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Winger to watch

Winger to watch
It is clear that our preferred mode of attack in this new era and team that RDM is building is through the middle of the pitch and this is why he generally deploys a 3 man creative trident of players that we now fondly refer to as Mazacar for Mata, Hazard and Oscar…That they are effective is undeniable and the number of chances they create and sometimes take themselves is clear evidence of this. I wont be discussing the problem of our decreased goal productivity despite this because it is not their fault but the result of the blunt tools we have up front in our striking dept.

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.

Writer:GabeU
Date:Thursday November 1 2012
Time: 7:35PM

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Comments

0
Walcott wants to play through the middle-- Striking Position. Just Like Sturridge.
chuks09
01/11/2012 19:47:00
0
yes exactly , chuks makes a good point. He;ll be in the same situation as Studge he's half the player. Don;t need him, don't rate him, don't want him
hazzabee
01/11/2012 20:17:00
0
You are joking right? April come early? He's another Owen flash in the pan. We need much better. You insult all our squad by suggesting he can cross a ball better and that such an untalented overhyped squirt could possibly get ahead of anyone in the team selection pecking order.
Pantisocrates
01/11/2012 20:24:00
0
I vividly remember many VC fans saying exactly the same things about players like Gary Cahill and Victor Moses...i also remember when many Chelsea fans laughed when SAF picked up a little known Ecuadorian winger from the lowly Wigan called Antonio Valencia. While some of you may think Walcott is useless it is on record that just this summer our board did test the waters with the gunners by making a bid of ~ 25mill on him when we were still chasing Hulk. I for one feel that was an excessive bid but also feel he could be a very useful addition to our squad and would improve our versatility..someone on our board at least thought similarly to have offered that much for him just this summer..now though with his contract situation where it is he will be available for significantly less. Time will tell...BTW Pantisocrates Michael Owen was no flash in the pan..his career was cut shot by repeated injuries but for what he was ..a pure poacher he was one of the best at that skill set. Also i do not insult our squad by indicating that Walcotts crossing skills are comparable. Can you provide credible evidence to suggest that anyone other than Mata, and Oscar deliver better crosses from the deep flanks from our side on a consistent basis than Walcott does? Also if you read my article closely i no where suggest Walcott would be a first team choice..i do indicate he would be a better option than Marin as a winger option in select situations. There are many on this VC site who swing wildly the other way regarding all things English as though there is no value among English players and that is simply not true. If you rate Marin as a player and then say Walcott is useless you reveal that bias because on every level including fitness, national caps, finishing ability, durability and raw speed Walcott has Marin beat. I live in reality not hyperbole. Walcott is a player who may not be Messi level but to suggest he is untalented is just being spiteful (i guess because he presently plays for the gunners). He has a specific skill set that would meet our winger needs and anyone who has been watching him over the last few years will acknowledge he has been getting steadily better. As to Chuks and Hazzabees comments yes..every winger wants to play central striker and feel they can pull of the miracle evolution that Thierry Henry did in his career but the major problem holding up Walcotts situation with the gunners is money not the position he plays..he knows he is not going to play striker for the gunners ahead of Podolski and Giroud but he would like to be ahead of Gervinhio in that pecking order and right now he isnt even starting consistently for them.
GabeU
01/11/2012 21:14:00
0
GabeU - Im not totally against this but would depend on the price and the contract I guess. Tabloids had suggested he wants 100K p/w which is why the talks were breaking down? I dont agree he is better finisher than Sturridge. Both have scored 2 goals this season, and bar yesterday, Sturridge has had basically no oppurtunity at all this season. We are then though comparing a striker to a winger, and Walcott as a winger is decent, and his assist numbers over the last few seasons is good averagin 10.5 per season in all competitions for a guy who is not a regular starter is not bad - and as we know does chip in with goals also. Im all for us not paying over the top as we have done in the past, so if we could get him at a good price, why not?
BlueKiwi
01/11/2012 22:04:00
0
@Blue Kiwi i appreciate your reasoned thoughts on this..i agree that Walcott is not worth 100k/wk but if he would accept a wage structure in the realms of 80-85/wk which would be an increase over what he presently earns at the gunners this may be worth considering. Also Theo has netted 5 goals so far this season for the gunners in his limited role..2 in the BPL and 3 in the single capitol one game against Reading. I also agree with you that part of Dannys issues right now as far as finishing his chances could be down to rust but one could argue the same for Walcott who is no longer a gunner starter either.
GabeU
01/11/2012 22:34:00
0
True. Given lack there of of "reliable" wingers (with Moses and Marin being really the only two out and out wingers - and Marin seemingly always injured), this may be an area which could be strengthened, although some would argue also that with the likes of Hazard and Mata able to play wide and likely be the main players in starting 11, do we really need more than 2 backups for wide roles - particularly when we also have Ramires and Sturridge whom are able to play those areas if need be?
BlueKiwi
01/11/2012 23:04:00
0
I suppose it really comes down to Marins long term fitness?
BlueKiwi
01/11/2012 23:13:00
0
totally overrated player... Moses can do a better job, AND HE DOESN'T WANT TO PLAY THROUGH THE MIDDLE...... end of
The Persian
02/11/2012 00:09:00
0
Do we really need him...with Moses, Piazon, Marin, I don't think so
foltay
02/11/2012 02:13:00
0
You are right, our attacking midfielder cannot play like winger. They always cut inside and rather than playing crosses and long pass, they play short passes until opposition counter attacks. Even in yesterday game, as soon as united counters Romeu and mikel just cannot stop them. So RDM subbed ramires and oscar to heavily pressure them with their pace. So, instead of buying walcott, piazon should be given the opportunity. Piazon did not allow rafael to make the run on the wing, as he was heavily marking him, which allowed bertrand to remain solid from Nani's threat. Piazon just need some weight because he was easily dispossessed by rafael, but at one-point, it took three manure player to take him down. I think piazon is ready to start the game, he just need to take his man down instead of passing all the time. Lastly, Chelsea need solid striker that play passing game evenly with our trio and wingers, as well as, natural goalscorer. Falcao is perfect player but his price tag will just create another comedy show. Remy is good but at arsenal and tottenham standard. So, after rigorous research i stumble upon an Ivorian from dutch league, who manage to score 25 goals in 44 appearance and currently a top scorer in the league. His strength is unmatchable(fifa13=93 strength, rating does matter), he has pace unlike some donkeys in epl, has power header, shoot from anywhere inside the box, most of his goal resulted from his incredible ball control and he is very well known to some chelsea players.
drogforever
02/11/2012 03:11:00
0
@drogforever - 25 goals in 44 appearances on fifa or real life?
BlueKiwi
02/11/2012 04:21:00
0
I have watched Walcott play over the years. I have mentioned it in this forum before. Walcott isn't an overhyped player. He is good at what he does,he is still young and there is room for improvement. He is more deadly in the wing than Moses, fitter than Marin, isn't easily injured, has blistering pace, can score a sweet pea of a goal and will come cheap this January. There were rumors of a bid or a consideration to bid not too long ago. Its quite unfortunate that we are spoilt for foreign talents such that English talents are never good enough...we didn't rate Cahill nor did we rate Moses but now it feels good to have them in our team. The team a player plays for also impacts on a player's performance. With the riches in talent we have in the bridge I fail to see why Walcott won't improve as a player as time goes on. His not playing regularly this season for Arsenal is as a result of his contract issues. Our present band of 3 will burn out if we don't bring in capable alternatives in order to rotate them and we are gonna be the worse for it. I have watched him in a lot of matches and did particularly admire his performance against Barca. At present form I rate him over Sturridge and Torres; I can comfortably play him as CF: he won't crumble upon slight contact, he can surely whiz pass a lot of CBs and will chip the balls Torres blasts into the keeper. Hate it or love it that band of 3 is the part that has improved our game this season. If we let them burn out we won't end d season well. Piazon definitely has to go on a year long loan to get first hand experience. He has sufficient time to cover for Marin if he can't beat his recurring injury; and Piazon is more of a second striker/ attacking mid than a winger.
hermes
02/11/2012 04:28:00
0
another overrated english player.....a headless chicken who just have speed and nothing else....his crosses are poor inspite of having so much experience at arsenal...tottally overrated....plays one good match out of 20.....we have moses who can be better than him if he gets enough oppurtunity....we always rate other team talent rather than looking at ours....we will play mata oscar hazard in most of the matches whats the point in buying a player whos not our quality also to keep him on bench...when we have moses and danny who is far far superior than him....walcott is tottally overrated player who just like to run on the field with no vision at all.....big noooooooooo for him
shlok27
02/11/2012 05:38:00
0
our midfield trio are capable of playing like wingers...Oscar has wonderful crosses, Mata too has it, hazard won the applauds for his wing play at lille...maybe RDM has instructed them to play narrower...but, we are surely not one-dimensional like barca...we score with crosses also (ramires goal, attempt by torres against manu)...but moses, marin will be the plan B...
Blu_run
02/11/2012 06:11:00
0
i mean Mazacar have a std Plan A (narrower play), but capable for changing to plan B...while moses, marin are for Plan B, but capable of playing in Plan A....coming to article, i think walcott will be a good buy in both plan A & B....we can pay him ard 85-90 more than arsenal and can him give the change to win silverware....liverpool are the other team interested in him, but cannot give him CL play for atleast one more yr
Blu_run
02/11/2012 06:14:00
0
If sturridge leaves, then we should make an offer for the lad as a direct replacement. He will be cheap and we can use that pace of his on our counters. However if sturridge changes his mind, we should at Huntelaar.for our CF role or Schurrle for striker/ winger option.
Dwonder
02/11/2012 06:37:00
0
@Shlok27 ..your response is typical...insult the player and his nationality but offer no facts. Let me give you some facts..this player you call a headless chicken while playing as an infrequently used sub this season for the gunners has scored more goals playing as a winger than our 50 million dollar no 1 striker playing as a lone striker behind the incredible creative trio of Mazacar..that is a fact!! If you read my article closely i described Walcotts qualities as a potential compliment not as a knock to our own players. To suggest as you do that Walcott is not Chelsea quality when just last year we had Bosingwa on this squad and Malouda is still on our books and was essentially our lone left winger most of last year is laughable..you say he is not chelsea quality? again it was people like you who said the same when we wanted to get Cahill and the very Moses you now claim to be Chelsea quality.. It was Chelsea fans like you who laughed SAF to scorn when he was picking up players like Valencia from wigan and Chicarito from Guadelajara..we now know based on hard evidence..not pointless sentiment who made the wise choices in these cases. Other than JT every player we have on our squad came from somewhere..we got them because scouts appreciated the quality their unique skill sets could add to our team collective..it is really high time you develop a little of that skill as well.
GabeU
02/11/2012 06:40:00
0
Not a joke then, I'm Gobsmacked. Like Owen he's a one trick pony on the career slide. Get a new dream worthy of our club, please.
Pantisocrates
02/11/2012 06:45:00
0
@Hermes i pretty much concur with your views. @Dwonder i agree with you..if Danny stays it would probably be superfluous to go after Walcott..if he decides to leave however Walcott in my mind would be one of the cheapest and yet high quality alternatives available to serve that role as a second reliable true winger to partner with Moses when the need arises to play a traditinal winger formation that stretches the pitch. I love Marin and the guy is genuinely talented as well as crazy fast but i must tell you i am very concerned about his record of injuries and fitness thus far in his short time with us ..and it is a continuation of a similar trend from his Werder Bremen days which is why they were willing to sell him to us..a winger who spends more time in the treatment room than on the pitch is no use to the team..it was this fear that made us get rid of Arjen Robben (a decision i still feel we may have got wrong to this day).
GabeU
02/11/2012 06:52:00
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