Wengermatics: Forwards by Lari03
This is my opinion; I am making inferences from the past actions of the boss Arsene Wenger, the just ended season and the media frenzy that occupies this period every year. (Even when there are tournaments the transfer brouhaha is just too addictive for the press to pass up.)
I must say as a fan I am torn between the ‘anti-Arsene group’ and the ‘Arsene knows best’ people. (Though in my personal opinion, I would have sent ‘Le boss’ off in 2004 if I had my way). Well it is just my opinion. However to the subject before us, let’s attempt to think like Wenger, hence the topic Wengermatics. The focus is on our forwards.
From experience the gaffer is likely to do what he is best known for, getting cheap deals and going for young players. Let me tell you why I think so, because coming off the back of a season where the team managed to end as it did, the ingredients for a great team are firmly in place. Wenger’s thoughts are to make sure the team is not managing, but gunning, on all cylinders at all positions.
The combination of Podolski, Giroud, Walcott and Gervinho all played as centre forwards for Arsenal in the 2012/2013 season. With Giroud emerging the best in terms of link up play, Walcott was the most influential scorer. With the Englishman’s newly penned contract, and the match winning goals towards the end of the season, please do not fantasize about Isco or any other exotic winger from Spain.
Podolski was the left wing attacker and he grossed 15 goals. Expect Wenger to continue working on him as a centre forward because the talent is there so rather than buying another big name to serve as back up to Giroud, we have a suitable replacement. Also notice that towards the end of the season Cazorla was starting on the left wing, which is what we should expect next season.
Gervinho will continue to be a back up to Walcott if he does not leave on a transfer. Wenger knows that he offers a different flavour when attacking that no other player in the squad can match, so he would be looking to use him as a substitute when he needs some trickery to unlock a defence or to wear out resolute defenders.
Going into next season, Wenger is thinking of sticking with his current crop of forwards and making substitutions that can change the game, when a goal is needed. This is why Arsene is signing Yaya Sanogo; he has seen the lad do it and knowing the troubles the kid has had to deal with in terms of injury, he is coming to deliver goals to the Arsenal, short cameos offering high probability of shots on target. This should have been Joel Campbell’s job but for his inability to get a work permit.
Giroud is still going to be our top striker; Wenger will be looking to improve service from the midfield to the big man. Rather than discard him to the bench by signing a top striker, more midfielders will be bought to shore up our engine room. Remember Wenger is not a ruthless boss, he trusts his players and he gives them the benefit of the doubt.
The turning point this season was Walcott signing a new contract. Hate it or love it, Walcott has shown his worth with the goals against Manchester United and QPR, significant goals that helped the champions’ league qualification cause. After the departure of Robin van Persie, in the Arsenal tradition, Theo stepped up to deliver his best season ever in Arsenal colours.
We still have wildcards like Serge Gnabry and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. So if Jovetic does not come by September 1, come back to this blog and get inspired by an insight into what the boss could be thinking. The boss is going to surprise those expecting big money strikers by doing what they and the press least expects, classic Arsene Wenger.