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Arsenal need a new striker. I know this because last summer lots of journalists told me so

By Tony Attwood
.
Last summer it was hard to see much beyond the ceaseless baying of the mainstream media and their camp followers on the bloggettas.   We had (and this lot came from just a period of a few days)
  • Arsenal transfers: 10 strikers Arsene Wenger could sign – Telegraph

“Haggling with Brentford over the asking price for Scott Hogan, testing Sunderland’s sense of humour with a £4m offer for Jermain Defoe, steeling themselves for bids for the mutinous Dimitri Payet, waving goodbye to Simone Zaza and preparing to point Jonathan Calleri to the exit…”

I thought that rather droll, but was moved even more by a later paragraph that tells us that “West Ham [for that is indeed the name by which they wish to be known] would be wise to pause and consider a statistic that should make David Sullivan and David Gold wince. In the seven years since the pair bought the club, West Ham have completed 32 deals for new strikers for four different managers and… between them those players have managed 125 goals in 642 games.”

Goodness!  Could this be another example of the fact that actually Mr Wenger is not such a dolt after all?

Of course this alone does not say that signing strikers is a problem for everyone all the time – but rather it suggests once again that the whole fake news approach to transfers and their importance tends to swamp the fact that bringing in players is a troublesome activity.  When it works it is glorious, but mostly it doesn’t.

But there is another point.

West Ham, as we know, were gifted by mugs like me (ie UK taxpayers) a stadium. But the Guardian article then says, “In their drive to seek out bargains, West Ham have frittered away too much time and money on strikers who never looked likely to make the grade, leaving them stuck on a loop of short-termism as they find themselves dipping back into the market for the next unsatisfactory quick fix. One mistake simply leads to another.”

So why is a club which has saved around £700m in buying a new stadium, saving money every step of the way?   In effect this parsimonious approach has led to the bust up with Payet who was, so it appears, told that the club had ambition.  I say that because many of the statements by the people at the top talk about ambition.

Last season a Mr Sullivan (seemingly one of several co-chairs of the club) talked up the idea of buying a 20 goal a season striker, and making bids in the region of £20m and £25m bids for players.   In one quote (which of course may be a bit of fake news, but it looks reasonably genuine) Sullivan said “Whatever happens, we’ll bring a top striker in.   It’s a statement of intent.”

Which I suppose is a bit like the infamous talk about the move to their new ground being the most successful move in the history of football.

My point is not that State Aid United have more problems in signing strikers than Arsenal, or that I want to equate the drawing power of Arsenal with people who spend more time renaming their stadium and denying that their fans attacked the Man U coach, than actually focusing on finding quality centre forwards.  In short it is tough enough for serious, hard working knowledgeable people to find strikers.  For a bunch of plonkers it is nigh on impossible.

Strikers thus are tough to find, and you need a genius manager to find strikers and get them to deliver.  Last season Leicester seemed to have done it, but this season, it is a different story according to WhoScored.

R Player Games (subs) Goals Assists
1 Islam Slimani 11(2) 5 3
2 Jamie Vardy 16(2) 5 2
3 Riyad Mahrez 18(2) 3 2
4 Ahmed Musa 6(9) 2
5 Shinji Okazaki 10(7) 2

Thus some apologies from the ravers who let us know that they knew Arsenal’s problems and how to solve them (by buying a big name striker) when Mr Wenger did not, would not be amiss.  Higuain was mentioned I seem to recall.

Of course I know we are fourth in the league not top.  But the reason is not because we did not sign a new 20 goals a season man.  It would be nice if just someone, somewhere, admitted that they got it totally wrong.

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And elsewhere on the History site…

18 comments to Arsenal need a new striker. I know this because last summer lots of journalists told me so

  • Andy Mack

    WetSpam do have a couple of potential 20 goal strikers in Carroll and Lanzini, but they can’t seem to keep them fit. However if rumours are true, they bid on a few players during the summer, that declined a move to a non-CL team.

    Being in the CL definately makes buying players easier (another point for the ‘4th place is nothing’ boys), but the need wasn’t there for us.
    If the right player had become available and wanted to join us (as opposed to just ‘earn more money by joining us’ then I think the boss would have been interested.
    It happened with Xhaka, Lucas and Mustafi.

  • strikers aside, the daily maul is reporting that mike dean has been demoted to the championships. that’s worth at least 4 less goals against us for the rest of the season!

  • Genorm

    … OR, Mikeinatlanta, his returning game back to EPL will be 4th Feb for the Chavs. Just a wild guess of course.

  • i guess hoping for a permanent Dexit would be too much to expect.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I think Alexis Sanchez with 14 PL goals this season at 21 games into Arsenal’s PL campaign is nearing that 20 goals per season striker the media is talking about. And if Olivier Giroud continues with his current goalscoring form for Arsenal, he’ll also reach that media 20 goals per season striker mark of which he has surpassed the mark in his last 2 PL campaigns for Arsenal.

    It’s true as Le Prof has said a few days ago that Arsenal have strikers in the Gunners of: Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Lucas Perez, Chuba Akpom & Danny Welbeck who are all the five specialist strikers at Arsenal. But some of them are used differently in the front to operate from the wing in Arsenal games when Le Prof deemed it necessary to do so. And also, Walcott is believed can play as a striker whenever the need calls on him to do that.

    From the last 2 seasons but this current one, Arsenal’s leading striker has been Olivier Giroud who has been doing a good job for Arsenal in that rôle. But this season, Le Prof has appeared to want to relief Giroud of all the burden of always leading the line for Arsenal alone. Hence, the deployment of Sanchez as the 2nd striker to be leading the line by Le Prof for Arsenal when Giroud is not on the field. But while Sanchez is a versatile and able to play in all the 3 front positions, Giroud is mononistic able to play in one single front 3 positions as a striker. Welbeck too when fully fit and at the top of his form which he’s yet to attain after just coming back from the sidelines can also operate effectively in all the front 3 positions for Arsenal. But the problem he has is, he’s not a many goals scorer striker. Unlike Giroud and Sanchez who are effectively multiple goalscorers for Arsenal.

    Akpom is yet to be fully tested in the Premier to see if he can become a top regular goalscorer for Arsenal or not. I think after he has now returned from his back injury, Le prof should subject him to a test by starting him in 3 PL games this season to see if he can be relied upon to deliver. Lucas Perez has proved he can be trusted to deliver for Arsenal in Arsenal games when he’s fully fit and in top form. But been a backup to Giroud & Sanchez, save as a substitute, his chances at starting PL games for Arsenal is limited.

    Nonetheless, with only 17 PL games and a host of Ucl and FA Cup games left for Arsenal to play this season as they chase after the treble which they are still very much in them. And because of the fragility to picking up injuries when least expected by some Arsenal forwards of: Welbeck, Walcott, the Ox, Perez and even to some extends Olivier Giroud too, it will be in order if Le Prof will sign another top quality striker as option and cover to his forwards. And most pressing is for Le Prof to find an answer to the vacuum left behind at Arsenal midfield base by Santi Cazorla’s absent to injury. Arsenal PL and Ucl campaigns should not be derailed this season for Le Prof not been proactive enough to have adequate top quickly reserves for option and cover for both his forward runners and midfielder base players when the need demands for their use.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Is it true he’s been demoted? If so, then relieves come to Arsenal and some other teams in the PL. But alas! Woe comes to some teams in the Championship.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Maybe it is a one match demotion for him to serve after all. But I hope he won’t be promoted to upstairs again this season.

  • Saadman

    Man united is the only top 6 team to sign a world class striker this season, yet they are the team that scored the least amongst the top 6. Liverpool and arsenal are leading the list of most goals scored and it is worth noting that neither signed a “world class striker”. Managers of both clubs increased their teams scoring potential by simply making a few tactical changes. Both are using the false 9 tactic, turning a midfielder or winger into a striker. Another reason both teams are scoring so many goals is because all their attacking players have increased their finnishing.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I think Alexis Sanchez with 14 PL goals this season at 21 games into Arsenal’s PL campaign is nearing that 20 goals per season striker the media is talking about. And if Olivier Giroud continues with his current goalscoring form for Arsenal, he’ll also reach that media 20 goals per season striker mark of which he has surpassed the mark in his last 2 PL campaigns for Arsenal but in all competitions.

    It’s true as Le Prof has said a few days ago that Arsenal have strikers in the Gunners of: Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Lucas Perez, Chuba Akpom & Danny Welbeck who are all the five specialist strikers at Arsenal. But some of them are used differently in the front three line to operate from the wings in Arsenal games when Le Prof deemed it necessary to do so. And also, Walcott is believed can play as a striker whenever the need calls on him to do that.

    From the last 2 seasons but this current one, Arsenal’s leading striker has been Olivier Giroud who has been doing a good job for Arsenal in that rôle. But this season, Le Prof has appeared to want to relief him of shouldering all the burdens to always lead the line alone for Arsenal. Hence, the deployment of Sanchez by Le Prof as the 2nd striker to be leading the line for Arsenal when Giroud is not on the field. But while Sanchez is a versatile striker able to play in all the front three positions, Giroud is monolithic able to play in only one single front three positions as a striker. But he can go to back four to defend when it is necessary. Welbeck too when fully fit and at the top of his form which he’s yet to attain after just coming back from the sidelines can also operate effectively in all the front three positions for Arsenal. But the problem he has is, he’s a few goalscorer striker for Arsenal. Unlike Giroud and Sanchez who are effectively a multiple goalscorers for Arsenal.

    Akpom is yet to be fully tested in the Premier League by Le Prof for him to see if he can become a top regular goalscorer for Arsenal or not. I think after he has now returned from his back injury, Le prof should subject him to a test by starting him in 3 PL games this season to see if he can be relied upon to deliver. Lucas Perez has proved he can be trusted to deliver for Arsenal to an extents in Arsenal games when he’s fully fit and in top form. But been a backup to Giroud & Sanchez, save as a substitute, his chances at starting PL games regularly for Arsenal looks limited.

    Nonetheless, with only 17 PL games and a likely hosts of FA Cup and Ucl games left for Arsenal to play this season as they chase after the treble which they are still very much in them. And because of the fragility to picking up injuries when least expected by some Arsenal forwards of: Welbeck, Walcott, the Ox, Perez and even to some extends Olivier Giroud too, it will be in order and wise of Le Prof to sign another top quality striker as cover and option for his forwards. And most pressing is for him to find a positive answer to the vacuum question left behind at Arsenal midfield base by the absent of Santi Cazorla. Arsenal PL and Ucl campaigns this season should not be derailed for Le Prof not being proactived enough to have adequate top quality reserves for cover and option for both his forward runners and midfielder base players when the unavailable demands starts calling for their use.

  • bill from manhattan

    Tony, HA HA HA. Big thumb’s up for the Tijuana Brass reference. I remember Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass from the mid-60’s. My father was a big fan of them. And yes, I happen to be an old guy.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    In the second line to the last one to the end of my comment, the word unavailable should read unavoidable and not unavailable as the dictionary of my Android phone change it without me been observant it’s done that.

  • Leon

    Not the first time Dean’s been demoted. In 2012 he dropped three (yes three!) divisions to referee Bristol Rovers v AFC Wimbledon.

  • para

    Latest ConTheory:#
    London does not like Arsenal or Spuds or Chel$ and want WH to become THE London team, this is why they give them so much for nothing. 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    About Dean being demoted…. all PL referees get to do the odd match in the championship. The match Dean has been given is a derby match and an important match that will be shown live on TV. So not really an obscure match that he has been given. No, the main match in the championship over the weekend it seems.
    We rather might feel sympathy for the players from the championship that they now have to live with Dean.

    Or maybe it is a message to those teams: watch out because going up will result in getting this ref more often….

  • Norman14

    Dean; probably an FA/PGMO plot to put the skids under Leeds, who are looking very good under Gary Monk. They have a new investor, and if “reports” are to be believed, next season, they will have a LOT of money and little debt.

  • Menace

    Norman14 – on the right lines.

    However, in my opinion there is a lot of punting on that match, so watch out for corners, cards & penalties. It must be worth a lot of dosh to the Chinese betting market.

  • Norman14

    Menace – perhaps..

    I should have included the whole family line – Governments/Betting Companies/Media/FIFA/EUFA/FA/PGMOL

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