Sunday, November 04, 2007

A tale of three strikers

Exhibit A - Dirk Kuyt. Dirk had a terrible day at the office on Saturday. He is going through a crisis of confidence at the moment. He had a few chances but couldn't hit the target and when he did, Friedal was more than equal to it. Rafa is a big fan and seems to want to let him play through it. I don't think that he is clinical enough to play up front on his own, as he did on Sat. I like Dirk too but I don't think that he works well with Crouch or Voronin, only Torres.

Exhibit B - Peter Crouch. Crouch came on as as second half sub and almost changed the game. I don't know what he did to annoy Rafa, but he seems well out of favour at the minute. I would like to see him get more game time while Torres isn't ready because he looks like the striker who's most likely to score. I don't know if Crouch has a long term future at the club but I definitely think that he's the man for the moment.

Exhibit C - Fernando Torres. It sounds like the news might be better than had been previously hoped. He was back in training today after his muscle injury and faces a late fitness text for tomorrow. I can't imagine that he'll be risked after the last time but he might get a place on the bench for a last gasp throw of the dice if we need him. We're looking fairly blunt without him.

Harry Kewell was a welcome sight when he came on as a second half sub. If, and it's a big if, he can stay fit for a while, then he could do a huge job for us on the left and nail down that position. Despite his injuries, he's still the best winger that we have in my opinion. He did well in the 20 or so mins that he got on Saturday by stretching the play and taking his man on. I would imagine that he'll be an impact sub for the next few games while his builds up his fitness.

Babel started on the wing against Blackburn. Babel clearly has talent with his pace, power, control and shooting. But he hasn't really been able to put it all together so far. I feel that it might be after Christmas or next season before he beds in properly and makes a telling contribution. Here's what Wenger has to say on new signings.

"When I sign a player I don't judge him at all in the first six months. Never. I give him six months to adapt and don't put any pressure on him because I know what it takes. You have to settle and get the right level. You start to look at him really in January and February."

The draw for the Carling Cup quarter finals was made on Sat and we'll be heading to Stamford Bridge at the end of December. They have a superb home record so I'd be surprised if we get anything out of that one. It is only the Carling Cup though.

Oliver Kay has an article in the Times where he says that we're near an agreement for John Cofie From Burnley. United and Chelsea are after him too but it sounds like we're in the driving seat as he attended the Cardiff match last week. He's 15, plays up front and could cost anything between £250000 and £1m. Lauri Dalla Valle, a 16 year old Finn who I've mentioned before here, is also being tipped to arrive in Jan.

It's do or die against Besiktas tomorrow. It's time to stand up and spout cliches. Win and we have a chance, anything less and we're out. We should be more than capable but then again, I said the same about Porto, Marseille and the Turkish trip.

Here's hoping.

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