By on January 27, 2010

By Fab4.

Ahead of my trip to Birmingham to watch the mighty Gunner’s play Aston Villa in tonight’s Premier League encounter, i have read that Arsene has called off his striker search. WHAT?! How predictable was that? I said to a fellow Gooner at the start of January not to believe the hype…we wont get a striker. He thought i was mad, Wenger said he WAS going to buy a striker he argued. I then said this is how the month would develop :

– Wenger will announce at the start of the window he is looking for players. Fans get excited and turn up for matches during a financially tough month.

– With relatively ‘easy’ fixtures we would continue to win games and score goals. Arsene would remind us of this fact at every opportunity.

– After 7-10 days Wenger would start to drop in that Bendtner and Walcott were getting close to full fitness. But he was still looking for a striker.

– Walcott is now very close with Bendtner expected back at the end of the month – very convenient. The striker hunt is proving futile. There are no players out there. (Huntelaar, Babel, Remy, Gignac…anyone?!) But he is still hopeful.

– Walcott returns, Wenger has full confidence in him. Bendtner is now only a week away and he is the striker we have all been waiting for. There are no strikers available who are better than what we have. But he could still be interested if he finds a special player.

– End of the window is in sight, Bendtner is now back and Wenger releases a statement saying he is not after any striker. He has full confidence in Bendtner and Walcott.

Classic Wenger. He has done this before and will do it again. He uses the media to build up fans hopes, to keep them interested and on side. Before letting us all down and trying to convince us that the players we have are good enough. Then come what may when Utd and Chelsea share out the medals, Wenger will tell us how young the team is and how we will come back stronger next year.

Firstly, if it was RVP who had just come back from injury and not Bendtner i would completely understand not buying a striker. But this is Nicklas Bendtner we are talking about! I do like Big Nik and he has potential, but he isn’t good enough to start when everybody is fit (yes, impossible situation i know), so why are we all thinking that he is the saviour of our season and he will lead us to the title?! He has a very average goal scoring record, has been used on the right this year and is completely unproven as a lone front man. So for our manager to say he is the striker we are looking for is ridiculous. Bendtner has been out for 3 months. Arsene himself just said it will take Theo 4-6 weeks to get up to full speed again following a 2 month absence, so surely the same has to be said for Bendtner!? Which means we will be continuing with Eduardo up top until Bendtner is fully match fit. Great, but he is low on confidence and is not a lone striker, he plays his best football in a top two and has struggled for the most part playing on his own up front.

This is not an ‘anti-wenger’ or ‘anti-Bendtner’ rant. I just feel this is the best chance Arsenal have had in years to win the title and i don’t want to miss out just because of Arsene’s stubbornness. Yes i know the stats, we are the leagues top scorers. But that would be great if we had the leagues best defensive record as well. The reason we score so many goals is due to our attacking style, which then leaves us more open at the back. And when you play the big boys like Chelsea and Utd who are good at the back and good going forward it becomes a different story.

To say there are no strikers available who are better than what we have is also crazy. So Klaas Jan Huntelaar – a proven international striker who has scored goals at every team he has played for – is not better than Bendtner? Do me a favour. Im not saying Huntelaar is the answer, im just saying he is a class striker who IS available at the minute.  Get him in on a 6 month loan deal, what harm could it do? I would rather hear Arsene saying ‘Huntelaar would not fit in with our style’ than he can’t find a better striker than what we have.

Wenger should have done his business early – like he said he was going to – and got a top class striker in the first week in January. If by some miracle he is still planning on bringing someone in, why wait till the last minute? To save a million quid or so? It’s a dangerous strategy as we found out when we missed out on Alonso. You also run the risk of running out of time to complete the deal as we very nearly did with Arshavin.

I still hope Arsene is pulling the wool over our eyes and is working in the background to bring in a striker, but deep down i think we will be disappointed once again at 5pm on Feb 1st.

Anyway, big game tonight. Massive game. I hope Big Nik comes off the bench to score the winner tonight and go on to prove me wrong…score 10 league goals and win us the title!

Do we need a striker? If so…who? Or should we stick with what we have?

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