Arsenal Centre and Forwards

Manthan’s excellent post yesterday had me concluding that Podolski’s best fit is at Centre Forward, which leaves a straight either/or choice between Herr and Monsieur. You know what, I can’t see the problem. So we have two goalscorers.

There have been many chats on here over the years about having a Plan A and a Plan B. Me, I say Plan A, and if that’s not working, more Plan A. One or two players may be having an off-day, so bring on the other version.

Both Podolski and Giroud are playing their first seasons in the PL, have 11 assists each in all competitions, and respectively 13 and 15 goals. Would Podolski have scored more had he started centrally as many times as Big ‘Ol…. Dunno.

What I do think, is that Ollie has more potential. Aside from the obvious heading ability, I believe the reason has not scored more is down to the tactics and approach of those around him. They see him, think “big”, therefore the high ball is ok. Wrong.

It’s January 23rd, on a cold night in North London. Half time, and Arsenal are 1-1 with West Ham.

Far away on a laptop, some bright spark know-it-all posts this:

MickyDidIt89 says:

January 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm

“Some great football from us. I only wish we would stop playing the high ball into Giroud. He’s actually very good with ball to feet.”

At 9:03, this happens

Fast forward into February, and remind yourself of the Giroud goals against Brighton.

and this ………..

In conclusion my view is this, sure, Usain Bolt he is not, but we can make up for this speed in the wide berths. Stop treating Ollie as a Big ‘Un, and think of him as a Little ‘Un, and I believe we have a goal machine in the making.

Written by MickyDidIt89

65 Responses to Arsenal Centre and Forwards

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Short, to the point, and spot on. Great post, thanks.
    Oh, and quite brilliant observation in the game against W’ham 🙂

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I am very happy in my own company, and equally happy to watch those goals over and over again 🙂

  3. Albie says:

    Who says they cant play together upfront with Walcott behind them. Yes that means a change in formation, but what the heck, we need something not predictable.

    I’m in Europe AGAIN !!!

  5. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky, I certainly think we have not yet seen the best of OG and as many have pointed out, his first season bears comparison to the likes of Drogba and Henry in terms of goals and asists.

    I agree the idea of pumping high balls in his direction from the flanks is ridiculous and as you point out, he is very good with the ball on the ground. However his success% of getting his head on the ball from goal kicks must be very high, if we can train the midfielders to anticipate his lay offs better and make the runs before the ball has even reached him, we may be back to the good old days of 3 touches from our GK into into the oppos net 😛

    As I have said before, I’d like to see him control the ball on his chest when there are no obvious targets for 2nd ball and hold the ball up to bring the midfielders into play.

    I would also like to see the Pod given a couple of games up front and this could be in the form of giving OG a rest as he runs his heart out every game.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Champions League for me, Big Al 🙂

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Almost agree with every word of that, Rasp.
    Where we differ, is that I think we HAVE seen the best of Ollie ie those clips. The objective is for the team to line up more opportunities like that and leave him to do the rest.
    All three of those goals are reminiscent of that dutch bloke at his best.

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think Pod and Ollie could definitely play in a 2, its just that I cannot see AW going for that line up as a starter.
    Certainly, there may crop up situations where we may be chasing a game and he may (I’d say “should”) switch to 3-5-2 allowing that pairing to flourish.
    …………..Pod Gir
    Gibbs Jack Arteta Santi Theo
    …….Kos Mert Sagna

  9. chas says:

    Nice one, Micky.
    I can’t get the 2nd Brighton goal video to play so here’s a youtube version if anyone else is experiencing the same.

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually, I’d play Jenks, not Theo, in that line up.
    Pretty tasty looking if I may say so.

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cheers Chas,
    And thank you for the b’day card. I loved it 🙂

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nipping out for a bit

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Brilliant post but I would ask you this. Which CF would you prefer ….. This season’s or last?

    We all know the answer and because of this we need a better finisher than we have.

  14. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, Micky I have seen you suggest the play like he is a little’un before and to be honest it’s hard to disagree, I posted up first EPL season stats comparing Drog and OG, and OG comes out alright, if he could go on to be half as “efficient” as Drogba he would be a steal…..but Chelsea used Drogba like he was a big in, and he in turn was willing and able to do what Rasp suggests in terms of holding the ball up for others to join in.

    But OG shows good movement into space around the box and doesn’t need electric pace….what he needs is consistent game time with new teammates, and to be honest that is what the whole team has needed this season. I like him, I like his attitude, and his work rate, and that’s half the battle.

  15. Gooner In Exile says:

    Raddy finishing will come in time.

  16. afc says:

    Arsenal need a striker who can run with the ball. When we are defending a corner for example passing the ball to giroud to start a counter attack is useless we don’t counter attack teams like in the past with the pace and lethal finishing that we once had, opposing teams feared that! I promise you good defences love playing against giroud because he has no threat except his aerial ability. He’s conversion rate of scoring is crap it takes him like 10 chances with his feet to score a tap in. His missed chances have cost arsenal a hell of alot points, more points then he has won for arsenal. I can’t believe this guy is afc’s main striker he is no diffrent from chamak. From Wright, Anelka, Henry, Bergkamp, Kanu, Suker, wiltord, Eduardo, 30 goal a season adebayor, and rvp how have we reached to this leval of averageness and think its acceptable? Right about now we are struggling to get into top four if we had at least 1 of our old strikers we would be higher up.

  17. The font says:

    Van has gone we won nothing with him we have won nothing without him oh but we have scored more goals this year

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody doomer Raddy
    Look at the vids
    Every bit as good as dutch
    Sometimes oOllie appears half a yard short
    Or was the ball half a yard long?
    Glass half full thinking at its best 🙂

  19. goonermichael says:

    I love Ollie 🙂

  20. kelsey says:

    I think it’s too early to access either of them as it’s their first season and both are a bit hit and miss and both are primarily left footed.

    Having said that you could say the same about Walcott, Santi and the Ox being hit and miss and that more or less sums up our season so far.

    We could just as easily beat United and then lose to QPR.

    If it was me which of course it isn’t i would take a good hard look at our coaching staff,formulate more than one way of playing, bring more speed and fluitity into our counter attacking, practise and practise again our dead ball situations especially corners and hopefully work out which really is our best back four for the majority of matches.
    take a careful look at our scouting as we are getting beaten to the post more frequently by second tier clubs.
    Will Wenger be that radical or does he want to remain a control freak (in the nicest possible way)
    Rumours that our Adidas shirt deal may have fallen through. a 50-50 chance of CL next year,far too many first teamers out on loan or just not good enough.

    I can’t be as optimistic as TMHT as i am a realist and someone has to loosen the purse strings,get rid of deadwood even at a loss and bring in three exceptionable players and have not one but a few leaders on the pitch as the armband means absolutely nothing.
    Arshavin and squillacci are off.with most probably Fabianski

    I am sure AW would love to off load Bendtner.and Djourou. Park ? Rosicky, wouldn’t be surprised despite his contract go back to germany as he is getting older and quite truthfully has never been the player we saw before we bought him.
    Maybe coquelin will make a regular breakthrough but who else.

    Is that dooming enough 🙂

  21. RockyLives says:

    Excellent ponderer Micky

    I like OG (although I have moaned about him trying too many over-ambitious first time flicks and lay-offs when, at times, he would be better taking a touch and then laying off in a more controlled way, like the big Brummie whinger used to do).

    That said, there is an “elephant in the room” with regard to this discussion. Namely, that all the smoke signals indicate that we will likely move for a big money striker this summer.

    What then for Pod and Oggie?

  22. RockyLives says:

    Big Al
    You have not escaped my attention.
    I am mulling my response to your stats-related monologue of yesterday. My, you had a lot to get off your chest 🙂

    Tomorrow, possibly…

  23. Afternoon all.
    Great post enjoyed the vids,I agree with most bloggers on here that OG is in his first season on the PL.
    He did score for France on Friday night.
    Lets see what he will be like next season we can then judge him.

    There is football on TV at 3pm live from wembley the FA Trophy final ,Grimsby v Wrexham .
    Much love
    Sheep Hagger ™

  24. GunnerN5 says:


    Like yourself, I also noticed the digs from Thailand but I choose to ignore them.

  25. R****L***s

  26. ‘Digs’ or ‘points well-made’?

  27. RockyLives says:

    I think you made a good case. But there is a counter argument. And it’s coming.

    Knuckles is bringing it in person 🙂

  28. Rocky
    I feel such a fool… you’re not gonna believe this, but…
    I’ve had to hurriedly pack; my plane leaves in 2 hours. Taxi’s beeping, I’m out the door in 2 mins!

    How could I have overlooked this holiday?!
    I won a competition last week – 1st prize: an all-expenses round-the-world-trip, and… that’s not all.
    As long as I don’t backtrack, that is to say, I have to continue moving in the same direction I can travel for a whole year!!

    ps – explain to Gunner N5 that I wasn’t having a dig; my post was merely a response, nothing more.
    And give Knuckles my regards.

    Gotta go…

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    OK Big Al,

    I will accept that it was merely a responsive dig.

    Don’t get lost.

  30. GunnerN5 says:


    I’ve been meaning to respond to your suggestion, which was accepted by Rasp, to fill in some of the summer void with a “best” player/team poll.

    The strange thing is that I was working on a similar idea that would include the profiles of our late and great players. I would enjoy the opportunity of collaborating with you on the series of posts.

    Let me know if you find this acceptable.

    You can get my email address from Rasp if you wish to see some examples of what I’m putting together.

  31. Bayonne Jean says:

    This post and the two previous ones on Podolski and Ox suggest that it would be useful, in this international lull, to address, more comprehensively, two statements that we all agree with in principle but which are sometimes at odds with each other:

    “We need a stable starting 11”
    “We need squad rotation”

    Separate posts devoted to each. The stable 11 discussion would focus on a) who should be in the stable 11 and b) what formation should be used as a base. Squad rotation would have more facets, including what’s an optimum rotation schedule for strikers? for midfield? for fullbacks? for keepers and central defenders? Which players fit into what roles within the rotation schedule? How much should the oppoition play in influencing squad rotation? Etc.

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s a bit heavy, what with tactics and stuff changing about all over the place 🙂
    However, in a quiet and contemplative mood, I may think you have a damn good point.
    My first XI, for example, might only require two additions to be able to react to any situation. Perhaps subtle switches between 4-3-3, 4-5-1 to 3-5-2.

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually, reading that back, I’m not sure its a very helpful comment.
    Mind you, I am dribbling.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Bayonne. Get writing!

    I really like OG and wish him a long and succesful Arsenal career, but …. If we tried to buy Villa in Jan, then it is clear AW is not satisfied with his striker options. One doesn’t buy a CF of Villa’s age and ability to sit on the bench.

  35. BR villa won’t be at the same club by next January he be elsewhere and it won’t be arsenal
    Much love

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You sound troubled to me, whereas I was expecting a relaxed man-in-the-mountains by now, sipping a gentle, but meaningful, Barolo.
    Are you snowbound in some hell hole?

  37. No snow in Swansea cold but no snow .
    Plenty of sheep but no snow

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I am worried. I paid 122 pounds for two tickets London City to Nice. Suspiciously cheap and Mrs Raddy is giving me gip and London is effing freezing.

    Will be calm when esconced in Italy with a bottle of red in front of me.

    And I am staying with a Spurs supporter 😦

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Sheep. Doesn’t the fur keep you warm?

  40. RockyLives says:

    I hesitate to be picky, but isn’t it called wool?

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Jeepers Lads,
    Fleece is wot sheeps sport

  42. Big Raddy says:


  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nasty thought Raddy
    You being in Italy and whatnot, means no explorer when Saturday comes?

  44. RockyLives says:

    How about Marco Polo?

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Polo wore hide (albeit high around the neck), I believe, if that helps

  46. Hi
    I’ve no sheep or woll or a fleace .
    I’m just a sheep Hagger

  47. Gooner In Exile says:

    GN5 just saw your post at 4:36 I was going to suggest stats for each nominee and given your almanac of stats you were definitely the man I was going to turn to (save me regurgitating wiki)……as well as providing us some nominees I hope too.

  48. GunnerN5 says:



    I will be more than happy to supply both stats and nominees.
    It would be better if we were able yo communicate off line, in that way we could pre-plan and agree on format and nominees before hand.

  49. GiE and GunnerN5 – I’ll put you in touch with each other

  50. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cheers Peaches, plus the rest of you when you send me nominations !!! Me and GN5 will collaborate to get the final nominees, but one nomination from each regular AA’er for every position plus a few words/paragraphs why. GN5 and I will decide a short list and prepare the posts. And then we can all get busy posting.


    Fine stuff Micky

    I dont know what to make of Giroud. Sometimes he looks a good player and at other times he looks as though hes playing wearing a Tuxedo and leather shoes. The tux restricts his movement and the shoes make him mis control

    No one can tell me that when hes striking a ball form 50 yards like a lunatic he dosnt resemble some grown man interupting a kids game who then blazes the ball into some dingy car park.

    Is this what weve come to? An aspiring actor reduced to working as a glorified waiter who then takes his frustration out by interupting kids football?

    Hes very good in the air though. Just imagine iif he wasnt wearing those tight trousers and restrictive jacket. His leap would be tremendous.

    We must always give players a second season though. I mean come on, Gervinios getting four. If he dosnt improve next season i wouldnt worry to much about him. I fully expect him and his Tux to get a staring role in some American soap.

  52. Manthan says:

    HI all,
    Good Morning… Micky in current team i want poldi in left but if (big if) if we get a good winger next season I will play poldi in Middle… saw giourd goal agaisnt Georgia a true No 9 Header

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Manthan,
    That header does illustrate why he does have more in his armoury than Podolski in the aerial department, while I’d argue he has as much on the floor.
    Clearly, he does have a terrific work rate, but I do wish he would be a little less errr…..Mediterranean, and by that I mean, Wet. Pretty much all players do the “Oooo, I’m injured” fakey bit, but it really pisses me off when he takes it as far as having to go off the pitch for a few moments to labour the point. One day, this will cost us.

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hope the chill has thawed (between you and ze Mrs), and also that the snow has cleared and you are airborne 🙂

  55. Manthan says:

    Mickydidit, Agree Aerial department GIOURD is best but real goal poacher on the floor is POLDI 🙂

  56. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha Manthan, but wouldn’t you say each of the goals in the vids above were opportunist goals?

  57. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, what we could do, is both agree that neither are Terry Henry, but we are where we are, and trying to justify what we have when nothing is going to change and we need to get right behind the lads, makes our belief justified 🙂

  58. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Big Al came out with a long list of stats the other day and one can look at them in different ways.

    The fact is we have won less than half of our PL games this season and our home form is average and that’s where most of the points have been lost as compared to the other top clubs.

    I really don’t think Wenger knows his best formation and for transition read experimental season.

  59. Rasp says:

    Morning Manthan, did you see we published your article on Saturday? I’m sorry you weren’t around that day to respond to comments, but it was well received.

    Morning Micky 🙂

  60. Morning all

    We have a New Post ………………

  61. guest says:

    Just think Mario Gomez at Bayern. To me he is a similar style to Giroud and has scored loads for his team (last seasons second scorer behind Huntelaar if im not mistaken; but was injured most part of this campaign). He has lots of creative players around him who understand his game and know how to get the best out of him (goals).
    So I think it’s just a matter of time and understanding and bedding in, for our big Ollie to bang them in for fun 😉
    I remember last season he had really good understanding with bellandha and the two formed a great partnership in attack. He knew how his team worked and they knew how to make him score! Btw Y. Bellandha is not having a great season this term..

  62. weedonald says:

    It is unclear to me why so many diss Giroud and Podolski, yet extol the virtues of Bale, Robin Van Persecuted and Suarez. Yes all three are having a great season but so are OG and LP. As I have repeatedly said before, you have NOT seen the best of Podolski, nor IMHO of Giroud. I saw Podolski regularly in Germany over two years and he really impressed me with his disciplined poaching and hard work, even at a really crap Club like Koln. He made mincemeat of Bayern’s defense and was a thorn in the top team’s sides despite Koln being in the bottom 4 all season.
    Pretty soon, it will be time for the rotational whiners to target another gunner…maybe the Ox or Szcesny?

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