With Arsenal having signed another option up front in the shape of the Spanish striker Lucas Perez before the summer transfer window closed, the pressure is on Olivier Giroud and his position as first choice centre forward for the Gunners.
It does not help the big Frenchman that he has not yet started a game for Arsenal this season, after his late involvement with the France national team as they suffered disappointment in losing to Portugal in the final of Euro 2016.
Giroud, however, says he is not too worried about that, as reported by the Evening Standard, as he believes it has just been caution from Arsene Wenger about his fitness and playing him too much too soon after the summer break.
He said, “It is down to a lack of training since I got back from holiday. It if had been a priority, the manager would have asked me to come back sooner. That wasn’t the case. Don’t worry, everything is fine. I’m used to people doubting me. Since the start of my career, it has been the same.
“Maybe I need that so I don’t get too comfortable but between last season and the Euros, I’ve got no reason to doubt myself.”
Maybe not, and you would normally expect that a home game against an EPL club like Southampton that has not been in great form would be a game suited to the talents of Giroud as a target man to lead the line and link up the play. I am pretty sure, though, that the Arsenal forward will be hoping to start and play well for France tonight as they take on Belarus in a World Cup qualifier.
There is every reason to think that Dider Deschamps will start him, just as he did against Italy last week and was rewarded with a goal. So will Giroud prove tonight that he is the right player to start for Arsenal on Saturday?