141 Comments

Arsenal Need A Goal Machine

A guest post from our very own Hunter13

goal machine

The last piece of the jigsaw ..?

We have a beautiful football club. The set up, the organisation and the ethos.  All wonderful.

We also have a very good team, nice lads generally speaking, willing and committed.

We started the season in very difficult circumstances. Crowd booing plus a highly important 180 minutes which was worth £30 million +.

However, this team had already shown significant progress since last Feb-Mar. The word in the summer was about strengthening with top-top quality. The positions were identified as striker and defensive midfielder. That’s exactly what Arsene went for – Luis, Higuain, Cabaye, Flamini.  He also knows what is needed, strangely enough ….

When our midfield flows we are devastating. Without a 30-goal hitman it’s natural to seek your goals from midfielders. But when they press us and the midfield don’t have the ‘flow’, that is where you either need a Suarez to clinically kill the opposition, or mean wingers with pace and dribbling ability who can go directly and diagonally inside the opponent’s box.  In the past we had Overmars, Ljunberg, Reyes and Pires to do just that.

We had a tough period with many key players out including Theo, Poldi, and Ox, (even Ryo was unavailable), so we played with three and four CAMs all interchanging behind the target-man, but usually without width and mostly playing through the middle or beating high-line offside traps (Napoli, Marseile) usually from Sagna’s side of the pitch.

And it’s worth saying that Sagna has been a monster of a right-back this season.

Besides losing so many key players for half a season, we also had dear Santi recovering from ankle injury and it took him a while to re-settle into the side with the pace and the physicality of the English game.

So we went on with heroic Ramsey and Giroud plus flashes of brilliance from Ozil and, throughout, ‘imPERious’ defensive stability.  And the system worked.

Lately though, and taking into account fatigue, the system couldn’t produce goals. Our midfield was pressured and kicked to death and we’d either not score or score from a player’s solo effort – against Chelsea, City, and our first against West Ham, for example.

There has also been a slight confusion in terms of which games we play Arteta and in which we play Flamini. In games were we need to dominate and kick a few backsides, as well as suffocate opponents, I think the services of Flamini Rosicky and Jack are required. In games were we need a more sophisticated, composed approach we need Arteta. Against Everton for instance, we needed Flamini and Rosicky from the start, but they had played against Napoli.  Same goes for the Chelsea home game.  Flamini should have been in there to kick Ramires and Obi.  Arteta is a very delicate technical artist, not ideal to be a bully or a Gatusso.  His talents are more suited for Europe provided he remembers that in Europe you have to be careful with your fouls, unlike the EPL.

I’m of the opinion that Wenger can see his team struggling to score when midfield isn’t firing and that he will go for a clinical finisher now that his wingers are back.  I love Giroud to bits and his goal at Newcastle was both important and very difficult  to score, but the way he plays (chasing every ball)  he will inevitably suffer fatigue and potentially a lack of confidence.

Manager and club need to assist Giroud in this department.  Giroud is a great target-man.  A lad who can get you 15 goals a season and when in form has good finishing ability, too.  And whether the ball is low or high (feet or head) his abilities are unquestionable but he is no Thierry Henry to take the ball, go past two and slide it past the keeper.  There will be games when our negated midfield will need such a striker.  Wenger might think that since he got 30 goals out of Adebayor anyone can play up top since we create so many scoring opportunities for our striker.  But to win the big ones you need something else – va-va-voom.

Philosophically, perhaps, he is aiming for this group to do it as it currently is.  But realistically, for that to happen we need things to go our way.  If the board view this season as an opportunity to stake a claim of dominance, then they must authorise Wenger to spend what he wants, on whoever he wants.

I believe!

2013-2014 is for ARSENAL

141 comments on “Arsenal Need A Goal Machine

  1. Late to the party but I would like to congratulate George for his monumental efforts to set up and maintain this site, initially for the exiles from ACLF who refuse to bow to the childish malcontents and egotists who became self-appointed judge, jurors and executioners of Arsene Wenger. Remember this during our dark days of transition from the Judas Persie and the knives were truly out for the boss because it appeared project youth had failed and the rebuild with more experienced talent had just commenced. George was not alone as Adi, Frank, Andrew and Steww helped to get the ball rolling. They too merit every accolade. Some have stopped posting but I want them to know they have a special place in my heart and wish that they rejoin us very soon.gain.

    As they say it is darkest before the dawn. How many would have predicted that our defiance in support of AW coincided with the start of a year when AFC would become the most successful team in the BPL amassing 82 points, at least 4 in excess of our nearest rival. Despite the efforts of some to discount AW’s and AFC’s achievements this past year, it is clear as day we are on on the right track. I would be foolish to guarantee silverware at the end of this campaign but we are in with a good chance. That is all all we can ask for.

    To all my PA friends I wish you happy year and my hope for silverware in 2014.
    Cheers!

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  2. Happy new year arsenafolks. P. George, never look back. You done well, under-stated, pernickety, loyal, decent and humble; you took responsibility. Just keep going. And so many thanks to your comrades in PosA too, well that means all of us, but you know, the unsung heroes you mention.

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  3. Shotta happy new year! We’ve come a long way haven’t we?

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  4. Happy new year everyone. Well done to George and his cohorts for giving us a fine read over the last year and to all the special comments from you lovely positive gooners (as Frank hates being called a gooner perhaps I should amend that to Arsenal supporters).

    I wish i could have been able to comment more but needs must as my missus keeps telling me.

    UTA

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  5. Many happy returns to you Zim. Yup, a long way from when we were lone voices in the wilderness of hate and intolerance. Thanks to all of PA for making this a welcoming place.

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  6. Happy New Year Everyone.
    PA is a special site. Hard to imagine that nearly a full year ago we were the outcasts of the internet and were seen as complete fools for still believing in Wenger’s and the Club’s project.
    As George said a few minutes ago on Twitter – this isn’t about tin cups, it’s about building the right legacy for Arsenal’s future.
    UTA. Up Positively Arsenal.

    I’ve been humbled to meet each and every one of you here.

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  7. Have we signed anyone yet? (banned thingy)

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  8. Happy new year all P.A s

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  9. Happy New Year everybody!

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  10. You should look at the fruits of your labors and be proud GEORGE. well done to you and everyone that helped set the foundations to this blog. Long may it last and hopefully through the JUGGERNAUT years of ARSENAL.
    we have lots more humble pie to spoon feed to the ingrates and doomers and you have been a warrior MASTER GEORGE.

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  11. Here’s hoping and wishing for peace on earth and for ARSENAL to win many competitions in the near future. AMEN

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  12. Come on ARSENAL. hunt you some blue birds tomorrow. Set the right tone for 2014…..

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  13. here’s to a good one! Cheers all!

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  14. Happy new year family!

    Gods richest blessings on you for the new year!

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  15. What all of you have said.

    and Limestone, you make some really good points about the striking position.

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  16. Happy New Year gentlemen! Much respect to all the proper supporters over here holdin it down for the mighty Arsenal. Here is to a fruitful 2014 boys.

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  17. Thanks for this site and your hard work George. Just as I was loosing the will to live I found your site. It’s was a refuge when things were going badly.

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  18. As we look to 2014 with optimism, Wenger just said:

    “We lost big players every time during the summer. We had to rebuild every time and we found our run many times after Christmas.

    “We were in a position where we sold our good players, and we accepted being behind the teams who invested a lot of money.

    “That has changed, and that has strengthened as well the belief.”

    Why was this so hard to understand in the past years? While there are no guarantees in life, by building on our stability and financial strength, we have every chance of winning some silverware. Up the Arsenal.

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  19. the morning after the night before ! hope everyone’s feeling ok.
    The weather and the injury list along with Cardiff’s work ethic means today is another hard game, hopefully many of the last minute fitness tests are passed and Arsene gets as much choice in selection as possible.
    I’m sure on some blogs they’ll be moaning that 11 hrs into the transfer window we haven’t signed anyone so will need a good show from any players coming in to the team today.
    with a few youngsters added to the matchday squad we even see a new hero today but obviously going into the second half of the season 3 points are the priority so as always COYG

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  20. Well done, PG, for a very entertaining and knowledgeable site and a Happy New Year to you and all on Positively Arsenal.

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  21. As much as I don’t post often, I make sure I read every post and comments that follows it. I have to say George is one of the great men I’ve known even if I’ve never met him. Hunter is a warrior but shows he’s a good writer too. Overall, PA has been a haven to most of us who chose to support the team through thick and thin. I want to wish everyone that have something to do with PA a happy 2014 full of succes in our lives and for ARSENAL. I’ve resolved to be a regular poster in d comment section this year. May God help me

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  22. Happy New Year everyone and thanks to George and others behind Positively Arsenal. This place has been great for sharing the ups and downs with reasonable, balanced posters and long may it last! Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014, hopefully with a nice shiny silver lining at the end 🙂

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  23. Please o please let it not be ole g.s.
    Can’t stand that baby assassins face.
    And please let shitty drop points to really ring in the new year.
    After a good result in our game I’ll be heading to Pasadena rose parade. Woopeeee. Come on Stanford.
    Enjoy the game . Hope the new pieces jell quickly and give us magic to watch.
    To all else, get well sooner you gooners. Need you back pronto.HNY
    COME ON YOU RED & WHITES. PLAY like I know you can and stamp that authority.
    Be afraid, be very afraid……

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  24. Happy New Year!

    Rosicky gets the .com MOTM award for the Newcastle game. He started twice within a few days earlier in the season when there were a few injuries, but if he picked up a knock as said then he could be doubtful today.
    I enjoyed this tribute to TR7: “A rare player who chooses the pace others play at”
    http://www.thegunshowblog.co.uk/2013/10/golden-gunners-tomas-rosicky-little.html?m=1
    I’d forgotten those comments from AVB.

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  25. Come on Arsenal!

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  26. DUPS @1207
    (0(

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  27. Was watching tthe vienna philarmonic orchestra hugging a plate of lamb and potatoes noticing the maestro. That weird man and his gestures and gace expressipns and I was trying to spot the ladu gaga followers in the crowd telling him to fuck off and go learn some notes…….

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  28. 1-1 at Swansea. City’s away form is biting them in the ass.
    Wenger is right – as usual.

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  29. Poldi-Bendy-Theo up front is my guess.
    Santi-Flamini-Jack
    Some defenders.
    Chezzers.

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  30. That’s probably right DC. My only worry is too many new players in all at once, thanks to probate. Hope they jell quick.
    Good news at Swansea. Hope they fight and hang on.

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  31. I’m sure we will get optimum result. JACK better have a barn burner. Defenders need to be poised and solid.

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  32. Freaking Laudrup could have drawn against City. I don’t know why he keeps Shelvey on the pitch for so long when he has someone as good as Pozuelo on the bench.

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  33. Happy New Year–here’s to a brilliant 2014 for Arsenal!

    Kam, at least it is a proper PAC 10 v. Big 10 Rose Bowl, but as a Bay Area Cal grad, I have to root for Michigan State! Enjoy the spectacle!

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  34. I anticipate that this is a game we will win but I need a goal to settle my nerves. Butterflies.

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  35. The Arsenal Player commentary is seriously irritating! Very little in the way of actual commentary.

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  36. We are making hard work of this but I predict we will win 2:0.

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  37. like i said, wind and rain have a habit of levelling things down.

    Building up to a shock 0:1 result. Hope not.

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  38. Had to resort to wearing my Arsenal cap. Lucky charm?

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  39. Super Nicklas Bendtner. Lazarus!

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  40. I said 2:0 didn’t I?

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  41. this team is special folks

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  42. Prophetic there Shotta.

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  43. Back to the blow wow top!

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  44. Never in doubt. Ha, Ha, Ha!

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  45. excellent pass by Wilshere for my boy Theos goal…sweet finish too.

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  46. And back to our stout defending.

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  47. Phewwwwww!!!!! The goal was coming all second half. We are top of the league.

    Rosicky was vital again today. What a player. Koscielny and Mertesacker were flawless. Monreal and Sagna were excellent. I thought Arsene’s subs were just right.

    Nicky B twisted his ankle trying to avoid the keeper. I hope it’s nothing serious.

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  48. Never in doubt, was it ?!?!?!

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  49. If you keep knocking on the door eventually it will open.

    Well done against a stubborn Cardiff side. Pleased for Nick as he has had to endure dogs abuse from the ‘fans’ these past few months. Another clean sheet also very impressive.

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  50. Anyone got a spare pair of pants?

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