N’Zonzi a more logical partner for Ramsey than Dacoure as Emery adds Age to an Aging squad – Concern?

Logical but too old?

Transfer rumours are rife and the Emery era is in full swing. The Press, as we all know, do not necessarily know more than the well-connected fan, but I suspect there is some truth in some of the players we are being linked to at present.

Overall, I feel very bullish about the new era, although reading that our new Head Coach and Head of Scouting differ on targets continuously is slightly concerning. Particularly when our ill-informed media suggest Emery wants Stephen N’Zonzi, whilst Mislintat favours Abdoulaye Dacoure. Both are indeed French and both central midfielders for sure but they are certainly not alternatives for the same role in the team. The former is an out and out purpose built defensive back four shield and the latter a box to box player, with the same goal return in the Premier League as Ramsey. That said, our own Box to Boxer score his seven in far less games.

One has to assume, in the midfield area, the club’s priorities will be determined, as I wrote recently by Ramsey’s decision on his new contract. Should our Welsh midfield dynamo extend, as I think he will, the purchase of N’Zonzi from Sevilla makes more rational sense. Without being disparaging of Xhaka in any way, as it is about players for systems. I have always felt to see the best of Ramsey; the logical partner is a specialist defensive midfielder. If Emery aims to use his preferred 4231 and N’Zonzi or equivalent and Ramsey pivot seems idea to form a solid core – a modern day Petit/Vieira or Gilberto/Vieira if you will. (I am comparing the type of partnership here not the player ability.)

Logical Partnership

If Ramsey opts to seek his fortune away from the Emirates, then Dacoure is a potential target. That said he is 25 and last season was the only season in his career to date where he has stood out and added goals. Therefore, I am certain there are more viable and established Ramsey alternatives out there but I hope we do not need to cross that bridge.

I have read some speculation about what the addition Nzonzi might mean for Maitland-Niles and Elneny and if I were the Egyptian, I would share the concern. The young Englishman could watch. learn from and understudy an Nzonzi, or an Nzonzi style signing and has age on his side. Elneny at 25 may or may not be so keen to continue as an understudy, and signed his new deal in the old era. Our affable Egyptian will be aiming to impress his new coach with his displays in Russia.

Much to muse on and debate of course but one further aspect to keep an eye on is the average first team squad age and more particularly the average age of our potential starting 11. Last season we had the ninth eldest squad in the Premier League, with all the teams finishing above us, barring Chelsea, having younger groups. Adding the likes of Sokratis and Nzonzi may give us short-term experience in key areas but Emery and the Arsenal scouting team should have an eye on the next generation. One hopes that with Mistinlat at the helm, this should not be an issue but a quick look at a potential first 11 for August might raise and eye brow!

Last year the highest average squad age in the Premier League was WBA, a team that got relegated. That average squad age was just over 29 and the team above, as a first choice 11 has an average age of 28.81. I am not being alarmist as swapping Cech for Leno, Monreal for Kolasinac and even Lacazette for Dembele would change things dramatically. So at this stage just something to watch but Sokratis and Lichtsteiner are certainly ‘mature’ additions so we can hope the remainder of the summer will see the counter balanced, as I am convinced their are far more ins and indeed outs to be revealed between now and July.

Enough ramblings for today…. Roll on Russia and come in The Three Lions!!




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4 Responses to N’Zonzi a more logical partner for Ramsey than Dacoure as Emery adds Age to an Aging squad – Concern?

  1. Victor Thompson June 5, 2018 at 2:26 pm #

    The issue of age in the squad is certainly of serious concern based open your conjecture, though I understand the reasoning behind its possibility. The defence was so poor that a new manager with limited resources may not be able to make the necessary improvements unless he can drop a couple of battle hardened pros into the set up.

    I don`t know N`Zonzi or Sokratis, or indeed Dacoure as well as you do, but todays papers are saying that Ramsey has signed so Dacoure may not come into the picture.

    If Sokratis and N`Zonzi are capable of leading by example and can discipline Bellerin and Mustafi so that they stop deserting their posts in defence, we may considerably reduce our `goals against` figures. I would love to see Ramsey set free with Miki to maraud through defences and Abau and Lacazzette lurking to take advantage.

    There will be concerns for Xhaka, Wilshire and Elneny. Iwobi and Welbeck, will be support players. As you say Maitland Niles will gain vital experience from players who have been there, done it and bought the T shirt. My hope will be that these older players will serve their purpose for 1 or two years so that our younger players will be more accomplished and our position in the league will be much better than now. By then we may be able to loosen the purse strings if top level players become available, but at least, we will begin to see our beloved club reaching for the stars again instead of looking into the abyss.

  2. Victor THompson June 6, 2018 at 12:24 pm #

    I see we have signed Liechtensteiner, so I suppose Sokratis will not be required?

  3. Alex field June 7, 2018 at 1:40 pm #

    Victor I doubt that it’s Mustafi that’s no longer required .
    As to the two mentioned at the start we are not as yet certain Ramsey is going to sign the contract on offer so personally I think that’s why the interest in dacore.
    I hope we get Leno as I feel cech has had a rapid decline perhaps due to the very bad head injury suffered in his Chelsea days.
    I am looking forwards to the new season as I feel at last we have a manager who has tactical nouse and plans for the opposition so leaves the players in no doubt about what they have
    With our clutch of very good young players I was pleased what Mmappe had to.say about working with our new manager in his yr at PSG.
    It is my contention that Wenger neglected his duties in the last couple of yrs he left us spineless and without a rudder we had no leaders in the team hopefully this is now being addressed with wise older heads which will hopefully lead to the young ones getting the minutes their development needs

  4. Victor Thompson June 8, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

    Can`t agree more with what Mmappe says about Wenger, but he is gone now and I am just looking forward to seeing something different. For the first time in years there is genuine optimism and it will be a novelty to see what a manager with a plan and the ability to carry it out can do.

    I just hope Kroenke is not going to hold him back.

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