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  • geoj geoj Jul 25, 2008 20:50 Flag

    Some positives and our new line up

    The issue isn't with the first team, but rather the cover that we have (or haven't got), going into the new season.
    The team you outlined will certainly be a match for most of the opposition they will face in the months ahead - however, if (when) RVP, Rosicky and (perish the thought) Cesc are injured, we simply don't have the players in reserve who can replace them.

    We need to compare and contrast the midfield choices available to us and the other serious contenders, and see how it looks :

    Giggs, Scholes, Hargreaves, Nani
    Ronaldo, Carrick, Anderson, Park

    or else

    Essien, Obi Mikel, Ballack, Cole
    Malouda, Lampard, Deco, Kalou

    We have :
    Rosicky, Diaby, Cesc, Nasri
    Walcott, Denilson, Ramsey, Eboue

    If we don't replace Gilberto/Flamini with at least one established and proven midfielder, and get in cover for Toure/Gallas, I would be seriously worried for the year ahead.

    You cannot forever 'build for the future' if you risk undermining the present at the same time -
    another season without a proper trophy and it is inevitable that our most ambitious players (Cesc, Adebeyor, RVP, etc) will start to look elsewhere.

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    • Our first XI is still very strong except for holding midfield, but Wenger has stated that he will definitely make a signing in that position. I would like to see Veloso or Yaya Toure, both younger and possibly cheaper than Gareth Barry, although the likelihood is a young french unknown from Ligue 1. But if they're another Sagna, I can't complain!

      Like geoj says, the problem is depth in the squad. We have again lost 3 experienced players this summer and replaced them with 21 year old Nasri, and Coquelin and Ramsey - both 17. I think we are now well stocked for wide players and strikers; Nasri, Vela and Bendtner will be quality substitutes to bring from the bench and change a game, and each of those has very different qualities. When Eduardo returns we will have serious competition for places.

      Central defence is still a worry, the Gallas-Toure partnership hasn't been as water tight as gooners had hoped it would be. And neither Senderos or Djourou seem to have made much progress over the last 2 seasons. The young Nordtveit looks very promising but at 18 he needs more time to develop physically. Song was a revelation last season, and he is capable of playing either CB or DM, the two main problem positions for us right now. I'd really like to see him given a run in the first team in either position.