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2016/17 Arsenal season preview: Olivier Giroud

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Mostly Giroud, but some other people as well

Portugal v France - Final: UEFA Euro 2016
So Gallic
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

All the rest of these previews dealt with an entire segment of the Arsenal starting XI and immediate next options. We come today to the last of these pieces, where we talk about...center forwards. Problem is, Arsenal really only have one of those right now; I mean, Aidan talked about the concept of Alexis playing there in his analysis from yesterday, and while Giroud is recovering from his Euro exertions, we’ll see a combination of, probably, Akpom and Walcott up there, but when it comes to out and out CF’s, Arsenal have all their chips on Olivier Giroud, at least at the time of writing.

Giroud is many things, and “frustrating” is certainly one of those many things. He can score the most amazing goals, and score them in bunches, but then...nothing. For game after game. I know scoring is streaky, and I certainly don’t expect him to score a goal every single game, but I would also love to see him avoid those five and six game scoreless droughts.

This is the point in the story where it should turn to “and that’s why I believe Arsenal desperately need some support for Giroud before August 31 and the closing of the window”. And I...kinda believe that, and would not be sad if it happened, but here’s my devil’s advocate, what-if-Arsene-does-nothing-again security blanket when that thought crosses my head: We have Granit Xhaka now.

Why is that relevant? It’s relevant because I believe that Xhaka’s presence will unlock even more amazing stuff from the wide players we have - there will be fewer instances of all-hands-on-deck-let’s-all-play-CDM because Xhaka will be back there Xhaka-ing away, which will allow the Ozils, Sanchezes, and Ramseys of the world to do what they do best without fear of having to all of a sudden have to go back and get a ball or break up a play; they’ll be much more able to attack when they don’t have to worry quite as much about defending.

But anyway, back to Olivier; with that midfield behind him, I think he’s going to hit the 20 league goals mark for the first time as an Arsenal player, and I couldn’t be more excited. He needs company, but if he doesn’t get it, I think Arsenal will probably be in pretty good shape.