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Just how many more players do we need?

By Tony Attwood

The injury list is impressive – there is quite a team in there.   And with there being no reason much to moan about results there has been a lot of moaning about how thin the squad is when we have to cope with all these injuries.  Here’s the list of absent friends…

Santi Cazorla
Yaya Sanogo
Tomas Rosicky
Lukas Podolski
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Theo Walcott
Abou Diaby

That thinness issue is quite true, but try this for a thought.  Supposing we look at it back to front.   We have this huge array of injuries and yet we are still winning matches and last time I looked (about 10 seconds ago, just to make sure) we are still top of the league.

This reversed approach ends with the view that when some of the injured players come back we are going to be in a superb position.  Spoilt for choice indeed.  Maybe even player unrest because not everyone is getting a game.

Now of course we all know that if we have any more key players injured we are going to be in trouble in certain parts of the pitch – which is why the bench looks a bit thin at the moment.

Except that I think most of us coming to the game on sunday and hearing of Gnabry on the bench would have expected him to stay there.  How wrong we were.

Our bench warmers of late have been

  • Fabianski
  • Vermaelen
  • Monreal
  • Jenkinson
  • Hayden
  • Miyaichi
  • Akpom
  • Gnabry
  • Emiliano Viviano
  • Jenkinson
  • Bendtner
Monreal and Miyaichi are starting to get games from the bench.  Vermaelen is having a problem coming on – I think he was a little too late in Marseille in coming on in the 90th minute, but was about to make it. 
.
Fabianski is not, in my view, as good as his fellow countryman whose name I can’t spell without looking it up (and if I spell it wrong I’m now called a racist so best to leave it out for the moment), but he’s a good second keeper.  Or is he third now…
.
Jenkinson has done well too, in my opinion, when playing this season, and it was his perfect pass that led to Ramsey’s wonder goal against Sunderland.
.
Miyaichi I am delighted to see coming through.  He was brilliant when he first came and was loaned out.  Then he was injured, and I wasn’t convinced of where he was during the far east tour.  But it seems he is coming good.
.
So yes we are getting down to the bones, and particularly when it comes to the forward line, because we have lost Sanogo, Cazorla, Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain who can all play in the forward line.   Now with Theo out (although I don’t know for how long) that is getting difficult – which is why Bendtner is back.
.
But does that mean we go out and buy more and more forwards?
.
There’s two problems with that.   
.
One is that players need some sort of game, sometimes.  OK if you are young, but after a while you need games even if it is from the bench.  And if we had bought a centre forward beyond Sanogo where would we put him in the team at the moment?   Where ever it were to be it couldn’t make the results any better.
.
Which edges me slowly towards the final point.  Every time we get another injury, someone pops out of the box.   Theo out?  No problem, here’s the answer…
.
Personally I was astounded at how brilliant Gnabry was yesterday – an absolute revelation.  And I hope he gets a game in the league cup match.   Its so sad that Zelalem is out, as that could have been two superstars of the future playing together in a cup game.
.
As it is, I guess we will be using players from that bench list above (although not all of them as I’ve listed two keepers, and we need some extras as that list has only only one central defender).  I also wonder why Eisfeld hasn’t made any further steps forward, and assuming he’s not injured I’d like to have another look at him.
.
So how many more players do we need?  I am not so sure it is that many – or at least not that many players who will expect to slot straight into the team.
.
The books…

The sites from the same team…

47 comments to Just how many more players do we need?

  • para

    Many will say we need a striker, but in line with your article, no top striker is going to want to sit on the bench. Now id time for Bendtner to buckle down and show he is a good striker. I think we would rather need another good defender-midfield type player, notice i put defender first. This would give our defence more options. I hear “Reus and Draxler are rumoured” to being “courted” and this would seem to fall in line with AW’s policy of “many midfielders” who can play in different positions.
    I think the team is gaining more and more that unity that makes a great team,(listen to Carzola interview on Arsenal Player), very rarely do i hear an interview like that, so an in depth view of “the little gem”.
    Anyway, whoever we do get, be sure he will be exactly what AW thinks we need right now, and he is usually right.

  • Gunner

    I see David Dein has been quoted as being angry with Arsenal ‘supporters’ for their treatment of Wenger over the last year or so. I think Wenger is unhappy himself at some of the treatment he has received, and that is weighing heavily over his decision to not discuss a new contract. Normally he would have done so by now. The AST have a lot to answer for IMO when they called for him not to be offered a new contract. I think this is very worrying indeed.

    Now that the time is right, I think it would be a good idea for Untold Arsenal to launch a campaign to show support to Wenger, by doing a petition calling for the club to offer Wenger a new contract and for Wenger to stay. Surely the guy deserves a bit of respect after all he has done for us and now that we’re top of the league it’s the perfect time to get maximum number of signatures. You guys have links to the club so I’m sure that once a large amount of signatures have been reached you can make sure that it gets noticed by the right people.

    Over to you Untold Arsenal. You’ve always been admirably supportive of Mr Wenger and what is right about football, I’m sure you wont let us down now.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I thought Gnabry was excellent for a young player making his first start in the PL. Nobody saw it coming and maybe he was the most surprised when he was informed he would play.
    Amazing how quick things can go. Last Wednesday I saw him play in Marseille on a terrible pitch and he was the main man in front of a small crowd.
    Yesterday he surely didn’t let us down with a first start at the Emirates. How quick things can go if you are lucky.

    Maybe the front line next Wednesday might be Gnabry – Bendtner – Ryo. Or Akpom up front and Gnabry in midfield as I have seen him play on that position also. I sure wouldn’t take any risk with Giroud right now. His 2 first backup options being injured/sick (Podolski and Walcott) so better be careful.

    Come to think of if possible centre forward options: Giroud – Podolski – Walcott – Bendtner – Akpom. Like you say: how many players do you need for one position?

  • WalterBroeckx

    An interesting suggestion Gunner.

  • blacksheep63

    If we are still in contention and being discussed as possible title winners come the opening of the January window I would hope we might make a splash for a ‘top top quality’ striker. If a certain Uruguayan shows he can behave for a few months it might be worth going back to Liverpool with a new offer. He will be available to play in Europe and might just be tempted.
    And I’d still buy another central defender.
    We also need to make sure Sagna renews his contract

  • dan

    @Walter

    True, Gnabry was excellent. I think Giroud has put in a shift in most games, if not all. Giroud may turn out to be Wenger’s next Diamond, I feel another speedy acquisition to partner Giroud would be welcome.

  • Simon

    Let us see at the end of the season where we have ended up and what we have won. With regard to Wenger being angry, he is extremely lucky to work in an environment where he can go about his job without too many calls for his neck. Where else exactly would this happen WORLDWIDE ? Mourinho himself admitted its incredible that the Arsenal supporters show such loyalty. When you sign a player like Ozil it is not just his talent on the pitch that your getting, it gives the rest of the players a much needed lift not to mention what it does for the support. Wenger showing financial prudence was all well and good but did he have to take it to the enth degree. Sign a contract or go, but don’t hold us to some sort of emotional blackmail.

  • Sid

    We still need a striker. Even Giroud wants one! Suarez can play in several positions and although the scousers will demand a ridiculous fee, we should go for him, or Mata, or Rooney, or another fantasy footballer!

  • Afc

    We need a striker better than Giroud. For matches where we may be losing it would be good to have at least another striker specially in champions league. It will also make Giroud better knowing he has to fight for his place. If Giroud gets injured I don’t think Walcott or bendtner are good enough to be strikers against good defences. We need a striker that can run at teams which will make our midfield even more dangerous. I believe wenger does not like playing poldi upfront so I’m sure this January afc will have a new striker but the question is who? there aint many world class strikers anymore that want to leave their clubs as they already playing at big teams except suarez and benteke and we know suarez is not going nowhere maybe we should go for benteke, I have no doubts he can be similar to Henry for afc they have similar physique, height pace and power.

  • Allan1340

    Excellent material I am agree with u in many of your point but we still need a killer in front not because I am not happy with Giroud but he can not play week in and out personally I love to se Liverpools front man in Arsenal but I don’t believe just it will happened and Roony it may be possible but u are right we have many good player and good player does not accept sit on the bench and this May be a give problem but we don’t play only 38 games that’s why we need more player off cours they must play together as well. About Wenger even I am against his transfer policy but there is no doubt that if he is not the best one in the world but he is one of them and believe me Morineho or the others could not do things what he has done for the club with little money. Respect for him as a manager and as a man with principle and love for the club must show from us supporter.

  • alex

    Looking at numbers only can be a bit misleading. Yesterday goals are none of a striker.The team spirit is at top and this is a huge factor that cannot be ignored.

    I am highly impressed of Gnabry. Had he been English without a shadow of a doubt MOTD pundits would have shown us every touch of him.He is the future IMHO.
    People say that is just one game but certain players you can see they had it from the go.
    His positioning-interception-speed-passes-physicality …Waaaw !he is fantastic and is not even 20.
    Bendtner at his best is similar to Giroud to me. I expect only from him to give a rest Giroud but not much.
    I wonder if Mr. Wenger could convert Gnabry in to the likes of Suarez. If there is a possibility I am happy to see that.

  • Pat Moyles

    The squad is thin. Yeterday the team looked tired. We scored then did nothing. They scored we woke up a bit a fought back for an equaliser. Second half back to a tired looking team. More players freshens up the team especially after a champions league away game. Every game also needs quality subs to be able to come on and change a game if it is not working and do we really have game changers on the bench. Arsenal players are always getting long term injuries and therefore a strong squad is necessary. I will be interested to see who plays in the league cup on Wednesday. Last season we put out our strongest team and lost early, can we really afford to play our first team players on Wednesday and risk injuries bearing in mind the current thiness of the squad?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Not sure if we need too many more players, these guys want to play, especially in a World Cup year. But what we do need is for the great man to sign a contract extension, now would be as good a time as any.

  • bjtgooner

    To answer the question in the title I would like to know more about Hayden, can anyone advise about him?

    The possibility of a new striker will probably depend on how well Bendtner progresses and when he leaves – I can’t see him staying past next summer. In the meantime he could do a useful job for the team and in addition show potential new clubs that he is worth the wages.

    Whatever changes are made it is important we retain what appears to be an outstanding team spirit – that is something which is priceless but yet cannot be bought.

    Mandy – agree about the great man.

  • Pat

    Last time I saw Arsene Wenger being asked he said he would have liked one, maybe two more players. He didn’t specify position, but judging by his very serious offer for Suarez, one would have been a striker.

    Like everyone else, hope so much Arsene Wenger signs an extension. There’s no one like him.

    Can’t understand continued criticism of Arsene Wenger’s policy on buying players. We know for sure now that he was prevented from buying expensive players for several years, but still built up a very solid squad in other ways. Now Ozil and Flamini are two stars of the team and Sanogo is young, untried and currently injured. And he tried to buy a top striker. His coup in bringing Ozil to the club was a master stroke, and from everything Ozil has said, he alone was responsible for persuading Ozil to come.

    His view that bringing in more than three players at once causes problems seems rational to me. And he already had a very good squad before these new signings, as proved by our record since January 2013.

  • Pat Moyles

    He has a good squad for finishing fourth not winning the league

  • Tony,

    Did you just refer to gnabry as a “revelation”? I think the boy just did exactly what we (I’m including Walter here) think he is capable of. I noticed that he was very cautious in the 1st half, giving many careful passes backward. But in the 2nd half, probably after AW told him to do his thing, he was more like the player that I saw pre-season. We have a fearless player on our hands and I think that the young German (are those guys the new French in Arsenal? They are everywhere 🙂 ) will go places.

    About buying players (in whatever position), I am sticking to my usual position of letting the great man do his thing as he sees fit.

    About the great man signing a new contract, I appreciate and share Gunner’s love for the man but AW always signs when it is time for him to do so. We all know that his actual employers (the Arsenal board) totally respect him and they allow him to do what he does best. I don’t think he would be influenced inany way by the noise of the AST/BSM/AAA and the media. Wenger is going to renew his contract when the time comes. I am absolutely certain of this. There is no way he would endure those difficult years only to allow some mercenary manager to come and reap all the rewards of his hardwork and sacrifice.

    I hope that rather than fret about where we need additions and who to add that ALL Gooners will rally round and support the team that we have right now. It’s easy now that they are winning but when they falter (and they will at one point or the other), I hope that we’ll do our part by increasing our support rather than denigrating them.

    Oh what am I doing? Of course, this is Untold Arsenal: that is what we always do!

  • Gooner S

    To answer your question… A centre forward (top quality/world class) and possibly a defender.

    There is no point in buying a centre forward that is as good as or not so good as the excellent Giroud. Whomever we buy has to be better than Giroud and give us something slightly different. As a manager if you can get better resources into the team than you currently have then you have to take those opportunities and do the deals. What follows is that the manager then has to make the difficult choice (e.g. bench Giroud when the tactics dictate) – that’s what they get paid for.

  • gouresh

    Why not try the Spanish style. No forwards, just floating mid-fields?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    We AKBs were always 100 % behind the manager and the club , and suspect most of us will still be around even if(God forbid !)there’s a change in management .
    I don’t think that there will be too many incoming players , unless there’s a fire sale elsewhere and the rats are in the front of the line before the women and children !I’d too would stay way , way behind those rats !
    Robert Landowski , anyone ? A pre-contract in January ?

  • alex

    On Mr Wenger’s extending his contract depends on his own assessment. No matter how many of us want him to stay the boos from Arsenal fans It is not an easy to swallow. I don’t think he will take it lightly.

    Wenger is not new to the media bashing but not by his own fans.

    I see him a honest man.Honestly he can say as long to silence the critics if only a trophy is the answer he may opt to go.

    After all Man City with all the money in the world they came with nothing last season.

    Wenger put the club first. We know if was about himself would have gone long time ago.

    So he worked all the time for the club and the fans. But if he sensed that the fans are not happy as a honest man he will say thank you and good bye. Is very easy to predict of other managers but not on Wenger.

    Who would have thought when everyone manager player where running for the big money and fame Wenger will stay with this club with no money to spend?

    This time i am not that optimistic that Wenger will sign.

  • alex,

    I agree with you about the booing and personal abuse thrown at AW by the usual crowd, especially the bit about him benefitting financially from the club’s transfer policy. But for the implication for the club, I would like him to stick it to the negative nellies just leave the club. But Arsene is a bigger man and a decent human being (his best quality for me). I believe that he will stay for the sake of his young players. That is where I get my confidence from. If Arsene leaves, there will be an exodus of players from the team. I am certain of this. He wouldn’t do that to Arsenal.

    Anyway, at this moment, Arsene’s contract is not a pressing matter. When the club reach that bridge, I’m sure that it would be crossed without hassles.

  • Byo

    Any forward that Wenger might decide to bring in must be CL-eligible: Suarez, Michu, Benteke, Damiao. That I think is the only position that might be on offer.
    As for the defence, we look ok. Flamini can slot into the full back position too.

  • colario

    We have had the spectacle Di Canio criticising his players in public. I somehow can not imagine Arsene doing this. He has taken the flack from the media for a bad performance by player/s. What he said to the player/s we will never know and that is how it should be.

    Arsene has a record that started long before he came to Arsenal of being a man of his word – a man of honour.

    With regard to his future at Arsenal, Arsene has said he will do what he thinks is right for the club. We have every reason to believe him. So I have no time for speculation about his future. I hope he stays but if he does decide to leave I will respect his decision as being the right one for the club.

    I hope and pray that in considering his future at Arsenal, Arsene, ignores the mantras of the AAA mobs demanding that he should go.

    I believe it is possible for a player or manager to be influenced by demands of so called ‘fans’. Jack Charlton claimed he resigned from the Newcastle because of fans who made it known that they didn’t think he was good enough for Newcastle!

    We are in a situation where the AAA spouters are not good enough for Arsenal or Arsene. It is they who should leave Arsenal not Arsene.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Okay you just tell us the name you use on Untold 😉 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-PLuWH67rA

  • OMGArsenal

    Pat Moyles….please explain your reasoning about having a good squad to finish fourth?
    I believe that Wenger is gambling on Bendtner coming good and his youth players filling in successfully until January at least. We do have a deeper squad than Moyles pretends but another player like Ozil would be welcome as a striker. AW will certainly go in for one IF we need him, during the Jan.TW.
    Will Arsene sign a renewal…..it may depend on how the Arsenal do this season….he must be fed up with the constant barrage of AAA websites,the AST agenda, shite media and so-called minority of fans who hate him and want him out? It will be AFC’s greatest loss if he does not pen a new deal…..!

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Now that Arsenal is assured of some steady stream of money that it can invest annually on players, Wenger’s decision to buy Ozil when he already has the likes of Carzola, Wilshere, Ramsey and Rosicky in Arsenal’s books suggest a major change in his long term plans for Arsenal.
    I say long-term because I strongly believe that the man looks beyond the immediate need for his player decisions even though he has gotten a few player decisions wrong…he is human after all.

    I think that his long term plan is to have at least 1 very stellar or world class established or emerging player in each position that can play the Arsenal brand of football and that is 19-24years old.

    To that extent, who he buys and how many players he buys in January will be decided by what obvious shortfalls or shortcomings he sees in the squad in Nov/Dec as well as which exciting, young and under the radar players he has identified and can be snagged into the AFC – when directly into the team or into the reserves squad.

    In the past, young players (e.g. Hazard, Essien, Lukaku, Benzema) were actively courted by Wenger but chose not to come due to the perceived lower economic and squad stature of the club; however, that situation is set to radically change to Arsenal’s advantage in the coming years. There are just fewer and fewer coaches of his ability, influence and experience out there these days and Arsenal’s economic muscle and squad quality is looking to match his stature.

    Here is to many more years of Wenger as a coach or an active director in the football club.

  • bob

    Mr. Attwood,
    Most footballers and Arsenal Player presenters and Arsene yesterday say the team is now tired from 3 games in a short period. We expect to compete on multiple fronts and we have one very good striker at hand. This said, once again you not subtly advocate (in the form of a headline question that is posed to spark posts like this, and overall to reduce fan pressure and expectation for a major quality purchase in January. It is not really a need. And this is done with the assumption that such “revelatory performances” as Gnabry’s (hyperbolic?) will occur a consistent basis from the emerging youth talent. So, all is well, as we’ve got enough? Project Youth lives hand in hand with Cash to sort of splash a bit.

    Yes, much is well, thankfully because of a quality purchase and a wonderful (if not brilliant) stealth re-signing. But a real championship challenge, this season, if that’s what you have the nerve to advocate, will require a second quality, if not top striker. No one can be injury free or stay at a quality level who must play that multi-front schedule. As we know, Ozil is here and people of quality (top or top top) will want to play here. It’s one of the great points of getting him. With another key purchase or two (yes, or two) we can go from strength to strength into the business end of multiple competitions; but, only if we have quality in depth. For some poster to say that no one of quality will come here to sit on the bench is a red herring/false construction. Quality people will want to be part of a championship contender. Why back off from that real prospect? Why not advocate for it? Does that chance come about that often? Well that championship chance is here, on tap, with a quality purchase, yet you seem to go wobbly. (If I read you wrong, fine, I’d be happy to be shown to be wrong, as AFC would truly in championship contention.)

    When players like Wilshere and Flamini – not us posters – are airing their views that we have championship potential in this squad and its prospects, it rates more highly with me than the cautionary notes that I feel are being sounded here today. They like anyone knows that January offers promise. If your view is actually that enough consistent quality is already on on hand or in the pipeline, then, imo, you are being polyannish if not reckless about the injuries to come. Or is the point to redeem Project Youth?

  • bob

    There is no point in buying a centre forward that is as good as or not so good as the excellent Giroud.
    Gooner S,
    The point is multi-cup competitions, internationals in a world cup year, etc. etc. will cause injury. You seem to ignore that inevitability. If Giroud goes down, what then? Be specific on your Plan B? Is it a quality substitute or peer, or do you expect Ozil to magically turn Ryo or Gnabry into Suarez (as some poster is praying for)? or, for that matter, into as consistent (when not tired) a performer as Giroud is turning out to be?

  • Rufusstan

    @Pat — Clearly unlike Moyes’ all conquering United squad then?

    @Boo, totally agree about the booing. About Gnabry, the thing that stood out was that he made the step up with his first league start, and he just looked like he belonged there. Its one thing to play well in a pre-season game, but to drop into a PL match (against Stoke no less), at short notice and do as well as he did was far beyond where I thought he was right now.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Gnabry had a cameo in 2012/13 season. I forgot which game but on the day, his performance was pretty nervous and he never got traction from his position on the day.
    However, yesterday we saw a different Gnabry: one that has grown greatly in his game and his confidence. Kudos, again to Wenger. Increasingly, some of the boys are so alike in their games that one needs to take a peek at their shirt numbers to recognize one player from the other. I speak, for example, of Gnarby and Ox.

  • marcus

    Wenger seems to be getting more subtle with age. Instead of poking Sagna in the eye for having the temerity to pass the age of 30, Wenger has allowed him to mature into a very good all-round defender. So in general let him find the answers; he seems to be doing pretty well so far. I wonder if Ramsey could play as a centre forward? I wonder if Ramsey can play in any position he wants?

  • Unbelievable belief

    Tony
    To win the Premier league? None.
    To win the Champions League? 2 probably.

  • Unbelievable belief

    Bob

    Check the list of Arsenal forwards on Arsenal.com
    You will be pleasantly surprised that we have a world class German striker on the books with over 100 caps and 46 international goals. He is hopefully going to be fit again in December.
    16 goals last season, and he had 2 already this season.

    Özil can find his runs blindfolded. The two lads have an almost telepathic understanding of each others positioning in the bundesmanshaft.

  • Tom

    Tony , I seem to remember your post from a couple of months ago in which you suggested that our midfield was so strong and varied in talent that I suspect if someone had told you we needed to add to it a player like Ozil , you probably would’ve said they were crazy. I also remember one of your recent posts in which you suggested every attempt by Mr Wenger at signing players this TW was just a smokescreen leading up to Ozil’s transfer. I’m not trying to pick on you here because I disagreed with both of those posts, as I have agreed with many others before . I’m simply trying to say that perhaps it isn’t how many more players we need but rather how much better a player we need that we already might have in certain positions. When a player of Ozil’s caliber becomes available you go out and get him( if you can afford him), because he makes everybody better around him. Players with winning characters don’t mind competition, they crave it . Arteta and Giroud were calling for reinforcement not in numbers but rather in quality. By my count , Arsenal have let go seventeen players( I could be wrong about that number) this summer but acquired only three. Getting Flamini on a free was a great move . Sanogo might be to , only time will tell but there are players in Arsenal squad who don’t have time to find out. Jenkinson is a good prospect too and he did well against Sunderland , but when put under pressure like he was by Chadli in Tottenham game and he begins to look average at best , so another defender might be needed. If you accept Mr Wenger’s Summer attempts at face value as I do , he seems to believe we need a world class striker( and I agree) so going back for Suarez in January might be an option if Liverpool are out of contention for CL by then. Of course if you believe as I do that Arsenal became contenders this season without any signings for obvious reasons( regime changes at top three cubs) , having made those extra signings would’ve gone a long way in achieving that goal . Keep up the good work and take care.

  • bob

    Unbelievable belief
    You’re claiming to know the ways of the Bundesliga. Is Podolski actually world class? Experience means good; but it doesn’t mean world class. I surely don’t know; but I hope you really do know what you’re talking about when you assert their telepathic understanding. Are you in the know; you are the only one to date who was stated that. And, at this rate, will Giroud’s great form last until Dec-Jan without injury and that means without significant rotation? I can only hope we aren’t put in the position of bringing in a fit Podolski in exchange for an injured Giroud. But you’re so sure and I’m so worried in my believable unbelief in what you confidently promise. In any case, sleep well.

  • bob

    “If you accept Mr Wenger’s Summer attempts at face value as I do , he seems to believe we need a world class striker( and I agree)”
    Tom,
    Of course you’re right; but UA, whilst celebrating the Ozil surprise, had not and has not risked actual advocacy of expenditure for an actually possible championship. Ensuring against injury with quality, as opposed to numbers in the pipeline has not been the UA way.

  • G.Elliott

    Can’t be serious about Wenger being hurt by all the fans booing. Any other club of our stature goes trophyless for 9 years and the manager would need police escort. He will find no more loyal fan base elsewhere. He could move to a mid-table side in France, that will get him the “loyalty” he wants.

    We still need another striker, but seeing that Carlos Vela has turned into gold after settling in Spain, there’s still hope a more mature and humble Bendtner (humbled by the fact that no other club in Europe wanted him at the wages he was seeking) will have something to prove. I also think it’s good that Bendtner gets to train with Giroud who is the best big man in the world at the moment. They have similar builds and similar technical strengths. The difference is the head.

    So to me Bendtner has until January to show the team he can do a job as back-up striker. We can’t let January come and go without having a proven striker if we’re in the hunt for the League title. It would make the purchase of Ozil a complete waste of 40+ million pounds to end up merely with a top 4 finish.

    As for Sanogo. When he came to Arsenal everyone said he was one for the future. Now people are saying we can’t afford to hurt his feelings by bringing in another proven option at striker. Which one is it? He has shown very little in the time he has been are and that’s to be expected he is young, but our evaluation of a player should not be inflated just because of his proximity to first team football.

  • G.Elliott

    Every club Podolski has been to has tried him up front, he has played up front for Germany too. He always ends up back to either LW or LF. Using someone’s credentials at a world class restaurant to get them a job as head chef when in fact they have only expertise in making deserts is just disingenuous and doesn’t help the climate of the fan base. Let’s be honest about the roster FOR each other as not to create unnecessary disagreements.

  • bob

    G. Elliot,
    Thanks for your level-headedness and perfect analogy. Unbelievable belief seems, imo, to be living up to his name in the hyperbole about world-class Podolski (and his telepathy with Ozil). To me it’s just a wind-up or a satire, now that I think about it (for the last time). Cheers.

  • Pete

    Walcott out now. Getting very thin indeed. Unfortunately, his absence along with Ox, Poldi will allow oppo defences to squeeze the space making it harder for the creatives to do their thing.

    As ever, we are miles clear at the top of the injury league. http://injuryleague.com/injury-league/

    There is still something seriously wrong.

    – Conditioning? (Overtraining)
    – Style of play attracting more/later tackles?
    – Artificial component of Emirates pitch (no divots!)?
    – Poor medical care?
    – Too thin a squad leading to overplaying?
    – Too injury-prone a squad?

    This, to me, is a far more serious problem than transfer policy. If we are typically 4 players worse off than our rivals that either undermines our form or it means having to buy/pay 4 more players!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Worrying,this injury list is getting rediculous. Agree they should be looking at this, but haven’t they bought in some fitness expects from the game of rugby. Last season, we seemed ok, not sure what is happening this season

  • bob

    Pete, Mandy,
    All or any of your list (Pete) may be at play. A transfer policy that does not take on this chronic situation is gambling that the odds are against another spate of injuries. Imo, in this new era of having money, we need a proactive transfer policy of getting quality backups on board; as opposed to the (understable) wish that, well, there’s these young bodies in the pipeline with lots of future promise. Yes, you can’t have quality backup at every position. But we’re thin at striker especially. No there’s no Walcott to come in for an injury, god forbid, to Giroud. If this were a brand new situation, I’d rest a lot easier. Something deeper as you note needs examining.

  • bob

    Mandy,
    I could well be wrong, but looking back, I don’t see us as basically Ok healthwise last season with Vermaelen and Arteta plus Jack and Diaby long-term (and I don’t remember now who else); but in all honesty, we were competing on only one front for the business end, so there was recovery time which will not be ours if we are to compete on more than one front, let alone be at the fuller strength that a championship run at the roses requires.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Maybe Bob, just seem to remember not too many problems during the run in. Unfortunately Diaby is well….Diaby, Poldi also seemed to have a few niggles as well and as you mention Jack….maybe quite a few actually, but with Arsenal and injuries, relative terms need to be considered. But our injury record over the last few years has been worrying and at times destabilising. Wenger is not always one for huge first team squads so these injuries can bite. I have heard some say things went down hill since Lewin the first left. Our players do seem the pacy skillful types that draw fouls, take a kicking and clearly are not getting ref protection.Then there are the issues mentioned. I know wenger can be loyal to his staff, maybe even to a fault, but I really hope he has the best people, equipment and the best practices in dealing with this. There have been times when I have had the impression, perhaps wrongly that wenger is quite relaxed about injuries seeing them as development opportunities for others in the squad. There have also been times when it looks like players were rushed back a bit quickly for whatever reason Wish I knew but I really hope they are looking at this issue, we have an impressive squad, let’s give them every chance of success. A season of injuries at this level could prove very costly, I hope the club reduce them , or ensure they have sufficient backup. As you say, an injury to giroud …..well…..

  • Pete

    Mandy – you enquired about history.

    Last season was just moderately bad. However the previous 4 seasons we were the worst team in the League (possibly matched on a couple of occasions by another team). This is NOT a statistical accident… “bad luck”. There is something significantly wrong.

    That takes us back to around 06/07. So around the time that we moved stadium and Gary Lewin/Dr Crane left.

    Sorry – forgot in my comment above another potential reason for injuries: lack of protection from referees.

    The other thing about carrying, say, four more injuries at any one time than the average is that they don’t distribute themselves evenly through the team (for example, remember having all four full backs out for about 3 months a couple of seasons ago). Right now we are desperately short going forward.

    If overtraining is one of the causes then the flip side is our record in the last 15 minutes of games. Goals for/against are incredibly in our favour.

    But I would rather have an average fitness record!

    And the players are aware – which causes further grief as they then bring in their personal conditioning coaches/physios/doctors which clearly plays havoc.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Can only agree Pete I have certainly heard of issues since Gary Lewin left. Any idea why the club are not acting should such issues really exist. Also an interesting point about players bringing their own people in, why are the club allowing this…..especially when you consider things like the RVP horse placenta debacle. Seems like someone somewhere needs to do a bit more to counteract these problems?