Gabriel Jesus woes show us that Arsenal still need an out-and-out ruthless striker

Gabriel Jesus’ Role Must Change if Arsenal Are To Compete. By Goonerboy

Good day lovely Arsenal family. I must be the first to admit that I have become so accustomed to that winning feeling, that I felt terrible that we could only manage a draw at the St. Marys, which is a testament to the kind of expectations some of us have started placing on our team. That is, to challenge for the title. You cannot blame us because it is evident that this season is set to be a strange one.

In recent years, Liverpool has been the only team truly challenging City for the title and is always in title conversation every season, however, their slow start to the season means they are no longer in that conversation right now, given the standards City has set. As things stand, the only team that is appearing to challenge City right now is Arsenal as other teams you would expect to put up a challenge are also not convincing enough. Chelsea and United are in transition, while Spurs are also inconsistent at the moment. Yes, things change very quickly in football, opinions and predictions can change in a matter of 3 weeks, which is why every game is a battle, the more reason I was gutted we could not capitalize on the dropped points over the weekend, it felt like a loss.

Now, a lot of people have highlighted why we dropped the points, and I am not ready to regurgitate that again. However, I would summarize this by saying we drew because we were not RUTHLESS, we once again failed to take our chances and Jesus was the culprit.

I must say that I am not suggesting he is not good enough or pressing the panic button here, but trying to point out a few things.

Before he was signed, there were concerns that he is not really a striker and that Pep did not even consider him to start as a CF last season, even when they had no traditional striker.

But the optimists among us felt that he only needed the trust of his manager in that role, but I think we are beginning to see the signs that he may not be the best striker for us as far as goal-scoring is concerned. I said goal-scoring because he has other attributes required for a modern centre-forward – pace, trickery, movement, strength, power, balance, hard-working, and link-up play, but he seems to lack that ruthless finishing ability. Here is the conundrum, should we persist with him and hope he develops that, or look to find a solution? I would opt for the latter.

When we renewed Nketiah, I remember thinking it was not a good idea to have both Jesus and Nketiah as strikers simply because they are almost similar. It’s like having Giroud and Wood as your strikers, very similar profiles. It was evident against Southampton that Nketiah cannot offer something different from Gabriel. That is why I think if we are to compete, we need to acquire the services of a traditional number 9 to provide another dimension to our attack.

What that means is that Jesus would revert to his former role at City, a player that can fill all 3 forward positions, the only difference being that he would be a starter with us.  We need to go all out and sign a forward like Victor Osimhen, Ivan Toney, or even Calvert Lewin in that particular order – I reckon Victor would be expensive but bringing him in January would add a major boost to the team.

Based on the above, we can have the following line-up up front:

Gabriel.              Osimhen                  Saka.

Now, if Saka needs a rest, we move Gabriel there and play Martinelli on the LW.  Ideally, we should go for another winger, but getting Osimhen would cost a fortune and we may not be able to get another winger. If the money is available, and we are serious about challenging, I would go all out and add Mousa Diaby and Victor Osimhen to our attacking options as I believe with that, we now have a team to not only challenge for the title but provides a squad depth to compete on multiple fronts.

Otherwise, recall Pepe, sign Osimhen and get a Partey replacement in. We have to take advantage and strengthen our position for a title push, we can do it! COYG!


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    1. That’s the point
      Allot of us said this in the summer …..
      When you point things out when team is winning …..your negative
      When you point it out after a draw …your fickle

      Jesus replaced Lacca but we still needed to replace Auba
      If you said last pre season Lacca / Auba would be replaced by Jesus and Eddie , people would say thats a regression

      1. That’s the point
        Allot of us said this in the summer …..
        When you point things out when team is winning …..your negative
        When you point it out after a draw …your fickle
        – THIS IS SO TRUE!!

  1. Playing Jesus how we are, you have to ask, why did we buy him? He is being played as a no9 and that he isn’t. If we wanted to play like we do, we needed a proper no9. Jesus for a while now has looked shot, he is being asked to do a job that is killing him. He either needs help, in the form of a partner and or a change of style. He cant compete toe to toe with big centre backs, like say a Costa or a Drogba and he is being deployed to to the same. We either change tact to suit, or we buy a different striker, if we want to get anywhere. My worry is we spent all summer trying to buy a winger and i cant understand why, when we need a striker. The decision to give Nketiah what we did (he isnt a bad player just not an alternative or great player) looks more and more baffling.

  2. Really Goonerboy? Also Reggie, he wants to play as a 9, he’s said it so many times, for goodness sake, he’s missed a few chances yes but all strikers do. A fickle bunch indeed NYG

    1. GB, im not fickle, its my opinion and it isn’t kneejerk, i have been saying it for weeks. I think the bloke looks dead on his feet after 20 minutes.

  3. An interesting perspective on things, I differ quite a lot from Goonerboys take though. I see our squad as lacking real depth in most departments still.

    We have approx 16 proven quality players with one, possibly two more, who look like making the top grade.

    But our overall depth still lags well behind City and THEY are our most real rivals . We are, along with the other obvious names , in a small group of five, possibly six teams who ALL need much more depth of squad before they can seriously hope to beat City to the title.

    We ARE serious competitors for second place but some way from being first. One more striker along will help but it will be nowhere near enough, if we REALLY INTEND to challenge seriously

    Only at fullback are we well covered with the two keepers being one top class and one not yet proven either way.

    We are at least two, possibly three, short of quality and separate style midfielders. We definitely need one of those midfelders to be a top class DM, which we have lacked ever since Gilberto, back in “ancient days” so to speak.

    We DO need one more striker but I would always go for mobility and technique above mere height and /or power alone.

    1. I agree with your mention of adding a striker. The club doesn’t have to break the bank, just bring in someone with a different profile.

      A plan B striker wouldn’t break the bank, but offers something different tactically that Nketiah does not.

      Having a presence in the box or holdup play during buildup provides a facet to our tactics we currently lack. Jesus was stifled, and we got nothing from the other attackers.

      Oh to have a Giroud type player on the bench to switch things up during a game would make a real difference.

  4. Signing Osimhen and a solid defensive midfielder in January, with us in our current position would send panic through the league.

    But pessimistic fans who hide behind the name realist, will quickly tell you that’s not going to happen in a million years.
    The writer is right Osimhen is the ideal out and out striker to partner Jesus and take the game to the citizens, the kid is brave, quick and lethal and won’t hesitate for a minute to challenge Haaland once given the service.

    Somthing tells me something big indeed could happen if we remain on top of the league come January.

      1. Dan am taking that with a fat grain of salt.

        The question is not if we will sign a defensive midfielder but we cant stop thier,
        The next player should be a powerful winger that can also play as a foward, their are actually two am looking at in Brazil.

        That £25 mil we didn’t spend on Douglass Luiz should be up.

        There was a concerted effort in January to trim the wage bill and the gaffer was impressive in doing so.

        The Kroenke rewarded the gaffer with a bran new contract and hand him a decent war chest which still haven’t been exhausted if we should go by the fail bid of the south American.

        Arsenal must take the spending to half a billion this January under the gaffer and hold him responsible, no excuse.

        1. They won’t …..they will slash the wage bill and fans will say it’s positive and it will cost us

          1. Have seen a report of £50 mil being readying for the gaffer splurge in January
            and ithe story seems to have legs.
            An overwhelming amount of fans have been screening out from in the summer for a Partey back up and a striker.

            Get the feeling not even you believe this line you are holding

  5. As I said several times before he came, he’d become one of our tireless high pressers and he’s been doing that as our first defender

    His hold-up play is good and his skills are superb, so he and our LW just need to intensify their interchanging positional play

    I agree we should’ve had another type of CF though. I don’t think that kind of CF will be available in January, so Arsenal had better train Jesus, Martinelli, Nketiah and Xhaka to have a better understanding between them

  6. Nonsense.
    Always expect this sort of kneejerk reactions when we drop any form of points.
    Suddenly we need another striker and Jesus is not it.
    11 games, 5 goals 4 assists, not enough for you.
    Oh you want Haaland and Lewandowski figures?

    Goes on to suggest Osimhen who is just a younger version of Auba, smart finisher with hardly anything to contribute then takes out Martinelli to have GJ as the LW.
    Armchair managers at it again

      1. Dan, it’s knee-jerk coming out after we dropped points the second time this season. It’s a different thing to say we need another type of striker or a plan B striker that offers something different tactically.
        So you see it sensible to move GJ to the LW and drop Martinelli, just so we can conjure up Osimhen who is basically the Auba type of player we left from?
        Now like you said, a backup who will be there to compete with Jesus, except the article isn’t talking about a backup, but rather another striker who will in return keep one of Saka or Martinelli out to still accommodate GJ

    1. i agree Jesus has been great for us.having said that,we’re asking a player who spent the last few seasons as a squad member to start/play every game,surely MA was aware a drop in form was to be expected ?and we can count ourselves lucky that the hasn’t injured himself his back up plan is Eddie ,a player not considered good enough last season,who was out of contract but somehow good enough this season??am i missing something Eddie?

  7. I said that Jesus would score about 15 goals due to his history at City.
    He is not a clinical player hence why City were okay with him leaving.

    What I also said was that we will need the likes of Saka, Martinelli. Odegaard, ESR etc to also chip in with about 10-12 goals each..

    We still need Odegaard to score / Shoot more. Martinelli also seems to be a poor goal scorer.

    We are creating ao many goal scoring Opportunities in each match but the likes of Jesus, Martinelli, Saka snatch at them. Straight at the keeper, weak / tame shots or just wild shots.

    We keep wasting so many goal scoring opportunities through poor finishing. Hence why we keep our opponents in these games. We always dominate the first 25-30 minutes of most games with high intensity but only score 1 goal, then we start to tire naturally which in turn gives our opponents encouragement to attack and have more possession of the ball.

    If we can be more clinical and give ourselves a good enough goal cushion when on top then that would help calm our nerves..

    I say we need to be more clinical with all out attacker and not just Jesus.

  8. Here’s my take on the topic at hand, Gabriel is a top lad, brightens the team at moments and some phases of the game but I do think he should spend time occupying the box more, now here me out fellow gooners..
    Arsenal by definition this season rely quite heavily on pressing the ball from the front and hence why we generate so many goal scoring opportunities. Now a close look at our recent matches shows that we do approach the game by holding a high line and winning the ball up higher up the pitch. Hence why Gabriel is so essential, he initiates this high press…

    I don’t know if you guys see Arteta during games when he frantically keeps on shouting and waving to his players to close the gap when the get pinned too deep in our half, this forces Jesus to drop and help out in defense. When the ball breaks a lot of ground has to be covered Gabi (Jesus) has to go back to his initial striking position (a lot of ground covered) legs get burnt out and the wastage of opportunities creates a shift in momentum.
    If we had to say find a way of creating ways of sustaining our high press and keeping the opposition pinned to their half we would’ve already reduce the work load of an over worked Jesus since his teammates sometimes are guilty of sitting back sometimes, letting him do the work.
    Liverpool press systematically keeping teams at bay and generate an over abundance of chances and miss a lot too the key factor is that they do this for sustained periods (sometimes for an entire match) not letting their opponents get any breather and I see some similarities in the way we also approach the guy of course it’s got a bit of Arsenal style instead.
    I would go on by my fingers are starting to hurt, but I hope I’ve highlighted my point well enough.😊

  9. Strongly agree Abstract
    Liverpool is the master of that kind of high press.

    But you got to have mobile type of midfielder to support that relentless intensity effort of pressing.
    Liverpool cannot use eleven players to maintain that all season.

    I watch a lesser team as West Ham played us last season, they were able to make six changes and their performance didn’t drop

    It all boils down to the squad depth

  10. Jesus is not scoring goals but others are able to score when he is playing. Maybe shifting him to the wing and buying a striker instead in January will help things out

  11. Too early to give up on Jesus though I admit I am also a bit concerned with his recent performances or lack of. Describe him how you want but please don’t start with that “link-up/hold-up play stuff and turn him into the new Lacazette 😭

  12. MA can use him on the side instead of Marti and see how it goes if he played Nkeitah as a box striker

  13. Every one is talking about JESUS not scoring, know one cares to see how anonymous ODEGARRD goes in every game. Is a massive problem to us. He’s sluggish and not agile. He can’t even help PARTEY to move the ball forward from our back four like other attacking midfielders (eg) Bruno Fernandes, Kevin and so on. Aways hidden at the right wing exposing the midfield once partey is injured is over because of limited service from the midfield. Now I have seen the reason REAL MADRID let go of him we shouldn’t have signed him… Lazy and sluggish. He’s even scared to shoot on his clare chance, can’t even run with the ball, even to impose himself on a game as an attack midfielder you can’t see that. I don’t want compare him with OZIL because OZIL is killer on his day far better than him.

    1. @Dude, I agreed to your article 100% as regards to Odegard.
      He lacks mobility and quick tenacity to shot when so clear to do it. He reminds me of our old Xhaka (immobile and positionally awkwards).

  14. GJ could be missing the services of zin, they both played at city and probably have a better understanding. The rotation of Tierney/Tomi has not helped GJ in terms of consistency. My 2 cent on why the dip in form.. we still need more dept in attacking areas to sustain a top 2-3 push.

  15. We also need more goals from midfield especially from Ode/Fabio xhaka is doing the midfield job at present. Spreading goals in the team keeps them fresh and competitive..

  16. Fabio is more of a specialist while Ode is a creator. From the way I see it. GJ will score lots of goals this season

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