Why Arsenal do not DESPERATELY need…..(Part 3) – A Keeper or Manager!

Why We Don’t Desperately Need a Goalkeeper by TJ

On the question of the goalkeeper. We have Ospina, Szczesny and Martinez with Ospina having recently joined Arsenal. Statistically Ospina has had a fine season and Szczesny is pressing to earn the No 1 jersey. This is good healthy competition for all 3 keepers, and I have yet to hear any convincing argument for a change in goalkeepers – arguments have largely been based on the reputation and perception. The case for Petr Cech is an interesting one and it will come down to whether Wenger believes that Cech offers something significantly better than what we have at the moment.

Bottom Line: Arsene’s call on whether a little used Petr Cech is better than either No 1 or 2. Is Courtois that much better, or simply they had two brilliant goal-keepers?

Right Winger and Left Wingers

We don’t play with Wingers. We play with Attacking Right and Attacking Left midfielders. Our natural width is provided by the full backs. Sanchez is not a left winger. Ramsey is not a right winger. When Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott play on the right or left, they don’t hug the line, they play inside with the option to hug the side-line. Buying an out-and-out Left or Right Wing simply does not fit with how we play.

On Wenger

There isn’t much I want to say other than, I wish he would commit to another 5 years from here. I think by then his project would be complete and reaping the success. He is building a dynasty and not a 2-3 year side, look carefully and you will see it. Building an academy to rival La Masia would be fantastic, and he is on his way towards that. I am sure he is feeling unfulfilled in many ways – he would want at least 2-3 European Championships before he finishes, he would want back-to-back-to-back Premierships. But the years are catching up with him…the best he can do is set the club up to achieve all that and more.

I simply have no time for these ‘Wenger Out’ people – these are the same people who called for Ramsey to be sold, said Henry was sh*t…they are the “instant gratification” crowd who want immediate glory at whatever cost. Spend $120-150M every year and buy the “biggest names’ going around…well we’ve seen what that doesn’t deliver! And yet it happens….

Wenger coming to Arsenal – it was the “perfect storm”…the right person at the right club at the right time. He managed the club to success, took them through the lean-money days, paid for the stadium and stayed in the high-paying Champions League throughout. He bought some duds, he bought and sold some exceptional talent, he’s made tactical mistakes in games but he kept faith with his attractive football philosophy and he has now won back-to-back FA Cups of late.

I want our club to be perched on the highest echelons of world football for many, many years to come and I understand it takes time to build it from the ground up and get all the essential foundations right. The right facilities, the right staff, the right brand of football, the right funnel of talent from kids to 1st team. Get all this right and we become a dynastic football team with a strong flow of talent coming through the ranks and where we’re short – we go out and buy players who fit in the system.

The Overall Team

It was very encouraging to see the break-through years that Bellerin and Coquelin had, and there’s nothing to suggest that this improvement won’t continue over the years. What is more intriguing – who will have a break-through year next season? Which of these players are on the brink of delivering something special – Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Walcott, Gabriel, Jenkinson, Gnabry, Welbeck, Chambers, Crowley, Akpom, Hayden?
We have good depth in the squad in all positions, barring perhaps a young up and coming left back.

This is a squad which continues to improve organically, and there is still so much more to come.

Through this article I have stressed the word “Desperately”…if we do get a Schneiderlin or a Benzema or a Cech, yes I believe it will improve the overall quality of our squad, but if we don’t get them, I believe we still have a very good squad which is improving year-on-year and capable of challenging for the title….


Why Arsenal do not DESPERATELY need…..(Part 1) – A Centre-Forward
Why Arsenal do not DESPERATELY need…..(Part 2) A Defensive Midfielder

Tags Cech ospina Wenger


  1. We definitely need a 30 – 35 goals a season striker to lead from the front and support giroud towards us challenging for the title next season!

    1. We need a striker and a DM, we have many players who can play on the wings. With ox coming back he could be used on the right with Theo, Sanchez on the left has worked fine for us.Wenger has had a great couple of seasons and we are winning trophies. He should stick around and win the bpl and ucl

  2. Yes we do need a striker of that quality and I definitely like the Benzema rumors. Arsene Wenger said that after his retirement he will buy a season ticket and dress in red and white every weekend to support Arsenal. How can someone really put so much hatred towards a man like that? He also explained our financial situation over the years and for that reason we should also want to keep him. Where is our reward for his patience, willingness to work under financial constraints and his loyalty?This man is definitely a legend.

  3. Not fully agree with that we are playing with Right/Left Attacking midfielder – it is not that simple
    We put Sanchez who is right footed on the left so he can cut inside and use his right foot to curl the ball to the right corner – this role is called Inside Forward. Same with the way Bayern put Robben on the right when he is left footed
    Walcott is a bit different type of Inside Forward. He is not cutting inside with the ball but make inside run without the ball – exploiting space between full back and centre back
    Chamberlain is playing as the real Winger in our formation – like to beat full back with his quick feet and cross the ball in the box – he is less than 1 dimension as Young or Navas and try to dribble his way in the box from the wing a few times
    Ramsey on the right is like a Wide-Playmaker – dictate the game from wide area and occasionally make penetrate run to the box

    I think football tactics is much more complex than we fan know. Getting the right balance is not easy – the first half of the season we suffered not only because of injury/world_cup_hangover but also because Wenger struggle to find the right balance in the team to get the best of Sanchez, Ramsey, Ozil, Carzola and even Wilsheres

    Lastly whether we need winger or not depending on if Walcott will play as striker or out wide. If he is to become our striker for next season – we only have Chamberlain, Sanchez,Campbell (squad player at best) as wide players – Welback, Carzola, Wilsheres, Ramsey can play there but it is not ideal, Podolski is as good as gone. It is made public we are interested in Dybala so I can see Wenger will go for another wide attacker

    1. As for the controversy surrounding the word “Winger” and how it is used, while I believe that understanding of it may vary, I really believe it is really a matter of semantics(winger/wide-player).

      You may not be a “Winger” in the traditional sense of the word. But it you can do a job (however specific or not) from playing out-wide or at least playing wider off the sides of another player(s) playing centrally through the middle, I may be inclined to call you a Winger. Doesn’t matter if you cut or drift in a thousand times. Even coaches and managers are often comfortable with using the word where it “traditionally doesn’t apply. Just semantics.

      Reus ->Winger
      Ronaldo ->Winger
      Sanchez ->Winger
      Hazard -> Winger
      Ribery-> Winger

      1. I haven’t got a problem people calling a player a winger if just for causal chat and denotes a generalised starting position on the field. But I struggle when they use it discussing ours, or any other teams, tactics and systems. To many the term “winger” brings with it more about the players role and tactical use than where a player is positioned on the team sheet. If we are not being particular about it then every forward other than the CF/false 9 becomes a winger and every midfielder on the planet not playing CM assumes the mantle of winger as well. Not very helpful really. Calling Alexis a winger is just lazy and misdirects the conversations we have about striker options. I don’t think he was Udinese’s winger nor for Chile. And he is the antithesis of a winger for us. It doesn’t help the conversations about Ramsey playing on the “wing” either. And presently:

        Cavani -> Winger
        Messi -> Winger
        Mata -> Winger
        Lewandoski -> Winger
        Sturridge -> Winger
        Fellaini -> Winger
        Tevez -> Winger
        Villa -> Winger

  4. Hafiz rahman@
    Why would we go for falcao? He couldn’t even give man u that amount and turned out to be a huge dissappointment for them!

      1. Oh thanks @rpk.
        I can’t understand the reason why most members on here do not yet recognize Hafiz’s trolling and take it seriously.

  5. Talk about a lack of ambition from everyone. Its very dissapointing when you start reading articles like the once that have been posted in the last 2 days. Just when we are very close to creating a title winning team fans and players start thinking they are good enough to win.
    Look lets be honest How many of our players will start for chelsea? Sanchez Cazorla and Kosieny.

    ————————- Curtois——————–
    Ivanovic ——–terry———Boiseny——Assipueta




    lets keep our sentiments away and be honest. A maximum of 3 players out of 11 will start for Chelsea. And all of sudden we think our squad is the good enough and we don’t need improvents. We are fxxxxx deluded like liverpool .

    Not improving a squad is standing still. barca are the best team yet they want pogba. they are asking how can we get better? That is the mentality of a top team.

    Juventus have already signed Dybala and Khedira will be annouced by monday yet they are in the champions league final.

    Chelsea are looking at IMbulla Griezmann Miranda and Falcao. That is a team that is asking how can we get better ? how can we improve?

    United will carry on their Galetico with all their commercial deals. A dutch journalist said depay was signed withing 1 day. thats how rich this guys are. They can do anything. United won’t stop there. I am a financial analyst and I looked at United figures in terms of revenue its almost limitless the potential they have.

    City will go for the kill. With the financial fair play rules reduced city will hammer the market. Sterling deBruyne Kondobia isco.

    Arsenal are there thinking we have the best team the world have ever seen. We don’t need to buy a striker like gONZALO Higuain or MAritinez as it t will affect sanogo’s developement.
    We don’t need to buy a Dm because arteta and Flamini won’t have enouhg games.
    What happens to Podolski and campbell if we sign lacaztte.

    well all this silly articles and stupid questions are the reason we have become a 4th place team. No ambition to challenge. I am not happy been 3rd. from now on i want more in the Champions league atleast semi final and a title challenge from the first day to the last day.

    I will never forget when we wanted to sign Xabi Alonso. fans were saying what will happen to Denilson if we signed xabi Alonso. Alonso still plays for bayern. denilson ??? does he still play football.????

    The writer of all this articles of not needing a striker or Dm should be ashamed.

    1. “we think our squad is the good enough and we don’t need improvents.” I think almost every Arsenal fan has been saying we need to sign players this summer, we need to improve to catch Chelsea……

      I think all Arsenal fans would have Jackson Martinez ahead of Sanogo.

      I think almost all Arsenal fans have asked for Wenger to sign a DM and keeper and striker.

    2. So Chelsea after 10 years of investment are immense and flawless with the world’s best manager, United are “galacticos” who “can do anything” and City will “go for the kill” with the easing on FFP.
      Haven’t you just outlined the problem for us? Hit it smack bang on the kisser. You have insinuated that spending big is the only way to win something -perhaps we all need to re-direct our “outrage” to the board and look for different ownership. Afterall if the definition of “ambition” is now “who is prepared to spend the most” then the present ownership structure and financial prudence model is not going to deliver. If joining the arms race is the only option then all well and good – remember the old Cold War adage of mutually assured destruction. Three of those teams is going to fail next year – it is one hell of a punt.

  6. ” Through this article I have stressed the word “Desperately”…if we do get a Schneiderlin or a Benzema or a Cech, yes I believe it will improve the overall quality of our squad, but if we don’t get them, I believe we still have a very good squad which is improving year-on-year and capable of challenging for the title…. ”

    I don’t agree with this words in particular. We desperately need to add quality. Not adding quality will be criminal. yes we have young players that are imroving but so does chelsea. guys like Hazard william costa Curtois are not 35.

    You clearly said above that if we don’t make any addisions you believe we still have a good squad. but that is your biggest mistake. Its not about having a good squad. Its about having a squad that is good enough to win the league.

    Henry said ” sometimes I use to have bad game and Wiltord will come on and score a hattrick. Or kanu will come on and do the trick.

    Improving the squad doesnot mean giroud or welbeck are cast away. It means competition. If you don’t want competition go play for spurs. if you want to be champion you must compete. We need a striker. I tell people to look at How Jack and Theo responded? they knew they were competing. Look at Per responding to gabby. Look at Nacho responding to Gibbs. debuchy will have to respond to Bell.
    A new striker will push giroud to another level. And Giroud has proven to rise to competition. isn’t that what arsenal need??

    1. Agree with the addition of quality to ratchet up the competitiveness for spots. Can we fit them into the 25 man squad?
      Podolski, Flamini, and perhaps a couple more will be moved on. So possibly yes.

      When I said “good enough”…my mistake…I meant good enough to win the league. I guess I look at this way. if we can’t get the absolute best quality additions (out bid, they don’t want to join us,etc) where does that put us? Assuming organic improvement (players improving year-on-year) then we have say a 75% chance of winning the EPL. If we add say 2 top quality players (CF and DM)…then we may have a 90% chance of winning the EPL.
      No point looking at equivalent quality players…they have to be the very best, and frankly so many of the names being tossed about are not.

      Maybe I believe a little too much in the potential of the team being realised next season but I am certainly realistic enough to recognise the impact a couple of world class players can have as well.
      Let’s hope both happen.

      1. @TJ
        On that point I totally agree with you. I will be the first to say that if the player linked to us is not and improvement on what we have then am not interested. That is why I stress on us bringing about 2 players to add to what we got.

        yes i think you beleieve too much in the potential of the team. Yo can be the best coach in the world with the best potentials but u need proven worldclass to help you cross the line. Look at what Sanchez brings to the team?

        Imagine adding 2 players of Sanchez quality a striker or DM? You are now talking about Potential to ambition?
        Not saying buying worldclass makes us winners. They may earn up like Di maria. But buying worldclass gives us the fear factor and a boost to the whole club.

        Ozil was not our best player when he came. Ramsey was our best player. But what Ozil did was greater because he lifted the whole football club. We started to think we are different. The potential started changing to Ambition. We won our first trophy in a decade.

        Finally i agree with u Sir. I hope both happens.

  7. Arsenal are building
    a ginormous squad.
    Strikers (5)
    Groud Wellbeck Sanogo Akpom (New ST)?
    Wingers (8)
    Sanchez Walcott Ox Gnabry Podolski Campbell Ryo Wellington.
    Mids (6)
    Ozil Cazorla Ramsey Wilshere Rosicky Zelalem
    DM’s (6)
    Le Coqu Arteta Flamini Diaby Bielik (New DM?)
    WB’s (6)
    Bellerin Jenkinson Debuchy Jenkinson Gibbs Monreal
    CB’s (5)
    Kos Mertz Gabriel Chambers Hayden
    GK’s (4)
    Ospina Szczesny Martinez (Cech)?

    A 40 player squad 🙂
    The kit manager is gonna be busy 🙂

  8. The few mentally challenged Gooners who keep weeping for a new manager will be sorely disappointed. Arsenal needed a MANAGER not a coach. Wenger managed us through a very rough financial period , when the rats left the ship, and built a new stadium. There is no manager in football that can manage the team and manage our finances at the same time.
    And that is a FACT!
    We fixed our ship and we are sailing for the league title. If you don’t like Captain Wenger, please jump overboard, grab a Spud or worse become a Chelsea fan as you sink for the third time.

  9. I have always been pro-Wenger and still am, i think he should stay until his contract ends but i do think that if he is unable to take us up a level (premier league contender) its best if we get a coach in who can. I think he is capable as he built this great side full of confidence and that is very close to winning the title. There is only a few missing pieces and hopefully we don’t take a step back next season but a few steps forward.

    But the ONLY coach i would take is Pep Guardiola for his man management, his style of football suiting Arsenal, his champions league expectations and the respect/admiration he has shown to the club in the past. I hope he is the next manager after Wenger.

  10. As the writer of these articles I don’t feel ashamed for examining through discussion where the team is at and what the possibilities may be – whether it’s the players developing into the next “big” things or buying the current “big” thing.
    No where did I suggest that we don’t buy a DM because it means Flamini and Arteta wouldn’t get game time. No where did I suggest we don’t buy a CF because it will affect Sanogo’s development.

    Frankly I would be pleased as punch if we got a Higuain or Benzema…if we got a Vidal or Schneiderlin, but what if all these proposed transfers go pear shaped because of the relaxed FFP rules and the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd snaffled up our targets with highly inflated bids? Where does that leave us – do we still have the capability to challenge for the title? How much organic improvement can we expect from the team? Rightly or wrongly Arsenal have stated that they are not going to pay over the top for players so it’s a very real possibility.
    Why did Wenger extend Arteta’s contract? What role is he expecting Arteta to play next season? Was it purely an insurance policy in case he didn’t get the target he is after?
    What can we expect from Coquelin next season? Does he take another major step-up? Is Ramsey the cover for Coquelin and has he improved the defensive side of his game and can now exercise the discipline required?
    Where is Welbeck on his development and is proving to Wenger that he can carry the line? We haven’t seen him in quite awhile.

    There is much we don’t actually know about our own team and they’re overall potential…and more importantly how much of that potential will be realised when the next season starts.

    Very few names thrown around add any real quality – the ones with real quality and who are available are being pursued by the top clubs, and I include us in that bracket. We certainly have the financial muscle to compete for the right player but, alas, when the numbers get stupid we all know Arsenal walks away.

    I fail to see how you conclude this represents a lack of ambition. 3 parties have to agree a transfer – the selling club, the buying club and the player. We may well want a Vidal, Benzema etc but they may not want us….so what then?

    I am sorry you think these are stupid questions, but I think they need to be asked and looked at.

    1. “Why did Wenger extend Arteta’s contract? ” – Arteta has a 1yrs contract extension, he will be used as a squad player like Jon Obi Mikel does for Chelsea, cup games, backup…

      “where is Welbeck?,We haven’t seen him in quite awhile. ” – injured

      “when the numbers get stupid we all know Arsenal walks away. ” – like Mesut Ozil?

      “Arsenal have stated that they are not going to pay over the top for players” – Wenger said “stratospheric numbers”, is a £30m for Diego Costa a stratospheric number compared to £80m of James Rodriguez????

  11. You see, that is the way the human mind works. As time passes it begins to doubt. Look, there was a time when some of us began to doubt if we indeed DESPERATELY NEEDED a specialist all-action type DM in the team (a defensive bully). Now we don’t remember that -because we have one now that has CLEARLY worked for us.

    There was a time some of us began to doubt if Arsenal indeed DESPERATELY NEEDED big-name players in the team (with big price-tags). Now we don’t remember that -because in the past two years, we’ve got two of such that has contributed majorly in winning us two FA cup trophies.

    This is just the beginning! As the necessary time passes until this Arsenal transitions to becoming something of a European/Wold power-house, some of us will occasionally doubt our needs from time to time.

  12. Boring Boring article! not boring boring Chelsea…Arsenal don’t desperately need this…don’t desperately need that…Real Madrid didn’t desperately need Bale or Isco. Barca did not desperately need Suarez or Neymar, Chelsea did not desperately need Hazard or Matic or Fabregas…Bayern did not desperately need Lewandowski or Gotze. It seems players bought when they aren’t desperately needed work out fantastically well as all these teams have won major trophies within the past 2 years.
    To be on par with these teams, we need especially to invest when we don’t “desperately need”. That’s how we win the EPL or the CL. We “desperately need” a world class striker, a top notch defensive midfielder, a reliable centre back partner for Koscielny and a goalkeeper. Yes, maybe a goal scoring winger right now is not a priority but it would not hurt.

    And I am happily a Wenger out. The only thing is I am patient enough to stomach 2 more years of him because after stomaching the last 11 years of Wenger…what’s 2 more years?…piece of cake. Maybe a champions league or EPL win will soften my feelings but as for now come 2017, and without any of those trophies he better be out for the good of Arsenal.

    1. Barca, Real and Bayern win domestic trophies just about every year regardless of who they buy or who they have. Perhaps Chelsea did “desperately” need to buy – until this year one PL title in 8 years was a pretty piss poor return on their investment don’t you think?

  13. I think what Cech offers is big saves in big games. I don’t have any beef with Ospina at all and I think he has been technically good a lot of the time, especially in terms of his starting position in one-on-ones. He does seem to get the jitters at times though, and to be a title contender you want to have a keep with assurance and who can affect the confidence of the opposition.

    However it doesn’t really set my heart racing to think “Szczesny is still pressing for #1 spot”. IMO, it should be Ospina pressing or #1 spot up against a technically good, commanding goalkeeper with excellent concentration and a winning mentality.

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