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Next season’s team starts to take shape

Next season’s team will look remarkably different from the team that we have seen through this year.

This year you’ll remember we

  • Finished 4th in the EPL contrary to all predictions which had us in free fall  (remember the “should Wenger go if we don’t make the Europa League)
  • Got to the semi-final of the Euro Cup and the FA Cup
  • Went 21 games unbeaten
  • Beat the EPL record and our own club record for minutes at home without conceding a goal
  • Our ladies team won the treble including winning the league for the 6th successive year on the last day of the seas, and the FA Cup for the fourth successive year – a fair way to say goodbye to Vic – not least after several senior profile players abandoned ship and went to play pro football in America.
  • Our Academy team won the league by so many points it was embarrassing for everyone else.  The kids are also in the Youth Cup Final, and look like they will win the north/south league play off.

Next season the team will be quite different.  It looks like we will have five players who are either new, or played very limited football this year for us…

Eduardo, Rosicky, Arshavin will all appear more, while we will have two new players, a midfielder and a defender.  Effectively almost half a new team.

(Interestingly the Lord Wenger said he would not buy a forward and instantly the Mirror on Sunday said that we were going to sign Pavel Pogrebnyak.  Last year at this time they said we would sign Peter Crouch).

Of the rest of the team there will be the usual round of returns from work experience programmes including Senderos and Troare in defence. And we’ve got Wilshere, Bischof and Ramsey who we have only seem glimpses of in midfield but all look ready to come through.

Behind them there are the kiddies teams – the guys who you might see on the bench or in the Diddly Cup that the Tiny Totts and the KGB play so seriously for.   Of those who are here the obvious names are Francis Coquelin, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Fran Merida, and maybe Mark Randall, but I rather felt he had shot his bolt.

As for the rest, Gilles Sunu looks good, Henri Lansbury, Hoyte The Younger, Rhys Murphy, Jay Simpson, Luke Freeman…  It is very hard to know who is ready to move on but if you ever see the youngsters you know that lurking in there is more than Jack Wilshere.

And spare a thought for Kerrae Gilbert – a famous member of the side of the Seven Left Backs.  Played very well out of position, then went off on loan and has been on loan ever since.    Either he looks good for a few games but then falls away and no one wants to buy him, or he is actually brilliant and Arsenal are just waiting their time.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

20 comments to Next season’s team starts to take shape

  • Cape Gooner

    Tony, do you really believe that we will sign two new players? I don’t. And I don’t want them. Perhaps Huth to replace Silvestre.

    I think that yesterday was another refereeing disgrace. Their first goal came from a free kick that should have never been awarded; their last at least 2 yards offside. We were denied 3 penalties. Was that payback to Chelsea for Wednesday night?

    The first, when Essien took Cesc from behind with a scissors movement that would have been a yellow card anywhere else on the pitch. Have they changed the rules about penalties?

    The last, when Ade jumped over Cech, must be a penalty. If his jump would have been a few inches lower, it would have been awarded. Have I lost my mind, or has refereeing gone to pot? Both CL semis were a disgrace. Our ref got the most wrong, but he was more even handed with the distribution of his nmistake. Chelsea had six penalties not awarded. Six! Or does grabbing someone’s arm no longer count as a foul?

    How bad must refereeing get before fans stop bothering to watch?

  • Imran Khan

    Yesterday was the final straw for me. I sat there when United pissed all over us last week, I sat there when we f—ked up a 4-2 lead to Sp*rs but this is getting ridiculous!

    FFS Wenger spend money! I don’t care how much debt we are in…Spend money to buy experienced players! No more 22 year olds with the “potential” to be world beaters!

    Yesterday’s performance was unacceptable and I seriously thinking about renewing my season ticket.

  • justin

    Hope Arsene gets to read this!!

    WHY Arsene, WHY?

    1.. Why is it difficult to see that whatever it is you are doing is not
    working?
    2.. Why did you play RVP as a lone striker yesterday?
    3.. Why didnt you play Bendtner from the go?
    4.. Why are you scared of Chelsea’s height?
    5.. Why do you insist on playing Diaby on the left when Vela, a more
    intelligent, better footballer rots on the bench?
    6.. Why cant we just play 4-4-2 with Nasri out on the left, Walcott in the
    right, Song and Cesc in the middle?
    7.. Why do you keep playing Diaby when cleary the guy does not merit a
    place even on the bench?
    8.. Why do you keep lying to us telling us we dont need to sign players?
    9.. Why cant you see the difference a 27 year old Arshavin has made to the
    team since January?
    10.. Why did you send Senderos on loan and sign Silvestre, an over the
    hill player your greatest rivals were very happy to let go?
    11.. Why cant you see that the best why to win something is by weakening
    the your closest rivals which right now Villa and Everton?
    12.. Why did you let a mere 200k quid stop you from buying Alonso?
    13.. Why dont you do more to keep your best players?
    14.. Why cant you see that the last time you built a winning team it was
    based on a tight defence with big players like Sol Campbell?
    15.. Why cant we repeat the summer of 2000 and 2001? You bought Pires,
    Lauren, Sol Campbell (2001), and Wiltord?
    16.. Why cant you remember that the above mentioned players were all ready
    made stars at their prime? The French contingent have just won the EURO
    2000, Lauren the Olympics, CAN 2000,2002, finalist in the Cup winners Cup
    with Mallorca.
    17.. Why cant you go out and cherry pick the best players from around
    europe? players hungry for success? players needing a place in their squads
    for the world cup? players like Lescott? Cahill? players like Diego? decent,
    talented and not too expensive.
    18.. Why dont you hire Tony Adams to sort out your defence?
    19.. Why cant you see that there is a big gulf between potential and the
    end product?
    20.. Why are you doing this to the fans?

  • justin

    i am yet again overwhelmed.to lose again and especially to chelsa is too much. i am tired of potential and promise id rather have goals and wins. in the first 10 min we should have been three up. arsenal must learn to take their chances to be more clinical and ruthless. we have lost that killer instinct. keeping the ball passing it around doesnt count for nought if you lose. let us guys as fans make our voices heard. this week against utd we dont want a win we demand it.it is the only way to restore pride to north london. neverthereless i love arsenal.

  • Terence McGovern

    Imran, whilst the current situation is very VERY difficult to take and nobody would have predicted that having to play Chelsea twice and Man Utd 3 times at the end of the season, we would have lost the first 4 of those matches, yesterday was hardly a shock and all the damage was already done.
    Yes it is disappointing but in all honesty it makes little difference to us and will probably secure more transfer funds for Arsene Wenger should he deem it necessary which he already appears to have decided upon.

    However you really have to ask yourself if football is really for you. Seriously! Hundreds of teams in England and thousands in Europe and we are sitting 4th from top with financial and infrastructural advantages over those ahead of us which will soon come to bear on outcomes of the football and financial seasons respectively. This is still not good enough for you? You should spend some time in the company of other supporters from the lower leagues where survival in both league and real terms is the best that they can hope for.
    Your season ticket is a precious thing. were you to let it go it would be instantly snapped up by one of the many thousands who have been waiting years for the chance to own one. How silly would you feel having relinquished it, were we to win the league next year and another was sat in your seat to see Cesc Fabregas lift the trophy?
    It is always darkest before the dawn.

  • GUNNER_CIAN

    IMRAN I UNDERSTAND UR FRUSTRATION,U MAKE SOME V GOOD POINTS BUT TERENCE HAS IT SPOT ON.WE ARE ONE OF THE FEW CLUBS WHO ARE IN GOOD NIC TO SEE OUT TOUGH TIMES..SOME BIG CLUBS ARE IN SERIOUS FINANCIAL SHITE I THINK V SOON THEY WILL HAVE TO SELL TOP PLAYERS AND WE WILL PICK UP QUALITY AT A BARGAIN PRICE…KEEP THE FAITH IN LE PROF…..KEEP UR SEASON TICKET…………………

  • vieirasboots

    @Terence mcgovern –
    The most pertinent q I’ve heard ask in the last week that one thank you. I actually updated my facebook to say that after a difficult week I can draw some positives we may well lose half of the glory hunting tw*ts we’ve acquired over the last 12yrs who I’m happy to wave goodbye to. Disastrous season this not like those glory years under Don Howe etc etc.my friends who follow Millwall QPR etc slaughter me for the attitude of our fans and I have NO defence. If Everton win FA Cup what exactly will the millions of pounds spent at both Chelski and Liverpool have won this year?Yet all I hear is buy buy buy. BUY WHO? Kompany it was last year – he’s setting a standard at city eh? Spend if it will improve the team ala Arshavin! Who disappointed the most in the big games the Songs and Gibbs or Ade Cesc and RVP.

  • prick

    I see nothing wrong in the game last night. They were fighting, and most of the time they looked like they’re going to nick it. The problem was our inexperienced keeper and trouble at the back given by malouda and drogba. But they’re world beaters so we should expect them to give us trouble.

    The only thing missing for us was the goal. Theo could have bagged a hatrick and Bendtner a brace. We’re so close to the top I could sniff silverware.

    It really is up to u to let go of ur season pass. I personally think the game yesterday was enjoyable and saw signs of greater things to come.

    P/s: great post as usual tony n terence.

  • Gooner

    Justin(e):

    Just go support Chelsea. If your going to whinge and moan all the time then just go. Your probably one of the supporters who sips their tea at the Emirates, doesnt make 1 decibel of noise before leaving at half time.

    Why not go follow Chelsea or Liverpool. Their spending seems to have gotten them places, right? WRONG – neither of them have won anything in the past two years – just like us, except they have been spending a lot of money and not on young guns. They (as this blog often points out) have amassed a huge amount of debt.

    Plastic fans frustrate me so much.

  • mahesh

    i am tired of thinking yes man next year is surely going to be our year. bad luck is different . but i dont think arsenal need more than 2 players if at all someone leaves..
    before the next season arsenal must concentrate fully on their finishing in front of the goal.the players should convert atleast 2 out of 4 chances .that quality is the only hurdle in our path to trophies.

  • mahesh

    whenever arsenal look good and miss by a whisker like the previous season arsenal let go their good players like flamini , helb . which is not good for the club and then arsenal have to start again for scratch. now if you see arsenal may take the next season also to gain experience but before the next to next season may be cesc will leave and then we start all over again.

    ARSENAL NEED TO STOP FEELING SORRY FOR THEMSELVES BECAUSE OF THE BAD LUCK WITH INJURIES , REF DECISIONS AND IF’S AND BUT’S.
    ALL THE BEST GUNNERS

  • FZ

    Pre-season is going to be so important to this sqaud. Assuming that all of our casualties, oh so many this year, are fit, this will be the first full pre-season of training that this squad will have had together. A chance to make a coordinated effort to sharpen up defending as a team, a chance to explore new attacking partnerships and moves. I don’t like to speculate about transfers in or out but looking at the age profile of our central defenders and if Phil Senderos is not to return I would not be surprised to see at least one well recognised central defender transfer in and possibly another goalkeeper. Important for any additions to come early though, to get in a full pre-season with the rest of the squad.

  • Marc

    It shows the lack of knowledge many supporters have when people suggest we should just spend money irrespective of debt. The PL will eventually cease to exist because of this mentality, not only amongst supporters but many managers and chairmen. In ten or fifteen years when the ever increasing need for more income to support the debt built up by many teams means that Arsenal vs Chelsea is played in Dubai or Miami, then your season ticket won’t be worth having anyway. And don’t expect UEFA or FIFA to do any thing to help, they would like nothing better than to see the top English clubs collapse otherwise they would immediately put into place rules regarding debt and sustainable spending.

  • NYmarcus

    I just want to know how many more humiliations in front of the world will these young players and we fans have to go thru — every season now it’s 2, 3, 4 humiliations. What does that do to these young players’ psyches? I fully expect yet another humiliation at OT, where our players and travelling fans (who are great support, unlike our home fans) will have to endure the manc scum celebrating their league victory. Yeah, Arsene, that’ll do wonders for our players’ confidence and self-worth.

  • Mihir Saudagar

    After watching yesterday’s game, I wish a few more players in our squad were caught with their pants down. Is it just me or did anyone else notice that whenever one of our players has been maligned, they seemed to have played better.Bendtner, yesterday! Gallas after the Cigarette incident! Somebody catch Adebayor doing something. Maybe he will try a little harder!
    Lastly, as disappointing as yesterday’s game was, I still feel all that we are missing is a good centre back. I hope we pick the next monster who shows up! Senderos is Lurch-esque , Djourou is a sweetheart and Toure is just fast. Silvestre, well just wont do!

  • Nhan Le

    NYMarcus,

    I thought life of most sport players are one of endless humiliation. Even those who always got it easy like Ronaldo (the Manure one and the one caught in a police station with 3 transvestites) and Maradona went through periods of protracted and even life-changing humiliation. This is only normal because in this team sport, results depend on many factors than individual players’ talent. Great players have more than talents – they rise from personal depression to perform.

    I think a more relevant question is how much more humiliation can the crowd at the Emirates handel – the TV image of Chelsea fans pointing fingers at our fans on Sunday pains me. It’s fair for people to fear that a losing culture would eventually creep in the attitude of the club (sympathy for Justin and the why-can’t-we-buy and not-good-enough groups). But at the same time it’s worth reminding people that up until 2006, Barcelona had won only one UCL, for all its football tradition and great political clout.

    To its credit, Arsenal has done its best to conduct a reasonable relationship with fans while protecting its football staff from media pressure. What I have in mind is the current free video release of Arsenal’s greatest goals, as if saying: “Look at all the great memories we had. Isn’t it worth some patience?”

    I really have no clue about current demography of the followings at the Ems – their demands or expectations. But one thing is clear, as long as they fill the stadium, it will be taken as a blessing and the current Wenger project will go on. Maybe a free copy of “Fever Pitch” should be put at every seat of the Emirates comes next season opening.

  • Terence McGovern

    Damn straight! Fever Pitch should be required reading(film isn’t bad either) before season tickets are released.
    Nearly two decades of waiting!!
    In comparison we’re on the pig’s back(the one without swine flu)

  • Consolsbob

    It’s a shame that your analysis. NYM, always eventually leads to a condemnation of Arsene Wenger. What do you have against the man? Really, to take Terrence’s point, are you sure that football is for you? I mean, we are all dissapointed but I really don’t need you to try and make things seem worse.

    Why do you detest the man so much?

  • Waleed

    I don’t think there is much wrong with the team. At all. We just need a bit of experience in the back. I think Wenger needs to make one signing, the signing that eluded him last summer – a defense minded midfielder.

    Also, I don’t get why Wenger needs to experiment so much in crucial games. He shouldn’t have benched Arshavin in the FA cup, he shouldn’t have played Nasri in a holding role on Sunday. Diaby should never be playing on the left. Sometimes the Lord Wenger’s decisions baffle me but his knowledge of the game is second to none and being the manager he is in a better position than anyone to make decisions, so we should keep that in mind when we decide to decide to criticize his decisions.

    We have the basis for a world beating team. Lord Wenger knows what’s missing and he’ll find it. I trust him. I just hope we don’t have more Flaminis and Hlebs waiting to screw us over again.

  • Joe

    U all have great points . Arsenal r not doin so well . i am a new fan so i dont know much but i feel arsenal needs 2 things
    1) they need a striker (known or unknown) who can score 20-30 goals in a season
    2) a strong bench jus in case that stricker or other player get injured

    thats it . Arsenal dont lack in quality the lack in finish . and are prone to injuries . i feel young or old player it doesn’t matter . it a team has young player it should face less injuries but in case of Arsenal its not . the season is done for Arsenal they should now give the men some rest and start fresh for the next season . BUY A SUPER STRIKER AND A BACK UP