Dribbling and Crossing, two reasons why Arsenal need a wide player

Perception: Arsenal need a player who can dribble, help break down the opposition when they park the bus.

Stats: Arsenal are second in the League in dribbles with 10.8 per game. In fact, Arsenal have led the Premier League in successful dribbles per game in each of the last 3 seasons.

Diving deeper: Arsenal’s dribbles all come from central positions. Cazorla, Wilshere, and Diaby are Arsenal’s top three dribblers with over 2 per game. Gervinho is the first “wide” player on Arsenal’s successful dribbles list but he’s played a significant number of his games centrally for Arsenal. Ox and Theo are Arsenal’s real wide players and both average 1 successful dribble per game. Liverpool leads the League in dribbles per game and their top two dribblers are Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling. Sterling plays wide for Liverpool and averages 2.5 dribbles per game. No wonder many Gunners want to swap Walcott for Sterling.

Perception: Arsenal cross a lot.

Stats: Arsenal are third in the League in attempted crosses per game with 27, behind Reading and West Ham.

Diving deeper: 27 crosses per game is actually a four year low in crosses attempted as a percentage of Arsenal’s overall passes. In each of the last four years Arsenal’s short passes per game have increased. In 2009-2010, Arsenal averaged a League leading 459 short passes per game and this season they are again leading the League, but with 530 short passes per game. During that time, Arsenal have averaged 26.5 crosses per game with 27 per game in 2009-2010, 24 in each of the next two years, and 27 again this year. Remember, this is crosses attempted per game, not successful.

Like dribbling, the problem isn’t the number of crosses but rather the quality of crosses and where they are coming from. Cazorla leads Arsenal with 20/89 crosses, but most of those are corners and set plays. Theo Walcott, meanwhile, is a picture of crossing futility completing just 7/61 attempts. Sagna isn’t much better this season with just 4/36. Meanwhile, Santos and Gervinho live up to their reputations as players who refuse to cross, Gervinho is 0/12 and Santos is 5/9. If you want to know why Gervinho is played centrally, it’s because he cannot cross.

Now, name me the wide payer who could do both of those. I can’t find him.

Qq

49 thoughts on “Dribbling and Crossing, two reasons why Arsenal need a wide player

  1. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Chris

    Got to disagree on this one – the problem is that we don’t have enough players in the box when we do cross – therefore it’s statistically unlikely that we will score from them. We need players moving and running into the box and this just doesn’t happen. If it did, we do have the quality of players to supply the assists…

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tee Song

      Again, I tend to agree that it’s not so much the quality of the cross but the lack of bodies in the box. Ideally, you’d like to have at least three players in the box–one making a near post run, another making a far post run, and a third in the middle for a cutback or to gobble up a rebound or deflection. Giroud is a great asset not only because he is a good header but because he occupies defenders, freeing up space for others. But often it’s just Giroud surrounded by three or four defenders in the box when the ball is crossed with all of the rest of our players standing outside the penalty area. It’s another example of what the team really lacks which is coordinated off the ball movement.

    2. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      I’ve heard this critique quite a bit but I disagree. Arsenal play with a front three, all of whom always move from wide to center. Moreover, Arsenal’s “box to box” midfielder, whomever that is on the day, is always providing a third runner in the box.

      The reality is that Arsenal crowd the box and there are always multiple targets, though they seem to chronically miss a player at the far post as that guy drifts too far in.

      Crosses are essentially moving set plays; Arsenal can’t defend from set plays, they can’t score from set plays, and that’s the symptom of a team which lacks a player who can get them good crosses to practice heading both offensively and defensively.

      1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Tee Song

        Maybe you’re right and I’m wrong. I’d love to have some numbers to examine it critically. My IMPRESSION is that we often don’t have multiple players making runs into the box when the cross comes in, especially at the far post where the majority of our overhit crosses go anyway. :-)

      2. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        We are getting better with bodies in the box but it really depends on our confidence level and how we are doing in midfield.

        When we have been shaky, we tend to keep men back and that leaves the area in the box sparse of targets/.

        Against WBA (which is why I mentioned you should have put better focus on the merits of our midfield play for that game…agree it has to play out over the long haul but worth figuring out where we are getting it right), we pressed further up the pitch and got better results.

        I think the key issue is that we are very fragile to change in the middle 3. Take any one of Arteta (particularly), Santi or Jack out at the moment and we are a very different team.

        The plus is that we have Rosicky back and he may be able to play alongside Arteta thereby giving us option to say push Jack further forward to harass and press + Santi on the wing in a free role.

      3. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1TheGunners...AhTheGunners

        I’m confused. What is the style of play we are aiming for? What is the grand vision here?

        Crosses can be at cross-purposes to the style of play I thought we were trying to impose – ball possession coupled with the creation of high percentage opportunities in the opponents third via penetration by means of intricate tic-tac-toe passing and intelligent movement.

        The stats you cite indicate that either a) our crossing is not very good or b) it’s a low percentage (i.e. hopeful) attacking method. In my mind you can afford to pound the box with relentless crosses in the hopes of someone getting on the end of it (Chamahk, Bendtner, Adebayor are all good aerial centre forwards that we have/had) only if you have a great defense that can win the ball back and create those chances for crosses in significant numbers. My interpretation of Wenger’s vision is that he would rather work the ball on the ground into high percentage areas and shooting opportunities rather than rely on a very physical/athletic method of scoring goals.

        I’ve watched many Barcelona games where they don’t cross the ball a single time all game. I’ve seen Real Madrid games with almost no crosses, despite having Ronaldo, Di Maria, Ozil et al with a great target man in Benzema. The Brazilian national team rarely crosses the ball. I thought Arsenal were trying to build (and re-build) in the mould of these types of teams, not the Man U’s and Bayern Munich’s of the world that promote a more athletic brand of soccer.

        Arshavin may be our best crosser of the ball (see goals that he’s set Giroud up for) but he’s as good as gone.

        I think you’re right on the dribbling – we lack those players who defenders fear will embarass them with a feint and misdirection. But I also think for the first time in a long time we are regularly being out-possessed in games – this is where we miss a Song with his ability to shield the ball in midfield, and we have too many ball dawdlers and lazy passers in Gervinho, Diaby, Walcott, Ramsey, Santos, Arshavin, Chamahk, Coquelin, Vermaelen et al.

        My two cents.

      4. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        I also think the increase in crossing is because we currently have only one viable option up top and it is a player whose better asset is his height/heading.

        We will need to vary our play and approach which is why another striker with a different set of attributes is important (pace, technicality)

        Some rumours of El Shaarwardry becoming available but I find it difficult to contemplate at the moment. Surely he will cost quite a pretty penny and Milan will want to keep him. That sort of player though.

      5. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        My view is that quality crosses are important. A cross is a low percentage pass, and as such isn’t really part of the philosophy we should follow. But a low percentage tactic, used to supplement the higher percentage tactic, can actually become a more efficient system. Basically, we need to mix it up, and we need the players to do it. I think we need a wide player, 2 if Theo goes. But I guess one of them will be Miyaichi or Gnabry.

  2. Vote -1 Vote +11NilToTheArsenal

    I agree with Chris. The opposition in general has been very effective in playing the offside trap, taking away penetration. Who are the wingers going to cross to? Typically we don’t have enough bodies in the box.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

      Maybe the guys in the middle don’t get into the box often enough because they usually get no quality from wide areas when they do.

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1CarsonWells

    What say about Gibbs, and how does he compare with, for example, Leighton Baines.

    Your article sets up well for suggesting Nani as a target. Anything against him, or does the reality of stats not back up the perception?

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Nani – Attitude.

      If he isn’t doing it for United, what makes you think Wenger will use him better? Plus he will want to be paid a pretty sum wage-wise.

      Baines- would have been great but he is 29. Still if Wenger waits to the summer and he is closer to 30/31, interest on him may wane a bit and his price may come down. May be then good to have someone like him with experience and no how with Gibbs for a year or two until a new LB comes through with all the prerequisite qualities we need (including injury prone):D

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1TheGunners...AhTheGunners

        I thought I read that Nani was on 40k a week at Man U. That seems low, but if true he’d be happy to be bumped to probably 70k a week at our club.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Which is why an alternate striker offering us a different set of skills is critical. Quick with technical ability maybe better suited to the current 4-3-3

      When we do play Giroud (to get the most of his knock downs), we may have to change the system a little which may mean pushing Santi wide (with Rosicky back in). Podolski should squeeze infield to offer that threat (or Walcott)

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1TheGunners...AhTheGunners

      Too flaky. Apparently is prone to extreme homesickness the farther away he gets from Sevilla.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

        I’m pretty sure having Reyes on the left was the reason we let Pires go. If only he’d worked out.. He could have been a great player.

  4. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Nick

    we only need three classes of players. one defensive midfielder to fill diabys role…a winger to fly in crosses for Oliver G and a supporting striker

  5. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Zeddington

    Fair point made by the blog, as well as Chris’ comment. I decided to go on whoscored.com to answer Tim’s question, but got sidetracked and found these players from La Liga who may be useful, statistically. Note – I’ve never seen them play, so can’t comment on whether they fit our playing style, just having some fun!

    (1) Ignacio Camacho – 22yr – DM (Malaga): 4 tackles/game, 3.5 interceptions/game, 80% passing accuracy. Doesn’t do much in terms of assists and key passes. Very much a DM.

    (2) Patrick Ebert – 25yr – AM (R) (Valladolid): 3 goals, 4 assists in 15 appearances. 2.2 key passes/game, 1.9 crosses/game (don’t know if that is successful crosses or all crosses, but crossing is listed as a strength).

    (3) Koke – 20yr – AM (L,R,C) (Atletico) – 1.7 crosses, 2.4 key passes/game, 84% passing accuracy. Plus, his real name is “Jorge Resurrección”. Awesome.

    (4) Benat – 25yr – DM (C) – Betis – 3 goals and 5 assists in 13 games, from the DM position. 2.3 tackles, 1.3 interceptions per game. 1.8 key passes per game. His name means ‘girls’ in Arabic.

    Finally…

    (5) Carlos Vela: 6 goals, 3 assists in 14 games. 1.5 key passes per game. Ho ho ho.

    Ok, this is fun. I’m going to try the Bundesliga. Let’s see…

    (1) Andre Schurrle – Ok known name, but he plays as an AM(L), has 5 goals and 6 assists in 18 games from that position, and dribbles 3.2 times per game. Doesn’t cross much though. Still, I’m sure he’d be a great player for us. Chelsea couldn’t get him though, why would Arsenal?

    (2) Aaron Hunt – 26 yrs – CM – Bremen – Never seen him play, but his stats look good. 6 goals and 3 assists from 14 games in the center. 1.7 tackles per game, 2.6 key passes and 2.6 dribbles per game, as well as 1.9 crosses. 82% passing accuracy. Stats look pretty good, anyone seen him play? Worthy candidate for the midfield?

    (3) Bastian Oczipka – I’m a bit lazy so here’s the link: http://www.whoscored.com/Players/67925 Bottom line is he’s a leftback who lives dribbling and crossing. 7 assists in 17 games this season, not bad at all. Santos-replacement? Who the fuck knows.

    I’m bored, you get the point.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Add Yehven Koonplyanka (23)

      Plays across midfield. Fantastic vision, great feet and pace to add.

      Dnipro. Not cup tied and likely within our ball park (top end).

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Zeddington

        I have no idea who Dnipro is, but I keep hearing his name. Tell me more.

        I’m no scout, and I don’t know what it takes to identify a good player who fits into the Arsenal system. Certainly there are players who have a good chance of thriving whatever system you put them in: RVP, Cesc, Messi, Ronaldo, Falcao I suppose. There are others who seem to work very well in certain systems, but there is some uncertainty as to whether they will function in our system: I would add Huntelaar and Ba to that list. Most good players, I think, are there. And then there are others who, for whatever reason, don’t work in the system they are currently in, but have potential to work (often very well) in other systems. The “diamonds in the rough”, so to speak.

  6. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1shotta

    Will someone save me from the hyping of Wilfried Zaha. This kid is at least two years away from being an effective top-flight player.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Agree.

      Good player but typically hyped up by British press.

      We are better off with Chamberlain and Gnabry. Don’t forget Ryo is also on the periphery.

      We don’t need so many developing young talent. We need someone coming into his peak age. 23/24 will be ideal.

    1. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      To be fair to Gervinho, where he is inconsistent up front, he has been energetic and better out wide (which is where Wenger should keep him)

      If we need another striker, either play Podolski or better yet, get us a proper one in January.

      Having said that, I do believe the problem with up top is that we don;t want to bring in just anybody. Wenger would rather take the loan on Henry and wait for the right target, particularly as already have a stable of unwanted front man we cannot sell. If we bring another dud in, we can only add to the list and limit chances bringing a new player in.

      And if you consider where Giroud is more a target man with height and strength, we will really need someone with pace and technical skill.

      There aren’t that many in this bracket available for the price we can realistically compete with without being out bid by some clubs.

      Leandro Damiao to me is a possible target but he is still valued high at low to mid 20m. But he is the sort of player (@23) with height, strength , speed and technical awareness that we must target as an alternate to the Giroud approach.

  7. Vote -1 Vote +1TopGun

    If we are looking for a wide player who can dribble, cross, score, run, is young and costs in the Wenger bracket, I will give you Marko Arnautovic. Period.

  8. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1craig

    Well, I think a winger who scores is as important as a winger who can cross. It looks now that was supposed to be Podolski. If he can find his way into form again (he started pretty well) and could start across from Walcott that’s a pretty dangerous front 3 with any decent striker. But if Poldi isn’t going to start in the center we really need a striker. Giroud was bought to be RVP’s backup (supposedly) and he looks like a great choice for that role. But Arsenal need a more complete player at CF against the top sides… more creative, better passer, better dribbler. Or at least a real assassin in front of goal. Giroud is neither. Apparently Arsene just talked about how much he loves El Shaarawy… there goes the entire transfer budget.

    Arsenal do need a winger or an ACM. Cazorla is good, but is playing his legs off, and Arsenal need a real incisive passer to help him out. The team was built around Fabregas… obviously there is no one exactly like him, but there needs to be one more player who can play chips over the top and through balls (the way Song did last season) to cut open defenses and create high quality chances. Of course I love Gotze, but he’s way out of our price range. How’s Ganso? Willian (more of a dribbler, but still quite a player)?

    I think we need a DM and at least one FB, two if Sagna won’t resign. What about a GK? Szcz still gives up quite a few goals/shot, how much of that is his fault?

    And of course Arsenal look completely lost. No confidence, massive tactical confusion on offense and defense, poor understanding between teammates (memo to the front four, when Gervinho starts to cut in, hold your run at the 18 yard line and wait for the cut back. Don’t all run to the posts), and unfortunately a general lack of quality and/or application in the squad players. Poldi, Walcott, Wilshere, Cazorla, Arteta, Diaby, Gibbs, Sagna, Koscielny (I still love you bro!)… all of them on form/healthy are quality players worthy of a starting place at Arsenal or just about any club. Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Giroud, SZCZ, AOC, Rosicky (maybe) all are solid players who have an issue or two to work on or a limitation to work around, but are solid squad members who don’t really need replacing, but could be upgraded for a significant price (although SZCZ and AOC are still young enough that they probably just need time). Gervinho, Ramsey, Coquelin, all three are under pressure but could move into the solid range if they can work out some issues that look like they may have a hard time fixing. I love Aaron Ramsey, but he is not impressive on the wing, needs to move the ball faster no matter where he plays, and needs to cut out the cute flicks around midfield. Everyone else is ready to go. Strikers? The cupboard is bare (assuming Poldi stays on the wing). Wingers… could use help, but if Walcott resigns and Poldi stays wide (and gets back on his game) then not the worst position for Arsenal. ACM… lack of depth if Wilshere doesn’t play here. Cazorla still shoots too much and doesn’t provide the through balls Fab did, but its hard to see Arsenal improving on him because he’s pretty awesome. CM… Arsenal are set. Wilshere, Arteta, Diaby, Rosicky, Ramsey… lots of talent here. DM… weak, very weak. Arteta is great when Arsenal are dominating, but he isn’t physical enough to do the job when Arsenal are under intense pressure and I think he’s a little better overall in the Wilshere position. Diaby is always hurt and pushes forward constantly, Coquelin and Frimpong still have it all to prove… either one could still make the grade, but can Arsenal wait? FB… If Sagna goes then a LB and RB are needed. If not, an LB is urgent, a really young RB would be nice. CB… I don’t know, I like all three of our starters, but Koscielny is the only one I’m convinced can be as good as anyone in the league at CB. Hard to see Arsenal spending the money to improve on Mert/Verm though. And for a 4th CB Djourou isn’t terrible. GK? Statistically SZCZ looks like a guy who costs Arsenal quite a few points. But how much of that is the midfield not closing down and giving up easy long shots? How much is the defense getting caught out by long balls and giving up high quality chances? Seems like a lot to me, but I don’t know. GK is a tough position to evaluate, and it’s pretty clear SZCZ is pretty good and it won’t be cheap to do better.

    So yeah… I guess all that was a long way of saying what everyone else said. Arsenal need ALOT. Understanding. Tactical consistency/application. Confidence. Plenty of quality upgrades and a starting 11 quality striker.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Fullbacks can wait to the summer to resolve (as can back up keeper)

      Striker depends on outgoing as much as who is available for quality and price (its thin at the moment in the market, we don’t just want anyone)

      Eg. Llorente is an excellent striker but he pretty much brings in the same attributes as Giroud where we need someone different to give us an alternative approach when need be Pace and technicality come to mind. Not a long list.

      Therefore the Henry option just in case.

      With regards a wide player/playmaker, it will depend on Walcott (and to some extent Arsharvin). Both may leave in Jan. Preferably Wenger does bring someone in with experience/technicality/pace rather than promote form the youth ranks which will be an utter mistake.

      The holding player is critical. Diaby at this stage (if not several seasons back) is simply an injury liability, good to have as bonus if available but frankly undependable.

      Arteta is in the blood red zone.

      Someone like Capoue may be useful as he has the technical skills to offer us an added dynamism going forward where MVilla is strictly more conservative. Also his height will help (6’2) particularly if you consider Fellaini against us.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        I’ve also heard rumours about Luiz Gustavo at Bayern who has limited opportunity there.

        6’2, good skill. Played well for Hoffenhiem but I am a bit less familiar with his ability than Capoue who seems to continued where he left off last season (I believe he had the most intercepts in Lige 1)

      2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        Kevin Strootman is also another interesting player @22 and 6’1 +

        Adds a lot of quick positive play going forward which is what we really need when we win the ball back.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      My trouble with Zaha and Sterling is that they are much the same as Chamberlain and Gnabry and both developing. Zaha himself is not proven at PL level and carries some risk.

      They are good wingers in making but neither is of playmaking material/level which we need. We have to get more invention, it cannot only come from Santi as it will be too easy to choke us then (as amply demonstrated at tedium)

  9. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

    I beg to agree with you on this one.:D

    Good piece.

    We are not putting in enough quality crosses although we cannot be faulted with attempting to which at least is a step in the correct direction.

    But we also need some nuanced play from wide to stretch the game out.

    Which was hey I am of the opinion that we should have used Arsharvin (particularly in ‘less competitive’ games) wide LW as much as possible until such time as we sell him (much like Walcott out right)

    Instead we have gone with Ramsey, a decent player but clearly not familiar or best suited in that area.

    Needless, to say Arsharvin looks gift wrapped for a sale (something penciled in?).

    As is Walcott. If we keep him fine. But if we sell him and even so, we will need someone more technical out wide to complement Santi (particularly as we have sufficient young direct and pacy players developing quickly)

    I would like to see someone like (not suggesting he is available) Konoplyanaka, who has tidy feet (cross between Nasri and Arsharvin), good vision and can play across the midfield (thereby taking a load off of Santi if necessary). I don’t believe he is cup tied and should not cost the sky from Dnipro (albeit he won’t be cheap either @23)

    The fear is the old gaffer will rely on promotion from within to cover the gap if Walcott (and Andrei) is sold. Let’s hope not. We have enough money for a good buy in this position. No excuses.

  10. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1TheGunners...AhTheGunners

    I would abandon the wingers system with the modified 4-3-3 we’re trying to play. We have two goalscorers in Podolski and Giroud who prefer to play centrally – let them. Walcott is as good as gone. Arshavin, Rosicky, Ramsey, Chamberlain are not natural wide players or even wingers where they’ve been deployed. We’ve only got two other out-and-out winger in our system; Miyaichi who could probably be sold for a profit, and Gervinho who should be demoted to super-sub brought in for the last 20 minutes as someone to terrify tired fullbacks.

    Go to a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield and then you can have Cazorla up top, Arteta at the back and Wilshere left and Rosicky right. Ramsey, Coquelin can slot in where needed. Our width and crossing can come from overlapping fullbacks and this would play well with our current backs.

    If we go this route then we need a third pure striker to rotate with Giroud and Podolski (Sturridge? Beneteke?), a CDM to relieve Arteta (M’Vila) and another attacking CM (Kaka on loan).

    You’re welcome.

  11. Vote -1 Vote +1craig

    So I know I posted way too long earlier, but I’d been drinking… So really, Arsenal need through balls, chips over the top, an athletic, technical striker to take advantage of them, and a strong DM to alternate with Arteta for games where we need that physicality. I agree with many of the above that crossing is not a high percentage attack and not what we should be emphasizing. And of course, understanding between the squad, tactical consistency/application, confidence, and quite a few squad upgrades.

  12. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Shard

    Seeing as the conversation has turned to transfers, I think we’ll probably see Theo, Arshavin, and Djourou (considering he’s not been playing) sold. We’ll see a striker, a winger (to replace Theo) and someone like Montpellier’s Mbiwa, who can play both DM and CB, brought in. (Apparently we wanted Vertonghen to play that role, inasmuch as you can believe a Spud)

    That is the optimistic view of course. In addition, we might also see a loan deal for Henry which would be good if it’s in addition and not in place of.

    The issue of fullbacks, a GK to support/challenge Szcz, and another AM can probably wait till the summer, when situations with Sagna, Santos, Fabiansky, Mannone and Rosicky (injury-wise) will be better known.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Zeddington

      It’s interesting that we were very clearly in for another striker and midfielder this summer, neither of which materialized. Rumors of M’Vila throughout the summer, plus very strong sources for Mirallas (striker), Cabaye, and now Vertonghen, as a midfielder.

      Selling Djourou and getting a midfielder/defender like M’biwa would be fine. I don’t like the idea of one player for two positions, but it’s okay I guess.

      Ba came out today and said that playing for Arsenal would be ‘a dream’ apparently. Whether it’s a come-and-get-me plea or he has some knowledge of Arsenal interest I don’t know, but I think he’d certainly help the team.

      The risk, of course, is to load up on average players (is Ba average? I don’t know) like we’ve done in the past, and then have trouble moving them on. Rather than biding our time and getting some excellent players.

      One thing is for sure. Getting the deadwood of the wage bill will certainly free up some money and let us take a few risks with respect to players like Ba, for example. Chamakh, Squillaci, Bendtner, Denilson, Park, Arshavin… the good news is at least a couple of those have contracts that expire this summer. Hopefully we see some activity.

      Oh, I haven’t given up on Gotze either. I’m a fool.

  13. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Zeddington

    I still think Ba is a player worth keeping an eye on. Not just because he’s cheap and scores goals, but he seems to have a lot of qualities we look for. He’s pacy enough and strong, has good control and a good first touch, and, well, can score. Clearly there is a reason we weren’t interested, so I don’t see us getting him anyway. But he’s a player I like.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1courtesyofwengermite

      Slightly convoluted but …

      rumours of Chamakh to West Ham. Walcott to Liverpool.

      Could Carroll be recalled back to Pool to join Walcott (big man little man)?

      In which case could we then make a play for that serial diver Suarez to join ranks with Santi?:D

  14. Vote -1 Vote +1blazon ohio

    the 50/50 ball…a current Arsenal weakness…how bad? put the nerds to work…1 in 4 by my count…

    a sabermetrician may posit
    the need to come out of the closet
    fifty/fifty says all
    the available ball
    that wasn’t so difficult, was it?

  15. Vote -1 Vote +1carpe duvet

    I think if some of the players could kick the ball a bit better there’d be a change in fortunes.

    Why oh why don’t they work on that in training?

    Kicking the ball used to be important in the days when when I used to kick balls.

    They should definitely try that, or yoga.

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