Olivier Giroud has said before that the fans can’t expect him to dig Arsenal out of a hole every week and he proved this against Watford on Tuesday night.
After going 2-0 down inside 13 minutes, fans – and probably players – were praying for Giroud to bring it out the bag and help us stage another fantastic comeback. Just as he did away against Bournemouth.
However, on Tuesday, he – as well as most of the starting XI – just weren’t at the races and the Gunners lost 2-1.
It was probably the worst time as far as Arsenal fans were concerned for the transfer window to slam shut. Not that we were ever under any illusions that Arsene Wenger would be signing anyone this January. Who would we have bought anyway? But it seemed to intensify the feeling of unrest.
So, does Giroud’s not-so-brilliant performance against Watford mean Arsenal should have signed a ‘top, top quality’ striker this January?
I don’t think so.
The France international had zero shots on target and completed just 3/4 passes in the final third. However, this was only partially his ‘fault’.
Players have off games, it’s natural. The problem was, everyone else decided to have one at the same time as Giroud, which meant he wasn’t getting any service. Even though we improved when Theo Walcott was brought on in the second half, this was a group effort, not just bringing on the England international.
Blaming Giroud, ie a striker, for Arsenal losing that game against Watford feels like a cop-out to me. There have been numerous times this season when the big guy has come on, saved us and helped paper over the cracks that conceding early made. He’s actually helped to disguise many of Arsenal’s shortcomings this season by swinging the result in our direction.
No. Our problem lies far deeper than that, even beyond the players and I fear that won’t change as long as Arsene Wenger is in charge. We don’t need a top, top quality striker; we need a top, top quality manager and – as much as I love and respect him – I’m not sure Le Professeur is that person anymore. There’s only so long I can keep dreaming that he’ll prove me wrong.