Posts Tagged ‘Per Mertesacker’

Football

Arsene, if Arsenal sign Ashley Williams, please don’t make him captain

By Stefano on May 24th, 2013

Aaah the curse of the Arsenal captain. Give a player that armband and you can be sure as anything that within a season or two they will be off into the sunset. It happened to Henry, Fabregas, RVP and if the goss is right Thomas Vermaelen very shortly too.

Quite Arsene Wenger never gave it to Squillaci is beyond me…

But what’s this – there’s a new Arsenal captain on the horizon. That man is Ashley Williams and if The Daily Mail is right he will soon be an Arsenal player and possibly even bossing the side next season.

So do Arsenal need Williams? Well yes, and errr no.

If Vermaelen does leave then Arsenal are clearly short of centre backs. Wenger seems to quite like Miguel, but isn’t yet ready to elevate him to the first team. Besides any team competing for all those trophies next season needs three quality centre backs.

Williams has had an excellent season or two, reads the game well, isn’t afraid of the hurly burly and generally would be an excellent buy.

However I do wonder of Wenger has found his perfect centre back combination already in the guise of the BFG and the French fella.They have gelled so well together recently and their understanding seems almost telepathic.

What would concern me, and I guess many other Arsenal fans, is Wenger naming Williams captain then feeling obliged to start him. Unless he is convinced that the Koscielny/Williams pairing is the future it would be a very silly move. Half of the reason why it took so long for Wenger to start Mertesacker and Koscielny was that he felt he couldn’t leave his captain out. As Vermaelen’s form dipped so did Arsenal.

So by all means welcome Ashley Williams to Arsenal. But in my book for now he is our third choice CB. Sure he will get lots of games next year, but please Arsene don’t make him captain…

if you really want to shore up that defence can we please have Capoue?



Football

Worrying stats highlight Arsenal’s poor form when Thomas Vermaelen starts

By Stefano on March 20th, 2013

vermealen graphic

So Arsenal fans – tell me what you think about Thomas Vermaelen? It seems pretty clear now that Arsenal’s captain is very much Wenger’s third choice centre back behind Mertesacker and Koscielny. And to make matters worse for Vermaelen both players have been talking recently about how they are committed to the club and see their future in London.

Conversely the Belgian defender hasn’t had the best of seasons and his performances have been dogged by poor positional play, wayward passing and misunderstandings with his partners. In spite of this he has apparently caught the eye of the scouts from Barcelona who, if sources are to be believed, have penciled him in as the next player to move from The Emirates to the Nou Camp.

Here then is a quick snapshot of what Arsenal have been like with and without Vermaelen this year courtesy of WhoScored.Com. In some ways it is a slightly skewed view as he has obviously played many more games than he has missed. Nevertheless there is the emergence of a trend that shows that Arsenal’s defences are meaner without the Belgian. And when he has not started Arsenal have not lost a game.

I do wonder if the Mertesacker and Koscielny pairing will be a standard fixture (unless one of them gets injured) until the end of the season. Vermaelen’s dip in form could mean that he becomes the next player to exit The Emirates.



Football

Arsenal update: Vorm in, Mertsesacker out…

By Stefano on March 18th, 2013

Arsenal’s search for a keeper continues and the latest name to be thrown in the ring is the man who they put two past on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger is apparently now keen on Swansea’s Michel Vorm ,who at the very least would be a replacement for Lukasz Fabianski and may even supersede Wojciech Szczesny as the Gunners’ long term number one.

He wouldn’t be that cheap though. The player has three years left on his contract and several other clubs, including Barcelona, are apparently interested too.

Meanwhile German club Wolfsburg have targeted Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker for a summer move. The defender, whose performances have been inconsistent for The Gunners this season, would be reunited at the club with their sporting director Klaus Allofs who previously signed the player for Werder Bremen in 2006.

Allofs said

“Everyone knows what I think of Per. If he is for sale, he will always be of interest. He was the leader at Bremen and I also believe he is the leader in the Germany team. If he is for sale, he will always be of interest.”

There is a strong possibility of a serious shake up of Arsenal centre backs in the summer with Thomas Vermaelen allegedly a target for Barcelona.



Football

Arsenal V Sunderland – five things to watch for

By Stefano on February 9th, 2013

Last year Arsenal’s game against Sunderland at the Stadium Of Light, which was almost a year ago to the day, will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. It was on a very sub-standard pitch that Per Mertesacker sustained an injury which meant that he missed the rest of the season. Arsenal went on to win the game 2-1 and today Arsene Wenger kwows that is it three points or busts for this players – or else that fourth place claim will start sounding a bit hollow.

So what should we be looking for?

1 Who is going to play as central defender? - With Vermaelen injured and Koscielny facing a late fitness test Wenger has a tricky decision to make about who will partner Per Mertesacker. The injuries raise the dreaded prospect (for some Arsenal fans) of a return to the Premiership of one Sebastien Squillaci. Alternatively Wenger could opt to play Ignasi Miquel his 20 year old Spaniard. Wenger has also suggested that Carl Jenkinson might get the nod with his pace and ability to read the game complementing Mertesacker’s physical presence.

2 Can Arsenal turn possession into goals?
– So many times this season Arsenal, have enjoyed a large amount of possession in games and not delivered enough goals. With Sunderland I expect that the Black Cats will try and hit Arsenal on the break as well as use ex Gunner Sebastian Larsson to engineer chances from dead ball situations. I wonder if Arteta will play deeper than usual to counter this.

3 Will Wilshere and Walcott have an England hangover? - Both players were exceptional for their country this week, but how will that critical acclaim affect their game today? Walcott might find his opportunities to break at speed limited with Sunderland playing quite deep. As for Wilshere, surely he is the key man for Arsenal this afternoon as he wangles his way through the middle to create chances for the team’s front men.

4 Expect lots of long range shots from The Gunners – Let’s hope that Podolski, Cazorla and Arteta have their shooting boots on. I think that a packed Sunderland defence could mean that Arsenal’s best bet are shots from the edge of the area.

5 Can Giroud continue his rich vein of form? - The French striker has been reminding Arsenal fans this week that he has started his career at the club much better than a Dutchman whose name I don’t care to mention. Away at Sunderland though is exactly the type of game where Giroud will need to get goals. He has at times squandered chances. He better not to do today as I don’t think he will get too many.




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