I won’t touch on the “Robin Van Persie has signed” yet as there have been been no official news from the club…
But there has been some discussion from Arsene on various aspects of the club, the formation, signings and plans for next season… He started off with the formation, so let’s take a look at what he’s been saying…
Next season we will play the formation and system that most suits the players and the balance of the team. That means it’s not rigid. It can evolve throughout the season, depending on circumstances and personnel. If you play with Theo Walcott for example, you are more tempted to go for three midfielders because Theo is more of a forward than a midfielder in a 4-4-2.
The thought of playing a 4-3-3 certainly springs to mind when Arsene discusses this – of course, it’s something that we’ve done last season – the only problem is that we’d did with the wrong players in the positions… and of course, we hadn’t really practised it pre season. I’d prefer us to master one formation that try and master two formations – it’s a known fact that if you ask a player to play in two different formations, he will not have a naturally formation, and therefore will be constantly adapting his game rather than getting on with the game itself.
For example, playing a 4-3-3 with VP, Arshavin and Theo “up front” and Diaby or Cesc behind the striker doesn’t work – Why? Because, Theo has been playing in a 4-4-2 since he’s played football, so when he plays on the wing, he plays too deep, changing the 4-3-3 into a 4-5-1 – as the wingers are deep, that means one player – that player being Diaby and sometimes Cesc being the “spare” man and moving forward, which basically means we end up with a 4-4-1-1 with the extra midfield player in the hole.
We’ve seen it many times last season and it really didn’t work – my view is that we either need to retrain our side to play 4-3-3 and that means changing the mentality of players such as Theo Walcott to play more forward – but it’s a change of style too and not something I think we can keep on changing week in, week out. Personally, I’d prefer a 4-4-2 with a real defensive midfielder in the squad, but hey I’m not the boss – but I do worry about Arsene’s recent remarks on the formation.
Arsene went on to speak about the forthcoming transfers…
Ideally I would like to bring everybody in before we start back in pre-season training in July. I don’t want to leave it until the end of August. I want to add to the squad and I have identified one or two targets. But identifying players and buying them are two different things. We lost Hleb and Flamini last summer and we have had to rebuild. We don’t want to have to rebuild again so I want to keep all the players together for next season. I don’t want to lose anyone.
And his statements are very positive. Having already brought Vermaelen in, it’s clear he wishes to add more players to the squad and also finally acknowledge the element of rebuilding that was evident this season. He mentions he has identified “one or two” targets and if the boss is to be believed then he’s not looking to strengthen up front, so you’d expect a defensive midfielder and another defender, which would raise questions on whether we will sell players as the boss does say “I don’t want to lose anyone” – but is he referring to any of his top players, and happy to lose players such as Silvestre and Senderos?
One of the top commenters (May and June will be announced together), AJ has recently taken the poll “If you were Arsenal manager, who would you pair with Thomas Vermaelen in central defence?” and there was overwhelming support for Kolo Toure… the results coming in (so far) as: William Gallas 25%, Kolo Toure 56%, Mikael Silvestre 1%, Johan Djourou 3%, Alex Song 2%, A new signing 14%… where was Senderos?
Arsene also spoke about Niklas Bendtner and the improvements he’s made last season:
“Nicklas has made big improvements since the start of the season. He has become an important player for this club. When Nicklas is really switched on and focused, he is a handful for any defence in the world. He has shown that in the second part of the season. People forget how young he is, but I am sure he has won many people over in the second half of the season.
And I’d have to agree with Arsene, I do think Nicky B has come along a lot since last season, but I also agree in the statement “when he is really switched on and focused” because we all know how frustrating he can be when he has one of his off days… more to come from the Danish striker next season, no doubt.
Back to transfer news and more news from Ade’s agent again yesterday when he spoke about Ancelotti, saying:
“He would like to work with Ancelotti, but Chelsea have not contacted us”
Still trying to get a move sorted – and it’s “much a do” about the same as last season when Adebayor attempted to court all the big European clubs without dividend – but this season he’s asked the fans why they don’t like him and reconfirmed his future to the club but then gone and asked his agent to find him a new club. Players nowadays, hey? What can you do?