It may be unpopular but Giroud should give way for Welbeck to play 9

Olivier Giroud, are you good enough?

I don’t believe I will be making too many friends with this piece but here goes…
I am aware that the timing cannot be worse to come out with an opinion about how Danny Welbeck would be a better option up front compared to Olivier Giroud! I differ from my colleague Subomi who wrote a piece in praise 0f the Frenchman earlier this week.

The Frenchman scored 8 in his last 11 games and is playing great football. However I’m still not convinced; I like his desire and hunger, I like the way he fights for the team, but I’m too often disappointed by his passing game and technique.

Mr. Handsome is not the flick specialist we’re made to believe, I’m sorry.

If there’s one thing I like about him, is the way he keeps trying and trying; one thing I don’t like is that he often falls short.
In my opinion, the best example of what Olivier Giroud could be – but is not – came during the game against Middlesbrough: a simple, five yards pass that would have sent Danny Welbeck straight on a 1v1 with the goalkeeper ended somehow over-hit and misplaced by the Frenchman.
He spotted his teammate’s run perfectly well but merely couldn’t finish a pass that even Mathieu Flamini would have completed.
That tells a lot.

Who should be the striker?

I reckon it’s harsh on a player who scored a brace during the same game. However, this is not the standard I expect from our main striker.

Moreover, I stand to my point when I say that his lack of speed and movement is highly damaging for our football; the day he doesn’t win his duels against his markers there’s not much he can offer; as Arsène Wenger likes to repeat, his use of upper body is marvelous but on many occasions his feet let him down poorly. His only foot, I should say, which makes him predictable.

In a front line composed of players who like to exchange positions, move across the pitch and enjoy some anarchy, he looks a bit too static at times. I know he’s asked to be the focal point of our attack and I know he’s invited to keep the ball when under pressure but I believe that Danny Welbeck could do the same job. We saw at White Hart Lane that Olivier Giroud’s first touch is enough heavy most of the time, which leads to quick turnovers and dangerous counters for our opponents. Again, ball control and retention are not his most distinct qualities.

Danny Welbeck is smarter at running behind defenders and offers a wider range of solutions to our midfielders and wingers. Hence in my view he should be given the #9 position.

We had a taste of what the Englishman could do during our games against Galatasaray, Aston Villa, Hull City and West Brom: electric pace combined with a strong presence and excellent technique.
His stats do not give him enough credit, and he should be judged after a long run of games played as our main forward – not in his current wide midfield position.

Completes his hatrick v Gala

He can take defenders on, he can win duels and deliver critical passes, something Olivier Giroud struggles to do. A striker of his qualities is very difficult to handle for a defender because his multiple talents could suddenly surprise his marker. Olivier Giroud can be unplayable at times, especially when he’s physically at his best, but on a day off he’s just so easy to nullify.

I don’t argue with the fact that Danny Welbeck is not a natural goal scorer, but I believe it’s just a matter of time and confidence; he’s rarely been employed as a pure striker and he’s been often requested to cover much ground, which, of course, has an impact on coolness and calmness in front of goal.

I would say he is not a deadly finisher yet but at only 24, Danny Welbeck is not the finished article and has the potential to be one of those 30+ goals a season strikers. But to reach this potential, he has to play through the middle on a permanent basis.

I crave watching an attacking line in which Danny Welbeck starts up front and swaps positions with Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez and one of Theo Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain because this line’s dynamism, flair and technique sounds far more dangerous than having one target man and runners around him.

If the big French striker has a bad day and cannot dominate his opponent, our runners are short of supply and our football becomes static, predictable and slow; it happened last season when Olivier Giroud. Ran out of gas we all saw how our game lacked options when our main striker was so shattered he could barely move.I don’t want it to happen again and unfortunately Olivier Giroud is the main reason our football stagnates, at times.

I will be interested to hear your views.

Editors Note – In December Giroud suggested both he and Welbeck could compliment each other – Click here.



14 Responses to It may be unpopular but Giroud should give way for Welbeck to play 9

  1. Bryan February 25, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    Its your opinion which you fully are entitled to, of course
    but there is no way Danny Welbeck is ever going to be a 30 goal a season striker.

    Giroud is a total team player & gives us that something different as all our other attackers are pacy skilful players.
    Don’t get me wrong, I like Welbeck, he works his socks off & does a good job for the club, but he misses good chances far too often, as does Giroud but Giroud has the knack of scoring goals out of the blue, like the one he got in last minute against Man U this season.

    There is deffinately room for both of them at the club but Giroud is always ahead of Welbeck as main striker & goal scorer & if we went out & got a world class striker, I would still want Giroud around, I actually think Giroud is a lot better than he is given credit for

    • AndreaR February 26, 2015 at 11:34 am #

      Hi Bryan,
      thanks for your message, really appreciated. I do believe Danny can score that many goals if he’s given the main role at the Arsenal. As I said, he has more options compared to Giroud which should increase his chances.
      He’s definitely not a deadly finisher but he’ll come good if he’s played up front.
      Giroud is a great team player and I’m happy he’s at the Club but he shouldn’t be one of the first names on the team sheet, in my opinion

      • Bryan February 26, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

        Hi Andrea
        You can not learn to become a top goal scorer, sure you can get better at it but its instinctive.
        Look at last nights disaster against Monaco for example twice in the first 10 minutes the ball was played into the area for Wellbeck tap ins but he was a yard or so out of position because he does not have the killer instinct, if those balls were for Sanchez they would of been goals.
        As I said Welbeck has something to offer Arsenal but he will never ever be capable of scoring 30 goals in a season.
        Look at someone like Jemaine Defoe he had much more predatory striker instincts but he was only a 20 goal a season striker & that was his best year.
        We need a world class striker & sadly a new manager as well, I think

        • AndreaR February 27, 2015 at 10:28 am #

          ‘Morning Bryan, I’m a huge fan of Danny Welbeck and I trust his ability.
          I have a few examples of strikers who learnt how to score but my favorite one is Hernan Crespo; he didn’t left good memories in England but while in Parma I remember him being so wasteful in front of the goal that supporters were calling for the coach to hook him off at each game.
          Then, one afternoon, he scored his first and since he never looked back.
          He went on scoring 25+ goals a season for Parma and Lazio before moving to Chelsea and many of those who didn’t trust him had to take their words back.
          I still believe he could fluorish if placed in the #9 role for a long run, with players like Özil, Cazorla and Sanchez picking his clever runs

  2. Adam February 25, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

    I didn’t bother myself and continue reading your blog, because you sounds raw and poor and contradict yourself, it’s better for you to carry on with the italian football.

    • AndreaR February 26, 2015 at 11:35 am #

      Wonderful insight Adam, thanks a lot.

  3. Mick February 25, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

    Ummmmm….. no!

    Why would we take out a striker in form because he will at some stage lose form. Take him out if he loses form.

    Also he may have a heavy touch at times but it is typically when he is facing goal (he is excellent when he has his back to goal). In this situation it usually leads to the opposition goal keeper having the ball or one of the opposition back four. When he does lose possession leading to a counteract it is often because he has received the ball under tremendous pressure in tight spaces.

    Also to pick out one missed pass in a recent fixture and think that that says a lot about a player is rubbish. Even more so to say Flamini would pull it off. Flamini should not even be an Arsenal player.

    To suggest Giroud isn’t our best central striker or even worse that he isn’t good enough is ludicrous

    • AndreaR February 26, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

      Hi Mick, thanks for your comment!
      that pass you and are are referring to is just one example I used to clarify my reasoning, I’m not judging a player based on one pass/chance/game – that would be stupid from me.

      To come back to your comment, I think you make a good point about Giroud being unable to keep the ball when under tremendous pressure in tight spaces and this is exactly the thing which often costs us possession or good chances.
      Any Arsenal central striker will very often be under tremendous pressure and asked to play in tight spaces, that’s the price to pay for playing in a big Club; he’s not handling this pressure well enough, in my opinion.

      Also, you say he has a heavy touch when receiving the ball face to goal, which I agree with and is disappointing when we are countering our opponents.

      I might be ludicrous and unfair in my comment but that’s what I see in Olivier Giroud, a very good team player who should not be an automatic starter at the Club

  4. Frank Castle February 25, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    It’s not unpopular, its down right idiotic.

    • AndreaR February 26, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

      …that’s even better compared to Adam’s feedback 🙂

  5. Dick Swiveller February 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    I think you’re working on an old version of Giroud and comparing it to a potentially close but unrealised version of Welbeck. Giroud has improved on his movement, and despite still missing passes, both literally and figuratively, his flicks and holdup play is still superior to Welbeck, who has great potential to be the CF you think he is but isn’t there yet. Welbeck simply doesn’t win as many headers, and isn’t as adept at shielding the ball as Giroud; I agree that Welbeck will get better in front of goal, he has the tools but needs to use them better.

    Should Welbeck get more opportunities as a CF? Sure, he probably should as he has potential to be an upgrade to Giroud, but shoud he be playing as first choice striker in prefernece to Giroud? No.

    Note to editor, it’s the other spelling of compliment.

    • AndreaR February 26, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

      Hi Dick, thanks for your comment about this blog.
      I see improvements and willingness to learn in Giroud, however I’m not sure he’ll reach the level required to be our main striker.
      Danny Welbeck clearly isn’t really superior to him at the moment, but handing him the central role in our attacking line could help him becoming the striker I think he could be.
      I said he’s not a finished article so I am aware of his weaknesses, playing week in, week out would help him overcoming his shortages.

      I don’t want us to get rid of Giroud, I just say we have a very good option we’re not using enough

  6. Phil C February 25, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

    I think you’re completely wrong. Giroud has a better first touch than Welbeck, is more dangerous in front of goal, is a better passer of the ball, has vastly more experience, is stronger in the challenge and has a superior haircut.

    • AndreaR February 26, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

      Hi Phil,
      may bad, I completely forgot the haircut. I take back everything I wrote, you nailed it. 🙂

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