Forget The Goals: Arsenal Need A Striker To Compete With The Top Four

They might have put five past West Ham last night, but it's only served to cover up a very obvious weakness for the Gunners...
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They might have put five past West Ham last night, but it's only served to cover up a very obvious weakness for the Gunners...

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Last night's 5-1 demolition of West Ham at Emirates Stadium was a reference to the great Arsenal sides under Arsene Wenger, with a sumptuous four-goal salvo in the opening stages of the second period putting the game to bed after a tense first-half.

Some of the finishes were sublime too, whilst all of Arsenal's attacking forces enjoyed a fruitful night, with Lukas Podolski in particular impressing from his position on the left flank, and Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud also getting in on the scoring act as the Gunners delivered an effervescent performance, the kind of display that has only been seen on a handful of occasions by the club this season.

Despite all their attacking merits last night, though, Wenger would still be advised to recruit a further forward in the final seven days of this month's transfer window. Walcott is enjoying an impressive season in terms of his goal return, whilst Podolski has also weighed in with a significant amount. Giroud, too, has now reached double figures for the season following his well-taken brace last night. Another striker, however, could provide Arsenal with an extra edge, particularly in matches against the top sides.

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Against Manchester City, for instance, Walcott was unable to impose himself against the Champions' impressive centre-back pairing of Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic, whilst Giroud was guilty of squandering several decent opportunities at Stamford Bridge.  The Frenchman, who played a significant role in Montpellier's shock title success last season, is still adapting to the English game and it is hoped that by next season he will be fully accustomed to Arsenal's style of play. Walcott has also been deployed as a centre-forward at times this season, with varying results, but, for now, it seems that his best position remains on the right flank, where he can regularly run at defenders, as he did last night on countless occasions.

Wenger has seen several potential forward recruits slip through his grasp this month, most notably Demba Ba, who he didn't pursue due to his perceived similarities with Giroud. An extra attacker, however, would certainly help to take some of the workload off Giroud and Walcott, and provide Arsenal with a much-needed extra option, particularly against sides who aren't as slack defensively as West Ham were last night.