Arsene’s legitimate argument not to buy a striker.

Arsenal fans are pushing for a new striker after RVP’s injury.  Arsene has admitted he is looking for one.  But do we really need one?  Besides a few blips here and there, the Arsenal has been an offensive force this year.  So, although I’m on record as wanting to bring in a striker (Balotelli!) and believing we should buy one, I can see why Arsene might not buy a striker if Bendtner does return soon.

What, something like 51 goals in 19 games.  That’s the argument against a striker.  Even better, 51 goals with injuries at various times this year to RVP, Bendtner, Nasri, Eduardo, Walcott and Vela.  Only Arshavin seems to been lucky (somewhat) and he’s not scoring that much.  So what gives?  With goals coming from all over the pitch, Arsene has a legitimate argument that no striker needs to be bought, let alone an expensive striker that might hamper the team’s pursuit of a big player this summer.

Last year, Barca scored something on the order of 105 goals in la liga.  It was considered an historical demonstration of goal scoring power.  That was with a team that featured a front three of Henry-Eto’o-Messi.  A lethal trident combination.  Not to mention a midfield of Iniesta-Xavi-Toure and a bench full of up and comers.  Arsenal, often considered the never ending development project boasts none of the front line star power, no offense RVP, but still is challenging this number.

Goals are coming from everywhere, but the midfield seems to have solidified its role as a goal scoring threat for the Arsenal.  Players can mark the forwards all they like, but the midfield is becoming increasingly confident of its ability to score.  While Fab has been fabulous, perhaps the most interesting factor has been the rise of Diaby and Ramsey.  These players score differently.  Diaby scores like a continental player, heavy on the technique.  An artful dribble and well placed shot past the keeper.  Ramsey on the other hand seems to like power power shots, very much of the EPL mold.

While many of us aren’t fans of them playing together, the results, at least without Fab playing have been interesting.  They open up space.  Diaby pushes forward, giving us the physical presence upfront, even if he shoots like a midfielder.  And Ramsey hangs back often, giving us a screamer from outside the box (or inside at west ham!).

One can imagine that should Bendtner return soon, we don’t have a need for another striker.  We can continue to push Diaby forward in a 4-1-2-1-2, letting him sit in front of the midfield and cause all kinds of mischief.

If Bendtner is able to return soon, it might not make financial sense to buy anyone.  Wait until the summer, take Chamakh on a free transfer, save the money and buy other  young players for 3-4 years down the line.  Even RVP will be back next season.  Or, if RVP is not back, spend big and buy a more established striker. In fact, it might make more sense for Arsene to buy a midfielder to back up Song for a rotation, or a new centerback to rotate with Gallas and Vermaelen.  In any case, Arsene has more options than it would appear.

In the end, I have faith in this team.  And, as much as I would like a big striker and believe it would help the team out, I can at least see why Arsene will be strategic before making any purchases.

-the student

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