Well Saturday morning (AEST) was a depressing start to the season.
Many others, more eloquent than I, will dissect and critique the players, manager and board on that one.
Now I’ve chilled out a bit, I thought I’d look at the next two weeks and what we can hope for / need / realistically achieve in an ever closing window of opportunity.
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Leno has his flaws. He is a great shot stopper, but he struggles with playing it out from the back and has a tendency to put defenders under pressure, rather than just ‘getting rid’ sometimes.
We need a decent back up and fast.
Just wish some would stop going on about Martinez. He wanted first team guarantees, which we couldn’t give him and £20m was a good deal for a player who had been at the club for 10 years and had played a handful of games. It’s in the past let it go.
Not sure why we let Matt Ryan go and with Ramsdale seemingly out of our price range, logical choice is Andre Onana. The Cameroonian’s dopping ban is up in early September and his £5m price tag meeting Stingy Stan’s price bracket. He’s young, he’s got bucket loads of experience and would keep Leno on his toes.
Sorted, KT is one of the best overlapping full backs in the world and Tavares is a capable understudy.
Just need to ensure that one of the holding midfielders understands their role in attacking possession and slots in to cover (Currently undertaken by Xhaka)
Teirney also should get the captain’s armband.
Ben White, sorted. Young, calm and assured.
Just needs a capable partner, which I don’t believe Mari is that man.
Gabriel is first choice, once fit. Holding would be fighting with Pablo as back up. We are not buying another Centre Back now, so we are set with the 4/5 we have.
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Bellerin has gone backwards in the past two years and is not MA’s first choice by a long way. If we can find a suitor, he will be out the door.
Chambers is flavour of the month but doesn’t get forward effectively and doesn’t defend effectively.
Cedric? an odd one. Does a job but looks suited as cover not first choice.
Given the timeframe and other needs, I’d play AMN there. Can cover the ground, can adequately defend and attack and gives his all when called upon.
Partey, when fit, a shoe in.
Sambi, a perfect foil for Thomas. Solid tackler, gets around the pitch and has the skill and positive thought to start the attack from deep.
Xhaka and Elneny to cover when needed.
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The fluid attacking 3. ESR and Saka, obviously yes.
Pepe, not sure he’s good enough as first choice. Flatters to deceive and his limited ability of cutting in on his left foot isn’t much for £72m. Martinelli offers options and is a perfect replacement when needed.
My perfect scenario is Aouar on loan AND the purchase of Odegaard. We know Odegaard works and was part of the midfield that finished the season on a relative high last season and Aouar would add to that.
This would gives us four first choice AM’s, fluidity and speed in attack.
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I miss Giroud. There, I’ve said it.
Auba is low in confidence and wasted on the left.
Laca just doesn’t seem to know where the net is anymore.
Eddie just doesn’t cut the mustard and think we may have missed his sale by window now.
Balogun has potential and needs time to be nurtured.
We need to sell (Laca & Eddie), pray Auba remembers what it was like to be one of the best strikers in the world and buy a goal scorer. I’d love the purchase to be the experienced Lautaro Martinez, but accept that Abrahams may have to be the alternative.
At least Tammy is young, has a decent goal scoring record and hungry to prove himself and work his way back into Southgate’s thoughts.
Hopefully come 1st September, The Arsenal will look something like this.
Biggest concerns to all of the above are:
Stan’s deep pockets and short arms; and
The potential of zero points after 3 games, being bottom of the league and not looking an attractive proposition for any possible incomings.
It’s gonna be along 2 weeks and a longer season if we don’t address the above.
English by birth, Australian by choice. Traffic Engineer, Arsenal ST Holder, Sun DreamTeam Winner, Writer on @GunnersTown, Depeche Mode, Welcome to my world…