Clearance Sale At Arsenal And Jack To Be Back Soon
Good morning Goonerworld.
The papers and footballing sites are reporting that Arsenal are set for a major squad clearout this summer. As many as nine players might be taken off the books to save hefty player wages and reorganise the team for next season.
I agree with A Cultured Left Foot’s post yesterday, that we supporters do not always grasp the concept of having a squad player – someone who is not good enough to be a regular starter but good enough to do a job when called upon.
However, it cannot be disputed that most of the names on the list being bandied about – Squillaci, Almunia, Park, Chamakh, Arshavin, Bendtner, Vela and Denilson have not performed when given the chance – for one reason or another. Whatever those reasons may be, and I am not blaming the players entirely, they just haven’t been effective when played and there comes a time when you have to move them on.
And I believe Arsene Wenger will do exactly that.
Bendtner, Vela and Denilson have been out on loan since the start of the season. The fact that we haven’t missed them, even in our
worst season worst start to the season under Wenger, is indication that they are unlikely to return.
Almunia and Squillaci have not displayed any signs of being able to make a comeback, and age is not on their side. But if their rumoured wages are true, it may prove slightly difficult to offload them.
Chamakh has got few opportunities this season, making 16 appearances, 9 of them from the bench. He has just one goal to show for it. And it’s not just his goal return, the Moroccan hasn’t had any positive influence in the games he’s played.
Arshavin may return, although seeing his performances at Zenit, he doesn’t look like he wants to play football right now. Brilliant as he is when on form, he is glaringly poor when off form. If he does not improve dramatically in the next two months, I think Wenger will be forced to sell him.
The only players that should be retained, in my opinion, are Johan Djourou and Chu Young Park. While Djourou makes me nervous everytime he tries to dribble past an opposing striker in our own half, he is very versatile and can be played in a host of different positions.
Chu Young Park has only made 6 appearances this season and scored 1 goal. Park is a player with more skill and technique than Chamakh, and it is only his first season at the club. Remember also that Podolski will most likely arrive in the summer. As a third choice striker, I would prefer Park over Chamakh any day.
As for Abou Diaby, I do not consider him to be a squad player at all. He possesses power, technique and can make driving runs from midfield, all attributes highly rated by Arsene Wenger. When fit, he will most likely be an integral part of Arsenal’s midfield.
I also believe we will attempt to buy Yossi Benayoun from Chelsea.
The Israeli is a model squad player, with enough hunger to keep pressuring for a starting place, versatile enough to play wide or in the centre, and possessing enough quality and experience to make a difference when called upon. He’s scored 3 goals for us in 9 starts and 10 sub appearances and his performances have also been encouraging, especially in ‘that’ 5-2 win against the enemy.
If Arsenal can do well in cup competitions next season, the squad players will get regular playing time which would help their form and confidence. Of course, this is all theory – only time will tell whether the incoming players perform any better than the outgoing ones.
There’s just one other story to mention and that is the imminent return of Jack Wilshere. The Daily Star claim the Englishman could be back within a matter of just two weeks.
As much as I would like to see Wilshere play again, I hope the Arsenal medical team err on the extreme side of caution in his case. Jack will be a key part of our challenge next season, and we can ill afford any setbacks on that front.