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Post by Zaid Derweesh on Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:15 pm

No, not THAT winger, I'm talking about actual wingers. There is an argument - reinforced perhaps by yesterday's Man Utd win - that wingers win you titles. That all the premiership title winning teams in the last decade or so have had excellent wingers, and that those wingers were the key to their success. Man Utd certainly make wingers central to their game plan. While clearly it's not enough to stick a couple of wingers on Wolves and expect them to win the league, nonetheless they are key.

If you compare Man Utd's wingers to Man City's , you see the former have Valencia, Nani, Young, and often Park and Giggs. Man City on the other hand have Johnson and Milner, and often play Nasri or Silva or Balotelli or whoever, but they aren't real wingers. Spurs have Bale and Lennon who have been key to their success.

Are we strong in the winger department, then? We have Theo (who is more winger than striker, for me), Gervinho, Ox, as well as Arshavin and Ryo on loan. How many of those are real wingers? Even if Podolski were to come in, he's not a classical winger, he's more of a striker.

Our focus with Gervinho, Arshavin, Rosicky, Ox, and even Podolski if we were to sign him seems to be to get adaptable players - be they midfielders or strikers - and put them on the wingers, rather than specialist wingers. Is this the right approach? Might we do with a Bale, or a Valencia-esque player on either wing?


What do you think of the theory and our selection of wide players?

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Post by John Foxall on Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:28 pm

Wide players who score goals and are comfortable in a counter-attacking strategy with the ball and solid defensive structure without the ball are always important players in the title-winning team.

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Post by Sami Rockfeller on Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:32 pm

In that case we have better wingers than Man City, yet they're still above us. I'll tell you what wins titles - Defense. How often do we see Man Utd conceding goals due to a defensive cock up? Never. Hence they win titles.

And about our wingers, I think we have a wide variety of wingers to choose from, all very different in their style and approach to the game and come next season we'll have greater depth in this department with Ryo and Podolski.
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Post by Jenks1981 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:28 am

Whilst your talking about wingers, Valencia is absolute mustard. Rate him big time and he came good again last night for Utd.

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Post by Hisham El Mawan on Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:49 am

Sami Rockfeller wrote:In that case we have better wingers than Man City, yet they're still above us. I'll tell you what wins titles - Defense. How often do we see Man Utd conceding goals due to a defensive cock up? Never. Hence they win titles.

And about our wingers, I think we have a wide variety of wingers to choose from, all very different in their style and approach to the game and come next season we'll have greater depth in this department with Ryo and Podolski.

I agree completely. I believe we have one of the top attacking sides in the league, but our defense simply hasn't been good enough this season.

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Post by Zaid Derweesh on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:08 am

Why do we struggle so much to break down teams that park the bus, defend deep and narrow? Man Utd seem to struggle much less than us against those sorts.

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Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:32 am

Positionally, I think our current wingers, are more like traditional wingers, than compared to our wingers in the invincibles. (lovely sentence).

Freddie and Pires weren't your typical wingers.

So I don't think the I don't think our lack or traditional wingers is the issue. But I agree, they can be a big part of winning leagues. When your strikers are short of goals, it is great for other players to step up and score crucial ones.
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Post by Sami Rockfeller on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:50 pm

Zaid Derweesh wrote:Why do we struggle so much to break down teams that park the bus, defend deep and narrow? Man Utd seem to struggle much less than us against those sorts.

I think our main problem in this regard has been that our wingers are not very experienced. We rely too much on the likes of Theo who at the end of the day still have a lot to learn. Next year with more options and experience I genuinely think we can pose a serious threat for the title what with our other vulnerabilities(defense) being sorted and all.
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Post by jason.mandryk on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:48 pm

Ferguson knows better than anyone how to exploit width in attack. Even when United's wingers have been less than stellar, they have been utilized well. but wingers means crosses and strikers who are likely to get on the end of said crosses.

Wenger hasn't ever really coached that much attacking width into the team in the final third...he has always encouraged a narrower attack which is more likely to employ possession and accurate passing.
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Post by Zaid Derweesh on Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:44 pm

Sami and Jason: both good points. It's true that we've never really played that kind of game, at least not recently. RVP isn't known for his heading prowess either: when Walcott does put in crosses for him, it's usually to feet.

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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:38 pm

You really need 15 goals a season from at least one of your first choice wingers with the other one having at least 10.

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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:39 pm

Ljungberg Pires days basically.

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Post by Chris Chan on Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:13 am

Walcott and Podolski in theory should give us 25 goals combined with Gervinho and The Ox off the bench. Gotze will add a few and of course you can count on Messi for another 50... I will wake up soon

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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:58 am

People forget (not addressing you Chan) that Theo is still very young and this is his first more or less injury free season for us. If he can add to what he did this season, assuming that we do get Podolski, and Gervinho and Ox both upping their games, we can see a big number of goals from our wingers next season.

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Post by ahrstic on Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:44 pm

Theo is not that young anymore. He can't hide his inadequate and inconsistent performance behind age anymore. The fact is that he is simply not good enough and will never be. Players at 23 nowdays are fully grown and complete football "products" (in most cases much, much earlier). Especialy if they are considered as higher class players. And reading todays article about his contract renewal just gives me shivers when you read the amount of money Arsenal is offering for this half-product of a footballer. We deserve better! His teamates deserve better!

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Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:21 am

Well, Danny Wellbeck is considered a promising work in progress at Man United...but he is only 6 months younger, and has scored the same amount of goals as Theo this season, playing as striker!
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Post by Sami Rockfeller on Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:38 am

ahrstic wrote:Theo is not that young anymore. He can't hide his inadequate and inconsistent performance behind age anymore. The fact is that he is simply not good enough and will never be. Players at 23 nowdays are fully grown and complete football "products" (in most cases much, much earlier). Especialy if they are considered as higher class players. And reading todays article about his contract renewal just gives me shivers when you read the amount of money Arsenal is offering for this half-product of a footballer. We deserve better! His teamates deserve better!

Which other winger in the league has numbers like that of Theo? Very few have and they have plenty of experience over him.
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Post by ahrstic on Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:43 am

I would like to see Theos stats for completed passes, lost possession, completed dribbles... The fact is team has to work their socks off in order for him to score, assist or make succesfull dribble. No way his performance can justify 80 grand salary that Arsenal is apparently offering (let alone 100 grand he wants). Take a look in "most valuable players this season" thread we have here. No one mentiones Walcott!!! And theres simple reason for that: no one relies on him or sees him as a player who can win you a game or make a difference in tight match! Sure he'll play good game now and then, but that is more often seen as an anomaly than common occurrence.

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Post by John Foxall on Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:27 am

I would argue with an extent to this. When the team is performing well Theo is a useful weapon. But he has almost nothing to offer when the team can't put him into good positions. His form is likely to match that of the team, hence why the squad becomes so important. Gervinho and Ox are both better footballers than him and seem to have more of an appetite for the defensive work.

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Post by Sami Rockfeller on Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:23 am

ahrstic wrote:I would like to see Theos stats for completed passes, lost possession, completed dribbles... The fact is team has to work their socks off in order for him to score, assist or make succesfull dribble. No way his performance can justify 80 grand salary that Arsenal is apparently offering (let alone 100 grand he wants). Take a look in "most valuable players this season" thread we have here. No one mentiones Walcott!!! And theres simple reason for that: no one relies on him or sees him as a player who can win you a game or make a difference in tight match! Sure he'll play good game now and then, but that is more often seen as an anomaly than common occurrence.

I'd agree on that, the salary he is demanding to sign with us is unjustifiable for the work he does.
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Post by vyom.chaudhary on Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:49 pm

11 goals and 13 assists this season.though he can be frustrating many a times.
but thats a good return from him this year.

out of these 8 goals and 11 assists are in league.might hit double figures for the first time in his career.

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Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:40 pm

It's a tough situation. I bet his agent is pointing out many lesser players on more money. Why should Walcott accept less?

And where does it leave Arsenal? Lose him on a free a year later? I doubt any big clubs would make an offer that would make it worth our while.
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Post by Sami Rockfeller on Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:44 pm

I do think we can get good money for Theo if we sell him, last I heard plenty of teams were interested. But I doubt Wenger will want to sell after all the time he's put into developing Theo.
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Post by Zaid Derweesh on Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:15 pm

Theo is an important player, he may not be an excellent skillful player but he has become important to how we play. He is replaceable, but as we've seen, selling key players disrupts us, no matter their quality (Flamini, Hleb, Fabregas, Nasri, for example). He should stay, but some compromise must be found.

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Post by ahrstic on Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:18 pm

Good thing is we have options for next season in wingers department. But Im not sure thats enough to compete for title (hope we havent given up on those thingies). Gervinho will most definetly be more adapted and ready to cope with demandas of premiership title push. Ryo & Ox are two strong cards and will give first teamers something to think about. I definitely see at least one of these two making their step up from "talented youngster" group. But gambling on unproven players has cost us title battle so often these years and I hope we will se one mercurial signing in this department. Someone who can bring goods continuously through season. Someone team can rely on and these youngster to look up to and envy. Enough with "good enough" solutions, we need someone from world class department. Bringing Ronaldinho sparked new era for Barcelona, a benefit they still enjoy 10 years after. And we have just the same blend of youngster brimming with potential as Barca had back then. Im talking Goetze (young but hellish player), Hazard, Neymar, Dzagoev (maybe)... I would like to see AW taking risk at least once in his lifetime (and not kind of risk he took this summer by signing no one).

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