At least 2, Mert and Giroud, not good enough for the Arsenal Spine – Hard Hitting Truths

Transfer season is upon us and the rumours have begun. We’re being linked with all sorts of player across Europe and it has got the more naive supporters anxious. Some are more relaxed and some are convinced we don’t need to add much, at all if anything. I have to strongly disagree.

If we’re happy with top 4 and a luxury domestic cup then the squad is fine but if we really want a title push and progression in Europe then we have some areas to fix up and that’s right through the spine of the team.

In terms of importance this is my order:

Centre Forward; Central Defender; Goalkeeper; Defensive Midfielder


Good but not good enough to be our 9

Good but not good enough to be our 9

This has become quite a sensitive topic for years and our options are a lot stronger now than they ever have been since Van Persie departed.

Personally I’d like to see Theo Walcott given a go in attack from the off, I think he has all the attributes to be a success there however I’m certain that at some stage next season Giroud will be back as no. 1 in that role. We thought Sanogo could once potentially displace Ollie which didn’t happen, then Welbeck. Theo could join a long list of those that have failed to fully establish themselves as No. 1.

Could Theo establish himself as our 1st choice?

Could Theo establish himself as our 1st choice?

Preferably Theo succeeds there and we have the mobility and pace we need in that role with Giroud being efficient backup and everyone is happy but history suggests Wenger will favour Giroud eventually and in that case a change is required because Giroud certainly isn’t a title winning striker, sorry to break it to you.

The fact that the ones who believe in him actually have to type up an article or evaluate in discussion ‘why Giroud is good enough’ is enough proof that he actually isn’t. We’ve had this ‘is he, is he not’ debate every single year since he arrived.

3 years is long enough for me and the lad seems to suffer a confidence crisis every year when doubted, his goalscoring record has improved in the big games but the very biggest fixtures for the tiniest hope of the 2 big trophies (Chelsea, Monaco) was where he miserably failed to deliver.

The Nightmare on Monaco Street

Even if Walcott did well in the position I can see Wenger at some point pushing him out to the right to accommodate Giroud. This is why I would like a new complete striker altogether.

A team has never won the title without a world class striker:

2015 – Diego Costa

2014 – Aguero

2013 – RVP

2012 – Aguero

2011 – Rooney

2010 – Drogba

See where I’m going here? Giroud isn’t in this category and never will be.


A disgrace as a captain?

Another position where we may have internal solutions but again I have doubts as to whether our requirements will fully be rectified.

Personally I don’t want to see Mertesacker starting on a weekly basis anymore; I’m yet to get over his antics year. His lack of effort, disgraceful comments and costly mistakes, during the first half of the campaign. It sounds like I’m describing a teenager here, wrong. It’s the man with over 100 caps for the world champions, the one likely to be our next captain. Last season defined him as not only a player but a man, a weak one at that.

He only seems to be bothered when Koscielny is playing; he hides when he has to guide the likes of Chambers and Monreal through the position. Somebody who’s supposed to be our rock at the back, sad really.

Not that these are the only reasons I want him dropped, of course he’s a clever defender on his day but we still have to accommodate his lack of pace continually. It’s hard having him and Giroud in the same side because we have to push up and get players close to Ollie to get more from him but we also have to sit deep to make up for Per’s severe lack of mobility.

Lack of pace costs him and us

Gabriel is an interesting signing and I like what I’ve seen, he’s a fighter and has a great leap but I feel if he’s to have a successful partnership with our best defender Koscielny one of them will seriously need to change their games otherwise it’ll be Vermaelen-Koscielny MKII where we see both players attack the same ball constantly.

Laurent’s best partnerships have always been with a very tall commanding defender like Merts and Djourou (yes I know the latter was poor) so I’d love to bring in an upgrade on Merts with similar attributes such as reading the game but also more mobile, commanding in the air and a tougher mentality.

Gabriel and Koscielny could be Vermaelen/Kos Mark II

I find it annoying that Koscielny is always tasked to mark the opposing best CF’s despite some height contrasts. Mertesacker should’ve picked up Gomis for his goal and also Fellaini in the box before the ball dropped to Herrera at Old Trafford but as always Per takes up the easy option.

We don’t have room for another CB with Chambers also in the mix but if it required letting Mertesacker go for an improvement I’d be all for it but very unlikely given his established seniority in the side.



I see this as more of a case of taking advantage of an opportunity, like Cech being available for instance but I don’t feel this is as high a priority as people think.

I still believe in Sczezney’s potential he was better than De Gea in 13-14 and pretty much level prior to then. He does have a lot of maturing to do however but he has all it takes to be a top GK

Down but not out

As I said if an opportunity to land someone like Cech arrives we should take it but let’s relax. Cech has become seriously overrated since losing his place to Courtois, it tends to happen where the less a player plays the better he apparently becomes. Cech has shown severe signs of declining ever since his head injury and although he’s returned to a very good level is he worth jeopardising the futures of our promising keepers in Sczezney and Martinez?

Really the answer?

Petr could be a similar coup to Van Der Sar going to United and providing a solid couple of years but after that we’re on the search again because Woijech had to go elsewhere to prevent his career from stagnating.

Ospina is solid No. 2 but will never be good enough for No. 1 in my mind. Another one who bottles big occasions like Monaco, could’ve been sent off against Chelsea, was poor at White Hart Lane, I’d rather he was shipped if we had to make room but as a new arrival unlikely.

Best case scenario: Cech is brought, Sczezney goes on loan to Southampton (Forster is still out for a while and they’re in Europe) to prove himself consistently in the league, whilst Ospina is retained as No. 2. This will allow us to know whether Sczezney is good enough to return whilst we have a more trustworthy No. 1. If Woijech fails then there’s still Emi Martinez who I believe has huge potential.



Wenger has already hinted at buying a player in this area which slightly annoys me considering we were never active in search to improve this position when we desperately needed one, Coquelin has eased the the need but a capable backup is crucial.

Vital – Simple as that

Coquelin has shown how vital it is to have somebody who breaks up play and provides the platform for our more creative players to express themselves. If Coquelin picks up the inevitable Arsenal injury then we’re in big trouble.

Some people strangely want Coquelin replaced due to his distribution, they seem to want a Busquets player in there who can dictate our tempo as well as sit. Another thing I hate to inform, it’s not Coquelin’s job. It’s the job of his partner to build play; this is why Wenger has pushed Cazorla into the position instead of Ramsey.

Ball winner and play maker – Coq and Santi

In the PL you absolutely must have a destroyer. We’re not Barcelona where we will have 80% possession every week in a more technical league. This is the Premier League where you need power and fight in various quick tempo’d games. Coquelin brings this to the table and does so efficiently, he’s a specialist ball-winner.

If we can find a player that can interrupt opposing attacks as well as Coquelin and also distribute better then I’m all for upgrading but Francis has earned the right to be first choice in the side with potential to improve his on the ball skills, don’t forget he was formerly a more offensive player and showed signs of what he can do going forward in the cup final. His switch out to the left started our first goal.



So there you have it. Our spine still needs strengthening if we really want to challenge. I’d like at least 2 of these positions to be improved on this summer.

I think only a striker, goalkeeper and defensive midfielder may be brought in realistically and I hope that they are all of quality but the positions listed above are our main weaknesses in that particular order.

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One Response to At least 2, Mert and Giroud, not good enough for the Arsenal Spine – Hard Hitting Truths

  1. afc123 June 14, 2015 at 9:55 pm #

    Don’t think Theo can play as a striker, doesn’t have the required movement at strike, and can get lost in that role not saying Giroud doesn’t get lost ( he does at lot) but his strength and physicality does challenge defenders, plus it seems when he does play at strike the ball moves away from him alot, (alot more than giroud ) so a forward is a must especially a out an out striker.

    In defence we have Gabriel and he does seem a top quality defender, the Mertersacker comments you made bemused me, he always has the right attitude and is a genuine leader in the squad. A CB is the least of my concern.

    Goalkeeper need for obvious reasons

    Upgraded on coqelin needed he will get better and goes to show what a dedicated midfielder would do to the team but someone who can transition defence to attack and can give possesion.

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