Lichtsteiner has experience and character – exactly what Arsenal need now

The experience revolution begins at Arsenal! by Konstantin Mitov

Welcome to Arsenal, Stephan Lichtsteiner! The first real signing of the post-Wenger era and it’s a great one in my opinion. There are numerous reasons to be positive about him. First off the guy has won a ton of trophies at Juventus and he’s the captain of Switzerland! But the best thing is that he cost us nothing, so the board didn’t need to use any of their free spins on to pay for a World Cup player, which makes him perfect for Arsenal and our cut price budget.

We need characters in our backroom and we also need experience in defence. The guy gives us back-up to Bellerin and also, perhaps the Spaniard can learn a thing or two about defending from him. The Swiss captain has played under Conte and Allegri, so he should be well aware of how to play in a system. He’s 34, but we don’t need him to play every game, rather have cover when we need to rotate or Bellerin drops form.

This solves one out of the 5 positions that needed to be addressed (GK, RB, CB, CDM, LWF). Next on the menu it’s some Greek goodies with Sokratis, who we’re very likely to announce soon. And it’s another player who doesn’t set the world alight, but is famous for his character. And we do need these kinds of players that will not just drop their heads dead when we concede!

It’s also another player who isn’t the youngest. He’ll be 30 soon, and it’s not the kind of signing you’d expect us to make, but guess what? The dictatorship is gone and we’re swinging the pendulum in the other direction. We’re opting for experience and character. Those players probably won’t have 10 years at Arsenal like Walcott, Diaby and a whole bunch of other players we’ve waited all their career to come good. Nobody is safe anymore. Emery will be given a year no doubt to install his vision, but no way in hell is he getting 10. If he doesn’t deliver, he’ll be gone.

The new signings will also have to do it right here, right now. But they also have the job to pave the way for the young blood to come after them. Lichtsteiner – Bellerin, Sokratis – Mavropanos, you get the idea. We have to be very real about our team. Ivan was spot on when he said that going back to the top is a process. We’ve put it in the hands of multiple people this time, most of them have just joined the ship and they are already steering it into new territories, but we cannot ignore where we are starting from. Right now, we cannot go out there and bomb 90 million on a player. Besides, we spent over 100 million pounds on attacking talent in the last year.

We are also a Europa League side. We cannot just go and sell out our project to the very best players out there as they have the ability to go somewhere where the system works and go straight to the trophy hunts. We need to get back to the top 4 and we’re already trying to do it with reasonable signings that help us stabilize.

If you analyze our performances from last season, if we upgrade on our away form, we’ll be drastically closer to the top 4. But our record against the top 6 is also poor, and our defense has conceded 50+ goals. Trying to solve this the Man City way, will cost us over 200 million and guarantee us no instant success as you can see with United who spent a fortune to put their hopes on the Europa League last year.

And speaking of them, we’re linked with Fellaini. Now I’d much prefer N’zonzi to be honest, but I’m looking at the positives,and I think the Belgian is another player who can plug some of the holes for the moment. If you had the option to have him on the bench last season wouldn’t you have taken it? He’s not quite the DM we need, but he does bring physicality and presence that we’ve really missed in midfield. And although it’s not pretty, first hand experience shows how he can be used when you need to chase a game.

So finally, I think we’re going to make one big money signing at most and we’ll try to bring players with experience who’ll lift us enough to get back to the CL and then we can start throwing some bigger cash and try to cut the gap to the top. For now though it’s a promising start!



  1. Eat pie says:

    Spoken like a true gooner

  2. Eat pie says:

    Long live Konstantin

  3. Robin Vanpayslip says:

    Hector ‘winning is such a burden oh I can’t take it anymore’ Bellerin is a disgrance. Hopefully this signing proves a short term answer to getting rid of wackerin.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Bellerin is still a talented young player that could thrive under a Spanish coach like Emery. Lichtsteiner might give him a strong competition and he should start ahead of Bellerin, to make Bellerin work harder

      Monreal is better when attacking than Kolasinac, despite he is old for a fullback. Lichststeiner could fill the same role, but I’m curious to see whether he is as good as Dani Alves or not, when attacking

      Looking at the transfer targets (Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Soyuncu, Fellaini) and the priorities (Ramsey, Aubameyang), Emery seems to want to use a more physical strategy that relies on the players’ statures and strengths. If Emery wants to keep using Xhaka, Elneny or Maitland-Niles as DM, I hope he would bring a good winger as the next step

      1. Arsene is Out says:

        Looks like Sokratis is done and we are interested in Benatia as well. I wonder if we are selling Mustafi?
        I feel like our RB and LB positions are in good shape and with Sokratis and Benatia/Soyuncu the middle of our D will be in much better shape than last year as well.
        It looks like we are going to use this window to bring experienced steel in and hopefully work on some of our youth to learn from them and replace them slowly.
        I think with a lack of funds to compete with the likes of City this might turn out to be a very astute strategy or completely blow up in our faces.
        At least i think it can’t get worse than this year.

        1. gotanidea says:

          Yes, apparently Mustafi and Koscielny would be offloaded, since we would get Sokratis and Soyuncu

          1. Ozziegunner says:

            Benatia would be a great acquisition.
            Word is that Fellaini wants too much money in wages, so Arsenal have lost interest. His manager may be trying to get Man U to raise their offer of £80,000 per week. I would rater Arsenal put the funds towards a specialist DM (many already identified) or replacement for Cazola (eg Emil Forsberg)
            Chelsea is apparently now chasing Seri.

  4. Trudeau says:

    Good article. We all need to be patient with the process because it’s pretty hard to get excited about bringing in players at the end of their career but it’s exactly what we need. Lichtsteiner, Sokrates and, dare I say, Fellaini have bags of character and I’d rather AMN, Mavraponas, Holding, Nelson et al learn from them rather than the guys who have slept walked through considerable parts of the last couple of seasons.

  5. Skills1000 says:

    We should aim for the league next season. It is a possibility. We have the attack. Get a proper DM to play with Xhaka in midfield. I rate Xhaka highly because of his passing range and shots. He is not a DM. But deep lying Playmaker. Get Nzonzi or any other mobile DM. Play a 433. Midfield 3 of Xhaka, Nzonzi and Ozil. Front 3 of Auba, Lacazette and Mhkhitaryan. We need to decongest the midfield. Play a counter attacking game with Xhaka dictating the tempo from the midfield. Lacazette and Aubemeyang can both break the lines. In recent seasons, our attack had been very slow. We keep passing side ways. No penetration. I’m looking forward to next season.

    1. Jah son says:

      Was surprised not to see Ramsey in your attack as it seems everyone is going crazy about him scoring a couple of goals but no one talks about his ability to pass the ball dictate play or to open up a defense.the guy as absolutely no skill a hard worker I give it to him and as got a real eye for goal that’s all. just think we need to had players with the tag world class beside their names instead of selling

      1. killamch89 says:

        I agree with you on Ramsey. He’s a bit above average but he lacks positional discipline and awareness, his passing for a cm is horrendous and all we ever hear about Ramsey is how good he is at scoring goals. But then what about his other responsibilities as a midfielder – his passing ability is worse than Jack’s and his dribbling is nothing to write home about and ironically, those skills are what you need to master in order to be a truly top-class midfielder.

  6. ThirdManJW says:

    Bellerin was woeful last season, and didn’t do a lot the season before that. Overall, I’d give his career about 5/10 so far. He’s even admitted publicly he hasn’t got the mentality we, or any top club needs, so it’s time to drop, or sell him. I’d DEFINITELY start Lichsteiner over Bellerin.

    Great signing, even if it’s only for a season.

    1. jon fox says:

      I would not start Lichtsteiner over Bellerin , for the simple reason that Bellerin would not be here at all, even to be second choice, were I in charge. I do not believe in keeping duds around in the vain hope that they may improve. They do not. I would have sold Bellerin WELL BEFORE NOW. AS HE IS STILL HERE, I WOULD SELL HIM THIS MONTH. He has not the first idea of what defence entails. He is not even in defence half the time , but stupidly upfield and out of the actual defence at the key moments. He is too weedy, cannot tackle, head or cross a decent ball. He is a dud and a weed and should not be here. I pray he soon won’t be!

  7. Godswill says:

    Fellaini? No. Not even for free (as he is).
    Anybody that rejected Arsenal should not come here as a spent force.
    PEA is my man at heart. He accepted to come here when there could have been options for him now.

    1. Andrew E says:

      Agree in both cases. Aubameyang is the first real striker we’ve had since Van Persie and I rate him higher. As for Fellaini he’s only a Man U player because of Moyes and vastly overrated. I’d rather we go for a much younger player like the Uruguayan Lucas Torreira. Checked him out on Youtube, very impressive , reminds me of a Jack Russell, quite similar to Ngolo Kante, a total and utter pest and a great ball winner. We need someone like that in our midfield.

        1. Ozziegunner says:


      1. gotanidea says:

        How Lacazette, he is a very good striker as well, isn’t he

        Torreira is short but he seems to have high mobility and stamina, whereas Fellaini is good for chasing set pieces goals

      2. jon fox says:

        As a dog lover and someone who knows about them, I can assure you a Jack Russell would have zero chance against a Rottweiler or German Shepherd. For real strength you need size and physical power, as well as just an aggressive attitude(which Jack Russells do have). We need big and muscle strong defenders, not titches. For a decade now our defence has been too weedy, small and frail and timid in attitude. That MUST change!

        1. Ozziegunner says:

          Jon surely we can get Cavahlo instead of him going to Everton.
          Everton worry me at the moment with a new manager and Usmanov’s money.
          Lacazette could really shine next season, as he is not likely to play in the World Cup and following his successful return after his knee operstion will be fresh and injury free.

      3. X says:

        Hello … Lacazette?!

  8. Andrew E says:

    Bellerin and Iwobi have both shone when introduced to the top flight but unfortunately their lights have dimmed over the past two years. Maybe the new Head Coach can reinvent them and maybe they will shine again (one can but hope). In the circumstances the new signing Lichtsteiner is a no brainer. He is a proper defender having played for Juventus for 7 years and won 7 Serie A titles, and the fact that the Italians invented defending. Maybe he’s got a couple of years left in which to pass on his experience and help shore up our powder puff defence!!

  9. GoonAR says:

    Great signing. Someone who can fill in or even have a run of games that is quality and no transfer fee. Now Bellerin has to step it up.

  10. KAY Boss says:

    first time commenting though I’ve been reading most articles posted here. kev makes me smile n I say to myself that this guy (kev) is arsenal obsessed. good reading from the post. all should keep being positive. its not all doom n gloom. GOONER FOR LIFE!!!

    1. Billy says:

      Welcome Kay boss, always good to see new people comment on here, also good to see positive people. Don’t let the doom and gloom brigade stop you from posting

      1. Abel says:

        Agree 100%

  11. ArseOverTit says:

    Good luck Jack if you are off! You deserve some.

    Now, git Welbeck out of town and a boot up Ozils Arsch
    And we will be on the right path.

    Welcome Stephan! Much needed competition for Chico Hector. Hopefully his will to compete and win will rub off on Bellerin and others around him. Maybe some fire will now be instilled in the belly’s of Arsenal players once again now that AW has gone and UE is here.

  12. drew says:

    drop bellenin please coach

  13. Mobella says:

    Konstantin getting excited over a 34 year freebie. Who could have thought about that!?.

    1. ArseOverTit says:

      Amazing what a breathe of fresh air can do when entering a room of mouldy cheese.

  14. bholaji says:

    ramsey, iwobi are average players (also jack,elneny) xhaka is superb let get mdf player like erisken,kante,modric,rakitic…..

  15. Joc says:

    Yaya for £52??

  16. ed says:

    hes 34…we’ll finish 7th I reckon

  17. Malaysian gunner says:

    Under the fm,the defence was ripped to pieces..Why ? Because the fm believes in football is an art
    and his cavalier attack always leaves rooms for the opposition ti hit on the break.
    This has happened for many,many,many years.
    Finally he has to pay the price.Under him the gunners have lost despite taking the lead countless
    times. Hopefully the Spaniard being a pragmatic guy will discard the pattern weaving and pretty soccer and go direct to win.
    CMYG from Malaysia land of satay and numerous dishes of tasty food.

  18. Dudu says:

    I can’t believe Wagner has gone thank u ? Jesus Christ…….welcome new Dynasty!!!

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Dudu, as far as we know David WAGNER is still manager of Huddersfield Town!

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