Podolski, M’Vila, Giroud: Arsenal fans’ optimism is being justified

For once, Arsenal fans have come into the summer transfer window with optimism. There were plenty of encouraging performances, some befitting a side challenging for the title, although they were too few to mount a serious threat to the Manchester clubs, especially considering the Gunners’ awful start.

Having tied up an impressive deal for Lukas Podolski – £10.8 million, an absolute bargain by all accounts – speculation was ripe that Yann M’Vila, the Rennes centre midfielder, was also on his way. M’Vila is incredibly highly rated in his native France, despite an apparently unimpressive 2011/12 season with his club, and has been compared with Patrick Vieira.

It had seemed as if M’Vila was practically a done deal, but the talk slightly died down in the build-up to Euro 2012, and it seemed like respected French journalist Lauren Juliens was off-the-mark when he tweeted that the move was 99% done. Never-the-less, Arsenal seem to be the only club properly in for M’Vila, despite tentative rumours linking him with a move to Italy, so the move still seems fairly likely.

There had also been talk of an Arsenal move for M’Vila’s France team-mate Olivier Giroud, but it had only seemed like an initial interest from Arsene Wenger. However, suddenly the move was on; Jeremy Wilson and David Ornstein of the Telegraph and the BBC respectively, two of the most reliable Arsenal sources, confirmed the move was as good as done, prompting wide-spread excitement among Arsenal fans.

With it looking as if Arsenal will start next season with Lukas Podolski, Yann M’Vila and Olivier Giroud added to the ranks – as well as perhaps one or two others – the discussion among Arsenal fans has centred around how Arsene Wenger will fit them into the side.

The North London side have been loyal to a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 formation since the 2009/10 season, and despite the absence of the previous playmaker, Cesc Fabregas, have continued playing with the same system, so it seems like they’ll persist with it.

The majority of the questions have been about how Wenger would fit Robin van Persie, Podolski and Giroud into the same team. Some have suggested moving van Persie out wide, or putting him behind Giroud, with Podolski on the left wing. However, van Persie has had his most successful season as the lone striker, the talisman of the team, scoring 37 goals in all competitions and winning various player of the year awards, so it would be foolish of Wenger to change his captain’s role.

It seems likely that Podolski will play on the left wing; it wouldn’t make much sense buying Podolski and Giroud for over £20 million between them just to keep them on the bench for the majority of the game, and the ex-Bayern Munich man has had success from the left with Germany over the years.

This spells the end of Gervinho’s stint as a first choice for Arsene Wenger – the Ivorian winger came from Lille with fairly high expectations, but struggled a little in his first season at the Emirates. The African Cup of Nations disrupted his progress, but he still seemed to lack confidence during his performances – although there were several promising ones.

Giroud will most likely step in as the lone striker if Wenger cannot or decides not to field Robin van Persie. He had to use his captain in every Premier League game last season, bringing him off the bench once and starting him in the other 37 games due to the apparent failures of Marouane Chamakh and Park Ju-Young, both of whom seem set to leave this summer.

As for Yann M’Vila, who still may not come in, he will be one of Wenger’s first choices in central midfield, behind the playmaker. Although Mikel Arteta and Alex Song both had good seasons, there were still flaws with the partnership, and when Arteta was absent the Gunners suffered massively without the protection he provided. Song was also at times far too casual, seemingly a little too comfortable with his position under no threat, so M’Vila would also provide fierce competition.

Furthermore, it would allow rotation: this will be key for Arsenal next season, as there isn’t one starting eleven which is clearly the best. Wenger will be able to select his side based on form, fitness and opposition, a luxury that hasn’t often been afforded to him recently, and this will also help to fend off injuries you’d imagine.

In any case, Arsenal are shaping up well for the new season, and it’s looking like the squad will be strengthened significantly. A couple more additions still seem necessary – a creative midfielder may be required, as may a back-up defender & back-up goalkeeper – but it’s definitely so far, so good for Arsene Wenger.


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74 responses to “Podolski, M’Vila, Giroud: Arsenal fans’ optimism is being justified”

  1. Anonymous says :

    nyce 1 boss

  2. Joegunners says :

    One need to be sure of Wenger. You dont count your chickens even before they were hatched

  3. Bigjohnbane says :

    I pray that all the deals go through.if so nex season’ll be all gooners go n relax the sky is the limit.gunners till amen.

  4. Solexy says :

    It will be very nice if arsenal can aford all this players.ride on mr wenger

  5. ola says :

    Wenger shlould pls get both Giroud and M. Villa inaddition to Podoski n Van Persie. Gunners till I die

  6. Obalolafc says :

    We need some exprs ply mr wenger

  7. Nore guna says :

    I hope all dis dnt end up being mere spurrious speculations!i dnt trust wenga n co wen it cums2 closin deals early.my fingers are crossed thou.

  8. Anonymous says :

    It wuld b very nice if asene wenger can manage 2 deal out M’villa n Giroud 4 us8-) Guners till am gone

  9. Anonymous says :

    Pls,prof will need M’vil in arsenal.

  10. Anonymous says :

    i like podolski

  11. Joseph says :

    Those players will be good signing for Arsenal next session.

  12. jamil ibrahim says :

    dat is how d team sopose 2b let dem face chalenge betwen dm self

  13. collins says :

    crap!! Y all dese recycling of news.if dere nothing new.u guys shouldnt waste our time pls.!!


  14. Anonymous says :

    We are hoping for th best

  15. HR says :

    Wilshere Arteta
    Walcott RVP Podolski

    Subs: Chamberlain*, Rosicky*, Song*, Giroud*, Diaby, Santos.

    * refers to the players who should be in/pushing for a place in the 1st XI.

    Somebody tell me that is a team that cannot win the title!

    • Paul B says :

      It may be a team that can win a title but we don’t have the manager to follow that conviction

      • Sam Drew says :

        If only we had a manager who knew how to win trophies! One who’s won the Premier League three times, once going unbeaten while doing so, and the other two times winning the FA Cup at the same time. Great shame.

        Sorry for the sarcasm, but Arsene Wenger is a terrific manager, and if you can’t see that then there’s not much I can do to help you.

      • ekstien says :

        Thank you Sam Drew. I think that’s the most stupid comment I’ve read all day. If Paul B can’t see what a manager we have in Arsene Wenger the I wonder what he’s doing claiming he’s an arsenal fan. Its a real shame.

  16. Albert Olusegun says :

    we expecting arsen wenger buy experience play. we need trophy’

  17. Ebuka says :

    I can never trust Arsen Wenger and his greedy board. I been an arsenal fan for more than a decay, all we have been hearing from tham is all about unfufiled promises but at the end their’ll ne nothing to show for it, and mr wenger will be telling you the number of quantity player arsnal have instead of quality.

    • J@J.com says :

      Greedy board? They want to win as much as you do you tit.

      • Paul B says :

        Do they rubbish, their interests lie in finishing fourth and the Yank takes the money out to put into his projects in the States, I have followed the Arsenal since 1973, and for me the board are greedy and self centred with no respect for the fans, we are customers that’s all

    • Nik B says :

      The board greedy? They don’t pay dividends so don’t actually take money out of the club to line their own pockets. A lot of people don’t seem to realise this!

  18. Anonymous says :

    honestly the summer is looking promising and arsenal faithful all over the world have kept their fingers cross, arsenal will definitely compete on all front next season is justice is done to all the speculatio.


  19. D plazz says :

    pls Mr wenger sign giroud & m’vila plus an xperience back-up goalkeeper,and if possible snatch vertonghen from spurs. I can’t wait 4 next season. Up GUNNNERssss 4 life

  20. D plazz says :

    Sagna koscielny vermaelin santos
    Song m’vila arteta
    Walcott Podolski

    Sub:- gibbs,metersk,diaby, rosicky,wilshere,chamberl, gervinho, Giroud.

  21. Anonymous says :

    Why can you all not write well? It is embarrassing as an gunners fan. Write proper!

  22. andrew says :

    is gud but we need midfields,surportin strikers,attackers,defenders nd goalkeepers bcos is gud eight years witout any truiphy so we most by all means win a truiphy bcos chelsea fans av b mockin we gunners fans,Arsene wenger should do sometin ok

    • Sam Drew says :

      Have a look at the names pal, written by the same person, ie. me. I write for Sabotage as well as on here and I don’t have time to write different stuff for both!

  23. Sullyman3 says :

    With wht i read,if wenger cn afford all of them.i we assure arsenal wl be gr8 4 nest season

  24. ZAK THE GOON says :

    good Article, I hope Wenger and the board do their best to get these player’s. It would go a long way to appeasing the loyal and long suffering Arsenal fan’s rather than the fickle one’s who would want are GREAT CLUB to go all out for trophies even If It mean’s that one day we will go BUST! In Arsene we trust!

  25. Patrick Ssekatawa says :

    I agree with you,but on only one! We do not need a back up defender. We already have six!!! Name them? Ok. VERMAELEN, KOSCIELNY, MERTESACKER, DJOUROU, MIQUEL, BARTLEY. Remamber in a single game we only need TWO. What then would the signing of the so-called back-up defender be for? I insist, and rightly so, WE DON’T NEED A DEFENDER!

    • teezzy says :

      u re talkin as if u dnt knw arsenal probs…pls wenger we nid 1or2 quality defender,luk at dis..
      sagna kos verm santos
      | | |
      coque matez no gibbs
      we nid experience ful back

    • ekstien says :

      For once someone thinks like me. We totally DON’T need another defender. Djorou and Per are capable back-ups and we still have the younger promising ones coming up. If M’villa and Oliver Giroud can come then I’ll be satisfied

      • Mint says :

        Djourou is leaving as he isnt good enough. Miquel is going to be good and Bartley isnt good enough yet….. we only have 3 class CB’s. i’d like to see another CB brought in. we all see what happened when Mertsaker , Vermaelen and Kos was injured last season. Vertonghan would be a good buy

  26. Big Al, Koh Samui, Thailand says :

    A little quibble, Sam.
    You write the bulk of the post based on the ‘likelihood’ that M’Vila and Giroud will be joining Arsenal. That’s fair enough in itself, but you don’t query Robin van Persie’s possible departure, thereby nullifying the possible/probable line-ups (to an extent) – I personally doubt that van Persie will stay at Arsenal.

    I am therefore surprised that not one reply has mentioned the van Persie ‘issue’.

    Decent enough post otherwise; keep up the good work.

    • Sam Drew says :

      I see your point, but I think RVP will stay. It was always about showing our ambition, and we’d certainly be doing that by signing the afore-mentioned trio.


  27. Anonymous says :

    If vp will stay we wil contest 4 pL title.up gunazzz til setan repent…i need m vila,d guy is gud..

  28. Humbleik says :

    If vp will stay we wil contest 4 pL title.up gunazzz til setan repent…i need m vila,d guy is gud..

  29. p.chibor says :

    The key for our success is to have great players to make a squad .. as a big team to achieve this your first 11 and bench must be feisty to your opponent, if a player is injured it will not affect your target. I am a GUNNER with pride i need triumph this season to achieve this wenger should complete signing of M VILLA, GIROUN, keep VAN PERSE and WALCOT + our first success PODOSKI with this great men am happy with wenger and management of our great club Arsenal

  30. Gideon Bassey says :

    If d club wil buy al d player the coming season wil a great one for them

  31. Big Al, Koh Samui, Thailand says :

    @Patrick Ssekatawa
    Patrick says: “Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Djourou, Miquel, Bartley…
    I insist, and rightly so, we don’t need a defender!”

    Big Al replies: Oh yes we do. Miquel and Bartley are VERY inexperienced. Djourou is not Arsenal quality. Mertesacker is the slowest centre-back in the Premiership. Even Vermaelen and Koscielny (arguably our best twosome) are inconsistent; remember Norwich 3-3, for an example?
    You’re looking at Quantity, not Quality, Patrick. We need the opposite.

    ps: you forgot Squillaci (he ain’t gone yet).

    • ekstien says :

      No talented and experienced defender will want to come and be second choice. Be logical man, if we buy another defender it won’t be anything better than the back up we already have and you won’t want le boss to drop kos or vermaelen will u? Metersacker might be slow but he does a comfortable job and I like him.

      • Big Al, Koh Samui, Thailand says :

        “No talented and experienced defender will want to come and be second choice. Be logical man…”

        What a stupid comment. If what you say were to be true, the same would also apply to every position in our squad – no talented forward will want to come and be second choice. No midfielder will want to come and be second choice. We would only have eleven (decent quality) players, wouldn’t we?
        EVERY position requires a (decent) backup, not only at Arsenal but every club… look at the quality elsewhere in the Premiership.
        Remember 2-8 at United? 3-4 at Blackburn? Sure we’ve got quantity, but quality… uh uh.

        Be logical man.

      • ekstien says :

        Aren’t you funny? Do u realise we played Man utd before we made our signings? And what happened when the likes of Arteta, Per, Benayoun and Santos came? Did our game not become more stable? So what’s your point? If you think wenger is going to buy a ‘Pepe’ quality defender to back up for kos and Vermaelen then u gotta wake up and stop dreaming.

  32. Progman07 says :

    I’d wait for the signings before praising Wenger, though.. it’s only rumours yet. Our biggest issue is the midfield where we lack the world class quality, although both Arteta and Song are great opitions none of them has the world class qualities that a Cesc, Yaya Toure, etc. has, which is needed to win anything. We lack the consistent creative, playmaking skills in midfield, even if Song has good assist numbers, and we need to solve it.

  33. kolawole says :

    we need those plyer,dat ll b gud signing 4 arsenal.pls mr wenger buy dis plyer 4 us

  34. Sylvia says :

    Wenger is a nice gentle man,gud coach,but the board is killing arsenal,they will not buy even a single player dats the truth?

  35. Ryan Gooner says :

    Really want Giroud and Mvila to join I for one would be a very happy camper if this happened. Then maybe get a CB and a attacking midfielder like that Russian bloke . 🙂 In Arsene We Trust !!

  36. Big Al, Koh Samui, Thailand says :

    Aren’t you funny?… Did our game not become more stable? So what’s your point?

    No, I’m not funny. And my point was made. Let me repeat.
    Six central defenders you named, missing out Squillaci = seven. Seven is only a number. It’s quantity, but not quality. Djourou is not good enough for Arsenal, he’s barely good enough for any Premiership side. Squillaci also. Miquel has very limited experience (he needs to be loaned) and he’s not close to first-team action. Bartley has no experience (and was loaned last season). He also is nowhere close to first-team action. Mertesacker too slow.
    And yes, I know the Man Utd lineup. And I believe Mertesacker made little or no difference after arriving; the same regarding Santos. Because they are not Arsenal QUALITY. German/Turkish quality perhaps, but the Premiership is too fast for those boys.
    And remember this: Wenger signed those two out of absolute necessity ONLY, that is, due to an extensive injury crisis. He would NEVER have signed those two players otherwise, same as he would NEVER have signed Benayoun or Park (same reason).
    By the way, maybe you’re unaware of Ivan Gazidis’ comments at the Q+A session on this very same issue – “we need QUALITY, not quantity”, and suggested that the situation will be dealt with.

    Finally, I don’t need to wake up and stop dreaming… I was wide awake when I watched my first game at Highbury in 1963, and I’m well past dreaming.

    • ekstien says :

      Djorou not good enough for any premier league side? Wow! Djorou was our main defender 2 seasons ago. He faced off barca in our win against them at the emirates. Djorou just lost confidence especially when le boss threw him in as a right back and trust me its not easy playin out of position even Vermaelen suffered it. I’m surprised how quickly we loose faith in players and I can swear you were one of those screaming “sell Rosicky!” I don’t think you can say the same now, can you? You’re entitled to your opinion but left for me Djorou has what it takes to play for Arsenal.

      • Big Al, Koh Samui, Thailand says :

        “I can swear you were one of those screaming “sell Rosicky!” I don’t think you can say the same now, can you?”

        Don’t put words in my mouth. Have I mentioned Rosicky? No.
        Try to be a little less childish.

      • ekstien says :

        I never mentioned Squillaci but you put words in my mouth be bringing him in. So who’s being childish now?

    • goonerDave says :

      Be fair. Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Koscielny and Sagna are all top international defenders.
      Its not the personnel, its the way we play. Its far too open. If we signed Chiellini or Thiago it would be the same.it would make no difference.
      My hope is that the manager has realised this, and is planning to play Song and Mvila in front of the defence. This would make much more of a difference than just changing personnel at central defence.

  37. Big Al, Koh Samui, Thailand says :

    ekstien says: “…back up defender. We already have six!!! Name them? Ok.”

    Six? It’s not a case of putting words in your mouth. The reason you didn’t mention Squillaci is that you simply missed a defender from your list. I pointed out your error; I’m not being childish, I’m helping you count our players.
    You MISSED Squillaci. And that makes seven.

    • ekstien says :

      You never give up, do you? We both know Squillaci is not even reserve quality and you were just being sarcastic by including him. I was mentioning capable defenders that’s why I didn’t include him

  38. Sam Drew says :

    My two cents: Squillaci is currently better than Miquel or Bartley, despite what people say. And Djourou is a good player when he’s confident, but that confidence has to be built up and can be destroyed at any point. Fair?

  39. Big Al, Koh Samui, Thailand says :

    ekstein says: June 17, 2012 at 7.15
    You haven’t got any mates. Nobody would want to be your mate, because you’re childish, and sarcastic.

  40. Big Al, Koh Samui, Thailand says :

    @Sam Drew
    Sorry about my ‘bit of fun’ Sam. I was just killing time before tonight’s match.
    I couldn’t resist it, bless his little cotton socks. I’ll leave him to you now then, shall I?
    I’m 6 hours ahead of you – it’s 1.25am and I’m heading for ‘Woody’s Bar’; got a really good BIG TV (great quality). Birds too, for some titillating half-time fun.

  41. babangida says :

    obviously the presence of these two young stars may add quality and strengh to the club and the team can compete with any club in the world

  42. Anonymous says :

    Isn’t it strange how some sites manage to attract certain types of people for no obvious reason. It seems this is the Arsenal site for people who can’t spell.

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