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Posted by Sam Limbert on 06/20/2012

Continuing the series of blog posts looking at the Arsenal squad, I’m going to rate, and in some cases slate, the Arsenal players for their performances over the last ten months. To say it’s been an eventful season for Arsenal would be a massive understatement, so I’m sure there will be plenty of disagreement with my ratings, so feel free to comment at the end of the blog. Having analysed the goalkeepers, it’s time to look at defenders.

3. Bacary Sagna

The French full back had a season that was affected by two leg breaks, but when he was available, we were reminded how important he is to the team. Sagna doesn’t do the spectacular things, he does the important solid work. He loses marks in his end of season rating for missing a large slice of the season through injury, and for his crossing still being indifferent, however looking around the league, I can’t think of another right back I’d like in the squad.

His highlight was the header against Tottenham that got us back into the match, and began the hilarious demise of our neighbours. When the ball came back into the box, Sagna was the only man that was going to win the header, and he thumped it past Friedel. It was a terrible shame that he broke his leg again at the end of the season, and therefore missing Euro 2012 and putting the start to next season at risk. Hopefully his two big injuries won’t majorly affect him in the long term.

Season Rating: 6/10

4. Per Mertesacker

In our late transfer window trolley dash last season, I think it’s fair to say Per Mertesacker was the Marmite of our purchases. Some fans seem to hate him, some seem to love him. I’m definitely on the latter side of that split, as I think the German is a great defender, and had a solid first season. We know he’s limited by his lack of pace, and he took some time to adapt to the pace of the Premier League, but the majority of players coming in from foreign leagues do. I think he had a better first season that Laurent Koscielny did, and you only have to look at how good Koscielny was in his second season to know that Mertesacker can improve now he’s got a decent campaign in England behind him.

His reading of the game is excellent, he makes a lot of interceptions and his positional sense is better than most of our recent defensive signings. The key for Mertesacker is to have a quicker centre back with him, as alone he can’t be a dominant centre back as he can become exposed.

Overall, he’s an excellent experienced defender to have in the squad, and his attitude in the team appears to be superb. He understands the club and hopefully will improve in his second season.

Season Rating: 6/10

5. Thomas Vermaelen

It was an interesting season for the Belgian, with injuries once again threatening to prevent him from playing regularly, and he played at left back for a large chunk of the season, instead of his usual centre back role. As a left back, he did well, but I still think his best position is in the centre. Even though he likes to attack, he’s arguably more dangerous attacking through the middle, rather than on the left.

I think fans often cut Vermaelen more slack when criticising defenders because of his swashbuckling style of play, his determination, and his goal scoring. There were times, especially near the end of the season, where his positioning was poor and we suffered because of it. His enthusiasm to win the ball early can then leave him chasing back when he would have been better holding his position and being patient in the tackle.

However an Arsenal team with Vermaelen is undoubtedly a better one. He stands up when needed, and if he does make a mistake, he’ll usually cancel it out by scoring at the other end. When he scored an own goal against Fulham, he went straight up the other end and headed the equaliser. He also scored vital goals in the wins against Everton and Newcastle.

We’re still yet to get a full season out of Vermaelen, and if we do, he could improve further.

Season Rating: 6/10

6. Laurent Koscielny

Arsenal’s most improved player of the season, and definitely our best defender over the whole of the campaign. Honestly, when we signed Per Mertesacker, I assumed the German would slot in next to Thomas Vermaelen as the first choice pairing. However the form of Koscielny has meant that hasn’t been the case. Koscielny had an ok first season, but it was marred by the Carling Cup final incident. That is now firmly behind him, and he proved he is mentally strong, and won’t let other strikers bully him.

He is such a determined defender and can match that with pace when chasing players. His tackling has improved a lot, showing how he’s adapted to the Premier League. In his first season, he dived in too quickly, but he’s learnt to be patient and is becoming an expert and nicking the ball in dangerous situations. He’s also better at bringing the ball out of defence, finding a pass and scoring a few important goals from set pieces.

He’s still improving, boding well for the future. He’s become an absolute warrior in defence and I’m glad he’s making some fans quickly revise their opinions of him as a player. Picking one highlight, I’d go with AC Milan at home, where he was awesome on a night where conceding one goal would have wrecked any faint hope we had of going through.

Season Rating: 8/10

11. Andre Santos

The big Brazilian was a surprise addition in the deadline day trolley dash, but was a needed one given we only had Kieran Gibbs in the squad as a recognised left back. Santos isn’t a consistent player, and often looks limited in his lumbering style, however he does give the team an extra dimension when attacking.

We saw when we were full-back-less in mid-season, how important they are to how Arsenal play, and Santos is arguably our best attacking full back. He likes to take people on, whips in a good cross and isn’t afraid to shoot. In big games, I’d prefer Gibbs as a safer option because of Santos’ sometimes interesting defensive play, but Santos is an excellent squad player and a good luxury option if we want to attack a lesser team.

Defensively; Santos isn’t great. However his spirit and attitude towards playing for Arsenal has helped the team ethic.

Season Rating: 5/10

18. Sebastien Squillaci

The less said about Sebastien Squillaci, the better. He made a few appearances in cup games, and put in a couple of decent performances, however his one league appearance of the season was disastrous. He came on as a substitute away at Fulham as a right back, we were 1-0 up, and we ended up losing 2-1. The defeat wasn’t solely down to Squillaci as we were down to ten men, however his sideways header provided a nice assist for Bobby Zamora late on in the game.

Hopefully he can find a new team and we can forget that he played for us.

Season Rating: 2/10

20. Johan Djourou

In 2010/11, Johan Djourou was arguably our best defender as he put in some outstanding performances. He has gone backwards in the last season and has moved right back down our defensive pecking order. He wasn’t helped by having to play at right back a number of times in the season, as he really isn’t built to be a full back, however even when in the centre, he didn’t exude the confidence he had during the previous season.

I still think he’s worth keeping in the squad as a fourth or fifth centre back, but I’m struggling to see him ever being a regular name on the Arsenal team sheet if Mertesacker, Vermaelen and Kosicelny stay fit.

Season Rating: 3/10

25. Carl Jenkinson

A surprise signing last summer, Jenkinson can never be criticised for not giving everything when playing for Arsenal. Like us, the club is embedded into him. Regardless of ability, you sometimes need players like that in the squad. However at the start of the season, Jenkinson looked horribly out of his depth, no matter how much passion he had for the club.

However he improved a lot in a short space of time, and was going to get a good run in the team after Bacary Sagna’s first injury, however he picked up a serious back injury, keeping him out for a few months.

I can see Jenkinson becoming a good squad player, and pre-season will be important for him with Sagna likely to have a delayed start to the season. After the first month of the season, Jenkinson did put in some good performances, so we can hope for improvement next season.

Season Rating: 4/10

28. Kieran Gibbs

Another season, and more injuries for Kieran Gibbs. After the sale of Gael Clichy, Gibbs had the chance to cement his place as the club’s first choice left back, and he’s just about done that. He’s a solid full-back that can be relied upon in big games, but can still improve all aspects of his game. His positioning is still suspect, and his attacking game isn’t as good as Santos’.

I think the competition of having Santos in the squad has been good for Gibbs, and has helped improve some of his performances. Although he didn’t start on the final day after a dodgy game against Norwich, his late block tackle against West Brom was vital in us making the Champions League.

Gibbs had a decent season, and will know he needs to improve to hold onto his first team place.

Season Rating: 5/10

49. Ignasi Miquel

Young centre back Ignasi Miquel only made a few appearances, and most of them were at left back, and he did show some encouraging signs. With Squillaci likely to go, and some doubts about Johan Djourou, Miquel could see more first team action soon.

Playing at left back for an experience centre back is difficult, so it must have been harder for Miquel, yet he performed admirably in most of his game in the position. Given he’s a tall player, he’s quick and looks strong. His positional sense as a full back was often poor, but that was to be expected. Hopefully we’ll see more of Miquel next season in the League Cup in his preferred position.

Season Rating: 3/10

56. Nico Yennaris

Yennaris only made a few appearance in the cup competitions, and played in the second half against Manchester United in the league, but looked promising. Like Jenkinson, he has always been an Arsenal fan, and it shows in his performances. He’s energetic, and didn’t look afraid in his few appearances.

It remains to be seen if he has a future at the club, with Jenkinson and Sagna ahead of him in his path to the first team. We’ll get a better idea of that next season.

Season Rating: 3/10

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Comments

Posted by George on 06/20/2012

I'm not totally sure I agree with you on vermaelen's ratings; thought he deserves much higher. He popped up with important goals, bagging many three pionts along the way and his defensive duties only came into question for the odd slip.
Also, despite being slightly off-topic, what do you make of the signings of Podolski and Giroud? Good, Bad, surprising?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. The signing of Podolski I think is a very good one, and if Giroud goes through, I'll be pleased with that as well. We need forwards to support RvP and we're addressing the problem.

Posted by Sunshine on 06/20/2012

Wenger should sign m'villa and a right back too, before the tranfer window opens.

Posted by Robert on 06/20/2012

Sam, what do you make of Debuchy? With Sagna's injury ruling him out of pre-season, he could be a great (and inexpensive) signing. Some tabloids, as trustworthy as they are, have linked him with Arsenal, and I'd personally like to see him join and for us to loan out Jenkinson this year. Jenkinson has fantastic potential, but he needs to be playing regularly.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Honestly, I don't think we need Debuchy. When Sagna is fit, I think Bac is better so we'd be better spending money on areas of the squad that need more urgent attention.

Posted by Matt on 06/20/2012

Hey Sam Like how you rated the Defenders of the team. I felt you had the right ratings for them all as too many goals were scored on us.

I wanted to ask you 4 Quick Questions:
1.Do you think would should improve our defense adding new players? (Ex Vertonghnen sorry if i spelled his name wrong)
2. I know this is a long shot but do you think we should go after a GK like Lloris to the team.
3. Do you think Wenger will go for Dempsey to add to the squad?
4. The main concern do you feel Van Persie will Stay??

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. 1) Possibly one new signing depending on if anyone leave. 2) I don't think we'll attempt to sign a new number one goalkeeper, potentially only a backup. 3) I doubt he will but I'd like him to. 4) I hope so!

Posted by nitin on 06/20/2012

Sam given no new defensive signings what will be ur back four next season?

i beleive we are short on full back specially rb atm

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think it'll be Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs.

Posted by Sideshowmel on 06/20/2012

I think your ratings are about right. Potentially TV should be higher but he does have moments of defensive frailty, as demonstrated late in the year. Also, I don't know how someone can get high marks for playing part of the season again. Maybe one year we can find some defenders who can stay healthy for the majority of a season. I think we need more defensive cover and players with some durability. In my opinion, time for Djourou and Squillaci to move on.

Sam - do you think it might be time to consider replacing Gibbs and Vermaelen with players that are healthy on a regular basis? It seems to me that we keep the injury prone players and keep hoping that things turn out. RVP probably proved that it can happen but when defense is suspect and two of four regulars can't seem to stay healthy, how do we get things done.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think we've seen with RvP this season that being patient with players can pay off. Both Vermaelen and Gibbs are good enough quality wise, so I think they're worth keeping. Having the likes of Mertesacker and Santos helps to cover them.

Posted by curtis on 06/20/2012

Thank you for being one of the few who thinks that mertesacker did okay for a first season. Also do you think we need other signings besides podolski and giroud, because despite this season we seem to have a lot of cover at defense.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think we will need one or two more signings, mainly as others could leave the squad.

Posted by Rainshine on 06/20/2012

A defender is rated upon his defending, not goal scoring. Vermaelan deserves what he got. And this is what the author means when he says Arsenal fans give him some slack. We dont need a right back, we have Le Coq who started out as a fullback and has done very well their. Im not sure Yann'MVilla is what we need, a flair attacking midfielder is what I want.

Posted by AT on 06/21/2012

We definitely can score n with the addition of 2 attackingplayers, I could not be happier. However, we have bigger problem in our defensivearea. AW needs to improve that. Like what you said, Gibbs, TV, Konchesnky, Bagna are your main 4. These guys are good but definitely can be improved if we want to win any silverware.

Posted by OMA on 06/21/2012

SAM-I agree with your ratings to a large extent,I will also like to add that, a good defensive midfielder would go a long way in improving our defensive frailties. Personally i think Koscielny has improved allot and with Mertasacker and vermaelen to pair with him next season,should be ok. Do you agree we need a holding midfielder like M'villa? Song seems to be developing into a linking midfielder with Van Persie and as such doesn't do the dirty work as much as needed from a holding midfielder. Sam, wouldn't you agree that we shld purchase M'villa to cover our defensive position?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I'm not sure if we need M'Vila if we reign Song in and make him defend a bit more, and we've got Coquelin and Frimpong coming through.

Posted by Charlie on 06/21/2012

I think it is harsh on Miquel to give him a 3 because I don't remember him making a single mistake when he was called on. I see him as an excellent prospect and I can see him taking over as 4th choice CB from Djourou this coming season. You didn't have anything bad to say about him and yet you gave him a 3, why is that ?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I took into account the fact he didn't play much, and I did say his position was sometimes poor as a left back. If he'd played more games, he'd have got a higher rating.

Posted by Nwaigbo chukwudi on 06/21/2012

Hey sam, i tink arsen wenger should buy another right back to suport sagna. And allso sign m villa, demsy.

Posted by zebra on 06/21/2012

hi Sam!

i think that rating our defenders is not so easy. Per has a good positional sense and often disrupted plays before they materialized, but he is too soft! see John Terry's goal for Chelsea in Oct..

Santos is fun, but not good defensively. though he did strike beautifully for the team twice when we needed it.

We need more defenders with a fighting spirit of Koscielny. Djourou and Per don't represent that for me.

As we saw, very clearly, we also need the attacking elements that Gibbs and Sagna provide to maintain our formation up front and create chances from out wide. Sagna and Walcott enjoyed a good stretch together.

I'd like to see a solid defensive signing this summer to solidify the confidence and reliability we will need to ever win big trophies. We lack that toughness that can change games and keep the team together when our backs are up against the wall.

Posted by Graham on 06/22/2012

Sam,
Excellent analysis - I only hope that the coaching staff read this - I believe their views may be coloured by being too close to their players.

Posted by Nelson Zimbo on 06/22/2012

I think your analysis should also have include Coquilin (sp), he played a few games as a stand in full back and for me, apart from Sagna, he was much better. If i were him, i would fight for the right back position than the congested midfield.
If i were Wenger, i would work more on Santos than to rely on Gibbs.We all know Santos is not solid defensively but his offensive work can be awesome. Gibbs all round application still need to be worked on despite his experience at Arsenal and above all, he is too fragile & tender, he rarely plays 3 consecutive matches.

Posted by Isaac Odipo on 06/22/2012

Sam,
I agree with most of your observations except for Yennaris, i think that boy will soon be better than Sagna plus he is a utility player whose real specialty is in midfield but was only brought in against Man-U as makeshift FB when there was no other fit FB, but even then interestingly i had already proposed to my buddys that he should have been filded in that game to mark Nani instead of Djouru and my prayers were answered. The boy has real character and a decent work rate, commitment and fearlessness. Those are the xters we need in Arsenal. Another observation is that Arsenal actually did better defencively whenever TV was at left back. Though i have my doubts about Mertesacker's abilities, i think we should give him more games alongside Kosielny at CB and TV at LB with Gibbs and Santos as 2nd and 3rd cover for LB.

Posted by gunner138098 on 06/22/2012

Sam,is there any truth in the rumour that TV's agent's met with Barca regarding a possible move?didn't TV swear that he'd remain at Arsenal forever?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I haven't heard those rumours myself, and would be surprised if they were true.

Posted by I.Nace on 06/23/2012

Hi again Sam and Arsenal supporters!So I hear from USA that Giroud is coming another french legionaiers. I don't know him, he might be good,he might even put France in the semis today,but here we go again a foreigner who will need 1 year to adapt than come good probably and than leave for other pastures,like most of the other foreign legionares. How many more will learn the trade at Arsenal,before hitting the door and what about Theo and AOC.Once again we're picking players that don't have the home grown fighting spirit,which tells me we're satisfied with qualifying for the champs.league and don't change the philosophy.I'm not here to argue,cause when a lot of people wanted to part away with Wenger,I supported him cause he deserves for what he's done and always believed we'd qualify for champs.league,but when are we going to buy some players with champion mentality to win trophies.i hope I'm wrong completely,but I don't see any trophy coming to us this year.Good luck!

Posted by Janan on 06/24/2012

Hey Sam, what do you think of a Arteta, Song, M'Vila midfield axis? All of them have significant passing ability and also have good defensive capabilities. They could cover for each other and switch positions fluidly, thereby improving the stability of our midfield as well as maintaining its creativity and also liberate Song in terms of his attacking tendencies.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think that's too defensive for a midfield line up. Would like to see a more attacking player in there, although it could work.

Posted by RLS on 06/24/2012

Great post Sam!
Defending has been our biggest frailty this season, and you ratings the cover all the highs and lows of the season. Being half Belgian I am a huge fan of Vermaelen. When I first saw your rating I was a little shocked, but your great analysis of his work totally proved your rating.

Giroud is now coming to bolster the attack, but RvP transfer peculation has heated up to Man City. I think he will stick with us since we stuck with him.

Which players have interested you the most (for transfer) at Euro 12?

We have been recently linked with Adrian Lopez of athletico madrid. To replace Walcott
Hatem Ben arfa for the same position.

What do you think?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. In terms of the Euros, I think the best player has been Andrea Pirlo, although it's not realistic to sign him. Joao Pereira has been good at right back for Portugal, Dzagoev impressed me for Russia and some of the Czech midfielders looked ok, but I don't think there are any stand outs.

Posted by mr zimbabwe on 06/24/2012

hi sam
overally a great analysis. Especially on mertesacker. Tho i also feel u were a bit harsh on tv5. i have a few questions for u though mate,,
1) cesc, samir left us last season & we still havent seen a replacement for cesc. D'u think arsene will be in for a cam as we lacked that x factor last season?? &hw important d'u think it is that we replenish the ranks in that position??
2) i noticed u commented on mvilla saying we dont need him, is it not better to have strength in depth & allow our youngsters especialy frimpy on loan to get a full season of playing time under his belt then keep coquelin as he's versatile??
3) lastly where do u think we need strengthening the most in order to actually compete for trophies & realistically looking @ it, who would u let go & bring in? Thanx mate!!

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. 1. I don't think Wenger will see it as an urgent position to address because of Wilshere returning from injury and Oxlade-Chamberlain continuing to improve. Arteta could also play there. 2. It's probably better to have strength in depth, it's just I'm unsure as to if M'Vila is good enough. He's still young himself and is a bit unproven. 3. I mostly wanted us to strengthen up front to support RvP, and we've done that, so hopefully he'll stay to make our front line look strong.

Posted by Canberra Gooner on 06/25/2012

Agree with your ratings, and while TV is my favourite player, particularly agree that his style and goals often sees him assessed favourably by fans when his defending was actually poor at times.

Towards the end of the season, individual errors aside, our most significant defensive problem stemmed from the centre of the park. Song and Arteta were good together, with good mutual understanding and cover. Song was more free to push forward and act creatively with Arteta's natural depth as protection. After MAs injury, Song failed to show the positional discipline required to shield the CBs. Norwich was a clear example of what could happen. Centrally focussed direct attacks that lead to 3 goals, all of which should have been prevented easily by "the third best team".

This is why I support the purchase of M'Villa. Frimpong needs work as does Coquelin.

Posted by makun olayinka on 06/25/2012

I love this article! but am curious about the exam on the arsenal mid-fielders.

Posted by Da Crumbsnatcha on 06/26/2012

Spot on about TV5. No doubt he is a huge player for us, but rating his play on the season he did make some pretty big blunders as a result of his positional play.

I know this will never happen, but what are your thoughts about Wenger dropping Song to centre back on a more regular basis, especially in lieu of the annual centre back injury crisis AND then bringing in M'Vila to partner with Jack in the holding mid role? Song lacks positional awareness and leaves us exposed over and over again in midfield. When he remembers that he is a defensive mid and you know, defends, then the team is a lot more successful. You said that we should get him to defend more, but as it hasn't happened yet, I don't see him coming around. M'Vila's positional play is much better as is his defending and is expected to improve a great deal. Regardless, I would relish him pairing with Jack, or even with Song from time to time...

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I'm not sure dropping Song back is the best move as he was better going forward last season, plus we have enough good centre backs.

Posted by Jack Conway on 06/27/2012

Hey Sam - Another great piece. A back line of Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs and Sagna sounds good but when they were together this year it always seemed like the other team might score at any minute. Is this because of the players in front of them? I thought Song had a really good season but was that because he was effective going forward? If the Gunners could sign m'Villa what would the midfield look like? With Podolski signed and Jack returning the midfield is starting to look awfully crowded. Theo, Ox, Gervinho, Arteta, Ramsey, Song, etc. How would you construct a midfield to best support the back line? Thanks.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Sometimes Song pushed too far forward, but I'm still not sure about signing M'Vila. He wouldn't automatically be the first choice if we signed him as Arteta had an excellent season and Wilshere should return from injury. I'd have Song and Arteta in midfield, but have Wilshere in the more advanced role as he can tackle and press higher up the pitch.

Posted by Bishoptutu on 06/27/2012

All I can say is that the ratings were ok but i would want Wenger to more defenders, one right back and one left back, don,t you think so? Sam?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I don't think the full backs are positions we urgently need to address. We were only short on them in exceptional circumstances earlier in the season.

Posted by Mike on 06/27/2012

Will I am not sure about the ratings as I will give to he Second leg against AC but what the hell happened during the first leg had we held them to less then 2 goals at home we would have gone through (or scored more away)

and after watching the french national team during the Euros I really would not pay big money for french footballers sorry but they looked poor to me kind of made me happy we sold Nasri and Gaël Clichy. Maybe that tournament is not the best yard stick though as we have been burned by rating player they did well too highly as well (Arshavin was the toast of 08 and we paid more for him then anyone before him and look how that turned out)

Posted by Howard on 06/28/2012

Sam, I find some of your ratings off the mark. Justifying poor ratings on lack of playing time is a fallacy in my opinion. Sagna's return from injury and our 8 game unbeaten streak from Feb to April was no coincidence. Bac is not perennially hobbled like some players (Gibbs, Verm), so his 6 rating for being injured twice was unjust at best. Also, I thought Miquel looked quite the player in his few appearances. You're judging him for having 3 to 4 experienced and/or established CB's in front of him, thus his playing time was limited. For a relatively inexperienced senior player, he did quite well when called upon. You also fault his positioning at LB, well, he's not a natural LB so what do you expect? Using that logic, his finishing was a bit lacking for me this season... come on! Some of your analyses last season were fantastic. This one, meh.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Sagna is undoubtedly one of our best players, but I was trying to consider their whole season. It's unfortunate that he was unavailable for a lot of the season but I had to take that into consideration when rating them for the whole campaign.

Posted by Welanga Mumba on 06/28/2012

Sam you will make a great (similar to special one) coach some. Your analysis of players is very good.

Now if we go to strikers, two new ones with great RVP, it raises questions. Is the professorial preparing for the departure of the captain or he is just hungry for a trophy next season? what do you think?

The next question is if you were the coach would you keep RVP to the end of the contract f he refuses to extend the contract with the view of winning a trophy but losing him next year on free transfer or you would sell him now?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think he's trying to sign players that can play with RvP, not ones to replace him. I'd also keep him if he doesn't sign a contract because there's always time for him to sign during the season if he sees improvement from the squad.

Posted by Tosan on 06/28/2012

Hi Sam, I'm happy with our new signing. I think we need a new backup Goalkeeper that will bring more competition to Szczesny and keep him on his feet!!!.. and i hope and pray RVP remain with us because i'm actually praying and fasting..

Posted by I.Nace on 06/29/2012

Hi Sam! I appreciate you being an Arsenal faithful and blogger, mostly good writing. I am an Arsenal fan from 1971(Arsenal-Leeds 0:1, FA Cup Final), though I live in USA and do not follow Arsenal at the Emirates or elsewhere I am a fanatical supporter. I have to say though that even as you own this blog, it's been a few times now that you do not allow my opinion in yours, not that I'm not going to follow Arsenal because of this, I follow them for myself, but it's not nice! Cheers!

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I post all comments that I receive on this blog, I just can't always do it immediately after they're posted, so your comment will be there.

Posted by Moses on 06/29/2012

Sam I do really believe we need better experienced center backs in the qualities of TV and Conciely to Cover up in the absence of TV or Conciely getting injuries. You note we always start dropping points towards the end of seasons when we are hit by injuries. Wenger would be the most successful manager if we could will 2012/13 League. Now that we have reinforced our attacking front-line with Podoski and Groud addition. We must add a center back please.

Posted by Patrick on 06/29/2012

Hi Sam! Can't wait to see your ratings for the midfield. When will we get them?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. They're up.

Posted by I.Nace on 06/29/2012

Hi Sam, cheers again! Sorry, I,m still going to read your comments as they are interesting and closely accurate. No matter what you are an Arsenal fan like me and I am happy for that. Don't forget when you and other gunners go to the Emirates you support the team for all of the other "us" Arsenal fans around the world. Only one request, just one Champions League title and I am all set. Can you please pass this up. Stay well man, Arsenal is coming!

Posted by J.Meek on 07/03/2012

Would they consider selling Walcott and buying someone like Dempsey? With Walcott wanting more money and Dempsey wanting to play in CL, I believe it would be a good move. I believe we could sell Walcott to Inter Milan, Juventus or PSG

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I don't really want to see Walcott sold, but wouldn't mind seeing Dempsey at the club.

Posted by Devon Linton on 07/03/2012

With the dela with Verthogen stalled.What do u think of adding him into the Arsenal squad? In terms of an attacking midfielder. Ganso has just snubbed over a ccontract with Santos. Will he be what we need at this stage? Lints27 from gunnertalk.com

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I doubt we'll get Vertonghen because of his apparent desire to go to Spurs, and with Wilshere returning, I'll be surprised if we sign someone like Ganso.

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David Young Sam Limbert: My retirement as a football player came at the age of 14 due to being rubbish, it's fair to say I was more Kaba Diawara than Thierry Henry, so I turned my focus to writing about the game. I'm a lifelong Arsenal fan and have been lucky enough to watch the team across England and Europe. My favourite Gunner of all time is Dennis Bergkamp, and the 2004 Invincibles is the greatest side I've ever seen in English football. I try to be positive about the Arsenal as it's the hope that keeps us going! Follow me on twitter @SamsMatchReport.

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