By 1970’s Gooner
The most important characteristics to look for when assessing a squad is the following:
- the quality of the players
- the cover in each position
- the age structure in order to ensure that there is a number of younger and promising players who could eventually make it into the first team.
Have a look at the first team players on Arsenal’s books. The squad looks thin and unbalanced.
What is easily realisable is that there is a plethora of good quality midfielders but not enough strikers or defenders.
Let’s look at the squad:
Enough numbers (2) but they are both relatively young and inexperienced. They are promising however so they need to be complimented by an experienced goalkeeper who will either start games or provide competition for places.
Recommendation – Buy experienced goalkeeper
There are two and they compliment each other well. Sagna is an experienced defender who is covered by Jenkinson who is an up and coming young right back of good quality.
Recommendation: No need to buy
The same as for the right backs can be said for this position. There are two very good defenders. Nancho Monreal is the more experienced one and Gibbs is developing into an exciting left back with attacking capabilities.
Recommendation: No need to buy unless Monreal’s back injury is more long term (like Vermaelen’s)
The quality of the available centre backs has proved to be very good as the results of the last 10 games show (second best defence and the best away defence of the League).
However there are two major problems with these positions.
The first is that there are only three experienced centre backs for the two available positions (Koscienly, Mertesacker and Vermaelen). So there is a need to add another and also of course there is Vermaelen’s long term injury (out for 3 months which makes the available centre backs as only two).
Yes I agree that Sagna will be a revelation at centre back if called upon (he has the heading ability and the defensive nous) but there is still the problem that we will only have 3 centre backs to cover for 2 positions. It will also leave the right back position with only one player available.
It is therefore vital to increase the available centre backs to four and to cover for possible injuries in this significant position.
Recommendation: Buy another centre back irrespective of Sagna’s availability and recall the decision to send Coquelin on loan to Freiburg so that he could cover at right back if need be (he proved very capable last season and I would trust him in this position).
A large number with good quality are available in these positions. Central midfielders of the likes of Arteta, Ramsey (I think he will be irreplaceable this season), Wilshere, Rosicky and if need be Cazorla and the Ox means that the midfield will be Arsenal’s high powered engine room for the coming season.
On the wings there is Walcott, Podolski, Cazorla and The Ox. No need to add there although you could say that a left sided out and out winger could balance the team much more.
Recommendation: On balance no need to add
Which strikers? There is only one as far as I am concerned and that is Oliver Giroud. He will improve no end this his second season. But you can’t rely on only one out and out striker.
Sanogo is young and unproven. Gervinho, Chamack and Park are on their way out and would not have featured anyway.
Podolski and Walcott filled in last season but in my opinion they are either not ready or up to it to play in that position with the effectiveness required.
Recommendation: BUY BUY BUY