At the beginning of the season, I was one of those Arsenal fans saying that we didn’t need a big name striker because we had Olivier Giroud. How wrong I was.
Last season, the big Frenchman scored 19 goals in 36 appearances. Not bad but room for improvement; improvement most Arsenal fans were sure he could make.
The new season swung around and Giroud got off to a laboured start and was dropped in favourite of Theo Walcott who could actually seem to find the target (haha…). Giroud was reasonably useful off the bench and, therefore, using this logic, he was a decent striker to have at the club. He soon hit form again and couldn’t stop scoring until about January.
The goals dried up and our results dropped as well. We surrendered the top of the Premier League and plummeted. Now, in April, we can’t score, we’re playing terribly the majority of the time and we’re in fourth place.
At the beginning, I’d argued that we didn’t need a new world class striker because Giroud was good enough. He didn’t just score, he held up the ball and gave most centre-backs hell with his size (and, let’s face it, dazzling good looks). However, when the goals dried up and you look at the fact he’s actually only assisted four in all competitions this season… it’s a little concerning.
I used to feel as if Arsene Wenger had put so much faith in him that it was unlikely that we’d see someone new step in and move him aside. Now, I don’t care.
So what changed? Of course, he stopped scoring and looking as if he’s ever going to score again. That’s the obvious answer. But also, Danny Welbeck returned and although he’s cooled down a little in more recent games, probably because he’s knackered after 10 months on the sidelines with a knee injury, he showed a glimmer of something we need. A cutting edge. If someone could come in after so long watching from the stands, what excuse does Giroud have?
In addition, I became incredibly bored of these players’ – who make more in a week than I will probably make in my entire life – egos and the fact that they couldn’t be dropped or Wenger would risk derailing them. At first, I agreed but after seeing the unprofessionalism that’s been displayed this season, I take it back.
Now, I do believe we need a world class striker. Do I think this means we should sell Giroud? No. I think having both him and Welbeck as backup strikers could be fantastic but relying on either one as our primary source of goals is only going to hold us back.
The question is, will we sign someone? At this point in time, I don’t believe so but, admittedly, I’m pretty disillusioned with this club right now. I’d love to be wrong, not necessarily in the same way I was wrong about Giroud, but it’d be great to be sitting here at the same time next season laughing at myself for not believing we’d bring in some fantastic signing. But right now, I’m sorry but I don’t.