Sunday, August 02, 2009

Fabregas, Arshavin and Eduardo could win Arsenal the league this season, if they stay fit.

The first thing to bear in mind is that we haven't lost anyone critical to the team's coherency or ability during this post-season. As I said in my last post, I think we've, at most, lost players who were our fourth-best striker and fourth-best defender. The fact both started games last season doesn't mean anything; even if they were first choice, Arsene, like myself, was suitably unimpressed with both of them to sell them off. I truly believe if Arsene wanted to have kept them, he would have.

Morevoer, we have replacements for them, already.

So, This is not a repeat of the 2008 debacle when we lost three central midfielders in a year - diarra, flamini and gilberto - and replaced them with three very raw kids - Song, Denilson, Diaby (and possibly Ramsey).

Moreover, Toure and Adebayor weren't 'talismatic' sales - neither carried such gravitas in the club that their sale left some form of psychological gap, in the way that the sales of Vieira and Henry did, for instance.

So, in short, for the first summer for a long time, perhaps since 2005, we're not having a difficult summer in terms of losing players in the transfer window. All the key players in the squad are staying. Please remember this, because I've already seen one report yesterday declare that Arshavin has begun to 'fill the gap left by Adebayor'. I'm really convinced that there is any gap to fill. Bendtner and Vermaelen have filled it already, and we're getting rid of player who, by all accounts, were causing division in the dressing room.

The only position in the squad where we need to thicken things up a bit is central midfield, because whilst Song is increasingly looking the part, beyond him its just Denilson and Diaby, who i still don't rate, and Ramsey, who may need another developmental season.

But let's focus on what we're going to keep this season: players such as Arshavin, Fabregas, Eduardo, RvP, Gallas, Sagna, Clichy, etc.

The first three, in particular, are trophy winning players.

Arshavin is by far and away the best half-striker I've seen play for the club since Bergkamp. I would compare him to Henry but I think they are too dissimilar, except in the fact that they can both change games in the blink of an eye. A player like Andrey inspires the team, because the rest of the squad knows he can produce a moment of brilliance that will create or score a goal, that no-one else in the pitch, perhaps in the premier league, could produce.

Fabregas is looking sharp after his injury and has already begun to, thrillingly, link with Andrei for goals. The relationship between those two could be a huge determinant of our success next year.

As could the fitness and the use of Eduardo. Eduardo is the best finisher at the club, perhaps one of the best in European football. He's better than Huntelaar, that's for sure. But after the seriousness of the injury he sustained, how much can we rely on him? Look at Diaby - i'm pretty sure his similar injury has prevented him from being able to play more than 5 games in a row, due to its lasting effect on his still developing body.

If Eduardo, Arshavin and Fabregas say fit, and are consistently picked in a formation which maximises the potential of the trio, we will win something next season, quite simply because they will give us a combined attacking force which will devastate most teams. Even if our defence remains a bit shaky, they will get us the goals that can push us that extra 5% further, which is all we're lacking in the second half of last season.

So, perhaps a little bit more defensive steel is needed, but that's about it (as I write this, Song has just made a tremendous last-ditch tackle in the box to deny Rangers a goal).

And watching the game today, young Jack Wilshere might just be the joker in our pack. He is obscenely talented and he cost us practically nothing. My only real concern is the Robin van Persie engima. Where is his best position? Is he good enough to have the rest of the team, or at least forward line, built around him? I'm not sure if I know the answer to either of those questions.

So maybe, take a deep breath, we don't need that many signings; I think next season might just be fun.


Goonerboy said...

Wilshere is insanely good. Also nice to see Ramsey with the assist.

Anonymous said...


To suggest that Toure was your FOURTH choice defender, or Adebayor your FOURTH choice striker, is the most retarded thing i've ever read.

Bitter fans. Joke club. No class.

sol said...

wilshere is phenomenal. and just think, we still have walcott, nasri and vela to add to our attacking options:

eduardo, rosicky, bendtner, vela, wilshere, arshavin, nasri, walcott, van persie - 9 players for 4 positions.

like u say, as long as those key players stay fit.....

arsenalista said...


To suggest that Toure was your FOURTH choice defender, or Adebayor your FOURTH choice striker, is the most retarded thing i've ever read.

Bitter fans. Joke club. No class."


1. Van Persie.
2. Eduardo.
3. Arshavin.

Not to mention Vela, Walcott, and Bendtner.

For Toure, Gallas was paired with Djourou several times last season, OVER Toure. He just never came back to his form before his malaria. Granted, Fish-Face is pretty useless, and Song has been moved to DM. But Verma fills the flagging Toure's hole nicely.

sol said...

anonymous at 5.05pm - i assume ur a man city fan?

u paid £25 mil for adebayor. u need to reassess who is the 'joke club' u imbecile.

ur team is made up of a bunch of mercenaries motivated by money. ur the club with no class.

one more thing - fuck off.

Anonymous said...

"bitter fans. Joke club. No class."

LOL what a loser trolling arsenal blogs to take a swipe...get a life mate

Anonymous said...

Garbage. Arsenal's attacking potential has never been in doubt. They won't get close to winning anything (apart from the Emirates Cup) without a top goalkeeper, a centre back who can head the ball and a defensive midfielder to screen the back four.

This IS a repeat of the 2008 debacle in that not much has changed since the start of last season.

Wenger always has one target (Inler, Baptista, Melo etc.) and no 2nd choice.

But the board don't care - 4th place and a decent run in the cups means the cash keeps rolling in. Why spend £40m on players to finish three places higher and win an extra £1.5m in prize money?

Gonk said...

Did I just read a post from a City fan, accusing a Gooner of being bitter? And not just that, that our club was a joke with no class???

Now, that is funny!

geery Brown said...

Kolo and Ade were never 4th choice. Kolo is a great player and Ade is capable of being great. Please do not use terms like half-striker, it will make mega ego Palmer even more conceited. He already thinks he is the special one.
You will be wrong about Diaby he has great skill and will come good. Don't forget Merida either way we have more, better options in midfield than last year- but we still can't defend a basic ball into the box- we must get some defenders and better defensive structure or else all that creativity will be wasted.

FrankCastle said...

I have a concern that the coming based on his performance today, I fear this season's repetitive moan from some sections of the fans will be that Wilshere should be played more often, I dare say fuelled by the media's insistence. We still need to give him time to develop and allow his body the time to cope with the rigors of EPL life

Anonymous said...

Rosicky will make a huge difference along with the players you've mentioned if he stays fit.

The Mouse said...

Was Eboue making a statement by wearing a Rangers shirt when the boys lifted the Emirates Cup?

To me it looked like a dig at the club.

What do you think?

rafi said...

Adebayor is meant to have taken over as the focal point of our attacks from thierry. The verdict is an unequivocal: failed. He never even approached half what the king did. in just 2 seasons defenders worked him and was a sorry sight throughout last season.

Toure was converted to defence having failed to nail a midfiled place. and after a very successfull 1 and half years he was exposed dismally at AFCON and was never the same player. he was OK as the last of the invincibles but never really the safe head of a defence act, so yea. loss but not the end of the world for him. ade was actually waste of space. the manager was trying too hard with him. unfortunatley adebayor stopped growing as a player rather prematurely 07/8. i think thierry left him just when he(bayor) needed him most.

Begeegs said...

Diaby can't play 5 games in a row because of the injury he suffered? Really dumb comment. In the future, please don't comment about medical things that you know nothing about...

Anonymous said...


i think most gunners are happy to see ade gone. when he first came he was good. after we upt his pay he was crap. he has no class and arsenal made him. man city have no class so they both suit, he is now at the right club. arsenal have the most class in the world thats why we do not win the league and wengar does not get sacked(ps . if we did keep ade for another season i think aw would deserve the sack.) toure is a hard working player but even he started to flop a few games i saw last season and he was like a headless chicken. so whether first choice or not they were tried and failed and now flogged. man city are doing what ranieri done before he was sacked. he (hughes) is under pressure to be the best in a short period of time so he buying anybody that is available regardless if they fit or not. no class. moriniho on the other hand done research and got the best power forward the best winger and center midfielder or top 3 in the world. drogba robbin and essien. chelsea also had no class but in morinho had a game plan. everybody knows arsenal are on the up. we do it with class and a feel good factor and a classy way of playing top class football with the likes of wilshere and cesc and eduardo.

bottom line is ade lost the plot and so did toure. toures only plus point was that he was a hard worker other than that he was not the best of the bunch. ade and toure were ment to be the best, they were paid as the best but last season showed they were not able to be the best.
so it was great to hear we sold ade and i have grown to accept that we are better off without toure. 25 and 15 million is very good money for 2 players who have flopped.

Anonymous said...

Like it or not Adebayor was at best THIRD choice striker. There really is no argument that Wenger would start him ahead of Eduardo and RVP. The Toure/Gallas pairing simply didn't work well, and they didn't get along. Of the two Wenger obviously prefers Gallas, and with good reason since Toure never approached his peak since catching malaria (as others have pointed out). I don't think either Adebayor nor Toure are bad pick ups for Man City, but they have different needs than we do. Toure will give them heart, which they have little of; Adebayor will give them goals. But the reality is that neither was going to be in the starting XI for Arsenal this year. With that in mind, the dough we got for them was a great deal for Arsenal. Really it's a win-win for both teams.

With Eduardo, RVP, Arshavin, Rosicky, Nasri, Walcott, Vela, Bendtner, Cesc, and maybe Wilshire/Ramsey we have a ton of goals coming this season. As for the defense, meh. We played like crap almost all of last year and finished in the semis of the Champions League, semis of the FA Cup, and fourth in the Premiership. Sure that's not where we want to be, but it ain't chopped liver either, especially considering how inept we were at times defensively (in the beginning of the season) and offensively (in the middle of the season). This year we'll simply outscore the lower table and that will make a big difference.

boston arse said...

Eduardo hasn't yet shown that he is a better striker over an entire campaign than Ade. Remember, he was just coming into his own when he was injured. That being said, I don't know a single Arsenal fan who would choose Ade over Eduardo.

As for Toure, it's entirely unclear that he's worse than either Gallas or Djourou. Remember, it was Gallas that kept making all the individual errors that led to goals. Arsene repeatedly gave Djourou the chance to win a starting role, but he failed to capitalize. Was Toure the worst of the three? Maybe, but the post was written in the tone of "we just Pascal Cygan, that won't hurt."

That being said, the new formation, a full year of Arshavin, and the return of Rosicky and Eduardo has me very excited.

Russ said...

Agreed. And Ive been saying it for a while.

Did you see UEFA reiterate their concern for the debt at British clubs? I honestly believe the model that AW has introduced to Arsenal is the only sensible way forward. Randy got a lot of credit at Villa last year but if you look at how much dosh O'Neill has spent... well which squad would you rather Arsenal's or Villa's??!!

Also look at Liverpool selling Alonso. Man U selling Ronaldo. Chelsea with a new manager. Man City spending haphazardly. Arsenal look stronger and stronger by the day... i hope the boo boys from last winter feel embarrased.

PS Song will be awesome this yr.. just u watch. and im sure Verm could easily fill in in Def Mid - Ajax players are always so comfortable on the ball and have great awareness that im sure it wont be a problem.

JohnnyBrasco said...

good article. certainly agree that we have more than enough attacking talent at the club to be successful this season. but i'm very concerned about how we're gonna cope defensively. i think wenger made the right move selling toure (especially considering the fee), but now senderos as well!? i really hope he's lined up another centre back otherwise were very short on cover if we get injuries (which we inevitably will). a run of games with silvestre in there could potentially cost us dear if his performances last season are anything to go by. & i know it's been said a milion times before but we have to sign a top-quality defensive midfielder if we're gonna mount a serious title challenge. veloso would fit the bill perfectly imo, prob'ly wouldn't come cheap but would be worth the money - & there should be @ least £20m of the ade / toure cash to spend so what's stopping wenger making a bid!?

wanyaland said...

Van persie is the most talented player in Arsenal.. No doubt about that.