If Arsenal are going to keep hold of Olivier Giroud this summer as Arsene Wenger has suggested he will, then the big centre forward will be only too aware that he faces a fight for his place in the first team. The Frenchman spent most of last season on the bench so any new addition to the Arsenal strike force this summer was going to make things even harder.
So I suppose we should not be too surprised that Giroud has not exactly welcomed the new signing Alexandre Lacazette with open arms, with the Daily Mail reporting that there has been very little warmth between the fellow countryman on the Gunners’ tour of Australia at the start of this pre-season schedule.
We have no idea what goes on behind the scenes and we can only hope that the professional rivalry between the strikers on the pitch is not stopping them at least being civil to each other off the pitch. If that is the case then Arsene Wenger could have a problem on his hands.
We do not need an unhappy and disrupted dressing room when everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction, but at the same time some rivalry and competition for places could be ideal for Arsenal. Giroud looked very sharp and scored a good goal in the second match or pre-season when playing in the central striker role that most fans expect the new striker to fill.
Maybe the big man was inspired after seeing his new rival score just 15 minutes into his Arsenal debut, because he certainly outshone Lacazette yesterday. Hopefully that will be reciprocated as well, with the new Arsenal forward pulling out all the stops to ensure that he is the first choice.
Do you think this rivalry will prove to be good or bad for Arsenal’s season?