Date: 9th May 2007 at 12:12pm
Written by:

On Saturday morning, following a beer-fuelled Arsenal debate with a couple of buddies the previous night, which was re-visited prior to the Manchester derby kicking off, one’s good self posted to the forum a piece regarding a topic that has been a popular topic of conversation for gooners of late, that of signings during the close season.

Do we need any? What position? Who’s on their way out? How much do we have to spend?

This of course has become interlinked with the potential takeover by ‘Silent’ Stan, as he has become christened. The amount we’ll have to spend…

I’ve been a firm believer that we do not require any strengthening in terms of the squad. At least not majorly. We have the required players, the talent is there. For me it was more a case of application of the talent that the team have, which is there for all to see, and that surely with a little more luck on the injury front we would see the team challenge the following season for the premiership title. Take any of the other teams, and remove their top 2 goal-scoring threats and you would see a serious dent in their aspirations to silverware.

But alcohol can be a source of disaster, but also a gateway to the promised land of previously-unforeseen insight.

During several pints of Guinness on the Friday with a group of folks in canary wharf, including my mates Kev (a west ham fan) and Ed (fellow gooner), it slowly dawned on me that there was a blindingly delicious prospect for The Arsenal, which concerned the signing of a striker, one of the popular musings on the Vital Arsenal forums.

There have been callings for Eto’o to be signed from Barça, for all efforts to be made to secure Tevez from West Ham / MSI (whoever really owns the fellow…). But in my beer haze, it dawned on me that taking into account all the factors we face this summer – transfer budget, someone who’s be able to adapt to life in the prem, and in England, someone who could deliver the goals we need – one name suddenly shone brighter than all others, and it was a name i hadn’t expected, and that i didnt expect fellow gooners to be too warm towards either. The fellow’s name is Abdul-Salam Bilal. You may be more familiar with him as Nicolas Anelka.

Here’s why…

As we know, Arsene, for the past few seasons, has been none too keen of signing players who you would consider to be one of those ‘experienced heads’ that some folk say we need. Nicolas Anelka is only just 28 (having turned so in march), so that would be the right side of 30 then. That golden figure that would seem to be part of Le Boss’ prerequisite for a signing, of late.

Following the departure of Fat Sam from their club, he would be available i reckon for… hmm, what, let’s say £7m? Which i reckon would be a pretty good price… I think that the departure of their gaffer will weaken them as a club, in terms of their resolve and hold on players. Change at the top can breed disruption and disquiet. What with the upheaval at the reebok, their thoughts may be less inclined to hold on to their players, and fat Sam, before his departure, spoke of Anelka being allowed to go for a top fee. I think he could be secured for less than that.

Anelka now speaks of how he thinks highly of arsenal. Having spent a few years playing his way around various clubs, who knows – maybe Anelka now reflects more favourably on what he had, and subsequently gave up, at Arsenal. Quotes attributed to him in recent months speak of him considering Arsenal quite a lot in his thoughts.

On top of that,Wenger speaks of Anelka leaving as his one biggest regret in management. It would seem that Arsene viewed the guy as the one he could mold into the most fearsome striker in the footballing world. We had seen glimpses of what he was posed to offer at Arsenal before various elements turned his head toward Spain. Perhaps this would be the one player so far that Arsene would re-sign for Arsenal.

And could you imagine a forward line of Anelka, rvp and ade? it would have pace power and goals a-plenty. Anelka would be that direct line toward goal. he was always that player that would arrow toward the centre of the penalty area with one thought in mind… but hold up – ‘wot no Henry?’ i hear you cry! that’s because…

(and at this point i accredit Ed for this part, for it were he who dropped this little gem into the mix, which dovetailed beautifully with my thoughts on Anelka… ) TH14 takes up residence out on the left wing.

Think about it.

There’s been a fair bit of musings on Titi moving into a more withdrawn Bergkamp style role as his pace (may) diminish, as he certainly has the intelligence to play it. Who’s to say he could not move to the wing to adopt a Bobby Pires style role?

Were he to move to play a wide role, it would take him away from the buffetings he would receive centrally, yet still allow him the freedom to cut in, unleash a shot, dribble into the area, send the ball across the middle to a waiting colleague.

He’s got the nous to know when to play a ball, when to hold onto it, and the talent to beat a man with nonchalance, what’s more, he himself has spoken many times in the past of the merits of setting up a colleague being just as important as scoring himself.

As we all know, when Henry arrived at the club, he was a winger, who Wenger converted into a striker (his original position at Monaco). Could he, in the latter stages of his career, go back to the wing?

With Anelka in the mix, we’d have one of the most lethally direct strikers in football, who we know is acclimatised to the prem. can you imagine what a front 2 of Ade/Rvp/Anelka, with Henry on the left wing, would do to teams? it would tear them to shreds… Plus, with Anelka now being older and wiser means that he would not be ‘le sulk’ that we all knew before… for me, it’s certainly a tantalising prospect.

Article submitted by Wingston75


53 Replies to “Nik’s Knack – Could He Come Back?”

  • Excellent article Wingers, with some great points. However I’d just like to add that in particular the article title and subheading are particularly witty and well thought out.

  • Yeah… that wud be great.. but I’m not so sure on the Henry thing.. I feel that Rvp can play out on the left.. if you remember he did play there against Man Utd away this yr.. but I feel its highly unlikely that Wenger wud buy Anelka considering Bendtner is coming back.. I feel that we need 1 out and out winger.. I mean we desperately need one for more width.

  • We would have pace power skill height everythin. And i think Anelka has the ability to be the beast of the prem (unlike baptista) i never thought i would be saying that all those years ago. But saying that i loved him as a player before but if he has sorted out his attitude fair play he could be the player wayne rooney could be if he sorted out his attitude as well. Also he has never been the player that he was at Arsenal

  • well we will see!! i would like to see anelka back at arsenal he is the missing link and the natural goal scorer

  • ar4eva I think u are right that we desperately do need a wide player cause we are startin to loose our width. But i think we also need some experience but at the same time with bendtner coming back u dont know what will happen i would like to see him do well next year thou after the crackin season he has had in the championship

  • Henry on the left wing? Brilliant idea. Stick to FM or Pro Evo. Please never write an article on this site ever again.

  • LTM, or whatever your , it’s a real shame intelligence or wit never touched you as well. Still i’m sure that the catholic priest that did more than made up for you. »»Arsene Knows««

  • I think you better get back on the guiness & try again. Have Anelka back, not a chance in hell do I want see that guy ever darken our stadium again, especially with those muppets still pulling his strings.

  • AG, i do not think that his brothers are his advisers any more… »»Arsene Knows««

  • If they see money signs they will soon be back. I don’t think either of them are official agents but you can bet your life they are behind his moves. I just couldn’t ever accept him back after what he done to arsenal the first time around, threatening strike action & all. He stuffed up his own life (with the help of his brothers) & yet he still accepts no responsibility, last I heard he was blaming Houllier for all his problems.

  • Nice one Wingston – excellent article, and food for thought. As AG rightly asks though, are those ‘muppets’ still pulling his strings? I took it for read from the forums that he’s dropped his brother agents. That’s an important point, and the other one is about Henry on the wing: although not in keeping with how he’s played for us, it may be an interesting move, because it means he won’t feel he has to carry the whole team (and be sole centre of attention anymore), so will play better, as happened when Bergkamp, Viera etc played with him. Being out wide won’t stop him cutting in (like the goal against Blackburn – a one-two with Fab on the edge of the box). More interestingly though making a change like this might just shake things up a little bit. I know the article is about ‘Nik’ but the setup proposed might just work whatever centre-forward is used (eg. RvP, Tevez, Johnson etc etc). I’m going to trust Arsene on this one – he wouldnt resign Anelka under the wrong circumstances – of that I’m sure.

  • Great article Wingers. It’s a fantastic prospect, it really is. The problem is that he hasb’t really changed his attitude at all, he’s just not as good as he once was. When he was at Fenebache he said something along the lines of “I’m fed up here, I’m leaving.” Every player is entitled to think that but there’s no need to go to a newspaper and say it. He has said that he only see’s Bolton as a stepping stone, the same thing applies to that. He is too outspoken, too selfish and he’s nothing but trouble. It’s a crying shame, he could have been such a legend for us. I hope he regrets leaving us for the rest of his days!

  • there will only be one nick playing for us next season and his surname is bendtner.

  • wingston, excellent article, wouldn’t worry about the tit LTM. i do enjoy reading what yo have to say, you always like t bring good arguments and discussions to the table and this one has left me pondering, without dismissing the idea straight out. wenger never goes back on himself, and when he sold lauren this year he said because he had 2 young RB in that position and it would hinder their progress. we have bendter, rvp, thierry and Adebayor, also Theo is being moulded into an anelka type of forward too. whislt I do agree anelka is experienced an would give us a good dimension it maybe at a cost to our younger squad, and from what i have seen of Nik, he seems to raise his game when he can be bothered and not consistently. i think our squad needs consistent performances, which we have had few of this season, and possibly we need someone who is hungry for success and not someone who is here for the money, champions league and a short lived option. if he did come back, like for £5m i would consider that good business and gives us cover, but i wouldn’t be thinking as a first 11. having said all that, well done wingston mate, great article to read whislt munching my lunchtime banana !

  • Dude, you’re miles behind. I did a piece in the gooner about this, definitely we should sign him back. He’s exactly what we need, Freddie is the only player that remains from his last tenure, Lehmann, Henry and Gallas can be fellow grumpy gits in arms and Dein isn’t around anymore. I think AW would have him back in a second, unfinished business and all, and Anelka would deffo work with AW again. If he were to resign I think that would amount to an apology and an acknowledgement of his wrongdoing first time around. He’d be my number 1 target this summer.

  • PG – i’m not worried about what a fu©ktard like that thinks, because they really don’t have anything worth saying, so just spout crud. I just fancied abusing him. 🙂 but i know what you mean, the odds arestacked against irt happening, Le Boss never seems to re-tread old ground with ex-arse players. Glad you liked the piece, fella, and thanks! And LD, if I’d known about your article, who knows, i might have referenced it – :P. Anyways dude, delicious prospect, wouldnt you say? I have the feeling if he came back, he’d play out of his skin, time is now ticking on his career, and if he wants to create a legacy of his career, he’s running out of time… not sure it will ever happen, but stranger things have happened. »»Arsene Knows««

  • Wenger’s had the chance to resign him before & didn’t take it. There is a reason for that & it wasn’t money.

  • Didnt he jus stop playing for you bcoz he felt like it? sure he’s good but after he did that you want him back?

  • LTM, are you trying to emulate the class that ooyes from Vital Chavski? If you disagree, write your points, don’t be a tit.

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