Time For The Pod To Shine At Number 9?

This is a topic I have had on my mind for some time now and stems from Arsène Wengers apparent reluctance to try Podolski in the number 9 role. I believe he played this role once at the start of the season, (perhaps against Sunderland?), and since then, when he has played, he has been utilised from the attacking left, which often leaves him playing more like an orthodox winger. I personally feel that Podolski is “ok” from this position but I don’t feel he is what I would qualify as world class. He does, however, seem to have some excellent attributes that could see him progress into the world class bracket as a central striker.

The assertion by many that he is our most natural finisher is something that I would find hard to disagree with, and his statistics before coming to us at both club and international level seem to support this. I have questioned, like many, why Arsene has not played him in the number 9 role. One must assume that having tried him in that role earlier on this season, and then looking at him closer in training, that Arsene recognised certain deficiencies that would not allow him, at that point, to perform the number 9 role at the very highest level. I would certainly bow my head in this matter to the man that discovered Anelka, developed Robin Van Persie into a world class striker, and way and above everything else, gave us the great Thierry Henry. That is evidence enough that our esteemed manager knows a world class striker, or potential world class striker, when he sees one.

P2

When the ball lands at Podolski’s left foot in dangerous areas he looks as good a finisher as any other world class forward you could care to name at the moment, so what is stopping him from claiming this role as first choice for the club. Podolski’s shortcomings for this role we can maybe only hypothesise upon. Speculating, I would consider that maybe he is too one footed and needs to develop his finishing ability more with the right foot as we saw with a certain traitorous Dutchman over the last few years. Maybe Arsene doesn’t feel he yet has the instinct in the runs he makes and the positions he takes up in the box, so that rather than create the opportunity with a well timed run, he is still overly reliant on the ball arriving at his feet without having to move too much. It could be that in our system, that would see him lead the line without a recognised central number 10 partner, that Arsene doesn’t feel he yet has the ability to hold the ball up when required and therefore link his team-mates into the attacking play.

The recent reports, allegedly directly from Arsenes own mouth, that he is working hard with Podolski in training to convert him into that prolific number 9 seems to indicate that Arsene both sees and believes that Podolski can fulfil this role in the long run. The big problem in my mind is that I feel we are in a time sensitive situation with regard to our forward department. I don’t believe we can enter next season without a ready made world class forward line, and for me the number 9 position is a key area where we are behind our top club rivals at present.

I think that more than at any other time in our recent history this is the critical summer where we shouldn’t enter the campaign with such an important area of the team still being a work in progress. I personally like Giroud, who I think has had a decent first season and feel he will still improve further, but I don’t see him being able to become a world class number 9. In direct comparison to Cavani, Falcao, Lewandowski and the great TH14 can anyone actually hand on heart say that Giroud will achieve that level? I can’t, and I view Giroud’s long term future with us as a second choice number 9 or impact sub.

We are heavily linked with Jovetic. Now this is a player I like and hope we get. I feel he will bring an extra dimension to our attacking department, but once again I don’t see him as a number 9. He looks to me to be an attacking central or attacking wide player. If anything he is likely to take up the

attacking left sided role that Podolski currently plays, which would leave Lukas somewhat redundant with regard to this position. That leaves the question of whether we have the answer within our own squad for the world class number 9 role in Podolski, or is it an area where we need to dip into the transfer market for this summer.

Worryingly for me, and obviously also for Podolski, is that aside from Giroud AW seems to prefer Gervinho in the role. Despite scoring a couple of goals more recently I don’t see Gervinho as becoming a world class number 9. Podolski conversely, I feel, has the natural attributes that Gervinho doesn’t, that would allow him to be a 25 a season striker. I think Arsene’s deployment of Podolski over the last four games will tell us much. If he continues to use Giroud, and Gervinho in his absence, in that role rather than Podolski I feel the writing could be somewhat on the wall.

If we don’t see Podolski play the role before the end of the season I would surmise that it means Arsene doesn’t feel he is ready. If he is not ready now then I don’t see him being ready for the start of next season because I don’t personally feel that the pre-season period would see a seismic shift in his development. Securing players like Cavani, Falcao, and Lewandowski will neither be cheap nor easy. Many of the other top clubs seem to be circling for these 3. Maybe more realistic alternatives would be one of either Benzema or Higuain from Madrid. If Jovetic does arrive I can only really see it meaning one of two things for Lukas, and that is that he either becomes the clubs first choice number 9 or………

I can see one possible way that we could bring in Jovetic and still keep Podolski even if he is still a season away from being ready to be first choice number 9 on a permanent basis. That would be by bringing in an over 30 ready made world class forward that could still do the job at this level over the next couple of seasons. Only one name springs to mind for me and that is David Villa. If Arsene truly believes that Podolski has what it takes but just not quite yet, then this is an option that I would not turn my nose up at.

Written by GoonerB

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101 Responses to Time For The Pod To Shine At Number 9?

  1. FIIIIRRRRRRRSSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTT !!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Hi gooner B I haven’t even read the post yet so I may be talking bollocks but Podolski is apparently injured and needs an operation. I’ll read the post now to see what a dickhead I am :)

  3. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    Congratulations Big Al, GM do you really need to read the post to find that out? :D

    GoonerB, You’ve highlighted a problem that has been evident for some time now. Wenger has constantly bought players in who he can see something nobody else can. He then converts them into what he thinks is their best position. All very well and good, but, we need ready made players, we cannot afford to spend the time developing bought in players.

    The place for development is in the Academy not the first team squad.

    Two telling quotes from Alisher Usmanov, “The team has no superstars now” “In our understanding, Kroenke has no plans to sell his stake, but we also won’t sell out, as we are the team’s fans.”

  4. Reddawn says:

    Podolski doesn’t look right to me, I’m sure he is carrying an injury, which appears to be affecting his ability on the field. Maybe, next season we will see a different player.

  5. I think it’s unfair to to include Podolski as one of those NG. low said Podolski is best on the left and he’s played there for Germany. Unless you mean he’s converting him centrally in which case no I didn’t need to read the post :)

  6. GoonerB says:

    Can I just say guys that this post was written before the game with Utd so some of the content may take on a different perspective since that game. I still think the number 9 position and our quality in this position relative to our rivals going into next season is of high importance. Will be back on later to check on comments.

  7. Twig says:

    Brilliant post. David Villa is certainly an option. This will allow players like Podolski and Campbell to grow. However my preference is for Benteke. We should do all we can to get him.

  8. Sav from Australia says:

    Nice article GoonerB. I agree with Reddawn, it does look Podolski is carry an injury – I think it was reported he needs ankle surgery. But I’m an optimist and I have faith that while both mid-20s, Podolski and Giroud will go to the next level next season. There’a beast inside Ollie, waiting to be unleashed.

  9. I have hopes for Giroud too

  10. evonne says:

    Very, very, very good post GoonerB. I am extremely fond of Podolski and was ecstatic when he joined the Club.

    But Podolski is 28, Giroud 26 and Gervinho 25. All of them have potential, but it might be too late for Podolski to become a new star. In my opinion he has reached his peak already and is unlikely to surprise as still. He will be an excellent sub for a couple of more seasons, but will never be faster or more skilful than he already is.

    My hopes are high for Giroud. I see him as dependable 25+ goals a season striker. Gervinho? Some brilliant goals and many more missed chances

  11. Big Raddy says:

    Gooner B. Some fine analysis. I like Podolski but remain at a loss as to why AW signed him. We had and have left sided MF’s and attackers.

    What we lack is the “fox in the box”, perhaps Pod can become one but I doubt it. David Villa would be perfect but will AW sign a 31+ y.o. player who has no PL experience?

    Why sign Benteke when we already have a target CF who has shown he can score goals?

    IMO we need a Plan B.

  12. Zealous says:

    I really enjoy your article but u shld make long story short by talkng more abt David Villa.he is de man AW needs now and next season

  13. Manthan says:

    Gonner B,
    Great Article Mate.. I always wanted to see Poldi playing in Central but I don’t think in PL he is suitable as Center Forward. Giourd can become deadly next season if Wenger works on his finishing on ground. Poldi is best in Left wing position or we can go for 4-4-2 formation where Poldi and OG in front. But in 4-3-3 its really hard to imagine poldi in middle and I agree with you regarding Jovetic if he do come to arsenal he will play on wing.

  14. Manthan says:

    BR,
    David Villa to arsenal is very less chance. Wenger will not sign 30+ player but we never about Le prof what is going in his mind :D

  15. RockyLives says:

    Very good Post GB

    I could tell from reading it that you had written it before the ManUre game.

    I find it funny that some people are pointing to that game as evidence that Pod is not a No 9. One game proves nothing, especially when the opposition is them.

    My own feeling is that he would benefit from being one of the front two in a 4-4-2 – but that doesn’t seem to be a formation that AW favours.

    It will be interesting to see what happens next year, particularly if it’s true that he’s been carrying an injury and is due to have an op to clear it up.

    He certainly has an eye for goal when he gets the chance.

  16. GoonerB says:

    Zealous, I would be in agreement with you about Villa as it would buy Podolski some time to develop into a first choice number 9. As BR says above, with regard to his age, it would an unusual signing for us but could work out well with maybe Jovetic as well. I would look at a forward line that boasted Villa, Giroud, Podolski, Walcott, Jovetic, Gervinho and the Ox as being one capable of allowing us to challenge for the title.

    The reason I didn’t talk more about Villa Zealous is because I wanted to focus on Podolski and whether he can eventually perform the role at the top level. I wanted to hear what others felt and why. I would be interested in why you feel Villa is the right one over say Benteke or Higuain, or whether we should go all out for a Lewandowski. Are we even capable of getting a Lewandowski, Falcao or Cavani in this transfer window? Maybe there is another less heard of player that is an untapped gem waiting to explode and if so Who is it ?

    Many thanks for all your kind comments especially you Evonne with the word good and no less than 3 “Very’s” thrown in. I haven’t had the word good with that many “Very’s” since that heady 80’s holiday in Majorca in my heyday. Will check back later.

  17. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Rocky, that is a point I would agree with that 1 slightly under par game against Utd doesn’t tell us whether he can fulfill the role in the long run.

    Also on the way to the game I was talking with someone reasonably closely connected to Arsenal and he said that he had it in good faith that Podolski was carrying an injury and that it was his groin. maybe they are just trying to see out the season and maybe an op is on the horizon.

    Right definitely off now.

  18. Norfolk Gooner says:

    GM,

    You can’t win on this one mate, It’s like being asked “when did you stop beating your wife?” :D

    I’m not sure why Wenger bought Podolski, if it was to play him on the left wing why doesn’t he do so? If it was to play him centrally why did he buy Giroud?

    I like Podolski, I like his attitude, I like the fact that he isn’t moaning about lack of game time, I think he is infinitely better than Gervinho, there must be a reason why he’s not starting more games, perhaps he is carrying an injury.

    I hope that next season we will see a lot more of him.

  19. Norfolk Gooner says:

    GoonerB,

    I watched the Real/Dortmund game last night and was very disappointed with Higuain. When Benzema came on he was not much better, I don’t think either would suit us or the Premiership.

    Now Lewandowski…There’s a player we could do with! Unfortunately we’re not likely to get him or Cavani or Falcao or….

  20. Kryptonite says:

    ready made world class forward that could DO the job…
    Look no further than Negredo, 25 goals in the Spanish top flight and for less than Jovetic would cost.
    The guy is tough enough for the PL and fast.
    At 27 he would be in his prime with a few good years to pass his experience to the young blood coming up through the ranks.

    Jovetic is a good player but Italy is not the EPL and nowhere as physical plus his goal tally is far from impressive this season and not worth the reputed 25 mill being asked for him

  21. Norfolk Gooner says:

    K,

    Negredo was born in August 1985, by the start of the new season he will be 28. What does that give him? Two, or three years at most?

  22. I think he is carrying an injury NG. I’ve read it in lot’s of places. BTW I haven’t stopped beating my wife :)

  23. taylor says:

    Yet another example of Wenger’s failure to utilise a player’s maximum potential, he got away with it in the past playing players out of position such as Ljungberg and Pires because they were top quality players able to adapt to any given situation.

  24. Asene Wenger should go on 442 formation. Podolski has good finishing dan Oliver Giroud. If Podol, should shoot a shot, 2 times one is goal. Lukas Pod, he dosent shoot anyhow that is one good thing about him. He has force in d attack more dan Olivier G. So join Podolski and Olivier G, for 442. Podolski is a threat to other team or club dan Olivier G.

  25. Kryptonite says:

    @ Norfolk Gooner
    27 or 28 what does it matter he is the finished article and ready to make a difference.
    I am forever surprised with fans obsession with age, Giggs is 39 and he has made a contribution to UTD’s success for the last 9 years, an age bracket you do not appear to think can compete.

    The experience that such players pass to those coming behind them is invaluable.

  26. GoonerB

    Very, very, very, very, very good post mate.
    Forget all the names mentioned in your post… daft.
    Wenger won’t be buying any of them.

    You ask “Maybe there is another less heard of player that is an untapped gem waiting to explode and if so Who is it ?”.
    That’s a very, very, very, very, very sensible comment/question.

    How many on this site predicted we would sign Kanu, Luzhny, Petit, Flamini, Henry, Anelka, Silvinho, Lauren, Cygan, Toure, Edu, Grimandi, Gilberto, Reyes, Hleb, Sagna, Clichy, Denilson, Koscielny, Diaby, Cazorla, Senderos… the list goes on, and on.

    Forget who we’re “linked” with. Forget who Wenger is about to “swoop” for.

    evonne. What exactly don’t you like about GoonerB’s post :-) .

  27. If I may ask, y it dat fans have confident in Podolski dan Olivier G. If Podolski is not in d field, fans get worried and tired. Arsenal fans need dis man on d central role; What is in ur mind.

  28. taylor says:

    If you take Gus Caesar out of the equation, Gilberto Silva is the worst player ever to play for Arsenal.

  29. Worzel says:

    Gilberto Silva nice enough fellow, won the League inspite not because of him, hot potato, bouncing off his shin, traps it further than he passes it, all spring to mind when evaluating Gilberto Silva.

  30. evonne says:

    Big Al :) you are soooooo funny :)

    Are there any rumours about the identity of the doped Spanish footballer? My money is on Puyol – his hair says it all

  31. GoonerB says:

    Big Al 1.29, Thank-you very very very very much. The untapped gem is an interesting one and it doesn’t have to be someone that we haven’t heard of. It could be a Negrado or Adrian lopez being ready to step out of Falcao’s shadow.

    Some fans may not be so excited by these 2 if other teams are getting the Falcao’s and Cavani’s but, using Falcao as an example, a few years back he was heard of and recognised as a good striker but not thought of in the same way he is now. If AW felt that someone like Adrian was ready to hit prolific top level number 9 form then why not. We have to have some faith in the manager in his judgement on this. I would be open to a few possibilities.

  32. Worzel says:

    Does anyone else think Mourinho is overrated, if it wasn’t for the unprecedented unbeaten season, Ranieri would have won the League in his first season under Abramovich.

  33. jnyc says:

    I agree with much of what u said GB. To the comments, many people talk about pod as left wing for germany, but what about years as striker for koln? Its certainly debatable. Giroud i like, but i keep saying that he is not quick enough to be OUR first striker. I hope Real sign falcao or cavani, and we get a shot to buy benzema or higuain. Still wishful thinking.

  34. All the Spanish footballers are doped. Deco just got caught (I know he’s not Spanish)

  35. dandan, at 1.17pm

    Thanks for the link.
    Wonderful illustrations!
    I was a graphic artist myself (though not an illustrator) ’til I took “early retirement/dropped out”, and can say with confidence that the artist is very talented indeed.

    The illustrations may look ‘simplistic’ to some, but they are not ‘simple’. They are stylish in the extreme, with a really nice usage of colour.

    I landed my first job at 15 years old due to my own illustrations (including football) that I produced as a hobby from a very early age. I bookmarked the page, so I can look again later.

    Thanks again, dandan.

  36. dandan (et al)
    Forgot to mention…

    If you click on an illustration you get an enlarged version. Unfortunately, it’s still rather small. But, if you hover your cursor over the pic it will enlarge the segment your cursor is pointing at. Then move the cursor around to view other enlarged areas of the pic.

  37. JM says:

    Scouting report:

    Philipp Hosiner (Austria Vienna & Austrian international)
    23 years of age, 5ft 10in, plays centre forward, second striker and right winger.

    http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/philipp-hosiner/profil/spieler_37788.html

    Season 2012-2013 (27 goals and 8 assists in 31 games)
    (2 international caps, 2 goals for Austria)

    Quotes from article at uefa.com

    http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=aut/news/newsid=1906912.html

    “Hosiner – who counts Thierry Henry as his footballing role model …”
    “Hosiner’s predatory instincts have thrived in Austria’s 4-3-3 system, with Stouger encouraging him to burst from deep and make trouble.”
    “If the coach needs me, I’ll be available, but if not, I’m not going to storm off in a huff,” sighed Hosiner, whose enduring ambition is to prove himself in a bigger league – ideally back in Germany, where he first went with 1860 as a 17-year-old. “Of course, my goal is to play abroad again,” he said. “The German Bundesliga I see as the first stage. England is a dream, but I would say my playing style suits the German Bundesliga.”

    To complement the signing of Stevan Jovetic.

    On Podolski, he works best with Miroslav Klose in the Germany team. How many goals have they scored together when partnering each other?

    We need to find his regular strike partner at the club. (Giroud? Walcott? Gervinho? New signing?)

  38. Big Raddy says:

    BTW. Wurzel and Taylor are more names for the troll who bass been annoying us for the past few days.

    The little boy has found a way past the wordpress ban system.

    Sorry to all of you who read his comments, though it must be said his spelling is very good for a schoolboy

  39. He’s not offensive Raddy and at least he doesn’t go on and on like some we’ve had. He seems to be talking to himself.

  40. LB says:

    Manthan says:

    May 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    BR,
    David Villa to arsenal is very less chance. Wenger will not sign 30+ player.

    Wenger signed Davor Suker from Real Madrid when he was 31.

  41. Big Raddy says:

    GM. You are so forgiving :-)

    LB. It was so exciting when Suker signed. Top player.

  42. Was it Suker who lobbed schmeicel and left him on his arse in an international?

  43. Worzel says:

    Yes it was and he also missed an open goal against Leicester.City.

  44. Worzel says:

    Euro 96 Croatia 3 Denmark 0

  45. Red Arse says:

    Here are some of the players who played for Arsenal, who were over 30 y.o.

    Oldest Arsenal players.

    Below are Arsenal’s oldest Premier League players and their age in years and days on the occasion of their most recent actual Premier League appearance, starting or coming on as a substitute.

    For each player age is measured in years and days from their date of birth to the day of their most recent Premier League game.

    Player…… Age (Y:d) Age (days) Match
    Jens Lehmann 41:150 15126 10 Apr 2011 A v Blackpool
    John Lukic 39:335 14580 11 Nov 2000 H v Derby
    David Seaman 39:234 14479 11 May 2003 A v Sunderland
    Lee Dixon …….38:54 13934 11 May 2002 H v Everton
    Martin Keown 37:295 13810 15 May 2004 H v Leicester
    Dennis Bergk…36:362 13511 07 May 2006 H v Wigan
    Steve Bould 36:167 13316 02 May 1999 H v Derby
    Nigel Winterb ..36:155 13304 14 May 2000 A v Newcastle
    Sol Campbell 35:233 13017 09 May 2010 H v Fulham
    Tony Adams 35:201 12985 29 Apr 2002 A v Bolton
    Mart Poom 35:99 12883 13 May 2007 A v Portsmouth
    David O’Leary 35:9 ……..12793 11 May 1993 H v Tottenham
    Oleg Luzhny 34:278 12697 11 May 2003 A v Sunderland
    Ian Wright 34:188 12607 10 May 1998 A v Aston Villa
    Andy Linighan 34:186 12605 21 Dec 1996 A v Nottingham
    Thierry Henry 34:177 12596 11 Feb 2012 A v Sunderland
    Manuel Almun 33:317 12371 02 Apr 2011 H Blackburn
    Paul Davis 32:359 12047 03 Dec 1994 A v Nottingham
    Remi Garde 32:331 12019 28 Feb 1999 A v Newcastle Mikael Silvest 32:273 11961 09 May 2010 H v Fulham
    Tomas Rosic 32:206 11894 28 Apr 2013 H v Manchester
    Robert Pires 32:190 11878 07 May 2006 H v Wigan
    William Gallas 32:177 11865 10 Feb 2010 H v Liverpool
    Davor Suker 32:134 11822 14 May 2000 A v Newcastle
    Alan Smith 32:42 11730 02 Jan 1995 A v Tottenham
    Yossi Benayn 31:341 11664 13 May 2012 A v West B
    David Platt 31:334 11657 10 May 1998 A v Aston Villa
    Pascal Cygan 31:260 11583 14 Jan 2006 H v Middlesbroug

    There are quite a lot more.

  46. RockyLives says:

    GM
    I remember Suker scoring from a free kick inside the penalty area against (I think) Villa at Highbury.

    They had a wall about 8 yards in front of him. He just blasted it over their heads and into the roof of the net.

  47. Red Arse says:

    Can’t do tables in WordPress! :-(

  48. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks GB, i like the Pod, hes a fine player. I think the main problem weve had this year that all the guys that have played up front are not all that dropping off, creating space, or lacking the ability to set up runners from midfield.

    Alright, i know Denis was a one off, but surely there must be some one out there we can get who will fill that void.

    It limits our options. Not once this season have i thought Arsene could play 2 up front with one droppping of in midfield. He aint got the players

    Poeple always say that we are to predictable or need to learn to adapt to different style of play but how are we gona do that when were without the missing link.

    That Darwin geezer has a lot to answer for. Ime convinced hes cost us the title this season. hahaha

  49. Thanks Worzel. I’m going to find it on YT

  50. Worzel says:

    TMHT i take it as read you won’t be supporting Arsenal when Usmanov takes full control of Arsenal.

  51. I think schmiecal had gone up for a corner.

  52. I don’t think that will happen Worzel.

  53. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Ive told you before Worzel, its not my fault you cant pull birds. I know you struggle, so why not join a dating agency you fool.

  54. Worzel says:

    Back tracking and a half hearted attempt to take the moral high ground. Wenger doesn’t need fair weather supporters like you.

  55. Worzel says:

    TMHT Stay on bergkampesque where you can hide behind TA you’ll only get roasted if you go toe to toe with me.

  56. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Worzel, you and i both know you have serious mental issues and suffer from severe depression. Get some help before its to late.

    And try some blind dates. hahaha

  57. Bayonne Jean says:

    If anyone’s interested:

    Barcelona: Messi not starting (?!?); Fabregas and Song are starting.

  58. Worzel says:

    Keep feeding the Troll, i’m hungry, i’ll eat you for dessert, rice pudding is my favourite.

  59. GoonerB says:

    TMTH, that missing link Bergkamp type player we are looking for could turn out to be Jovetic. He looks every bit the quality creative number 10 with a decent strike rate, but also with the ability to drop into and play the advanced CM role when needed. Could AW be thinking of switching to a more traditional 4-4-2 which morphs into 4-3-3 when the player behind Giroud / Podolski, in this case maybe Jovetic, drops deeper.

  60. Shard says:

    Thank you for the article GoonerB. A very good analysis indeed.

    In my view, Podolski gives us some balance on the left wing with the accuracy of his crosses as well as his lethal finishing. Whether that’s the best use of his talents, I’m not so sure. But at the moment, using him on the wing seems the best choice because although Gervinho can dribble and cause havoc sometimes, he does tend to run into dead ends, and his crossing is abysmal. Podolski’s understanding with Giroud also seems to be good.

    I agree that in the future he could be an option up front, if he can improve on his link up play. I think his injury is hampering him and so we haven’t really seen the real Podolski, but hopefully next season we will.

    As for who to get in as main striker. I disagree with your analysis on Jovetic. Although he can play behind the striker, and on the wings, I think he will be used up front (If he comes). He’s not a lethal finisher yet, but then Henry and RVP weren’t either initially. Jovetic has a bit of RVP about him in his technical ability and he can sometimes create something out of nothing.

    I think it’s unlikely we’ll get another striker in, but I am reminded of how when we got rid of Anelka we got in one young player with potential (Henry) and another who was more established (Suker) and wonder if there’s a chance that happens. Villa is a pure finisher and nothing else. He can’t dribble and he can’t really create much. Doesn’t seem like a very Wenger type player. Although it is certainly possible we might be looking for variety. If we’re looking in the 30 age range, I like Lisandro Lopez more than Villa, even though I haven’t seen him play this season at all. He seems to have more pace and he can play down the flanks as well. The Loic Remy rumours persist as well, so that could be another option.

  61. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    GB, Guru, it would be great if we could get a player like that. Dont know much about Jovetic but we definately need an underlying striker.

    We need more variety to our play. I think the wide guys would realy benefit from having that kind of player around.

    The team is all about balance of course, but nothing wrong with having options.

  62. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Thanks fior a very interesting table. I had no idea Dixon played after his 38th birthday,

  63. Ian Ure Face says:

    Stretch.
    I know where Worzel lives, he’s in a field near me !. Bring the Ford Escort, some chloroform and video camera !. hahaha

  64. evonne says:

    I have been looking at the pictures of the Spurs new training ground and I did not like what I was seeing; the facilities look awesome, simply stunning. Can someone please confirm that they are nowehere near as good as our training camp?

  65. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, he may be a little weasal and terrible poof that hides behind a key board Ian, bit i give him something, hes managed to break the online barring system.

    Maybe we should hire him next time we do a safe job hahaha

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Alex Dimitri Song Billong looking pedestrian and so is Cesc.

  67. evonne says:

    the commentators said that ‘Barca without Messi are like the Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger’, priceless

  68. Big Raddy says:

    It’s hard to believe we beat BM 2-0 – they are fantastic

  69. Catweazle says:

    You judge a Club and it’s Manager on his European pedigree not on his Domestic achievments otherwise Celtic would be the greatest Team in history

  70. RockyLives says:

    Cesc should leave that struggling outfit and follow the impulse of his N5 DNA :)

  71. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Agree completely.

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Great to have two teams in the CL final who don’t dive and cheat their way to success.

  73. Hi all

    We don’t have a post for tomorrow. If anyone has an idea can they send it in please ;)

  74. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, long day and just read post and comment.

    Biggest laugh of the day about winning the league inspite of Silva….there speaks a man who know sod all about football.

    Second biggest laugh was someone stating that we must go all out to sign Benteke….after one good season in the PL….these kind of football fans should stick to playing Championship Manager.

    Back to the post GoonerB it was interesting, I would worry about the likes of Cavani and Jovetic in the PL, continental football is a very different game, Lewandowski would appear to be a more suitable fit to PL style. Here I am talking about the physicality of the game, and by physicality I mean competing fairly for high balls etc, this is what Giroud has done well for us this season. And one of the main things Pod will have to work on to have any chance of making a central striking role his own. He disappeared in the game against United once we started playing the ball longer and higher….maybe it is the injury.

    You also state that we are the weakest amongst our competitors in the PL…this made me raise an eyebrow:

    Chelsea…..Torres and Ba
    Spuds……..Adebayor, Defoe, Dempsey
    City…………Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko
    United……..RvP, Hernandez, Wellbeck
    Liverpool…Suarez, Sturridge.

    I’m not sure were that far behind, the main difference between us and others is our attacking three/four, whilst Cazorla has done well and Pod and Theo have contributed some excellent goals I feel that they don’t do enough to help the overall balance of the team, this is truly where the difference lies. Compare Theo and Pod to Hazard and Mata….it really is, unfortunately, no contest.

  75. That was the funniest thing I’ve seen for ages. We gave them much more of a tie than they did.

  76. Rob Lucchi says:

    arsenal > diving cheat

    poor Song

  77. Gooner In Exile says:

    Wonder if the dip in Spanish sides over last couple of years in ECL has anything to do with those blood bags held?

  78. chas says:

    Super post, GoonerB.

    Podolski does like the ball to feet.
    I think he’ll have a belting second season.

    The pet troll just needs a stroke every now and then to make sure he knows he’s loved. Shame about the need for a litter tray though.

    Barca getting thrashed was superb. They really look second rate without Messi.

  79. Gooner In Exile says:

    They are not a one man team though Chas……

    Actually makes me laugh to think how much we were touted as a one man team last season…and you look at City, Barca, Madrid and ManUre this season and wonder if they are any different. Ronaldo not scoring for Madrid, Madrid don’t win….Silva not as good as previous years City not getting same results, no Messi Barca look stale, ManUre everyone puts title solely on BSR’s shoulders…..Us? No BSR but we’re about the same.

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    GIE Your final sentence made me think, but that is a post for someone else….

    It was hard to believe how second rate Barca looked against a strongly disciplined team. Could this have an effect on the PL?

  81. evonne says:

    What I would like to know is how wealthy Bayern are?
    Because if they are not stinking rich our excuse re oilies can go down the pan

    I’d say Robben and Ribbery must have cost a bomb, but what about the rest of the team, where did they come from?

  82. evonne says:

    In 2011–12 Bayern reported revenues of €373.4 million, marking the eighth consecutive time that Bayern has topped their previous record earnings.[8] According to the latest Deloitte’s annual Football Money League, Bayern was the fourth richest club in the world in 2012, generating revenues of €368.4 million.[90]

    Forbes ranks Bayern as the world’s fifth most valuable football club in their annual list, estimating the club’s at value $1.235 billion.

    So they are filthy rich without oily monies. Only Audi and Addidas are outsiders-shareholders owing less than 20% of the club.

    They had their turbulent times and could not overtake Borrussia for many years. They have a new stadium, state of the art and same age as our Emirates.

    All very interesting. sadly reflecting badly on EPL

  83. Red Arse says:

    Morning Evonne, :-)

    I love the way you ask yourself a question and then answer it yourself too.

    I am going to have a go, too.

    Am I the durndest, rootin’ tootin’ son of a gun from NYC, and handsome too?

    You betcha sweet fanny I am!!

    Damn – that feels good. Thanks Evonne!! :D

  84. Red Arse says:

    Watching the game last night, it was obvious that Barca, without Messi, are only half the team they are when he plays.

    The other thought that flittered lazily across the arid plains of my mind, were that Barca looked alarmingly like Arsenal, on occasion.

    Barca tried to play neat one touch football, and it did not work; they played tikki takki footbal from one side of the pitch to the other, and they were simply over run physically by Bayern pressing so well; and then they were pushed off the ball by technically very good players who were just faster and bigger.

    Is the pendulum swinging back to Henry, Pires and Bergkamp sized technically gifted players, mayhap?

  85. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA the penultimate paragraph reads so different in English English, as opposed to American English :)

    Evonne I had some amazing observations about German football and WordPress ate them. Basically though German football ripped up their rule book around 2004-2006, it’s been a long process but it is now paying dividends both at club level and international level.

    And what are we doing in England? Copying the Spanish model 5 years too late, and before that we copied the French (Clarefontaine) model, before that the Dutch (Total) Football/Coevre model. Behind as ever because we have no one with half a brain in the FA to take a true gamble and find our own path, needless to say next year it’ll be about how we should follow the German model.

    As RA intimates above the prescribed EPL FFP is not entirely beneficial to the whole of English football, especially while the ownership structures have been allowed to stay the same. The beneficiaries will be those with the biggest earnings. A better way of enforcing FFP on the EPL would be to say that only domestic incomes can be used for squad building (wages and transfer fees), any European prize money should be forced to be used to lower costs of attendance or to be funnelled back to the academy system etc. Although the worst development in recent times has been the change to the academy systems….it’s almost like the EPL have put in Nursery Club rules by the back door.

  86. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. What changes are they?

  87. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    You had me puzzled there for a while, until I remembered that ass/bum/fanny means the same thing in the US, but the last word means something quite the obverse in the UK .

    Ooerr! :D

  88. Shard says:

    GIE @ 6.11

    Shouldn’t we then wonder the same about the Mancs?

  89. Rasp says:

    Raddy, if you’re around, we don’t have a post for today except your response to the ‘underminers’, I’ve made it ready to post – is it OK with you if we publish it today?

  90. Big Raddy says:

    Sure but it is hardly my best work :-D

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Lads,
    Very sadly, I think I’m a bit late to join in the Pod debate, but thank you GoonerB, I really enjoyed the read.

    Rasp,
    I’ll do something for tomorrow if that helps.

  92. Gooner In Exile says:

    Raddy here’s a full run down of the changes….the worst bit, from a lower league perspective, is the fixed compensation basis when a team with a higher grade academy (normally a PL club) knocks on the door of a lower academy who has already put many hard years into developing the talent. Parents and players still have a choice to stay where they are, but lets be honest if you’re in te Gillingham Youth SetUp and ManUtd come along and say we want you, who is going to turn it down. They can do that because the 1.5 hour rule has been removed for the top graded academies.

  93. Rasp says:

    Sorry Raddy, I’ve been tied up in a meeting …….

    …… New post …..

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    “Not your best work” eh? Fear not, I did a rushed job and scored something like 46 points (votes/comments), and I promise not to let that record be broken :-)
    It may upset The Cummings, but a record is a record, and sacrifices need to be made.

  95. weedonald says:

    When I lived in Germany I saw Podolski play with Koln and he rarely played as a true #9, but rather behind the striker as a sort of floating left winger/midfielder. His real strength is to play across the field in front of the midfield and to pop one off from outside of the box or to run in and take a crack.

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