couldn't fit everything in one post TACTICS
What will we do now that we’ve added Sanchez? The back five of:
seems set. Don’t see us experimenting with a three man backline so that will be the foundation of our squad.
Do we continue with the 4-2-3-1 we mainly played last season with Rambo playing alongside Arteta/new DM signing in a double pivot? Do we trust our new DM signing enough to play some sort of 4-1-4-1 or 4-1-3-2?
The loss of Sagna/signing of Debuchy could be a key tactical swap. Debuchy is much more attacking. Generally, Baccy was there to cover for Per. Per could be more exposed with a more attacking fullback playing beside him. Does that mean we swap our general setup, in which the more defensive-minded midfielder generally stays more to the left of the formation? A little thing to watch, but could certainly have a big impact on our tactics/defensive results.
Personally, with Theo coming off an injury and a new DM likely coming in late, I see us starting this XI on August 16th versus Crystal Palace:
Giroud ACADEMY OUTLOOK
Will any of our Young Guns (shout out to Jamie Sanderson, now writing drivel for Metro) make a Gnabry-esque leap into the first team picture this season? Chris Berman Swami says no, probably not.
It sure looks like Kris Olsson (DLP), Eisfeld (CAM), Ignasi Miquel (CB), and Benik Afobe (ST) aren’t going to cut it here. I don’t think they’ll ever factor in our first team (again, in the case of Miquel). I’d be fairly surprised if any in this crew even got Capital One Cup PT, but then again, Arsene did give Mark Randall some play, so who knows?
The closest to potentially making an impact, at least in the COC, seem to be Jon Toral (CAM), Hector Bellerin (RW/RB) and, of course, Gedion Zelalem (OLASGZ).
Toral is a classy player. Very technically skilled central attacking mid who plays on the right quite frequently. He’s 19 and out of contract in the summer. 7 goals and 7 assists for our youth teams last season. Considering his position, he might not ever break through at Arsenal, but I could see him flourishing in La Liga. Will be interesting to see if we give him a new contract.
Bellerin, who, along with Toral is a La Masia product and part of the Cesc Fabregas transfer, is an attack-minded right back. I like him a lot, but I’m not sure he has the physical skills to become a RB for Arsenal. He’s miles more technically proficient than Jenkinson and can get involved in intricate attacking play much better, but his speed, stamina, and lack of strength will probably prevent him from breaking through. Hope he gets a COC runout, and he deserves one, but would be very surprised considering Jenkinson’s presence. There have been rumors that Jenkinson might get loaned out. I don’t believe them, but if he does, it’s because Wenger thinks Bellerin can deputize for Debuchy. If Jenkinson doesn’t get loaned out, Bellerin should because he’s reached the point where playing in our youth setup only hampers his development. Surely, a La Liga or Segunda Liga squad would take him. [UPDATE: WELL, HELL WE’RE SIGNING MANQUILLO. DISREGARD EVERYTHING I WROTE HERE :| ]
Zelalem. What to say about this fella. Well, we all know he kinda struggled last year for the youth squads when playing in the Ramsey/Box to Box midfield role. Maybe struggled is the wrong term. He didn’t look awful. He was, however, invisible for large stretches of matches, and rarely played those beautiful balls which caught the eye of every Arsenal fan silly enough to watch the Asian pre-season matches. I’m not sure if him playing in the B2B role is an indication of where Arsene sees him long-term, or if it was done to round out his overall play by playing him out of position, as AW has done so frequently through the years. Can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this kid. Clearly, he’s the most prized prospect in our setup. No way he goes out on loan and even with our suddenly deep side, I’d be shocked if he didn’t feature in the COC.
Keep an eye on Dan Crowley and Chuba Akpom. Probably in the next tier of our prospects. Would imagine Chuba will go out on loan. Didn’t do too much on loan last year, but came back and tore it up for our youth teams. I like him a lot. No need to rush his development. Crowley looks like Iniesta when playing versus youth squads. Has had a few injuries in his career. Needs to bulk up and stay healthy, but he’s got an outside shot of making our preseason traveling team this year and should definitely be in COC contention come next season. TRANSFERS [hopefully, I’ll keep this updated] Out:
Bacary Sagna - Man City (free)
Nicklas Bendtner - unattached (free)
Park Chu-Young - unattached (free)
Chuks Aneke - Zulte Waregem (free)
Carlos Vela (kinda) - Real Sociedad - £8.8-12m
Cesc Fabregas (kinda) - Chelsea - £2-4m
Thomas Eisfeld - Fulham (£400k)
Thomas Vermaelen - Barcelona (£15m) In:
Alexis Sanchez - 27-31m
Mathieu Debuchy - 10-12m
David Ospina - ~3m
Calum Chambers - ~10-16m
This post was edited on 8/8 at 8:38 am