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The new ones: Benayoun and Park

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“Making the Arsenal”is available on Amazon, Arsenal on line, the Woolwich Arsenal site and in the Arsenal store.

By Walter Broeckx

This is the final part of my review of players who joined Arsenal in the summer.

We have Yossi Benayoun to start with. The captain of the Israeli national team has spent a bit of his career in England. At West Ham, Liverpool and Chelsea before joining us for a seasonal loan this summer. He had no starts in the league so far. But had 3 starts in the Carling cup and two in the champions league (where he scored a fine goal in his second appearance.  He had 5 starts in total and 7 times he came on late in the game as a sub. He scored two goals.

When he came on he looked rather good I thought. Hard working and with an eye for his team mates. In a way it is a bit of a shame for him that Arteta has started his Arsenal career on a high so that Arteta hardly gets a rest. And also Ramsey has, since the arrival of Arteta, stepped up his game and became stronger and stronger in each game. He finally looks to be back when he started his career. Arteta’s form and influence is Benyaoun’s loss.

But the season is long and we will see more of Benayoun in the next months where we have a fixture list that is full of games and we will need all the players we have. And as he is a player with some experience at the top in England he will know what is required and he has shown this already in the brief spells he had this season.

What is important is also the fact that he looked to be satisfied with his role of guiding the young guns in the Carling cup and act as their mentor a bit. Players from outside England know the importance of a big squad maybe a bit more than English players. And they understand a bit more that there are times they are not always playing knowing their time will come later. And very much in favour of Benayoun was his excellent behaviour after the win at Chelsea where he showed his happiness when we beat them at their ground. I think he won some fans over that day.

And his performance against Olimpiacos and his sublime goal was also a sign of the quality we have on the bench and we will need in the next months when legs will get tired.

Another late signing is the captain of South Korea Ju Young Park. He came over from Monaco and was snatched under the nose of Lille. In international games for his country he has a great scoring record. But for the moment we are only seeing him very sparsely in games. No appearances yet in the PL but he had 4 starts for Arsenal this season. One in the champions league against Marseille and3 in the Carling cup. In one of those games he scored the winner against Bolton with a nice curling shot.

The big problem for Park is of course the tremendous form of Robin Van Persie. This form means that Wenger is not really tempted to give anyone else a chance in that position. Unless Robin really needs a rest. And then it is up to the backup strikers to show their quality. But this is very difficult. Let us not forget that even Van Persie always struggled for some 4 or 5 games before he came back to his best level when he was out for a while.

So for backup strikers it must be difficult to suddenly come in and perform form the first second or minute. Park hasn’t been able to do this for the moment. But the good thing about people from South Korea is that they always work hard and do their best when they are called upon. And if we can see Park a few times surrounded by the rest of the first team we might be seeing the Park that we hoped for in the next months.

By no means I would write Park off. He just hasn’t got a proper run of games so far. And as he also came late he didn’t have a pre-season with Arsenal. So I will just hold my judgement over Park until later when he had the chance to show his potential a bit more.

Overall one could say about our 5 new late signings that 3 of them have given me a good impression so far. The other 2 haven’t had much chance to impress so far. But the season is still long and what isn’t today can still come tomorrow.

Overall I’m very pleased with the signings and let us all hope that they keep showing us why Wenger picked them to join us. So far the points won with them on board are very good. And as Wenger has said that there still is room for improvement I cannot but wait for this to come.

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6 comments to The new ones: Benayoun and Park

  • goonergerry

    Park has taken a lot of shit in the blogs- but I have seen a fair bit of him playing for Korea- and I agree that it is far too early to write him off. We are yet to find a system that he can work with- if we do he will surprise a hell of a lot of people. The trouble is he is not an RVP in style or capability- but he is sharp and fearless- but he has to be played in a system he can understand and he can be lethal.
    I rate Benayoun- as a Ljungberg type impact player-and especially Arteta who is a very balanced midfield player.
    None of the players we have brought in are duds – but they are not Nasri and Cesc quality either.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I do hope Park and Ryo get their chance to impress the fans .So far most of the games have been close so it would have been risky
    to just play them for exposure’s sake.
    Hope the team gets into the festive spirit and our forwards bang in 5 goals in the first half of the games and take a well deserved break at the bar while Park ,Ryo and Chamakh run riot in the second half.
    Well that’s all I want for Christmas and the New Year !Cheers !

  • davi

    I think Park has only started two games up front, and scored once. The other two times I’ve seen him start he was playing wide or in an ambiguous role. He shows he has the talent with the ball, and is aggressive when he needs to be, particularly when it comes to winning headers, but he has struggled to get involved in games at times. I think it is to do with getting used to his teammates, really.
    Anyway, it’s true, it’s far too early to write off a new striker after 4 games.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @goonergerry – I disagree. Gervinho is a lot better player than Nasri.

  • LRV

    Walter, I bet a lot of people will swear they never wrote Henry off after just about a month of no impact. How long did it take him to make any sort of impact? Yet, had we been as ruthless with him as we seem to be now with everyone else, we would never have seen the legend we now have.

    If those who are quick to condemn were adjudged incompetent after just two mistakes in their fields of work, the majority of them would not have had jobs, or even be who they are today. People need to learn the value of patience sometimes.

  • Edwin

    I strongly agree with Johnny Deigh.
    Gervinho is the real reason Nasri left – he ain’t no fool.

    Gervinho was tipped to come to Arsenal very early. Wenger was never going to bench Walcot. Everyone knew a midfielder to replace Fabregas was being sought after. And Wilshere’s form was excellent last season.
    Where was that going to leave Nasri ? On the bench of course.

    So, Bench at Arsenal or Bench at Man City ? Bench at Man City of Course – there’s more money there. And if you are sent on loan – you still earn reasonably well …..