Ivan, Is Arsenal’s squad really ready to start the season?


If we are to believe the Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis and assess Arsene Wenger’s previous statements, then we are finished at the transfer Market. Arsene Wenger was once quoted saying we will just sign 2 or three players. Well, we have signed Granit Xhaka, Takuma Asano and Rob Holding. The three players happen to be coming to reinforce departments in the side that fans have been crying for so long about…so fans, your cries have been heard loud and clear. Asano will bolster striking options, Xhaka will help our midfield and Holding will come to the aid of our defense. Don’t forget we have goalkeeper Guy Smit on trials to bolster the goalkeeping department. What more can ask for?

I digress, assuming that we have finished in the market like Ivan Gazidis seems to be claiming, I want to question if we even have a functional first XI to field against Liverpool and later Leicester. Unless there is a system change at Arsenal, I want to assume that we will start with a possibility of two losses or a loss and a draw. If those are the “competitive’ results that Gazidis is thinking about I can assure him that after match day 2 someone will have to win in two games with possibility of not having conceded. Once you start with such pressure it invites a few bad things for the season. Lower ranking premiership side will begin to fancy themselves against us and that means an extra confidence boost to our enemies. The second thing that would happen is that our big boys coming back will start to strive too hard trying to catch up. That’s the time injuries begin to show up and the morale in the squad goes down.

My argument – we must start off well and since we will not have our big boys in the squad, we can only make up for it by deploying a new system. With Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey, Koscielny and Giroud all missing due to their various tournament engagements, here is the pattern and squad that may help out in the first two matches and how it can be most competitive as soon as the big boys return, seamlessly.


For the first two games:


The First XI for the rest of the season

Arguments: I think Wenger should abandon this fascination with the wings if he cannot sign players capable of executing effective wing duties. We failed to fight for Mkhitaryan when he was available and now Gazidis says we will not be signing Mahrez or even Turan – who Alexis is asking we pick up. We have just one accomplished Winger in the squad as the rest of the wing capable players (Oxdale Chamberlain, Walcott, Iwobi, Campbell) have issues that make them not effective. For Walcott, his time to prove himself has passed by, Ox Chamberlain has had extensive roles here and has remained inconsistent. Campbell is also inconsistent and Iwobi is still too young to be relied on leaving just Sanchez as the dependable winger.

Our most solid area is the central midfield, especially in Central Defense. In there we have the following players who can execute a more than decent shift – Coquelin, Xhaka, Elneny, Cazorla, Ramsey, Chambers and Wilshere, Zelalem. That’s a lot of talent that the team should just be organized around. Three players from these contingent can actually make Asrsenal squad such a strong one. With the three anchor midfield and two strikers, players like Ramsey and Cazorla capable of hurting teams especially with freedom to roam the channels. Then there are the well-known capabilities of Bellerin and Monreal to pop up from the wings with powerful attack plays. Cazorla and Ramsey (Coached some discipline) can break any attack thrown at Arsenal and begin the attacks themselves. And we have Xhaka whose weakness is said is his discipline in the heart of the midfield, but we have Coquelin and Elneny to slot in in case things are bad. Xhaka’s qualities to shield the back four were well on display at the Euro 2016 tournament.

If Ramsey is whipped into shape and only roams when there is enough confusion and cover in his areas, Arsenal could match the invincibles in shutting out any form of opposition, big and small. As for attacking, you know you have potential to score so many goals when Sanchez gets to help Giroud with striking responsibilities. Giroud’s partnership striking credentials were there in display at the Euro 2016 for all to see. For all his time at Arsenal, we have always know about his link up play capabilities. It doesn’t get better for the opposition when Alexis Sanchez can turn up at any spot, from any wing through any channels. And it’s worse that he can receive a precise pass from Xhaka, Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey, Giroud etc – scary. And what’s more Cazorla and Ramsey are in range to appear just at the right moment and trust me a fired up Ozil could do some 10 goals.

Unless Gazidis and Wenger have this kind of a pattern in mind…we are in for some super thrashing this season if he and Wenger’s words are to be taken at face value…

Nicholas Oyoo


  1. Wenger stated
    categorically he’s gona
    sign two or three player
    , signed xaka, asuno and holding lol…sometime i imagine if wenger is really a human being, if has any sympathy for d fans.People like kroken and Gasidis shouldnt be given a chance to go near football..shame o them.

  2. I have a feeling Dortmund will sell Aubameyang…I don’t know to who but this will start a marry-go-round of strikers…if I didn’t know arsenal I’d say we will probably land Aubameyang/Higuain/Lewandoski but unfortunately I do so we will probably end up with Giroud and Walcott

    1. I had the same feeling, they have sold 3 players for £90 mils and bought 8 new ones for 96 mils, including certain starters Götze, Dembele, Guerreiro and Rode/Schurrle.

      They are awfully packed with every position EXCEPT strikers. They only have Ramos and Auba.

      Unless someone else comes in, then Auba will surely stay put…

      Besides Wenger won’t spend anything on a striker as long as we have postman Sanogo!

  3. Wenger has already swept Gazidis’s comments under the carpet, by suggesting that Arsenal will spend big on the right candidate and that they are working on this every day.
    YES, We have all heard this bull? before, where in the end the excuse of “There wasn’t anyone available” will be ringing around the Emirates. ?
    Even The rumour mill is struggling, as the latest Mahrez link has been squashed hours after it reared its ugly head, again. It turns out that Mahrez’s has started for Leicester against Celtic and his agent was at the Lens game on behalf of one of his other young clients and if there were any truth in the Mahrez to Arsenal rumour, he would have been omitted from the Leicester squad for to today’s game.

    Next!.. ??

  4. With Arsenal and Arsene you just never know….

    One moment you feel something good is about to happen…

    Another moment you just wanna Throw the towel…

    I won’t be surprised if we see a headline tomorrow saying Mahrez denies Arsenal move. Ranieri : No bid from Arsenal..

    Then you can see headline like Arsenal close in on Icardi…

    We are already used to this torture. Anyway, fingers crossed. Whatever happens life Goes on..

  5. Spurs will have a great chance of finishing ahead of us by getting Janssen
    Janssen is a decent striker and the duo of Janssen and Kane is better than the duo of Theo and Giroud IMO
    Spurs also have two Top CB with Vertonghen and Alderwireld.

    We need both a top Striker and top CB minimum

  6. Wenger does not care about winning the league. He surely likes to disappoint the supporters. Wenger to me has a personality disorder. He believes he is the only person to understand football. I hope just for once he tries to compete at the top by buying a couple of world class players. Sadly I think we will once again be fighting for fourth place. Shame because Conte, Guardiola, Mourinho and Potchettino will be playing for first place.

  7. I think that wenger and gazidis are basically saying the same thing. There are no top signings in the pipeline. Wenger said “If we find the right candidates then we will spend the big money,” . Gazidis said “We’re doing it by being very, very disciplined; spending money where we believe it makes a difference”.

    I think that wenger is looking to strengthen the squad, he knows we need a striker, we know he has tried to sign suarez and vardy and probably others.

    If wenger can find players (this transfer window) to significantly strengthen the squad at the right price then I think he will try to persuade kroenke to release the money from cash reserves. The problem with the above statement are the words “if” and “at the right price”.

    My hope is that we will sign a decent striker, unfortunately my expectation is that it will not happen. In those circumstances I fully expect sanchez and most likely ozil not to sign a new contract and be sold next year.

    The real disappointment is that things could have been so different, a decent striker bought one year ago plus some determination from the team and we could easily be PL champions now.

  8. It’s just getting old season after season the same tune, the laughingstock of football…..we are not buying anyone, I can foresee OG TW in the front with Welbeck coming back for a few games to give us hope and then back to he disabled list…Wenger blaming it on the Injuries, nothing new, let’s just sit and support the team waiting for better times ahead

  9. Wenger said today that Arsenal have already spent big this transfer window. So my reading of this statement is forget about any Top class players coming read between the lines the Cheque Book is closed.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs