January Transfer Targets Pt. 2

So …… Pt 1 raised some interesting responses. Some thought that TV should be given time in the first 11, many disagreed with my contention that Koscielny, despite being a top bloke and player, is not good enough to propel us to winning the title, others thought that Jenks is a weak link, which I agree with, but unlike me do not think he has the gumption to become Bacary’s successor.  There was more but if you want to know – go back and read the comments.

My conclusion remains that until we tighten up a defence that has kept only one clean sheet this season our campaign is doomed.

But, moving forward,

Midfield:  Ramsey, Wilshire, Cazorla, Rosicky, Arteta, Flamini with back up from Eisfeld, Frimpong, Olsson etc etc  (In these days of fluid positions it is hard to say whether Ox and Mesut are MF’s, so for today they are attackers. )

This has to be the best midfield in England. So good that brilliant players will be forced to sit on the bench – players who would be automatic starters in 90% of the teams in the PL.

Creatively we are stuffed with riches but how about the much discussed DM position? Many, myself included, were surprised how well Arteta performed the role but questioned what would happen should he suffer a long term injury. If this was the question then Flamini was the answer. An inspired move both for himself and Arsenal. But is The Flamster a good enough solution? Would we be better off with a DM built  in the shape of a Northern Outhouse, someone like PV4 or Gilberto Silva?  Well, Alex Song was a big fellow and I would much rather be on the end of a tackle from him than Matthieu.


“Oh, No Mr. Wenger. Not the Left Wing”

And what would be your ideal MF in a 4-3-3? My choice would be Ramsey, Cazorla and Arteta but I have a suspicion our diminutive Spanish genius is going to spending much time on the left wing.

Transfer Targets: No need whatsoever, but if the rumours of Khedira from RM are true …..

Attack:  Firstly, do we actually play with wingers anymore? Given that Theo spends as much time in an inside forward position or through the middle, and that Podolski has the pace of an overweight Panda, then the answer must be No. But I love a winger, I love a player who sets up a fullback and then leaves him bemused and wishing he were at home with a mug of Ovaltine and watching Midsummer Murders.

Walcott has proved to be a fine right sided attacker and certainly the best in his position (?) in the PL. Podolski is a great finisher and adds power in support of the centre forward.

Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up an injury at a vital point in his AFC development – a run in the team could see him become an AFC great, but will he get the chance, and if so, in which position?

We do have 3 pacy teenagers; Myaichi, who appears to be an old fashioned winger. We thought The Ox and Gnabry were as well but both suit deeper roles which brings us to the DB10 role – the crux of the attack.  We have so many players who can fill this role but €50m has bought someone who has lifted the entire team and in short time has made the role his own. Mesut Rules and the whole club should be built around him. The prospect of him and Cazorla is mouth-watering.

All pundits, fans, club employees etc etc know where we are lacking – We are over-dependent upon the fitness of Giroud. We need a fox-in-the-box. Suarez would have been perfect but he didn’t arrive and my guess is that resulted in Dick Laws’ fan being covered in the brown stuff. That Mr Wenger was prepared to spend €45m on a CF shows he recognizes where the squad is lacking.

We have alternatives; Theo and Pod can play centrally. Sanogo could be the next Anelka, but if it is to be our season then we need a body. Or we need for Giroud to become Bionic.


” I, Giroud can play 50 games a season”

Transfer Targets:  The chance of getting a top quality striker in January is slim. There has been talk of LLorente but in my opinion he is similar to but not as good as OG. However, needs must and on a loan he would be a fine signing. Suarez in summer? Yes please. The problem is that every top club is desperate for strikers. Real are unhappy with Benzema, Barca do not have an out and out CF, MC are likely to lose Aguerro and are dissatisfied with Dzeko, Chavs – :-D, MU – BSR is coming 30 and a crock, Rooney doesn’t score enough. I could go on but you know the teams as well as I do.

What do you think? Can win the title without adding a striker?

written by an absent Big Raddy

27 Responses to January Transfer Targets Pt. 2

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy, oh Raddy,

    What’s with all this “we concede too many” nonsense.

    Come over to the bright side, and join the score-more-than-you gang 🙂

    I suspect Podolski will be Giroud’s stand-in, so yes, we can win things without a striker. Having said that, if said striker is a world class dribbly type and unbelievably expensive, then yes please.

  2. JanMan says:

    Great follow on post BR and lots’ of food for thought. Agree, our midfield squad has to be the best there is! Talk of Draxler, Reuss and Kherdira only makes the mouth water even more at the thought of adding one of them. Only problem would be how would you keep that many top class midfielders happy as they cannot all play? I also feel that the starting line up has to include Flamini, he is a great reader of the game which makes up for his lack of pace, he is a motivator, constantly talking and giving direction and when he tackles, well you know you have been tackled. Therefore I feel our only weakness is up front. Giroud is doing a great job but he can’t play every game. Now if I am honest I do not think we will find another top class striker in January, at best, a good squad striker. So the question is do we really need one? With the attacking midfield that we have Poldolski, Walcott, and Nicky B could easily provide cover up front and then there is Sonogo as well. So I really do not think we are that bad off as it may seem. However, next summer we need to look at bringing in someone that offers the skills of a Suarez or Lewandowski (spelling)

  3. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    I agree with BR about our mid-field, it’s stuffed full of talent.

    Watching the England game last night it was noticeable just how panicy defenders get in the face of pace. Whilst Walcott does a great job on the right, he is less effective when he moves to the other side of the pitch. I would swap one of our mid-fielders for a really pacy left winger.

    Up front, without knocking Giroud too much, I would still like to see a top class striker. Olly is good, but he doesn’t convert enough of the fine chances he is presented with. A deadly finisher would make a big difference.

    BR if you are visiting Norfolk there is one thing to remember, nobody comes to Norfolk unless they want to be here. Nobody passes through on their way to somewhere else, as there is nowhere else to go, we’re a bit like Cornwall in that respect, but even there you can go onto the Scilly Isles.

    Enjoy your visit BR and don’t forget “keep yew a’troshin bor!!

  4. chas says:

    Beware bad language at the end. 🙂

  5. chas says:

    Na, Na, Na, Na-na-na, Na-na-na, Giroud.

  6. Jamie says:

    Great post Raddy. I agree with you concerning our midfield. I couldn’t possibly see how we can fit One more MF in this team right now. Even before we signed Ozil I thought we had the best midfield in England. And now even Santi may be forced to play out wide-a player who would start at the no 10 role at any other club.

  7. Jamie says:

    And maybe we need a striker too, but not Llorente. We need more of a Rooney or Suarez type of striker. Somebody who can leave 2 opposition defenders on the ground with one silky move. And I think towards Diego Milito as a cheaper option. Anybody remember what he did to the Chelsea and Bayern defenders during their champions league winning season. I haven’t been watching the serie A of late, but surely he can still make magic happen

  8. Jamie says:

    And Chas that Giroud goal is pure genius

  9. GunnerN5 says:

    I will not have a chance to read your post until later Raddy.
    A poll taken on Arsenal.co asked who voters thought would be our biggest rivals for the Pl championship.

    Here are the results.

    Chelsea 45%
    M.C. 29%
    Pool 16%
    M.U. 3%
    Saints. 2%
    Spurs 2%
    Everton 0%

    Just look how low M.U. have sunk in peoples estimation, personally I think they will surprise us all and bounce back.
    I also believe that the Spurs % is more wishful thinking than it is a reality – they have a very solid core and are well coached, we saw yesterday just how good young Townsend can be,

  10. 26may1989 says:

    Yup, good stuff, Raddy.

    Once we have Podolski, Walcott and Cazorla available again, our already effective attacking line will look mighty scary. But being a greedy bugger, I do think we could do with one more high quality attacking talent. I don’t really mind whether that player comes in the form of an AM, winger or striker, so long as he is very mobile, a lethal scorer and with that touch of genius that would turn big games.

    In terms of pure footballing talent, Rooney or Suarez would be great, but let’s get real, they’re not going to be sold to us, we’re not going to be able to sign anyone of mega quality from another English club. Suarez was an exception, because Liverpool were underachievers, but they seem to have got their act together now, and have resisted us once. Chicherito has been saying he might need to leave United, but I just don’t believe United would sell him, or anyone else, to us.

    The talented big bloke option (Benzema, Llorente, Michu etc) doesn’t feel the right way to go, in my less than well informed opinion. We already have the best in that category no in the form of Giroud (that goal against the Socceroos, bloody beautiful), and Bendtner may genuinely have rediscovered his mojo.

    Without there being anything to back this up in terms of rumours etc etc, one person that would tick quite a few boxes is Hulk. He got pissed off with Zenit earlier in the year, and made noises about going to Chelsea, before everyone kissed and made up. But I think he’s on very stupid money, so it’s probably never going to happen.

    An AM with a very good eye for goal would be great. Julian Draxler looks a very attractive option, would love him to join us.

  11. Bayonne Jean says:

    While it’s evident there’s already too many “midfielders” on board, the player who’d fit the bill best as an upgrade in attack would be Marco Reus. He’s good sized, fleet, could play on either wing, and has enough size and technical ability so AW would be able to help shape him into an out and out attacker. Plus he’s German!

    Agree that it’s worth a good look at NB as a backup striker, and would steer away from the big body type transfer in January. As for the small shifty type, I’d steer clear of the cannibal. Kun Aguero would be much preferable, but I couldn’t see the Abu Dhabi Sky Blues risking a riot by their supporters if they were to let him go. Does anyone know if he’s unhappy with his current lot?

  12. neamman says:

    I am very happy with the squad if they are all fit.

  13. Good Evening all, another interesting post by Raddy on possible areas to strengthen, centre forward would be one area I would like to see strengthen as I am not sure NikB can fill in, and then he went and scored two beauties against Italy.

    Big Oli did what he does best which is stick it in the onion bag with his feet. So NikB is our plan B for getting goals by bombarding the box with crosses, we need a plan C for when the hold up game Oli plays for the rest of the team is not working, thats when the Suarez type player would come in useful.

  14. chas says:

    Shocking pen more than made up for with a ‘pre-assist’ (not silent at all, Micky) of such glorious quality. 🙂

  15. chas says:

  16. 26may1989 says:

    You’ve probably seen this via newsnow already but an interesting article from The Telegraph’s Jason Burt, and one relevant to Raddy’s theme:

    It was for the final 25 minutes of a practice match against his club’s under-21s that Sam Allardyce decided to use the tactic which, he claims, “reverberated around the country”. West Ham United would play without a striker.
    While the manager’s exuberant claim may be a little over the top – even if it did deliver a 3-0 victory away against Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday – it was a dramatic example of a trend that had already been highlighted by Arsène Wenger.
    According to the Arsenal manager, European football is using fewer strikers than ever before and the concept of a team deploying a traditional “number nine” forward is becoming increasingly redundant.
    Wenger’s assertion is backed up by statistics supplied by Opta to Telegraph Sport which, among a variety of indicators, show that teams are far less dependent on strikers for goals.
    So far this season just 52 per cent of Premier League goals have been scored by strikers – the lowest share of any season since the competition began. Even last season’s top scorer Robin van Persie has not scored a league goal in open play since the opening weekend of the season.
    “The striker is becoming a rarity,” Allardyce said. “Certainly there are very few of the traditional type that I used to play against and they are becoming harder to find. What we, at West Ham, have in Andy Carroll is rare whereas there used to be an abundance of his type.”
    West Ham played in a 4-6-0 formation at White Hart Lane and although Allardyce explained that it was mainly through expediency – with Carroll injured and his other strikers “not in a goalscoring mood” – it was also an approach he will consider using again.
    “I was probably waiting to hear from the players: ‘This won’t work,’” Allardyce said of the training session a week last Wednesday when he broached the idea. “But they were very positive. Will we use it again? It depends who we play against. We have lost that element of surprise and other teams will be waiting.
    “I also don’t want it to be seen as a negative approach and I don’t think it was — look at our number of shots and corners against Tottenham. I feel it certainly unhinged their players a little and it was interesting to see how they tried to cope with it – especially as our players grew in confidence.
    “What it also showed is that we are capable of changing and it was certainly something that reverberated around the country. I would not rule it out at all.”
    Although Spurs head coach Andre Villas-Boas was dismissive of the notion that his team were beaten tactically, Allardyce’s approach and Wenger’s argument reinforce the contention that the role of the striker is not only evolving, but being redefined.
    It is not enough to be regarded as a goalscorer — a Ruud van Nistelrooy or Robbie Fowler or, in more contemporary terms, a Jermain Defoe or Darren Bent.
    The Opta statistics show that the days of a top striker being expected to reach 20 goals a season are also fading. Last season 64.3 per cent of goals were scored by strikers – which represents a significant decrease from the peak of 75.4 per cent achieved in 2003-04.
    Last season 489 goals were scored by strikers – compared to a high of 669 in 1994-95, a remarkable drop, especially as the overall number of goals is not declining.
    Team formations are also evolving, with fewer managers deploying the traditional 4-4-2 in favour of a 4-2-3-1 formation, with a single striker, or a 4-3-3. The latter usually includes two wingers, often inverted so that they play on the opposite flank and are asked to come inside, and a single centreforward.
    “There is a move to take a more continental approach,” Allardyce said. “Formations are less fixed. In Germany and Italy they played three at the back, in England it was 4-4-2, in Holland 4-3-3. Now systems are all changing. They have evolved in different ways and can all be seen in the Premier League – 4-2-3-1, 4-5-1, 4-4-1-1.
    “I also think that as teams at every level have become more organised and harder to break down, with them packing the central areas. You see it with the national teams in particular: it has become harder for the striker to play in a traditional way and teams have had to work at how they score their goals differently.”
    Certainly one reason why Romelu Lukaku was allowed by Chelsea to go out on loan, despite scoring more league goals than any other striker at the club last season during his spell at West Bromwich Albion, was Jose Mourinho’s belief that he needs to develop his overall game. Goals were not enough.
    Most of the formations cited by Allardyce have one central striker, sometimes interchangeable, and Wenger said he believed this was partly a result of fewer being available of the quality required to play at the highest-level.
    “I believe that Europe uses fewer strikers than before,” Wenger said. “If you look at the number of strikers who have been sold during the summer, most of them are South American [such as Colombia’s Radamel Falcao].
    “If you compare England today with 20 or 30 years ago I would say the main difference for me is that you have no strikers any more in a country that produced so many. Why? Because we have developed more the technical game and the guy who delivers this kind of ball is even more important.
    “Before, you got the cross in and you had a guy who jumped above everybody to head the ball in. Today you have to find him through little pockets, the creative aspect needed is higher.”
    To back up Wenger’s argument, there has been a significant dip in the share of goals scored from crosses this season. Teams are playing the ball through the central areas rather than simply going out wide.
    So far this season just 30.7 per cent of goals have come from crosses – as opposed to 38.3 per cent last season, which was a similar ratio to the previous two campaigns.
    What came first? The dearth of strikers? Or the decision to move away from using such players? Undoubtedly an ability to negate the traditional striker has led to a rethink with more fluid approaches and it has become a role which is not just about trying to score.
    For all that, however, Allardyce cannot wait to have Carroll back. “He is unique,” he said. He is indeed.

  17. evonne says:

    ‘Bale has suffered a slipped disc in his back’ ??
    I hope not, it is an excruciating pain and end of the season for the lad

  18. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evonne fear not it is not a slipped disc, it’s just that they are mistakenly comparing his vertebrae to human rather than chimp

  19. Gööner In Exile says:

    I took the liberty if sticking up a new post.

  20. Räsp says:

    Hi GiE, that’s no liberty at all, thank you. We’d looked at your post and thought it was too good to be lost on a quiet Sunday, I hope it gets the readership and responses it deserves 🙂

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