When Arsenal started the season with Alexis Sanchez up front, I think although we were all aware of his qualities in striking the ball, but the majority were also quite hesitant towards the change. Arsenal fans wanted to see a real number nine bought and put up front, rather than Wenger wanting to convert a player already on our books.
Despite being sceptical towards the change, Alexis and Wenger have however proved that majority wrong, with the Chilean proving vital to Arsenal’s good run of form. After the 3-0 win over Chelsea, in which Alexis scored and assisted, many have called for Alexis to remain up front for now, despite having signed Lucas Perez, as well as the return of Olivier Giroud.
Giroud is of course suspended for tonight’s match against Basel, after getting sent off on match day one against PSG. Aside from suspension, there is also still many concerns about Giroud’s fitness, with the French international still not quite looking up to pace with the physical demands of the Premier League.
Just last weekend we saw how the introduction of Olivier Giroud, slowed our attacks down and ultimately we failed to have so many opportunities on goal. The difference in quality between the likes of Alexis and Giroud is massive and based on current form, there is no way I’d want Giroud starting up front for the Gunners.
Arsenal legend Ian Wright has also had his say on the matter and he was keen to point out that Giroud should be nowhere near the Arsenal set up based on current form. Wright said: “I thought Sanchez was brilliant up front (against Chelsea).
“Now you’re looking at it and thinking I wouldn’t like to see Giroud get back into that side because he’s just going to slow that team up.”
Whilst I would personally like to see Lucas Perez get more of a chance up front, because ultimately that’s the position I assume Wenger bought him for, I do however understand that perhaps we should look to keep playing Alexis up front. Lucas is also more than capable of playing on the wing and so whilst Alexis is doing his job well in front of goal, I see no real reason as to why we should look to ship him back out on the wing. I think that whilst Alexis is on form, Lucas should be put out on the wing, in the Chilean’s old position, whilst as for Giroud, he can stay on the bench!
Giroud really needs to make the step up this season and work hard on this fitness issue that seems to be weighing him down. If he can’t prove his worth, he’ll surely soon find out how difficult it is to get back into this competitive Arsenal side.