In-Depth Analysis of the Arsenal squad – Part 4 Forward Line

Continuing my analysis of the current Arsenal squad by JA

The forward line at Arsenal, isn’t as dangerous as those at other teams. Considering there’s not many to talk about, we’ll use categories like in the goalkeeping and defenders sections.

MOVEMENT/POSITIONING; for a striker, movement without the ball might be even more important than movement with the ball. I think Theo Walcott understands this concept the most. In matches where he plays, he often ends up with fewer touches than anyone else but is dangerous every time he touches the ball. He also likes to run off the shoulder of his marker when he starts out on the flank. This sort of clandestine movement keeps him undetected all throughout the match. On the contrary, Alexis Sanchez’s movement is pretty conspicuous when he doesn’t have the ball. He tends to present himself as an early target. Coming short then getting the ball and trying to wiggle his way into the opponent’s box. Without the ball though, he’s rarely that sleek. Danny Welbeck is more like Theo, preferring to spin away from his defender into the space behind him for a clear run on goal. Giroud is completely different though. He tends to want to come short and make room for someone else to run through the space he leaves.
VERDICT; Walcott, Welbeck, Giroud, Sanchez

PASSING/VISION; in today’s game of football, you want your strikers to be as good consumers as providers. You want them to provide goals as well as score them. Giroud seems to understand this best as he sort of provides a pivot around which forward play can happen – thus making his team mates more dangerous. He also happens to have improved his ball control, and has a pretty impressive passing range for a striker. Walcott is also a good provider especially with low crosses when he starts out wide. The other two men struggle with provision almost equally as much as each other.
VERDICT; Giroud, Walcott, Sanchez, Welbeck

BALL RETENTION/DRIBBLING; Occasionally , you need your strikers to keep the ball up field or just head straight into the opposition defence and cause damage. However it’s done only suits its purpose. Alexis Sanchez is undisputedly the most difficult to dispossess of the four. On his day he can dribble all day if he has to. Danny Welbeck also has some pretty good footwork and penetration for a guy his size .Theo Walcott can’t really keep the ball in a small space. Giroud has been utilized of late to keep the ball up field because he can hold the ball for a while as others find position. He doesn’t get much success when he tries to dribble though.
VERDICT; Sanchez, Giroud, Welbeck, Walcott

PACE; Giroud is slow, Sanchez is fast, and Welbeck is really fast, Walcott…………….
VERDICT; Walcott, Welbeck, Sanchez, Giroud

STRENGTH/JUMPING; these two go hand in hand. Regardless of how fast, smart, sleek one can be, you either have to be really strong, or jump really high, or both, if you want to own the premier league. I think Giroud ticks both boxes though he doesn’t use them so much for scoring, much more for provision. Welbeck is also really strong and can jump pretty high. Alexis too is really strong and isn’t the worst at jumping, especially when it means he gets a goal. Theo unfortunately isn’t really well endowed here.
VERDICT; Giroud, Welbeck, Sanchez, Theo

SHOOTING/FINISHING; You can run really fast, bully everyone, dribble past the whole pitch, be in all the right positions, but if you can’t put the ball in the net, you don’t earn the striker badge. Theo Walcott doesn’t usually have much of the ball but when he does, he has an impact – and that is very usually a shot. And when he shoots, it’s usually on target. He is very accurate. Alexis Sanchez is another accurate shooter. Despite the fact that he does too much with the ball that he struggles to shoot, when he does, it more often than not goes in. Giroud is pretty wayward with his shooting, it’s in the stands, it’s too weak, it’s on the post – but he does get it in a good number of times. One who really struggles here is Welbeck. Great idea with every shot. Application is the issue
VERDICT; Walcott, Sanchez, Giroud, Welbeck

Well the striker section will cause a lot of debate but the truth is, at best, these guys can hump up similar figures to all those world class strikers everywhere else. And people don’t become word class in a day. I think Sanchez is world class, Walcott has all the qualities to earn the badge but hasn’t done it long enough so I think he’s potential to be world class, Giroud is world class. Welbeck is potential to be world class.

All arguments are made assuming all players are at their best because an off form Messi would suck too… Thanks for reading, Gunner from Kampala, have fun debating!

In-Depth Analysis of the Arsenal squad – Part 3 Midfielders
In-Depth Analysis of the Arsenal squad – Part 2 Defenders
In-Depth Analysis of the Arsenal squad – Part 1 Goalkeepers

Tags Giroud Sanchez Walcott welbeck


    1. We have giroud who I think is a quality striker,not a world class but a quality one. But giroud alone is not enough. The thing is that now Wenger has hopes on Theo,after banging in 4 goals in the last two matches Wenger thinks Theo could be our new striker. We currently have giroud/welbeck/Theo.if we buy a striker it will damage the moral of welbeck and Theo.they both want the cf role,its obvious. What do you guys reckon?? Wenger will count on welbeck and Theo to provide cover for giroud???I would like to see more chances to welbeck,he’s one for the future and has what it takes to turn into a top striker.I’m confused that do we really need a new striker???if a world class striker is available then we should go for him,someone like benzema. If there are no world class cf available we should stick to what we have.our strike force are not bad they just lack confidence

      1. But can we actually count on them to score against Chelsea in EPL or the likes of Bayern/Barca/Real/PSG in UCL!!! (as we need to challenge for titles and not qualifications)

        1. Who do you have in mind???why not give welbeck the chance to prove he’s quality.a new striker would damage the moral of giroud, welbeck and Theo. It might not be a wise thing to do.instead we could sign a winger and a DM. We should have got Douglas Costa…good buy for Bayern though

          1. thats precisely my point. whether we buy a striker or a winger does not matter as long as we buy goals. if we dont buy a world class striker then we should buy a world class winger. as long as we buy goals it does not matter if its a striker/winger. could be either or could be both.

            1. Bvr I agree on that with you. A goal scoring winger like Sanchez could make the difference. Let’s say we get someone like rues, rues and Sanchez on the wings and giroud or welbeck upfront. It would be fkin awsome.we need a world class winger or a you said we need to buy on

              1. We need a top striker not a winger.period.This is why Wenger gets paid so much to manage Arsenal to make tough deisions,unfortunately he tends to avoid them,when it comes to players who he has become attached to.imo Wenger needs to man up an tell Walcott the truth,which is that he won’t make it as a lone CF,he needs to knuclkle down an make that inside right position his own or leave,then bring in a top striker.I know many of you will say no,we can’t lose Theo etc..But the fact is he gets a big injury every season an he doesn’t have the skills to be a world class striker,Wenger need to stop avoiding this issue an deal with it,stop selling Theo a false dream.

                btw,has Theo signed yet?

  1. We’ve got a really good front line, Giroud is great at what he does, Walcott is pacey and quite clinical, Welbeck is a workhorse and creates space for others and Alexis is world class. We just need add that extra special striker who can grab a hatful of goals every season. Lacazette is my choice. Scored 20 goals in 2013/14 and scored 37 in 2014/15. He’s progressed and there’s no reason why he couldn’t continue to be great in the Premier league. Great movement, pace, power, can head the ball, clinical. He’s everything we want in a striker. You could argue that he’s unproven because he plays in the French league, but I think he’d be a calculated risk worth taking. Throw £30M at Lyon and test their resolve.

    1. I think lacazete is not a world class striker.we should only sign a world class striker if any are available. Someone like benzema. If not just give more chance to welbeck. I just don’t want Theo upfront as a lone striker. He doesn’t convince me. Theo should play on the right wing.giroud and welbeck are the 2 typical strikers we have.we need to sign a top top top striker, benzema,cavani come to mind.

      1. Ud rather welbeck up front than Theo wtf ! Welbeck is nothing but an athlete what is the point in getting into ten scoring opportunities if your gunna miss nine , I’d use welbeck to get dzeko from city cos there desperate to get homegrown players, is anyone gunna tell me that Danny will ever out score edin in a season?

    2. We’ve got a really good front line, Giroud is great at what he does, Walcott is pacey and quite clinical, Welbeck is a workhorse and creates space for others and Alexis is world class. We just need add that extra special striker who can grab a hatful of goals every season

      agreed until there, as far as lacazette i havent seen enough of him, but i do agree in the essence of what is needed

  2. The weakest link in Arsenal … Just try to do this analysis including other big clubs strikers with Aguero, Costa, Rooney, VanPersi, Sturridge, Bony, and Dzeko …

    1. Aguero can wiggle past players, he can shoot but in all honesty he isn’t that much better than Giroud, 4% more accurate over a whole season… How-ever Aguero does take shots a lot more than Giroud, more than double which is where he gets his goals.
      Dispite taking more than double the amount of shots, Aguero also had over double the amount of assists during last season.
      Aguero is world class, so is Giroud but in comparrison Giroud is scraping in while Aguero stoles around in the top hald of the elite club.

      Costa… good old monkey boy. Not being racist… obviously. His ears and vacent expression in his eyes remind me on chimps…
      Shame he isn’t as versatile as a chimp, not the fastest of forwards but he does have good positioning and awareness. He is a good finisher and having a 10% higher accuracy compared to Aguero makes him someone to be feared in and around the box. This isn’t as often as Aguero though and his shots are on par with Girouds amount while assisting is also on Girouds level.

      Costa is world class but he is hanging around with Giroud, looking up at the likes of Aguero.

      Thats the 1st 2, who wants to do more on that list 😛

      1. do you base everything on stats?.The fact is players like Aguero an RvP when he was a Arsenal can create their own goals,Giroud can’t.Im not sure what stats ur looking at but when it comes to movement behind defenders Giroud is average due to his lack of pace,a team like us cannot survive against the big beasts of Europe with a striker with no pace,but hey we’ve known this since his first season

        1. we have actually beaten the best…it was defense all those occasions that cost us dude.

          1. I mean we beat them usually in the second games, while scoring on both legs. Defense cost us those games in the first legs

  3. The transfer rumours are now saying we are going to swap cazorla with Arda Turan where do these journalists make this stuff up from haha

    1. Like Danny Wellbeck scoring more than 8 goals in a season it could happen!

      Oh, wait a minute…

      1. It was welbeck first season for us,he started a few games for us. Give the guy a break.I believe in welbeck.his movements are great he just needs confidence and a little more work on his finishing,if we sign a striker it would be the end for welbeck remember we paid 16mil for him so Wenger must have saw something in him.he will come good if given more chance upfront

        1. Wenger won’t sign a striker,if he wanted a striker he would have signed Jackson. We all know how much Wenger likes Martinez. He doesn’t want to throw away the 16 mil paid for welbeck. So I excpect to see more of welbeck this season.he deserves more chances as a cf.

          1. Your probably right Sean, Wenger probably won’t get rid of him because that would be acknowledging a mistake and that’s not his game.

            You think he has potential, we great that is your opinion which I respect but disagree with whole heartedly.

            He should not really be a work in progress, or a potential ‘good’ player at 26. He has been a professional footballer for some time now but apart from his obvious strengths (strong, hard worker, can jump) I see none of the talents I like in top professional footballers (natural talent, skill, control, vision, composure, sense of positioning etc).

            If you want apprenticeship players in our team then good for you. If we want to be the best and are in a position to do so I say get the best and not make do with athletic try’ers.

            1. Curiosity at work here – which non-1st team forward from another PL squad who can play any of the front three positions would you swap him for?

              And he is 24 not 26 – significant difference.

              1. @jonestown spot on buddy.he’s 24 and has the chance to improve his game. Plus he is a decent squad player to have
                @ arseovertits I’m not saying we don’t need a world class striker,we do. But if there is no one available what can we do rather than give welbeck more chance upfront. He’s not as bad as you lable him to be.the kid has huge potential. If we get rid of him we will regret.

              2. Sorry Jonesy, why the narrowing of my options:) we Can buy from other countries surely?

                Anyhow, whether he is 24 or 26 I personally want players who excel at what they do. Not those who ‘can do a job’ across the front three.

                The question I ask you is how effective is DW as a forward across the front 3 be it as a winger or forward (I believe they are touted as his positions).?

                So without restriction ( a.k.a we can shop anywhere) I can name many players who would be of greater worth to arsenal as either a CF or RW but I’m not going to list them all as they are I think, commonly known.

                Here are a few:
                CF: benzema, Zlatan, Cavani, Lacazette..

                RW/LW/adaptable forward: Griezmann, Reus, Turan, Sterling..

                If a try hard non prolific scoring utility man who does not excel in any position is the man for your team then great, you enjoy him.

                I just can’t concur.

                1. I thought I’d start off with the PL to benchmark against immediate domestic rivals for the main competition we are trying to win.

                  But you miss the point anyway – DW is a squad option and not an automatic starter. So Giroud is direct comparison for your first list and Alexis for the second list. So the question remains as asked originally…..didn’t think I’d need to walk you through it.

          2. Weren’t Wenger’s comments on Martinez when he was commentating on a Benfica match in the champions league or discussing the Benfica team before the Emirates cup last year. Honestly Wenger’s comments on Martinez were nothing that have been blown out of proportion. I’ve heard Wenger’s comments on quite a few of the Benfica team and he praised quite a few of there players some more than Martinez.

            In other words I wouldn’t rule a striker out or a player in any position.

  4. Falcao off to Chelsea on loan deal … Make your move Arsene, make your move and get us top striker …

    1. If you can get a list of top strikers (who can change our team) who are available, it will be very helpful upto 30-40 million, it will be very helpful

      1. There are full time scouts hired to do so … out of courtesy you can take this list to Wenger:
        – Cavani
        – Lewandowski
        – Higuain
        – Reus
        – Benzema
        – Benteke
        – Lacazette
        – Dzeko (desperately saying)

          1. Id say Benzema and all the way up would be a mark up in quality. Benteke Lacazette and Dzeko are all arguable. Seeing as we need more than one main striker well then you could argue that the three of them are definitely better than our second or third choice striker so are a mark up in quality. This isnt taking Theo Reus or Sanchez into consideration as they have been most potent from the wings so are classed under attacking widemen. Until i see different on a regular basis that is how i see it.

    2. If you can get a list of top strikers (who can change our team) who are available upto 30-40 million, it will be very helpful

      1. Get a world class striker. That’s what we are short of right now. Walcott is injury prone. Giroud wasted too many chances. Welbeck simply cannot score. If Sanchez can’t begin the season with us, we will repeat the opening of last season again.

      2. None,benzema and cavani are valued somewhere around 50-55 mil…higuain is too expensive and over rated. There is no chance Bayern will sell lewa.rues is not a typical cf and dzeko is on the same level as giroud. So we are left with nobody.

  5. If the only defence of Danny Wellbeck is that he is a tryer, makes space for others and is strong Then I personally don’t think that is sufficient for him to remain an Arsenal Player (let alone become one).

    Be that as a winger or striker, the boy, as nice as he seems and all that is not of suitable quality.

    C’mon AW surprise a few (and me) and flog him to get a a dangerous forward goalscorer or Winger (preferably who can play on the right or across the front line like Griezmann).

    Giroud (a CF) Walcott (winger & potential forward in training) Alexis (most potent as left Winger but adaptable) are Good, Better and the best of the bunch respectively.

      1. Too harsh on welbeck. He is a good striker. We should keep him so he can score against manure.i think welbeck goal at oldfartroad was worth 16 mil. We fans can keep on saying that we need a world class striker but Wenger won’t buy one cuz we have giroud,welbeck and perhaps theo

      2. I would love to see him here but look at his goal scoring record now, it isn’t really an upgrade at all and he plays for PSG who should be dominating ligue 1 easily

    1. Why don’t you apply the same criteria you apply to draw off Welbeck on Girud and Walcott? non of them are quality striker at least Welbeck may have the potential …

      1. Because ‘Sam, need a striker’ I havent got f@cking all day! That’s why and DW is the worst of the bunch.

  6. “Giroud is world class”?…hmm, I kinda think most people on this site will disagree with you on that..not me though.

  7. Seancali you seem obsessed with benzema and cavani, be realistic dude we will never sign any of them.

    1. @antiwenger I’m not obsessed with them.they are the only world class strikers who might be available and can be an upgrade on what we have. If we are talking number wise then negredo or dzeko would do the trick. But we are OK number wise upfront with giroud,welbeck and Theo. We need a striker who can improve our team. For me only benzema and cavani can do that.

      1. If you look at the scoring stats of all the top leagues then you could come to the conclusion that there are only X number of players who could improve our team. Then take the names of the top scores label them world class and make a comment like that. On the other hand you could come to the conclusion that all “world class” players have their day and it only takes a season before people will give you the label of being world class (or if your stats look world class people will label you as world class without knowing the facts or having every watched them play). I can guarantee there are more than 2 players who would improve our front line.

      2. @seancali I disagree, we can’t be sure who will improve our squad or not until they actually play us.Lacazette may even prove to be a better acquisition than both of them.

  8. I’m glad you pointed out the passing of OG. He is the best target man in the league (there aren’t many) so I think comparing him to other strikers is rather pointless as he has traits that others simply do not have and some they have in abundance to him.
    It comes down to if you want your striker to have goal scoring abilities only or have someone that can work back to goal while Santi Jack Aaron Ox buzz around him looking for a return.

    The Gunners at the end of the season were the best I have seen them since 2005. The only thing I think can derail us next season is the injury bug.

    1. Giroud is quality,he does many things other strikers can’t to. I think welbeck has lots of potential band can be used in games which we need to counter attack quickly,same goes to do we really need a striker after all???if Theo didn’t bang that 4 goals it would be a different story.

  9. i am a massive santi fan but if we could use him to bring griezman then i think the timing would be right as we have plenty of good to quality midfield options but still limited attacking options…but if we couldnt swing that i would keep him

  10. In my opinion if we maintain Giroud as our main striker then we are not serious about challenging for the EPL. If we were an Everton then Giroud and Wellbeck will be good enough. But for a club thats intends to win the EPL we should be making a daring bid for Lewandoski, Cavani or Benzema and if non works out then we should go for Lacazette.

    1. I support 100percent man, i luv, but i dnt understand how some of u rate players. I believe everyone of us av watched Giroud play so how come u guys call him World Class, i believe with Giroud leading d line for us this season we cant lift the Epl.Or do u guys watch a diff Giroud

  11. I don’t think wenger will buy a striker I hope welbeck gets a chance this year. However I get the point that we need an out and out striker like aguero, costa, falcao. As nice as it is to have a veraatile forward I’d prefer the striker to be a striker! Hernandez, jovetic, may also be possibilities. Sanogo and poldi out and one in.

  12. We definitely don’t need a striker if all our strikers can stay off injury. Giroud is definitely not loved by us but we wouldn’t be where we are without his goals. Sure we need a more mobile and more precise striker but we can at least make do with what we have till winter. I’m pretty sure all our players will come good in the end.

  13. Walcott is not that gr8 compared to Alexis, not in Shooting or Passing. All the 4 articles are little biased towards English players and their skills

  14. I maintain Welbeck has tremendous potential. When he played against Galatasaray there were hints of Henry in his play and goals.

    I am certainly not comparing the 2 here but just stating he could be a special player with more maturity and game time.

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