Gooner's View: Arsenal Transfers With Joe, Callum, Alden & Pedro from 'Le Grove'

Gooners ViewContributor IDecember 14, 2008

It has been a strange start to the English Premiership hasn't it folks?


Gooner's View is of the thinking that no team is certain of running away with the Premier League, nor are any team assured of relegation.


Points are been lost and gained like never before and because of this Gooner's View has decided to keep their optimistic hat on and believe that Arsenal can still do something this season and make up for the disappointment it has been so far.


Despite the large slip-ups Arsenal have made this year, the other three of the "Big Four" have not pulled out of sight. While Aston Villa are currently fourth they are playing out of their skin at the moment and haven't had the inevitable mini-injury crisis that hits all clubs at some stage of the season which is why I see the perennial top four stay as they are for this year.


Arsenal fans and opposition fans alike have been wondering for the last few seasons do the North London club have money, and if they do have money—why is Arsene Wenger not spending it?


Maybe the club don't have the cash to splash since the move to the Emirates, after all Wenger spent it whilst at Highbury right?


All these questions have been thrown around before and this article will not go into them again.

In recent weeks, Peter Hill-Wood (right of the picture) has announced to the world that Arsenal have money to spend on players.


What Gunners now want is for Arsene Wenger to write up a list of players he glaringly needs and hand it to Ivan Gazidis (left of the picture) who then goes out and spends the aformentioned money.


But who do Arsenal need?


In order to get the views of the fans, Gooner's View caught up with Bleacher Report Gooners Joe Guarr, Callum D'Souza and Alden Sing and also got in contact with Pedro from famed Arsenal blog "Le Grove".



Who do you feel Arsenal need to buy in the transfer window?


Joe:  Arsenal would do well to add a physical presence in the back line to help command the defensive third of the pitch. Perhaps this is just the American in me speaking, but Oguchi Onyewu of Standard Liege is rumoured to be available.


His contract is up at the end of the season and he has not signed a new one, meaning Standard will likely sell him to receive at least some compensation. He's a tall defender and is excellent in the air. He's a very physical player as well, something that would help him succeed in the Premier League.


He's strong enough to contain a player like Drogba or Tevez, and would be able to throw a player like Torres out of rhythm.


He was part of a US team that turned in a respectable showing against Spain this summer and shut out Argentina. He would also be a weapon for Arsenal on set pieces with his height. Six feet, four inches, and built like an American football linebacker. Onyewu doesn't always do a pretty job, but he's almost always effective.


Alden: Shay Given. At 32, he can't be Arsenal's long term goalkeeping solution but he is nevertheless a solution anyway.


Almunia just doesn't cut it. He has been reliable but never outstanding. Shay Given will give this Arsenal backline its much needed confidence. He is experienced and knows what it is like to have shots flying at him non-stop (no thanks to his current time at Newcastle). Plus, he is not getting any younger and will relish an opportunity to play for one of the top clubs in England.


Arsenal could probably sign him as a stop gap situation till Fabianski gets some confidence in between those sticks. Fabianski looks good so far but I can only see him as a future option.


Pedro: First on my list of buys would be a centre back. If I could have it my way, I'd purchase a defender in the shape of Giorgio Chiellini (Juve). He is 6'1", good in the air, aggressive and extremely accomplished. He is an Italian national at the moment and is doing the business at Juventus. At 24 he'd is the perfect age to lead the back line for years to come.


Callum: We need a solid, reliable, consistent, experienced central midfielder who can fill the huge gap in the midfield. We need some one who can work with Fabregas and do most of the defending duties in the midfield.


I propose either Fenardo Gago from Real Madrid or Barcelona's Sergio Busquets.


A reliable midfielder who has hit some fine form, Gago has great passing ability along with a fine tackle. He has experience under his belt and can also score goals. He could easily be the answer in the midfield.


Another fine looking midfielder is Barcelona's Sergio Busquets. A highly talented youngster who has a great passing range and a superb footballing brain, Sergio is a tall and solid and is very strong in the defensive department. He is much in the Vieira mould and he would definitely fill the midfield role.


Busquets will be looking for more game time and he will no doubt get it at Arsenal. I strongly think this man/boy is the answer for the Arsenal midfield.


Joe: The most pressing need for Arsenal seems to be in the midfield. Eboue is a good player but has shown that he is not a solution on the right wing. I'd like to see him move back to a defensive role. It would be nice to have him behind Bacary Sagna for insurance, but he's not what the Gunners need in midfield.


Another move for Xabi Alonso might make sense to Wenger. Arsenal went after him late in the summer transfer window but couldn't get anything worked out with Liverpool. While Liverpool might be reluctant to sell such a talent to a rival for the title, enough money might do the trick. He's very creative and a dangerous offensive weapon. Arsenal have struggled to score goals at times and Xabi Alonso might remedy that.


Alden: I like Miguel Veloso and I want to see him as an Arsenal player immediately. I think he is the answer to Arsenal's defensive midfield problems. He is young (only 22) and is an uncompromising tackler.


Alex Song, with all due respect, is not going to hold his own in the middle of the park. Veloso would fit perfectly, finally allowing Fabregas to execute his role as a midfield general more capably, while he tidies things up at the back. But with that being said, I wouldn't be surprised if Wenger sticks by Song. Veloso won't come cheap and I can't see Wenger diving too much into the transfer kitty if he has any hint that Song can do the defensive midfielder job ably.


Pedro: Second on my list would be a defensive midfielder to help bring some authority to the middle of the park. The player needs to have high energy and a tenacious appetite for winning the ball.


In this position I would look to sign a fallen star... someone in the mould of Real Madrid's Diarra or perhaps Kolo Toure's younger brother Yaya. Whoever we sign, they need to be recognised for their strength and technical teenagers please!


Callum: Salomon Kalou is a must buy I feel as he is very versatile and is a reliable, consistent performer who can play upfront or as a winger. Salmon can really hit and curve a ball, not to mention his balance and speed is phenomenal.


The Chelsea youngster could see much more game time at Arsenal rather than Chelsea. Salmon was almost scooped up in the July transfer but declined the offer but I think come January things may be different.


Alden: After sitting through that excruciating performance from Eboue down on Arsenal's left, the solution is to get out there and buy another winger. News that Rosicky will be out till March next year isn't gonna help matters. Rosicky is not going to be the same as before anymore.


With Arsenal's right wing future secured with Walcott, it's time to get someone fast on the left as well. And I am thinking of Hatem Ben Arfa.


Again, very young and fast, Ben Arfa will be ideal for Wenger's side. But the drawback is he just signed for Marseille in 2008...a move to Arsenal looks unlikely but he is a real possibility! Again, Wenger may just choose to stick to Nasri and Diaby who can ply that left side of midfield well enough when they are fit. Buying Ben Arfa will cost an arm and a leg so it is very likely that this may be the least likely of all three possible transfers.


Pedro: My third signing would have to be a winger or a striker. If pushed...I would say a winger. Arsenal are currently struggling out wide. We lack pace, consistency, and the ability to hold onto the ball. Without solid wide players, we lose the movement of the full backs.


If you've noticed recently, Sagna and Clichy are far less inclined to bomb forward with and overlap because they can't guarantee a return ball or even that play will stay with Arsenal. Theo Walcott is starting to get there as a wide player, but he is still very sloppy. Nasri is struggling for consistency and Vela is deployed more often than not as a striker.


If I could have anyone, I'd take Ashley Young. He is a Gooner, he managed 17 assists last season and he is banging them in for fun this year. He would obviously be a touch pricey...but in dream land, you can purchase whoever you like!


Are there any Arsenal players you think may go in January?


Joe: I wouldn't be surprised to see William Gallas shown the door. He was not what the Gunners needed in a captain and has lost the armband to Cesc Fabregas. He's also prone to costly defensive blunders that have cost Arsenal points during the season. This is a team that needs consistency, and Gallas hasn't provided that in the back. Fans have hoped that Gallas' experience would provide them with stability but instead he's only provided headaches.


Callum: If Arsenal are to purchase a midfielder I believe that either Emmanuel Eboue or Alexander Song need to be sold. Both are no doubt talented but both have not really been able to find form and a starting birth in the Arsenal side. Both could get a whole lot more opportunities at clubs aiming at UEFA Cup births.


If Kalou is bought an obvious suggestion is to get rid of Nicklas Bendtner. The boy does have talent but his performances this season have been awful. The tall Dane has had more than enough chances and with Eduardo and Vela both ahead of him in the striking range I feel Bendtner must go.


Pedro: As for selling...well, I think our squad is far too threadbare to even consider a sale! I might not like a few players currently but most of them would suffice as squad players.



If your targets came to fruition what can Arsenal expect?


Joe: Basically, Arsenal just needs to get a little stronger at the back and a little more daring on offence. It seems like when they clamp down on opponents defensively, their offence also tends to dry up a little bit.


That's why I see Onyewu and Alonso as good potential signings; they could come in and immediately have a positive impact on Arsenal. Remember, the Gunners are still in the title race, but they need to have a great second half of the season in order to make that dream come true. Those two could go a long way towards making that happen.


Alden: If Arsenal sign all my recommended three signings, it will go without saying that Arsenal will be a very formidable team. It will be almost a dream come true for all Arsenal fans. And they won't have any more excuses to not be title contenders any more.


But the chance of all three signing for Arsenal is as remote as me calling Siberia my home. So I won't be crossing my fingers hoping for much.


What I will like though is for Shay Given to be added to Arsenal. He shouldn't cost anything. With Newcastle struggling, Michael Owen costs 2 million pounds so I don't envision Given costing more than that. But the effects of signing him will be enormous. Given will give that much needed calmness at the back for Arsenal. And Arsenal will provide him an opportunity to be actually in a winning team. It mutually benefits both parties.


Miguel Veloso would also add that extra dimension in midfield for Arsenal. His tough tackling will finally allow Arsenal fans to believe that Vieria has been reincarnated. And Fabregas can stop wallowing in the middle of the park and actually get forward to score goals, safe in the knowledge that Veloso will take no prisoners.



The fans have spoken but the question remains will Wenger act.


It has never been more obvious that Arsenal need to strengthen. The board must stay true to their word that the manager has money available to him.


However, if it is a thing that Wenger decides that he is staying faithful to "Project Youth" and refuses to spend money, it is time for the men and women of the board to have a word in the ear of the Frenchman.


He is not bigger than our club; after all we are THE ARSENAL.


Wenger has looked increasingly frustrated on the sidelines and it seems apparent that he realises that some of his players just aren't good enough and hopefully he will be the shrewd operator once again in the transfer market come January.


If there is one thing this Arsenal fan wants for Christmas it is the old Arsene Wenger back. The Arsene Wenger that brought together Henry, Ljungberg, Pires, Campbell, and Lehmann in the one team. The Arsene Wenger who wasn't afraid of telling his players to get stuck in.


Bring back that Arsene Wenger because that man was a winner and this Gooner still believes he is still lurking in there.



This edition of Gooner's View was brought to you primarily by Arsenal Co-Community Leader Maire Ofeire and reflect her views on current events. Gooner's View would like to thank Joe, Callum and Alden for their time and a special thanks to Pedro from Le Grove for his time in answering my questions. Until next time—Keep It Goonerish!!


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