When Olivier Giroud arrived at Arsenal last summer, there was a lot of pressure on him. There shouldn’t have been, because he was not that expensive, at around £10 million. He was also making the difficult step up from France to the English Premier League, and we have seen plenty of players struggle with that, but the fact that he was a direct replacement at centre forward for Robin van Persie meant that Giroud was always in the spotlight, and Arsenal fans were not about to be too understanding.
Lukas Podolski was the first Arsenal signing of last summer, in fact the move was announced before the transfer window even opened. How nice that would have been this year eh? The German striker is now preparing for his second season in the Premier League, and he is looking forward to it with excitement and confidence.
The forward clearly needed to get used to the pace and frequency of games last season, which is why we hardly ever saw him complete 90 minutes for the Gunners. We are all hoping for more from the German this season, although his figures for scoring and assisting were pretty good, especially considering he was not the main centre forward and was experiencing English football for the first time.
Why is Theo not appreciated? by Sam P
I am always surprised by the negative attitude that many Arsenal fans still adopt towards Theo Walcott. The 24-year old was, after all, the club’s top scorer in the Premier League and in all competitions last season. I understand that people think he should have progressed faster, and perhaps further, by now, but he is clearly one of the most effective players at the club.
Walcott happy with the improvements to his game! by Ash
Theo Walcott has been talking a lot about his Arsenal career in recent weeks, as well as the clubs ambitions, and he continued in that style by speaking with reporters yesterday about how he feels he has improved his overall game.
Walcott said, “Last season was definitely my best for Arsenal. I was the club’s top scorer with 21 goals and not many people were expecting that. But it wasn’t just about the goals. I was also very happy with my overall game, the assists I made and the consistency of my displays. What made it particularly satisfying was that I was able to play like that despite all the pressure of the contract situation at that time.”
When Theo Walcott signed for Arsenal back at the start of 2006, the 16-year old graduate from Southampton’s academy was one of the most promising youngsters we had seen for a while. After a few seasons, though, fans and commentators were getting frustrated by his lack of progression, with some suggesting that he had no football brain and was just a fast runner.
Theo has really turned a corner in the last few seasons, upping his goal tally into double figures for the last three years as well as providing significant assists for his team mates. When you look deeper into his stats, his all round performances have generally improved as well, but his decision making in the final third seems to have clicked.
The young Arsenal and England star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is determined to contribute a lot more next season and help the Gunners to end the long trophy drought that is really starting to become an issue for fans and players alike. The talented 19-year old is not a striker, but he knows that his Arsenal return of just two goals last season was well below par for him and he knows he can do a lot better.
At the beginning of the season, it looked like Olivier Giroud would be a complete flop when he missed sitter after sitter in Arsenal first five or six games, but he is under the impression that he has settled in rather well for his first season, and he promises to improve even further in the next campaign. He said on Arsenal.com: “For me it’s a good season,”
“I’ve scored 17 times and got 10 assists. I’m happy with that statistic but I think I can improve my game and my relationship with my team-mates.
The jury has been in deliberation all season about Olivier Giroud at Arsenal. Of course, the French international has been given some leeway by us Gooners, although not much by some, as it is his first season with the Gunners and we have seen players take time to get used to the English Premier League before.
Arsene Wenger is famous for finishing in the Top Four, and more importantly for Arsenal fans, always finishing above our rivals Tottenham in every season since he arrived at the club.
Tony Adams, who was a big factor in Arsenal’s glory days under Wenger, has no doubt that the Gunners will win today and carry on that fine tradition of St. Totteringhams Day!
Adamssaid: “I am sure Tottenham will beat Sunderland. That will mean Arsenal have to win at Newcastle, but they have the capability to do that with the goal potential in the team.
Are we trying to buy the wrong Man U striker!? by DG
If you buy any paper today you will be inundated with rumours, reports and speculation that Arsenal are set to launch a sensational bid for Wayne Rooney. If these reports are to be believed (and when did a tabloid paper ever get a transfer rumour wrong…) then Wenger will make a bid of £25 million pounds for the 27 year old. I have no doubt that Rooney would score a hatful of goals for Arsenal – he has always scored goals for United even when playing through one of his ‘off’ seasons. However, if we’re going to make a £25m bid for one of their strikers, should we really be looking at Rooney?
Should Giroud make way for Podolski? by AH
Olivier Giroud has scored just one scrappy goal for Arsenal since the 2-0 win over Bayern Munich, and his previous Premier League goal came back in January when we drew 2-2 with Liverpool at the Emirates. Some time has since past and the Frenchman seems to be going through the same form that made him struggle at the beginning of the season. Still, 17 goals in your first season, in what is arguably the toughest league in the world, isn’t half bad and there’s no doubting his finishing ability. It just seems natural that if a striker cannot get the goals you’re relying on then he needs to be replaced until his form comes back. And with Theo Walcott also struggling with form at the moment, one player we need to turn to is the experienced Lukas Podolski.
With all the injuries and the talk of Arsene Wenger resting players, the Arsenal team that walks out on to the pitch at the Allianz Arena in Munich tonight could have an unfamiliar look to it. One player who seems certain to start, however, is Olivier Giroud, and the Frenchman has a great chance to state his case as a future Gunner against Bayern Munich.