Now that Arsenal have this newfound squad depth, the Gunners are beginning to see a number of players, who were previously regulars, being relegated to the bench or even out of the squad completely.
Two names that come to mind are French international striker Olivier Giroud, who is yet to make more than a few appearances this season due to a lack of fitness, and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, who cannot get his head into the game. With the pressure being on for results at Arsenal and competition for places the highest it’s been for years, but Ox and Giroud must be concerned for the spots in the team.
Arsenal legend Ian Wright has had his say on the matter after the Gunners’ late 1-0 win over Burnley this weekend. Wright said: ‘I am worried for Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. I can’t see how you’re going to take Alexis Sanchez out of the role because he seems to have found that he likes it. Giroud would slow it up and no one can play in front of Iwobi.’
Oxlade-Chamberlain may have played his part in scoring the late winner against Burnley, but that is pretty much all he had to offer for the team. His performance, like the rest of the players, was largely uninspiring, slow and, frankly, they seemed disinterested for large parts of the fixture. Chamberlain has struggled these past few years to get himself into the Arsenal team, partially due to injures, partially due to his own form. It’s come to a point in his Arsenal career where he is expected to have risen to the heights where he should be a key player for Arsenal. But as of this moment, he’s struggling for game time and has fallen down the pecking order behind Iwobi.
As for Giroud, I’m really concerned for his future at the club, with Arsenal finding they have a much better striker in the form of a converted Alexis Sanchez. The Frenchman’s fitness is also a big concern and after many seasons of not cutting it as a regularly scoring striker, Giroud’s chances of remaining as a first choice player, may begin to fall.
Do Giroud and Chamberlain have futures at Arsenal past this season?