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Olivier Giroud's Red Card Upheld by FA

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While not totally unexpected, the FA upholds Olivier Giroud's red card from the match at Craven Cottage and his subsequent three-match ban

Not a red card
Not a red card
Mike Hewitt

While Arsene Wenger said, in the immediate aftermath of the match last Saturday versus Fulham, that he thought Giroud's tackle was a warranted red card, an appeal was launched with the FA yesterday, presumably after seeing the tackle over and judging it to be more a work of clumsiness and bad luck on Giroud's part.

However, it didn't take long for the governing body of the sport to come back with a resounding "Thanks for playing, but no"; Giroud's three-match ban due to the red card was upheld, meaning he will miss the Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers and Wigan matches and be eligible for the season-ending match away at Newcastle.

Arsene Wenger now must decide who to slot in at center forward in these very crucial matches ahead. If he opts to go with Theo Walcott, then he can start Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right with Lukas Podolski on the left and move Santi Cazorla to the middle (if Jack Wilshere's still not 100%). Or he can move Cazorla to the left and start Tomas Rosicky, who's been on great run of matches as of late but missed the last two matches with a hamstring injury; Rosicky's status for United has yet to be determined, so I'm holding out some sort of hope he's fine and available. He could also play Cazorla on the right with Podolski on the left and Rosicky/Wilshere in the middle. Wenger could also decide to keep Walcott on the right, which should then move Podolski to the center and Cazorla to the left.

In any case, the point of this being that Wenger has options due to both a deep squad and a general lack of injuries afflicting the squad, at least in comparison to previous, recent seasons. How he decides to field his squad for this Sunday will, no doubt, be a talking point the rest of the week.