Guendouzi: We clearly have a better squad

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Matteo Guendouzi says Arsenal hold all the cards for a great season after a summer spent strengthening the squad in key areas.

While the club lost experienced heads including Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck, the recruitment of Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney has fostered a positive vibe around the club in the last couple of weeks.

Beating Newcastle United and Burnley in the opening two games has fostered further optimism although stiffer tests lie in wait with Liverpool and Sp*rs next on the agenda.

“We clearly have a better squad than last season with big signings this summer,” said Guendouzi on an appearance on Canal Football Club (translated by Get France Football News).

“We hold all the cards to have a great season and finish in the top 4 to be able to play in the Champions’ League next season.”

The 20-year-old also reiterated his ambition to play for the France senior team in the near future and a desire to feature for his country’s under-23s at next year’s Olympics in Japan.

“My aim is to be in the senior French national team. I know I still have a lot of work ahead of me.

“I did the Euros with the U21s this summer, we have the Olympics coming next summer, so if I continue on my path, with more work and continuing to show my qualities on the pitch, I hope I will be there one day.”

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gooner
gooner

And the best kit in the league. But look at United pink, yesterday I saw Leicester in pink.

Does anyone else get the fear we might get that horrible kit next season considering it’s Adidas screwing them?

Goonerink

i would hope that its too close to the red and white of our home kit to be effective at all as a colour.

nearly blind people (lino’s/refs/pundits) see us as a pinkish blur would be my argument.

id take it as a cancer awareness thing. but when i see that i think surely they can have blue shorts, white sleeves, yellow socks or whatever to support the other major cancers?

gooner
gooner

Sorry didn t specify. I am talking about their away kits. Nothing to worry about for now obviously but you never know

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Isn’t Man U’s away kit that strange cream snakeskin number rather than pink?

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

All United shirts make you look like a cunt

Scourge of Goooner
Scourge of Goooner

I thought Chelsea’s Home Kit is quite nice. Everything, apart from that blue lion with the words Chelsea written is quite nice about it.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

When did he mention kits? Why is this about kits?? 😂

mc1892
mc1892

Martinez, Chambers, Kolasinac, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Martinelli, Pepe was our bench on Saturday. Then add in Bellerin, Holding, Tierney, Ozil- there are going to be some very good players not even making the squad once we’re back at/ nearer to full strength.

I think we’ll be having a real good scrap with Spurs this year for the 3rd spot, can’t wait to see how we get on against them at the Emirates. I’m assuming the worst for Liverpool but who knows- they’ve looked shaky at the back and we’ve got some serious pace right now.

Arsene's Coat
Arsene's Coat

A draw against Pool would be a good result, but it’s not like we can park the bus (don’t have one) so might as well go for the win. COYG.

Christopher Gatt
Christopher Gatt

If we draw Liverpool and beat Spurs I can see us in the top 4. If however we manage to beat both Liverpool and Spurs then I might get excited for the team for the first time since forever 😉 We can always dream and some dreams do come true.
If Leicester can win the league then it shows that football is unpredictable and ANYBODY can win the league!

Nnn
Nnn

Pep hadn’t arrived when Leicester won the league.

Lettra
Lettra

This comment cant be understated ..
It’s a new era .

PeteyB
PeteyB

The Pepecine Epoch

TeeCee
TeeCee

True. Citeh lost both fixtures to Sp*rs that season. Now they can scrape a draw 😂

Runzac
Runzac

Leicester only won the league because Arsenal blew it big time. Horrendous season; we surely should have won the PL.

Bendtner’s Ego
Bendtner’s Ego

You mean “Tottenham” blew it!

They were about 5 points out until the business end of the season (week 30+) when they epically collapsed and we finished above them.

A P
A P

Every big team blew it that season.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

You’re getting all that from a couple of 1-goal wins (against a terrible Newcastle and Burnley who we always beat at home) in our first 2 games?

I think we’ll be in the mix for 4th spot (which I’d be happy with), and I think we’ll be better than last season, but our defending (not defence) is still shocking and I’m still not sure about the centre of midfield (yes, Ceballos was awesome on Saturday but I still don’t see us having a proper DM/someone with physicality in the absence of one).

Mc1892
Mc1892

No, I’m getting that from the fact that we look like there’s a lot if untapped potential and a fuck tonne of goals in this team while Chelsea and United will be lacking them in the extreme.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Fair do’s. I was actually replying to Christopher Gatt, by the way, in that I can’t see us competing for the title in any shape or form.

I don’t share your optimism for competing for 3rd place, either, but that is way more achievable. I just think Sp*rs will be better this year (they were hopeless last year and still finished 3rd) with the new additions and without their players being knackered by the world cup.

Man U and Chelsea are a bit unknown. I think Chelsea have looked good so far without getting anything for it – that could be a pattern that repeats itself because of their lack of firepower or they could click into gear. Man U had a good result last week, so can they continue that or was it just a lucky result? I do fancy our chances against them, but it’s too early to know for sure.

Franco
Franco

*spurs finished fourth last season behind Chelsea, and only one point above us. I truly believe we have the squad to challenge for third.

Scourge of Goooner
Scourge of Goooner

Sp*rs finished 4th, just a point ahead of us.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Yep. Sorry for my lack of memory! In typical Sp*rs fashion they finished 4th when they should have finished 3rd. Only 2 points between 3rd and 5th. I stand by my point though. I can see other people disagree.

Just to say, if we do lose on Saturday (which I predict) it isn’t the end of the world (and/or even if we don’t beat Sp*rs), and I still think we’re well in with a chance of 4th. Next season will be the time to kick on, all going to plan 🙂

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Our team is massively better than last season in my opinion.
Top four is a given and we could go higher…coyg!

PeteyB
PeteyB

@Paul Roberts: nothing is a given.
I’m quietly confident of top 4. I do kinda hope Eriksen forces his way out, and Pogba throws his toys out the pram at some point.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

PeteyB when I am excited I often talk about “givens”…😊

A Different George
A Different George

I think Chelsea have looked good for brief snatches and pretty bad the rest of the time. They will be better (move Kante back to where he was when he won the league with both Leicester and Chelsea, as well as the World Cup), but it is crazy to think they can be as good as last season, when they were very uneven, when they have lost Hazard.

Mike22122
Mike22122

Not that I’m suggesting it, but worth bearing in mind if we really needed to once holding is back we can play luiz as a dm. Might not be a terrible idea for some fixtures, peoples main issue with xhaka for instance being hes too slow with the pass but with holding in defence and luiz in midfield that issue can be circumvented without losing a midfield passer with increased defence in the middle. He is older and not pacey but at a pinch. Ofcourse this has drawbacks like if we get an injury to a defender and luiz vs a stokey team but it’s nice to have the option. 1-0 up vs liverpool I wouldn’t be opposed to subbing an attack based player for a dc and moving luiz to mc at 70mins. Well, unless its mustafi but that’s a given

Arsene's Coat
Arsene's Coat

Winning is always desirable, but our season is not all down to early results against Pool and Spurs.

Our new signings will take a while to gel with the rest of the team, but once they do I think we’ve got a fantastic team. I’m thinking mainly Pepe and Luiz, who both need to get to know their team mates to link up efficiently. Ceballos seems to have slotted right in, while Tierney hasn’t even played yet. We’re getting there but might slip up until the puzzle is complete. Makes watching us play all the more exciting.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

We forgot about buying a bus but got a couple of sports cars instead! 😄

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

You forgot to mention Elneny, Xhaka and Mustafi.

mc1892
mc1892

True. Though personally wouldn’t take any of those three over any of the aforementioned.

arsenal-steve
arsenal-steve

Father David and Son Matteo. Our free spirits.

sami
sami

May we install hammocks at the Emirates lol

Mootilated
Mootilated

If we get consistent performances like the one on Saturday from Ceballos, we will really need to go out for a similar midfielder next summer. He is clearly a player we have needed since Santi Cazorla left. He is not permanent.

We’ll need to come up with a plan.

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

With luck Madrid will sign Pogba and Ceballos will stay

Goonereality
Goonereality

But if Ceballos has a great season for us ( a distinct possibility), could we afford the asking price that Madrid would certainly slap on him? Others will be looking at Ceballos closely this season, and some of them could.

A Different George
A Different George

Ceballos isn’t a young unknown whose brilliance is a surprise–standout player in two recent youth world cups. Madrid will sell him only if Zidane insists.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Or we could just be excited in the moment?? 🤔

Arsene's Coat
Arsene's Coat

It’s a nice little problem to have.

Mootilated
Mootilated

not really – it means one of our biggest solutions is not permanent. remember, the loan is without option to buy and he has said he want to return to Real Madrid, so we’ll see. Either way, we need a plan B.

Arsene's Coat
Arsene's Coat

I trust Raul & co are on top of it and I’m pretty sure we could have signed someone on a permanent basis this summer, but chose not to. Because Ceballos adds more to the team *right now* and if we do well this season we can go out and get someone of his calibre (perhaps even him) next summer, as opposed to whoever we might have signed on a permanent basis this year, with no CL on offer and debateable prospects going forward. In that regard, I think signing Pepe was a fluke (and what a great fluke that was) and we shouldn’t expect Raul to go fetch us top players if we don’t improve on the pitch. But we will.

It Is What It Is
It Is What It Is

A £35-45m bid before the end of this window or in January may aid their quest for Neymar, Pogba or any other galaxy the fancy.
Can see them holding out for £50-60m though.

Mc1892
Mc1892

I think its fanciful to think anything less than £60m will even prick their ears. Honestly my biggest worry is Pep coming in with £70m or so. Think he seems very much like his kind of player.

A Different George
A Different George

Don’t think so; they are loaded with quality in the midfield. The only thing they need (well, not really need) is a second top centre-half.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

They might be looking for a Silva replacement though, let’s hope not though!

Monkey Joe
Monkey Joe

He needs to stop this negative talking. We will be sole leaders after Saturday. We will be champions. #invincibles2.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

I’m not sure why we’re limiting our ambitions to top 4. I honestly think we have enough to mix it up with Liverpool and City.

Goonereality
Goonereality

Hmmm. Let’s not get too carried away after two games (and against “preferred” opposition). We’ll get a better, but not conclusive, idea of where we are in relation to the top clubs (and not just the top two) after we play our next games vs Liverpool and Spu*s.

A top four finish is the priority – the proverb about walking before running comes to mind at this early stage!

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

Honestly, I don’t think we’ve played well in the 2 games but I think we do have a lot more to come from this team. We were only 1 point off top 4 last season and we’ve done a lot to close the gap between us and Liverpool and City. Let’s mix it up and see where the chips fall at the end of the season. We shouldn’t be afraid of being ambitious.

I’m very bullish this year

Goonereality
Goonereality

Yes, I hope you’re right but you seem to be implying that Spu*s, Chelsea and Utd can be discounted in some way. While we’re obviously stronger than last season, I wouldn’t write any of them off.

In the best case scenario, we do as you hope which is great but in the worst case, the gap could still be between one or more of them and us – never mind about City or Liverpool.

The truth is we won’t get any sort of balanced view of where we really are until around the early New Year – although maximum points against both Liverpool and Spu*s in the coming games would be a handy (early) indication!

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

We missed top four by one point and we are six points better than at this stage last year. Let’s be positive??

Tungor_Adams
Tungor_Adams

Özil will have to work his socks off to get into this team, Ceb is a much more complete player, almost like the sum of Ozil and Ramsey

Goonereality
Goonereality

Offloading Ozil altogether will be a great step forward – and free up £350,000 a week from the wage bill which will be very handy in the coming contract extension negotiations with Lacazette and Aubameyang!

Goonereality
Goonereality

Well, yes Matteo I’m sure we all hope that – or we’ve just blown around £120 million (net) in the transfer market.

oneblvckdude
oneblvckdude

We played a very young team on Saturday and they will only get better. But, thinking Ozil won’t fit into this current Arsenal team is delusional. With Hazard gone, he’s the most creative footballer in London – by a pretty long mile. And he had his best season playing in front of a Coquelin & Santi Cazorla pivot, and now we have slightly upgraded that with Torreira & Ceballos. We should be thinking of how to get our best AM on the pitch with Torreira as the DM and Ceballos as the CM behind our €200M attack. We just played two games against teams that finished in the bottom half of the league last season and if we are being honest, our immensely talented strikers bailed us out by scraping three beautiful goals out of thin air. It wasn’t as a result of some intricate passes or mind-blowing creativity in the middle of the park. There was no stretch of ten minutes when we completely dominated these games. The wins aside, just look at the numbers. Yes, Guendouzi and Willock are brilliant and will only get better, but if you think these guys will dominate the midfield against premier league teams every weekend, then I have beach front property to sell you in the Sahara. We still badly need the creativity of Ozil. If you doubt that, then go and watch our last two games again – without your rose tinted glasses this time.

oneblvckdude
oneblvckdude

And Ozil or not, I’m quite optimistic the team will pull off an upset at Anfield in a couple of days. I just know we are not leaving Anfield without a point or all three points maybe.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

There was a ten minute spell in the second half against Stoke sorry Burnley when we played fantastic football.

Mpls
Mpls

The sea is rising, man.. investment of the century!

Ordnance Dave
Ordnance Dave

What a signing this guy has been. We paid peanuts for a premier league level midfielder, built like a basketball player and is not even in his twenties yet.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Sorry who are you talking about?

Tom Mitchell
Tom Mitchell

I think Guendozi

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

@Paul Roberts. He waw, referring to Guendouzi.

Bob
Bob

Great pic bloggs. Is sideshow Bob available any time soon? 😊

Santori
Santori

Amidst all the excitement of new highly technical signings like Pepe and Cebellos, young talents like Nelson and Willock, we should not forget Guendouzi is ONLY 19yrs.

BOTH Willock and Guendouzi add so much energy and dynamism to the midfield. Add in Cebellos and we have a midfield rotating 3.

Or we can fall back on a more conservative midfield as well with Granit at the base to provide for better aerial cover and quick release from deep with Torreira and one of GUendouzi or Cebellos or Willock playing link.

Cebellos and Ozil (and Mhkitaryan) can also function in a number 10. And then we have yet to feature Smith-Rowe.

Out on the flanks we have Pepe and Bellerin or AMN on one side. Whilst I would have preferred we kept iwobi for depth and experience, Nelson and Tierney or Kolasinac will form exciting partnerships too. It also seems Monreal in likely his last season has stepped up his game for one last hurrah.

And then we also carry option of playing Kolasinac and AMN in wingback roles should we decide to go 3 at the back.

Up top we now have the ability to go 4-1-3-2 or 4-2-3-1 or 3-4-3 but also 4-3-3 with a rotating front line of Auba, Laca and Pepe.

There is plenty of options in the armoury now.

Just have to sort out the kinks at the back which still plague us.