You may have seen recently how Arsenal legend Thierry Henry labelled fellow Frenchman and current Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, as a Plan B option for Arsene Wenger. Giroud, who has fallen slightly out of favour at the Emirates due to Alexis Sanchez’s form up front, did manage to make an instant impact by scoring twice against Sunderland soon after he was substituted onto the pitch. There were some calls after the game for Giroud to be reinstated in the starting line up and although he did regain his place in this week’s tie in the Champions League, it’s still uncertain as to whether Giroud will start against Spurs this weekend.
When Thierry Henry labelled Giroud as a Plan B player for Arsenal, I personally couldn’t agree more. I think Giroud is a very good player, but he’s not a world class striker and certainly isn’t a player who is going to win you the big trophies by scoring 20+ goals in the league alone. Giroud has proven in previous seasons how he can be wasteful in front of goal and so with the current form of Alexis Sanchez, I think Giroud does deserve to remain on the bench for now. Keeping in mind that I don’t think Giroud is worthless to Arsenal, I do actually think that Arsenal value him quite highly. However unfortunately for the Frenchman it seems he can make far more of an impact from the bench, rather than being relied upon week in week out from the start.
Arsene Wenger however disagrees with Henry’s comments, by suggesting that Giroud certainly isn’t a ‘Plan B player’ for Arsenal and that none of the current crop of first team players should feel second choice.
Wenger told Arsenal.com: “There is no Plan B in any squad, I never thought about my players like that,”
“The team who is the most effective for the next game, that’s what you pick and I consider everyone as a regular player.
“That is basically what a manager thinks, what is [best] for the next game. If he is involved in the next game in your mind, he plays. If not then he doesn’t start. He [Giroud] has shown he is a huge asset for the club and I have always supported him.
“No matter who plays [against Tottenham] I have a squad of 25 players who are all top class and I think this game, a game of that stature, is not about 11 – it’s about 25.
“Everybody is focused, everybody is ready to contribute and everybody’s contribution will count on Sunday. We have show that recently in the games, the players we have just spoken about, Giroud for example, he came on against Sunderland and made the difference. It just shows that everybody’s contribution will be absolutely vital.”
I actually think we currently have a squad full of players who are not only all interchangeable position-wise, but that they are mostly all capable of replacing each other if a player drops form for even a single game. Competition for places in the starting eleven is quite literally that high especially in midfield, and I think that can only be positive news for the Gunners. Competition for places is healthy in a team as it makes the players want to impress in training. Arsene Wenger has already had a few selection headaches this season when having to decide who deserves a start, and now with Ramsey and Xhaka returning to the side, as well as Giroud who’s finally over his toe injury, I’m sure there are many more conundrums to come for Le Prof.