The next few weeks and the rest of the season could be very telling as to how Arsenal are going to line up and which players are going to be favoured by Arsene Wenger for the starting XI. And the fit again French striker Olivier Giroud seems pretty confident that he will be one of them.
We already have the likes of Tomas Rosicky, Joel Campbell and Lukas Podolski getting frustrated at warming the bench on a weekly basis, but with Giroud back in the frame and Theo Walcott, we hope, close to a full comeback, the situation in the forward line is set to become even more competitive.
One of the main battles will be for that coveted centre forward role, with Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud the main competitors, while young Yaya Sanogo is waiting in the wings to take his chance. And while Giroud has praise for his main rival, revealed in an ESPN report, and agrees that signing Welbeck in the summer was a great move for the club, he seems pretty confident that the boss will play him more often than not.
Giroud said, “I’ve never really been worried about my place. I don’t want to appear to be someone who is overly confident in himself, but from the moment where I do the business on the pitch and I’m good, I know the coach will give me my chance. That is what happened.
“The club did well to buy Danny [Welbeck]. We needed another forward. The competition is very healthy between us. It makes each of us better, and we are very complementary.
“It’s normal that when new players come in, questions are asked of those who were already there but the criticism doesn’t affect me. It’s the pitch that counts. I’ve shown that I can contribute.”
Looking at the difference the big man has made when coming on against Man United and Southampton, you would tend to agree with him and can see why Wenger feels that he is a key part of the Arsenal system. And Giroud has returned that backing to his boss in another ESPN report, slamming the Arsenal fans that have been calling for Wenger to step down, highlighted by the banner at the recent win over Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates.
Giroud said, “I don’t even understand how that minority of fans was able to put up such a banner at a time when we were winning.
“There’s no debate. We need to string wins together to make up our deficit. That’s the only way we’ll get into the top four.”
Wenger has been accused of having his favourites in the Arsenal squad before, like Aaron Ramsey, so is Giroud the latest of those? And does Giroud deserve to start in the middle ahead of Welbeck?