Arsenal already have the perfect solution to our striker problems

Hi Gooners! by Sarah

A week after the Wolves game and I’m still ecstatic! It was one of those games again where I was waving my arms about, jumping up and down, shouting at the TV, scaring the dog. He got so fed up he left the room! Proud of the support the team had from the fans. I don’t think I’ve
heard the place rocking like that in a long time.

One thing I keep hearing even though there’s fourteen games left of the season, is which striker we should bring to the club in the summer. Why? Our striker situation is staring us in the face and most of us are still overlooking it.

We have three players who have the potential to be our key forward. Why do we need to look elsewhere? Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe and Pepe. It’s already been said that two of them are being tried out in this position.

I can’t say I’m an expert in European football and watch every league to know which striker we should be bringing in, but so far, our pursuit of players to take that role this past window, well putting it lightly, fell flat as a pancake!

I would much rather have one of the three I mentioned take up the role. We all know ESR and Martinelli compete for the same position, which is good that there’s competition, but I can see it is causing problems in the long run, as they both want and need regular starts or we will risk losing one of them. They will both be hot property by the end of the season. I wouldn’t have even thought of any in my plans as a forward, but where there is a constant rotation system between them. Well not really, if Martinelli can’t play, whether being injured or banned, ESR takes his place.

Maybe we have a better chance of bringing in a key midfielder in the summer and stick with trying to integrate one of the three into the forward role? With the uncertainty over Lacazette’s future, and Nketiah not up to the standard to get first team starts, something has to happen.

Pepe’s not getting enough game time. He had a great AFCON and came on against Wolves and showed in that short space of time what he is capable of. Pepe struggles to get in the first team as he is down in the pecking order and probably not one of Arteta’s favourites. Could a new position change his Arsenal career around? He loves short passing and can be a strong finisher at goal. He has played in the position before with previous clubs. He would be my second choice to train in the position. That’s if Arteta doesn’t flog him come June…

ESR is more suited to the winger role, he creates more chances for his team, holds the ball better and runs at the defence and is very clever with his possession of the ball and is an assister. He’s been likened to Gazza by quite a few people including our old player Petit saying “He reminds me of Paul Gascoigne when he has the ball at his feet and runs with it, he’s a natural player in his mind and feet”.

Even Arteta said about Smith-Rowe: “I think he can play in four positions.

“He can play as a left-winger, he can play as a left attacking midfielder, right attacking midfielder and he can play as a 9; very, very well I think.”

He is probably one of the best midfielders in the Prem at the moment and that is not even getting regular starts. Even scoring the goals as a midfielder. Why chance taking that gem out of this key position?

For me it has to be Martinelli in pole position to take the forward role on. During lockdown he bulked up and his physique is now more muscular, which would help him backing into and holding off defenders, but still has the pace to leave them behind. He’s a clinical finisher and the style of play Arteta now has us playing is already allowing Gabriel to get into central positions more. He can also get into dangerous spaces and take shots which is needed if we want those goals going in. He is known to be a strong header of the ball, this would also benefit us when the crosses come in from mainly Tierney. With the recent debt update, surely the club would love to save money splashing out on a striker that might or might not be a success for us and focus on who we already have in the team?

Looking forward to the next game. Keep the fantastic support going everybody!

Sarah Rohan

Just Arsenal Show – Dan Smith discusses Arsenal’s chances of finishing in the Top Four

Tags strikers


  1. Our goal output will undoubtedly have to be shared around the team. I think the legitimate concern is against the other top teams who can we rely on to score in tight games when chances are hard to come by and be our match winner like Kane and Son are for Spurs or Ronaldo Fernandes etc for Utd? For me it’s Pepe, if Arteta can trust him more and give him more game time with starts here and there then I believe he can make the difference in our quest for top 4.

  2. Personally I would like to see

    Martinelli Pepe saka

    Unfortunately smith Rowe seems to have found his calling on the subs bench and this after being our top scorer this season thus far.
    Pepe has not been given enough minutes and coming on for 10-20 mins you will not see the best of him .

    1. For the first time I agree with you !

      I definitely think the Smith would be brilliant as a false 9

      I can totally understand many fans rejecting this idea as it turned out to be a horrendous idea against Villarreal
      But since that game ESR has taken his game to the next level

      And arteta’s tactics seem more clear

      1. You misread that. No proper fan would go for the idea of ESR as a false 9 or any other 9 for that matter. He’s a goal scoring creative midfielder. That is his calling. You push him up top and you will destroy his career before it even begins. Pẹpẹ is a more natural 9 than anyone is in the team at the moment(proven again by his goal against wolves, a goal I don’t see lacazette scoring) but unfortunately, Arteta doesn’t see that. ESR shouldn’t even be considered for the role as a striker, what madness? The whole reason he’s even benched is because Arteta prefers playing Ode in the 10 role.

    2. 433 for me

      Back 5 speaks for itself

      Odegaard Partey Saka

      Pepe ESR Martinelli

      That front 3 can rotate, drop deep, become a 1 or even a 2, causing opp defences all sorts of issues

  3. Martinelli and Balogun got robbed too many times when they start in the CF position this season, but let’s give them four more chances there

    Smith-Rowe played decently as a false nine, but he tends to pass the ball quickly instead of becoming a pivot as Lacazette has been doing

    Pepe has the height, strength and tricks to become a good CF, but I have never watched him play that role. If he was so good there, Lille should’ve made him their main CF

    Saka plays with his back to goal very well, has good ball control, quite strong and has played well in five positions, so he could be a great CF. I also think his playmaking abilities are as good as Lacazette’s

      1. Yes, he’s pretty good in the air. I just wish he can hold the CBs off when playing CF, to delay the tempo

      2. … and he’s ambipedalous just like Carzola. Martinelli plays like Sanchez, while Odegaard plays the mixture of Ozil and Nasri.

    1. Gai except for Saka’s height😁 it won’t be a plus against physical defenders. Every time Pepe have cut in through the middle he has scored good goals. I wonder why he has not been tried. T Henry and R. Vanpacy all started as a winger before Wenger converted them to a CF.

    2. Lacazette and Auba weren’t spectacular either.. It’s not the personnel.. It’s the system.. Our system doesn’t fit the strikers we have.. Balogun.. Marinelli.. Auba are all pacy strikers who love spaces

      1. Yes, I also think Arteta’s system requires someone like Lacazette to lead the line and the tall one will be better

  4. Pepe for me, that goal against Wolves was such a beauty. ESR/Pepe/Saka, Martinelli /Laca the super subs. Next season we do need a lethal CF no doubt.

  5. It’ll be pure delusion to not sign a striker as to say we want to make use of one of Martinelli/ESR.
    In a season where we could possibly be in the UCL, you’d want to start saying they should be given time to adapt to the new striking position?
    We are doing that thing again where we hype some of our kids and put them as the solution to our problem in our imagination.
    Get a proper deadly striker, get a CM that’ll be an upgrade too.
    There’ll be enough competition for everyone to contribute and be important next season.
    All that’s left is a little bit of the final puzzle, no point Dilly dallying over the decision to get a new striker

    1. Spot on with that. If you’re not giving a proficient goal poacher like pepe a chance, the least u can do is get a good striker

  6. The one thing overlooked here is that the way Arteta is using our front 3/4 is that they rotate to cause confusion. So while even though one of those 3 (4 if you include Saka) can hold down the 9 slot, it seems apparent from the last few games and how everyone is rotating, that they all must be capable of being a 9 for this style and our 9 is better suited as a false 9. This is similar to what Man City does and was doing while Arteta was there. With both Sterling and Sane having stated that Arteta helped improvement off the ball, it seems clear to me that he is a proponent of Pep’s versatility and views of space. So we don’t need just a new striker because they simply won’t be a striker. They need to be a multitude of positions. What makes Martinelli standout in the position is that he is a workhorse.

    1. Good Analysis Nick, also Liverpool with Mane, Sala and firmino I would say are not a traditional striker/cf. so their goals come from
      Forward player.

      I would personally like a tall cf who is mobile to do the job of Lacazett ( but who can score regularly) but is not the focal point of the team. That would take pressure of all our forwards To score every game and becomes harder for opposition to pick up
      Multiple danger men…

  7. Interesting to watch Balogun for Boro last night. He looks a couple of seasons away from being ready for the prem.

  8. I agree Eddie, I believe that Laca will go and we will sign two new strikers for next season, I don’t reckon money would be a problem but finding the right fits would be the challenge

    Saka has played in numerous positions for us and has excelled in them all because he is an exceptional talent with a spot on attitude but he has now settled nicely on the attacking right side (occasionally switching to the left during games to good effect) but probably could do a job down the middle if needed

    Pepe is unfortunate in that the same position on the right is where he is strongest so he has become Saka’s understudy to a degree, I personally haven’t seen anything in his game so far to make me think he could be an effective striker but again if needs be I’m sure he’d give it a decent go

    There have been calls for Martinelli to come into the side all season and he eventually got his chance when Auba dropped out, his performances have been mixed for me but when they are good they are very good and once more he could do a job in the centre if required, he is a player still developing

    ESR is also developing nicely but a bit ahead of Marti and if fit tends to get on the starting team sheet, I don’t see the need to move him away from where he is being effective for us right now to be honest

    Laca plays a particular role in the side that I’m not sure anyone else in the squad right now could play as well (and I think that was also the case when Balogun & Auba were still around) so if he was to become unavailable for any reason we might have to change our style slightly but no need to tinker without reason for the remainder of the season in my view

    I would rather see Eddie N given an opportunity if we lost Laca for a game or two during the remainder of this season

  9. It’s already been said that two of them are being tried out in this position.
    I hope it was arteta that said that

  10. While to an extent , I take SARAHS point that we have players already here who can score goals, I reject as foolish the false idea that either SaKA OR ESR can play as a striker.

    If we had several players with a real eye for goals , as have Liverpool, we could make out a case for playing a fast and interchanging of passing style without a specific CF .

    But to pretend to yourself that such as SAKA and /or ESR can be effective strikers is plainly rather silly.

    They are accomplished players at what they do best and both – in fact only those two – have an eye for goal. But that does not mean they are strikers, as are Salah, Mane, Jota and co.
    We need to buy proven goals scorers, though to have them play specifically and always at CF, ie in a central position close to goal, is less important.
    MARTINELLI may well become a better striker than he is currently. But he needs more maturity and less “headless chicken ” style running after anything that moves, whether ball or opponent.

  11. No idea what his value is or if he would consider but I think Minamino would be a great striker and he has experience in English football….never disappoints when playing for ‘Pool

  12. Of the 3, I feel Martinelli and Pepe suit the bill very well. Both are clinical finishers, good in the box and pacy. ESR plays best either on the left wing or as a attacking midfielder so I think that position should not be disturbed.Rotate between Martinelli and Pepe.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors