PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR VISION ARTICLES ARE SENT IN BY READERS AND ARE NOT WRITTEN BY ARSENAL VISION WRITERS.
By DJ Dragonfly
What do the following players have in common? Arshavin, Nasri, Van Persie, Bendtner, Diaby, Nasri and Rosicky? Their favourite position within the team is to play in the hole behind the main striker. The question is who do you think should be starting in this area on a weekly basis, which is also renowned as the second striker or the "number 10" area of the team?
I strongly believe that the best person to play in this position has to have the following attributes:
- Ability to read the game and get into positions where he can receive the ball.
- Excellent distribution/passing range.
- The ability to create a number of assists.
- Score between 15-18 goals a season.
- Excellent movement off the ball.
All of the players I mentioned in the first paragraph have the ability to play in this area; however there are only two standout contenders for me in my opinion, these being Arshavin and Van Persie. Let’s take a closer look at the two contenders:
2008/09 stats – 6 goals in 15 games with 7 assists (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Arshavin)
I am a big, big fan of Andrei Arshavin. He is one of two world class players, which we have in the squad in my opinion (the other participant being Cesc Fabregas). He has settled into our set up with efficient ease. Wenger has mainly used him on the left flank, which makes his stats even more impressive. Imagine the number of goals and assists he would bring to the team, if he was deployed in the hole?
When I saw him last season, he appeared lost at times and struggled to get into the game, when he was situated on the wing. Despite his notable contributions, I still think we can get an extra 20% out of him, if we played him in the second striker position.
He definitely has all of the requirements to play in this area; however it appears that Wenger prefers him on the flanks.
Robin Van Persie
2008/09 stats – 20 goals in 44 games with 15 assists (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_van_Persie)
In February 2009, Arsene Wenger stated the following about Van Persie, "Robin Van Persie is Dennis Bergkamp – with goals". When Bergkamp was at our beloved club, he took Robin under his wing and you can clearly see the hallmarks of Bergkamp’s repertoire in Robin’s game. He is also more dangerous at set-pieces than what Dennis was (this was probably due to the Thierry Henry factor, where he took all of our set-pieces).
Robin has clearly revelled in this role since Dennis has left. Again I feel Van Persie has all the attributes to play in this area. My only concern is that he tends to miss a huge amount of games each season, however when he stays relatively injury free (like last season), he is definitely a dangerous component to have in the second striker role.
In my opinion, I would like to see Arshavin deployed in the hole next season with Van Persie as the lone forward. I just don’t think we are getting the best out of him on the flanks. Also he would be able to do less defending, because this is clearly a weakness in his game (the 4-4 draw against Liverpool instantly springs to mind). In conjunction with this, I would also give him the number 10 shirt. William Gallas currently has this number, however realistically it should be occupied by an attacking player and Arshavin is certainly worthy of this figure.
Are you in agreement with me? I look forward to reading your feedbacks in the comments section.