Radical change needed at Arsenal – Drop Alexis for Giroud?

Arsenal are now 15 games into the Premier League season, and despite the fact that our First XI don’t have the distraction of playing any European football, we have lost 5 of those games, which has left us 15 points behind the leaders Man City already. To give us the best chance to win the title this season (other than no Europe) Wenger decided to force Alexis Sanchez to stay at the Emirates and honour the last year of his contract, arguing that this would in fact make the Chilean play even better to secure a massive contract when he left on a Bosman at the end of this campaign.

This has backfired badly. Alexis looks a shadow of the player he was last season, and seems to play more selfishly than ever and running into opponents rather than looking like a world-beater. Football is a team game and he now seems to be having a detrimental effect on the team dynamics.

Last season Alexis scored 24 goals in just 36 starts for Arsenal (plus 10 assists), but in this one the 28 year-old has managed just 4 in 12 (and 2 assists), a ratio of 50% compared to 2016/17. He also has the lowest pass success rate of everyone in the Arsenal squad at 72% – only Petr Cech’s goalkicks are worse! In comparison, Mesut Ozil’s percentage is 86%. No matter what Wenger says in public it is obvious that Alexis is performing much worse than last season.

So I think it is time that Alexis was dropped for a more efficient player. Let’s see. Sanchez has played 888 minutes for his 4 goals. Olivier Giroud has played just 236 minutes in the EPL and scored 3, while Danny Welbeck has also got 3 in just 512 minutes on the pitch. Wenger is a self confessed lover of statistics, so how much longer can he ignore the fact that his calculated gamble of keeping Alexis simply hasn’t worked. Simply on statistics, never mind body language, I would start Giroud ahead of Alexis until he sorts his head out…

Statman – Numbers taken from whoscored.com


  1. Sukhjot Gunner says:

    Oh come on ! AS-07 has a bad day and you are beginning to criticise him already?? Is that coz he may leave this season??? Last season if even if he would ‘ve had 4 off games you would still have been praising him. Whatever you are saying about him and even though he could be playing his final season 4 us,I still think that he has been our best and consistent performer since he joined. In fact,whatever we manage to achieve this season,it all would go right through him. I STILL CANNOT GET OVER THE FACT THAT WE ARE LOSING A REAL WARRIOR AND WORLD CLASS PLAYER NEXT SEASON. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE ASK HIM TO STAY ALONG WITH MÖ-11.HAD I BEEN WENGER I WOULD HAVE DONE EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD TO CONVINCE THEM THAT THEY ARE AT EXACTLY THE RIGHT CLUB AND THAT WE CAN GO PLACES TOGETHER….

    1. RockstarGeek says:

      AS-07 and MO-11 are to be replaced with C-3PO in the summer.

      I see much suffering in you there is.

      “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

    2. Ted says:

      Alexis has been awful lately but I don’t doubt his effort. It’s more about form than effort. Although, wen Alexis doesn’t score or assist his flaws become obvious: from poor passing, to giving away possession.

    3. jon fox says:

      You seem to be under the bizarre impression that they can be made to change their minds and then stay. They cant and they won’t stay. I live on Planet Earth. What planet are you on! PS I WISH I COULD WIN THE LOTTERT BUT THAT WON’T HAPPEN EITHER. “If only” people are the enemy of football, with their refusal to face facts.

  2. BKGooner says:

    Win the title? You can NOT be serious. Sell Sanchez and Ozil and lets move on.

    1. shark says:

      Move on with Akpom and Asano? Wenger will never get replacements for Sanchez and Ozil.

      1. Sue says:

        Christ not Akpom!!!

  3. Nothing changed says:

    Giroud just doesn’t impress me as a starter. I think he is a great sub in certain games but asks him to start and we become too predictable and slow in our game for my taste. I would even prefer Welbeck over Giroud as a central striker. Welbeck at least forces defenders to consider his pace and Welbeck can change it up with Sanchez because he can also play wide. When Giroud starts in the center he can really switch with Sanchez intra game since he has nothing to offer out wide.

    Strikers and front lines that can drift in an out of each other’s position require more from defenders and cause more confusion.

    1. Jim A says:

      Giroud should have been starting since game 1. Same as last year.

  4. gotanidea says:

    Sanchez is one of Arsenal’s most creative players in this season. Any player can make a lot of backpasses, but not through balls.

    Check the number of through balls the Premier League top players have made so far. De Bruyne, the assist king of this season (most of his assists were from open play, not set pieces (!)), has made a staggering 20 through balls, whereas Sanchez and Eriksen are the second with 12 through balls.

    Sanchez always plays with high risk of losing the ball. You can compare with how Messi and Neymar play, they often give the ball away but they always chase it back and pressurize the opponent.

    Arsenal could try to exclude Sanchez if they want to, but they will lose a lot of creativity.

  5. Grandad says:

    Sanchez is a busted flush and should have been sold to Man City. Unfortunately the Board of AFC is prepared to “stand by their man” when anyone with an ounce of football intelligence can see that the likes of Sanchez , Mustafi and Xhaka who all cost over £30m do not justify a starting position.Lets focus on the facts. This season Sanchez has played well once as has Xhaka.In the case of Mustafi I would extend this to 3 matches. Unfortunately there are no half measures with Mustafi he is either very good or a total liability as was the case against Man Utd . For a team which has aspirations to to win the Premier League this situation is not acceptable to fans who justifiably vent their frustration against the man who bought them and appears scared to drop them.I personally feel sorry for squad players like Giroud, Wiltshire and Elneny who could be successful elsewhere

  6. Simon says:

    By contrast Ozil is playing in top form last couple of matches!

  7. Yossarian says:

    I’ve thought for a while that we’d be great playing 2 upfront, namely Giroud and Lacazette. However we can’t, because the rest of the team and system won’t support it. For that to work we’d need :

    (a) Good crossing from the wingers
    (b) A world-class DMF
    (c) To defend as a team
    (d) A rock-solid back-four
    (e) A new top-quality keeper (I like Cech but he’s well past-it)

    Giroud – Lacazette
    Sanchez – (DMF) – Ozil – (RW)
    Kolasinac – (CD) – (CD) – (RB)

    Wow… Looking at that, we’re really in trouble for top-quality players. Especially when Sanchez & Ozil leave. I still think Mustafi could come good and fill one of the CD places though.

  8. citrenoogeht says:

    One of the main casualties of starting Giroud is Lacazette. Giroud’s inability to play in any other position other than as a striker means that Lacazette will be pushed out wide. Ultimately this will be to the detriment to our attacking prospects. Simply put, this is why we never (rarely) see Lacazette and Giroud on the field at the same time, either for Arsenal or France.

    1. John says:

      Still worth a try…….drop Alexis and have Giroud and Lacazette play together in some games………Alexis is gang tackled in some games……….or play two strikers…….we just did with 4 strikers……

  9. f_vercesi says:

    this season with his few goals and assists he has been key:
    1.Against koln wonderful goal of the 2X1 win;
    2.in qarabaq Cup assist to Walcott that means the goal of the win;
    3.the assist to Ozil against Everton for the 2×1 + his wonderful goal; he was key in 4 of the 5 goals.
    4.Goal for the win against tottenham;
    5.the penalty that gave the win against burnley;
    6.Great goal against huddersfield and direct participation among 3 of the 5 goals;
    7. Against United his wonderful passe broke th united’ defence. Maybe I must see the world upside down. Those are evidences are not fantasy of a fan boy. Alexis is not to the best level BUT he is so far to be awful.

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