Is a new winger needed to get the best out of Giroud? by BE
You can’t expect less from a 6′ 4″ (1.92 m) whose strength is in his heading ability can you? It appears that a natural centre forward is what Arsenal fans believe the current squad is lacking.
The Gunners have plenty of wingers in Gervinho, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, even Rosicky, Ramsey and Cazorla are options. All of which are mostly fine, but these players cut inside and Arsenal try and use their full backs to add width going forward. But one man who doesn’t seem to fit this system is Olivier Giroud, whose heading ability is largely redundant given the lack of accurate crosses coming into the box.
Although Giroud scored goals and gave some assists, the truth is, he didn’t performed to our expectation owing that he just won the Ligue 1 with Montpellier and emerging the league’s top scorer. But I have to see this from a different angle and give it another reason which is our wing play has totally collapsed. Mario Gomez and Olivier Giroud are very similar in style and positional awareness but Mario Gomez scored the same amout of goals as Lionel Messi in the 2011-2012 Champions League, this largely depended on wingers Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben.
Both of the Bayern Munich wide men have great crossing abilities which benefits a tall striker like Gomez same which would have benefited Olivier Giroud in the Arsenal setup. But this is not to be because our wingers prefer to drift inside, and Arsenal so far have not exploited the Frenchman’s ability in the air as a result. Even when they stay wide, Walcott, Podolski and Gervinho are not delivering consistent service to the Frenchman, and it seems to be a waste of his ability.
If Wenger’s idea is to create room by wingers allowing wingbacks to come deep then the job falls handsomely on our wingbacks who I can say categorically have failed in delivering crosses into the box. Gibbs, Sagna, even Nacho Monreal are guilty of failing crosses. Before Giroud was signed, we were made to understand that his best ability is accuracy in the air. I wonder what the point of having him is if we aren’t going to be using a direct wing play.
Giroud is a better all-round player than Chamakh, and has contributed well this year, but could get more goals for the side if paired with a traditional wide man or two, content to swing balls into the box rather than try and score themselves. For Arsenal to fully utilize Giroud’s qualities, they need to employ a talented winger whose sole purpose is to bombard the box with crosses that Giroud can attack.
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Here are some suggestions:
1. Nani. He is disturbed at Man U and with a new manager, he would be a pure bargain for us.
2. Younes Belhanda. This guy was instrumental to Giroud being named the Ligue 1 highest goal scorer 2011-2012. He is a more direct winger who jealously worked hard for the good of his team and I think getting him to combine with Giroud will yield results next season based on familiarity and directness.
3. Jesus Navas. Heard we have been monitoring this winger a long time now, this could finally be the time to get him since we now have a cog of Spanish contigent in our setup, his Homesickness issue won’t be a problem because he will be supported by Arteta, Santi and Nacho (faces he’s well known to).