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Wingers? What Wingers?

Wingers? What Wingers?

After the signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton yesterday I`m seeing an increasing number of complaints regarding the excessive number of wingers Arsenal currently employ.

Now almost everybody sees football differently, indeed it`s what makes our sport great and the most blogged about thing in the universe, so forgive me that I just don`t see how Arsenal have too many wide men.

I fully understand the grumbles and moans that a central defender is more important than spending £10-£15Million on a 17 year old winger, however it could just be the case that the signing of Alex was much easier to tie up than our central defensive targets. It`s quite plausible, probably even, that Wenger entered movements for a defender long before he make his second move for Chamberlain, however as the boy wanted to join so much that the transfer was swift and easy. But I digress.

If you want to moan about that, by all means go ahead, but to say we have too many genuine wingers? I just can`t see it.

Our current widemen (at the time of writing, plenty of Nasri rumours out there today) are Nasri, Arshavin, Theo, Rosicky, Gervinho ….. all players who can do a job out there, but not where they usually ply their trade.

Nasri, Arshavin and Rosicky all central attacking midfielders, Theo a striker, and one who`s spoken publicly about his desire to return to that position (maybe Oxlade-Chamberlain will facilitate that?) and Gervinho is a … well I`m not too sure right now, the guy is a whirlwind.

I`ve talked about the need for a proper winger for quite some time, and whether this promising 17 year old is the answer I`ve no idea, but it`s a step in the right direction.

Our own LittleDutch has waxed lyrical on many occasions regarding the fact that Theo Walcott has become a more important player for Arsenal, not because he`s better than Arshavin, but because of his pace and willingness to get in behind defenders, and whilst Theo isn`t a winger by trade, he possesses many of the traits of a good one.

So again, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signing for Arsenal might not be the best timed transfer as far as appeasing fans goes (ugh), but his position is certainly something we need.

If he is a to go straight into the first team, his presence on the wing would allow to sell Nasri for a handsome sum for a player in his last season / allows Arshavin or Nasri to move inside after Cesc swans off to pastures new / gives Theo the chance to move upfront where I believe he would be the most dangerous ..... or just give us an extra option.

Let`s hope this is a busy week which will generate much more discussion.

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

Date:Tuesday August 9 2011
Time: 10:31AM


Cant agree more with you Rocky. First, AW was criticised for 'converting' many central attacking midfielders like Rosicky, Nasri and Arshavin into wingers and not buying "genuine" wingers. Now that we are doing that through Gervinho, AOC and potentially Mata we apparently have too many wingers. With Cesc and possibly Nasri gone we need Arshavin, Rosicky and possible new addition to play central advanced midfield roles leaving the flanks free for some new additions to the team.
09/08/2011 11:11:00
Other Arsenal wingers that were central midfielders: - Robert Pires - Freddie Ljungberg - Sylvain Wiltord. We don't play actual wingers; an actual winger is a quick guy who dribbles past a full-back and swings in a cross. We don't want those - we play our football on the floor. So I don't see us signing any, and if we did they wouldn't play 'on the wing' anyway.
09/08/2011 11:23:00
I have to say of the two main signings to date, they are not the most crucial signings for the positions we need to strengthen but... Wenger has splashed some cash!!!! Rock on... there may be a glimmer of hope for us yet!!!!!
09/08/2011 11:24:00
The thing with the players you just listed daminao, is that they were part of the greatest Arsenal team in history, and with Henry in the team who was almost a left winger when he was at his pomp I'm not sure it's really fair to judge what we need now bu what we had then. And who says a winger has to whip in a cross for the head? We're at our best when we get quick balls down the line and then cut it back across the ground .... think Nasri and Arshavin against Barca. But if we've got a winger who wants to be a winger, then I think there's less chance that the player is going to start coming inside all the damn time and slowing the play like we've been seeing a lot recently. To much fannying around, not enough direct play ... and by that I do not mean the long balls. lol
09/08/2011 12:52:00
If Arsenal don't have any money they need to come out and say it! that will set the fans expectations accordingly...instead of constantly boasting about their record revenues and profit over loss, gate receipts, game revenue etc...just say you are broke! we will understand.
09/08/2011 13:03:00
Erm, we've already spent 20 million of our own money Bm, not the cash of some oil barron. Still got a few quid to spare too ;)
09/08/2011 13:06:00
bluemillionaire, or else you could have a gander at Arsenal's accounts (which are a matter of public record) and decide that you're talking out of your hole. Whichever's best for you.
Little Dutch
09/08/2011 13:33:00
Interesting you say "the player is going to start coming inside all the damn time and slowing the play" Rocky; that's kind of what I was pointing out with that list of players (although I should've described them as central players rather than centre-mids) is that they were all central players playing in the wide midfield positions, but spent most of their time playing in the centre; I can't picture Freddie without seeing him within the width of the 18 yard box as opposed to out wide. It's the way Wenger's Arsenal sides play; we don't want people whipping down the touchline, we want them playing the fantastic type of football that people always denigrate by describing as 'tippy-tappy'. you know, the sort of tippy-tappy that wins champions leagues, world cups and (more recently) the charity shield.
09/08/2011 14:48:00
That's the thing though, that team was amazing, and fast enough to make this work, I'm not sure this team is. When Ljungberg or Pires came inside it's because we'd already bypassed 90% of their team and it was virtually a 1 on 1 situation with whatever player they could get back. When this current team cuts inside they've already got all their men behind the ball, meaning we're going sideways all the time or trying to find an impossible pass. We've already shown that we're so much slower at getting into the final third than the invincibles, we need someone to get out wide and get in behind the defence, like Walcott tries to. There's no coincidence that he got a good number of assists. He plays well as a winger, but it's not what he wants to do. We've now got someone who likes to do that, that can only be a good thing if you ask me.
09/08/2011 15:00:00
Agree with almost all of that, Rocky; I don't see Pires or Ljungberg as better players than we have now (that'll be a popular comment!) - certainly not faster than the current crop - but the difference was that the opponents and the other Arsenal players would be in less advanced positions. So to be effective now you have to beat a back 8 that's packed into its own box, rather than a back four spread across the half-way line.
09/08/2011 15:55:00
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