Happy Friday folks! Hope you are having a good one and that all of your weekend hopes and dreams can start here. Hopes and dreams like:
- Waking up without any ailments
- Being able to go and see family from a distance
- Thinking about going to the pub but not actually going to the pub
- Getting excited about an Arsenal game and then realising that a) our next one is away to City, and b) it’s not even for another 12 days anyway.
Of course I jest, but it’s times like these that we need to jest. After all, whilst we’re wallowing in self pity about how the club has no cash whatsoever this summer to improve the squad, our morally questionable West London neighbours – who let’s not forget had a transfer ban imposed on them for dodgy dealings – are about to drop another £50million on an excellent striker in Timo Werner.
Turns out that transfer ban they had has in fact worked out in their favour. I tell you, if ever there was a club who got the rub of the green, it’s that horrible lot down the Kings Road. I haven’t had a proper feeling of contempt for them for so many years, so perhaps it’s good to feel like this. After all, what’s the point in living if you can’t feel alive, eh?
Arsenal news of course remains thin on the ground. There’s a bit of speculation from the lovely chaps at Football London about Eddie Nketiah being Lacazette’s long term replacement, but even though I thought he looked better from January when he was given some minutes, I was still not 100% convinced of him if i’m honest.
He seems like a hard-working, energetic, striker, but his finishing has left a wee bit to be desired. It’s good that he’s bagged a few goals since returning though, as that will have helped his confidence. But I think back to that game against Newcastle and the chance he missed off the bar, plus a couple of other efforts, and I wonder if we can really afford to have that from our leading man.
That’s the trouble with this current iteration of the Arsenal team; we don’t get enough goals and we certainly don’t spread them around enough. Back when van Persie left us in 2012 I recall writing a piece about the fact that we didn’t need a like-for-like replacement, because we relied too heavily on his goals. I said at the time that Cazorla, Giroud and POdolski’s arrivals just meant that we needed 30 goals between those three to counter it out. As it turns out I think we just about got that. Now, we know Lacazette has never been that prolific scorer for us, but what I’m trying to say is that we seem to be a team that has relied on the efficiency of chances converted by Aubameyang. That’s one of the reasons we have so many draws this season. So if Nketiah is going to have the same level of efficiency as Lacazette, then we’re just robbing Peter to pay Paul, footbalistically speaking, which is why I’m still not sold on the idea as Eddie as the replacement.
What we need is a long term successor to Aubameyang, then probably also another player to pick up Lacazette’s mantel, but if both players net you 40 goals in a season, you want that spread across the front three. Perhaps next season Pepe can get into double figures and who knows, we may see more of Saka and Martinelli bagging us goals, but what we do need is that focal point in the attack to be the main man and I’m not sure that’s Nketiah.
Hay, I’d love to be proved wrong, because it would solve a financial constraint we have with one of those fabled ‘internal solutions’, but I’m just going on what my very simple eyes tell me at the moment.
The good thing about the next 10+ games (FA Cup progression dependent), is that he will get chances, because the frequency of matches is like a World Cup. I’ve been shown a document which has us playing on 17th, 20th, 23rd, 27th June, then 2nd July. With that many games every few days we’ll be looking at rotation no doubt. Especially with the likelihood of the odd knock and sprain sure to come about given the players haven’t had much time for training. So Eddie will get chances to prove he could be a long-term successor and when he does get those chances I just hope that he takes them. We’re probably in a position where we kind of need him to be taking them.
I’ll leave you with those Nketiah ponderings for one day. Back tomorrow with whatever else comes into my mind!