Another striker in January?….Do we need to be careful?

The need for Arsenal to add an additional striker in January seems to be a hot topic in the media and generally across the net on the Arsenal related sites. This is a topic I have thought about putting up for greater discussion for some time now, and as there have been increasingly more official comments on the site recently about whether we need an addition to the striker department in January, I thought now would be a good time to bring up the topic as an official discussion point.

There seems to be a consistent feeling amongst the media, pundits, and public at large, that Arsenal are potentially genuine title contenders, but require an additional striker to make this a reality. Without said addition, despite how well things are currently going, we will still get caught short as the season progresses. One injury to Giroud and it is all curtains for our EPL challenge. Is this thought process a genuine concern?

I have to hold my hands up and say that I have changed my mind on a few occasions through the summer and the start of the season as to whether an additional front man is required, and if so who. Before the start of the season I was of the opinion that Ollie was a very good front man and totally worthy of a place in the Arsenal squad, but more as a second choice striker to someone slightly more world class (apologies for the cliché).

Well Ollie has very much changed my mind on this. He has stepped up a level and, even if he is still not the most prolific goal-scoring striker, his strengths seem to fit ideally with our current system, and the players he has around him. In other words he makes the whole team play better, and maybe that is more important than a few extra individual goals.

So if we do look to add to the strike force do we need to be careful as to how we do it and who we try to bring in, so as not to upset the great harmony that currently exists in our squad? I feel that if we are giving serious consideration to our striker department then we have three main options :

1 Buy no-one and go with what we have and hope that Stuart Robson is not able to say I told you so at the end of the season.

2 Buy a player who is identical or very similar to Giroud.

3 Buy a different type of striker to Giroud.

So, looking at option 1, what if we bought no-one? At present, due to injuries, I think we can all see that the options outside of Ollie are a little bit bare. What happens however when Theo and Podolski return. Both players who will give a good goal return over a season, and who both seem to be natural finishers. The question-mark with both of them is can they step into Giroud’s role or are they more suited to playing off of him? I have my own personal opinions on this but will refrain until later and allow you all to express yours.

With option 2 we can look at a player of a very similar type to Giroud, so that one can play when the other doesn’t, and we don’t then lose any fluency in the system we play. If so are we looking to bring in this player as a back up to Giroud, who will then become second choice to him, or are we looking to bring in a similar standard player, or perhaps someone considered of a similar style but even better than Ollie?

All potential considerations in option 2 have their problems. Most back up players will not directly replace his quality and may not in reality give us more than Nik B currently does, which for me would seem a futile exercise. With a similar standard player to Giroud, or one considered better, then we are likely asking Ollie to relinquish being permanent first choice and either playing in a 50-50 job sharing role, or becoming back up himself. That would seem very harsh on Ollie, and may even back-fire on us if it upsets the teams balance and current harmony.

It also needs to be considered, that with a player that some will perceive to be better than Ollie, it is not guaranteed that they would indeed step in and actually be better. They may have looked great before they came to us, but may not look as suited to our style, and the EPL in general, once they have stepped in. That could be an expensive mistake to find out, and I am in reality struggling to see many target men type strikers that have the all round game that Ollie has, that could be considered to be as good as, or a better option than him.

Option 3 is to buy a different type of striker to Ollie, and if possible one that has both the ability to lead the line in Giroud’s absence, or even play alongside or behind him. It is my belief that this is what Arsene was looking for with Suarez. His ability to play both roles means it wouldn’t always have to be him or Ollie, as it would be with the type of player from option 2, but could be him and Ollie at times. These types of players don’t seem to grow on trees though and tend to be the most expensive players out there, because they have the dual ability of a top goal-scoring striker, and the ability of a top class attacking midfielder so that they can also play the slightly deeper or support striker role.

So what is the best option for us as it currently stands? I would like to hear your opinions on this subject but would like to ask you to, as well as just putting names forward, think about what it means to the squad as a whole both in a positive way and a negative way, and to give a rationale to your answers.

For example if you don’t think we need anyone then which players will cover the role Ollie currently plays if he is injured? If you do think we need another addition then are you more leaning towards option 2 or 3 and who is it you want? Is your preferred choice firstly a realistic one, and secondly are they coming in as a back up striker, or as first choice striker? Will one of the previously more regular first team players be pushed down the pecking order to the point where they will likely consider leaving us and if so are you ok with this and who do you consider that player should be?

Over to you….

Written by GoonerB


120 Responses to Another striker in January?….Do we need to be careful?

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi GoonerB,

    Interesting article, thank you.

    My answer is very simple. Only buy a striker who would be better cover for Ollie than we already have.

    This is where it gets less simple. Who knows how good either Pod or Theo would be in our current system when given a decent run central.

  2. Ali says:

    I think we need a striker who can replace giroud and compete with him for his position. I would prefer someone already playing in the PL like Dzeko or Benteke, but if it’s not possible I’ll go for Llorente if he’s availabe. Other than that, I wouldn’t sign a second rate striker, might as well keep Bendtner if we’re doing that.

  3. muhammed baba says:

    i think is 3rd option, and the striker should be playing alongside with ollii. Formation should be 4 3 1 2 i guess

  4. Shard says:

    An interesting question GoonerB. Something I’ve pondered over too. Although we don’t know how good he can be, Podolski can play as the striker. He has the strength and the finishing, but does he have the link up play? Walcott meanwhile lacks the strength and close control. He’s best used as a wide forward.

    Personally, even if Podolski does well there, I’d like to see option 3, with someone like El Sharaawy, or maybe Pato (haven’t seen him play for a while), or Reus brought in. They’d be more of a competition for Walcott in my book, but also able to play as the striker. This would reduce dependence on Theo as an outlet, as well as allow Ox (and Gnabry) to move inside rather than be stuck on the right. Ramsey and Wilshere can then play a little deeper thereby giving us enough options in the DM positions. (Otherwise we lack something there, although it will be tough to fit anyone else in the squad till Arteta is there)

    Giroud/Podolski/Sanogo as pivot up front. Podolski to provide power from the left. Walcott to be on the right. The new signing to play in any of those three positions. And Ozil/Cazorla/Ox/Rosicky/Ramsey switching about in the CAM,LW and RW positions as dictated by tactics/injuries. With Ramsey/Wilshere/Flamini/Arteta behind them.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    GB. Very well written post. You have covered all the bases.

    I think we should work with Option 1 and Option 3.

    We were heavy scorers last season with the chaps we have and with the addition of Ozil could be even better.

    Let us not forget that Podolski has played over 50 games alongside Mesut for Germany and will know his game.

    The third option would be good but the least likely, as you say, these players are few and far between and carry a high price tag. Suarez will never come to AFC, that door has closed, but is there anyone else out there? I don’t watch enough foreign football.

    I feel we missed an opportunity with Eto’o. who would surely have loved to finish his career with AW whom he admires so much. At 32 he has a few years left.

    If I had a choice I would buy Ibrahimovic. He fulfills both functions – target man and lethal finisher.

  6. JM says:

    Option 1:
    With everyone in our 1st team healthy and available:

    Giroud, Podolski, Walcott, Sanogo as our options for main forward.
    (Park is seemingly not utilised/trusted by AW even when fit; Bendtner will be behind those four). Though Podolski and Walcott shall play more as inside forwards with Giroud fit and Sanogo as Giroud’s deputy.

    Podolski, Walcott, Cazorla, Oezil, The Ox, Rosicky, Gnabry as our options for the 3 attacking players behind our main striker. (Preferable in a composition of: 1x playmaker, 1x inside forward, 1x hybrid playmaker/winger).
    Say 3 of them are our starting players, which leaves the other 4 as their deputies available from the bench (while Podolski and Walcott also remain alternatives to our main forward role).

    Our main goalscoring and creativity shall depend on these 4 players = 1 main forward + 3 attacking players (even though Ramsey is our top scorer now, playing in CM). The risk in this option is how efficient are they as a group in producing the goods consistently on a regular basis. (especially on the goal scoring front). We have better assist-makers from our attacking players than we have lethal goal-scorers.

    Option 2:
    We have already recruited one player as Giroud’s like-for-like deputy (size, height, playing style, even nationality):
    Yaya Sanogo

    When he is recovers from injury and gets into match fitness, he could feature in some of our 1st team matches, ahead of Bendtner.

    Option 3:

    No disrespect to talented South American/African players, our 1st team has a strong base, other than English/Welsh, in French, German and Spanish influence from Europe. (we will suffer less disruptions to our team preparations in mid-season and pre-season respectively during the next editions of AFCON and Copa America).

    Most of the best strikers/forwards in Europe and South America will not be looking to leave their current clubs, moving ahead to be selected for their national squads at WC2014. Their clubs will not likely to release their star players mid-season unless real crazy money is discussed.

    It would be little surprise should the option 3 player come from the Germany/Spain/France ….. national/U-21 squads, for continuity.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    JM. Fine comment

    Will we play one striker in an Xmas tree formation or change the system when Theo returns?

    IMO Walcott is an automatic starter whereas Podolski should be on the bench. As Walcott plays where Ozil has been working (primarily) how do you see us lining up? Who gets dropped? Rosicky has been excellent and there is already no place for JW.

  8. Räsp says:

    Thanks GoonerB, this is the hot topic of the day since various elements of the media are reporting we will try to buy Benzema in January …. I think this may be another smokescreen for a different target.

    The problem lies as you say with Giroud getting tired and then losing confidence if he misses a few chances. We have tried Podolski centrally without great success and Theo will always be a goalscoring wide player for me so I think a back-up striker or a different type of striker (natural goalpoacher) would be good as long as everyone in the squad can be kept happy whilst engendering healthy competition for places.

  9. JM says:

    @Big Raddy November 12, 2013 at 10:51 am


    Podolski/The Ox/Gnabry, Oezil/Cazorla, Walcott/Rosicky

    : – The Ox and Podolski are recovering from long term knee and hamstring injuries respectively. Gnabry should deputise at their role whenever possible.
    : – Cazorla did not have a proper long summer break after his breakthrough season. He was involved in the Confederations Cup with Spain (along with Monreal). And after this season, he is preparing and heading off to WC2014 immediately. That is almost 2 full seasons of intense professional football, esp in PL where there is no winter break. So I personally like to see him share playmaking duties with Oezil, unless there is a necessity to start both at the same time.
    : – Walcott to share responsibilities on our right attacking flank with Rosicky. Czech Rep. will not be involve in WC2014, so national team duties will be secondary for Rosicky. Depending on the opponents we are facing: Walcott for a more free flowing attacking/counter-attacking match; Rosicky for a more disciplined and tactical match.

  10. Ben says:

    Very well put.

    I’d go for option 3. Not necessarily because I think Ollie can’t keep up for a whole year, but because option 1 : as good as Poldi and Theo may be as back up, that’s what they would be, back up. I think Arsenal took things one step further with the buying of Özil and they need to keep things this way : only buying players that add to the team, not support the existent one. Option 2 : the striker debate is not only about fitness, it is also about giving more dimensions to our attacking patterns. Buying an Ollie doppelgänger would be throwing money by the windows if it doesn’t add to the possibilities we have. Some of the games we have ahead will only be unlocked by shifting to a different attacking concept, especially in Champions League.
    Which brings us to Option 3. I’d see Marco Reus because Wenger could do with him what he did with Henry. He has the pace and finishing needed. Also imagine a 4-1-3-2 with :

    Reus Giroud
    Poldi Walcott

    The left side German connection would be lethal. Of course, that would mean having a single DM and I think we should really go for Pogba in January. Most of the time, Reus would be on the left with Poldi as sub. Gibbs-Reus is some real scary left side to face for any defender.

    To finish, I would just suggest another possibility, on top of any player we buy, which would be Honda. He can play left, right, in the middle or top, has a crazy free kick and is FREE !

  11. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning AAers, and a special greeting and thanks to LB.

    Right at this moment there is no doubt that we need another striker. Podolski is injured and there is no date given for his return. Walcott may be back after the interlul but how long will it take him to get up to speed? There is also the possibility of him picking up other niggles, as has happened in the past. Someone mentioned Sanogo, for reasons of lack of game time in any competition and a spectacularly bad injury record he’s a no go. An injury to or suspension of Giroud would be catastrophic as we would have to rely on Bendtner, a thought that fills me with dread.

    By the time the January transfer window opens we should have the answers to the Podolski and Walcott questions but even so the signing of a fourth striker would not come amiss.

    As far as I’m concerned we should go ahead and sign someone in January, it couldn’t do any harm.

  12. paul Bowness says:

    I can name you a player, scores golas, can play up top or behind and should be avaialble at a reasonable price. Michu
    However, I also feel we miss the option of genuine pace when Walcott is injured, this allows teams like Man Yoo to squeeze the space we have as there is no threat in behind. I know its only one game but surely others will look at how Man Yoo targeted Giroud and we were unable to get the ball off him on Sunday.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    We could use a goal scoring left sided player?

    How about MonkeyBoy Bale after Xmas when he realises that Spain is a foreign country?

  14. jjgsol says:

    I believe that, possibly, more than any other player a striker needs to be playing constantly, except when he is injured. Look at how well Chamackh played whilst ‘he’ was injured and how his form sank like a stone when ‘he’ came back.

    There is no point in buying a suarez because he will be there the whole time and Giroud will sink into oblivion.

    Who is to say that if Bendtner or Sonogo had a few games, they would not become regular scorers.

    The dislike for Bendtner that has grown, rightly or wrongly, amongst the fans is illogical. He scores regularly for DEnmark, because he plays regularly for them.

    Had one of those crosses gone in on Sunday then he would have been hailed as the next Henry.

    WE need cover for OG, not a replacement or an equal, becasue that simply won’t work.

    If we can get cover who is better than the players we have, and that includes Pod and TW and Akpom, and who is happy to play only when needed, then that is fine. If not, then the cheque book should stay in the safe.

  15. GoonerB says:

    Thanks guys. I only just saw the text from Peaches to say this post was used today and only now had a chance to get on. There is an interesting assortment of views and as usual I agree with many of you. I don’t know how much time I will have to get on today so here are my thoughts all at once (did you expect anything less?)

    I would love Podolski to get back and start to shine as a striker and make option 1 the answer but I am not sure this will happen, or that he will get back from injury early enough to show us he can be the man before decisions need to be made in Jan.

    I am more for option 3 than option 2 and feel we should get something a bit different to Ollie and my basis for this is in how I feel our attack has panned out in the last couple of games.

    Having watched both the Dortmund and Utd games I felt that there were similarites in both. Both games were very close and could have gone either way and, if I am to be a bit controversial, I always felt we slightly got away with it in Dortmund. That is not to take away from the professional disciplined performance, but it was only after we scored that we had a couple more chances, but were a bit impotent in our attacking play up til then.

    How can a team that plays Cazorla, Ozil and Ramsey behind Giroud not look so threatening for large parts of the game? The answer for me lies in the basic principle of pace, or more accurately lack of it. It is possibly the one thing that Ollie lacks, and also it is not in abundance in the 3 master-craftsman that played behind him.

    You don’t often see Ollie stand beside the last defender and run on to a medium length slide rule pass and get his shot off, and for me that is normally because the CD’s can match him for pace. What he is great at is coming slightly deeper, dragging the CD’s with him, and bringing the ball down to feed it into the deeper players that you are hoping to see burst past him. The problem is that the 3 maestros also lack the pace to burst through the defence onto an Ollie pass, but we have seen this happen a few times last year with him and Walcott linking in. I think that when we play Ollie one of the 3 deeper attacking trio has to be quick, and it was interesting to me how I felt we looked immediately more dangerous when Gnabry came on against Utd.

    If we are to play Ozil, Ramsey and Cazorla together as the attacking 3 in certain games, then I feel they need to have a quick striker playing in front of them that (because all 3 are sublime passers in the last 3rd) they can attempt to put through one on one with the keeper.

    I am not sure who would be best for option 3 but (I think it is 26May who is all for this player) I quite like the look of Remy. He has pace and looks strong as well, and is now EPL adapted. He won’t break the bank and will also likely be happy to be part of a rotating front line with Ollie and the others without sulking if he is on the bench for some games. I believe he also played a lot from the attacking left with Marseille so he could play to the left of Ollie or instead of him up top. I also feel he is a player that can still step up a level or 2 once playing regularly with better attacking players around him.

  16. GoonerB says:

    By the way did I say that in a nut-shell I think we should consider Remy?

  17. RA says:

    A very good Post GB.

    It definitely the burning topic on the blogs as the Rasper has noted above.

    Your Post will have the effect of inviting everyone to share their myriad views regarding the options you have laid out, and that has started and been interesting already.

    My take is that the club (AW) have already made that decision.
    We have fruitlessly pursued Suarez all the summer but if we had not signed Ozil at the last knockings we would have bought no one.

    Clearly Ozil is not a CF so there clearly still a need, although Ollie has done sterling work this season.

    January is not a good month for top transfers so it is possible that with the best will in the world we may have to wait until next summer to get the right player.

    As they say, where there is a Will, I would like to be in it! 🙂

  18. RA says:

    GB, I very much agree with your 1:35.

    The only proviso is that even if Remy is the correct player, I do not think we will buy him as I think he still has a court case outstanding against him (as does Benzema).

    Arsene seems to have strict ‘suitability’ standards when considering player transfers.

  19. David Stewart says:

    I don’t normally like to get involved in debates about who we should sign. However, I’m surprised no-one has yet mentioned Rickie Lambert as a short term solution. He has Premiership experience, is a proven goalscorer, a great attitude, would not cost a huge amount (relatively speaking) and would surely be delighted to get an opportunity to play at the highest level for Arsenal – much like Arteta. Just a thought.

  20. weedonald says:

    Your question is well merited GB and cannot be easily answered with only three choices. Our current tactical setup does not allow for two strikers but does allow for a midfielder to act like a striker OR feed the striker.
    1) The 4th option is to use our academy striker talent like Gnabry, Akpom, Zelalem or Lipman on a rotational basis in this dual role in our midfield. However when Podolski, Walcott, Sanogo and the OX return, where are we going to play them?
    2) IF we brought in a backup striker, he would have to be capable of playing in 2 or more positions (wing, midfield,striker) and be a proven finisher (poacher) like RVP or Rooney, Suarez, Bale etc.
    This means we could look at Benzema, Pato, Llorente, Lewandowski, Dzeko, Mata, Ba, and others who might become available in the January window either as loanees with an option to purchase or outright purchases.
    3) All of the above assume that Podolski, the Ox, Walcott or Sanogo won’t fill the bill on their returns or that Bendtner will not eventually show up and play like he does for Denmark.
    4) Ramsey has been fantastic so far and Rosicky has shown what a force he can be in that dual role I mentioned. We also have Campbell out on loan at Olympiakos and apparently he is starting to show what a talent he offers a club, plus he now has a work visa so he will be in the mix sooner than later.

    In short then, we could motor along as we are with our returning wounded bolstering our options or go for a fox in the box type in January, but simply bringing in a like for like (which I don’t see anywhere available) for Giroud is the least likely of our options imho.

  21. wzba says:

    Interesting read, i feel like we should go with option 3. True it may be a bit harsh on Giroud but competition is always good for the team in any position. This way we would also have a different type of striker available in case Giroud’s style isnt working in a match. At least we’ll have options to mix up our game a little more. I would like to see the type of striker who can create things himself like the suarez, van persie, rooney type. Giroud is great but if other players aren’t feeding him chances hes not really able to create them himself, he’s just not that type of player.

  22. chas says:

    Cheers, Gooner B.

    I think we should go for option 3.
    You’re always going to play to your striker’s strengths, so something to mix it up would be good.

    How about Adebayor with a humble implant, an I.Q. upgrade and on half the money he was on before he left?

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey GoonerB

    Great post and now epic comment.

    I certainly agree with your analysis regarding the lack of pace, both up top as well as our three magicians.

    I’m becoming increasingly convinced that now is the time to give Theo a go through the middle.

    Back to the three fellas behind Ollie, and talk of the one bursting through. Surely this needs to be Aaron Ramsey in the more central slot as he has both the thrust as well as the shot.

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think the Theo option may well work with the quality of ball he would receive splitting defences.

    I do wish the “charging through the midfield” Ramsey was 6’2″ just to add the height for those Ozil/Bac crosses. Mind you, they are so damn accurate that the ones Nic and Ollie just failed to get on the end of were not down to height, rather pace. Mmmm.

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Re: Adebeyor. The procedure to which you refer has a name. A Lobotomy.

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My Wife assures me it is highly effective, and the patient remembers nothing about it 🙂

  27. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Chas, even with the upgrades you suggest plus pink ribbons and shiny shoes, Adebayor?…No thanks. As someone said a while ago … a turd rolled in gold-dust is still a turd!

  28. chas says:

    A pre-requisite for marriage? 🙂

    I guess you’re right.
    I’m just rubbish at trying to second guess Wenger.
    In fact I’ve never once correctly predicted one of his signings.

  29. chas says:

    Suarez was my choice even with the baggage, though I think he was only using us to provoke Madrid into some interest.

    I think if Madrid had bid 50-60m they could have had a much better player than the chimp for 70% of the cost and he would have held the dippers to ransom to push it through.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    NG. I prefer “you can’t polish a Richard” 😀

  31. GoonerB says:

    Thanks for all the input to the debate chaps. I have not had time to look through other blogs today so was unaware it had become the hot topic of the day. Also this one was penned last week.

    I would like to think that Peaches held it back for what she considered a special time to do it justice, but in reality I think she was hovering with her cursor in undecided terror over “delete file” for 15 minutes before loudly declaring “oh bloody hell I’ve got nothing else, I’m going to have to use it, my poor sweet site, what have they done to you?”.

    RA and weedonald. I would not have too many problems if we held out til the summer to get the right player. It would give Podolski and Walcott a chance to show that we have the options within the squad already. After all we have progressed to the top of the league even without them so their return, plus that of the Ox and the increasingly impressive Gnabry will give us more diverse options with both pace in the side and goal-sharing responsibility. The problem is if we don’t get a striker in January and Walcott and Podolski don’t fill the void you know how poisonous certain sections of the fan-base will become.

  32. evönne says:

    GB – I think you are hugely underestimating Peaches, she is much tougher than you think, especially when it comes to her blog 🙂
    Good post it is and excellent summary of our striker(s) dilemma.

    No doubt that Giroud has benefited from our failure to buy Suarez, Higuain or Rooney; he was given a chance of a lifetime to prove himself. And he grabbed it with both hands; we have seen the new, improved version of Ollie.

    And as good as he is, I still think that if we are to win the league we need another striker to play alongside Ollie, or the other way round – mature, proven goal scorer that will bang in goals and show OG a few tricks. Rooney would fit in perfectly. He still has not signed a new contract with United and it is possible that we will greet him at THOF soon. With open arms of course

    Thanks for your post

  33. LB says:

    It’s not often that I come across something I disagree with nowadays but this stood out

    “In other words he (Giroud) makes the whole team play better”

    Not in my opinion; Ozil is suffering big time but rather than explain now I might try and expand on it in a post.

    Nonetheless thanks for a great read GB

    It’s option 3 for me.

  34. Although you will probably need a can of this as well !.

  35. Sorry, I was just putting the lid back on !.

  36. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Evonne, I think you are right, I have just read back through the post and it turns out it is not mine at all. Mine was about how men shouldn’t be allowed to wear Armani budgie smugglers unless you are a professional footballer or Terry Mancini. Where is our favourite twisted one today?

    Cheers LB. I will look forward to that post and am intrigued on your take on it. I think if you mention putting something in a post during an international lull then you have no chance of any get out clause. Peaches will hunt you down in an Arsenal blog rendition of the Terminator.

  37. Haha well done GoonerB …………. I was saving it for this special day 🙂

  38. I think I would have to choose option 3 but I’d prefer to see how Theo and Podolski add their skills to this wonderful team first. I know someone else said that already but I think that too.

  39. Anyone on twitter following Irish ……….. she’s had a new tattoo, amazing.

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Opinion needed

    Who is best equipped out of Pod and Theo, coming from central, to provide the movement to get onto the end of the Santi and Ozil defence splitting through ball?

    This is not a loaded question. Genuinely would like to know your answers.

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The Irish Tatt. What and where? Are either questions answerable here?

  42. GoonerB says:

    Micky, although Podolski is widely regarded as the best finisher in the squad I would actually currently plump for Walcott. The slight extra pace and that I feel he is slightly more 2 footed than the Pod. I also think Theo’s first touch in tight situations is underestimated. Having said that I feel Podolski has the ingredients to be one of the top strikers around but I don’t think he has yet fully developed certain aspects of his game that would make him exceptional. Will he and can he do this? I hope he can but we will have to see.


    Excellent GB

    This reminds me of a choice i had to make about six months ago

    After letting in a Baliff on the pretence he was the Avon Lady, he gave me a choice

    “Right Mancini, you have a choice”:

    (1) “Either, i take this 3 legged chair that also substitutes as your dining table and bed, or (2) pay me £,1,000, or(3) I make out you asaulted me and then proceed to kick your face in? I give you a minute to decide Mancini”

    After thinking about it, I decided “kick my face in please”

    As he proceeded to throw his first blow, I deliberatly fell on my three legged chair, smashing it to pieces. “Right Swelled face, I now have no assets to take, and since it is your duty to treat confiscated goods with care, you owe me the market vaule of the chair, £One Thousand and One Pounds, colloquially known as a Suarez”

    In other words, I want Suarez.

  44. JanMan says:

    GoonerB: Great post, thank you. I have stated before that when fit both Walcott and Poldi are ideal striker options when needed. When you look at the midfield (when fully fit) the balls that they are capable of delivering should enable virtually anyone to put the ball in the net. However with that said, do we still need another striker in January? Yes in my opinion I believe we do. Another striker in the caliber of Giroud or better than Giroud would be very nice indeed. I think that then (with perhaps another defender) we have the depth of the squad taken care of. Key to success is getting all of the injured players back on board and then keeping everyone fit.

  45. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Now here is the schmeer—-

    IMO Giroud works best knocking down balls and making lay-offs to a player coming in on his right hand side (check out Ramsey vs BD, JW vs Norwich etc) This could be because the pass coming into him comes from the right and he returns the ball or maybe it is part of his game.

    Either way, this would indicate that OG works better with TW than Pod.


  46. chas says:

  47. chas says:

    Rosicky is on the other one.

  48. GoonerB says:

    Good evening Terrence. I would like Suarez as well but don’t think there is any realistic chance of us getting him, although I would love to be proved wrong. That is why I plumped for Remy. It wouldn’t surprise me if Arsene actually goes for the Nigerian youngster in January that everyone is talking about and waits to see how we get on with Podolski and Walcott for the rest of the season.

  49. chas says:

    You ought to see Evonne’s Rory!!!!!

  50. arnie says:

    Some great stuff today! Thank you GoonerB, thank you everyone contributing.

    Two points from me.

    First, we are on a fantastic journey this year, and OG has been one of the great revelations of the year, the CF position has for me been the least of our worries. As discussed on AA, I think yesterday, Ollie is functioning really in a CF rather than striker role. This has been great for us this year, particularly because our midfielders, led by Rambo have had their shooting boots on, aided no less by OG himself. Long may Ollie’s fantastic and tireless contributions continue.

    If anything, personally I am somewhat disappointed that our midfield has not fully met their high expectations so far, at least not the high expectations that I have of them, in terms of deliveries into the box. Yes there have been fantastic assists by Ozil and co that have resulted in great goals, but there have not been enough of such deliveries in each game. But that is for another occasion, we are not discussing the midfield today.

    Which brings me to the second point. If at all we want anyone in January, it has to a different kind of player, an out-and-out striker. A “fox in the box”, a terrible cliche, and a painful memory of Eduardo and what could have been. Apart from the fact that a striker worth bringing in may not really be available, surely we should wait and see what happens when Theo and Poldi returns.

    Finally, if we get a fantastic striker in January, I would still expect Giroud to play in a CF role. Which of course means, one of our midfielders may have to sit out. Terrible thought, but I think it might be inevitable.

    All in all, I do not see anyone coming in Jan, and personally I am not unhappy about that.

  51. Looks more like Cumdict Benerbatch underneath a pussy to me !.

  52. chas says:

  53. I agree with Raddy’s schmeer ……… I can imagine us attacking in waves with OG centrally pushing balls out to either Theo or Podolski AFTER neither Santi nor Ozil have managed to put the ball in the net.

    Problem is that with all those attacking players on the pitch how do we fit in Arteta, Flamini, Ramsey and Jack 😦 😦 😦 😆

  54. arnie says:

    Fantastic, chas!!!! 😀 😀

  55. arnie says:

    apparently Gnabry having a great game.

  56. John says:

    Man Utd have played Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal this season and guess which is the only team they have beaten.

  57. chas says:

    Yes, arnie.
    If he doesn’t look out of place in the Premier, you would have thought he’s bound to shine elsewhere.

  58. Late to the party on this, but here is my tuppence worth on the subject. If you look at where the goals have come from, it has been midfield and not the CF/Striker outting the ball in the back of the net. There have been 10 different goalscorers. I don’t think the CF is as critical in this team as in previous incarnations of the team.

    If however, we are going to buy a forward then perhaps they need to meet the following criteria.
    1. Be acclimatised to the physically and mentally intensive requirements of the PL.
    2. Be acclimatised to variable and crap English weather.
    3. Be as comfortable facing the goal as they are being the fulcrum with their back to goal.
    4. Be at a stage in their career where a move to Arsenal and being an understudy to Giroud means they have reached their peak career trajectory or it is part of their apprenticeship with a view to becoming part of the progression of Arsenal.

    In response to these 4 criteria, I think there are several candidates playing in the Premier League. Fletcher, Lambert, Benteke and Remy.

    Of these I would select Lambert or Fletcher as one is already being rotated in and out of the Soton team and the other is not going to the world cup. Benteke and Remy would be good options but there would have to be recognition of their need for playing time for the World Cup squads as well as their perceived status at the current clubs. Or I could be nuts. Fire! Boom!

  59. evönne says:

    no Chas, I haven’t got enough legs to tattoo all the footballers that i fancy 🙂

  60. arnie says:

    Chas: yes, I like the kid a lot. his direct approach is a breath of fresh air in Arsenal. And plays with a big heart as well. A bit like Jack. Great future in Arsenal, I would think!!!

  61. chas says:

    Sniffer, your mob have got United soon. What’s your prediction?

  62. chas says:

    You make a great point.
    If we sign anyone in January, they should be premiership-ready.

  63. Bayonne Jean says:

    GB, for me an option 3 type of mobile, quick, but physically strong alternative to Giroud (prototype would be Aguero) would be ideal, but I don’t know who would be available. I also prefer that the someone would be a short term/loan addition, as there already is going to be a logjam of midfield candidates (we all know who they are), and I could foresee AW considering molding a couple of them –namely the Ox and Gnabry — into the equivalent of an Aguero or Suarez type of performer, as theyseem to have the strength, pace, and nose for goal that you want in that type of player.

  64. Thanks chas for finding the Irish tat.

  65. Excellent point N5 about whoever we buy having premiership experience.

    Aguero would be the one for me 🙂

  66. Peaches, As much as you would want Aguero or Suarez skillwise, I can’t see either happening. I think Suarez has too much baggage and probably wouldn’t leave Liverpool unless they plummet down the league. I personally I would have some soul searching to do given my stance on racism if he came to the club so I hope that never comes to pass.

    I can’t see what Aguero’s motivation would be to play for Arsenal other than our team is a bunch of good eggs and the manager is a good egg too. Playing wise it wouldn’t be much different from city as our collection of stars is no better or worse that his current colleagues.. Financially, I don’t think Arsenal would be able to offer any improvement on his current package. If Citeh had dropped out of the CL then there may have been some impulse, but even then he wouldn’t be eligible for the knockout phase having played for citeh in the groups ( Article 18.18 & 18.19

  67. chas says:

    Nice to see you’re answering to “Sniffer”. 😆

  68. Räsp says:

    Congratulations GoonerB, you’ve stimulated a great days blogging and even tempted sniffer out of his lair.

    Some great comments from new bloggers …. Ben, David Stewart, Paul Bowness, wzba and the mysterious N5 Artillery

  69. chas says:

    I suppose you might as well leave my last comment up so that Sniffer can see it, though why it would make sense to anyone else as his comment I was replying to has now been deleted, is anyone’s guess.

  70. Hello N5 nice to have your company 🙂

  71. chas says:

    As in Wayne Kerr?

  72. Räsp says:

    Sorry chas, my bad 😦 I was just tidying behind the scenes and smelt an unpleasant odour 😕

  73. Räsp says:

    Now your last comment doesn’t make any sense either 😆

  74. chas says:

    To the Management,
    Sorry for engaging said troll.
    I thought I’d made progress by getting him/her/it to respond to being addressed as “Sniffer”. It would have made things so much easier going forward.

  75. N5 – It was only wishful thinking on my part that I mentioned Aguero, all the points you make are true………it would never happen 😦

  76. chas says:

    There’s one at 8.08, too, Rasp.

  77. Räsp says:

    No problem chas, we embrace all opinions as you know 😆

  78. Räsp says:

    I reckon Loic Remy would be a good option to OG, but also agree with those who say OG brings so much to the team that he doesn’t need replacing, just resting for certain games. He may not be the fastest but he doesn’t stop running and his play off the ball is excellent..

  79. chas says:

    Unfortunately, I do not embrace all opinions, but I realise the blog does. 🙂

  80. RockyLives says:

    Nice one GB
    It’s got to be the “Suarez type” option (as I’m sure you knew when you were writing the piece 🙂 )

    As you say, someone who can provide an alternative approach to Ollie, or who can play alongside him if required.

    As to who it should be… I leave that up to the much cleverer talent spotters among the AA faithful.

    Wouldn’t mind Messi though.

  81. RockyLives says:

    What do you like to embrace? 🙂

  82. Räsp says:

    chas, I was joking, he can go *&%$ himself 😎

  83. Räsp says:

    chas, the comment you linked is not by sniffer or one of his type

  84. @Rasp, I have posted a couple of times before. Once in answer to a troll. (Forehead slap!)
    A little about me, so I am less mysterious. I have supported Arsenal since 1977. The addiction started when my best mate “Sparky” convinced me that we should “swap” teams and support the other’s team too. I don’t know if he kept track of Doncaster Rovers, but I always followed Arsenal after that in the papers. I went to my first Arsenal match when I moved to London for college, We lost 1-0 to West Ham. Followed them around Europe a bit, including Parc des Princes.
    2002/3 came to New York for work and helped set up the first New York Gooners. These days I lurk on your board, contribute Arsenal and odd thoughts to a US/NYC Football podcast called “From The Factory Floor” and try to be good Gooner.
    Oh and my two claims to fame are
    1. I got named and banned from The Tuesday Club podcast when I sent in a note about keeping our faith in Arsenal after the loss to Birmingham, but Alan “can’t read dates” Davies read it out two weeks late and had a fit. Because by then we had lost in the FA CUP, Champions League and slid down the table.
    2. Both of my children were photographed in Arsenal Gear on the day they were born. Somehow I convinced my wife to allow me to name my son Dennis, after my favourite player.

  85. Räsp says:

    Thanks N5A, I realised who you were, peaches and I were going to publish your post without announcing you to keep the rest of them on their toes. Its good to have you involved, we have many friends from across the pond on AA

  86. Räsp says:

    By the way, your Arsenal credentials are impeccable …. bordering on obsessive 😆

  87. chas says:

    why was his first reply also from “John” then (now deleted).

    He uses arsenalarsenal as his website address, so if you click on his blue name it comes up as
    “Oops! Google Chrome could not find arsenalarsenal”
    No-one else does that?

    Help me out here. The 8.08 is yours, right?
    I recognise that sort of fundamentalist doomer comment a mile off.

  88. Räsp says:

    Sorry chas, I thought you were referring to N5A’s comment.

  89. chas says:

    Alan Davies gets on my tits, too. 🙂

  90. chas says:

    Ah, I should have said there were three comments at 8.08.

    Dennis forbid I would have been stupid enough to think N5 Art was a troll! 🙂

  91. chas says:

    I like to embrace all things round, firm and red and white.

  92. Perhaps I am a really articulate, well researched troll who is spending a lot of time constructing a really cunning plan, but then got sucked into his own pseudoID and became an Arsenal fan? Time to signoff. The futures of Arsenal – 1 needs a nappy change and the other wants to use me to transport her to her deroom for stories on how great Arsenal are.

  93. chas says:

    Sweet dreams, N5 Art.

  94. neamman says:

    It all depends on who is available I guess. I want Messi but that isn’t going to happen, at that time of the season our choices will be restricted I think. If its not a proven TOP quality player I say go with Theo/Pod.

  95. RockyLives says:

    Chas 🙂

  96. Ben says:

    Thanks for the welcome Räsp !
    I’ve been a Gooner for close to 15 years now, but it’s the first season I get really involved on the forums. For the first time I’ve followed the transfer window on Newsnow day by day and I painfully got why everyone calls it the silly season… I guess we’re on for another one in January.
    Oh and sorry if my English is sometimes weird, I’m not a native : I’m a French Gooner living in Tokyo… Champions League games at 4:45 in the morning…
    Chears everyone !

  97. chas says:

    New Puma kits?

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ben, Hi

    Another blogger on here, Big Raddy, and I were in Dortmund for the game last week and spent some time talking to a bunch of French Gooners (from Alsace).

    Generally, we were staggered at the number of “Overseas Gooners” we saw on organized trips. These French guys were asking how they could get tickets for a game at The Emirates, and we didn’t know the answer.

    Is there an Organization such as French Gunners, or Tokyo Gunners, for example that you know of?

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Motning Chas,

    The home and away kits will win Puma many fans 🙂

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Your “imgur” at 7:55 of Arsene trying to find his pocket is so funny.
    How they manage to sell any coats at all on the back of “zip gate” is amazing.

  101. arnie says:

    Motning all. Welcome Ben.

    Another exciting day on AA? Is this the Travelogue day?

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Who knows Arnie

    My gut feeling is that Peaches is waiting until everyone has hit rock bottom. Maybe three back to back defeats, and it can act as therapy in remembering the “good ‘ol days” 🙂

  103. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all, very late to the post, I do hate when work gets in the way of AA 🙂

    GoonerB thanks for the post, I agree with your three possible target types. For me OG is key to the way we are playing presently, making space for and laying off for the more creative midfield. But what he can’t do (yet?) is take the ball when isolated and stretch the opposition defence. The way Drogba did in his pomp, one of the main reasons for this is the type of ball he received in games where the defence and midfield are pressed hard, invariably the ball comes at any height and he somehow is expected to bring it down, hold it and wait for others to join, when the midfield get closer he looks a better player.

    The strike forces most feared in the PL are two man affairs, meaning if one doesn’t win it the second picks up the pieces and also means the defenders can’t focus solely on the man with the ball. This is where Theo will come in useful if he can be allowed to shirk some defensive responsibility.

  104. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Fine discussion yesterday and welcome to the both Ben and N% Art.

  105. Manthan says:

    Morning All,

    Here its afternoon in India.. Very Good Post and I would go for player who is different than OG reason is many a times if Plan A doesn’t work we should have Plan B. For a instance take match against Manure we wanted someone who can beat players and score but we didn’t had option so we threw Bendy on the pitch and whenever such kind situations arises we can put that striker on and he can play with OG.

  106. Hilarious ! I just read this article called “5 reasons Arsenal won’t win the Premier League this year”. The guy starts by stating he’s an Arsenal fan, probably to give credibly to his opinion but he gives it away after 3 pages when he calls the team “the Reds”…

    Micky, I don’t know the local Arsenal Fan Base but I’m pretty sure there’s one (there’s one in Kyoto so…).

    Despite the kind of “article” mentioned above, I do believe we’ll win this season. Why ? I bought a shirt.

    Last time I did was in 2003.

  107. evönne says:

    good man Benjamin!
    And well spotted ‘the reds’

  108. Morning all

    I’ve been saving this post for a lovely sunny day, like today ……….

    ………………………….New Post ……………… 🙂

  109. It is true there are a lot of French gooners : for a long time, we considered Arsenal the best French team in the world 😀 But it’s not only that, Arsenal has many many fans all around the world. For me, it’s not only a London club. I might be mistaking but I do believe it is thanks to Arsene. Because he gave an identity to the team through the playing style. Other teams in the Premier League might have history, but we have history and an identity. He also brought morals which is another reason why new fans come to us every day. That is also why, maybe more abroad than in England, the idea of bidding for Suarez was so horrific… When the reason you’re behind a club is not the part of town you live in but the philosophy this club defends and this philosophy is at risk to disappear, it is a very sad thing.

  110. Räsp says:

    Great comment Bemjamin, please continue debating with us on today’s new post

  111. Joshua T. A. Phillip-Banigo says:

    The winter is always a critical period to find the required players. However, the yearning for trophy should pertinently prevail over other considerations for a potent marksman to be acquired.

  112. chas says:

    Unless you post on today’s post, no-one will see your comment.

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