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Jamie Vardy won’t suit Arsenal’s Style of Play

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The much vaunted Arsenal treasury looks like it’s finally being put to use having thankfully found a way out of the hands of its gluttonous owners and into the hands of the club’s dearest: Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman is on fire even before the transfer window has opened, splashing out the cash in what can only be an act of treachery considering the principles and philosophies that Wenger chooses to define himself with – not that I’m impugning his status as a man of ideals.

It all began on Friday evening. While the Twitteratis scrolled through their Andy Murray and Darts-dominated feeds, Sky Sports, in one of its classic bombshell dropping acts, revealed that Arsenal had triggered Jamie Vardy’s release clause (£20M) in an attempt to sign him from Champions Leicester City. The Arsenal fans all suddenly came out from their shelters as they struggled to contain their jubilation upon hearing that the Vardy Party is soon to be a feature of the ever-silent Emirates Stadium.

All of this only led to one and only question that has a rather simple answer to it, “Would the Vardy Party actually be able to rock North London?”, the answer to which, crudely put, is no. It’s not very hard to understand why so if you are aware of Arsenal’s style of play and the kind of strikers who have been successful in the red and whites. It’s almost as if Arsenal would be buying a Ferrari only to end up driving it like a Fiat. The result? You know very well.

At Leicester City, Claudio Ranieri built his team around the stakhanovite Jamie Vardy. They were all prepared to get the 29-year old on the ball just as they got it with a more direct approach of counter-attacking Football. That’s not the case with the Gunners who like the possession and passing game that’s more about precision than just raw pace. With Vardy’s pace – his chief asset – minimised, the Englishman would find it hard to retain his cutting edge.

Also, the fact that most of Arsenal’s opponents like to sit extremely deep against them, would only mean that Vardy has little or no space to go in behind, further rendering him ineffective purely because of the way Arsene Wenger likes his sides to operate. It will, therefore, be a blatant shot in the foot for a side whose main striker has been guilty of flanerie, that they sign another forward who doesn’t quite fit into their beautiful brand of Football.

Reflecting on the same, Paul Merson had a somewhat similar view. “It doesn’t fit with me,” he told Sky Sports. “Arsenal don’t get the ball forward quickly enough. I don’t get the transfer, I really don’t get it.

“No disrespect to Vardy but his strengths are getting the ball over the top. Teams come onto Leicester and they hit them on the counter.

“The vast majority of Vardy’s goals came from one-on-one with goalkeepers. Teams kick-off against Arsenal and immediately put 10 behind the ball and they’ve got to try and break them down.

“I think Vardy is really thinking whether Arsenal would suit him. If that wasn’t the case he would have signed straight away, he wouldn’t have had to talk to anyone about it as Arsenal are one of the biggest clubs in the world. There has got to be a reason (for the delay).

“He is probably thinking whether he could score goals with Arsenal. The ball never goes over the top and he’s not going to play a one-two with three players before scoring as that’s not his game. He is the best in the business at the ball over the top, nobody catches him.”

At a time when Arsenal’s direct rivals have world-class forwards as Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa, Harry Kane while Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gonzalo Higuain and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang are looking like they could soon be playing in England, for Arsenal to act as an impecunious club and play the waiting game on a cheap option is certainly not wise.

Full marks for the intent  Arsene, but you can do better.


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