3 New Signings – Season So Far

Our beloved International break is here, so ArseDNA we will be giving you daily posts on random subjects to do with all things Arsenal. Today we’re going to look at our 3 signings this season and see how they’ve faired so far this term.

Lukas Podolski

Fee – £10.5m

Apps – 9 Goals – 4 Assists – 2

Rating – 7

We signed Podolski right at the beginning of the summer and it was a signing we’d known was coming for quite some time. We missed out on Podolski in January, but Wenger got his man this time around. Podolski was signed before we sold RVP, so it is conceivable that Wenger had hoped Podolski and RVP could play in the same team together, a partnership I’m sure would’ve proved lethal.

My expectations for the German international this season was to chip in with at least 15 goals in the League. Losing RVP has meant that we’re not going to get a player who is going to get 25-30 goals this season, instead we need to settle for 4-5 players getting 10-15 goals. Podolski’s eye for goal and submissive finishing means that tally should be quite easy for him to get, providing he stays fit.

So far Podolski is on his way to meeting my expectations. He has 4 goals for us in all competitions and 2 in the League so far from 7 games, not too bad as he is already showing that once he gets a chance in front of goal, he is burying it. However I think it is defensively we have seen Podolski’s best work, which may sound a weird thing to say. His tracking back and extra presence down the left hand side has been a revelation for us. Not only giving us extra protection but it allows Gibbs to push on forward and excel. The left hand side partnership between Gibbs and Podolski is turning out to be a rather threatening one and both seem to understand each other very well.

Podolski’s work ethic has been nothing short of remarkable, I hardly remember a time where I haven’t seen Podolski tracking back. However a slight concern would be Wenger’s reluctance to keep Podolski on the pitch for 90 mins. So far this season Podolski has yet to complete a single 90 minutes in 9 appearances so far. Maybe I’m looking too much into it but it could well be possible that Podolski has some fitness concerns.

Whilst I am pleased with Podolski’s contribution so far, I do expect far more going forward. Out of Gervinho, Chamberlain and Walcott so far this season, I would say Podolski has been the least effective in the final third. We look more dangerous with the other three on the ball, but given a chance I would rather Podolski have that chance over the other 3. Podolski seems to have too many quiet games, where he is not involved for long periods. I personally believe the best form attacking wise is yet to come from Podolski and defensively is where we have seen his best work.

Santi Cazorla

Fee – £16.7m

Apps – 9 Goals – 2 Assists – 2

Rating – 8

The signing of Cazorla raised a lot of excitement and is one our most high profile signings ever. Cazorla had been monitored by the likes of Real Madrid and spent 1 season at Malaga after the club were forced to sell him. We had finally signed a replacement for Fabregas.

At the start of the season my expectations of Cazorla were not that high. I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of his transition to English football and the hustle and bustle of Premier League football. I expected to see moments on brilliance but didn’t expect to see the best of him until the second half of the season, possibly chipping in with 10 goals or so in the Premier League.

Well shows how much I know. Cazorla has come into English Football and taken it by storm. For such a small man (Hilarious when standing next to Mertesacker) he is so strong on the ball and refuses to be bullied off of it. So far Cazorla has been a revelation to the Premier League and without a doubt signing of the season so far in terms of value for money. I’m not one to make comparisons but it is clear that we have signed a better player than Fabregas. That’s not to say Cazorla has already done more for Arsenal than Fabregas or played better than Fabregas, because that is just a ridiculous comment to make. But in terms of sheer ability Cazorla is without a doubt a better player than Fabregas.

Cazorla started amazingly well, his partnership with Podolski started to build and an understanding came quickly between the two. As well as that Cazorla and Arteta gelled instantly in the centre of the park, with Arteta rapidly becoming the defensive midfielder we’ve been crying out for since Gilberto left. We saw a little dip in Cazorla’s form, maybe it was too many games at once and the tempo of the Premier League was catching up with him, but that is going to happen we can’t expect Cazorla to be absolutely excellent for 50 or so games this season, it is just not going to happen, he is going to have off days.

If there was a slight criticism I have over Santi, it would be his inability to finish on a consistent basis. I say this after he just scored a stunner against West Ham at the weekend, but statically Cazorla gets more chances than anybody else in our squad and has only 2 goals to show for it so far. In order to reach the 10 goal benchmark I’ve set him for the League this season, Cazorla must start taking his chances. It has never been an area of great strength for Cazorla, he has never been a goal scoring midfielder in his days at both Villarreal and Malaga, but if he was to start adding goals to his game he would easily be one of the best players in the world.

Olivier Giroud

Fee – £10.5m

Apps – 10 Goals – 2 Assists – 4

Rating – 6

Olivier Giroud was the top scorer in Ligue One helping Montpellier secure the League title last season. Giroud is strong, tall and has shown himself to be a pretty good finisher. For £10.5m in today’s market that is a bargain.

I never expected Olivier Giroud to set the world alight at first, my minimal expectation for him at the start of the season was to grab 15 goals in the League and I would be happy. It is never easy a striker to come to a new club, let alone a new league, playing a standard of football you’ve never played before. Giroud has all the ingredients becoming a world class striker.

It started off slow for Giroud, some ridiculously harsh criticism was being pointed at him, branding him a flop after 2 games. The critics started to go away when they found it took players like Bergkamp and Henry  a while to get their first goals for the club. Nobody expects Giroud to come to the Premier League and emulate Van Persie and score 30 goals this season, which is not what Giroud’s about. Giroud is about getting himself in the box to score, as well as setting up others, which is what we’ve seen so far this season. Giroud has the highest amount of assists so far from anyone at Arsenal this season, he wins many aerial duels and works extremely hard up front.

Hopefully the goal against West Ham will settle the nerves, but let’s not get away from the fact that Giroud is still new to the League. He has shown more than enough in my opinion for him to become a world class striker, yes he has missed a few chances that could’ve salvaged us a few points this season, which is disappointing, but let us not forget that Van Persie was doing exactly the same thing last season. Yes RVP scored 37 goals last season but I can remember numerous amounts of times that RVP missed absolute sitters, but we couldn’t criticise because he got 37 goals, granted however that we played everything through RVP and he got huge amounts of chances per game, but we must give Giroud a chance. First goal against the Hammers in the League, another 14 more this season and I’ll be happy with his contribution.

Thanks for reading.

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