We’ve got the 100, had St Tot and got into Europe. So now what?

By Tony Attwood

I can’t recall a new season starting so early, but that is how it seems.  We’ve still got to establish the order of the top four, play Man U, Sunderland and WBA in the league, and sort out the FA Cup.  And yet all the talk is of next season.

No real celebrations of another St Tots Day, another passage into the Champions League, and the scoring of 100 goals in all competitions (incidentally from a bigger range of players than any other top team).

Speaking of this Mr Wenger said last night, “I feel we have made progress as a team and tonight was a demonstration we have improved.  We played the kind of football we love to play with pace, quality and desire. Most importantly we’ve made progress since the start of the season. We’re playing a different way from September.

“We’ve passed a few positive tests. What is at stake now is to maintain our run and finish second.

“Chelsea are worthy winners this season because they have been the most consistent team of all. Let’s finish the season well, prepare well for next season and give them a good fight.”

Which is fair enough, but what happens now?

Obviously we know that the rest of the top four will all be developing, buying and selling, but they face different issues:

Chelsea seem to have found their own unique way around FFP through a complex loan scheme and flogging players off to non-Champ League teams for top prices, so presumably can keep on buying.  Unless they have hit another FFP barrier – which is certainly possible.  I just can’t work out how they are doing it.

Man C might change manager, which could reduce their ability to prepare quickly.  And this season proves they are not impervious to slip ups.  And of all the top four, they are the ones who are tightest against the FFP ropes.

Man U are… well, I don’t know what’s going on.  They are not like the Man U teams we are used to.  But they have the cash to buy anyone they want.

I don’t see too much threat from Liverpool or Tottenham to the top four.  Both will be distracted over their stadium building enterprises, and neither have looked that challenging this season. Liverpool did push for a while, but it was just for a while, and their squad doesn’t look at all right to me, and there are internal mumblings too.

Of course they could find another Suarez, but that would be extremely lucky.  And they will have to play Europa League football again, so that will keep them occupied.

So what do we do?

I still think the key factor is that we know the first half of the season was a disaster because of injuries, which basically means we must have a bigger squad of top players and rotate a lot.  But there is a problem because even with some culling, we haven’t got much in the way of space.

I’m going to take a punt and guess that our list of over age players will look like this, pretty much as I have outlined before…

  1. Arteta Amatriain, Mikel
  2. Cazorla, Santiago
  3. *Coquelin, Francis
  4. Debuchy, Mathieu
  5. *Gibbs, Kieran James Ricardo
  6. Giroud, Olivier
  7. Koscielny, Laurent
  8. *Martinez, Damian Emiliano
  9. Mertesacker, Per
  10. Monreal, Ignacio
  11. Ospina, David
  12. Ozil, Mesut
  13. Paulista, Gabriel
  14. *Ramsey, Aaron James
  15. Rosicky, Tomas
  16. Sanchez, Alexis
  17. *Szczesny, Wojciech Tomasz
  18. *Walcott, Theo James
  19. *Welbeck, Daniel
  20. *Wilshere, Jack Andrew
  21. Alves Da Silva, Wellington – (now 22)
  22. *Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander Mark David – (now 21)
  23. Sanogo, Yaya

* = home grown.

That gives us two spaces.   (Just for clarity Akpom, Bellerin, Chambers, Gnabry, Toral and Zelalem will still be under age so don’t count).

As you can see I have not brought back our over age loanees other than Wellington and Sanogo, and I have cut out Flamini and Diaby.

So, two spaces to fill. But who to put in there?

Of course there could be a straight swap going on, as in bring in a new keeper but let one of the existing ones go, but otherwise we are still stuck on two spaces unless we drop someone from the squad.

The key drop outs could be Rosicky and Wellington – but I only say that of Wellington because I don’t really know how good he is.

Thus one could just fit in another centre half, another centre forward and one more just for luck – just to cover the injuries.  But in doing this we have to remember that when they are fit, the current group of first teamers who play or sit on the bench are a pretty formidable bunch.

And that is the problem with building a squad.  One never quite knows who is going to be injured.

I think I might go back to celebrating the 100 goals, St Tots and Champs League.  Just for a bit longer.  I can cope with that.

Untold Arsenal


28 Replies to “We’ve got the 100, had St Tot and got into Europe. So now what?”

  1. It wasn’t just injuries that caused our early season problems but also the unavailability of key players participating in the later stages of the World Cup, something we won’t have to worry about next season.
    With so many of our team scoring (was it twenty of them?) there is no real requirement for a so called word class striker. Anyway Welbeck will develope into this role and be a regular twenty goals a season man. If we really do have to “spend some money” let it be on the defence by bringing in another top keeper (and letting one go) and another central mid to partner or replace Coq whenever he’s absent. The squad we have is in good health.

  2. 100 goals in all competitions. Just an accident of nature, but our EPL standings have us scoring 66 and giving up 33. We very nearly scored as many goals in other competitions, as were scored against us in the EPL.

  3. Replacement for Flamini to keep Le Coq on his toes but slightly more box to box if possible, while keeping the defensive stability. We have have 4 CB’s and youth waiting in the wings, 3 RB’s 4 if you include Jenko, 2 LB’s, maybe worth looking at, at least 5 quality choices at No.8, about 7 options at No.10, about another 7 or 8 options for No.s 7 and 11, No.9 slightly limited in numbers as only real quality in Giroud and Welbz.

    So possible LB, DM, and a worldly No.9 if can find one, LB is young very much for the future. But by no means are any of them a must buy!

  4. Good write up Tony,

    Just 1 correction, I believe Sanogo will still be considered under 21 since he only turned 22 on January 27th so he was still 21 on January 1st, 2015.

    But if his name is replaced with Campbell, still only 2 spots left.

  5. Season Ticket waiting list.

    Sorry, very off subject, but I just thought I’d show this as the other day somebody was casting aspersions over this.

    Due to my job it is very difficult for me to get to games, so a season ticket would be pointless until I retire.

    As that is now within 10 to 12 years I thought it was time to get myself and Mrs Jambug on the ‘Gold Member’ (Bog Standard, ‘General Admission’) waiting list.

    I was told I am number 69,748 and should expect a minimum of 10 years wait, but it could be closer to 15. I have no idea if I will be in a position to afford them, or that I’ll even be alive by then, but I’m willing to take a gamble on both counts 🙂

    Anyway, to those doubting this ’10 year waiting list’ it seems that it is indeed the case.

  6. ob1977

    Good summery and this:

    “So possible LB, DM, and a worldly No.9 if can find one, LB is young very much for the future. But by no means are any of them a must buy!”

    is very valid.

    Yes in an perfect World and all that.

    But even Chelsea need to improve, or all these pundits saying they are perfect? I would certainly hope not given there embarrassing performances in the CL and FA Cup, that hardly seem to matter it seems.

    As for Liverpool Spurs and United.

    So EVERY TEAM could improve for the addition of the right players, but as usual it’s only us tacking it in the neck.

    God, I hate the F***ing media.

  7. If, as expected, Matthieu Flamini has come to the end of his second tenure at the Ems, he deserves much praise, IMO, over his mighty contribution as the midfield’s Rottweiler.
    No-one had more energy and enthusiasm and Coquelin appears to have become a worthy successor.

  8. Arsenal is going to show the FA Cup final on TV at Wenger Stadium, except this time open to 40,000 members.

    > Ticket prices will remain the same as last year’s event, priced £10 for Club Level, £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.


    There is nothing in the announcement about having the cappuccino machine fixed.

    Oh, on the topic of coffee, TheRegister has a blurb on the ISS Coffee Machine.


  9. @Jambug,
    Your 6.01 is indeed a sobering reminder that with the waiting list for season ticket holders being a decade or so in length, there is simply no incentive for Arsenal FC to lower prices OR improve catering and other facilities at the Ems.
    There is, however, no excuse not to introduce a Fair Wage policy for all who contribute towards the burgeoning success of our great
    Club. 🙂

  10. nicky

    I spoke to the guy about the ticket prices and how we are always maligned unfairly in the media and I asked him why Arsenal allow this misinformation to be pushed. He just said they know, but the media have there own agenda and there’s nothing they can do about it and they don’t think saying anything would help.

    Regarding the prices, I have always understood the principles of ‘supply and demand’ and have absolutely no problems with it, especially as they’ve really been left with no choice, what with the arrival of the oil money that has inflated the market place out of all proportion in the first place.

    As for the catering and other facilities, as well as a fair wage, I agree there is no excuse.

  11. Liverpool….the new Suarez, they missed out, as we got him, except outr version, going on his,first year could easily end up better than Suarez. And he doesn’t sink his teeth into opponents. So glad wenger was able to get Alexis.

  12. I didn’t think this was common knowledge, I may be wrong. But, I seen a single news headline about this, and didn’t believe it. So, I went through the data myself. The original writeup is in an older thread.


    In the time that Wenger has been manager of Arsenal, Arsenal is the _ONLY_ team in England (or Wales) that has not at some point finished below the Spuds in football.

  13. The BBC has an article, may be elsewhere. But, a Germany film/TV crew was arrested for filming the working conditions in Qatar.


    I think this is just the excuse FIFA needs to move that World Cup somewhere reasonable. But, once bought off, Bladder stays bought off. And so, FIFA will do nothing.

  14. @@Gord
    May 5, 2015 at 11:54 pm
    This is a very painful time of year for our spud’s friends or foes so may be you don’t share that excellent point with them. 🙂

  15. Saw a worrying article in the Evening Standard about a Nigerian billionaire looking to buy Arsenal. Worrying in the sense is that he does not appear to be a fan of Arsene Wenger. Can any of our Nigerian readers share some light?



  16. Jambug, do not tell me you did not ask him what type of agenda he thinks the media has?
    Of course there are going to be people looking to buy a golden goose, especially after most of the hard work of building that goose has been done, and they want to come along and turn it into a bronze goose. I think not, at least as Tony says, not any time soon.

    All i can say is, i just hope our owners try to pull the board members on board( 🙂 )with the Arsenal philosophy before any of them start selling their shares to anyone who wants an in into Arsenal.

  17. @Pete,

    As far as i can see, Mr Kroenke doesnt look like hez going to sell his most valued asset. So dont worry, no such talks can destabilize the club in anyway.

    Does anyone remember the billion takeover last year!! The offer which lasted only a day!! HAHAHAHA..

  18. @ Gord – Don’t trouble your pretty head off over the Quatar WC games . Have heard from ‘well informed inside sources ‘ that the games will not only be on , but it will be the greatest WC ever .
    Why you ask ?

    With a the careful study of , and with the unique combination the mystical Kabala ,the ancient Vedic texts ,certain newly discovered quatrains from Nostradamus , along with the careful scientific study of the shifting tectonic plates and impending global warming /cooling shifts , The Group ( a selective ,secretive and scheming shadowy organisation of investors ), are ready to show their hands .
    And to make sure that they have not left any stone unturned , the worlds’ most important shamans , witch doctors , bomohs , charlatans, witches and warlocks have been consulted . They too concur ,that there is a killing to be made in the market .Did you notice that there was a recent shortage of newt’s eyes and howlet’s wing ? No ? Oh !

    While I’m not able to reveal too much , be on the look out for following –

    1)Real estate companies buying up frozen land in the Artic , the Antartic , Iceland , Greenland and in the Tundra.

    2)Sudden changes in the migratory patterns of birds , especially keep a close watch on the Artic Tern as it no longer flies south , but travels in the cooling winds to the Middle East.

    3)Tourists flocking to Quatar as the weather becomes more ‘agreeable ‘ , and as David Beckham , among others build villas there .

    4)New greenery suddenly emerging in the Middle East as well as in those earlier mentioned and previously frozen regions , as the world cools ,not warms .Al Gore was mislead on purpose !

    5)Keep a close watch on who is investing heavily in Quatar .

    More information will be forthcoming shortly as and when I am permitted to disclose .
    As for the Russian WC -those games are kaput for sure. England may get to host it after all !

  19. Brickfields

    The only migratory bird I pay attention to is the yellow bellied sapsucker. It likes to kill trees.

    I’ve gone hiking near Las Vegas when it was over 40C. But I don’t think I would ever go to Qatar, even if there was good hiking there.

  20. I guess Manny Pacquiao is a Gooner. Well, another boxer is a Gooner (James DeGale), and he has a fight a week before the FA Cup final. He wants the double: he wins the fight, Arsenal wins the Cup.

    Same newspaper as the Ramsey injury rumour.

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