Keeper strategies

by .


Rushing my post this morning because I have meetings all, day, long.

Picked up a horror article yesterday indicating Arsenal were interested in signing none other than Kim Kallstrom and John Ruddy. Talk about pushing the boat out, eh?

I know we want bodies, but I feel the bodies should at least have some sort of purpose. I wrote something for The Metro yesterday out lining your back up keeper strategy.

1. Young and upcoming super start – Jack Butland
2. Experienced old head – Schwarzer
3. Equal number one – Victor Valdes
4. Relegation Fodder – Ruddy

Now at least Ruddy has survived a few seasons in the division. Not sure about his pedigree if I’m honest. Feels like Arsene is recruiting for cover rather than competition. But, like he said last season, too much competition invites pressure… which would affect performance. I kind of feel that Fabianski leaving for Swansea gives is an opportunity to put a rocket up our young number ones backside. Shame we’re bottling that chance.

I forgot to mention Griezsman yesterday. Mainly because (I can’t spell his name) he’s been linked with us all year. The link with him seems strong. He’s fast and full of goals. He managed 19 last year, which is exceptional. However Carlos Vela managed the same goals and 4 times the assists. If we can pick him up for £3m, we’d be crazy not to. Even if it meant selling him on for mad profits. I’d also like to see Alexis in the frame if he’s available. I’d love a bit of South American flair / crazy in our team.

In other news Giroud bagged two very well taken goals. He’s clearly going to win the Golden Boot this summer. Jump on it with the bookies, he’ll come good. That said, it was against Norway, let’s see how he does against stern opposition in the World Cup.


I can’t wait to have something to talk about. I’m excited to see the superstars emerge, the villains fade… the drama. Should be an amazing few weeks. We’ll have something to talk about… and we can forget about talking to family for a while.

Good times!

505 Responses to “Keeper strategies”

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  1. Doyindav

    Please don’t tell me that the Arsenal ‘delegation’ went to Madrid are coming back with only Morata..

    Thing is Wenger likes his projects, he doesn’t want anyone to really challenge Giroud and it’s just sick for a Manager to behave like that.

    And there is no way Madrid will sell us two players in the same season.

    We might as well look elsewhere for their 16 year olds, give them a buy back clause so we don’t challenge Kallstrom who replaces Arteta.

  2. thedigdag

    Why are you guys taking the gossip column like a gospel, surely its just fodder to fill in before the world cup starts. Apart from David Luiz transfer, there’s nothing much going on in the transfer market. I dont expect things to change until a few nations are out of the competition…. Until then it’ll stay that way, mere gossips…

  3. Rocky Pires

    I doubt Arsenal sent a delegation to buy Morata, but if they did then cant see us buying a no.1 striker.

    This Giroud bashing is getting a bit out of hand yes he is not Suarez/Agureo but he scored alot of goals and ploughed away up front on his own.

    Not an A+ player would I would prefer have him as a second striker/backup than not.

    Is he as good as backup as Nagredo/Dzeko? probably, he is superior to alot of first choice strikers in the league and is a big part of the club, so I support him getting a new deal.

  4. Savage

    Really looking forward to seeing Mannone, Fab and Chezz all competing in the top league. Should be great fun.

    Isn’t it great that our transfer conversation is not fixated about signing a new number one?

  5. Emiratesstroller

    Let’s be clear spending £50 Million + on strikers is seldom the panacea that it is held out to be. You can catalogue a whole host of expensive strikers who have turned out to be flops starting with Torres.

    Frankly there are very few strikers in market who are scoring more goals than
    Giroud. Most are unavailable and even those who may be marginally better are going to cost a huge amount of money.

    Morata is a goalcorer even in the limited time that he has played in first team at Real. Frankly he is on at least the same if not higher level that Sturridge or
    Lukaku at same age and he is likely to cost a lot less.

    Personally I would rather that Wenger spends ‘top dollar’ on a defensive midfielder and/or talented goalscoring winger than on a striker who may or may
    not come off.

    If we bring in a player like Griezmann we will have plenty of fire power in our squad with at least half a dozen players capable of scoring double digits in a
    season with Giroud,Walcott, Ramsey,Podolski, Cazorla all capable of scoring
    that number as well as the two I have listed.

    Goals are important, but so is frankly defence. No team has ever one the top
    Division of English Football with a leaky defence however many goals they score and this was proven this season in case of both Liverpool and for that
    matter Arsenal.

    Our weakness was not the number of goals we scored but our defensive frailty
    at set pieces and in midfield. That needs to be resolved before start of season.

    Keeping Arteta as first team holding player and backed up by Flamini or god forbid bringing in Diaby or Kallstrom is not resolving the problem.

  6. Savage

    @emiratesstroller, agreed on the striker front, (partially, as I think slim chances are there to be buried), but I disagree that we are frail on set pieces

    What concerns me more is our ability to recover from shock starts to the game. I think our defending is generally good and has improved a lot.

    We honestly don’t create a lot of chances up front, and that’s where someone like Di Maria and a fit Walcott can help. Ozil will improve, and hopefully Ramsey will have most of a season.

  7. The Poldi Prince

    I believe we weren’t top ten for chances created…

    Need a winger and a quality forward.

    I’m actually happy with morata regardless. I think he has world class potential and will get time at arsenal to play.

    if its only morata, we need a top winger like alexis and preferably a great prospect like griezmann or firmino (the quoted 30mil is bs though).

    Id prefer the cavani or benz etc but its so unlikely.

    for attacking options if we bought morata, vela, griezmann and sanchez we would be immeasurably better going forward and it’d give ozil a semi-boner.

    I stand by giroud being ok and a second choice. He is improving each season and is a lot better while well rested.

  8. Emiratesstroller


    We conceded 21 goals in 5 EPL away Games and also 2 in FA Cup Final.

    The failure to recover from shock starts as you put it was consequential on poor defending in midfield resulting in free kicks or panicked corners and
    our failure to defend properly at set pieces.

    The fact that we lost so many games in similar fashion needs to be addressed.
    We are defensively weak in midfield and need replacement for Arteta and the
    coaching staff do need to look again at how we defend set pieces and corners.
    This has been a real problem over many years.

    Our lack of goals this season had much to do with lack of pace in team and of
    course the constant injuries.

    I have watched over 60 years a lot of football and I know that the league title
    is always won by teams with a good defence. Arsenal under Graham did not
    score a lot of goals hence the 1-0 to Arsenal, but our defence was always disciplined and superb and we had players in midfield who knew how to put the
    boot in.

    That was incidentally the same with Liverpool and in recent times Manchester United,Arsenal and Chelsea.

  9. The Poldi Prince

    Guns, I can’t see di maria going anywhere…unless the are chasing coin for a massive striker signing (which doesn’t make sense if they’re keeping benzema ans have jese excelling).

    Benzema and morata are far more likely to leave IMO.

  10. Ole Gunner soldier

    sell Giroud and the postman for cheap, to “small” clubs, capture madzukic and J.Martinez/Benzema/remy and we have a suarez/sturridge kind of strike force, then ozil’s star will shine again, add a strong LB and a strong DM…then we can talk of competing for bigger trophies, until then, we will still be the half season pretenders and struggling to win against small out of form clubs in cup finals

  11. Max85

    Agreed, no way Di Maria is going anywhere – he was key to them this season and is well thought of in the squad and by the manager. As likely to get Bale as we are Di Maria.

    Would like to see one of Sanchez/Pedro (whichever one Barca let go), or Shaqiri of Bayern would be a great shout at around £15m. Extremely skilful, but also built like a boxer – full backs bounce off him.

    Really don’t want Griezmann – would be like having two Walcotts, and as 95% of teams we play are defensvie against us we’d never break them down.

  12. Dissenter

    Poldi Prince,
    Real Madrid aren’t stupid enough to sell ther two strikers in a transfer window.
    They might send out Morata on an abridged loan arrangement. If we are foolish enough to buy him, it will be similar to the Vela deal with Sociedad.
    We give him opportunity to grow and Madrid can have him back when he’s WC.

  13. Dissenter

    What’s wrong with having two Walcotts.
    Greizmann is actually quite different, in that he can dribble in addition to being as pacy.

  14. Guns of brixton

    Di Maria is not as close to RM as you might think, yes, he was key to their double this season but he still is angry or at the least very cautious about hes future when they wanted to use him as leverage to get Bale.

  15. Dissenter

    Guns of Brixton,
    DiMaria has been the most consistent performer at Real Madrid this year.

    What makes you think he angry at Real Madrid?. Ancelloti preferred to keep him and let Ozil go. He rewarded his manager with his consistency.
    Where the anger from?

  16. Max85


    Really? I’ve not seen as much La Liga as some on here, but I’ve tried to catch as many Sociedad games as I could (mainly because of the link to Greizmann) and I would disagree that he’s a good dribbler, or particularly good on the ball. In those respects, Vela is by far the superior player.

    I just don’t think having two players who do not contribute much except for pace and being decent finishers will work that well in our team, where we like to keep possession and break teams down. Remember how frustrating Walcott is in those kind of games, and then imagine having two of them on the same pitch.

  17. Guns of brixton

    Anger (may have subsided now) from when he was offered to Spurs + cash for Bale.

    Now, being offered up like that would piss off any player and im sure he thought twice bout his future and RM.

  18. andy1886

    Stroller, you’re absolutely correct to point out that we need a bit of ‘nastiness’ in the side. Nobody wins the title without a bit of steel about them, and we don’t have that. Technically we are good, physically we are weak compared to the better sides. Wenger used to have that in his sides but all the press stuff about Arsenal’s red card count and the board’s reaction put paid to that. Quite honestly I didn’t give a stuff about the bad press, I want to see a strong side that can mix it with the best of them. Strength and skill aren’t mutually exclusive.

  19. Dissenter

    The problem with Theo was he struggled with other parts of his game, apart from his speed. It took him a while to using the ball correctly at the end of his fast run. He’s really good now with assist and goals, it just took longer.
    Greizmann might not take that long, who knows.

    It’s hard to know how an ACL surgery will impact Walcott’s game. I fear he will have to adapt his games in some ways and won’t be the sme player we’ve always known. That’s why getting another fast player like Vela/Greizmann will be a good idea.

  20. Sam

    don’t even dream of Di Maria. MotM in the CL final, key man under Carlo at RM.

    Morata though young, inexperienced and just promising, might be possible or viable as Wenger won’t sign any established world class strikers as he’ll be outbid. Hissyfit Cristiano keeps shouting at Morata. When Morata finally scored in one game I was watching, Bale gave him a cuddle. My guess is he wants to stay at RM but with Ronaldo, Benzema, Jese (fit again when?) and Bale, he’s not going to get a lot of game time. Plus they have supposedly started their insane offers for Aguero. (press story: mucho doubtful)

  21. Emiratesstroller

    Here are some interesting statistics.

    The league title since 2000/1 season [14 seasons] has been won only once by a
    team who have conceded more than 37 goals. In season 2004/5 Chelsea conceded just 15 goals. 6 seasons team that won conceded between 20- and 29 goals.

    The only season when a team won title conceding more than 37 goals was last
    season when Man Utd conceded 43 goals.

    When it comes to scoring goals Man Utd won title in 2008/9 with just 68 goals. 7 other teams won titles with between 70 and 78 goals and 3 teams with
    between 80 and 86 goals. Only three teams have scored more than 90 goals
    albeit in last 5 years.

    Scoring 100+ goals may be good on the eye, but as I have suggested key to
    winning a title is not conceding more than 1 goal per game.

  22. Max85


    It’s a fair shout re Walcott’s injury, and certainly agree we need more pace in our side. I just think that whoever we bring in should be a class above what we have, and not just a box-ticker. I’m not sure Greizmann would help too much in our build up play, which is why I’d like to see someone who can use the ball well in addition to pace. To be honest from what I’ve seen of their respective seasons, I think the Ox would be a better shout for us on the left. Just opinion of course.

  23. Guns of brixton


    yes. correct. but the fact that Di Maria was considered to be sold pissed him off, however as
    you say he may have let that feeling go and Ancelotti may have said a few words with him, but i still think its worth a bid, whats the worse that can happen?

  24. gambon

    “Frankly there are very few strikers in market who are scoring more goals than

    Erm, over the last 2 seasons Giroud has 27 league goals having been ever present, playing every minute of nearly every match. So even ignoring strikers with better goals per game or goals per 90 minutes stats we still have:

    Van Persie
    Ben Yedder

  25. Dissenter

    Guns of Brixton,
    I’m not sure Real can afford to sell De Maria. He’s been their best player all season, in my opinion.
    He’s not been getting the accolades because Bale and Ronaldo have PR departments of their own who are always quick to grab the headlines, even when De Maria was the real driver in the team.
    The cup final that Gareth Balescored the fantastic goal was actually De Maria’s game, but everybody forgot that bevpcause is the Bale factor. The CL final was the same, De Maria was the best player but the English press ran it like Gareth won the game, forgetting that Demaria was the man of the match.

    I don’t even think, De Maria will envisage coming to us. If winning trophies and earning big bucks the his objective, Arsenal is not the destination.
    Why will he come to Arsenal and have to cross the ball to Sanogo in the biggest European game of the season.

  26. goonpharm

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Theo’s ability when he gets back.

    Cruciate ligament damage isn’t the death sentence for a players career anymore. If anything surgeons have become so good at it it actually over strengthens the injured knee thus making the opposite one slightly weaker.

    We may seem some minor niggles as his body learns to compensate the imbalance. But so long as we manage him well (stop laughing) he’ll be fine.

    As for the two Walcotts in one team perhaps this Walcott maybe moved on? Isn’t next season his last year? Maybe greizmann maybe his replacement?

    Theo thinks he’s the bee knees and probably will want certain reassurances I.e play through the middle, pay parity with Ozil et Al? ??

    Wenger don’t like that does he?

  27. Dissenter

    You make a good point about the possible impact of cruciate ligament damage.
    Maybe for a defender that needs positioning sense more that speed, it might not be that bad. However, if the player’s game depends on pace and turning at high speeds, then the chance of recurrence is higher.

    The best sport to draw from is American football, running backs are never the same after cruciate ligament surgery. It may be a mental block or whatever, but things are not quite the same.

  28. The Poldi Prince


    Morata played seven games..

    if they’re buying suarez or something similar they might as they would have suarez and jese, with bale, ronaldo and di maria all fighting for positions.

    morata is nothing to them.

  29. goonpharm

    Footballers are funny individuals aren’t they. Di Maria was whored around last summer to anyone that wanted him so that they could have the money for the Bale deal.

    Real wanted him gone and gave Ozil no assurances of his future. Ozil upped and left and Di Maria was retained to pacify the fans who were not at all happy at Ozils sale. Anyone remember when Bale was presented at the Bernabeu? The fans wee chanting Ozils name.

    If they sold another fan favourite there would have been riots in Madrid. Make no mistakes, Di Maria was deemed surplus to requirements and would have been sold.

    Players remember shit like that.

  30. Bamford13

    On a World Cup note, it looks like Hodgson is playing a 4-4-2, which I think is a mistake. He should, instead, adopt Liverpool’s 4-3-3 and simply replace Suarez with Rooney, giving you the below:


    Not a bad side. And no, no Arsenal players should make the starting XI.

  31. Bamford13

    I don’t think Suarez is leaving Liverpool. Unless they see someone off-radar who could adequately replace him — some 21-y-o Suarez clone playing at Ajax I don’t know about — I just don’t see them selling for any price.

    They didn’t last summer and they won’t this summer — especially given their being in CL next year.

  32. Tomtom

    Ruddy, morata, eto etc, another terrible summer of transfers. Really loosing interest in arsenal after supporting them all my life

  33. The Poldi Prince

    Lads, I’ve had an ACL and I’m a doctor AND I am a massive AFL fan (which has a huge rate of ACL issues)…

    Theo is a tough one..depending where they graft from, he is likely to have hamstring issues. The ‘good’ knee is always the more likely one to go next. It usually affects players that run in straight lines less, but I could see it seriously affecting him cutting in off the wings.

    If I had to wager, I’d say he will seriously struggle coming back for at least 12 months. Maybe forever. We can’t rely on him to pick up where he left off.

  34. Bamford13


    I sympathize with your sentiments, but Morata is actually slightly more exciting of a prospect than you might suspect. He’s not Cavani or Benzema, but he’s pretty damn good.

  35. Bamford13

    Given how much Walcott relied upon pace rather than technique, skill or intelligence, I’m beginning to think his post-injury form is a serious question mark.

  36. goonpharm

    Dissenter – see your point but wouldn’t you say the physicality of the NFL may contribute more to that than the aforementioned injury?

    Like is said ACL isn’t a big deal anymore. 5-10 years ago in would have been back page news but these days players come back with no issues unless they are poorly managed.

    Who’d have thought Falcao would make the WC after his knee went kaput?

    Theo will be fine. Hopefully Wenger gets to the bottom of our injury hex and we can actually manage players better.

  37. The Poldi Prince

    And morata certaine has world class potential as well as size and speed to make in in the epl.

    I hope if we get him, its a similar deal to what we got from barca for cesc rather than a loan. Right to first refusal etc

  38. Rocky Pires

    I think this will be a big season for Wilhere.
    If we get a new CDM of high calibre I can see JW and Ramsey being our Box to Box players and this should release the shackles of JW.


    I feel Wilshere showed well in games but needs bit more guidance, bit more fitness and confidence. A sub role for England will suit him best and will see him make impacts in games thus boasting his confidence.

    A High Caliber CDM Ramsey and Wilshere running and dribbling at paces sounds very formidable.

    I said it before and people were bit luke warm about it but I think Santi can ffill the same role as he isnt the fastest a role in CM could well suit him

  39. andy1886

    Bamford, Morata is a one goal in three games striker for one of the top three teams in a weaker league than the PL. if he replicates that form over here for us, a team comparatively weaker in our league than RM are in theirs, then that equates to 12 or 13 goals in a 38 game campaign. Hardly impressive. Would he want to sit on the bench here rather than sit on the bench at RM? Unlikely. The only reason I could see him coming would be for the money, he isn’t an upgrade on Giroud so wouldn’t expect to start most games. The only plus is that he couldn’t be worse than Sanago, the downside being that Wenger thinks that OG, Morata and Sanogo are a title winning strike force. If he does he is probably in a minority of one.

  40. Atomic

    I have read lots of comments about Walcott and Griezmann relative to likeness; they are alike in terms of goals, quickness and pace. In terms of pass accuracy for example, I think Griezmann is better. When it comes to dribbles, Griezmann is a cut between Vela and Walcott; he is clearly a better dribbler them Walcott. I have followed him for the past 3-4 years now at Sociedad. He used to run with the ball a lot, but for some reason he has changed, what he is good at now is quick exchange of passes( I mean one-two) and because of the change of play (making lot of runs behind the defenders) he is now scoring goals. For his size, he is quite good in the air (like Tim Cahill) compare to Walcott. However, if we need pure dribbler, then Griezmann is not our man; our man could either of Konoplayanka, Cabella, Vela, Alexis Sanchez, Pedro, Muniain, Draxler, Thuivan etc.

  41. goonpharm

    Poldi – surely the hamstring issue would happen regardless of where they graft from? 9 months out of competitive action cause a lot of tendons to relax more than normal. First 3 months will be important as it is paramount that his rehab is paced well and he’s not rushed through.

    The problem with ACL rehab previously was the way they over emphasised the strengthing of the injured knee. Now they look at the whole body in a more holistic approach so both sides will be strengthened.

    Like is said he will suffer a lot of niggly injuries – mostly strains and pull muscles but plenty of rest and and steady conditioning pre season will sort him out.

  42. Rhys Jaggar

    I agree you can waste a huge amount on strikers ES, but if you look at the history of Atletico Madrid, they seem to be quite good at picking ones that don’t fail.

    Torres came through their junior ranks and became world class at Liverpool. Aguero first made his name at Atletico, as did Falcao. Now Diego Costa has done likewise.

    They seem to be able to get it right, so it says that you need the right understanding of what type of strikers you need for the way you are going to play which of course is partly predicated on the midfield you will be playing.

    No good buying an Andy Carroll if you can’t cross a ball like a Beckham or a Gerrard, after all. He’s Europe’s best attacking header of a ball, but he’s only solid in other aspects of the game.

    No good having a speedster without a superb Number 10 (Rush without Dalglish? Henry without Bergkamp? Walcott requires a Fabregas, an Ozil or the like).

    No point having a target man if you don’t have rapidly breaking midfield players to link up with.

    It’s time to ask the questions about what the overall squad patterns are and what strikers fit best into that.

  43. gambon

    “Bamford, Morata is a one goal in three games striker for one of the top three teams in a weaker league than the PL. if he replicates that form over here for us, a team comparatively weaker in our league than RM are in theirs, then that equates to 12 or 13 goals in a 38 game campaign”

    Well, no

    Morata has 8 in 23, but he has only started 3 games.

    I would bet in terms of goals per 90 minutes he has about 1 per 90 minutes.

    Which suggests he will score 38 for us.

    Im not saying hes the answer to our prayers, but lets not pretend we can conclude anything from a guy who usually plays 10-20 minutes.

  44. Emiratesstroller


    I said ‘on the market’ i.e. for sale.

    As far as I am aware very few strikers who score a lot of goals are for sale.

    Also you need to factor in all competitions and not just EPL. Giroud has scored
    22 goals this season for Arsenal.

    Frankly I am sick and tired of all the criticism of this particular player. We know that is not a world beater, but actually I think that he gives very good value for money considering how much he cost.

    If you can find the club a proven striker at a realistic transfer fee and wage bill
    I might be more inclined to listen. Realistically there are very few available.

  45. Sam

    I certainly hope Wenger goes after Griezmann because a lot of other clubs will if he doesn’t. We certainly need more players with pace.
    Ramsey took a long time not just to get his physical abilities back to normal but to get mentally right, which after a major injury is just as big a hurdle. Theo lost confidence when he did his shoulder (or was it both of them?), his key asset is pace – I worry that it’ll take him ages, if ever, to perform very well at top level.

    Was just reading The Blizzard article on del Bosque. Great quote about how you don’t want to buy the best player, but the best player for your team’s strengths. There’s no point in pairing all these skilful lightweight midfield players with just one, static striker. We need movement up front or Ozil et al are wasting energy.
    Giroud looked good against Norway and got a good goal, but Norway are a shower.

  46. MadeToLoveMagic

    I think Arsenal should forget signing anyone, Drop giroud , replace with Sanogo. We have Diaby so no need for a DM, offer Kallstrom fat deal. Maybe consider bolstering funds a bit by selling someone in good form. I reckon maybe we could get 35 mil for ramsey which would be nice.