Baptista not the right fit for Arsenal…

…and it’s clear as day after his dismal performance so far. I think where we erred in bringing him was in just going by his great form at Real Madrid, and not projecting his play over to Arsenal which is a totally different ballgame. Arsenal are the foremost proponents of the beautiful game, and their idea of fun is kicking the ball around the opposition’s one third, slowly heaping on the pressure, and striking at the first cave-in.

Baptista, however, looks totally out of place. His attributes are strength, strength, strength. Decent speed as well. But finesse does not rank high on his resume – he’s the charging bull looking to tear down the gates; not the hawk looking to make a sudden swift strike. He does attract defenders’s attention with his charging-up-the-middle runs leaving the others some leeway. Consequently, he’s at his best when he’s making the break; but once he reaches the wall, Arsenal’s wait-and-watch game begins,and he looks plenty uncomfy. He’s not possessed of the turn-and-gun strikes of Henry or Van Persie and ends up losing the ball, and we all cry about how Arsenal don’t score any goals.

I don’t think for a moment that he alone is to blame for the troubles Arsenal are having; but surely a striker of his caliber should have contributed when Henry and Van Persie were off the field. It was a great chance to cement his place in the side, but he hasn’t showed anything for so many starts, more like Julio ‘I’m Beat’ Baptista. With his loan period coming to a close and nothing tangible apart from the brief period of brilliance vs Liverpool, Arsene will be looking to offload him. He looks keen to stay on in the Premiership, though, and if he manages to stick he could be one of the topmost players out there. For Arsenal, though, that will be too little too late. They need results soon, and the Beast from Sevilla is too tame.


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