There’s been plenty of speculation surrounding the future of Olivier Giroud these last few weeks, with the Frenchman struggling to get minutes on the pitch.
After a very slow start to the season for Giroud, who struggled with fitness following on from an extended summer break. Giroud was given extra time off in the summer after a long European Championships, in which the French national side reached the final in Paris. However the extended break off seemed to work against Giroud, as he then found himself far less physically fit behind his fellow competitors in the Premier League. Giroud then built his fitness up so that he could feature for the team, but besides from a few games, Giroud has struggled to keep a place in the team.
The Frenchman made a great impact against Sunderland, coming off the bench to score two goals with his first two touches of the ball. His performance meant that some fans were calling for Alexis to be dropped from the striker position and to be repositioned back on the wing where the Chilean has spent the past two seasons. However despite Giroud’s best efforts, as well as a goal in the midweek clash against Ludogorets, Alexis still kept his place for the following Premier League match against North London rivals Spurs.
Giroud has spoken today about his current situation and it surrounds concerns at not getting the playing time he’d like to for Arsenal. Will the Frenchman be considering his future at the club? Giroud said: “I had hoped to play against Spurs because I’d had two good games, I was a little bit disappointed, but I’m not the sort of person to just give up.”
It has been argued by fans in the past that Giroud has come across as a bit of a sulker on pitch. However on this occasion it seems as if he is more than willing to fight for his position on the pitch. Since joining Arsenal, Giroud has never truly had decent competition to challenge him for a place up front, with the Frenchman having been deemed to replace the departed RVP. Players such as Podolski and Welbeck have attempted to displace the Frenchman, but it’s until now through Alexis Sanchez, that Giroud’s position has been truly put under threat.
In my opinion Giroud and Alexis are both decent players in the most forefront position on the pitch, but they both have their strengths and weaknesses. Giroud has proven to be a better striker against the taller and tougher defenders, whilst Alexis’ uses his pace and fight to be an effective striker. So long as Alexis is continuing to provide with goals and assists up front, I see no reason for why Wenger should drop him for Giroud to come back into the team. This is particularly because the wingers in the side are also showing form at the moment. However with Alexis a potential injury concern when he returns from Chile to Arsenal, this could be the opportunity Giroud needs to get his name back on the teamsheet.