New Look Arsenal…

It’s been a long summer. We’ve seen some players leave whom we didn’t want to see go, and we’ve seen some players leave that we did want to leave. We’ve seen a handful of players come in through the last couple of weeks, but in the last 2 days, we’ve signed 5 big players, 3 first teamers and have finally added a little depth to our squad too.

After the huge defeat against United, with missing players and injuries galore, it showed quite obviously how thread bare our squad was – the back four against United, Jenkinson, Djourou, Koscielny and Traore will be replaced with Sagna, Mertersacker, Vermaelen, Santos… In fact our new first XI and bench could well be:

Szcznesy

Sagna – Mertersacker – Vermaelen – Santos

Song – Wilshere

Walcott – Arteta – Gervinho

Van Persie

With a bench of 7 from the following Fabianski, Jenkinson, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Frimpong, Diaby, Ramsey, Benayoun, Oxlade, Ryo Miyachi, Chamakh, Park, Rosicky, Arshavin

Suddenly from going from a very weak squad, the signing of 5 players has completely changed our squad.

Most Arsenal fans have a sense of relief and a renewed sense of faith in the squad. Arteta, although not a Cesc, is the closest thing in the Premiership to him and a proven quality player. The fee is believed to be in the region of about £8m – £10m, and considering the impact of the player and need for such a player in our squad, it’s a very good signing and something I am very pleased about. Arsene has had to act after the sales of Cesc & Nasri and also after the mega-rich clubs have bought their players and the deal for Arteta is very good in the circumstances.

If you look at the eleven above, that’s competitive and if you look at the players outside of it, there is some strength in depth… for each position, we have two players…

In fact, let’s take a look at our second XI / options for each position:

Fabianski

Jenkinson – Djourou / Miquel – Koscielny – Gibbs

Rosicky / Ramsey – Frimpong / Coquelin

Oxlade/Arshavin – Diaby – Benayoun/Ryo

Chamakh / Park

Not a bad bunch, hey? What are your thoughts on the transfers? Are we good enough to compete? Are we good enough for a title tilt? Has Arsene done the right thing? The right players? Are you excited?

Over to the comments, but I am definitely very excited now!

  • munya

    At least that’s better but we were expectong young and tarlented holding midfielder if Song z absent I don’t trust Frimpong tackles

  • zachx

    If we buy another DM , AW just blew the chance of Frimpong and coquelin to develop. Keep the faith on those two

  • Walter Musebe

    Let us hope the new players make us proud as Arsenal fans.

  • Bright

    Better than none and if we can’t get a trouphy the lets be in the champions league also player consistency and injury free season will do d magic. thanks to mr Arsene .GUNNERS 4 LIFE

  • jethro smith abara

    Am very very excited with d’new signings now we can compete hard. The only new player who I don’t really see any quality in him is “Jenkinson” even “Eboue” we all complained abt is better than him. I’l just keep praying sagnal doesn’t get too much injuries.

  • http://topyl.blogspot.com Fadtop

    Not mincing words. Am delighted

  • http://dailyarsenal larry charles

    i’m so delighted. i know it’s been a tough day for arsenal. but we must united. the new signings from arsene has made the squad stronger and more competetive. i believe arsenal under arsene can give at least one trophy for us. long live asenal and arsene.

  • olutoni

    I can’t see Sqillacci aanywhere…was that on purpose. Anyways I think there will be a lot of motivation from these signings. Full of experience, I can bet we will see a change of attitude in the squad!!! Nice 1 Wenger. Now the season begins!!!

  • Vazy

    Benayoun is an odd one.. but screw it .. experience and backup, very happy with transfer deadline day overall arteta for an amazing price somehow! hopefully the signings should galvanize our team and offer some much needed experience, looking with a new optimism, hopefully it wont take long for our team to gel and slot in together!

  • Ahmed arab

    It is somehow a busy deadline day and the players we have bought looks that they are the player that we are needed but i was also expecting a defensive medfielder sory it didn,t happen

  • kiki

    It’s a start. I don’t think it is an overwhelmingly trophy material YET. We did lose Fabregas and Nasri. Benayoun and Arteta aren’t perfect replacements, and they are both near 30, but it’s definitely better than nothing. I think we can get at least 4th place this year with this squad.

    But as Vazy said, these transfers bring a lot of experience, some in Champions League which we will need. I think that these transfers can start to give confidence in the youth and inexperienced.

    I thought Arsenal was almost there with the next greatest team, but we just have to start over again in terms of bringing up the young talents and molding our new transfers into the squad.

    I’ve always loved Arsenal’s entertaining tactics, it’s always brought me smiles, but we need clinical finishes if we want more goals and other things of course. I think we have to sit and wait a bit to jump start our season. But I know that I’m in for more smiles this season, and I can’t wait. We will be tested like crazy throughout the competition, and faith is what will get this team through above anything else because Arsenal does have the skills.

  • yemi

    Relief

  • http://www.paradisefaithministries.org Andrew S. from Uganda

    That squad can compete, we had Nasri,Fabrigas and others”the good ones” for some good yrs no Silverwear, time to love, surport, and believe in our new look!!!!! Forget about…….

  • piresistible

    Im shocked and appalled that the club virtually sacrificed our first 3 fixtures without making any real attempt to bring players in and boost our clearly shot morale. We will never know if we would have signed these players had we not shipped 8 at old toilet but at the moment my only emotion is one of relief.

    Mertesacker – as long as we change our defensive approach this will be an excellent signing.

    Arteta – always rated him and despite a last couple of underwhelming years at Everton i have a gut feeling he will have something of a renaissance under us.

    Park – never seen the lad play so will reserve judgment although i must say writing him off before he has kicked a ball is daft in the extreme.

    Santos – Im getting quite excited by the thought of a full back with end product playing for arsenal. I know there are massive question marks defensively but i guess we have to wait and see. He’s taken my lucky number 11 so he has my backing Cool

    But ultimately ill reiterate what i said in the transfer thread, im just excited about seeing new players play for the arsenal. Sick of the same losers coming up short every year

  • jermy

    @pires: Think we are same strength as last summer and will get 4th.
    Just.

    GOALKEEPERS

    Szczesny better than Almunia, but still learning the game.

    DEFENCE

    Mertesacker strengthens central defence, but Sagna remains only proven full back.
    We shall see if Santos can defend, or is a replacement for Arshavin on the left of midfield.

    Without a new defensive coach I do not expect amazing things.

    MIDFIELD

    Defensive Midfield
    Boosted by prodigy Dench Frimpong but how I would have loved to have seen an experienced player to guide him, such as Vertonghen or even Parker.
    Song remains ok but not brilliant.

    Creative Midfield?
    Whilst Cesc and Nasri better skillwise than their replacements Gervinho and Arteta, the replacements should be more motivated and consistent (certainly than Nasri).

    Benayoun as an attacking midfielder/second striker is a decent signing on loan, good eye for a pass and it is absurd the slating he has got on here tonight, though I see him as an impact sub rather than a starter.
    Miyaichi too an impact sub learning his game.
    Ramsey in poor form but hope he recovers to pre-injury form when he had a good pass on him.

    ATTACK
    Attack is the “Elephant in the Room.”

    If Robin Van Persie gets injured it will be tough.

    Chamakh in terrible form.
    Walcott is better than most give him credit for but largely unproven up front, even if that is where I think his future lies. Could combine well with Benayoun if RvP absent?

    Afobe a promising 18 year old but unproven in the league, Park Chu Young unproven, Campbell will be on loan.

  • piresistible

    I mean ffs, you have people on here saying they are pleased with the signing of BENAYOUN! When Chelski are lending Arsenal a player, use your brain, and ask yourselves what that must say about the player’s quality? Why do you think Silvestre was sold to us then?

    I will repeat what I said: people are excited because Wenger has spent so long doing fuck all, that his first half-arsed attempt at acting like a competent manager is being greeted like a golden Jubilee. Arsenal fans should not be praising Wenger for making £25 mil profit in the window imo – which he did.

    They should be asking why Arsenal’s depth of striking options is worse than WBA, Bolton and cash-strapped Everton. They should be asking why the defensive midfield position is atrociously short, and low on quality and numbers. (Frimpong is not the answer, wake up he is a kid).

    I am not going ‘to wait and see’. No fucking chance. I have been hearing ‘wait and see’ for the past seven years and I’ve had enough of waiting. In those seven years of ‘waiting’, Wenger has collected over £38 million in personal wages. It’s complete bollocks. People are entitled to feel joy, their choice.

    It just seems as if Wenger has been feeding some of you shit for so long, that the first crumbs of Ryvita you’re given and you think you’re munching beluga caviar….

    I am also hearing people saying they would be happy with 4th?? Right. So in our 125th year anniversary, after 7 years of mediocrity, many Arsenal fans would be happy going forward by…errr…finishing exactly where we finished so miserably last season!!! Aaaaaand the cycle will continue ad nauseum unti 2014.

    Unbelievable.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    @ piresistible:
    I understand what you are saying but lets not judge until we have seen the new players in an Arsenal shirt.

    I would have loved us to have bought better quality players than we have but the fact remains that there is a definate shift in buying policy and maybe the entire philosophy will change.

    Nearly all of the dead wood has gone, bar a couple (namely Almunia and Squillaci) and he has brought in some experienced players and leaders with long contracts. Arteta is 29 (30 in Feb and is on a 4 year deal).

    The only thing we can do now is give the players we have our full support and keep pressure on the board so they continue to invest in the squad.

    Up the Arsenal!!!

  • yemi

    I just watched the clip of our new LB and i didn’t see one bit of defending in the whole clip !!!!!
    But he sure has skills and can score goals !!!

    We don’t have a LB yet men !!!

  • devday

    @ yemi:
    He is very attacking – couldn’t see any defending at all… but at least he does something… People have referred to him as the left back version of Daniel Alves… not a bad comparison…

  • piresistible

    @dev I think you mean Robeto Carlos – check it out in the mirror. ;-)

  • sharad

    I am not here to defend Wenger but the personal foul mouthed abuse he has endured on forums such as this is completely wrong and unfair.

    Wrong because I believe Wenger is a decent man who has done wonders for the club if you consider his 15 years as a whole.

    Unfair because he has been hung out to dry by Gazidis who has given him no public support at all.

    All the criticisms of Wenger are based on the assumption that he has total control over transfer policy, transfer fees and wages.

    It is impossible in an organisation as big as Arsenal for one man to have so much responsibility for both on and off field matters without help – something has to give and boy did last Sunday prove that.

    So what is Gazidis` role and why do I blame him more than Wenger for the transfer farce?

    Its not denied by the club so must be true but take last January when apparently we did not buy Phil Jones because Wenger thought he was overpriced by £2m. Ultimately we offered much more a few months later and of course he went elsewhere.

    So the question that Gazidis will not answer is why, as Chief Executive, he did not say to Wenger something along the lines of ” I hear what you say about the price but don`t you worry about the finances- that is my responsibility – if you want him I will see what can be done”.

    That, I suggest, is the more normal relationship between Chief Executive and manager but not here. Here we are lumbered with a Chief Exeucutive who wants no responsibility, takes no responsibility and allows Wenger to take all the flack. And why should he take responsibility and go out and invest in players – after all he recently got a massive bonus-reportedly about £800,000.00 which presumably is based on profitability of the club -and investment in players could impact on profits and bonuses. what a conflict of interest that could be but of course we dont know because nobody tells us why Gazidis was awarded such a large bonus but it is a question that should be answered.

    At the beginning of the summer it was obvious Fab was leaving and soon it became clear so was Nasri. Surely it was Gazidis responsibility as Chief Executive to have secured an extension to Nasri`s contract a long long time ago.

    Its not as if there has been no precedents at the club eg Flamini but this leads on to another problem with Gazidis. He arrived at Arsenal with no experience at all of the British and European transfer market. Whereas Dein`s contacts book would be the size of an encyclopaedia , the contact book of Gazidis would be empty at worst, at best fit into your back pocket.

    So we have a Chief Executive who has no experience in transfers and wants no responsibility. No wonder we have experienced the shambles of the past few days.

    And so to the last few days. Suddenly Wenger has a shopping list and somebody is there to help but it aint Mr Gazidis because he is clueless. Emerges on the scene a Mr. Law and an army of negotiators to scramble around for players with the club very much on the backfoot and probably ending up with some players about whom Wenger is unsure.

    Moving on- once Arsenal has made it decision and sell its soul ie go foreign why, unless for self interest has Gazidis supported Kroenke rather than Usmanov. If you are going to be owned by a billionaire you might as well go with the far richer of the two who apparently wants to chuck money at Arsenal and loads of it. Sure Usmanov may have skeletons in his cupboard but dont most multi billionaires. Moralising over ownership ended the moment the decision to go foreign was made

    Maybe Mr. Law and his team were put together by Gazidis – who knows – but will Gazidis ever explain why everything was done at the last minute.

    Wenger has a track record of success – a manager that is still well regarded in football circles despite recent problems; Gazidis has no such track record in European football and has showed no signs of learning on the job.

    The focus has been too much on Wenger and being the man he is, he has not sought to blame anyone else.

    We should do the job for him and demand the removal of Gazidis and replaced by somebody far more competent and experienced when it comes to the issues most important to the supporters.

    And I have not even mentioned the Gazidis pricing review- another sore issue.

    Register your protests with the club. It can and I believe does work.

  • plasios

    @sharad- I was driving back from Gatwick last night listening to the countdown show. Martin Keown was on it and the presenter asked him what he thought of the current situation and was Wenger forced to buy after the 8-2 drubbing at the weekend. I found his answer to be quite interesting.
    He said that he believes it was the other way around and that the defeat at the weekend was designed by Wenger to force the club to allow him to spend! Not the scoreline, the result. He said he firmly believed that and had good reason to do so!

    This suggests to me that it is not him that doesn’t want to strengthen the squad. If Keown’s comments can be taken at face value then much of what AW has said recently can be explained. We all know he is a company man and would never openly slate his employer. I think we mostly believe he has a genuine affection for the club. So are the board as supportive of him financially as they would have you believe or is he their scapegoat? Fair enough, tactically he has been incredibly inept over the last couple of years, but is he quietly disgruntled himself?

    Like the rest of you I haven’t a clue! Personally I cannot wait until he retires. Not because I want him out (I’d actually like to see him having enough money to build another team like 2004) but because I reckon his autobiography is going to be very revealing!

  • edison

    With the new signings average age of about 29, its safe to say transfers objective complete. we now have the perfect mix of experience and youth in the squad.

    Already sick of people comparing Arteta to Fabregas, of course he isnt a replacement for him. Hes a different player all together, and the team must move on from the heavy reliance on Fabregas or Nasri to ringmaster the players around them. For the first time in 6 years id say we actually have a rock solid back four. Santos may be attacking, but hes got the grit determination of an attacking player and the lightning Brazilian pace.

    You watch how Mertesacker will command from the back too, itl have a domino effect on the rest of the team – a new confidence restored in the defence.

  • yemi

    One thing we have now in the team is leaders (captains).
    TV – > Ajax, Belgian Captain
    Mertesacker – > Bremen Captain
    Park –> Korean Captain
    Arteta –> Everton Captain
    RVP –> Arsenal Captain
    Benayoun –> Isreali Captain
    Not leaving out
    Ramsey –> Wales Captain

  • afc4life

    Yemi, you’re right……… we’re full of leaders & captains now – seems to be a theme for our transfer window!

  • Kodjo

    @ Yemi

    You forgot to mention captain of stamping….who wins Frimpong or Song???? lol!

  • fed

    Ten nil against swansea please. With chuchu getting hatrik and arteta for a double ;-)

  • Steve

    I read the BBC bit about Highbury House and all the Law people and Finance people burning the midnight oil. What a laugh. About time they earned there enlarged salaries.

    It is plain to see the Board are not giving the money to Wenger to spend. Every deal has been held up due to the bid being to low or the wages to low.

    Cesc was on around 110K a week (90 odd wages just under 20k annual bonus). Seems that that pays for Artea and Benayoun with that math.

    All the deals should have been done as Un*ted’s was early. They were not due to cash and the board lining they bonuses with a profitable club – profitable from transfer fees and ticket price increase.

    If you think back to January 2 players added then what a difference it would have been. Mertesacker and Arteta – a season changing difference. Whoever never made the money available should be sacked.

  • Bonathan

    Well, the summer and our start to the season has been a shambles. But I guess enough has been said about that now and it’s time to forget about that and move on.

    The signings:

    Mertersacker- Experienced at the highest level, tall, a leader and knows a thing or two about defending. I think the only question mark is can he be as effective in the premiership? Time will tell but he certainly looks as if he’s made for it. Gary cahill is tried and tested in the prem, but as it turns out, bolton weren’t even prepared to accept a very reasonable bid from spurs, and he certainly wasn’t worth shelling out 15m for when we got mertasacker for the price we did. Glad cahill didn’t move to spurs. bolton will be lucky to get half that fee in january.

    Andre Santos- From the clips it is certainly evidant that this guy is effective going forward. very effective, and knows where the goal is. i guess we will find out how good his defending is in due course but certainly, we now have good competition for places at LB now. I reckon this guy has been brought in to maybe play in more advanced positions as well on occasions, which will be handy.

    Mikel Arteta- Firstly, i think he will fit into our style of play well. Very handy for set pieces (so is santos), vast premiership experience, leadership qualities and a quality player. The only question mark is his injuries. He has had a fair bit of bother the last couple of seasons with them but hopefully he will benefit from being part of a bigger squad here.

    Yossi Benayoun- Ok, i was one of those who may have sounded a bit disappointed about this one, but that was only because i was thinking he was going to be the only midfielder we signed and thought he wasn’t quite what we needed. But since we got arteta as well, then that changes my opinion totally. This guy was a very handy squad player at liverpool and was unlucky with injuries and limited opportunities at chelski. I don’t expect him to play week in week out, but this is a quality player to be able to call upon when needed. He is also another who i feel will benefit from our style of play. Again, proven premiership player.

    Park chu-young

    Looks great on the clips! can’t really say much else yet. seems to be comfortable scoring a variety of types of goals. Certainly, one big question mark over us, is how will we cope this year without RVP for a long period (fingers crossed it doesn’t happen this year). last year, chamackh done well, but he ain’t looked good since. I’m still thinking we are yet to see the best from chamackh. But now we have this guy as well for some welcome competition. Certainly, it is going to be a worry until one of these guys can prove themselves as quality cover. Time will tell.

    Overall, a bit worried about arteta’s fitness, but other than that, we have got a big enough squad now it terms of numbers, and we have added some much needed experience to the team. Who knows, maybe that experience is even more important than the quality of the players we lost. Great chance for 4th now. Possibly 3rd. I fancy us to win some silverwear this season as well.

  • Bonathan

    I’d have liked us to keep hold of lansbury as i still think we could have given him a few games this season but no doubt the loan move will also benefit him. I’d have been tempted to keep him and bin off rosicky.

  • Bonathan

    did anybody else notice we sold gilles sunu? 4 year deal with lorient apparentely

  • Robert Li

    My mate (an Everton fan) told me that Arteta did not play much for the last couple of years, his happy for the club getting 10m for him….

  • yemi

    The Sun carries an exclusive with Nicklas Bendtner saying that he will never go back to Arsenal following his loan move to Sunderland.
    “If I can have it my way, I will never play for them again,” said the Dane, who added that he feels he has had “over one and a half years with no real chance to prove myself” at the Emirates. Considering that he appeared 63 times for the Gunners over the past two seasons it’s difficult to get behind him on that score.

  • piresistible

    it is the sun

  • yemi

    @ piresistible:
    Yeah, i know. For him to have gone on loan is a testament to one or two facts
    1. Either No one wanted to buy him outright
    OR
    2. He has been promised a 2nd chance if he does well on loan

  • Honest Pete

    The second XI would be relegated for sure