9 responses

  1. Nitram
    24 March 2022

    I find this question very interesting because without doubt there is more than one way to skin a cat so to speak. It isn’t essential to have a 20 plus main striker to achieve what you want, but it helps. But if the rest of the team all contribute in sufficient numbers then there is no need.

    We had similar debates to this back in early February where I did a comparison between our current young Guns and our incumbents the last time we won the Premiership, Henry, Bergkamp and Pires

    https://untold-arsenal.com/archives/92789

    As I said at the time, as good as these young players are, are Martinelli, Sake, and Smith Rowe going to score enough goals to be able to, and I really hate this phrase but I don’t know how else to put it, take us too the next level.

    If Martinelli is going to be our new main striker (Our Henry), Sake our new attacking wide player (Pires), and Smith Rowe our new creative attacking midfield player (Bergkamp) they are not only going to match them ‘skill’ wise, but goal scoring and assists wise as well.

    So I did a comparison back then, and as much as the young guns figures have slightly improved and as good as they are they are still short of where they need to be if they want to reach the level of those 3 icons. A level that did indeed win us the Premier League.

    All numbers Per Game.

    HENRY: Goals = 0.68
    MARTINELLI: Goals = 0.26

    Martinelli needs to more than double his return in this regard.

    HENRY: Assists = 0.42
    MARTINELLI: = 0.16

    Martinelli needs to almost treble his return in this aspect of his game.

    ——

    BERGKAMP: Goals = 0.28
    SMITH ROWE: Goals = 0.23

    Smith Rowe is already up there with Bergkamp. Exceptional for someone so young.

    BERGKAMP: Assists = 0.30
    SMITH ROWE: Assists = 0.13

    Smith Rowe needs to more than double his return in this regard.

    ——-

    PIRES: Goals = 0.31
    SAKE: Goals = 0.17

    Sake needs to almost double his return in this regard.

    PIRES: Assists = 0.20
    SAKE: Assists = 0.15

    Sake compares very favorably with Pires in this regard, again remarkable for someone so young.

    But the fact remains out of 6 parameters measured, our young pretenders only match our past heroes in 2. Smith Rowes Goals and Sakes assists. In the other 4 parameters our young guns are still a long way short of where we need them to be if we are to challenge for the title.

    Matinelli is a fantastic prospect, of that there is no doubt, BUT his return in goals and assists is miles away from where it needs to be.

    Will he get there, that is the question. I hope so but it is by no means a certainty.

    Smith Rowe is already a fantastic talent. He already matches Bergkamp for goals but needs to double his assists return.

    Given his age that is without doubt achievable.

    Sake too is already a fantastic player and just about matches Pires for assists but again he has to double one aspect of his game as well, and score more goals.

    Our 3 most outstanding young guns have some way to go to reach the level of our past heroes that were good enough to bring us our last title.

    We have a choice as a club and as fans.

    1) Are we going to be patient and wait for the 6 months, season, or even 2 seasons it may take for these guys to reach the level required, assuming they do ?

    2) Are we going to supplement them with ‘ready made’ though expensive additions to the squad ?

    3) Even replace them altogether with a raft of ready made and proven, again expensive players ?

    It’s an interesting dilemma and there is no easy answer.

    The fact is we cant afford option 3 anyway, but hey it IS an option.

    Option 2 is probably the most likely to happen.

    Option 1 Would simply be amazing, in more ways than one.

    Reply

  2. LE GALL
    24 March 2022

    Very fair assessment of Laca’s importance in the team, Tony (and Nitram)
    When Auba was a gooner, I always thought the team was much better with Laca CF, and the smiling roadrunner darting into the center from the left
    Laca is the second-best (more on that later on) undergraduate of Bernard Lacombe, Lyon’s legendary CF – who was to become Aulas’s right arm after he quit playing – that is to say a rather diminutive (for a CF) player, king of holding-up play, brilliant at making the players around him better, but scoring goals nevertheless (Laca is not as good as his role model in that regard), actually doing for their team what a good “Kreisläufer” does for his handball team
    Only the thing is … I’ve found Laca’s “body language” worrying lately, as though he was getting fed up with having not scored from open play in such a long time – the way he sometimes waves irritatedly at teammates, is very unlike him, too; I do believe he has to score soon in order to keep faith in his rather sacrificial role for the team
    Now I agree that buying a selfish goalscoring machine, obsessed with his stats, would be a mistake, all the more so since I think no one at the club is mad enough to even consider letting one or more of our young Fantastic Four go. Sooner than later the four of Bukayo – MØ8 – Marti – Emil will have to play together, which means that one of them will have to play central. I know many think Marti’s the one, but as far as I’m concerned I wish MA tried out Emil in that position. As Nitram has pointed out, his goal-assist providing stats are already amazing for a boy that age, but I’m pretty sure he has all it takes to eventually become one of the very few “flawless” CFs, the ones who can both score and make the ones around them score, just like Bernard Lacombe’s most outstanding undergraduate … Karim Benzema (yep, that’s the level Emil is entitled to be aiming at imo).

    Reply

  3. Stephen
    24 March 2022

    @Nitram
    There’s not really much or anything we can do about those three youngsters, we’ll just hope and wait that they fullfil their potentials not just anywhere but at Arsenal, trying to compare those players to the legends you mentioned will be putting too much pressure on their young shoulders,let’s just leave them,let them play their football and turnout the way we hope they will and i think Arteta will do them alot of good if he can get young players with ambition and potential to supplement thier efforts rather than buying overpriced and expensive readymade players.

    @Tony
    Inasmuch as we really love what Lacazette is doing for the team but having a goalscorer in that team will really be something huge, it will make the team even more balanced especially the attack just like in the days of Henry,Bergkamp and Pires,the burden will be shared among all the attacking players. I think that’s what Arteta and Edu are really looking out for in a striker,a striker that will be able to score goals and still make the others around him get goals too. So getting that complete striker is what i think will be Paramount for Arteta and Edu this summer.

    Reply

  4. bushido
    24 March 2022

    sorry, but how can you be so certain that if Arsenal get a new powerful center forward that the new striker will failed to provide any assist to the team. maybe Martin can step up and be our leading provider next season and yes, striker main job is to score goals but that doesn’t mean Arteta will tell Saka, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli and Odegaard to gave up their scoring opportunity in favors of the new striker. the main priority is the team as a whole and not an individuality. we got 10 games to go and the main goals and focus right now is CL football for next season. after the season’s over then the club can make decision whether or not to give Lacazette a new contract. whether he stays or goes i will still support the team and the club decisions. so if Arsenal signed a new big CF (why do they have to be big CF?) next season, it’s because the club want to shut up the moaners and not for the team benefits? come on now, maybe some people thinking is slightly different but that doesn’t mean any supporters and fans alike who want Arsenal to make certain changes or get a new striker is a moaners and such. they all wanted what best for Arsenal football club and let’s get behind Arteta and Edu decision and trust the ongoing project. sorry once again if i sound harsh as i don’t mean any harm

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  5. Chris
    24 March 2022

    IMHO I’d rather wait a year more for Arsenal to compete for the title if that means or Fab 4 get playing time and experience, get to know each other eyes closed and hopefully help groom the guys behind them in the academy.

    I’m in no hurry for titles. Arsenal need to keep that young squad and invest in them not some outsiders who may or may not adapt to the PL, may or may not integrate. And there is still Reiss who is pregressing and may offer an added alternative, the more so if we play in Europe which seems to become a certitude, even if it is only EL.

    And we need to ENJOY the moment !

    Reply

  6. bushido
    25 March 2022

    off topic- Gabi has a productive night with Brazil(vs Chile),came on as a 75 min sub playing on the left wing

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  7. Brickfields Gunners
    25 March 2022

    I like to think that Laca is doing much in his present position as being a problematic thorn against most sides . A few goals from open play will do him a world of good. He brings calm to our youngsters. I think that his contribution would be to help blood in our youngsters .

    Not sure if he would be around next season , but a one year contract extension/renewal would not go amiss. I think that Gaby would be the most likely to take on the TH14 role. His speed , turn of pace and dexterity is quite amazing .

    Am looking forward to the future rather optimistically.
    Up the Gunners !

    Reply

  8. Charles Veritie
    25 March 2022

    @ Chris.

    I agree with you 100%.

    As to a goal scorer, it may take awhie to find the right player.

    Let’s not forget, let new fans learn, it took Henry 11 games before he scored his first goal.What happened after that was exciting at the time and is now glorious history. So patience is the order of the day.

    The future looks bright, the future is new team.

    Reply

  9. goonersince72
    25 March 2022

    We need Lacazette when he was scoring goals. Or Ollie, who I really rated. I agree with the idea of not inhibiting the young Gunners. So much talent! Please don’t muck it up. Someone upfront demanding the ball every time down will not help the development of these players as several Untolders have pointed out.
    I can see giving Smith Rowe a go upfront but I don’t think he’d play with his back to the goal. Not a classic 9, not a false 9, a different 9. Interesting, though. Martinelli and Saka are a sight, swooping in from the left and right, respectively. Odegaard serenely puts the ball where it needs to go. Is there a calmer player on the pitch? All four are comfortable on the ball and in traffic. A pleasure to watch. These players will score more goals as they mature and gain more experience. There will be a lot more to come from this group if they aren’t literally kicked off the pitch. We see the targeting already, the PGMOL a flat out disgrace.

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