2. GunnerJack says:

            Cheers Maks:)

          3. Malch95 says:

            Guendouzi has played 2 preseason games that weren’t competitive and you guys want him starting against the premier league record holding champions? That’s suicide! Monreal is our most reliable defender and is definitely capable of doing a job at CB. Mavropanas is too raw, chambers, mustafi and holding = Bang Average, our best bet is Monreal and Sokratis at centre back

          4. ozilking says:

            ur analysis on team selection is damn to poor and naive.starting monreal at cb is suicidal.we’ve well eligible cbs’ to fill in da space not Monreal.dis is a new regime not de Wenger regime that plays players out of their position.

  6. herb says:

    Best squad is’ 3-5-2 because we do not have a midfield controller and serious winger as yet.
    The likes of Xhaka, Bellerin, Ramsey are not good enough to be starters at our new serious and ambitious club.

    1. ozilking says:

      @ herb, I get ur back on that formation bro. i guess da will be the right formation to play against a side like man city, lwb in kolasinac and rwb in lichestenier to occupy mancity wingers like Leroy sane,Bernardo Silva,mahrez and co.

    2. Mitch says:

      I think you should swap mhkitaryan and Torreira.

  7. Sergio says:

    I am really worried about our defence. Sokratis was purchased to fix problems though he’s looked like another liability in pre-season. He seems like a stop-gap until our younger CBs mature.

    I’m hoping Mustafi will come good this season otherwise our 2 centre backs will be changing all year and will be ripped apart by our PL rivals.

  8. Sergio says:

    On the other hand, we all know this is a period of change within the team and if we need to sacrifice some results temporarily in order to rebuild and compete with the best again that’s fine by me

    1. RSH says:

      well said

  9. Shinoda says:

    Never underestimate your opponent no matter how good you feel you are. ManCity still have a strong team even without their world cup players. We should work on strengthening our weaknesses & tactics. We need to field our strongest team & that would include hardworking & technically gifted players. It will be a tough start for Emery but it’s a chance to prove what he can do especially against the defending Champions.

  10. David Rusa says:

    Let us get real fellow Gooners. Socratis is a renowned CB who has just joined us. Defending is not all about speed. He is a heavy man who may not be as fast as light people but he has his attributes which attracted us to him. I don’t think he is a bad defender at all. Besides our team’s new philosophy is to have collective defending and collective attacking. This will help solve some of the individual weaknesses. Soon Torreira will be playing. I think two weeks is ample time for Torreira to be ready. I envisage he will be part of the opening team even if he may not be a starter. He and Xhaka should make the bench on the first day. Let us keep our nerves; we shall be fine.

    1. Sergio says:

      If he doesn’t have the speed then he needs to be able to read the game well to compensate – that did not come across in his pre-season games. Of course there’s the possibility that he may improve over the season.

      ‘Collective’ defending? You’re basically saying our good defenders cover our bad ones? So who’s going to cover him? Mustafi? Koscielny? Chambers? We needed to buy someone that was going to improve the defence, not make it worse.

  11. Sean Williams says:

    To be honest there is no way we can challenge for the title without a top winger and probably a centre back. Man City have used Sane extremely well and he alone will have added a few points to their tally. I know a lot of supporters want Dembele but, at the fee wanted, that is impossible. There is a truly devastating winger out there who probably can be bought. ‘Mr Greedy’ Stan Kroenke would have to put his hand in his Multi Billionaire pocket though. Leon Bailey is one heck of a winger and a great assister/goalscorer. Bailey could be worth a fortune in a couple of years so buy him now.
    I don’t think Sokratis will change the central defence much. He is definitely a little slow. Last year in 34 games Dortmund shipped 40 goals. Arsenal shipped 51 in 38 games.
    I know we supposedly cannot afford fortunes on a CB, but Yerry Mina is available for a reasonable fee. He is quick, strong and a real athlete. We missed out on Harry Maguire a couple of seasons ago are we going to miss out on Mina this time. Even Huddersfield Town have spent reasonably big, so why is Greedy Stan such a rubbish owner. Are we at Huddersfield’s level? With just two more signings we could genuinely challenge for the League. Cannot believe what a cheapskate Greedy Stan is.

    1. OzzieGunner says:

      Be careful Sean, if you mention Arsenal’s stingy owner you may be accused of “winging”.

  12. Grandad says:

    I,m afraid Sokratis will prove to be another Mustafi who will never improve.Basically we lack quality at centre back and at left back where Kolasinac has been a huge disappointment.Until these weaknesses are resolved Arsenal will not finish in the top four.

  13. chukzyking007 says:

    Let’s give the lads a chance. Support ur team fellow gooners,have some believe

  14. James says:

    I would like to see a good Defensive Midfielder come in, Steven N’zonzi from Sevilla would be a good buy and worth 35m release clause. would be cover for our defense.

  15. emeka Frederick says:

    I think we will get 6 points from our first two games. Ask me how? I don’t know but it will happen

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