Wenger has to decide ‘who plays where?’ Certainly right wing & beside Le Coq, before making signings

I’m not going to talk about transfers, please revert to the very needed and classy Media Watch section on Arsenal’s website for that.

Don’t be misled by the title then, the whole point of this blog is trying to understand how Arsène Wenger sees the Arsenal going into next season.

Seriously tough decisions  to make ahead of new campaign

Seriously tough decisions to make ahead of new campaign

We were all happy with the way the season ended: we finished third in the league, we won the FA Cup again and we looked very strong and balanced, as a team.

One might think that we’ve finally found a good line-up to give a real go at winning the league and – why not – Europe; I would love to think so, too, if it wasn’t for one little detail: the line-up used by the manager was a kind of accident.

A pleasant surprise and not a plan

A pleasant surprise and not a plan

I’m not saying Arsène Wenger was lucky to find the perfect balance, I’d rather say that it was not the one he had in mind at the beginning of the season; the starting XI famously fielded for six times in a row for the first time since 1994 is composed of a third-choice right-back who was supposed to be on loan somewhere in the Championship, a holding midfielder expected to be farmed out before being sold at the end of the season, an advanced playmaker moved twenty yards backwards and a central midfielder playing at right-wing.

Openly frustrated on the right wing

You can’t deny it sounds a bit accidental, can you?

I am very curious to see what’s on the manager’s mind. It is virtually certain we will add a couple of players to the current squad and we are not likely to lose any big names this summer, hence the competition to make the team would be amazingly fierce.

There are so many questions popping out of my mind that I can barely list them, however if I’d be asked to name one I would know exactly which one that would be.

Thanks for asking!

My first and main question would be: who is going to fill the right-wing spot?

Aaron Ramsey is not a winger and looks wasted there, unable to surge from the central channel and limited in his excellent box-to-box game; same for Jack Wilshere, who would be denied the chance to break the opponents’ lines with a sudden burst like he loves to do. Also, although excellent at converting a loose ball into a dangerous counter attack, Danny Welbeck wouldn’t add enough goals and assists from that position – spending too much time and energy chasing his counterpart.

Ox – Began last season as first choice right winger

The only player with a good profile to fill this position looks to be Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but his skills and pace are hampered by his struggles with fitness and unreliable final product.

I prefer not to mention Theo Walcott because a) he might not be around next season and b) will never offer enough support to our right-back.

That’s it then, if Arsène Wenger doesn’t explore the market to fill that gap, it would either be a makeshift winger or a player whose contribution to the team is fluctuant.

Not a great perspective for a Club whose ambition is to win the league.

Will Arsène Wenger find his man and sign him from another Club, what would happen to Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere? The three of them would end up fighting with a solitary spot alongside Francis Coquelin, each of them offering something different and unique.

Its Coq plus one but which one? – His partner from Youth team?

I can’t imagine any of them sitting on the bench for too long, nor would I like to see one of them leaving but it would be naïve to think that any of them would be happy with a part-time job at the Club: the Spaniard is in his prime and is playing the best football of his career in his new role, while Aaron Ramsey is ready to hit the peak and Jack Wilshere seems finally ready to resume the excellence demonstrated back in 2011 against Barcelona.

Sacrificing one of these players would be as much wasteful as playing them out of position, that’s my humble opinion.

Le Boss scratching his head!!

Arsène Wenger has so much work to do to shape the current squad into a title-winning team, the immensity and difficulty of that task shouldn’t be underestimated because it could result in another revolution.


Can’t wait to see!



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6 Responses to Wenger has to decide ‘who plays where?’ Certainly right wing & beside Le Coq, before making signings

  1. Kcee June 17, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    Chelsea won the league because the team was always unpredictable. They had the core team members but other positions were always rotated for unpredictability and fresh energy. Wenger does the opposite. He has only rotated when injury occurs. The last three games of the season saw what unpredictability could bring to a team. Walcott was brought in and defenders were confused because they were only used to one type attack in Oliver Giroud.

    • AndreaR June 17, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

      Hi Kcee, thanks for your opinion; I agree unpredictabililty will be key to mount a serious challenge, however Chelsea rarely changed their starting XI throughout the season: 7 of their players started 32+ games in the Premier League, with Costa (24), Willian (28) and Oscar (26) missing out some of them due to injuries. In facts, Ramires has been the only one able to occasionally disrupt José Mourinho’s ideal XI with eleven starts, any other player started less than 10 games – I wouldn’t call it rotation, to be honest.

  2. a June 17, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    Couldn’t agree with you more regarding the transfer market, we are linked with so many players its best to just ignore- yes i would like to see new players but i am finding myself scratching my head to what do we do with all our midfielders and how do we play them perhaps we play a 4-6-0 ?

    regarding the right wing role, i am hoping next season our starting front three is, sanchez, walcott and ox, yes they lack height but the pace and work rate of sanchez and ox would be an asset,

    if giroud or welbeck were to be brought on then theo could pushed to the right or subbed , but i believe ox should be starting every game now , I am also hoping gnabry gets game time next season after the last one was hit through injury

    before we see players coming in i think some need to leave – do we have room for another striker , defender and another cm? when i say room as in if they are expensive signings who’s position is under threat

    as much as i like ozil and carzola maybe one of them may have to leave , i wouldnt want to see wilshere, ramsey or camberlain have to contemplate there futures elsewhere even before they have hit there prime, two out of those three should be playing regular and in there preferred positions

    • AndreaR June 17, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

      Thanks a, I appreciate you’re taking the time to comment on this.
      Your Alexis-Walcott-Chamberlain attacking line could be really interesting, I’m quite sure we’ll see it from time to time.
      Personally, I am a big fan of Welbeck and I hope Arsène Wenger will give him a run a centre-forward next season, he could surprise us all.

      About players leaving, I only see Cazorla as potential goer since Özil is the fulcrum of AW system and both Ramsey and Wilshere are part of our British Core and younger, compared to the Spaniard.
      It’s be sad to see our little magician leave, tho!

  3. Andrew June 17, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    I dont buy into the Walcott cant play right wing because he ” will never offer enough support to our rightback” thing. First off all the right back’s job is to defend & if he does the job hes paid to do he wouldnt need Walcott helping him out too much. The problem is the right back going forward too much leaving spaces behind for Walcott to chase stupidly. Sagna hardly did this so he and Theo on the right worked. I’d personally prefer The Ox but Theo offers more in the attacking third which is the wingers main job. Theo can defend from the front by pressing whilst the defender does the job he is paid to do. If we let our defenders defendvand attackers attack we’ll be fine. Llungberg wasnt exactly a defensive stalwalt in his day mind you.

    • AndreaR June 17, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

      Hi Andrew, thanks a lot for your comment!
      I’m sorry but I do not agree with you, wingers are requested to chase the opponent’s full-backs to prevent our full-backs to go into 1 v 2 situations – and Theo isn’t very willing to do that.
      I do prefer him to play centrally, as a striker, and I hope he could get some playing time next season.
      Of course, defenders are paid to defend but in Arsène Wenger’s very fluid system it’s vital that players help each others, something that didn’t happy when Theo (or Poldi, i.e.) played on the wings.
      Ljungberg was one of the players covering the most ground during each game, doing enough to ensure Lauren wasn’t too exposed; if Walcott could replicate that – or what Sanchez does – he could be a regular at RW

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