Thoughts on Arsenal’s transfer window, no DM, and dream formation…

Arsenal of the Future by ElusiveArsenal..

The nerve wracking, nail biting, drama of a transfer window is finally over, and with it we are blessed with two extra weeks of half part-boredom, half part-anxiety. Boredom over the meaningless international friendlies and the ever present fear of one of our own inevitably getting injured. Luckily, our English core have made it through unscathed, and if my Google search is right, so have our German contingent. That leaves our French brothers (Koscielny a doubt). Barring any Shawcrosses, both Debuchy and Kos should return unharmed. This gives at least a week for new boy Danny to make nice with the majority of the team.

As it is a slow week, this article will have less directed aim and will be general ramblings of an Arsenal fan… One I feel will be quite long.

Let’s start with the obvious: Transfers: I would give our transfer a solid B.
This has been an excellent window for our club with very good upgrades all around the pitch. Most departures this window aren’t even felt by the Arsenal fans thanks to their quality replacements-a feat Arsene was regularly criticized for the last 7 years. More importantly we didn’t lose any of our star players: Another stigma which has hounded our club for years.

It’s not an A because we have a glaring hole in defense but that can be sorted with a free loan on Sept 9 (Another gift from the international break). I’m less worried about the DM issue and I’ll explain why late in the article. So whoever says we had a bad transfer window need only look at the trade in of Bendtner for Welbeck… need I say more.

Of all our signings, the most polarizing would have to be Danny Welbeck, which I fail to understand. He is no Radamel Falcao or Diego Costa, but there are several qualities he has which is reminiscent of our greatest strikers. I could pull out stats to point out the stigma of his lack of goals is very misleading, considering his high shot accuracy, conversion rate and goals per minute but the most important aspect I would say is something which does not show up in stats… TENACITY!

Before I continue I want to make it clear I am definitely not putting Adebayor or Welbeck on the same level as Theirry Henry, but there is a similarity amongst them beyond their speed. They all terrorize defenders and midfielders of the opposing team occasionally winning the ball high up in the opponents pitch.

They do not just win it though. These players are capable of linking up with onrushing midfielders or turning and launching counterattacks of their own. What this does is relieve a lot of pressure on the midfielders as opponents are more wary of bombing forward for fear of a rapid pincer counter-attack.

I say Welbeck may be one our best signings yet, because not only does he possess these attributes, his style of play will allow Arsene with one of the biggest selection issues: Ramsey or Wilshere. In the recent past it has easily been Ramsey because of his goal scoring form, but Wilshere this season is clearly returning to full form after a decent run of games without that niggling ankle injury.

This is my dream Arsenal make up…..

Alexis/Ox Ozil Walcott/Ox
Ramsey Wilshere
Gibbs Kos Mert/Chambers Debuchy

There is a reason Arsene refuses to believe in a pure DM and that is because Arsenal never needed one in its glory days. Most will point to Viera. But apart from being big, scary and tough, he was definitely not a DM. In fact I would say his partner Petit was closer to being a DM than he was.

Both men were B2B players, bombarding up and down the pitch without fear because of their unique understanding. If Viera was rushing forward, Petit would hang just slightly behind, and if Petit was the one rushing on, Viera would hang back.

This brought a dangerous unpredictability, worsened by Henry’s habit of popping up on the wings with Pires or someone else occupying the open space created by dragging his marker out. And with Henry, Pires’, Ljunberg’s and basically everyone’s tenacity in tracking back, the opposition found it hard to break through with all flanks protected and the middle a fortress with a sniper from behind creeping up on them should they stall too long.
You don’t need to be big and black to be the DM Arsenal need. (I’m looking at the Carvalho wagonboys who know nothing of the boy except youtube clips yet are convinced he’s our next Viera.)

No one complained about a DM when Arsenal were flying high pre-Walcott and Ramsey injury even though Ramsey and Wilshere got paired quite a bit. Reason was we had our flanks well protected by Theo and a persistent midfield battlers in Ramsey and Wilshere. (Even when Wilshere was on the flanks, he was relentless in tracking back.)
Then Walcott got injured.. then Ramsey and for quite a while Wilshere too.. This left us using Ozil and Cazorla on the flanks or Oxlade in an unfamiliar CM role (a la Chelsea) and when Chamberlain and Gnarby both got crocked we were left purely without true pace. Terrible defeats coincide with this period of deformation within the team.

I will get crucified but I believe that if we return to 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 with the hardworking players we currently have, Ramsey and Wilshere can both play together (provided they have a similar understanding to Petit-Viera).
Both have shown their impressive pressing without the ball in the City match where they shut Toure down. Wilshere has shown his improved confidence, ability and tenacity for the tackle in recent games and Ramsey still has his goal scoring form with 2 goals in 3 EPL games. Of all the drubbings we received last season, the only one I felt we had no chance was the Liverpool game where our players seemed unable to handle their ferocity. Manchester City’s 6-3 could have gone either way if we were more clinical much like Chelsea’s recent game against Everton. Our patch-up squad against Chelsea failed spectacularly and Everton’s game was as a result of negligence on the left wing: something we won’t have to worry about with Sanchez.

So it is my firm belief that sometime somewhere in the near future we will see a lot more of Ramsey and Wilshere in the Centre of the pitch.

We might change against the big clubs to a 4-1-4-1 for that extra body in midfield and should we choose that formation it should be:

Sanchez/Ox/Campbell, Wilshere, Ramsey, Walcott/Ox/Campbell
Usual Suspects

With this we have that extra body without sacrificing workrate. In my humble opinion Ozil and Cazorla should never be together in such a setup. Even if Wilshere or Ramsey are having a bad match, they will at the very least hound the opposition. Ozil and Cazorla press depending on their mood. And while it’s okay to have one of them with Wilshere or Ramsey, having both on the pitch will allow opponents to breeze past and force Flamini into a red card at some point.

Would also like to point out that with either formation we have goals coming from EVERYWHERE on the pitch: another characteristic of the golden era. Post-Henry to Pre-Giroud we were forced to defer to one or two players for most of our goals. They were mostly our strikers which is why Giroud still gets a lot of stick. Last two seasons Giroud allowed midfielders to chip in with goals, but they were still few and far in between, mostly because Giroud is inherently incapable of occupying too many defenders by his lonesome. He just lacks the pace to successfully draw them out then release someone else. Also because he was mostly a focal point without an option of him beating defenders on his own, we were too predictable. No focal point= No focus point for opposing defenders.. and let the chaos reign from there on..

Now I’m tired, my dog is fighting with my cat for bed space and since I have neither I think I might be hallucinating and need to hit the hay.

I know its a long but slow week.. Might have some more ramblings later this week. Till then…

Constructive criticism appreciated.. This is MY squad and what I feel can be possible with our hardworking front three.. Feel free to disagree, and please give good reasons why you do. We’re all Arsenal fans and debates like these help pass the lonely periods between matches… What do you think???


VIDEO – Arsenal Players in England win over Norway

Tags Henry Petit Vieira welbeck Wilshere


    1. To sum it up Wenger has fu**ed it up again.And great to hear Wenger has been fired from TF1.Now strengthen the squad in Jan.

          1. God will you lot stop spewing spite about the transfers, we have had the best tranfer window I can remember, we have started to build the team back up for long term success, and have quality signings like Ozil, Sanchez, and the like of Chambers and Welbeck who have great potential. We have addressed the lack of pace on all fronts and improved the squad. Grow up and support your team!

      1. @Hald bloke
        man…! do u always throw sh@te from ur mouth?!!!
        what kind of an Arsenal fan are u?!!
        all of ur comments are full of hubris,sarcasm and bad smell..!
        no one is 110% satisfied , BUT GUESS F@CKING WHAT ?!

        1. We are not moaning because we are not 110% happy with who we got, people are genuinely concerned that Arsenal has been left with far to few defenders to surmount a serious title challenge or a sustained Champions League campaign. Now if we were Palace that would be unrealistic, but Arsenal is one of the biggest and richest clubs in the World. Surely as fans we could hope for some better organised transfer activity?

      1. But it’s his view, I take it you are perfectly happy with the situation, and feel that the squad has been strengthened to allow our title challenge not to collapse due to a few injuries? I confess that I am a little disappointed that Wenger hasn’t learnt from last season. Having to bring in a free after the window has closed to reinforce a position where you know one of you key players has an ongoing injury sounds a little dangerous to me. In fact it has a similar Kim Kallstrom panic feel to it, or am I reading something into it.. I mean a game v ManC and then BvB couldn’t be considered as testing.

    2. After a long 10 years without major trophies I understand all of us fan are impatient. I’m very frustrated during the deadline day regardless the signing of a very good player in Welbeck.
      Now after calming down a bit, think it is not prefect but a pretty good window. The doom and gloom are mostly from the highly expectation and false hope that the media gave us and we fall right into it
      – First they will raise our hope up with news that we have up to 100M to spend, etc … Fact is regardless the new stadium debt had been cleared, our finance still cannot match City, Chelsea, Paris SG especially in how much wage we can offer to the player. Chelsea always got the player they want, why, they just need to paid the release clause (Costa, Felipe Luiz, Matic) and more than double the player wage – no negotiation required. Oil money is easy to spend compared to hard earned cash. We spent whole deadline day negotiate with Man Utd and manage to bring asking price from 18M to 16M, many people saying it is money pinching, I say good and responsible finance management. How many of us here think we can actually earn 2M pounds in our whole lifetime? We will never be able to pay 350k for top player like Falcao so we should not have our hope up in the first place. What we are trying to get is the just-below-the-top and not being over-hyped player like Sanchez, with these players we still can be the next Dortmund or Atletico and compete for the greatest honours
      – Our defensive problem is a concern, fully agree. On paper we have only 6 senior defenders for 4 positions. But why none of us consider Bellerin as an option and give him the chance while keep crying for giving chances to Campbell, I watched the Emirates Cup and I am more impressed with Bellerin than Campbell. For backup CB, Chambers had been so impressive that now the 3rd CB position is in his pocket fair and square. We are only in the market for 4th CB, how much game time we can promise to Manolas for example – that’s why he ended up at Roma. How about Isaac Hayden, he had captained all our U-18, 19, 21 squad and at the age when he has to break into the first team or leave – I think he did well during pre-season and deserve a chance.

      Finally I always wonder why the media hate us and always try to attack us. How many defenders Chelsea had – Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpiculetta, Felippe Luiz, Zouma (0 EPL experience) – also 6 senior defenders with Cahill and Terry way older, more injury prone than our CB pair. The next in line are also from their academy Ake and Christansen (spelling!)

      In the perfect world, we should have signed a physical DM who can play CB as well – such as Carvalho. Really disappointed, yes – the only positive is we know the club at least is working on signing such player, hope it happen sooner rather than later, next Jan?

      Anyway with the transfer window now close and after a good but not perfect transfer windows, it’s time to be positive, get behind the boys and cheer for them. Once this team gel, they will bring pure excitement to us all.

  1. For me its been a very successful transfer window.. another world class player bought in, an absolute gem in signing chambers (that no one saw coming, bar mr wenger) and upgrades for every player that left.

    maybe its down the years watching top player after top player leave n no one coming in that has distorted my view but still im happy n excited about the season a head

    1. It is a good transfer window, and if we can get Yepes for a year it will be a very good transfer window. I disagree with the article though, you just cant compare Viera and Petit to Ramsey and Wilshire.
      They are not same type of players, Viera and Petit no matter what you call them b2b or DM were extremely tough tackling all action players. Ramsey and Jack are smaller, maybe more technical but their defensive duties can not be a match for what Viera and Petit did for Arsenal.

      I dont care what you call the position, we need a big strong, hard tackling fighter in midfield and we just dont have one.

      1. @jimbeam
        Well Fing said man! Loved the comment. Spot on

        At the same time though, we got what we got. And tho we lack that Pitbull-destroyer type player, we still have a very very solid squad. With a good run of form at the right time, we’ll be in it to the end in both major competitions. Just my opinion

      2. I agree, but we also need to have a reality check too. Alexis is a great signing but we need to look at the games to goal ratio of our attack vis -a -vis others too to have a bit of a reality check of just what we have in our locker. TH14’s ratio is 0.49 DB10 0.36 Sturridge 0.4, Falco 0.6 now ours Alexis 0.3, Welbeck 0.22, TW14 0.22 Ox 0.14 they have to replace Giroud 0.4. Whether you like it or not we needed a striker with goals. Please don’t look at Falcao’s it hurts.

    1. Thats a misquoted line.
      Didn’t drop him. Only one cnut newspaper is reporting this.
      Except that everyone thinks that both parties came to an understanding.

      Want a link bro?

  2. I think your’e forgetting about a man named GILBERTO SILVA who was our true CDM and allowed Viera to move up and down the pitch as he pleased. This is why people want Carvalho so that he can stay in front of the back line and allow Ramsey or Wilshere to roam freely up and down the pitch.

    1. We pretend that Arteta and Wilshere can do the role of CDM , but they can’t. Flamini (bless him, I do love him) is not the greatest. Carvalho would be choice. Next year, however, he’s out of contract so instead of offering market value, we offer peanuts with a Joel Campbell loan (coz we don’t really know what to go with him either) and Sporting turn it down. By Jan we’ll have tried again, but by then Sporting will have him under a new contract with a £40K buy-out clause or another club who will offer value will join the race. Draxlor and Suarez all over again.

  3. No league champions trophy this season, no no money excuse this time,Out with Wenger and in with a proven new young manager.

  4. Nice transfer so far, too much new players makes team look dis jointed, that’s wot we r facing right now, we ll soon get ther.

  5. In your dream team the pivot-

    From what i see here, you have two No.10’s here.
    Both wants to keep possession of the ball, and move it forward. This would be a difficult situation to comprehend in words, but it won’t work.

    Also want to add.

    Lesson 01- The ball is faster than any player. Always pass when you can, not dribble. Jack seems to take this lesson very badly.
    He takes the ball-runs a bit- dribbles one if lucky-and than fall flat on his face with the next player-get up-make a frustated face-run for the ball again.

    He needs to go back to his basic.

    When Ramsey has a bad game, he just sticks to basics. Pass around, make runs.

    You know in the full 90 mins, you can be amazed by Ramsey anytime. The anticipation with Ramsey lasts till the final whistle.

    But i can’t say the same for Jack.

    People are surprised the same when Ramsey has a bad game, as Jack having a good one.

  6. It’s bloody frustrating. However, I’ve come to accept that Wenger is Wenger. He is very stubborn when it comes to his transfer philosophy, however crazy it may seem.

    Image if we had got a top forward and a top CDM. that’s just two signings. So many to choose from and so many combinations. We had so many to go after.

    Khedira, Carvalho, bender, Scneiderlin, Gustavo

    Reus, Falcao, Martinez, Benzema, Cavani

    Just two signings would have made us favourites or at least joint favorites to win PL and good chance to win Champions League

    Well we can’t cry over the past. We need to support the team and hope they succeed regardless

    1. If i can make you feel any better:
      Khedira– We pressed for this very hard all summer, and i expected him to come because of the Mesut factor and BFF’s thing. But seems like he wants to do a Sagna. Join someone on very high wages next year. We pay all our top players 140 k with Wenger earning 150k. But Khedira wanted 200k and we didn’t want to disrupt our wage structure.

      Carvalho – you have to understand his agent his Jorge Mendes, with whom Wenger has never done business.
      All of Mendes players join ManU somehow. Even players like Nani, Bebe, Anderson. I feel Carvalho will go to United this january. United also need a holding mid. (Fellani was never a holding mid in his best years for Everton)

      Bennder – Currenty injured. Never linked to him except by some unwanted Metro and Mails.

      Scneiderlin – Clearly said he wanted his former manager and the sole reason for joining Spurs. Also Southampton made a firm stand on not selling any more 1st teamers after Chambers transfers.

      Gustavo – he is the highest paid player in his Wolfsburg team. Last year he showed the world CL didn’t matter to him as long as his pay was nice. He earns in Özil’s bracket. If we had bought him what do you think would have happend to Kos, Per, Ramsey who earns a lot less.

      For strikers David Ornestien(100% accuracy on Arsenal transfers) said two weeks before the DLD that we were looking to buy a player who can play CB and DM.

      But since Giroud got injured we need a striker after that. And the pursuit of Welback. And i never for a moment believed that we were in for Falcao. We were always waiting for United to Falcao than take Welback.

      “Reus, Falcao, Martinez, Benzema, Cavani”
      You don’t buy players of this calibre without planning it from before, like we did with Sanchez.

  7. If Wenger is really serious that Ox has a midfielder trait and can see him there than i suggest a pivot of:
    Ramsey——The Ox

    To play thr position that Ox has in the pivot, he had to be a lot more disciplined than ususal.

    He is a strong boy, unafraid to tackle, ready to take a card, and dirty work for the team (deliberate handball against Chelsea away).

    The one thing is height, but he compensates that with his pace.
    No i am not saying a defensive midfielder role, but similar to what Ramsey brings to the team.

    The pivot always works on understanding the partners.
    When a ball is played forward-
    Ramsey and Ox has to have that understanding as to who will make the run, and who will stay a bit behind in case the ball is lost.

    If Ox and Ramsey can built that than my preferred team would be-

    ———Sir Chesney

    1. Maybe a bit early for the Ramsey Ox pairing, but that’s the kind of thinking I agree with. I agree Jack in a No.10. For me Campbell on the left is a no brainer, we might have to get him a little more tactically aware of his defensive duties, but he naturally holds to the left. If it were not ManC next I would run with it…. BvB hmmmm There style of “gengen pressen” might be a bit to much for an Ox Ramsey try out. Does excite me though,

  8. This will be our strongest formation soon



    I choose Arteta because he is our Captain now.

      1. If you think Alexis won’t offer that much protection then you obviously haven’t been watching any Arsenal matches. Alexis is an absolute beast on the pitch- always pressing and always tracking back (sometimes all the way back to his own touchline).

  9. I suppose it was a big enough clue when Arteta was made captain. Not going to be dropped straightaway, even Wenger isn’t that mad! I just wonder how hard he really tried to sign Carvalho or a top CD, not very, I’m pretty certain.I’m afraid I just don’t trust the man. I agree about comparisons with Petit and Vieirra, none can be made. Those were two fearsome gladiators, enough said. I worry that we have to endure another five transfer deadlines before his time is up. It’s hard to believe that this same man turned football in this country upside down and presented teams full of power and pace that drove fear into their opponents…

  10. waiting for a fully fit walcott. is he available after international break? he will be our key man to compete for league title.

    1. He will not be back to game level for quite sometime, he will play a bit part for many matches to come I’m afraid.

  11. We need a Viera type player and Henry type player. An authority in the back of midfield and a goal scoring machine. Hopefully, next summer (maybe???)

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