Arteta / Benayoun / How Will Arsenal Line Up?

Firstly, a happy September to you all.

So what a dramatic final day of the transfer window eh?

Arsenal wrapped up the signing of Mikel Arteta from Everton late last night, who has penned a 4 year deal. Arteta is not a typical Arsene signing, with most of his acquisitions over the last 5/6 seasons either being from the lower leagues or from abroad. Let’s hope Arteta’s time at Arsenal is more fruitful than the only other Premier League signings, Diarra, Silvestre and Gallas.

He is also 29 years old, which is certainly not an age Arsenal likes to recruit players. With Mertesacker at 26, Santos at 28, Chu Young Park at 26 and Benayoun at 31, you wonder if Arsene has finally conceded defeat in only recruiting youngsters or whether it is the board who have put their foot down and demanded proven experience be brought in.

BBC’s Sports News Correspondent, Dan Roan, has just revealed on Twitter that Arsenal lodged an initial bid of £5 million on Tuesday, and then offered £10 million yesterday, both of which were rejected by Everton. It was only when Mikel Arteta handed in a transfer request at 7pm that the move materialised. So essentially we did a “Barcelona” to Everton.

It has also been reported that Arteta was on £75,000 per week at Everton, and he has taken a pay cut to join Arsenal. I’ve spoken to friends who are Everton supporters and they have mixed reactions to Arteta leaving. Some are truly gutted as he was their talisman while others are being quite defensive, saying he’s past it and only passes the ball sideways.

Personally, I think it is an excellent addition to the squad. He has Premier League experience, doesn’t need time to adjust himself to the country, is excellent on set-pieces and has that creative spark we desperately need. The fact is though he’s already scored goals this season and while his goal and assist statistics may not be in the same league as Cesc Fabregas, it must be remembered he’s been playing in an Everton side which most supporters will admit play far to negatively. So at Arsenal he will have far more attacking license.

And onto Benayoun. This signing is a little more confusing but again, he is experienced so I’m not going to complain! I can’t seem him as a regular starter but after speaking to Chelsea and Liverpool fans last night, the response was far more positive than I thought. Chelsea fans will point to Benayoun having a fantastic pre-season with Chelsea, and he only left because they brought in Mata and Meireles in the transfer window.

Liverpool fans on the whole, rate Benayoun. I pointed to the fact that he never seemed to play for Liverpool but they seem to think that he was one of their best players when he was fit, and Benitez preferred to play a more “solid” formation with Torres alone up front and Kuyt in behind. And despite being mainly a substitute in his 3 seasons at Liverpool, he did still average around 10 goals per season which is a decent return.

So how will Arsenal line up this season?

We’ve brought in 5 experienced players over the last few days, along with Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho. So a total of 8 new players, but I can only see 4 of those making the starting line-up on a regular basis.

For me, our regular line-up will be as follows:

Arsenal Line-up 2011-2012

Arsene is going to want to limit the amount of disruption to the team and Gervinho is already settled into the squad. Arteta can slot in where Ramsey has been playing this season and he can fill in for Jack if he’s out injured. Santos is certain to start with sicknote Gibbs being out on a regular basis and Mertesacker will play alongside Vermaelen, or Koscielny depending if the Belgian is injured.

Chu Young Park is simply a squad replacement for Bendtner and can fill in if Van Persie gets an injury. Jenkinson has proved he is a solid performer and the same goes for Frimpong. It will be interesting to see how much Arsene uses Benayoun however; he has been a bit part player for both Liverpool and Chelsea in the past and you would think he joined Arsenal to get more playing time. At the moment though I can’t see him being more than an impact sub, as he’s been utilised in the past.

And if you still need to get excited over the arrival of Mikel Arteta, then here’s a compilation of his goals and assists at Everton:



14 thoughts on “Arteta / Benayoun / How Will Arsenal Line Up?

  1. Good article but I disagree, Jenkinson is the least solid Arsenal player i have seen in years. No technique whatsoever. Nice lad and a gooner but not very good at all

  2. of course AW’s method of trusting in youngsters is a flaw. He only got it half right. Remember, as a youngster, we tend to look up somebody else as an example. As a youngster, we tend to be ignorant if nobody warns us. As a youngster, we are easily fallen into the pit of proud which sometimes will cause us dearly. SAF’s method of grooming youngsters is the method which AW should follow.

  3. If every player in that starting 11 were 100% fit and gelled well togeather, I would say that team were better then chelsea and matching man city, no joke!

  4. Pleased than I was 24 hours ago.
    New players definitely gives the fans something to get excited about.

    But we got Mertsacker instead of Cahill because he was cheaper.
    We got Arteta instead of Mata because he was cheaper.
    We got Santos instead of Baines because he was cheaper.

    All the money spent was less than we got in for Fabregas/Nasri/Clichy/Eboue.
    The board have managed to keep their grubby paws on our money in a transfer window yet again.

    Where is our back up goalkeeper?
    Why are we still a minimum of one centre half short?
    Where is our defensive midfielder?
    Where is our physical striker who can head the ball?
    Where is our winger who can actually cross the ball?

    Why are Almunia, Diaby, Sqillachi, Song, Denilson, Arshavin, Djourou, Rosicky, Vela and Bendtner still Arsenal players.
    10 crap players still on Arsenal‘s books.
    Bendtner said in early August that he had a dozen offers to think about…Bo11ocks!…no one wanted you, you useless donkey!!!

    But can we be positive with the new players? Yes…but not for this year’s Premier League, we’re too far behind already, all these signing should have been done in June or early July.
    We had the money, we chose not to spend it, the board and Wenger have cocked up yet again.


  5. Every position is now admittedly occupied by proficient performers in Arsenal. However I will prefer Wilshere to be given a space behind Persie in the 4-3-3 formation while Song & Arteta fall behind him.

  6. @Sharivan

    But we’ve added experience, and leaders at that. Hopefully that will help the younger players progress this season and give us that added steel.


    I’m not sure about that, we’ll have to wait and see how all the new players gel into the team. Gervinho looks like he’s settled well though, and the experience of Mertesacker, Arteta, Santos and Benayoun should help us greatly.

    @Sidcup Reds

    I see your point but Arsenal are considerably stronger than they were about a week ago so that has to be a positive. We are not going to win the Premier League this season, United and City are far too strong, but at least we are heading in the right direction. This is a massive season for Arsene because we need to be competing at the top to appease the fans.


    I’m still not convinced that 4-3-3 is working for Arsenal without Fabregas. The system was designed to get the best out of our former captain but now he’s gone I don’t think we have the personnel to make it work. I’d prefer our old 4-4-2 and have a much more solid team.

  7. The suggested line-up is not far from reality but my view is that Walcott, Asharvin or Gervinho must be leading the attack through the middle. Van Persie has one good foot and should be playing on the wing. He should never be in the middle upfront. History shows you get the best out of Walcott or Asharvin when they play through the middle. They are ordinary on the wings and Van Persie is ordinary in the middle. Mr Wenger must look to redress their positions before they get fed-up and decide to leave. Gervinho can play anywhere because he is comfortable on both feet. Walcott’s crossing has improved tremendously but he still is not a winger.

  8. @LeePoncho

    I agree, Theo needs to start playing down the middle. That’s why I think 4-4-2 would suit Arsenal much better. Theo and Van Persie could play down the middle with Gervinho on the wing. Arteta is better through the middle but has played on the flanks for Everton quite a few times.

    And Van Persie plays on the right on the attacking three for Holland doesn’t he? Arsene could just swap Walcott and Van Persie’s positions.

  9. AW’s target for this season should be:
    1. Top three finish
    2. a cup (Any of it), except Champs League

    But the team will exceed his expectation if we win either the league or champs league

  10. Sidcup, I believe in Song as 1 of d best DMs in d world presently. with Song, Wilshere & maybe frimpong, I guess there is enough machinery in d MF to cover Arteta & Ramsey. We have the brilliance of Gervinho (very brilliant player) & RVP in front. We may not have arrived but i must confess we r lookin better – no longer like underdogs. the squad has more depth & we must admit it and stop criticizing Wenger all d time. He is a genius to have bought all these players in an era of outrageous xfer prices for the amounts he bought them. Let’s be more positive. Face facts – the absence of Gervinho (unjustly suspended), Song, Sagna, Vermaeleen, Frimpong, Gibbs at the same time was enough 4 our team to be humiliated.
    Benayoun is a player I’ve always admired right from LFC & I would rather have him than a Rosicky

  11. Wenger needs to revert back to a 4-4-2 formation and 2 midfielders in the centre, one should drop further back.

    Gervinho Arteta Wilshere
    Walcott-Van P

    Better Formation, Better team.

  12. sidcup red u are a cock wot are u on about all the players that we got in have what we need as a team and how can u say that song or jd are shit they were 2 of our best players last year and also it is a squad game and we need al the player we can get i know he didnt spend 100 mill but o well get over it and suport ur team or f off


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.