Happy 2014 Gooners, and what a wonderful way to bring in the year; three points gained from Cardiff City again, to add to a very successful Christmas period that saw relegation-doomed West Ham put to the sword by a late Arsenal comeback, and then a spirited Newcastle side suffocated at home and Olivier Giroud getting a considerable monkey off of his back by netting that crucial winner.
But following Nicklas Bendtner’s injury on Wednesday and Lukas Podolski failing his #9 audition – Arsenal must surely now be looking for a new striker to help fire them over the remaining half of the season.
Dimitar Berbatov is the name ‘doing the rounds’ on Twitter. Now, an ex-Tottenham and ex-Manchester United striker renowned for his casual approach to running, with a penchant for cigarettes (at least Jack will have company under the club smoking shelter…) is surely a red herring?! Berbatov would make Andrey Arshavin look like a workhorse in comparison! Whilst his finishing is sublime at times, my initial feeling is that this move would’ve made sense in 2004…not 2014…
Jack Wilshere’s return to form over the festive period has been a joy to watch, and his workrate, drive and vision against Cardiff more than compensated for the loss of the injured Mesut Özil (or is he resting in Rio?!) and Aaron Ramsey. Santi Cazorla is also moving through the gears now and Theo Walcott appears to be taking matters into his own hands now in matches – rather than laying off passes – and having a fast cutting edge in the side will always aid Arsene Wenger’s approach to matches.
Saturday sees the arrival of Tottenham Hotspur to The Emirates in the FA Cup; a trophy I think represents Arsenal’s best chance of winning silverware this season, and with (Arsenal season ticket holder?!) Tim Sherwood having injected new life into the stagnating side, it will be a hard-fought fixture. Emmanuel Adebayor is back and scoring – he always seems to net against the Gunners – so you know he’s either eyeing up a move or a new contract…
I hope the new year brings Arsenal a new striker, centre-back and right-back: sadly I think Bacary Sagna may well be off, so Sebastien Corchia would be my pick to take over his place…getting him in six months early would help him adapt.
At centre-back, another Frenchman, Kurt Zouma would be my ideal signing, to be moulded and guided under the influence of Arsenal’s three senior central defenders.
And the new striker – who would complement Giroud and perhaps replace Bendtner – I’d go for Luis Muriel, the Colombian firecracker from Udinese, a player who Serie A watchers compare to (the real) Ronaldo and one who’d be available to feature in Europe.
Here’s hoping your best moments of 2013 are your worst of 2014,
Thanks for reading,
I have been an Arsenal supporter since the 1990/91 season after being introduced to football, aged eight, during the Italia 90 World Cup. My favourite player as a young Gooner was Stefan Schwarz and I have a soft spot now for Theo Walcott.
I am a father and husband and lecturer in a Sussex college. I have written for Sabotage Times and am also a Real Oviedo shareholder.
I try to blog daily too – ‘GregCross82’s Arsenal Blog’ http://arsenalramble.wordpress.com/