Leadership and defensive composure under question!

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It annoys me when a pundit such as Graham Souness talks about Arsenal. For years he’s been blubbering on about defensive frailties and a lack of leadership at the club. He constantly talks about how Arsenal can never win the league under Mr Wenger.

Over the years I have overlooked his comments as being someone from the ‘Old School’, i.e. someone who was dirty and did not care about the beautiful side of the game. However it is getting harder and harder to ignore such voices.

Everything the Souness spouts on about seems to be right, when the going gets to the toughest Arsenal fold like a pack of cards. Alexis aside there seemed to be no one on that field against Man City who really could, pass, shoot or even run.

The problems stem from Granit Xhaka in midfield, I have never seen such a weak performance, especially from a player who came with a massive reputation. He still has age and time to improve, but he will have to learn very fast.

Behind Xhaka and Coquelen we had our so called captain Koscielny and Gabriel. The later probably could not get into the Sunderland side on current form. Neither player showed any kind of dominance, no leadership and most worrying of all, the ability to string a simple 2 yard pass together.

Koscielny on his day is probably one of the leagues top defenders, but he can also have days where he has an absolute stinker. Yes he does not have Mustafi next to him to help out, but surely for such a good defender he can do better. Is he really the right choice of captain?

It is time Arsenal invested in a leader, he doesn’t have to be better than what we have he just needs to knock a few heads together in times of toughness. Viera, Adams or Keown would have rallied the troops at 1-0 up yesterday, this is something the Koscielny simply can’t do. Even an average player such as James McCarthy would make a difference. He might not be as talented as Coquelen or Xhaka but he surely will bring more in terms of the physical and mental side to the side. Danny Drinkwater is another who comes into this category. Players like these will improve their game, but bring another side to the game.

Ultimately I still truly believe that Arsenal missed a golden opportunity to get Jurgon Klop, this surely will be something we will rue in years to come. Wenger has an important January to come, if he is not wise we will see another battle for fourth.

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Arsenal finally have a defence

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Arsenal seem to have finally found the missing piece of the defensive puzzle. The signing of Mustafi so far looks to have plugged the hole created by numerous average defenders that Arsenal have had over the last few years.

The injuries to Mertesacker and Gabriel may have seemed like a major problem at the time, but this could have been the best thing to happen to Arsenal this season. It meant that Wenger was forced to buy. Mustafi now seems like a bargain, a snippet of the price paid for John Stones by Manchester City.

The injuries also meant that we got to see the other new centre back Rob Holding in action. He looks to be the real deal, lets just hope he can develop the way we all think he can. We have seen a few games with Mustafi and Koscielny now at centre back and they seem to have the early signs of what looks like a complementary partnership.

As a back five, Arsenal can now boast to be up there with the top premiership sides. I would say only Spurs can match us in terms of defensive quality, although we shade it with our strength in depth.

Hector Bellerin, Petr Cech and Nacho Monreal now make up the rest of the pretty solid defence. Having the odd defensive lapse is what has cost Arsenal in the past, lets hope the guys at the back can keep up the good performances.

Crazy Transfer Window & John Stones Hijack Deal

This is the first transfer window since Uefa decided to relax FFP, it also is the another summer where the TV money sky rocketed yet again. These two factors combined have created a crazy transfer window.

One where all Premier League clubs can afford to compete for the worlds best players as well as hold other clubs to ransom over the sale of their star players. Add to the mix the FA’s plea to get more English players in each side the value of English players intensify’s. Having said that the most ridicules transfer story was the one linking Neymar to Man Utd.

So now we know the going rate in the current transfer market the question is why are Arsenal not playing ball? We are still looking for the cheaper options that are unproven. This is probably the reason we are not getting Benzema. I suggest we put all our money up front this window and go in for the following players: Cavani, Illeremendi/Carvalho and why not try to hijack the Stones deal?

John Stones Chelsea

In my opinion the side that signs Stones will get best English defender for the next decade or so. This means that despite there being an over inflated transfer value on most players, Stones may actually be worth the money.

I believe he is already good enough to get a place in Arsenal, Chelsea or Man Utd’s first XI. With Koscielny having a on going injury problem and Mertesacker getting older we probably need another quality CB. I think Gabriel has everything to quality, whilst Callum Chambers needs game time to develop into a good CB.

It seems that Stones will end up at Chelsea, seeing as they have chased him all summer and he now has submitted a transfer request. This does not stop us from putting in a bid for the player.

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If we did put any bid together, Everton may be more willing to except a bid from any other club apart from Chelsea who have publicly chased their man. As part of the bid I would also loan them Callum Chambers. He could really benefit by first team football at Everton who do not have many other CB’s. That is a win win situation for all. Chambers gets first team football, Stones gets his wish to play in the Champions League, Everton get good money and a potentially quality replacement and Arsenal get a top CB.

What is the worst that can happen? We may miss out on the player but may force Chelsea to pay even more for him. Saying all this I know we will not go in for Stones and will miss out on yet another quality English player.

Do you think Arsenal should sign another CB?

The Arsenal Rightback Conundrum?


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With the injury to our first choice rightback (Debuchy) and the loan move away for Carl Jenkinson, we are now left with Hector Bellerin and Callum Chambers to play at rightback. It seems that Bellerin is currently ahead of Chambers in that role currently, but what is the longterm plan?

If fit Debuchy would be the first choice in this position. His experience and positional sense is invaluable. We have truly been robed of the best of him this season. So the next question is to who is the understudy.

Carl Jenkinson was the backup to Sagna for the last two seasons. He did not get much game time, but when he did he was pretty good. His strengths lie in his energy levels. His crossing is not to bad either. I feel Wenger sent him on loan this season to gain match experience. For West Ham he has become a real fans favourite, as he was with the Arsenal fans. We should see him back with Arsenal next season. Lets not forget he himself thinks his best position is at centre back.

Callum Chambers started the season on fire. He was our best defender until we played Swansea. It seems that he played more games than we would have liked him too because of injuries. Most people do say that his best position is centre back, I agree with this.

Hector Bellerin is the same age as Chambers and has really come to the party recently. On current form he can’t be dropped, but the question now is if he can last the pace of a long season? I do think a loan move away to a mid table premiership club would benefit him next season, especially if he is third choice for right back. I can see Bellerin moving into right midfield one day, due to his pace and excellent ball control.

There is space for all these players at Arsenal just not at right back. Carl Jenkinson is favourite to be sold next season, but I feel this would be a wrong move. He should be the backup to Debuchy, Chamber should be the 3rd or 4th choice centre back and Bellerin could move to a club like West Ham on a short term loan.

Who should be back up to Debuchy, vote below: