Arsenal - Wingers? What Wingers?
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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.

The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 9 2011

Time: 10:31AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
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.
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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.
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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!!!!!
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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
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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.
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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 ;)
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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09/08/2011 15:55:00

They don't need to be fast in speed (though that certainly helps) more fast in mind. We currently take too many touches and do thinks in 7 passes we could do in 2 in my opinion. we need to be sharper and more decisive. Going back to that goal vs Barca, it's ideal and what we should be doing more often than not. Bang bang bang and the ball was in their area and they couldn't adjust quickly enough allowing AA to steal in unmarked. We did that to the best team ever! I think some proper wingers offer great outlets and will enable us to break more quickly. In theory at least.
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09/08/2011 17:01:00

Speed of thought makes a massive difference, yeah - and I'd put a lot of that down to lack of confidence. We need to support the boys!
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09/08/2011 17:16:00

Wingers? What you need are strikers who will shoot. And defenders that can defend. And a goalkeeper that can keep the goal. And some players that have a spirit to win and a love for the club. And a captain who wants to stay, not leave. And a new manager. And a board who want success for the club, not success for their wallets. The fact that you have none of these things makes you a nice easy proposition in general. By the way, you're going down big time this season you're gonna finish sixth after we batter you home and away..laters.
Tony Rocky Horror
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09/08/2011 17:29:00

TRH - Robin van Persie scored more goals in half a season than every single one of your strikers combined for the whole season. Our goal keepers conceded less goals than yours, our manager aims to try and win the games we play rather than making excuses about not being able to play properly in the Europa League because it would inhibit their league position ... but they would happyily go in the champions league and inhibit their league position because of all the money involved. And two words ... Luka Modric. You're too easy man, too too easy.
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09/08/2011 17:52:00

To be fair though, why are you so *****? Seriously, I want to know why you're such a joke club.
Tony Rocky Horror
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09/08/2011 18:08:00

I'd be willing to answer that question to somebody who wasn't the supporter of a club a good deal sh***er than we are. We have our deficiencies, but man, we're lucky we're not you. S*** ground, s*** team, s*** manager, s*** chairman. "Seriously" I want to know why a fan of a team who has finished below us for the last million years, hasn't won the league in 50 years, hasn't won the FA Cup in 20 years and has a cock standing on top of a beeachball for a crest can ask that question .... game, set, match, baby.
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09/08/2011 18:24:00

Would you kiss your mother with that mouth? How disgusting....
Tony Rocky Horror
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09/08/2011 19:06:00

I think a better question is did he really kiss YOUR mother with that mouth?
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09/08/2011 19:52:00

Dont think TRH has anyone to kiss in his life hence his constant angst and need for attention. Good news about Miyaichi! Thats another winger with pace to burn. He will be counted over and above the 25 man squad too.
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09/08/2011 19:58:00

Miyaichi and AOC on the wings with Theo and playing off of Chamakh in the CC? That kind of pace would be pretty worrying for a defender.
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09/08/2011 20:25:00

Hahahahahahaha!!! TRH, you got owned! Really don't know when to stop either, well done Rocky!
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10/08/2011 01:34:00

TRH...i would only asked rocky that question only if (at least) we qualified for UCL in successions
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10/08/2011 01:52:00

TRH please *please* come troll Vital Chelsea. It's not fair that the Gunners here get the pleasure of tearing you a new one on a daily basis. It'll be fun, I promise.
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10/08/2011 08:09:00

Just post something about Spurs BlueBaines, he'll be over like a shot. And you're right, it is fun!!
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10/08/2011 10:14:00

Interesting view,although for me,i think Wenger needs to concentrate on getting some oafish and brutish utility players who could play CB and DM.Samba and Verthogwhats his face come to mind.We all know that we have a decent enough first XI,the crux is getting a beefy squad to compensate for the almost inevitable spate of injuries we will doubtless have to deal with at the business end of the season.I read somewhere recently that Wenger says that he prefers lighter players due to our technical game.Is it any wonder we get bullied by the Stokes of the world?.Priorities monsieur Wenger,Priorities!!.This seasonis last chance saloon and i reckon constant boos at the Grove will come to stay if we dont get decent results at home.GOD SAVE US GOONERS
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10/08/2011 18:41:00

OT : If you havent seen this.. you better.. Epic *****.
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10/08/2011 19:23:00

Its going to be a watershed new season for us with both Cesc and Nasri with one foot out of the door. Its going to take some adjustment time to play in a different way and for the new playmaker/s to gel with RvP as Cesc used to. Tough season ahead but exciting nevertheless.
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11/08/2011 07:16:00

...I just believe we shall have a slow start for the exact reasons you have stated above, DF. It is looking like a reverse of the usual, where we start well and peter out at the business end. Whatever will get us a trophy is fine with me.
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11/08/2011 14:24:00


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