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It Makes Sense to Send Chambers on Loan, but Wilshere?

calum-chambers.jpg

Arsenal are set to make the announcements of new signings, Skhodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez but Wenger confirmed in his last press conference that a player or two would leave on loan, rather than on permanent basis. After leaving the Gunners to join Sporting CP on loan, Joel Campbell made his debut in the 2-1 win against FC Porto. 101 Great Goals have posted some of his personal highlights of the game for those interested.

With the capture of Mustafi, the journos asked the manager about the future of Calum Chambers as he was going further down the pecking order in the heart of Arsenal’s defense. It’s bad enough that Rob Holding has axed him out of the team despite injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista, but Chambers has not covered himself in glory, following that torrid start to the season against Liverpool. Yes, he might have scored a goal on the day, but his defensive performance was questionable, and fans can agree that losing his place in the team to Holding was justified.

With the manager confirming that Chambers was leaving on loan, there were many clubs that were mentioned but according to the Independent, Middlesbrough emerged as the favorites and have secured the lad on loan for the entire season. Will Chambers be able to break into the Boro team? Maybe, maybe not but he’s worth monitoring and with Boro in the Premier League, Chambers development can only get better. He arrived at the club with some hype surrounding him and he did well with some early season performances but he suffered a roasting from Jefferson Montero at the Liberty Stadium and things haven’t worked out too well for him since then.

A move to a club like Boro will be good for the lad. At least, he will get away from the spotlight and can concentrate on regular football, which is what he would be hoping for.

I wish him the best at the Riverside and I will be monitoring his progress.

****

So I saw some tweets on social media about the possibility of Arsenal sending Jack Wilshere on loan and I took it with a pinch of salt but when Sky Sports and other reputable columns carried the story, I had a rethink. Is Arsenal really considering sending one of its favorite, if not its favorite sons, Jack Wilshere, out on loan?

Jack Wilshere could be allowed to leave Arsenal on loan

WIlshere has featured mostly as a sub this season

First of all, why would Arsenal even consider the possibility of sending Wilshere out on loan? Is it because of Sam Allardyce’s comments on the lad that he should get regular football before he earns a place in the England squad? Is that what it’s about? Being concerned about Wilshere making the national team, rather than the team that has stuck with him through the countless injuries and what have you?

From a footballing standpoint, I think it’s a rookie move from the club because Wilshere is one of the most unique players in the squad. There is no one else that can offer us his lung-bursting runs and sleek style of play that sees him break opposition defenses with consummate ease. I know many have been concerned about his injury record and are unhappy that he can’t be relied upon to stay fit but it’s Arsenal – injuries have become a way of life here.

Look at the captain, Mertesacker, that spent the entire holidays drinking beer and watching Germany at the Euros before their exit in the semis to France. He was meant to be one of our fittest players in the preseason but after featuring against RC Lens, it was reported that he picked up a knee problem in the game (something we didn’t see in the course of the game) and bam, he was out for five plus months after a successful surgery.

Wilshere adds depth to the squad and can deputize in two playing positions, the attacking midfield role manned by Mesut Ozil and the box-to-box role currently deployed to Santi Cazorla. According to England, he can feature as a holding midfielder but I’m not convinced by his abilities there. The bottom line is that Wilshere is a player that would have his chance in the team and he hasn’t Debuchyed yet.

I just hope the news is false because it wouldn’t make any sense sending Wilshere out on loan.

Sayonara

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Football Draws and Chambers Out on Loan?

Arsenal defender Calum Chambers started in club's 4-3 season-opening defeat by Liverpool

The transfer window will be closed in less than a week and the fans are still wondering whether the club is signing any new players. For some reason, the same guys seem to be linked with moves to the club and in Joel Campbell, the Gunners have shown that he was probably surplus to requirements, with the winger going on loan to Sporting CP.

With the vast amount of players that could feature in Campbell’s position, you can say that he may / may not be missed but with Arsenal’s ever-increasing injury list, you can never tell. Campbell was a guy that got his chance when so many first team players were out injured and many fans would feel he utilized the opportunities afforded to him.

It seems like there would be another Gunner that would be joining the long loan list but his case is quite puzzling because the team is heavily depleted in that playing position. According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal is exploring the possibility of shipping out Calum Chambers on loan. The young ex-Southampton defender has managed to make 59 appearances in three seasons with three seasons with the club and he hasn’t really reached the heights expected of him.

He struggled a bit in preseason and the writing was on the wall for Arsene Wenger to go into the transfer market to sign a new center back following the injuries to club captain, Per Mertesacker, and Gabriel Paulista, but he kept the faith with an inexperienced back line in the form of Chambers and Holding. Sadly, their naivety at the back, coupled with lack of protection from the holding midfielders and all round shitty performance cost Arsenal three good points at home, to add to the consistent torrid opening start of the new campaign.

Even though I usually don’t take such transfer news with a pinch of salt, it would make no sense whatsoever for the club to allow a center back go with no replacement in view. I have seen all that Shkodran Mustafi shit but he’s not a Gunner, so my focus will always be on the players available to us, not some super mutant player from Krypton. We will have to monitor the situation well and hope the club makes the right decision on his future.

Elsewhere, the second round of EFL Cup fixtures were concluded and the draws for the third round are out. The Gunners got a favorable tie against Nottingham Forest, and it would be interesting coming up against Henri Lansbury, one of Highbury’s favorite sons. As expected, there were some Premier League clashes with the most exciting being the Leicester vs Chelsea game.

The pots for the Champions League are out as well and as expected, the Gunners would be paired against of the European juggernauts this campaign.

Pot 1: Real Madrid (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Leicester City (England), Bayern Munich (Germany), Juventus (Italy), Benfica (Portugal), Paris Saint-Germain (France), CSKA Moscow (Russia).

Pot 2: Atletico Madrid (Spain), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Arsenal (England), Sevilla (Spain), Porto (Portugal), Napoli (Italy), Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)

Pot 3: Basel (Sui), Tottenham Hotspur (England), Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine), Lyon (France), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), Sporting Lisbon (Portugal), Club Brugge (Belgium), Borussia Monchengladbach (Ger)

Pot 4: Dinamo Zagreb (Cro), Monaco (France), Besiktas (Turkey), Legia Warsaw (Poland), Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria), FC Copenhagen (Den), Rostov (Rus)

Obviuosly, I would prefer CSKA Moscow or Benfica and to some certain degree, Paris St. Germain, but I’m not entirely confident of my club’s abilities when they pair up against Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Juventus. The first two names on the list have dealt terrible blows to Arsenal in recent times, so I will be hoping for a good draw, so I’d keep my fingers crossed.

Sayonara

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What Should We Expect from Arsenal’s English Players this Season?

Will they finally break into the first team setup?

February 14, 2005.

Arsenal is set to play Crystal Palace in Highbury and the squad comes out of the tunnel led by the iconic and talismanic captain, Patrick Vieira. Behind Vieira, I see the mad Jens Lehmann. In no particular order, the lineup had Gael Clichy, Pascal Cygan, Lauren Etame-Mayer, Kolo Toure, Edu, Robert Pires, Jose Antonio Reyes, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. Back then, you could have only five players on the bench and the dugout comprised of Manuel Almunia, Philippe Senderos, Cesc Fabregas, Mathieu Flamini and Robin van Persie.

Goals from Bergkamp (32′), Reyes (35′), Henry (39′), Vieira (54′) and Henry (77′) helped the Gunners to a resounding 5-1 victory but the game will be forever remember as the match Arsene Wenger selected an entire squad full of foreigners and pundits wondered if the Gunners were going to produce any English talent for the forthcoming World Cup in Germany. Sven-Goran Eriksson went on to invite three Gunners in Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell and a young Theo Walcott.

Fast forward to July 2015 and Arsene Wenger has a squad filled up with foreign talent as well as some great English players. Arsenal currently has seven “first-team” English players in Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Calum Chambers, Danny Welbeck and Carl Jenkinson.

Are any of these players the first name you’d see in the first team if Arsene Wenger chooses a squad when everybody is fit? I don’t think so.

It didn’t use to be like this in the past you know? Kieran Gibbs was the heir to Clichy’s throne after he departed to Manchester City but a combination of poor form and his niggling fitness issues paved the way for Nacho Monreal and the Spaniard never looked back. Jack Wilshere’s performances in the 2010/11 campaign were so awesome to the extent he even won the PFA Young Player of the Year award but he couldn’t build on it because he has had a career that has been blighted so badly by injuries. Theo Walcott was Wenger’s first choice on the right wing and he scored a lot of goals for the team but after suffering that ACL injury, he found it difficult to break into the team. The Ox had an extensive run-out this season but injuries halted his progress, Chambers had a great start to the season but poor form saw him lose his place to Hector Bellerin, Welbeck provided a stop-gap option in the wake of Giroud’s injury but he wasn’t a long-term solution and Jenkinson, well, was shipped out on loan because of the new acquisitions.

All the English contingent have their own stories but as it stands, the only way they could feature in the team is when the manager decides to rotate and staunch Arsenal fans know that Wenger doesn’t rotate that much. He’s certainly no rotation god like Rafa Benitez.

So what should we expect from Arsenal’s English contingent this season?

Gibbs should do better this season in challenging Monreal for the left back berth and I really hope he manages to stay fit. Injuries have been a bane to the fullback in his Arsenal career and he still needs to work on his positioning, something Monreal is very excellent at doing. He also needs to work on his output in the final third, because he really struggled to put in quality crosses or key passes when he was clean through on goal.

I consider this campaign a ‘make or break’ one for Jack Wilshere. There’s so much potential for everyone to see but what’s the point of having an asset when it’s more like a liability. Wilshere’s needs to work on giving out the ball in the right time because he has been on the end on some pretty nasty impact challenges due to mistimed tackles from defenders trying to win the ball back. I expect him to feature in the box-to-box role and he has to do his very best when he gets a chance because Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey are ahead of him in the pecking order.

Theo Walcott has to sign a new contract with the club to show his commitment because I don’t think Arsenal needs to go through the drama they did when the club tried to tie him down to a long term contract. On the pitch, he scored four goals in two games he featured as a center forward and he offers Arsenal a different dynamism in attack. It’s going to be interesting to see how Wenger manages the Walcott and Giroud conundrum but if the manager has plans for Theo, I don’t expect to see any addition in this position.

As for the Ox, he needs to improve on his ‘numbers’. I love his directness and ability to take on defenders but the issue I have with the Ox is that he doesn’t rake in the goals and assists on a consistent basis. He’s a player with a lot of potential and he has had his injury worries in the past as well, but he has to do his bit to stay fit and give his manager something to think about.

Calum Chambers had a blistering start to his Arsenal career but he’s way down the pecking order in the right back and center back departments. I expect to see more of the lad in the domestic cup competitions and I hope he latches onto the opportunities he’d get because I don’t expect them to be much.

Welbeck is one lad I have high hopes for but in all honesty he didn’t really prove to me that he has what he takes to lead the line for a club like Arsenal. He needs to improve on his finishing and composure in front of goal. He has age on his side so there’s enough room for improvement opportunities.

Finally, Jenkinson will have to keep doing his thing while he’s out on loan.

I have very high hopes for Arsenal’s English players this season. Let’s just hope they can get the job done.

Sayonara.

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