The moment that the red mist descended on Olivier Giroud yesterday immediately caused a big problem for that game as well as the next three fixtures. Even Arsene Wenger actually saw the incident and agreed that the Frenchman should have been sent off.
Wenger said on the Official Arsenal website: “It was a deserved red card. Madness is a strong word but he didn’t kill him, he touched him and should not have done it. He should have been in control. Olivier Giroud knows he made a mistake and I know him well enough to think that he will not do it again.
“…. He told me he was pushed in the back and that projected him into the keeper. Maybe because the injury he had still plays a part on his mind and it’s unusual for him. Usually he’s a guy who’s in control of his response.
“Honestly, you never need that. In my job you sometimes have to deal with the strengths and sometimes the mistakes of people.”
So Arsenal now have a selection problem for the two upcoming crucial fixtures against West Ham and Southampton and the obvious solution would be to use Lukas Podolski, who is the Gunners best goalscorer in ratio to minutes played. The German international is becoming a very frustrated perrenial bench-warmer, and yet again he was unused in yesterday’s game.
Podolski has made it clear he needs to play or be allowed to leave, but Wenger brushed off any rumours of Lukas leaving in January. He said: “He (Podolski) knows that when we are defending like that in the last five minutes he knows it’s not his turn to come on. We needed to defend.
“I don’t give any importance to rumours. There was a rumour two days ago in France that I offered £62 million for Cavani from Paris Saint-Germain. Everyday there is a different rumour so I don’t give importance to that. In every big club you have some players who don’t play and they are not happy.
“If you find players who are happy when they don’t play you have a problem. He [Podolski] will play. Rosicky had an outstanding game today and he didn’t play for a long time. Our job is always to be ready when you play.”
Well Arsene now is the perfect time for you to use Podolski now that Giroud will miss the next three games. But will he take the opportunity? I’m not so sure, especially considering that Giroud has already missed ten weeks through injury, and Podolski didn’t play once!