Arsenal fans demand transfers, but what type of players do we need?
By Miles Rackham
Will the three new attacking players address squad weaknesses?
Arsenal fans have always been deprived of signings, however small they may be. For example, Arsenal only signed one player in the 2011/2012 mid-season transfer-window, Thomas Eisfeld, for £400,000. Cazorla is training with the squad, after meeting them on Friday and after completing a medical and signing on for a four-year deal worth up to £70,000 a week. Laws regarding Malagaís financial situation were blocking the announcement of his arrival, but that has now been confirmed.
Cazorla is naturally a winger, although, as he is extremely versatile, he has ability in the centre of the park. This is something Arsenal may need, with Wilshere and Rosicky being injured, Diaby lacking fitness, Benayounís departure and Ramseyís drop in form towards the end of last season. Also, the African Cup of Nations will come rolling round again, and we may not be so lucky this time with Cameroon failing to qualify and not taking Song away, and there may be fresh injuries, so we need players capable of playing in a central midfield role.
We are also reportedly ironing out the fine details on a season-long loan move for Real Madrid player and former Dortmund star, Nuri Şahin, a player who has been extremely underutilised at Madrid whose natural talent deserves first-team football, which he may get at Arsenal.
Those are two signings almost complete, which would take our total number of signings up to four, after Podolski and Giroud. But Arsenal fans, (for example, me) would still demand more signings, but we canít just buy any old player. What players would be good signings for Arsenal? And Iím not talking about their talent, Iím talking about what type of player they are.
The first player that comes to mind is Inter Milan veteran, and the most decorated Argentinian player of all time, Esteban Cambiasso. Now, I am not talking about signing a player who is 32 years old this month, but I am talking about his style of play, a Cambiasso-like player.
What I see him doing for Inter Milan, is running non-stop. Firstly, he will become the third centre-back, or cover for an out-of-place full-back. Then he will suddenly pick up the ball, and charge forward, with the ball or without it. He can then slot the ball into a winger or striker ahead of him. If the Inter team have just attacked, and are now having to defend, he stays in the centre of the park, and he is almost a defence by himself in front of the actual defence. If he is beaten, which only happen about four times out of ten, he then tracks back and attempts to win the ball back or position himself in a area where he will win it back.
Wilshere reminds me of his style of play, essentially a box-to-box player, although he is not as strong, and does not have as good an eye for goal as Cambiasso. For example, he scored against Chelsea in the Champions League, and they went on to win it. One problem with this, though, is that Jack is injured, and every day that goes on, and he isnít back in training, I worry he may never play again.
Song also plays like this, although he is much more defensively minded, but when he comes forward he can give some amazing assists. He finished the season with twelve, some almost winning us the game, for example against Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham, and he provided a great one in the Aston Villa game at the Emirates.
Arteta is also very capable of doing this. He was bred to become a central defensive midfielder, was turned into an attacker at Everton, and was then put back into that more defensive position at Arsenal. He is talented in attack, and can score from distance, like he did against Wigan and Man City.
But Arsenal donít have anyone trained to be a box-to-box player, one who is as good at defending as he is at attacking. Song is arguably better in defence, and Arteta is better in attack. The reason Arsenal need a player like this is that Premier League players are some of the fittest in the world and run at full-pelt right up to the 90th minute. If we bring on a substitute who can attack and defend from midfield, then, if we are drawing, they can score, and, if we are winning, they can help prevent a goal - something every football team needs, in my opinion.
The next type of player who would fit into Arsenalís team, possibly the starting line-up, could be a Sergio Ramos. Once again, I am not saying that we should sign Ramos, as we could never match his wages at Madrid, and I personally think that we have a good enough right-back, but that isnít where I would play him. I would play him on the left. He was talented at centre-back as a young boy, but was told that he was too small to be a centre-back, even though he is six foot, so he was played at right-back and was an obvious talent. During the Euros, all of the Spanish centre-backs were unavailable expect Pique, so Ramos played centre-back and Arbeloa replaced him at right-back. We have versatile players in defence who can play at full-back, but are really centre-backs (Vermaelen and Koscielny), but we donít have a full-back who can play at centre-back if needed.
This is something I believe Arsenal need, because we still donít have a full-back who can defend as well as attack. Sagna and Gibbs are not the greatest defensive attackers in the world and Santos is not the greatest defender. A player who has been converted from a centre-back to a right-back has proved that he can defend, but he will also have the innate ability to attack which Sergio Ramos does. Wenger has been playing a system where the wingers sometimes come into the centre of the park, and that means that the full-backs then have to replace them when we are on the attack. Santos does this and canít get back well enough, and Sagna gives good assists but canít score.
After the purchase of Giroud, and - hopefully - van Persie staying after hearing the news of Cazorlaís purchase, and hopefully Şahinís arrival this week, Wenger may now play the team in a different formation from last seasonís 4-3-3. A 4-2-2-2 may be a better approach, and, if the wingers cut into the middle, then the full-backs are going to have to replace them as I have said. We need a Ramos-like player as he has been proven to be able to score goals and his Euro 2012 performances quietened anyone who claimed he couldnít defend, and as Arsenal need a player like that in both full-back positions.
But really, who knows what Wenger is plotting in his head? Maybe he will buy Cambiasso or Ramos, or maybe even Heskey?! Letís just wait and see. The summer window is a long way from closed.
9th August 2012
User Comment and Reaction
User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.
aklank 7:08am 9th Aug 2012
1more strikr we need. and 2 defensive classic players. ............try to keep rvp - Post No. 27601
Gary 7:37am 9th Aug 2012
Are you completely nuts? Football is not about trading players, it is about what happens on the field. Please grow up. - Post No. 27603
Pteer Wain 8:07am 9th Aug 2012
We need at least two quality defenders and a defensive midfield player. I cannot see Wiltshire playing before Christmas and I worry that his career may be over so we need more creativeity in mid field. I expect that RVP Song and Walcott will all leave so another striker is a must and he has to be top quality. Will we gte any of these I doubt it. - Post No. 27605
Kweku 8:18am 9th Aug 2012
I don't understand the point of this article. This isn't "fantasy football." What's your point? - Post No. 27606
MRMROD 8:27am 9th Aug 2012
Firstly, would someone confirm how I go about submitting an article; I too have something I'd love to discuss. What we need is: Another goalkeeper and two new defenders to replace two of our suspect ones. If RVP does a u-turn well, it would be better to have him in the team than not but i'm a tad apathetic after his behaviour. - Post No. 27607
lou 9:19am 9th Aug 2012
i agree but i would also add in another centre back, vermallen and koscielny are the only decent two we have and if we need one of them to play at fullback we are weak - Post No. 27610
Arsenal Fan! 9:49am 9th Aug 2012
We need to buy a good right-back like Ramos so Sagna will have a bit of a competition and encase Sagna gets injured we will have a good right-back to replace him. We need to buy a experienced goalkeeper for the same reasonsons as buying Ramos and to give Szcseney a bit of experience. - Post No. 27612
RJI 10:16am 9th Aug 2012
Pretty superficial ... can be summed up as "Ramos & Cambiasso are great...Arsenal should buy players like them" - Post No. 27613
Arsenalhead123 11:32am 9th Aug 2012
I think that if wiltshire practices scoring more he will be like cambiasso but what about sahin? Is he like him? We have always needed a good left back as well, we need a Ramos player, or maicon - Post No. 27616
Ron 11:38am 9th Aug 2012
Naming 'types' of players needed makes it easier. 1. A Peter Schmeical type keeper. 2 . A Nemanja Vidic type central defender 3. A leighton Baines type LB 4. A Darren Fletcher type midfielder 5. A Didier Drogba type striker (assuming RVP leaves). Its easy Arsene. Nip out with your cheque book and report back to us with job done by lunchtime! Seriously, without the above Arsenal are 3rd - 5th place candidates only. - Post No. 27617
Ryan 11:40am 9th Aug 2012
The only thing we need is defenders of we get them we can win simple need a new left back and someone to play along side t.verm - Post No. 27618
Gooner87 12:14pm 9th Aug 2012
What a poor article, the type of player arsenal need is a vidic at the back, I am not saying actually buying vidic, but you get my drift. I also think if Van Persie leaves we should get David Villa, off course not from Barca but a David Villa type...Nonsense - Post No. 27622
Peter 13:00pm 9th Aug 2012
"But Arsenal donít have anyone trained to be a box-to-box player." Obviously injuries are the issue, but Diaby fits the definition. - Post No. 27623
Tom 13:13pm 9th Aug 2012
I think you will find our business is done for the season. We need to concentrate on clearing out the dead wood, Bednter, Chamakh, Arsharvin, Djourou,Denillson ect.... One thing is for sure we have to adopt a Plan b a different style of football - even with the 3 signings made we will not challenge - look at it this way, We werent good enough before we sold Fabs and Nasri - Is Cazorla as good as Fabreags, IS Podolski as good as Nasri? NO! and i dont beleive Giroud will be good enough for the Prem - Post No. 27625
Tony Evans 13:28pm 9th Aug 2012
I agree with Ron's comment. These are exactly the types of players we need - but I am not holding my breath becuase it appears that for the 8th season in a row Wenger either thinks we already have them or that we don't need them. - Post No. 27626
maguiresbridge gooner 14:52pm 9th Aug 2012
The kind of players we need and always have done for a long time now are real top top quality players in the class of Dave seaman a position that has been over looked for season after season after season and still is.A player or two with real mental strength (not the imaginary kind)like TA LD or a RP who would always gave 100% no matter what not top quality dross in the class of chamakh,denilson,bendtner, etc,who were on top top quality contracts and wages.Maybe we have that real top top quality now with our recent signings i doubt if they were bought for their defensive qualities as thats not arsene's priority and this area and the keeper situation still needs sorting along with the dross.Maybe they have that winning mentality that has been missing for so long now we'll soon find out. - Post No. 27628
billthered 15:42pm 9th Aug 2012
Since football began all the tactical geniuses have learnt how to build defences to stop other teams scoring and hitting on the break 1-0 game over,but the only thing that has never changed is that if you score more than the other team you win how simple is that.The only thing missing with us is that we dont spread goals around like we used to and when we dont score we will always concede.Remember the invincibles going 3-1 down to Middlesboro and winning 5-3 oh for them days again,even Moaninho has got goalscorers now and more often than not look to outscore other teams. - Post No. 27630
Alan from Aylesbury 16:08pm 9th Aug 2012
Have to agree with Tom unfortnately regarding new signings and also getting rid of the deadwood on 50/60K a week.Im only guessing but i would say that most supporters know who should go its a shame that we cant have a say in these matters,maybe im being naive.Do think RVP will go its now just a case who will pay the most for him. - Post No. 27631
allybear 16:40pm 9th Aug 2012
Sounds like Wenger "top top players"! We badly need at least 2 very good defenders&also a goalkeeper with mental strength. I dont know much about Giroud or Carzola ao will have to see. Podolski is a good player&should do well when he settles. If RVP goes then good riddance! Without new defenders it wont be a good season. - Post No. 27633
bonjour 17:57pm 9th Aug 2012
Not to sure about this article to be honest, I mean you are just sort of stating obvious facts, yes sign someone as good as cambiasso and Ramos and we will be good? errrr yes thats obvious! - Post No. 27637
Van de Ed 21:34pm 9th Aug 2012
What we desperately need is a variety of formations/tactics to adopt depending on the opposition. Le Boss' 4-3-3 & starting XI has been figured out by the elite teams in Europe & the EPL; hence why we always struggle to win the big games. Secondly, the laissez-faire attitude of this squad needs to be addressed pronto! A real leader is needed on the pitch & players must earn their starting spots for EVERY GAME! A team that tends not to care if they win/lose will NEVER win major trophies. - Post No. 27641
Joe S. 2:05am 10th Aug 2012
Thanks Tom for a little bit of clarity/ sanity? After 2010- 11 we lost Cesc, Nasri and the great hope Wiltshire, three players who would have provided a springboard for success. This season we are still trying to fill those gaps and at the same time find cover for RVP. As for defence, well... Seriously while every season should begin with goodwill and optimism I really find it hard to see a trophy in the near future. - Post No. 27644
Alan 5:34am 10th Aug 2012
We have not invested in the spine of our team, and all quality title winning teams, incliuding ours, have been built around strong central spines. City with hart, kompany, ya ya toure and aguera.. Man u with scmeichal, bruce, Keane and van nistelroy, us with seaman, Adams, vieira and Henry. Chelsea with cech, terry, Essen and drogba. Till wenger recognises this we'll win F all - Post No. 27645
under acheiver 13:05pm 10th Aug 2012
top top post maguiresbridge gooner, but you forgot to add that we need a top top manager - Post No. 27653
mike dunne 17:20pm 12th Aug 2012
Is it just me or isn't one of the main problems Arsenals defence? We let in more goals last year than ever. Is it too attacking full backs, mid-field who do not cover back or players who cannot head the ball. Yes we need a VP replacement and a good midfielder but don't we need to sort the defence? - Post No. 27684
someone 16:15pm 13th Aug 2012
In as much as RVP's behaviour sounds disloyal, I think it's for the ultimate good of the club. Maybe without that, we wouldn't have signed any player of note. Or maybe we'd go to the french 2nd division looking for some cheap bargain and Directors waiting for Financial year end to count their profit and smile to the bank yet again while fans keep being dissapointed.But now there seems to be a quiet revolution( based on our own standards) and some intent to get proven quality instead gamling with cheap bargains hoping they'll eventually come good(they rarely works, like Squillaci,Djorou, et al) - Post No. 27691
12th December 2013
Online Ed: Late goals hands Arsenal a tough spring assignment