I have just a read a report in the football media that slams the Arsenal strikers and suggests that we have a bunch of muppets that have been playing like drunken Sunday leaguers with their laces tied together all season. But to be fair to the forwards of the Gunners, this report in the Metro reveals more about the, obviously anti-Arsenal, person who wrote it than it does about our effectiveness in front of goal.
Olivier Giroud has been in prolific form in recent weeks, always managing to score in just about every game, but yesterday his record was tarnished as he missed three very real chances against Tottenham.
Arsene Wenger said that the striker was angry at himself after the game,but how do the Arsenal fans feel about it? Arsene Wenger actually said that he was happy that Giroud was angry! “I’m pleased. When you see players happy to miss chances you can worry. He is a real goalscorer, he did try. In the last two games, against Bayern and today he worked extremely hard and maybe he wanted too much to score in the end, and especially the opportunity he had in the six-yard box, but that can happen.”
After the midweek defeat away to the Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, Arsenal really need a shot in the arm, morale wise, and Arsene Wenger will hope that the Capital One Cup performance does not carry over into our Premier League campaign.
The manager’s team selection options have also been limited by the cup game, especially in the atacking areas of the pitch and even more on the right wing. It looks fairly certain that the player to come in and fill the gap will be Joel Campbell, with Olivier Giroud as our centre forward and Alexis Sanchez completing the front three.
There is no doubt that Arsene Wenger did not pick his strongest possible Arsenal line ups for the away game at Dinamo Zagreb and the home game with Olympiacos in the Champions League. And he took plenty of stick for it as well and knows that he needs to go full bore at Bayern Munich tonight.
But that does not necessarily mean that he will start the same Arsenal XI that won at Watford in the Premier League on Saturday. In fact, I think he will make at least two changes. Santi Cazorla has been brilliant in central midfield for us but I wonder how he will cope with the pace, pressing and possession of the German giants.
Arsenal fans have got used to the manager doing things his way and often seemingly against the general consensus of what he needs to do at certain times, so I would not be totally surprised to see the Frenchman stick with his usual policy of making big chances in the early rounds of the cup competitions.
This time, however, I think that Arsene Wenger will react to the situation and the fact that Arsenal are in dire need of a pick me up and a good result. So I am expecting a strong line up for the Capital One cup game against Tottenham this evening.
The way that the Premier League fixture schedule worked out means that the game today will be the second time Arsenal have faced one of our big EPL rivals already and that adds extra pressure. But the same is true of Chelsea as they have already lost to Man City and are in a much worse position in the league than Arsenal.
Chelsea also have a few injury problems at both ends of the pitch, with Courtois out for a long spell with injury and with Pedro, Falcao and Willian out of action. That is quite a serious weakening of their attacking options and it puts a lot of onus on Diego Costa and Hazard.
There have been a lot of people sticking up for Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal team selection and tactics after the unfancied Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb inflicted and damaging Champions League defeat on Arsenal last night.
Many think that it was the performances of the individual players and the team in general that was to blame for the shock result and that they let the manager down, but the former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright thinks differently. As reported by The Telegraph today, Wrighty was quick to blame Wenger.
We already knew that Arsene Wenger would be making at least two changes to the Arsenal starting line up from Saturday´s win over Stoke City, as he told us that Aaron Ramsey and Hector Bellerin were staying at home for a rest ahead of the Chelsea clash.
But with less than three days between games, those will not be the only changes made. Mathieu Debuchy will come in for Bellerin and I would be amazed if Kieran Gibbs did not replace Monreal on the other flank as well. As Ramsey has been playing on the right, he could be replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain but I think he will bring in Giroud and push Walcott out wide instead.
I am not making this up Arsenal fans and this is not some stat that has been cherry picked from a short space of time either, but over four years as an Arsenal player and it shows that the under fire England forward Theo Walcott is just as deadly in front of goal as the club´s all time record goalscorer Thierry Henry.
A Metro report shows the figures for Walcott´s last four seasons as a Gunner show his chance conversion rate in the Premier League (20 percent) is exactly the same as Henry´s were in his last four seasons at the club. The stats show that Giroud´s is 17 percent and Serio Aguero´s is 21 percent.
Not many players can decisively divide opinion among supporters. Olivier Giroud certainly falls in this category. Football has seen its share of characters brace the game and bear the blunt of varied opinions. Giroud doesn’t fall under that category but still divides opinion.
On Monday night he was booed off the pitch while playing for his national team France. For someone with a wonderful strike rate, he is often criticized by fans. What’s surprising is the fact that Giroud cops similar abuse even when he’s turning up for Arsenal.