After the excitement of the Christmas period it’s fair to say that things are a just a tad boring in the world of Arsenal at the moment.
Sure, there is a relatively exciting Carling Cup tie with Tottenham to look forward to tomorrow night but apart from that there’s very little transfer speculation to talk about and hardly anything to complain about. I guess I should be happy, but as a blogger who tries to come up with something interesting to talk about every day it hasn’t been particularly easy just recently.
Yesterday I spoke a little bit about Eduardo da Silva’s unique finishing and, not surprisingly, one of his teammates has picked up on it as well. Kolo Toure, who is off to Ghana to compete in the African Cup of Nations that begins very shortly, spoke of his delight with Eduardo’s recent form and the value of the Croatian’s partnership with Nicklas Bendtner to the team.
“He has now played with Nicklas for some time and they know each other’s games very well. It is great for us – it means we will have four top-class strikers.”
It’s a good point he’s making, really. When Thierry Henry left before the start of the season there were a lot of questions being asked about whether or not Arsenal would have the firepower up front to make an impact on the Premiership. With half a season gone and with three of the four strikers in wonderful form and arguably the best of the bunch still to come back from injury I think most supporters would agree that Arsene Wenger’s side is looking pretty good at the moment.
The value of having so many strikers in good form means that it significantly improves the number of combinations that the manager has to play with up front. Indeed, Wenger could employ any two of the four strikers against any team in Europe and be confident of getting a result and when it’s all said and done, there wouldn’t be too many other managers going around who could say the same.
Variety in attack
Additionally, the variety in abilities that each attacker possesses significantly adds to the unpredictability and creativity of the squad. In van Persie you have a man who is capable of scoring spectacular goals and providing a touch of creativity in and around the penalty area. In Adebayor you have a hard-working target man who creates space for the players around him and tires defences with his pace and power. In Bendtner you have a monster of a player who has unparalleled ability in the air and strength to bring his teammates into the game and in Eduardo you have a player with the sharpness in the penalty area to finish whatever chance is given to him.
It’s a wonderful combination of attributes that ensures Wenger has the players to grab goals against any opposition. Even without Henry, Arsenal has never had so much variety up front and it’s wonderful to see.
Moving on to the only concrete transfer speculation of the moment (Nikolay Dimitrov excluded) and Arsene Wenger has declared that supporters will know in just a couple of days whether or not Jens Lehmann will remain an Arsenal player, as well as reiterating his desire for the German to stay.
“Will he leave or not? I wish he stays. We’ll know in the next few days.”
You all probably know by now that personally, I’m hoping Lehmann leaves. I’ve always loved the big German and everything he has done for the club in the past; indeed, I named him as the goalkeeper in my Arsenal Team of the Decade. But the way he behaved this year after being displaced by Manuel Almunia was unacceptable and I firmly believe that it’s time for him to move on.
With his Spanish rival doing well and Lukasz Fabianski waiting in the wings, from a purely footballing perspective I honestly don’t think Lehmann will be missed at Arsenal. From an entertainment perspective, however, his exit will be a little bit of a shame. But I guess that’s football.
That’s it from me today. I’m now off to my first session of pre-season football training. It’s going to be a
fun looooong season!
What do you think?
Have your say on the Arsenal strikers or Lehmann by leaving a comment.