Exactly one year ago tomorrow, the Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud and his Montpellier team mates won a crucial game against a relegated Auxerre team to win the club the French Ligue 1 title for the first time in it’s history. With PSG breathing down their necks, they were under huge pressure but got the win they needed.
There is a very well-known saying that goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”, and as Arsenal enter their crucial last game of the season, a very good case could be made for starting with the same team that has taken us over the line for the last three games.
Olivier Giroud missed all three after being suspended, and his replacement Lukas Podolski finally came good with a brace of goals against Wigan, so it would make sense to start with the same forward line this week as well.
Arsene Wenger always knew it was going to be an uphill challenge for Arsenal to match last season’s goalscoring feats after selling Robin Van Persie to Manchester United, but the rest of the team has stepped up and become only the fourth team in Premiership history to have more than three players totting up double figures in their goals scored column.
Wenger said on Arsenal.com: “We lost Van Persie and, after that, it’s very difficult to find a player who will score 35 goals,”
I have noticed in the last season or two how the “Arsenal style” of football has changed at the club. In the past before Barcelona became so dominant in Europe it was simply our style of play before Pep Guardiola turned up and stole it.
I think we have turned down the passing play recently and began to mix it up a bit like Man United do. If the balanced passing style is so successful for United then why cant it work for Arsenal?
Arsene Wenger was given a big problem (approximately 6ft 5in) in his Arsenal team selection when Olivier Giroud was sent off against Fulham and given a three match ban. The manager had a settled system at the front with the big Frenchman as a target man and there is nobody else at the club who offers the same.
As we know, Wenger opted for Lukas Podolski as the centre forward and seems determined to stick with his decision. He has spoken about his belief that Podolski can do a good job in the middle because of his finishing ability and suggested that he does not need to work so hard as on the left flank.
Arsenal are hoping that Theo Walcott will sign a new deal to keep the forward at the Emirates Stadium, although Matthew Glazier of Bettingpro.com wonders if they really need him.
THEO Walcott arrived at Arsenal in January 2006 and it appears that he could be leaving seven years down the line, with the 23-year-old playing hard ball with the club when it comes to signing a new deal.
It might be the case that the player has already decided to leave the Gunners, whether that happens during the January transfer window or in the summer when Walcott might have more options available to him. However, Arsenal fans shouldn’t be too concerned about the player’s possible departure – here are five reasons why:
The West Brom manager has warned his players that they may face a wounded animal tomorrow when they face an Arsenal side who have slipped to 10th place in the Premier league table. Steve Clarke is surprised at the position of the Gunners, especially after we got off to a good start, but he knows that the quality in the Arsenal team could raise it’s head at any time, and he knows that his team could bear the brunt of that at the Emirates tomorrow.
“The team hasn’t been firing as maybe people thought they would do, especially after the start they had.
If Arsenal keep going like this they will win everything this season! Not long before the season started, Arsenal fans and pundits alike were predicting doom and gloom at the Emirates. Arsene Wenger had apparently lost the plot and the Gunners were going to struggle to make the Europa league. Robin van Persie and Alex Song were irreplaceable and Arsenal was being sold down the river.
Arsenal’s 2012-2013 pre-season has been somewhat overshadowed by the Van Persie saga which seems like it’ll rumble on into the new campaign. The flipside of this is that Arsenal’s new big name acquisitions have quietly slid into place setting Arsenal up for a genuine title challenge.
Perhaps the Arsenal board were prompted into action by the hostility they faced at the prospect of losing arguably the best player in the English game – RVP. Players the calibre of Giroud, Podolski and Corzola will offer Arsenal a wealth of attacking creativity which will surely make Van Persie head for the exit in two minds.
Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed the fact that, unfortunately, captain Robin Van Persie will leave for Manchester United. The Frenchman has admitted that he was forced into selling Robin and that there wasn’t much he could do, despite the fact that he wanted to keep the Dutchman.
According to Wenger, the striker’s position will be filled by Giroud and Podolski’s arrivals, the club having previously stated that the French striker had been brought in to boost the attacking options.
“He is at Manchester United, unfortunately for us. The transfer was finalised in the afternoon,” said Wenger whilst working for French TV station TF1 on Wednesday.