Posted on Monday, 15th October 2012 by Stanley Maduka
Last season, Arsenal had strikers in the forms of ‘His Royal Doucheness’ Robin van Persie, Park Chu-Young and Marouane Chamakh, with the ex-captain having the starting berth and 30 goals as proof for having him as preference before making his move to Old Trafford, which ‘the little boy’ in his feeble mind convinced him to do.
With Van Persie providing many match saving goals and non-match saving goals, questions like – who would carry the goal-scoring burden this season arose. This was indeed a big problem for Arsene Wenger, who knew he had lost a world class striker who would be hard to replace and had made safety net signings in both Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud in preparation for the worst.
The answers were never in Park or Marouane, as both players had failed to put in consistent performances when called upon, even though the former had little time to prove himself and I would have loved to seen more of.
So far so good, Chamakh has fallen off the radar in terms of first-team selection, with Bordeaux in contention for the Morocco man – for the sake of his career and Arsenal, I do hope he grabs the offer with both hands, head and feet.
Giroud on the other hand has had a taste of the British media after missing a couple of clear cut chances and had his head on a plate for a while before opening his Arsenal account with a goals against Coventry in the Capital One Cup and West Ham in the Premier League. He has also put his physical presence and team work abilities to great use by providing four assists as of yet. How he managed to overcome the pressure of being a ‘Chamakh 2’, bad press from the media for missing key chances, apparent goal drought and filling the big boots of a now forgotten captain and striker is beyond me, especially coming from a lower league (Ligue 1) compared to the Premier League. Maybe we can add mental strength to his good looks and good runs. A once deadly striker succumbed to price-tag and bad press (El Nino) so kudos to our brave man who we wish better years in the red and white jersey, Giroud.
A man who has impressed this season has been Gervinho. Having come from Lille and struggled in his first season. With five goals already in the bag and Arsenal’s top scorer so far, Wenger has been pleased with his contributions when put as the lone man up front. His speed and good dribbles have sparkled eyes, though many feel he is suspect to poor decisions and finishing which I feel has improved quite a lot seeing he has five goals from five shots on target. There have been times when he has scored but had little impact. But I believe, with time, he would be something unexpected.
Our contract rebel Walcott has been a handful for opponents when on the pitch and has demanded to be used as a forward more often. Judging by his crossing ability, I would like to see what he has to offer as a striker. He has produced clean finishing this season and has the pace to leave defenders eating his dust, and already has four goals to his name. He wishes to take over our former number 14 and, hopefully, he can come close to emulating our club legend, Thierry Henry.
Our final pick, ‘Prince Podolski’, has been something of a revolution to the team, and Wenger feels this prolific finisher has more to offer on the left wing than in the middle and I do agree despite times when he seemed highly non-effective. His team work and work rate has been amazing and seems to be a regular name on the team sheet as well as for Germany when his manager described him as ‘indispensable’. I am yet to see this man miss a clear cut chance and I hope I never do.
Though Arsene Wenger has made goal-scoring the job of the whole team rather than just one man, the need of a leading striker for the season is still relevant and I would prefer Giroud ahead of the chosen pack, as I feel a goal is only one chance away when he is on the pitch.
It was hard not picking Gervinho but maybe a rotation for both, depending on the opposition, might be the way to get the best out of the two.
I wouldn’t want to be Wenger right now and I need not to worry because I know he will make the right decision – in Wenger we trust right?
Scoring goals might not be equal to a trophy, seeing the required products for one is an owner with either astronomical bank figures or an underground source of money in liquid form converted to bank rolls (Abramovich and Sheikh), or have the backing of the FA and sign a world class referee for majority of the season (United). I won’t mention names (Howard Webb) to avoiding offending anyone…Oops!
I am sure most Arsenal fans will settle for any trophy as long as it is in the cabinet.
Nonetheless, I would like to know your choice of striker for us and your reasons for you decision.
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Tags: Arsene Wenger, Gervinho, Lukas Podolski, Marouane Chamakh, Old Trafford, Olivier Giroud, Park Chu-Young, Robin Van Persie, Theo Walcott, Thierry Henry
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