Vital Football

Latest Arsenal FC News

Stuck in the middle with who?

Stuck in the middle with who?

Having sold Adebayor in the summer Wenger flirted with the prospect of signing another forward. The question wasn`t whether we had enough strikers, even without Togo`s finest we had van Persie, Bendtner, Eduardo and Vela plus Walcott who could 'do a job` along with Arshavin. Wenger had considered Chamakh seriously enough to put a bid in for him but not as seriously as to meet the self confessed inflated fee demanded by the Bordeaux chairman.

It wasn`t numbers that Wenger was concerned about just the type of striker. The idea that van Persie could play as a front man was one that had been tried before with some success but not for any great period of time. Doubts remained about van Persie, as they would have done about Bendtner despite his size and apparent physical presence, as a target man. Eventually Arsene, contented with the physical condition of Eduardo, decided that we had enough to go with. After all, with that many forwards we would have to be extremely unlucky on the injury front to be given any real problems, and what were the chances of that happening- eh?

However the concept of target men forwards was never consistently Wenger`s style though he did have Mark Hateley leading the line at Monaco for a while. While at Arsenal he had never really deployed such a player having moved John Hartson on very quickly. Adebayor was as close as he came to the percentage ball hit man in the 13 seasons he has been at the club. This season so far has been notable for the goals that have come from areas of the pitch other than our forwards. In fact Ade`s departure seemed to mark a return to a faster moving, short quick and fluid passing game that characterised the play of players like Henry, Pires and Bergkamp.

Since the injury to van Persie, at a time when Bendtner is also out, Wenger has tried Eduardo, Vela and Arshavin in different games. Arshavin seemed to work the better of these options but so far only at home against modest opposition. Nonetheless it is likely to be a tactic which will continue against Liverpool at the weekend, the venue for an unforgettably sparkling individual performance from Arshavin last season.

Walcott seems confident that the Russian playmaker will assume the role successfully: "Andrey did a great job against Stoke and hopefully he can perform again.

"You always want to be on his team in training. He gets all the goals and is a bubbly character."

Fabregas was quoted in the week as claiming that we have too many forwards of the same style and need more options: "We had a lot of similar players who like the ball into their feet. Sometimes it's true that you need a different kind of option." He claimed after the Chelsea game before adding, "Perhaps we had the same kind of problem against Chelsea as the boys had at Manchester City, not really having someone whose game is to go beyond defenders, and we were a little small to fight against them on crosses, too."

For me Eduardo looks more than capable with his intelligent movement to get beyond defenders but a series of niggling injuries has blunted his match sharpness for the present. However he isn`t the physical presence that Arshavin seems to pack into his rather smaller frame if Andrey`s efforts against a physically strong Stoke side are to be any guide.

The Russian doesn`t see himself as a natural centre forward: "I can't say that centre forward is my position, I am more of a second striker," Arshavin told the Russian press after the game having notched up his 100th career goal against Stoke, while feeling he should have had more ".....as a centre forward I had many chances to start my second century, but managed to score only once."

With Bendtner not due back until the New Year the hope must be that we find a consistent combination that works pretty quickly. The Liverpool game could tell us just how near or far we might be to achieving that while also helping to determine just how much effort Arsene will put into bringing in a different kind of forward in the January window.



Join Vital Arsenal

Want to comment on this article? It's easy to register , simply click the link and enjoy getting involved (you can even win prizes!)

Message Board To visit the message board, click here. Get involved






Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Amos
Date:Friday December 11 2009
Time: 11:18AM

Comments

0
I often muse in how the late 80s model of Alan Smith would have done in this Arsenal side, needless to say I think he would have worked perfectly! Whether or not Arshavin can do the job upfront away from home against an opponent like Liverpool will be interesting. I still prefer Eduardo on the wide left of the three strikers, where he can make runs that don't quite get the attention from defenders. Eduardo is fine there from a goalscoring point of view, but so much of the role is being a target and creating space for team mates with movement and touch and I don't see that in Eduardo. You have to be more involved in the game than a player like him and he is very good at beating players when facing goal but with his back to goal he's not quite as sharp.
Little Dutch
11/12/2009 11:36:00
0
Interesting you say that as when i first saw Bendtner play i thought he looked like a younger version of Smudger, remember away at Porto in our loss he was outstanding leading the line on his own.
shewore
11/12/2009 12:05:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Arsenal Articles

Wenger Sad With Top Four Miss

Manager Arsene Wenger has spoken of his disappointment at not seeing Arsenal manage to clinch that Champions League spot this season.

Sanchez In Team Of The Season (23/5/17)

Arsenal are represented in the Premier League Team of the Season that has been selected by BBC pundit Garth Crooks.

2016/17 Second Best Goal Return Ever

The Premier League season of 2016/17 didn't see a new goal record set in the top flight of football on Sunday, however the final day got extremely close.

Kroenke's Arsenal Shares Are Not For Sale

Alisher Usmanov's efforts to wrestle complete control from Stan Kroenke is doomed to fail as Arsenal's majority shareholder has insisted his shares are not for sale.

Archived Vital Arsenal Articles

Vital Arsenal articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Arsenal
Write For Vital Arsenal
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Everton MotM
Suggested By:
Cech1%
Holding7%
Koscielny14%
Gabriel0%
Bellerin7%
Ramsey0%
Xhaka0%
Monreal0%
Ozil64%
Sanchez7%
Welbeck0%
Sub - Mertesacker0%
Sub - Coquelin0%
Sub - Iwobi0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Chelsea 38 30 3 5 93 52
2 Spurs 38 26 8 4 86 60
3 Man City 38 23 9 6 78 41
4 Liverpool 38 22 10 6 76 36
5 Arsenal 38 23 6 9 75 33
6 Man Utd 38 18 15 5 69 25
7 Everton 38 17 10 11 61 18
8 Southampton 38 12 10 16 46 -7
9 AFC Bournemouth 38 12 10 16 46 -12
10 WBA 38 12 9 17 45 -8
11 West Ham 38 12 9 17 45 -17
12 Leicester City 38 12 8 18 44 -15
13 Stoke 38 11 11 16 44 -15
14 Crystal Palace 38 12 5 21 41 -13
15 Swansea 38 12 5 21 41 -25
16 Burnley 38 11 7 20 40 -16
17 Watford 38 11 7 20 40 -28
R Hull City 38 9 7 22 34 -43
R Middlesbrough 38 5 13 20 28 -26
R Sunderland 38 6 6 26 24 -40
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Arsenal Results (view all)

Arsenal Fixtures (view all)

May 27 2017 5:30PM : Chelsea (H)
FA Cup

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Naijagunner1
Write for Vital Football