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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:35 pm 
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The question you should be asking is can this current squad win the league? For me it's a big fat NO. Ramsey and Xhaka in midfield is far to lightweight. Yes they'll win their fair share of games but over a season they'll fall short. As well as midfield we still have no real physical presence at centre back. Yes lots of athletes but not many battlers.
Then we have the situation of Ozil, Sanchez and Ox being on their last year. Even if they stay, come January the media circus surrounding them will no doubt cause issues.
So far I feel no better than last season.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:24 am 
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We were told that a league challenge was the priority this season only 3 months ago:

Quote:
Ivan Gazidis: “Our ambition is to win the Premier League and other major trophies in Europe. It’s what the fans, players, staff, manager and board expect and we won’t rest until that is achieved."


Quote:
Arsene Wenger: “This is a strong group of players and, with some additions, we can be even more successful. We’re committed to mounting a sustained league challenge and that will be our focus this summer and next season. I am grateful to have the support of the board and Stan in doing everything we can to win more trophies. It’s what we all want and I know it’s what our fans around the world demand.”


So that is the level we should be operating at and how we should view success and failure. Not scraping top four, that is not what we have been told the objective is.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:19 am 
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I was going to wait until the end of the window to post, but didn't want to end up posting after a potential beating at Anfield and then a panicky/decent/non event on the 31st. I read through the whole of the similar thread from last year and am working from what I thought 17 months ago. It's always interesting to go back with the benefit of hindsight but to be honest, it's about as mixed as you'd expect it to be.

There's the doom and gloom, the eternal optimism as well as interesting thoughts on Lacazette and which striker was attainable. Bear in mind this was well before the Neymar deal which, combined with Man City's latest 1/4 of a billion spending, has once more made football more like Football Manager.

If you'd said to me, 75 points and the FA Cup, I would have thought it sounded like a pretty good season. Unfortunately, the 75 points was only enough for the EL, which may have been the last straw for Sanchez. Contract worries regarding him and other players also feature in last year's thread. He wants to win things above the FA Cup (which probably means less to him than us) and he isn't going to do it here. Ozil probably feels the same but hasn't anywhere near showed the desire and work ethic of the Chilean.

As for the Ox - just another Van Persie for me. The club stuck by him when injured and most of the time he's been crap. Now he wants to leave. Still, if you want loyalty, buy a dog. Let him go to Liverpool - the gegenpress of Klopp will be too much for his body. If he goes to Chelsea, he will have a season and a half under Conte max, before another manager comes in and buys a more expensive replacement.

Regarding the season, I don't know what will happen but I'm not feeling positive. Originally, I thought Top 4 was highly likely as Spurs would have the Wembley factor (which I don't believe is a mental thing, they pretty much have 38 away games this year) and Liverpool still don't have a main striker and now have the Champions League to deal with.

I'm not sure now. On the one hand, we beat Leicester, had 77% possession against Stoke and have Koscielny and Sanchez to come back into the team. On the other hand, we have 3 points from 2 games and have already conceded 4 goals, not to mention we are very likely to lose our best player in the next 12 months.

The catalyst for change soundbite was just that. I know the Club can't charge what they do and then say we'll aim for top 4 and with recent successes, they can't come out and say we are not capable of challenging for the title, but to say we want the League and Champions' League makes us look foolish. We are light years away from the CL and under the current regime of Kroenke and Arsene, it's similar for the League. It doesn't take a genius to see that.

In terms of history, income and recent successes, we are still a very big club. The way we seem to handle contracts, signings, player fitness and transfer windows would arguably suggest otherwise. The clumsy 'sausages and caviar' comment a decade or so ago was actually true, albeit unpalatable for the fans paying through the nose to see the team. Only 2 team have won the League more than us - everyone else is way behind. But when you really look at it, our history is made up of 'spree successes' that were rarely built on, even though they seem to provide a consistent record of success.

The 1920s and 1960s are the only decades in which we didn't win a domestic trophy since joining the top flight in 1919 (still a record unbroken run). Even those decades featured 3 Cup Final defeats collectively. We ruled the 1930s and were it not for some insane piece of filth starting a war, this dominance could have continued.

However, by 1953, we had won 7 titles. That means in the next 64 years, we have only won the League 6 times - less than once every decade. Figure in the 3 titles under Arsene in 6 years and the rest of our titles come in as 3 in 54 years. We are now 13 years without a title - inconceivable if you joined us in the Invincible era but very familiar if you have read and watched Fever Pitch.

We've lost out in recent transfer windows by not addressing weaknesses either due to lack of money or other reasons we don't know about (e.g. do we really have to leave such a huge lump sum in the bank as collateral for Stan's other ventures or is that just bollocks?). Now we have been left behind due to ridiculous and stratospheric spending by clubs in Manchester, Spain and Paris. Unless we can do the same, those top prizes are not coming. Financial Fair Play was a fart in a hurricane before it even came into being, so that isn't going to be a leveller.

However, we aren't in the poor house either. Only 3 English clubs have spent more on their record signing than us and Mustafi, Xhaka, Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette alone represent approximately £190 million in signings within the last 4 years.

Anyway, now I've bored everyone to tears and got nicely drunk in the process, I'm going to try to add my thoughts to those of last year. This may prove difficult as I am crap at quoting, pasting and everything else to be fair. This season's thoughts will be in blue.

My 'definites' for next season would be:

Keepers
Cech Last season as 1st choice, looking a little shaky
Ospina

Defence
Bellerin Regressing so last season for me
Koscielny
Gabriel never good enough and gone anyway
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. Same but good to see him in the Academy
Chambers Sell
Monreal Last year and should never be centre back
Gibbs (not progressing, but would rather not waste money looking for a deputy left back this summer)Get rid
xxxx (new central defender who is better than Gabriel so he improves the team rather than the squad)Still need this and still don't have it

Midfield
Coquelin
Elneny both he and Coq are underwhelming but who else? Never want to see Elneny in the back 3 again.
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) Sorry, Jack - get rid
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)
Should have got Kante but will give Xhaka another year. Not convinced though.

Attacking Midfield
Ozil He can go for free at the end of the season for me. We needed him in 2006-8 after Bergkamp but he isn't what we need now.
Sanchez Best player, would love to keep him regardless of wages but understand if he wants out.
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)Think I meant Konoplyanka!


Strikers
Giroud (Good player but not world class. 3rd option for me in the same way Dzeko was for City. Same but maybe 2nd option now
Welbeck Utd don't sell their best players. Good bloke but woeful striker.
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.) Well we got Lacazette but is he the answer?


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. No change

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. No change

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. No change

I’ve mentioned Southampton players away from their roots on another thread, so I would also say cheerio to the Ox. No change, ungrateful little shit


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:21 pm 
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We need 2 new centre backs and central midfielder. Centre back simply because of numbers - Mustafi leaving means Koscielny and Holding are the only 2 centre halves Wenger will play. Wenger doesnt seem to want to play Mertesacker and Chambers so if that is the case then we need at least two centre halves and it will be incredible if we can find two quality centre halves available in 3 days.

Central midfield because we need a solution to play in there. We can not play 4 at the back with Ramsey and Xhaka in front, it doesn't work and we have no combination that works as last season shows. Wenger will revert to a back four now so he needs to buy to solve the problem of last season.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:57 pm 
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Tubzinho wrote:
We need 2 new centre backs and central midfielder. Centre back simply because of numbers - Mustafi leaving means Koscielny and Holding are the only 2 centre halves Wenger will play. Wenger doesnt seem to want to play Mertesacker and Chambers so if that is the case then we need at least two centre halves and it will be incredible if we can find two quality centre halves available in 3 days.

Central midfield because we need a solution to play in there. We can not play 4 at the back with Ramsey and Xhaka in front, it doesn't work and we have no combination that works as last season shows. Wenger will revert to a back four now so he needs to buy to solve the problem of last season.


Is Mustafi leaving though?? Pure media speculation and hear say if you ask me. I still think the squad is good enough, however the balance needs to be addressed as we have no balance between defence and attack. Probably need to add a holding midfielder and 1 CB this window. Some games the 3-4-3 with Xhaka and Ramsey will work but we may need to add an extra holding midfielder in there to allow them both more freedom to attack. 3-1-4-1-1 or 3-5-2 would be a good option to go for the remainder of the season. Wouldn't mind seeing us go in for Danilo Pereira and Virgil Van Dijk.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:32 pm 
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If we're going to be playing 3 at the back we need 2 x CB's if Mustafi stays 3 if he goes.

If we're going to be playing 4 at the back we need 1 x CB if Mustafi stays, 2 if he goes.

As for the rest it's too painful right now to dissect.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:46 am 
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Team South East wrote:

I still think the squad is good enough


When you say that TSE, good enough for what? Surely not the League?


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:35 pm 
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This squad will never win the league especially with Ramsey and Xhaka in midfield. I still maintain Xhaka is a waste of money. Honestly I've tried to be objective but I don't think he brings anything to the table. To me he's bang average.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:58 pm 
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DUSTCORE wrote:
This squad will never win the league especially with Ramsey and Xhaka in midfield. I still maintain Xhaka is a waste of money. Honestly I've tried to be objective but I don't think he brings anything to the table. To me he's bang average.

Complete waste of money when you consider Kante went for a similar amount and he was exactly what we needed.
Now, after the Van Dyk rumours I see We're linked with Johnny Evans...seriously!
Anyone we get now will be the usual last minute panic buy. And it seems nobody is accountable for that!


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:44 pm 
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Emperor wrote:
Team South East wrote:

I still think the squad is good enough


When you say that TSE, good enough for what? Surely not the League?


This squad is good enough to sustain a title run. Just need the balance to be right. The only thing missing on Sunday aganst Liverpool was a holding midfielder. We lost control in the middle and didn't win the ball back enough. We went pound for pound twice with Chelsea recently and Man City. Once we find the midfield balance as we did with Coquelin and Cazorla we'll be fine.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:08 pm 
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Team South East wrote:
Emperor wrote:
Team South East wrote:

I still think the squad is good enough


When you say that TSE, good enough for what? Surely not the League?


This squad is good enough to sustain a title run. Just need the balance to be right. The only thing missing on Sunday aganst Liverpool was a holding midfielder. We lost control in the middle and didn't win the ball back enough. We went pound for pound twice with Chelsea recently and Man City. Once we find the midfield balance as we did with Coquelin and Cazorla we'll be fine.

Jesus mate I'd love some of what you're on. We can't defend, the managers selections are baffling, in all seriousness I'd say this squad under this manager is more likely to be relegated than win the league. The former is unlikely but less so than the latter. Let's be honest we should really be sitting will 0 points after 3 games but we got lucky.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:51 pm 
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Team South East wrote:
This squad is good enough to sustain a title run. Just need the balance to be right. The only thing missing on Sunday aganst Liverpool was a holding midfielder. We lost control in the middle and didn't win the ball back enough. We went pound for pound twice with Chelsea recently and Man City. Once we find the midfield balance as we did with Coquelin and Cazorla we'll be fine.


OMG.... YOU must either be TY from ArsenalFanTV or Arsene from ArseneFC!

Leicester have demonstrated that even with a cheap small squad you CAN prove that you are the best in the country. Tactics, good work ethic, and squad balance - these are key for a winning team... in the regular butt raping we receive regularly, which of these areas do we fail in, and who is the MOST responsible for this?

Let's get the obvious out of the way - you love Wenger so much that you simply can't blame him for anything. The board, the fans, the ref, the players... anyone and everyone but Wenger.

For gods sake consider the possiblility that Wenger is one of or maybe even THE problem.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:20 pm 
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TSE didn't say a word about Wenger. We get it, you think Wenger should go, I and plenty of others agree with you. So can you hold a reasonable conversation or are you going to make a speech every 5 minutes and bash some tables?

Back on topic, the question of whether the squad is 'good enough' on paper almost seems immaterial at this point. Whether because they hate each other, or they have no faith in the manager, or they are tactically mismanaged, or they are coached badly, or they have no fucking motivation themselves - and I'm sure it's a combination of all those things - they simply seem incapable of playing together or playing anywhere near their own individual best. Maybe in a reasonable world where we can expect these guys to work hard and play as a team we can say they're good enough, if not for the title, at least Top 4. Just feels like we won't see that anymore while Wenger is in charge, and maybe even for some time after that.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:22 pm 
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Team South East wrote:
Emperor wrote:
Team South East wrote:

I still think the squad is good enough


When you say that TSE, good enough for what? Surely not the League?


This squad is good enough to sustain a title run. Just need the balance to be right. The only thing missing on Sunday aganst Liverpool was a holding midfielder. We lost control in the middle and didn't win the ball back enough. We went pound for pound twice with Chelsea recently and Man City. Once we find the midfield balance as we did with Coquelin and Cazorla we'll be fine.


Fair enough bud, we all have opinions but I cannot for the life of me understand how you can say that. Definition of title run doesn't really matter but surely must amount to being in within a few points off the top in April/early May, or being ruled out mathematically with a couple of games left or leading the way and then falling short in the last few matches? We haven't done that many times in recent seasons and last year, with what was a very similar squad, we were nowhere near.

The only things missing on Sunday were the 10 outfield players ahead of Cech. The midfield was shocking but so was the defending. It wasn't just a question of balance, as well as lack of effort, lack of talent and the usual square pegs in round holes. There's a lot wrong and I have no faith that it will be rectified by Thursday. Actually, I don't think anyone could rectify it by then.

We had 3 excellent results and performances against Chelsea and Man City but we've also had some shockers against strong and weaker sides. Still, it would be boring if we all thought the same thing. The whole debacle is desperately sad but so painfully inevitable.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017-18 Squad Analysis
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:38 pm 
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We need defenders who are good at defending and enjoy it. Until then our squad will never be good irrespective of who is in front of them. We don't have enough natural defensiveness in this squad however you put it on the pitch.

Every year I say it and every year we fail to do it... we still haven't replaced Gilberto.

Jonny Evans is incredibly underrated and would bring balance to the back. Bags of PL experience and whilst he may be expensive for his age, him and Koscielny would work. Whether it's CB trio or duo, it will always be them against the rest.


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