Is this what Wenger is trying to do?
So there has been a lot of talk about the areas that Arsenal need strengthening. Ex players, pundits, and umpteen articles on here, point to a few particular areas that we need to strengthen, and most people agree …
In football sticker talk
Striker – Need
Midfield – Got
Wingers – Who have you got?
Full backs – Got
Centre backs – Half completed
Goal Keeper – Got
One of the main frustrations over the past few seasons has been when we have played round pegs in square holes. Yes, Aaron had a few great games on the wing, and playing on the wing did probably make Ozil a better Number 10 and (lol), playing Giroud as a striker has worked at times. But i think we need to focus on team balance and player responsibilities. Leicester are an anomaly, but if you look at Chelsea’s title winning team 2014/15 they followed a simple formulae (which to be honest, I see Mourinho rebuilding at Man United)
I think Wenger, in his own way, is basing his new team on that. I think the pundits, the fans, Mourinho’s ‘specialist in failure’ comment, are killing him, and in his own stubborn way he is TRYING to adapt. For all the talk about Xhaka being the new Viera or Toure, I see him rather as a Matic who can actually play football.
Chelsea front 6 2014/15:
Hazard Oscar Willian (Ramires)
Matic Fabregas (Mikel)
Which is effectively a slightly lob-sided 2-3-1, described as thus….
Magic Win, Run the game 10, Work hard wing
Enforcer who can play the ball, Magic Move starter
This type of team has a lot of balance. For bigger games (or to close out games) Jose did play Mikel or Ramires, and we do have those options. Actually, our current starting 11 in an non-injury zone isn’t a whole lot dissimilar.
To compare with what we have:
Giroud = Costa
Hazard = Sanchez. Oscar = Ozil .. Iwobi (Ramsey) = Willian (Ramires)
Xhaka = Matic Cazorla (Coq) = Fabregas (Mikel)
And then for all their faults we do have Jack, Elneny, Walcott, Welbeck eventually, and others add some serious depth.
Costa had a shocker for most of last year’s season but he was (although extremely hatable) very good for the 2 seasons before. Hazard also had a shocker but there’s no doubting he’s great. They were very lucky with Injuries in their title winning season but to compare:
Costa > Giroud
Hazard = Sanchez
Ozil > Oscar
Willian > Iwobi
Ramsey = Ramires
Xhaka > Matic
Cazorla = Fabregas ( My heart says Cazorla > Fabregas)
Coq > Mikel
If we could just upgrade Giroud and Iwobi (I love him but he isn’t ready YET), I think we would be in with a great shout of winning the Epl.
For value and availability (and because I don’t like the idea of buying EPL winning players) I would go for Chicharito and Mkhitaryan. Not because Chicharito > Costa in his prime but i think a combo of Giroud and Chicharito is the best we will get, and I don’t understand why he’s not on anyones transfer radar after a great season in Germany. Mahrez and Vardy would do a similar job.
PS in an ideal world I would get Ibra up top, because a) he’s hilarious and b) I think he would win us the league
Then obviously in defence we are solid, apart from Mert isn’t strong enough to start anymore – and Gabriel isn’t ready. There are a lot of great young CB’s about but I think we need a ready made article. My choices would be:
Varane (young but developed)
Benatia (Have a sneaking suspicion this is already wrapped up)
Ashley Williams (cheap easy option)
Over and out, and over to you!