"IN THE SQUAD WE TRUST"- what Arseblog.com have to say.

It's so quiet this morning that the tabloids haven't even bothered making up any transfer rumours. That Catalan lot won the title last night so even they've taken a day off inventing scuttlebutt about Cesc.I have been threatening to do a squad analysis type thing for a little while so that's my back-up plan for a day in which there's no news. I suppose we're all looking at the players we have and expecting some serious surgery this summer but I don't think that's necessarily realistic. I think Arsenal need at least four players - the last time Arsene bought that many was the summer we brought in Richard Wright, Sol Campbell, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Francis Jeffers. Gio was unlucky with injury, doing his cruciate not long after Robert Pires, but Jeffers and Wright flopped like spastic fish out of water. Only Sol was a success and since then I think he's been much more cautious in the transfer market.There's no doubt this current squad needs improving and that means getting rid of some players to replace them with better ones (revolutionary thinking, I know).GOALKEEPERSManuel Almunia: He's gone, in my opinion. He's had a troubled season, on the pitch and off it, and although he's had a wrist injury recently I'm told he could easily have played in the end of season games. That the manager persisted with Fabianski says a lot. The difficulty is where he might go and who might match the wages he's on at Arsenal.Lukasz Fabianski: Still rated very highly by the manager and his staff despite the fact he'd struggle to catch a cold. I am a little bit afraid that he might start the season as number 1 but then I find it hard to believe that we wouldn't sign a new goalkeeper. And then I remember it's Arsene and I get a bit afraid again. If the manager has such faith in his talent the only way for it to come through is for him to play regularly, sporadic appearances clearly aren't doing it for him. I'm now terrified.68% of people who took part in a poll on East Lower said goalkeeper was the signing they'd want us to make if we could only bring in one player. I'd be inclined to think Arsene has gone mad if he doesn't sign a decent keeper but I also think Fabianski is going to stay.Worryingly, David Seaman thinks they'll both stay - the idea of the pair of then having a crap off to see who plays each week had loosened my bowels a bit.Vito Mannone: Will stay, hopefully as 3rd choice.Wojciech Szczesny: There's been a lot of hype about the young Pole and perhaps there's an unrealistic level of expection too. The idea that a 19 year could come in and be first choice seems a bit fanciful to me. He's likely to spend another season out on loan, which won't do him any harm.DEFENDERS:Bacary Sagna: Will stay, I think we need as much continuity as possible at the back and I still rate him as a good defender above all else.William Gallas: Gone.Sylvester: Gone.Philippe Senderos: Out of contract, gone.Sol Campbell: One more year, all going well will be fourth choice but will add something to the squad.Johan Djourou: Another one rated very highly but needs to make the breakthrough. Still young for a centre-half. Will stay.Thomas Vermaelen: No brainer, staying. We need at least one more like him.Gael Clichy: I think he'll stay but the whispers about a move to Spain have been quite solid and consistent for some months. I know Kieran Gibbs is ready and waiting, perhaps Arsene sees him as a new Ashley Cole (without the ingrained cuntosity) and is willing to give him his chance. Clichy certainly wouldn't be happy sitting on the bench but the only back-up then is Armand Traore and for me that would weaken us considerably.Kieran Gibbs: Going nowhere, ideally will provide quality competition to Gael Clichy for the left back position. Still a bit too raw to entrust as first choice, in my opinion.Armand Traore: I don't see what others see in him at all. Is quick but really can't defend and seems unaware of what's happening around him. Could go if the right offer came in but most likely to stay as squad fodder.MIDFIELDCesc Fabregas: Must stay. If there's uncertainty surrounding him we have to sort that out. I'm not sure there is, to be honest, he's said consistently he's in no hurry to leave, but I think we need a good summer in the transfer market to show him we're serious about winning trophies. Of course it's not just about keeping him happy but he's one of the few players in the squad who is genuinely ambitious and has the kind of winning mentality we need. He wants trophies and medals and bus parades and I believe he wants them at Arsenal first and foremost. I don't see him leaving but for everyone's sake we've got to make ourselves more competitive.Alex Song: Going nowhere and I hope he improves again next season. I think the manager ought to look at signing another defensive minded midfielder too. Competition for places will be good for us and for him and it's clear none of our other midfield options can do the job. Young Eastmond could be the answer in the long term but perhaps he'd benefit from a season out on loan somewhere.Denilson and Diaby: Have lumped them together because I think there's a possibility one of them could go. I'm not sure which one but I wouldn't be surprised to see one of them leave this summer. Whatever happens I think we need to look at them being no more than squad players, neither produces enough consistently to be considered first choice.The problem for the manager is that he's brought them through from a very early age and knows their best years are probably ahead of them. Is he willing to let them go have those years at another club? The one thing he hasn't been able to coach into either of them though is the right kind of attitude, and that may be the key.Aaron Ramsey: Staying, obviously. Hopefully makes a Henrik Larsson style recovery and not an Eduardo one.Samir Nasri: Will stay and although Arsene says he sees his future as wide player the formation we play at the moment doesn't suggest that's where he'll play. I think the manager might look at him and Cesc as his version of Xavi and Iniesta. He's got the craft, he works hard but again it's down to the consistency.Tomas Rosicky: His contribution last season was negligible. Yes, he's been out for an age with injury but that injury seems to have robbed him of his sharpeness and effectiveness. With only a year left on his contract we might look at this summer as a chance to cash in and get some value back on a player who hasn't exactly been value for money.Emmanuel Eboue: Listed on the official site as a midfielder now but remains first back-up for the right back position. Seems to have matured a bit this season and certainly reacted well when it looked like his Arsenal career was all but over. With no obvious cover for right back and his versatility he's staying.Fran Merida: Gone.Jack Wilshere: I hope he's going to be part of things next season and not out on loan with some pack of cloggers. I'd like to see him make the same kind of breakthrough that Ramsey did last season, would add depth, quality and the right kind of attitude to midfield. His inclusions means someone has to make way - it's clear we've got a special talent and his inclusion would have to come at the expense of someone more established (please refer to Denilson/Diaby - or perhaps Rosicky).FORWARDSAndrei Arshavin: Divides opinion. There's no doubting his quality, when he feels like it, but you just get the sense from him that he's not at ease, his lack of application at times is very frustrating, and you feel like he could produce a lot more. There are reports that he's unhappy with his contract, hence the reason he fired Dennis Lachter, yet more money should come on the back of better performances. A pay rise should be earned, not used as a carrot to get more out of a player. I think he'll probably stay but I wouldn't be too surprised if he went either.Robin van Persie: Stay, stay, stay, stay, coat him with titanium and sacrifice virgin goats to ensure he stays injury free for the majority of the season. He is a quality player with the right attitude.Theo Walcott: Will stay but needs to improve. He's another one whose seasons have been hampered with injury. Needs a long campaign and has to contribute more and more consistently.Nicklas Bendtner: Staying but has given the manager something to think about. Scored plenty of goals when playing as the central striker and did not when shoved out wide. Scores goals that nobody else in this team does, thundering headers and is a classic poacher. He gets on the end of rebounds and we don't have anyone else who does that. The arrival of Chamakh as a more central striker means increased competition for what would be one position in the team ... unless the manager is thinking of reverting to a 4-4-2 next season.Eduardo: Started the season quite brightly but by the end wasn't even making the bench. I don't know if it's all to do with the Birmingham game but the constant struggle with little injuries has robbed him, quite clearly, of any pace he once had and the sharpness in and around the penalty area. I think he'll go.Carlos Vela: Two goals all season tells its own story. Jet lag, injury and stupidity (passport) have defined his season. I think we expected a bit more from him and you wonder whether or not English football suits him. I can't see the manager selling two forwards this summer and as I expect Eduardo to go I think Vela will stay.SUMMATIONSo, out go Gallas, Sylvester, Eduardo, Merida, Almunia and possibly one more midfielder.Coming in (I hope) - 1 x goalkeeper, 1 x central defender, 1 x central midfielder (defensive) and 1 x striker (Chamakh).I think there's even room for one more, if the manager is being especially ruthless and looks at players who he might consider have let him down in the final month of the season.I do wonder if Arsene is looking to to stay beyond the final year of his contract though. I know Ivan Gazidis said he expects him to sign a new deal but the boss gave no such indication recently and that might well impact on how he spends money this season. If he's of a mind to let his contract run down and leave he might not want to use funds that a new manager next season might need (given the fact Arsene has always been mindful of the club's money).It might also impact on the players we might sign this summer. If they have no indication from Arsene that he's going to be around any longer than one season they might not want to come. Players like stability and might think they could end up in a situation where they're signed by one manager and the following season be faced with a new boss who maybe doesn't rate them.So there's plenty to think about this close season. I think the signings we make will be the clearest indication of whether AW is going to stay or not, regardless of what the club say in public.Anyway, we shall see. Here's hoping there's a bit of real news tomorrow. Until then.

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