Unprofessional Foul


April 12, 2011

Gooner Cleaning House

Practice makes perfect: kick 'em to the curb.

Although it sounds like another HGTV show or reality wife-swapping experiment, it’s actually what’s being speculated to happen behind the scenes at the Emirates over the coming weeks.  It seems The Professor is finally fed up with the under-performing variables in his multi-season experiment and is ready to clean house. The UF email thread posted the question of who we would like to see leave. My list doesn’t exactly match the proposed sale targets in the media, but some changes are undeniable, for die-hard Gunners or just the casual Arsenal observer this season; others certainly bring more argument:

Manuel Almunia – Out.
This is, of course, if even teams in Turkey will still have him. After his mysterious “knee injury” warming up at Bloomfield Road on Sunday, it is extremely apparent he doesn’t handle pressure well. Whether he didn’t realize the supporters would literally be on his back the entire game, or he’s contracted IBS over the course of his Arsenal career from Jens, it’s time to go. It’s no surprise that Wenger would finally sell him, but it will be a surprise if anyone would actually pay to buy him. Good luck getting this one off the books.

Thomas Rosicky – Out.
Don’t get me wrong, he used to be wonderful. Sadly, I think he’s run his course and can’t find any consistency. He doesn’t create enough nor make an impact when coming on as a sub. His lucky goal against orient saved our ass, but it can’t/shouldn’t save his job. His age isn’t the issue, it’s his aim.

Denilson – Out. A waste of bench space…’nuff said.

Abou Diaby – In.
People knock Diaby (literally and figuratively), but he’s got size, speed, and a lot of strength. He controls the ball extremely well. Sure, he’s a little hot-tempered, but if you were 6’6″, everyone hacking at your legs would be like a horse swatting flies off his a**.  At times, it must get annoying for him, but his temper isn’t a bad thing if he can use it wisely and use it to motivate others (a la Viera).

Sebastien Squillaci – Corn Crib.
I don’t know what they’ll do with him. If Verma EVER gets healthy again, he’s not really needed in the first team anymore. Squillaci is older than Kos and has had a shaky season. I know he was cheap and just signed for cover…but I don’t see him hanging in for the long term definsively. He used to be a bad-a** in France, but for some reason, that didn’t stay with him in his transfer to London. Keep him out back in the corn crib until we finally find (and purchase) a strong, commanding CB, which should be sooner rather than later. Then, he’s out.

Emmanuel Eboue – Bleachers.
I couldn’t care one way or another. He’s fine cover, and very versatile. But, if we can find someone else who can play as many positions as he does and do it better, I don’t have a problem with selling him. (Note: this post was written before he scored against Blackpool Sunday and still holds true). There is an issue (behind the scenes) about how he upholds the team spirit and has a positive dynamic in the dressing room. I can see that the ‘joker’ has to find something to laugh about on the bench, since that’s usually where he finds himself, but he is an expensive cheerleader…

Carlos Vela – Out.
I know we’re loaning him this year, but I don’t think it’s to make him any better. In my opinion, it’s to ease the transition out of the club (or at least it should be). He’s got potential for another club, but he can’t regularly complete at the level Arsenal NEED their strikers to perform.

Marouane Chamakah – In.
I wish he could take his head OUT of his a** though. He started the season beautifully, but “got tired.” Sure, 4 comps and this league could wear someone out in their first season. He’ll be given a little longer to acclimate, and after a rest this summer, next year will be his proving ground. He holds the ball and distributes much better than Bendtner, but, as of late, has totally lost his sense of awareness in front of goal.

Nicklas “I’m the greatest striker in the world” Bendtner - Out.
Too little, too late. Over the years, his first touch is still poor and he relies on getting good service to score instead of creating his chances. He’s got more attitude than Wenger typically likes to deal with and since he isn’t getting much playing time, I don’t think Nicklas would have a problem leaving for a club where he would get to be the big fish in a small pond, instead of vice versa.

Andrey Arshavin – In.
Or at least he should be. To the critics who complain about his form this year, he’s certainly not scoring as much as he did last year, but that’s also because Van Persie has been healthy most of the season and Arshavin’s been playing on the outside. Arshavin has the second most assists (11) in the League this season, with RvP the 9th highest scorer in the league (11). There’s a balance to be met and it would do Arsenal fans well to remember that not all strikers need to score individually to contribute to a scoreline. Assists matter. On top of that, he’s not made of glass. Arshavin, Clichy and Wilshere are the only regular starting players who haven’t missed a game due to injury this season.

In all, none of those players (except Arshavin) were very expensive. The club should be able to make a fair bit on the players they do clear out (except Almunia, I fear we will actually have to pay someone to take him off our payroll). I doubt we would get near that number of players in return, but should provide enough funds to acquire a strong CB and possibly another keeper may finally be in the works. We already have Frimpong, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Henri Landsbury available for next year, which would provide plenty of midfield cover to make up for those that get sold.

If and/or when they do clean house, who do you think should go? And who should Arsenal buy?

About the Author

Mountain Wag


  1. Oyeoro

    A ton of stuff going on in this post. I completely agree with the first 5 assessments. Eboue, I would keep not for the cheerleading aspect, but rather try work him in to 1st team a lot more. He has had his hand full of Sh#@ games, but when he shows up his runs stretch out opposing defenses. Plus unless we buy another Sagna, we have no cover. I say keep the bum.

    Vela – Send him on loan for another half season, he isn’t out of contract and we would not be paying his wages. Plus, should he dramatically improve we can recall him. either way we can sell him in the Jan transfer window.

    Chamakah – definetly stays

    Bendtner – I disagree strongly with you here. Yes, his first touch leaves a lot to wish for, but he saved our A$$ last season. In addition, he is often played out on the right were he has contributed some pretty goals. I think he will blossom next year..(I wish). Plus not in a contract year either.

    Arshavin – out, i hear you about the assists and his creativity, but unless he shows up next season in shape instead looking like he had lard injected into his bottom, I say ship him out in the Jan window and buy eddie hazard…

  2. Tno

    Eboue is valuable. He played very well against Barca in the 1st leg. It’s good to have a guy that can slot in and hang with Barca.

  3. Agree on all players above and I would add Koscielny and Fabianski to the list.

    They NEED Neven Subotic from Dortmund more than any top EPL team.
    Tall, strong, aggressive (some say too much) with nasty streak, good in the air at both ends of the field, young but already established himself in Bundesliga and internationally. He will do well because his athletic features makes him an ideal for the Premier League style of play.
    You get him and your centre back position is set for a decade.
    Arsenal needs a big physical Vidic like presence to put a bit of fear of god into opposing strikers.

    Lloris or DeGea. Different stages of their careers but at this point, ANY good international keeper will do.

  4. trooop

    wow, I actually found an article that I agree with!

    About CBs, Koscielny, Djourou and Bartley are our future. Vermaelen should be our present (at least for next season hopefully) and should also be our vice captain if the skipper leaves. Thats 5 Centerbacks right there, with Miquel knocking at the doorstep.

    GK wise, Take Almunia out, and you’re left with Fab, Szczesny and Mannone. Ask Mannone if he wants to stick around as I’m not too sure how he feels about being COMPLETELY ignored by arse fans. He is brilliant, almost as good as Szczesny if not as good, just that he had a few moments of bad luck in the first team (remember his CL debut where the defence just screwed him over?). There we have 3 Goalies, honestly speaking buying one more would kill Mannone AND Szczesny.

    What we need is a pure winger. Walcott is likely to be injured routinely next season as well, and rumors are that Arshavin will be off by his own wish (don’t ask me how I know). I’d personally be very VERY happy if Wenger convinced Mata to come as he’s a brilliant winger (better than Silva) and he’s a more than capable midfielder with a great passing range and vision.

    The rest – DMs, strikers, etc – I can’t seem to figure out Wenger’s intentions

  5. Lennon's Eyebrow

    What about Clichy? That guy gets worse with every game.

  6. Gg08

    Clichy also needs out- and he can take his inconsistency and ill-timed lapses of concentration with him.

  7. Mountain Wag

    @Bob Builder – I like your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. I agree Fabs needs to go. The team has been built around him and it’s really to our hindrance. The question is, with his less-than-stellar season (injured a lot, high profile mistakes, not stepping up as a leader when needed, etc.) does anyone (including Barca) still want him?
    @LE – Re: Clichy. He is regressing, yes. But I was trying to skim the crap off the top. He still has decent games and there is NO WAY I see more than 5-7 players moving this year (in or out). That’s an insane number for a club like Arsenal…we’d be lucky to get even a portion of the above. But Clichy’s crossing percentage and pass completion rates have been horrendous this year.
    2bob & @troop – Kos has had some SERIOUSLY bad blunders this year. Ahem, Carling Cup, plus all the yellows and reds. Some were poor calls, some were his errors, and some were challenges that needed to be made to save a game and he just had to pay the price. I think he has more potential that Sq. in the long run, but I would be happier if he was on the bench for cover and Verma, Djourou, and some other strong CB (to be named/bought/then injured) were in the back starting.

  8. Mountain Wag

    @troop- I also agree with your keeper synopsis. I think Sezzy can come a long way with AFC and Fabianski did much better after having a chance to settle in. Amazed, but after all, wenger was right. We don’t need a keeper, per-se, we just need to get rid of Almunia. Then, I’d be okay with taking that $ for a strong CB (the likes of which @bob described) and another striker. We’re loaded to the gills with Mids…even after the proposed sales above.

  9. WhoNeedsForwards

    If I were running the Arse…Fabs would be the only keeper I’d keep. I’d try and sign a quality veteran like Given or Boruc or preferably Frey (if he’s healthy) to give Fabianski another year or two as an understudy. The defense needs an overhaul. I’d targed Howdes from Schalke, as he has CL experience and is young, big, and talented. Vermaelan should be starting if he gets healthy. I have no problems with Sagna and Clichy; I do hope Gibbs gets healthy and performs. He has the capability, but there just seems to be missing something. I could keep going lol

  10. Taylor Davidson

    sell bendtner-rosicky-denilson-almunia-Squillaci- and maybe vela—i think van persie needs to step it up or he should be sold next summer and we buy a world class striker

    buy sahin from dortmund and either of the centerbacks from dortmund—-

    a great winger, we should buy, is eden hazard from lille, hes 19 and starts for them—- and could replace arshavin IF he doesnt bounce back—or that guy sanchez from udinese—

    and possibly if theres not to much animus, we should buy modric,, hes a great midfielder and would complement nasri and fabregas

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