The edition of this article published at around 8.30am BST on 26 July missed out Sagna, not because I don’t know he is there, but rather because my computer decided to take on a life of his own. His details were added at around 1pm BST. Apologies for the first mistake – I had to leave for work and just didn’t have time to sort the page out.
This article carries on from the pieces already published on the front line and the midfield for Arsenal next season – keeping the same format as before.
Last Season: 39 starts, 5 as sub, 0 goals
Injury potential: Had a bit of a spell out last season but nothing too awful. 125 games in three years says he’s not one to get too many problems..
Brilliance potential: Has been a regular from the start.
Breakthrough potential: Nowhere to breakthrough to – we would expect him to be first choice.
Personality: Never seems to react too much, a solid defender – exactly what we want.
Crowd potential: Few rave over him, but he is just there, consistent, doing it.
International Disruption Potential: Banned by France for having been in South Africa. What dopes they are – but to our benefit if he doesn’t play.
Last Season: 45 starts, 0 as sub, 8 goals
Injury potential: Nothing too serious – missed a couple of games at the end of the season, that’s about it.
Brilliance potential: Hit the ground running – first match a 6-1 thrashing of Everton away. If that season was not brilliant I have no idea what is. He’s only 25.
Breakthrough potential: He’s there – no one will replace him when he is fit.
Personality: Cool, calm – he came over as a really nice guy in the interview Walter did with him on Untold.
Crowd potential: Loved by all.
International Disruption Potential: Will play in all the Belgian games but they don’t qualify for major tournaments normally.
Last Season: 7 starts, 0 as sub, 0 goals
Injury potential: He got an ankle injury in November last year and that about did it for him.
Brilliance potential: An England full back aged 21. If the maniacs of international football can leave him alone he should be ok, but if not, then anything can happen. Can you imagine being coached by Mr Cappuccino for a week?
Breakthrough potential: If everyone is fit, then little chance other than in cup games and towards the end of the season when we are ten points clear with two games to play. But he is exactly the sort of cover we need to hang on to. Trouble is the midfield is so strong he’s not even likely to play there. .
Personality: Yet another of whom we can say, “Never seem to hear anything bad.”
Crowd potential: He’s English, and that should help an immediate rapport.
Last Season: 32 starts, 1 as sub, 0 goals
Injury potential: He had his time out, and came back not looking so good, but then got his form back. We have cover in his position, so probably on the law of it never happening where it matters less, he’ll play all year.
Brilliance potential: Signed in 2003 and showed his potential after Cole got sent off at Leicester for a stupid tackle. Been doing it ever since. His return from injury this year was uncharacteristic – normally solid.
Breakthrough potential: Solid first choice left back.
Personality: Another Mr Quiet.
Crowd potential: It wasn’t the crowd that turned against him when he came back from injury but the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal blogs and their Tottenham supporting buddies on TV who really got on his back. Two poor games and they were screaming for him to be released. If you ever needed proof of what is seriously wrong with part of the Arsenal blogworld, that moment gave it.
International Disruption Potential: French regular, in the world cup, so now suspended.
Last Season: 40 appearances in all competitions last season
Injury potential: Nothing we know about.
Brilliance potential: Highly rated by Wenger. Voted Best Player in Ligue 2 for the 2008/2009 season by his fellow professionals
Breakthrough potential: His main problem is that he will be compared with Vermaelen.
Crowd potential: “He doesn’t do it for me”: the AAA.
International Disruption Potential: Born in France, but uncapped (so they might want him with 23 players currently suspended). Could also qualify to represent Poland.
Last Season: 0 starts, 1 as sub, 0 goals
Injury potential: Out last season due to an injury picked up playing for Switzerland.
Brilliance potential: Has played over 60 times for Arsenal, and looked to have great potential.
Breakthrough potential: When either of the first two are injured he must be first choice to replace them.
Personality: On Arsenal TV interviews he came across as a lovely guy.
Crowd potential: Depends if the AAA get their teeth into him.
International Disruption Potential: Will start playing for Switzerland any day now.
Last Season: 12 starts, 0 as sub, 0 goals
Injury potential: Hard to say.
Brilliance potential: Has had limited chances – at the end of the season he played against Blackburn but then not against Fulham.
Breakthrough potential: Perhaps as a midfielder?
Personality: He was linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain by the rumour mongers and immediately did an interview saying, “I just want to say I am fully committed to Arsenal. My heart is with Arsenal and the manager. I want to stay here. I want to work hard so I can eventually play for the first-team. My dream is to play for Arsenal week-in, week-out and to be the first choice left back. If I work hard and improve my defensive duties then I think it is a strong possibility. But I am nowhere near leaving.”
Crowd potential: Depends if the AAA get their teeth into him as “second best”.
International Disruption Potential: Will start playing for France during the big change around.
I believe he is now on a proper first team contract, which has already been extended. He’s just 20, and after two years on the road with Nurnberg and Salamanca he looks ready to be part of the squad. Not quite sure how he manages with the passport stuff, but no one seems to have raised that point, so I guess it is ok.
He can play defensive midfield and at centre back and at right back – just the sort of guy you need. I would not be surprised to seem him as our fourth or fifth centre back this season.
Central holding midfield, or full back – maybe even a centre back. Surprised everyone (well me anyway) by breaking through last season out of nowhere – and playing with aplomb. That was 30 December 2009 at Bolton, playing alongside Fabregas and Diaby.
New long term contract signed in January.
In other positions
Song – I believe Wenger sees him as a centre back at some point, and he could certainly drop back there if we have cover for Song in the middle from Diaby, Denilson, Eastmond or Frimpong.
Eboue – is now listed as midfield, but obviously can play right back too.
And the others
Arsenal.com still has Campbell listed as a player – maybe they just haven’t taken his listing down, or maybe he is coming back as cover.
Also in defence we have Miquel, Bartley, Cruise, Gilbert, Hoyte – that’s not the full list of reserve defenders, but it is the list of those most likely to make the breakthrough this year.
But of course we could still sign someone else.
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