Alan Smith has claimed that Olivier Giroud deserves a first-team role for Arsenal, whilst moving to praise his professional attitude this season.
The French striker was given his first Premier League start of the campaign yesterday and Arsene Wenger reaped the rewards as his striker found the winner late into the match.
The Gunners boss will now have to make a decision on whether to select Olivier Giroud for the New Years Day clash at home to Crystal Palace, although that selection may pivot on the fitness of Theo Walcott.
The former Southampton youth product was ruled out of yesterday’s game, but had previously been a key figure in the system which accommodated Alexis Sanchez in a central role, and his absence may have played a big part in Giroud getting the nod to lead the line.
Regardless of the thought process which led to the French striker returning to the starting line-up, former Arsenal forward Alan Smith, who himself bagged 86 league goals for our side previously, insists that he is well deserved of his place in the first-team.
“He’s chipped in with a few important goals,” he said.
“He won’t be happy with not playing regularly.
“It’s important for the players who aren’t playing to have a good attitude and Olivier has a good attitude.
“Sanchez has started from day one and has done very little to force Arsene Wenger from changing anything.
“He (Giroud) came back late from the Euros so fitness wise he wasn’t right.
“It’s horses for courses, sometimes he (Wenger) might fancy Giroud is a good option to have to go direct.
“Having scored now it will be interesting to see what team he picks and see if he keeps his place, because he warrants it.”
Giroud scored the only goal of yesterday’s match, as well as coming off the bench to snatch the equalising goal at Manchester United, and scoring a brace when coming from the bench away at Sunderland with the scores tied at 1-1. That’s seven points he earned us which could have easily been two without his net-finding.
Does he deserve a run of action in the first-team now? Will he return to the bench if Walcott is fit to play on NYD?