Winger to watch
As good as the Mazacar arrangement and philosophy is however it has its limitations and that has been demonstrated by the way far less skilled but more accomplished winger based teams like Shaktar, Atletico Madrid and ManU have exposed us badly this season by simply sitting back and hitting us on the counter. One consequence of the Mazacar arrangement is that we invariably heavily depend on our full backs for our width and flank play..they have to play as wingbacks rather than full backs placing heavy pressure on our center backs and DMs the moment they lose the ball upfront. This happens pretty often when we run into a team with rapid flank play and well honed counter attacking nous..we will be facing such a team this weekend in Swansea so we will need to be very very careful.
I for one have never wanted us to be like Barca..a team that only knows one way to play (even if they are so very good at that one way they play)..such teams eventually get found out when they meet an opposing tactician who successfully game plans to negate their lone style of play..such teams in that scenario have no plan B and that is when they get beat. I have always preferred Chelsea as we were in the Mourinhio and the Vialli eras.Versatile enough to play in different ways and different formations depending on the opposition.
This brings up the issue of wingers…here I mean true wingers..not wing forwards or attacking midfielders just pushed out wide. I guess in an attempt to provide us with the option to play with effective wing play which would provide us width and allow our fullbacks stay home we got two wingers this summer; Marko Marin and Victor Moses..Victor has done well thus far in my opinion..he still has a lot to learn but he is only 21..he will get better..he just needs more game exposure and tutoring. Marin has so much talent but unless his fitness and injury record improves he may end up being the lemon Werder Bremen sold us. Nearly a third way into the season he has been unable to start even one BPL game..we need to realize that having him fit to play consistently for us will probably be a luxury and thus we need to get another true winger to complement Moses so that when a winger based format is desired (such as should have been against United and in my mind against Shaktar in the coming second leg) we can deploy two wingers to stretch the opposition defense and keep both their fullbacks and their wingers honest. The major requirement of this player are blazing speed, ability to take on opposing defenders and ability to cross both on the ground and in the air with reasonable accuracy. The ability to cut into the opposing box and to actually finish themselves is a bonus.
I offer for your consideration a player who will be available in the January window at a relative discount prize..Theo Walcott. I know some of the usual "Not good enough for Chelsea brigade" will immediately thumb their noses but I will just make my case then you all can agree or disagree but please make your case based on facts and current reality not on past history and prejudices.
1. The boy is a true winger..blazing fast and can take on full backs on the flanks
2. His crossing ability though not stellar is at least comparable if not better than much of what we have right now.
3. He is young and is still developing as a footballer..only 23
4. His cut back and finishing skills are improving and frankly currently his finishing is superior to Danny Sturridge..just go back and compare the use of opportunities that each has had this season and remember both have been playing in sub roles this season for their respective clubs
5. He is available for cheap..his contract is up next summer..the gunners don`t want to give him the salary increase he desires and prefer to allow Gervinhio play some bit part striker roles than him…this is why he wants out..considering our striker position and the fact that Danny seems insistent on checking out this winter transfer season herein may be perfect replacement as a winger who can actually score fairly consistently and thus be able to play that supplemental role on an as need basis. Since he will not command a transfer fee to speak of he can be started on a decent salary compared to what he presently gets at arsenal the way we did with Cahill.
6. He is a reasonably fit young man who has not has alarming history of extended health related lay offs (unfortunately not the case with Marin) If acquired thus it is reasonable to expect he will give us potentially many years of useful meritorious service. This is a move he will seriously consider if approached..he would not have to change city, his domestics will not be under any pressure…he would be stepping up as far as profile and most importantly for him he would have a much better chance of finally winning some trophies. It is true he would be cup tied for the rest of this season as far as the Champions league but this would actually work to our favor in assisting with squad rotation for different tournaments. For a moment imagine a wing set up with Walcott and Moses..it would bring back fond memories of the Robben-Duff combo that terrorized so many teams in the early Mourinho years and will offer another wrinkle to how we can attack teams other than the Mazacar approach.
7. I hate to mention this but it is an important consideration as well..he is English..he would count as an association trained player and this will be vital for us in making up the number with quality players rather than just fillers regarding the BPL and Champions league requirements if as seems likely we lose Danny Sturridge this summer.
I know I may get many nays on this but all opinions are welcome..i for one would be glad if we made a move for Theo Walcott come January.