Mertesacker: deep squad ready for next step

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Per Mertesacker says that the options available to Arsene Wenger mean the manager will have some difficult decisions to make as the season goes on.

Arsenal won the Community Shield yesterday without Alexis Sanchez, Tomas Rosicky, Calum Chambers, David Ospina, Jack Wilshere, Mathieu Flamini or Danny Welbeck in the squad; while players like Mathieu Debuchy and Gabriel didn’t even get off the bench.

It means that there’s a depth of squad that hasn’t been there in seasons past, something the BFG says will cause the manager headaches.

“You can see we have a great squad, a deep squad,” he said. “That means there will be some difficult questions for the manager to answer and for the team, how we can cope with the difficulties.

“There will be disappointment in the squad. At the moment it is easier to handle in pre-season because everyone gets his games but once it is into the season, everyone wants to play in their own position.”

Nevertheless, it’s a very healthy situation for the club to be in. It’s much better to have competition for places than having to scrape the barrel to find someone to pull on the shirt.

The Arsenal vice-captain now wants the team to continue the momentum they’ve built up during pre-season into the new campaign.

“We have good form, can we keep that and start well is the key. We are confident, we have a great winning streak from Asia, the Emirates Cup and Wembley.

“We have to step up and do more than last season, so that is the question for us. We asked the question to ourselves and you could see we really want to compete and do the next step.”

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CB
CB

A good team that didn’t get to play, Sp*rs would be delighted with that team.

Someone tell me that Chelsea have a better squad than us…

Rjl93
Rjl93

Chelsea have a better squa……

PAHAHAHA I couldn’t even finish that sentence I can’t tell lies

Jeff
Jeff

Lol..

Stringer Bell
Stringer Bell

You said it yourself the other day I think, there’s not a lot in it. A lot will come down to injuries me thinks. Who would replace Hazard and Willian for example. Moses, well is he good enough? Who else? We will go close this season, I feel as sure as one can be about that. Unfortunately there are a few on here, very quiet as of late funny enough, who live in a black and white, all or nothing world who want guarantees before a ball is kicked.

Rufusstan
Rufusstan

Agree on the squad. If anything, the injuries have meant the whole squad has got playing time, which just shows how strong it is throughout its depth.

I’ll always have a preferred starting 11, but I cannot think of anyone in the squad right now that I’d be unhappy to see starting if needed.

Actually I’d be struggling to get it down below 13-14 players who I’d want to start every game if fit, so not even sure I could write a first 11 right now.

Woolwich Peripatetic
Woolwich Peripatetic

I know what you mean, there’s no-one in the team who feels completely indispensable, even Le Coq. Maybe we have to play a different way if he’s out of the team but Ramsey can play that role if he puts his mind to it, only two years ago he was the league’s leading defensive midfielder, despite not playing as one.

wash_dc_gunner
wash_dc_gunner

Really haven’t been this excited before the season starts in a long time 🙂

Debo
Debo

There are a lot of games to be played this season. All the players would get a chance to play. This season is looking very good.

CB
CB

A telling line I heard yesterday was ‘tell me which team’s fans don’t think they need an upgrade in two positions’. This is a common theme amongst Arsenal fans. I can look at every team in the PL and pick out two weaknesses (and more now for Chelsea after seeing Remy and Falcao play).

However our weaknesses are a lack of top class *cover* for DM and a better striker, despite very few better strikers existing in the world. We are in a good position, that’s for sure.

12th Man in The Clockend
12th Man in The Clockend

Couldn’t ask for more as a Gooner right now. Cech was a master stroke and the whole team has performed well during pre-season. Santi and Theo signing extensions, Per seemingly back to his best after last season’s woes. Surely it is now the year we can really kick on. Feeling great. Cmon the Arsenal!

Cliff Bastin
Cliff Bastin

Alexis + Mesut = Fire + Ice

Armourist
Armourist

Is Ozil the new iceman and should he therefore inherit god’s chant?

Alex
Alex

It’d be great if Arsenal fans would sing Mesut for himself and not as a reference to Bale’s transfert…

aaron
aaron

No no, I love me some Mr Ozil but God is God

Alex
Alex

and Mesut is Mesut.

henkamp
henkamp

Dennis is god.

Arshavin's Dietician
Arshavin's Dietician

Denis

Man Manny
Man Manny

The signing of Cech, to me, is the real indicator that Arsene means business. Four years ago, he wouldn’t sanction an £11m outlay on a keeper when we already have Szcz. and Ospina no matter how good he may be.
The team has depth but I am convinced he will readily add to it still if a quality player becomes available.
Mourinho is scared; no doubt about that.

TommyGun
TommyGun

The signings of Ozil and Sanchez were also a pretty good indicator buddy. It’s all good, I still think we could do with another striker but it is exciting times!

Man Manny
Man Manny

Not saying they weren’t; but £11m on a keeper is not what the manager would likely do in previous years considering he was willing to go with Almunia! What I mean is that the Cech signing is more an indicator that the lean years are over than Ozil and Alexis considering the positions they play.

Rossi88
Rossi88

No one knows if Arsene would or wouldnt. But rather he COULDNT due to stadium. Arsene has always paid big money when its needed and could be done. Henry, Reyes, Even Sol was a big outlay considering it was ‘free’. Minus madsive eage and signing on. Stadium just fucked us hard in the short term.

Jagger
Jagger

Agreed. Wenger was always a big spender when he thought the player was good enough. I always compare the transfers to the biggest of that time period. An example would be: Thierry Henry for 11 million pounds in 1999. That is (almost) a third of Christian Vieri’s 32.1 million transfer.

Translated into today’s world means that Arsenal spent 28 million pounds (if we compare it to Bale’s transfer).

All this means that when Arsenal had the money to spare, Wenger always spent it.

AnonymousGun
AnonymousGun

He added Ozil despite having so many #10 back then, then repeat by buying Sanchez when we still have wingers.

So chill back, relaxed.. and if theres someone available thats an upgrade to our players, he will buy them.

PodB
PodB

and he wanted to piss off Maureen and Terry …. COYG!

Tom thumb
Tom thumb

Best squad we’ve had in years,one or two more signings would be the icing on the cake,but I wouldn’t be bitterly disappointed if we didn’t buy anyone because there’s no need to sign players for the sake of it,wenger will only add if the right player is on offer and rightly so.
My only concern would be an injury to coquelin if we had a run of tough games coming up,it’s funny that this time last year it looked like he wouldn’t get anywhere near first team football for us and now he’s probably one of our most important players if not the most important.

Neil #2
Neil #2

These points exactly crossed my mind. I hope Coquelin stays fit – but on a related note, can we expect to occasionally see Bielik this season?

Rohith J
Rohith J

I am quite happy with this squad. I would gladly take an upgrade on either Giroud, Walcott or Welbeck, but damn it I love all of them to bits. Santi and Ozil will create enough. The Ox is due for an explosion, Wilshere and Ozil will chip in. We got this!

Wang Coq
Wang Coq

Some more steel in midfield maybe, in case we lose our coq. Aside from that I’m happy. Lets crack on and take the prem this year.

heihaci
heihaci

still need one or more world class quality addition IMO
But clearly we are on the up!

Bosscielny
Bosscielny

Apart from being a good shot stopper and pulling out brilliant saves, one more noticeable quality was his organization of defense at set pieces and also in general. I felt he is more vocal than ospina and szczezny(maybe its down to experience) . This will have a significant impact on the season.

We will not concede silly like the second goal against man utd at emirates and Monaco where our defenders pushed a little too forward. Positional awareness amongst the players will be better this season.

Bosscielny
Bosscielny

I’m talking about cech if anyone didn’t get it.

North Bank Gooner
North Bank Gooner

At the Emirates Cup vs Wolfsburg, Cech was bawling out that someone should stay back when we poured forward for a corner. He was intent on keeping us organised, even in a nothing game like that!

He has every players respect, and will save us a fair few points this season. Great signing 🙂

COYG!!!

DFS
DFS

This precisely where his strength lies.

I already noted I do not believe Cech is near his prime of several years ago, but he is still a great keeper. I have also said I do not believe he will last as our number one over the terms of his contract either.
Where he can prove invaluable is in organization as you have noted.

In recent years our defense (and midfield) has failed at key points to remain organized- and this led to breakaway goals, heavy defeats and collapses against the likes of Monaco. For whatever the reason, Wenger or Bould could not (or did not want to) impose a ‘structural rigour’ in defense and to top all, the likes of Mertesaker fail to control their own positional discipline.

Watch the beginning to the Charity Shield again.

After Chelsea almost lose possession, within two minutes they attempt a quick break on goal which Cech mops up. The commentary team then remark that Cech is not going to be used to being so exposed, to ‘see so much room’ in front of him.

I bet he isn’t and will bet he is going to instill stronger positional discipline for the CHs in a manner which, sorry to say, Wenger and Bould have not.

The choice of the photo above – Cech and Mertesaker enjoying a really warm embrace following the game- sums the situation up perfectly. You could see Mertesaker was thrilled and went straight to Cech as soon as the game ended.

Cech might not offer the agility of yesteryear but in terms of leading the back four he could end up being the perfect defensive coach for Arsenal.

Hurensohn

Sound cloud iFrame messed up here for everyone or just me?

Getso gunner
Getso gunner

Chelsea have Costa, Remy, Falcao we have Giroud, Walcot and Wellbeck….
They have Matic, Mikel and Ramires we have Coquelin, Arteta and Flamini
Can’t really see much difference

ZA Gunner

The have Azpilicueta and who on the left?? Ake or something?

Ivanovic and who on the right??

Terry, Cahill and Zouma as CB and that’s it.

If they suffer injuries to their defence they’ll be screwed. Be forced to go into their youth team, and we all no they’ve got no youth team. They only buy ready-made!

Trezy
Trezy

Azpiliqueta is a rb who bosses the lb just as well. No one will deny he’s better than all our fbs atm.

TR7 > CR7
TR7 > CR7

All I know is Chambo minced Azpiliqueta yesterday for the goal.

CB
CB

Trez?

Trezy
Trezy

My opinion still stands…Chelsea has a better frontline, Better DMs (Mikel is better than flamini and Arteta) and a slightly better defence.
In as much as I am ecstatic over yesterday’s win, I’m not dumb enough to think it means our squad is now better than theirs or that we’re automatically title favorites.
Last pre season, they got beaten 3-0 by wolfsburg. We all know who dominated the league last season.

CB
CB

I was there on them having a better frontline, but am now wavering having seen Falcao and Remy – if Costa has a serious hamstring issue (he has been able to rest it over the summer and it is still a problem) then I think we match them at least. Especially if we include Sanchez and the Ox in the front attacking three as well as Giroud, Walcott and Welbeck.

Attacking midfield, box to box and DM we beat them, so long as the Coq doesn’t get injured. Defence including keeper we are all square, if not better given the depth at each position.

They have lost or drawn 4 preseason games (goal difference minus 3), we have won 5 (goal diff plus 14), including beating Chelsea with more shots on goal. I know which I’d rather have.

Trez
Trez

What difference did preseason result have last season? Didn’t we also have a great preseason last year(except for the monaco match)? Did that stop them from dominating the league.
After beating city at the community shield, didn’t they hold us to a draw at the emirates 2 weeks later.
Coq is NOT better than Matic, no matter how anyone tries to twist it. He’s only had 6 months of great form and now he’s the best in the league?? Just like Giroud was the best in the league till he purple patch was up??

Remy is a good second choice. He scored 7 in 21 last season and 14 in 26 the season before for Newcastle. Welbeck got 4 in 25(and he started alot more than Remy).
Attacking mid we obviously have the best in the league. Mikel obi IS better than both Arteta and Flamini. Azpiliqueta is better than ALL our fb (most especially defensively).
As for goal keepers; An inform Begovic is in the top 10 keepers in the league. Def better than Ospina.
Cech and Courtois are tied imo.

CB
CB

Ok we will see. The evidence from yesterday is favourable.

Given there is nothing I can post that will make any difference I am happy to leave it in the hands of our most successfull manager ever. COYR.

Paul
Paul

Chaps it’s not just about player ratings, it’s about the cohesion/togetherness/team spirit/manager/momentum….and of course hair styles!

We beat Chelski on all of those do we not?

COYG!

Trez
Trez

I hope I’m proven wrong.
Till May 2016.

CB
CB

We are contenders, we have a chance. If we could predict the future we would be millionaires. Referees, injuries and other random stuff we can’t predict will mean we end up winning or not.

Let’s enjoy the ride.

Stringer Bell
Stringer Bell

I doubt that is true, I think you would actually be happier if we came second and Chelsea won the league then your self righteousness which has served you poorly in life so far would be justified. We may not win the league, it’s true, just as it is true for Chelsea and city.

Trez
Trez

Paul, Chelsea has everything you mentioned bar hair styles (yes Mou is a cunt, but he still knows how to win titles).
Its not like they’ve gone and bought Half a team like city and liverpool.
It could be argued they have an even better platform to build on than we do.

Stringer Bell
Stringer Bell

And I read your next comment, there’s the evidence, you have far too much invested in Wenger failing. It’s a shame Trez. Hope you don’t take to much offence. Feel free to fire back abuse if it helps. Lots of love coming straight back at ya.

CB
CB

It’s called a Trez hedge.

Arsenal win, I’m happy (though I won’t be admitting that I was wrong eg this statement before the Charity Shield ‘Face it, this squad as it is is 2 steps behind Chelsea however you compare them, player for player or as a collective’).

Arsenal lose, I told you so.

Trez
Trez

Why would I want Wenger to fail?? Wenger fails, we fail.
You think i like getting stick from chelsea fans?? I want us to win the league as much ANY Arsenal fan. However, I do not see anything wrong in pointing out the weaknesses of the team and comlaring it to other teams. There’s nothing wrong with that.
If come May 2016, Arteta is lifting that title instead of Terry or Kompany, Giroud scores more than 20, I’ll gladly admit I was wrong about us having a weaker squad.
But till then, Chelsea are rightly favorites for the title, despite what anyone thinks.

CB
CB

It’s the constant sticking to one side of the argument that drags people down, as I’m sure you are aware. If you could give some positives, of which there are many, and show more happiness about your team you would have more people accepting the negatives you constantly mention.

Supporting Arsenal is an escape. If I want to hear an unending stream of negatives I’ll talk to my wife.

Ex-Priest Tobin
Ex-Priest Tobin

Be careful, Trez. You better not post a well-reasoned and honest appraisal of the squad on here. That’s just too offensive for some people to deal with.

CB
CB

LOL.

You are so bright and we are so stupid.

CB
CB

We beat Chelsea but they are better than us. Jose told us.

Wow, how did we ever think we are better based on that evidence?

n11gooner
n11gooner

Loved beating Chelsea!!! Feels so good. Bring on the prem!

Denmark
Denmark

I literally cannot remember such sheer flourishing optimism before a season amongst Gooners

rex
rex

in form begovic better than ospina?……. jeez I must have heard it all!

Trez
Trez

Don’t act daft. Begovic has been in the top 5-10 keepers in the league for a while now. If he was playing for us, you wouldn’t be saying this.

Alexis4fifapresident
Alexis4fifapresident

I think we will see Girroud starting most games with Alexis and Ox on the flanks. That will leave probably Ramsey, Wilshire, Walcott and Danny boy on the bench. Given that Ozil, Santi and Coq will all start. What a squad!

Serge Blanco
Serge Blanco

The player Chelsea would miss most of all, even more than Matic is Terry. Utter wanker I know but absolutely crucial to Chelsea. Zouma is nowhere near Terry’s standard. Bearing in mind Terry’s age they are clearly vulnerable there.

Alexis4fifapresident
Alexis4fifapresident

Dare I say it? Yes i believe I will be so dashing. The point you are missing is John Terry is a cunt!

Serge Blanco
Serge Blanco

Yes I made as mistake there. He is a cunt aswell as a wanker

Illinois Gooner
Illinois Gooner

Poor Trez. I agree with you a 100%. I’m very optimistic about our chances this season and I’m delighted that we’ve taken strides in the right direction but yet theres no need to be deluded. Chelsea do have as stable a squad as we do and arguably better DMs and a CF in Costa. If we had Matic and Costa playing for us we’d be laughing our assess off at rival fans telling us a player playing for Charlton 6 months ago and Giroud were better than them two. Same goes for Begovics comparison with Ospina

santori
santori

Wenger has been (re constructing this squad since 2010 when he realised that the “Denilson’ generation was not going to cut it. It started with Arteta to steady the ship and was complicated by key departures.

Since then we have had stronger financial muscle free of the restrictions the stadium development imposed and he has accumulated a squad with a good balance of youth potential and winning experience. Somethings to consider (Away from the typical red herrings thrown at us by the media) :

1) Winning Experience – Ozil, Per, Alexis, Cech. We have begun to collect players with key experience winning massive prizes.

2) Experience – Aside from Rosicky and Flamini, we have Arteta, Per, Cech, Monreal, Debuchy, Giroud all seasoned professionals in every area of the pitch.

3) No surprise Wenger has also bought Alexis and Ozil, big ticket items who are on the cusp of their peak years at 25/26yrs. Walcott and Gibbs are also of similar age.

4) And he has accumulated a number of players in the 23/24yrs threshold, the period they either step up and realise potential or not (As in case of Walcott 3 seasons ago, Ramsey the season after and Coquelin recently). Ox, Welbeck, Jack (even Campbell) are next. There is no reason to believe that these players cannot also benefit from the phenomenon they call “Improvement”

5) A couple of players are ahead of the game. Bellerin and Chambers are both still very young. Also a possibility (as we have not seen him feature yet) Gnabry who is still slightly ahead in the curve over Akpom (not to mention Adelaide, Sanogo etc)

This is a very well balance team with two options in each position. Considering most of our players can also play two positions, we have triple redundancy in all areas.

CF – Giroud, Welbeck (Walcott)
RW – Ox, Walcott (Welbeck, Ramsey, Campbell)
LW – Alexis, ???, (Santi, Walcott, Gnabry)
AM – Ozil, Jack (Rosicky, Santi)
CM – Ramsey, Santi (Jack, Arteta)
DM – Coquelin, Arteta, (Flamini)
RB – Bellerin, Debuchy (Calum)
LB – Monreal, Gibbs (Flamini)
CB – Per, Calum (Debuchy)
CB – Kosicelny, Gabriel
GK – Cech, Ospina, Martinez

We do not need to add this season but if we don’t we will need to be truly on top of our game and players will have to step up.