Tag Archives: Olivier Giroud

St Totteringham’s Day? Not this year

Not this year and rightfully so
Not this year and rightfully so

For the first time since 1995 Arsenal will not finish above Arsenal and I am really not upset about it. I made my peace with that last season but they somehow managed to screw it up but kudos they have not only managed it this year but are challenging for the title.
Since Pochettino took over, this Spurs team have grown from strength to strength and taken on his identity and philosophy, a philosophy where no one is carried everyone puts in a shift! Contrast that to what is going on at Arsenal where there are coasters in the team everywhere you look from back to front. Take for example Arsenal’s most expensive player, in the 4 years since he joined Arsenal I am yet to see him take a difficult game by the scruff of the neck and be the difference! I can’t imagine him being allowed that much time in a Pochettino side with his application on the football field when things are tough. Then you have Giroud, would he get in a Pochettino side? He spends half the time moaning and falling down instead of digging deep and contributing to the cause. I didn’t see the point in him starting today and if it’s true he is wanted in France I will certainly drive him there myself at no cost. I could go on but there is no need it’s glaring what the team needs; an environment where mediocrity is alien and not the norm. Let’s start with if you don’t play well you don’t start and if you do you stay in the team, didn’t see the point of dropping Holding for Gibbs.

Arsenal kinda messed with my desire to blog and post this season, yes I am joining the bandwagon and blaming Arsene for everything. I have processed all that and I think I am back, kudos to the guys like arseblog that blog only Arsenal news and do it like 24/7 takes some mental fortitude!

Finally I do not subscribe to the notion that there is a power shift in North London not that it matters to me, we all know one swallow doesn’t make a summer neither does a tree make a forest. Finishing above Arsenal in a season where they might still come second and Arsenal win an FA cup (for hypothesis reason not that I believe this) but there is potential for a power shift if the situation at Arsenal isn’t arrested and arrested soon! My only consolation was that Chelsea won, yes it has come to this as the boys that were sent to do a man’s job at WHL failed with flying colours.

Arsenal title chances

Arsenal Squad

Going into last season I was confident Arsenal would win the title, I know I am a glutton for punishment for harboring such optimism with Arsenal at the centre and they definitely didn’t disappoint in the manner the punishment was meted out to fans like myself . I don’t even know what to make of Arsenal’s top 4 prospects this season considering how the other clubs are strengthening left, right, centre and upfront.

Regarding transfers, Granit Xhaka is an encouraging buy and brings the necessary aggression needed in the team with great passing abilities to add to his defensive qualities in the middle of the park. The Japanese striker is one for the future, probably would be loaned out and Rob Holding in my opinion will pleasantly surprise people, I like the buy.  Arsene though is yet to address the reason why Arsenal finished second to Leicester last season, the lack of a finisher upfront. I am not a Giroud Basher as the media and fans try to make him into what he is not. I could add all the exhaust pipes  and alloy wheels to a Peugeot I still couldn’t call it a Ferrari right… Giroud does alright for the class of striker that he is but needs help or a serious upgrade and I wouldn’t call Alvaro Morata an upgrade, he has scored less than Giroud in the Italian League in the last 2 seasons combined and Higuain is not worth that crazy release clause at 29, I also remember him missing clutch chances for Argentina at the world cup final in 2014 and the Copa America final in 2016, he wouldn’t be my go to guy for that price. There are not many available “world class ” strikers in the market but with the cash reserves Arsenal have they should for once go crazy and bid to buy players like Aubameyang or Greizman, if I was consulted they would be my targets.

If Arsene didn’t buy another midfielder I wouldn’t be too worried, but a player like Mahrez or Reus with goals in them and proper wide play will definitely improve the midfield in addition to creating more selection headaches for the manager.

The defence is sorted to a degree but I worry in the event that Bellerin is injured and Debuchy rumored to be heading out of the club who replaces Bellerin? Chambers and Holding  can play in that position but are primarily central defenders who are very different to Bellerin. Gabriel hasn’t filled me with confidence and with Per Mertesacker also rumoured to be out for 5 months after injuring his knee against Lens, Koscielny not back in the team till later in the season because of the Euro exertions  could cause problems in the opening weeks of the season.

The goalkeeping position happens to be most secure, a weird thing to say when Arsenal is concerned, Cech and Ospina are very capable hands.

Verdict

With this present squad and no further additions, the best predictable outcome is 5th but if Arsene went into the market and  bought a good striker to assist Giroud, a wide playing forward/midfielder in the Reus, Mahrez mould and a proper no-nonsense defender, Arsenal could actually go on and win the title. There I go again, I can’t seem to help myself it seems!!!

 

Wenger and underperforming players

Photo credits Michael Regan
Photo credits Michael Regan

Arsenal being true to type their consistent inconsistency was on show today again with a 0 0 draw at the stadium of light. Playing Sunderland at the stadium of light who are battling relegation was always going to be a tough a game but the manner in which a number of the players went about their job left a lot to be desired.

Wenger really needs to ask himself what is important, loyalty to some players or getting results for his team? His misplaced loyalty is one of the reasons why the season has panned out the way it has. After Giroud’s performance midweek I was surprised to see him start today ahead of Welbeck and he didn’t disappoint me with is poor display, that he was allowed to stay that long on the pitch had me bemused to say the least. I was also surprised to see Walcott on the pitch ahead of Campbell who has performed much better than the Englishman anytime he has featured for the team.  This idea of playing players when there are better performers on the bench is rewarding mediocrity in every way and in some subliminal way says it’s ok even if you don’t play well you will get picked.
Wenger himself said in his post-match conference that maybe  Giroud was lacking confidence, then why play him in this game where a win was necessary and Welbeck had done so well. He was also the same person that said why change something that is working, he confuses me the man.

I won’t be ranting much but Wenger needs to have a long look at himself and see how he has condoned mediocrity and poor performances this season. If he continues with this approach I won’t be holding out much hope for things to change next season. This is the time for him to set the marker that only good performances will get you in the squad.