Wenger solves the mystery of the Nasri, Bendtner, and Senderos; it's those meddling kids.

In his post-SC Columbia interview, Wenger talked exclusively with Arsenal TV Online and the interview, though brief, gave fans some insight into what happened with Samir Nasri, his expectations for Bendtner next year, and why Senderos played as a holding midfielder last night.

There has been a ton of speculation that Diaby tackled Nasri and broke his leg but the boss explained that Nasri’s leg was broken when some other player (he didn’t say who) was having a shot on goal and Samir nicked the ball away. He went on to explain that it’s not a horrible injury and Samir will only be out for 6 weeks. That’s only 2 weeks into the regular season and not nearly the blow that many had thought.

In the interview, Wenger was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing but I’m still of the mind that losing Nasri is a pretty big blow. Obviously, not of the magnitude of losing, say, Cesc in January when half the guys are away at the ACN, but it’s an important time none-the-less. Nasri is a rare talent who can challenge a lot of guys for a lot of different places on the team and as I say all the time, competition for places on the squad makes the whole team better. Having a young guy like Samir in the team, a guy who’s hungry to establish himself as a star on a big club like Arsenal is going to push others around him, like Arshavin, Diaby, and Walcott, to step up their games. Which only makes the whole team better.

Well, I say Diaby, but the boss sees Nasri more as an attacking player and when asked about cover for his spot instead mentioned Eduardo and Rosicky. I think a lot of folks forget that Dudu played on the left a number of times before he was injured. It’s the Arsenal way, innit? Play guys out of position? Irregardless, the point here is that Wenger sees Nasri as pretty much an attacking player and as I pointed out during the whole Adebayor debacle, attacking players are not something we’re short of, as evidenced by the fact that Sunderland is most likely Chamakh’s destination.  I’m kind of glad about this last bit, he really seemed more like a project than the kind of polished Arsenal player that we need next year.

Another attacking player that a lot of folks overlook is Nicky Bendtner. Wenger said he wants Nicklas Bendtner to start challenging for a regular place on the team and I can actually see Nicky taking over from Adebayor this season. If you look at the year before Adebayor broke out (in diamond plated wrist watches) he scored an unimpressive 12 goals for club and country in 50 matches. Last season, our young Nicky scored 18 goals and had 9 assists in 66 matches (28 of which were as a sub). If he works hard,  he’s going to get a lot of starts and if all the pieces around him are healthy, he’s going to have a lot of players who can feed him the ball, so I think a target of 20 league goals (more than doubling his haul of last year) is reasonable.

Now, I know he’s a divisive player and many supporters would rather Arsene buy Huntelaar because he’s the best goal scorer in the history of mankind, but let’s face facts: Wenger has groomed Nicklas to get him to this point and we all know how loyal Wenger is to his projects. So, you might as well go ahead and get off the Huntelaar wagon and get on the Nicky wagon now.

That way when he scores 25 goals you can say “I told you so” and “I’ve always been a huge fan of Bendtner, I thought he would be better than Huntelaar.”

The other big, huge, earth shaking, (did I mention huge?) revelation is that Phillipe Senderos is on his way out. Arsene said, in no uncertain terms, that Senderos has several offers and needs to decide on his future. This explains why Senderos was playing in the holding midfield role yesterday; Wenger needs to keep his fitness up, but doesn’t want to play him in the center of defense because he needs to solidify Vermaelen with his potential partners.

I’m sad to see Senderos go, I really thought he was going to be an important player for Arsenal when he had his break out season a few years ago. That said, Arsenal central defenders have it much harder than a lot of other squads. As the announcers mentioned in the 7-1 win over SC Columbia, yesterday, Arsenal’s attacking formation and high line leave them particularly vulnerable to over the top balls, and long outlet passes to a single central attacker: last year Robbie Keane did it, Agbonlahor did it, and Drogba’s done it a number of times, to name a few. This pressure is clearly difficult for these defenders to handle emotionally: we’ve lost Senderos, Campbell, Gallas buckled a bit, and we nearly lost Toure last year.

So, it’s quite sad to see Senderos go. In a different formation, if we played more of the style that Arsenal used to play, Senderos could have been a great asset. But as it stands we don’t, and he isn’t, and so he’s got to go. Best of luck big fella.

The players are now entering their “hard work” phase where they will train twice daily until they play again on Monday. Cesc has flown in and brought some giant balls with him. What? Those balls are for training! So, it’s looking like (nearly, minus Nasri) the whole squad are together and ready to kick start the season. Like I said, the next match is Monday, then there’s a match on Wednesday and after that? Athletico at the Emirates and two weeks before the start of the season.

I’m getting excited!

Oh yeah, one last thing… why is it that Newcastle are such c*nts that they get in a bench clearing brawl in a pre-season friendly? Can someone explain that to me? I don’t get it.

70 Comments on Wenger solves the mystery of the Nasri, Bendtner, and Senderos; it's those meddling kids.

  1. I’ve never really been against Nicky but he does frustrate me and I’ve expressed it on numerous ocassions on this blog, to friends, and other blogs. I don’t know if he will be a 20 goal a season striker – to be honest I’d be satisfied if he can turn in 15 goals a season (and that’s league goals). He’s a smart player with good awareness but I don’t think he can be the player Tim thinks. To be a world class striker scoring 20 goals a season you have to have “the instinct” – it’s something innate and not something you really learn. The likes of Benzema and Huntelaar have been scoring goals for fun for some time now – they just have it like that. Even old timers like Inzaghi or Van Nistelrooy, who both have absolutely no real footballing skill, just has that sense of touch and placement. Torres has been scoring for some time now and he really does see the goal from all angles. Nicky at his best might break into the high teens which is still very respectable but in terms of being a pure finisher like say Henry or Wrighty was, I just don’t see evidence that he’ll get there.

    • @WC, it’s a fair assessment WC, pure finishers know what they are going to do with the ball before they get it, Bendtner doesn’t. I don’t see him scoring goals like Adebayor did or Henry did, I doubt he ever will.

      That said, if he starts he’s going to get an astonishing number of opportunities I mean, an INSANE number of chances with Arshavin and Cesc and Rosicky and Nasri and Walcott and f*ck, all the players on this team feeding him ball after ball. It would be a huge failure if he scored less than 15 goals.

      Huge failure.

      • @Tim, Did you really just put Adebayor and Henry in the same sentence??? Ade scored one goal for every 5 chances…sure he had some amazing goals, but Nik has had some good ones as well. Nik scored one less league goal in 4 less appearances last season.

        If anything, I expect Nik to easily top last years numbers and score in the 20s, if he is the first choice striker.

        • @East Ave Arse, Adebayor was the first player since Henry and Ian Wright before him to score 20 or more Premier League goals. Ade was also a pure finisher for Arsenal, I know a lot of people don’t like to hear it, because the common misconception is that Ade was profligate, but his 24 goal season was as good as any season that Henry had as far as shots/goal ratio and better than some of Henry’s seasons.

          There was a season where Henry took an eye watering 171 shots to get 30 goals.

          That said, I’m not suggesting that they are comparable players over their careers; Adebayor has to put in at least 5 years as a top EPL goal scorer to get there. But two seasons ago Adebayor was as clinical a finisher as Arsenal have had since Henry.

    • I tend to agree with you WC. Bendtner just doesn’t strike me as the type of striker who can dominate a game and draw man to man marking from defenders. Plus, clinical he is not.

      Eduardo is supposed to be out for 2 more months according to Wenger, so he wouldn’t be a replacement for Nasri. They will be keeping each other company on the Arsenal training table.

      Real happy we are not getting Chamakh but would welcome Huntelaar with open arms, unlike Tim 🙂

      • @CaribKid69, I mean really with the injury problems we seem to be having since Gary Lewin left, Wenger should really consider exercising some of the financial muscle. While Eddie is our best finisher, you don’t just shake off a broken leg and over a year out of action. Injuries tend to come back and set you back every so often so I don’t expect to see Rosicky or Eduardo playing every single week. Surely we have alot of attacking options but the game is not about quantity but quality. Arshavin is no doubt a special player but he will have his off-days, as will every player of every club at some time in the season. I remember in Henry’s last year with us we were down 1-0 to the Spuds with about 15-20 minutes to go and TH14 came on and within 4-5 minutes he took the ball off the left flank and in a swift motion, he was like a blur and then the ball ended up in the net. Pure finishers are like that, they can disappear for 89 minutes and in the blink of an eye they find the goal. Nicky needs his chances in order to play the probability game that out of half a dozen chances he can score one. However football isn’t always like that and we really need that player who can take that one chance and turn nothing into something. That is the key to breaking down those teams who either outplay us on the day or put up their 11 man wall in front of the goal – we know this has been the most effective strategy against us since the likes of Henry and Bergy left. Take your entire team, don’t allow them to go past the half-line and crowd the goal area and play for the 0-0 draw againt the Arsenal.

        • @WC, Even if those two guys don’t play all the time, we have that player who can turn a game around with an amazing goal: Nasri did it, Arshavin did it, Vela’s done it, Cesc has done it, and don’t be so quick to discount Bendtner. He’s been a super sub several times for this club, he’s won games by himself.

          I think you’re being too cynical. This is a great Arsenal team with HUGE potential. I’ll wager they win a trophy this year and surprise everyone who thinks they aren’t old enough or tough enough or experienced enough or, as you’re saying, good enough.

          They are good enough.

        • @WC, that goal wasnt thierrys last year if its the goal im thinking of.sorry,shit day at work,been picking holes in everything today

      • @CaribKid69, Eduardo is not out for two months. Wenger never said he was out for two months. What he said was “And in [those] two months Eduardo will be back as well.” Meaning that Eduardo will be back well before two months.

    • @WC, adebayor n his 1st two seasons at the arsenal wasnt much better than bendtner is now, if anything bentdner is better……… remember the kinds of sitters ade use to miss, wenger made him as he s now…… jus watch bendtner develop incredibly fast now he has wengers’ full attention and backing

      • @dave, I’m not really going to compare Ade to Nicky because really they’re two very different players. I’m not the only one that thinks Ade is a better finisher than Nicky. Take a look at some of Ade’s goals: Vilalreal CL semi bicycle kick, THAT volley against Spuds in 07/08 season – those are goals only what I call “pure finishers” can do. Nicky keeps it simple, which is not a bad thing, but the nature of football sometimes just calls for the unimaginable. The spectacular goals are what define strikers and their ability to turn a goal from nothing – it’s something they’re born with, not learned through practice. I haven’t seen that from Bendtner yet – that is all I am saying. When Henry was playing you could go for almost an entire game without hearing his name and then out of nowhere he’s pop up with a goal. You just felt that everytime he was on the pitch he’d score – you would bet your house, wife, kids and grandma that Henry would score in any given game. Nicky doesn’t striker me as that player and top teams just need that player. Liverpool have Torres, Mancs had CRonaldo, Chelsea have Drogba, Barca have Messi/Eto’o, Inter have Ibrahimovic etc etc. All I’m saying is that we should investigate the option for someone who simply plays in the mind of the opposition.

        • @WC, u make a very valid point i see where you are coming from but wat im tryna say is both adebayor and henry didnt have the abilities you describe from their first game in the arsenal shirt, it took henry & adebayor couple of seasons with wenger by their side to grow into the kind of players you are describing……….. you cant honestly say u knew adebayor would become this gd a player when he joined or that he already was a pure finisher cos he was average at best when he joined us……… as well all the players u compare bendtner to have at least twice the pitch time bendtner has had…….. even lookin at top strikers at around bendtner’s age Benzema, ageuro, huntlar, fernan torres….. they have all played as the leading strikers for their teams for a couple of seasons they had had the chance to work on their way of playing as a striker at a competitive level to know wat works and wat makes them more effective…… torres playd for (a. madrid) as a lone striker for a long time with very average seasons but showed the glimpse of his talent… i think bendtner showed that toward the end of last season and with the support of the fans and wenger he could be the striker we hope for and describe in short watch bendy over the next 18 mths and be impressed i feel the reason bendy has under scrutiny is becoz he s our only powerful player upfront but remember he is not our first choice striker eduardo is

    • @Tim, I firmly believe that the Goal dot com thing is a misinterpretation of Wenger’s statement. Wenger, talking about who will cover for Nasri quickly mentions Eduardo and Rosicky, then later in the interview, while talking about the time that Nasri will take to heal says “and in the next two months we will have Eduardo back as well.” He means, “during the time that Nasri is out, we will be bringing along Rosicky and Eduardo, not rushing them back but giving them time to acclimate.

      Eduardo is not injured.

  2. I’ll go all the way with Super Nick. He is clearly aware that he needed a lot of improvement to step up and be the player that we all need him to be. He should watch every morning the goals that he missed vs burnley and swear not to miss like that ever again. He showed that he is willing to put the effort. Plus, as Tim put it, this team should create a lot of opportunities to score. Im on Nick’s wagon, provided he can keep his pants on.

  3. Didn’t Bendtner score a massive amount of goals for the reserves from all sort of angles? He is a natural finisher inside; it will come out.

  4. L’Equipe are saying Barca will pay £65m PLUS Hleb for Ibrahimovich.

    There is no better proof that this is a hyper-inflated market.

  5. I read the above comments with interest – some excellent points. On ‘Big Nik’ – I think he could score a lot of goals for us. Not like Henry or ‘once in a blue moon’ Adebayor perhaps, but we haven’t had what I would call a ‘near post’ forward ala Owen, Lineker, Horse since Wrighty. If his movement is good enough & he gets in the right positions he’ll be provided with plenty of opportunities. The quality we have from players like arse shavin, Rosicky, Cesc, Nasri & more often I hope Walcott he could have a hatful.
    If you want spectacular then Van’s your man. Slows the game down too much & at the wrong times perhaps but he has the ability to be a match winner or saver ( everton ).
    I’ll cut this short but I think Vela is going to be world class. I saw him in the U17’s after which we bought & where he was golden boot winner. The guy is technically superb, aware & has the look of a real finisher alal eddy.
    Hangeland & a lump at DM & I truly do believe we could seriously challenge.

    • Agree that Vela is potentially world class, been saying that for 3 years. He has not been given the opportunity to improve by playing on a regular basis.

      Question is, will he be given the pitch time this season or will he be warming the bench after we get knocked out of the CC.

    • @Adam, Agree with your assessment here. I’d even go further and say that Nik is better than Ade in the air. I really like to see him flick on goal kicks just past the half line. What hurts Nik is his lack of pace but he sees the pitch better than Ade and knows when to find a teammate. He’s a big fella, but he’s more suited to interchanging with the other stikers rather than being the most forward option as Ade was. I’ve made the point before, but Ade only had 5 assists to go with his 30 goals that season. We have the personnel for several forwards to get 10-20 goals AND 10-20 assists this season.

      Also agree about Vela. The late season away game against Portsmouth was a very nice example of what a front line of Arshavin, Vela and Bendtner can produce–Ramsey also played very well in that 3-0 victory. Both Vela and Ramsey have that great balance and low center of gravity. As they mature they’ll only get better turning on defenders. Finally, add me to the list of folks that we should use the Ade money for defense

  6. Bendtner just like Adebayor aint a natural goal scorer like Henry and Wright. But on their day they are hard workers and will have many opportunities to score as Arsenal as we are always creating chances. We have, and will alway have (under Wenger) a very creative midfield, so we will always be scoring goals. Goals are rarely the problem, its usually the defence. Thats my two pence worth.

    • @E9 Gunner, its funny how people claim henry to be a natural finisher wen in fact he is far far from one not denyin his greatness as a striker or player but…….. Ruud, Pippo Inzahgi, Owen, trezeguet these guys are natural scorers…. henry was a cultured forward who mastered his finish in his 1st couple of seasons at arsenal he was terrible in front of goal…… wenger worked with henry and turned him into the player he is………….. wenger will work with bendtner he may neva be as great as henry who had great technique but he will be a very good striker at least bta than adebayor

  7. The one thing I’ll add is what I see and hear in player interviews…Bendtner seems to be fairly team oriented and really wants to be a big star for Arsenal. Even when the fans dogged him, he kept playing his game and wound up bagging some important goals as a super sub toward the end of the season. He’s dedicated to the club and manager and usually plays pretty well with RVP- I think Arshavin also said he and Nik get along pretty well and are on the same page on the field. I’m not going to make any big predictions, but if Bendtner keeps up the good attitude and works hard enough, he could have a pretty good season.

    Plus, he’s strong as an ox compared to Chamakh and has the experience holding off the big centerbacks. We’ll just have to wait and see which Bendtner comes out this year.

    • @Yan, thanks for the tip, I emailed GoonerNews, we’ll have to wait and see what they say.

      It is a bit odd, because Gooner Talk is that kid that comes in here and threadshiats on the site.

  8. My question here on Bendtner is:

    Are you guys willing to have NB as he stands today, lead our strike force?

    He pales in comparison to Torres, Berbatov, Rooney, Santa Cruz, Drogba, Anelka, Van Nistelroy, Villa, Fabiano, Ibramovich, Henry, Etoo and so on and so forth.

    I purposely left Ade out of the summation 🙂

    Maybe in the future, but not here and now is NB ready to lead our line if we want to win trophies this year.

    • @CaribKid69, Nicky is quite different to each of those players that you mention. Hell, each of them is different to the other. The fact is that, someone took a chance believing in each one of them. They got their chance and never look back.

      It took Henry a bit of time, and some profligacy within that bit of time, to become the top-rated striker that he is. Ade was so profligate that some people were even questioning Wenger’s reason for buying him; though those fans kept quiet and pretended to be his fans when he turned good that one season.

      As someone already said, with Wenger’s full attention, Nicky B will surprise quite a few people. You’ll see. Why do we all hate to give young people a chance? Experience! Experience!! Experience!!! Where, for goodness sake, are young people expected to get experience when we constantly write them off before they even get started? We want to constantly see top stars without preparing the next generation of the same stars. One day all the names above will be gone from football just as those before them. So how do we replace them?

      Believe it! Bendtner will be a damn good striker and it not just Arsene who thinks so.

  9. Bendnter is a fantastic player and his finishing is on a par with any other striker in the world when he’s playing with confidence and not under pressure.
    Did nobody see him play in the pre-season games this and last year? He has a brilliant bag of tricks under his sleeve. The difference between bendtner and the likes henry and wright is that he feels the pressure, the former two players dealt with it far better and actually relished the pressure. If Bendtner can get in the same frame of mind then he’ll blow the premier league away, the only problem is, he’s going to have to do this against the backdrop of a fanbase that are disgruntled, hugely unforgiving and far too expectant of a young team with no money to perform as well as the invincibles.

    Bendtner is a fantastic super-sub that can turn a game around in a single chance on goal, but of course being an Arsenal player, the fans aren’t going to remember those vital moments only the glaring misses. It would be nice if there was a transfer system for fans, so we could offload the idiots still expecting Arsene to create another set of invincibles, to Spurs.

    • @Bongo, This is one of the problems then isn’t it? If you have a player who can only be good when he’s confident then he’s much too fragile because football is about ups and downs. A world class striker can and will score when he’s being booed or has lost his confidence. He might not rack up a hat trick but he’ll still get perhaps a goal every 2-3 games. Take a look at Pavyluchenko – he is supposedly a confidence player and once Spuds broke him, he couldn’t do jack all for them. Football is harsh and their fans even harsher and if Nicky can only be good when he himself is confident or when the team is confident then he has no chance of being world class. Top draw players don’t play good only when you like them, they play good all the time. As I said if Nicky can produce double digit league goals, his season would be a success.

      • @WC, If managers are like you fans, there will never be any quality players to play, only players with potential. The result of that will be players not good enough for any club because their is no one to believe in them. ‘World Class’ will no longer exist.

        Whether we like it or not, players blossom only when the people who matter, not necessarily everybody, believe in them. And the fans do matter to them. That’s why they tend to make more mistakes when their own fans turn against them. The opposition fans mean nothing to them. Hell, we all thrive on support, don’t we?

        • @LRV, Except you know for the last 4 years or so we’ve been calling them potential, given them the benefit of the doubt and believed in them and not many of them have delivered on that front. At what stage are we allowed to stop using potential? Some of these players have been trying for quite some time now and even though they’re just in their early 20s, they’ve had a couple seasons under their belt so most of them aren’t kids anymore and they’re expected to deliver – that’s what we pay to see. The youth tag is quickly becoming one that nicky can’t use anymore. He’s played a season at Birmingham and a couple of full seasons for us now, yet his quality is consistently put into question. I hope he does come good because he knows where he needs to be, but being in the right place doesn’t win games, scoring the goal does and his polish isn’t as shiny as we need it to be.

      • @WC, It is not just Wenger who believe in Nick. The Manager of Denmark and the entire Danish National Team does as well. Nick is a regular 1st team member for them now. Are you saying that all of this people are wrong as well? John Jensen, the famous Danish Arsenal defender believe in this guy and so does Peter Schmicheal, the famous Danish ManU goalkeeper. Why should everyone be wrong?

        Arsene has said that he now expects them to deliver and that we all need to trust and support the team so that they can deliver. What is wrong with giving them that support?

        Blackburn won the EPL once with a not so particularly strong quality team because they had plenty of support from the fans. Porto won the Champions League when their players were young, not yet stars with a huge support from die-hard fans.

        That’s all these guys need; unflinching support.

  10. Nicky has enthusiasm, and a lot of energy, more than I can say for the recently departed. He has missed some sitters, but who hasn’t. I think he needs to have greater belief in his own strength, which boils down to confidence. He also has a good eye for making runs that draw away defenders, which is a difficult commodity to evaluate. Whilst I believe he will get plenty of opportunities provided by the mid-field, he will also make opportunities for others. A little more time in the penalty area, less on the wings and taking corners would make him more of a threat.

    It has been my opinion that breaking down the parked coach requires two things, gifted wingers or wing backs that can take the ball to the byline, and/or someone that will run with the ball into the box, or near the box, tempting rash challenges, and paying the price.

    As for the debacle at Huddersfield, it’s all down to translation, and misinterpretation. If you understand that English as we know it is not spoken in Newcastle, then the opportunity for misunderstanding is multiplied many times over. Couple that with the Toon’s belief that they are Gods gift to football, then this volatile mix will manifest itself as behavioural problems.

    Where is Gael? Anybody know where he is? Has he shown up for training? What credence do we put on the rumor that Kolo has been seen in Ade’s Manchester taxi?

    Viva!

  11. All this talking of Nicky baffles me. How old is Nicky? How old was Ade when he came?

    Ade scored 8 goals in first season (6 months)
    12 goals in second season
    30 goals in third season
    16 goals in 4th season

    Nicky scored 8 goals in first season from the bench
    15 goals in second season partly from the bench

    And Nicky is only 21 and Ade says he’s 25 but Togolese(his countrymen) believes he’s 28.

    Who’s better?

  12. @ dave

    Because Henry isnt a goal poacher like the strikers you’ve mentioned, it doesnt mean he isnt a natural goal scorer. Yes Wenger nurtured him and believed in his abilities, thats why Henry became the player he is today. But if managers do not nurture and believe in a players ability they will only be potential.

    • @E9 Gunner, well what im tryna say is that bendtner is gonna cum gd so lets get behind him and comparing him to henry wen the legend joined the club initially ………….i think we agree on this i think????i wasnt havin a dig at the legend… but i stand by my statement that henry isnt a natural goal scorer ill put him in the same box of strikers of the ilk of zlatan, strikers who score incredible individual goals and have moments of pure magic and say the natarul goal scorers are trezeguet, owen, ruud, eduardo, fowler, ian wright and inzhaghi players all about movement and goals these are what i consider natural goal scorers…

  13. To respond to CaribKid from above about Bendtner leading the line….

    I think that’s not quite what the question ought to be. He’s really our 3rd choice striker behind Eduardo and RVP and may have some trouble getting game time if those two plus Arshavin, Rosicky and Walcott stay healthy and appear productive. And then there’s Vela, who we all want to see more of—anyone heard anything about his injury? In my opinion Nik’s much less suited than Ade in playing the traditional “hold up” or lone striker, even though he’s big and perhaps better in the air. It’s his pace (or lack thereof) that is the problem but he’s very good at flicking on balls with his head and otherwise seeing the open teammate.

    That being said, we did win the game vs ManU last season when Nicholas played as our lone striker….(even if he did look mighty ineffective up there and we had the two great Nasri strikes….)

    • My sentiments exactly Highbury, but we do need to have a big, pacy, hold up striker for the EPL, and with Ade gone we have none.

      • @CaribKid69, This is almost factual. Essentially the need for a big frontman isn’t about squeezing out other players but providing a different dynamic of play. Ade could do both to an extent but Nicky deploys himself deep or on the wings at times and when a cross comes in there’s no one there to receive it. You cannot be over 6 ft, expected to latch onto balls in the box and be way out wide or outside the 18 yard when a ball whips into the penalty area. Too many times I’ve seen crosses just stumble across the goal mouth with no red shirts in sight to put in the finishing touch.

        When teams play the containment game and drop 11 men behind the ball, the most likely source of a goal will be from a set piece or direct route 1 football. A big traditional frontman is key to this type of play. When passing pretty doesn’t work, you have to try to win ugly by launching balls to the front and matching size for size in the air – this is something we need to turn losses into draws and draws into wins. The Invincibles passed teams to death because they had the right personnel to do so. At the time we could afford them (and they were a pretty expensive team by those standards), but the stadium and apartment debt hasn’t allowed us to do that right now so we have to make do with what we have and the passing game isn’t the end all be all answer.

  14. It’s interesting to read the number of people that think Nick is the goods. When I watch Nick I tend to come away thinking he lacks pace – not ala Henry (he’s obviously not got that), moreso the nimbleness to turn and change direction – he looks a bit ponderous. I saw good opportunities evaporate due to this. He is lacking in other areas too, yet I’m reluctant to say too much because he is still young and a WIP – but therein lies the problem. If Arsenal want to be competitive they need players who are answers/solutions now, not a bevy of players with potential.

    It looks like we are in a similar position to last year. We are entering the season with a number of important attacking players still under injury/fitness clouds. This will mean that the young troup will need to step up which didn’t happen last year. We need a lot of luck, once the season starts the reality will set in. Time will tell.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Arshavin, I hope he becomes a focal point for the team.

  15. @ Kiwi
    Every season recently we have needed alot of luck.

    Bendtner can improve his game, he is young and still learning, he just needs to be more direct and stop drifting wide, this is the type of player we need him to be. I sure once he learns the art of that he will be one of the EPL most feared strikers.

  16. Bendtner is a talented player and surely he would improve. Wenger has confidence in Bendtner because he has been watching him play for years, obviously more than you and me. Trust Wenger!

    I trust Wenger when Henry shot wide many many many times before he became a so-call born scorer!

  17. For the 09/10 season, we will have to wait to see the end product chemistry of Arshavin, Rosicky, Cesc, Eduardo, RvP, Nasri, etc……they will evolve their own unique style.

    Bendtner is not Ade. NB is very unselfish and I believe he finds as much satisfaction setting up others. He has the skill set to make the accurate pass at any distance. Many times I forget his size, I think of him as a big man with a midfielders technical and tactical qualities.

  18. I have this fantasy that Bendtner can be our Ibrahimovic (and not because he’s Scandinavian). He’s big, he’s strong, has some skill, he’s a very good passer, can hold the ball, and he’s direct. He just needs to improve his finishing and hopefully that will come this year. He’s needed to become more mature and less ‘cock’ sure in his approach to work and play.

    We have all followed the Chamakh ‘saga’ and I will say this about about a potential buy. Why? I don’t see him providing anything superior to Bendtner, circa 2008-2009. Bendtner, circa 2009-2010 should be an improved version.

  19. AC Milan 0-1 Club America. Onyewu gets beat on a ball over the top in his AC Milan debut. Suck it up son.

  20. AC Milan 1-1 Club America w/ Flamini lofting a beautiful over the top pass to Inzaghi for the clinical finish.

    • @ctpa, I must say that milan bullied its way to the equaliser. Flamster, Gattuso and Jankulovski looked totally frustrated and outplayed by america, and started to kick their way into the game. 2-1 to America final score. Well deserved.

  21. Chris Houghton joins the long list of lamentable British coaches who mistakes thuggery for passionate play. They played w/ an ‘edge’. Sorry excuse to hide poor playing ability.

    Gerrard admits to throwing 3 punches but only hit the man once. And Gerrard’s point would be? If I’m Benitez, I’m very worried about this confession.

  22. Bendtner may do ok for us, but that doesn’t mean the team is all set for titles, we’re weaker without replacing/upgrading ade, and only somewhat stronger in the back with vermaelen. The squad may be a little better than last season but so is the opposition. I think we can make it into the top four but would consider it a big stretch to call for anything more.

  23. Walcott NOT Bendy is the one that has to show in the next four weeks that he is the replacment for Henri, certainly not Ade. One has to remember, Ade is not Wenger’s typical type of player. After Hateley at Monaco, Wenger has vowed off big front man, until, Ade. But Ade was a one season wonder. His last season’s performance only solidifies Wenger’s assertion of not playing a big front man. Bendy will eventually be sold. Walcott wlll be given his chance this pre season, if he is up to it, he will be the relevetion.

  24. My stake would not put on Walcott, who is a talented player but not yet ready to play week-in and week-out. He has very little options other than his quick feet. He needs to improve his shot if he wishes to taken up central striker role. Owen did much much better than Walcott in front of goal.

  25. Guys can you all imagine Huntelaar a world class finisher like Ruud getting the amount of chances that Arsenal create. Cmon now we are discussing Bartender who needs 15 chances to score one goal. Get Real Wenger spend some of that money and get Hunterlaar, even his name says it all HUNTER

  26. I personally think that Niklas is a quality striker and can fill the void left by Adebayor. He just needs a string of games to improve on what he has. I have also been watching him with kin interest and he is a good lad. His ability is undoubtable. I hope it works out well for him and let us not think about which players we are about to sign but rather on the players we have to our exposure

  27. Stuttgart has thrown Huntelaar back into pond.
    AC Milan has thrown Fabiano back into the pond.
    Wenger confirms that Eduardo plays on 7/27.

    A. Cole wishes Arsenal all the best in the upcoming season as he hopes we can still hold 4th against Man City (this is a lie 😉
    It is nice to know A. Cole still has friends in football but they are at Man City.

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