Friday, May 14, 2010

Chamakh's not going to kill van Persie

"He looks a good player. He is strong in the air and scores lots of goals with his head. He looks confident on the ball so hopefully the transfer goes through. It is good for all of us to have competition and that's why I am happy to see him coming."

- Robin van Persie, regarding Marouane Chamakh's imminent arrival

Well, van Persie doesn't think that Chamakh's arrival will kill him. In fact, van Persie seems to relish the prospect of having another striker in the squad. So maybe the arrival of new, experienced players doesn't have mean the death of one of our bright young things.

With Chamakh and van Persie both looking for a starting spot, there's been a couple of theories about how we'll line up next season:

The first theory is that we'll revert to a traditional 4-4-2. Personally, I don't think it's likely. The reason we moved from a 4-4-2 was because we didn't have the box-to-box players to play in central midfield. We needed a dedicated defensive midfielder to sit in front of the defence and cover for the surging runs of our kamikaze centre-backs. I don't think that that's changed in the intervening 12 months. If anything, we're more likely to need TWO defensive midfielders to cover for our kamikaze centre-backs, our suicidal full-backs and our manic-depressive goalkeepers.

The second theory is that we're going to see van Persie at the head of a 4-3-3, with Chamakh replacing Bendtner on the right. For whatever reason, Wenger loves his weird right-wing centre-forward idea. And it worked fairly well early in the season. We used it to release pressure from the midfield, and I remember Bendtner got a lot of free headers in the early games. Chamakh's got the mobility to play that role, and his work-rate is pretty good. And when van Persie gets his inevitable four-month lay-off, we'll see Chamakh slide over to the middle, and Bendtner will start on the right.

I'm actually quite excited about Chamakh joining the Arsenal. From what I've seen from Bordeaux's matches in the Champions League, he's an intelligent, hard-working centre-forward who can lead the line, stretch the defence, has a header like a mountain goat, and who lacks a bit of presence in front of goal. He's perfect for Arsenal. My mouth is watering in anticipation of all those chances he'll create and then fuck up.

Whatever the case, I don't think we'll be seeing any body-bags outside the Emirates this summer.

Incidentally, if Arshavin leaves, I'd like us to start playing Walcott on the left. I think Theo's a lovely boy on the right wing, but he'd be a much nicer boy on the left. That way he'll make the most of his three gifts - niceness, blinding speed, and a decent finish. I think it's a bit of a waste trying to turn him into an outside winger if he can't cross, can't beat his man with the ball, and has poor decision-making skills. He's better off cutting in from the left and shooting on sight. He can be the left-wing Freddie of the '10s.

In other news, Cesc Fabregas is suffering from the impatience of youth. As he told Marca:

I suppose a month can seem like a long time when you're young. When you're in school, a two week term-holiday can feel like forever. I'm guessing that it's much the same with footballers and their summer vacations. I wouldn't read too much into this quote. Cesc is probably kicking around at home, gotten bored with all his Playstation games, and is wondering what he's going to do until it's time to jet off to South Africa. Two whole weeks with nothing to do??? He's going to go crazy.

So on the 344th last day of my 20s, I went to work, came home, ate a pie and a couple of chicken drumsticks. I had one of those disturbing sex dreams about one of my nurses the other day, and it's made working with her these past couple of days a bit weird. It makes me start noticing things about her that I really shouldn't be noticing in a work environment. She's blonde, petite, and has interesting features in all the usual places... and every fortnight she goes into the hills with her brothers to shoot rabbits and foxes.

So I'm thinking maybe not. I draw the line with girls who are proficient with firearms and able to hit moving targets from a distance. It's a sensible precaution for a guy who's ended up pissing off every girl he's ever met.

Listened to Fleet Foxes' eponymous album in the car today - it's quite interesting, like a collection of gothic, folksy, agricultural hymnals. I've never heard anything like it. Listening to Bic Runga's Beautiful Collision at the moment, which isn't nearly as interesting but which is a nice sugar-poppy way to end the day.

All in all, a disquieting day.

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