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Next season: Arsenal’s first team line up and the back up.

By Tony Attwood

One of the more interesting things that happens during the warm up to the transfer season is that old rumours get recycled on slow news days, without the writers knowing that we have been there before.

So it is with Benjamin Mendy who Arsenal are now supposed to be “tracking”.

What’s interesting here is that  on 11 March 2011 the Daily Mail ran the headline  “Wenger planning summer bid for Le Havre teen Mendy to shore up Arsenal defence”.  They were probably tracking him then as well.

But you never know, “according to reports” (a new journalistic in-phrase which to my horror I found myself using recently) the “tracking” is back on.   Anyway, as we know, Arsenal didn’t sign him and on 24 July 2011, Mendy is a left sided defender and he signed a three-year deal with Le Havre.   On 9 August last season he made his first professional appearance in the French League Cup.  Le Havre lost.  Since then he has moved up to the under 19s, for France, and Le Havre have suggested he is worth £5m – not least because “according to reports” the player has not signed a new contract and thus has a contract now in its final year.

So maybe we could put BW alongside Tin Jedvaj of Dinamo Zagreb as a possible transfer in ready for the future.  According to reports (interesting how often you can fit that into a comment about possible transfers) ‘Roma offered £5million for Tin, but didn’t get him.

Which raises questions about how able the Italian clubs now under investigation again for more match fixing and the like will be to persuade that Italy is a good place to play football.

Carlos Tevez obviously thinks it is ok to go to Juventus but maybe that is because he wants to get out of the rest of his community service sentence that he was given when pleading guilty to driving while disqualified.

But he might be disappointed because of an EU agreement on such matters, the community service still has to be done in England even if he is living in foreign parts.  Details of how the community service orders are carried out are not revealed, although we know he was doing it in April, and according to reports has quite a few hours left on the clock.

However community service is not meant to interfere with doing paid work, so it looks like he might be asked to come back on his day off.Which leads us to Manchester C, who Napoli have accused of not have enough money to buy the forward Edinson Cavani.   However it is possible that Man C just said that €63m was a bit too much.

But it does seem that Man C are now following a policy of trying to comply with FFP rather than a policy of holding onto non-playing players so that other clubs can’t get them.
Anyway, onto the Arsenal team next season

  • Goal: Wojciech Szczesny/ Lukasz Fabianski
  • Defence: Jenkinson, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, Monreal
  • Defensive midfield: Wilshere, Ramsey
  • Attacking midfield: Santi Caorla
  • Forwards:  Theo Walcott, Gonzalo Higuain, Lukas Podolski

The benefit of this line up is that it includes only one new player, and so won’t take too long to sort out.  The other point is that if Gonzalo Higuain continues the Real Mad approach and only plays parts of matches then that means that leave Olivier Giroud alternating with him.

This now leaves the backup as

  • Goal: Wojciech Szczesny/ Lukasz Fabianski
  • Defence: Sagna, Gibbs, Vermaelen, Coquelin
  • Defensive midfield: Arteta, Coquelin
  • Attacking midfield: Rosicky
  • Forwards:  Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud

I don’t think the buying is over, so that will squad will develop, but that’s not a bad combination of players with a fair amount of cover for injuries.

22 comments to Next season: Arsenal’s first team line up and the back up.

  • we need to add on some expernced players goal keeper cesar, number 6 folliane,defedar williums and striker hugaine.

  • Stuart

    Only 10 players in the backup squad? They must be good! 😉

  • Mick

    ‘So maybe we could put BW alongside Tin Jedvaj…..’
    Tony, I know it is early and I am still not awake properly but who/what is BW?

  • GotKu

    Hum, Ramsey starter and not Arteta? Im not sure AW will do that.For me its a no brainer at this position. Arteta all the way.

  • WalterBroeckx

    off topic: I think that in just one week time the players will be back in London to start the preparations of the new season. And 10 days later will play the first pre-season game. 17 days to go before we can enjoy some Arsenal-football.

    on topic: I also think Arteta will be the first on the team pillow (to not use sheet) together with Per Mertesacker. Rumour has it he would be captain next season.

  • The great Henry

    im appalled that mikel arteta has been left out in the dmf role…his performances were indispensable…hez not an eye catching player but his presence is vital… and Wilshere is better utlised as an attacking player….

  • Mick

    Sorry off topic but I have just heard (admittedly on Talkshite) that Real Madrid will push for Higuain to go to Spuds in some sort of exchange deal for Bale.

  • Giddy

    So while other teams are strengthening, Our Arsenal would rather continue with the team that struggled to finish on top 4! Really are we serious that we want to challenge for the title or any other trophy? My understanding tells me that Arsenal need a lethal striker, a DM and probably an experienced goal keeper in the mould of Cesar. Perhaps if Gorv is going, a serious winger who can score goals. Fans were as recently told that there is money to sign quality players but if we remain with these players as u put it, i dont think we are getting serious! Anyway i may be wrong but i will patiently wait for the new season.

  • americangooner

    The newspaper that reported we met Fellaini’s get-out clause is the same one that is reporting a swap of higuain and coentrao plus some cash with gareth going the other way. This is just opportunistic journalism, whereby seeing that there is a delay in higuain coming to arsenal the press then circulate nonsense to get hits. Its completely improbable that higuain would want to play in Europa league. RM also have acquired Isco, why would they go for Bale now?

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mick BW is Bionic Wenger, Wenger’s robo child, a perfect footaller which he had a team of scientists create a few years back and is programmed to be loyal and mentally strong.

    Or if you invert that W you’ll see what Tony meant I think.

  • Bootoomee

    Sir Tony,

    Not that I only want you to write what I want to read but this article is more like it for me. We (@ Untold at least) support the club by supporting the players and the manager. This is why I absolutely loathe the transfer speculation game. Granted, most fans (including yours truly) are bored out of their minds due to lack of seeing the team play (I thought the Confederations cup will temporarily fill the void but I am wrong). I, however, refuse to play the who is coming, who is going game. Like the next fan, I wish to see Messi, Ronaldo, Bale (who wouldn’t?) etc playing for Arsenal. I also have a few players that I hope the team let go (this is already happening). What I refuse to be engaged in is the rampant covetousness that is common with football fans nowadays.

    Each time you long for the signing of a new player, you are just demanding that one of those you cheered on last season be dropped or sold while you are praising one of those that you possible booed over the same period! I have seen several gooners express the desire to see Rooney in Arsenal shirt. ARE THEY OUT OF THEIR MINDS!!! (I wish I could scream louder but this is the best I can do electronically). You see, Wayne Rooney is one of those players that club loyalty should malke you not want to see as a gunner. But then you see those Arsenal ‘lovers’ denigrate Arteta as lightweight while having wet dreams about Wayne Freaking Rooney!

    Back on topic, I like this article because it is about Arsenal players. I know Higuain isn’t one yet (and I really don’t care whether we get him or not) but he’s one exception so I can live with that. Let us talk about our OWN players, their health, their fitness, their mental state of preparedness for the impending battle. Let us talk about formations, you know, how to best utilise our OWN resources.

    As a fan, this what I enjoy. Should Jenkinson play ahead of Sagna? Should Sagna play CD as he excellently did vs Sunderland away? Should Santi play directly behind the strikers? I am an amateur strategist like most fans but I enjoy this game when played with my fellow gooners. It shows our understanding of our team and players. It also shows how difficult Arsene Wenger’s job is.

    Sir Tony, please let’s have less player speculation but more strategic posts about our OWN players. I think the tabloids and countless other blogs are doing the former well enough.

    At Untold Arsenal, things have and should always be different!

  • bc

    I’m hoping that coquelin gets to challenge for the rb position and sagna gets shuffled across as replacement for djourou. I just cannot see coquelin getting in ahead of arteta ramsey wilshire diaby (when fit) and hopefully we will sign fellaini. Also imo frimpong yennaris and aneke offer more than le coq in the middle. I can see aneke and yennaris really coming on this season even if that is whilst out on loan.

    I think coquelin can be better than sagna or jenko at rb, especially as sagna is poor at crossing and simply doesn’t have the pace of the two younger fellas. However as a cb he can be every bit as good as per/kos/tv5 and a darn sight better than JD squid and miquel.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Arshavin will go back to Zenit St. Petersburg but it was already know that he would go this summer.
    And Djourou will go on loan to Hamburg I just read in the media in my country and the German media.
    Time for Miquel to step up?

  • Bootoomee

    Giddy (@9:13),

    Post something original please. If I get a penny for every time I see a post like yours, I’ll be a ….. well, I’ll be very rich indeed.

  • Bootoomee

    bc (@ 10:04),

    That’s what I’m talking about! Thank you!

    I don’t want Sagna to go unless he gets greedy (of which there’s no indication). Sagna is one of my favourites. I just love his attitude. Never complaining, always getting on with the job. I can also never forget that look of absolute determination as he retrieved the ball from his first goal against the Tiny Totts in the first 5-2 game. I love Sagna! I do think he may be better as CB. He was immense in that Sunderland game. I hope AW tries him there more often while giving Jenkinson and the others more opportunity to make the RB position their own.

    On another note, I am not against Arsenal signing players to strengthen the team. I will hail whoever gets signed and support them like I always have the whole team. I just find speculations on players to be signed jarring and ridiculous.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Arteta is getting old, he’ll be 32 next. He will be less of a starter. So Ramsey ahead of Arteta is more likely. Also Wilshere-Ramsey midfield is likely to work better. They are the players who work for each other.

  • Mahesh

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nClbmwn3dBU

    Just something to enjoy (Apologies, if someone has already posted this!)

  • JohnW

    First of all Nacho is not our first left back. I think Gibbs is better! Secondly, I’m a bit unhappy that people are salivating at the prospect of new signings, I would like to see the players who will be promoted from the reserves. Thirdly, I would like to see Theo start as a centre foward early next season, for say 10 games, so that he becomes familiar with the role much more, it will help us later in the season. And lastly, I WISH Spurs finishes 7th next season.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    2 JohnW – Somehow I think you’d get lucky with your last wish! Especially seeing that many Gunners would be wishing the same !

    Unlucky !

    A duck hunter was out enjoying a nice morning on the marsh when he decided to take a leak…. He walked over to a tree and propped up his gun. Just then a gust of wind blew, the gun fell over, and discharged… shooting him in the genitals.

    Several hours later, lying in a hospital bed, he was approached by his doctor.

    ‘Well sir, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you are going to be OK. The damage was local to your groin, there was very little internal damage, and we were able to remove all of the buckshot.’

    ‘What’s the bad news?’ asked the hunter.

    ‘The bad news is that there was some pretty extensive buckshot damage done to your penis. I’m going to have to refer you to my sister.’

    ‘Oh, well I guess that isn’t too bad,’ the hunter replied. ‘Is your sister a plastic surgeon?’

    ‘Not exactly.’ answered the doctor. ‘She’s a flute player in the local symphony and she’s going to teach you where to put your fingers so you don’t piss in your eye’…

  • colario

    @ Bootoomee
    June 27, 2013 at 9:50 am
    Excellent post. We have a group of players with lots of ability and clearly want to play for the club just as much as you and I want to. Lets give them our full support.
    My ambition in life was to play football for Arsenal but I was only ever good enough for spuds. So I didn’t bother.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ colario – I have heard that there were many who wanted to play very badly for the Spuds – and did ! That’s probably why they last won the 1st division title in 1961 !

  • John

    Gervinho?