Did Arsene already sign his 20+ PL goals striker?

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Most of us feel Arsene needs to add another multi goal scoring attacker this summer. For many this should be a so-called Super Quality attacker in the mould of Suarez, Rooney or Lewandowski, etc. Although I would welcome such an addition with open arms, it is far less of a priority for me than getting a solid DM who can play a bit of footie as well.

However, I do believe we need to add another attacker who is capable of scoring between 10 and 15 PL goals a season, depending on the number of appearances. I wrote a post not that long ago stating that Podolski, Giroud, Cazorla and Theo are likely to improve their collective PL goals tally significantly this season.

Out of these four attackers, I reckon Theo will make the biggest jump forward.

He will probably always remain a player who will follow great football games with anonymous ones, and he will equally frustrate and delight at times. But he will deliver on the bread and butter stuff for attackers: assists and goals – and not just in the smaller games, but in the big ones too.

I have a feeling that Arsenal will play much more to the strength of Theo this season. During preseason, and there were also glimpses of this in our last two competitive games, Arsenal have been much better in quick defence-to-attack switchovers. The likes of Wilshere, Rosicky and Ramsey have been clearly instructed to play the long ball over the top, or through-balls into space, in order to launch our wingers; and Gnabry, Ox and Theo have been making fine runs to receive these. Especially Theo has benefited from this, and I am positive it will become the catalyst for him to start scoring in the region of 20+ PL goals this season.

Instead of competing with Giroud for the central striker position, he seems to accept now that a free role on the wing – with a continuous licence to move into the middle – is really ideal for him. Giroud is happy to do all the hard work in the middle and not be the main attacking threat, as Arsenal like to spread out the responsibility for scoring goals between all attackers – something we should welcome very much.

Walcott is an instinctive and confident striker who does not over-think or over-execute his moves, passes or attempts on goal. At times, this will make us annoyed as it feels like Theo is not making enough effort or is even flippant, but we should remember that this is just his style; and it is also the reason why he has always been able to score against the biggest teams, despite being very young (still). He knows no nerves and is very goal focused. Theo does not only have a cool head in front of goal as well as great speed, he also has a very good first touch, which is a priceless attribute combined with speed.

Theo scored eight goals and produced eight assists in 35 PL games two seasons ago, and last year he made a significant step forward with 14 PL goals and ten assists in 32 games (despite not starting quite a few). He is still only 24 and there is much more to come from him, and I am confident he can improve with the same margin of PL goals as he did between 2012 and 2013 again (six), this season.

Therefore 20 PL goals or more is very much feasible, as long as he stays fit of course. It could turn out that Arsene already made his best signing in our attack, back in January this year.

Such is my confidence that Theo will become the main PL goal scorer for us (although Giroud will not be much behind him this season), that I believe Arsenal could do well even without the addition of a super quality striker.

I also remain convinced Arsene will actually not go for a super quality striker but for a good, ideally PL-experienced one instead, as to add strength in depth. Victory through harmoniously spreading the goals between the attackers and rest of the team is the way forward. And yet, I expect Theo to move himself to new heights this season and grow into a 20+ PL goals striker.

But, as always, I am looking forward to hearing your views. 🙂

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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160 Responses to Did Arsene already sign his 20+ PL goals striker?

  1. TypicalAngryFan says:

    Yeah but we still need that striker with the lethal edge to get that all important winning goal in the tight games. Van Persie has. Suarez has it. Ronaldo has it. Giroud and co I’m not so sure.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    The risk of that is we become too dependent again on that striker, and therefore far too one-dimensional. We have attackers who can deliver in those games, but it is usually our defence/defensive play that lets us down.

  3. I agree, but I believe a team only start’s to become too dependent on their main striker if they are not top quality themselves.

  4. Highbury Harmony says:

    Marcus, top quality post and I largely agree with most of what you have written.

    I absolutely echo your thoughts that Theo is capable of 20+ goals so long as he shoots the ball more (I wrote an article about this :)) and that if he would just focus on playing at RW, the chances would come. We’ve seen AW adapt the offense to get the best use out of pace and darting runs down the right flank, so it’s only a matter of time before he finds his shooting boots and nets a few. Fortunately, this change in game plan has settled him down and he looks more willing to stay out wide on a consistent basis.

    What concerns me about Theo is not his pace, scoring ability or first touch; it’s his second and third touches or when he tries to dribble the ball in general. It often looks like his feet are moving faster than his brain and he tends to lose the ball in frustratingly close situations in our build-up play. However, as you aptly noted, he is also capable of changing the game in one quick moment with a composed finish or with a brilliant selfless pass for an assist. It’s just the type of player he is and it’s goals and assists that will win us games at the end of the day – not necessarily a player that can dribble around numerous opponents etc.

    Theo shifting to a free role on the wing can become dangerous to our set-up. I say this because Santi already plays in a free role on the other flank. If both wingers are playing free roles, it absolutely means that our ST needs to be more mobile and fluid in order to fill the spaces that they leave from. Better defences will key in and just clog the middle (which they do on most days) leaving us with little creativity to move the ball out wide to create scoring opportunities. When our fullbacks do cross the ball, our players outside of OG are normally not in the box and the strategy soon becomes one of beating a dead horse.

    Thus, it becomes paramount for AW to find a possession type winger that has the ability carry the ball down the flanks and beat multiple opponents to complement the free roles of Theo/Santi. Ox was looking likely to take over this role but he will unfortunately be injured for an extensive period of time.

  5. Milo says:

    I still think that if Theo were to be more consistent, I could live without the 20 plus premier league goals!!! That would be the biggest and best step Theo could ever make. He does everything at such speed though, that I question whether he will ever have a more consistent first touch. That in particular is the thing he needs to be more consistent with; his first touch. He has improved his hold up play and passing immensely, and I would think improving his first touch would be EASIER to fix than his passing and his hold up play. Maybe I’m being too picky, or am just plain wrong, but SOMETHING is holding him back from being an elite, I mean Henry like player for us, don’t you think???

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    Total, very good post, as per usual, and my quibbles are minor…

    First off, for his sake and the team’s, Theo needs to stay fit. He’s quick but he’s also small and I worry about a galoot taking him out. I guess the two shoulder injuries were bound to occur and maybe just getting them done and out of the way plus now knowing who’s who in the league (it’s called experience…) could mean that this guy we got so young could maybe turn out to be a late bloomer…

    I think some people would argue about his first touch. More than it being “good” it tends to be decisive and daring. Many times it doesn’t come off, but when it does it feels like a chance is in the works. If he had other more mobile forwards attuned to those touches we might not be quite so reliant on his 2nd, 3rd and 4th touch…Too often it’s only Theo on the break, which can lead to…Break Down… This is why the link to Benzema (a very unlikely signing, as all of them are, I fear…) feels exciting to me…He can move! Likewise, if we could’ve figured a way (or had the will…) to hang onto RvP, it would all be to Theo’s benefit…

    Finally, just as Giroud has created understanding with our MFs and gotten pretty good at 1-2s with his left foot, I’d like to see Theo do likewise with his right. I think we suffer in this regard because Wilshere is a work in progress and clearly uncomfortable the further out to the right he ventures. Ramsey’s ball (across his body with his right foot) to set up the first goal in Turkey should be bread and butter for whoever plays as our #10. With left footer Jack in that spot, it’s a much tougher play. So, I guess I’m agreed that bolstering our MF might be the better ticket (more value for money…) while letting Theo get his shots and drives into the box…

    Finally, the cynic in me will argue that one element of Bale’s game that makes him a 100 Euro guy which is missing from Theo’s is the diving…In England, it’s frowned upon, severely if we’re victimized (victimised?) by it…In Spain it’s part and parcel and as much of an art as the matador with his cape…Do we long for Suarez and Rooney (Benzema, Di Maria, etc., etc., etc.,) partly because they understand and work the dance of the referee? You tell me…

    Overall, I think getting Theo to re-up in January was a big deal to stop the exodus of players from the squad. Despite all the club, media and blog fueled hysteria for signings, keeping our better players is a huge thing. My understanding, however, is that “Da Ting Dat Got Signed” wasn’t a particularly long-term nor blockbuster deal. If he performs to your expectations we should expect another go round sooner than later…For now he’s ours, for better (we pray…) or for worse…

  7. 17highburyterrace says:

    HH, the post was from Total, not Marcus…(Where are you Marcus, and the other African, KG?)

    #2, my post is longer than yours :sticking out tongue guy: 😆

  8. 17highburyterrace says:

    HH, good point about the free role vs staying on the touchline…

    I really enjoyed those situations where he and Gerv would switch sides. Too bad the latter never got over being Joey Bartoned in his debut match and then had to deal with hostile crowds–home and away! I’m not sure Rome will be much easier, but I wish him well…

    We are an attacker short with Ox sidelined, that’s for sure… (Any take on reported inquiries for Diego Capel?…)

  9. Highbury Harmony says:

    My apologies TA, for some reason I thought you had said Marcus was writing today’s post at the tail end of the comment section for yesterday. Thanks for point that out 17ht.

    17ht, there’s nothing really new on anyone aside from Flamini. Can you imagine the anarchy if AW promises that signings will be made and the TW starts now, yet he only walks away with Flamini and Sanogo??

  10. Highbury Harmony says:

    And yes, I believe we need to offset a free role winger with a more dedicated one UNLESS we get a more mobile/fluid striker up front to compensate for having two free role wingers. Having two free role wingers more or less takes OG out of the game since we aren’t playing to his strengths of aerial ability and slipping through defenses unnoticed to poach goals.

    As we saw from yesterday’s game, he was more or less invisible when played with two free role wingers. However, last Saturday he was able to get on the board because of Ox’s play down the flank as a more dedicated type winger.

  11. OzGoonerGuy says:

    For me, the critical thing is for Arsenel to have addressed some particularly serious problems by the end of the transfer window:

    1. The striking problem discussed here.

    2. The keeping problem and the need for an experienced keeper for many reasons.

    3. Reinforcement for the defense – a mobile versatile defender. Vermaelen is a big worry for me. I think through injury, he’s lost his leap. Only won 51% of aerial challenges last season. That’s not the TV5 of a couple of seasons prior. In trying compensate, we’ve seen his positional play suffer.

    4. DM steel.

    5. What is the point of Lukas Podolski. I’m sorry, but I just don’t understand what is going on here. And quite possibly Lukas doesn’t either. What ever the intention to utilise his skill, and I hope to God there is one, we need him to be a consistent attacking threat. Otherwise there is no point.

  12. VCC says:

    Nice one Totes.
    I have always liked Theo. Even when he is having an off day, he occupies the thoughts and attention of at least two defenders. His pace puts fear into the opposition.

    But……I still want that star centre forward. Giroud is not the answer for me. He cannot hold up the ball, has no pace and not clinical in front of goal. A good back up player at best, IMO.

    With the window coming to an end we have missed the boat slightly with SQ choices.

    Get Lewanowski and DiMaria.

    If we don’t get reinforcements this window, St.Totteringhams day may be a thing of the past.

  13. Macko says:

    Hello friends, I’m like VCC, Iam a fan of Theo. Since its first time he wants to play in the center where it would be effective. We all want new killer for conccurents of our super Giroud 😉
    But for me the future star of is already in the walls of Arsenal This is Chuppa AKPOM it has outstanding ease in penalty area and it is very accurate and more with its proper gabari he will do very badly.
    Now have to see just how Arsene has put age to play with the first team, let’s not forget that Theo has begun to 16 years old in the first team 😉
    Go Gunners

  14. Gerry says:

    TA – Optimistic post, bar the negative background persisting? Have you made a deal with yourself that the background stays until Wenger signs a couple of SQ players? 🙄

    I have to say I tend to agree with HH here, following comments yesterday, by himself and others. In the game on Wednesday(still not seen it, but from sound commentary) he had more space to run into, even if he did not make a full effort to get to some balls played into said spaces?

    Against Villa, and almost every other PTB team we played, that area is denied to him, and then he becomes more of an appendage out wide, and like the appendix it is neither use nor ornament. Sadly, this is where the OX has the edge over him, despite the 5 years of experience Theo has over him?

    But that does not mean we should dump him. It means doing something AW seems reluctant to do, play tactics according to the opposition. In an ideal world we would have players available who have better close control who can get beyond the defender, or at least draw them away to leave the space that an overlapping fullback to run into. This would allow a more creative player to be used, and then bring Theo off the bench when defenders are not quite as quick to close down?

    We are not in an ideal world. So using Theo against such tactics probably means us being able to counter counter-attacks. in other words, when the PTB teams more forward on the attack, we not only need to defend successfully, but also we need to switch the play quickly to attack, but do it in a smart way. No good the GK lobbing it up over the half way line, as any single defender will always out-head Theo, and I am not sure we have a GK with the ability to drop it into the space, with enough backspin on the ball that he can pick up and go without breaking stride?
    Instead, we should have a midfielder who is capable of receiving the ball deep, preferably on the left, and either play the long cross-field pass into the space for Theo to run on to, hopefully, one on one with the keeper, or take the ball at speed and link with Theo before they can recover. Alas, Santi is rarely that deep, nor as quick as Rosicky?
    If we get the right players in, then he may well get his 20+ goals? 😀

    I have hit the transfer mute button, so no comment on the latter point 😆

    I hope the appropriate smileys appear, if not 😥

  15. Gerry says:

    Something else that HH said yesterday which reminded me of something a dog warden said to me regarding dog poo. In particular, dog poo outside my garden gate not done by my dogs. He said it was probably because of my dogs in the garden 🙄
    Naturally I was annoyed this, as surely it is other dog owners not picking it up was why it was there? 👿

    This relates to the sentence ‘… having Giroud as our striker means we play balls into the box when noone is there’ 😮

    Now I know you were making a broader point on our style of play, but to imply that it is Giroud as our striker = nobody else in the box, is as above. If nobody has made a forward run to get in the box expecting a cross then 😕 And there is nothing to stop balls being played along the ground, even if it means cutting back to somebody outside of the box?

    But we agree, if Giroud play ST, we need a decent SS who will be there to either score or create space for others. So no argument there. 🙂

  16. Fozzie B says:

    Morning Team Brokeback BKers 🙂

    Excellent and timely post Totes!! I agree this year should hopefully be Theo’s breakout year where he steps up and stays up to and maintains around the 20+ bracket.

    As you have all mentioned, his ball control does let him down at times and as you’ve all mentioned the main reason is he travelling so dam fast his brain can’t coordinate it all sometimes!! Then he looks like he’s falling over himself but sometimes the impetus is enough to get over the line when he’s central or he gets closed down by defenders and Goalies. So for me the more he stays wide the better so he doesn’t lose the ball. Unless he has aches of space like with the fast breaks you mentioned Totes where his fist few touches aren’t quite as crucial.

    I agree there are too many “hail Mary” crosses into the box hoping for Giroud to latch on to them, which is fine in principle, but the success ratio has to be one of the lowest ever right? I think the team have definitely worked on set pieces and corners so not mocking that but in free play I would really prefer they held onto the ball more and drove into the box.

    That way they would give time for everyone to get forward for a short chip pass or quick wengerball passes around the penalty area. If we get someone like D’Maria then Giroud would finally get better service but it shouldn’t be plan A for my liking, but a plan B.

    Certainly hope we get our fluid ball playing Striker we crave, if not this window, maybe January? I can’t see Benzema happening after Higgy went as well, so will not get my hopes up on that one. It will pain me to see how Jovetic develops this year at Man U.

    Catch you guys later!! (:D)

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    HH 🙂

    It does look like a Marcus post, doesn’t it? hahaha 🙂

    Excellent comment and all agreed. Your observation about his follow-up touches is correct albeit a bit harsh in my view. He sometimes lets himself down with his touch but is improving on this continuously. Agreed on the dribbling and this is just not his strength. And yes we do need to replace Gervinho to have a proper winger in our squad. Ox will be out for a while and Gnabry could take his place, but we might see a signing here (or not… 😦 ).

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Ciaran 🙂

    ‘I agree, but I believe a team only start’s to become too dependent on their main striker if they are not top quality themselves.’

    Excellent observation. I would like to add that the real quality in a team might not come to the surface as long as it makes itself dependent on the one top-striker.

  19. Fozzie B says:

    *acres of space

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Milo

    His first touch is very, very good; especially at speed/of the ground so we have to agree to disagree here. 🙂

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Fozzie 🙂

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    17HT,

    Very fine comment. 🙂

    I don’t agree with: ‘Likewise, if we could’ve figured a way (or had the will…) to hang onto RvP, it would all be to Theo’s benefit…’

    I reckon Giroud replacing van Judas was a very good thing for Theo personally. OG is a team striker – with limitations, I admit – and the traitor sucked all attacking play towards him. OG, inadvertently to some extent, allows Theo to develop his allround attacking skills and that’s why his stats have seen such an improvement last season.

  23. njstone9 says:

    Slightly off-topic but Brendon Rogers said today that Willian had turned down a move to them for “non-footballing reasons.”

    What did he mean by that? Salary?

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Interesting point about the diving, 17…. It fits with jgc vision of a true mongrel in our team…. maybe it is time to write another fine post…. or is there a writing taboo in lake Tahoe? 😉

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    njstone9 – good question – maybe London is more attractive to him hahaha 🙂

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    OzGoonerguy 🙂

    Great analytical comment. It looks to me you have blog-writer potential, and if you feel like, you really should have a go!

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC 🙂 agreed on OG’s hold up play – with his size and energy he should be doing better.

    St T day is eternal my friend! 😉

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry 🙂

    ‘But that does not mean we should dump him’ hahahaha 😆

    He is the first on the team sheet in attack right now.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Fozzie 🙂

    Fine comment and agreed about keeping the ball low and drive into the box rather than playing hopefuls towards OG. If we get an attacking, nr10-like, shadow striker, it could become very different though. But for that, like you point out, better service into the box is required.

  30. macko says:

    the problem of Giroud is that it lack of Technical ball at his feet.
    He often plays back to goal and has trouble to get back into the sense of purpose, on some of well-served or some bullets at pivot it is efficasse passes.
    On a match like in Turkey it makes a maximum of bullet the opponent ….
    My opinion is that it should work on his phisique conditions and be sharpened to gain in vitality, it should have a healthy competition with the arrival of a new striker;)

  31. Fozzie B says:

    Yes Totes, I agree … a shadow striker and a decent classical winger could finally give us the completeness up the front for tika taka and fast break crossballs … that truly is a mouthwatering prospect. What a balanced attack it would be!! Benzema and D’Maria already know each other like the back of their hands … I guess one will be moving with the arrival of Bale but 2? The instant chemistry they could bring to the team is scary! 🙂

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Macko 🙂

    Thanks for some fine comments over the last few days and well done for not giving up!

    Giroud needs to develop further but he will come good. His work rate and positioning is very, very important for this team. But yes he does need to work on his physical presence and ability to shield the ball, which should come natural to him.

    His second seasons at a new club have been better than his first season so we should see improvement once more. I am counting on 15-18 PL goals from the Frenchman, but he needs a meaner haircut hahaha 🙂

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Fozzie, and yet their arrival would be hardly a twitch in Glic’s hampton hahaha 🙂

  34. Fozzie B says:

    I agree on the OG front .. he will score a bundle for us this year. And how refreshing to have a striker who truly is a team player. He gives 100% and his attitude makes up for a lot of his technical deficiencies. I think he will get technically better too this year though. Yeah it summertime, he should get the razor out and go for the mean look for a bit! He can grow it back in the Winter!! 🙂

  35. Fozzie B says:

    Lol Totes!!…. no BOOOING factor there for Glic … we better not tell Glic that Wengers trolley dash looks more like a caravan dash. It will finish the poor man off!! 🙂 🙂

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Yep Fozzie, soon he will only have an inner-hampton hahaha 😛

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Fozzie, I reckon OzG should do a bit of photo-shopping and turn our soft looking OG into a mean fighting machine. 🙂

  38. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Fine post TA.

    We all know Theo is a very nice boy who loves his mum, but now he is also an excellent footballer.

    Ironic that one of the things he was questioned on was “footballing brain” when now he his movement and timing of runs is exquisite.

    For me, not yet a striker TA, but as a right sided forward is there better in the premier league? i don’t think so

    Expanding the debate further, Theo, Ramsey, and Gibbs improvement is justification of Arsene Wenger and the Clubs plan to build a team from within. Once Jack, Ox, and Jenks start there advancement we will have an excellent core

    I defend Arsene Wenger not because i am a Homosexual who has the hots for him, though he cuts a very dashing figure, but rather the plan to build a team to compete with our main rivals will require an edge and the spirit he is trying to endear will give us that edge.

    All teams from Barnet to Arsenal need to be active in the transfer market. it is a vital ingredient to be successful. I, like everyone else have been disappointed so far, but we must give Arsene and the Board the benefit of the doubt. We are trying to procure top class players that will fit in and add the missing ingredients.

    Some of the comments regarding Arsenal and Arsenes transfer policy in the last few weeks has in my opinion been naive, striking of immaturity and at times distasteful. I will have no truck in this childish nonsense. If people do not like my comments, then that is there problem not mine

    The simple fact is that Arsene and the Club are attempting to develop a side that will not only enable us to compete, but also give us an advantage by restoring some of the lost identity and club camaraderie lost from the stadium move.

    We will be back fighting for the top honours sooner than some people think.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Fine comment Terry and you really should put your thoughts into a post for the site – in order to get a bit of balance.

    I remain very disappointment in the club’s inability to pounce on its strategic advantage this summer. However, I agree that some vitriol towards our manager has been uncalled for.

  40. Dylan says:

    Great post TA. 🙂 I agree, Theo will take a huge step forward this year AND plays his best on the wing. Although, I noticed that most of our attacks in Turkey went down the right through Theo because Santi was playing left wing, but wasn’t actually on the left wing. And when attacks went down the left, it was through Gibbs. And Gibbo’s crossing isn’t the best. If we can get him to improve his crossing this system might continue to work, but I feel like we struggled against big teams last year because they just had to close down the right hand side and our attacking threat was limited.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent points, Dylan. We do need a proper winger to help us add another dimension to our attack, especially now that the Gerv has found his way to Rome.

    Btw you have mail! 🙂

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Henry……17HT…..Rocky…….007…..OZ…..Dylan…..Prince: kind reminder of VCC’s need to get your predictions in today. 🙂

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Out for a bit, catch you later.

  44. James Bond says:

    nice one, TA

    yes, Theo is the most likely to do score us 20-25 this season…considering he was the highest scoring Englishman last season (correct me , if i’m wrong ?) , i think it’s a very realistic target…

    Wingers normally start peaking at 23-24 going by my very limited knowledge and experience….e.g. Ronaldo scored 24 when he was 24 and sold by Man utd ? Bale also scored 24 when sold (i’m assuming it’s done)…, so going by that and Theo’s performances last season, there is reason to be very optimistic and expect big things from Theo to deliver the goods this season.

    all signs are looking good and what i like the most about him is that he is not a flat track bully, he delivers the goods in big matches and against top oppositions , my only worry is that he doesn’t do it consistently enough – this is the area where he needs to deliver and everything else will take care of it self.

    with the imminent departure of Bale on the horizon, i reckon Theo has all the ingredients to set the PL alight with his dazzling performances – Nevas will give him a good run for his money though

    while we’re at it, he needs to work that much harder on his set pieces/Fk’s/corners though, this is one area where Bale has been plenty better than Theo.

  45. James Bond says:

    will do boss (TA) @ the predictions reminder…

    right then,

    apparently we made a record breaking bid last night, it was submitted to RM and no, not for Benzema, yep it’s for the chap from Argentina – Di Maria

    contrary to popular belief, there is no need for us to let Poldi go, people are forgetting that we got rid of the likes of Arshavin, Gervinho (both wingers) , it’s only prudent that we get one in considering we have lost the OX until XMAS, to beef up our options…

    Poldi gives us options up front and one of those might be on display tomorrow when he starts up front and Giroud is benched ?

  46. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gerry, the point is that because we have a striker like OG with good aerial presence, our strategy has been changed to incorporate him. It’s not OG’s fault that they cross the ball into the box when no one is there, but it is his fault that he’s not the proper type of ST to allow us to play Wengerball.

    Unfortunately, there’s nothing he can do to change his ball skills or physical makeup at this point so we have to try and figure out a way to become more effective with our crosses and the number of players in the box (unless we buy a new mobile ST).

  47. henrychan says:

    TA.. If only Wenger signed Bony.. then no more talking about Striker.. hahaha..

    VCC.. sorry guys..
    My prediction for this week:
    Arsenal.. Norwich.. and City away win..
    Liverpool.. Chelsea.. away draw.. haha..

  48. James Bond says:

    njstone9.

    non – footballing reasons = no Champions league, no Europa league.

    don’t believe a word that comes out of that frog’s mouth.

    i’m well chuffed Will-am-i has not joined LiverFOOL – just goes to show that they will remain a mid table team and finish below Everton , 3rd season in a row.

    some serious food for thought for Suarez, i reckon.

  49. AFC says:

    Mourinho has said Willian will most likely join Chelsea. Mata now available?!

  50. James Bond says:

    Willian has already joined Chelsea @ AFC.

    deal done.

  51. VCC says:

    cheers Henry. your odds are 98-1
    can I just say there is a dedicated page for the UMF predictions. See top of page. Cheers Henry.

  52. AFC says:

    JB, it’s clear Mourinho wants the players in the ‘3’ behind the ST to have pace. Mata will not be a regular starter. I say we in for him, we might be able to get him on the cheap for around 25 million.

  53. Highbury Harmony says:

    At least now another EPL club knows what it feels like to get hijacked by Chelsea after a signing was all but completed.

  54. AFC says:

    HH, I’d take Mata anyday. Podolski out with Di Maria coming in. Fab out with new GK in. Mata instead of Flamini with Jack moving to the b2b role. DM, DF, ST signed. We’re set for years.

  55. AFC says:

    4 new players and 2 upgrades.

  56. Dylan says:

    If we can get Mata in we’d be in great shape.

  57. James Bond says:

    Mata for Rooney sounds like a no brainer to me @ AFC.

    too right @ HH

  58. AFC says:

    Dylan, surely we could get him for around 25-30 million.

  59. AFC says:

    JB, if we act fast we might be able to get him before a swap deal happens.

  60. James Bond says:

    AFC,

    if, Cesc is coming to the Emirates, then would you still want us to move for Mata ? : ) : )

  61. AFC says:

    JB, we can’t be sure Cesc will come back.

  62. James Bond says:

    besides, he went for more money to chelsea – what makes you think that AW would go back for him ?

    imagine being stabbed in the back when you least expect it.

  63. AFC says:

    JB, forgive and forget.

    United want to hang on to Rooney and I doubt he will be leaving. Mata would become the conductor in behind the ST for us. He woulf be a long term replacement for Rosicky. I would offer 25 mill, if Chelsea say no, raise it to 25 mill, if Chelsea still say no just move on. No harm in trying.

  64. AFC says:

    JB, forgive and forget.

    United want to hang on to Rooney and I doubt he will be leaving. Mata would become the conductor in behind the ST for us. He would be a long term replacement for Rosicky. I would offer 25 mill, if Chelsea say no, raise it to 30 mill, if Chelsea still say no just move on. No harm in trying.

  65. James Bond says:

    let’s put it this way,

    do UTD need a MF (creative) more than Chelsea need a striker ?

    there lies your answer.

    win win for both really, actually win win more so for Man UTD.

    however, Mata could still stay at Chelsea –

    and Rooney could still leave man utd NOT for chelsea.

    such is the beauty of the terror window

  66. AFC says:

    JB, your probably right but let’s at least try. Get the likes of Monreal, Arteta and Cazorla to talk to him and see if he would be open to a move.

  67. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, you just asked management to do two things they never will – act fast and try and go for a top player that will cost more than our extinct valuations.

  68. James Bond says:

    course no harm in trying @ AFC

    but let’s break this down…

    Mata = 30 million + 3 to 5 million signing on fee to him and his agent = 35 million the whole deal

    then we want Di Maria = 23-27 million + 3 million signing on fee to him and his agent = 30 million

    we want a top striker Benzema / Suarez = 40 to 50 million plus 5 million on signing at least up front to the player/agent = 55 million

    i’m not going to mention the add-ons.

    do you see where i am going with this ?

    in the eternal words of Arsene Wenger “we have money, but we don’t have as much money as people are quoting”.

  69. AFC says:

    HH, if we’re going to spend big on the likes of Di Maria and Benzema why can’t we get Mata. Surely we could offer 25-30 mill for him. Chelsea didn’t even need Willian but they went and got him because he is a top quality player who was available.

  70. Highbury Harmony says:

    AFC, who said we’re actually going to spend big on Di Maria and Benzema? It could just be media hype! Let’s wait and see what happens…at this point it doesn’t look like much 😦

  71. James Bond says:

    *add-on’s and wages

  72. James Bond says:

    HH , is spot on there, for now there is only one bid for Di Maria (apparently), Benzema is all a bit of this and that – could change soon though.

  73. AFC says:

    JB, I’d rather we over spend. We may have to spend an extra 30 million this TW but we will be getting a SQ AM (an opportunity that might not come along again. Our options could be:

    ST- Benzema, Giroud
    ‘3’ behind ST- Ox, Santi, Theo, Mata, Rosicky, Di Maria
    double DM pivot- Jack, Ramsey, Arteta, new DM.

    Best midfield in the EPL and would be on par with the likes Bayern.

  74. James Bond says:

    AFC,

    chelsea have not needed a lot of players over the years. however, they have an obsessed owner, who loves his club and takes a keen interest – there is your answer.

    and that’s the difference between Chelsea and most clubs, not just Arsenal

  75. AFC says:

    HH, my comments were me hoping we actually bring some SQ in.

  76. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hmm don’t think we’d be on par with Bayern considering they have Schweinsteiger, Gotze, Javi Martinez, Kroos, Mueller, Robben, Ribeiry, Shaqiri, Thiago in MF/Wing.

  77. Gerry says:

    JB – Apart from your politically incorrect statement@15.26 – we do have readers in France you know, naughty! 🙄 – The Cesc thing might be a last minute springer if we fill such a vacancy in the meantime, as we would have to say No. if offered(as per clause), and Moyes could pounce?

    I think your other option makes more sense viz a viz Rooney and Mata. We have nothing to offer Chelsea, and I doubt if they would sell to us for less than £30m in those circumstances?

    Regards Podolksi. I did say that on the Asia tour he ‘looked like a player considering his options’. However, I do not see the point of the rumoured loan to Shalke … unless they have someone to send in our direction? I can also see him getting worried about playing time, and that is one thing that might fuel a few more moves in this TW? In our direction that is 🙂

    AFC – I don’t see the conflict of a Mata(type) midfielder, and Flamini, who was Cesc’s bagman after all? However, unless the deal is being done as I write, I cannot see him being available for the Fulham match, where I suspect he could be quite useful?

    If anybody could puta valuation on him, that should be how much his contract is worth, and a release clause to match. Beyond that I will not speculate over transfers, as he hardly qualifies as he is already with us?

    HH – I thought I did point out that you were talking of the bigger picture, re Giroud, I was only highlighting how your sentence came across. Like I said, there is nothing to stop the ball being played to feet, even if it is outside the box, which could open up a give-and go with Giro, and as he has shown he can score with his feet? It was a point made in commentary that sending crosses into a lone striker is a bit pointless when he is surrounded by 4 defenders – who are not being occupied by anyone else – which is why we do not seem to play to his strengths? I sure somebody will have his stats from Montpelier regarding headed goals v shots from his (left) foot?

    TMHT – I am glad you have come out of whatever closet you have hiding in 🙂 and are now standing tall in the defence of AW. I salute you ::)

    Damn it i can’t stop myself using them little beggars … mind I would hate to think of how many people might get upset if glic developed his own range of ‘broke back smileys 😀 ?

  78. James Bond says:

    those are mouth watering options @ AFC

    but let’s come back to reality, if we spend 30 million over our budget then that means it’s going to be 30 million less sitting in the bank (and we lose out on interest payments received)

    😀

  79. Highbury Harmony says:

    In fact, we wouldn’t be on par with the top 3 in the world (Barca, Real, Bayern imo), but maybe close to Dortmund and Juventus. Even then, we’d still probably be just a tier below them together with the likes of City and Chelsea (minus Mata of course).

  80. James Bond says:

    Gerry,

    i was never the diplomatic type or political correct type – being controversial is my theng 😉

    i just don’t see Poldi leaving, Arsene Wenger has worked his socks off in trying to build a squad that he wants to keep in tact, it won’t change after an year of him buying a player who has delivered the goods and lifted the team up… maybe at the end of next year, if nothing changes, then sure but not after 12 months.

    and JGC, where art though ? are you intentionally not posting comments in fear of what i said yesterday 😀

  81. Glic says:

    💡 I`m working on it Gerry !.

  82. AFC says:

    Gerry & JB, I just think he would bd a very good purchase even at 30 million.

    HH, I got carried away didn’t I. Bayern’s midfield would still be better than our but our midfield would at least be a challenge for theirs.

  83. Highbury Harmony says:

    Definitely AFC. Again, it’s not always about how individual players compare with others. It’s a team game and anything can happen on any day, so while it’s nice to compare squads on paper, in reality there are several extraneous factors that come into play that we generally cannot predict or forget to consider.

  84. AFC says:

    I bet Glic’s into Mata. 😉 😀

  85. AFC says:

    HH, that was what I was thinking. If AW could get the likes of Mata, Walcott, Santi, Di Maria etc, to form a strong unit we would be a match for any team.

  86. James Bond says:

    AFC, you did not just do that…

    now be prepared to hear about ISCO, GOTZE for the rest of the evening,

    thank you so much for making my friday evening even more exciting (i thought kevin pieterson was already doing that , NOT

  87. James Bond says:

    since i like you AFC, actually i like everyone on here ahahahahahahaha

    so let me make this a bit more exciting and talk it up….

    Arsene Wenger : you will be surprised on how quickly we have moved in this Transfer window….

    Cesc – Signed as early as June , Waiting to be registered – but we do that at the last moment instead of announcing it nice and early ? why because he’s already signed and we know he’s in the bag, if we registered him and announced at the beginning then maybe the players we are after, their clubs be reluctant to sell their prized assets to us even more so than before ?

    i know i know, i’m a big tease

    but hey, it’s food for thought, none the less.

  88. AFC says:

    JB, that’s all rubbish. 😀

    As if AFC could seal such a huge deal that early. 😀

  89. Glic says:

    Evening Shifty Shirtlifters of BK World also our antipodean Bent Boomerangers and Kiwi Fruits !. 😆

    Great post Total Van Hire.
    Theo is moving along nicely each year, there`s plenty of scope to improve, although even now he`s probably the one player who gives other teams defenders kittens !.
    Having great and anonymous performances, frustrating and delightful ones is on a parallel with the BK Glic Factor, in that, BKers WaG`s have the Great and Delightful performances when Dr Glic is in town ( actually more like orgasmic ! ) and Anonymous Frustrating ones when you hopeless Bastardos hit the sack !. hahaha

    It`s time to check our current standing…………………………………..

    http://havearsenalspentanymoneyyet.com/

  90. Dylan says:

    JB, THERE IS NO JOKING ABOUT MY CESC!!!! 😉 Don’t even hint at the fact that he might be signed already unless you can confirm it 100%. 😉

  91. AFC says:

    Messi or Ronaldo could be made available to us for 50 million today and AFC still wouldn’t get the deal done quickly.

  92. Glic says:

    Hahaha AFC

    Not quite true, it`s his dads sister……….Anti Mata !…………….groan, yes I know that’s terrible !. hahaha

  93. AFC says:

    Glic, 😀

    So that 8 days left. If Wenger signs no one there could be riots outside the Emirates.

  94. James Bond says:

    if, it turns out to be a joke then the joke is on me as i will be losing money on it ahahahahaha

    i was merely taking something out of AW’s press conference and then playing devils advocate 😉

    impossible is nothing @ AFC.

  95. AFC says:

    JB, we’ll see. 😀

  96. Glic says:

    He will sign someone that I have no doubt about. It`s whether he signs players that are going to keep the peasants at bay !. I don`t think us fans ( well me at least ! ) will take any excuse for players other than SQ !.

  97. Kisembo martin says:

    Arsenals problem isnt a striker but goal keeper , deep six, and two defenders to help koscielyn.

  98. James Bond says:

    Kisembo Martin ,

    where have you been my whole life ?

    can you repeat our problem once more please ? 🙂

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    JB 🙂

    All agreed, and good call on Navas giving TW a run for his money.

  100. James Bond says:

    TA,

    since Bale is almost gone to RM for 93 million or there about’s (much more than our little wager for fun)…you said not more than 35-40 million, i said comfortably more than 60 and even 80

    so in light of that, can we please have the lights switched back again ? 😀

    i’ll consider that a reward for winning our wager with nothing on the line 🙂

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    He ain’t gone yet, JB and we still need to hear about the financial details of the deal…. But it looks like I got this one wrong, but I have still little doubt that it will be a catastrophic mistake by the Iberian divers.. 😕

  102. takah says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more.Am tired of reading this buy buy buy business. Lets build ,if that involves a few purchases thats fine. First lets cherish what we have.Honestly , how do we expect them to perform when we constantly tell them they are not good enough. Its a shame a lot of people who talk about Henry never saw him play b4 he came to AFC. I saw him in France and Italy LET WENGER WORK HIS MAGIC .You will not be dissappointed with Theo.

  103. Highbury Harmony says:

    Ya TA, didn’t we have some sort of bet surrounding Bale’s selling price? Pretty sure you told me he’d never be sold for over 40 million…

  104. James Bond says:

    his diving is what the big ones are being paid for 😉

    but yep, such ridiculous amounts of money only screw the rest of the transfer market prices…

    agreed – he does have a knack of getting injured – Ronaldo hasn’t been as injury prone in his career as much as bale.

    anyhow, it’s what their fans wanted and their president made it happen .

    Success has many fathers – Failure is an orphan (take note Arsenal ).

  105. TotalArsenal says:

    Fine comment takah and welcome! 🙂

    HH – 😳 yes we had a bet…. and you might win this one. The honour is all yours 😉

    The money is madness, JB. Let’s see whether he lives up to the hype… Will he be another McManaman or CR… that is the question..

  106. jgc says:

    TA, 17, JB and others

    TA, great post. I agree with 17 and you we need a less nice ST. That said, no biters! I had a hard time with Suarez idea, even tho I 110% agree on his talent. I don’t see Theo diving or working the ref and we need some I think. JW and Arteta aren’t good at it either. Call it RefPresence! 🙂

    Overall, regarding Theo, I agree he’s good for 20+ all healthy (a less sure bet it seems lately than my picks for UMF this week at 104:1). To add something new… I think Theo frustrates us all NOT for what he does, NOR for what he lacks, BUT because its hard to rectify what he accomplishes with his skills. It seems a little lucky perhaps?

    Myself, as I come to this, I am starting not to care. I figure 24 goals and assists in EPL alone last year counts heaps. Who cares if I dont fully understand why he’s that good or why his first, second or fourth touch aren’t perfect. With those numbers and more improvement on the way, I’ve decided not to over analyse it and accept it as just being Theo…

    JB: recent report has Willian to Chelsea to be their 5th or 22nd level person at that position. Does FFP mean nothing? Geez, Maureen has pulling power!

    And yes, in NZ, tho not just now… Always good to see the Aussies lose at something as they are so often winning it all in cricket, the league,… Thus, our joy at last weeks demolition by the All-Blacks! 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  107. James Bond says:

    JGC,

    course FFP means something, it means either David Luiz out or Mata

    😉 i would be very very surprised if they didn’t lose one big name, after securing Willian.

    if not both the above, then least i expect one of them to be gone (plus obi Mikel possibly)

    i think, we should take it easy on the Aussie banter, OZ has gone missing ever since i started it 🙂 it’s not his fault they are rubbish at cricket now ahahahahahahahah

  108. jgc says:

    JB and TA among others..

    JB: you haven’t sat there and watched your cricket side bowled like a high school second 11… Geez they were everything for a number of years…

    Also, I am actually taking a week or so of vacation with my wife who has come to visit me in Europe without kids (abandoned at their grandparents – her parents).. Thus, my timing is off. Or according to my wife, somewhere, someone’s hell froze over! 🙂

    Finally, Gerry threatened to sue me for falsely impersonating him! 🙂

    TA: did I just read/hear you say “the money is madness” or did AW suddenly use his amazing powers to take over your body and force you to write what sounded like what he always says!! 😀 🙂 🙂 :devil:

    Cheers — jgc

  109. jgc says:

    TA et al

    To clarify my earlier comment. Simply, Theo is a 5 year old VW beetle that consistently keeps ups with or outpaces all the pricy Ferraris on the strip. You’ve analyzed it to death, looked under the hood and at the suspension, and there seems no apparent reason for it..

    I’ve just decided to accept it.. 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  110. James Bond says:

    JGC,

    make hay while the sun shines – this is what i’m doing if , you haven’t noticed ; ) we still bowled like a high school 2nd 11 in the first innings of the 5th test match, but no worries..

    ah, that’s brilliant, hope you’re having a good vacation ! !

  111. jgc says:

    JB

    Difference is England are average and periodically, like now, great. At cricket we are like AFC, at least every so often, we could be great but one injury and eek… Thus, no sun shining for our cricket. But, if you want to rile an Aussie, ask them who are the current rugby league World Cup holders (for a few more months)… 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  112. Alcide says:

    I would bet for Walcott acheviez 20+ goals and 12+ assists if not injured. I am also expecting a good improvement from OG – I remember him being more clinical with Montpellier (and he did hit the woodwork quite a few times last season). I can’t remember who asked but he only scored one header in his ‘best goal scorer’ season in France (2010-11), and not that many goals came from pure winger crosses.

    I still hope we will sign a pacy ST/winger though.

    On another note Mata would be splendid… But I’m under the impression AbraMou would rather keep him on the bench for 30m than sell to a rival club… I’m sure they’re happy Willian is *not* going to spurs as much as having him…

  113. James Bond says:

    steady there now, we have been the side to beat at the cricket for a number of years now (we are top dogs) albeit, post – 2004/05, there was not much to write

    your cricket is missing the likes of a Chris Cairn’s or a stephen fleming….too many fights within the current team plus discipline issues are a problem as well ,i reckon.

    but yep, let’s not be naughty now and rub it a wee bit more at the Aussies, like i said, i like OZ 😉

    ahahahahahahahahah

  114. TotalArsenal says:

    Maybe it is Continental-Speak,jgc 🙂

    Have a great time with your wife! Are you taking her anywhere nice?

  115. TotalArsenal says:

    Best to accept it, jgc. Bergkamp was the opposite of Theo in many, many ways: polished, technically gifted to the extreme and very, very focussed in everything he did. He produced super -fine football but it is fair to say he did not score that many goals relatively (Arsenal career average of one in four, I believe). Theo is instinctive and a risk taker, some might call him a chancer, but he’ll deliver on the bread and butter stuff.

  116. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one, Alcide.

    Where are based if I may ask? 🙂

  117. TotalArsenal says:

    Right, my mood, and disappointment in Arsenal’s management team, has not changed one iota, but it is not fair to impose it on all BKers. 😉

    So here is brightness and the best resemblances I could get within wordpress to our away-colours for you. 🙂

  118. AFC says:

    TA, I wouldn’t have changed the colour theme on BK until after transfer deadline day.

    I am writing my response to your post now.

  119. jgc says:

    TA

    Thanks, we head to Bruges tomorrow, and Brussels, Luxemburg City and Maastricht are on the list. A wide range of Art Museums, and the Liege Opera are also arranged. Moules Frites and a nice bottle of wine on the terrasse are already down, and the requisite Boulets will happen soon. Running along the Meuse and other rivers is always a good deal, so …

    She seems happy enough so far and the weather has been cooperative!

    I like the bright colors… Good luck with channelling your inner continental speaking football coach. Oh, and agreed about Theo and DB. If he has half the impact over time we will do well… Not quite as hard nosed yet as DB me thinks.

    Cheers — jgc

  120. jgc says:

    JB

    Steady yourself! I recall seeing Warne wonder bowl someone as the ball went around the batter from behind! 🙂

    I agree England are stronger now, but 3-4 years ago? Hmmmmmmmm…

    NZs problem isn’t needing another Fleming, Astle, Vettori, Bond and Cairns. It’s that they were the only ones. Now we’ve Taylor and …. Some very young guys… And … A couple of drinks, or maybe just one, but… It ain’t getting better sooner.. Or later likely… Gives me more time in our summer to think about football…

    Cheers — jgc

  121. jgc says:

    * a couple of drUnks… Sigh, damn iPad … jgc

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent stuff, jgc. The Belgium cities have a lot to offer and those you are visiting – including my boyhood almost Dutch home town Maastricht – will not disappoint you!

    Leuven, Genk and Antwerp are also fantastic cities, but you cannot do them all at ones, can you! 😀

    The Musee de Beaux Artes/ Arte Moderne (spelling?!) in Brussels is one of my favourite museums in Europe and free as well.

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers AFC – I have to think about my customers (unlike AFC management, it seems hahahaha 😈

  124. AFC says:

    TA, great post as always. 🙂

    I still think a top ST is key and we will likely get one. I just cannot see Wenger going for a good ST. I wouldn’t want him to either because Podolski or Walcott could do the same job (scoring goals, assists) as say Ba. I would rather we use that money to invest in quality AMs and wingers (Di Maria and Mata anyone) 😀

    I am expecting 20 EPL goals and 15 assists from Theo. Gotta set high standards for my favourite Arsenal players. 😆

    I think the key to unlocking Theo’s full potential is to play him next to an RVP or Rooney but not for the obvious reason. They are top STs but both can play the false 9 role (dropping deep when needed to help in the midfield). When playing with a false 9 Theo is at his best. Why? Because when the false 9 drops deep Walcott can drive into the space that would be occupied by a traditional no.9.

    Walcott is not at his best at ST or RW but he is at his best when he is playing the RW/ST hybrid role. I think England have noticed this and have switched to a 4-3-3 to accomodate Wilshere but Walcott in particular with Rooney as the false 9.

    But I can see where you are coming from. In our current system we will always score goals. So if we really wanted we could add two SQ DMs, no top ST and still win games.

  125. Dylan says:

    You have mail TA. 😀

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comment, AFC, and it made me think what a shame it is you are currently not writing any posts for us anymore.

    The false nr.9 is a very interesting theory and I believe HH has said similar things today. I like us to play with a fluid three up-front, but we do often lack structure when we do it. OG completes the skeleton of our team and without him we seem to lack something. I really believe Theo benefits enormously from the attention OG requires from defences and YET not being the main man. And I feel the same goes for Cazorla, and to some extent, for the Pod.

    OG needs to improve though or he will (eventually) get replaced by a more allround attacker – Lewandowski would be ideal for this.

    I reckon the key lays in midfield: the DM but also who will play in front of the double-DM pivot.

  127. jgc says:

    TA

    The Brussels museum is on the list. Been to Maastricht twice before, love to walk the old walls with an ice cream on a warm day! The Antwerp museum of fine arts was on the list, BUT, it’s closed until 2017 for renovation! Lots of great churches, architecture and Art in Liege too! 🙂

    The Antwerp thing is maybe a blessing. Been there once and their fantastic central train station has one small problem… It’s in the middle of an unaffordable diamond district! 🙂

    Saved by the museum renovation? 🙂

    Cheers and off to meet an early early train!

    — jgc

  128. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Dylan 🙂

  129. Alcide says:

    Thanks TA… I live in the same country as the Pope. Not the Vatican one. The Gooner one. I’m actually French with some Cambodian blood, and grew up in Paris, I have been around but settled for Geneva since ’98. It’s around that time that I became an Arsenal fan not so much because of the French connection, but for the football they played (my previous favorite club – French – who used to play one touch football had long disappear into the abyss of league 2) and their players (yes, DB10…).

    “But it is not fair to impose it on all BKers”… and in fact that’s why I appreciate this log so much. Diverging opinions but respectful arguments and discussions – and the occasional Glic nonsense 🙂

  130. Alcide says:

    *blog

  131. TotalArsenal says:

    A bientot jgc 🙂

  132. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Alcide – wow your English is very, very good then! 🙂

    Geneva is a fine city and I guess you are a friend of the Pope then? Was that team Auxerre?

  133. Alcide says:

    JGC – don’t forget the Magritte in Brussels if you like him – they moved the collection into a Magritte museum since I lived there, but its well worth it. Otherwise, the Rubens room in the musee des beaux arts is a must, as is all the modern paintings.

  134. Alcide says:

    I unfortunately do not know the pope 😉 – is he actually from Geneva? And no, it’s not auberge… You have to go back further… Nantes under Jean Claude Suaudeau, and a bit later in the early nineties – offensive football, one or two touches max in between passes… Beautiful.

    Have you listened to AW’s ore game interview? Some interesting stuff – he says we need more players (…) but also talks about adding quality where we need…

  135. AFC says:

    TA, I will try to write posts whenever I can. If I have the time I will try to write a transfer window summary/deadline day special. That’s if we make signings.

    From wiki, the False 9, in some ways, similar to a more advanced attacking midfielder/playmaker role, is an unconventional lone striker or centre-forward, who drops deep into midfield. The purpose of this is that it creates a problem for opposing center backs who can either follow him, leaving space behind them for onrushing midfielders (Wilshere or Rosicky even Ramsey or Arteta in our team), forwards (we do not use in our current system) or wingers (Cazorla, Walcott, Ox, Podolski) to exploit, or leaving him to have time and space to dribble or pick out a pass.

    Key attributes for a False 9 are similar to those of a deep lying striker; dribbling ability to take advantage of space between the lines, good short passing ability to link up with the midfield and vision to play through team-mates making runs from deep.

    So the top false 9 players in the world right now are Messi, Rooney and RVP can also perform such a role. And Fabregas of course.

    This leads me to another question.

    Despite the likes of Lewandowski and Benzema being quick, mobile etc, do they have the necessary attributes as mentioned above to play the false 9 role? I’m not so sure.

  136. Alcide says:

    Auberge = Auxerre
    Ore = pre

    Damn iPad indeed 🙂

  137. 17highburyterrace says:

    Total, re: Theo… AFC said it exactly as I meant it–about a false 9 (RvP, Benzema type) allowing Theo to use his speed the most from a starting position on the wide right…Another thing I notice is that almost all Giroud’s 1-2s are out towards the left (or with his back to Theo’s side), probably because they’re all with his left foot…

    I like the new background color…it seems…hopeful…

    That is all… Big match tomorrow (and early for me, at least…)

    Oh, wait. Aren’t we a little short in defense?… OK, THAT is all…

  138. Alcide says:

    AFC,

    Great description for false 9. To answer your question, I believe Benzema has all the required attributes. My only doubt concerning him is what AW calls the roof of the house. I am convinced Benzema would be 50% better if Arsene would have taken him under his wing to mentor him (just like I think Anelka would have had a much better career and achieved a better level if he had stayed a bit longer). But Karim has the skills.

  139. AFC says:

    Alcide, you are right. Benzema could become the perfect false 9 under Wenger. Wenger has even kind of taught Giroud the role of the false 9. The problem with Giroud is that he is more in the mould of a traditional no.9. Even Wenger has said that Giroud could have played as a no.9 in the EPL 20 years ago as he is your traditional no.9. If we get get Benzema we would have a false 9 as well as a traditional no.9 giving us more options up front. Benzema and Giroud might even be able to form a very good partnership in a ‘2’ together up front.

    Another question. Podolski is a false 9 so why has he not be effective up front? I would have thought Podolski and Theo would get results.

  140. Dylan says:

    AFC, I think Benzema can, Suarez can, Cavani can, Aguero can, Tevez can, Muller can, Reus can. Lewandowski can’t, Balotelli can’t, Ibrahimovic can’t, Falcao can’t, Negredo can’t, Soldado can’t. Just some examples! 😉

  141. AFC says:

    Dylan, are you sure Cavani can. Seems more like a traditional no.9 to me?

  142. Dylan says:

    AFC, I think Cavani can. At Napoli last year he dropped quite deep at times.

  143. AFC says:

    I’ll take your word for it, Dylan. 🙂

  144. AFC says:

    United are interested in Di Maria. AW best act fast.

  145. Alcide says:

    PSG seems to be playing Ibra as false 9 with Cavani in front for now, so Dylan might have a point.

  146. Glic says:

    Lucky I wear my Ray-Bans all the time, even in bed…..I like to look mysterious and cool even when I`m snoring !.
    Reminds me of that scene from “Only fools and horses ” with the luminous paint !. hahaha

  147. Glic says:

    I watched Dortmund tonight. Reus looked good and Lewandowski dangerous, they also had a youngster come of the bench…Jonas Hofmannn and the commentators were singing his praises !. Gundogan didn`t play and wasn`t even on the bench…Injured…Suspended…having medical at ( good I used at and not up ! ) the Arse ( that would be nice ! ) ?.

  148. VCC says:

    GLiC, you could pass for Del Boy, you look just like him, especially with your sheepskin, and ray bans, you poser.

  149. VCC says:

    I better change my avatar. The way things are going, the shoe will be on the other foot come may 2014.

  150. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    Dylan has produced a first class pre-view for us. Enjoy. 🙂

  151. Giorgio Inzani says:

    To be honest, I can’t see Theo scoring more than he did last season, although I do think Giroud had finally found his feet and will be able to score more than he did last season. Still, another world class striker is needed, and as you said, a technically capable yet able-to-break-up-play defensive minded midfielder

  152. Babs Coolman says:

    He is a sure boy wt focus he’s gonna improve his standard.

  153. TotalArsenal says:

    Alcide – I think he is studying in Zurich, but am not entirely sure.

    Nantes… okay. Maybe one day you can expand on that via a post or a command.

    I don’t want to listen to Arsene at the moment… a little less conversation…. 🙂

  154. TotalArsenal says:

    AFC, I prefer a holding striker who can score and assist as well. Lewandowski is ideal for this and Rooney can do it too, but there are more candidates. Thanks for the explanation of a false nr.9, though. 🙂

  155. TotalArsenal says:

    17, good observation about Giroud.

  156. TotalArsenal says:

    Giorgio – we’ll see. There is a lot of growth in Theo… 🙂

  157. ProudGooner says:

    Theo needs to start fining the back of the net again soon, i hope for great things from him this season

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