Arsene Wenger has continually stated that he has three strikers at his disposal, namely Giroud, Walcott and Sanchez, but none of them are yet to have struck form, although Theo scored twice for England against the minnows of San Marino in midweek. But who should be centre-forward today?
Charlie Nicholas, the former Arsenal striker, wants to see Theo Walcott start against Stoke City rather than the out-of-form Olivier Giroud. Nicholas is probably not the first and definitely not the last to say so. The Frenchman has been in wretched form and is struggling to prove that he can lead the line for the Gunners.
The International break too wasn’t kind to the scoring boots of Giroud. He looked a lost figure in French colours turning up for the national team against Serbia. The fans even booed him to show their displeasure. It looks like there is no end to the scoring woes of the French striker.
In seven appearances for the club and country so far this season, he has found the back of the net only once. This is enough to tell how bad his current form is. And, Nicholas thinks that the striker must find a response. He said: “Giroud hasn’t been in good form and that’s why I’d pick Walcott ahead of him against Stoke”
It looks a simple but yet very constructive measure from Nicholas. Arsene Wenger defended his inaction in the summer transfer market and the absence of a new striker to ‘lack of options’. But, in reality, Wenger is confident that Walcott can step up in his new role and ease his problems.
Giroud is a proven goal scorer although the jury is still open on his ability to lead the line or take the performances to an altogether new level. He will definitely find an answer to this slump and start scoring goals. However, Wenger can bank on contributions from Walcott and Alexis Sanchez with his midfield wizards scoring often.
The debate around Giroud will not be settled this season; in fact, it will not be settled ever. He may get plaudits for getting his teammates into play and be a ‘team man’. But, a striker needs to be little more selfish for the greater good of the team. Look at any striker in the world and you will find them to be selfish. Form or not, Giroud is too nice to selfish. He may lead the line well but he will always have question marks on his ‘real impact’.