Alright Gooners? Good.
With any new ‘world class’ striker highly unlikely to join until 5.59pm on Tuesday, September 1st (the window shuts at 6pm this year), if at all, the goalscoring potential of our current contenders for the role is obviously well worth reconsidering.
And Aaron Ramsey has been doing just that today, praising Theo Walcott’s finishing and self-belief as a goal-getter. The Welshman told Arsenal Player:
He did very well at the end of last year. He’s had a good pre-season. He looks sharp, he looks strong and he can be dangerous. He is a goalscorer – he has a load of goals for Arsenal and I think he can carry that on and maybe get into the 100 Club this year. He’s a very strong character. He believes in his abilities and he definitely has a lot of qualities to offer. He can finish – one of the hardest things to do in football is to put the ball in the back of the net and he’s done it on numerous occasions for Arsenal. Hopefully he can continue doing that.
Hard to argue with any of that but the main thing for many people when it comes to Theo playing upfront on a consistent basis, is his failure so far to produce against defences as physically uncompromising as Chelsea’s, for instance, was on Sunday, when the England international, despite picking up an assist, had a pretty quiet game overall.
Although, that said, Theo’s outings as a sole striker for the club have probably yet to reach double figures and so to expect him to immediately adapt from playing as a wide forward to the central role is fanciful, as it would be for anyone really.
I’ve no doubt he’d improve considerably given time to get to grips with the role but unfortunately for him, with the position we find ourselves in now as genuine title contenders, carrying huge expectation from the fans, it’s the worst time possible for him to expect patience from management, team-mates or the terraces.
And when you consider the immediate impact Olivier Giroud made in terms of offering a ‘presence’ at the tip of our attack when he replaced Theo at Wembley on Sunday, the Frenchman, to many, will seem our best bet to lead the line from our current set of players.
Danny Welbeck is obviously the other main contender but will need time to gain form and fitness after missing our entire pre-season programme through injury. Once he has however, I’d be far from surprised if he eventually proves to be the best of the three as our central striker because I think he has all the raw materials to do it.
As much as I’d love a Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema or Gonzalo Higuain – and in that order of preference for me – I actually think we have enough of a variation of attributes, and goals, within our squad as it is, to mount sustained challenges for the two big trophies. I’d far rather we secured another defensive midfielder given a choice of one or the other. But who knows, maybe we’ll get both before the end of the transfer window. We’ll see.
Moving on and as expected for a while, the club today confirmed Chuba Akpom’s season-long loan move to Hull, which sees the teenage striker link up with Arsenal team-mate Isaac Haydon, who made same switch last week.
It should be a great opportunity for the 19 year old to showcase his talents at a club expected to chase promotion and in a league which will undoubtedly aid his physical development. I’ll certainly be more inclined to watch Steve Bruce’s men on a more regular basis now that two young Gunners are on loan at the KC Stadium and hopefully will offer thoughts on their progress here as and when possible.
Elsewhere, there’s still talk of Palermo interest in Joel Campbell, Wellington Silva’s done a disappearing act from the club presumably, because there’s no mention of him whatsoever, anywhere, and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain’s responded to Roy Keane’s observation that Arsenal players are quite keen on personal grooming and social media by basically telling the Irishman to get with the times a little.
Yep, it’s that quiet. Give me Mourinho being Mourinho to talk about any day, over Keane being Keane.
A bit brief but that’s all for today folks, see you tomorrow.