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Why aren’t Man United going for Giroud?
I’m going to make a bold claim here: if Chelsea manage to get Giroud from Arsenal for “just” £15m then I reckon they will have won the transfer window. He is exactly the type of player they need and I reckon he would be a pretty good bet to bag them about 15 goals (all competitions) between now and the end of the season.
He would be a much better fit for Conte’s style and could seamlessly slot into their system, and would provide genuine competition for Morata, who looks sorely in need of a break. I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I have always been a fan of his, and I am firmly of the belief that a player who can score aerial goals is a huge asset; crossing to a target man is about to come back in vogue in a big way.
Actually, if Zlatan is leaving this month for the MLS, then United could do a hell of a lot worse than to rival Chelsea for his signature. He would fit in very nicely at United, especially since we signed Sanchez, and I think that some of his attributes are ready made for our type of play – he is a much better target man than Lukaku is.
Having said that, it would limit Rashford’s chances (assuming he’s now back to being a striker instead of a wide forward), so maybe not a great idea in the longer-term. But £15m for Giroud is a bargain, whichever way you cut it.
…He’s certainly a bargain
I am very surprised that after allowing Sanchez join Man Utd, Arsenal will gift Giroud to Chelsea and for what? £15m in today’s market for an experienced, premier league proven French international striker is a gift, and not a trojan one.
I think with the kind of service available at Chelsea especially the quality of aerial delivery from Azpilicueta and Alonso coupled with the movement and passing of the likes of Hazard, Willian, Cesc and Pedro, Giroud will score many goals at Chelsea. Heck, he might keep Morata who is already knackered and out of form on the bench. I understand Giroud doesn’t want to unsettle his young family by leaving London for Dortmund; but Arsenal could have gotten more money, right?
The pertinent question is how will Arsenal play Lacazette and Aubameyang together. This is another striker used to a quick direct system joining one with lots of passes and build up.
Godled Mere, MUFC, Nigeria (No words)
…Why in the f*#k would Arsenal sell Giroud to Chelsea for just £15m? I agree with Mourinho, the big clubs should do more deals with one another, but for the love of God, not like this. I was hoping that Arsenal would at least try and swap Giroud for David Luiz, so we’d at least get something we need for something we don’t necessarily want to get rid of!
Néill, (or, you know, Chelsea could just play Batshuayi, that generally seems to work!), Ireland
Or, Giroud is being subject to revisionism
Whilst I try my utmost to support Arsenal players on the pitch, this hasn’t been the easiest thing do over the last ten plus years. One of the primary targets of my ire has been Olivier Giroud and his woeful finishing, and I’m unsure why some fans would be particularly sad to see him go.
How many people saying they’d be sad to see him go have been imploring Wenger to buy a quality striker for years now? This is a player who has never scored 20 league goals in a season for us and rarely made an impact in “big” games–a couple of goals against Man City away and against Bayern too. That’s it.
The links with Chelsea are bizarre. After signing Morata who looked unlikely to be able to spearhead a title challenge (why the hype there?), what problems will be redressed through the signing of a player who has actually proven he cannot spearhead a title challenge.
One moment I distinctly remember was the 13/14 season at home to Everton in December. A ball comes into the Everton box from the right and Giroud somehow misses an open goal from a yard out, but thankfully there was Ozil (in his debut season for us) to tuck it away for the opener (we of course drew the game 1-1). I remember feeling sorry for Ozil being consigned to working with such a sub-par striker.
Good luck to him wherever he goes, if he does leave. I’ll always remember him though as the reason Wenger didn’t sign an actual world-class striker for so many years.
Greg Benham, AFC
And why are Liverpool letting Sturridge go?
I make that an injury away from Danny Ings starting a Champions League knockout match.
Everyone at Arsenal now needs to up their game
With the imminent signing of Aubameyang, I finally decided to go through some of the glorified player videos on YouTube to see what the lad is capable of. I ended up watching his 31 goals in the 2016/17 Bundesliga and a lot of worry set in. Not because of his own capabilities, but because of how Arsene would adapt the squad around him. Every department at Arsenal is going to have to up their game if we have to end the season on a high.
1. Creative midfielders – Admittedly, I’ve seen very little of Aubameyang play. But watching all his goals, it’s clear that he isn’t the kind of player that takes on defenders, dribbles past them and finds space like Sanchez did. This means the creative players in midfield have to take on that role. Lots more will be expected in terms of attacking defenders from the likes of Iwobi, Ramsey, Ozil and Mkhitaryan.
2. Full backs and wide midfielders – At Arsenal a striker isn’t afforded space – Aubameyang looks to be the typical poacher. Majority of his goals for Dortmund came from one-on-ones with the keeper or open goals after the ball was played past the keeper to him. A lot of his goals came from counter attacking situations and were set up by creative midfielders in Dembele, Kagawa and Reus. The problem at Arsenal is the tiki taka style allows the opposition to regroup and the basic tactic against Wenger has always been to put 9-10 men behind the ball and hit us on the counter. This means far less time and space for the creative players to find Aubameyang. Not to mention that we hate playing the ball across goal and are hopeless at crossing the ball into the box. For Aubameyang to score, we need the full backs to up their crossing game, and long balls from defensive players to be more accurate. Pressure on Monreal, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Wilshere and Elneny
3. Defenders – Again, I haven’t watched a Dortmund match from start to end in quite long so this is just an assumption – but very few players can put pressure on a defensive back line like Sanchez did. Without the push at the front, the opposition can play balls into midfield and out wide far easier. This means the full backs will have a lot more running to do, positionally Xhaka and Elneny will have to be way more disciplined, and of course our back three or four will have to be much tighter because a lot more passes will be trying to breach them.
4. Jack Wilshere’s fitness – With Aubameyang up front, I cannot imagine Xhaka or Elneny starting ahead of Wilshere. Jack is tenacious, industrious and can hold the ball, playing it out from defense to attack with that trademark drop of the shoulder. If he’s given the Vieira role, I imagine him and Aubameyang becoming the new Song – RvP pairing. But it’s down to Wenger trusting Jack’s fitness and temperament to play in that position. More importantly, I think a switch back to a 4-5-1 with Jack playing deep, Ramsey, Ozil, Mkhitaryan and one of Iwobi or Lacazette filling up the rest of midfield, and Aubameyang up front would make more sense…but will Arsene make the switch?
5. Giroud – I know he’s rumored to be on the way out, but pretty much any Arsenal fan will argue that Giroud is terribly underrated. He has managed to carve out an impact sub role for himself because of the drastic difference in his style compared to the other front men in our squad. When Giroud came on instead of Welbeck, Lacazette or Sanchez, he offered a completely different attacking route. Aubameyang has a very similar playing style though so it might reduce the impact Giroud can make from the bench. All of this points to the exit door for him which will be almost as disheartening as it was losing Alexis.
6. Mkhitaryan – With our style of play, he’s going to have to improve his physicality, standing strong instead of going down under a tackle or getting barged off the ball. I see him and Ozil forming a strong partnership with Aubameyang as the key to our success. Right now, our attacking options of Ramsey, Iwobi, Lacazette, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, and Aubameyang do not promise much when you have to imagine them going shoulder to shoulder against a resilient defense like West Brom or Stoke. I’d say the only player our current squad boasts of in terms of sheer brute force is Sead Kolasinac.
7. The contracts department – Wilshere and Ozil, our two best midfield magicians are both out of contract at the end of the season. Without them in the squad next season, I cannot imagine a Frontline of Welbeck, Lacazette and Aubameyang doing much. Arsenal really need to get Jack and Mesut to put pen to paper. If they do not sign, then only a big name signing like Lemar would keep Arsene at the club.
8. The fans – Auba and Mikhi are combined replacements for our best player. Alexis might not have replicated last season’s form, but he still controlled play and made a lot of things happen around him. His presence was intimidating for all defenders we played against. Aubameyang has to adapt to England, and Mikhi still has to prove he can play in England. In that light, Arsenal fans are pretty fickle when it comes to backing a player. It’s going to be down to us to support the new boys and give them the confidence to find form and goals if we have to make it into the top four.
All in all, as exciting as it is to have a prolific goalscorer finally wearing the no. 14 shirt after Henry, it’s also going to be an uphill task for everyone at the club to make things happen. I’m joyous and worried in equal measure.
Bamboo (finally mustered the courage to use Auba and Mikhi at point no. 8) Mumbai
More from Planet Sport: How Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s stats compare to Arsenal’s strikers (Planet Football)
Liverpool are relying on high-risk players
It was a tough game to watch on Saturday as a Pool fan, but this kind of result is always a risk when the attack is not quite hitting full stride, I think West Brom contained the front three well and deserved to go through, but it does feel like Mignoreno have become the scape goats for the shambles of defending that the team are showing.
There’s no doubt that Moreno is happy bombing forward (albeit with limited end product) and Mignolet will provide the odd reaction save, but they both have well known flaws in their game often resulting in goals for the opposition – I guess the question is, if they were to be replaced with good alternatives would the outcome actually be that much different?
Robertson has done well recently since coming into the first team but only on a small sample, so let’s focus on the keeper, assuming we spend what’s left of the Coutinho money (and it’s not written forward for Keita) on an international quality keeper, would it really make that much difference to how the team plays? He would still have little to no support from the back four, one of Can/Henderson waving play through and still expected to pull off the odd wonder save when called upon.
It feels like what is missing from the defending is confidence to keep the ball out the net, would a new keeper immediately transform this issue? Or would they buckle under the pressure as has been the conveyor belt of GK talent that the club have traded in recent years.
It doesn’t feel like the club are going to splash the cash to get a top tier keeper in this January so maybe Klopp is choosing to protect the keepers he has rather than throw them under the bus, personally I quite like the idea of Ward getting a chance, he can’t really do any worse and at least the crowd will be on his side.
Alternatively does Klopp keep these high risk players in the side so when things go wrong the fans/media/PFMs have a scapegoat to blame rather than pick holes in the confidence in the attacking players at the club and his preferred style of football?
Nobody should give a stuff about individual awards
In case it has escaped the attention of some, football is a team sport played by 22 players plus varying amounts of substitutes. What matters at the end of 90 minutes is win, lose or draw not how many “world class” players you have. What matters at the end of the season is that trophy in the display case or narrowly missing out on relegation. None of the individual awards matter.
I bet that Lineker was really happy to win the golden boot at the world cup rather than actually… you know…. lifting the world cup. I am sure that given the choice of all the titles or his host of Ballon D’Ors Messi will go for the latter. It does not follow that having the best players means that the team will win. Just ask George Best. So all of this banging on about how many world class players there are is really just so much pissing in the wind. All we really know is that England have not been able to win an international trophy since 1966.
Third paragraph…. Ooooo look at me writing to F365 twice in one month. Positively prolific I am.
On universally loved footballers
In response to Conor’s question on universally loved footballers, it is interesting how many of them are one-club footballers or spent most of their career with one club, and how many of them were just simply mercurial footballers and entertainers:
Matt Le Tissier
That’s 1990s onwards – so it doesn’t include people like George Best, Bobby Moore etc. obviously. Juan Mata isn’t far off in the current crop – even most Chelsea fans still like him and his movement for players to donate their wages is superb.
You could make a case for Ronaldinho, Dennis Bergkamp, Dimitar Berbatov (sorry Arsenal fans!), Gianfranco Zola, Ronaldo (original) and Messi but I am not sure their respective rivals would always agree…
On the Asian Under-23 tournament
Having left England 20 years ago, living mainly in Australia and now Asia proper, I have seen the game in the region improve inexorably. So in the last couple of weeks I have been watching the Asian U23 championship held in China, and have seen some wonderful, entertaining, highly skilful football being played.
The competition culminated on Saturday with the highly unfancied Vietnam team playing the very unfancied Uzbekistan team. Both teams had lost their opening games of the tournament. The usual power houses of the region, Japan, South Korea and Australia were all knocked out.
The final itself was played in a snowstorm so bad, that twice in the first half the game was stopped so that guys with big wooden paddles could clear the marker lines of snow so that the touchline, penalty area etc could even be seen. Definitely not usual weather for the Vietnamese lads.
Despite the conditions, the quality of football was still good, though the Uzbeks, playing in all white, seemed to have an advantage of almost being camouflaged in the storm.
A well taken early headed goal by Rustamjon Ashurmatov of Uzbekistan, from a corner, was cancelled out just before half time, with a brilliant free kick by Nguyen Quang Hai, an Alexis Sanchez clone in both appearance and energy levels. The second half was delayed as the pitch was cleared so at least the colour was generally the green of the grass, and the Uzbeks put blue shirts on. With the game about to head to a penalty shootout, up popped Andrey Sidarov with a well taken half volley, again from a corner, to win the game for Uzbekistan.
As the full time whistle went, the unbridled joy and despair of the respective teams could not have been more if it was the World Cup Final itself. And as I looked to my right, my wife, who follows football a bit (given the amount I watch, she figures if you can’t beat them join them) was crying her eyes out.
Congratulations to Uzbekistan.
Ged (living in Shanghai) Biglin