The problems Arsenal need to fix before we face Crystal Palace

Addressing squad depth for a top4 challenge by Konstantin Mitov
Well, lovely Arsenal people, the new season is coming in fast and we will again open the campaign, this time away at Crystal Palace. Our recent results there haven’t been great, and I really want to avoid a repeat of last year’s dreadful start.
For that, we have to be prepared to have our best 11, and a decent bench to help if things don’t go to plan. So far we’ve signed 4 players, but only Gabriel Jesus is one that definitely starts and improves the squad.
Last year we were really hurt by the injuries of Thomas Partey and Tierney, and reports are Zinchenko can play both positions but I really feel left back is where he will be deployed.
Against the potential threat of the likes of Zaha I want a player ready to go and I’m not sure where Kieran is with his match fitness, so for me the Ukrainian goes straight in.
The biggest improvements are made in the weakest links and for me the midfield still needs to be addressed. Xhaka let us down multiple times again last season. We signed Fabio Vieira, who still has some problem with his foot, and I’m worried, we’ll be one Partey injury from another crisis, in a season with European football included.
It baffles me that we haven’t coughed up 25 millions for Tielemans. The deal makes perfect sense, but I think we’ll rely on backup from big Mo. Don’t get me wrong, I like Elneny, but as a squad player (and you do need those). But to dominate midfield in premier league games I want a solid partner for Partey and maybe someone with an eye for goal. I suspect Zinchenko will be considered as an option, but I don’t like this versatility where one player can play anywhere.
Remember Xhaka at left back? Players should have a defined role at the squad. One they understand and are most familiar with. Thats why a CM is a must for me.
Also what about right back? Tommiyasu is yet to feature, so it’s most likely Cedric. Facing Zaha? It leaves a little doubt in my mind, and if we want to make the top 4, we must eradicate such doubts.
Another winger would be lovely as well. Too much pressure fell on Saka last term and this time it will be the same. Pepe will likely be moved on, and there are no real alternatives. Maybe we can try Jesus on the wing and Eddie in the middle, but again, a Pepe replacement, proper winger is what I’d go for. We did sign Marquinhos, but I doubt he’ll be used very much. Besides the point is to take some responsibility off the young players shoulders, not pour more.
Also up front, say Gabi J picks up an injury. Is Nketiah alone enough for the league, cups and Europa? What about some height from the bench, to whip crosses? An Ivan Toney kind of signing would be perfect.
In an ideal world a RB, a winger, a striker and a central midfielder will be perfect and give me the confidence to definitely make the top 4. No ifs and buts. Champions league football should be a must for this season. Let’s see how it goes.


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  1. You,ve definitely had an attack of the hebe gebe,s
    The window is not done yet! But even with injuries
    Palace will find this squad insurmountable

      1. Gunsmoke
        Ask and you shall receive. I will make my guess rather than any “prediction.”

        2-0 Arsenal win with Jesus and Martinelli scoring, Odegaard assist.

        My guess is premised on a Saliba and Gabriel pairing at CB, White at RB.

        If White starts at CB then I’ll guess 2-1 because White isn’t as good a defender as Saliba.

        1. Durand
          Thank you sir, I will be remembering this score line,

          What impresses me most about yesterday score line is that it never really flattered us

          1. We capitalized on Chelsea’s problems, as a good team should. We played well, so I don’t mean to belittle our win. It’s the preseason not mid-season Chelsea.

            Similar to Utd thumping pool 4-0.

            1. Can see you are not carried away with the thumping victory .

              But am seeing we were the much better team in a very competitive game.
              We seem to bounce foward with much confidence, we didn’t played with the hand brake up at any point, this must be from the assurance of Big Ben, Saliba and Gabby.

              Chelsea just couldn’t deal with the press, we need a bigger squad to play like this all season

  2. I think this team is good enough. We have squad 1year older and experienced than last season, am of the opinion we need more experience in winger, I feel Martinelli isn’t good enough, and needs to do more to prove me right, however, this squad is ready no more excuses.

    This time last year we all saw from the preseason games how far behind we were, against Chelsea in mind series game it was clear, and from the first game of the season our fear were unravel but this season is different, don’t tell me it’s only a pre-season game, at this stage of preseason with less than 2weeks to start of new campaign, teams gets serious and we can inference how prepared they are.
    Am confident against cpalace

  3. I don’t agree that versatility is a problem. There’s a world of difference between playing Xhaka at LB and Zinchenko in midfield – Z plays there for his country as captain, so not really playing out of position as Xhaka at LB is now known to be.

    Having backup is one thing, having real competition for places is another and altogether better.

    Even if you did go down the backup route, you can’t guarantee that they won’t both be injured so versatility is important. Otherwise… you end up with Xhaka at LB!

  4. I just agree about a dominant tall CF, because we don’t have someone like that since Giroud left

    That kind of CF could help us win the ball in the final-third, while giving Nketiah and Balogun time to learn from Jesus

    1. So what size would you like him, like 6ft5? Which striker out there would you like? Because as soon as he comes in, you will whine that the 6ft5 “BIG’ striker is shite. Jesus, holds the ball up perfectly fine and links up with the midfield while still being able to move into the channels. Based upon your comment, you want 4 strikers….mad man.

      You bunch of complainers will never be happy.

      1. Jesus has been amazing so far. But imagine if he gets injured or is having a barren period, while Nketiah and Balogun can only score from open play as well

        Wouldn’t it nice to have a different CF type on bench, to rotate with Jesus/ Nketiah, to win ball possession on cold rainy nights in Stoke and to make us more dangerous in set-pieces

      2. you’re damn right bro.
        some of our fans are unbelievably toxic and moans per second billing.
        irrespective of who we buy, they seem to always have one better player out there

      3. Admin! Foul play. Some just call his fellow gunner “mad man”. According to the new constitution Chapter 3 sub section 4, “No gunner what so ever either by hook or crook can hurl insulting words to his fellow gunner”

    2. This may not be a top priority but it is something Arsenal shall seriously consider. We all have seen during Wenger time after Giroud how our team was handled comfortably by some defensive minded and physical teams. That surely is a concern for our young and agile team that can use more physicality and aerial dominance. Not sure if we will spare the money to strengthen this department though.

  5. Totally agree with the point of partey being an injury away from a midfield crisis, as well as being light in attack if Jesus is out for one reason or another..

  6. I too agree with the need of another striker and a big striker too so we can change pattern of matches I am not totally convinced by Nkeiah either and have doubts whether he is good enough I dont think Cedric is that bad and White can play at right back allowing Saliba and, Gabriel to occupy central defence I do agree with neee of another central midfielder and cant see why the hold up over Tielemans he knows the Englush league and, would seem to want a move to Arsenal

  7. Xhaka slows the game down, he is the weak link, replace him and you will see the difference, is it me?, but I just don’t get it with Saka, the game against Chelsea was woeful crossing, losing the ball, and still not a great one on one with the keeper. Saliba looks good, Jesus well what can you say, brilliant, still on the fence with Nkeitah. Partey said can’t shoot, Odegaard is always impressive, and Gabriel and White will get better. Ramsdale decision-making in kicking still needs improving, but I like what I have seen in the friendlies, but we need just a little bit more tweaking

  8. GAI,Tall CF’s do struggle to keep possession they only know how to score by heading or close range tapping in plus they need numerous chances to score which makes them only usefull when we are dominant in possession i.e against small clubs not top sides like city and a tall cf don’t cut it for me we don’t necessarily have to score through crosses in open play afterall we are doing fine in set-pieces.

    1. Giroud made up for his ball control/ first touch weaknesses by using his strength, aerial ability, work rate and hold-up play. France wouldn’t have won World Cup without Giroud’s strengths, although Giroud didn’t make any shot-on-goal

      Had our system been as stable as Man City’s or Liverpool’s, we wouldn’t need a dominant CF like him. There will be tough away matches where we struggle to win the ball possession and where our diminutive technical attackers got bullied, as it happened in Etihad, Selhurst Park and St James Park stadiums

      I’m sure some of them are decent in keeping ball possession and aren’t as popular as Haaland/ Nunez yet

      1. I agree we need a physically dominant CF. Teams like West Ham, Crystal Palace, just look at their roster. They have brutes all over the field. And all they need to do is soften up our players by in the first half pushing them around, and our players, who are mostly technical ones, will get frustrated throughout as they won’t get to impose their playstyle. Mistakes start to happen, silly fouls, hasty passing as the players feel insecure of holding the ball for too long to invite a crippling tackles and pushes.

        Look at the West ham Squad, Antonio, Rice, Soucek, these get into the final third and frequently score odd goals from crosses due to their sheer physicality.

        Crystal Palace have Benteke, Mateta, Edouard, Kouyate, all brutes. They can just lob the crosses in and expect to sneak in a goal or two. And with Zaha, they farm corners.

        I’m not saying, that’s how Arsenal should play, but when goals don’t happen from open play, an alternative way of scoring should be there.

  9. This is just a rant, you were worried about who faces Zaha, is there 11 Zara’s? Ben White will be completely fine on the right and Zink will do the job at left back and aid us going forward. There appears to be a reason that Xhaka has been a started for all managers so far, and is the Swiss captain. He is one of our most reliable performers, yes he had 2 moments where he slipped up, But its just lazy writing to say he is an issue.
    You said Jesus is the only one that improved the squad, I would disagree, they all massively improved the squad. But he and Saliba are the only ones that will improve the starting 11. Which is fantastic, the starting 11 needed slight improvement, but the squad depth is what needed help!! Dont just write articles to complain, bring some actual thought that has substance.

  10. Barring a winger being brought in I think any incomings now depend on outgoings. If we can shift the players not part of Arteta’s plans then there’s room to get the finishing touches.
    At present, I like the squad, we’re not close to Liverpool or City but we’re in contention for top 4, along with Chelsea and Spurs, possibly even United and West Ham if they get their business done.
    At RB we have Tomiyasu as the starter but then its blurry as there’s a lot of options, ideally either White or Saliba can cover, but to bring in a new RB we’d probably have to shift Cedric and Bellerin, or just try convince AMN to focus on RB solely. Plus, in a season Norton-Cuffy could well play a part, he looks very promising.
    Central midfielder is the main one for me. I think Milinkovic-Savic and Paqueta are the top drawer Partey partner options but Tielemans could be good, though his form dipped last season and wasn’t defensively switched on. We need a really impressive player to help dominate games, I do like Xhaka but I think we need a player with a more balanced set of attributes for bigger games.
    An experienced winger would be great, Sane would be a dream signing but probably unlikely, so too Bowen. I expect us to use Vieira as Saka’s back up if we don’t sign anyone, as he’s seen as a Bernardo Silva type, who himself played out wide when getting used to the PL. Then have ESR as Odegaard back up, and Martinelli on the left, which could make space for Gakpo to come in and challenge GM11 for a spot, or go all out for Lauturo Martinez. Though I feel Gakpo probably isn’t ready for PL.
    And as for striker, West Ham have just agreed a £30m fee for Scamacca. He’d be ideal for us to change tactics in many games, and that’s affordable for his skillset and diversity. Also Isak would be good but his end product has lacked lately, and nobody can tell if he costs £40 or £80m.
    If Leno leaves it would be good to have a PL experienced keeper brought in. Turner may turn out to be good but he’ll need time. An injury to Ramsdale early on and we could be in trouble.

    So dreamworld:
    ST – Scamacca.
    Wing – Sane/Bowen/Martinez.
    CM – Savic/Paqueta.
    RB – might be ok.
    GK – experiencedback up.

    More realistic:
    ST+Wing – Gakpo.
    CM – Tielemans.

    Either way I really hope we correct past mistakes and have an impressive season! COYG!

  11. I actually think this team is there or thereabouts.
    The only major vacuum for me is the need for a real back up for Saka.
    Another central midfielder to back up Partey would be a nice to have, but I don’t think we will do it.
    Arteta (I think it was) said ESR can play as winger, creative mid and striker, I tend to agree. Martinelli can also play as top 9 so that position is also well covered.
    In games where we are struggling to maintain possession and need a big figure up top we can bring on Holding for a striker, have him play as central defender, send Gabriel Magalhaes up top for the last 10-15 mins of the game, and go route one.
    But the need for that is so rare, that it wouldn’t make sense signing someone solely for that.

    1. @Afigbo, I agree with you, make sure a lot of sense, Ramos and Pique do it a lot,

      I think it’s more logical to have a very good backup for Partey,
      Xhaka IMO already has Elneny as backup,
      Saka has Marquinhos/Vieira as backup
      Oedegaard has Vieira/Smith-Rowe
      Martinelli has Smith-Rowe

      Gakpo/Jovic on loan would be great,

      Our only urgent need is CDM, I kind of think Miguel Azeez can do justice to it.

  12. After the Chelsea game, I think we should improve on long passes, it’s annoying losing almost all long passes

  13. Was like an home match for Arsenal.

    Sterling was the most popular player there maybe because of his Jamaican connection.

    This was a massive match for Arsenal, a know we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves, but we can only beat what is presented in front of us.

    We must now accelerate the process of ridding the surplus or those not in the gaffer’s plan.

  14. Our match against Crystal palace in the coming month on 5/8/2022, I want Arsenal handle the very hard, because Crystal palace no be small team o

  15. I watched the game yesterday and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of play and commitment from our players. It’s refreshing to see them get in Chelsea face without fear all game.

    For me that is a major win, I already see a change in attitude from this young squad. Yes it preseason but I would rather see this now than later.

    The team is okay bar out-goings at least until January.

    This team should be good enough till January at least when more addition could be justified. We have a real talented team but more importantly a very united team.

    By the way Zinchenko over Tieney for me all day long.

    1. Tierney is superior to Zincheko who is a central midfielder first and foremost, but who can fill in at LB when required.He does not have the pace nor the positional sense to be a top class LB which Tierney clearly is.If you do not recognise this, your football knowledge must be limited.

      1. @Grandad
        Thank you very much. Zinny doesn’t have the pace to recover quick enough to get back and defend. James was zinging in crosses at will and Gabby had to cover for Zinny leaving space that Mount kept capitalising on. Nuno came on and pocketed James, frustrating him to no end. I’d keep Nuno as backup to Tierney over Zinny…IJS

      2. But at least he’s experienced cover, and not a cock-up merchant. We all know that Tierney is a world class left back, but that’s when he plays. The truth is that Zinchenko will have many outings at left back if recent seasons are a guide.

    2. To say that truth,Arsenal needs Party backup and Tielemans is perfect although savic is also good but is much expensive than the Leicester city man.Then a backup to Tomiyasu beacause of his injury worries and since Cedric is not good enough for me Kyle Walker-Peters can do better here and then let Cedric go, Then an attacker,a right footed winger probably,if possible Gakpo.

  16. We are all yapping about incomings do we think about outgoings?? We have surplus players to first get ride of before we allow the incomings to avoid financilal fair by one makes a bunddle

  17. As for me, Arteta’d go for partey partner because of his injur…for now our squad are ok for back ,but CM Is what we need to be PARTEY partner

  18. Bro er chill Atreta has got this, its all good to critique but if u pay attention were back in for Arthur to fill that midfield slot and he’s THE perfect 6 for us I gotta say I love Onana I think he’s the one but Arthur is like a defensive Santi Cazorla which us going to be fun to watch as far as our signings ….WOW
    been hoping for this for years now (properly considered investment) i think he’s done a better job than I would have dared to hope … last season I was amazed at the future prospects of the squad he built on the quiet, im still struggling to quantify what our true potential is with Jesus and Co…. I mean… Zinchenco 😎… Saliba 🥰… Viera 🤯(assist king of Europe last season) …the American 🤐
    And Marquinhos who having only seeing him a tiny bit looks like your old school Brazilian not like Martinelli who’s too good but his game is modelled in being supremely effective or efficient… with tricks on top,
    but Marquinhos looks to have a bit of Neymar about him, God I hope he’s humble … wants to bamboozle players which is also fun to watch

  19. Bring in telesman to replace xhaka in the middle then we are good to go…ESR,Viera,Pepe,Nelson can all cover up saka,martineli and odigard…The squad which started the game against Chelsea will start against Crysta palace…white on the right, saliba and Gabriel at the center zinc on the left even though have never liked xaka all signs are pointing to him playing with partey in the middle then odigard behind the front three of Jesus, martineli and saka

  20. So we need another winger to supplement Saka,Martinelli,ESR, Nelson, Marquinhos and Pepe who are all capable of playing on the flanks.Indeed Jesus and Nketiah can also operate there.There is absolutely no point in committing to another winger until the future of Nelson and Pepe has been resolved.

  21. GK. Ramsdale & Turner
    RB. Tomi, White & Soares
    CB. Gabriel Saliba &(White) Rob
    LB. Zink, Teirney & Taveres
    CDM. Party Elneny ?????
    CM. Xhaka Vieria Lokonga
    AM. Øde Emile (Vieira)
    RW. Saka Marquinho
    CF. Jesus Nketiah Balogun
    LW. Martinelli ??????

    We need a beast of a central midfielder and an attacking LW to compete this summers signings.

    Leno, Bellerin, Mari, Lucas, Pepe, AMN all have to be sold or moved on for the season with a few other possible loans like Taveres, Lokonga & Balogun for a season.

    Cody Gakpo & Onana (backup Teilimans) would be super young stars signed to settle right into this project. Imagining adding these 2 to our squad

  22. Haaland,nunez and vlahovic are the type of guys in which we can afford to buy but won’t come ATM so settling for any other person aside from those three just for the sake of scoring headers is not a really a great idea and mind you giroud is not the key to france’s WC success cos his effort had nothing to do with their goals,benzema would have made them a lot deadlier as we witnessed in their nations league triumph so IMO a tall cf is not nesessary.

  23. I just enjoyed every single comment from all of us,just need this ersenal team to do well this coming season.

  24. While we have had an excellent pre season, we are all aware, as are the management to be fair, that we still need one or two more signings. The main thing was to have experienced cover at left back. With an injury-prone, slow healer likely to miss up to 20 games a season, that was essential. However, if we had to go with what we have, I’d still be confident of a good season, and I’m confident we will see off Palace, which I’m usually apprehensive about. It was amusing to hear Tuchel using this pre-season defeat to tell his board that more signings were ‘ungently’ needed.

  25. Arsenal have done well in the transfer window and against Chelsea, a couple of things stood out.

    First, Martin Ogegaasd has taken a big step forward. He is more decisive, more aggressive, and calmer on the ball. It was preseason, and Chelsea will not go into the season with the same team; but if Odehaard keeps playing with that level of poise, Arsenal have a real shot at silverware.

    Second, Chelsea are not the finshed article and might not be until after the season starts. It looks like Thomas Tuchel is struggling to influence the decision makers. It is plain that Tuchel wants to create a squad in his own image, but bringing in a whole new defense and a whole new attack could end up costing him in the same way Arsenal’s atrocious start cost the Gunners last season.

    Gabriel Jesus is a good player. He was playing big minutes for the best team in the Premier League over the last decade. Of course he is a good player. He is going to score goals. The question is, how many? The 10-16 he scored for City, or can he take that big step forward and become a 20-25 goal perseason frontman? If he and Nketiah are supposed to replace Lacazette and Abubameyang, he’ll need to be up near 20 goals. If Nketiah can score 10 on top of Jesus’ 20, Arsenal have a chance. If not? Arsenal could become the Sevilla of England, dominating the Europa League.

    William Saliba looks every inch the real thing. Yes it was preseason and yes, Chwelsea are a mess, but three times he made one-on-one plays to prevent scoring chances, using pace, strength and awareness to dominate very good offensive players. Looking forward to seeing the team in the last preseason friendly agaisnt Sevilla.

    This looks like the finished Arsenal roster in terms of incoming players. Arsenal should have signed a scoring midfielder, but with Zinchenko signed, bringing in Tielemans would limit any minutes Zinchenko would get in the midfield; and the chance to play there is one reason why he signed for Arsenal.

    From here on expect the transfer news to be about players leaving: Bernd Leno, Nicolas Pepe, Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Lucas Torreira, Jeff Reiss Nelson, Pablo Mari… and one or two loan moves like Folarin Balogun.

    A commentator during the game said that Nketiah outplayed Lacazette and Aubameyang. He didn’t. He had a few good games. So did Lucas Perez. We all know how that ended.

  26. Arsenal’s priorities should have been to buy Bissouma, Zaha, Cucerella, and a right-back (preferably James Justin) in addition to Zinchenko and Jesus. That would have weakened Crystal Palace (who did the double over Arsenal last season) and Brighton (who have taken too many points off Arsenal lately). Plus it would have given Saka and Martinelli cover, and Arsenal would have had their upgrades for Xhaka, Partey, and Tierney (their liabilities). There is still hope in Milenkovic-Savic or Tielemans. Also, another smart move would be to gazump West Ham for Scamacca (as he was originally Arsenal’s target).

  27. I fully agree with Edu and take exception to those who think that our only ambition is to make top four. What kind of reasoning is that? How do you start a season with your ambition being to make top four? No wonder you will end up in 8th position.! This is truly ridiculous. Our ambition should be to win the league and if we fail then top 4 should be the minimum we aim for. Who decreed that the top three positions are outside Arsenal’s grasp? Why should you spend over 300 million BP if your sole aim is merely to qualify for 4th position? Isn’t that a shame? Let us raise our ambitions and start thinking big like the big club that we are. The old saying goes that you aim high and fail. It is therefore criminal to aim low.

  28. It is silly season again!!!! Based upon pre-season results we all get carried away.

    Top of the Table may be our ultimate goal, but we are very much in the baby steps part of the League.

    In my view, moving from 5th to 4th would be a really great achievement this season.

    City, Liverpool and Spurs have all got better.

    I suspect that all of our changes so far may just keep us level with those competitors from last season.

    We are still waiting to see what Chelsea do. but I think this is the team we could possibly beat out for a top 4 spot.

    In addition, I feel that among the chasing pack:-

    Man United WILL get better.
    West Ham will get better,
    and surely Leicester cannot be as bad again.

    All in all a top 4 spot, despite, what Edu says, would constitute an excellent campaign for us.

  29. Definitely crystal palace will see something different in this squad but am of the opinion that arsenal buy Wilfred zaha and tieleman before the season start

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