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July 2021

For starters it’s about how much the ones we have want it

By Walter Broeckx


If we look back at the where we stand this pre season compared to last pre season it is a bit amazing how our team has changed if we look at the squad from the Asia tour.


Last season we didn’t have on our tour and I might even miss a few names: Jack Wilshere, Thomas Rosicky as they were injured still. And not on the tour because of having played the European championship was : Giroud, Koscielny, Podolski and Mertesacker. And then we have another player who wasn’t bought at the time. I’ m talking about Santi Cazorla of course.


Now if you do the maths with me that is 7 players who are now with us who weren’t with us when we did our Asia tour last summer. But as Santi Cazorla was on holiday because of the confederations cup we could say that we had 6 extra players on the tour this season compared to last.


Now what is important for me is the fact that last season with the 4 new players coming in and with the troubles surrounding the little kid inside our pre season tour was not really a big success when we look at the results. And what I also found very disturbing at the time was the fact that the new players and some others were not able to join on the tour. Because such a tour is important for commercial reasons but also for bounding reasons.


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Fact is that in the second half of the season and after the painful defeat at a former Middlesex team the players sat together and said it should change. And it did change. The manager chopped some heads and the players decided that enough is enough and that they should get their act together and fight like a team and play as a unit.


Since that day we didn’t lose game. And we played what can be considered the best team in Europe or maybe in the world by now (Bayern Munich) and we still are the only team that has beaten them in their last 50 games in total. That is what team spirit can do to a team.


With now all our players apart from Santi on tour it is obvious that the team bounding and relations between the players should have even improved. And as this team was prepared to battle for each point we know that the current group of players is capable of getting to that 4th spot at least.


But I think there is much more to come from the current crop of players. Again in the pre season games we have seen that when things get tough even in friendly games the team sticks together. Like in our last game when we had a not that good spell, the team stuck in and fought for the result they wanted. And they did want to win that game. I think the German mentality creeping in the team? Just make sure that no matter what in the end the Germans (and in this case the Arsenal) wins.


So now at the start of the season and unless someone suddenly gets injured we have two extra midfielders in Jack and Thomas Rosicky. We have Ramsey who has been another player compared to last season (at the start) and who has improved a lot.


So I see no reason to be afraid of any team with the players we currently have in our squad. We have kept the core that is on a unbeaten run for a few months now. And this is something that can be helpful in case we go a goal down. This group of players knows that they can put things right.

We also have played all our games so far,  without what was beyond any doubt our best player of last season. No need to tell you about the skills that Santi Cazorla brings to the team. In the centre, from the wing, he will do his magic and tricks and score goals and bring on goals. Another player I really look forward to being back on the playing field out there. Seeing Cazorla caressing the ball like he can is a pleasure for the eye. And my god he is such a hard working player on top of that.


Am I saying that we don’t need anybody. No I think we will need a few extra players because the season is long and hard and we will be fighting on many fronts. And we could do with a very clinical finisher but then again who wouldn’t? Every team could use such a player.  It is a fact that in the last two games against tougher opposition we were a bit too wasteful. We should have scored more goals.


Of course sometimes you can get a but unlucky. Like in the last game when we hit the woodwork 3 times. Those balls going in and we get a completely other result. So I wouldn’t mind us getting another body and also to spare the younger legs from getting bruised up too soon.


Who we will bring in is not that important for me to be honest. I ‘m not the manager or the person to say who we should buy. I know some others like doing that and then get mad when their advice is not followed up by Arsenal. What I want from any new recruit is that they are willing to come to the Arsenal to fight for the Arsenal.


They should come in the knowledge that they are not playing for themselves but that they are playing for their club. And of course it might come in handy if some of those players have a point to prove. A point to prove at their former club. A point to prove for their future. And that this proving a point might be something that pushes them on and shine for Arsenal.


Whoever comes in should be aware of that. Play for the club and then your personal glory might come. Just some 2,5 weeks before the season starts. I hardly can wait for it. This teams knows how to battle and that is the only thing I want them to : battle each game and win as much as you can. And make sure that this time our start of the season is a good one.


Last season after losing our important players in the summer we had a shaky start and then came good. Now without losing our important players we should make sure that our start is as good as can be. With our battling spirit shown last season and with whoever might added, I just want to enjoy the ride.And I think I will.

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The books…

37 comments to For starters it’s about how much the ones we have want it

  • Matt

    That’s fine but the same squad got us into a bad position before Christmas but you dont mention that.What team will turn up this year?

    You forgot to mention Diaby when he comes back it will be like having a new player.

  • WalterBroeckx

    You don’t mention that the forward 5 players were completely new to each other and had almost never played together.

    Podolski, Gervinho, Giroud, Santi, Wilshere. Gervinho had his in and out the team and the only forward player that was stable in this situation was Walcott. And even he was a sub a times.

    This time the players know each other and that is a big difference.

  • Bootoomee

    “Who we will bring in is not that important for me to be honest. I ‘m not the manager or the person to say who we should buy. I know some others like doing that and then get mad when their advice is not followed up by Arsenal. What I want from any new recruit is that they are willing to come to the Arsenal to fight for the Arsenal.”

    My favourite paragraph of your fantastic article.

    Thanks Walter!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Familiarity breeds attempt . Alfred E.Neuman

  • ARSENAL 13

    And lets not forget, for the first time in 2-3 seasons we have a set of players who are playing for the club and not for themselves.

  • Matt

    You 3 should get a room. You seem very familiar with each other which is fairly disturbing.

  • Edda

    Totally agree With you post, cannot remember last time we looked this good so early in preseason. Really looking forward to this weekend going over to London to the Emirates Cup (travelling from norway. Hope we can keep it up against alot tougher opposition. We really need to start brightly, we will have 2 really tough EC qualifiers soon and those can make or break Our season!

  • Jer

    the core of the team is fantastic, i expect Rosicky to shine this season, as well as Podolski, Ramsey too is coming good, as is Giroud, if walcott can better last year then we should have a fantastic season. You are right though, we need bodies and if we can get quality, one or two players.. well i think that will push the boys over the top and stop some panic amongst our fans, guess it is always darkest just before dawn!

  • Notoverthehill


    I am sure you mean “bonding”!

    No OTT, long may it continue.

  • Rufusstan

    Matt, the thing about the squad in the first half comes through clearly if you watch the first few games of last season.

    You had Cazorla and Poldi running the same channels and one getting in the way of the other. Giroud putting runs in and the crosses being miles away because of the midfielders not reading what he was doing.

    You can see them getting into Synch as the season moved on, and they all got to know the games of the other players. Giroud’s layoffs for Poldi’s thunderbolts are just one example.

  • Rufusstan

    Crap, hit post too early.

    What I was getting at was that the was we play relies on familiarity between the players, and the more they play together, the better it will get (think of Barca where the midfield hit passes without looking because they have played together so long they just know where the target will be.)

  • Mandy Dodd

    As long as we avoid the low points of last season, and with greater familiarity, hopefully Jack back,as we surely will that alone has to be worth 10-15 points. But we must ensure we have a squad that can cover all eventualities, such as the powers that be deciding to deprive us of a striker at a crucial time…. for an identical offence to which they rescinded for Vincent Kompany. We have to be strong enough to take on opponents, deal with injuries, suspensions, and who knows, maybe other issues

  • Matt


    What synch are you talking about? Podolski barely played in the 2nd half of the season.

    Jack will be worth 10-15 points next season? I dont think so only the very best players have that impact and normally goalscorers.

  • Matt

    We have 2 goalkeepers 7 defenders of which 2 are injured, 8 midfield players which include Diaby and Miyachi and 9 forwards of which Campbell,Bendtner,Park and Chamack wont play & apparently Gervinho is off

    That leaves us with 20 players in our 1st team squad.

    Is this enough players for the season ahead?

  • Tomas

    I understand the concept of being positive when supporting your club ,as the constant bitching and moaning can get old and isn’t very productive either , but to say we have a strong squad unless somebody gets injured is a bit naive. If my memory serves me right, Cazorla was the only first team player who didn’t have injury last season. All others missed from a couple of weeks(Arteta ) to most of the season(Diaby ). Having your spirits high is necessary to achieve success but lets not forget Arsenal only went on their unbeaten run after being eliminated from all competitions other than the “fourth place trophy”. Wasn’t David Dein who said last season’s squad was the weakest yet under Wenger? Well it’s still the same squad , isn’t.

  • The font

    To win the league in my opinion we need to improve by 20% the team possibly have 10% in them on last year so in my book we need two world class starters to be signed

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think I said: ” I think we will need a few extra players”

    and I think they will come.

  • soglorious

    Matt, RELAX mate. Hypertension isn’t too far if you continue this way. The club will bring new players this TW. I am so sure of it. Not necessarily who you like or desire but whoever the club believes will promote the club’s ambition and target. Even Wenger knows.

  • bob

    Amen to your formual: squad stability plus new quality is a winning combination. (Injuries always do happen, and they don’t mix with 2-4 cup ambitions.) New quality (not just who wouldn’t want a clinical striker) is needed with the developing quality in the ranks.

    And, to slightly amend the record, Walcott was not the constant you cite, but, instead, embroiled and benched because of the protracted contract dispute with AW. So there were no constants.

    Except for that wasted trip with the worst timing for us ever, as you kind of do point out. (I still wish for the summering in Austria, where the team can properly focus on itself, instead of on having to expand the brand’s global appeal and dutifully being so wowed that there’s such a following abroad. If following abroad were the ticket, look at Liverpool’s massive turnout in its last foreign match – a lot of good that does in the league table.)

    May the ride be a great one!

  • robl

    Nicely said Walter.

    Also we have Frimpong back in training and Sanago just joining us.
    It’s not always about feilding the best players, but the best team – look a some of the teams united fielded last season, who of us would swap Kos, Mert or Verm for Jones, Smalling, Evans or Carrick (or even the almost geriatric Ferdinand)? Yet they did their job, which is something we are learning to do as a team.

  • nicolas

    Walter, you made some very valid points in your article. The point of making the signings late is something that we should be better at, but it is true that players can’t be bought like groceries. I believe that we will do around 3-5 signings bacause number wise we are short. I hope that due to waiting would not drag our feet in the beginning of the campaign.

    The Suarez deal seems to me utterly uncharastically for Wenger; his attitude on the pitch seem to be so out there & epecially with such a hefty price, so that it doesn’t seem likely to me. So I’m also waiting for few signings from the shadows. If we are signing Suarez, we have still time because of his ban.

    By the way, has Untold published any article about our board recently? What does it offer, its role and how are things done in other teams?

  • Rufusstan

    @ Matt — Agree we are short, by my count we could register 18 players right now on our 25 (+ Diaby, + Frimpong), assuming we keep no deadwood. Obviously there are kids as first teamers we don’t need to register, but yup we could add a few.

    By the way Podolski? Really?

    Post Spurs run in– 4 starts, 5 playing from the bench, 3 goals, and the only game he didn’t play in was West Brom.

    Pattern didn’t actually change much all year. He might not have started many, but he played most.

  • Really important points. The one major area of optimism is that this side is finally looking like a settled side after a few years of upheaval and disjointed pre-seasons.

    As well as players like JW getting a full pre season for the first time in years, there are a few players coming through that look exciting, like Zelalem.

    What is even more encouraging is that our first 8-10 games are about as easy as they could be (overall). There is a REAL chance of a fast start, and who knows from there.

    You do not have to buy players to improve as a team – real team spirit, understanding between players and organisation go a long way.

    that said, I still think the addition of one or two experienced proven players could be the difference between 3rd/4th and making a real challenge for the top honours.

  • Arun

    I fear that we might be waiting for the CL playoffs to spend the money. But given our history in the playoffs (10 wins out of 10), it might be a wrong idea.
    Hopefully, I am wrong.

    Agree with you regarding the addition of key players might very well be the difference b/w a challenge for the title and 4th place.

  • Bootoomee


    That was a very well spent 30 minutes. Thanks for providing the link. I could have written some of the lines in the video myself and that shows that us positive fans are everywhere.

    Who is the man speaking around the 29 minute mark? I love his delivery!

  • uk

    i keep hearing “the side is looking settled…” bla bla bla. how so? from where do we get that? the preseason tour of asia? reeaaalllllyyyy?

  • uk

    and walter,
    i hope after adding those players you said we will add, you’re not gonna use their late addition as an excuse if we fail next season, or have a terrible early part of the season

  • Rufusstan

    UK — the evidence is in every game since Spurs last year, and all of the stuff that has happened since (and yes that includes the tour)

    The fact that the media have worked through most of the squad looking for someone to unsettle to continue Arsenal’s ‘selling club’ rep, and have got nowhere, would suggest settled is the best word to use.

  • uk

    “the media”, wow! the great media bogeyman. we used to be sooooo scared!

  • bjtgooner

    uk (sarcastic and deliberately disruptive twit) has long outstayed his welcome – past time for a red card.

  • uk

    yaayyyyy, reddy time

  • Stevie E

    Seriously, what is wrong with you? People are just here to have a friendly chat with like minded people, what possible joy do you get from constantly spewing all this mindless frankly childish drivel? I don’t know if you believe what you say, but all you’re doing is making a right twat of yourself.

  • uk

    @stevie E
    you should be asking yourself whats wrong with you, when you find yourself getting mad that someone has a contrary opinion to yours

  • Stevie E

    How am I getting mad? I just asked you a question and expressed an opinion, why don’t you just answer the question?

  • uk

    sorry bro, i saw question marks but no question.

  • Edu

    walter,i get the feeling that you are vouching for this team based on a tour that we’ve been playing minnow teams..if this team is not significantly improved by yes here it comes..’KEY SIGNINGS’..will get dismal results as has been previously experienced.