How to replace Olivier Giroud?
The French word for Marmite would surely be ‘Giroud’, if they were ever converted into eating the dark, divisive substance. Many love him and many do not, but there is little doubt that the man who scores or assists in the PL every 110 minutes will once again lead the line in the coming season. And this is not because he is the best CF available, but because he is the best CF for Arsene’s system of football. The man who worked with some of the best attackers in world football knows what a typically good CF looks like, and I have no doubt he could get us one in no time – and one you and I would probably hardly or not have heard of. But he, like Deschamps, has opted for Ollie as his ‘Holding CF’, which I have explained on this webblog many a time.
The big question to ask is what will happen if Giroud gets injured? Who should replace him?
For me there are five options – and it would be good to discuss these on this blog today:
- Another internal option
- Buy Buy Buy
Theo has said he wants to focus on playing on the right wing from now on but it remains to be seen whether Arsene wants him there. But with him saying he is no longer confident he can be a good CF, Wenger needs to look at his next option up front. I reckon Alexis would be a good shout to play as our CF but it would mean a change of system. He would fit the false nr.9 system (1-4-6) or being played as ‘an Aguero at Man City’. Alexis would fit this free CF role really well, and I have no doubt he can reach 20+ PL goals in a season. It is unlikely that Wenger will opt for this unless he has to, though, as it would mean it big change in system.
Yaya is young and raw but he is our best option to play in the Giroud role. His positional awareness is very good and his body strength is already impressive. He can play as our attacking pivot around whom the attack can function at its best. We all know that his finishing needs to improve dramatically, and it would be unwise to bank on Sanogo covering for Ollie if he were to get seriously injured at this stage. But the big advantage is that we can continue to play the same system of football albeit less effective.
Chuba, who will be 21 in two months, is talented and the more classical CF option. There is a bit of Ian Wright in Akpom and I like him a lot. We need to see more of him to judge whether he can make the significant jump to the first team, especially if he were to cover for Ollie in case of a long-lasting injury. The jury is still out and it would be a big risk on Arsene’s side to believe he can be our ‘nr.2’. On the other hand, he might grab the opportunity with both hands and be a big success.
Another internal option
Is Takuma Asano the right one for us? You tell me! 🙂 Or should the Ox be played as our CF, a suggestion JNYC made yesterday? Can you think of anybody else who could cover effectively for Giroud in case of injury?
Or is the one and best option buying a super CF or just good cover for Giroud: do we have to go external? Clearly, a super CF will want to play all the time and will not accept to be second best to Ollie. This would mean a change of system of football in all likelihood, and I reckon this is not on the cards (especially at this late stage of our pre-season). Good cover for Ollie, ideally somebody who can also play on the wing, seems to be the most likely option Wenger will take. But has he left it too late, and how many players are prepared and capable to play the ‘Holding CF’ role? Or will he go for an internal option?
What do you think fine fellow Gooners?