Pre-Man Utd Stuff and a Tale of Arsenal’s Forward Line
Like every well-eaten meal, the entertaining, enthralling and epic victory over Reading has been fully digested in the bellies of everyone connected with Arsenal and with games coming in thick and fast, it’s time to move on to the next one.
Arsenal’s next fixture doesn’t bring any fond memories, as it was the venue were the club suffered its worst defeat since the days Merlin was the Chief Wizard of Camelot. I’d learned that Wojciech Szczesny refused to eat dinner after the humiliating defeat because he already ‘8’ at Old Trafford. After the game, lots of catch phrases and punchlines saw the light of day but the “I 8-2 be an Arsenal fan right now” line was pretty painful to say the least.
Many media Vultures are tipping Robin van Persie to put up a hell of a show against his former employers, and he’ll certainly be one of the major talking points in the build-up to the game. However, Arsene Wenger has played down the issue of revenge, urging his players to focus on Man Utd, not just RvP,
“I hope he gets a respectful reception. We campaign against discrimination of all varieties and it is the same when you disrespect players, Saturday is not about Van Persie. It is about us getting a result.
“I am not surprised he has been a success with United so far. He makes intelligent runs, he is a great finisher. I said before it seemed strange to see him scoring goals for Manchester United, but this is football. We made a decision to sell Robin, he decided to join United, that’s it.”
“One of the parts of my job is to have a positive influence on people’s lives as a player,” added Wenger. “When you manage to do that, you are always kind of satisfied. You want to try and have a positive influence on people you cross in your life. I think my influence was not too bad.
“It is very difficult to answer how much we are missing him because at the moment, I am focused on doing well with the players I have. To start to think ‘how much do we miss him?’ will not help us to do well.”
I can’t deny that watching van Persie excel at Manchester United has been a very bitter pill to swallow but I’ve learned to live with it by simply not watching Manchester United games. The last time I checked, I’m a Gooner.
For those that really care, here’s an article revealing how van Persie’s exit has been a blessing for Arsenal.
With the exit of van Persie and the little boy inside him to Manchester United, Arsenal’s forward line currently consists of six players of different diversities.
There’s an efficient German machine that has made the left flank his for keeps and he also has four goals to his name, RvP’s direct replacement, a handsome French bloke that throws his jersey to the crowd when his team levels matches in the 90th minute, and he has three goals at the moment.
There’s the African duo that left the club for the AFCON last season, which allowed the boss to request the services of the living legend, Thierry Henry, to hold the fort while they were gone. Unlike last season where this African pair weren’t doing too well, the Ivorian with a massive forehead currently leads Arsenal’s scoring charts (YOUDONTMEANIT (-___-), Mr. Sign da Ting leads the charts :P) while the Moroccan hair gel specialist managed to score a brace in his last start for the club.
Then there’s the English pair that can give Usain Bolt a run for his money if they ventured into athletics. The younger Englishman is currently nursing an injury while the older Englishman has had a topsy-turvy season thus far, as he has banged in seven goals, suffered strange injuries and has also lost his place in the team.
Arsenal’s forwards have a collective amount of 21 goals thus far this season and with their current form, I doubt if they’ll be firing blanks any time soon.
However, the Gunners will be without Gervinho for three weeks, as he’s currently nursing an ankle injury sustained in the game against QPR. That injury seemed awkward though because no opposition defender was near Le Forehead when it happened.
As expected, Theo Walcott continues to dominate the headlines for more reasons than one. Judging from his recent goalscoring exploits, many fans want Walcott to play through the middle but Wenger has stated that the forward has freedom in the team,
“In our team, we have freedom of movement. Nobody is handcuffed,” the manager said. “When we have the ball, we have a lot of freedom to move.
“It’s important to know where we go, but I think Theo has learnt a lot on that.
“He has good pace, [makes] excellent, intelligent runs, and what has changed with Theo is he’s become a very good finisher. I would take an example of his first goal the other night at Reading. It’s a real ‘finisher’s’ goal.”
With all the rants of Walcott playing primarily through the middle, people tend to forget that Walcott still drifts infield from time to time to devastating effect. Let me take you down memory lane to the recent 3 – 1 victory over West Ham in Upton Park.
Giroud saw Walcott making a run on the left back’s blind side before slotting a through ball for the forward to execute a deft finish past Jussi Jaaskelainen. If Walcott was the center forward while Giroud or any other player was in the wing position, would he had looked up to find such an exquisite through ball?
I don’t think so.
Yes, Walcott has blistering pace and a clinical finishing ability, but these attributes aren’t enough to lead the line for a club like Arsenal. At the moment, his pace is a potent tool against opposition fullbacks but the outcome would certainly be different against hefty center backs.
I’ve never seen Walcott play with his back to goal and we all know that with his small stature, he can’t pose an aerial threat. With Gervinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain out of the team, Walcott will have another chance to stake his claim for the right wing position and there’s still that issue of his contract, that needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later.
Arsene Wenger has offered the Gooners a glimmer of hope, stating that Walcott’s future would be sorted out before Christmas and he’s also confident that the club won’t sell him in January, even if the proposed contract talks hit a deadlock.
The club said the same with van Persie and we all know how that panned out.
I really hope that Walcott doesn’t follow suit. Please, sign da fucking Ting.
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