Gary Lineker may try his best to be impartial and unbiased while being the front man for Match of the Day for the BBC, but when it comes to Twitter, the former Tottenham striker has no reason to hold back and launched a sarcastic dig at the Arsenal and France centre forward Olivier Giroud last week.
He tweeted, “Playing in front of Arsenal’s midfield should guarantee a minimum of 25 goals a season for a striker of note. Alas….”
To be fair to Lineker, you could not find many Arsenal fans to stick up for Giroud after one of his worst showings in an Arsenal shirt against Besiktas in Istanbul, but in his first game back we could maybe be a little more patient with last season’s top scorer.
So as a report in The Independent shows, Arsene Wenger took the opportunity to hit back at the TV presenter after the big French forward had come on and changed the game at Everton on Saturday, suggesting that his improvement year on year could well see Gitoud with that 25 goal tally at the end of this season.
Wenger said, “How can he [Lineker] be sure that Olivier is not that man?
“He scored 16 in the league last season and when he came on he was for me very convincing. You should not set any limits on a player. For me there has been an improvement and I am convinced the goals will come.”
And the boss also offered further support for Giroud, who is a confidence player, by declaring that he turned down the chance to sign Mario Balotelli from AC Milan.
He went on, “We have Yaya Sanogo, we have Alexis Sanchez who can play centre-forward, we have Theo Walcott who is coming back. It does not make any sense to sign Balotelli.”
So will Giroud repay the faith Wenger has put in him and can he score enough goals to make Lineker eat his words?