Arsene: we can’t splash the cash. So change the system and ship people out.

Arsene finally said it.  Point blank, flat out, Arsenal cannot afford big names.  So as much as we might wish we could afford to “splash the cash,” it just ain’t gonna happen.  That means this summer Arsene must significantly adjust our system.  Not to look too far ahead, but I’m laying out a two-prong strategy for the summer, now.

Like the rest of you, I believe in this squad; or at the least, I want to believe in this squad.  And truth be told, I’m almost okay with us not being able to afford the most expensive players.  Pain and sacrifice is point of pride for me.  We have a real Club.  But who cares about all that; the question is, how do we win?

1. Generally, we need to purchase players in the ages of 20-23.  Arsene does this for the most part, but he still spends quite a lot of funds on youth players, U-18.  While I understand this strategy on several levels, developing a pipeline, finding a diamond (Fab) and so forth, money needs to be shifted to buy established starters on teams.  It’s a question of risk and timing, 20-23 year old’s are more risky than 24-28 year olds, but we can’t afford to wait for the 16-17 year olds to develop.

2. Strength and Pace.  As much as I love our beautiful football, it requires a focus on players of with the best technique.  That in turn requires Arsene to spend more money than we can afford -at least according to Arsene.  Players with the best touch cost more.  Instead, we should focus on strength and pace and just bring in 2 or 3 playmakers.  Basically a playmaker upfront (striker) and playmaker in the back (defensive midfielder).  Yes, I know that creates a huge question about el capitan, lets avoid that for now.

First, our team needs to lose a few players.  I’m not being critical of individuals, I’m talking about a new system, so some players just may not fit.  The changes begin at the backline, dropping players there allows some movement in the midfield as well.

Aside from a new goalkeeper, in the backline, Silvestre needs to go.  I’m not against him.  It’s just that we need Silvestre’s space for young big player.  The same might be true of Johann as well.  I don’t want to give up on him, but he’s taking up space for a new player.  Gallas is a 50/50 here.  I like him, but I’m okay with letting him go as well if we can bring in a 20 year old defender.  Oddly enough, Sol is the only CB I would keep.  He’s a veteran and is okay playing when we need him as sub.  Plus, he can help mold a physical backline culture, but we can let him go too.  Any way, move Song back here and all of a sudden we have a platoon of: Vermaelen, Song, Sol, maybe Johann, add one new player, and maybe bring Bartley back?

Moving to the midfield, we have several changes.  Right now our midfield is greatly unsettled and lacks a midfield general (a la Viera) and power.  A shift to a power and pace game would allow Song to shift back to CB, opening up a space in the midfield for a leader, cough cough the attempted Melo purchase.  In the end we get: Fab, Arshavin, Rosicky, Nasri, Diaby, Ramsey and one, maybe two more players.

The big question of course is whether Fab stays.  For this post I’m assuming he is.

The frontline is a disaster, not just now, but in the future as well.  There is no focus.  Arshavin is a midfielder, but is playing as a forward.  Eduardo, Vela and Walcott are just not giving us what we need (that’s what she said).  Bendtner is a solid rotation, but he’s the only one that seems to believe he can carry the Club.  As for RVP, we love RVP; but he seems to have the injury curse.  What’s worse, we’ve signed almost all of these players to new long-term deals.  This throws off our wage structure.

In fact, not only do our forwards lack the quality we need, they lack the system they need: a bona fide striker.  I’m even okay with Bendtner in a platoon position with a true world class striker, but I’d prefer to have three real strikers.

In the end, many players need to go and it’s not because I don’t like them, but we need a new system and they just don’t fit.

-the student

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