Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Arsene’s revised transfer plans?

By 1970’s Gooner

Arsene Wenger finished off last season promising new signings.

'I know what I want and I am very confident,' he said. 'I hope to turn that around in the next two or three weeks. The fans should be re-assured by what they see.'

He identified as one of the main areas that Arsenal needed strengthening as that of central defence pinpointing as a major weakness the inability to defend high balls into the middle.

With Mathieu Flamini having already opted to sign for AC Milan and Alexander Hleb ready to opt out, Wenger looked set for a busy two months.

But we are in the middle of June and the only apparent transfer activity so far has concentrated on trying to replace the “departing” Hleb.

It is reported that Samir Nasri will sign now that France has been knocked out of Euro 2008.

A possible reason for this inactivity is that Wenger may not want to further dwarf the chances of the younger players coming through by adding more players on the roster.

Wide midfielders: No more to come?

This is an area where there is a plethora of wide midfield players at the club even without Hleb.

Players such as Theo Walcott, Carlos Vela, Tomas Rosicky ( who by the way never said that he will actually miss the start of the season) and now it looks like Nasri too.

I have kept Eboue out of this list for obvious reasons!

And there are also forwards that can play as wide midfielders such as Robin Van Persie and Eduardo (in a say 4 3 3 formation with Adebayor in the middle).

Which ever way you look at it and taking into account that Rosicky and Eduardo will come back early enough, Wenger may be hesitant to splash the cash for any more forwards and wide midfielders other than Nasri.

Not unless there are more departures other than Flamini and possibly Hleb.

Not withstanding the above I would very much like to believe the rumours circulating that a bid is imminent for Andrei Arshavin.

I have enthused about him not so long ago as I think he will be that fantastic winger that Arsenal have been looking for a long time (No wonder Wenger is interested in Arshavin).

He is ready to make a huge impact. A much bigger impact than Nasri would make.

Wenger has shown interest before but somehow with Nasri’s arrival any day the chances of Arshavin coming at the Emirates may be affected.

Central midfield: Promote from within?

Now this is an interesting area where a vacancy is open for Fabregas’s partner.

Again I really do not see Wenger splashing the cash for a major signing. This is because there are alternatives within the existing squad that could fill the void.

As pointed out in one of our articles on this site (“There are four ways to replace Flamini”) Arsene would not want to jeopardize Diaby’s chances to eventually play in his natural position.

He would also like to give Song a chance there as well as Denilson and Gilberto who would probably be used as understudies (Toure is another alternative).

So again adopting this mode of thought it's difficult to predict a major signing in this area either.

Another goalkeeper; surely

I have written on this subject before (Arsene’s wish list?). Arsenal need to buy another goalkeeper to replace Lehmann.

Otherwise it would indeed be reckless to try and go through next season with only Almunia experienced enough to play in the first team.

Fabiansky is good and should be given a chance but what will happen if both of them get injured at the same time? Mannone would prove too raw to figure in the first team.

We therefore need to recruit another goalkeeper (maybe nearing his shelf life) who will add experience and would be fighting for a first team place with Almunia (and Fabiansky).

Full back positions: Don't even think about it

I consider the full back positions, manned by Sagna and Clichy as set in stone.

They are in my opinion the best full backs in Europe and their back ups Hoyte, Eboue, Gallas, Toure, Djourou and Traore are also adequate enough so as to allow Wenger to divert cash elsewhere.

But what about central defence?

This is an area that every Arsenal fan has been waiting to see a major signing.

Arsenal after all conceded 31 Premier League goals last term, the worst record of the top four clubs. Manchester United let in just 22, Chelsea conceded 26 and Liverpool leaked 28.

If you look at the results of the poll we set up on the subject this was the area that most fans wanted new faces.

517 votes out of a total 1369 (38% of the total) were cast for this option against those for a wide midfielder of 454 (33%).

Maybe most fans were conditioned to expect a signing here after Wenger’s comments pointing to the need to strengthen this area.

Well, his recent comments on the possibility of signing Vincent Kompany have usurped this idea!

“I have been interested in Vincent Kompany ever since he was 16, but I am not interested in him this year. There is nobody I need for my team’s defensive department”!

So there you go.

He will probably consider Alex Song as a reliable centre back.

And buying in another defender would dwarf his chances of shining through.

You will remember how enthusiastic Wenger was about Song at the question and answer session with shareholders at the end of the season.

You will also remember how well Song played in that high pressure game at Old Trafford last season.

Forwards: Stay as you are

You would not expect Wenger to enter the transfer market for another centre forward would you?

The excellent news that Eduardo will be ready to start pre season and (touch wood) Van Persie's apparent fitness imply that having four players for the two centre forward positions is adequate, even by Chelsea's standards.


If the above analysis proves correct, Arsene Wenger is likely to concentrate his transfer activity in buying younger players (as he has done for Ramsey and may do for Spear for example).

And he will expect that the youngsters will improve next season due to the experience gained.

'It doesn't look like we have no team and we have to build a team. 'We were unbeaten at home and that is only the second time in the history of the club.

'We have done that with young players who will be better next season.' he said recently.

He will then hope that a) there are no more departures and b) that the freak injuries that took out two of the three most potent goal scorers do not happen again.

I do like that Arshavin though.

No wonder Wenger is interested in Arshavin

There are four ways to replace Flamini

Arsene’s wish list?


Anonymous said...

Just proves Wenger is a bullshitter and tight cunt with Arsenal's fans hard earned money. The fact that he has a "job for life" means there are no consequences to his arrogance and shortsightedness. He's obviousely just happy to fill the boards coffers with the fan's money!!! Must have struck a deal with them some time ago.

Anonymous said...

You have to give it to Wenger he's a clever man. When push came to shove last season our squad wasn't good enough & everybody could see we needed some new players brought in. Wenger does a question & answer session telling the world what we already know, then promptly disappears & his deadline for signings passes with the chequebook only being opened to sign a kid that won't feature in the first team next season.

Weeks pass by & people start forgetting how poor a run we went on when the pressure increased & suddenly those reserves & youngsters who clearly couldn't cope suddenly become great again & we no longer need anyone. If our only arrival is to be Nasri & our departure list features Lehmann & Flamini with the possibility of Hleb how does that transform us from losers to champions?

Before anyone tells me the transfer window stays open to the end of August there are two points, firstly my comment is based on this article which is giving a guess we will only sign Nasri & secondly, first team players need to be signed in time for a whole pre season otherwise they rarely have a good season. I'm yet to see a player arrive at the club in August & do well in their first year.

Anonymous said...

I can see Gilberto getting more football at centre-back next season than in the midfield alongside fabbie. I don't know what everyone else thinks of this idea, but it's one that I beleive would work, Diaby may not be strong enough by what we've seen from him so far. But neither was Flamini until he was given his chance, and he took it. Diaby has to this season, if he is to finally answer the calls for him to be the "new Vieira" I don't think he will ever be as imposing as Vieira, but he has the opportunity to prove, err, almost the whole world wrong. Apart from the central midfield issues and the centre back issues then we are sorted, on the wings we have more strength in depth than United, Liverpool and even Chelski. Arshavin I don't believe will be of any use to us, the options we have, with a fully fit squad, are better than him. I dont believe he is worth the transfer fee that has been reportedly said by his clubs president. I'd rather have a Bastian Schweinsteiger (Don't have a clue about the spelling) or a Lukas Podolski for the wings and he can also go up front, strength in depth in two positions with 1 player! And he is a proven goal scorer (not just in a german shirt) So Vincent Kompany aint coming to The Emirates after all, that's a big miss for us, because he's only 22 or 23 but he has the experience of a 30 yr old! Playing in the first team at Anderlecht from the age of 16, some acheivement. I think Wenger was put off by his price tag, I just hope another team don't snap him up before next season, because I think he will come next year, otherwise what would the point of Wenger watching him for 6 years be? And he said "no Kompany will not be an Arsenal player next season" but we will have to wait and see with that one, just like all the rest.
Gunner #1

Anonymous said...

ig by august wenger does not sign a dm a gk a tall cb and a winger, another medicore season waits, wenger for the last few season says he will buy a worldclass player but doesnt, then chances his mind as sayas a top top player, we all the merry go around we have been patient for the last 4 years and if wenger does not invest this summer considerably, then i have for all lost my believe in wenger and the board

Anonymous said...

Wenger originally said that he would sign a centreback, and more recently said that he "no longer needs any more defenders".
Could it be that he has already signed one, and, if so, why hasn't it been announced. One possibility is that we have agreed terms with Udinese for Christian Zapata. We previously had a low bid turned down by them, and if this bid had been increased then this could be the case. With regards to an announcement, Zapata has been with the Columbian team for World Cup qualifiers, in one of which he received a nasty injury to his cheekbone and eyesocket. HE hopes to be playing in a few weeks for the next qualifiers though (sounds like a hard man). Obviously any sigining would be conditional on a medical, so any announcement would still be a fair few weeks away. Just speculation, but worth keeping an eye on....

Anonymous said...

Thanks mjc

Interesting info on Zapata. Please keep an eye on it for us.

Anonymous said...

when we sold veira...doomsayers said we are going to be fighting in midtable the following season.. did we?
when we sold henry...doomsayers said we are going to beout of top 4 with spurs replacing us.. did we?
we have been punching above our weight every season..isn't that good enuf
or u rather be like chelsea and spurs..spend big and then fail big.. we have something spurs fans and chelsea fans never will have..
our first team trash theirs without spending as much as a quid..
This isn't Championship Manager where u can win year in year out after u bought the all the world's best player ..Real Madrid tried and failed ..Chelsea tried and failed too.. Barcelona tried and failed too...
getting in big names with big egos will cause dressing room disharmony in RealLife(i don think we see that in CM right??)

Eric Savage said...

Thankfully Wenger is a more patient man than some of the supporters on this blog. He certainly keeps us on our toes and I appreciate that.

Flamini taught us a lesson last year - never write off an existing player who you believe is underperforming. We have so many players on the brink of greatness, who may become world stars or may just never quite get there. I think Wenger has taken a look at his squad and sees something we don't.

Yeah, he's human and makes mistakes, but give him due credit.

Anonymous said...

What a long, stodgy, boring piece. I immediately regretted my decision to read it after a couple of long winded, sleep inducing paragraphs. Utter tripe.

Gooner Canuck said...

No new fullback? I don't trust Hoyte and neither does Wenger. When Sagna went down our season fell apart. Wenger chose Toure rather than Hoyte, Eboue, et al to play in that role and he wasn't as good there as Sagna. The team have given up on Traore as a left back, preferring to see him play as a left winger. We definitely do need a new fullback, preferably someone who can play both right and left. I suspect Wenger will sell Hoyte, probably to Aston Villa.
I still think we need a centre back. I don't think Diaby can play alongside Fabregas, he's just too fragile (look at how much action he missed last season). Song could, but Wenger wants to turn him into a defender. Djourou wants to but he doesn't have the experience. I also like Arshavin. He'd be dynamite.

Anonymous said...

In reply to anon: June 20, 2008 7:26 PM

What you said in that was quality mate, well said. An I bet the people slating wenger now are the same people that though we would suffer without henry. We play better football now more than ever before. And it will bring titles. We were a broken leg away from the Premiership last year, but all will be sorted next season. Mark my words.
Gunner #1.

Anonymous said...

wenger has to buy a new keeper almunia is a good keeper but nothing more we need a keeper that will command the defence and contorl the box. Sebastian Frey i believe is the keeper for this! wenger was after him a few years back and there was a rumours going around but wenger needs to sign someone of his standard! ok his cost maybe a bit high but hed pay dividends. and if wenger was afraid of spendin money well then boruc is the man he shined between the sticks for poland and will cost no more than 8mil.
I then believe arsenal need a centre back someone like chellini, kompany or someone young and of those standards. But i would settle for thuram who looks set to leave barca!
Finally i hope wenger keeps adebayor but the money does seem good. If he does go santa cruz, villa would be good targets but arsenal need adebayor because he now has brought something new to arsenals game HEADED GOALS and Strength. but whatever happens we will still win de champions league fa cup and premiership! c'mon

Anonymous said...

yes man the problem is not the defence.

the problem is the goalkeeper.

"to replace Lehmann" are you fucking joking?

to replace Almunia is the right one.

rellends said...

looks like adebayor is off. we are a fucking joke. why not just rename the team arselona and be done with it? one step forward 3 steps back. if adebayor does go why are we not asking for etoo in exchange? of course i forgot the reason we dont ask for anyone in exchange is because we wouldnt want to offend our parent club, would we. we'll get good money for hleb and adebayor - 35 million plus - id be willing to eat all my words if a third of that was reinvested. the cunts on the board are happy with champions league football every season and this season we will see us scrapping over third and fourth place again. what kind of message does this send out to fabregas? ill tell you what the message is, hang on for one more season mate and when we win fuck all next year well kowtow to barcelona and let you piss off there. i look forward to the 08/09 season when we start off with an unproven danish striker and some talented new overseas signings who will take 18 months to bed in. fucking laughing stock.

Anonymous said...

In relation to the centre back issue i believe that Arsene missed out on a major signing in Tony Adams!..his contract had finished at the end of the season with Pompy so why not bring the master of defence back in to sort are problems out?

Anonymous said...

hi all--
let hleb go and send ade the same way,lets build a Gunner team with true team players...i can wait for trophy's as long as we keep playing superb football,the game is bigger than any player and flams shined even though he's a average player at most,no lets stand firm with our talent and Arshavin...if he wants to come ..i would be lets be true Gunners,,,and like Adams stand firm and watch great soccer provided by Arsenal...just think of it..we're actually better than all the rest :)
have a great Saturday all..

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