34 responses

  1. Rich
    16/07/2016

    Arsene spoke towards the end of last season about no longer playing with a holding midfielder saying he liked the idea of playing two box to box midfielders

  2. Des
    16/07/2016

    Please do not use Whoscored as any kind of reliable source!

    I think Granit is going to take over from Santi meaning Coquelin and Elneny will cover the DM position. Signing Kante would have given us an amazing central midfield but that’s not going to happen.

    We may have enough players, but we still need additions: players of better quality. Constantly repeating a list of our squad will not make the squad better or stronger.

    • Tony Attwood
      16/07/2016

      Des, when you make a comment like

      Please do not use Whoscored as any kind of reliable source!

      it would be helpful if you could explain why, with some evidence

  3. Jerry
    16/07/2016

    Hi Tony,

    Excellent write up about the versatility of Xhaka and the how packed the squad is!

    I think I was able to find a little more room in the 25 man squad. If I recall correctly, the cut off date for this season to be considered over 21 is to be born after January 1, 1995 (21 or older on January 1, 2016).

    So based on that cutoff , 3 more spots open up- Bellerin, Hayden, and Chambers so down to 22 players registered.

    I would expect either Macey or Martinez to get loaned out as well to get more first team experience so would free up 1 more position.

    We would still have 8 HG players as well- Jenkinson, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ox, Gibbs, Walcott, Coquelin, and either Martinez/Macey.

    Arsenal did some great planning to accumulate this much talent and still have 3 spots open on the registered list (Added 4, but I think 1 spot will be left open for Welbeck’s return).

  4. Josif
    16/07/2016

    As I’ve said before, Xhaka reminds me a lot of Manu Petit. His ability to switch the ball to either flank with a long pass, swift left foot capable both of releasing a long ranger and a well-placed shot, exactly the same height (185 cm) as Petit…

    Speaking of which, it seems to be a trend for Arsenal of late – adding height to the team (Chambers, Welbeck, Xhaka, Elneny, Čech). I would expand Tony’s theme about different set-ups – our midfield options come in different sizes as well.

    Coquelin is a conservative defensive midfielder who offers interceptions, blocks and recovery pace.

    Cazorla is a deep-lying playmaker, our guide as Mr Wenger calls him, who dictates our passing game, relieves the burden from Özil when it comes to creation of our attacks and enables transition from the defence to the attack.

    Elneny is an elegant central midfielder who doesn’t like to close down the opponents aggressively as Coquelin does but offers more to our passing game, covers a lot of ground in both directions (he makes a pass and immediately goes forward in order to offer an option to his team-mate with the ball) and has already scored more goals for Arsenal than Coquelin. Some might say Elneny is a box-to-box midfielder.

    Ramsey is a box-to-box midfielder as well but he is not the same type as Elneny. Rambo takes more risk with his passing and makes runs behind the defence. Whilst Elneny likes to occupy positions closer to our back four, Rambo’s starting position is more at the center of the pitch.

    Jack is a deep-lying midfielder who is more aggressive in the central midfield than Santi but still has a lot to learn in terms of controlling the game in a way Santi does.

    And, there is also Granit who could be described as a complete central midfielder.

    Maybe the best nickname for our central midfield options would be “Rainbow” as we have a variety of options.

  5. Des
    16/07/2016

    Hi Tony

    Sorry you’re right. I have found Whoscored to be pretty inaccurate and rather vague in terms of player strengths weaknesses and positions. Have a look at a few Arsenal players on there. If you find them accurate then fair enough.

    I think the spuds used the site when they went on their shopping spree after getting the Bale money!

  6. Lanz
    16/07/2016

    Lovely analyses! @ all but Josif especially. I suspect Wenger is planning to convert Ramsey into a striker. Your takes please???

  7. colario
    16/07/2016

    According to the BBC Kante has signed for Chelski for 80millioneuros.

  8. William
    16/07/2016

    Do you think arsenal will make anymore signings? I don’t,he’s got it in his head that arsenal live beyond there means. Has a fan I feel totally frustrated with his transfer policy and hope he leaves at the end of the season especially when you see all other teams signing top players

    • Tony Attwood
      17/07/2016

      OK William that is your opinion. but on this site we do like to have opinions back up by some evidence.

  9. nicky
    16/07/2016

    If, as I suspect, Arsene is finding it difficult in obtaining his choice of striker in the transfer market,
    I wonder whether he will attempt to convert Ramsey into that role
    Or even give Walcott another chance if his speed hasn’t diminished.
    Potential new blood cannot be forced to join us.

    • William
      16/07/2016

      All the other teams have managed to find a striker, I think arsenal fans are short changed, pay excessive ticket prices I just think the problem is with kronke arsenal is just a team in is portfolio never put his hand in his pocket

      • Tony Attwood
        17/07/2016

        William I wonder if you have been reading Untold – the issue is not so much finding a top striker but getting him to fit with the existing line up and being better than what we already had. We scored three fewer than the champions last season, which in itself doesn’t sound like a dire situation. Only 25% of top value signings work in season one. Having the top scorer can make a difference but most of the time does not. I could go on, but all of this with the evidence is on this site in recent weeks.

  10. omgarsenal
    16/07/2016

    Wenger has 34 years experience in strategic and tactical use of varied player talents like we have this season and will likely rotate his midfield to accommodate one or all of the following;

    1) Injuries or fatigued players, ( Wilshere)

    2) Tournament-tied players, (Akpom)

    3) Variation depending on opponents,

    4) Offering youth and academy players some opportunities,

    5) Reintegration of recuperating players,

    6) Normal rotation for out-of-form players,

    7) Occasional but rare experimentation with regulars in new positions (Chambers, Gibbs, The Ox, etc.)

  11. Kenneth Widmerpool
    16/07/2016

    Copy and paste to read a few things Arsène said recently…(cheers to Eddy)

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CnZ3d1vWYAA_5UE.jpg

  12. Al
    16/07/2016

    Will be interesting, Elneny has a ferocious shot in him too and occasionally pops up I dangerous areas. I can see a midfield with Xhaka, Elneny and Ozil causing many teams headaches; there’s just too much creativity in there, especially if you throw Santi or someone like Iwobi into the mix. I haven’t even mentioned players like Ramsey, Coq, Campbell, Jack, The Ox, Jeff, Gnabry, Zelalem…where will all they fit in??

    Our midfield is going to be our strongest department, if not the strongest in the league; it already was last season IMO, but about to get even stronger. Great sides usually have a formidable midfield, that’s the heart of the team, and its not a surprise to see the manager concentrating in this area.

    All we need now is to have each guy that plays in the midfield to contribute a decent return of goals; Guardiola’s all conquering Barcelona side did so without a conventional striker (of course they had Messi which helped a great deal). I think our biggest problem is going to be these bus-parking teams in the PL, they really are killing football.

  13. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin
    16/07/2016

    Josif, are you saying Xhaka is a Central Attacking Midfielder? Should that be the case then, Arsenal may not need to sign-in another CAMF in the like of Moussa Sissoko of Newcastle Utd who I want the Boss to sign if his agent and club will lower the exorbitant asking price they’ve placed on him.

    The current Arsenal specialist midfielders of: Playmakers, Deep-lyings, Box to Boxs, and CDMFs who I Know are: Ozil – Playmaker, Cazorla – deep-lying, Wilshere – deep-lying, Ramsey – box to box, Elneny – box to box, Coquelin – CDMF and the new central attacking midfielder – Xhaka according to Josif. Those are 7 midfielders in numbers at Arsenal’s midfield to start the new season campaign from August. Are Arsenal still short of a midfielder? I wouldn’t think so, therefore, save for to have a stronger option and cover at midfield, Arsenal may not sign Moussa Sissoko or any other top CAMF after all.

    That leaves us to ponder at which positions in the senior squard team is the Boss likely to sign 2 more new players if Asano is not already deemed to be one of the remastrongernew players pending to be signed. Sure, a top grade quality striker will be signed by the Boss this summer by all allmeans. And a top top quality CHB or a top grade LB or both are being expected to be signed by the yearning Arsenal fans who includes me, but I doubt if the Boss will sign the 2 together this window.

  14. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin
    16/07/2016

    Josif, are you saying Xhaka is a Central Attacking Midfielder? Should that be the case then, Arsenal may not need to sign-in another CAMF in the like of Moussa Sissoko of Newcastle Utd who I want the Boss to sign if his agent and club will lower the exorbitant asking price they’ve placed on him.

    The current Arsenal specialist midfielders of: Playmakers, Deep-lyings, Box to Boxs, and CDMFs who I Know are: Ozil – Playmaker, Cazorla – deep-lying, Wilshere – deep-lying, Ramsey – box to box, Elneny – box to box, Coquelin – CDMF and the new central attacking midfielder – Xhaka according to Josif. Those are 7 midfielders in numbers at Arsenal’s midfield to start the new season campaign from August. Are Arsenal still short of a midfielder? I wouldn’t think so, therefore, save for to have a stronger option and cover at midfield, Arsenal may not sign Moussa Sissoko or any other top CAMF after all.

    That leaves us to ponder at which positions in the senior squard team is the Boss likely to sign 2 more new players if Asano is not already deemed to be one of the remaning new players pending to be signed. Sure, a top grade quality striker will be signed by the Boss this summer by allmeans. And a top top quality CHB or a top grade LB or both are being expected to be signed by the yearning Arsenal fans who includes me, but I doubt if the Boss will sign the 2 together this window.

  15. Menace
    16/07/2016

    Amazing how many play ‘Premier League Manager’. I don’t care who plays where because somebody gets paid to do that job. I just want to know that all our players are fit & available. Wenger never disappoints me with his team & the football they play.

    Looking forward to the new season & the same old corrupt PGMO. Now, if any of you know how to make changes in the FA & their selected officials supplier, that would be a better challenge. We have chosen to walk away from the EU. Can we walk away from the PGMO & their FA parents?

  16. Paul Southcott
    16/07/2016

    Tony

    According to the Arsenal website Isaac Haydon has signed for Newcastle (not on loan)

  17. Florian
    16/07/2016

    Talking about long balls, this is something that might offer Theo a chance for redemption. Last season he was limited to short runs resulted from rapid combinations with a teammate around the opponents’ box. One of the reasons his production dropped. Xhaka’s talent for long balls suit him well when playing on the counter.

  18. Josif
    16/07/2016

    @AI

    Guardiola’s Barcelona had Eto’o, Zlatan, Villa and, finally, Alexis. His Bayern had Lewa in second and third season.

    We do need a 20-league-goal man next season and that’s why we made an offer for Vardy.

  19. Chris
    17/07/2016

    Interesting read and your arguments are well thought off.

    Just a question, or rather a remark.

    Since we signed Granit, just seems Santi does not exist anymore…..

  20. Menace
    17/07/2016

    Santi is a critical part of Wengers Arsenal. Ignore anyone who does not include him in the squad.

  21. Rosicky@Arsenal
    17/07/2016

    Wonder why the blogtettas had to criticize wenger for his breif appearances for TV during Euros? Even he is not allowed to have a one month off to see the Euros in native France.
    The hate for Arsenal manager is simply unjustified and pathetic.

  22. Jambug
    17/07/2016

    Tony Attwood

    “OK William that is your opinion. But on this site we do like to have opinions back up by some evidence”

    That may well be true, it’s just a shame you ignore them when they do.

    Okay, I realise I’m repeating myself. But why you insist on repeating this requirement I will continue to point out how you chose to ignore people when they do.

    Just saying, again.

  23. para
    17/07/2016

    ” I think we could be moving away from the notion of the obvious first XI, and into a world in which several players can swap around, and will do so not just to accommodate injuries but also increasingly to accommodate the peculiarities of the opposition.”

    I do not really like the word “hope” but i will use it today.
    I hope this is the case with Arsenal. We now have a squad to choose from and the players should know that there should be no favourites to play, but solely performance based.

  24. Brickfields Gunners
    17/07/2016

    My hope is that stay injury free and get a fair shake from the PIGMOB . Is that too much to ask?

  25. Jambug
    17/07/2016

    Here here Brickfields.

    That alone would give us a very good tilt at the title.

  26. jake
    18/07/2016

    Tony Just answer simply and not like a politician.k a striker ?

  27. jake
    18/07/2016

    Meant to be do we need a striker?

    • Tony Attwood
      18/07/2016

      “Do we need a striker?” No.
      “Could the right striker make us a better club?” Yes
      “Is the right striker available?” Only someone involved in negotiation and discussion and with a complete knowledge of tactics far beyond my very humble abilities could answer that.

  28. Arsenal Hospitality
    18/07/2016

    Look like a good squad of players. Interested to see if Giroud stays and if we sign a class striker. We have missed a class striker since Henry lets face it.

  29. Prashanth
    19/07/2016

    Hey Tony,

    This is my first comment on Untold and I would start off by saying that I really enjoy the posts on this website; A sensible bunker in this maddening & insane world of internet blogging!

    With the inclusion of Xhaka in our squad I feel that we may be moving towards a modern version of the 4-4-2 with the inclusion of Le Coq, Xhaka, Santi & Ozil in the midfield with Sanchez & Giroud upfront (Albeit moving to the preferred 4-3-3 when not on the ball & while defending). I feel Xhaka is an addition to the 11 as against a replacement. The flexibility lies in the fact that in case we need an attacking impetus, Le Coq will be sacrificed for a more attack minded Ramsey or Wilshere with Xhaka playing as the lone defensive midfielder.

    If anything, the recent Euros showcased the revival of 2 strikers being effective upfront. Sanchez will be most effective playing the Griezmann to Giroud if that can be taken as an analogy.

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