- Arsenal transfers: 10 strikers Arsene Wenger could sign – Telegraph
- Which striker should Arsenal buy? – The Sun
- Only Olivier Giroud (16) and Alexis Sanchez (13) scored in double figures in the Premier League last season (Again the Sun, copying the notoriously misleading piece from the Guardian )
- Arsenal transfer news: Fans demand new striker after club tweet – Metro
- It’s nearly three years since Liverpool owner John W. Henry was prompted to ask ‘what are they smoking at the Emirates?’ after Arsenal infamously bid £40 million and one pound for Luis Suarez. (Metro)
- Transfer news live as Arsenal eye a new striker (Mirror)
- Arsenal need monster offer to sign striker: – Daily Express
- The Gunners are in desperate need of a new striker to lessen the pressure on Olivier Giroud and cover for the injured Danny Welbeck. The Express (again)
- Why Arsenal NEED to sign a World Class Striker – SixthOfficial
And that is the collection I found in five seconds. In fact Arsenal did sign a striker, but not the world famous guaranteed 20 goals a season man everyone seemed to be told to crave by an over-excited bunch of fake news creators. But our man has had seven starts and seven appearances as a sub and scored seven goals. Not a bad return for someone most of us had not previous heard of.
So how are we doing for goal scoring? Here is the league table in goal scoring order.
|8||West Bromwich Albion||21||8||5||8||28||28||0||29|
|12||West Ham United||21||7||4||10||26||35||-9||25|
So in essence they were all wrong. We didn’t need a new striker, and in fact Lukas is a luxury – a backup for when more injuries strike.
But is it just Arsenal that has problems with strikers – imaginary or not?
Chelsea seem to be having a little to-do with their chap Diego Costa who may or may not be going to China where he will be paid an awful lot of dosh by Tianjin Quanjian, who quite possibly could be the long lost brother of Tijuana Brass (don’t worry about it, its an old guy’s joke).
Strikers are problematic fellows – and that is why I have been contemplating them of late – indeed you may recall my little piece on the subject Simple answers and the rejection of experts: the need for multiple scorers
Clearly Manchester United’s plan of bringing over to England a rather elderly fellow (not as old as me, but still getting on a bit) to play up front has got them some goals but they are 16 behind us in the league – although that is quite a lot better than State Aid United who are collectively 22 goals behind.
In fact I thought on this while reading a piece in the Guardian (by Daniel Taylor) which begins
“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.
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.
Untold Arsenal and the Arsenal History Society… recent stories
The Index of major articles about Arsenal players
And elsewhere on the History site…