Ashburton or Gone For A Burton? Who will stay and who will go at Arsenal this summer

“Hi my name is Vernon O’Leary and welcome to EPSN 8’s new game show
– ‘ASHBURTON OR GONE FOR A BURTON’, brought to you in conjunction with
‘Duffmeister – the official beer of game shows about football’.

Over the next 12 weeks we will be asking the question, based on their
performances over the last season, come September 2013, who will remain at The
Emirates and who will be down the road.

In other words ‘ASHBURTON OR GONE FOR A BURTON,

In this first show, we will be review the performances of The Arsenal
squad over the previous season and our panel of experts will give their expert
view using all their football experience to produce their experts view.

Then the remaining 11 weeks will be a free to air, free for all, free to
phone, free to comment & free to speculate on the ins and outs and whys and
wherefores of Arsenal & the management/board.

So let me introduce you to our expert panel of experts who will run an
expert eye over last season proceedings:

Fabian Durham – TalkSh!te host & hero to every white van man in the
UK

Fabian Chiles – Ex ‘The Two Show Host’

and Barry Baker – BCC 5Live loud mouth

So let’s get this party started.

In One we have; Wojciech Szczęsny – Szcz started the season as the ‘One and
Only’ then hit the buffers in March, suffering from mental issues. Needs
competition it keep him lively.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

Nothing in this game for Two in a bed; it’s Abou Diaby – A season that
started full of ‘Eastern Promise’ ended (predictably) on an EastEnd London
surgeons treatment table. A player, when fit, who can be the beating heart of
the Arsenal midfield, has probably kicked his last Arsenal ball in anger.

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

Two’s company, Three’s a crowd; Bacary Sagna come on down – Bac’s mind
melt versus Brand United sums up his season. Too many stupid mistakes! Too good
a player to allow to go, but I think Arsene Wenger will cash in.

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

Who’s behind door number four; Why it’s Per Mertesacker – The BFG, speed
of the QE2, but reads a good game and has formed a great partnership with Laurent
Koscielny, once the boss grew a pair and dropped the skipper.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

Snakes alive, it’s number five; Thomas Vermaelen – Form has dropped
since taking the lead role and has been usurped as first-choice centre-back by
The BFG & Kos. ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent’ and is another
player you wouldn’t want to leave. Will he be happy on the bench or will the
captain’s curse strike again?

VERDICT: ASHBURTON (hopefully)

How tricks, it’s number six; Laurent Koscielny – Having now joined the
100 club, Kos is a shoe in at centre-back. Performances of late have alerted
the likes of Bayern Munich, but Arsenal will rebuff any advances. Player of the
season, due to his effect on the side since the turn of the year and a fitting
goal scorer for the all important winner against The Tsunami.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

Good heaven(s), here’s number seven; Tomas Rosicky – ‘Mozart Reborn’
another resurgent season for Tomas, slotting into CAM when all looked lost at
the turn of the year. Unlikely to be first choice when all are available, but
an important back-up when required.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

At the gate, here’s number eight; Mikel Arteta – The ‘Quaterback’ of the
team, allowing the liberation of the rest of the midfield by covering the gaps
that appear with intelligent movement and passing. Likely captain next season,
an absolute must. A mystery why he has never at least got a call up for Spain.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

Looking mighty fine at number nine; Lukas Podolski – A steady first
season, which has had its ups and downs and was hampered by a long-term ankle
injury, culminated in 16 goals and numerous assists. Reports that a rift has
formed between Lukas and Arsene, due to his lack of playing time, have been
quashed and Poldi should be back to his best next season.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

Fit again at number 10; Jack Wilshere – GOD, simples!

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

Legs 11; Andre Santos – A Brazilian left-back who can’t defend. Adeus!!!

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

Dig and delve for number 12; Olivier Giroud – Given the unenviable task
of filling R$VP’s shoes, Ollie has come in for criticism in some quarters. 17
goals and 10 assists is a pretty decent return in an apparently dysfunctional
team and his link-up play was sorely missed during his enforced exclusion from
the team at the tail end of the season. May be fighting for his spot come
August, but at least he’ll be around to fight.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

Come down and be seen at number 14; Theo Walcott – He turned his season
around to get his new deal and to be fair has maintained that form until the
season close. Bitching about wanting to play down the middle, it is about time
he realised he’s a better player when he cuts in from the right. Arsenal’s top
goalscorer and wage earner, (21 & 90 respectively) Theo ain’t going
anywhere.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

Always keen at number 15; it’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – A regular on
Arsenal’s and England’s bench, the Ox always performs when called upon.
Hopefully next season will be his big breakthrough to push for a role anywhere
across the attacking midfield.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

Sweet 16; Aaron Ramsey – The go-to guy for the boo boys at the start of
the season, Rambo has turned in some outstanding performances alongside Mikel
in the run-in and turned the jeers into cheers. Has stepped back on his goalscoring
exploits to ensure the rich and famous survive.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

January’s dream at 17; Nacho Monreal – Santos out Nacho in, good bloody
deal if you ask me. Sharing the left-back duties with Kieran so seamlessly that
you can’t tell whose playing. Outstanding left-back who had the honour of being
the only non Barça/Ręal player in the France versus Spain World Cup Qualifier
on 23rd March 2013.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

Not loves young dream at number 18; Sebastien Squillaci – A waste of a
squad number and a serious waste of £50k a week.

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

Ace, King, Queen, at number 19; Santi Cazorla – Absolute steal at £16m,
with 12 goals and 15 assists, Santi is the creative heart of Arsenal’s
midfield. Signing of the season and it was an absolute joke that he didn’t make
the PFA team of the year. Once Arsene susses how to fit him and Jack into
centre midfield, we could be unstoppable.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

Life a plenty at number 20; Johan Djourou – “I joined the club who
wanted me the most. At my age, the priority is to play regularly. To do this, I
did not hesitate to refuse offers with the most exclusive clubs who made important
financial efforts.” Best stay at Hanover then.

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

Where’s my current bun? At 21; Lukasz Fabianski – Arsenal’s number 2 for
the past 2 seasons, Lukasz looked calm and collected whilst covering for
Wojciech during his ‘mental issues’ stage. Not going to replace Szcz, not going
to hang around as the understudy.

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

Two little ducks, 22; Francis Coquelin – Another good young player, who
can play DM or RB, Le Coq has always performed well when asked to. First team
opportunities have been limited and these have been further reduced by Rambo’s
resurgence. Attracting interest from Schalke & his old loaners Lorient.

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

How long will he be at 23; Andrey Arshavin – Appears to have relocated
to London Colney as he only appears at training and hasn’t appeared at the
Emirates since January 20th. Apparently contemplating retiring at the end of
the season at the ripe old age of 31, explains his appetite for the game.

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

(24) Vito Mannone – Due to injuries, Vito had a brief stint as number one,
but has recently slipped back to number three. Wants regular first-team
football. Unlikely to find it at Arsenal.

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

Gooners alive at 25; it’s Carl Jenkinson – If you cut him he would bleed
Arsenal. Has the enthusiasm of a small puppy and never lets the side down when
asked to perform. Future first choice Arsenal and England RB

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

Not missing a trick at 26; Emmanuel Frimpong – the ‘Dench’ will struggle
to make the bench when he returns from loan at Fulham. Not in Arsene’s long-term
plans. Yaw out of here!

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

Oh manner from heaven, it’s 27; Gervinho – Another figure of hate at the
Emirates, Geo can frustrate and inspire in the same movement. Has never
consistently reproduced his form from Lille and is slowly moving down the
pecking order.

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

Swinging on the garden gate with number 28; Kieran Gibbs – Once Cashly
retires, sure to be in with a shout for the England LB slot. This season he has
formed a great partnership with Poldi down the left and has shown he is a
quick, solid defender who can cross the ball. A trait I wish he could teach to
a few others in the team. Is sharing his duties with Nacho, which will only
help the team further.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

End of the line at 29; Marouane Chamakh – Not wanted at Arsenal and not
wanted by West Ham United owner David Sullivan’s son, “I am very sorry
about the news Chamakh has signed a 6-month loan deal, not my pick”

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

Dirty Gertie at number 30; Chu-Young Park – A panic buy, ludicrously
given number 9 shirt, then farmed out to Spain, where he hasn’t performed
either.

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

Life goes on at 31; Ryo Miyachi – A successful loan to Bolton Wanderers was
followed by a loan to Wigan Athletic, where his season was ended after just four
games by an ankle injury. A skilful player yet to be truly tested in the
Premier League.

VERDICT: ASHBURTON

It’s over to you, number 52 – Nicklas Bendtner: Lacking any Paddy Power,
I wouldn’t bet on seeing the self proclaimed ‘best striker in the world’ at The
Emirates again

VERDICT: GONE FOR A BURTON

Well there you have it, that was our illustrious panels view on the
Arsenal squad & the potential comings & goings.

Thank for watching ASHBURTON OR GONE FOR A BURTON, Brought to you in
conjunction with ‘Duffmeister – the official beer of game shows about
football’.

Tune in next week for the first of our ‘Gunner, Summer, Phone-Ins’ where
you get to pass your views on whether the players are up to the task of
carrying the cannon on their chest.

So now it’s

TheSundayMorningGooner: Welcome to my world, step right through the
door, if you like here please stay and read some more….

Steve Wellman


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One Response to Ashburton or Gone For A Burton? Who will stay and who will go at Arsenal this summer

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