Big name winger linked again | Striker purchase / injury issues | Italian football assessment

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Things are starting to look scary on the striker front. No Nik for 3 weeks, no Theo for up to a month (massive loss) … maybe a Park Chu Young resurgence?

It’s desperate times for Arsenal. Wenger has been quite open with his choices and misses. As we reported in the summer, he did inquire for Lewandowski, but he’d already made his mind up on Bayern a long time ago. Wenger said he’d be interested in Mandzukic, but he won’t leave until Lewandowski joins Bayern in June. Diego Costa plays at a club in the La Liga mix, and they have a player who’ll be looking to get into the World Cup zone.

Outside those names, you start to struggle. Mario is a nutter of exceptional talent, but his ego could kill squad spirit, which has carried us for large chunks of the season. Jackson Martinez, the free scoring Columbian plying his trade at Porto has begged for a move, however, there is such a big risk plotting for players in sub standard leagues. However, if the price is fair, there are plenty of success stories… Costa, Falcao and Hulk spring to mind.

On the young player front, again, you’re struggling here because unless the kid is from a weak club (and untested) you’re unlikely to nail down a player you know can help drive your season on. Morata is massive bag of potential, but the expectation he can come to London, settle and deliver in 4 months is fanciful at best. We could opt for someone like Benteke, but for me, if he can’t arse himself with motivation in his second season at Villa, what hope do we have long term of keeping him interested?

You could go down the golden oldie route. We could opt for Berbatov for half a season. He’d be all over that move. His last hurrah. His last crack at the Champions League. But he’d be expensive in the eyes of Arsene. We could also go for Rickie Lambert. I know. I said it. Sorry. But he scores goals and he’s doing well this season and he did well last year. I’m talking pure stop gaps. What a way for him to end his career. If he was Spanish and called Ricardo Lambertinho, you’d take that suggestion seriously.

I’m so sick and tired of dealing with semi racist football snobs…

There’s a strange story doing the rounds that Barca are looking to sell Pedro to Arsenal.

Issue is, there would be two Pedro’s on the Arsenal scene. Not sure how I’d feel about that. Not sure that there’s any truth in the story either. Why would you sell a player who bangs in so many goals? It does have to be said, he’s been linked with us quite a few times. He’d be an excellent replacement for Podolski.

I caught some games yesterday. Swansea beating United really made me smile. It’s become a thing with my flatmate… hangout, drink some beer, laugh all game at how bad United are… wait for the close up of David Moyes looking extremely ill and lost… LAUGH… wait for the close up of Alex Ferguson angrily chewing gum… LAUGH… go onto Twitter, read United fan tweets… LAUGH.

Jeez, I was more laughed out after that game than I was after watching an Eddie Murphy Raw rerun.

A couple of sharp observations from me. Jonjo Shelvey, looks a really decent player. He’s still raw, but he’s 21 and he’s running their midfield, scoring goals, making some great passes. I like him. Can’t believe Liverpool let him go. Another player I think might turn in a spectacular second season is Wilfried Bony. He’s built like a WWF wrestler, and he plays like one at times. He has a rasping shot, he’s powerful and fast on the ball and he’s very instinctive. I think he has 13 goals this season. He could be one to watch next year.

I also took in the Roma vs Juve game. Firstly, I have to take it back about the Italian support, well, at least at the Juve ground. Quite a spectacle. They were really noisy. The players were responsive as well. They seemed to love the reception. I also had the chance to revisit Gervinho. The best thing he did all game was fall over his own feet whilst running across the edge of the area. The African Ronaldo? Do. Me. A. Favour.

Players I did like. Well, the obvious two are Pogba. Despite his ridiculous hair cut, he really is a top talent. Vidal is also a player and a half. A real rampaging midfielder with everything going for him. Italian football, though classy, really doesn’t have the intensity of the Premier League. Back in the day, we had the intensity, but zero technical ability. Now we have the same technical ability, and the much more intensity. Which is why we have the best league on the planet.

Anyway, that’s all I have for today. Enjoy your day. First full week back. really upsetting. NO FOOTBALL EITHER.

952 Responses to “Big name winger linked again | Striker purchase / injury issues | Italian football assessment”

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  1. Bero

    Gutted for Theo and the team. I don’t think this kills our season but it certainly doesn’t help. He was important for us. Only positive being it might force a Jan move for a striker.

    Gnabry now has his chance to step up. Go on son.

    Podolski just got a lot more important for the season as well… Needs to hit form now.

  2. VaVaVoom

    I reckon Lukas could still do a job for a couple of games up front.

    As for that big oaf Rickie Lambert, he’s just another lumbering English ‘traditional number 9’ flash in the pan like Grant Holt.

    I’d take an experienced option for a short term fix, proven talent that wouldn’t be offended in taking a less than prominent role until Giroud’s return and a mega arrival in the summer.

    Fancy coming back for 6 months RVP and getting away from, to quote Brent, the goggle eyed freak?

  3. Bamford13

    Bad news for Theo. He was really on a good run of form and was becoming a much better goalscorer than he had ever been previously.

    Do we now need a RW in addition to a striker? Not if AOC is back fairly soon. He and Gnabry can play out there.

    We very much need a striker, though, and a CB. Of all the names I’ve heard, Jackson Martinez and Luis Muriel look the best and the most realistic. I also like the idea of Pato, even if he hasn’t recovered his best form, he is world class and would fit in well with our style.

    Reports that Newcastle and United are after Remy Cabella,which annoys me. Cabella is an absolutely fantastic player. He lit us up when we last played Montpellier. I might go so far as to say I’d prefer Cabella to Ozil, because he brings more pace and energy. Hopefully he does come to the EPL and we sign him at some point down the line. He can play out wide as well.

  4. Inter YourGran

    Bamford –

    Balotelli for me and we only need a striker as I’ve faith in podolski, cazorla, Gnabry and aoc on the flanks. Berbatov is a serious option apparently according to the bookies but outside those two, Martinez, benteke, Volland and that bloke from liege it’s slim pickings.

    Cabella over mesut fuckin özil?! Some kid from montpellier over the world class assist king… man has even hit top gear for us yet.

    Sort it out 😉

  5. Gambon

    Inter YourGran,
    T.wat!…feeling so bold mouthing off over the internet.
    Why dont you come over down to Essex, prick? Come show me how much of a man you are. I live just on the outskirts of Halstead. cuntish wanker!

  6. Musketeer

    R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Theo is getting a bit like Rvp in the early days
    Getting injured all the timeFor lords sake he had just come back from a three month break He gets more holiday than a primary school teacher
    ————————————–

    I called it mate, I’m sorry to say he goes down a lot, this is why he cannot get involved physically, he would get injured on that very game he tries to.

    Sad to see it happen again but Wenger should no by now you cannot plan a season around RvP or Theo regardless of when they are back and how mch you feel its a new signing for the team.

    Neither are Ian Wright or Henry physically.

    A cryong shame, we must move on, the loss of Theo means extra grafting and concentraton, every pass must count no more get out of jail speed.

    I would again second HackneyLad, no more slow midgets on the wings with side passing, Gnabry most now play (shame we ain’t get multiple players with speed linking with Theo gone, Drexler won’t be coming until the summer unless Wenger gets his Rabbit hat on), he can finish with both feet and assist with both feet, what else are we gonna do with him?

  7. Pete Down Under

    First and foremost, lets hope for a speedy recovery for Theo, as an ACL is a serious knee injury. Most players never return the same after doing a knee.

    Secondly I don’t think the loss of Theo will affect us on the pitch, we have played well without him this season and reached the summit without his influence. In my opinion Gnabry & AOC are BOTH better players than Walcott, both have pace to burn, great technical ability, vision and are even better finishers then Theo. Walcott still cant even whip a cross in to save his fukn life so he is useless when he gets in behind defenders.

    Although Gnabry & AOC are young they have the quality to deliver balls to a QUALITY STRIKER that CAN finish (Giroud is not the answer).

    Buy a half decent striker and the league will be OURS!!

  8. Waldo

    Looks like half of everyone’s summer dream has come true – no more Theo.

    Watch out for what you wish for sunshine, you just might get it…

  9. Bamford13

    Perhaps I went too far with the Cabella over Ozil comment, but those who think it’s outrageous have obviously not seen Cabella play. He’s obscenely good. Also, as good as Ozil is, the truth is he has underwhelmed so far. A handful of decent assists, but nothing extraordinary, and nothing done with any energy or pace. All the same, yes, I’d still take Ozil over Cabella, which is why I only said “might” in my original gushing remarks.

  10. Moray

    Theo’s injury is the death knell for our Premiership push this season, I’m afraid. We simply don’t have those goals from anywhere else and it is too late now really to bring in the quality we need. However, the seeds were sown in our disastrous summer transfer window.

    We really need to address the injuries that blight our squad. We are not Man City and we simply can’t afford to carry players like this any longer in such numbers, particularly as we have a manager who does not care to rotate. If we were a normal club, we would have a 60k per week player to come in as cover for Theo, but instead we have Diaby who hasn’t played for God knows how long. Simple mismanagement. Wenger using the old mantra that good players don’t move in January is simply failing to admit the shambles that was our summer transfer activity. One swallow (Ozil) does not a summer make, I’m afraid…

  11. Dream10

    Moray

    Im worried man. We have a centre forward who is not the main source of goals in our team. This is where I get angry. If you are a big club you should have two excellent goalscorers and two good goalscorers. We have two good goalscorers in Walcott and Podolski as support. We don’t have two excellent goalscorers. You need two 20 league goalscorers whose primary purpose is to put the ball in the net.

    Too many midfielders interchanging not gonna win you anything.

  12. useroz

    AOC and Gnabry could cover RW and may even play better as a winger eg crossing BUT would they cough up 10+ league goals Walcott could have managed to produce?? Doubt it…

    Then the mot so small issue with CF. Theo could be a back up not ideal. Now who??

    Wenger gambled in the summer and unfortunately came back to bite us in the arse, like it always does during Jan to Mar, for the past 8 years.

    An exception this time? Big (not just in doallars) trasnfer coups in this window?? We rightly ecpect more from a 7.5m a year manager, surely.

  13. Moray

    Dream10, actually I think a title winning team these days requires both: goals from a striker or pair of strikers, with midfield chipping in too. This was evident in our team with Henry, Ljungberg, Pires and with Man Utd, who often had better goalscoring midfielders than their strikers. This way it’s much more difficult to nulllify a team by marking out a striker during a game, as that just created space for the midfield to move into and vice versa. Really, the easiest place to find goals is in the striker position, but pound for pound, good goalscoring strikers are very expensive, which is why we don;t have one. You get what you pay for, I suppose.

  14. Moray

    plus, Wenger has a real hard on for CMs. It overrides all sense in him, which is why for years we have neglected natural width in our midfiled, prefering to shove central players out wide in order to fit them into the side/ Think of Arshavin, Bendtner, now Cazorla (better central), Ramsay, Podolski…

  15. Dream10

    Moray

    I see you what you mean. We were lucky when Henry was in his prime. He scored in volume and rarely got injured. Ljungberg and Pires especially, were good goalscorers. But as much as Bergkamp assisted in his 30’s, we were maybe short of another excellent goalscorer. AW bought Jeffers to alleviate the pressure, but he failed. He did say we considered Ruud VanNistelrooy but we went for Jeffers smh.
    But that is the past.

    We payed 42.5 million for Mesut Ozil . It was more of a priority for us to spend 50m or even 60m on a top quality squality.

    I would rather we have spent money on Two excellent strikers and not sign Ozil and get rid of Giroud.

  16. Dark Hei

    Incredible! Now we have talk of getting rid of Giroud. If Wenger doesn’t play football, Tim Sherwood style, Wenger OUT! Natural width and 4-4-2 in! It is the only football we can comprehend.

  17. ikon

    Gnabry has his chance he defintely merits… had serious hope this guy would get a decent run of games this term. Has dazzled in almost every match he plays. And the bigger the occasion, the bigger are his performances.

    He is the weapon to use against Bayern.

  18. Moray

    Dark Hei,

    Lack of natural width and pace and you get the crab football we descend into against the poorer teams who park the bus. Buying Ozil is great but not if there is no option making the runs for him to feed. I don;t see why your only means of comparison is Tottenham. As far as I’m concerned they;re not even in the same league table, so I prefer to look at clubs like Bayern, Chelski, Barca. This is the table we should be aspiring to eat at, not just crowing because we are better than those cunts down the road. We have always been better than them.

    The plain fact is that the season runs until next summer. If Wenger has failed to put together a team capable of winning the PL over that whole period, then he whas failed to do his job properly.

  19. peanuts&monkeys

    @Dream10,

    ” would rather we have spent money on Two excellent strikers and not sign Ozil and get rid of Giroud.”

    Apparently you will find support from many on this view. but there is a little ‘chicken and egg’. (1) two top strikers do not co-exist, (2) top strikers do not join teams which do not have an ‘assist-king’ like Ozil.

  20. Savage

    Guns, same here. Feels like we lost a cup final.

    I guess we must have felt the same about our title chances when Bobby went down?

  21. Wycliffe

    It is stupid thinking to replace walcott with gnabry for the season remainder. Trusting a 17 year old to deliver in a title push consistently for five months is lack of ambition

  22. Charlie Boy

    @Wycliffe

    Gnabry’s 18 and if he’s strong enough and talented enough, then he’s good enough to play for the rest of the season.

    Don’t forget too – we still have Ramsey, Ox and Giroud back imminently, so it’s not all doom and gloom.

    Chin up 😀

  23. Guns of brixton

    Gnabry can replace theo along that slot. it doesnt show lack of ambition. when someone is injured, you attempt to replace with an internal member of the club, before ya look to the market.

  24. Oh Theo Theo!

    Well this is where we will see if Wenger’s finally got his ambition back or not. A relentless move for a 2 strikers will help us keep marching to the title…

    Make do and mend with youth players and waiting on returners from injury will show that it’s business as usual… And will probably cost us the title.

  25. Nasri's Mouth

    Gnabry can replace Theo for a game or 2, but not for long periods of time. He hasn’t got the experience yet to deal with games every few days

  26. Oh Theo Theo!

    Nasri’s – that’s what’s worrying me. We need 2 additional strikers for the run in.

    Wenger should have moved in July. He should move now. But he’s nothing if not consistently stubborn…

  27. Nasri's Mouth

    It would be almost impossible to sign 2 decent strikers. Why would the 2nd one ever want to join us unless they’re so shit they’re not playing for their existing club. They’d never get enough playing time here if they moved.

    1 is possible, and to be honest, is what we need

    2 is FIFA14 territory

  28. Revving Kevin

    OTT
    Which two world class strikers are available in January? Yesterday we had Zaha, long, Ince, Holy and Lambert mentioned, talk about scraping the barrel, none of these are world class.

    Walcott is a massive loss and just damn unlucky for both us and him. Some clown,called Tits, pretty appropriate, tried to blame Wenger saying his injury was avoidable. Everything is attributed to Wenger except anything good. That’s all given to Bould or the players. You anti-Wengerites really need to stop making shit up.

    For the Walcott detractors:

    Wins with Theo 76%
    Win rate without 54%
    * courtesy of TalkSport.

  29. Dark Hei

    @Moray
    By natural width you mean to say a traditional winger. E.g. Left footed player hugging the left touch line, throwing crosses in.
    Wenger never heavily utilised any such types of midfielders. In the Invincibles 4-4-2 era, both Pires and Lungberg aren’t natural wingers either. The width is always provided by the fullbacks.
    Having someone like that can be useful. Man City has Jesus Navas, just one player, unless you count Adam Johnson as a City player.
    But that does not mean we need to base our play around it. We are top of the league with our own style.
    Our “formation” is just there to clarify the team’s defensive responsibilities. When we have the ball, the midfielders are all given permission to move to any spot they wish. Having all-rounded midfielders like Rosicky, Wilshire, Ozil and Ramsey means they can overload certain areas, whether it is out wide or in the middle.