Forwards: Arshavin, van Persie, Bendtner, Chamakh, Eduardo, Walcott, Vela.
By Tony Attwood
By way of explanation I should add that Vela and Walcott have been listed by Arsenal as forwards and Arshavin as a midfielder. I’ve just made an arbitary decision and called them all forwards.
And what do we find…
Overall we have never had a forward line like this – when I typed up the list to start the article off I couldn’t believe what we had. And yet it is only one player more than the group we had last season, and then we ended up running out of players because of injury.
Seven forwards, and we are not even talking about adding one of the kids from the reserves last season. In watching Arsenal since the 1950s I have never seen anything remotely like this.
What follows is not meant to be a serious in depth analysis – anything that tries to fit itself into a simple formula can’t be. The goal ratio for example is based on goals and starts, not on sub appearances, so it is quirky that way. But then it is quirky any way.
I saw a couple of sites announce that Eduardo was off, but I believe they were just repeating some News of the World rumour that was made up to fill four or five lines, so unless there is a formal announcement this is what we have…
Last Season: 21 starts, 10 as sub, 12 goals (Goal ratio 57%)
Injury potential: last season it was high, and clearly the injury was still there in the world cup, but I think that was a one off. I would say injury potential is low as long as he is fully recovered from the problems that plagued him last season and seemed to flair up again in the world cup. If he is out again at the start of the season however then it could be bad news all season long.
Brilliance potential: As I have mentioned from time to time, the moron who sits behind me in the Ems hates Bendtner, but I reckon he is brilliant. No self-doubt – he just keeps going, and going. He can have a game where he missed from 3 inches and then next time scores the winner in the 93rd minute. And for those who complain about missing from 3 inches, there has never been a player who plays in front of goal who doesn’t do that. Remember Henry (a much older and more experienced player) in his first year with us.
Breakthrough potential: Wenger already believes he is there and will make him a front line choice.
Personality: Had his night club fling, undoubtedly got an in house telling off, and now might be just that bit more of a family man.
Scoring potential: If he knocks in 20 even the guy behind me might be mollified, and 20 is possible.
Last Season: 32 starts, 7 as sub, 12 goals (Goal ratio 37.5%)
Injury potential: he got one injury and played on with it. Low chance of injury for next year in my guess – I don’t think in Russia he had a history as an injured player.
Brilliance potential: Stratospheric. First choice.
Breakthrough potential: He broke through years ago.
Personality: I love this guy. The blog is funny, he is original, he is bright and he runs rings round the press. Certainly the way the press are fooled into endlessly re-running “I can’t stand the manager” and “I didn’t know about tax” and “no one told me they drive on the left” stories is wonderful. More people like him, I say. The only problem is that we have some fans who actually believe his fun and games as real – but then they tend to believe the Daily Express anyway.
Scoring potential: Without the injury, and playing in his right position, very high. Remember four against Liverpool?
Last Season: Not with us.
Injury potential: Hard to say. Anyone know?
Brilliance potential: Wenger was after him for over a year, so I’d say high. Certainly taking over if Van Persie is injured playing for the Netherlands, otherwise a sub – unless of course he gets games in the cup matches and also ensures that Van Persie doesn’t get overdone by playing too often.
Breakthrough potential: He is starting from the unknown, but fans will expect brilliance. The great thing is that he probably won’t be playing in every game – he is adding to the numbers, so the pressure to adapt from day one will be off.
Scoring potential: I imagine its high, but I am not sure. He got 16 in 46 games last season (but I am not sure if this includes substitute appearances). If not that is 34%
Personality: don’t know
Last Season: 18 starts, 2 as sub, 10 goals (Goal ratio 55% – the highest)
Injury potential: Very high – he has a poor record, but maybe just maybe it is over. However it could well be that Chamakh is there to play from time to time to give VP a break, or to cover for his injuries.
Brilliance potential: Beyond belief. When he was not scoring at the start everyone else was because of his Bergkamp like performances. Without him we score fewer goals.
Breakthrough potential: He is there, there is nowhere to break into.
Personality: The original wild man, then simply a man with artistic temperament (his parents being artists) and now a calm family man.
Scoring potential: If he could go a whole season a) without getting injured for us and b) without playing for the Netherlands, we wouldn’t even have to think – we would win the league.
Last Season: 15 starts, 15 as sub, 4 goals (Goal ratio 27%)
Injury potential: When disobeying Wenger and playing for the under 21s and the full England team, very high. Otherwise most of him has now been rebuilt so he might be ok. He has no more shoulders to be repaired.
Brilliance potential: very high although I have seen calls for him to be put out on loan. One bad season dogged by injury and an argument with the manager does not destroy a career. He still can be the player we all expected. After all he has hardly started. It’s the speed guys – they don’t like it up em.
Breakthrough potential: High – everyone expects nothing after last year.
Personality: The nice guy, although last year we saw him shout at a couple of members of the team for not passing to him. Extraordinary.
Scoring potential: Much higher than last year.
Last Season: 17 starts, 15 as sub, 5 goals. Goal ratio 29%.
Injury potential: Everyone knows. Maybe this year he has finally got over the horrors.
Brilliance potential: Staggering. It is easy to forget what an amazing player he was and why the Henry money was used in part to buy him. Let us just hope.
Breakthrough potential: If he were to return to the form before the violent assault then it would be a breakthrough. Thankfully his adopted country did not qualify for the world cup.
Personality: Always comes across as a nice calm guy.
Scoring potential: 25 goals a season.
Last Season: 1 start, 10 as sub, 2 goals. Goal ratio 200%!!!
Injury potential: Moderate – it is more a case of jet lag plus injury.
Brilliance potential: Potentially staggering.
Breakthrough potential: If suddenly he made it the whole world would look up in surprise while Fleet Street would be saying, “as we predicted…” But I hoped for the breakthrough last season and the world cup was not encouraging.
Personality: Smiles a lot.
Scoring potential: Enormous – the through ball from Van Persie ending with the chip over the keeper…. Can’t you just see it?
Pick anyone from Afobe, Murphy, Simpson, Sunu, Watt, and throw in Wellington Silva in mid-winter. We are not short of these guys.
More stuff : just stuff
A book: Historical fiction on acid.
Woolwich Arsenal: Alf Common ate my pie
40 Replies to “Next season’s Arsenal team in detail: the front line”
As of last season we play with three forwards supported by two attacking midfielders from whom we expect a regular supply of goals.
I have a feeling that Chamakh will actually be considered as first choice centre forward and that RVP will move out to a wider position, quite possibly on the right where he first played for Holland. Given that he takes all the dead ball kicks down that side and will now have a proper CF to aim at this makes sense. Bendtner may also find himself playing wide right as often as he does at CF. Between the three of them we should have the central position covered to a high level in all meaningful games.
If everyone else stays that means that Arshavin, Eduardo, Walcott and Vela will fill the wide striker positions and ensure that, even with a couple of injuries, we will have two top class forwaeds on the bench for every game.
The other key point is that we won’t have to play either Nasri or Rosicky as wide strikers and they will be available to slot into the attacking midfield positions that better suit them.
I agree with Tony, in my 50 years of support I’ve never seen strength in depth like it.
The great thing about this is that we actually have enough strikers, quality strikers, to rotate in units. Imagine lining up with Shava-RVP-Bendtner, and having Dudu-Chamakh-Theo available as subs. Following match, start the second unit and have Shava-RVP-Bendtner resting. Or, in some matches, going TALL up front and starting Chamakh-RVP-Bendtner & moving Arshavin back to midfield to partner Cesc. Other combos available as well with Theo, Nasri, Dudu, Rosicky, Vela, Wilshere, Ramsey, Diaby, Denilson, etc all playing their parts as needed. And that’s just considering the 4-3-3. 4-4-2 brings numerous choices as well.
It’s just so many options that, if we can maintain health (always the underlying question), there should be enough rest & minutes to go around so that we’re fresh all season.
Tony great article, and Richard B nice comment. Both of you have taken all the words out my mouth. Lets hope that we do as well as we all know we can. ust one thing i would like to add is that, for the first time in our trophyless spell, we have a cf who is truely magnifiscent in the air. I expect to see alot of assists from RVP to Chamakl with air balls.
I think your being a tad over optimistic abourt Bendtner and Edwardo. The truth is they would not get their place in any of the top four. Chamakh thought will be a great addition. Much better than Bendtner and not as full of s–t. RVP will shine but not for the full season. So you will have only Chamakh and Arshavin playing just in front of him. But the same weak and inconsistant midfield will remain, with hot and cold Diaby, inconsistant Theo, injured Rosicky and Song( who is good but no pace or creativity)… Melo would make such a difference.
We will once again start well and only flatter to decieve until we meet the big boys again and then the consistant fragilities will be shown to us again. But Wenger is playing a very dangerous game if he thinks Fab, Arshavin and any other ambitious players will remain with a team capable of winning nothing and constantly seen as the scroungers and penny pinchers of the Premier league. The youth policy has fail and lets be honest Fab, Diaby, Dennilson (God help us) can no longer be decribed as YOUNG. Rember Rooney was better than them years age when still in his teens. I think its time for a change at the top.
B52 only problem is that he doesnt let his football do the talking, youre wrong Marty I think B52 would get into the man u side because I rate him better than berbatov not skill wise but as a second striker yes, I think he is better than crouch, babel and dare I say anelka?
I think arsenal style has changed from when Eduardo first came in, I would love to see him back at his best, this guy may need a loan spell I would say fulham and hopefully we could buy either schwarzer or Hangeland off them.
Walcot for me is a devastating impact player but not a starter yet, the only games he should start at the moment would be at home to lower opposition
I checked out arshavin stats he has never been prolific but does have a good assists record so I wish he would just play for the team and stop being ball greedy
The other forwards I am not worried about including Vela
I am hoping Wenger has now got that much fabled plan B at his disposal because the line up is frightening, I would like us to play a combination of the way spain, germany and brazil played at the world cup where arsenal play a little deeper keep possession put immense pressure when not in posession and break like a bat out of hell when we get the ball. ( i would love to see song just sit deep like what gilberto did) Possibly two DM we have the pace,and I would ultimately just like to see a bit of variation not always playing the same way, as TONY describes we have a wide selection of different forwards and I would like to see some squad rotation so that players dont get injured
Marty, I would suggest that you read somewhere on this site what we regard as youth project. It only just is starting.
And Marty, no team would be able to put 6 world class strikers in their team. Not even Madrid would do this. You need players who are willing to sit on the bench every now and then. Players like Eduardo and Bendtner. Imagine 6 world class players who do not want to sit on the bench no matter what. You would only get trouble.
Yep agree on Melo. He would make a difference when we are a goal down and he wants go get a stupid red card so we have to chase with a man down. And another thing I don’t like about Melo is the fact that he almost never stays longer than one season with a club. So he would be a player for one season.
Tony, you meed me even more looking forward to the season. 🙂 Chamakh will, in the absence of RVP the first weeks, get a chance to fit in the team. It’s not always easy as a striker to come to another team and just take a good start.
Thanks for making me think harder about the front men in the squad next season. For me, motivation within them is key (England, hmmmm). Also RvP great potential – rest him regularly though -, Dudu should be out on loan until Jan to prove his mental state on a pitch, Arshavin must surely understand by now that footie’s a team sport and he must spot that the player is aware/ ready for one of his ace through balls, Bendtner too needs to drop the arrogance a notch and give more assist, Wlacott puzzles me – when will he learn about tackling and crossing? With those nailed he’ll be worldclass, I long for Vela’s consistency and intelligent positioning, Chamakh I know nothing so can say nothing but ‘Wenger knows’… But, the link to midfield is so crucial that for me our season rests on developing telepathic partners (viz Henry and Pires) and trios (viz Parlour, Bergkamp, Henry/Wright). Consistent (not a label we can give to Nasri, Rosicky, Diaby, Song) good service to the forwards (viz Barca) and we’ll romp through. My hope is that Fab if he stays shows complete commitment. And I can’t wait to see how the new pairing of CDs pans out.
Where is Wilshere there? You do know he plays as a right wing forward right? He should definitely be listed here.
Being French, even if i distratively watch the Ligue 1, i can say that Chamack isn’t a killer in the box… but he has an excellent heard. I think he has scored the main part of his goal last season with his forehead. In addition of that, he works a lot (a very lot) for the team so he could create opportunities to Arshavin&Co. An amount of 10-15 goals (65% with head) looks reachable if he plays enough.
Good article and it proves that if you actually sit down and look at the quality players Arsenal have, then it can only bring optimism that they will do extremely well this year (injuries permitting etc etc).
Don’t agree with Walters comments on Melo though.
Firstly, Wenger has been following him since he was Almeria, and if Wenger rates him, then he must have something about him.
Secondly, most people critisise him off the back of a few press reports that he has had a bad season at Juventus, but I doubt those same people have actually seen him play very often, if at all. (he was also very good at the WC overall I thought, apart from the last 2 mins of his playing time there).
Thirdly, I respect your opinion but can’t understand why you would dislike a quality player just because he has played for 3 different clubs in the last 4 years? the fact is, he was very good at Almeria so it was inevitable that a big club would look at him. Then it was hardly his fault that he was also outstanding for Fiorentina (especially in his 2nd season), so this drew big offers from even bigger clubs (including Arsenal). He was happy at Fiorentina, but if the club accepts an offer and says “you can leave as the offer is too good to refuse”, then what can you do.
I think he would be an excellent addition to Arsenal, and give us some much needed steel, and despite what people say about his discipline he could hardly do worse than that Arsenal legend Patrick Vierra.
Boom – I would certainly count Wilshire as midfield. As I said in my piece today, I have included Vela in attack because Arsenal.com lists him there. Oddly they put Arshavin in midfield – but Walcott in attack.
So I have roughly taken their division and then used a bit of my judgement as to how it looks to me in block 99.
So Wilshire is midfield, and I’ll be doing a similar article shortly on the midfield component of the squad.
Gooner 80 – thanks for your comment – and the reminder about Plan B. In fact I wish I had included that in the article, because a significant point of having this many players available is that there is a plan B
Older fans will remember John Radford coming into the side in the late sixties and, generally speaking, looking pretty raw – a bit like B52 still does now. But a spell playing out wide on the right (engineered by a largely unsung hero of Arsenals past, Don Howe) enabled the striker to gain confidence playing in more space which can be kinder to a nervous first touch and give more grass to run into. Having played in that position for a year Radford became a great crowd hero and moved back into the middle helping us get to four cup finals and to win the double. B52 has plenty of time to acheive the same.
I think it could also be time for Walcott to move over to the left more often. Wenger likes right footed players on that side (Overmars, Pires, Hleb, Arshavin)and it could increase his goals/game percentage.
Interesting to see Ignassi in the squad for Barnet.
We, earlier did not readily head balls in. Crosses were hardly accurate. If we improve only these areas, we will go a long way.
Marty. You can’t compare every youngster too rooney, who is also a striker and not a midfielder. Once in a while some super talent emerges at extraordinary young age. Which Rooney is/was. Fabregas IS young, and he his f’king fantastic and one of the best in the world at what he does. Diaby and Denilson are only squad members in my eyes. You must also remember that Song is a defensive midfielder to protect the back four. I think he is very good, his job isn’t to create fancy passes, although he can if he wants too, remember his assist for eduardo against burnley in the Carling Cup? He has pace, but he is very good at positioning, you should watch an Arsenal game and follow just him. Every duel he gets into and win the ball, he has a very nice gift of managing to head it to teammates 90% of time.
I am very optimistic about the season coming up, we are being written off just as last year. There is hardly anyone expecting us to challenge for the title, which puts the pressure on the other teams. All we are missing is some slight indication what Wenger is thinking about our defensive duties.
@marty, thats funny you say that as Gibson is seen as a young United player, so is Anderson and Nani. Gibson is older than Denilson. Even Milner, who won young player of the year is older than Denilson. If Milner is young then surly our players are young! Or are there different rules for players under 23 in Arenal and in othet clubs? Cesc is better than rooney was at his age i think, so really arguing that our yong players are not as good as other clubs young players is stupid. Cesc is a very yong player(same age as gibson i belive, younger than nani?) And he is the best midfielder in the world. Same goes for Ramsey hes incredible too. Stop moaning and saying things that aint true…
This is interesting, is there any chance that Wenger would come back to the 4-4-2 formation? Bcoz Chamakh doesn’t look like a striker that should be put on the bench. He is in his prime and has been in a good goal scoring spree. So if we put Van persie and Chamakh in the starting line up, we.ll hav vela, bendtner as our main striker substitutes. Even if 1 or 2 of these get injured, we’ll hav a bunch of youngsters to replace them. Honestly, eduardo seems to be completly out of the picture. He would remain our 5th choice striker and that doesn’t seem good for him. A possible transfer awaits perhaps?
Also if we have a 4-4-2 formation, we would be sacrificing a mid-fielder. Arshavin and Fabregas wud definately be in the starting line-up. So that would only leave us to choose 2 out of nasri, ramsey, rosicky, walcot,diaby and song. This seems to be a concern as all of these guys are good. Rosicky would most probably be a substitute, and ramsey wil join us by dec/jan (he would also be a substitute as Wenger would let him get used to the league little by little after that horrifying injury). So that would leave us with selecting 2 out of song, walcot, nasri and diaby. Maybe the sacrifice would be in the form of a defensive mid-fielder- Song. Maybe Diaby too would be sacrificed after a not-so-impressive last season. Nasri seems to be partnering fabregas in centre mid-field and walcot to be running loose in the wings. Also Wenger can also deploy nasri in the wings instead of walcot and put diaby to partner fabregas. Hence Song (Who has been most impressive last season) seems to be the most affected by the arrival of the new striker. It seems that Wenger would use Song as a substitute when arsenal is clearly in the lead and would substitute him with a striker for more defensive play.
@darkprince I think wenger will have about 4 formations depending on who is available, who we are playing and whether we are winning or losing like you sort of said.
We cant moan having so many options especially with all the injuries and if we dont have the same number of injuries than that means some players can get a rest, wenger used to rotate alot pre emirates and some players will benefit from not playing so much, may be we can finally realistically challenge on all fronts
I hope campbell signs and judging but this article there isnt a hope in hell we are getting joe cole we have too many midfielders
IMO are B team is going to be how it used to be VERY STRONG and our squad will have the depth similar to what a title winning team requires to compete on all four fronts
You are absolutely wrong about Chamakh, he is a first team player and not here just to make up any numbers,I think that you have been influenced by the fact that he came for free . Arshavin on left with Chamakh and Van Persie interchanging positions at Central forward and right would be the familiar sight at Emirates next season, wait and watch. His heading ability would be of limitless use both in offence and defence
Bendtner to many people seems like one of the most infuriating strikers with the chances that he misses. However, if you look closely into his football, his positional sense is absolutely fantastic. The guy is always in open space. I think that is partly why he seems so infuriating. Most strikers probably get 3 chances and take one. This guy, he makes 3 himself by virtue of his great positioning, gets another three and gets one. Wait till he’s about 25 and his finishing has developed. He is going to be WORLD CLASS.
I also believe (and hope)Chamakh will be wenger’s first choice. The injury potential was low ( but the game is played harder in England), great personality:very nice hard working guy;
I’m sure he will be considered one of the best signings in recent years. Remember the prediction
“If you divide the season into two – going forward we have done very well but defensively we have been average,” Wenger said.
“When you concede 40 goals you don’t win the championship and I want to rectify that. My transfer policy this summer will be to keep our strengths going forward, add one player, and add more defensive strength to our team.”
Id like to draw your attention to the last comment Wenger made, “add more defensive strength” as we all know collectively in defence we were poor and at times laughable last season. I would like to hope, that looking at the ammount of forwards we possess, that this coming season wenger will be sending out teams to defend from the front, press high up the pitch, constantly harrassing the opposition.
A tiring task for a forward but with the amount of forwards available and with a work horse such as chamakh coming into the squad i hope that this is the way forward, no excuse but to give your all when you know you can be rested for the next match.
A thing I remembered from a Bordeaux game last season was that Chamakh lost the ball in attack. And he went after the player who had intercepted the ball from him, sprinted till the halfway line and then made one of the finest defensive tackles I have seen made by a forward and took the ball cleanly out of the feet of the other player (and without making contact or making a foul against the other player).
And the match reporter, who follows the French league much better than I did or do said: “This is typical Chamakh, always hardworking and when he loses the ball he will fight to win it back”.
So this judgement from someone who should know a bit about him was something I really like hearing.
Bendtner and chamakh up front should scare a few defenses in the air. asrshavin and wacott on the ground likewise. Chamakh should also help at defensive set pieces.
do we have a free kick taker yet? not scored one for a while (i think denilson scored one last year???), but other than that not a great record overthe last few seasons. same for goals from corners.
to the guys who would consider leaving Song out of the team. are you mental? best player for arsenal last year, injured for our collapse at the end of the season.
the article is good, but we were as strong up front last year as this. our problems are in defense and between the sticks. i hope djourou and gibbs are fit this year and that kosceilny is as good as vermaelen.
also hope that JET and Wilshire break through
For me i think with the 4-3-3 formation it should be
Subs:Djouru, Gibbs, Nasri, Walcott, Bendtner, Alumnia, Densilson
look at that bench…I think there will be obvious variations in the front three depending on who we play, but Chamakh is class, great touch, strength, aerial, passing and shot! and i think playing him up top will take pressure off VP. Arsharvin and VP on free roles with VP esp getting forward a lot. I still wish for a back-up DM for song and another CB and a schwartzer to give schez another year or two!
p.s. diaby is a different player when Cesc is in the team…he is a monster and with him and song player behind cesc i think the team above is the best in the league (lets hope kosielny is the goods which i think he is!)
p.p.s. i Forgot Rambo on the bench even better!! take off denilson…ehehehe
Gibbs assisted vela for that wonder goal against sheffield utd. v.good read.
I generally think that this is a problem, especially if we get no injuries!!
but wait, i’ve come up with the solution, we play 5 strikers.
pretty sure that all of them are on long term contracts as well!!!
I don’t wish to be nasty but if you slated Wenger for each time bringing back a player too quickly who then breaks down again as you bang on about Walcott and the U21s, then Le G would sign you up.
Get your facts straight: Walcott was out for 6 months with his shoulder the season 2008/09. There is no way he could be stretched due to playing too much.
If you can’t get your facts straight and just wish to spout your party line, please stop insulting others who merely trot out another party line.
Wenger demands total obedience.
There’s only one problem with obedience. It means you submitted to another person’s will, thereby crushing your own independent will.
Funny thing: the whole point about football is NOT to submit to another person’s will. Isn’t it?
Think about that as you wish to create your team of poodles who can’t stand tall when the going gets tough………….
It would be interesting to see where craig eastmond, eboue, denilson and song would fit in the squad this season. We have a load full of talented midfielders and strikers, plus we also need to give our youngsters some opportunity in some of those games. And if we dont have as many injuries as last year, then some of these talented midfielders would have to be put on the bench for most of the matches which would be a real shame.
Rhys: Walcott played for England and the England under 21s when Wenger didn’t want him to. That is what I was referring to, and I think it is well documented.
I very much doubt wenger will go back to 4-4-2.
There were moments last season where I thought we should(due to defensive problems) but then that would ruin our flowing passing play. Wengers ‘current’ footballing philosophy is reliant on a passing game. A 4-3-3 creates more tringles(short passing opportunities) than a 4-4-2(england this world cup). My guess(I’m no expert) is that Wenger will deploy a customised version of the 4-3-3 which gives us more cover at the back, or even a different attacking option.
Last season’s 4-3-3 had the 3 upfront constantly switching positions therefore confusing man marking(obsolete?) Suppose few would disagree that our best front 3 would be Arshavin LW, Van P SS, walcott/B52 RW, this focuses on wing play with CAM+Wing Backs supporting the wide player. With the forwards at our dispossal this year(back to fitness,forms,transfers) we could pull both wingers more central(CF?) And still play 1 up front. This is maybe where Edu would come in. I know his best position is off a target man but the same interchanging system can be applied to the SS and 2 CF’s. It will be a more narrow formation but will give a bit more cover for the centre(but will also expose wingers. What I’m trying to say is..,o matter what formation is chosen, it will always have a weakness but I very much doubt that it will be a drastic change to the current system. Either way, I’m excited to see our team today!
Cosmojon- The 4-3-3 combination actually looks more like a 4-5-1 combination as both arshavin and walcot seem to be used as wingers rather than strikers. But if we continue this formation again this season, doesn’t it look a little waste of talent especially when we hav a world class striker like chamakh on the bench?? Also if we deploy only van persie as our natural striker, wouldn’t it make the likes of bendtner, vela more insecure bcoz chamakh would be our second choice in strikers?? Surely a class player like vela would surely look at this in a negative view as he wouldn’t wait for too much time for some first team competitive matches.
Cosmojon- Also Arsenal has been more successful in while playin in the 4-4-2 combination 10 years ago. I know its an old combination, but its a successful combination.
Ok, I simplified it to 4-3-3, it’s more like a 4-3-2-1 / 4-2-3-1 hybrid.
I wouldn’t say it’s a waste of talent as we have very good ‘squad players’ up front this season. Some play differently to others. You can’t compare Vela/Chamakh/Bendtner as they all play differntly. Bendtner is a more traditional target man(by trade), Vela being more suited to playing second striker/wide, Chamakh as a ‘fake 9’. I saw a few of his matches last season and he tends to drop deep for possession, pull his marker then dash forward which is very similar to what, i think Van Persie was doing well last season.
Your comment about the 4-4-2 formation is valid. However, you also have to understand that football is very different now.
The World Cup and Champions League being good examples of how coaches prefer (simplified)4-3-3 to 4-4-2 as possession is favourable.
Our team was very successful using 4-4-2 as we also had different types of players that suited that formation. We had left and right midfielders who were great at attacking, we had a few box-2-box players.
I’m not saying the players we have now aren’t as good or are better skill wise or technically but the players we have now suit a 4-3-3 better than a 4-4-2. Bearing in mind that that could easily change with 1-2 signings/promotions.
Maybe Chamakh is the start of that…would love to see Edu playing off one of our 3 ‘big boys’..miss Edu… :'(
Walcott has only had one bad season? Are you kidding me!?
Hes never had a good season and hasnt really broken through. Hes considered ahead of a lot of other players, often playing ahead of nasri, rosicky and eboue – but hes never justified it.
He plays a good game every once in a while, and that seems to be enough to keep him his place for the next few months! It really annoys me because players like merida and vela had to sit out, and as a result merida has gone (partially because of this Im sure) and vela was labeled a disappointment by many fans last season – although he barely had any match time!
Eboue as well was brilliant at the start of the season on the wing but lost his place to theo as soon as he regained fitness for no good reason.
Im sorry but walcott has had the chances and is just too inconsistent. The injury excuse ran out somewhere during the 2nd half of last season after hed had a number of matches ina row and still not shown the potential hes supposed to have. He has a lot to learn and I personally think a loan would be best for him. Everyone really wants him to do well because hes english and as you say, he is a nice guy, but he has never proven himself.
I really hate bashing players like this, but he continues to get so much support but disappoints 99% of the time. I see he has some talent and can be a good player in the future, but he shouldnt be in the first team right now. Wilshere looks far more ready imo.
I think we have good fowards, I did think Arshavin was very poor at the end of the season though, I hope he’s a lot better this year cause he’s a fantastic player.