Is Giroud Plan A or Plan B?

I am sure it can’t be easy trying to motivate and improve an average CF year on year and yet that seems to be exactly what Wenger is doing with Olivier Giroud.

If the plan was to challenge Giroud ‘to up his game’ by playing Sanogo ahead of him against Palace then there is a strong case to say that it worked. There is little doubt that his inclusion changed the momentum in our favour that enabled us to finally secure the three points.

If the same plan was to motivate Giroud by playing Alexis Sanchez ahead of him as the number 9 against Everton then in view of the fact that we were two down at half time and we came back to nick a draw then it has to be said that it worked.

Giroud

It seemed as soon as Giroud took to the field everyone knew what to do again. Ramsey could run forward confident in the knowledge that Giroud would be able to hold the ball long enough before laying it off to the on coming Welshman, Wilshere could try and re-enact his goal against Norwich last season and both Debuchy and Monreal could send in those all so familiar high crosses for the tall Frenchman to get on the end of.

The argument for Giroud to start as our plan A centre forward is strong and with him up front I see no reason we can’t replicate last season and finish fourth.

Fourth, fourth is that what you want?

Wenger didn’t buy Sanchez because he was happy with the way things were, he obviously bought the Chilean because he thought that he would improve things and I still believe he will.

Sanchez new kit

I have been surprised by some of the contributors on the site who seem to have written him off after only 45 minutes as someone capable of leading the line and call for the signing of a new striker. Do these same people expect that someone like Cavanni would have slotted into a new team and a new system so seamlessly that he would have scored a hat trick against Everton? Maybe they do?

I stand by my player ratings and especially the 9 I awarded Sanchez. By way of explanation, I ask you to do a mental player rating of everyone in the first half excluding the back 5

Flamini: OK but nothing special 5
Ramsey: constantly gave the ball away 4
Wilshere: looked a bit stronger (I’m trying here) but did nothing of merit 4
Ozil: no where near match fit, continually lost the ball and never made a telling pass. 4
Oxlaide-Chamberlain: poor control, poor passing, missed open goal. 4

So with the players around Sanchez playing like a bunch of blokes on Hackney Marshes what real chance did the Chilean have? And yet, his control was excellent his tracking back was superb, he made some important tackles and all in all I thought he looked good. OK there is still a lot for him to get used to but I remind myself that Robin Van Persie was not converted into a CF overnight.

If we want to improve then we have got to change things. Wenger tried a new system and I for one am very glad of it, maybe he could have waited until Leicester but there are no guarantees that it would have been more effective against them than Everton.

Giroud isn’t plan A or plan B neither is Sanchez; they both have different skills that can be deployed against teams that best suit them.

Who should start up front against Besiktas on Wednesday?

Written by LB

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132 Responses to Is Giroud Plan A or Plan B?

  1. henry says:

    Giroud, should definately be plan B, coming of the Bench. He showed hunger and a fighting spirit against Everton over the Weekend, something you generally do not associate with this lazy CF . Seems to impact a lot more coming in as a Sub.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Superb. I may not agree with you but you present a fine argument.

    Why did I question your 9? Because IMO Sanchez was not adding anything more to the game than those you allotted a 5. Its is true his control was good and he is certainly a willing runner but I expect more from him and so does Mr Wenger.

    Will we get it? Of course we will.

    As to OG, he does a job. There are others that IMO could do it better (not at AFC) but OG is willing, proud to be a Gooner, brave and effective. He is worth the money we paid for him.

    In answer to your question ,…..Sanchez first half, OG second (never let it be said I sit on the fence 🙂 )

  3. Gilly says:

    I agree that it was not Alexis fault that he could not play well in the first 45mins; the other players could not get the ball to him. However he should not be awarded 9 just because it’s not his fault.

  4. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all, Well done LB this should start a few hares running.

    With it looking increasingly likely that Podolski will leave for Juventus, Campbell not getting a look in and Sanogo an injury liabilty, until Walcott returns Giroud must be our plan A.

    Sadly, Wenger’s experiment of playing Alexis up front was scuppered by the inability of Ramsey, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ozil to get anywhere near the Chilian. He was totally isolated and couldn’t understand why his team-mates where so far behind him.

  5. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all, Nice one LB.

    Don’t be fooled LB about peoples comment, they say what they think exactly like you do, Your report was pretty close to the mark if you ask me.

    What we have to remember is we have acquired 4 new player’s. Its very rarely the case that a new signing comes in and changes much straight away. Chambers look’s like the dog’s Bo””’ks but it’s still early doors.

    Giroud is a carthorse, slow and sometimes he doesn’t look comfortable, many say he scores against lesser sides and some just want change. I see Giroud as a capable CF, not as good as i would like but capable.

    Sanchez is a player, who makes me feel excited, in actual fact i get him mixed up with The Ox they both have that desire to go forward. Sanogo, i feel that Wenger is still feeding him in now and again, hoping that this young man’s confidence builds up. Sanogo has two left feet at the moment, and when he receives the ball it looks like it is always to the wrong foot.

    Wenger will persevere with Sanogo but i feel that should he not improve enough this season, then that may be it for him.

    Debchey has filled Sagna’s boots, not the greatest going forward yet, but solid in defence and fits in well.

    The player nobody is talking about is the one that fascinates me the most, Joel Campbell, Now this young man interests me more than the others. Watching him for the short time he was on, showed me that we may have a player who can be a very good player. He was involved in everything that turned out good, not a major influence yet but will be i am sure.

    Wenger at the moment has options, many options, but he needs a bit of time to work them all out.What he will do on Wednesday is anybodies guess, but he will have it planned that is a cert.

    What we have at the moment is a lot of bodies looking for their right places, still not flowing like a running stream but by the time all our players are fit and injury free, we will be like a rageing river in full flood.And still time to add a bit more water.

  6. LB says:

    Morning Norfolk

    You come up with some really good ways of explain things; you sum up everything I was trying to say perfectly in your third paragraph.

  7. LB says:

    Morning BR

    I thought Sanchez played better than most people were giving him credit for, the ‘9’ was obviously a bit over the top and I just used your question to bounce off of today. At least there is something up there.

  8. Ogban says:

    Giroud is our main man for now.We have no real alternative to him except we sign Falcao. Which we won’t because we don’t have what it takes. So rather than vilify him at every slight opportunity, we need to get behind him, pray he stays fit and get the best out of him. All the blokes calling Sanchez names are the same ones who wanted Ramsey out during his trying period.

  9. jordangooner says:

    If Giroud is injured, we will have a dilemma against Besiktas. I understood Sanogo is also injured. Do we try Sanchez again? I believe we should start with Campbell, with Sanchez in normal position. Ozil just behind, with Ramsey suspended, Cozorla, Wishere, and Flamini. Already we are struggling with injuries, no Diaby, Arteta, Gibbs, Gnabry, Ospina, Miyaichi and of course Walcott! In defence if Koscielny available then Kos with Mertesacker, Monreal, and Debuchy.

    With the current situation why did we let Vermaelen leave without a replacement, Chambers has been excellent, but already a lot of games, playing out of position. Even having Jenkinson would have been useful (West Ham on loan). Are we letting Poldolsky leave without a replacement, is he available for selection on Wednesday. Even the bench for Wednesday looks tight, Rosicky, The Ox, Zelalem, Chambers, Martinez, Bellerin.

    The game is really important, and yet we have made things more difficult for ourselves, due to lack of cover and the usual injuries and its only fifth game including the Community shield.

    Lets hope Wenger gets the cheque book for, a CH, DM and possibly an additional CF. COYG

  10. kelsey says:

    LB

    You have become a prolific new post writer again, so well done.

    You know me, I always state how I see it which invariably can be wrong as the technical side and stats don’t always tell the true picture.

    I agree 100% about Sanchez,he will be a huge asset but at this time I am not sure about his best position.

    With regards to Giroud I have stated my opinion countless times and several aspects of his game are good others not so. If he is now injured,Sanogo definitely isn’t the answer at this moment of time.
    What un nerves me is that we are experimenting after only two games in, and that is a gamble in itself and in both our opening games it took until practically the last kick of the ball to achieve a win and a draw.

    2 of our 4 signings are direct replacements, we have more money available than for many a year and though I don’t think we should have made wholesale changes we are still at the minimum two players short.
    If for example either Kos or Rambo suffered long term injuries do we have adequate cover that compensates for them.

    Left back also concerns me with Gibbs slowly catching Diaby up and Monreal isn’t a bad player but IMO isn’t a left back.

  11. stevepalmer1 says:

    Jordan Gooner, Blimey mate this is the Arsenal not Tesco’s,. Wenger has brought in 4 and you say another 3 .

    Yes of course we want to cover our arse’s but bugger me mate your asking for something there.

    Taking a step back and looking at our squad, At the moment they look a little rusty, they are not quite gelling as we would like but 7 signings in one window will not solve that.

    Wenger is sorting out who can play where, he is taking a little time but thats all he has had but we still haven’t lost yet, our last game i felt we started to gel Everton is a fair old side and we came out pretty good from here on in i can only see us get stronger, as players settle and train together we will start to emerge and i can see us up there this season.

    Maybe another but if not i still think we have enough.

  12. chas says:

    Excellent stuff, LB.
    I completely agree that both have different uses against different opposition.
    Obviously Sanchez in the CF position will take some time. It reminded me a little of when Arshavin was playing there when we were desperate a few seasons back.

    I would have given the whole side a ‘5’ for their first half performance.

  13. The Cockie Monster says:

    Way too nice with the first half ratings !. I see chas has given the whole side a “5” for their 1st half performances !…….whereas I would have given them a kick in the bollox !.
    As for the last ten minutes of the game, I would have caressed their swollen bollox back to some kind of normal wrinkly state as a thank you !.

  14. Rasp says:

    Bang on the money LB – thank you.

    I agree that bringing Giroud on as a sub appears to have a positive effect on him and also that Alexis often received the ball and had very few options of an attacking pass. I think the problem lies with the midfield – we just haven’t found the right blend.

    The bigger question should be, do we have the individuals with contrasting complimentary abilities to make our midfield tick and purr …. I’m not so sure.

    For me, Carvalho is the missing piece in the jigsaw.

  15. jordangooner says:

    @Steve Palmer 1, see your point, but whilst we have brought 4, we have let Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Kallstrom, Eisfeld Fabinski and now possibly Poldolsky go. We will therefore be minus 1 or 2. The only change is that we are now shopping at Harrods not Tesco’s! My point is that we already have some 7 injuries plus Ramsey one game suspension. This is the same story for the past four or five seasons. I am a Wenger supporter, but the Besiktas is a must win game, and the players available, already gives us less options.

    Wenger has given an inference that the potential new signings are based on Champions league qualification, the ‘ usual chicken and egg’ situation. I personally do not believe Sanogo is top class at the moment. Do you believe Arteta and Flamini are the best DMs available, Diaby would be but unfortunately you cannot rely on him, due to the terrible injury he suffered. Regarding the Centre backs Chambers is great, but he cannot cover wing back and Centre half. Last season we lost out due to injuries and tiredness, due to lack of rotation. I am always positive about Arsenal, but in comparison to other top clubs, we have less depth in the squad.

    This was highlighted in the big away defeats, Chelski, Citeh, and Liverpool. We have fantastic players, but we need two or three more. COYG

  16. zen20h says:

    i think giroud can work well with sanchez, and cavani(45mil) upfront, with ozil and Ramsey behind them, then any good DM in likes od Tiote(12mil) or Khedira(8mill) that is not too expenseive will do..a CB for 8mill will do also……

    PSG really wants Di-maria but couldn’t buy due to FFP and if we table 45mil pounds for him i think PSG will accept, so also we sell Podolski for 10-12mill pounds( cavani 45+Tiote 12+manalos8 ..total.(65mill)
    and from the sale of Podolski 10-12mill we have 55-53mill
    the we will have Depth in squad…Or we buy Reus for 25mill Willam for 25mil and manalos for 8 mil and sell Podolski also…is still ok for me

    There would be no permanent starting shirt for everybody because there are alot of games to be played rotational measures also so that some players would be free from fatigue and injury most especially by march, April, May when we use to loose out on the Title race.

  17. stevepalmer1 says:

    Hiya Jordan, I understand where your coming from mate, and yes your right of course Kalstrum was just a loan, we hardly used him and he wasn’t much of a loss, Vermaelen hardly played so he went, not much of a loss, Fabianski has been replaced Vermaelens Replacement is young and versatile if were lucky he will only fill in for cup games Jenks is loaned out if we needed him back we could get him. Arteta and Flamoney will last out this season but i imagine they will leave next year and be replaced. Diaby has never played enough to be missed so he doesn’t even come into my thinking. Jordan we need to rely on who we have, not a bad bunch at all in my mind.

    Injuries will come to all the clubs only natural, but Wenger plays players in many positions, not always their best but he overcomes. were not to bad at present. and will get stronger as we go along.

  18. stevepalmer1 says:

    I have a sneaky feeling that if Wenger has his eye on anybody else it would be a player who wants Champions league football. Wednesday game may be the key to turn the lock and a win will open the door.

  19. fatgingergooner says:

    I agree with Rasp, I’m not sure our midfield is right.

    Ramsey is the only piece that fits out of the 3 at the moment. Yes Arteta has done a great job for us, but he’s still not an out and out HM, and our number 10 position keeps getting chopped and changed, although I think Özil will have nailed that down once the season gets going. It’s not just the starting players though, Wenger also needs to figure out where his squad players fit in when covering injuries, suspensions etc.

    The way I look at it is the group of players we have now has far more potential than the squad we had last year, we just need to find the right balance. If the price we pay for improvement is a few weeks of rusty performances whilst the players gel, then I can deal with that. The World Cup is also to blame for that though.

  20. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Steve, I said at the end of last week that nothing will happen on the transfer front until we know the outcome of our Champions League qualification. Wednesday night’s match is worth between £20 and £30 million, and a place in the next round makes us a much more attractive destination for ambitious players.

    In previous years Wenger has said that three new players in one window was the maximum that could be integrated, so far we’ve brought in five. Chambers and Debuchy have glided seamlessly into the team, Alexis needs the team to fit into his style of play rather than the other way round, Ospina is injured so we have no idea about him, so Campbell is really the only one who needs to integrate, so I see the opportunity to bring in at least one more recruit and that needs to be a commanding figure as holding mid-fielder.

    It seems that Khedira is staying at Real, his injury record was pretty poor anyway, so maybe it’s going to be Carvalho, we’ll just have to wait and see.

  21. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘Giroud is getting better every year’ I’ve just seen this headline on arse.com , Wenger talking about our Ollie.

    He’s been with us two years now so I suppose we’ll need to wait until 2018 to see the best of him. 😀

  22. Sanchez at the moment seems to be trying too hard… he quite rightly wants to have an immediate impact but it is letting him down. You can’t fault him on effort and defending duties, but running around the pitch like a banshee is confusing our midfielders because Giroud and the Pod never do that, our mid fielders know exactly where Giroud will be, strolling around just short of the opponents penalty area, he’ll always will be there, he never moves any where else.

  23. stevepalmer1 says:

    Sorry Norfolk stepped out for a bit.

    So you reckon there may be another signing then Norfolk. Me too
    Now i wouldn’t be daft enough to even guess who Wenger would have his eye on, or what position, because he has made a mug out of me every time. But if he does buy it will be someone who fits into the Wenger plan. and what i have seen of Wenger, he seems to plan things like a chess Master.

    Trouble with some of Wengers moves, is that at times i cannot see the logic, where a chess Master moves thinking 4 moves ahead Wengers may take a season or 3

  24. stevepalmer1 says:

    Wenger’s signings are often not for this season at all, that’s why i worry about young Chamber’s. I feel Arsene has brought young Calum as Merts replacement, but that wont be till next season and he has used him more times than what he would have liked.

    Chamber’s has shown that he could be a good Arsenal man, and i feel Wenger would have liked to have used him sparingly. My thoughts are that if he buys, it will be a cheapie CB, as i know he doesn’t like to use youngsters for to long, stress fractures.

    Mind you i am probably wrong as usual.

  25. Big Raddy says:

    I agree. Chambers was bought for the future. I really hope he is not called up to the England squad – it would do neither him nor AFC any good.

    Signings: I am expecting Carvalho and Cavani. Both would look good in the shirt

  26. chas says:
  27. LB says:

    Good observation NB69 if you don’t mind me saying.

  28. LB says:

    I thought the general consensus was that we would only get a new signing if we qualify for the CL or has that shifted to expecting a new signing regardless?

  29. stevepalmer1 says:

    Afternoon BR, I wouldn’t be to concerned with England calling, I don’t see our Calum making to many games, and England have a fairly good back line, Mind you it wouldn’t be a bad thing for Calum to see how the England set up works, as he will be in fairly soon anyway.

    Wenger allowed Theo to go when he hadn’t kicked a ball for us, he also let Ox go as well although he wasn’t fit. The way i see it, if Calum does get the call and he played, he would gain experience and should he suffer injury, England could pay his wages, as i don’t think he will be in Wenger’s plans this year.

  30. stevepalmer1 says:

    LB, Wednesdays game could determine the calibre of player we get, but a player will come in regardless

  31. LB says:

    That makes a lot of sense Steve.

  32. Rasp says:

    I fully expect Chambers to be a future Arsenal captain, he has pretty much everything needed for the job and is already mature beyond his years. I also see him as an eventual successor to the BFG. For the time being we will have to try to dampen the expectation so he can develop at his own natural pace …. however I suspect he thrives on a challenge.

  33. Rasp says:

    Balotelli has signed a 3 year deal with pool – now there’s a message that they know they are taking a gamble!

  34. The Cockie Monster says:

    Just to prove they like a gamble, Liverpool have also signed Abu Hamza to partner Balotelli up front !.

  35. stevepalmer1 says:

    Baloteli has been offered 3 mill if he goes a whole season without incident, Apparently,

  36. stevepalmer1 says:

    Pool have done very well out of Suarez deal, Arsene knew what he was doing when he tried to buy him, sadly we just couldn’t stump up the cash

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Who do we want to win tonight?

  38. stevepalmer1 says:

    Although Arsene has strengthened us, the other clubs also have strengthened, Some very good players coming to the Premier league, This season will be no walk in the park, Its all about who gel’s the quickest. So far we have got reasonable results from our start, One game an expected win for us which was tough and a well fought for draw away to a difficult team.

    Get Wednesday over with a good result, and we can work on our gelling proper, Hopefully we will be fire ring on all cylinders and keep tabs on the top teams. Spuds being there at the moment, they too have started well and they have had a season to gel 🙂

  39. stevepalmer1 says:

    Always a draw at this time of the season BR. 🙂

  40. fatgingergooner says:

    So Liverpool have signed Balotelli. Personally, I don’t think he suits what Brendan Rodgers does at that club, and I think he was a bit of a desperate signing as they needed someone to ‘replace’ Suarez.

    There is no doubt Balotelli is talented, and he’s still only 24, but how often does he hit the headlines for his talent?

    In 54 PL games he has 1 assist, and that’s exactly why I don’t think he’s a good fit for the way Liverpool play.

    I think Rodgers might have bitten off more than he can chew with Mario (no Suarez pun intended!), but what do I know!

  41. Eddie says:

    LB – now that you put it like that, then the answer is obvious – Giroud! An early goal would settle the nerves. I wholeheartedly agree with you about Sanchez – he needs time to adopt to the team and the team need to learn about his role to accommodate and make the most of him.

    Who was it that wrote him off after just 45 minutes? DidIt?

    Thanks for another great post.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    I would have signed Balotelli. He is amusing and as football is an entertainment there would be much to chat about!

    And IMO he is a better player than OG. He can score all types of goals, has pace a brilliant shot and is clever. The man’s elevator may stop short of the top floor, but so what?

    €16m is cheap.

    oops, could be the wine talking 😀

  43. fatgingergooner says:

    BR,

    Stats for the two players are actually very similar. If Balotelli had Giroud’s effort he’d be the best striker in the world!

    Balotelli stats

    Apps 158
    Goals 67
    Assists 16
    Cards 52 (5 Red)

    Giroud stats

    Apps 167
    Goals 66
    Assists 30
    Cards 22 (1 Red)

  44. Shard says:

    I can think of at least one more red that Balotelli should have had, when he nearly broke Alex Song’s leg. And the red that Giroud had was unlucky in that he slipped and even then didn’t really catch the man (Against Fulham I think it was)

    And that’s the thing. Giroud is reliable, does some things very well, plays for the team, and is probably going to keep trying to up his game.

    Balotelli might have the physical attributes but for all his talent, he will not be someone you can rely on to perform. Italy had to take him off at half time in a do-or-die game because he picked up a silly yellow and they couldn’t trust him to not do something stupid again. That’s how he is, and he isn’t productive enough to justify that type of indulgence. Nor does he look like he cares enough to want to up his game. He seems the sort who enjoys the limelight too much while not wanting to work too hard for it. Players willing to coast through on talent alone are very often liabilities to a team.

    Maybe he’ll grow up and up his game, maybe not. I don’t think he’s what we needed even based on his production alone. Why buy another ‘project’, when we already have Sanogo and Campbell in the squad?

  45. Shard says:

    LB

    Thanks for the post. Very well written and I agree with you once again. I never really pay much attention to player ratings, since they are so subjective, but I think it is almost guaranteed that Alexis will be a brilliant player for us.

    Also, rumours abound that Podolski is off to Juventus. I wonder if that means we are going to sign someone else. I think it is possible because I still have the feeling that Campbell isn’t someone the manager completely trusts yet, although he is probably prepared to be persuaded. (how many words with P can you fit into half a sentence?)

  46. Thanks LB
    It’s nice to know that I can make the occasional good observation about football 🙂

    Those stats between Mario and Giroud are interesting, but remember, the Italian is still only 24. Personally and I hope I’m wrong, I think he’ll do well at Liverpool. With regards to tonights match, a draw has to be the best result for us. City would then only go above us on goal diff.

    If Podolski is going then AW will have to get someone else in. When we qualify for th CL group stage that will be made easier but there won’t be much time.

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    The problem with Balotelli is that his lunacy doesn’t just effect him and his career, it also plays havoc with the squad, the dressing room, and results on the pitch.

    I’m very surprised Liverpool have gone for him after just getting rid of Suarez, but sounds like Rodgers wants to work with idiots in the same way Wenger likes to work with young talent.

    They could have a bargain on their hands, but we can only judge based on history, and that would suggest they’ve signed a complete tool! I hope that’s the case.

    As for the game tonight, I’m thinking 3-3.

  48. stevepalmer1 says:

    Word has it that Poldi has signed for Wolfsburg 9.6 mill

  49. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Earlier this evening I watched Sky’s programme on Dennis Bergamp, I can thoroughly recomend it to any football fan, as an Arsenal supporter I think it was probably the best bit of sports television I’ve seen in years.

    What a talent that guy had. Thanks Bruce Rioch for signing him.

    ps, It’s being repeated at 19.00 tomorrow on Sky Sports 5. I’ts well worth watching.

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Not happy about Pod leaving. Seems crazy to me.

    And I would have sold both Campbell & Sanogo to fund the signing of Mad Mario.

    NB 69. I agree that at 24 he will mature and is worth a punt. p.s. enjoy your site.

  51. Big Raddy says:

    NG. Thanks. I will have to find a stream for that particular pleasure – maybe they will put it up on youtube

  52. FGG

    I’ve always been a bit of a softy when it comes to waifs and strays., tramps and unmanageable rebels. :-).

  53. stevepalmer1 says:

    Don’t be to eager to sell Joel BR, I reckon this guy will turn out a good un

  54. The Cockie Monster says:

    If Pod goes for nearly £10M !, that means we have only spent about £1-2M on the Kelseyometer !……and on the Perry Groves rumourscale will still have £200/220M still under Wenger`s mattress !……enough to buy Messi or up our stadium capacity to 90,000 !.

  55. Norfolk Gooner says:

    If, as seems likely Podolski has gone, I can’t see Wenger letting Campbell go, especially as Sanogo is so injury prone.

    Shouldn’t Walcott be back by now?

  56. The Cockie Monster says:

    Walcott and Gibbs are seeing Diaby`s consultant !.

  57. BR

    We could have kept Joel and still bought Mario at £16m…. if the Kelsometer is correct, it’s not as if Wenger is short of money. I agree with SteveP, Campbell has a lot to offer, he just needs to be given a chance. Thanks for the feedback by the way, much appreciated 🙂

  58. Shard says:

    Walcott was to start normal training 31st August or first week of September. So probably won’t play till the start of October.

    Gibbs was supposed to be out for 2-3 weeks from Aug 16th. So maybe first week of September.

    Arteta likewise, although worryingly we haven’t heard anything since he was supposed to have a scan the day after the game.

  59. Wenger seems to have a selection nightmare on his hands already. Wednesday night it’s going to be important to keep a clean sheet but at the same time, go for a goal. It’s not gonna be easy.

  60. stevepalmer1 says:

    1,0 city jovetic

  61. stevepalmer1 says:

    Don’t think the Turks will be much of a problem at the Ems NB we should be al right for the return. Missing Rambo because of his stupidity but still think we have enough to see them off.

  62. stevepalmer1 says:

    HT in Manchester 1.0 still but a hard fought game so far, Carrager almost crying God i hate that blokes voice

  63. I don’t think there’ll be a problem either Steve, but Demba Ba will be up for causing problems.

  64. stevepalmer1 says:

    He is a handful i must admit

  65. fatgingergooner says:

    Jovetic would’ve been perfect for us. His style would definitely fit the way we play.

  66. stevepalmer1 says:

    Baloteli sitting in the stand, looks like he has just come from Notting hill the outfit he has on, no respect at all

  67. He would have been good for us I think! Anyway, I’m not watching the City game, just getting updates on BBC. A draw for us would be good, I’m hoping 2-2…….. Dzeko to get a goal, and Henderson to get an assist and a goal in the second half……… but that’s for my Fantasy PL team points ha ha 🙂

  68. stevepalmer1 says:

    2.0 jovetic again

  69. Once Balotelli starts living in Merseyside he’ll soon start wearing a shell suit 🙂 and grow long curly hair.

  70. Eddie says:

    Good game, City are very clinical. Did we really beat them 3:0? 🙂

  71. stevepalmer1 says:

    Aguero on fist touch and city 3 goals up 30 seconds of coming on

  72. stevepalmer1 says:

    Bang goes your fantasy team NB

  73. fatgingergooner says:

    So City start with Dzeko and Jovetic, then Aguero comes on and scores instantly! Oh, and they have Negredo too.

    Still, they are just a poor mans Giroud, Sanogo, Sanchez and Campbell!!!! 🙂

  74. stevepalmer1 says:

    Jovetic off and fernandinho on

  75. stevepalmer1 says:

    Lambert on for Pool

  76. stevepalmer1 says:

    Lambert scores 3.1

  77. stevepalmer1 says:

    Turns out Zabaletta got the last touch not Lamberts goal

  78. chas says:

    Yep, poor man’s.
    £104 million against £45 million.

  79. stevepalmer1 says:

    Liverpool players going down like nine pins down to ten with a walking wounded

  80. chas says:

  81. stevepalmer1 says:

    3.1 game over

  82. stevepalmer1 says:

    Work tomorrow nte all

  83. fatgingergooner says:

    Giroud would be Plan E in the Man City team. That’s a scary thought. I still like him though, for now.

  84. Shard says:

    fgg

    Not really an issue. I think you’re underestimating Giroud, but we’re probably one attacker away from having a comparable attack.

    Giroud is akin to Negredo, and Sanchez can be our Aguero. That leaves Dzeko and Jovetic. We then would have Yaya and Joel, plus Walcott. That’s not bad at all for attack when you consider we also have Ozil, Cazorla, Ox and Ramsey to help out.

    But another attacker would give us something like the same depth that City have.

    (I’m assuming Podolski is off)

  85. fatgingergooner says:

    Shard,

    I love the positive outlook, but you’re dreaming if you think our 4 attackers are even close in comparison to City’s line up.

    I’m not saying we need that depth of attack, as we can only play 1 at a time in our line up, but it certainly could be stronger. Hopefully, in a few years Campbell and Sanogo will be good enough to justify your confidence!

  86. Shard says:

    fgg

    I said along with Walcott and another attacker we could be comparable. Not that Campbell and Sanogo are to be considered at that level now.

    I actually disagree with saying only 1 can play in our system. I think we can play 3 attackers. By which I mean that our goals don’t have to come from just Giroud. Waclott plays like a striker who just happens to start out wide, and we can do something similar on the left too. (Even though Wenger prefers a technical playmaker there)

    Campbell and Sanogo both will have a role to play undoubtedly and we’ll need at least one of them to step up. Even so, if we’re just comparing attackers, we’re still one good to awesome player short of City.

    But I think Giroud-Negredo and Alexis-Aguero are decently matched, with Walcott also a quality addition, even if he’s a different sort of player.

  87. fatgingergooner says:

    Shard,

    Guess we will have to disagree on that one, but I do agree about getting more from our wide men. If we are going to have a striker like Giroud, who is slow but very good at bringing others into play, then we must get pace around him, and I think playing Cazorla or Özil on the LW is a mistake.

    I would’ve loved us to bring in someone like Reus or Griezmann to play out there, but even within the squad we could put Sanchez or Ox out there with Walcott on the right and Özil or Cazorla as the number 10.

    It will be interesting to see what Wenger does with the side once everyone is available (if that ever happens!). At the moment it just feels like he’s plugging gaps with whoever is fit and available, regardless of formation or tactics.

  88. Shard says:

    fgg

    Yes. The most interesting aspect about our current squad (when fit) is that it gives us lots of options in terms of style of play. Hopefully we’ll have some of our players stay back and/or get healthy during the international break, which would be the time to work out the combinations and systems. Till then we’ll probably be learning during matches.

    Some reports suggest that Giroud could possibly have a fracture and be out for three months. Probably fear mongering, but it’s sort of working 😦

  89. neamman says:

    Sanchez was never a 9 and we shouldn’t expect that much from him so soon. It usually takes at least 2 months for a foreigner to adapt to the EPL. Ithink he will be a great addition but hes not an old fashioned number 9. I see OG as our number 9, sanchez playing behind him with Theo.

  90. Bayonne Jean says:

    Reports are circulating that OG will be out for a while after injuring that foot at Goodison……anyone else hearing that?

  91. arnie says:

    Brilliant, absolutely brilliant post, LB. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I have been following the entertaining discussion on and off, but (a) busy day, (b) important political events here in Scotland, and (c) depressing thoughts about our Ollie and his suspected 3 month holiday kept me away. 😦

    What can I say? For me, Giro was plan A in this team. Always, 100%. If the bad news is confirmed tomorrow, it will be humble pie for the Giro-haters but it will be disaster for the club I fear. Maybe we will get another front man, and that will make some happy (thinking of you, Micky 🙂 ). Then we can compare the 20 goal and umpteen assists plus the Jack-goal-assist Giro with an overpriced, over-hyped numpty. Of course, stats will lie, for that is what they always do. 😛 Nevertheless, depressing thoughts, but I feel much more relaxed by getting it off my chest.

    IMO, Giro is perfect for the style we play in. Thanks, NB, Steve, LB, Shard and others for pointing out. Target man on the top of the box, taking away 2 or 3 defenders, and holding it up selflessly for others to take vacant positions and shoot. That he still managed to score 20 in a season is testament to his fitness, stamina and ability. And then taking all the flak at the end of it. Perhaps not the best in the world, but absolutely top gun for us. IMO.

    Sanchez was our Plan B. It did not work first half against Everton, but we will now have to do with this. Somehow. Where I disagree with LB, though, is that I think it was partly his own fault. Not once in the first half was there any of our good guys in any vacant position in or around the box. This includes Sanchez. Crosses went abegging, and no one to hold up as well. Rubbish, utter rubbish.

    As Steve I think said, Sanchez looks and feels like the Ox, a brilliant version. Rushing into the box, a midfielder not a striker. If this instinct is not curbed, perhaps it will have to be Plans C and D, Sanogo and Campbell. In the absence of Poldi, which seems to be disaster personified, twice over. Or the aforementioned new toy.

    So, on the whole, depressing thoughts. If the bad news is confirmed tomorrow, I will sit down with a jug of claret right in the morning. 😦 I will await Raddy’s shining gloss before offering my own rather depressing views on the game.

    But I will also eagerly await any pleasant surprise that just may come our way. 😦 :sad 😦 For that is what a fan does! COYG. Surprise us. 🙂

  92. arnie says:

    Bayonne Jean. Short answer. YES. 😦

  93. chas says:

  94. chas says:

  95. chas says:

  96. chas says:

    I’m struggling with the whole Giroud thing.

    He helped set up the winner in the Cup Final, scored a belter in the Community Shield, but I still heard on Saturday about how shite he was, with someone else agreeing that they couldn’t hate him more than they themselves did.

    Now all those bad feelings seem to have come to rest on his shin/ankle and he may be out injured for a while after an innocuous ball on the shin incident. That bitch karma bites back in a big way.

    (I know karma is meant to be from past lives, but everyone else uses it as if it happens in the present, so so am I.)

  97. RA says:

    Chas,

    You are right on a number of levels!

    Karma has come to mean future fate based on past actions.

  98. RA says:

    Where is the evil Micky? 🙂

  99. kelsey says:

    Chas

    it hasn’t been confirmed as of yet but if true we have half the squad injured and Kos isn’t fit either and just the slghtest knock and he could be out.
    Can’t blame AW for Giroud’s injury and in fact he appeared to do his ankle injury to himself with the ball cannoning back on to his ankle.
    Now it looks like Podolski is off as well, what the feck’s sake is going on.
    Is Sanago still injured ?

    Ospina got injured at the WC some three months ago, what’s actually wrong with him.

    Many are saying Campbell might get the nod tomorrow but it is a big ask with so much resting on the game financially for the club and of course the days are running out to get players in.

    Why sell Vermaelen before getting a replacement in. AW must have known weeks or even months ago he was leaving.

    Anyway,always look at the bright side of life 🙂

  100. fatgingergooner says:

    I actually like Giroud and think he adds a lot to our team, however, along with many others, I just don’t believe he’s the man that’s going to take us back to the very top as he’s limited in what can do.

    It will be a disaster if he is injured because we are not going to find the world class striker we need in a week.

    We will probably end up with someone like Remy or Welbeck, or maybe Podolski will end up staying until January. Not ideal.

  101. RA says:

    Hi fgg,

    I hope this does not sound picky, as I am more interested in the contrast in the comment – so here goes. 🙂

    (1) “he (Giroud) is limited in what can do.”

    (2) “It will be a disaster if he (Giroud) is injured because we are not going to find the world class striker we need in a week.

    So it seems that Giroud is not the world class striker we need, but, by inference, if he stays fit it will not be a disaster, presumably.

    However, if he is injured it would be a disaster.

    Yup, it does sound a bit picky, but I share your view that Giro is not in the same class as The Biter, or Aguero, or Jovetic — but he is a good, honest, much needed striker with muscle and height in a team of midgets, and is certainly not a disaster.

    Or did you mean that we won’t have time or inclination to get a striker even as good as Giro? 🙂

  102. LB says:

    I want to swim in the turquoise water around Elephant Rock now, I mean right now.

    Another grey day in London, off the Edgware Road (which starts at Marble Arch for those who may not be aware).

  103. fatgingergooner says:

    RA,

    Giroud is definitely not a disaster, as I said at the beginning of my comment, I really like him. However, I don’t think he’s the player to take us to PL and CL titles.

    There’s no point spending £75m on 2 world class attacking midfielders only to have an above average striker up front. We need a world class striker to compliment our new boys, and I don’t believe Giroud is that man.

    However, Giroud is still the best striker we have at the club, so losing him with only a week of the window left could prove to be a disaster as I don’t see any world class replacements currently on the market.

  104. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Say it ain’t so about Ollie.

    We are going down faster than a whore’s drawers 🙂

  105. LB says:

    Slim

    Would you say that Dzeko is better than Giroud?

  106. Big Raddy says:

    LB. I am going there in October. I believe the sea is so cold even the fish wear wetsuits.

  107. LB says:

    BR

    Where is it, what country?

  108. Eddie says:

    Micky is hanging around London airports waiting to dish out some transfer gossips

    If we qualify tomorrow that will be extra £25mils in the kitty

    LB – Marble Arch is the posh end 🙂

  109. Shard says:

    Morning all,

    Kelsey – Your comment about Vermaelen is one I’ve seen echoed elsewhere but keeping him wouldn’t have made any difference in the short term because he was and is injured from the World Cup. Barcelona said so as well and he sat out their first league game watching from the stands. Instead now we have 15m, freed up wages and room in the squad for another CB. Of course we still have to get him.

    fgg – Giroud doesn’t have to be the world class striker if Alexis and Walcott can be. Alexis in particular has the capability to do something ‘special’, ‘magical’ ‘create his own shot’ type thing, though Walcott has improved at that as well.

    Besides the term world class is weird to me. Only a certain type of player ever gets thought of as world class. Giroud is among the best in the world at what he brings to the team. He might have his limitations, but there is no such thing as a perfect player.

    It’s more about the team as a whole than just Giroud not being someone he’s not. If he can work with other players, we could well win the league even with him playing as the main striker.

    If indeed he is injured, we’re going to need to adapt very quickly to a different style of play, and we’ll need Sanogo to step up big time to provide the Plan A/Plan B we expect from Giroud.

    I actually like Loic Remy as a player. Given a choice between him and Balotelli, I would pick him. So if indeed we are looking to replace Giroud (or Podolski) with Remy, I’d be fine with it. Although like you I would love us to sign Reus, Cavani or Falcao.

  110. fatgingergooner says:

    LB,

    I would say they are of a similar level.

    I believe we need a focal point to our attack, but that doesn’t mean they have to be a lump who cannot run. Players like Lewandowski, Jovetic, Benzema and RVP when he was with us, are all capable of holding the ball up and laying a platform, but they can also run in behind, and that’s what Giroud doesn’t have.

  111. LB says:

    Fair comment Slim.

  112. Big Raddy says:

    LB. It is a nature reserve on an island off the west coast of Iceland. Hopefully the seas will allow us to get there as we are taking a 10 day tour starting in Rejkavik.

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Slim. 8.52. Sad but very true

  114. LB says:

    Cold, cold, cold, I thought you were going to say somewhere in South East Asia.

    10 day tour sounds nice.

  115. Big Raddy says:

    If it is true about OG then Wolfsburg have no chance of signing Podolski – it would be madness to let him go

  116. Oh disaster!!!!! Ollie out for three months possibly 😦

    What’s going on???????????

  117. arnie says:

    motning all. Sombre thoughts. I messed up dates, apols. of course, I blame Giro. 😛

  118. Eddie says:

    3 months??? Great, this means next year

  119. Eddie says:

    Updates from Micky’s agent:

    Arsenal look set to be beaten to the signing of Olympiacos centre-back Kostas Manolas by Roma after the Italian club had a £10.3m offer accepted for the 23-year-old Greece international. (Goal)

    Manchester United and Arsenal have received a huge boost in their pursuit of Roma defender Mehdi Benatia, 27, after the Italian club scrapped a proposed meeting with potential suitors Bayern Munich. (Daily Star)

    Arsenal are set to chase Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho, 22, after the Portuguese club lowered their asking price. (Daily Express)

    The Gunners could move for either Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck, 23, or QPR’s Loic Remy, 27, as they fear France striker Olivier Giroud could be out for three months with an ankle injury. (Daily Telegraph)

  120. RA says:

    fgg,

    Thanks for that — I can see you were referring more as to the timing of the injury, with only a few days to go before the Window clunks shut, meaning a replacement, if necessary, might not be available.

    I have always liked Giro – but he does not set the pulse raising.

  121. RA says:

    I am furious with Raddish!

    Yet another holiday – and just when the action will be heating up in October when we will need the pre-Match even more – still, there is always kelsey – I suppose. 🙂

  122. Morning all

    I’m a bit suspicious that Micky hasn’t shown himself this morning 😛

  123. Gööner In Exile says:

    A well crafted post LB I have a slightly different view point, but it needs a post length response, I’ll try and get one ready for this week.

  124. arnie says:

  125. I have a post in the cupboard ironically titled ‘Transfer Window. Are we finished?’ It was written a few days ago, I’m going to check it again ………

  126. andy bishop says:

    The Besiktas game is far from a done deal. No Ramsey, Arteta or Giroud. The balance will be affected no doubt. Besiktas are tough to score against.. Cant fault Giroud for effort and he has improved but not my first choice. Second half impact yes…No for the first half intensity that is the premier league.

  127. New Post ……………………

  128. Its time be flexible. We can do a Sanchez/Giroud, Walcott/Sanchez, Giroud lone striker.Its all about adapting and being able to change it as the game progresses. I really hope Arsene goes for something like this. With Everton we needed to be direct and we had an option. I enjoyed the pressuring high up the pitch and breaking with pace style of play of Colombia and Chile so for Besiktas Sanchez and Joe for pace and breaking with pace.

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