So have we strengthened this summer or are we weaker?


With the start of the season only a week away the question needs to be asked “Have we strengthened this summer or are we weaker?

4 Key players have gone this summer (Flamini, Hleb, Gilberto, Jens) and with only a few days till the competitive games start only 2 players have been signed (Ramsey, Nasri) Add to that the young talent of Wilshere and the return of Vela I don’t think our squad has improved enough over the summer to mount a challenge to the title this year.

The problems from last season have not been addressed.


Is Almunia good enough to be our number 1?  At times last season it seemed like we would dominate the game and bombard the other team with 20 shots and not score, They go down the other end and have 1 shot on target and score. Apart from the spurs game were Almunia saved a pen I really cant remember him having a great game for us and winning us the points. And I always feel there is a mistake in him waiting to happen.

Center Back

The main thing is that Toure and Gallas are probably too similar,they are very athletic and fast but their heading and positioning is’nt the best.They both are great at reacting to the second ball but its the first ball that needs to be dealt with more than anything.They both use their speed to get themselves out of a jam.
If you look at Man United’s CB pairing,Ferdinand is very good at positioning while Vidic is great at mopping up the second ball.Both at very good in the air and they seem to complement each other on the field.Toure and Gallas always seem to look uncertain as to who should be doing what,more often then not they are getting in each others way.

Surely Wenger must see this,of course Gallas and Toure are fine individually but together they just don’t work.I know that the 2 ajax goals were very well taking but we looked very poor at the back for most the game.Ajax were,nt pumping long balls up to 2 tall strikers which is supposedly Toure and Gallas’s weakness,they played their own game and I thought Saurez was getting the better of us every time he got the ball.

It is very unlikely that Wenger will bring in a new CB

It is very unlikely that Arsenal will win the league this season ( From King Puck Paddy )

Holding Midfield Player

With Flamini,Gilberto and Diarra ALL being allowed to leave, Wenger as not replace any ot them with a defensive midfield player. He has tried Diaby and Denilson both are good players and can cover for Cesc if he was missing but to pay next to Cesc in the disciplined role they cant, This is the key position on the pitch for Arsenal that will allow our flair player to express themselves. With a week to go till the start of the season wenger is still looking for the answer to this problem.

Natural Wingers

Since Pires and Ljungberg we have not seen Natural wide men who can chip in with 10-15 goals a season. Wenger continues to play Eboue at RW, A player who failed to score a single goal last season. We have signed Nasri to replace Hleb, But Nasri is not a goal scorer nor is he a left sided winger. We need a type of player like Ashley Young at Arsenal.

2008 2009 Predictions From Attila ( Forum member )

1 Chelsea
2 Man Utd
3 Tottenham
4 Liverpool
5 Arsenal
6 Everton
7 Portsmouth
8 Man City
9 Newcastle
10 Aston Villa
11 Blackburn
12 Middlesbrough
13 West Ham
14 Sunderland
15 Fulham
16 Bolton
17 Wigan
18 West Brom
19 Stoke
20 Hull

Up the Arsenal, And have a great season

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15 Responses to So have we strengthened this summer or are we weaker?

  1. scottpuffin says:

    Tottenham to finish 3rd? Attila having a laugh!! You really think a team can finish below mid-table to 3rd the following season?

    As for our team, I think we’re definitely stronger than last season. Gilberto and Lehmann were not key players, so we’ve only lost two players effectively. Nasri will be better than Hleb, and we’ll buy a replacement for Flamini soon.

    Add Ramsey, Wilshere, Vela, van Persie fit and Rosicky fit to the list, we’re laughing.

    Only problem is we’ve still got Diaby!! So, maybe we are weaker after all.

  2. mike says:

    we have definately weakened. Our midfield is weak and we still lack another defender and goalkeeper

  3. mike says:

    i dont agree with the league prediction. As weak as our team is, we’ll still finish in the top four. If we dont, then it time for Wenger to Go!!

  4. Mr_AwesomePants says:

    It’s rather unfair to call Gilberto and Jens key players. Jens was our number 2 keeper, and Gilberto our number 2 DM. Nasri looks much more natural in the wide positions than Hleb ever did, and Walcott should (in all likelihood) take over from Mr Disaster (Eboue) this season. I also think it’s a bit unfair to judge Gallas and Toure on last night’s performance, considering it’s their first game back pairing together. To me, we have (mostly) replaced those who have left, and our younger players will have grown stronger. The only position that needs reinforcing is CM, because we lost two CMs in the off (preferably with a DM).

    I also think that your (or at least a forum member’s, but you included it) meaningless conjecture about where Arsenal will place is stupid. Think about it – we narrowly finished second last season, where does this massive drop come from? Our defence is no different (probably marginally better), our attack will be stronger (Walcott, Vela, Nasri and Bendtner), our midfield a bit weaker (unless we sign Inler). So why do we suddenly finish behind Liverpool and Spuds, considering how thoroughly we pumped them last season (beat Lpool by 7 points, and Spuds by THIRTY SEVEN points)?

    Spuds finished ELEVENTH last season. ELEVENTH. 37 points behind us. And you’re suggesting a new (admittedly very good) manager with no prem experience, David Bentley (LOL), Dos Santos (the lower grade version of Vela), Modric (weedy – Reyes?) and a good keeper will change this? Their defence is like a sieve (conceded twice what we did), and they haven’t signed a defender. They are losing their only strong feature (Berb and Keane).

    Seriously, you people need to get real.

  5. goonerola says:

    What a load of pessimistic shite.

    Despite the poor quality of grammar and spelling of most blogs I at least expect something more informative than an elaborate version of “we ain’t what we used to be”

    We do need a defensive midfielder and maybe a centRE back depending on Senderos’ form (oh and we’ve signed three first team players including Bischoff, not two) but all is not as bad as so many Arsenal fans make out.

    To be perfectly honest I am fed up with all this whining and pessimism. Sure, supporting Arsenal can sometimes be frustrating but all this hyperbolic predictions of massive failure and implosion are unfounded and reactionary horse shit, sorry.

    Oh and the least said about Attila’s “prediction” the better.

  6. Baby GUN says:

    article was very accurate until the predictions came in. from 3rd place to fifth place ould require half the squad to die first. out of all the players who left flamini is the only true void. jens and gilberto had done their best and had to move on. hleb was just good to watch play he will not turn a game around because he does not have any instinct for scoring.

    denilson, song, fabregas, diaby, bishoff and one more signing is not so bad compared to chelsea who have deco, lampard, ballack, essien and mikel. we have 5 and they have 5.
    man united has carrick, scholes, hargreaves and anderson. they have only 4 and scholes is practically retired.

  7. Baby GUN says:

    we have in the flanks rosicky, eboue, walcott, vela , nasri, and possibly eduardo and bendtner if van persie is fully back as there will be no space upfront.
    manu has giggs (practically retired) ronaldo, nani, and eagles. we have more options than manu. if giggs and ronaldo are out manu has little options.
    chelsea has malouda, joe coal, wright phillips and maybe kalou. we all know since duff and robben left the chelsea flanks have been much weaker.

  8. Baby GUN says:

    defence is our only problem. rio and vidic are better compared to gallas and toure. but they have no back ups and if rio or vidic is injured we’ll see oshea and brown in central defence. chelsea has the strongest defence as they have terry and carvalho with essien as a replacement.
    if song develops immensely our defense could be better. plus we have senderos and if he miracoulously improves he could as good as anyone else. he is tall and has great physique but has dull football brain. and we have djourou who is not so bad.

    manu may win title if they have no injuries especially in defense.
    chelsea is hard to say as a new coach is coming through but i dont see a team as strong as the mourinho days.

  9. Russ says:

    It’s really hard to predict how Arsenal will do this season as no one expected us to challenge last season. I really don’t think Diaby, Denilson or Song can fill the CM holding role and will probably all be used as cover again. Nasri will take a while to settle in. Up front and on the wings we are fine. Leaking 31 goals was our problem last season and I’m still not convinced with the Gallas Toure partnership. It’s unlikely wenger will sign a CB as he has Senderos (groan), Djourou, Nordvelt may faeture this season and Song + G Hoyte (if he stays) can play there too. Almunia is an ok Keeper but no more. Certainly not in the same league as Cech or Van der Sar. Not sure why we didn’t go in for new spuds Keeper Gomes. All I can say is lets just wait until the trasnfer window has closed and see who Wenger brings in. Spurs 3rd? 8th is more likely I think.

  10. Fabo says:

    I can’t believe there is someone out there that actually thinks Spurs can finish above Arsenal and Liverpool with there current squad. We all know Arsenal aren’t the best defensively but Spurs are twice as bad.

    I think at this point in time we are weaker than last season. I say that because we don’t have a specialist DM in the squad (we had three, Gilberto, Diarra, Flamini last season). I think we are stronger going forward, we lost Hleb but gained Vela, Nasri, and the emergance of Wilshire.

    Signing a quality DM I believe will make us slightly stronger this season.

  11. Mr. T says:

    Just wanted to clear up something with Baby Gun. Eagles has left United.

  12. natsteel says:

    First you say, “Since Pires and Ljungberg we have not seen Natural wide men who can chip in with 10-15 goals a season.”
    And then you go on to say that Ashley Young is the type of player we need. This seems like you’re confused. A “natural” winger doesn’t score 15 goals a season. They get 15+ assists like Ashley Young… so which is it?

    Also, there is no hit to our depth of squad by losing Gilberto and Lehmann as both rarely played last year and Gilberto was largely disappointing. Hleb’s departure has been compensated for by the signing of Nasri and the arrival of Vela. Bendtner and Walcott already look like much better players this preseason and will be able to assume a bigger role. I expect Theo to play on the right this year far more than Eboue so that hardly seems an issue either.

    Our problem is in defense. Without any defensive additions, and our center back pairing remaining, we will continue to concede soft goals which turn wins into draws. Our only hope is that Kolo and Gallas can repeat their overall performances from last Fall throughout the entire season.

  13. matt says:

    OK after the pre-season we can now say without any doubts………..

    1. Our defence will still conceed too many goals, Gallas & Toure are not the answer, neither is Senderos…Djourou has an outside chance of coming good given the chance and given a class partner!!
    2. If we have one or two long term injuries to our 1st choice 11, the quality/experience is not there.
    3. Diaby looked woeful in the games he played….but injured again, !!
    4. Eboue still looks terrible and a liability….why AW stil continues with him I really cannot understand…can anyone??
    5.The same can be said for Hoyte….again, why does AW not see he can’t defend, he can’t pass, his positioning is poor, his covering is worse…and he is our backup right back!!
    6.Nevas & Diego Capel showed us what 2 class wide players can do…..they tore our defence to sheds!! Why not buy one or both of them???
    7.Ramsey & Wiltshire have lots of promise, but when up against class experience who are committed to play they will struggle, Sevilla ran riot againt them
    8. Vela looks good, Bendtner must pass more and think quicker.
    9.Adebeyor will continue to frustrate….misses loads, offside too much, miscontrols the ball too much……. but he is the only forward we have who can score goals…Robin VP doesn’t score enough!
    And finally….. We will not win anything this season because we do not have the depth
    in the squad… prepared for another frustratingly, trophyless season guys!!!

  14. Johnmac says:

    I would say we are weaker this season because we have lost two vital players in Flamini and Hleb and have long term injuries to Rosicky and Eduardo. Hleb will be a massive loss as his link up play with cesc last season was first class and the energy and drive of Flamini will be very hard to replace. Most Arsenal fans believe that RVP is the obvious answer to play in the Hleb role behind Adebayor but I am far from convinced. RVP is vastly over-rated by the majority of arsenal fans – it seems that a few wonder goals is enough to be described as “world class” these days. When has RVP ever took a game by the scuff of the neck and dictated the play? NEVER

  15. Mr_AwesomePants says:

    Oh Delphic Matt, prophet of all that is true:

    1. Possibly but not definitely. Surely the combination will improve marginally on last year, don’t partnerships tend to do that?
    2. You’re wrong. There’s plenty of quality – in goals, in defence, wide, up front. You’re just wrong.
    3. AW will almost certainly strengthen the middle now.
    4. I know why he persists with Eboue: AW believes Walcott will be our first choice right wing this season and for a few more to come. Why buy a player to play right wing who will stunt Walcott’s growth when he can play auxillary Eboue there for free.
    5. Hoyte is our third choice right back, after the ol’ Toure switch. Eboue can also cover there. Also, Hoyte has the kind of attitude more professional footballers need these days.
    6. Our defence’s average age was 12. That wasn’t our defence; at least not wide where the attacking was coming from.
    7. Ramsey and WILSHERE (not wilt) are classy youngsters with lots of potential. We will almost certainly never see them in the same side in the Prem or the CL, unless we are 4-0 up. This is pre-season, remember?
    8. Vela is awesome, and Bendtner is still only 19?
    9. Adebayor scores. Full stop. Robin VP didn’t score enough last season because he didn’t play enough!

    If our squad plays well and Gallas leads well, we will have every chance of winning something. No guarantees either way.

    Come on you g0000ners!

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