Vermaelen and Gallas sitting in a tree + Hangeland, Dzsudzsak to Arsenal rumours

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Vermaelen and Gallas have formed a decent partnership

Nice to have a bit of a pause today after what has been a fairly hectic start to the season.

In terms of results things couldn’t be better really. Wins over Everton and Celtic has seen us convince in two games that could have turned out very differently. Meanwhile both Liverpool and Manchester United have lost once in their opening two games and aside from the sore sight of Spurs sitting aloft the Premiership things really couldn’t be better. New boy Thomas Vermaelen has fit in superbly well while three of the players with relatively big question marks over their quality before the season – Alex Song, Denilson and Nicklas Bendtner – have started strongly.

Song and Vermaelen have in particular been outstanding with the new signing showing he is a player that not only enjoys the physical side of the game, but is positionally sound and a good organiser as well. Interestingly the Belgian has given a lot of credit to William Gallas for the start he has made, citing the Frenchman’s experience as a key factor in his impressive start. In his own words he said:

“He is very experienced. For me it’s much easier to play in a side with him because of that. I have already learned a lot from him. I have enjoyed the last two games a lot. I feel very pleased and we have a good team with good quality and I like the players. I’m settling in very well I think.”

That he has. Along with Song, Vermaelen has been our best player in the opening two games and his partnership with Gallas appears to be working well. I will never hide the fact that I am a huge admirer of Johan Djourou but if the current pair continue their good form then I see no need to break up their partnership to allow the Swiss man to return. Indeed, if Vermaelen keeps up his fine start then he is very quickly going to become a huge favourite of the Arsenal supporters, much in the same way that Andrey Arshavin did last season.

In other news today very quickly before I go, Brede Hangeland has stated that he expects to stay at Fulham despite genuinely considering leaving while PSV Eindhoven winger Balazs Dzsudzsak’s agent has stated that we are interested in signing him.

To the first story I say “Too bad!” I think Hangeland is just the sort of player who could give the centre of our defence the depth I still feel it lacks with Philippe Senderos set to go, while to the second story just seems like agent talk used to get his client a better deal. I would be extremely surprised to see us make a move for the Hungarian, particularly considering Rafael van der Vaart is available on the cheap and would be a far superior option if the manager is still after a winger.

Anyway, that’s it. Enjoy the mini-break from the football this fine Thursday and I’ll be back tomorrow with a match preview for the Portsmouth game.

Have your say on Vermaelen or Arsenal’s start to the season by leaving a comment.


86 thoughts on “Vermaelen and Gallas sitting in a tree + Hangeland, Dzsudzsak to Arsenal rumours

  1. I am agree with you about the vermaelen and song are good.but I still worry on the goal finisher in the past games our strikers did not scored ,they had chances but were not sharp enough and also what will happen if gallas and vermaelen injured or also almunia will not able to play? fabiansky is not ready yet to be replaced as in the games at the end of last season`s he lost so many goal! if arsene wenger has considered of this?

  2. I dont think we need anyone else, i think we are fine, we have djourou in case of injuries, and other defenders in case, we have plenty of talent in the middle of the park, no need for any more, is walcott still about? we have what it takes, no need for anything else!

  3. @ mike / Xabier – While I admit I’ve not seen the Hungarian play, do you seriously consider him better than van der Vaart? The Dutchman is quality and class and has generally done well for every club he’s played for when called upon.

  4. a forward is needed in the depth and he has to be a finisher, I would’ve felt relieved if only Arsene reached his check book to purchase Huntelaar, he is the best suited to join the team after the departure of Adebayor, but now it is too late, Huntelaar plays for ac milan. I don’t think Chamakh is a good choice but maybe he can prove me wrong. you don’t expect Gallas and Denilson to strike goals all the matches. what’s needed is a player with the qualities of Nasri but more stronger physically, someone who can move in the depth and have a final touch.

  5. As we are all agreed on, we have an excellent squad of quality players, however we need to add to the squad just in case of injuries which is an innevitability. If the likes of Hangeeland are prepared to bide their time until such injuries occur then we should sign him up and a MF player to complinent what we have been blessed with already. It is a long season with 4 competitions to vye for hence the need to strenghten. Here is hoping for another huge score on Saturday against Portsmouth. I will be there in person!!! Till then have a great week.

  6. I don’t expect to see any new signings untill after the Second leg against Celtic. If we qualify for the Champions League proper we will be guaranteed an extra income of between £30 million and £40 million. Only then will Arsene be allowed to further strengthen the squad.

    Failure to qualify will see us receive a much lower income from the Europa League and the present squad will have to suffice.

    Still there are much more important things to occupy our minds today (it’s 09.30) in the sunny UK. A little matter of a five day conTEST starting at The Oval in an hour and a half.

    Can’t wait to watch, on Sky, England demolish the Aussies and regain The Ashes.

    A few bottles of London Pride are cooling nicely alongside some Spitfire bitter, cooling you will note, can’t stand that yellow cats piss that has to be drunk ice cold to disguise the taste.

    C’mon England, send the baggie green caps home empty handed!!!

  7. Rafael van der Vaart is not good enough for arsenal if we were going to get a real madrid dutchman it would have to be schnider But i would prefer dzsudzsak than either of them

  8. If we buy Dzsudzsak, van de Vaart and then Nasri, Rosicky come back and we manage to stay fit some players are going to warm the bench for a very long time. As it stands i wonder where N8 and R7 will play when they come back with the 4-3-3 formation were playing.
    I would love it if Vela and Jack started against Pompey.

  9. Vermealen looks like a great signing so far (despite only two games in), I feel we’re okay in midfield especially with the new 4-3-3 formation, Wouldn’t be against another centre back coming in, but if gallas or vermaelen do get injured – senderos isnt the worst replacement in the world (if he stays) but the price tag on Van der Vaart is very good business and personally i think Arsene should go for it! (:

  10. I do not think players like van der Vaart are the players we primarily need right now. All we need is either a DM or a solid centre back & we’re home.

  11. You will know it in 11 days……
    but I was surprised by the thought of Johno, never thought about that, I can’t say much to the players, Raffael van der Vaart has been outstanding at Hambourg, that’s all I know, besides is it in England so hot as in Germany? Today shall be the hottest day of the summer, up to 37 degrees, and now it’s 11 o’clock in the morning, I will have lunch soon, *that’s the latest*

  12. Amazing to see Arsenal begin so well – was expected in any case 😉

    But, I still believe that we require a centre back and a good defensive midfielder – very necessary considering the season is really long and we compete for all trophies

    If we get Hangelaand it would be truly brilliant since he has premier league experience, alternates have to be drawn faster – do not think there is a necessity for an attacking midfielder or even a winger – think we are self sufficient in those areas

  13. We need blaise matuidi to make us complete. A defènsiv playmaker, he would complement our midfield and we would not need a new defender as when either verm5 or willy10 is injurd, song wil step to d back and matuidi in dm.

  14. Billi the kid,

    It seems logical to me that the CL income is vital to future plans, particularly as it is reported this morning that Bendtner has been given an enhanced contract with wages of £50.000 per week.

    Temperature today in Norfolk 25c.

  15. Yes,Thomas has been fantastic so far.Ive never seen the hungerian play so I cant say anything abt him, on the other hand Van der vaart is definetly a world class player but Id rather see Theo going upfront (besides, Arsha loves to play with him!) and have one of Nasri or Rosicky moved on the right wing (Rosicky preferably or Lil Jack).Singning a new winger is no need anymore to me, we got much more than we need.
    As for Song and Deni,I just think that we might need a second CDM to sub Song,besides,all of us know that AW has no intention to sign in an experienced player as He Le Boss produces stars and sells them but dont buy them as finished product.So to me,I practically beleive that Song will remain our main CDM and wouldnt be considered as a Big Question mark on his performance.
    Deni has been always consistent on his quality and so far, hes been peforming exactly and even more offensive and faster than we expected him to be, so to me, if he keeps up with his offensive and faster pacey game, I beleive that we are gonna have the best midfield trio of the PL season: Deni,Song,Fab.
    Deni is average on his defensive quality but far better than Song on positionning himself for second ball recovery,the offensive style to assist our strikers and pacey fast run are what Ive been always starving from him and now he’s got it!!, so what more can I ask??He is perfect!!
    As for Bendy, Im not convinced,Of course AW and also us need a tall player on the pitch (And He AW likes tall players) but franckly Id rather see Lil Jack or Rosicky on the right wing.He is a big question mark to me.

  16. I’ve followed football for decades, but I’ve never understood the exact meaning of this word “depth”.

    You say hangeland would give us “depth”. Do you mean height?LOL. Break it down for me.

  17. @Johno, I agree with you abt the CL qualification conditionning the signing but i do have a strong hope on our 2nd leg home game agst Celtic.However, as I said above, Having Theo moved upfront would be much better than signing Van der vaart.We only need to sign a 2nd CDM to sub Song.Remember, AW’s challenge of this season is to convince the world that the team he produced last year isnt really bad as we thought them to be.And We do have much more players than we need (I even forgot about the presence of Diaby who wasnt really that bad during the Celtic game) so to me, a 2nd sub CDM is the only one signing we need, no more.Im not gonna buy a 17M striker and put him on the bench,never!!.

  18. Just like i wrote in my last mail,our team always start the season on a good note and we lose track when ever we are faced with injuries to 1 or 2 key members of our starting 11. We need to buy 2 players for as to have a squard rich in “depth”.

  19. I really like the way Vermaelen has settled and the great game he has. I think he can become a big player with us, but I agree that we might need one or two defenders more. I would like to have Hangeland, it wouldn’t hurt to have to great Norwegians in the club, I like the thought of it a least.
    Arsenal <3
    Great blog, continue the good work.

  20. We need a cover for song definitly. If he gets injured we have no1 to fill that holding role. I would like to see matuidu come in or maybe even viera if he’s still available. As for defence if senderos stays then we are fine, he is a fine replacement and i feel he has much more to offer than what people think. We also need a striker to play the target man. Van persie is a good player but does not seem compforatble there just yet. Maybe chakmak could still come in.

  21. @ Ole Gunner – Depth means layers to the team. You chop down our first layer of players and we have a second layer of good quality substitutes ready to step up. Defensively we have three good centre-backs but underneath that it’s only Silvestre. Likewise in defensive midfield we have Song – who looks great – and then only Denilson, who clearly plays better in a less defensive position. Everywhere else in the squad we have tremendous depth but in the centre of our defence and defensive midfield we are lacking.

  22. We all have to support AW now on convincing the world that the squad we had last year is more than capable of winning the PL title.The duo Gallas/Toure wasnt good last year because of the rivalery between the two, and i actually beleive in that now, thats why we had this broken down centre back last season.Its not about,Toure isnt better than Vermaelen or the other way ard but simply The duo Gallas/Vermaelen is better and more solid than the duo Gallas/Toure.
    Ive never understood it either but to me Depth is the recovery at the back side or defensive side of the mdfld.I can still see that many of us are not convinced abt Song’s quality but Now i m 100% confident with him.

  23. i doubt wenger would bought anyone in. not at least until january when alex song and eboue gone to ACN. but if a new player comes in, i would definitely welcome him. it seems senderos would stay with us, maybe until january. so defensively we were very secure. i think wenger could use vermaelen as defensive midfielder as he technically very good with the ball at his feet. so if song get injured we got cover in that area.

  24. Great blog as always mate, u say u like Djourou….well maybe he is the ideal replacement for Song once he goes of to play for Cameroon at the African nations

  25. Dont think we need any more midfielders, only time will tell if diaby, denilson, and song can manage the DMF, which i think they can. For Chamahk, think he’ll fit in nicely at arsenal. I like his work rate, apart from his assist capabilities, he can finish as well.

  26. probably this is superfluous, but you don’t have to consider only the charge that is paid for a transfer, you have to consider the monthly salary as well, and so AW calculates short I think, but the more I read your opinions the more I get curious if and whom AW will buy or not, it’s a kind of lotto or rather roulette I get such a feeling……….

  27. excuse me, just another post, regarding the discussion of depth, if you say a team stands deep, it means they are playing defensively, that they are positioned close to their box I would say, then if you say a player likes to come out of the depth, it means quite similar, that he likes to come from behind of the field, out of the defensive lines I would say……., so depth is used in several meanings, I would say

  28. I definitly think Van der Vaart is a good fit for Arsenal. Intelligent, creative and works hard. I like Sneijder but he just doesn’t have the same level of creativity that Rafa has and he has been off the mark this past season. However as much as I love Van der Vaart I don’t think we need him. I’d really rather see a defensive signing.

  29. Iam a great admirer of Varmeleen and in fact he has started well but only I’m scared of a gap in case of his injury, And also Gallas is always out there looking for goals which is good but it may cost us in near future like when there are counters.

    Striking is not best as well.

  30. truly i agree with you about the current performance of the arsenal team big eying song and new signing varmaleen-but still arsenal needs cover up incases the players are injury struck,hangeland would be abig signing since our defence needs alast man at the deep,the hungarian seems quite good but may only in his current league and so vandervart is better since he has been quite exposed.

  31. What I like about Spurs is that they’re beating teams I don’t like. If they continue to beat teams like Liverpool and Hull and drop points to almost everybody else I’ll be pleased.

  32. Van der Vaart wouldn’t be quite up to Arsenal’s standards. His glory days with Ajax are long gone and his spell at Hamburg was so good because they have a squad which isn’t very good – makes it easy for a decent player to stand out.
    Granted, he never had a chance at Madrid but I just wouldn’t want him.

    He’s similar to Cesc but just not in his class.


  34. Another finisher would not be bad.
    But, no other.
    When NASRI comes back, DENILSON becomes a sub.
    If SONG leaves, DENILSON takes his place.
    The squad can rotate this way.

    If we’re going for all titles, the squad must be adequately rotated playing for four titles.
    Baring any injuries- which can come if a player is not fit enough to be used for all competitions ala LAMPARD -we should be ready to grab atleast 2 titles this season.
    That said, WILSHERE and WALCOTT should be allowed run inns when necessary for their experience. I dont like the idea of subst. FAB for RAMSEY…is WENGER preparing him for FAB’S exit? 2:0 up and only one change? What happened to the bench?

    Finally, who said you must not change a winning team?

  35. @OLE GUNNER – Depth means to have atleast two players for every position.
    Strength in depth means to not only have atleast two players for every position, but also to have an equally good player as a sub for at least 6 positions in the team. Eg MADRID, INTER for now.

  36. Will a fit HANGELAND want to be on the bench?

    Look, guys we need a tricky winger who can cause lots of problems to teams…..thats all we need now. Not average wingers, tricky BASTARDS I mean.
    Know why BARCA is successful?

  37. Bring on ARJEN ROBBEN then, who the hell is VAN DE VAART? He cant even run.
    We need replacements for the front three, not the middle three, certainly not the back three.
    song will only be out for like three weeks, if we score goals, I believe we’ll not loose any games this season. Right now, our front three are yet to score. Its the same thing i’ve been saying since.

  38. Steve, i think your being slightly naive, because when i see how much the Arselnal MF have been kicked ing 2 games and how hard they have to work, i calnt see them lasting the pase without more natural muscle and strength. Andy, Arsenal have enough Van Der Vaart type players. They need more Song type. They dont have enough depth through the spine of the team. Cosmic, i agree with your contribution. John, sorry mate ive put 40 notes on England to loose.

  39. Based on my observation over the last two games, is RVP looking a little slow to play up top, and wouldn’t Arshavin ‘compare the’ be more composed, sharp and lethal infront of goal. Arshav is also 2 footed.

  40. Billi da kid, depth in this case as in FOOTBALL, means players who do not regularly start in the first 11. But would be part of the squad who would normally sit on the bench. Or going even deeper, players who are part of the squad who dont normally start in the first 11, or sit on the bench, apart from when the players that are ahead of them in the pecking order get injured or loose form dramatically. I’d go further but im confusing myself. Can anyone define it better.

  41. Bleustilton thats a bit cheesy. Talking about the Spurs, could Wenger do with a Defoe type player and why has he never tried to bid for one. Not fox in the box, where is he now by the way.

  42. Gunnerboss, thats a question worth asking and i have always rated him highly from the time i watched him during academy football. He has more pase and natural strength than Fab’s.

  43. Flintoff has just got himself out with a shocking shot. It was a wide delivery and Flintoff threw the kitchen sink at the ball and thin edged it. Now 247 for 6, one hour and five mins to go. 40 squids looking good.

  44. From what I see of RVP, he cant possibly play on the left… Do we now try EDUARDO in the centre, will RVP suffer from loss of confidence in that eventuality?
    If he must start, then maybe he swaps places with BENTNER, but BENDY’s doing a good job so far on the right as far as i’m concerned.
    Do we now change our formation?

  45. The 4.3.3 actually seems to work for now, so I would see no need of changing it…maybe in the second half of some difficult matches…just maybe.
    I guess RVP will try to do better in that position as the season progresses. I guess I just answered my question.

  46. I agri indid Song and Vermalen hav bin outstanding the last 2 matches but I stil believe we nid another Vermalen sing the sizon has just started and it seems there is no reliable back up at the centre back.

  47. Nice post and comment , but i still think we shud get a md in frame of vaart 2 add dept 2 d midfield and d addition of hangeland would be a nice one ,cos d parternership of gallas and vermaleen is solid , just hoping d duo are injury free.

  48. depth or strength-in-depth,in my opinion, is the ability of a team to not compromise or change formation or gameplan when faced with injury,suspension,fatigue or substandard display on a players behalf….basically its is the squadplayers ability to replace any position on the team without destabilising or weakening the teams objective….see any chelsea squad of the last 6 seasons..the other form which was mentioned is ‘playing’ deep which is a flat back four counteracting an opponent with speedy players who hav the ability to stretch you, see any teams who played us with henry,pires,overmars,freddie,etc
    @ice good point dude iv always wondered how AW was not attracted to defoe as its always been apparent the guy is lethal in the box and i actually believed wed go for him at portsmouth,hes a modern day ian wright and those clowns hav got him
    back to depth,eh we dont got it….injuries to song,rvp or cesc would knock us for six….ramsey,eboue,walcot,diaby,etc are frankly not the type of players id want to be entrusting with carrying the burden of a championship challenge as 2 still arent ready and the other 2 arent capable,theres noway id turn my nose up at the potential arrival of a seasoned pro like ven der vaart, quality and experience…yes please

  49. Do you all really honestly believe Hangeland will come to Arsenal and warm up our bench in a world cup year? Who is this world class player with a right mind would come to Arsenal at this time and hang out waiting for some alleged injury to happen? And Van Der Vaart? What do we do with Rosicky, Nasri, Walcott, Wilshere, Diaby etc…when they all come back? That is called depth in the offensive side of midfield. Now, if we are talking about DM, that’s a whole different story. I don’t know AW’s plan when Song is gone in January. That’s the only worry I have as the majority of you.

    A few other points: Walcott is not ready to play center forward (proof: Englan U-21 final against Germany). Our strickers will be scoring soon. This is the beginning of a long season. Stay tuned!

  50. Depth! Like you know in the film Zulu, where the the Zulu warriors just kept coming (“thouzans of em”) even though they were being killed or injured.

    Hangeland into centre of defence and Gallas as holding midfielder.

    This will solve height problem.

    Lots of options and S in D. lol

  51. We’ve scored 8 goals in 2 away games and people are riding our strikers for not being on the score sheet. Would it be suddenly OK if it was RVP netting a few here and there? What position does Eduardo play in again?

    I almost can’t believe it. Our strikers are absolutely fine, quality wise. And if we won every game 6-1 without them scoring I couldn’t care less. What’s wrong with you people?!

  52. When i made the comment about RVP, it was based on an observat’n not fact. Last season he had very good spells and therefore i rated him highly. Unfortunately now that he has reached that supposed class level i watch him even more closely and therefore notice some of his deficiencies. He is not a natural number 9, i think he would be better served playing in the hole as part of a 4 4 1 1 format’n. Under pressure he snatches a bit and does not react with composure as Eduardo would.

  53. Also there are going to be games when not many chances are created, in situations like this Arsenal need someone lethal. Arshavin fits the bill better. Tim carl i like your definition of strength in depth.

  54. I’m just not sure you can demand electrifying performances on day one of the season. It all seems a bit premature and negative to me. Against Everton we had nine shots on target and converted 6. Knocking in 2 out of every three shots is a pretty good average to me. Maybe the forwards should take a back seat more often!

  55. I’m not bothered who gets the opportunity to shoot just as long as they make a decent attempt of it. I do expect a better average of hitting the target from the players up top though. At present, RVP would be more use to the team slightly deeper in order to give himself a little more time.

  56. I think the ideal 3 strikers that Arsene wants to our 4-3-3 formation are:

    Arshavin – Van Persie – Walcott

    so he´s kepping Van Persie in the center to suit him there even that will works better on the right and Bendtner on the center.

    but everybody knows that once Walcott is fit, Bendtner will not play anymore.

  57. @ Mexican Gunner – “everybody knows that once Walcott is fit, Bendtner will not play anymore”

    I have to say I don’t agree with this at all. Substituting Walcott with Bendtner gives us more pace but it massively takes away the physical presence that we have had in the opening few games. The long ball to Bendtner has been a big feature so far and I think that outlet will continue to give us an interesting option in games where we struggle to pass the ball.

    That’s not to say that Walcott won’t come in, I’m just trying to point out that it’s not as clear cut as you’re indicating. I know you’re not the biggest fan of Bendtner but I think you’ll be surprised as to how much game time he’ll get this season and how well he’ll perform.

  58. I agree with some of the thoughts on Bendtner. He is an entirely different player to Walcott, for now I prefer Bendtner to be there because of he is more than willing to support Sagna, even Arshavin has been tracking back supporting CLichy.

    Walcott is still a very very good option however I prefer Vela over Walcott to start. Its good that there is competition for places, it keeps the lads focused. If Arsene adds to the defence I would be overjoyed but the team is fine as it is.

    Oh yeah the new attitude of the team is excellent everyone now is just so humble in interviews after wins, quite a contrast from last season. Seems everybody is just concentrating on playing well and enjoying the football. Cue what Rafa told Torres, “Do the talking on the pitch”

  59. Andrew trust me that I´ll not be any surprised to see Bentner enjoying a lot of time this season (unfortunately).

    And even more now thet he will be $50,000 at week and Arsene is his biggest fan.

    Anyway believe me that I will not pray to see him failing. I will pray to see Walcott and Wilshere scoring in the few minutes that they will play (because of Bendy) to demostrate that they´re capable to do better things in the right than Bendnter. I dont put Vela here because his place is in the left.

    Even that he doesnt sucked so bad in this two games like last season he´s not “fine” yet.

    I change my mind on Denilson and Song but not yet on him.

  60. We are now all hailing the signing of Thomas Vermalean but if we are brutally honest, hands up which one of you gunners doubted or even criticised his signing?

    Arsene knows but Jehova God knows even better!!!!!!

  61. Arsenal V Portsmouth this is one of those games we had trouble with last year were they park the bus.would not be surprised if fox in the box Eduardo get a run out after 1/2 time if we haven’t scored and our centre backs might show us their attacking and linkup play.It intersting what team Arsen puts out.

  62. What a a good start for Vermalean! scoring a goal on his debut is a great encouragement for him. I still believe he’s going to be established as one of the best central defenders in 2 or 3 years to come. In him we’ve another Tony Adams.

  63. hello everyone. With even 10 goals for the mighty gunners in only two games to the season, I will not get weary of urging Arsen to sign more two players before the end of the window. this will be good esp. when we get in the middle of the season and everyone gets worn out.

    Considering who to buy, I trust Wenger via that esp. looking at the kind of quality he has signed in the persons of Thomas Vermaelene.



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