Today’s post is brought to you by a long time Grover Tim. Enjoy… it’s a great piece.
It isn’t really a surprise to me that Santi Cazorla is most fans Arsenal Player of the Year. He has had a fantastic start to his Gooner career and I think has shown no real need for a bed in period. His ability with both feet is really astounding, I don’t think we as Arsenal fans have had a player with the pure technical brilliance of Santi since possibly Dennis the Menace. The argument could be made for Cesc but I feel Santi edges it. However, I think it is important to acknowledge before the transfer window that we are playing our club asset in the wrong position.
Cazorla has played for Villareal to great effect out on the left and also featured often for Malaga in the same role, and since the last game in January he has mainly been used as a left forward in our front three. On paper a two footed skilful player with a hell of a longshot should be ideally suited to the fluid role of the AML that has developed in recent times.
The best performance from Santi came probably in the Reading game when he grabbed then excellent hatrick and barely put a foot wrong all game, while playing in the hole. These 3 goals are part of his 12 league goals of the season and 15 goals for the season.
Using the last 12 games as a comparison between his performances before the end January and since then shows his creativity and contribution has dropped significantly and is less effective than Podolski. Cazorla in his last 12 games has 3 goals and 2 assists from his 9 goals and 6 assists he had playing in the centre. Of course you have to take into account that he’s played 12/13 out wide and roughly 24 games in the centre. However his efficiency has clearly dropped since he moved out left and I think he crosses very, very rarely, which coincides with Giroud’s serious dip in goalscoring form. Podolski, no matter what you think of him as a centre forward, managed to score 5 goals and nab 5 assists in the 12 games he played out on the left before Wenger dropped him.
Now the injury that he’s been playing through could explain his lack of sharpness and commitment but his effect out wide was still positive. If football was this simple you could predict that if Podolski had played the whole season out wide then he could of racked up about 15 goals in the league with 15 assists, brilliant stats. The combination between Giroud and Podolski in undeniable, Girouds first ever Arsenal goal came from a Podolski cross at West Ham if I remember rightly. The main point here is that there is a possibility that AW’s brilliant knack of refusing to play players in their natural positions could hinder the impact of a great player.
I think before we go into the transfer market we should establish that Santi will be playing in the CAM role next season and that we need a solution for the LF spot. It’s important we make sure that Jack’s role at the club is established as well because his performances and stats indicate he can’t play the CAM role very effectively, and with Rosicky getting older and more injury prone (is it possible?) then we have to make sure to strengthen the CAM spot or the LF spot dependent on the future role of Santi Cazorla.
With just Wigan and Newcastle left to play and the big summer spending spree supposedly on its way, the names of the potentials and the Football Manager favourites are being thrown around again.
Firstly, Stevan Jovetic is not as good as most of the people who speak about him seem to think. If you intend for him to lead the line as Arsenals complete forward then you are going to be distinctly disappointed. He does fit an Arsenal type player though, with sublime passing and is probably as quick, if not quicker, than Chamberlain or Gibbs. He scored 12 goals this year and it is important to realise that this is his fourth year in Serie A and that 12 goals in 29 games is less than 14 goals in 29 games he got in the 2011/12 season.
He is undoubtedly going to be a major talent in the future but to compete with the best in England and the UCL, we need a striker who can score goals now. Wayne Rooney to Arsenal is interesting because of the significance of buying a Manchester United player who isn’t Silvestre. It would certainly solve the problem of having no established CAM player when Santi is on the wing as Rooney plays best in the no. 10 role in my opinion, though I must admit I don’t watch much United. Why Rooney would come to Arsenal and anger fans that idolise him is a mystery so I don’t rest much weight on the idea.
In my opinion the important thing this summer is to make sure we land the high profile names, and if we miss out on one like Benteke to Spurs then we switch targets immediately and try out utmost to sign them. There is nothing more frustrating for me as a fan to watch us flounder and fail to land Juan Mata when the hint of blue competition came on the horizon. Hopefully we can secure our targets, whomever they may be, early on in the transfer market.
If we could do a Lukas Podolski and grab our targets before the deadline even opens then that’d make our pre-season a lot easier and more stable. Hopefully this year we can grab the experienced GK, CB cover, first choice DM, technical AM and clinical ST we all dream of.
Lastly just a comment about the fanbase at Arsenal and how it has changed so much recently. Probably a product of globalization and footballs massive worldwide support but more and more non-English Arsenal fans are commenting a lot on social media. This is diluting the resolute, die-hard, fan-for-life Gooner attitude that I associate us all with. This easy access to post opinions is giving very impatient, very angry people the chance to launch tirades against the club, the manager, the players and each other. I just want to remind everyone that we are The Arsenal. Arsene may have dragged this club under the water lately, he may have made some very questionable decisions over the last few years but he is still our most successful manager. He deserves respect just as much as he deserves criticism. To call him a c**t every single day on twitter does nothing productive for the club whatsoever, it makes you look like a child who got hold of his older brothers twitter account and posted it to piss him off.
The players, no matter how badly they play, do not deserve to have people tweeting them to “f***ing die”, a tweet I saw directed at Poldi by a gooner last week. As long as the lads show effort and wear their hearts on their sleeves then they deserve applause because if they are rubbish, it is only AW’s fault for playing them at a club above their talent.
Anyway this is my first guest post so thanks for giving this a read! If you’d like to say something just tweet me @TGesches. Let’s tear the FA Cup Winners a new one on Tuesday!