THE STRIKER ISSUE by Uche
Hello there friends. It is amazing how the season finally ended with a flurry of goals and great performances coming especially from our fringe players. Overall, the mood is positive and our players are energized going into the FA cup. We finished convincingly in third place and will not need to play Champions league qualifiers. We also stand a good chance of winning the FA cup so it has been a decent season overall.
As we turn towards what will surely be another nervous and exciting transfer window, the striker issue is rearing its head yet again. A lot of arguments are being made about what we need – and don’t need – and lots of people have weighed in with good points. However, the more I listen to these debates, the more I hear people focusing more on that one ideal type of striker to lead the charge. Unfortunately, the Thierry Henry type of striker doesn’t exist in abundance the way we think, and if a club is lucky, they will get just one player like that but not up to three. When you scout international football for strikers, you will see a wide range of players that offer you different things. Look at Messi. As small as he is, without seeing him play, will you really believe that he is the most feared striker in world football? Of course not. He is a weird specimen of a forward man but he does EVERYTHING in spectacular style. In fact, what probably fascinates me the most is the fact that the two most feared strikers in Europe right now are not even central strikers. Ronaldo and Messi are both inside forward/attacking midfielder types and yet they bang in more goals than anyone else.
So while we can dream about getting a Lacazette or Aguero type of player, most importantly, we will need a SQUAD of first team strikers to compete for the big ones. Costa has been great for Chelsea but without Drogba and Remy supporting him while he was out injured, they will not have won the league. This is precisely why I will not be drawn into this Walcott versus Giroud debate, or whether Giroud is good enough for Arsenal, because both players offer us different things and they are all qualities that we need.
The only thing that I will say regarding this striker argument is that numbers wise, we are short. We only have one conventional forward of first team quality in Olivier Giroud – Welbeck and Sanogo are not there yet – and for us to compete on four fronts for a whole season, we will need a solid SQUAD of central strikers that can collectively go the distance and offer you different options when playing a variety of opponents. So based on all of this, if the rumour that we have an agreement to buy Jackson Martinez is true, then between Martinez, Giroud and Walcott, we have a trio of players that can collectively push this team to win major honours.
Let the boss decide who starts a game based on the opponent we are playing. If we do get Martinez, that will be solid. He is strong, prolific, mature, has won trophies and scores different kinds of goals. He will challenge Giroud and get the best out of him and from what we know about Giroud, competition brings out the best in him. And then Walcott will always be there – if he stays- to play where and when needed. Wether on the flanks or through the centre, a team with Theo Walcott is a team with goals in it.
So with these three attackers for our forward position, we are good on the striking front, especially considering that we still have Sanchez, Ox, Welbeck, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil, Rosicky and Wilshere to contribute goals from midfield and wide positions. So this is to hoping that we get a marquee forward that will join forces with his team mates to finally land us the big one at the end of the season. Peace.
Lagos – Nigeria