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Football News: My thoughts on the Arsenal team and summer 2019 plans.

My thoughts on the Arsenal team and summer 2019 plans.
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First of all, being in the Europa League for another season is not so bad really. I would prefer the Champions League, but I don't think we would have the squad to compete in it anyway. Europa fits us better; we can now focus on building one strong XI for the Premier League and one young XI for the Europa League.

This should serve as the basis for our squad structure; good player for every position backed by a young player "with good potential" whose primary job is to play in cup games and step up in the Premier League in case of injuries to the Premier league player.

Now on to the current squad. I go through each position and analyse whether we need to sign new players for the position. In the end I will also prioritise which positions are the most important in my opinion. As a formation I'm going to use 4-2-3-1 as I believe that's what we would like to use in the long term. I believe we're playing 3 at the back only because the defence is so bad. That will hopefully become better next season with new arrivals and stable formation.

Goalkeeper: Leno has been great and should continue as a number one. Martinez has impressed on loan and I would be happy to promote him to a cup keeper. No signings needed unless Martinez leaves.

Right back: Bellerin is injured which means we might need to sign one for the Premier League XI. Meunier has been linked recently so I'm going to name him (but I must say that I don't generally know who we must sign. I'm only pointing out the positions I think need strengthening). Once Bellerin returns from injury either he or Meunier will be the Premier League option and the other the cup player.


Centre backs: This is a difficult position since we have many players to play here but none that seems to be a great option. The best thing to improve the defence would be to find staple partnerships (and formation) and stick to those. For next season I would like to see Koscielny and Sokratis form the base as the Premier league centre back pairing and Holding as a cup player (he can also expect to occasionally feature in Premier League as Koscielny can't probably play all the league games).

It means the one centre back we sign would be for the cup XI with a view of becoming our Premier league option in a year or two as both Koscielny and Sokratis are already past 30. Ed002 has said Mustafi and Chambers are players the club is looking to move on and I'm perfectly fine with it if we can just find clubs to take them.


Left back: This area is in a need of a total revamp. As Ed002 said both Monreal and Kolasinac are set to leave. Monreal has been a great servant but age is catching him up and Kolasinac is really a wing back and not fullback; hence he isn't suited to us if we want to play with four at the back. I wonder if we could promote a youngster from the u23's to the cup XI? I remember one of the eds mentioning once Tolaji Bola is highly thought of. The step-up might come too soon for him though. However, what is clear is we need a Premier League level left back.


Defensive midfield: No need for new additions here. Torreira has been great and on top of that we have Xhaka who I think would be more suited to be the cup XI player rather than the Premier League XI. The best solution in my opinion would be to sell Xhaka and promote Bielik to cup XI but I can't see it happening just yet. Perhaps one more season on loan for Bielik then.


Central midfield: With Ramsey leaving there is a vacant position to fill in the Premier League XI; However as both Maitland-Niles and Guendouzi look good prospects I would like one of them to grasp the role in the near future. Therefore I would like to turn to someone like Banega, who can take the role for one or two seasons while Guendouzi and Maitland-Niles offer rotational options and play in the cup XI.


Right wing: Premier League option needed. Ed002 has listed the players we are interested in but I can't comment who's my priority as I don't know them well enough. I would be happy with Nelson as the cup XI player with a view of challenging for Premier League status in a year or two.


Attacking midfield: Currently no need but that might change. It's difficult to see Özil leaving so he might as well be the Premier League option. If we can control the games better next season (big if I must admit) we should see a better Özil as well since he is a luxury player and not the kind who will help wrestle the control of the game for us. If Mkhitaryan leaves we could promote Smith-Rowe to cup XI. If both Özil and Mkhitaryan leave though we would need to sign a Premier League level player.


Left wing: Difficult to judge. Iwobi has been decent but not quite the kind a top team would like to have in the Premier League. For next season I'm still giving him the role though since we have a number of other areas to address. For cup XI I would consider promoting Bukayo Saka as he is one with great potential.


Striker: Obviously no need to sign payers here. Lacazette should be the leading candidate to start the Premier League games. Aubameyang is a great option from the bench and a luxury cup XI striker. I can't see him being happy with the role for long but Lacazette is simply better. Nketiah is unfortunate to miss out on cup XI place though.


Now on to the transfer priorities. It might sound surprising but I actually think left back should be the most important position to address since our defending has been so weak and we currently have no real options there. After that right wing should be the second most important as it's another position lacking a Premier League level option. After that I can't decide which of centre back, central midfield or right back is the most important but I would like to see all those positions addressed.

Subject to players leaving we might also need a new goalkeeper and/ or attacking midfielder. On top of all this if we still have funds left we could go for a left winger.

To wrap this whole long post up I've listed the two XI's here.

Premier League XI (cup XI)
GK: Leno (Martinez/ [new player])
RB: [new player]/ Bellerin ([new player]/ Bellerin)
CB: Koscielny and Sokratis (Holding and [new player]
LB: [new player] (promote from the reserves? )
DM: Torreira (Xhaka/ Bielik)
CM: [new player] (Guendouzi/ Maitland-Niles)
RW: [new player] (Nelson)
AM: Özil/ [new player] (Smith-Rowe)
LW: Iwobi/ [new player] (Iwobi/ Saka)
ST: Lacazette (Aubameyang)

What do you guys think? Do you agree or is there something you would do differently? Or was this post too confusing to read? I'd like to hear some feedback and generate discussion.

Finally for all of you Arsenal fans and editors I wish you a good summer!

Written by Iceman June 03 2019 10:11:07


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