Arsenal squad review 2009, by The Goon Blog

In Arsenal FC, Squad reviews on August 14, 2009 by Highbury N5 Editor

Right, its this time again. Last time I reviewed the squad was the day after the transfer window shut last season, this time I am doing it slightly earlier in the hope that we buy a couple of players.

Right…this is the 2009 Arsenal squad review by The Goon Blog.

Goalkeepers: Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone.

Nothing wrong here, Almunia is good enough for the job. If  I was going to be slightly picky I’d suggest that we should bring in an experienced number two as Fabianski should go and get some first team action week in week out at another Premiership team, or even a Championship team.


Defence: Sagna, Vermaelen, Senderos, Gallas, Silvestre, Djourou, Clichy, Gibbs, Traore.

I will make my stance perfectly clear. We need to buy. Sagna is class, Clichy is a very good player but comes across as a tiny bit naive in some of the things h

e tends to do, Gibbs is great cover for him so everything is fine there. Toure is gone, fine, he was on a downwards slope anyway and we have replaced him in an upcoming player in Thomas Vermaelen who seems to be a little bit of an organiser. Just what we needed in my book. Alongside him will probably be Gallas who is still a very, very good player. The only worry over him is his fitness throughout the entire season as in every season he has played for us he has picked up a long-term injury. Djourou also has a bad injury record, his repetitive knee injury (fluid around the joint) hardly means he is reliable back up. I firmly believe that success is built from a strong defence, our goal conceded record was diabolical last season and needs to be rectified. Vermaelen’s arrival is a plus but we need another center back in my view.

OVERALL: Buy a center back, please.

Midfield: Diaby, Fabregas, Denilson, Ramsey, Wilshere, Eboue, Barazite, Rosicky, Nasri, Arshavin, Song, Merida.

A wealth of attacking talent, versatile attacking talent. Nearly every player can fill in every position, bar one. The defensive midfield position. In the 4-3-3 we look set to use we have to have a mobile, experienced defensive midfielder to basically hold the team together. Song has improved no end in the last six or so months but is still fairly young and he will, fitness permitting, be jetting off to

the ACN in January, so we need more options there. Denilson is a player I am pretty fond of and I feel he picks up a fair bit of flack for just doing what he is told to do. Ray Parlour said ‘Denilson does what is asked of him. He wins the ball and gives it to the nearest player’. I do think he has a pretty big future ahead of him. Eboue is decent as a squad player and is also cover for right back…badly needed cover at that. Diaby has to prove himself this season and has got off to a good start by getting injured…AGAIN. Nasri has a busted leg but he showed some really positive things last season and seems a big game player, the brace against Man United is proof. The thought of Arshavin having a full season excites me greatly, what a player he is, he is a type of player that we have missed since Henry went to Barca. Give him the ball and something will happen.

Wilshere, Ramsey, Merida and Barazite all have big futures ahead of them. Wilshere is the stand out player though and ladies and gentlemen, we have one hell of a player on our hands. He will get chances this season despite only being 18 and quite frankly tiny, he seems a very difficult player to knock of the ball though and as Arsene Wenger said, he is more powerful now. Ramsey is going to be quite some player too, though he has a lot to live up to being at the same club as Cesc Fabregas.

OVERALL: A defensive midfielder please, Arsene.

Strikers: Eduardo, van Persie, Vela, Walcott, Bendtner, Simpson.

An Adebayor free strikeforce is a better strikeforce in my opinion. In Eduardo, van Persie and Bendtner we have three players that can get at least 15 goals a season, maybe even more. Eduardo seems back to the Eduardo we knew and loved before that horrific injury against Birmingham, he is the player we have missed in those really tight games where we just need to eek out a goal from nowhere. Vela and Walcott add pace to the attack and can get in behind defences, Vela is the more gifted of the two and this season is big for both him and Theo, they have to really prove themselves and take advantage of their chances.

Bendtner is set for a big season I think. When on form he is clinical, hard working  and a big aerial threat, he netted 15 goals last season and that is nothing to be sniffed at, I would have a punt on him getting 20 this season personally and we all know how good van Persie is, it is just a case of where does he fit in. Wenger should build the forward line around Arshavin and Eduardo in my book, flair, creativity and clinical.

OVERALL: Fine, nothing needed even though a loan is likely for Simpson at some stage.


Verdict: I am not going to go out now and make some kind of lavish prediction that we are going to win the league, or the world will end and we will finish fifth behind the filth from up north or the filth from across the road. I believe we will finish in the top four and that we can look forward with optimism to a title challenge. It is worth pointing out that every other top four team has weakened. United have lost Ronaldo and Tevez, Liverpool have lost Alonso (Indeed..I had them as favorites til they sold him) and Chelsea have lost Guus Hiddink who is a fine manager indeed and replaced him with a manager who has not won a league title before, they will also lose Essien, Mikel, Kalou and Drogba to the ACN for a month or two in January/Feburary time.

In the meantime we have ditched an unhappy and disruptive Adebayor, sold a declining hero in Toure, added the young Vermaelen and have Eduardo fully fit. Just remember, the transfer window is not shut yet.

Can the squad be improved before September? Yes. I would go as far as to say we will stand a massive chance of winning the Premiership if we add a defender and a defensive midfielder into the ranks.

The new season has come around surprisingly quickly for a summer that has had no real football other than the Condeferations Cup in South Africa. It has been a summer of transfer speculation, frustration from some and frank stupidity from others. Time has flown though, its twelve weeks ago we said goodbye to season 2008/09, it doesn’t feel that long, and here we are saying hello to season 2009/10. The year two thousand and ten. Jesus, time does fly.

I think I am rambling a little, don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts in the comments. I need to think a name for the comments….any suggestions? Please?

I will leave you with this poll.

[poll id=”8″]

Thanks for reading, more tomorrow, as always.

4 Responses to “Arsenal squad review 2009, by The Goon Blog”

  1. I do totally agree with your article.
    We stand for big chances of winning the premier league this year.
    A young and willing team. Creative enough and attacking all round the pitch.
    But, and as Ferguson added some time ago in an article, Arsene buys only attacking minded players… well this summer he bought Vermaelen I didn’t see play yet, so I will not express my thoughts as I don’t know him.
    The only dark zone is defense.i think Wenger is a smart man and knows he needs someone like Hangeland, hope he will convince him ?!?
    And of course, as you pointed in your article, our chances to be title contenders would be 10 times stronger if we do buy A DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER!

    maybe someone like: D’agostino or Inler would do it!
    I live in Switzerland and I saw Inler in the Swiss national team the other day against Italy in a friendly game.. this guy is a good tackler, a good passer and try to score from long range any time he gets a chance, he would definitely add some steel to our central defensive midfield in our new 4-3-3

    What do you think ?

    Keep the bOOmer Up for our team, it’s a new season, a new start … a new chance


  2. I agree – a good quality centre back is required and now. Gallas alone as a quality centre back is not enough. What happens if he gets injured?

  3. “Alongside him will probably be Gallas who is still a very, very good player”.
    Gallas is ok bt I think “very, very good” is sayin too much considering how shaky he gets in front of some decent forwards & I also wldnt say he’s dependable.

    no matter what I always believe we can win d title coz our young players have the so sought-after ‘experience’ in my opinon, take it or leave it. I think we will win it.
    nice squad analysis, bar ur take on Gallas.

    Destination?- Goodison Park!

  4. Good, good stuff, Goonblogger. Spot on with the analysis and not too much froo-froo optimism (although I am prone to that myself on occasion! haha).

    Depending on injuries and if we do add at CB/DM, I say we challenge to the last weeks of the season. Until I see the start of the season however, I am reluctant to predict us finishing higher than second. If we can manage to come through the first month of the season in good form and with points, and we have addressed needs at the back, I will reevaluate and revise accordingly. We will most definitely finish in the Top Four though, and qualify for CL next year.

    The rest of the Top Four have either maintained (Chelsea) or been degraded to some degree. We have effectively added Eduardo, Rosicky, Arshavin and Vermaelen and could add further still, not to mention the improvement from young players like Bendtner, Song, Denilson, Vela and the “young guns” of Wilshere and Ramsey. As Arsene said in his interview with Martin Samuel, there is beautiful football coming, and it WILL be winning football from The Arsenal.

    Having said all that, I am thrilled to pieces that *most* pundits are writing us off. I think this will be used to full motivational effect by Arsene, both for the players and himself. We DO have the talent to win the league if all goes well. We DO have the maturity to win the league. We DO have the spirit to win the league. And we have Arsene Wenger.

    The Badge. The Red and White. The Arsenal.

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