Hello there – hope you’re having a lovely Tuesday.
Just a quick news Arsenal news round-up to get through before things get all Guest Posty. Here goes:
- The Arsenal boys continued their impressive pre-season overnight with a comfortable 5-0 win over Hungarian side Szombathelyi Haladas. Eduardo returned to the team with a brace, Nicklas Bendtner also got two and Robin van Persie scored the fifth with a trademark rocket penalty. Meanwhile Szombathelyi’s Maikel missed late on with one of the worst penalties you’re even likely to see. You can see all the highlights here.
- The Daily Mail (I know, I know) has claimed that Kolo Toure has joined Manchester City for £15 million. Toure started yesterday’s game so it does seem that this could be made up, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out to be true. However, I’ll be waiting for a more reliable source to break this sort of news before I make any sort of comment.
- Nicklas Bendtner has denied he’s on his way to AC Milan. Good man.
- Bacary Sagna loves Thomas Vermaelen. I would like to add that I like the idea of Vermaelen but I’m not going to proclaim my love for him until I see him play. After that I will send him a bunch of twelve red roses attached with the best haiku I can muster in the hope of wooing him all the way to Australia. You know how it is.
That’s that for all the news bits. I’ll be on Twitter and Facebook to break any further Toure-related information as it happens but in the meantime it’s Guest Post Tuesday time.
Today’s guest post comes from a London-based Gooner and regular commenter on the Arsenal FC Blog who goes by the name of Enemy Airships. I’ve been begging him for the last few weeks to write something for the blog as he’s a great writer who has his own blog about life adventures and music among other things called, funnily enough, Enemy Airships.
Anyway, enemyairships’ post today attempts to answer the question: do we need to replace Emmanuel Adebayor? It’s another superb read and as always, I hugely encourage everyone to let Enemy Airships know what you think via the comments.
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Arsenal don’t need to replace Adebayor by enemyairships
Now that the dust has settled on the Adebayor saga, it’s time to fantasise about what to do with the £25 million that’s suddenly burning a hole in the club’s coffers. Even though we sent him packing with a collective ‘good riddance’ instead of a ‘good luck’, the fact remains that he had an enviable goal scoring record at Arsenal and provided a majority of our goals over the last two seasons.
The gut reaction of many of our fans has been to vomit up a list of every striker who’s ever had a reputation in world football and demand that we sign one as a straight replacement. I’ve seen The Good (Huntelaar, Villa, Eto’o) suggested alongside The Bad (Chamakh, Trezeguet, Kalou) and the downright Ugly (Van Nistelhorse… I mean seriously, guys?).
You can’t blame them, it’s been a long time since we were in a position to potentially offer huge sums of money for a major star, but when you start seeing the names of your ex-arch rivals popping up you can’t help but assume the fans have gone mad. I mean, we’ve all been Arsenal supporters for long enough now to know that it’s simply not the Arsenal way to a) spend money and b) actually replace the players we sell!
Joking aside, I really don’t see the replacement of Adebayor to be a club priority at the moment. I believe that the attacking prowess he’s left behind at The Emirates is one of the most impressive in the league. Both Chelsea and Liverpool have been solely reliant on one and a half decent strikers for the past couple of years now, with Drogba and Torres shouldering the majority of the goal scoring burden at their respective clubs. The trick to this success is that a hefty chunk of their goals come from a dependable goalscoring midfielder.
In Fabregas, Arsenal have a midfielder with the ability to score as prolifically as Lampard and Gerrard. Two seasons ago, when he was given the freedom to prowl the pitch at will, he notched up 13 goals. He’s two years older now, with an international trophy under his belt. If we find the correct partner for him in midfield, he has the talent required to create and score goals in abundance. He might even earn a place as my dream team captain again!
Adebayor’s entire reputation was crafted from the attacking ability of our midfield – he simply had so many chances that he just had to score some of them! The fact that our midfield remains unchanged is good news, considering we still managed to conjure up the joint-highest amount of goals in the league last year, even with a lazy, disinterested striker up front.
A constant criticism of Arsenal’s football is that we are too intricate around the goalmouth and never get the ball into the back of the net. Next season will see a rested Arshavin and a returning Rosicky from day one, and they’re two players who love to have a crack from outside the box. Couple that with the fact that they’ll probably be playing just behind Eduardo and RvP – players who are naturally gifted goalscorers – and you’ve got an offensive quarter that that could really do some damage next season.
The single facet of Ade’s game we may miss is his aerial presence. He was brought in at a time when we were criticised for being too lightweight up top and he also occasionally used his head to teach our vertically-challenged defence how to mop up a set piece. Even so, Arsenal fans should worry not as we still have a player who can assist in that department – everyone’s favourite cult hero/pantomime villain – Nick Bendtner. I’ve completely changed my opinion on Super Nick and am now anticipating a big season from the much-abused frontman. Who knows, hopefully he’ll be looking to grab this opportunity with both hands and he might even shake off the ‘not bad for a fourth striker’ tag.
I haven’t even mentioned our younger players who could be promoted from within to fill the gap up front. Sure, the likes of Carlos Vela and Jack Wilshire are still too young to lead the line, but then again so is Fran Macheda, and just how many points did he single handedly notch up for Man Utd last season?
I don’t think our transfer priority has changed with the sale of Ade, and it was perhaps the only area of the pitch where we could tolerate a player leaving this summer. We should continue the search for a defensive midfielder who can cut the tethers that hold the rest of our midfield back. In the mean time we have a completely competent manager who should have fun experimenting with his well-rounded and able attack force next season. I have to say I’m looking forward to it!
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Got a great idea for an article? If you want to write for Guest Post Tuesdays on the Arsenal FC Blog then be sure to get in touch with me via Facebook or Twitter. Just let me know your idea and we’ll take it from there.
Have your say on Kolo Toure or Enemy Airships’ guest post by leaving a comment.