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Round pegs in a round hole; 7 players who would instantly fit at Arsenal

ROUND PEGS IN A ROUND HOLE…..by Don McMahon

Thank God for the transfer window is about to open and all the idle speculation that has been drummed up and invented in monotonous repetition by the hyperbolic media, the bored fans and the other denizens of this tragic-comical time can start to happen.  Or not.

However, the solution to actually discerning whether a player or players will be on Wenger’s potential want-list depends on both past criteria and present needs the Club may interpret as requiring immediate fufillment.

Here are some of my thoughts gleaned from a few articles I had written about the ¨ideal¨ Arsenal candidate supplemented by more recent observations and statements from Wenger and others at Arsenal. Please not that NONE of these elements are taken from media or blogger suppositions but rather my opinions, based on what pattern has developed over Wenger’s 17 year tenure at AFC:

1) Wenger prefers affordable and potentially undiscovered ,talented players, or if not, one’s who are world class already (Ozil).

2) A player must have a certain degree of hunger to play the game so mercenaries and egotistical superstars are not welcome. (Podolski)

3) The candidate must display some loyalty to his employer and pride in his Club. (Per)

4) Ideally he is already an international regular or if not, a potentially exciting candidate for his national team. (Sanogo/Campbell)

5) The best age bracket seems to be between 22 and 28, but when necessary, Wenger will sign younger or older players as the need arises. (Arteta/Kalstrom)

6) The player must display the ability to demonstrate significant technical skills, pace and ability to play in the Arsenal style. (Cazorla)

7) The individual MUST be a team player and demonstrate a strong desire to integrate into the team rather than an attitude that the team must adapt to him. (Ramsey)

8) The player must be willing to ride the bench occasionally and still play to his best, regardless of his satisfaction or chagrin at not getting a full game. (Vermaelen)

9) He must display discretion, maturity and class and avoid controversy whenever possible. (Szcesny)

10) He must respect other players (opponents and team-mates alike) and respect the rules of the Club and of Football, regardless of the temptation to seek revenge, ¨justice¨  or profit from questionable opportunities during a game. (Wilshere)

11) His ideal player must have mental strength, self-control, self-confidence and belief in the team and his own abilities. (Walcott)

12) Ideally the best candidate will display leadership and if not a natural leader, will demonstrate his willingness to follow the team leader’s guidance and directions. (Rosicky)

For all of the above reasons and many more, the idea that Balotelli or Suarez would fit the Arsenal profile is somewhat ludicrous. These two are NOT team players and certainly do not check most of the above boxes; they are truly square pegs! That said, there are a few players I’ve seen at the WC that seem to fit most or all of the criteria I mentioned. Here are a few round pegs for our round holes:

1) Paul Pogba…..wants to play every game, reminds me a great deal of Viera.

2) Alexis Sanchez ….a fireball and very attack minded.

3) Mathieu Valbuena….a small player but tough and absolutely a handful for opposing defenders.

4) Guillermo Ochoa….I have always rated him very highly and so does Wenger apparently.

5) Javier Hernandez (Chicarito)…..brave, fit, deadly in attack and desperate to play.

6) Xherdan Shaqiri …..a real dynamite player who never quits and has great self-confidence.

7) Bryan Ruiz…….Campbell’s teammate and has a real sense of finishing in the box.

There are so many more who could add so much to our team and who,imho , would outshine and outproduce such players as Manduzic, Morata, Cerci,Rodriguez etc.,etc. Will any of them be on Wenger’s radar…..we can only wait and see.

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11 comments to Round pegs in a round hole; 7 players who would instantly fit at Arsenal

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice piece Don , am already looking forward to the new season ( and new buys !) with great hope . I’ll wait for AW to announce the team.
    In the meanwhile I continue quoting about beauty from ..
    http://www.ohbeautifulquotes.com/quotesaboutbeauty20_11.html

    “The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart.”
    – Unknown

  • Pete

    Don – I doubt you are being serious with numbers 9 and 10 – so proving I did read it!

    I reiterate that Balotelli is a very strong rumour from inside sources. Although I share your view that he is high risk in terms of fit. Not sure how we would keep Giroud/Sanogo/Campbell all happy with a new out and out striker rather than one who can also play wide?

  • omgarsenal

    Pete…..#’s 9 & 10 for me represent what the essence of Arsenal is all about. That is why Arsenal are true class and some other teams are always in their shadow. I agree that Balotelli does seem to be the flavour of the month but until we see him holding an Arsenal jersey beside Wenger, it is all wild speculation as far as I’m concerned.
    I really hope Campbell can be given a fair chance. I have watched him in all CRC’s games and liked what I saw. He has the right attitude and is ready to play where and how he is told….only 21 and with talent to spare. I could eventually see him playing along with Sanogo in a 4-4-2 or even 4-5-1 arrangement if Wenger ever decides to adopt that approach. What really makes me happy is to think he’ll have players like Wilshere,Ramsey, Ozil,Cazorla,Walcott and Giroud with him!

  • nicky

    Roll on the 1st September when all will be revealed.
    Then wild speculation can begin on who Arsene should buy during the January Window!
    As the French say (when learning English) “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sanchez, Ballotelli, Remy, bony…..plans a,b,c,d though not necessecarily in that order?
    Sorry off topic, but poor Cesc, the classless football club have insulted what he did…or in their words, what he did not do at Arsenal….before he has even kicked a ball for his club, see paragraph 5
    http://www.chelseafc.com/news-article/article/3941255/title/farewell-cole

  • Ben

    Hey Mandy that article doesnt mention Cesc at all. Just remarks that on Cole’s final year at Chelsea Arsenal finally win.

  • Strus

    I’d say Arsenal need:
    1) relative uknown, but experienced GK no.2, better UK- based( homegrown place). So no Ochoa
    2) more defending that flying forward right full back. Something different than Serge Aurier, or Arsene will have to change his skewed formatoin to the other side.
    3) younger than Arteta player for the deepest midfielder role. Schneiderlin or Bender, but not Pogba. We have our own Ramsey. The right person from Juventus team is Vidal.
    4) Aguero/Suarez type of forward. Alexis Sanchez please!

    At start of next season Valbuena will be 30, B. Ruiz 29- too old for attacking player.
    Shaqiri will not leave Bayern, forget about him.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Not directly Ben, but explains at length how Ashley went to Chelsea, while during all but the end of his time there, Arsenal won nothing and Ashkey won lots of things……the point is, this period they gloat about us winning nothing, their new player was our skipper for much of that time.
    They seem to get in digs at Arsenal whenever they can….not sure why!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Back on topic of players, one who we have been linked with, but on last nights evidence, will clearly not fit in with our main striker …..is Benzema

  • menace

    Walter – your Belgian boys might be playing a Messi Argentina!! Good football game v USA. Probably the most entertaining match of the World Cup.

  • Gord

    Off topic. There seems to be the odd person interested in see Arsenal play New York Red Bulls (and Thierry Henry). The game is sold out.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20140701/new-york-red-bulls-v-arsenal-sold-out-