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 Post subject: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:16 pm 
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As Bjork might say it is oh so quiet on Arsenal Land at the moment. So what better than to throw up the 2016-17 squad/summer transfers/VentYourAngerHere thread :lol:

In all seriousness, where do you expect Arsenal to stand, heading into the middle of August? And what would you realistically like to see happen with the squad over the summer?

There has been a lot of talk regarding an overhaul of the squad and, whilst I expect most of it is whimsical media click-bait, I do also feel we are at a point where Wenger may be forced into a rethink. He has put inordinate faith in his squad and they have failed him. Building along home-grown lines hasn't worked out as he would have expected. And with no outfield moves last summer and the build-up of fan frustration to unprecedented levels, it is difficult to envisage even the stubborn Wenger not conceding that he needs to make changes.

Given that Wenger will never change his policy of bringing through youth (and rightly so), it is also interesting that he has waxed lyrical about the current 16-20 generation at the club recently. The squad is at saturation level already; if he is contemplating integrating one or two of the youth players, the only way we are doing so - and increasing quality within the first team - is to cut some of the squad players that are not contributing.

My 'definites' for next season would stand as:

Keepers
Cech
Ospina

Defence
Bellerin
Koscielny
Gabriel
Mertesacker
Chambers
Monreal
xxxx
xxxx

Midfield
Coquelin
Elneny
Wilshere
Cazorla
xxxx

Attacking Midfield
Ramsey
Ozil
Sanchez
Iwobi
Campbell
xxxx


Strikers
Giroud
Welbeck
xxxx

I see four reasonable routes that we improve the team in the summer; centreback, deep midfield, wide, upfront.

Defensively I actually wouldn't change too much at all. Gabriel has been no worse than early Koscielny and I think will flourish with an extended run. For all he is mocked, I also think Mertesacker brings far more to the side than is often realised. An experienced head who has won the big trophies, I'm not keen on that experience leaving the squad. My four centrebacks would remain the same as now. I'd also keep Gibbs as challenger to Monreal, although I could see him considering a move. Jenkinson - reasonable player who loves Arsenal - would return as Bellerin's understudy. Then it is up to him to fight for his place and fight off Chambers as a secondary option.

Deep midfield is where I make my signing. Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky shouldn't be near the squad next year and I prefer Ramsey wider. That gives us Coquelin, Elneny, Cazorla and Wilshere for two positions. As Wilshere is barely an option, that needs strengthened. And it should be with someone who can play either as the enforcing midfielder (Coquelin) or has enough game-craft to play alongside him. We need to increase our workable combinations.

My second acquisition would be either at wide midfield or upfront, whichever proved feasible, preferably upfront. Attacking midfield is where I'd look to make a cull. Oxlade-Chamberlain would be on my hitlist. He is like candy floss. Looks tasty, but has no substance and too much of it makes you sick. I don't see the point of him within the squad. His goal rate is pitiful, he doesn't have the killer pass of his peers, and is a '30 minute player'. I wouldn't start him ahead of Ramsey, nor Campbell, and I'd prefer Sanchez right with Iwobi/Welbeck left, or even Wilshere in the position. Ergo, there is no place/point to him - and if a sacrifice allows some real quality to be added, this is the call I'd make.

The other option is to invest in a forward as competition with Giroud/Welbeck, and drop Welbeck back as a wide option. As much as I hate to say it, considering he has been about my favourite player at the club for years, I think the Oxlade-Chamberlain decision really does also need to be applied to Walcott. He doesn't seem to fit the mold of current Arsenal and his impact this year has been vastly underwhelming. Both Campbell and Iwobi have shown more chops to fit within the team, and I think Wenger would be wise to continue to put his faith in these two.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:43 pm 
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I'm going the wholesale changes route in the hope that Arsene really spends big this summer :

Keepers
Cech
Szczesny ( I think Ospina will be off.)

Defence
Bellerin
Koscielny
Gabriel
Chambers
Monreal
xxxx
xxxx
xxxx

Midfield
Coquelin
Elneny
Wilshere
Cazorla
xxxx

Attacking Midfield
Ramsey
Ozil
Sanchez
Iwobi
xxxx
xxxx


Strikers
Welbeck
xxxx
xxxx

Whilst Mertesacker as you say isn't as bad as often portrayed, hands up on that one, he nonetheless still frustrates me (lack of pace/bottle) and we can hopefully buy better and someone with winning experience if needs be.

Campbell, I've always liked but he's just below top top class and I'm cutting him in the hope of buying someone in that class.

Ditto Giroud.

The trigger hovered over Wilshire but I'm just praying he can stay injury free for a few seasons so we get to see the best of him.

We have a huge budget before we even sell Theo and the Ox etc... plus the wages that will be released by moving them on as well as the likes of Rosicky, Arteta, Flamini.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:28 pm 
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The players who should leave are:
Mertesacker
Arteta
Flamini
Rosicky
Walcott
Debuchy
Jenkinson
Ospina/Sczcesny

After that we should look for:
World class central defender where our build up can start:
Stones

Right back with experience who can give Bellerin some good competition:
Coleman

Powerful physical central midfielder:
Carvalho
Wanyama
Matuidi

Winger who can beat his man:
Reus


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:19 pm 
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Your evaluation is looks quite on target LG.

You are right, Walcott and Chamberlain have to be questioned. In spite of Walcott’s early good run in the center, where I have long thought he would prosper, the rest of the season has been a fizzle. And then look closely, that short period of success was limited to runs in behind and heavily reliant on pinpoint passes from Ozil. Walcott seemed to be developing a nice understanding with Ozil, but if he cannot develop any other part of his game as a center forward its not going to work. All teams have to do is sit deeper and compress the space behind and he is virtually eliminated. Think about all the times we were chasing games with teams defending deep against us and Wenger brought on Walcott, it just never worked because the one thing he does is gone. Chamberlain has had dismal returns on the wing and his final ball and crossing is just not good enough. When he has played in the middle he sees the passes, but simply cannot convert them at an acceptable rate.

Since, we are certain to lose the experience and leadership of Arteta and Rosicky I think we need to keep Per another season. I vacillate a bit on him as a player, he has definite qualities, but he also has definite liabilities. His contract is only for one more season, let it play out and then replace as necessary. It will also give us another year to evaluate what we have in Chambers and Gabriel. Chambers unfortunately, feels like an adequate squad player we paid too much to acquire than a real answer. He does provide some depth at both defensive midfield and rightback, just not against real pace. Gabriel looks to have all the ingredients, the job he did against Lukaku springs to mind. Needs to cut back on his propensity for the rash and control himself better, but I think it will come and he could eventually be one of the best centerbacks in the league.

A well done to Flamini as he heads out the door, he did more this season than could rightly have been expected.

I don’t think Jenkinson is good enough, but unless an opportunity presents itself I think Wenger is content to roll with him as the backup to Bellerin next season. Gibbs is a big question for me, usurped by Monreal, he has looked rusty when played and not that up for someone who has to be desperately fighting to get his place in the team back.

As to what business happens this summer, seeing as Elneney was supposed to be a summer signing we will probably see one less player brought in than everyone is anticipating. For me though, first priority has to be a striker. Will it happen and will it be the right guy who can say, but we should definitely be looking hard. I don’t have much faith that we will actually sign someone as a striker in spite of the need. If we do pull it off I would prefer someone more up and coming, say a Morata of Juventus, than someone on the other side of the ticker like Ibrahimavic.

The most likely signing seems a winger. I think we are interested in someone like Gotze, but he may simply want to play for Klopp again and I think Liverpool would offer better wages. There will be more options out there than at striker for sure. Whatever happed to Gnabry? Not that he is necessarily the answer here, just wondering.

Central midfield seems full when we get Wilshere and Cazorla back, I think Wenger will look to promote a youth here for depth, who that ends up being is anyone’s guess, but we seem to have some future options here in Crowley, Maitlaind-Niles, and Zelalem.

Elneney looks a good thing, being able to play the defensive midfield role or shift as a box to box and gives us a real option to Coquelin, I still wouldn’t mind a third. Wenger may consider the young pole he bought a while ago Bielik as an option or Kamara, but if they are not good enough to step up then we need to buy another.

Overall, I think we need at least two out of the Striker, Winger, Central Midfield, and Defensive Midfield. We could also see some movement with Gibbs and Ospina if they are unhappy with their roles or with Jenkinson if something else better comes along.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:41 pm 
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We will need a central midfield option given Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky will most likely leave the club at the end of their contracts and I would expect one to be added. A specialist right back I think should also be on the cards as I am not convinced Jenkinson is the answer.

Apart from that it really depends on who is available and I have a feeling that this could be quite a roundabout summer in regards to transfers. Last summer, not much really happened and there weren't many moves that happened that were real upgrades on the squad. However I think this summer will be different and in turn, it should open up the possibilities of adding players who would improve the first team. Whether Wenger (I am assuming he will remain in charge) will take that opportunity remains to be seen.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:13 pm 
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Out:
Arteta
Flamini
Rosicky
Walcott

In:
CM
Striker
RB/CB

I don't think a major upheaval is what we need - I think the squad is fine. If Gibbs/Ospina leave, adequate replacements come in. We need to replace Debuchy though - I'd like someone that can play both RB and CB. Not sure we should rely on Jenkinson.

The CM and Striker signings just need to be top bracket to take us up a level. I would love it if we could finally get rid of Walcott and replace with someone we can rely on. Chamberlain still has plenty of time to make the grade and is a useful utility option.

The problem is, who in their right mind would sign Walcott on his wages?


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:14 pm 
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Jase wrote:
I don’t think Jenkinson is good enough.


This is my feeling too, and he has had an underwhelming season at West Ham. With Bellerin's talent and Chambers in the squad though, I can easily see Wenger defaulting to Jenkinson as the backup. I just can't see him investing in a gifted player and an older, proven head isn't really his style.

Personally, I'd be happier with Chambers competing with Bellerin and the acquisition of another centreback. Or even another Chambers-style player who can cover both positions, add flexibility.

I don't think we'd be short of takers for Walcott, if he were up for grabs. I could definitely see some of the wannabe Champions League teams having a go for him.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:44 pm 
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Out:
Sczcesny/Ospina, One of them will have to give way, maybe both will leave, it is going to be hard to usurp Cech and I don't feel either one will want to be understudy for another season.
Gibbs, again understudy to Monreal and may not want another season as such.
Jenkinson, Not lived up to the hype, although had a couple of good games out on loan at West Ham.
Flamini, So long and thanks for all the fish!
Arteta, A player that has been a servant to nearly every club he has played for, but now too old to compete.
Rosicky, A player who most fans have a soft spot for, however soft spots don't win titles, another good servant but may be retirement time for him.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nowhere near the player he was lauded to be and some of his choices in games this season have been perplexing.
Walcott, Another one that hasn't really hit the heights promised, also came out a bit arrogant in the last couple of years with what he wants rather than what the team wants.
Sanogo, Just because!

As good as Ramsey can be on his day, if we sign someone that can be that deep midfielder and he is vying with 2 or 3 other players for that right midfield spot (a spot that he says he isn't too keen on anyway) he could be gone next season, if Jack can stay fit, then next season could be a defining one for him too. In the Summer we could be looking at needing 5 players, GK to replace both "understudies" should they both leave, deep midfielder, left back, right midfielder (although Alexis didn't look too bad against Everton on the right), I would like to see how Iwobi shapes up in the final few game and a striker.

I would like to see some more of the Iwobi's/Bellerin's/Coquelin's getting a chance next season too if we are able to.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:35 am 
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Good thread, actually made me want to post for the right reasons!

I hate the fact that I feel it’s time for a change as Arsene Wenger has done so much for the club and in no way does he deserve to leave on a wave of negative banners and calls for his head; I was thinking the other day how long he has been in charge and how long I’ve been a fan. When George Graham departed, I was gutted as he was all I knew having been a fan for around 9 years at the time. Now I look back and that’s nothing. I’ve been a fan for 30 years and Arsene has been in charge for half my life! Such a good man but does he have it now?

It’s almost how I feel about Metallica. Loved them since I first heard them, think Hetfield had, and in the studio still has, some awesome vocals, yet the current version takes (and has taken) aeons to release an album and when they do, it’s not that great. I will always buy it, but inside I know I might not play it that often.

I’ve given up on the league and am hoping for Top 4 with a few bits of luck going our way, e.g. City not making it so that hopefully they attract players more interested in pound signs than the lure of Pep. As for Arsene, the world and his dog has been waiting for the right moves for the best part of a decade. Cech was one of the best moves in years, but he alone does not make Checkmate (ahem).

My 'definites' for next season would be:

Keepers
Cech
Ospina

Defence
Bellerin
Koscielny
Gabriel
Mertesacker (he makes so many interceptions, the guy just can’t run. Rather have him as a last option compared to what we have had in the past.
Chambers
Monreal
Gibbs (not progressing, but would rather not waste money looking for a deputy left back this summer)
xxxx (new central defender who is better than Gabriel so he improves the team rather than the squad)

Midfield
Coquelin
Elneny
Wilshere (final chance. So much promise but if he can’t stay fit, we’re not a charity. Would benefit from not losing control with 3rd touch and risking injury by overstretching in every game he plays)
Cazorla
xxxx x2 (never seen Xhaka play but at least we should make a bid for Pogba so that we’ve tried, rather than just watch others go for him. I don’t know how Carvalho has recovered from his injury – LG? I would also be pleased (hindsight is so nice) if we went for Kante as well)

Attacking Midfield
Ozil
Sanchez
Iwobi
xxxx (would like to see a winger – who is that guy everyone loves? I’ve got Yarmolenko in my mind but I don’t think it’s him. Buggered if I can remember his name! Maybe it is Yarmolenko)


Strikers
Giroud (Good player but not world class. 3rd option for me in the same way Dzeko was for City.
Welbeck
xxxx (In retrospect, glad we didn’t sign Benzema with his off the field issues, so Arsene couldn’t really win there. Higuain is another year older, while Ibrahimovich is amazing, but the Jose Mourinho of strikers. Not convinced by Lukaku to be honest, so maybe try for Dortmund’s I’ll-bang-yer-mam. Wouldn’t rule out Dybala or Morata but an upgrade is needed as Welbeck is also good but not frighteningly so. The problem is that everyone wants a great striker so this may be a tough one.)

We never saw the best of Rosicky due to injuries which is so very sad and I wish him all the best for whatever he does next. Likewise Arteta, who was a good solid buy in the midst of panic, but his time is up. Flamini should never have left and did ok when he came back – the question is should we really have needed him to play so often??

Jenkinson isn’t good enough in my opinion so he can go. Same for Ramsey – very glad he came back from thuggery, but no pace and other than a few goals in a streak style way, doesn’t offer too much.

Joel Campbell. May have come off that eternal conveyor belt of world class Costa Rican players, but just not what we need. I feel bad about saying that, but would he really get into any of the other top 4 teams, either traditional or this crazy season? Tries hard but just not good enough.

Better than Walcott, but then that’s like saying I’d rather have a blister than athlete’s foot. I see nothing in him and never had, other than he’s a nice guy. Any time anyone talks about him, within 5 words, they talk about his pace – that’s all he has. So does Bolt, but no one has signed him yet at Old Trafford.

I’ve mentioned Southampton players away from their roots on another thread, so I would also say cheerio to the Ox. People talk about how we will all feel when Arsene goes and we end up midtable as a result (because obviously the 7+ teams below us from his last season will all improve Leicester style) but I don’t think I have the intelligence to create a world where we get punished several times a season for selling Theo or Alex.

I totally forgot about Sanogo. I’m sure he’s a great bloke too. File under Bischoff, Kallstrom, Vivas, Cygan, Stepanovs in the bit of the cabinet which refers to players who never should have been paid by the 3rd most successful team in English football history.

Before anyone slates me for moaning about Ramsey being slow yet noting Theo is quick, I just feel that if Ramsey had pace he could be more effective like Santi, whereas Theo is a sprinter, not a footballer.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:48 am 
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Gibbs is not a player I want us to lose, I can understand if he wants to leave but haven't seen any indication publicly this is the case. He is also a home grown player, which is something to consider as well with, Szczesny, Chamberlain, Walcott and Jenkinson given the squad rules of the league and the Champions League, providing we qualify.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:28 am 
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I think it is clear that we are winger heavy at this point. Given Iwobi's rise and that Ramsey and Wilshere will most likely be used from the flank as well now, I can see us parting with a couple of players in the summer.

The glaring one is Walcott. In and out of the team, seems to be unable to motivate himself at times but also unable to really effectively contribute to our build up play. Also at 27, his main asset which is his speed will start waning at some point and I'm not sure he has the all round game to contribute in other ways if that does start declining. Welbeck has also shown the type of way that a Giroud alternative should lead the line and Walcott has not shown anything near what Welbeck has. He is on big money as well.

Chamberlain is another in the firing line in my opinion, 23 in the summer so still has a bit of time and yet bar the odd flash of skill and the odd goal or assist, has never really looked like the future of an Arsenal midfield. His injury problems don't help but he is getting pushed further and further down the pecking order now. I would actually like to see him loaned out somewhere else for next season, I think the change would do him good and also if he could stay fit, the playing time will hugely benefit him. But if rumours are to be believed and Man City come in with a £25-£30 million bid, I think it will be considered.

However, I do think that the one who will be sold is Joel Campbell. I don't think Wenger likes Campbell as he can be clumsy sometimes in possession and technically. It takes all sorts though as part of a squad and Campbell has shown that for his clumsiness, he can also contribute effectively to the team. But I have a feeling Wenger will look to sell Campbell and possibly Serge Gnabry to balance the wide position numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:25 pm 
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Tubzinho wrote:
I think it is clear that we are winger heavy at this point. Given Iwobi's rise and that Ramsey and Wilshere will most likely be used from the flank as well now, I can see us parting with a couple of players in the summer.

The glaring one is Walcott. In and out of the team, seems to be unable to motivate himself at times but also unable to really effectively contribute to our build up play. Also at 27, his main asset which is his speed will start waning at some point and I'm not sure he has the all round game to contribute in other ways if that does start declining. Welbeck has also shown the type of way that a Giroud alternative should lead the line and Walcott has not shown anything near what Welbeck has. He is on big money as well.

Chamberlain is another in the firing line in my opinion, 23 in the summer so still has a bit of time and yet bar the odd flash of skill and the odd goal or assist, has never really looked like the future of an Arsenal midfield. His injury problems don't help but he is getting pushed further and further down the pecking order now. I would actually like to see him loaned out somewhere else for next season, I think the change would do him good and also if he could stay fit, the playing time will hugely benefit him. But if rumours are to be believed and Man City come in with a £25-£30 million bid, I think it will be considered.

However, I do think that the one who will be sold is Joel Campbell. I don't think Wenger likes Campbell as he can be clumsy sometimes in possession and technically. It takes all sorts though as part of a squad and Campbell has shown that for his clumsiness, he can also contribute effectively to the team. But I have a feeling Wenger will look to sell Campbell and possibly Serge Gnabry to balance the wide position numbers.


I would be absolutely incensed with rage Tubz if Wenger sacrificed Campbell who has shown more in his recent run than Oxlade Chamberlain and Walcott have done in recent seasons, injuries cannot be used as an excuse anymore. As I said in yesterday's match thread, Walcott is jekyll and hyde, and showed both sides in his small appearance yesterday, before he came on the field (and to be honest before Giroud and Campbell came on too) every move we made forward was as a unit, there were more than enough options for Iwobi, Bellerin, Monreal, Ozil, Alexis and Elneny to play into should they feel penned in. As soon as Giroud came on, the runs that Welbeck made were gone but they still moved as a unit.

When Walcott came on however, in one of the first moves forward, he walked, yes that is right HE FUCKING WALKED, when the rest went forward as a unit, so then that leaves us one player down and one less option available, then in the next attacking play he puts on his "Look at me, look how quick I am" head on and proceeds to lose the ball.

What is needed is Campbell to be used when Iwobi isn't fit, Alexis on the right, with either Ramsey or another signing when he isn't available (Think this could be Ramsey's last if he doesn't pick up next season) and an interchange between Welbeck and Giroud although in saying that I don't think Giroud will like playing second fiddle to Welbeck.

Gnabry I agree will probably go, interesting to see what happens with Zemalem too, as he was touted as the next big thing before Iwobi came on the scene, would like to see if Jeff gets loaned out or gets more game time with us too.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:59 pm 
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swanny200 wrote:
I would be absolutely incensed with rage Tubz if Wenger sacrificed Campbell who has shown more in his recent run than Oxlade Chamberlain and Walcott have done in recent seasons, injuries cannot be used as an excuse anymore.


I wouldn't be happy either with Campbell being sold but I am trying to second guess Wenger. I can see him persevering with Chamberlain and preferring Walcott over Campbell since Walcott seems to be brought on all the time and Campbell can sometimes be left to rot on the bench, undeservedly in my opinion. But Walcott should be on very thin ice now.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:59 pm 
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If Wenger chose to sacrifice Campbell to add quality to the wide areas, I could appreciate that. However, I would be livid if he exited at the club at the expense of the non-performing widemen. Campbell is one of the most positive players we have in possession, has demonstrated a killer final ball, and he will score goals. Add that to his overall workrate - this is a player we need to harness.

I would bite Guardiola's hand off if City offered £20m+ for Chamberlain. He has shown nothing to play for this club.

I disagree with the recent thoughts on Ramsey. For me, he is a key player and an asset to the squad. I agree wholeheartedly that the centre of the pitch is more balanced without him, but I don't necessarily believe that is a lack of game-craft on Ramsey's behalf. Wenger isn't a manager who likes to limit players, and I wonder whether there has been any discussion at all regarding Ramsey curbing his runs, or whether Wenger is giving him free reign to do so, knowing the threat he can possess. Ramsey is one of those players every successful squad needs, the player who can do a bit of everything. Personally I prefer him out wide anyway, as his runs are more dangerous, but I think he has plenty of ability to be a deeper-lying central creative player in the future. I don't think he lacks the intelligence to modify his game - if instructed to do so.

swanny200 wrote:
interesting to see what happens with Zemalem too


I've been keeping an eye on Zelalem recently, and he is currently squarely on Rangers' bench. Mark Warburton gave a nice summary of him today, but he isn't getting game-time recently.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:19 pm 
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LoneGunner wrote:
Personally I prefer him out wide anyway, as his runs are more dangerous, but I think he has plenty of ability to be a deeper-lying central creative player in the future. I don't think he lacks the intelligence to modify his game - if instructed to do so.


LG if I remember correctly, there was an interview that did the rounds a while ago where Ramsey said that he wasn't a fan of playing out wide and felt that it was affecting him as a player, this works out twofold, there was a similar situation with Walcott who came out with his, I want to play centre forward speech.

In a sense it shows arrogance, if Ramsey plays better wide, which I to some extent agree with, then surely if the fans and the stats show that he plays better wide then why argue and say that you would prefer to play in another position, I cannot remember when the interview came out and I have not seen much of him playing for Wales to gather if he is being used in a completely different role for club than for country I am assuming so.

In his words as I have found part of the interview "I want to play in the middle. I’ve had chats with the manager about it. We have wingers on the bench, but he still picks me out wide" The report says Arsenal star Ramsey has now been restored to his favoured central midfield role, revealing he has held talks with boss Wenger after getting frustrated at being stuck on the wing.

“Santi Cazorla is the one in my position. He’s the one who plays alongside Francis Coquelin and tries to get forward. I am trying to get that back.

“I like to get the ball and drive the team forward. I’m not a No10, playing with my back to goal. I’ll try to play between the lines now and again if the game demands that and we’re pressing quite high. That can be a dangerous position to take up"

He is now going to struggle as now, we don't just have Cazorla coming back but we also have Elneny who is showing to be a hell of a lot better than Ramsey has this season (although could we partly put that down to the fact that he was partnering Flamini for part of that time).

“It’s harder to get involved in the game when you’re on the wing, which is why I don’t really enjoy playing there. I’m used to getting the ball a lot more in the middle of the park.

“I like to be involved in ­everything, in starting attacks. I’m relying on other people to get me into the game. It is a bit frustrating. I am having an impact on the game but I prefer to be much more involved.”

I'm sorry but Elneny is doing that pretty well just now, Ramsey on the wing I am sure can be just as effective as Alexis on the wing.


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