There are no strikers available?

by .

Striker box. It's empty.

Striker box. It’s empty.

Was having a chat with a pal last night whilst watching Germany v Cameroon and Paraguay France. I think that was the line up. I watched both at the same time, it was a bit of a blur.

Anyway, the jist of the conversation was…

‘Where did all the good strikers go?’

I mean, even armed with £40m quid this summer, where are you taking it? You can count the number of world class names on one hand.

  • Aguerro
  • Robin
  • Ibrahimovic (though outside Ligue One?)
  • Lewandowski (at a push)
  • Suarez

Then where are you looking? There aren’t many. This is why I’m struggling to see where we go this summer. What would we prefer, a nearly striker, or to load up on attacking midfielders with the flexibility to play anywhere across the front like. That new half breed of striker is pretty big on the scene. Alexis would be a fantastic name. Draxler and Reus are right up there among the half breed heroes. You could throw Pedro in there as well.

I mean, when you’re being linked with Madman Mario, you really do see where the struggle is. Great player, nightmare personality. Could be world class if he had the head for the game. Certainly not a player I could imagine Wenger being able to tame.

The Telegraph are stating that Arsenal are going to shun Cesc Fabregas. I should hope so too. A lot of delusional Arsenal fans trying to push the ‘you can never have too many good players’… errr, yes you can. 22 world class goal keepers wouldn’t look too sharp would it? I think Manchester City have shown that you can have too many good players with their bloated squad.

I mean, I love Cesc, but the sentimental bullshit attached to his return is ridiculous. We killed any hopes of him returning when we punted on Ozil. Arsenal are well stocked with tricky midfielders both senior, mid twenties and youth coming through. We have a finite budget this summer.

1. Striker
2. Defensive midfielder
3. Right back
4. 3rd choice centre back
5. Pace setting winger

We have £100m available. I can’t see much room for a £30m creative midfielder, regardless of how good he is. I’d love to hear and argument against that. Because there quite simply isn’t one.

… that said, there wasn’t much of an argument last summer considering our needs at the start!

HAVE A GUUUUD DAY

696 Responses to “There are no strikers available?”

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  1. Romford Pele

    Kesyer – Are we coming back to the stadium here? Because while I think it may have had an impact, I think there are still a plethora of players out there that can play the system Wenger wants if that’s what you’re alluding to?

    Yeah I said from the start of last summer that Cazorla wasn’t enough, we needed another; whether that be wide or a CAM with him moving wide and that’s what transpired. Yeah Ozil is pretty different to both Cesc and Nasri but you can see that he’s still a Wenger-type player in the way he sets up.

    I think Wenger may have changed his mind tbh RE striker which is why that Draxler thing makes sense to me. Suarez/Aguero are very niche – very hard to find those who have a similar skillset.

  2. N5

    This site does make me laugh at times. So far today we’ve had numerous saying that Ozil should be sold after his first season, I even read swap him + £10 million for Fabregas and now Benzema is not much better than Remy.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m on the Truman show and people are just saying things to record my reaction. I’m twitching.

  3. gambon

    Ronaldo is the main man at Madrid.

    Benzema may start upfront, but his role is about creating as much as it is about scoring goals.

    Look at Rooney with, and then without Ronaldo.

    In 2008/9 he scored 12 league goals, then in 2009/10 once Ronaldo left, he became the main man and scored 26 goals.

    Look at Madrid last season.

    Shots per game:

    Ronaldo 7.2
    Bale 3.3
    Benzema 2.9

    Thats why he doesnt score enough, the whole team exists to create for Ronaldo.

    This is who Messi will always be the better player, Ronaldo relies on a frankly ridiculous number of shots.

  4. MidwestGun

    N5 –
    Haha. Pay no attention to the little holes drilled in the ceiling. Should have seen your reaction to wife swapping. Embarassing, for you. Lol.

  5. Keyser

    Romford Pele – Not neccesarily, just football or the market in general.

    Watch Hleb’s progress or how Wenger constructed the team in 2008, people always look at the results ignoring that no-one had any idea how good they’d be that year, then you look at how Wenger replaced the dynamic of Hleb and Rosicky, with Nasri and Walcott, and switched to a 3 man midfield.

    To be that efficient, individually or as a whole, Wenger created niche positions for niche players, so why wouldn’t you want to replace them with specific players if you can’t find the one your looking for, you have to adapt and adjust again.

  6. Romford Pele

    “This is who Messi will always be the better player, Ronaldo relies on a frankly ridiculous number of shots.”

    So so true. This is not to detract from Ronaldo but I think Messi is definitely the more intelligent player.

    This is also why I like Benzema. I think he’d be ruthless as the main man for us but he’s also intelligent enough not too shoot like there’s no tomorrow either.

  7. WengerEagle

    ‘He does contribute, he’s just not going to dominate, which belies the reason why he’s out there to begin with, he’s a wide playmaker, not a winger, and he’ll hold and distribute the ball far better than say Walcott would, so it gives a different sort of balance.’

    Agree that we need a playmaking LW to counter-balance Theo on the right but why can’t the LW playmaker have pace as well? A player in the mould of Ribery/Reus/Hazard/Di Maria would be ideal, players that are excellent in retaining possession and distributing the ball but in addition have that turn of pace where they can beat their marker and gives them a plan B.

    ‘In terms of Firmino, it’s the Bundesliga, the stats mean little,’

    Now saying that any stats achieved outside of the BPL don’t matter is completely ridiculous. Is it any coincidence that the top scorers across Europe’s 5 leagues includes Ronaldo, Messi, Lewandowski and Ibrahimovic? Of course not these are all world class players and that is backed up by their stats.

    I know that stats don’t always tell the whole story but they are the only completely objective basis we have to go by when judging a player. Saying they mean nothing just isn’t true.

    ‘You’re focusing on what you think the position needs, rather than the team and why we’re playing these players to begin with.’

    No I’m not. This team needs an unpredictable player in the final third who is capable of beating his marker. Theo isn’t that player. At present we are far too predictable in the final third, Santi, Theo and Poldi are all incapable of beating their marker. Ox could be that player but he’ll have to massively improve his efficiency in the final third and his distribution.

    ‘Firmino right now is a question mark, Cazorla offers something tangible’

    In truth every player outside of the BPL is a question mark but that can’t stop you in taking that risk. In most cases quality is shown no matter what league the player is competing in. Firmino could come over here and flop, this is true but he could also come over here and massively outperform Cazorla out wide.

  8. Romford Pele

    “To be that efficient, individually or as a whole, Wenger created niche positions for niche players, so why wouldn’t you want to replace them with specific players if you can’t find the one your looking for, you have to adapt and adjust again.”

    So if by that logic we go with a wide playmaker and a goalscoring wideman, why then did he try Gervinho/Walcott or Poldi/Walcott. I understand what you’re saying but sometimes I think Wenger’s logic leaves a lot to be desired.

    Tbh i’ve always liked the dynamic of having a wide playmaker (plethora of these available) and goalscoring winger.

  9. Igbo Amadi-Obi

    A couple of years ago, we were subjected to such a heavy dose of blackmail over Fabregas. He was homesick. He needed to be with his mother. We were infringing on his right to happiness. Pique and the rest even forced a Barcelona jersey on him. So we yielded, being the decent people we are.

    Obviously he hasn’t quite fitted into the Barcelona ranks. He doesn’t get as many games as he would like. He isn’t the fans’ favorite. He is even blamed for the recent failures. And they wish to offload him.

    Today, we are victims of a different kind of blackmail. Get him before he goes elsewhere! So, my question is, isn’t Mr. Fabregas going to be homesick again when he returns to Arsenal? Is he tired of spending time with his mum and his childhood friends? Isn’t life going to be unbearable without Pique and the others who obviously love him like a brother?

    The psychology of it kills me. We are enshrining the small team personae. We only get a chance at the top players when the ‘big’ teams decide to offload. It happened with Fabregas earlier in life, then it happened with Ozil and we couldn’t believe Madrid would let him go; it happened with Flamini; now it is happening with Fabregas again; and we are hoping we could get lucky with Di Maria, and even Balotteli.

    I like Fabregas. He makes and scores many goals. We have always known that. But why do we become an option only when they are rejected by their preferred destination? Big teams don’t wait until a player is unhappy elsewhere, or is shooed off. We need to be more assertive in our transfer dealings.

  10. Dale Rios

    ”Have you watched Benzema? he has to set up so many of his own goals due to Bale or Ronaldo or Di Maria having shots themselves”

    Of Benzema’s 17 La Liga goals:

    2 assisted by Ronaldo, 4 each Bale and Di Maria

  11. Radio Raheem

    I’m afraid ruthless finisher is what Benzenma is not. Ronaldo demands more
    than others because most times he delivers. Bale is new to Real but he seems to show more bottle about in wanting to score more. I wonder if Benzema’s willingness to set others up masks a lack of confidence or a callow nature.

    He is a good player but I remain unconvinced as to whether he belongs to the top echelon of strikers/forwards.

  12. bergkamplegend

    To those who are against a return of Cesc, ask yourself this question (apparently he clearly wants a return in the PL) : do you prefer to see cesc wearing an arsenal shirt, or wearing a yoonited or chel$cunt$ shirt ?

  13. Romford Pele

    “He is a good player but I remain unconvinced as to whether he belongs to the top echelon of strikers/forwards.”

    I would certainly say so. I think he has all the attributes to do so. Has a decent record in big games. Both he and Ancelotti alluded to the fact that he was carrying an injury in the CL final so was well below his best. But I don’t really see what he’s lacking in. Scores goals, creates goal, can fashion chances for himself etc.

  14. Thank you and goodnight

    @Midwest
    N5’s missus wouldn’t last a day before she tries to kill me mate. I make a caveman look like a gentleman. I’m the kind of guy who spends more time Pissing in the kitchen sink cause I’m to lazy to walk upstairs. After sex cuddles is a no no for me. ….I’m the wipe your cock on the curtain kind of guy before opening a beer and rolling a joint.

  15. Keyser

    Romford Pele – That’s what I mean about scrambling, he bought both Gervinho and Ox before we sold Fabregas and/or Nasri, you can have your own theories about what went on, whether he knew Fabregas was gone, or if he thought he could convince Nasri to stay, or both.

    If you look at it in terms of the 2011 team and then you add both Gervinho and Ox, that team then has a fair amount of depth to it.

    The point is logic doesn’t play much part in it, if Citeh aren’t offering Nasri what you are, they’re offering simply more then you can afford to pay, you’re not adjusting to what the team needs you’re having to adjust to what you can find.

    Even

  16. Romford Pele

    So Juve follow Arsenal in rejecting the Morata deal because of Real’s insistence of a buyback clause. Not really a surprise is it.

  17. Dale Rios

    Benzema’s way of playing doesn’t really change when Ronaldo is out the team, just does what he always does, with the focus being more on Bale.

  18. gambon

    “I’m afraid ruthless finisher is what Benzenma is not. Ronaldo demands more
    than others because most times he delivers. ”

    Ronaldo – 1 goal per 7 shots

    Benzema – 1 goal per 6 shots

    So ruthless finisher Ronaldo isnt!

    Ronaldo is unique in world football that he is capable of taking so many shots, but a large part of that is that he plays in teams set up to give him chances. At the end of his time at UTD he basically had a free role involving no defending.

    You give Reus 7.2 shots per game and he’d score more than Ronaldo.

    Ditto for a lot of strikers.

  19. Romford Pele

    Keyser – So Chamakh, Arshavin, Vela, Rosicky wasn’t decent back-up at the time? To me, that on top just looks like stockpiling. I doubt Wenger would’ve signed both if he knew Nasri was gonna join Cesc in departing.

    Now it’s about building up and adding the necessary quality. We can compete.

  20. Keyser

    WE – “A player in the mould of Ribery/Reus/Hazard/Di Maria would be ideal,”

    They all still have their differences and you’re talking about probably top 10 players in World football. Di Maria has no defensive nous, Reus isn’t much better, Hazard got criticised for it. What was your point ?

    “Saying they mean nothing just isn’t true. ”

    I said they mean little, what have I told you about extremes, you’ve named the top scorers around Europe, and we’re talking Firmino and Cazorla, not just Firmino, but Hoffenheim ffs, the Bundelsliga doesn’t really match up well with the premiership, let alone trying to compare the pressures of Hoffenheim to Arsenal.

    “Firmino could come over here and flop, this is true but he could also come over here and massively outperform Cazorla out wide.”

    Lol ‘Massively’ based on what ? This is what I mean you’re ruled by your own opinion of a player rather than the actual evidence, of which there’s little to none, this doesn’t mean Firmino won’t make it, just at least try and provide some balance when you’re discussing players.

  21. DUIFG

    Dont get the Ronaldo snobbery, who cares if he takes 7 shots per game , ask anybody at real if they care, the guy is notching at faster than a goal a game, ask portugal if he takes too many shots when he fired them with 4 to get into wc this year.

    Ask why is he allowed creative freedom, because he has earnt the right over 10 yrs by consistently showing giving ronaldo the ball will invariably lead to a goals.

  22. Radio Raheem

    Romford

    I know you like Benzema. He just doesn’t do it for me. In my ranking he is below

    RvP, Lewandowski, Falcao, Suarez, Aguero…

    When he is in good form he is above Giroud and Remy but at a similar level to Mandzukic. Until this season he has been up and down never really fulfilling his early promise. I also think his playmaking is exaggerated. RvP, Suarez and Rooney are better playmakers.

    I’ll cheer if we got him but the champaign will remain corked.

  23. Emiratesstroller

    There are too many posters who devote too much time criticising Giroud and
    suggest that Benzema is a significantly better player and goalscorer.

    This season Giroud had to take on the burden of scoring our goals particularly in absence of Walcott and Ramsey. He was forced to also play in games where
    he was clearly tired or unfit, because Sanogo or Bendtner were not good enough to play at that level. We also lacked too often players who provided pace and good crosses on wing.

    Benzema had by contrast players who could take on the goalscoring workload
    and of course no shortage of crosses.

    Benzema is a player who costs in transfer fees probably three times as much as Giroud and probably at least double in wages. Yet I defy anyone to tell me
    that he is worth double.

    For the record stats of both players are

    Benzema
    League Played 35 Goals 17
    All games Played 52 Goals 24
    Giroud
    League Played 36 Goals 16
    All games Played 51 Goals 22

  24. Keyser

    Romford Pele – Mate, I said it’s up for debate, but we fell short that year, squadwise, Vela was already being sent on loan, Arshavin lasted a few months of the season after and Chamakh considering he could only play in the position Van Persie decided he was never going to relinquish again was constantly on the bench.

  25. Romford Pele

    “consistently showing giving ronaldo the ball will invariably lead to a goals.”

    Not against the best teams it won’t. You need balance. Part of the reason Madrid won the CL this year is because they played intelligently rather than everyone having free reign like in previous seasons. You can’t just allow someone to go AWOL and do what they want, irrespective of how good you are because the best teams will exploit the space you vacate.

  26. Romford Pele

    Radio, it’s all opinion and that’s fair. I don’t think Benzema has the environment to express himself like the others you mentioned. They’re all the go-to guys in their team, the ones their teammates look to. Until you give Benz the opportunity to experience that, I think it’ll always be unfair to compare. It’s why i say i’d like to see what Benz would do at Arsenal, he’d be performing a completly diferent role to what he does at Madrid. It was his exploits at Lyon that earned him the move there in the first place. Now I don’t claim he’s perfect but I’d definitely include him in that list you mentioned, much better than Mandzukic for me.

  27. MidwestGun

    Don’t get the Ronaldo snobbery either. Our number one striker is Giroud and we are down grading Ronaldo? Lol.
    Seriously, it basically boils down to Ronaldo is an arrogant prick, that loves the way he looks and has a hot girlfriend and makes a shit load of money. Jealousy.
    Any list that doesn’t have Ronaldo as a top 3 striker is bullshiit.

  28. DUIFG

    Ye having bale has been important to counter balance ronnie and all the play going through him, he has delivered in big games though over his career, He is a big enough menace to warrant some creative freedom. he is also taking that many shots because he is an incredible striker of the ball off both feet, allowing him the opportunity to strike whrere others cant.

    I think we are underestimating how intimidating a presence on the field ronnie is , 6’1 or so, built like a boxer, gas to burn, and ability to beat men with his eyes closed. its naturally going to flow into a player with these off the chart attributes.

  29. Thank you and goodnight

    I know your all missing dial/marble hall, so in his absence I’ve decided to cover for him.

    ” Ronaldo is shit, a one trick pony. It’s only because he plays in a crap league that he scores as many as he does”

  30. Radio Raheem

    Problem is Ronaldo doesn’t like playing as a striker. He plays where he wants doing as little defending as he wants with the opportunity to score as many as he wants. Probably splitting hairs but I’ll call him a forward not a striker. He has created a position one Bale will eventually inherit.

  31. Keyser

    Real Madrid did play slightly more intelligently, but then they should’ve walked the league this year aswell.

    You couldn’t say they played intelligently in the Champions League final and they won the Copa Del Rey with Bale running half the length of the pitch quicker than the opposition.

    In terms of Benzema and Ronaldo the World Cup will be interesting.

  32. WengerEagle

    ‘They all still have their differences and you’re talking about probably top 10 players in World football. Di Maria has no defensive nous, Reus isn’t much better, Hazard got criticised for it. What was your point ?’

    My point was they can all do what Cazorla does out wide and more. They can beat players and are far less predictable than Cazorla. I’m not saying that we sign one of these as they are unattainable, I’m just saying that’s the type of player we need out on the left.

    ‘I said they mean little, what have I told you about extremes, you’ve named the top scorers around Europe, and we’re talking Firmino and Cazorla, not just Firmino, but Hoffenheim ffs, the Bundelsliga doesn’t really match up well with the premiership, let alone trying to compare the pressures of Hoffenheim to Arsenal.’

    Statistically this season Firmino has been on the same level as the best players in Europe that’s why I mentioned them. He’s 22 years old ffs, there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t go right to the top of European football as his game matures. Why should we stop trying to sign outstanding young talents in Europe?

    Saying that the Bundesliga is inferior to the BPL is just your opinion, don’t present it as if it’s factual. As for the’ pressures of Arsenal’ what pressures would they be exactly, finishing 4th? He’s a Spanish International, he’s hardly suffering from the pressures of playing for Arsenal.

    And if you’re going to nitpick on my use of the word massively, notice that I too said that he COULD and not would outperform Cazorla.

  33. Niki B's Soldier

    Ronaldo can afford to take more shots cos 90% are on target. No matter where he shoots from, he definitely knows where the goal is. And he’s got a Podolski of a shot too.

  34. Mayank

    “Most (myself not included) didn’t think an AM was needed last season yet that’s what Wenger plundered for so who knows really.”

    What’s funny is the same people who didn’t think we needed an AM as bad as a striker or a DM are who want Cazorla gone.

    People crow on about a big DM every single summer since 07/08. Wenger just doesn’t care much for DMs. He doesn’t see the point of paying big bucks of someone who only offers “A little bit security” . That’s why he’d pay for Bender he offers much more.

  35. Keyser

    WE – There was no need to mention those players, I’m talking about the balance of the team as it is, yeah of course the World’s best players could do better, and yeah I understand what they offer in difference.

    “Statistically this season Firmino has been on the same level as the best players in Europe that’s why I mentioned them.”

    He plays for Hoffenheim, mate come on, they finished 9th on 44 points, scored 72 goals and conceded 70, which is why I mentioned Podolski at Cologne, they got relegated, how well has his form translated for us and he’s got a hundred odd caps for Germany.

    “there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t go right to the top of European football as his game matures.”

    You still don’t get it, what is there to indicate he will ?

    “Why should we stop trying to sign outstanding young talents in Europe?”

    Because we’ve already got a few of these players, and we’ve seen how tough it is to get them to where they are now, you’re not going to try and compare Firmino to Ramsey are you ? Maybe statiscally they’re quite close, and there’s still massive question marks over Ramsey.

    If you can’t understand why the pressure at Arsenal might differ to that at Hoffenheim, then we should just end it there.

  36. gambon

    “People crow on about a big DM every single summer since 07/08. Wenger just doesn’t care much for DMs”

    You are ignoring 2 important facts

    1- Wenger is a shit manager
    2- he is probably mentally ill

  37. MidwestGun

    Mayank-
    I agree AW doesn’t seem to value that type of Cdm so it probably won’t happen. Not sure why tho. Having one Cdm who can do the job of 2 box to box type would allow for more attacking play and possibly 2 up top.
    4-1-4-1 or 4-1-3-2 with an enforcer in front of back line. Pipe dream I know, which is why I think a CF upgrade should be our top priority as the option to spend that money on a Cdm most likely won’t happen.

  38. Mayank

    “So ruthless finisher Ronaldo isnt!”

    I think the shots per goal stats can be misleading. For players like Giroud they’re quite indicative of their finishing ability. But for Ronaldos and Bales it can be misleading. He hardly misses chances in good positions. If Ronaldo wasn’t indulged as much as he is he wouldn’t get as many goals but he’d still be the match-winner he is. His ability to get shots away from ridiculous positions is unparalleled.

    Ronaldo’s always been a weird one for me. I’ve never enjoyed watching him play but he’s always proved me wrong by scoring a winner no one else could’ve.

  39. Radio Raheem

    I haven’t seen anyone compare Benzema to Giroud. Nevertheless it isn’t such an outlandish comparison to draw. Giroud has been preferred to Benzema for France on many occasions. People seem to be getting carried away with Benzema. This is his best season in 5 or 6?. He hasn’t always played this well or this consistently.

  40. MidwestGun

    He hardly misses chances in good positions.
    _______
    Mayank – That’s it really. Giroud never shoots from outside the box so pretty much every chance is a clear cut scoring opportunity. Distance of missed opportunities counts. Not to mention what type of opportunity such as header or volley, etc…

  41. Sam

    Fuck Cesc
    He left when we needed him most. For 30millions they should sell us messi or neymar
    We won nothing with Cesc

    Fuck him

  42. Radio Raheem

    Ignoring two important farts

    1. French fart
    2. Old fart

    Just like that I am a xenophobe and ageist. All in a day’s work eh.

  43. Mayank

    “You are ignoring 2 important facts
    1- Wenger is a shit manager
    2- he is probably mentally ill”

    Not really. Playing destructive specialists in MF is a luxury only huge wasteful clubs can afford. Clubs so full of talent in other areas that they can afford to have a guy patrolling the defence because they know they don’t need cohesive play to win matches. The two best DMs of the current generation, Busquets and Martinez are both better on the ball than 99% of EPL AMs. They just happen to have the build and discipline to play in the DM position.

  44. follow the money

    I see what you’re saying Pedro re: Cesc but I disagree and here’s why. Assuming Wenger’s “investigation” into the injury situation is going to go nowhere ie: nothing changes in training methods etc we’re still going to have extended periods where our best players are unavailable. Ask yourself this–when Ramsey and Ozil were out this last season could we have used Cesc? Hell yes I say. We all complain about how Wenger runs his starting 11 into the ground every year. Cesc would help solve this

  45. MidwestGun

    @Radio lol. How bout that GoT’s last night? No spoilers, but fuckin epic!

    Must watch episode, for those who haven’t seen it. Gonna watch it again, tonight. Lol.

  46. Andaprayer

    I was actually thinking gambon’s comments seemed quite reasonable today and then he posts that. While wengers thoughts on DMs may differ from yours Gambon, that doesn’t make him a shit manager or mentally ill.

    You guys really have it in for him (this isn’t news I know), but we have very little info of what limits he is working to and this year we got to within 7 points of the top of the table something few we’re predicting.

  47. WengerEagle

    ‘He plays for Hoffenheim, mate come on, they finished 9th on 44 points, scored 72 goals and conceded 70, which is why I mentioned Podolski at Cologne, they got relegated, how well has his form translated for us and he’s got a hundred odd caps for Germany.’

    It’s not just his goals that are impressive though, his all-rounds stats are very impressive. His attacking stats are on par with Marco Reus’ and he averages 2.5 tackles a match which is very high for an attacking player. Even if Hoffenheim have played a few cricket-score matches his all-round contribution- Passing, Dribbling, Shooting, Tackling has been extremely impressive.

    ‘You still don’t get it, what is there to indicate he will ?’

    The fact that he’s been the Bundesliga’s best player along with Reus this season! In 2012 you could have made the exact same argument against Hazard when he was about to sign for Chelsea, or Oscar, or even Samir Nasri when we signed him in 2008. All young players who had been outstanding in their respective teams in foreign leagues before they made the move to a big BPL club. Obviously there is no guarantee that Firmino would be a success but there’s every chance that he would be. The Bundesliga is actually similar to the BPL in terms of the pace and tempo that matches are played at and in its physicality.

    ‘Because we’ve already got a few of these players, ‘

    We don’t have a single young player who’s even come close to what Firmino’s done in the Bundesliga this season. Even if he is playing in a team that only cares about scoring goals his all-round stats have been on par with Europe’s best and he’s 22! How are you not grasping that his stats are exceptionally high even taking into account his playing environment?

    ‘If you can’t understand why the pressure at Arsenal might differ to that at Hoffenheim, then we should just end it there.’

    Of course I can but just as there is nothing to suggest he’d take the pressure in his stride here at Arsenal there is also nothing to suggest that he’d come over here and choke. Every BPL import carries the same risk.

  48. Andaprayer

    I think wenger will go for cesc. I honestly think wenger goes all out for players he really likes which is why we got Ozil. That’s also why he doesn’t spend big on other players but rather buys for value when those select few aren’t available.

    He also doesn’t always get those players he really wants as they tend to be quite sought after

  49. Radio Raheem

    Midwest

    That episode got me buzzing like a belieber. Wow. Epic, brilliant, stupendous…take your pick mate. I plan on rewatching the whole thing at the end but I might watch that episode a few more times. Wow fucking wow )).

  50. tunnygriffboy

    Balague just said on the radio. Cesc been told to find another club by Barca.
    He wants to come to London. Apparently we don’t want him, Wenger wants to use Ozil as focus of the team. However Balague reckons people close to Wenger are telling him to buy Cesc.

    Will Wenger have spoken to Cesc personnally ?

    Cesc to spuds / Chelsea ?

  51. gambon

    ” While wengers thoughts on DMs may differ from yours Gambon, that doesn’t make him a shit manager or mentally ill.”

    I’m afraid it does.

  52. salparadisenyc

    I’d imagine Wenger will take the pass on Fab and collect the cash however nominal it may. Victoire is his mind.

  53. Mayank

    Hmm, comparing Giroud and Benzema actually showed a smaller gulf in quality than I expected.

    While Benzema embarrassed Giroud in the passing stats, the others are very close. And Giroud just pummels everyone in Aerial duels. No other top striker comes close. Only Bony is close to him.

    http://tinypic.com/r/2exbgyg/8

  54. Radio Raheem

    I don’t think barca have been this desperate to get rid of a local player. Must be a humbling experience for Cesc. If we don’t get Cesc then let’s strengthen elsewhere in the team. I don’t give a toss what team Cesc goes in the league as long as we finish above that team.

  55. MidwestGun

    I really think all this talk about Cesc is gonna be a waste of time. The only way Wenger even has to consider it, is if a team makes a bid to Barca over £30 mil. they accept it and Cesc agrees to terms. A bunch of big if’s as only a few teams could pull it off. A bunch of bluster about nothing. If City gets it all worked out (big if, involving Yaya most likely) we activate the buyback clause.

  56. jwl

    Radio Raheem

    I wonder if TH14 was first player to be forward, not striker, like you write about ronaldo. TH was different to a regular striker because he seemed to like to get the ball out wide at half way line and then run at the defenders and challenge them to stop him. I don’t know my football history very well but I always thought TH14 was something unique, one of a kind or maybe he’s the first of a new kind of player.

  57. gambon

    ” And Giroud just pummels everyone in Aerial duels”

    He really doesn’t

    He should, but he’s actually pretty terrible in the air.

  58. jwl

    I don’t think cesc would be delighted to come back to arsenal with wenger still manager. Finishing fourth year after year after year isn’t everyone’s idea of a good way to spend your career. Barca are nuts to sell cesc but they need to raise money and they seem very parochial in their attitudes towards cesc, he does not seem to be gelling within team. I have read a couple of stories this season that cesc wanted to go to ManU last summer, he was trying to engineer sale without making it public.

  59. Radio Raheem

    Jwl

    You make a good point there. The difference with both is Henry was more, a lot more, of a team player. He’d tee up others when he could score himself. If he was half as selfish as Ronaldi is he’d probably have score a lot more.

    From a positional standpoint you’re right. But Ronaldo’s interpretation of this position, his ego, selfishness…and his phenomenal record almost adds another layer to this position that perhaps makes it unique.

  60. salparadisenyc

    Mid

    Wenger wants the cash..

    “Follow the money”

    Benzema – Giroud

    Their’s no comparison… one can finish outside the box, the other cannot.
    One has pace the other does not.

    Benzema would of buried 30 goals for us this season.

    OG buried his head into hands more than anything else.

  61. Marko

    Question time fellas which would you prefer Ballotelli or Fabregas? Di Maria or Fabregas? Lars Bender or Fabregas?

  62. Mayank

    “He really doesn’t

    He should, but he’s actually pretty terrible in the air.”

    But he does. He’s won more aerial duels than Suarez, RvP and Bony combined (140). With a much better percentage than any of them (52%). What you might say is that he doesn’t score many headers. But for aerial duels won he an absolute monster.

    A guy who gets the better of 2 CBs and a DM in the air on a consistent basis is a different beast to all the other strikers in the world

  63. MidwestGun

    Sal-
    Or maybe Barca wants to force us to use our by back clause to eliminate some of their debt to us by putting Cesc up for sale. They way I understand it, it wouldn’t be much money we would get. Less then AW’s salary. Lol.

  64. Mayank

    “Their’s no comparison… one can finish outside the box, the other cannot.”

    Benzema scored 2 goals from outside the pen in La Liga to Giroud’s 0. This is over the last two seasons.

  65. gambon

    Mayank

    Benteke is a monster in the air. Carroll is. Sanogo will be but is shit at everything else.

    Giroud is just big, that’s about it.

  66. salparadisenyc

    Marko

    Why the choice.. Wenger should do best he can to strengthen side within financial parameters.

    For me thats a Striker, LW, CDM.. replace the outs. In terms of the outs if we had a shot at Fabregas I’d sell Cazorla and bring him in.

    Ideal for me barring Cavani, Reus and Martinez whom are not likely to move and not attainable by Wenger imo.

    Benzema
    Di Maria
    Gustavo
    Sagna >> Piszczek
    Cazorla >> Fabregas
    Fabianski >> Many options.

  67. Bamford13

    Mayank

    “What’s funny is the same people who didn’t think we needed an AM as bad as a striker or a DM are who want Cazorla gone.”

    What’s funnier is that WE DID need a CF and DM more than a CAM last summer, we still have the very same needs this summer — and some people still don’t realize this!

    I swear to God some people are hopeless.

    I take it, Mayank, you regard a fourth place finish and an FA Cup victory as sign that signing a CAM — and not signing a quality CF or DM — was the right move. How ridiculous. Had we signed, say, Higuain and Gustavo — just for an example — not only would we have been just as well-positioned to win an FA Cup, there is simply no question we would’ve finished higher in the league and done better against the best sides. No question. The line-up below — note, without Ozil — is better than anything we saw this year:

    ____________Shez
    Sagna____Mer___Kos____Gibbs
    ___________Gustavo
    _______Ramsey___Jack
    Walcott___Higuain____Oxlade

    We didn’t really need a CAM, nor do we need one now. We need a class holding mid and CF.

    As for your lame “midfield destroyer” argument, no one is talking about such a player. We’re talking about an athletic holding mid who covers a lot of ground. Pretty much every top side in the world has such a player.

    We have Arteta.

    Q.E.D.

  68. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    Yeah I doubt Wenger has a game plan, so it’s just opportunistic deals basically a la Ozil. He sets up for games exactly the same, no reason to think he doesn’t do the same off the field.

    Fabregas is a possibility then, he may think £30 Million for Fabregas, that appeases the fans and he won’t get any flack then in September.

    All these people saying it’s Fabregas “OR” something else…just wrong, we have enough funds to do what we want this summer, well what Wenger wants; and there in lies the problem.

  69. Mayank

    Gambon

    Both Benteke and Carroll play for teams the hoof the ball forward. We only do that during goal-kicks.

    Giroud wins 56.52% of his duels
    Benteke 55.84%
    Carroll 57.08%

    Both Benteke and Carroll also have worse pass completion than Giroud. Who is poor to begin with.

  70. Emiratesstroller

    Radio Raheem

    Yes I made a comparison between Benzema and Giroud based on goalscoring stats and also the different circumstances that both players faced this season.

    Arsenal did not have options and were forced to play Giroud in most games whilst Real were not compelled to do so with Benzema. You could not also compare the goalscoring potential from other positions on field which were
    available to Real this season.

    As you correctly suggest Giroud played very well at international level for France and was rated their best player yesterday.

    As Pedro pointed out and I have expressed on a number of occasions in recent weeks there are very few strikers of world class at moment and most are unavailable. Costa for example had a good season but has never scored previously 20 goals.

    Players like Falcao and Soldado were highly rated last season and were frankly poor this year and players like Michu and Bentecke whom many posters wanted to see us buy have been out with injuries for most of this season.

  71. Bamford13

    Mayank

    Apologies for my snarky tone above. I need to learn to disagree without being unpleasant. But I do disagree. 🙂

  72. Mayank

    Bamford

    Signing Higuian and Gustavo instead of Ozil and Flamini would not have seen us win the PL.

    We finished 6 points better off than 12-13 with lesser goals scored. Would those two signings have made us 14 points better?

  73. BacaryisGone

    For those sweet, deluded dreamers out there, please understand one thing. Arsenal will NOT be spending £100 million on transfers this summer. First, there’s very little we will be able to recoup in sales. Second, it’s not Arsene’s way as we all know, and third the amount available includes wages. Let’s not forget that we’ve spent a boatload locking in most of our top players for the next 3-4 years.

    We have to assume that our net transfer fee spend this year will be in the region of £30-35 million, similar to last year. The money will go to the following areas:

    1) Back-up keeper: £2-4 million
    2) Right back: £6-8 million
    3) Centre or Multi-Purpose Forward: £10-15 million
    4) Defensive Midfielder: £15-20 million

    This puts us in the £33-47 million range. If we go higher, then expect someone to be sold, probably Podolski and then another less expensive wide player like Vela or Campbell to be drafted in. Vela and Fabregas may also lead to added income for us if they end up at other clubs.

    One way or another, there’s probably no room at the inn for Cesc however much the thought might appeal to us.

  74. ndbest

    if cesc eventually returns back, I believe he will do everything possible to prove barca wrong and he will never think of going back to barca

  75. Keyser

    WE – “Even if Hoffenheim have played a few cricket-score matches”

    Chamakh scored a couple of goals against Reading, mate, it’s Hoffenheim, their story is quite interesting, but the stats mean little when he’s playing for a middling team in the bundesliga.

    Hazard had won the league with Lille along with the Coupe de France, he was voted player of the year two seasons running, there is no comparison there, not sure where Marseille finished in their seasons with Nasri.

    “We don’t have a single young player who’s even come close to what Firmino’s done in the Bundesliga this season”

    “How are you not grasping that his stats are exceptionally high even taking into account his playing environment?”

    You’re actually going to stack his stats up against Ramsey’s ? Really ?

    “Of course I can but just as there is nothing to suggest he’d take the pressure in his stride here at Arsenal there is also nothing to suggest that he’d come over here and choke. Every BPL import carries the same risk.”

    This is the point, he’s young, inexperienced and plays for a middling Bundesliga team, there’s everything to suggest the move would be a step up for him, more games, higher frequency, greater pace and intensity, and no winter break, a higher level with greater pressure.

    Anyway back to the point, consider Firmino against Ramsey, and you can see with Ramsey how long it’s taken him, all the games and the errors to get to where he is now at least start to appreciate that.

  76. somecallmemystic

    I don’t know whether Cesc is worth £30m to Arsenal, but importantly would he strengthen another side if he went elsewhere.

    Unless Wenger is going to surprise us all and spend big on a striker, maybe stopping other teams strengthening is the next best option.

  77. kwik fit

    So Mourinho has lodged a 30m bid for ‘our’ cesc. Come on Arsene wipe that ballbag’s eye.

    ‘Fuck of Mourinho!!!

  78. N5

    “2 assisted by Ronaldo, 4 each Bale and Di Maria”

    So what’s your point Dale? if you were trying to discredit me saying Benzema can set up his own goal then all you have done is show that he sets up over 1/3 of them, so thanks.

  79. Niki B's Soldier

    If we buy Fabregas and play Ozil on the left, how the hell will they interchange when Cesc is not really good in wide positions? Ozil constantly wide is wasting a player. I wouldn’t buy Cesc unless he will play in the b2b role. Now there he would be deadly. But at the moment, St and DM is priority. Another option would be to switch to 4-4-1-1 with Ozil as Bergkamp and Balotelli as TH. Cesc in the middle with Ramsey but then you lose a true DM which means Cesc and Ramsey would have to run a lot and our full backs don’t venture forward as often.

  80. MidwestGun

    I refuse to believe there are zero strikers available in the whole world who are not better than Giroud that we can’t afford. That no striker in the box picture is bogus.
    What do we need a scout department for than?

  81. Cesc Appeal

    Losing out on Fabregas is fine, as long as we’re actually going big. If we end up with a RB, CDM and ST, maybe a wide man as well then fine. Still sucks to see him elsewhere in England if that’s the case.

    But we’ve yet to see Wenger in recent years enter a transfer window with any form of plan or more importantly control. He’s totally at the mercy of the forces out there and looks for opportunistic or bargain buys.

  82. gambon

    Mayank

    Villa don’t hoof it, they play fast counter attacking. Benteke is just much more mobile than le lamppost.

    As for pass completion, that tends to rise when playing for a better side.

  83. kwik fit

    After watching the Giroud Remy partnership last night I can’t help thinking about the Old Bergkamp Henry one two.

    Giroud bringing the ball down with a silky touch then a majestic turn and in a flash he crosses the ball to Remy
    And Remy… well he looks very like henry.

  84. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    Been highlighted a few times our scout department has gone off a cliff – but sort of fitting with a lot of the behind the scenes stuff. No evolution.

  85. N5

    Stroller the face you’ve compared Benzema to both Remy and Giroud and decided there is little difference says it all really, you obviously don’t like Benzema and won’t worry about facts.

    Benzema more consistant this year than ever, well this year he isn’t sharing with Gonzo, he is the first choice.

    Benzema scoring as many as Giroud. He is (as gambon said) supplying Ronaldo more than the other way around.

    Benzema losing France team place to Giroud. How important were the matches that this happened?

  86. Cesc Appeal

    Fabregas would be a great signing for Liverpool, much better use of that Lallana money if they could convince him. Fabregas serving Sterling, Suarez and Sturridge. Would be something to behold.

  87. salparadisenyc

    Kwik..
    Just to be clear, you used Giroud and majestic in the same sentence?

    Thats commitment.

  88. N5

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for signing Remy he’s not a bad player at all. It just feels a little underwhelming.

  89. salparadisenyc

    On another not… stunned were being linked to Balotelli in John Cross’s articles.
    Has the hack finally gone rogue?

  90. Inter YourGran

    Evening All 😀

    Is everyone still going on about Fabregas FFS 🙄 This saga is about as entertaining as painting your living room, watching it dry then deciding you need a second coat

    I don’t understand all the reasons to NOT take him back. Sure, it still rankles with some of us over certain aspects of the way he left but I understood it at the time. Barcelona were the best team on the planet, annihilating everyone.

    It hasn’t worked out for him there and i’d gladly take him back with open arms. He’s World class and not many players could leave with the majority of the fanbase now getting moist that he may return. He’s OUR prodigal son whatever way you want to look at it. What, you’d rather him playing against us for the mancs? behave!!!

    I’d have him back, give him the armband, the no.4 and if it upsets some of you, well bullox. I want Arsenal to have the best players, who want to be here and i want us to win the biggest prizes. Lets be honest, if they want rid, the only way he’s going to go anywhere else is if we turn our nose up at him (yes, i’ve read the shit in the papers) and I can’t see that happening.

    As far as accommodation goes; Kallstrom’s gone, diaby cannot be relied upon, rosicky and arteta are squad options at their age and flamini is another who isn’t a starter so i don’t get the overloading comments. There may be issues with how Wilshere gets a look in but its up to him to make the strides in his development as a player. He doesn’t automatically warrant a place in the starting 11 based on sentiment or attachment if everyone’s fit at the moment anyway.

    Moving on….

    I understand the reservations about Balotelli but i reckon some are freaking out because of previous. He’s still only 23 and has matured somewhat. I’m no adverse to having a bit of a maverick and his international record is exemplary in regards to attitude. He’s a top class striker with 30 goals in 54 games and those who say wenger cant tame him… Nah we never had vieira, henry, lauren, adams, keown, merson, van persie or nasri, that was just my imagination then. If we can get the best out of him it’ll be a masterstroke and if it goes tits up Balotelli will forever be a journeyman and never realize his full potential, but we’ll recoup what we spend so, it’s a no brainer for me.

    I don’t rate benzema, nor mandzukic or rodrigo, jackson martinez neither… Lukaku might be worth a punt, but i’d steer clear of benteke. As pedro said, not many out there and i’m all about quality and not being touchy feely that certain players might not upset squad harmony. It’s about winning and this is top level sport, not a holiday camp or team bonding excursion.

    If i was wenger i’d go straight in;

    GK 0-6m
    Aurier (rb) 7m
    Schar (Cb) 10m
    schneiderlin (dm) 15m
    Fabregas (cm) 30m
    remy (lwf/St) 8m
    Balotelli (st) 25m

    How is everyone anyway? Been a while? You see Froch’s cobra strike finish on Groves? Nawty 😆

  91. Dissenter

    Our transfer department is moribund.
    Liverpool and Dortmund had identified their targets from the get-go.
    That’s why Dortmund can get Immoble for a cheap price and I’ll bet a low wage.
    Liverpool have already signed the reinforcement for the attacking line and are trying to add on to the CAM options with Lallana.
    Why is it so hard for Arsenal to make signings?
    Why wait for the world cup when the players profile might have taken off.

  92. MidwestGun

    Kwik –
    Lol. Ummm Paraguay is number 59 in the world and Norway 57. Giroud does have a nice flick on. Lol. But let’s not get crazy bout a friendly. Nice enthusiasm tho, very poetic.

  93. Mayank

    Gambon

    Villa may not hoof it but they direct it towards Benteke much more than we do. And anyway you point was that Giroud is poor in the air. Well he wins his aerial duels at a better rate than Benteke. Sure Benteke contests more duels but that is down to his teammates.

    Even the biggest Giroud hater will look at his numbers and concede that he’s good in the air. I can’t understand your reluctance.

    Also the point about passing was that they’re all poor at passing not that Giroud is better.

  94. Cesc Appeal

    N5

    I think Remy is fine, as another “choice” player. 1st Choice ST, Giroud and Remy is a good strike force as long as we get the first choice buy right.

    Giroud, Remy and Sanogo doesn’t fill me with any confidence. Still, better than what we’ve suffered this season – but not really inspiring.

    I just want for once a clear, concise plan from Wenger this window. That’s why I hope Aurier saying he’s going to Arsenal plays out, because it means we’re quietly getting on with business behind the scenes. Pedro alluded to some deals going on but then never really said anything else. Sort of teased everyone with a deal that would shock everybody in it’s size and then nothing was said again.

  95. Cesc Appeal

    kempster

    I did say in the season I thought Liverpool could do with a CAM with slightly more about him. I like Coutinho a lot, but he’s a little dainty I feel, tiny, tiny bloke and almost becomes more wide man than CAM.

    Controversial, but Barkley would be perfect for Liverpool. But then so would Fabregas. If it’s a choice between £25 Million for Lallana, and £30 Million for Fabregas it’s surely a no brainer isn’t it?

  96. Wallace

    yeah, for 10m Remy would certainly increase the variety up top. wouldn’t be a spectacular signing, but i can live with that.

  97. MidwestGun

    I think , after last nights show,I’ve fallen for the big guy 

    _____________
    That’s what she said! Bang! Lol.
    No celebration out of respect. Had to do it. Tap in goals my specialty.

  98. Wallace

    also, if we do sign Remy i can’t see us buying another forward, and i think it will mean that Wenger intends to continue pushing Sanogo.

  99. Inter YourGran

    MWG – Just imagine the songs we could sing for balotelli 😆 Infact lets start making some up!

  100. Niki B's Soldier

    Wenger likes projects. And Mario is definitely a project. So I see Wenger going for him if he’s available. And if Wenger can curb his attitude (which at 24 is possible) he can be massive for us.

  101. Bamford13

    Mayank

    “Signing Higuian and Gustavo instead of Ozil and Flamini would not have seen us win the PL. ”

    I didn’t say it would. I said we would’ve been a better side than we were — and we would have been — and would’ve finished higher than fourth and done better against City, Chelsea and United.

  102. Cesc Appeal

    Sanogo has to go on loan, he looks…alright-ish. Tries hard, and has balls no doubt. But he didn’t score a single goal, and only a couple of occasions did he look likely. I think he may have looked better because he’s got a bit of pace about him when compared to the ONLY OTHER striker we have. Might be a bit deceptive.

    Remy as our only striker signing would be seriously underwhelming. I like him, but as George Graham said our strike force is an “embarrassment.” Needs huge work, a £10 Million, “okay” type of player is not going to cure that.

  103. BacaryisGone

    Fabregas to Chelsea would be the worst outcome of all. He would be perfect for them and if Costa is upfront, they could win the league comfortably next season.

    Courtois
    Ivanovic-Cahill-Terry-Azpilicueta
    Matic-Ramires
    Willian-Fabregas-Hazard
    Costa

    Maybe Willian and Hazard won’t provide much protection for their full-backs but will they even need to with that attack? Basically, they’ll have traded David Luiz and £14 million for Costa and Fabregas.

    Arsenal will need to have a very, very good summer in the transfer window to keep pace.

  104. N5

    Cesc, that was my thoughts exactly, if Remy was brought in to compliment a marquee forward signing then I’m all for that, but I fear Remy is Wengers idea of the real deal and would be the only person coming in. Considering we got rid of NB and Park there is more than enough space to add more and Sanogo should be out on loan, so L’Oreal, Remy and […] would be fine.

  105. F4phantomphreak

    Here is your argument about Cesc, he’s good! End of argument, good enough for me and should be good enough for you! I guess you’d rather see him lace them up for united or city or God forbid Chelski?? As for me I’ll take Fabs back all day long baby, all day!

  106. Keyser

    What about Fabregas to Tottenham, especially if you believe the stories about Wenger refusing the option to buy him back because of the bust-up they had before he left.

    Sandro – Capoue

    Lamela – Fabregas – Eriksen

    Ballotelli

  107. Bamford13

    Nik B

    “Only thing better there is Gustavo and to a point Higuain. I doubt that Jack and Ramsey would create enough for the Hig to score.”

    First, Higuain is twice the striker Giroud is, so he would’ve been much better for us this year, not better “to a point”. Higuain can beat players off of the dribble, can get in behind defenses, can score from 18 yards out, can play in combination and can finish in the box. Giroud can only do the latter two things.

    As for Ramsey and Jack, of course they could create as much as Ramsey and Ozil. With Gustavo behind them, both would be free to attack at will. Both are creative. Both are good passers. Ozil is great, but he doesn’t beat people off the dribble that much. He creates through combination play. Ramsey and Jack — working with a mobile front three of Walcott, Higuain and Ox — would’ve created plenty.

    If you really want to shut down a midfield creativity’s, on the other hand, insert Giroud up top as their CF. Giroud reduces what our midfield can create far more than replacing Ozil with Ramsey or Cazorla ever would.