Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Arsene’s wish list?

By 1970’s Gooner

And so this is Summer.

Well it feels like summer as it is the end of our season and therefore sparks off, maybe somewhat prematurely, the beginning of the discussions for the summer sale activity to follow.

So where are Arsenal’s squad weaknesses that need to be strengthened?

We need to bring in more experience both as first team choices and to act as back up when injuries and suspensions kick in especially at the latter part of the season.

This is where I think we were short this season. Not bad refereeing decisions or bad luck or even Eduardo’s injury impact.

They all had their part to play (though I don't believe in luck) but lack of quality in squad depth was our undoing in the end.

A lot of the players have hardly had a breather with Wenger resisting to rotate, as the alternatives were on the injury table and their deputies were exciting but unproven youngsters.

If this is corrected with a few additions in the summer transfer window who will add experience and nous I really believe that next season we will be champions.


My first choice would be to keep Lehmann alongside Almunia and Fabiansky.

This does not look like it will happen as the first two hate each other and Lehmann is almost certain to leave.

We need to recruit another goalkeeper who will add (Premiership) experience and would be fighting for a first team place with Almunia.

Kirkland fits the bill quite well.

He has put in some terrific performances for Wigan this season culminating with that awesome display at Stamford Bridge.

Wenger has shown interest in the past.

Others in the picture could be Lyon’s Coupet and PSV’s Brazilian giant, Gomez, with whom we have been connected recently.

But Jussi Jaaskelainen of doomed Bolton (I hope they end up and rot in the fourth Division or whatever they call them these days)would also be ideal and most probably available.

Also Hennessy of Wolves, although young, could also be in the picture (my contacts from the West Midlands tell me that he has been watched by Arsenal). I like him a lot and I think he will be a great goalkeeper.


We need to bolster the options for the defence especially in the central areas and for left back. For right back we have the excellent Sagna and I think it’s about time Eboue was kept in reserve as a right back.

It goes without saying that what is needed is an experienced centre back who will be on an equal standing in the pecking order with the other central defenders.

I feel that, however much I like Senderos as a person, he unfortunately has not improved to the standard that is needed to be effective in this League.

I think Scharner (of Wigan) will be ideal as a central defender but also in midfield as that is also a position he performs well in (he is also an Arsenal supporter).

Thuram (as a central defender) may be an option as he is experienced enough.

But if Wenger goes for youth again then there are others like the 21year old Argentinian Ezequiel Garay who plays for Racing Santander in Spain. He is also notable for his ability in scoring from dead ball situations.

For left back we need adequate cover for Clichy, the premiership’s best in this position.

Admittedly Traore has improved this season and had a very decent game against Liverpool at the Emirates for his Premier league debut. But he will not be able to cope consistently if say Clichy became unavailable for a long period.

Wenger may however decide not to recruit here as he has the option of playing some other defender at left back especially if he has already brought in a decent central defender.

This would give him the option of playing someone like Gallas or another defender there.

Central midfielders

If Flamini leaves (and it may look as though it may happen) as well as Gilberto then we desperately need to have more experience brought in.

Diaby, Denilson (if he is with us next season) and Song are to my mind very good players and could excel at that position.

But they have not played that much there. So experience is needed again so as to fill in until these two players are introduced gradually and have time to mature.

That is why I think Scharner with his versatility (or a similar type of player) will be good for Arsenal.

Xabi of Barcelona would fit in well with the Arsenal style.

So would Yaya Toure who should be snapped up if he becomes available (although Wenger had him on trial some time ago and rejected him).

The 24 year old versatile player, Ghilas who plays in Portugal has also attracted Wenger's interest. He can play anywhere from midfield to forward.

First priority however would be to keep Flamini of course and if this happens then we would do well to trust Diaby, Denilson and Song to be the deputies and the rotation alternatives.

I say rotation because this is an area that Wenger should do well to emulate what Ferguson has achieved in keeping his important players fresh.

And we need to give Cesc and Flamini substantial rests this year unlike this season when Wenger worked them to the ground and they run out of steam in the end.

There are two reasons for this. One is to allow other partnerships in this crucial area of the pitch to develop so as to be able to use them if and when first choice players get injured or suspended.

The other is of course to allow the deputies to mature through first team action.

Wide midfielders

Now this is an area that we have witnessed substantial gaps in the squad.

It was not so apparent until Rosicky, Van Persie and Eduardo got injured which deprived Wenger three of his experienced forwards who could play wide.

Not that Rosicky is a genuine winger of course; he is not but he has technique and dexterity and Arsene likes his full backs to become wide men anyway with the wingers coming infield (like Rosicky and Hleb do).

Now assuming that Rosicky has the operation that is mooted he needs and recovers well for next season then with Walcott, Vela and eventually Eduardo coming back Wenger may feel that he has enough on this front.

Yet I feel that the only genuine wingers amongst that list are two youngsters, Walcott and Vela, who are indeed very exciting but relatively inexperienced nevertheless.

Ribery would be great (even if he is expensive), as is Ben Arfa of Lyon.

But I also particularly like Samir Nasri of Marseille who would also fit Wenger’s recruiting policy as he is young (20), French, blessed with terrific skills and dribbling ability and relatively cheaper than the other two!

Others not so well known that have been considered by Wenger are Mputu of Congo’s TP Mazembe (who is recommended by Arsene’s close friend Roland Scheubel, the same scout who discovered Kolo Toure) and Nicolay Dimitrov of Levski Sofia.


What this season has proved is that the four centre forwards that Arsenal started the season with (RVP, Adebayor, Eduardo and Bendtner) have not been enough.

Injuries decimated the two of the more experienced forwards.

This left us having to rely on the willing Bendtner, who probably needs another season and Adebayor, whose tiredness I would like to think was the main contributor to him giving away the most offsides in the Premiership.

But there is another reason why we need to recruit. RVP is so injury prone and will probably be tired (and hopefully injury free) from the oncoming Euro 2008.

In addition Eduardo will still be recovering as he is not expected back until at least September.

So we need to buy there. I would love Eto'o to come he would really give everyone a lift and he may be available if Barcelona start rebuilding.

Benzema, who is one of Arsene’s favourite forwards, has the directness and strength up front that has been obviously lacking in our squad. I think he will be a great addition to the strikers union at Arsenal.

David Villa of Valencia would be a quality addition to the forward line and his small build (1.75 m) may appeal to Wenger as he may be used in the wide midfield positions too.

But there is Adriano who has shaped up recently since his return to his native Brazil scoring goals again. Wenger was interested in him before and if there is anyone that can get the best out of him it will be Arsene.


We do not need radical surgery. But we do need surgery (mostly prosthetical) to bolster a thin squad with more experienced and battle hardened players.

We need additions in central defence, wide midfield and in attack if no one of note leaves. Otherwise another goalkeeper and midfielder if Lehmann and Flamini do a runner!


Anonymous said...

What about Michael Owen? He would devour many of those chances the mid-field creates. Does his injury-proneness disqualify him or is there something else I haven't thought of?

Anonymous said...

Owen is very injury prone and has lost some pace. You are right to say he would have gobbled up a lot of those chances but only when he was fit enough. Also his pace would limit his all round contribution.

Anonymous said...


Kirkland - too injury prone and not got 'Top class' experience

Gomez looks to be the best bet out of that list - physically blessed with all the right attributes to be a top top keeper in the Buffon mould.


Sharner - u aving a giraffe
Thuram - tooo old.
Mexes - is impressive and i think he can do a job for us. fits in well with french contingent and he can be a no nonsense defender but with bags of ability.
Zapatta i heard is also very good.

did u say sharner???????
Danielle de rossi - very good holding midfielder. can pass likes a shot and has a bite in the tackle.

Aqualani - similar to de rossi but gets forward more.

Veleso. Seen this guy play against united and he was really impressive. Good passing range, positional sense, skills and can tackle - dont know if he is physical enough though.


Benzema - Badman

Diogo - apparently in brazil rated better than pato. we put a bid for him of bag of crisps and a fanta and it got turned down but if we throw in a milky bar who knows!!

Theres a youngster called panic or something playing for metz - he looks a very good prospect we should get him as he can have a few first team matches and develop with the team into the special player his potential has shown.

Anonymous said...

I fear wenger may bring Traore and Vela into the wing and no one else. his one big signing will either be a striker or a centre back. my money is on a centre back. senderos will go.

Anonymous said...

What about Ameobi? Please, please can't we buy Ameobi? (Have been watching "I'm on setanata sports" pretty much recentley, if you wonder.)

paladin said...

The problem is not in defence, save senderos. We don't score enough goals. Outside of Liverpool we haven't scored 2 goals since birmingham.

You're right about needing to have someone else besides fab to boss the team. Do you really think denilson or diaby can do that? Not to compete at the level we want. So that's another hole to fill.

And eduardo is done. He'll take at least two years to get back to where he was before. No one suffers that type of injury and just steps back in.

Anonymous said...

Lucio from Bayern may be available too and is a quality player

Anonymous said...

Response to 1970's gooner: However, Owen is now scoring from an attacking midfield role - four in five matches. Keegan has shown Owen is not as limited as we think and this may appeal to Wenger?
I reckon he'd score 20 a season for Arsenal and Ade could still play up front.

Anonymous said...

Someone said Mexes - Sorry but he is worse than what we already have. There are no good centre halves about barring Vidic

Wrighty7 said...

Great article 1970's. Read today that Villa would be interested in signing for us more than anyone else in the Premiership. How would you feel about Gattuso signing for Arsenal if the Flamster left? I'd think he could be a good player for us. Too old for Wenger though I suppose mate!

Anonymous said...

Hi Wrighty

yes I was a Gattuso admirer because of his combative style which would suit the premiership. However I feel that he has slowed down recently (think how easily cesc went past him to score at Milan)and also I think his is not as creative as Wenger would like!

P.S I've sent you a message on your e mail. Have a look.

Anonymous said...

We don't only need to buy,, we need to sell sell sell. Too many of our players are way below the required standard or too injury prone. Get rid of Hoyte, Eboue, Gilberto, Rosicky, Senderos, Djourou, Almunia, Lehmann, Diaby and Bendtner first. Only then we can we think about buying.

Wrighty7 said...

I'll get it sorted for u mate.

Wrighty7 said...

I'll get it sorted for u mate. No problems, after all the help u've given me mate its no skin off my nose!

Anonymous said...

He's name's Miralem Pjanic. one of the biggest talents in europe. real and liverpool are among his admirerers, so yes, it would be perfect if he would join us!

Ps. He's Bosnian:)

Anonymous said...

I think this article is right, we dont need radical change, as if we had all 11 players fit all season, and no tiredness then we would probably be close to where Man U are. but of course there will be injuries, suspensions and tiredness. So we do need experience to fill in.

I watched about 10 mins of a french league game, and Nasri came off the bench. Before he came on the commentator said this guy has been compared to a young Zidane.

Does anyone think he can be, I thought he was a slighty different player to Zidane.

Benzema would be the most expensive option for striker with Villa, i would like to see one of them at Arsenal but doubt Wenger would spend soo much money.

can anyone tell me if Zapata is good enough for Arsenal. Gabrielle Marcoti believes he is realy good and has alot of experience at 20.

Anonymous said...

Ok The Person Who Said Rosicky

Should Be Sold Are u ...Rellii A Spurs Fan..Or What...Rosicky Is One Of The Best PLayers Arsenal Have I Think Fantastic On The Ball ..Has Got Great Postioning And IsVery Taciticly Aware...

Anonymous said...

Please tell me you're joking regarding Sharner?! If we bring someone in in central defence we need a top top player. Sharner is nowhere near good enough for Arsenal. Thuram is also past it. If we bring someone in, It'll either be a top young player like Garay or Zapata, or (more likely) an experienced defender such as Lucio who would be a fantastic addition. Yaya Toure was never rejected by Arsenal, we actually wanted him but were unable to get a work permit. Wenger has said if he keeps all the current players he won't buy a forward, as there'll be six strikers at the club, Adebayor, Bendtner, VP, Eduardo, Vela and Walcott (both of whom he has stated he sees as forwards.
In terms of a keeper I doubt we'll sign anyone, certainly not a big name, as Fabianski is incredibly highly rated and was brought in as Lehmann's replacement, with Almunia standing in whilst Fabianski aclimatised to England and Arsenal.

If the current squad stays as it is we will most likely sign a modric/ben arfa type attacking midfielder, maybe two, and possibly a centre back, that's it. Other players will only come in should players leave

Anonymous said...

Zapata is awesome; strong, fast and excellent in the air, would be a great addition and is only 21. I'm Colombian, and have been following him for a number of years...been playing consistently in Serie A for a top 6 six team (Udinese) since he was 18. Remember this is a league where you have to be defensively and tactically strong!

If flamini leaves(i pray everyday that he doesn't) then i think Miguel Veloso of Sporting would be the perfect foil for Cesc. Has awesome long range passing loves to tackle and bags of stamina. He is 6"2 aswell so should be physical enough for the Prem. He reminds a lot of a taller Petit. (no pun intended if u no french).

But definately Zapata...spks should settle easily.

Anonymous said...

I love it how we get linked with x player and then the next day every idiot on blogs/forum writes about how we have to sign x player. I mean how many of you saying we have to sign Zapata had eve heard of him before we were linked with him?

Anonymous said...

Imagine we had a forward that convert more chances than Adebayor, even if our defence was crap, we would still be in the title race. Imagine if our defence was better, we would not let in soft goals and still are in the title race.

Anonymous said...

2 is the players

hart and richards - man city

wake up

Anonymous said...

Richards signed for a long time ie. $$$

Anonymous said...

GK - Hart
CB - Zapata
LB - Someone
ST - Villa

Anonymous said...

Almunia is not a first choice goalkeeper. We need a new one and Akinfeev of CSKA Moscow would be at the top of my list. In defence it is clear we need to buy a central defender. Senderos or Djourou needs. Zapata looks a good option! In midfield I highly recommend Granero of Getafe. He's 20 years old and already look world class. He will run box to box all day, has great techique and awareness on the ball. Plus he is not afraid to shoot!
Eboue needs to go and we should look to bring in a strong winger. I would say Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich is our best bet. He's strong in both defence and attack. He has a good shot, he can cross and play his team mates in. He would definately add those 10 goals or so we need from the midfield!
Up front I would have to say that Bendtner has to go. We can't have a player that is alienated from the group. He has a lot of potential but I think we should cash in since it's clearly not working out. After David Villa's recent come and get me plea I think we should look to snap him up. He's a very good allround striker who can take freekicks, is a deadly finisher, can play his team mates in, play deep and cross properly. Just what we need!

That's my wish list for this summer. Wouldn't be suprised if none of it happens but there u go!

Anonymous said...

oh and also Lukas Podolski could be an option. He's a very good striker that would fit in perfectly at Arsenal!

Anonymous said...

So first you slate the injury prone players and then suggest we buy Chris Kirkland, a man who is made of glass.

Then you suggest we buy Paul Scharner?! Are you high? Paul Scharner is a distinctly average player, nowhere near good enough for a top team. Don't be seduced by the fact he scores a few goals a season, he is turd.

Xavi [not "Xabi", that's Alonso] of Barcelona will not be allowed to leave Barca, he's one of their key cogs. Yaya Toure has been Barca's best player this season so he won't be available.

Traore is very likely to go on loan to Portsmouth next season, so definitely expect the boss to bring in a defender. In my opinion it will most likely be a central defender with Gallas used to cover Clichy.

I believe we need
1. A top class keeper
2. A powerful, vocal center half
3. Versatile, goal scoring wingers
[4. Potentially a star signing like David Villa]

We definitely don't need:
1. Paul Scharner

Anonymous said...

Lukas Podolski is crap. 6 goals in over 40 games at Bayern, and now can't even get in their first team. Hardly the sort of player Arsenal need.

Anonymous said...

agree with last two guys.

podolski = crap

definitely villa wants us so if wenger doesnt want him. ok

traore = loan

we not need another Defender to be Attacking Midfielder like ebou=crap

Anonymous said...

Paul Scharner what are talking about arsenalanalysis? are you high?

Anonymous said...

and a top class keeper crap almunia

Anonymous said...

''I believe we need
1. A top class keeper
2. A powerful, vocal center half
3. Versatile, goal scoring wingers
[4. Potentially a star signing like David Villa]''

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
I Agree Wid Dt Guy!!

Anonymous said...

I would secure the services of Hleb and Flamini first. Then get rid of Gallas even for nothing. Ship SENDEROS, HOYTE, GILBERTO to Pompey and se if they cannot let us have Diarra back in return. Get 2 a top Central defenders. To be honest we have got the worst Central defence partnership in the top 5. Keep Eboue as SUB for Sagna. I would be tempted to go for Berba!!

Anonymous said...

Just get Kaka Benzema and Mexes

Anonymous said...

Buy Kallac (GK) from AC MILAN.

Sell Senderos, Hoyte, Lehman, Alumnia. Cancel Rosicky's contract

I hope Flamini resigns!

Anonymous said...

i don't like kirkland. i remember the game in which wigan were leading and he was time-wasting. when we recovered the lead henry made him regret that. i found it strangely satisfying to see the irritated look on kirkland's mug...

Almunia re-con@ said...

Almunia is the best keeper in Premier Legaue 4 time being. I think he deserves his place.I'm not quite sure about Lehmann. I not a big fan of him. I think Arsenal should buy Gregory Coupet.

Arsene musn't buy David Villa and I think Podolski would be a great plsyer 4 the club.

Bastian Schwensteiger of Bayern also should be included in the wish list.He is a top class youth.

And the most important thing is Arsenal must strive to get the triplets of Lyon. Ben Arfa. Benzema & Nasri.

Anonymous said...

Goalkeeper: Kameni of RCD Espanyol amazing young goalkeeper.

Defender: Micah Richards, outstanding defender and has vital experience of the premiership.

Midfielders: Gareth Barry cos of his experience nd brilliant technique. Sotiris Ninis, a fantastic young player currently at Panathiakos, jst turned 18 yrs old nd has played 4 his country Greece.

Strikers: Benzema i think is top of the list, jst an all round gr8 striker. Ben Arfa can also play upfront nd on the wing nd is a tremendously gifted player.

Anonymous said...

Roque Santa Cruz would be a good signing and I think he and Adebayor can work well together.

Midfield we got Gilberto(if he stays) who is more than capable with guys like Diaby and Song as back up.

Gallas needs to go!!! He is great player but we need someone fresh in defence and give Kolo the armband.

Wenger I know you're a manager of a big team and whatever and got medals and stuff but I think I know better so thats why im telling you how to do your job. I may never have won premiership or went to champions league final or proved myself as a worldclass coach in real life but I got a playstation 1 AND 2!!! and I think that is enough to prove I know what Im talking about

Anonymous said...

"I may never have won premiership or went to champions league final or proved myself as a worldclass coach in real life but I got a playstation 1 AND 2!!! and I think that is enough to prove I know what Im talking about"

Do you realise how stupid you just sounded?

Anyway, Nasri looks like a new Pires than a Zidane to me. Which suits me just fine. Hleb can go for his ice cream in Milan!

Anonymous said...

All arsenal need now is a defensive midfielder and another forward to replace adebayor. I believe if Hleb will transfer to Barcelona, Wenger should include Yaya Toure with a switch to the Emirates. If not Wenger should bid the 25 million euros for Miguel Veloso, the Lisbon prospect. As for forwards, two names come to mind. Either ajax youngster, Klaas Jan Huntelaar or Bayern Striker Lukas Podolski.

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