Do we really need 4 players? Or just ……4 more fit players?

By Walter Broeckx

If we look back at the season so far one could say that we had a turning point in our season. Or maybe even a few turning points in our season. Some caught the eye more than others as we will explain later on in this article.

For me the season really started on December 28. It was the day that Wenger started with Coquelin in the role he was given and since then he went on an amazing run in the team in the league. But not just Coquelin went on an amazing run. No the whole team did.

If we look at the first 18 matches (pre-Coquelin one could say) we had this as results:

18 matches played

Won 8 extrapolated to a whole season would mean 16 wins in total

6 draws extrapolated to a whole season would mean 13 draws in total

4 defeats extrapolated to a whole season would mean 8 defeats in total

32 goals for extrapolated to a whole season would mean 67 goals in total

22 goals against extrapolated to a whole season would mean 46 goals against in total

If we look at the points it would mean a points total of only 61 points at the end of the season.

That was a rather poor start of the season for Arsenal. But we had a few important players missing for very large parts of the early months. Giroud out for 3 months, Özil out for 3 months, Wilshere out for well he still is one could say, Ramsey having a start/stop season with some injuries…. All these things were ignored by the aaa-type fans as they shouted that the world was coming to an end and we never would come good again.

At Untold we said to wait for the injured to return and be patient.

But then came the turning point one could say and let us have a look at the results since the day that Coquelin took his place in the team. We will not look at CL or FA cup results but with Arsenal reaching the Cup final for the second consecutive time we can take it that things are looking rather good at that point.

Arsenal – Chelsea 0-0

Burnley – Arsenal 0-1

Arsenal – Liverpool 4-1

Newcastle – Arsenal 1-2

Arsenal – West Ham 3-0

QPR – Arsenal 1-2

Arsenal – Everton 2-0

Crystal Palace – Arsenal 1-2

Arsenal – Leicester 2-1

Tottenham – Arsenal 2-1

Arsenal – Aston Villa 5-0

Manchester City – Arsenal 0-2

Arsenal – Stoke 3-0

Southampton – Arsenal 2-0

West Ham – Arsenal 1-2

That is 15 matches and in those matches we have been defeated twice and had one draw. And 12 wins.


If we would extrapolate this to a 38 matches we would have a record of 30 matches won, 3 draws and 5 defeats. It would mean a total points of 93 if we could maintain such a form in to a whole season. The invincibles had at the end of their amazing season had a total of 90 points. They had 26 wins and 12 draws by the way.

5 clean sheets in 15 matches extrapolated could mean 12 matches in total over a whole season

Goals for 31 in 15 matches extrapolated could mean 78 goals over a whole season

Goals against in 15 matches extrapolated could mean 25 goals against over a whole season.

In those 15 matches we had 5 clean sheets and only in two matches we couldn’t score a goal.

So what has changed apart from Coquelin? Özil returned to the team in the Stoke match. And I remember someone saying when he got injured in the Chelsea match that we wouldn’t miss Özil that much. I disagreed with that and I think that the fact that Özil came back and we had the emergence of Coquelin almost at the same time changed the complete team. And Ramsey finally coming back and being able to play games in a row. I could even add Ospina in goal who has not been doing too bad in my opinion.

Coquelin added steel and Özil added flair and Ramsey added energy. And that is the combination that you need to have a go at the title: Energy, Flair and Steel. THE combination for any team to win the league.

How would we have done with players who got injured from kicking like Wilshere, Özil and Giroud if they had been fit all season? I think looking at the numbers and the difference since they all came back is telling enough.

So Thierry forgive me for disagreeing with you. I think we got all what you said that we need. We just didn’t have them fit as Chelsea had most of their important players fit for most of the season. That has been the difference. The only difference. At then end of last year we were 15 points behind Chelsea, now we have cut it back to 10 points. I’m sure that if all those players would have been fit we wouldn’t have been 15 points behind around the end of the year.

Just look at the injury league table, Thierry. Chelsea has had 73 missed matches because of injuries and that is the lowest in the whole league. And Arsenal had 218 missed matches because of injuries and we find ourselves in in position 4.

In short Arsenal had 3 times as many players out with injuries than Chelsea has had the whole season so far. And our injuries were with key players like Özil, Ramsey and Giroud! And then I am being unfairly on players like Koscielny who missed a big part of the start of the season also.

I do think we have good enough keepers (Szczesny won the golden glove last season) in Ospina and Szczesny and Martinez.

I do think we have enough quality defenders in Bellerin/Debuchy/Chambers – Per/Kos/Gabriel/Chambers/Debuchy/Monreal – Monreal/Gibbs : that is 8 different players in total by the way for 4 places. Before Gabriel it was 7 players and not the 6 proclaimed by most.

I do think we have enough defensive midfielders who are good enough in Coquelin/Arteta/Flamini.

I do think we have enough attacking midfielders of great quality like Wilshere/Ramsey/Cazorla/Özil/Oxlade-Chamberlain/Rosicky

And I do think we have enough great strikers up front like Alexis/Giroud/Welbeck/Walcott/Gnabry/…and whoever we will see breaking through next season.

Now would I say no to Arsenal buying someone of real top quality? No of course not. But just saying Arsenal have to buy 4 players (a media way of planting the seed of unrest amongst fans?) is poor punditry.

67 Replies to “Do we really need 4 players? Or just ……4 more fit players?”

  1. I don’t know if Thierry meant four new players instead of or as well as the ones we already have. If we could manage to fit another four of equal calibre into the squad I’d support that, but I like our squad, it’s the best in the league and can’t see where it could be strengthened without spending really huge sums.

  2. Thanks Walter.

    Some extreme numbers for comparison from the news for comparison.

    The BBC reported on some non-league team that has had a rotten season. I think their goal difference was -281 (almost negative three hundred).

    There was a website I see today (reported elsewhere at Untold as well), that is looking not for 4 players this summer, but for 14 players to leave Arsenal.

  3. Henry’s comments are ridiculous. Nothing more, nothing less.

    We go on a run such as Walter highlights, draw one game against the Champions elect, and all of a sudden the whole spine of the team needs changing !!!

    What’s that all about?

    I don’t know what disappointed me more, only getting a draw or hearing Henry spout such predictable rubbish.

    No, I do know…Henry.

    Great footballer, SKY muppet, sorry Puppet.

    Very disappointed to say the least.

  4. Walter, you didn’t list Debuchy missing most of the first half of the season at the same time as the ones you mentioned in the article.

  5. Hi Walter,

    I love this site and i agree with your main position that we as fans support our club no matter what happens. I also agree that in general the UK media have to put it mildly a clear bias against our team and express it as often as possible.
    However you guys sometimes take it a bit on the other side. Simply put and the way I understood Henry (who imho has an Arsenal bias and is not afraid to admit it) said that if we want to make sure we are going to win the league next year (and compete with the likes of Barca Bayern etc) we need (in his opinion) 4 new players. He didn’t just say as everybody else that we need to buy 4 players. He went on to explain and analyze which players and why and i found his opinion very sound.

    Now, am I going to moan or ask for Wenger’s head if he doesn’t buy anyone like some of our fans do, ofc not. And before you say anything else i do believe that we can win the league next year, even if we don’t buy new players and we stay with this exact team. I cannot tho say without being arrogant or biased that we will for sure.

  6. I disagree that we need a new GK or attacking midfielder, but another DM is a must to challenge Coquelin (who has been brilliant), Arteta (80k a wk)and Flamini (65k a wk) are not title winning backup players, they can easily do a job in the earlier rounds of the cups but otherwise I would argue that they are beyond their best, if they are not going to challenge for the first team why have them on the wage bill.

    I don’t think any Arsenal fan can truly believe we have a world class title winning striker in Giroud or Welbeck, they are both good, very very good in fact, but not outstanding which is what is needed to win the Premier League let alone the Champions League.

    In summation, I would like to see us buy a DM (Schneiderlin 25m or Carvalho 20m)and a Striker (Answers on a postcard as to who is available and affordable????), a replacement for the ageing BFG can wait until next year 🙂

  7. The last team that played for an unnecessary win against a Chelsea team playing for a draw was Liverpool at Anfield last season. How did that turn out for them?

    I said hours before the game on Sunday that I hope we don’t go all out for a win only to suffer a demoralising defeat when a draw was good enough. While I would have loved a win, I am thoroughly satisfied with the draw.

    To those defending/justifying Henry’s comments, how I wish he was making the same after our victories over Man City and Man United away and the 4-1 demolition of Liverpool at home. Henry is no different from his colleagues in the yammering class. They are all Captain Hindsight. It is easy to find faults in teams play on giant screens after the fact. Even I do it on my TV armed with my remote control.

    Henry’s comment was knee jerk and have taken him down a big notch for those clamouring for him to manage Arsenal someday.

  8. It would be very refreshing to see Henry follow up his claims with some particulars, like e.g , who are the strikers Arsenal need and are they available. Also, what specifically they might bring to the team that Arsenal are missing at this time.
    Otherwise, it’s just very poor punditry.

    Combine this with his bizarre attack on Chicharito, and it makes for a very auspicious start to his studio career.

    His Giroud “bashing” was particularly harsh I thought, although Giroud’s selection for the Chelsea game was probably what the Chelsea CB’s ,Cahil and Thiery would’ve wanted instead of the speedy Welbeck , but that’s up to the manager and not Giroud.

    What is up to Giroud, however, is to further develop his game and maximize his natural assets. Hi has a powerful shot and he should be working on a move which could allow him a yard of space to unleash it.
    You don’t need to be fast to do that.
    His wonderful link up play was never going to trouble Chelsea , who keep defensive shape better than any PL team.

    What I mean by it , is the distances between all Chelsea players when defending are roughly the same and very tight, thus making it very difficult to penetrate their penalty area with over elaborate passes or flicks.
    Not trying to take a shot from a distance in a tight game , is still Arsenal’s problem.

    Arsenal can and will challenge for the title next year without any major additions if they continue to build on what they have done so far this season. The club is addressing the two major factors that had held it back –
    tactics and fitness have both been improving according to our players, and we have seen it on the pitch.

    What Arsene Wenger and the players need to do for the next season ,is to forget about their record against Mourinho’s Chelsea and ignore the media’s constant bombardment .
    800 plus minutes without a goal, 13 games without a win and counting.
    Trying to rectify this very record over night is what got us last season’s 6:0 at the Bridge.

    We can win the league next season by splitting points with Chelsea, preferably two goalless draws for a good measure.

    What we can il afford is to spot Chelsea 3 or 6 points, which by virtue of their consistently better goal difference could turn into 4 or 7 points respectively.

  9. Kanenas

    That may be so but no other team gets the kind of reaction we do EVERY SINGLE TIME we don’t win a game, and sometimes even when we do.

    When Chelsea got knocked out of the CL, did we get, they need a whole new spine to there team if they want to challenge Bayern, Barca etc.?

    When Chelsea got embarrassed in the FA Cup did we get suggestions of a whole new spine?

    Okay they’ve won the PL by a distance but we are not that far behind in reality.

    Our start blew any chance we had and the fact is anyone other than Arsenal would of been given latitude for that bad start, given the injuries and the psychological/Physical effect the World Cup had on our Germans.

    Anyone other than Arsenal would be being praised to the hilt for the run we have gone on.

    Henrys comments are no more, no less, than the bog standard Media/AAA over reaction to any result we have that isn’t quite perfect.

    Yes, I’m sure we could make way for 4 World Class players, but so could Chelsea.

    How many do United need?


    Heaven forbid, Spurs?

    But none of them get anything like the criticism we get, least not from there own ex players.

    You seem to view Henrys comments as in some way ‘constructive’, I’m sorry but I don’t see them in that light at all.

  10. Arsenal need a world class goalkeeper, a world class defensive midfielder(who CAN also play in defence) and a world class striker(Alexis Sanchez should permanently be positioned on the left or right wing and regarded as our wing wizard with the ability to ‘drift inward’). I agree with Thiery Henry, though apparently not 100%

  11. Lets not forget that Henry is one of the few former Arsenal players who supported the club, players and manager through periods of difficulty and is almost like a son to Arsene Wenger.

    Right now he is earning 4 million pounds a year under SKY Sports, that is almost 4 times more what Gary Neville or Jamie Carragagerererher are earning at SKY. So of course SKY Sports would want their value for the money they are paying to Henry, with work being asked from him is to create controversial headlines about his old club, put more salt on small rumours, try to destabilize Arsenal, well basically it all means is that SKY Sports will make him follow their Anti-Arsenal-Agenda (AAA, coincidence Tony? I think not 😀 ) for the HUGE money they are paying to Henry.

  12. Tom

    Credit where credits due. Great post.

    When playing Chelsea, to me it is, what to do?

    As you say, with Chelsea being so compact and disciplined it is like threading the eye of a needle.

    Flicks and tricks can penetrate but it’s hard, and even the Genius that was Bergkamp would struggle against such a defence.

    But there’s also the problem of a lack of space for the speedsters to run into so that may not work either.

    Personally I would of started as Wenger did, but it is a matter of ‘you pays your money you makes your choice’

    As Wenger said, setting up teams to defend like Chelsea is not THAT difficult. Teams with much less talent than Chelsea have to hand, have done many a shut out against superior opposition, not least, much to Mourhinos frustration, against Chelsea themselves.

    What ever way you decide to go about it, it takes a brilliant team performance and a moment or 2 of real magic to make the breakthrough.

    Alas we had a good team performance but that moment of magic just didn’t happen.

    Such is life, but it certainly doesn’t warrant what I see as a gross over reaction from Henry, as well as many others.

  13. Jambug and Bootoomee


    Wow, so that’s what it feels like when someone agrees with your post.
    I must try to remember remember this feeling when next time you guys rip me a new one 🙂

  14. As much as I adore TH for what he did for the club, I beg to disagree with his statement because they sound like something tailored by aaa. Your analysis is on point hence I don’t have much to say.

    As much as I love everyone of Arsenal’s current squad and it hurts not seeing some of them like Rosicky get regular game time.

    However, I do not see many players that can improve this team that are readily available in the transfer market without paying over the odds. I believe this team has what it takes (injury free) to win the league. As much I do not mind additions that will improve the team, I strongly object to paying over the odds for new players just to win trophies.

  15. I think that the familiar “Arsenal are x world class players short of a championship winning team” is nonsense, even when it is repeated by a former Arsenal player, who, frankly, should know better.

    In particular, I do not share the media inspired view that Cech is wanted / needed / or would in any way improve our team. Our present keepers are better (and a better long term bet).

    As for the match with Chelsea, I could have played in goal in the second half and kept a clean sheet.

  16. Tom,

    Not because we agree but because your post was devoid of the usual disingenuous bullshit. I disagree with a lot of folks but I lose it when I see disingenuous bs.

  17. People dont realize that Luis Suarez at Liverpool couldnt score against Mourinhios Chelsea in 2 attempts when he was smashing goals here and there.Obviously Giroud is no match to Suarez.
    The thing is defending is easy than scoring goals and the master of defence Mourinho prefer to play a boring defensive game and not giving importance to the million of audience around the world who had to waste there precious time and are denied an entertaining game by the master of defence.

  18. Bootoomee

    Some of your posts contain contradictory statements were you shift positions to back up your argument. Some might perceive this as being disingenuous too.

    But hey, you liked my post , you paid me a complement .
    I excepted it in a good spirit, why ruin the moment?

    Let’s have an argument next time over some specific issue we might disagree on, shall we.

  19. I truely believe that we have the team to compete for the pl. For years to come. We do not have any real deficiency in any position. Though I dream about one player who can make Arsenal really dominant … yaya Toure …

  20. After watching the game again, i do so because live i am not capable of much objective reasonings, i feel:
    The chances we had did not come off. We have seen them come off in other games.
    So even though Chel$ defended well, we did open them up a few times which is good. Maybe Giroud needed a partner up front as we knew he would be marked close
    but who would have to be replaced to do that?

  21. I am wondering which way Arsenal is going to go now. I am worried at the results of our younger players in the Academy, they seem to have lost a little this season, so the question is, are we going to go for more experienced players, we have the money. If so, is the academy going to suffer?
    I hope a meaningful balance is found and the academy is not neglected.

  22. Bootoomee

    I have no issues with spending money but whether you like it or not, football is a going venture. I became an Arsenal fan when I watched Kanu destroy Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in 98/99 season and I have been an Arsenal fan since then. I understand the club’s policy and never doubted AW will win trophies again. However, I do not know football tactics cos I’m not a coach neither do I know what it takes to buy a player.

    Therefore, I will leave, team selection and player purchase to AW’s team whose job it is as they are the professionals. More often than not, the players we think Arsenal need and grumble when we don’t buy them do not come good (eg Balotelli and Falcao) and the ones they buy and we grumble about make it (Monreal, BFG and Kos). I am not saying the team does not make mistakes. They do because they are human and anybody who studies science dealing with humans know everything can never be certain/ perfect. That’s why economist use “all things being equal” in their analysis.

    Therefore I’d rather leave the management to their job and know they will not do a Tottenham or do I say a Liverpool last summer. I also believe only a hand full or players (less than 10) are worth more than £50m and Raheem Sterling is certainly not 1 of them.

  23. Tom,

    You are the one incapable of accepting a compliment with grace. Your comment addressed to me and Jambug portrayed us as blog bullies who only give credit to those who agree with us. I resent that. My issue with you has always been your desperation to get one over others resorting to disingenuous writing to win an argument.

    I have been accused of a lot of things here but disingenuity is not one of them. Love me or hate me but you always know where I stand no matter how unpopular.

  24. Nonny,

    My comment to you was tongue in cheek. No one on Untold hate the concept of spending the fucking money than me. No one. I trust Arsene Wenger to take of our recruitment. My only job as Gooner is to support the team come rain or shine.

    Now I know that the smiley face is useless at indicating sarcasm 🙁

  25. I believe that Thierry is looking for a forward in his own style and Giroud doesn’t fit that bill. In France apparently we are strongly linked with Lacaz ette. Perhaps that’s where he is coming from.

  26. A nice article, a timely response to Thierry and some good responses. It was good to see Tom on-board – until his little “wobble” at 5.48pm! 🙂

    The debate about adding players should not be discussed in isolation – just as important is how the players (existing or with additions) blend together. Just now, even with no additions I feel this team is a year from its peak – as the gel factor works to advantage. All teams need new players from time to time to improve or even maintain their standard, but AW is much better qualified to make that call – much more than anyone else.

    The present squad has been very carefully developed, despite financial restrictions and the handicap of Cesc, van Pursey, Nasri etc abandoning a developing team – and the end result we have today is a credit to the skill of AW. A pity that Thierry could not qualify his comments with that thought. This season we are seeing a developed squad with depth!

    I don’t think we need four more players, possibly one quality player if he became available, but I expect this excellent squad to be largely complimented by more young players – lets hope AW can pick up another gem like Bellerin!

  27. In terms of picking up players, how many youths are going to make a try at coming up? 3? 4? Martinez probably for sure. I try reading commentary where Akpom is playing, but his name doesn’t seem to come up much. We have loanees returning. I think Podolski shot himself in the foot when he left. Sanogo? He doesn’t seem to have done much at Palace.

    Martinez is in action again, so far Rotherham has more shots.

    The FA Cup is getting a new sponsor, and a new name.

    Isn’t this going to get confusing, with an Emirates Cup and an Emirates FA Cup? Getting away from that soda pop brewer as a sponsor is probably a good thing.

    Gerrard hurt? He didn’t even make the bench today against Hull.

  28. Re the Herny stuff, I just don’t get where he’s coming from. Giroud has 5 goals fewer than Costa and missed 3 months with a broken leg. We are only a couple of goals short of Chelsea in terms of goals scored. Perhaps next year the gap will be closed through the fact that our players will know their teammates better. Maybe Welbeck will develop. Sanchez too after his first season in a new league. Perhaps Ozil will be more comfortable in his role.
    With 4 centre halves at the club and 4 fullbacks too, I can’t see a need there for strengthening. Will buying a goalkeeper for 30million really provide us with better than we’ve got? Since Ospina came in, he’s not made a Rick worth the name. Which goalkeeper of superior quality will want to come on a big fee to have to fight it out with him?
    No, I think Henry has just debased himself by kowtowing to Sky’s requirement for a sensationalism over quality. Very very sad.

  29. Nice write up and interesting comments. I firmly believe we do not need anyone in the summer. I mean we have players like Podolski, Campbell, Rosicky, Flamini who haven’t been getting games and others who we will be struggling to fit in when they get back to full fitness like Arteta, Jack, Theo , even Debuchy, etc etc. Another addition will just be an unnecessary headache. What we need is to be allowed to play. Ferguson was a good manager but his sides were allowed to play, too much in fact that one could add the opposition was asked to almost stand aside. Thar meant United, while they may have been good enough to win 4 or 5 titles during his tenure, went on to win more than anyone could have imagined. With Arsenal the exact opposite is true; A team that could have win 4 or 5 titles since 2004 has been reduced to battling for fourth year after year coz we are not allowed to play. This team always gets robbed between 6 to 12 points pee season, usually the difference between first and fourth.

  30. Al, I did run across a “12 point beer”, which would lead to 12 point pee. 🙂

    How to go Hull! Hull 1 – 0 Liverpool. Liverpool (away) fans boycott the high prices, and Liverpool lose.

    Martinez didn’t keep the clean sheet, but Rotherham did get the win (2-1 against Reading). Rotherham are 4 points clear of the last relegation place, with 1 game remaining. Mission accomplished for Super-Martinez! Millwall and Wigan join Blackpool in getting relegated.

  31. Gord (Not Ford)
    🙂 🙂
    Think I’ll just go back to using the desktop for all my posts 🙂

  32. Enjoyed the article and comments. The fact is, we are in good shape. Think things have moved on a bit in the second half of the season, it was clear one or two things needed fixing and it seems they are being addressed, credit to all concerned.
    With Liverpools defeat, out minimum target is now surely only a formality, but let’s hope we can finish a place or two higher to show the squads improvement, and shut a few people up.
    Certainly do not think we need a whole new spine as TH is suggesting.

  33. Good post – I think the combination of Ooooospina & Coquelin made the difference. Chez seemed to have become a little arrogant with his positioning & his handling not been confident.

    In my opinion the substitution near the end of the Chelsea game would have suited Rosicky better. He has more aggression & guile than Theo. However, the result was good in the circumstances.

    Danny Welbeck needs some aggression training. He seems to be a little laid back & timid. Alexis is a good example of controlled aggression & non stop effort. Giroud tried to play his game but was fouled all match & also needs some aggression in his play.

  34. Liverpool, Spuds and Southampton still have 4 games left. Liverpool has to play Chelsea, and the other two have to play ManCity. I believe it is only if they win all their remaining games and we lose all of ours, that there is a problem for us. One loss by Spuds brings St. Totteringham Day.

    I am still hoping for another unlikely event. Southampton with enough wins (which means increasing goal difference) and ManU with enough losses, could see Southampton into the top 4 and no Champion’s League for Fergie’s cheaters.

  35. Late to the party on this one. Seems to me one of the key questions to ask in terms of squad health and needs is ‘are there any individual players whose loss hurts us very badly, someone whose absence would make you feel 5-10 less confident of getting a result in a tough game?’

    I used to be extremely fearful of any injury to koscielny. I still hate the idea of him being out, but it’s not half as bad since we signed another fast centre back.

    Not so long ago, we were in the situation where any injury to a key player was an awful blow to our prospects. This has changed considerably.

    So, who would you least like to lose for the remaining games of the season? Kos is still right up there for me, but above him even is Coquelin. I simply never want to go back to not having someone performing the role he does for the team.

    My main hope for this summer is therefore that we bring in someone with a similar skill set – legs, tenacity, discipline, an excellent understanding of the team’s needs- to Coquelin. Other than that, I’m very happy with the squad, but nonetheless will have my (greedy) fingers crossed Wenger will make it three summers in a row of adding a sensational player to the mix.

    Can’t resist adding a mention of a couple of young championship players. Joe Gomez and Patrick Roberts. It tends to be much harder for a young defender to stand out as someone who looks destined for the very top. Joe Gomez did and then some when I watched him for eng u17s last summer. Pace, strength and excellent ability on the ball. Roberts meanwhile is a ridiculously skillful player, with a brain and attitude which does justice to the skills.

    I’d be delighted if we went for either of them, but even more so for Gomez. There are far fewer excellent English centre backs around now, nearly every premier league-winning team has had one of them (or an honorary one- like Hendry or Kompany), and this summer strikes me as a unique period for the transfer market.

    I’m convinced Wenger will recognise the likelihood of the market going haywire once the effects of the new tv deal kick in fully, and in recognition of this will buy a few for the future. If players who today would cost between 4 and 8 million are likely to cost double that in a couple of years- a time when the likes of Hull will have perhaps 50 million a year for transfers burning holes in their pockets- now seems the time to get busy.

    It’s a different scenario for senior players. With an already stacked squad, it is pointless bringing anyone in unless you have a specific need or unless you think they represent a definite improvement on what you have and intend to play them a lot. The emerging players market will lose it’s last shreds of sanity soon, so I hope we make some moves in it before that happens.

  36. Chelsea have to play very compact to get the best out of J Terry. He is very slow if he has to cover more then 10 yards but very good at reading the game and positioning. He also organizes others in defense well. But they have to be close by. So most of the time they had 10 behind the ball. Terry is almost like a sweeper with 5 center defenders in front of him and another 4 players trying to clog all the channels through.

  37. In the end AW alone will decide what is necessary to bolster/ strengthen /change the team. No matter
    how loud ‘they’ scream , it’ll be his choices and when do announce it , I ‘ll be cheering . I wager that it will be someone we may not really heard of too.
    I believe that’s why he being paid 8 million Pounds . This figure ,alas ,I cannot confirm ,but heard it from ‘informed sources’ !

  38. Is there such a place where owners/managers/ fans go to shop and chose the players they want their team to buy ? No ? Well there ought to be !
    In the meantime in the ‘real’ world……

    The Husband Store

    A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City , where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

    You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

    So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband.

    On the first floor the sign on the door reads…

    Floor 1 – These men Have Jobs

    She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads…

    Floor 2 – These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.

    ‘That’s nice,’ she thinks, ‘but I want more.’

    So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads…

    Floor 3 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.

    ‘Wow,’ she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

    She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads…

    Floor 4 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework

    ‘Oh, mercy me!’ she exclaims, ‘I can hardly stand it!’

    Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads…

    Floor 5 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.

    She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads…

    Floor 6 – You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.


    To avoid gender bias charges, the store’s owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

    The first floor has wives that love sex.

    The second floor has wives that love sex, have money and like beer.

    The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.

  39. Talking about fit players. I must mention 24 year young Gregory Mertens in Belgium. He has more than 100 games on his account in the top division in Belgium and last Monday he went to play with the reserves of his current team Sporting Lokeren at the field of Racing Genk. After some 25 minutes in this match he suddenly collapsed and had a heart failure. Despite trying to reanimate him on the pitch for more than half an hour they never got his heart working again. In the hospital they kept him artificial alive but doctors say that because of the long period of lack of heart function some of his other vital organs and brains will have too much damage. His heart is not working on its own. His parents will now have to make the decision to stop the machines that keeps him alive.

    Despite being checked and even being checked for possible heart conditions (as all clubs who play in Europe have to do it seems) they never found anything wrong with his heart.

    Let’s hope we never get to see such scenes with an Arsenal player….

  40. Thierry’s reputation could only go downwards when he became a pundit.

    How do you top such a fabulous playing career.

    Big mistake Thierry, I just wonder why you did it, surely not for personal glory/self esteem.

  41. Walter – very sad news about Mertens. Please God look after him & his loved ones for it is not easy in such situations.

  42. Lets hope we never see the situation like Mertens for anyone and any team.

    Henry said we need 4 players and Egorino regurgitates the same. Just to create rift, he knows dam well that we will not sign 4. Then we will have all the idiots saying…..see what the “self” proclaimed disgusting one” said? Wenger did not listen, he is stubborn” and so on and so on….

  43. One can never say for certain about these “4 players” thing.

    One factor is the form of other team. The other is injury condition of Arsenal players.
    There is also luck involved.

    Let’s not forget…. the ref. We all know what they can do.

    Is it possible to win with the current players? Absolutely. Will adding 4 good players increase the chance? of course…

    Having said that, if the team look for glory in Europe together with being champion in EPL, the team will have to add more because more players needed for two fronts.

  44. Walter

    Thanks for telling us about Mertens sad passing.
    RIP Gregory.

    I’m shocked that any plundits get paid so much money. For what?

    I suppose it’s little wonder they end up singing from the same hymn sheet.
    (And that’s the nicest way I can out it).

  45. My take on the “Need 4 players thingo” is that we are reaching the stage where we have no real weaknesses but Arsene Wenger has to make some tough decisions on whether to buy a player who just may be a wee bit better than a present incumbent. At this stage the law of diminishing returns kicks in and it is unlikely that the new arrival will make THAT much of a difference just perhaps enough for us to win the league or the Champions league. As a side note, because I don’t really know what the various pundits are actually thinking, our need for 4 players may be justified on the grounds that if we could improve the performances of 4 of our starters we would be guaranteed to win…meh. Buying 4 really good new players may make a great difference at the bottom of the table. There is no guarantee at the top of the table.

  46. Just a little thing,
    Whilst many plundits compared Ospina’s collision with Oscar to Shumacker’s challenge in the 80’s, I heard nothing said about David having to take particular care given that Oscar’s studs were at shoulder height and heading for Ospina’s head?

    Any thoughts?

  47. Rantetta, they wilfully ignored Chelsea’s usual tricks, why would they talk about potential injury to an Arsenal keeper lol

    @The Chelsea Nil Nil debate etc.
    The thing that even on this site gets put aside and which should be first and foremost is that Chelsea are masters of cheating and mostly do not cop a yellow card or in most cases a foul. Ivanovic is the star but he is only one of 10 outfield players who are groomed and trained for every use of cheating possible.

    We only ever talk about the yellow card offense. Never the subtle tug of the shirt to cut Ozil’s pace in the box just enough so he cannot get the ball, etc.

    In my humble opinion, Chelsea (and to a lesser extent Man Utd but they do not cheat in so devious a way) cannot be consistently beaten with them being allowed to cheat in such devious ways. Its cheating but we have to factor it in.

    For these matches alone I would like more power and speed in the team to match the brutish, thuggish cheats. Against physical teams we need more power because the referees just do not call the fouls or tugs or kicks etc. It was like that in the FA Cup last season. Chuck on Sanogo WITH Giroud and suddenly we have enough power to push the defenders around.

    But of course, this is only for specific games with clubs that focus on specific, systematic systems of cheating…wait I mean defending…nope, its cheating.

  48. Good read Walter, agree with everything in the article. Injuries are what truly derailed the beginning of our season, but no one ever mentions that. In my opinion the loss of Giroud was the biggest blow because no one else on the team or maybe even the league can emulate his link up ability.

    In the 3 months Giroud was out (Aug 23 – Nov 22nd), Arsenal had a league record of
    3 Wins-4 Draws- 2 Losses, which is a .333 Win Pct

    With Giroud healthy, Arsenal’s league record is:
    17 Wins-3 Draws- 4 Losses or a .708 Win Pct

    That could be anywhere from 3-4 wins we did not get when he was out, or 6 to 10 points lost.

  49. But thank goodness referee Oliver didn’t give them a penalty to award their diving. That’s something at least. If we get just that, then we have a chance to beat their ilk, cheating and all.

  50. Walter – Good article
    I’ve said here before and someone posted above, the only help I think the squad needs to contend is cover for Coquelin. We have plenty in attack and the defense is steady. Still would take Peta Cech if that’s possible. Once again Gooners, I’m not knocking Ospina when I say this. One season and it seems everyone’s forgotten just how good Chelsea’s former #1 is. I understand he and his family like London,as well. In any case AKB.

  51. Yeah at this point Cech is still better than Courtois. Chelsea/Mourinho just treat their players like shit apparently.

    I suspect whoever comes into the squad/team will be right for the harmony of the group. The real question is would Cech help or hinder the harmony. Welbeck seems to have fit in well enough.

  52. Just to put TH’s comments into some sort of context this is from the ‘special one’ himself, in the London Evening Standard today:

    “Arsenal have a phenomenal squad. Thierry Henry said they need four top-class players. Give Arsenal for top-class players and I think they will again be the ‘invincibles'”

    I think that one statement says 2 things:

    1) Even he can see Henrys talking out of his backside.

    2) Jose knows Arsenal are real contenders, even as they are, which certainly goes some way to explaining his constant bitching towards us, and Wenger in particular.

    The more I think about it, the more disappointed I am in Henry. I really thought we may have someone who would at least attempt to stem the torrent of shit that constantly flows in our direction. Alas he’s just added to it.

  53. Did someone say Chel —- zzzzzzzzzzz —- sea?

    Oops, sorry, fell asleep there. 🙂

    It’s almost half time. Chelsea are being outshot by Leicester. Leicester has made 2 substitutions for injuries, and had a player carded.

    I have no idea what the muppets are saying.

    This report brought to you by the letter B (for Boring).

  54. Henry was talking sense.
    Get rid of deadwood such as Diaby,and sell rosicky,Flamini ,Podolski and Sanogo and replace them with one world class CF,one quality DM and GK and we are ready to challenge for honours.Anyone who thinks that we dont need any new players are insane.Do you think Chelsea wont strengthen again??or UTD wont??Of course they will.We know the injuries will come again next year and to think they wont is lunacy.And one more point if courtois had taken out sanchez like ospina did with oscar most on here would be screaming ASSAULT!!

  55. I would say a definite two players…replace Mertsacker and Arteta – sorry but as much as I love these two they are not going to win us the league.

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