A post by Anthony Hawke from our friends over at OTBAG
Time flies by, and so it seems to have again. But you only feel that if you’re really having a good time or are really excited about what’s going on. Such has been the transfer period for Gooners all over the world, ever since we all first heard about Gonzalo Higuain as a probable Gunner next season. Twitter rumours even said that he was at London one fine day for a medical, only to be summoned back by new Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti. Now, almost a month later, Higuain ended up joining Napoli instead, who were more than happy to meet the Galacticos’ transfer amount. Fans were already enraged as to why we did not pay so much money for a player who is world class, especially since we so publicly announced we have around 70 million pounds to spend. But just because you have money, you wouldn’t spend because somebody gets greedy. There are some morals to be upheld, to some, they just look at it like ego.
During this month though, we have also been linked with Rooney and Suarez. Rooney is on his second “I want to go” tantrum (remember the first one where he pledged his “loyalty” to United after they bent over and paid him 250k pounds a week?) but maybe this time it may not seem about the money. A certain Dutchman seems to have replaced him as the most valuable player in the squad and he has certainly taken over the shooting boots from Rooney. Currently though, it seems he prefers the blue side of London to the red. That leaves us looking at the next best option – Suarez. The moment this guy’s name popped up, everyone started asking “Why Suarez??” My question – “Why NOT Suarez?”
Let’s look at it in a systematic manner:-
1) Arsenal are in need of a world class striker. Everyone agrees. Even non-Gooners have agreed to this statement ever since Henry left for Barcelona. So when the Summer break began, what did Ivan and Arsene do? Bid for a world class striker. Who? Higuain. Real got greedy, we said no, he went to Napoli. What did they do next? They said, let’s maybe have a backup plan and see who else we have as an option. Two names popped up in the world class criteria who are not exactly settled with their positions in their current teams – Rooney and Suarez.
2) Fans have screamed out that we should try and get someone who is world class talent, proven and has Premier League experience so that he doesn’t take too long to settle to the Premier League grind. Rooney and Suarez are all that. But Rooney wants to go to Chelsea it seems and Suarez… well he currently doesn’t have any other takers even if Liverpool have offered him to clubs around Europe. And that, transfer-market-logically makes sense to us. If Liverpool don’t have any other takers currently, they cannot afford to extort exorbitant transfer money for him either. Suarez wants to leave then Liverpool would be wise to use common sense and take the money and invest in maybe 2 good strikers, rather than say no and end up not selling him at all and sit with a disgruntled player for a whole season (or 6 months minimum till the winter transfer window). Or Liverpool trust their attorneys very much so that they can stave off any lawsuits that Suarez might file against them, which he has done against former club Groningen to join Ajax, so he certainly may not hesitate to do it again.
3) Fans would then ask about his on-field antics – the accusations of racism and known incidents of biting and a bit of unprofessionalism here and there. Let’s take it one by one – As far as racism goes, Arsenal have a very diverse list of players on their roster when it comes to racial backgrounds. What better way than to make him feel at home and also show him players from various communities and races can actually play football together? About biting well, let’s just hope our cafeteria has better food or maybe Wenger will ask him to chew gum while playing the game instead (a little inspiration from Sir Alex Ferguson perhaps). And about the professionalism… I think Steve Bould has that part covered.
4) If you’re the fan who’s going to say “Okay, all that’s fine. But why Suarez? Why not someone else?” And I would respond again “Why NOT?” If you’re the type of fan who refers to a player’s ratings in EA Sports’ FIFA to decide whether a player is quality or not, or maybe you refer to the Premier League’s Fantasy Premier League valuation of a player to see if he’s top quality or not, then you wouldn’t exactly be disappointed. Suarez is amongst the top 5 strikers in the Premier League; the other four being Rooney, Aguero, Ba (debatable) and a Dutchman.
5) If you’re the fan who says “Okay you’ve convinced me. But he still has about 6-7 matches to serve as part of his previous ban by the FA. So what about those matches?” Then I would ask you back if you’ve seen Giroud play in pre-season yet. Agreed, it’s just pre-season and the teams we’ve been playing are only International sides (right…) and Wenger’s former club who are at prime fitness since it’s mid season for them right now, it still doesn’t prove he can handle it, right? Well, I remember people questioning whether Giroud could even amass 15 goals in a season and he sure well did and got his assist count in the double figures too (too lazy to get the actual numbers but you get the drift). Who are these six teams anyway? Aston Villa, Fulham, Spurs, Sunderland, Stoke and Swansea. Neither of these teams are the type against whom we will be doomed if we didn’t have Suarez in the line-up. Besides, I am confident personally that this time we’re going to have a MUCH better start to the season because we will actually have ensured that the core of the group has stuck together for the first time in maybe 3 or 4 seasons which in itself is a great morale boost and a message to the world that perhaps it is time to stop thinking about Arsenal as a selling or feeder club anymore.
6) If you’re the type who was already oogling over the prospect of Suarez joining us and if you like tactics and numbers and stuff like that, you’re next question – How does he fit into our system? Well, here’s my amateur take on it. Arsene has been widely and constantly criticized for not having a Plan B. He has stuck to his 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 for a while now and the option of including Suarez in the line-up gives him a Plan B of the traditional 4-4-2 as well. Let me try and give you an example of a scenario I’ve played over and over in my head. Szczesny takes a long goal kick, who’s there to head it down? Giroud of course! Who does he head it down to? Either Oxlade-Chamberlain to his left or Walcott to his right or right down the throat for Suarez. Suarez in my books is a bit more skillful and easily faster than Rooney. When you have speed down both flanks, you have a striker who can hold the ball or head it down to a team mate and then you have one hell of a lethal striker, I don’t see an attack being more formidable than that. Oh wait… there actually is a more lethal and formidable attack. Please add Santi Cazorla and Podolski to that list of people who have skill and long shots in them. Oh shit! How can I forget Rosicky then? And just to make sure we have the whole lot in, stuff in dribblers like Wilshere and Ramsey among them and what do you have? A shit scared opposition defense.
But wait. That still leaves approximately 30 million pounds in our transfer kitty (including what we’ve gained from sales). What do we do with that? Well, Suarez is only the hottest transfer gossip we have going in our direction right now but there are undoubtedly other things the club is working on in the background as well so let’s see how that develops. Add the right names to the list of players I just mentioned above, I don’t see anything other than extremely low self confidence and morale, injuries and suspensions denting our title challenge this coming season.