Arsenal: 2013/14 Potential XI

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Football News

With Arsenal facing another end of season reliant on finishing in the top four, it is a harsh realisation of the drastic contrast in fortunes between themselves and the likes of champions Manchester United.

Arsenal fans are becoming increasingly frustrated with a lack of silverware and there has even been hushed criticism of Arsenal managerial legend Arsene Wenger.

Fans are demanding a large amount of spending to be done over the summer to subsequently attract big-name signings and establish Arsenal as a force both domestically and within Europe.

The acquisition of necessary players will view Arsenal as a completely different side and only a few truly merit a guaranteed place within the starting line-up for the start of the 2013/14 season. 

It is envisaged that Wenger will continue to use his trusted formation of 4-2-3-1, which offers a stable defensive structure whilst also being capable of offering a strong attacking flow with at least four players being exploited for their attacking technical ability.

Goalkeeper: Julio Cesar

The erratic form of current number one Wojciech Szczęsny has questioned his role as Arsenal number one over the short and long term. His early season form seemed promising, but a significant mid-season blip even saw Wenger question his mental state.

The temporary inclusion of Lukas Fabianski as number one gave Szczęsny a true realisation that his place within the team isn't dependent on his potential and he needs to develop a high level consistency to truly see himself as Arsenal's long term answer to their goalkeeping woes. 

The signing of Julio Cesar can certainly answer any short-term questions over Arsenal's goalkeeping predicament and offer a strong core to offer the back four a sense of assurance. 

His departure from recently-relegated QPR seems inevitable and would be a financially suitable option for Wenger and he holds significant experience within the Premier League, Champions League and at international level. 

A true challenge for Szczęsny would certainly see an improvement in his game and therefore see how much potential he truly has. 

Right-back: Carl Jenkinson

It seems apparent that current right-back Bacary Sagna sees his future away from the Emirates - subsequently allowing Carl Jenkinson to fill the void at right-back and offer a much-needed sense of consistency for an inconsistent back four. 

Despite his game needing fine-tuning, Jenkinson has something which Sagna seemed to lack during his time at Arsenal, a strong sense of passion. His love for Arsenal essentially guarantees he will offer 100% whenever he puts on the Arsenal shirt. 

At the tender age of 21, he will establish key components of decision making and positioning, as he grows old with experience of playing at the top level. Soon becoming a guaranteed starter both for Arsenal and England. 

Centre-back: Ashley Williams

Over a period of two years, Ashley Williams has established himself as one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League. Consistency is certainly a component Arsenal need in their back four. 

The acquisition of Ashley Williams would certainly be an improvement on current centre back Per Mertesacker, who has frequently been exposed for his lack of pace. However, Williams offers a strong degree of pace as well as the defensively technical ability of the big German. Subsequently meaning he will certainly be an improved option for Wenger to ponder. 

Centre-back: Thomas Vermaelen

The competition between Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny is very heated and both players offer strong qualities within the Arsenal back four. 

Despite the inconsistent form of Vermaelen being a problem for Wenger over the course of the season, it is clear to see the Belgian has the quality to be one of the best defenders in Europe. His sheer bravery combined with his pace and ability to read the game equips Vermaelen with the capabilities of conquering any attacking threat put his way.

Without the weight of the captains armband, he will be able to flourish without the pressure of continuously driving the time and therefore focus on his own game and partnership with Ashley Williams.

Left-back: Nacho Monreal

The signing of Nacho Monreal has offered the Arsenal back four a freshness and source of reliance. Kieran Gibbs initially offered a stability within the back four, but his frequent injury scares meant that Wenger soon became reliant on Andre Santos, a situation no manager should ever have to deal with.

However, the acquisition of Monreal offered Arsenal strength in depth at left back and his transition from La Liga to the Premier League was made easier by the presence of fellow Spaniards Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla. 

Contributing to seven clean sheets and a crucial goal against Swansea meant his significance was crucial for Arsenal's quest to achieve Champions League qualification.

Centre-midfielder: Maxime Gonalons

It is no secret that Arsenal desperately need a defensive minded central midfielder. A general who is able to break up counter attacks and initiate attacks of their own. It seems Maxime Gonalons is just the man to do this.

Over the past two seasons, he has become an integral figure in the Lyon squad and even taken up the role of captain following the departure of Hugo Lloris. He is a man capable of breaking up play, detecting danger and is willing to make intelligent fouls, as shown by his eight yellow cards picked up over the course of the season.

Despite Wenger's attempts to convert Mikel Arteta into a similar role, it is clear to see he will never have the defensive intelligence or mobility to truly fulfil the role as a defensive midfielder. Meaning a player like Gonalons is essential to Arsenals fortunes for next season.

Centre-midfielder: Jack Wilshere

The inclusion of Jack Wilshere within the Arsenal XI for next season is a no brainer, but the question is where would be ideal for him to exploit is incredible talent. Centre midfield seems to be answer to the question.

This will allow him to exploit his vast passing ability, technical intelligence, sheer bravery and offer a significant role to dictate the flow of the game. Being accompanied by defensively minded Gonalons will allow him to venture forward and offer Arsenal yet another attacking option within diversely talented squad. 

Right-wing: Theo Walcott

Some are saying that it hasn't been a truly successful season for Walcott, but for him to achieve his most successful haul of 20+ goals thus far highlights that it hasn't been that bad for the England forward.

Despite the issues regarding his contractual situation in the early stages of the season, he was still capable of scoring goals and win games for Arsenal. One the other hand, since the signing of his contract, his form has altered slightly. However, following goals against QPR and Manchester United, it seems that the stability of his future has seen him flourish.

It seems that next season will only see him improve on his current form and use his sense of stability to act as a key component within the Arsenal project. 

Attacking-midfielder: Stevan Jovetic

Stevan Jovetic has been frequently linked to a move to Arsenal over the past six months, and he is a man which will cause a strong sense of excitement for Arsenal fans. He has certainly been a success in his time in Italy for Fiorentina. 

He would offer Arsenal a combination of goals, assists and defence tormenting combination play with fellow attacking stars. As the role of No.10, Jovetic will be able to link up with the striker and offer interplay within the build up, which is highly regarded by Arsene Wenger.

Left-wing: Santi Cazorla

It can not be argued that Santi Cazorla has been one of Arsenal's best signings in recent years. The little Spaniard has offered a much-needed spark to Wenger's attacking force and been the conductor for the whole forward based orchestra.

Exploiting Cazorla on the left of an attacking midfield trio is predominately based upon his talent of being ambidextrous. His ability to cut inside allows him to use his right foot to either shoot or find the killer ball.

This, combined with this ability to take on a player to either cross of test the goalkeeper, offers a sense of unpredictability for opposition defences to deal with.

Some may argue that he is best exploited as a No. 10 but it the intelligence of the front three isn't limited and they are more than capable of interchanging within each other.  

Striker: Olivier Giroud

It hasn't quiet been a spectacular debut season for Olivier Giroud, especially having to fill the rather large shoes of Robin van Persie.

Seventeen goals thus far is a reasonable return for a debut season in a foreign league for the Frenchman and he has adapted well to the physical nature of the Premier League.

Wenger will give faith with Giroud in the hope he will improve his game as he becomes more familiar with the English game. Offering attacking support through Jovetic will help Giroud flourish through the partnership with a technically sound forward.

If Giroud fails to build on his debut season, it could be costly for Wenger who would have certainly had the option of recruiting striking talent, with the likes of Loic Remy and Gonzalo Higuain being linked with a move to the Emirates. 


Wojciech Szczęsny

Will compete with Julio Cesar for the number one jersey.

Laurent Koscielny

His quality will mean Vermaelen and Williams will have to be at the top of their game to remain in the squad.

Kieran Gibbs

Once he has overcome injury issues, will be eventual replacement for Monreal at left back.

Mikel Arteta

His experience will be used to help young players and will be used sparingly to help preserve his career at the top.

Serge Gnabry

Will be promoted to senior level following his success at youth level, and gradually experience first-team football.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Will be used as an alternative option to any of the attacking midfield trio. His versatility is key to Arsenal.

Lukas Podolski

Endured a mixed debut season. But, if he stays, will offer back up to Giroud and can play left midfield as he has during the 2012/13 season.


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