Costa Photographed On The Holloway Road

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Jan 8th, 2014

That’s right, that is a photo of a Costa shop. Costa Coffee on Holloway Road, a few minutes walk from The Emirates Stadium. That is about as close as Arsenal are going to get to a Costa this season and for the better I say.

costa coffee

Costa Coffee on Holloway Road

Every season Arsenal seem to have an injury “crisis” in a crucial position and this season, despite pushing on to top the league with a number of missing players, we head towards the second half of the season with a depleted forward line.

Olivier Giroud has been worked to the bone so far this season, Nicklas Bendtner is out for at least a month just as he was showing the sort of form and incisive contribution that his champions declared he was capable of as a viable alternative to Giroud and Podolski has shown that he is vastly more useful to Arsenal on the left of the front three rather than as a lone front-man. Add to that, Arsenal have just lost their top scorer from last season and probably our most potent goal-threat in Theo Walcott, to an ACL injury for 6 months.

Considering all of this it is no small wonder that the fans want to see an additional striker brought in to Arsenal this January. Buying for buying’s sake isn’t going to work as Arsenal put a lot of effort into moving on “dead wood” (horrible term) last summer and won’t want to bring in someone who will be obsolete in a few months.

As we are often told by Wenger and many other Premier League Managers that buying top quality in January is almost impossible. The only potentially available striker that Arsenal could realistically get in January that falls into the “quality” bracket is Diego Costa of Atletico Madrid.

Costa has a release clause of around £32m which has deceived a few people into believing he is world-class. Others have watched him a few times this season and believe he is world-class. So for that sort of money, we should definitely go for him right?

Not for me. I’m not going to act like I watch every Atletico match or indeed every La Liga match but I have seen a fair few Atletico matches over the past few years as they are on Sky a lot and to be honest with you, I don’t enjoy watching Barcelona so tend to watch both Madrid clubs when they are on.

Diego Costa is a very good player but I have my reservations based on history, cost and transfer window.

Diego Costa

Gunner Costa Too Much? (I apologise for that)

Before last season he had never hit double figures and had spent most of his career waiting behind the likes of Forlan, Aguero and Falcao for his chance to shine. With all of those players leaving he has taken centre stage and seems to be excelling but is it just a flash in the pan? Probably not but only will tell and £32m is a lot of money to risk on someone who has only just started to reach a modicum of world-class status.

He would also be cup-tied for the Champions League which would mean his only value to Arsenal would be the FA Cup and the Premier League. Whilst Arsenal are chasing a title can they really afford to bed in a new forward with no experience of the league who has only just started to score regularly in a league he is much more accustomed to which plays at a slower pace?

Cisse is still banging in the goals for Newcastle right?

£32m might buy a much better player, or a player more adaptable to our style and our league, in the summer. I’d like to see another player brought into Arsenal this month but I’d rather we were conservative with our cash or brought in a loan so we can get an Özil-esque signing in the summer who will have more time to bed into the team.

In Gnabry and the soon to return Oxlade-Chamberlain we have cover for Theo and pacey options on the right. Sanogo and Bendtner should be fit soon and if the shit really hit the fan and we had no-one left to play up top we always have Park.

I’m not going to say that Park is shit or he is a non-option because I’ve seen him play less that 250 minutes of football for Arsenal but I will say there is a reason Wenger doesn’t play him. That said, if, like Bendtner, he convinced the boss with his attitude in training that he could play a part, however small, I would have no issues with him because I trust the manager.

Ideally though we won’t have to contemplate such a scenario this season.

Hopefully Wenger gets the loan signing he wants or a cheaper permanent addition than Costa and he can turn his financial focus to a “big name” in the summer. And if you’re taking requests Mr Wenger, another centre-back this January for peace of mind wouldn’t go amiss.

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I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

4 Responses to “Costa Photographed On The Holloway Road”

  1. Matt says:


    This isn’t a ‘new’ crisis. We knew in the summer that we needed a striker. Indeed, while the arrival of Ozil was/is fantastic, it surprised many as attacking midfield was hardly where we needed reinforcements.

    The fact that we are having a ‘crisis’ of sorts now is exactly because we didn’t get that striker in the summer and as a result Giroud has been played into the ground. And if Bendtner or Park were realistic alternatives due to any demonstration of attitude in training, then both would have featured a lot more already this season – the fact that Bendtner has made as few appearances as he has so far this season when Giroud has been clearly knackered and in need of rest, answers that question for you.

    Now, like you, I don’t know enough about Costa to say that he’d be the perfect solution, but Wenger missed out on two potentially perfect solutions in the summer in the form of Higuain and Suarez. I’d say a return of a goal a game this season and 20 last season when he was playing second fiddle to Falcao in the second or third best league in Europe, with ECL experience to boot, is about as safe as you’re going to get.

    If there’s a release clause that means we could get him, I’d be all for it. The question is how much of a salary you’d need to offer the player to move 6 months before a World Cup, i.e. that any dip in form or acclimatisation to the league may result in no call up to the World Cup when it’s in your own country. Not to mention that he also has the possibility of winning La Liga with Atletico and they may still have eyes on the ECL themselves.

    That would be a tough call for the player, regardless of whether Atletico would play ball.

    In terms of the fact that he’s cup-tied for the ECL, I think that matters not to us. It will be a minor miracle for us to get past Bayern Munich in the next round and even if we do, there’s a grand total of a potential 7 games left in the Champions League. There’s 18 EPL games left and potentially 4 more in the FA Cup. The impact someone like Costa would give us is additional quality upfront and the much needed ability to rotate – if we were able to rest Giroud in the run-up to those ECL games then that’s enough for me.

    If Wenger has any inclination or enthusiasm to push on from our current League position and win something this season then I think his focus should be on the two remaining domestic opportunities. And with that in mind finding some form of attacking solution is paramount – it does not exist within the current squad so bringing in someone of excellent/world class quality, either permanently or on loan is crucial.

    I can’t see any more of a guarantee with any of the loan options that are being bandied around than Costa could offer and there is no doubt that if he doesn’t leave in January he will in the summer (when there will be a lot more teams after him than us right now).

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      It’s kind of new. I don’t agree that we “needed” a striker in the summer. We wanted one but numbers wise we didn’t need one. (I am being quite precise with the definition of those words)

      It’s easy to look back at Suarez and Higuain and say he missed out but as I have said on this blog a number of times, it’s a very retrospective opinion. Suarez had a get out clause, or supposedly did, and that didn’t pan out they way the club expected. Higuain’s fee was upped at the last minute and by then Arsenal had set their sights on Suarez. There are reasons unknown to us why those deals failed to come off but to say we missed out is revisionist in my book.

      I disagree we didn’t need an attacking midfielder as chances created last season will show you that we were the worse team in the top 4 for creating chances. Özil was a surprise signing but a required one.

      I sense you are a fan of buying Costa, for whatever your reasons are, and I won’t try to convince you otherwise. I’ve stated why I wouldn’t want him and I’ll avoid us going around in circles by leaving it at that 😉

      Good to see you on the comments again Matt, I hope you are keeping well.

  2. Arsenal DNA says:

    The headline is comedy genius…

  3. kingsley says:

    I really love this, you are such an artist…

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