Arsenal’s Striking Problems

Written by David Robinson

A trophy-less season for Arsenal but the way the club crumbled yet again in what was an awful standard for a Premier League season is the most alarming factor for the fans. The Gunners started off in good fashion and with Chelsea way off the pace and Man City faulting, it looked like it was finally Arsenal’s year. Instead the club disintegrated yet again with them slumping and not in contention for the title in the final stages of the season despite Wenger’s men finishing 2nd in the end. Olivier Giroud’s form was a big factor in the decline with the Frenchman failing to hit the net in 15 games during an important period meaning once again fans were asking why a world class striker had not been bought in the summer. With the news breaking that Arsenal signing Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy looks a real possibility, I give my verdict on what actions the club should take next season with regards to adding a striker.

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                                                                                  credit joshjdss

Arsenal do have options up front with Giroud, Welbeck and Walcott all possibilities for leading the line with different styles of play and qualities giving Wenger choices to make. Welbeck has progressed as a player and has scored a good return considering he has had an injury hit season. The former Manchester United player is probably not the player to be relied upon across the whole season but he is certainly a good option to have. Giroud is Arsenal’s main man up front with the former Montpellier man not just providing goals but also building up the play nicely. The 29 year old does divide opinion because there is no doubting he is a good player but he does miss good chances at times and can infuriate. His goal record is consistently good with 57 goals in 135 league appearances but you can see the reasoning why a ruthless World Class striker would take them further forwards.

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                                                                                    credit Tieu Vu

That leads me on to Jamie Vardy who certainly is far from World Class. The 29 year old emerged as a surprise package last season being key in Leicester’s counter attacking style scoring 24 goals. However talks of a £20 million bid screams desperation from Arsenal with this move being illogical. Vardy is a limited footballer with his game all about pace and movement behind defenders. His strengths will be nullified as soon as he arrives at the Emirates Stadium where a high majority of games oppositions sit back and defend deep against Arsenal. In my opinion this would be a huge waste of what is a large transfer fee. Arsene Wenger normally has great belief in his players meaning he resents adding to the group without a high quality player coming in but on this occasion he should stick to that philosophy and stick with the group he has in the striking department.

This is because there are currently no available proven World Class players on the market for a good price. Buying a striker who may not even improve the squad an awful lot could cost well over £50 million. This is why Arsenal need to stick with what they have in the attacking department. The club have already signed Granit Xhaka for £34 million meaning that serious investment has already been made. I think Arsenal’s problems run deeper than just buying a new striker. I believe the whole mentality of the group is damaged with a culture now ingrained for being second best. Even the arrivals of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez haven’t changed the way Arsenal tackle problems, in fact Ozil is probably a good part of the reason why Arsenal can’t fight when the going gets tough.

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                                                                                     credit joshjdss

While this does not make for encouraging reading for Arsenal fans, I think there will have to be no option but to accept that this is the situation. The addition of Xhaka could improve the side once again but the core of players will still be the same and while a problem lays with the club being without a top class striker, the bigger problem is themselves. Something they will have to somehow battle with to compete next season.

Arsenal fans, would Vardy be a good signing? What do you think the solution should be for next season? Let us know in the comments below!

featured image by joshjdss