Time for a full ‘Want to Stay’ and not ‘Want Away’ Arsenal 11?

The future

The morning after a hard fought away win in Europe, courtesy of a wondrous goal, we should be waking up to different back pages than the one informing us that Mesut Ozil has told his his pals he is off to Man United. However I find myself neither upset or angry, more resigned and indifferent. I was told in the summer of 2016 his agent was touting him around Europe, with no takers, even after the one season he truly shone at Arsenal. This past summer his PR was well-played and took many of us in, although the club also took part or where taken in wholeheartedly, dependent on your view. It is hard to now reflect on this any other way than this – When no one wanted him at the crazy wages he apparently feels he merits he momentarily loved us but now seemingly his old mentor from Madrid wants him, he loves us a bit less!

Some may think the above overly harsh and it does come from the heart but It is no secret that I have felt Arsenal needed a running 10 who was also a sublime passer. Ozil is a visionary passer but as Cazorla showed us in his one season as our main playmaker, there are alternative ways to skin the proverbial cat, or indeed unlock the well drilled defence. It may just be that as painful as it feels to know that your best two individual players want to leave your club it may just open new doors for others who do wish to be Gunners.

Different type of playmaker

Last night Jack Wilshere gave us a taste of what it might mean to have a running playmaker in the inside forward role in Arsenal’s current system. Whilst we probably need to contain our enthusiasm to see him back in the first team week in week out it is difficult not to feel the affiliation to ‘one of our own’ particularly given the ongoing saga with Ozil and Alexis. So as I ponder the mixed emotions this morning, inspired by Jack and a few other young home grown talents last night I have considered a first 11 of players who want to be at Arsenal. For my criteria the player is home grown, has always signed any new deal put in front of them without fuss or is in his first long term deal at the club. To make it real I am selecting based on the current team system of 3421 as well. This is my gut selecting and you will all have different ideas which I look forward to hearing.

Goal Keeeper

Petr Cech – We need a younger man this summer but he is the main man and committed to the club. Fabulous communicator and organiser is not as agile as he once was

Right Centre Back

Rob Holding – Immense talent if still a tad green on occasions and prone to a mistake. However he is a confident young man and you only have to look at how John Stones has progressed with the right coaching to see how Holding should develop.

Bright future for Holding

Central Centre Back

Laurent Koscielny – We can doubt his Achilles but we can never doubt his pure ability, loyalty and commitment to Arsenal. Make no mistake our captain could have gone to Bayern on more than one occasion yet stayed true.

Left Centre Back

Nacho Monreal – Arguably our most consistent player over the campaign to date and he has made the position his own. I am sure he has had many offers to return to Spain and particularly in the first two seasons when he was an understudy left back he chose to stay and fight.

Right Wingback

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Our Young WC Winner has shown maturity and pace when asked to play on his wrong foot in the Europa and League Cups. Defensively he is learning and he spent a season in the right of Ipswich’s midfield and I think he could make this his position with tough competition centrally.

Operating on right of midfield for Ipswich

Centre Midfield

Granit Xhaka – The Swiss Captain is not having a fine season to date. He is however a talented passer and a deep lying playmaker and whilst not a defensive midfielder, in front of a three man defence we should be able to get away with his lack of mobility. Needs to improve to make it here.

Centre Midfield

Aaron Ramsey – This is a borderline call as my information says he has turned down a new contract offered in the summer. Given this was not in the press he gets the benefit of the doubt and gets the nod. The Welshman needs to accept the role in this system though as it is not always going to be the box to box he carves and his discipline be total.

Left Wingback

Sead Kolasinac – As most of us I think our Bosnian Tank maybe rampaging up and down our left flank for years to come. He is still raw but has it all and could be a great of this club in year to come.

Inside Forward

Jack Wilshere – In a turn of events perhaps no one saw coming when Jack was in and out of s struggling Bournemouth team on loan, the prodigal son is being touted as a potential saviour. Of course it all depends on his fitness but it does seem that this new role that was not there before he left is tailor made for the England International. This position gives him the ability to display his array of attacking talent, whilst leaving him free of tacking and defensive work, so of the cause of his injuries.

Inside Forward

Danny Welbeck – A tough one this as Iwobi has a strong claim but the running power and shear energy, persistence and nuisance value edges me in the England Stars favour. Ever since Welbz celebrated his FA Cup Winner at Old Trafford in his first season he has been one of us and despite his edginess in front of goal I am still convinced he just needs to know he will play every week for the finishing consistency to come.

A Gooner all day


Alex Lacazette – There is no debate on this one. He is our record signing, on a long term deal and needs to know he is our main man. With his manager continually taking him off and Alexis still playing for himself it is hard for his confidence and belief to grow. Please just play him every week and in Europe.


Reiss Nelson – Superb cover at inside forward or right wing back. He has a huge future at Arsenal

Olivier Giroud – If he is satisfied to be a super sub I am happy. I would like to see him on with Lacazette in certain games and not instead of.

Calum Chambers – Interchangeable with Holding and Koscielny and new tied down to a long term deal at the Arsenal. He will be fighting to a first team position

Francis Coquelin – Arsenal through and through now and despite many doubting him and excellent player to come in for Xhaka or Ramsey in certain games.

Alex Iwobi – Able to cover and come on for Wilshere or Welbeck and in the short term whilst the English proves he can play twice a week probably alternating.

Joe Willock – Mighty impressed with this young lad. Perhaps a loan is required but he offers more going forward than Elneny for sure.

Theo Walcott – We know what he can bring when on his game.

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6 Responses to Time for a full ‘Want to Stay’ and not ‘Want Away’ Arsenal 11?

  1. Joe October 20, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

    That is a shocking bench, and the team is not a whole lot better.

    Kos and Monreal will be 33 soon (or older), Čech pushing 36, I think, as you did not include mert or cazorla we can leave them out but they are also approaching the mid thirty mark.

    Ramsey is stalling on a contract and you cannot blame him. He has arguably won all he will at arsenal and can get himself a bumper deal at a club who might compete to win titles in a years time. Not as worried about Welbeck, not sure he will get a better club but if he’s not first choice he could move on to get first team, same as Walcott.

    And look at the youngsters, promising but they are always promising. You cannot replace Ozils, Sanchez’s and co with them… even with Sanchez we couldn’t get top 4. There are no general workd beating looking prospects in our ranks to replace like for like.

    It is going to cost an absolute fortune to remake this side. And if we keep hold of Bellerin, mustafi and others next summer what’s the betting we run into another Özil situation and the team spirit stinks as no one wants to be here.

    • Dave Seager October 20, 2017 at 7:37 pm #

      Glass half full sort of a guy?

      • Joe October 20, 2017 at 8:54 pm #

        Not usually, but I think the team and the future of the team is just bleak and has been for a while.

        The midfield is pants, which is disappointing as I was a big advocate of Xhaka, but he is just not improving at all. El neny never really should have been bought, and coq is only ever impressive when he’s paired with cazorla… who is crooked.

        Defence is back to its calamitous self, and we so wasteful in front of goal… so yes, pretty half full ha ha

        It’s the knowledge that players are leaving and we have no one waiting in the lines to take the spot. We cannot afford the likes of Mbappe or Lemar (no way we are spending 100 million on one player). I guess some players are waiting in line, but if you want to replace Özil with Nile’s or Sanchez with Nelson then that is just mortifying.

        • Dave Seager October 21, 2017 at 8:54 am #

          But no one suggesting so. This was just about selecting from squad now. Fit or otherwise I would leave Ozil out now for Jack and let Mesut play Cup games

  2. Victor Thompson October 21, 2017 at 10:53 am #

    Ozil is in a chicken and egg situation. In the papers this morning he denies asking for £330k per week. No one has approached him from Arsenal since March, to discuss a new contract and he never told anyone that he wanted to go to Man Utd. It does appear that there have been no offers for him so the situation is that he has lost the love of the fans partly because of the above rumours which he denies, but more importantly, because of his performance on the field.

    There is no denying that he is sublimely talented. He receives the ball so well and finds spaces in tight positions when there were none, but he also loses the ball. He is easily brushed off and his efforts to regain the ball are feeble. He can`t be bothered to plug gaps in midfield which is strange because his metred runs are usually calculated as the highest on the pitch, so it is not laziness. He is a conundrum which the fans can`t seem to fathom. Lately his standard has definitely dropped and with his effortless skill, it looks worse than it probably is. Many fans think that he is not even worth what he is paid now, never mind the £330k he was rumoured to have demanded.

    The answer of course is for Ozil to find his game and up his performances so that the fans love him again. That is where the chicken and egg comes in. He is annoyed and upset with the situation which he is acutely aware of and the longer it festers, the worse he will get. The solution is in his hands. Buckle down and fight ( an attribute which we lacked against Watford ) and regain the adulation he first had when he arrived at Arsenal. His performances will restart the enthusiasm for him and he will be bouyed by their support.

    Over to you Mr. Ozil.

    • Dave Seager October 21, 2017 at 11:24 am #

      Measured Vic. Posted as blog

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