Following on from LB’s post yesterday asking what we could expect from Vardy in an Arsenal shirt, I thought that I would delve a bit deeper into the factors that would affect that expectation and why he is the type of player we need.
Obviously all this is based on the assumption that Vardy will sign for North London’s Finest ….. so take that as the premise and run with it.
Olivier Giroud and Jamie Vardy are polar opposites in the spectrum of strikers. Both are very good at what they do but they have little in common in terms of the striker’s repertoire.
Arsene bought Ollie when we were still having to be careful financially. He was the best we could get with the money available and his goal tally since signing make him very good value for money.
We have seen from the first games at the Euros that Giroud is a much better hold up player in a 4:5:1 than that Kane bloke from some minor club down the road, but we also saw in France’s game yesterday that a striker of his type struggles when the pattern of play doesn’t suit …. he benefits from chances created for him but doesn’t create that many chances from his own play. Giroud won’t pick the ball up at the half way line, weave and trick his way through the defenders and tuck it away, he’s not built for that.
Let’s look at our style of football. Arsenal under Arsene Wenger have been compared to Barcelona. The Dutch model of total football is often quoted when describing our fluid style of play (when it’s working). OG can hold the ball up, he’s very good with his head, he makes clever lay offs …. but those aren’t the core attributes required for the aforementioned style of football. No, that requires pace, movement, good close control, mobility, a clinical finisher …. remind you of anyone?
We were actually heading down this road when Welbeck became first choice striker towards the end of last season. That version of Plan A had to be shelved due to Welby’s latest untimely injury. Vardy is just a more finished article than Welbeck. Morata fits the bill. None of the strikers we have been linked with have been ‘Girouds’.
Ask yourself this….who will benefit most from a sliderule pass from Ozil? Who will have the pace, movement and incisive runs to capitalize on the genius of the best ‘assister’ in the world?
So my conclusion is that Arsene has been pragmatic. OG was the best we had and we have tried to play to his strengths when he’s leading the line, but in reality, a player like Vardy is what the system really requires and that would have been Plan A all along. We won’t have to adapt our style that much to accommodate Vardy, we’ve been having to compromise it all this time to get the best out of Ollie.
I should make reference to GoonerB’s continual evangelism last season on the need for a ‘fast fluid striker’ and for Total Arsenal’s undying love for all things Ollie 🙂