English Premier League talking points: Taking notice of Wifried Bony’s goal bonanza

Should Arsene Wenger change his ways at Arsenal?
Wilfried Bony of Swansea City celebrates scoring against Crystal Palace at Liberty Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Getty Images
Wilfried Bony of Swansea City celebrates scoring against Crystal Palace at Liberty Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Getty Images

BONY MUST BE ON THE VERGE OF A BIG MOVE

Since Didier Drogba took the Premier League by storm in his first spell at Chelsea, clubs have been looking for the “new Drogba” – a forward with the power, pace and aerial ability to lead the line on his own.

Chelsea spent big money signing Romelu Lukaku from Anderlecht. The Belgian had been labelled as the “new Drogba” before he even arrived in London. It did not work out at Chelsea, but he is now producing the goods after a move to Everton.

Lukaku’s international teammate Christian Benteke is equally dominant in the air and seemed set for a move to one of the top sides from Aston Villa until injuries hit. But if you want to find a player having the same impact with his side as Drogba did with Chelsea, look at Wilfried Bony.

For a start, the Swansea forward is from the Ivory Coast, too, but there are more subtle comparisons.

Bony is brutally powerful, perhaps the strongest striker in the league. He regularly shields the ball against two or more challenges before playing it off to his wingers.

He is deadly in the air and from the penalty spot and his impact on Swansea is shown by the fact he has scored 18 league goals in 2014, more than any other player.

Swansea have a gem on their hands – it is surely a matter of time before a bigger club swoops in to sign him.

SHOULD WENGER CHANGE HIS WAYS?

Arsene Wenger has a tactical issue that will eventually become a bigger problem. He has Olivier Giroud back from injury and the French international is at his best as a centre-forward.

Then he has Danny Welbeck, who moved from Manchester United because he was sick of playing out of position on the wing. Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal’s big summer signing, is also at his best down the middle.

Wenger play 4-5-1 and he rarely deviates, meaning, in the long run, he can only play either Welbeck or Giroud, with Sanchez on the wing.

There is an obvious solution to this issue – play 4-4-2. Arsenal have the players to do it, but it would mean Wenger having to put several of his plethora of creative midfielders on the bench. Instead, it is likely he will persevere with cramming too many strikers into his team and will upset one of them.

QPR RELYING ON AUSTIN

Charlie Austin has scored 26 goals for QPR since the start of last season, 20 more than any other player at the club.

If Harry Redknapp’s team stay up, it will be in large part down to Austin’s goals. His strike in the 3-2 win over Leicester showed pure goalscorer’s instinct, reacting quickly to a loose ball and nodding it home off balance. Redknapp will be crossing his fingers that his star man stays fit.

twoods@thenational.ae

Published: December 1, 2014 04:00 AM

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