Arsenal FC's Two Top Players in Every Position? Let's Review..

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Arsenal FC's Two Top Players in Every Position? Let's Review..
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“You can compare every player in every position, every time there is two top quality players.” - Arsene Wenger, 24/01/2011

I haven't written on Bleacher Report for exactly 2 years now, but I have been feeling compelled to return recently and the above quote I thought would be the perfect start.

As Arsenal prepare for the Carling Cup semi-final (a match I will be attending), and attempt to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg, Arsene Wenger has delivered his pre-match interview praising his squad. Now a great squad I would agree, but what interests me for the purpose of this interview is whether Arsenal really do have 2, top quality, players in every position.

Before I study the squad I'd like to note I have only thought about this in my head, and when it comes to writing this down it could turn out true, but I am leaning towards the negative end of the scale if I have to make a prediction. I'd also like to say this is purely my opinion and there will be those who agree and those who do not, I hope everyone enjoys the article though. Here goes..

Arsenal play a 4-3-3 formation, or 4-1-2-3 if your fussy so I will base this on the following positions: GK, LB, CB, CB, RB, CDM, CM, CM, RW, LW, ST. Times 2 obviously. I will also try to judge this by several factors, some with more weight than others but these include whether they would get into the first XI of the top premiership teams, potential, form, and general opinion of the players ability.

Lets stop talking and begin shall we...

Goalkeeper

Player "Top Quality" Verdict

Manuel Almunia

Manuel Almunia

Almunia never real has been consistent for Arsenal, it was only a matter of time before he was replaced by a more reliable keeper.

Verdict: No

Lukasz Fabianski

Lukasz Fabianski

This was tough, I was leaning towards a no but his recent form just edged him in there, and perhaps I was being nice as to not ruin this article too early!

Verdict: Yes

Wojciech Szczesny

Wojciech Szczesny

Yes - Szczesny looks like an almighty prospect, he still has some things to learn and work on but this guy looks like Schmeichel material, the way he anticipates the ball and rushes to spread himself is Schmeichel-esq in itself. For me he is Arsenals best goalkeeper.

Verdict: Yes

Verdict

This position gets a pass at 2 out of 2, even if Fabianski was a tight call. Vito Mannone is currently not in the squad, and upon his return I think he deserves a chance to push for the first team.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right Back

Player "Top Quality" Verdict

Bacary Sagna

Bacary Sagna

Sagna is Arsenals leading Right Back, a position once held by Eboue until he was sent into midfield to accomadate Sagnas' arrival.

Verdict: Yes

Emmanuel Eboue

Emmanuel Eboue

Only the second position and another close call but I will give Eboue a yes because although not the most reliable he is good enough for cover and would probably get into a lot of premiership XI's.

Verdict: Yes

Verdict I will pass the position of Right Back at 2 out of 2, only just due to the inconsistency of Eboue but it is a position that is secure for now.

Centre Back

Player "Top Quality" Verdict

 Johan Djourou

Johan Djourou

For me the former midfielder does not look comfortable in this role a lot of the time, granted he has put in some good performances but I still feel he has a bit to prove, especially as he seems to let every ball coming towards him pass his body rather than give it an old fashioned booted clearance.

Verdict: No

 Sebastien Squillaci

Sebastien Squillaci

This centre back has a lot of experience under his belt, this being his first season at Arsenal he has looked solid, but sometimes hesitant at the back. Was in the infamous France 2010 world cup squad. Squillaci will get a yes from me, but only just - this is becoming a common thing now.

Verdict: Yes

 Laurent Koscielny

Laurent Koscielny

I can see the potential in Koscielny but does he have what it takes to be Arsenal first team now? I think his game has mistakes he needs to cut out, but that will only come with experience. I'll pass Koscielny on the basis of potential, that he has shown glimpses of.

Verdict: Yes

 Thomas Vermaelen

Thomas Vermaelen

Undoubtedly the best defender Arsene has at his disposal, his capture last season was somewhat of a breath of fresh air for Gunners fans. This season he has been hampered by injury, and Arsenal have missed him. The closest Arsenal have had to Tony Adams in a long time.

Verdict: Yes

Verdict 4 centre backs are needed for a pass here, unfortunately we just scraped a 3, Arsenals need to sign a new top-class centre back has always been apparent to everyone though and this fail verdict will serve little a surprise to many.

Left Back

Player "Top Quality" Verdict

 Gael Clichy

Gael Clichy

Clichy is a top quality left back, still capable of the odd slip up, but always a hard worker and runs his socks off til the final whistle.

Verdict: Yes

 Kieran Gibbs

Kieran Gibbs

A brilliant prospect for Arsenal and England, Arsenal always seem to be spoilt when it comes to left backs. Gibbs is close if not there, when it comes to displacing Clichy from the first XI.

Verdict: Yes

Verdict One of the strongest positions in the Arsenal squad, nothing to worry about here for Wenger. Pass with flying colours.

Defensive Midfield

Player "Top Quality" Verdict

 Alex Song

Alex Song

Arsenals first choice rock between defence and midfield, needs to work on his passing ability but apart from that Song has made Arsenal fans forget about Flamini packing his bags for Milan. Seems to go from strength to strength.

Verdict: Yes

 Denilson

Denilson

Some may not consider Denilson to come under this position, but Wenger deploys him a lot as a Defensive Midfielder. Has put in some solid performances but nowhere near as commanding and influential as Song. Maybe its not his best position.

Verdict: No

 Craig Eastmond

Craig Eastmond

The games he has featured in he has done well, but once again cannot be considered as a solid replacement for Song.

Verdict: No

 Emmanuel Frimpong

Emmanuel Frimpong

Was having a promising pre-season before getting injured and ruled out for several months, while he has more potential than Eastmond he has little experience to replace Song.

Verdict: No

Verdict  In my opinion Arsenal have no proper cover for Song, it can be argued that Wenger can forge a makeshift Midfield of World Class talent if Song was to be absent from a game, but in terms of a solid, Defensive Midfielder, Arsenal "only have the one Song". This position is failed, 1 out of 2.

Centre Midfield

Player "Top Quality" Verdict

 Abou Diaby

Abou Diaby

A player unfortunately hampered by injury's, Diaby has potential and ability, is he Top Quality, I would say yes, I like him as a player and although not first team he is a good squad player to have.

Verdict: Yes

 Cesc Fabregas

Cesc Fabregas

Do I need to write anything here? Not only one of the best in the Arsenal squad, but one of the best in his position in the world.

Verdict: Yes

 Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere

Outstanding prospect, already has tons of ability and is only 19, has the potential to go as far as he wants, hopefully he can help England to a trophy as well.

Verdict: Yes

Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey

Before his injury Aaron was establishing himself in the Arsenal first team, if he can come back strong and get fit he will be a big player for Arsenal.

Verdict: Yes

Verdict Arsenals centre of midfield has an abundance of talent, the likes of Nasri can also drop back here so they are never short of options. A pass 4/4

Wingers

Player "Top Quality" Verdict

 Samir Nasri

Samir Nasri

Possibly more suited to the middle, Nasri is usually deployed on the left by Arsene Wenger. His talent is there to see and there is more than one reason why Rio Ferdinand suggested he should be named player of the year. Top Quality would be an understatement.

Verdict: Yes

 Tomas Rosicky

Tomas Rosicky

Rosicky has looked out of place on many of his recent outings, I think his constant injury woes have caused a lot of problems for his football, for me he should be moved on and judging by Arsene Wengers desire to sign Edin Hazard that time may come soon.

Verdict: No

 Andrey Arshavin

Andrey Arshavin

 This season he has been a shadow of his former self, leaving many Arsenal fans wondering if this is the same person that exploded onto the scene at the end of the January transfer window 2 years ago. They say form is temporary, class is permanent. I will say Arshavin is lacking the former rather than the latter.

Verdict: Yes

 Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott

Has been deployed on the right wing for 98% of his Arsenal career even though the player himself and even Arsene Wenger class him as a striker. Walcott has suffered from a combination of patchy form, injurys, a media spotlight, and bad luck; but for me he is developing into a great player.

Verdict: Yes

Verdict I was going to split this category into left and right wing, but the players in question are usually found rotating, a tactic used by Wenger. Arsenal are a bit short when it comes to wingers, the possible capture of Hazard is mouth watering however and if it comes to fruition Arsenal will have this position covered. Fails as it only got a 3/4 but its not far from passing.

Striker

Player "Top Quality" Verdict

 Marouane Chamakh

Marouane Chamakh

Chamakh is Arsenals signing of the transfer window, allowing another avenue to their game, with his fantastic heading ability. Marouane has impressed in his debut season, although he has slipped off the radar slightly with Van Persies return to fitness and form, he is a tireless player and has that funny trait of scoring goals, 10 from 23 starts is in comparison to Van Persie himself.

Verdict: Yes

 Carlos Vela

Carlos Vela

Carlos's development has been hindered due to a lack of playing time, he is clearly full of potential but has suffered to get games as Arsenal only deploy one striker in their formation. Can play on the wing but is more suited to the central position. A loan move could give him that much needed push in his career.

Verdict: Yes

 Nicklas Bendtner

Nicklas Bendtner

Some will disagree, many will agree, Bendtner is not good enough to play for Arsenal. Frustrating and not willing to work for the team, Niklas has some ability but his arrogance will never let him develop it. For me the weak link in the squad.

Verdict: No

 Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie

This is easy to write with Robin just returning to form, if he stays out the treatment room Arsenal can win things this season, he has that dutch class about him and is a standout talent that would get into any Premiership side.

Verdict: Yes

Verdict I pass this at 3 out of 2, Arsenal are spoilt when it comes to strikers, probably because they only use one at a time in their current formation, but nevertheless if first choice Van Persie was unavailable they have great cover in Marouane Chamakh.

So there it is, the longest article I have written, which I hope will be enjoyed rather than scrutinised.

The final verdict is Arsenal do not have 2 top class players in every position, but one or two additions can fix this, they do have a lot of World Class talent, this and if this squad can stay fit and healthy there is no reason why Arsenal won't be lifting a trophy this season.

thanks for reading,

Mike

one or two addition can fix

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