With two goals to his name, no Arsenal player has as netted as many times as Olivier Giroud at this early stage in the Premier League season.
However, the Frenchman seems to have lost his spot to Theo Walcott, who started the last two Premier League games as well scoring from the bench in Zagreb a week ago.
Giroud was sent off in the Champions League loss, but is likely to be back in the side for Wednesday night’s north London derby in the League Cup.
“When one plays people always ask, ‘Why did you not play the other one?’
“When you have two top-level strikers, some games Giroud plays and some games Walcott plays. Nobody anymore can play 60 games per season.”
What comes as a surprise is that Walcott is now seen as an out-and-out striker. The Englishman has almost exclusively played from the right-hand side since arriving in north London in 2006, and at various times this has proved very successful.
His best goalscoring season for the Gunners actually came with Giroud in the middle and Walcott playing off him, but apparently this is no longer an option.
The Frenchman now has a lot of pressure to deliver, otherwise Walcott will edge further ahead in the race to start regularly.
“What we want to do is make the right decision for the right game. Giroud is a guy who has a positive attitude, who is ready to have a go,” Wenger said. “He is a very strong man and with his back to the wall Giroud can always respond. I think he has assets in the game.
“For two guys it can be interesting for the squad as they both have different qualities. They complement each other very well.”
They do, so why not play them together? Giroud’s perfect to facilitate Walcott’s game. It doesn’t look like we’ll see them on the pitch together anytime soon.
That doesn’t mean that Giroud can’t be used to bring the best out of others, and Wenger knows that’s what he’s best at.
“[Giroud] can protect the ball, he can hold the ball, he can bring other plays in.
“That’s one of the big parts of his game, that is why he creates so many chances and that is why the other players love him and love to play with him as well.”
Aaron Ramsey in particular thrives with Giroud in front of him, as the Welshman loves bursting off the ball.
That’s what Arsenal will hope for on Wednesday from the likes of Joel Campbell, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alex Iwobi, whichever Wenger opts to play.
Arsenal need those players running off Giroud, and he needs it too in order to show what he’s really capable of.