What next?

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Feb 29th, 2012

We’ve smashed Spurs’ back doors right in and showed them who the Kings of London still are.

So what next?

Well at this moment in time I’d say 3rd spot is up for grabs and we’re in control of 4th. At the very least I expect the game against Chelsea on April 21st to decide 4th even if we drop points before because I honestly can’t see Chelsea beating Man City. It may seem biased but I honestly cannot see any team beating City bar United and Arsenal although I think our game with City on April 8th will be a draw.

This is the run in for the 3 teams competing for 3rd and 4th and my predicted results. On current form I honestly cannot see Liverpool or Newcastle taking one of those spots.

Arsenal Chelsea Tottenham
Liverpool W WBA W Man U L
Newcastle W Stoke W Everton D
Everton W Citeh L Stoke D
Villa W Spuds D Chelski D
QPR W Villa W Swansea W
Citeh D Wigan W Sunderland W
Wolves W Fulham W Norwich W
Wigan W Newcastle W Bolton W
Chelski W Arsenal L QPR W
Stoke W QPR W Blackburn W
Norwich W Liverpool W Villa W
WBA W Blackburn W Fulham W

I think that Arsenal will definitely finish fourth and I hold out the hope that we can snatch 3rd. It would be a dream come true if we snatched 3rd on goal difference and we can point to the 5-2 as a reason. If we win the game at Liverpool I think we’ll hit a vein of form and that they only ‘blip’ will be a draw to City who may win the league  (I still think United will win the league). I also think that psychologically Spurs will suffer and will have a dip in form especially after they lose to United and then have to face a very tough game at Goodison before Stoke and then Chelsea. It happens to the best of teams. You lose two big games on the trot and it becomes difficult to win the next one and you’re lucky to get a string of draws. I think we’ll shade the game with Liverpool at the weekend. I think they’ll be physically jaded but will start well because of their recent cup win and we may even go behind but I think  the win over Spurs will give our boys the belief that they can come from behind and spank the opposition and that as the game wears on the extra time at Wembley will take its toll on Liverpool.

I think with everything taken into consideration that we could look at 4th as acceptable and at 3rd as an achievement.

But then what?

I’m going to keep banging this drum until something bursts and that drum is a summer clearout.

Every Gooner out there, even the really negative ones that boo the team and call for Wenger to be sacked know that we have a good basis for a title winning team/squad and that all we need is 3 or 4 top quality signings.

We all know that there are about 15 players that need to leave the club this summer and the income from that plus the £49.5m profits we announced today and all of the freed up wages will enable us not only to buy quality players but pay them and ones we have top dollar.

Ins and Outs:

GK: Almunia should go and free up £50k a week. I think Fabianski should stay. Before he was injured and Szczesny got his shot he was playing well and growing in confidence. He isn’t a bad 2nd choice keeper. Mannone should go because he is never going to make it. We have two good young players that in 5-6 years might challenge Szczesny for a place in Martinez and Charles-Cook. I think we should copy Spurs and go for an extremely experienced keeper in his late 30’s. Not to challenge for a place but more to pass on his experience to Wojciech. Who though apart from Schwarzer I have no idea. Maybe Craig Gordon.

DF: Squillaci and Djourou between them pick up £110k a week. Djourou is okay but no better than Senderos which makes him “Not Arsenal Quality” and Squillaci isn’t fit to lace up Cygan’s boots! We need a versatile defender who can play across the back when needed. I’d prefer an experienced British player but failing that I’d go for Vertonghen. I would let Djourou stay as a squad player but not on £50k+ a week. That is taking the proverbial. Other than that I think, when fit, we have a very good defence. Koscielny is starting to look almost as good as Vermaelen who for me is in the top 3 defenders in the league with Vidic & Kompany. Sagna is the best right back in the league. Period. No one comes close. Jenkinson was getting there after a rocky start and I’m confident that he’ll be our Dixon of the next 15 years. Gibbs and Santos are both good players, Santos similar start to Jenks but also got better. Gibbs has the potential to be the next Ashley Cole (without the greed) if he can put a run of 15-20 games together without injury. Mertesacker might be a bit slow but he is a cultured defender and those that slag him off will eat their words when he settles into the rhythm of the English game properly.

MF: Diaby, Denilson and a few of the players too old to be youths but who haven’t made it to the first team like Lansbury and Eastmond should go. I don’t think Arshavin is coming back. I hope he does but I can’t see it. As long as we get £8m+ out of it I’ll happily say  До свидания!. Rosicky deserves a new contract and if he is cheap I have no real issue with us taking on Benayoun permanently. He is a tricky player, very direct and keeps the ball at his feet very well. Not a starter but a good squaddie. Ramsey and Wilshere are the future (Wilshere very much the present). Arteta and Song are great players who together have really steadied our midfield albeit at the expense of some creative penetration. Frimpong for me, I don’t think he is going to make it. He is passionate and a real fighter but I think Coquelin is a better player (who reminds me of Flamini) and more versatile too. Ryo and AOC are going to be amazing for us in the next few years and beyond so I think Arsenal only really need one player in midfield and I think we should go for Javi Martinez. I don’t think we need another creative player but if we do go for one I think it should be Gotze rather than Hazard who I think is a Nasri waiting to happen.

FW: Upfront is probably where most of our wastage is. Vela, Park, Chamakh and Bendtner all need to go and we should replace them with just one player. I’d go for Podolski or Giroud. I think we have our very own Welbeck waiting to break through in Afobe and Campbell looks to be a real player too. Walcott just needs a bit more consistency but I keep the faith that he will come good and be a 20+ goals a season man. Gervinho is a nice tricky and direct player but I don’t see him lasting more that 4 years. Just my personal opinion. He’ll be second fiddle to Ryo or AOC within two years. RVP, give him whatever he wants to stay. £100k increase. Sure… that’s just Almunia and Squillaci with change.

Our squad doesn’t really need too much except a creative spark, a bit more depth in defence and a quality striker to play with RVP or give him a rest. If we keep him within 2/3 years RVP will be playing in the Bergkamp role and Walcott will be fighting with Afobe/Campbell over who is the main striker.

The biggest problem with Arsenal is too much dead wood draining too much money out of the club. If they go and a transfer window looms and we need a boost we’d actually be able to afford it.

Aside from the playing staff we need to have a bit of a shake up with the coaching staff too. I’d like to see Bergkamp come in as Wengers new no.2 when Rice retires this summer but if that isn’t possible I’d like to see O’Leary. Odd choice some might say and I’d be happy to explain my reasons to anyone that wants to know but for now I’ll leave that for another post.

I don’t know what is next for Arsenal but like many other Gooners I know what I think should be next and it should be all of the above.

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About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

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