No morning words, but a quick poll

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We probably all agree that we could do with three or four players this summer, in three or four different areas of the pitch. But what if we only had the luxury of signing one? Take Chamakh out of the equation (I’m assuming his arrival is a done deal) and let me know your priority.

Is it in goal, where Almunia and Fabianski have both suffered poor seasons. Both are good shot stoppers, but being a goalkeeper is not just about stopping shots, it’s about confidence, having an aura, commanding your box, marshalling your defence and giving that confidence to your back line ahead of you.

Or in central defence, where Silvestre and Gallas both look likely to sail off into the sunset, leaving just two men to hold the fort. Vermaelen has had a very promising debut season, but Djourou has only played about 20 minutes all year.

Or perhaps a new holding midfielder. We are well stocked with darting, creative, diminutive midfielders but when the much improved Alex Song is absent – as he was on several occasions last season – we lack an obvious candidate to slot in there and replace him. Neither Diaby nor Denilson seem to me to be the best fit there.

Finally, prolific striker. van Persie can score 25 goals if he stays fit, and Bendtner around 20, but we’ve not had a 30-goal man since Henry left for Barcelona. Is an out-and-out goalscorer the most crucial requirement?

I appreciate this is all rather hypothetical, but it’s indicative and, well, a bit of fun on a day when you’re *probably* going to grit your teeth and watch you-know-who in the cup final.

Update, 09:41 16.05.10

Pretty conclusive isn’t it? 68% say the the goalkeeping position is the most crucial. This, even if both Gallas and Silvestre depart, leaving us short in defence. But of course, the reality is we can sign more than one player and that both those positions might be strengthened.

Interesting nonetheless. A season of goalkeeping errors cannot easily be forgotten. Time for a change.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. kc

    Its hard to choose between goal and central defence. With Gallas and Silvestre leaving we have to bring in at least 2 new defenders. But our weakest link by far is in netminding. We have to bring in a Quality #1 Keeper this summer and that’s all I have to say about that.

  2. La gooner

    Great poll mate. And not a very surprising result at all !

  3. manziket

    Goalkeeper. I remember the difference between Arsenal defending Seaman’s goal and then defending Jen’s. Night and Day.

  4. RotorGoat

    It’s not really a fair question because we could do with bolstering most of those positions – but still, interesting nonetheless!

  5. 433

    let the kid play in goal, and bring in two defenders.

  6. cootas

    Our whole problem this season has been in defence, and i mean defending as a team .If you dont defend effectively as a unit it puts the keeper under immense pressure which makes him nervous which leads to glaring errors. Its no coincidence that both keepers we’ve used this year have at times looked liked idiots its because the confidence isn’t there. We desperatly need some defensive players in midfield as well as the center of defense along with chamakh this should be enough although i’d still like to see us sign around 5 quality players.

  7. BFFredo

    I’ve thought about this, EL. To me, it’s simple: if we can only add one player, it has to be a GK. A quality GK can marshall our defense (even if it’s Verminator/Djourou in central defense) and give the team confidence and calm when the pitch seems tilted against our end.

    You just gotta see how heads went down after Flapianski or Almunia made a mistake to see the value a good GK can have on a team.

  8. San Diego Goon

    Not sure if you already saw this, but a look at the season’s Opta stats is interesting, and may provide some answers to your poll question. Most of these can be filed under “No Sh*t”, but for what it’s worth:

    Cesc generated more goal-scoring opportunities than any other player (every 23.1 minutes). Van Persie and Nasri appear to be Nos. 8 and 9

    Song is 23rd in total number of tackles, the only Arsenal player in the top 30.

    Arsenal had 59.3% possession, second only to Chelsea (but only slightly ahead of Liverpool)

    Arsenal conceded 23 goals from set pieces, fourth worst (ahead of only Wigan and the relegated sides)

    Arsenal are the league’s LEAST ACCURATE CROSSERS (17.49%)

  9. 80s Gooner

    I’d like to see Arsenal change their formation next season.
    We cound get away with a diamond formation, Song holding, Cesc and Nasri in front of him with Arshavin behind the front two.
    A new world class goalie is a no brainer for me. Providing Sol stays and JD stays fit then we only need to bring in one defender as for midfielders I think that Eastmond/Lansbury/Wilshire are good enough to step up to the first team and now its time to offload all the dead wood Denilson, Diaby and Rosicky and buy experienced replacements.

  10. goonertank

    Good stuff. If I had one choice it would be a CB. Gallas and silvestre going and djourou hasn’t been fit for a full season in his entire career.

    I got a feeling AW will stick with his keepers

  11. Tommy

    “I got a feeling AW will stick with his keepers”

    ………..-Someone call 911 iam about to eat a 168 pain killers.

    (joke only ffs!)

  12. Rozzyguy

    If we’ve got cech in goal last season he would still fuck up.the art of defending is not about team work,for instance if valdes is good enough for barca,then who are we? Almunia is not totally bad,evee cech has his moment,shay given,jusi jasjelainen,robert green,joe hart all has fucking championship,small games experience,they dont even know what it takes to play in bigger stadium.its high time cesc,song,nasri, and the rest start defending as a team

  13. Bible Believer

    The reality is that the whole team needs rebuilding.

    – I wish Fabregas well whereever he ends up.

    – I sincerely think it would be a blessing in disguise if Fabregas leaves. Otherwise can people sincerely say that he is comparable to either Xavi or Iniesta talkless of Messi and Ronaldo. So if we are being sincere . . .yes Fabregas is very good amongst the average players at Arsenal but he is not irreplaceable.

    Then at least wen can get money to do the following:

    – 1 World Class GK
    – 2 World Class CB (asumming Gallas leaves)
    – 1 World DM (to partner “Song” or compete with him as required)
    – 1 World Class Winger (Eben Hazard probably)

    – Then either of the following players to replace Fabregas:

    “Hleb” or “Piennar” or “Arteta”



    People do not realise that the lose of Hleb was even more devastating than that of Flamini in that Hleb was the glue that allowed Arsenal to keep the ball and have a passing game… aka you can’t pass the ball if you can’t keep it.

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