You smell that we can score goals. We did, Arsène. We did. Yet, we are looking for another 10-15 goals a season player.
The manager himself said we need another body able to find the back of the net at least ten times a season; he didn’t specify he was thinking of a forward or a midfielder and didn’t really said he was on the market for that kind of footballer – yet speculations are flying. Edinson Cavani is slowly becoming the new Hatem Trabelsi or Sébastien Frey; Yohan Cabaye is the new name linked to the Arsenal and Argentinean wonder kid Maximiliano Romero is on the verge of becoming a Gunner, according to…his agent.
Maybe he’s really looking around to see if he can find the perfect match somewhere; personally, I have a different view. The manager knows he already has his man; he might even have several options already available.
When Arsène Wenger came out with this statement, he was actually talking about Aaron Ramsey, who he expected to hit this tally by this moment of the season; I think he meant we missed ten to fifteen goals to be able to compete with Chelsea for the title this season already, which means that we already have the potential to be up there and mount a real challenge. Aaron Ramsey definitely IS a man able to score 10+ goals per season, he showed it last year and scored four in the league despite missing nine games so far; I believe he’s going to be very close to the 10 goals target when the league is over. He struggled at the beginning of the season – like the whole team did – and then some injuries hampered his return to form, but the man himself sent some positive messages recently. He might be too late for the league, but Aaron Ramsey is returning to the explosive form he showed last season.
What if Arsène Wenger meant we need another forward? It could be, of course, but what would happen to our current contingent?
Olivier Giroud is playing the best football of his career and is virtually untouchable, as is Alexis Sanchez; the Chilean’s aggression, drive and skills are indispensable to our attacking move, it’s almost impossible to find an upgrade to El Niño Maravilla.
Then we have Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck all perfectly able to be the 10-15 goals per season guy Arsène Wenger was referring to. I believe that was a message directed towards the former: you are a natural finisher, we need goals – deal? Arsène Wenger praised the Englishman prior to the Liverpool game, highlighting his mental strength and intelligence (“Theo’s strength is the intelligence of this movement; he wants to go and get on the end of things. He’s not a guy who provides” – the manager said), making sure the player still feels important within the Club, which could make the difference in the renewal saga. Theo Walcott definitely has those 15 goals in his boots; he might not be excellent at defending or assisting, but present him with a decent chance and he’ll convert it. He missed a few recently, I know, but it’s still due to his recovery – I have no doubts about it.
The other guys have a fair share of goals to offer, too: Danny Welbeck creates a lot of chances but lacks some killer instinct at times, working with Arsène Wenger will surely improve his calmness in front of goal. The trick worked with Thierry Henry, Cesc Fábregas, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud, why shouldn’t it work for dat guy? It will.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of the few players currently at the Club who can score from outside the box: he possesses a powerful, accurate shot he’s not afraid to unleash; only injuries are preventing him to get more goals, if he can stay fit he’s a 10+ goals per season kind of player. He has speed, trickery and drive to score more, he needs to adjust his decision-making from time to time but he’ll be fine.
Oh, there is also that Jack Wilshere boy who I’m told is quite good with the ball at his feet…
I smell we can score goals, even without any external help and here’s why I believe Arsène Wenger was sending a message to players already at his disposal more than confirming he’s exploring the market, there’s a void to be filled by one player – who could suddenly become the final piece of a wonderful jigsaw. Up to you Danny, Theo, Aaron and Alex to step up and be that final piece.
In 2002 we have 5 players in double figures in all competitions in winning Wenger’s second League and FA Cup Double – Henry, Pires. Wiltord. Bergkamp and Ljungberg.
In 2016 could it be Giroud, Sanchez, Welbeck, Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain?