Will Giroud accept he is Arsenal’s Plan B?

Olivier Giroud has been Arsenal’s first choice striker for many seasons now, assuming the role left behind from Van Persie’s departure in 2012. The Frenchman however never truly replaced Arsenal’s spell of great strikers and as of yet, he is still not hitting the heights required from him. Now, after a lengthy spell out with an injury, he has been replaced up front by a winger converted to striker, Alexis Sanchez. Alexis has grown into the role and is showing real quality in his new position, so much so that even after Giroud’s return, the Frenchman cannot just walk in and reclaim his place.

After scoring twice as a second half substitute against Sunderland, there were calls for Giroud to be reinstated in the side, potentially ahead of Alexis Sanchez or in a new 442 formation with the pair up front. Former Gunner and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry on the other hand, who played in formations where he was partnered with Dennis Bergkamp, or in front of the Dutchman, believes that although 442 with this side is an option, more realistically Giroud is Arsenal’s plan B for now.

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry told Sky Sports: “He can be a plan B. I don’t know if he will be happy coming off the bench but I think you win titles like that. Manchester United had Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham. Man City had Edin Dzeko and we had Sylvain Wiltord. Can he accept that? We know the boss, Arsene Wenger, now likes to play with Alexis Sanchez inside and he came on and did the job and he did it very well.”

Having Olivier Giroud on the bench is a very strong option for Arsenal and he’s right up there with Chelsea, United and City’s attacking options on the bench. Even though we cannot base a player’s performances on a single game alone, Giroud showed what an impact he can make from the bench. He was very impressive against Sunderland, but then again we have seen how Giroud’s introduction to the pitch can also have a negative impact on the side. Giroud came on in the 3-0 win over Chelsea and although the striker arguably wasn’t entirely match fit, he slowed the game right down and spoiled various opportunities to get forward. Giroud thrives from balls being played into him, rather than having to chase after them. If we are therefore playing a team with fast defenders, such as Chelsea, Giroud’s impact is minimal.

Giroud isn’t a 20 goal a season striker in the Premier League alone and that’s exactly what the Gunners need if they are going to truly challenge for the league. I think Giroud is more than capable of being Arsenal’s Plan B in attack, he will get a fair number of goals, but as long as Alexis is on form, Giroud is not a starter for the Gunners. But the question is whether or not he’s willing to accept that and fight for his place.



  1. Twig says:

    What was the best part of Ozil’s goal yesterday?

    The lob over the keeper (thumbs up)
    The dummy that sent the two defenders to the ground (thumbs down)

    1. Jim A says:

      The track back by OG to win the ball? Okay that lob over the keeper and then control off the shin was pretty darn special.

      1. Godswill says:

        @Jim A, thank you.
        The goal was fantastic but we should not forget the track back by OG to to win the ball which he passed to Elneny who then fed Ozil through long pass.
        I did also enjoy how OG ghosted and disposed the player of the ball.
        One goal I’ve watched over and over again since yesterday.

        1. bran99 says:

          personally I don’t remember the track back by OG or the through ball by Elneny, just the lob over the keeper, the touch that sent the 2 defenders to the market and scoring in an empty net

  2. Jim A says:

    I will say it again. Every time there is a corner or set piece that he is not on the pitch we are an inferior team. With all the possession we have of course we are going to get fouled all over the pitch and with the amount of shots we supply that are deflected and given as corners it would crazy to not have a weapon like that out there.
    Alexis can be just as productive and less injured playing on either side of OG. Every time Alexis goes up against a defender to try to win one of Cech’s goal kicks I cringe because he will cut in two if he tries to retain possession.
    btw what a great hustle play by OG to track all the way back to win the ball for the goal yesterday.

    1. bigperf says:

      Great insight thanks fam ?

    2. NY_Gunner says:

      @Jim A
      I totally agree. OG’s track back to win the ball, is what made that goal possible. Koscielny cleared, then Le Coq headed it right back to them. They were ready to attack, then out of nowhere OG picks a pocket, Elneny sees Ozil makin the run, and the rest is history…
      At first, I thought Elneny was going to pass it sideways or backwards. But dude surprised me big time…LOL

  3. Arsenal_Girl says:

    We are all part of one team. I don’t like labelling players “plan b”
    I don’t consider Xhaka as plan b or Gibbs plan b

    When we need Giroud (be it to partner Alexis, to rest Alexis and play Giroud in Cup matches or whatever) we will use him and hopefully he will perform

    Giroud is also competing to get his starting position

    1. bran99 says:

      thought plan B is a word used when there is a change in tactics. For example Alexis for the fast attacking football, and OG for the long balls and crosses that needs tall and strong striker to deal with them.

      but super sub really suits OG

  4. atid says:

    Personally I think there will be many times when other players are the plan b, not just giroud.

    What if Giroud starts a match with alexis left, and then giroud is subbed off with alexis moving central, who is plan b then?

    Whilst many think that bringing on a “big man” for the last 20 offers something different, so does moving a small man with.pace against big slow defenders.

    I see the likes of smaling for example prefer playing against giroud for the last 20 rather than alexis.

    1. bran99 says:

      true dat

  5. Raoh says:

    He should! We looked less fluent going forward and our pace and ability to have the players (Ozil, Sanchez, Ox/Iwobi, Walcott) change positions depending on the game situation is reduced .Hence it limits greatly our possibilities going forward which makes us more potent.
    Giroud is a super sub and by no mean is it a bad thing matter of fact in that role he might just be one of our most important players. As defenders get used to pace, get tired from having to defend 2-3 different players based on the fluent interchange, he comes in and brings something different: physicality, hold up play, height (crosses, long balls,).

    Having Ramsey on the right doesn’t help as it reduces by a lot our width as he likes to come in but also doesn’t have the same pace as others. He should play either as a #10 or a deeplying playmaker or box-2-box role. If he can’t get a game there than he shouldn’t be pushed out wide. We’re covered there with Ox, Iwobi & Walcott.
    All in all I’m expecting a similar line up than the ones we have been accustomed to before Ramsey & Giroud came back. With maybe 1-2 changes because of Cazorla not being fully there or Wenger looking to play with 2 holding midfielder (Coq & Xhaka).

  6. Kostafi says:

    I don’t think he will accept but one thing about Giroud is that the club comes first for him. Plan B or not, he will start many games. Believe it or not, we still have 5 games left this November and 6 games ahead in December. Other than the int’l break, the games are 3/4 games apart. Neither Giroud or Sanchez can start all 11 matches without fatigue or injury. The key is to get the team right for each game. Giroud is clearly a weapon off the bench against stubborn defences and Alexis is better suited to defenses that play out the back.

    The bigger concern for me from last night was where Ramsey played- he should not be playing RAM. He played there last year with mixed success- his best return for us has been from CM and in Cazorla’s absence is where he should play. The Coq-Xhaka DM pivot crumbled in 15 minutes against Ludogrets and should be avoided.

  7. Twig says:

    I thought with Giroud and Ramsey in the team we looked too slow and laboured. Giroud has his advantages, but we’re a less fluent and exciting team when he’s on the pitch IMHO.

  8. Midkemma says:

    As others have said, I do not think of Giroud as plan B, he is a 1st team player.

    I am glad that Alexis is playing upfront as I was getting sick of Giroud not trying like he has been but when his place in the starting line up is threatened he has stepped up from the little we have seen so far this season, I hope Giroud keeps that form as he can be an ideal swap in playstyle to Alexis.

    I was disappointed to to see Ramsey play on the right, Ox or Iwobi should have started that position and Ramsey in the middle with Xhaka… at least that is just my opinion. Coquelin and Xhaka combo isn’t working well enough to fill me with confidence. Xhaka and Ramsey might have been worse but they have qualities which can compliment each other and I really want to see it happen lol.

  9. Wilshegz says:

    there is no ‘will’ it’s not a choice least of all one for him to make.. he is a 2nd half player, if he wants to start n doesn’t wanna be an impact sub t sell him to WestHam ASAP

  10. Wilshegz says:

    yesterday when he started upfront our attack was so boring,domant, sluggish and predictable. we were lucky

  11. Onochie says:

    Its funny that majority of the fans last season and the first game of this season was shouting and screaming that “SANCHEZ ISN’T A STRIKER” “SANCHEZ CANT DO THE JOB UPFRONT” now they are all silent.

    1. bran99 says:

      even Man U fans were screaming that they have a world class CM in Pogba, “now they are all silent” knowing they wasted such amount of money for the wrong Pogba

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