Chamakh is Hot, RVP is Fit and Bendtner Whines. Striking Dilenma, Who would you start??
They are here again, the preposterous International friendlies, FIFA’s way of getting revenues for itself in the name of football. That said, it comes with its ups and downs. The downs being the risk of injuries to players and fatigue on returning to their parent clubs. And then again times like this gives me the opportunity to talk on some important things. This time we are taking a look at the striker situation at Arsenal. I have been waiting to write this piece ever since news broke of Robin Van Persie back in training.
Music to our ears right? Then came Bendtner’s rant, about wanting to leave and accessing his options if he didn’t get much playing which at first I thought was another misquote from the press until it was confirmed he did say it. Say what? This is someone who has seen strikers better than him leave the club, got a significant pay rise and a season later despite injuries and not being fully fit he goes out and says something like that. What a doughnut!!!
For the first time in a long while we actually have competition for places up front and in the middle of the park and the thought of having better squad depth than United and Chelski is nothing short of pure excitement. When Chamakh was signed in the summer I wondered how Arsene Wenger was going to play this out. The 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 only allows for only one proper striker flanked by two attacking midfielders or in front of three attacking midfielders meaning somebody will have to play the role of back up striker. Bummer!!! Like we needed any more disgruntled player(s) .
I for one welcome that, we need more competition for places especially as injuries have become a convenient excuse for us over time and if a player is not happy at playing second fiddle or getting subbed a lot he should pull his socks up and win a place in the starting XI. Let’s look at the options available to us and reasons why who should start and who should accept the role of back up.
ROBIN VAN PERSIE
Everyone’s favorite to lead the attack, the injury prone Dutch forward blessed with Van Basten like technique (a little exaggeration here) , quick feet, free kick specialist and a strong left foot. The 26 year old has come of age in recent times, and even though his career has been blighted by injuries, he still puts in a more than solid shift when called upon.
Highly talented and could easily walk into any of Europe’s elite clubs not only is he one of Holland’s key players, he is also vice captain at Arsenal which says a lot about his influence on younger players and the authority he commands in the dressing room. We all hope he could stay fit from now till seasons end to help with the title push. To be honest if he can’t do that, I would say we cash in on him now and buy someone like him that can stay fit and bang in the goals we need.
My Opinion : When fit, he’ll definitely start either upfront flanked by Arshavin and Theo or on the Left of a 4-3-3 formation with Chamakh in the middle and Theo on the right, or a 4-4-2 formation partnering Chamakh/Nikky B. Definite starter.
Less than 20 games in and yet some people are still not convinced about our Moroccan forward. Beats me myself. 8 goals and 6 assists so far, what more can you ask for? Considering the fact that its just his first season and as Arsene likes to point out “it takes 6 months for a new player to adjust” , Cham29 has done it in less than 3 months and yet some fans complain! Why not try put on boots and a jersey and replicate his form?
Granted, he drifts to the wings a lot but let’s not forget his high work rate which shows hunger and determination. Against Everton, he held up play beautifully and defended well at set pieces. He might not have Tevez’s work rate or speed, but he does his best which as of now is paying dividends and making him a fans favourite. If he was signed as back up, AW must have a rethink, now seeing as his 8 goals so far is just 8 shy of his overall tally for Bordeaux last season.
My Opinion :Should start in away and important games ahead of Nikky B due to his experience and goals tally so far, and the quiet way he goes about doing his work. In whatever formation he’ll be back-up to RVP unless in a 4-2-3-1 formation
Ah! The cocky Dane who I like personally but has not lived up to his personal billing of a great striker as he called himself. Caught by the media with his pants down after a club party, argued and came to blows with former strike partner Adebarndoor and survived a car accident last year. Lotza issues eh? His goal tally may not be superb but its his knack for scoring crucial goals (Burnley and Hull anyone?). His confidence never wanes. He’s often complained about wanting to play as a centre forward and not on the wings, that looked likely to happen after the sale of Eduardo only for injuries to strike. In his and RVP’s absence, Cham29 has banged in goals and assists and is no longer looking like a back up. Instead of ranting and going to the press I think he should be fit first and work harder in training. Arsene’s response to his complains was that “he’s going nowhere and he’s an integral part of the squad. Now he has to prove it.
My Opinion : 3 goals so far this season doesn’t make him an automatic starter, he’s sure to find himself on the bench more than on the field but nonetheless he’s a great option from the bench and knowing AW, Nikky B will get his fair share of games this season.
Let’s pray all of our 16 players come out unscathed today and tomorrow; especially Gibbs and Theo who I’d be keeping an eye on at Wembley). By the way, 9jabred’s rooting for France tonight, he’s got this affinity for anything French simply because of Thierry Henry. Now, we’ve got Samir, Clichy and Sagna. Great lads eh?
Let’s see which of us is smiling at the end of the game.
Up next for us, is NOTHINGham HotSpuds. They have nothing, let’s show them what we have got.
That’s it for today, I’m off to a date.
From wherever you’re reading this have fun
Escobar’s gonna have a ball