It’s been a strange start to the season for Olivier Giroud and even though I saw plenty of fans calling for Giroud to be replaced in the summer, suddenly with a lack of a recognised striker leading the front line, it seems as if we suddenly wouldn’t mind the Frenchman being back in the lineup.
Personally, Alexis’ two goals against Hull don’t prove that he’s ready to lead the line at Arsenal. Alexis has shown to go missing at times during games because although he is feisty and has strength to either drive forward with the ball at his feet, or to battle amongst his opponents, in terms of height he can often get pushed out of the game playing as a centre forward, much in the way that Walcott did when he had a go up front.
With Lucas seemingly not ready to play a full match up front in the eyes of Arsene Wenger, it means that Arsenal are currently playing their matches without a recognised striker on the pitch, with a few wingers having to ‘make do’ with playing as a striker. It’s not a good position to be in if Arsene Wenger has true intentions of challenging for major honours this season and suddenly it seems as if the majority of us would welcome Giroud make into the starting eleven at this current time. But the question is, where is he?
After getting sent off against PSG midweek, to see him not in the squad that travelled to Hull was quite a shock. Arsene Wenger then revealed that Giroud had picked up a minor foot injury, but according to the media today, it is unlikely that the French international striker will play any part against Nottingham Forest either. Wenger said: “Everyone came out of the Hull game well. Giroud is still not available – we will see at the end of the week if he can join in [ahead of the Chelsea match].”
I really do not understand what is going on with Giroud so far this season. Minimal minutes in the league, a sending off against PSG and constant claims from Arsene Wenger that the striker just isn’t match fit. The big question is why? Giroud had a long campaign last season and progressed all the way to the final with France at the Euros, so it is expected he would have a longer break. But his return to training at Arsenal was a month ago now and the other players who also received extended breaks, including Ozil and Koscielny, not to mention the players at various other Premier League clubs, have all returned and are fully fit to play against the demands of the Premier League. So why has Giroud struggled so much with fitness?
With Lucas deemed not ready by Wenger and Alexis being inconsistent as a striker, it’s vital right now that the Gunners have a recognised striker in their line-up and so the only player capable is Olivier Giroud. Hopefully this new foot injury doesn’t keep him out for too long, so that he can return to the squad for the upcoming match against Chelsea. But even then is Giroud going to be match fit to deal with the physical demands of the Premier League?