Tuesday, 10 January 2017
This has a nice feeling about it – so often I’m writing about ‘my’ players like Mesut, Theo or Lolo and often having to defend them (certainly Theo!). It’s nice to write about a player, who I have no deep weird man love for, despite his charming good looks! But, please, Olivier Giroud, take a bow. You deserve it, son.
He is a player I’ve always liked and thought he was a valuable member of the squad and has taken some stick in his time.
I tweeted about the big man in November, after his leveller at Old Trafford:
…And I firmly believe this is still the case.
For years, Giroud was a scape goat and one of them reasons, in my opinion was because he was seen as the replacement to Robin Van Persie. In reality, Robin Van Persie was replaced by Giroud and Poldolski to share the workload and goals. It was a mighty difficult talk but as we look back, we should be praising him and the club and manager deserve credit in signing a player for 12m who is about to reach 100 goals.
He, up till this season, has been playing up front for as long as I can remember, on his own, with no real support. Poldi came and tried, as did Theo but no one ever was in the same bracket as Giroud in that role.
Alexis has now shown himself to being a striker, or at least been giving the opportunity to shine there which is actually helping Giroud. He now has competition and some real competition, he needs to perform, unlike before, when he was the ‘ONLY’ option, he is now ‘A’ option.
I also don’t think it’s a role Giroud minds – when Arsenal were linked with Luis Suarez, Giroud said this:
"When the name of Suarez was circulating, I honestly thought it was a good thing for the team. We could have complemented each other," Giroud told .
"Suarez would have been a cannon... and he can also play out wide."
However, Giroud didn't look quite so fondly upon the chase for Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain.
"It would have been difficult for me with a different player. "We (Giroud and Higuain) would have been in direct competition because he is a pure central striker. Of course, at the time, it would have bothered me a bit. But I was not afraid of competition."
It’s clear that Giroud wasn’t keen on being replaced (naturally) but was keen to get a ‘different’ type of player and that player didn’t end up being Suarez (due to Arsenal’s stupidity) but has become Alexis (due to Arsenal shrewd top summer signing)
Once Walcott and Ozil are back (which they should be on Saturday) it means more depth and options up top. Giroud may, like he has over the Xmas period, be expected to lead the line and perform or at times be expected to come on and make a difference like he did at Sunderland or in Manchester.
When you look at rating signings, you look at the quality of the player, the length of service, the price, the wages and make a judgement and in all those aspects, Giroud has been a fantastic signing.
Let’s give him the credit he deserves.
Up The Arsenal
Posted by Akhil Vyas at 22:04
Monday, 5 December 2016
Alan Shearer can say and think what he wants – it doesn’t bother me if he thinks Alexis is world class or not and I really doubt it bothers Alexis.
All three goals were just out of this world at the London Stadium against West ham. The third may have had an element of luck with the potential marginal offside decision going our way but what a finish. Faking once in such a tight space and dinking the ball over the keeper was wonderful to watch.
The second goal was a great hit in the only place the keeper couldn’t get too – Alexis was enjoying himself.
The first goal, however, was my favourite goal – the ball was actually with Alexis in the box but ended up going back to Mustafi. The centre back then played the ball forward which Alexis expertly controlled, on the half turn, went past his man, held him at bay and even took an extra touch to get half a yard to get the shot away; which he did and it was a mighty finish.
The Alexis situation has really got me thinking about the summer and what was the plan for him and more about the Jamie Vardy failed bid.
We know that Arsenal went in for Jamie Vardy and we all know that the decision seemed to take about a year to come through but for whatever reason, Jamie Vardy didn’t sign for Arsenal. That gave encouragement to those who enjoy slating Arsenal (rival fans or even our own) to moan and spin the ‘truth’ (I say ‘truth’ because in reality, no one really knew what the trust was) and start the ‘Arsenal can’t even attract Vardy’ stories.
This is my belief what happened – we heard whispers that Vardy wasn’t guaranteed a first team slot like the way he is at Leicester and this was a big reason for him rejecting the move. Looking at it now, it makes total sense.
We also hear whispers that Arsene Wenger had decided at the end of last season that Alexis Sanchez is going to be his striker – he has been searching for ‘that’ striker since losing out on Suarez a few years ago but until now hasn’t managed to find him. What’s even more interesting is that when Brendon Rodgers was on goals on Sunday last season and he admitted that Liverpool had targeted and identified Alexis Sanchez as the closest to Luis Suarez in terms of work rate and the potential to score the goals Suarez did without having to change the style completely.
We also know that Arsene Wenger had a conversation with Theo Walcott which resulted in them agreeing Theo best role is on the right wing and that’s where he will be playing when picked the majority of the time; so conversations were going on!
It seems as if Alexis Sanchez playing centre forward was decided early on and therefore Jamie Vardy was being bought to cover, play wide at times and generally be a player who can complement rather than being ‘the man’. In the end, Vardy decided he probably wanted to be one of the first names on a team sheet and therefore stayed at Leicester and we got Lucas Perez instead.
The question is why it has taken two seasons for this to happen and in truth, Alexis, prior to this season, was never given a proper chance up front for a run of games but perhaps the search for a striker just wasn’t happening so we looked closer to home.
Regardless of it being a master stroke or had some element of luck, it is working wonders right now and long may it continue – we just need to keep him fit and sign a new contract!
Come on Alexis, make our dreams come true, sign a new deal, win the league and finally shut Alan Shearer up!
Up the Arsenal