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Senegal's Arsenal Thread 2015/16

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I don't see why Welbeck can't be plan A. A fit and firing Alexis in a settled side can get 25-30 goals easily.

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I'd rather shift the style to suit the team and not just someone as inconsistent as Lukaku. I still maintain that having an actual settled and cohesive midfield would be more beneficial than a striker. And whilst I can see what benefit Lukaku's physical prowess brings, a man with movement and a first touch as poor as his is not going to cut it at the highest level.

I'll actually expand on this. We had arguably the best striker in the world from 2011 to the summer of 2012. And we won **** all. Why? Because the rest of the team was so disjointed.

fair enough on wider team point although i would still argue against the lukaku cutting against highest level thing. 25 goals he's got and i honestly believe his touch being that bad is overplayed because he gets the job done so often. that chelsea goal recently has given me as much confidence in him as kane's goal against chelsea in january 2015 that there is proper quality here

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I don't see why Welbeck can't be plan A. A fit and firing Alexis in a settled side can get 25-30 goals easily.

You are as cowardly as Arsene.

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fair enough on wider team point although i would still argue against the lukaku cutting against highest level thing. 25 goals he's got and i honestly believe his touch being that bad is overplayed because he gets the job done so often. that chelsea goal recently has given me as much confidence in him as kane's goal against chelsea in january 2015 that there is proper quality here

Oh Lukaku has quality, just don't think he has enough about him to really cut it at the highest level. I might be wrong, but its probably going to cost close to £60m to sign him and that's far too expensive on a player who has so many question marks against him.

For me, Harry Kane is miles ahead of Lukaku.

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You are as cowardly as Arsene.

What a ridiculous comment to make.

I'm cowardly because I don't think Lukaku is all that?

I'll tell you what is cowardly - writing off Alexis Sanchez.

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What a ridiculous comment to make.

I'm cowardly because I don't think Lukaku is all that?

No, the cowardness comes from choosing to go for an internal solution rather getting out in the marketplace and backing your judgement with money.

Every problem we have had in the squad over the last ten years, Wenger's first instinct is to go for a cheap internal solution and then when things go wrong he hides behind the lack of money he's spent as though he's had no other option. It's all lined up to happen again this summer "I must say, the way Danny finished the season, it's a little bit like a new signing to play him as a striker", and you're here cheering him on in this madness :D Next season will be identical to the last 10 if we don't bring in a new striker (and I agree we need to strengthen elsewhere as well) and try to bumble through with a guy who has no track record of scoring more than 20 goals in a season.

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Right, but if Wenger thinks that Lukaku wouldn't improve us then surely he's backing his judgement? Or should he sign him just to placate you?

I like Danny Welbeck and think that we will struggle to improve on him and that he can play a big part in a title winning squad. How is that cowardice? I just have a different opinion to you on the matter.

I'm more than in favour of us spending money and have been more critical of Wenger than most. I just don't think we should go mad on a striker because GOALS GOALS GOALS and instead we should think about who we can get and what areas we need most improvement on.

You're incredibly narrow minded on this subject and just seem obsessed with goals. If goalscoring strikers were that important than why aren't City winning the league? Why didn't we in 2011/12? Why did QPR get relegated with Austin? Why didn't Liverpool win it in 13/14 when they had the two best goalscoring strikers in the league in Suarez and Sturridge?

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Pretty obvious what a top striker can do for a team (ie, a hell of a lot), look at Kane at Spurs and Aguero at Man City just to name two. Both teams have a dip a noticeable dip without them. You're just picking out select examples from a very poor sample size.

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Spurs is such a poor example and I'm surprised you have highlighted them. Spurs are the prime example of a well organised and drilled side that win matches because of a game plan and a functioning midfield.

City are an example of how a top striker isn't enough. Leicester are another side that have proven my point (Vardy's form has dipped significantly in 2016)

And besides, I'm not saying a top striker doesn't make a difference. I'm saying that Lukaku ISN'T a top striker.

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Right, but if Wenger thinks that Lukaku wouldn't improve us then surely he's backing his judgement? Or should he sign him just to placate you?

I think Wenger in charge of a club with the largest cash reserve in world football should be able to find a better striker than Giroud, a better forward than Walcott, a better central midfielder than Flamini etc etc etc I do not have access to Arsenal's comprehensive scouting system but if they are not able to identify a goalscorer then they are doing something wrong.

You're incredibly narrow minded on this subject and just seem obsessed with goals. If goalscoring strikers were that important than why aren't City winning the league? Why didn't we in 2011/12? Why did QPR get relegated with Austin? Why didn't Liverpool win it in 13/14 when they had the two best goalscoring strikers in the league in Suarez and Sturridge?

Goals are the most important stat in football.

Where would City be without Aguero? Where would we have finished without RvP in 11/12? Would Liverpool have got close to the title without Suarez and Sturridge?

I don't massively care who scores our goals, they can be shared around or it can be one player racking them up. What I don't like is the total lack of goalscoring nous in the squad. And as completely overhauling the squad is not going to happen in the short term, the quickest way to rectify the issue is to get in one or two forwards who can score goals.

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If we'd just coughed up an extra £10/15M for Higuain we probably wouldn't even be having this debate about a striker

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I'm sort of on the fence on this one. I've said many times that I think a world-class striker is the single biggest signing we can make. I don't know why people are bringing up Lukaku, Aguero, Vardy, and Kane as examples. They should be talking about how a player like Suarez turned a mid-table team into a title-challenging side. Just as CR7 transformed Man Utd, RvP won the title for Man Utd, or Henry turned us into one of Europe's better side. That's the influence.

However, I also recognize that there's no clear option out there for us. Someone who ticks all the boxes. Like someone else said, we'd never sign a world-class striker anyway. The EPL develop world-class strikers, rather than sign them. We had to do it with Henry. Liverpool did it with Torres. Man City did it with Aguero. Man Utd did it with CR7. The list goes on, I'm sure.

If we'd just coughed up an extra £10/15M for Higuain we probably wouldn't even be having this debate about a striker

Perhaps. We surely had enough money for both Ozil and Higuain. That would have been a statement. Signing two top players that combines well together.

However, in 2013, Suarez was also avaiable. I was on the "throw stupid money at him" train. I've been a fan since I saw his Copa America 2011 performance. 60m for Suarez would have been worth every penny. If Suarez could do what he did for Liverpool, think what he could have done for us in 13/14, and since.

So, it's almost pointless lamenting the lack of world-class striker available in the market. When not one, but TWO became available in the market, we didn't risk it with them.

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Question to ajw: Who do you think are the strikers that are currently better than Welbeck for Arsenal? (They don't have to be gettable). Just want to know how high you rate Welbeck/other strikers around the world.

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on an unrelated note, what do arsenal fans think about jack wilshere and also woj sczeszny?

Jack has/had the potential to be a fantastic dlp but his career may never progress because of injury. Woj is a good GK but not a top level one.

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Spurs is such a poor example and I'm surprised you have highlighted them. Spurs are the prime example of a well organised and drilled side that win matches because of a game plan and a functioning midfield.

City are an example of how a top striker isn't enough. Leicester are another side that have proven my point (Vardy's form has dipped significantly in 2016)

And besides, I'm not saying a top striker doesn't make a difference. I'm saying that Lukaku ISN'T a top striker.

Vardy's form has ''dipped'' because teams have generally altered the way they play against Leicester. Newcastle's narrow approach highlighted that.

Just to add, Spurs might be a organised team, but they still need somebody to finish their chances. Same as City. Plus, you suggesting Kane/Aguero only scores ignores the huge contributions they can and do make.

Giroud or Welbeck (who, has CJ pointed out, will not get you 20 goals a season) aren't the answer.

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Question to ajw: Who do you think are the strikers that are currently better than Welbeck for Arsenal? (They don't have to be gettable). Just want to know how high you rate Welbeck/other strikers around the world.

If they don't have to be gettable then there would be 20/30? Reasonable targets a fair few less.

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Question to ajw: Who do you think are the strikers that are currently better than Welbeck for Arsenal? (They don't have to be gettable). Just want to know how high you rate Welbeck/other strikers around the world.

There are the obvious ones in Europe like Suarez, Lewandowski, Aubameyang, Benzema etc who are the top tier of strikers. Then you've got the likes of Dybala, Morata and Higuain. Although I don't rate Higuain that highly and maintain that he wouldn't be a great fit for Arsenal and the Premier League.

In the Premier League the three main ones I'd have over Welbeck are Kane, Aguero and Sturridge. Lukaku obviously provides a greater goal threat but I don't think a player with his touch and movement can make it at a top club.

I've probably missed some out and there are some that are probably at the level of Welbeck which I didn't bother in mentioning.

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Vardy's form has ''dipped'' because teams have generally altered the way they play against Leicester. Newcastle's narrow approach highlighted that.

Just to add, Spurs might be a organised team, but they still need somebody to finish their chances. Same as City. Plus, you suggesting Kane/Aguero only scores ignores the huge contributions they can and do make.

Giroud or Welbeck (who, has CJ pointed out, will not get you 20 goals a season) aren't the answer.

Can you point out where I said that please?

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Spurs is such a poor example and I'm surprised you have highlighted them. Spurs are the prime example of a well organised and drilled side that win matches because of a game plan and a functioning midfield.

City are an example of how a top striker isn't enough. Leicester are another side that have proven my point (Vardy's form has dipped significantly in 2016)

And besides, I'm not saying a top striker doesn't make a difference. I'm saying that Lukaku ISN'T a top striker.

You used this statement to justify the fact you don't need a prolific goal scorer, you need a well oiled machine. Most would say you need both, and tbh it just makes me feel you undervalue Kane's contributions.

Also, just to clarify, are you saying that Welbeck is the fourth best striker in the league? Or, the fourth who'd you want in your side?

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You used this statement to justify the fact you don't need a prolific goal scorer, you need a well oiled machine. Most would say you need both, and tbh it just makes me feel you undervalue Kane's contributions.

Also, just to clarify, are you saying that Welbeck is the fourth best striker in the league? Or, the fourth who'd you want in your side?

Well, no, I'm valuing Kane's contributions because he is part of this 'well oiled machine' his ability AND his goals help Spurs massively. Whereas if he just scored goals then Spurs wouldn't be as good of a side. My argument is that a striker that only scores goals isn't enough at the top level.

The fourth best for Arsenal. I don't think this league is full of good strikers though.

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You wouldn't take Payet, for example?

This was the season for Arsenal to break their barren run and actually compete for the title. With Welbeck up front, you'd need to see the rest of the team get goals as Welbeck simply doesn't and isn't a prolific goalscorer.

Just out of curiosity, RVN wasn't good enough for the top level?

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Payet isn't a striker.

RvN was more than just a poacher and the game has moved on massively since the early 00's. Look at what United achieved when Fergie moved him on.

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I wouldn't mind a pure goal-scorer like Ian Wright lol. If our midfield will continue to not contribute with many goals, then our leading striker will have to be able to score goals, first and foremost.

When Cazorla was fit, him and Ozil led the league in chance creation. Our striker should be leading the league in the goal chart, since they'd have just as many if not more chances than others.

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A 'pure goal scorer' would do absolutely nothing for us. That type of striker is obsolete.

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A 'pure goal scorer' would do absolutely nothing for us. That type of striker is obsolete.

There are very few types of players that are truly obsolete. It comes down to how the team is assembled. Do you know how much pressure an Ian Wright applies on the opponents?

A pure goal-scorer actually can add dimensions to your team. Everyone likes to add variation to the build up. An inside forward, a winger, a playmaker, a marauding wingback, a box to box midfielder, etc. Yet a goalscorer who can score many different types of goals will automatically add new angles to our attacks, especially since we are already a team that can create chances. A great goal-scorer would allow our midfielders to create all kinds of chances, because they know he can score from many different types of services. We complain about having to choose between Walcott and Giroud, but imagine someone who score both types of their goals.

Obviously, these types of players exist less now because teams like to spread the goals around more. Usually three. Modern managers prefer a striker who can score certain type of goals, but also add to the buildup, rather than a versatile goal-scorer. It'd be great if 2 of our midfielders could get double figures, but they're not. It's not just the strikers. Our entire team has been wasteful with their finishing.

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You just need a workhorse who scores 10 or 12 a season.

Ramsey and Sanchez are suppose to be it aren't they? They're the hard working midfielders who get into goal-scoring chances. They're still hard working, but they're not scoring.

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Ramsey and Sanchez are suppose to be it aren't they? They're the hard working midfielders who get into goal-scoring chances. They're still hard working, but they're not scoring.

My comment was a bit sarcastic because AJW seems to think Arsenal have good quality strikers.

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We do have good quality strikers? We just don't have elite ones and as I've said on numerous occasions, they are pretty much impossible for us to get. It's fair easier for us to sort the rest of the squad out. (DM, wide playmaker, CB etc)

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Ian Wright was more than just a pure goalscorer anyway. He had plenty of ability on the ball and provided an outlet during build up play. It's just his goalscoring attributes were so immensely good it's easy to forget that he could do anything else.

I cba to get involved with the argument about pure goalscorers and their place in modern football, but I certainly think we need players with better finishing than we have. Whether a pure goalscorer or not, the ability to take a reasonable proportion of the chances we create is something we desperately lack. It's not the only thing we lack but it's certainly one of them.

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Be amazing if we can get Ibra for a couple of years. He's basically exactly the type of forward we need. Threat in the air but also very comfortable with ball at feet unlike Giroud.

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We do have good quality strikers? We just don't have elite ones and as I've said on numerous occasions, they are pretty much impossible for us to get. It's fair easier for us to sort the rest of the squad out. (DM, wide playmaker, CB etc)

Who do you class as elite?

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We do have good quality strikers? We just don't have elite ones and as I've said on numerous occasions, they are pretty much impossible for us to get. It's fair easier for us to sort the rest of the squad out. (DM, wide playmaker, CB etc)

We don't though. And it's weird you think filling these other positions is any more straightforward than finding a better striker.

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I still think Giroud gets a harder time than he deserves when his only crime is that he's not quite good enough to rely on as our main source of goals. He'd be fine if others were weighing in and taking opportunities as well, but when players like Ramsey seem to put clownshoes on every time they get anywhere near the goal, it doesn't help. Walcott misses so many opportunities and yet at other times he looks really clinical. Ozil is a great provider but doesn't score many and Sanchez is woefully off-form.

Obviously Henry was a world class striker but he also had Pires, Bergkamp, Ljungberg, Wiltord and others who took chances when they had them. We don't have that now.

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We do have good quality strikers? We just don't have elite ones and as I've said on numerous occasions, they are pretty much impossible for us to get. It's fair easier for us to sort the rest of the squad out. (DM, wide playmaker, CB etc)

Going forward in the immediate future, that might actually be the case. We don't splash money on elite strikers even when they're available anyway, so we might as well focus on areas that we do splash our money on.

I cba to get involved with the argument about pure goalscorers and their place in modern football, but I certainly think we need players with better finishing than we have. Whether a pure goalscorer or not, the ability to take a reasonable proportion of the chances we create is something we desperately lack. It's not the only thing we lack but it's certainly one of them.

No doubt about it. Poor finishing is our single biggest failure in the league this season.

This article spells it out nice:

http://www.skysports.com/football/news/15118/10189870/wasteful-arsenals-premier-league-title-hopes-hit-by-poor-finishing

"Of course, when you produce the number of openings Arsenal do - and no team has created more than their 85 clear-cut chances in the top flight so far this term - opportunities will be missed. "
Arsenal have missed 57 clear-cut chances this season - more than any other Premier League team
"Arsenal have missed 67.1 per cent of their big chances this season. Only relegation battlers Newcastle (65.7 per cent), Swansea and Norwich (both 63.9 per cent) come close to finishing so poorly."
So which Arsenal players are to blame?

Theo Walcott has scored four goals in 22 Premier League appearances this season. He's passed up 10 big chances and has converted just 23 per cent of his major openings this term.

Aaron Ramsey has the next-worst conversion rate of clear-cut chances, scoring just a quarter of his."Arsenal have missed 57 clear-cut chances this season - more than any other Premier League team"

Arsenal have drawn or lost 13 Premier League matches this season - in nine of them they've missed enough clear-cut chances to have won. Only against Swansea, Southampton, Chelsea and West Ham did they fail to create enough clear-cut openings to better the number of goals they let in at the other end."

Among the forward with the highest % of missed big chances, our Walcott, Giroud, and Sanchez are all in the top 8. So basically it goes Walcott > Ramsey > Giroud > Sanchez. All four have been awful at finishing.

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I wonder how Francis Jeffers or Julio Baptista would do in this team as they are "poachers"

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Who said anything about poachers?

A poacher is a player who pops up at the right place at the right time and scores from a few yards out. We've never successfully employed one of those under Wenger and never will. We have had great finishers though.

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I still think Giroud gets a harder time than he deserves when his only crime is that he's not quite good enough to rely on as our main source of goals. He'd be fine if others were weighing in and taking opportunities as well, but when players like Ramsey seem to put clownshoes on every time they get anywhere near the goal, it doesn't help. Walcott misses so many opportunities and yet at other times he looks really clinical. Ozil is a great provider but doesn't score many and Sanchez is woefully off-form.

Obviously Henry was a world class striker but he also had Pires, Bergkamp, Ljungberg, Wiltord and others who took chances when they had them. We don't have that now.

Yeah exactly. But we are where we are, as I said a bit earlier, I don't think it's realistic or desirable to overhaul the starting 11 to fill it with better goalscorers, in the short term at least, so the easiest way to solve this issue is to get better strikers in.

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Going forward in the immediate future, that might actually be the case. We don't splash money on elite strikers even when they're available anyway, so we might as well focus on areas that we do splash our money on.

Sorry, what?

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Who do you class as elite?

I've already listed those strikers on this very page.

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Yeah exactly. But we are where we are' date=' as I said a bit earlier, I don't think it's realistic or desirable to overhaul the starting 11 to fill it with better goalscorers, in the short term at least, so the easiest way to solve this issue is to get better strikers in.[/quote']

I'd like to think we could improve on what we have certainly. But, I'm the first to admit that I don't watch enough football involving other teams, especially continental or international to know who these players might be.

I do think it would be a mistake to only look at the striker situation though because Wenger's philosophy of buying one player in the summer and thinking it suddenly propels us into contention hasn't worked no matter how good that player is.

I do think we have problems in a number of areas and the one that bugs me the most is the lack of backbone in the players and (as Sanchez hinted at) the apparent lack of determination and desire to win. Obviously they want to win, but sometimes that desire to really fight for a win just isn't there. People can suggest the manager needs to motivate them but if a player doesn't have that determination as a trait there isn't much anyone can do imo. But I digress (again).

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I still think Giroud gets a harder time than he deserves when his only crime is that he's not quite good enough to rely on as our main source of goals. He'd be fine if others were weighing in and taking opportunities as well, but when players like Ramsey seem to put clownshoes on every time they get anywhere near the goal, it doesn't help. Walcott misses so many opportunities and yet at other times he looks really clinical. Ozil is a great provider but doesn't score many and Sanchez is woefully off-form.

Obviously Henry was a world class striker but he also had Pires, Bergkamp, Ljungberg, Wiltord and others who took chances when they had them. We don't have that now.

Giroud is just a poor man's Drogba isn't he? When Drogba first arrived and Chelsea won 2 league titles, he scored 10 and 12 league goals respectively.

To get away with that amount of goals from your striker, you need others to chip in with goals, and a rock solid defense (the latter more like a general requirement for champions.) Like you said, we don't have that. Giroud is not a great goalscorer, but what does it say that he's still our top goal-scorer? It's not just the midfielders, like Lampard. When a striker is off form, the squad player needs to be able to replace them. Drogba only scored 10 league goals, but so did Gudjohnson (sp?) and later Crespo.

Another example is Mandzukic who ever scored 20 league goals during his two years with Bayern. His backups, Gomez in 2013 picked up 11, and Pizarro in 2014 picked up 10. And then of course there were the likes of Muller, Ribery, Robben, and Gotze.

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Sorry, what?

Did you miss the part where we didn't splash our money on Suarez or Higuain in 2013 because it would have been too risky or they're not worth the money, or whatever?

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I'd like to think we could improve on what we have certainly. But, I'm the first to admit that I don't watch enough football involving other teams, especially continental or international to know who these players might be.

I do think it would be a mistake to only look at the striker situation though because Wenger's philosophy of buying one player in the summer and thinking it suddenly propels us into contention hasn't worked no matter how good that player is.

I do think we have problems in a number of areas and the one that bugs me the most is the lack of backbone in the players and (as Sanchez hinted at) the apparent lack of determination and desire to win. Obviously they want to win, but sometimes that desire to really fight for a win just isn't there. People can suggest the manager needs to motivate them but if a player doesn't have that determination as a trait there isn't much anyone can do imo. But I digress (again).

I have to agree here. Improving on what we have will have a far bigger impact than any signing we can make. There are a lot of issues at hand. The finishing of Ramsey and Walcott. The form of Sanchez. The mentality. The organization. etc. Sorting things out internally will also set a great foundation for any newcomers.

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I've already listed those strikers on this very page.

So the four or five you named. You dont think there's any better than those who could reasonably sign?

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I'd like to think we could improve on what we have certainly. But, I'm the first to admit that I don't watch enough football involving other teams, especially continental or international to know who these players might be.

Yeah same, all you can do really is trust the club has a good scouting system in place I guess. And we do have the money.

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I am by no means comparing the two as players but one Thierry Henry had a pretty loose first touch when he first joined.

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