Squad Analysis 2020/21

HairSprayGooners

My brother posted it ⏩
This is part of the problem and why we won't go anywhere. No chance of getting top four without Auba is the same outlook that will see us keep Xhaka in our starting line up and rely on people who self destruct at any moment.

United- playing Greenwood, Martial, Rashford with Ighalo in January. Sold Lukaku. Their 20+ goal striker. Secured top 4

Chelsea - Giroud, Abraham (unproven at Premiership level), Pulisic (injured most of the season), sold Hazard, the best player in the league at the time. They had 1 player that scored over 10 goals this season. Abraham on 15.

Its not about having a world class goal scorer. It's about having a team that can score goals and create chances from multiple areas.

I'd rather build a team where we have a front 3 who can score 15 goals each and provide assists than have a 22 goal season striker playing on the left requiring a formation imbalance and a cf who can barely score 10 goals himself.

Why are we so scared to sell players? Auba is going to decline ffs. He has statistically already shown a decline. Sell him, bring a creative wide forward who can score goals for 30 million. Ffs its doable.

Sell Lacazette and bring in a forward who can create and score and feed of crosses from Tierney, Saka and Pepe.

Sell the plodders in midfield and buy goal scorers who are dynamic.

Sick of keeping players who keep moving us down the table.

I get your point but it doesn't work like that.

Hazard was sold for 100m+, completely understandable that Chelsea took the money.

Lukaku was also sold for big money, again, completely understandable as he wasn't even a world class striker. Missed so many sitters and his movement was horrendous at United.

Aubameyang wouldn't go for big money, he's 31 years old and into the last year of his deal. We're during Covid 19 times, any team abroad will pay a maximum of 30-40M for Auba. That isn't enough and its just a pointless sale to bring in someone who isn't nearly as good.

Auba has two years left maybe more scoring at this level. I don't care what anyone says you keep him at all costs and build around him. I was happy to sell Alexis as he was replaceable for £60M. But Auba is a different kettle of fish.

Also on your Xhaka point if we make the correct signings Xhaka doesn't start next season. He rotates with Ceballos.
 

The_Playmaker

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I get your point but it doesn't work like that.

Hazard was sold for 100m+, completely understandable that Chelsea took the money.

Lukaku was also sold for big money, again, completely understandable as he wasn't even a world class striker. Missed so many sitters and his movement was horrendous at United.

Aubameyang wouldn't go for big money, he's 31 years old and into the last year of his deal. We're during Covid 19 times, any team abroad will pay a maximum of 30-40M for Auba. That isn't enough and its just a pointless sale to bring in someone who isn't nearly as good.

Auba has two years left maybe more scoring at this level. I don't care what anyone says you keep him at all costs and build around him. I was happy to sell Alexis as he was replaceable for £60M. But Auba is a different kettle of fish.

Also on your Xhaka point if we make the correct signings Xhaka doesn't start next season. He rotates with Ceballos.

It doesn't matter if they went for big money or what they were like. Lukaku was a 20+ goal season striker. They didn't replace him with a 20+ goal striker. Martial and Rashford both got 17 and Greenwood got 10. They then had goals from midfield in Fernandes.

Chelsea don't even have a 20+ goal striker. Leicester, Arsenal and Sp**s all have 20+ goal season strikers. None of those teams secured top 4. Where else where those 3 teams going to get their goals?

We need to spread the goals and we need to buy players who have a record of producing numbers wherever they are.

We need to build a team that draws fouls around the edge of the area. Buy fast dribbles that provoke penalties.

Jonathan David - outrageous amount of goals and assists this season playing all over the pitch. Fast, strong, skillful, can shoot and dribble.

Benrahma - the same.

Just two examples but there are so many players across Europe who provide end product.

Yet we are stuck with an entire group of midfielders who create 5 big chances between them and entire season and score 1 goal? ****ing sell them and bring in players who can do their job.
 

HairSprayGooners

My brother posted it ⏩
It doesn't matter if they went for big money or what they were like. Lukaku was a 20+ goal season striker. They didn't replace him with a 20+ goal striker. Martial and Rashford both got 17 and Greenwood got 10. They then had goals from midfield in Fernandes.

Chelsea don't even have a 20+ goal striker. Leicester, Arsenal and Sp**s all have 20+ goal season strikers. None of those teams secured top 4. Where else where those 3 teams going to get their goals?

We need to spread the goals and we need to buy players who have a record of producing numbers wherever they are.

We need to build a team that draws fouls around the edge of the area. Buy fast dribbles that provoke penalties.

Jonathan David - outrageous amount of goals and assists this season playing all over the pitch. Fast, strong, skillful, can shoot and dribble.

Benrahma - the same.

Just two examples but there are so many players across Europe who provide end product.

Yet we are stuck with an entire group of midfielders who create 5 big chances between them and entire season and score 1 goal? ****ing sell them and bring in players who can do their job.

Yeah I'm not disagreeing we should sell Laca, Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi, Bellerin, Holding, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Özil, Elneny and Chambers. But its unrealistic in one window. I think we will get rid of all of the above players by the end of next summer when hopefully Arteta has his set squad.
 

The_Playmaker

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Yeah I'm not disagreeing we should sell Laca, Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi, Bellerin, Holding, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Özil, Elneny and Chambers. But its unrealistic in one window. I think we will get rid of all of the above players by the end of next summer when hopefully Arteta has his set squad.

I agree. We can't move everyone on. It would be the majority of the squad. But in my opinion, there are key figures in this team that lead to our failure for different reasons and they are the players that Arteta puts his trust in.

Xhaka
Lacazette
Aubameyang

Those 3 players are the biggest contributors to a systemic issue . They are also 3 players that you could sell for around 85-90 million and rebuild the team with players of the correct profile.
 

HairSprayGooners

My brother posted it ⏩
I agree. We can't move everyone on. It would be the majority of the squad. But in my opinion, there are key figures in this team that lead to our failure for different reasons and they are the players that Arteta puts his trust in.

Xhaka
Lacazette
Aubameyang

Those 3 players are the biggest contributors to a systemic issue . They are also 3 players that you could sell for around 85-90 million and rebuild the team with players of the correct profile.

Out of interest why is Auba an issue? I think the issue is more Lacazette blocking a path for either a more creative CF or a creative LW.
 

The_Playmaker

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Out of interest why is Auba an issue? I think the issue is more Lacazette blocking a path for either a more creative CF or a creative LW.

Because he has 1 year on his deal. He will decline. Arteta will not play him cf, so it means we don't play with a goal scoring creative winger on the left. He is also going to try and drag this on for the whole window. I am sick of it. Make a decision. Sell him.
 

HairSprayGooners

My brother posted it ⏩
Because he has 1 year on his deal. He will decline. Arteta will not play him cf, so it means we don't play with a goal scoring creative winger on the left. He is also going to try and drag this on for the whole window. I am sick of it. Make a decision. Sell him.

But it looks like he's going to sign a new deal? :lol::lol: Arteta has said he will play him CF and LW, he scores 22 league goals a season. If you can you don't sell him. Simple as that. He might well decline in 2 years but he wont yet. Is £30M really worth our while to sell now? We already need to make 3 or 4 starting additions to the squad without having to replace another.
 

lamby22

It's Not Lupus
Absolute poverty.

Unrealistic, I know, but I'd keep Leno, Saliba, Tierney, Saka, Pepe (one more season but he has to improve), Martinelli and Auba.

Still undecided on Bellerin. He's regressed so much I think we might be better getting rid.

The rest - I wouldn't care if I never saw them in an Arsenal shirt again.
 

ChefMan21

Well-Known Member
It's a reflection of a club that's had three very different managers in not very many years. If I were in charge (God forbid), I'd simplify what we were doing this coming window to:
  1. Rebuilding our defence to pick up those points from 50/50 games, or games we were expected to win but drew (or lost). I think there are 15-20 points in doing that.
  2. Clearing deadwood to ensure we have a group of 10-15 players that are either regular first-teamers that would be found in an actual team that wants to win the title, or squad players in the same sort of team.
  3. If we have the time and funds after the first two, pick up a top-quality midfielder or two.
I really think defence is low-hanging fruit for us, and the rest of our ambitions should follow from there. Depending on how our youngsters and signings progress, it might take 3-4 seasons to rebuild each component of the side (defence, midfield, attack (as PEA and Laca come toward retirement). As long as I see steady progress though, I'm happy.
 

akhil

Well-Known Member
I agree. We can't move everyone on. It would be the majority of the squad. But in my opinion, there are key figures in this team that lead to our failure for different reasons and they are the players that Arteta puts his trust in.

Xhaka
Lacazette
Aubameyang

Those 3 players are the biggest contributors to a systemic issue . They are also 3 players that you could sell for around 85-90 million and rebuild the team with players of the correct profile.

I agree with the basic point, our whole attack and structure is disjointed with those 3. At a basic technical level at their respective positions, they just aren't very good. Auba's an epic goal scorer but he isn't very good anything else for a wide forward.

Replacing all three in 1 window is asking a lot on the replacements. Laca is the most dispensable of the 3 right now unless we get 45+ million for Auba.

I used to moan for years when we just had midget AMs all over the pitch but god how I'd want those days back looking at these guys play.

A good playmaker and a dynamic DM would take us up multiple levels.
 

RunTheTrap

Nobody laughs on my "jokes" 😫
I agree. We can't move everyone on. It would be the majority of the squad. But in my opinion, there are key figures in this team that lead to our failure for different reasons and they are the players that Arteta puts his trust in.

Xhaka
Lacazette
Aubameyang


Those 3 players are the biggest contributors to a systemic issue . They are also 3 players that you could sell for around 85-90 million and rebuild the team with players of the correct profile.
Completely agree, I'll even add David Luiz to that list to as well. Low-key I think Arteta is trying to fix those problem areas in his own way.

Firstly, with Lacazette it's pretty certain he prefers Eddie to him. Lacazette will be moved on in the summer and that is that.
As for Auba, I think he'll keep him out wide on the peripheral of games like Walcott was. In a more possession based team that can actually keep the opposition team pinned back, Auba lack of skill will be less noticeable and all he has to concentrate on is making runs.

As for Xhaka, I don't think Arteta or even the club rates him as high as we think we do. For the recent summer's we have brought in Elneny, Guendouzi, Torreria, Cellabos and we are heavily linked with Partey. Obviously, we got it wrong on most of those signings but the intent was there to really fix that no. 6 role. In the mean time, as for the no. 10 role we haven't actually signed one since Özil has gone off the boil. It made me think how the club failed to address the lack of creativity. In my opinion, I think it's weird we are after Partey on the first day of the transfer window and not an attacking midfielder. So it had me thinking. I think the club want a proper DM and CBs thst can cover space. Why? So we can play up the pitch higher, we press smaller distances and our possession play is easier but you can't do that if your team struggles with space. Its why when Arteta came in he was trying new ways to condense the space like playing AMN as an inverted fullback or asking Xhaka to drop into the lb role to finally going to a back 3. Btw I still think an attacking midfielder will come but not it's not as urgent as the club believes. I think we need to move on from having one playmaker who every thing goes through attacking wise like Özil. It's not healthy and makes us dependent on one player, instead it should be about having as many avenues to create as possible.
 

MikelHadADream

Well-Known Member
I agree. We can't move everyone on. It would be the majority of the squad. But in my opinion, there are key figures in this team that lead to our failure for different reasons and they are the players that Arteta puts his trust in.

Xhaka
Lacazette
Aubameyang

Those 3 players are the biggest contributors to a systemic issue . They are also 3 players that you could sell for around 85-90 million and rebuild the team with players of the correct profile.

Agree re Lacazette, but for me Xhaka and especially Auba are crucial next season. We should be looking to sell Lacazette/Bellerin/Guendouzi/Torreira to raise funds. All essentially squad players that the team won't miss a bit.
 

The_Playmaker

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Agree re Lacazette, but for me Xhaka and especially Auba are crucial next season. We should be looking to sell Lacazette/Bellerin/Guendouzi/Torreira to raise funds. All essentially squad players that the team won't miss a bit.

This club will not get top four as long as Xhaka is our most important midfielder. If you play Xhaka it means you play with one less creative midfielder. It means you need to have a dm who can do the leg work for him. It means if you even think of playing Ceballos aswell, we then have an incredibly slow midfield with two players, who don't score or assist.

Xhaka just holds his position, barely gets past the centre circle and just passes the ball to the left hand side. He doesn't beat a press, he doesn't switch the play, he doesn't split defences, he can't dribble, he cant recover, he can barely tackle.

Having him as the focal point of our midfield means we will fail.

Xhaka, Lacazette and Auba are the 3 players that force us to change our entire system.

Xhaka -must be a double pivot. He needs legs around him and to be able to drop deep.

Lacazette -needs Auba to play wide as he simply can't score enough goals as the lone centre forward.

Auba- doesn't have the all around game to be a centre forward in Arteta's system.

We need to simply sell players who will not bring us forward. Ffs. We have gone from Champions League, to Europa, to our lowest position in 30 years. How can anyone say, we need to keep these players to get in top 4? They have proven we cant even get top 8 with them. It's there in black and white.

There are to many caveats. The board, the manager.

The issue is the players. They are not right for the way we want to play and they are not good enough either. So buy players who fit into the system.

I always hear about, we need top top quality signings like we have some complete team and just need a VVD to complete it. As far as I am concerned we can improve on every single senior player we have. They are that bad.

There are players who are in teams below us that are better than what we have. It's not hard to improve on what we have. Partey costs 50 million. We could literally improve massively on all our dm options by buying Sangare.
 

HairSprayGooners

My brother posted it ⏩
Agreed with @The_Playmaker comments on Xhaka. Its not plausible to play Xhaka and Ceballos in a 3. Its one or the other, they both do the same things but Ceballos is just better overall. There's way more zip to Ceballos' play.

We want Ceballos for the link between defence and midfield, we want Partey for the legs in midfield and athleticism and we want another creative player as the third midfielder.

Ultimately you want 6 options for 3 positions.

Ceballos/Xhaka
Partey/Willock
Creative mid/ESR

Perfect blend there.
 

Sebastes

Statbomb Merchant
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As I see it we could play 3-4-3 with the current squad and do okay. We’ve seen it work well against better sides after the lockdown. The problem is when we face teams that sit back. In those games our passing map pretty much consists of an “U” and we struggle to create chances. Biggest reason imo is that we can’t find a pass between the opposition lines combined with having midfielders that can’t progress the ball by themselves. Xhaka and Ceballos both sit deep and distribute passes to each other, our wide forwards or wingbacks who then step on the ball and passes it back.

When Arteta came in we had a much more fluid and dynamic passing game. The only reason was that we had Özil playing as a 10. There are plenty of tactical analysis that highlight this. Özil is a player who can find and create space with his passing. Now it’s clear he won’t play a part we need to replace that somehow. Arteta has tried to address it by asking his CF to come deep and help build up play, but we don’t have the right profile in Laca or Nketiah to suceed there. Lately it’s been extremely clear that we lack the presence of a player in the CAM/false 9 capacity.

If we have very limited budget, one solution could be to keep playing 3-4-3 and get a more athletic CM as well as a playmaking/versatile LW/CAM/CF. In attack that LW could come in centrally allowing for LWB to play as winger.

A more athletic and mobile CM would let whoever of Xhaka and Ceballos who plays to move forward a bit with RWB tucking in to protect, or let both CM’s sit back a bit and RWB to push forward and overlap or go inside depending on Pepe.

This means against weaker, defending opponents Auba plays CF with a LW coming in and against top teams Auba would play LW with someone at CF.

Even though I think Arteta would prefer a different formation, this would effectively let us address our
weaknesses with two signings (and potentially Ceballos), while also playing to the strengths of our current squad. Saka and AMN fits the LWB and RWB perfectly. We get to bed in Saliba in a 3 which provide more margin for error in the beginning and get a very good passer at LCB in Tierney.

In this case the CM role seems made for someone like Partey. Would put Douglas Luiz as an outsider as well.

For LW the perfect player would be Grealish. However, I don’t see him playing CF and he’s too much of a big name to bench in big games. Benrahama is someone that would work nicely as LW and is benchable. My favorite though is Depay as he can play both LW and CF. A very small question mark over his playmaking ability, though.

Over the course of the season we can start to transition to a 4-3-3/4-1-4-1 with Saka as LCM, Partey as DM and Ceballos/AMN/Willock/ESR at RCM.

Next year go big on CB, CM and potentially new CF.
 

HairSprayGooners

My brother posted it ⏩
As I see it we could play 3-4-3 with the current squad and do okay. We’ve seen it work well against better sides after the lockdown. The problem is when we face teams that sit back. In those games our passing map pretty much consists of an “U” and we struggle to create chances. Biggest reason imo is that we can’t find a pass between the opposition lines combined with having midfielders that can’t progress the ball by themselves. Xhaka and Ceballos both sit deep and distribute passes to each other, our wide forwards or wingbacks who then step on the ball and passes it back.

When Arteta came in we had a much more fluid and dynamic passing game. The only reason was that we had Özil playing as a 10. There are plenty of tactical analysis that highlight this. Özil is a player who can find and create space with his passing. Now it’s clear he won’t play a part we need to replace that somehow. Arteta has tried to address it by asking his CF to come deep and help build up play, but we don’t have the right profile in Laca or Nketiah to suceed there. Lately it’s been extremely clear that we lack the presence of a player in the CAM/false 9 capacity.

If we have very limited budget, one solution could be to keep playing 3-4-3 and get a more athletic CM as well as a playmaking/versatile LW/CAM/CF. In attack that LW could come in centrally allowing for LWB to play as winger.

A more athletic and mobile CM would let whoever of Xhaka and Ceballos who plays to move forward a bit with RWB tucking in to protect, or let both CM’s sit back a bit and RWB to push forward and overlap or go inside depending on Pepe.

This means against weaker, defending opponents Auba plays CF with a LW coming in and against top teams Auba would play LW with someone at CF.

Even though I think Arteta would prefer a different formation, this would effectively let us address our
weaknesses with two signings (and potentially Ceballos), while also playing to the strengths of our current squad. Saka and AMN fits the LWB and RWB perfectly. We get to bed in Saliba in a 3 which provide more margin for error in the beginning and get a very good passer at LCB in Tierney.

In this case the CM role seems made for someone like Partey. Would put Douglas Luiz as an outsider as well.

For LW the perfect player would be Grealish. However, I don’t see him playing CF and he’s too much of a big name to bench in big games. Benrahama is someone that would work nicely as LW and is benchable. My favorite though is Depay as he can play both LW and CF. A very small question mark over his playmaking ability, though.

Over the course of the season we can start to transition to a 4-3-3/4-1-4-1 with Saka as LCM, Partey as DM and Ceballos/AMN/Willock/ESR at RCM.

Next year go big on CB, CM and potentially new CF.

If we were to stick with the 343 we still need what we need in a 433. Creativity, Partey and a CB.

Leno
AMN
New CB
Luiz
Saliba
Tierney
Partey
Ceballos
Zaha/Depay/Grealish
Auba
Pepe

I mean it doesn't look a bad thing to do in the big games, but against smaller teams I dont want to be playing 343.
 

Sebastes

Statbomb Merchant
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If we were to stick with the 343 we still need what we need in a 433. Creativity, Partey and a CB.

Leno
AMN
New CB
Luiz
Saliba
Tierney
Partey
Ceballos
Zaha/Depay/Grealish
Auba
Pepe

I mean it doesn't look a bad thing to do in the big games, but against smaller teams I dont want to be playing 343.
I don’t want us to be playing 3-4-3 at all tbh, which is why I said that we could transition to 4-3-3 over time.

As someone said earlier - the next season comes a little to soon for us. After the final we’ll have 6 weeks of pre-season if there isn’t a day off. We can’t possibly address every deficiency in that time. Both in terms of # of transfers but also in implementing a new system (although it looks like Arteta has started drilling the squad in a 4-3-3). That’s FM stuff.

Now we have a system where players are starting to settle and we’d only need two new signings to be able to improve our ability in that same system. We saw first hand how bad a back 4 performed against relegated Watford. There’s no chance in hell we’ll get a new CB in and start him with Saliba in 6 weeks, whoever he is.

Just trying to be realistic :)
 

HairSprayGooners

My brother posted it ⏩
I don’t want us to be playing 3-4-3 at all tbh, which is why I said that we could transition to 4-3-3 over time.

As someone said earlier - the next season comes a little to soon for us. After the final we’ll have 6 weeks of pre-season if there isn’t a day off. We can’t possibly address every deficiency in that time. Both in terms of # of transfers but also in implementing a new system (although it looks like Arteta has started drilling the squad in a 4-3-3). That’s FM stuff.

Now we have a system where players are starting to settle and we’d only need two new signings to be able to improve our ability in that same system. We saw first hand how bad a back 4 performed against relegated Watford. There’s no chance in hell we’ll get a new CB in and start him with Saliba in 6 weeks, whoever he is.

Just trying to be realistic :)

That's a good point on Saliba. We'll try him with Mari/Luiz/Mustafi/Chambers when fit no doubt. If we can get Partey and a creator before next season starts I'd be over the moon.
 

MikelHadADream

Well-Known Member
This club will not get top four as long as Xhaka is our most important midfielder. If you play Xhaka it means you play with one less creative midfielder. It means you need to have a dm who can do the leg work for him. It means if you even think of playing Ceballos aswell, we then have an incredibly slow midfield with two players, who don't score or assist.

Xhaka just holds his position, barely gets past the centre circle and just passes the ball to the left hand side. He doesn't beat a press, he doesn't switch the play, he doesn't split defences, he can't dribble, he cant recover, he can barely tackle.

Having him as the focal point of our midfield means we will fail.

Xhaka, Lacazette and Auba are the 3 players that force us to change our entire system.

Xhaka -must be a double pivot. He needs legs around him and to be able to drop deep.

Lacazette -needs Auba to play wide as he simply can't score enough goals as the lone centre forward.

Auba- doesn't have the all around game to be a centre forward in Arteta's system.

We need to simply sell players who will not bring us forward. Ffs. We have gone from Champions League, to Europa, to our lowest position in 30 years. How can anyone say, we need to keep these players to get in top 4? They have proven we cant even get top 8 with them. It's there in black and white.

There are to many caveats. The board, the manager.

The issue is the players. They are not right for the way we want to play and they are not good enough either. So buy players who fit into the system.

I always hear about, we need top top quality signings like we have some complete team and just need a VVD to complete it. As far as I am concerned we can improve on every single senior player we have. They are that bad.

There are players who are in teams below us that are better than what we have. It's not hard to improve on what we have. Partey costs 50 million. We could literally improve massively on all our dm options by buying Sangare.

Was never Xhaka's biggest fan, but he has been immense under Arteta IMO. His positioning and decision making really have gone up a level, I don't think his influence on the team can be questioned atm, we look far worse when he isn't playing.

As for Auba, you accommodate for a player like that, which is what he has been doing. How many other players score 20 league goals a season with a team with no creativity. We have to keep him at all costs, an adequate replacement will cost far more than his new contract.

The way you improve (see Liverpool) is selling squad players and replacing them with first 11 players. Thats why you sell Bellerin/Torreira/Guendouzi/Lacazette as well as the dross. None of them are starters and should fetch 100m in sales. As for Sangare, there really isn't any guarantee he is better than Guendouzi or Torreira.

We need proven quality, as Arteta said. Players that have performed in the Premier league/Champions league/Internationally. We really can't afford many more punts. That's why Partey is desperately needed, plugs a massive hole in the squad and is proven to be top top class.
 
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