As you all know, Giroud has a three match ban after being sent off by referee Andre Marriner in the 90th minute of our last match against Fulham, when he caught Manolev with a slide tackle. Giroud has told Arsène Wenger that is was accidental and that he slipped, and our manager has said he can understand why Giroud was shown a red card. Nevertheless, Arsenal have appealed against Giroud’s dismissal.
A statement from Arsenal says “We have lodged an appeal to the Football Association for the wrongful dismissal of Olivier Giroud against Fulham.”
If Arsenal’s appeal is unsuccessful Giroud will remain suspended until May 19th which more or less means that the season is over for him. But if Arsenal’s appeal is successful, Giroud will still be suspended for at least one game.
Giroud has been criticized by lots of Arsenal fans for his missed opportunities this season, so there are plenty of Gooners who will not miss him; but there is no doubt that Giroud will be missed by our team. In our current team Giroud is very important to our attack. His work rate is excellent; he has the desire to do well for himself and the team and is the focal point for our attack.
So now with Giroud suspended for three matches (although if Arsenal are successful in their appeal against Giroud’s dismissal, Giroud would only be suspended for one match), Wenger will have to choose someone else to lead the line for us.
Gervinho has played as our main striker on a number of occasions this season but has been very inconsistent throughout the season, so I doubt he will start any of our upcoming matches- that is unless there are injuries. Gervinho is also much more effective on the wings where he can add the much needed width, which we so often lack.
So Wenger is now left with the dilemma of who should lead the line: Podolski or Walcott.
Podolski and Walcott are very different in terms of what they have to offer when leading the line. Walcott offers his lightening pace, meanwhile Podolski offers his clinical finishing with his powerful and accurate shots from distance, which can trouble any keeper.
Podolski is a clinical finisher who thrives from getting into the correct positions in and around the box, where he can look to get into good goal scoring opportunities and then score capitalise on them. His long shots are also something to be desired. They are accurate and powerful. He will run at defenders and take them on, dragging them out of position which allow his teammates to exploit the spaces left behind by the defenders.
Podolski is also no pushover and is an absolute beast. He will score goals inside or outside the box, on the volley or even by his head. He is by far our most experienced striker with over 100 caps for Germany.
Walcott has superb pace and he is usually the quickest player on the pitch. I cannot think of many players much faster than Walcott. Walcott can use his lightening pace to draw defenders out of position which makes it much easier for our other players to get into good goal scoring opportunities, or Walcott can simply use his pace to knock the ball past defenders and beat defenders to the ball, at will.
He often does the latter when playing on the right wing. When Walcott is playing up front he still uses his incredible pace to very good effect. Walcott will often get in between two defenders of a team who are playing a high line and look to beat
the offside trap. Teams playing against Walcott know this is what he will try to do but it is very hard for them to stop him from him from doing this. Once Walcott has beaten the offside trap no defender can even get back in time to make a challenge on him. This often leaves him with a one on one with the GK of the opposing team where he will look to simply slot the ball low into the corner of the opposition’s net with a cool finish.
However teams can manage to tame Walcott by defending deep in their own halve. Many teams who defend deep will often deploy two banks of four which means that Walcott no longer has pockets of space in front of defenders where he can run into sometimes, making his lightning pace pretty superfluous.
So for me, if the team(s) we are facing in our next fixture(s) are defending with a high line Walcott is the man to lead the line. However, if we are coming up against team(s) who defend very deep in their own halve, Walcott is not very effective so Podolski is the man to lead the line.
For me it is very hard to tell whether Wenger will pick Walcott or Podolski to lead the line. It is said that Wenger is grooming Podolski for this role, and Podolski does have more experience than Walcott playing as the main striker throughout his career, but Walcott has excelled when leading the line for us early this season, when Wenger gave him an opportunity to do so with our manager being very impressed with him. So whether Wenger will choose Podolski or Walcott to play as our main striker, is any man’s guess.
Who do you want now to see lead the line?
Who do you think Wenger will choose to lead the line?
Do you think the team will perform better with Walcott or Podolski up front?
Written by: AFC.