An Arsenal 18 that could win the league.

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An Arsenal 18 that could win the league. Empty An Arsenal 18 that could win the league.

Post by Zaid Derweesh on Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:45 pm

Looking at players we've sold recently + current team members, I tried to make a team that I think could win the league. Here it is:

Chesney
Sagna - Mertesacker - Koscielny - Gibbs
Arteta - Wilshere - Cesc
Cazorla - RVP - Podolski

SUBS: Mannone, Santos, Vermaelen, Diaby, Ox, Nasri, Adebayor.

What is hugely encouraging about that team is that 9 of the starting 11 are players we already have. The defence is as solid as we've been in recent seasons, and nobody we sold (Toure, Clichy) would improve it. Toure in his prime MAYBE, but he's well past it. And Clichy... well, when we sold him, most fans agreed he was on the decline. I wouldn't have him back.

Arteta, Wilshere and Cesc is a midfield that would strike fear into the hearts of any team in the league. There is the right mix of creativity and toughness - none of them are afraid of getting stuck in. I didn't want to move Cazorla out of position, but he can play on the left of an attacking trio, so I've made room for Cesc. Some of you may disagree.

Up front, RVP (*retch*) and Podolski will have plenty of creativity behind them, and will finish most of their chances. Cazorla too.

On the bench, I think Mannone gets the nod over Fabianski for now, but still a trouble area. Santos over Clichy. Vermaelen demoted to bench because, even though he's our captain, I still think Mert and Kos are better individual defenders. Diaby over Song, because apparently he can play DM as well as the position Wilshere occupies in this team (I considered Flamini or Gilberto, but the latter is past it and the former is hardly making waves). Ox over Gervinho and Walcott because he is improving and will ultimately be better than them. Nasri and Adebayor because the former is a decent creative type, and the latter can score every now and then.

That team, I think, would win the league. Unbeaten? Probably not, but it's a damn strong side nonetheless. It's encouraging, because it shows that our first eleven is almost very strong. Jury is still out on Giroud, and the right side of the attack is still unsettled (Gervinho, Walcott and Ox - one needs to find some consistency). Otherwise, solid.

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Post by Meshaal on Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:10 pm

Pretty much the present team with van Persie and Fabregas. Would be a dream, as long as it's not at the cost of our new-found solidity.

Very satisfactory start to the season. Just read somewhere that Wenger believes we are title contenders. 3rd or 4th favourites, I guess.

Not entirely convinced by the Chelsea team so far - though they could prove us all wrong.

Behind us, we have to watch out for the likes of Newcastle and Everton - who I think might be bigger threats than Sp*rs and Liverpool this season.

Defence and mid-field quite solid now - though we will definitely struggle if either of Arteta or Cazorla get injured.

Not sure we can even bring in someone of the quality of Cazorla to sit on the bench.

This January, bring in a defensive mid-fielder (back-up) and a quality forward / striker and I'd think we have a decent shot at the title.

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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:08 am

Our problem is not our first eleven, and I can say that we do have a strong bench when it comes to certain areas, center back, right back, and even left back for example, but our main problem is being very short in certain areas like DM for example. I can't even imagine a game without Arteta right now.

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Post by Zaid Derweesh on Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:18 am

Arteta is a worry. I'm hopeful about Coquelin - I think he'd do well, even if he doesn't have the creativity and intelligence of Arteta, with a run of games he could do a good job.

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Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:01 pm

I'm very hopeful of Coquelin and Frimpong.

It's interesting to think that Podolski and Cazorla are better than Nasri. I'm not sure people outside Arsenal would agree, but I think it's true. Nasri is very skilful but overrated I think. He loves to show off and dwell on the ball, but not that effective.
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Post by Zaid Derweesh on Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:55 pm

I mean, Nasri was young and big things were expected of him. He had a great 6 month period, but other than that he was never seen as an established star, as Podolski and Cazorla are now. As is often the case with Arsenal, it was always - look how good he is now, imagine how good he will be in the future - rather than, as in the case of Podolski or Cazorla, look how good they are now. I'd take Cazorla over Nasri any day. Podolski has made a fine start to his Arsenal career, lets see how it goes.

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Post by John Foxall on Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:17 pm

Jesus. I don't think there is a single person in the world that thinks Nasri is better than Cazorla. Just no. As the French say: il n'y a pas photo. Ie it's hardly a photo finish. Cazorla is miles ahead.

Podolski and Nasri are more difficult to compare but just for starters Podolski has shown a hunger for work that Nasri seemed to be incapable of and he's also got that finishing prowess. That scoring run Nasri went on looked so natural but his disappearance in the second half of the season pointed to a) his possible departure and b) his inability to perform as well when Fabregas was in the team.

The best players can generally combine no? Podolski and Cazorla yes yes yes. Nasri no.

As for Coquelin and Frimpong, I'm doubtful either can be a starter in the long run but for now I'm happy to have a useful player in the squad like Coquelin. Frimpong in terms of footballing ability is further behind.

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Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:18 am

Not convinced that everyone would consider Cazorla better than Nasri. May ask around.
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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:57 am

My Man Utd supporting friends always tell me what a bargain Cazorla is (and thank me for Robin van Persie, the cunts). I don't think there is anyone who would put Nasri ahead of Cazorla right now.

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