So is there any discernible trend to Arsene Wenger’s squad additions?
Gunnerholic points out the road running abilities of Wenger’s new transfers are a deliberate attempt to inject speed down the flanks. One of the biggest problems of the Arsenal attack was its predictable down the pipe approach which opposing teams found easy to stop as they all stacked up in the middle making it difficult to breech the defense.
The addition of Ryo Miyachi, Gervinho, and Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain does give great speed and it will introduce another dimension to an attack which looked one gear and bereft of ideas. A positive development one would think.
The presence of Theo Walcott, however, serves an example of speed in itself as an attractive but amorphous quality. As a winger, judgment on when to make a cross is equally important as the ability to circumvent the full backs.
Walcott can blister the defense but there are as many examples of his wastefulness with his less then proficient ball skills and his two minds when it comes to shooting or crossing. Unfortunately, these weaknesses continue to hamper his progress and he might be better developed as a second striker. This is not to say that Miyachi, Oxlade- Chamberlain, or Gervinho are incapable of harnessing speed to their greatest advantage but these qualities remain untested at the highest level.
The midfield will now be run by Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, probably a season or two too early. Even as they’ve shown to be quick learners, the fact is that they’re nowhere as technically proficient as Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. One really does not expect near as much proficiency in the possession and passing game with the expected make up of the Arsenal midfield.
Which leads to the other weakness in the attack that remains unaddressed. A surfeit of speed gives us serious counterattacking chops but there has to be accompanying targets in the centre to be able to give summation to all this movement. RVP and Nicklas Bendtner and/or Marouane Chamakh are not Henry-esque speed merchants and they show at best average aerial ability. At least in a Fabregas controlled midfield one was sure of a build up and enough chances for RVP to score goals. Make no mistake it will again fall on the Dutchman to be our main goalscorer only this time where the supply is going to come from is less clear. Speed without the craft is not a magic bullet.