A Beast of a CF is Great But Arsenal May Have an Ideal False Nr9 for this Season

The game is evolving fast and even the successful teams keep tweaking and sometimes even shifting their football paradigms. During the first 15 years of this century we saw plenty of strategic change when Arsene was in charge. It sort of worked but the likes of Klopp and Guardiola just made the better choices and Arsenal were gradually left behind.

Under the wings of ferociously driven Arteta Arsenal are moving forwards and upwards again, and I for one like our BoD for choosing strategically/ plan for the long term. And even if Arteta cannot really make it work – and I have every confidence in him that he will succeed – his successor will have a strong platform and player group to work from and with. The future is bright with red and white.

The squad is young and is developing along the Russian Dolls model. Every year this group of players will get stronger and better: more used to each other and better versed in Arteta’s tactical objectives and style of play. The newly added players fit this approach very well and the transfer window is not over yet. Incremental growth is a beautiful thing to watch but it requires patience. Luckily, BKers have this in spades and that makes for good blogging.

Arsenal’s ‘Russian Dolls of Evolution’

I wonder what Arteta will do with the CF situation. Auba has now been replaced by Gab Jesus. The latter can be used as a pure CF but it seems he is best when being played on the ‘flank’. Eddie has been signed long term and that is good for him and the team. So now the question is will there be another CF to join the team or will we play much more with a false nr9 this season?

We know that Pool and Citeh have gone for a forceful, more classic CF with a good engine to boot, but will that make them score even more goals next season? It remains to be seen of course. The risk of such a beast of a CF is that other attackers start focusing on just feeding them; whereas a false nr.9 ensures that all attackers feel responsible for bringing home the bacon. We know that with Saka and Jesus we will normally get plenty of goals. Eddie will be chipping in regularly too. We need goals from midfield with all of Granit, Thomas and Martin simply not scoring enough. Young Vieira will hopefully help with this. Martin the Ode will step it up as well and we are all hopeful that Martinelli and Nelson (if indeed he gets a full season at the Home of Football) will also add a good number of goals.

The one player I have not mentioned yet is one of our favourites: ESR. This boy had a goal or assist every 192 minutes last season which is similar to Harry Kane and better than Saka, Maddison, Bowen or Mount, to give you an idea. We have a super talent that needs to play games regularly but it is hard to say where Emile fits into the team, especially now that we signed Vieira and Xhaka gets pushed up more regularly. Of course, ESR is still developing but it seems right now to play him in the first team more often. But where?

Well OX10 (I think) mentioned we should consider him as the ideal ‘false nr.9’, and I like that thought a lot. Emile works hard, has a fab engine and such an eye for a key pass, and he will take a goal opportunity in a flash. An attack of Jesus-ESR-Saka, fed by the likes of Partey, Xhaka, Vieira and of course Ode, is soooo unpredictable with tons of movement that would put fear in any defence. I would like to see it tried out.

It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like a ‘classic’ beast of a CF to still join us, but I think a ‘false-9’ could work a treat for us in certain, perhaps even most of our, games. Emile seems to fit the bill…. What do you think?

By TotalArsenal.

75 thoughts on “A Beast of a CF is Great But Arsenal May Have an Ideal False Nr9 for this Season

  • “The future looks bright in red and white”. Fine post, Total. Thanks.
    Our signings will certainly create competition and quality options. I like the idea of Emile being tried in the false 9 role, but would prefer to see him as a number 8. Against all but the top sides I would go for a 4 1 2 3…
    Tomi Ben Gabriel KT
    Martin Emile
    Bukayu Eddie Gab J

    If we were to look for an experienced number 9 to bring in, who do you envisage? Bring back Giroud?
    I am cycling into Taunton to watch Taunton Town v Exeter City in a pre season friendly this evening. I will catch the Arsenal game upon my return. With the woman’s Euro’s, Wimbledon, cricket and All Blacks v Ireland tests, I am glad I am on sabbatical.

  • Cheers Stu, how was Lindisfarne?

    That’s a strong lineup. I like it a lot but just wonder why Arteta has not used Emile a lot in that (Xhaka’s) position?!

    Giroud could indeed still do a job, as in having another option. I think we need experience in our attack, someone the younger ones respect and can learn from. I think I would go for Depay who is not loved at Barcelona. A great talent yet to find his home and there is a touch of Dennis in him.

  • “Next post” must be the new “New Post”, for the new season. 👌😎.

    TA, fine post, yet again. I like the Russian dolls analogy and agree this team can only get better if Arteta and Company manage to keep the majority of them together for longer.

    The present skill set of our team favours the false 9, with Nketiah likely to be introduced as a sub, where we are chasing it or in need of more goals. Of course, that’s my impression of things. So, it is not unlikely that we make the acquisition of a CM and defender priority; if we are feeling lucky, another winger and we may be good to go.

    A “beast of a CF” is a rare find, these days. If we have to, we will need one of the best amd that will cost top dollar. It may be a project we can amd should undertake next summer, if we fail to do so in this one.

    As to the choice of a False 9, ESR does know the way to goal but may find it a bit more difficult if he becomes a marked man (see Liverpool’s Firminho) once teams realise that’s what he is about. It is easier now when he can ghost into the area, unexpectedly, and latch on to loose balls to score some well placed goals. ESR may have to do with bit part roles unless we have injuries/suspensions, cup games and fixture congestion; it will be good/like quality to bring on and this is what the side requires.

  • OX10, it is a strange, but not quite possible scenario.
    Do you have a certain line-up in mind? Maybe a 4-2-4 with Jesus-Odegaard-ESR-Saka all attacking, and Martin could switch AM and F9 central positions with Smith-Rowe to confuse the defenders?

    Stuart, I like your line-up too, but it is very attack minded. Which is a plus against weaker opponents (EL group stage, domestic cups), but knowing that Real, Liverpool, PSG and Barcelona fields only 3 attacking players in their starting XI, while City, Bayern and Man United have 4, innovating the line-up with 5 genuinely offensive player (and I don’t mean them being jerks, just didn’t want to use the word attacking too much) could pose a defensive risk in the PL. Nevertheless I’m looking forward to see Arsenal experimenting such wild tactics in pre-season.

  • Good points, Erismus. I see a false nr 9 as one with a lot of freedom to roam and that would suit Emile in terms of finding space/gaps to run into, and pass into. But I am not sure how he would deal with shielding the ball and playing with his back towards goal, etc. He could play like Laca did I think but with better football skills and finishing off chances.

  • Ruell Walters looks promising, a big quick centre back who can play full back. Mari looks slow and clumsy.

  • 37 minutes gone, Tierney off for Soares, Nuremberg 2-0, could Turner have done better, you decide?

    The Germans look fitter and sharper, they’re pressing, we’re not. Arteta seems to have gone with his weaker XI to start, well that’s how it seems to me. Mari had picked up since my first comment but in attack we’re toothless with one effort on target, a good shot by Smith Rowe.

    It’s just preseason if disappointing

  • Starting XI:

    Tierney (Soares)

    Maitland Niles
    Smith Rowe


    HT 2-0 to the Jerries.

    Subs bench:
    Salah Eddine
    Runarsson (?)

  • I like Lokonga and Smudge has been ok, Bellerin started really well but faded, I like Walters I think he’s only a teenager, very promising, a lot of guys in that starting XI whose future lays elsewhere and it shows!

  • Now I’m hearing that they’ve made it an own goal, not sure about that tbh…

  • Jesus, Martinelli, Gabriel and Elneny came on at half time.

    Okonkwo on for Turner

  • 3-4, then 3-5 Jesus, great finish

    Our 3rd and 4th goals were given as own goals

  • I am liking the Boys From Brazil very much…

    I am liking Salah Eddine as well, he gets stuck in…

  • The 1st 45 we got a bit bullied, the 2nd 45 we matched their physicality and so far are winning this half by 1-5

  • From an attacking perspective Jesus really is Our Saviour…

    The German officials are as bang average as ours btw…

  • Sounds like a good outing with all the ingredients needed for a good test. On to the next game.

  • No Total, as long as Arteta follows well the tried and tested Guardiola team building plan with a group of big strong, skilful and combative players who won’t be dominated by the bullies then we’ll be just fine.

    The 2nd 45 was such a step up in both quality and effort, Jesus is like a breath of fresh air, the team looked like it had gone up 2 or 3 levels from the lethargy of the 1st 45 when he came on and that’s the level, across the team, that we’ll need to match if we’re to break into the top three, my only fear it just like with Tierney and Partey last season if Jesus is absent the drop off in performance could be worryingly large…

  • Now City and Pool have changed mindset to the ‘big boy up top strategy’ our mobile quick attack line up will be more unique among PL top clubs. Dont think that must be a bad thing. Looking forward to see us false9 ourselves qnd positionchange through the season.
    Love the russian doll analogy and for sure, our reshape squadwise under Arteta is remarkable.

    If Marquinhos or Nelson stays for the season Im glad with the attacking option of GJ9, EN14, GM11, ESR10, BS7, Marq/RN with Viera and Øde as architects behind.
    Not sure Arteta have enough faith in RN/Marquinhos though?

    GX, TP, ME, ASL and fingers crossed Tielemans more defensive minded feels good.

    However the LB spot with KT off before halftime worries me.
    That should be fixed and surely will be.

    Long since our potential was close to this IMO

  • Hi all gooners. Been very busy over the last month so couldn’t comment. Interesting article TA when we have signed an actual 9. ESR from my pov had a great season with 12 goal contributions considering that we was not a starter in most games. With imported fitness i except him to contribute to atleast 15 goals.
    I think the experiment with false 9 is well and truly over. Last season when we had limited attacking threat from CFs Arteta didn’t try false 9 so this season with Jesus and Eddie i think it’s truly over unless both gets injured.

  • Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castle were highlights, Total. Along with sitting down with you for a curry. Those Northern Saints created an enduring legacy.
    I have read that Jack W is signing up to the club to be our new under 18 coach which seems a great move. A lad who came through our youth system and hit the heights will be a fine inspiration to our youngsters. I was at Arsenal to see Jack come off the bench in the 2008 Emirates Cup. With his first touch of the ball and his pace he destroyed Sergio Ramos who was playing right back. I mourn the injuries which blighted his career but am so very grateful for the outrageous skill he displayed and the passionate love for our club which he wore on his sleeve.
    Well, Gabriel J has hit the ground running, and what a goal from Mo.
    Yes, PB, an attacking line up against all but the top clubs, when prudence would dictate we play two deeper midfielders. But I love the tactic of a swarming press, and those young and hungry lads will have the energy and license to defend up the pitch. Sun Tzu’s (Who I don’t always agree with) doctrine; “Attack is the secret of defense”. Or as George Washington said, “The best defence is a good offence”.

  • Hello all, I’ve been absent of late but I’ve read every post – and it’s been a most encouraging pre-season with some great transfers and a good result yesterday. It’s fantastic to have Jesus on our side – we may need all the help we can get.

    Here are the first ten games of 2022/23 for our points prediction contest.
    All you have to do is predict if we will get 3, 1 or 0 points for each game.

    1 Crystal Palace A
    2 Leicester City H
    3 Bournemouth A
    4 Fulham H
    5 Aston Villa H
    6 Manchester U A
    7 Everton H
    8 Brentford A
    9 Tottenham H
    10 Liverpool H

    I will set up out game prediction contest a little later.

  • Here are my predictions.

    Crystal Palace A 3
    Leicester City H 3
    Bournemouth A 3
    Fulham H 3
    Aston Villa H 3
    Manchester U A 1
    Everton H 3
    Brentford A 3
    Tottenham H 1
    Liverpool H 1

  • Anybody is welcome to join in our game predictions contest the rules are very simple:-

    1 point for each correct prediction (Home – Away or Draw)
    2 points for each correct score (* = Correct score game)
    4 points for most correct predictions – points to be shared in the case of ties for most correct predictions.
    Six game will be selected for every week of the EPL season plus games during international break.

    These are the games chosen and my predictions for the first week of the 2022/23 season.

    Crystal Palace v Arsenal * A (1-3)
    Bournemouth v Aston Villa D
    Leeds v Wolverhampton A
    Tottenham v Southampton * H (3-2)
    West Ham v Manchester City * A 1-2)
    Borussia Dortmund v Bayer Leverkusen H

  • Good point, Kev, about the risk of losing a key player like Thomas, Kieran or Gabriel. I think we can do well without one or two but more and it can hurt us next season.

  • HCM, good points. The left back situation is indeed a worry still. Tierney is injury prone and we will have to play more games this season. But I am pretty sure we will get good cover for this position this summer. Martinez would be ideal as he can also cover for Granit.

  • Indeed, Madhu, those Northern Saints were massive when it comes to promoting and protecting Christianity and with that Civilisation. It is amazing that they, over centuries, were even able to convert and domesticate the wild, murderous Vikings.

  • Lucas Torrieira is rumoured to be one of the squad expected to be on the plane to the United States, which given the recent furore involving Fiorentina and their classless machinations, could be a warning to the Viola that ‘you’re not getting Lucas for free’ this summer and/or Arteta deciding to keep the Uruguayan for the last year of his contract as we need the extra bodies and as we’ve missed out on Martinez and Raphinha why not retain Lucas?

    I’m broadly in favour of Lucas staying as back up for Partey alongside Elneny as he is a player who can play the pressing game and is, despite his missus, a good professional.

    I’ve also read that the player who was arrested in Barnet recently (who on earth could that be?) is likely to get off as it’s rumoured that he’s been set up… Just what I’ve read, don’t shoot the messenger…

  • C. Palace……….. Draw
    Leicester City….. Win
    Bournemouth….. Win
    Fulham…………… Win
    Aston Villa………. Win
    Manchester U…. Draw
    Everton………….. Win
    Brentford……….. Draw
    Tottenham……… Win
    Liverpool……….. Draw

  • Jesus’s humility is infectious and well advised as a team bonding move, being a new player. His shirt will carry “G. Jesus”, TA; we can get away with interpreting it as “Good Jesus”, perhaps?

  • Welcome back, GN5. Great to see you are ready to go another season with the predictions game. Promises to be another exciting one. Cheers, man.

  • TA, reading that the player is Thomas Partey. A friend of mine told me this a week ago, but I shrugged it aside, believing he may have mistaken Bissouma for Partey. Recent reports speculate it is Partey.

  • GN5 my predictions
    1 Crystal Palace A – 3
    2 Leicester City H – 3
    3 Bournemouth A – 3
    4 Fulham H -3
    5 Aston Villa H – 3
    6 Manchester U A – 3
    7 Everton H – 3
    8 Brentford A – 3
    9 Tottenham H – D
    10 Liverpool H – D

    No excuses this time iam brimming with confidence which reflects in my scores. I am though worried by the recent news of Partey. But worry not we have our Mo to anchor the midfield.

  • Haha Eris, good Jesus is a tautology, just as much as white snow or red blood. Although… Stuart may argue Gooner Jesus is one as well! 😁

  • N’Golo Kante, can there really be any truth in that rumour, would Chelsea let him join another Premier club anyway and if Arsenal were interested what kind of fee would Chelsea try to screw from us for a player with a questionable recent injury record?

  • Lol, TA. I see your point there.

    As for the Kante rumours, they are just that; rumours. Agents put out such stories for any number of reasons, including getting a new, improved contract and putting the player in the shop window. It may also be us putting the heat on Leicester City, for sure. Not likely, for now. Still a long way to go in the window.

  • Not a hint of an oxymoron there, Total. Being a Gooner is next to godliness if you ask me.

  • T,
    I love to hear you talk about false 9 strategies. I think having forwards capable of doing that well, as we do now, means we can overload midfield against the toughest teams in the league… and Jesus has the pace and energy to help build up and still burst into the box. PEA had pace but no other MF skills, and Lacazette was like watching sap run down the side of a tree.

    I think we will start to actually take points off the top 2 this season, and we will be ahead of Chelsea in 3rd by the end of the season.

  • GN5,

    Here are my predictions for the first week:

    Crystal Palace v Arsenal * D (1-1)
    Bournemouth v Aston Villa H
    Leeds v Wolverhampton H
    Tottenham v Southampton * H (1-0)
    West Ham v Manchester City * A (1-3)
    Borussia Dortmund v Bayer Leverkusen H

  • 1 Crystal Palace A 1
    2 Leicester City H 3
    3 Bournemouth A 3
    4 Fulham H 3
    5 Aston Villa H 1
    6 Manchester U A 1
    7 Everton H 3
    8 Brentford A 3
    9 Tottenham H 3
    10 Liverpool H 0

  • Nicely put J: like watching sap run down the side of a tree.

    Yeah G J offers a lot and others will love to play with him. If he can get double figure PL goals out of Eddie and Martinelli then we are going to do really well, especially if ESR and Bukayo can also get into double figures again. Still, Kev is right that an injury to G J will set us back significantly. We need back up/ extra attacker.

  • Could be Total, is there anyone else out there whose has said that they’re interested in Tielemans, like Man Utd for example? That might actually be why Arsenal are not publicly admitting an interest, we admitted an interest in Raphinha, made 2 maybe 3 bids but have been gazumped by Chelsea, rinse and repeat Martinez, again gazumped by Man Utd, we make the running and the wealthy clubs swoop in, so maybe some reticence for Tielemans is a tactic?

  • Eris, I did read that Kante is on £290k per week and that Chelsea value his at around £35m, so as you suggest, agent inspired speculation.

    No more Chelsea old boys for me thank you – that lesson should have been learned…

  • Raphina wants Barcelona, Kev. We got Jesus so we don’t need him anymore? Jesus Martinelli on left, Saka and Nelson on right, Eddie and Jesus through middle. One more CF I reckon.

  • Yes Total, maybe Tielemans will drag on up till deadline day and then his value will nosedive with a year left, maybe two more signings, left back cover and another striker/forward/goal scorer?

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