Looking forward to next season already.

Looking forward to next season already.
Walter Broeckx

This year the league is almost over and I think it still is a bit early to look back at the current season. We can leave this after the last game has been played to draw our final conclusions.

But what we can do is see how we can improve and what is needed for next year.

We need more players. That is something we can all agree I think. I’m not saying we need to buy X players. I leave it up to the manager to decide how to look for new players. If he wants to bring new players in from other clubs, fine with me. If he wants to bring in players who we have already and who could be are ready to step up next year also fine with me.

I think it is fair to say that Jack Wilshere has gained a lot of valuable experience with his loan spell at Bolton. I think he has done well if you see that he has started all the last games for Bolton and I really don’t think that Coyle just puts him on the field because Arsène Wenger would have liked him to do so. No I think this has to down to the hard work that Jack has delivered over there.  As HG Wells said, “in the country of the blind, the one eyed man is king” and in a team that is based on kicking other players Jack is like a breath of fresh air for players and supporters.

Meanwhile Jack has learnt that football is not all about doing fancy tricks and beating as many players as you want, but it is about teamwork. He now knows he doesn’t have to beat everyone else on the pitch before releasing the ball to another team mate any more.

We know he can do it on occasion but for now it is important for him to have learnt that football is a team sport. Oh, and he can on occasion dribble them all and score or give a goal to a team mate at times. We know he can do this but just like one of the old masters we have had and who he reminds me of most of the time, (Dennis Bergkamp of course), the only thing he has to learn is when to dribble and when to pass.

Chamack:  does he come or not?   If not it will be a big surprise. We all know the way arsenal.com handles rumours and transfers: they don’t say a word until it’s finished. The article a few weeks ago that Chamack could come to Arsenal on arsenal.com was a novelty and might mean that the deal is done. In the same article was mentioned that Arsenal will let us know the deals at the end of the season. Notice the S after the word deal.

So this could mean one striker more and one midfielder-striker more already. And if the word deals was not an error but written with intent and knowledge we could have other players coming in.

What will happen in defence is not that clear to see for the moment. Gallas, Campbell and Silvestre are all at the end of their contract. Gallas had a great season till he got injured. If he stays, you’re welcome William, but I think we have to be sure we have another player to fill in if he gets injured. Yes Gallas has some problems mostly at the end of a season. But I think with more backup he could be rested more. We can all hope that Djourou will be completely fit next season and I think that he could be the one that could change with Gallas and give the old soldier more rest during the season.

The way Campbell has been performing at late is amazing. His attacking play is only half the way Gallas can still run forward but when it comes to his main task, defending, he still is a master class. So I think it could be important to keep him also in the squad. He knows he will not play much but with his character he will be ready if needed.

The same goes for Silvestre. I know many fans dislike him for his past but he also is a player who is willing to stay in the shadow without complaining about a lack of games. As a left footed player he is for the moment the only backup we have for Vermaelen so I think if we would buy another centre back it should be a left footed player.

With also Nordtveit and Bartley coming back from their loan spells, (both right footed if I’m correct), I think we have enough cover in right footed players.

If the three old players, Gallas – Campbell – Silvestre, should all go we will need extra players and at least one ready and experienced and one left footed defender to give cover for Vermaelen.

Do we need another goalkeeper? Many fans would say yes but the problem is who is available and will they be better than the ones we have? When I saw Szczesny playing in pre season he gave a very good impression. The few times I have seen him in games at Brentford he also gave a good impression.

The fact that he played there almost all the games is also a good indication that he has been doing well over there. And to stay in goal in a professional team at the age of 19-20 for a whole season is very promising. Again I really don’t think the manager in Brentford puts Szczesny in goal to please Wenger. But will he be strong enough to do it for Arsenal in the EPL? I really can not answer that question. But he could be an option.

Because for the rest there are a lot of goalkeepers but will they be better than the one we have? Yes there are better goalkeepers in the world but will they be available, do they want to come to Arsenal, are they affordable? Just a few questions that none of us can really answer.

I think we will see a few new faces this summer coming to the Arsenal. We have, as it seems, more money available for the first time in 5 or 6 years. If Arsène Wenger wants to spend it wisely then fine but you don’t will hear me asking to buy just for the sake of buying.

The players that we buy should be value added on to our already good squad. After all, being in the position in the league we are is not a coincidence. We are there, coming closer to the top because our squad is already very strong and can compete with Chelsea and Manchester United for the title. If we can handle our injury crisis a bit better next year our young team will be up to it, and one year older and starting the best years of their football careers.


Back to the future

Back to the past

Historical Fiction on Acid

45 Replies to “Looking forward to next season already.”

  1. i think Szczesny should be given a chance, at 6.5 he would be a real presence for set pieces. id bet on him being our no1 next season. mannone no2. as 4 signings? well id bet on a def 2 maybe 3 plus cham. his ariel presence will a huge bonus. jus need better balls into the box, sagna, walcott, clichys delivery is gettig better but many times this season ther has only bin 1 2 aim at. cant w8 4 next season. we’l be miles stronger, doubt we’l hear them writing us off again. hope tiny tots pip shieky city to 4th. would prefer villa but that aint gonna happen. roll on new kits. wont buy one unless its snazzy jus curious. jus got my brady no7, hope they remix it.

  2. Walter, you go on and on about respect, the Arsenal way, yet here you are trashing Bolton Wanderers. Like you trash all other people, in fact.

    I’d like you to say that Jussi Jaskelainen assaults people. I see a far better goalkeeper than we possess at Arsenal. Sadly.

    I’d like you to ask why Gary Cahill is mentioned as a potential England player if he’s an unskilful thug. No doubt you know better than Capello…..

    I’d like you to compare KD with NB and ask who has more effect in the penalty box. KD, I’m afraid. He’s annoying, he’s in your face, he can wind people up, but he can also score goals. Has done for seasons. I’m afraid.

    Your incessant trashing of opponents and turning a blind eye to Arsenal deficiencies is getting tiring.

    Bolton play hard. But they also play skilfully. Did under Allardyce too.

    If Owen Coyle is gentlemanly enough to praise Wilshere for the job he’s doing, the least you can do is appreciate the chance Coyle allowed him and note that they do a reasonable job on resources which Arsenal would go bust on.

    Can’t you?

  3. Walter, good post. i still believe Arsene knows best. Next season will be great for us as a football club. Gooner with pride.

  4. KD is not terrible.

    I’ve never seen him follow through with his leg fully in tension, i.e. produce a kung-Fu kick on a football field, he might of, but he hasn’t exactly ever done a Roy Keane (injure himself badly like a proper chump whilst trying to foul an opponent, then come back out of pathetic bitterness to try and injure them again…)

    Interestingly, on BBC 606 last night, they said AFC don’t sign tall players, and only play in ‘one way’.

    Why would an ex Manc and Liverpool fan so deliberately misrepresent AFC?
    Just wondering.


    Kevin Davies CF: ’09-’10

    35 Apps. 3136 Minutes.
    8 Goals.

    NB52 CF: ’09-’10

    13 (10) 1229 Minutes.
    6 Goals

    Those stats are off Football 365, but they must be out of date.
    9 goals for NB52 in his last 12 appearances I think.


    I sure am glad AFC only sign ‘one type of player’.

  5. Given the rough treatment Fabianski has gotten after some of the mistakes he’s made this year, I’d like to see Szczesny get another season of first-team football (maybe at a higher level, as well) before becoming a regular #1. Maybe it’s not fair of me to extrapolate from Fabianski onto all young keepers, but it seems like developing patience and concentration (as opposed to making the highlight-reel saves) requires seasoning, and I’d hate to see another candidate for long-term future #1 keeper get run through the wringer as he develops that side of his game.

    I know that this site is not a huge fan of unfounded rumors, but it seems to me that Arsenal could take advantage of Fiorentina’s failure to qualify for European football and pick up Sebastian Frey — if the Fiorentina management believe they’ll be back in contention by next season, maybe we can get him at a significant discount through long-term loan or including a buy-back price. My understanding is that while he has had issues with FFF (officially retired from international football), it’s more to do with Domenach than anything, so he may fit well with the rest of the team.

    In any event, I don’t think it would be prudent to pay top dollar for a coming-into-his-prime keeper when I’ve heard such great things about Szczesny and Mannone, but there must be solutions beyond letting the fans kick Almunia and Fabianski around for another season.

  6. Rhys – what is your deal with Walter? You sound really bitter about something and because of that your post comes across a bit ridiculous.

    Walter didnt say that “Jaskelainen assaults people” or anything like that, you did.

    Walter didnt say “Gary Cahill is … an unskilful thug” or anything like that. You did.

    And you are the one trashing Davies. Not Walter.

    Walter made a sarcastic comment, as we all do, about Bolton’s sometimes neanderthal approach in recent years. That is just the way that team has played at times. It is changing rapidly with Owen Coyle and the ONLY reason Bolton were in with a shot at getting Wilshire was because Coyle went there. Had Megson still been in charge, AW would never have let Wilshire within ten miles of the Reebok Stadium.

    But you make it sound like Walter accused Bolton of raping Jack Wilshire’s mother!!!!

    And as for Chesny, no way he starts for us next season. Probably another loan, for the entire season, at a higher level.

  7. Rhys – also that comment about “they do a reasonable job on resources which Arsenal would go bust on”. What is that all about?

    We dont lose money each year.

    We spend what we earn.

    We control our wages.

    Arsenal are one of the few clubs in the top flight that do all those things and yet Bolton do things better than us? Bolton made a loss of 8million in 2007/08. They had a wage/turnover ratio of 75% that year. 75%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not only what do you have against Walter, what do you have against Arsenal?

  8. Rhys — I am also baffled at how you think Walter is attacking Bolton.

    This article is a battle cry for next season, not a stab at Bolton.

  9. i think manone should get a chance ahead of Szczesny, everybody remember his heroics at craven cottage…

  10. Critic – you are right. For all this talk about Chesney (that is how I am always going to spell his name now, I am not even going to try the Sz…..C….Z…..uuuuhhhhhhh) we are forgetting that he is actually behind Mannone in the cue.

    But does the manager rate Mannone as highly?

  11. I think AW could do a lot worse than rescuing David James from the First Division.

    On the subject of golden oldies, I doubt that Arsenal will keep Sol , simply because he is struggling to be available week in week out – and the FA have decreed small squads.

    Would love to see a class action by Sol and a few other oldies against the FA; after all, their policy is a form of closet ageism.

  12. @ Rhys

    Gary Cahill is a contender for an England place.

    But since when have England played football?

  13. Aaditya – and who is Gary Cahill competing with for that England spot? Yes, those giants of world football Ryan Shawcross and Matthew Upson. Shawcross – wasnt good enough for SAF at Utd. SAF didnt even wait for him to start maturing. Upson – wasnt good enough for AW at Arsenal. Solid on his day, but he is making more and more mistakes with every passing season as his legs, never his strength, go.

    Somehow saying that Gary Cahill is a contender for an England place and that Capello is considering him says more about the abject state of youth development in this country than anything else.

  14. Can anyone name me a club that’s built a new stadium and still managed to stay in the League?
    Arsene Wenger has not only managed to stay in the League but also compete at the highest level. I don’t care what anyone says, that is a massive massive achievement.

    We’re close baby, we’re close I can smell it.

  15. Mark, I am curious about your “small squads” comment – with them being decreed by the FA.

    I don’t think the FA or the EPL are doing anything about squad sizes. There are Champ League regs but that involves nominating your squad before each phase (group round, knock out round) but even then you can have an infinite number of young players (under 21 I think but I could be wrong).

    Having Sol in the squad would mean he would not normally play all the time – but he will be all the better for having quite a few weeks off. And he will be in the dressing room, and possibly an unused sub on the bench, really working on the younger players.

  16. A little more composure & concentration away at Man U, West Ham, Birmingham & Wigan would have seen us with 9 more points & the title would have been ours.Even with a ‘shallow’ squad & horrendous injury record we have come so very very close this season.

    For basics I’d like to see…

    Some real pace on the left midfield in front of Clichy / Gibbs.

    Some decent cover for Song…As the chant goes “..we’ve only got one Song” & I’m afraid that one isn’t enough.

    and…someone to teach:

    Sagna & Theo how to cut inside rather than just sprinting down the wing, & Sagna that balls crossed in low from the wing are allowed.
    Diaby to release the ball (to one of our players) much faster.
    Our defence that they don’t all always have to join in with every attack.
    Almumia some accuracy in distribution & positioning.
    A few more players that shots from outside the box are allowed.


  17. Wilshire’s dad – that’s how ya’ criticize and make your opinion known!!!

    You say pace in front of Clichy/Gibbs – and so where would Arshavin play?

    I think Eastmond is coming along very nicely as back-up or Song. He’ll get a lot of pre-season playing time and play in the League Cup as well. I think that he’ll get a lot better now he’s had a taste of it.

    I agree with all your final points and would just add “a huge, athletic, dominant, skillful, visionary, young central defender (or two)” to my WANT list.

  18. Wilsheres Dad makes sense to me too.

    I’ve missed Reyes. Although, AA isn’t too slow.
    I’ve missed AA these past few weeks!

    I should add that Theo can ‘cut inside’,
    ask Slaven Bilic!

  19. the squad rule next season is that each teams squad must be reduced to 25 players and 8 or so must be youth/developed at the club for at least 3 years (16-21 years old when they joined the team). That is what i have understood from the FA for the 10/11 season.

  20. Paul C

    More pace than the little man…going back as well as forward!! Maybe a little competition for his place would be a good thing, wherever we play him. I’d like to give Traore a game or three out on the left midfield. Great pace, a very good crosser of the ball & has both forward & reverse gears.Ha ha!!

    I’ve not seen enough of Eastmond to judge. I just don’t want to be starting another season without decent cover for holding midfielder…you know someone you feel entirely happy with (rather than just OK, or anxious about) when Song is injured or needs a rest.

    I didn’t want to get into central defenders…I love your job description but do they exist?? I’m out of fashion but I thought that Big Phil was worth nurturing..dismissed by the faithful far to prematurely IMHO.

  21. Nah, I think AW had it right with Senderos. He could have been really good. He was a natural defender. It was mental. He didnt have it, and probably never will. My opinion.

    And no, I dont think that central defender exists anywhere right at this moment, but I am looking and will let you know when I find him.

  22. Is it official that squads will be limited to 25 players next season? If so I can`t see much movement at Arsenal. Chamakh appears on the horizon but no one else. What we would like and what we will get is another thing and Wenger will be limited by factors other than money.Let`s not get our hopes too high.

  23. Rhys, I can remember the two games from us against Bolton this season very well. The first one was with the assault on Cesc when they put a knee on his head and pulled his hair. It was kicking and fighting from the first till the last minute.
    I do think Wilshere is not that type of player as he plays on skill.
    So yes it was being me a bit sarcastic based upon those two fights they gave us.
    If that has changed now and they have stopped this kind of game plan than I can only applaud it. And I will look forward to us meeting them next season to see a real game of football.

    And please excuse me but our sports channel over here never gives live games of Bolton in the past years and only when they play a top 4 team. So I really am not in a good position to see the lovely football they seem to play nowadays and I would like to appologise the Bolton fans who love good football and finaly getting it. I have nothing against Bolton, just against the way they seem to play against us in the way I described it in this reply this season.

    If I now only could find out why our sporting channel don’t pick the bolton games for live coverage….
    Sorry, I’m a bit in a sarcastic mood today.

  24. I don’t know where this story is coming from at all. Maybe I went to sleep and missed it, but I really haven’t seen it anywhere.

  25. I retreat, I am completely wrong, and you are right. There is a limit to squads next year and a nationality rule.

    I think I shall just crawl back under the duvet for a while and let others who know far more than I do the talking

  26. Sol Campbell:

    “There is a fantastic amount of talent here and we just have to believe we can win a major trophy – and you also need a bit of the rub of the green now and again.

    “That said, I believe you make your own luck in the game – how you play, how you conduct yourselves, how you approach matches, making sure you are seriously thinking about football. You create luck with all those things combined.

    “Training-wise, you have to work on your weaknesses, preparing yourself properly for the game, on and off the field. It is not that you have to be locked up 24/7, but I think all these things do add up – you ensure that things go your way by doing all the things which come before you actually step on the pitch.”

    “I am sure that, once everything comes together, there will be no stopping Arsenal winning trophies season after season. You have to truly believe in your skill and trust that you can do something. Wherever we finish, we will have to build on it and keep on going.”


    This is why I support this site. Many of us recognize it’s better to build the players up, rather than tear them apart.

  27. Tony, i remembered pleading you to do an article on the HOME GROWN RULE (squad restriction) this past week. I thot u regarded me as a spoilt untold fan who ask for too much. Now i know the reason why you didnt acknowlegde me. Now that you are aware, can u now oblige me? Pls

  28. lol. Tony, your Frank McWhirter aura is now in question.

    I’m simply thinking that if squads are limited to 25 players, then coaches will be inclined to pick players ina statistical band where fewest injuries are accrued.

    Maybe 21-29?
    No idea where that band is, but I am assuming that younger players injure through being undevelopped, or that a natural fallibility is exposed, and older players are obviusly slower to heal, and have career injuries that resurface.

    If coacjhes are forced to cull brilliant players before their time, becuase they need maximum player time from each player, then I believe the lieks of Sol and maybe even TR, if he is sacrificed,

    have a case for the FA operating a form of ageist policy.

    Just my thoughts

  29. I know I know, I got it all wrong and am currently hiding under the sofa as the howling mob gathers at the door.

    New article on the subject today.

  30. What is Mathieu Flamini doing these days? Wouldnt mind bringing him back into the midfield…

  31. Flamini is still at Milan – last time I looked he was still getting games here and there but was by no means a fixture in the side.

    That has been the picture since he left – far from being the first on the team sheet as he was in the final season with us, he became what he was in the seasons before – a man who trots on with a few minutes to go, and then occasionally gets a game as a fill in for someone else.

    He has managed to get runs of games when there have been injuries in the Milan team, but he’s not the star of the show.

    Indeed it has struck me that while the feeling in the crowd was that Flamini was the Flamini of the last season with us, Wenger might have seen that as a one-off, and that the real Flamini was the Flamini of the previous couple of seasons – good but not that good.

  32. i said to my mate before the spurs game i could not see us winning another game of the 5 remaining although i thought wigan was our best opportunity and we all know what happened there. sat performance was dismal and again showed the shortcomings that we have but our manager will not see. he is quoted today to say that eufa restrictions on foreign players will affect is signings but he also said there is not much wrong with the squad possibly one or two additions. he remains stubborn and blinkered about the ability of several players who are not good enough to wear the shirt,i will remind you again,almunia,fabiansky,denilson,silvestre,rosicky,edwardo,vela and bendtner in my opinion is no more than a squad player and should not be considered next to vp in our stiker division. does aw believe that chelsea,manu,man c,spurs,l/pool will not improve their squad.it looks as though we will scrap in 3rd but as we require a gk,2 cbs,a def midf,and at least one striker we will not be challenging for honours with wengers policy and we will probably struggle to achieve a top 4 position.i despair with aw and the pathetic board we have,noone requires our club to trade beyond its means but every year its the same old crap,the team is a year older and will improve,no arsene they wont and for a man of your intelligence i am so frustrated at your continued a\ttitude which i do not support. i will renew my season ticket but only because i love the club but cannot see any trophy seasons with our present manager.

  33. No I think Wenger is mentally ill? Some of the things he does and says just make no sense. For example, Friday’s news conference:

    – We have been un-lucky in the last 3 games (Barcelona, Spurs and Wigan..???)
    – The attitude of the team is good. If we continue this attitude we will be ok this season…
    – Fabianski will be a world-class keeper…
    – Please do not incite Ade…

    Before that:

    – Arsenal are the only team of the top four that are on the way up.. (I accept Chelsea, but Man U have got far more established youngsters than us)
    – The substitutions at Wigan
    – Blaming everyone but the players when we get a poor result.
    – Failing to see that we have a Goal-keeping crisis.

    I could go on.

  34. We don’t need to buy anyone. Where’s your faith in our players? Let’s support the lads!

    Let’s resign Silvestre for a 3 year contract because he gives good experience and cover at left back and centre back! Let’s give Almunia and Fabianski another chance! Let’s send Wilshere back on loan and give another season to Diaby and Denilson! They’re bound to come good! Song doesn’t need back-up, he can play 60 games in a season at peak fitness and form! Any more players will kill our youngsters! Besides, if we buy anyone, we’ll go bankrupt!!!!! Oh no, let’s not buy players!!! Spending money is bad, selling players is good!!!!!

    C’mon Arsenal!!!!!!

  35. Zis Orson Wagner, e iz a Godless Communist.

    When did he ever but a player, eh?
    Name me one player he has brought, ever.



    You lie!

    Bring forth the Guillotine.
    Off with iz ‘ead!

  36. A wild guess at Arsenal’s season 2010 – 2011…..

    3rd in the league.

    Last 8 in the ‘Champions’ League.

    Youth team defeated 2-0 in first away tie in the League Cup after a 3-0 and 5-1 win against Norwich City and Burnley at the Emirates.

    1st team/Reserve team defeated up north 3-1 in the F.A. Cup.
    Bolton Wanderers, I reckon, in the 5th Round.

    If I took all that to my local bookie I reckon he’d give me Evens or at best 6/4.
    Why on earth are you looking forward to something that we surely all know will happen!

  37. Most Gunners I know like Football.

    It’s been a highly satisfying season.
    Apart from the Broken LEGS, and Bruised BONES.

    But, that’s all apart of the game of FOOTball I guess.

  38. `well-endowed` A sense of sarcasm. I was amused but there are those amongst us who no doubt will take your comments literally, being as most have problems with the English language. Hope Wenger sees the funny side and gets the message.

  39. Sean – are you saying that you can only get excited about supporting your club after the team actually win something? You are going to sit there grumpily while a whole season unfolds simply because you have some pre-set notion of how it all will turn out? And what is wrong with the season you describe? With Man City expected to spend huge this summer it will be even more of a challenge to stay in the top-3. We can’t compete with the money that City have. Period. If we try and get into a pissing war over transfer fees and wages with City, Chelsea and Utd, then we lose. That is reality. The Emirates was built to allow us compete with the top clubs in Europe. It has. But Utd are the top club in the world (especially if they get their debt sorted out somehow) and City and Chelsea have silly billionnaire owners. They, along with Madrid, are on a different plane altogether. If they want a player, money isnt an object. That might change if Roman really is stopping the money flow, but until we actually see that…..

    But maybe, just maybe, AW is actually right. Let’s face it, if he isnt then he leaves and we get another manager. But his team hasnt been a failure yet. Twice in the last 3 seasons we have challenged seriously for the Championship. We consistently go deep into the CL. That isnt failure. It isnt great either. We all want more. I want Arsenal to win the Championship, and soon.

    However I am determined to enjoy the ride, whether it works or not. Come on. We have some great young players in our side. With one or two key additions we could be even better. We have the most exciting young English player, Jack Wilshire, coming back to the club next year after a great loan spell at Bolton. We have Chamakh looking like he’ll be joining. A top notch defender (another Vermaelen pleeeeeaaaaase) this summer and we are looking good for next year, no matter what City, Utd and Chelsea do.

  40. Paul C. —

    Don’t waste your time with him.

    Sean just repeats the same idea over and over again — that due to money and favoritism towards big clubs, every fixture is boring and predictable. It’s a perfectly fine comment if he said it only once or twice…

    He’s not an Arsenal fan. I’m not sure why he even comes on here; I’m sure there are better ways to spend his time that to make snarky comments here.

  41. Stat for you…..
    Bore Four & Man. City at home to bottom 12 (Birmingham and below) this season:
    Played 57….Won 51….Drawn 6….Lost 0.
    I can’t get excited over that.

    Out of 40(?) games at Arsenal this season there has been one ‘rogue’ result……Arsenal 2 Everton 2.
    Pretty much every other game there this season your friendly local bookie would have called.

    I’m wrong am I tim?
    I think not squire.

    (And I don’t know where you got the ‘favoritism’ bit from, this sad situation is because of one thing…..M.O.N.E.Y.)

  42. Sean — Of course it boils down to money. Money buys power and influence, and, more often than not, is the most reliable predictor of success.

    Not just in English football but in life.

    Like I said before, a perfectly fine comment to make, and I agree with it.

    But why do you repeat it here so often? What’s the point? If it’s so boring and predictable to you, why do you care? Why don’t you just stop watching? By extension, is this any way to go through life?

    (BTW, statistics usually don’t lie — the catch is how you frame them and which ones you choose to cite, isn’t it, Sean? 🙂 ).

Comments are closed.