It’s that month of the year again! This is the month where most of the football fans put their Manager’s blazer on and go full volume on all their social networking accounts. Every post starts with “We should sign…”, “I’d love to see him at…”, “We’ve gotta get…” and some other similar phrases. Every player is evaluated, on his previous half of the season, on the contract length with his current club, on his current form, on his price tag, on his recent comments in the media and on the dreams of him firing our team to new heights of footballing glory.
Now, wait a second and think. Are all the aforementioned attributes really suitable for deciding who to sign? THINK! None of them are really suitable to buy a striker. When Arsene goes out to buy a player he always thinks of the team first, and how that player will integrate with the team. There are three things that I want to concentrate on here :
1. Buying a striker in January won’t simply race us to the title.
2. Even if we do buy a striker, he will take time to integrate with the team.
3. Not buying any striker at all will put the responsibility on Giroud and Bendtner who may perform better as a result.
Now let me state this as clearly as possible, buying a new striker, be it even Messi, will not ensure us the title. We have been heavily linked with many strikers and trust me personally even I want another striker to be bought, ‘the more the merrier’ we fans tend to think. No January signing till date has had so much influence on a team that he has raced them to the title. It does not happen that way in England. Roots are laid in August and deeper the roots the better the team will do that season. Look at our record since Arsene Wenger took charge:
Jose Antonio Reyes
Not a single signing I can see here has drastically changed our season in the respective year. Kanu believe it? I sure can. It’s a simple fact, simply buying a world class striker and expecting him to bang in a hat trick every game is just not realistically possible in the Premier League.
Moving on to the second point, there is a huge question of integrating a striker with the team we have. If we buy a new, world class 30mn+ striker this month, we will have to play him in every game. We will have to quickly integrate him with the team and in the process, maybe even have to change how the team plays right now. Now let me ask you this, do you really want us to change how we are playing now? We’re currently playing really close to what we can call Wengerball. It’s like all green links in FIFA Ultimate Team, which is fairly tough to get! We have perfect chemistry right now. We have Giroud who has perfectly integrated with all our midfielders from time to time and has gone on to score goals with their help or helped them score. Then we have Bendtner, he has been with us since he was 16! He knows the Arsenal philosophy in and out. Now with the team playing so well, all players gelling perfectly on the pitch and even off it, would you really risk bringing in a big name like Diego Costa, with all his stardom and hunger to only score goals? Any striker who’d join Arsenal now would play only to score goals, and to ensure that he has a fixed berth in his National Team’s flight to Brazil come June. Giroud and Bendtner on the other hand will play for Arsenal. They have been loved by the fans and would want to work hard and give everything for them.
Another question is this, what would you have Arsene Wenger working on right now? Searching for strikers or concentrating on winning the next game? Okay, finding a striker is easy, but to integrate him with the team is fairly tough. We buy Deigo Costa, Athletico Madrid not at all play like Arsenal, they are more like Dortmund, plain, hard working, running involved. We get Jackson Martinez and we’ve got Porto elements in him. All this will be nothing but distraction, for the fans who will sing praises and boast about the new signing, for the team as they’ll have to adjust and for Arsene. Moreover, Arsene has learned one thing from the past, if at all he has learnt anything. It is that he has to develop a team. In the past, Arsenal have depended a lot on Thierry Henry before, and then on that Judas, who apparently kidnapped little boys and put them inside him and they spoke to him. We suffered a lot after they left. Arsenal was a team built around them, meant to support them. Every guy had one job, pass them the ball and they’d do the rest. This team now is a different one. It’s in truest sense a team. If tomorrow Negredo and Aguero are both out, I don’t think Man City can score the same amount of goals as they’re scoring now. So personally, I’d not even touch the team we have now. I love them to bits.
The third and last point is how buying a striker would influence the ones we have. Giroud would really not mind any kind of competition for the role upfront, but then how will he play after we buy a striker? Would it change the amount of work he puts in every game? Would it affect his performance knowing that once he misses one or two chances he’ll be substituted in a second? All this can put a negative pressure on him. Why to stress a striker out who is already giving more than 100% in each game? And think about this, he has played from the beginning of the season till Jan and has just recently got injured. From that too he returned fairly quickly. Who says that he cannot keep doing what he has done for half the season already? At the start of the season everyone was saying we will be short upfront with only Giroud as a proper striker. They kept saying we’ll be short and he kept delivering. He did miss a lot of chances, but his performances, the efforts he put in were unparalleled. He even played some full matches for France during this period. Who says he can’t do the same thing for another half of the season and years to come? He can surely continue doing the same and so can the team. They have the maturity, technical skills and chemistry that a successful team requires. It’s like there’s a rather noble purpose in how we play.
So all I’d like to say is we will indeed risk disturbing the perfectly balanced team by buying a big name in January and with the team we have and what that team has done in the past six months we should be really confident and expect more of the same. We really don’t have to worry about it because we have one of the best managers in the world and he will do whatever’s best.
Keep Calm, Arsene Knows… It’s January!