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March 2018
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Giroud and Walcott back, a whole backup attack available

By Walter Broeckx

On the website  on Thursday we could find some good news.

The first good news wasn’t mentioned at all and that I think is good news. Some have said that Welbeck got a knock against Scotland in the international match and hobbled before coming off. Hodgson said afterwards that there shouldn’t be a real problem for Welbeck to play this weekend and now Wenger didn’t mention his name at all. So we can assume that he will be fit to play.  I can imagine that it would have been a real blow for Welbeck if he would have been injured for this match. Oh and I don’t worry if he will celebrate his goals next Saturday or not. We will do the celebrating, let Welbeck do the scoring.

Of course Theo Walcott is still fit after not having played for England. But as Wenger said he will ease him back slowly. And yes there is no reason to hurry him back too quick. Give Theo time to settle in and regain match fitness. We have enough players up front for the moment so we don’t have to throw him in to deep water immediately. Of course he should be completely fit and I can imagine that he can’t wait to start a match but let us give him the time needed and don’t overload him.

But the most amazing news for me is that Giroud is available.  Giroud was injured on August 23rd with a fracture in his tibia. And the first prognoses was that he only would be back at the start of 2015. And now within 3 months he could be back. Opposed to the more than 4 months that was predicted. That really is an amazing recovery period. I remember at the time people even saying that if it was 4 months that he probably would be out for the whole season given our injury record and our players being usually longer out than predicted at the start.

So the quick recovery of Giroud is somewhat amazing. But not that much in fact. As we have mentioned before that he seems to be a player that has a good way of getting over knocks in the past. Last season as a striker he started in 36 matches for Arsenal in the league. That is almost every match.  And in total he started in 46 matches and came on as a sub in 5 more. A total of 51 matches. That is an amazing high number.

He did have a few niggles on the way. But every time he was out with an injury that even looked serious at times he was back out there on the field in no time. And now once again he has recovered in a way that nobody at the club held for possible at the start of his injury.

So Giroud seems to be a “quick healer”  if I can use that word. Not only is he usually not much injured. I think this was his first serious injury in his career, a contact injury. But when injured he recovers quicker than predicted.

I know the notion “quick healer” is known but why this happens to some people is not really something that is known. Well I don’t know it and a quick look on the internet didn’t bring anything on the subject. But that might be because I don’t know where to look of course.

The opposite a slow healer is more known and that can be down to other diseases like diabetic as one of the most known. But why a player like Giroud heals so quick compared to what was expected is not really known. But in a way it doesn’t matter that much. It just is one of those things that you are happy about and accept it. Just as we have to accept slow healers.

But now with Giroud back we do have quite a few players in attack for the moment. In random order we have : Alexis, Welbeck, Giroud, Theo, Podolski, Sanogo, Campbell, Gnabry an we could even add Akpom to that list.  But that is 6 players who play for their national team when fit, and the others play for the youth squads in their countries.

So it now seems that we have a few options up front now that Giroud and Theo are back.  It will be a hard battle for places upfront I can imagine. We have a few big and strong attackers now with Giroud, Welbeck and Sanogo. And some quick whirlwind attackers like Theo and Alexis. And the best finisher in the league with Podolski.  Not bad at all.

We also could find a bit of news about our defenders. And Debuchy also looks rather good as he will be back in full training in 3 weeks time. Wenger was a bit more cautious about Koscielny. Debuchy is a more straight forward injury. Damage done, operation, healing, recovery, starting to train and then play again. But Koscielny is an injury that can only heal by resting. But now both French players are on the same level for the moment. And could be back in the group training in 3 weeks time.

Once Debuchy is back we also have a bit of a breather at the back where Chambers can fill in in the middle. And if Koscielny would completely recover we suddenly look well enough stocked over there and Chambers could even move to midfield if needed.

The other injured players like Ospina are also close to being back (3 weeks) and then the players we maybe miss most will only be back at the start of the year. But looking at my calender this doesn’t seem too far away.  Slowly the injury situation looks to clear up for Arsenal and that is very good news I would say.

12 comments to Giroud and Walcott back, a whole backup attack available

  • Va Cong

    yeeaah!!!! Then I’ll be back in the UK to watch the matches!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Now that’s not nice from you Mr. Wenger. Just when I write a headline saying Walcott back you come in the press conference and say that Walcott may not be available because of a tight groin.
    Probably will be Wenger’s fault of course.

  • bob

    imo, Welbeck and Giroud both need to “somehow” up the conversion rate. Perhaps played as a duo they can complement each other’s game and add more quality chances. Neither has shown the clinicality as of right now; to pretend otherwise is well, to pretend otherwise. I couldn’t know that clinicality can be taught (maybe something just clicks when it unpredictably does); but perhaps AW will find a chemistry in their combination (-2) that neither has had whilst being the target man.

    imho, that “somehow” is one key question on the new gathering offense as the injured return. Giroud, to me, is not a saviour; but hopefully in some combinations, another dimension of an evolving set of attacking options in the right specific (not all) game-time situations. And though I don’t fancy Giroud’s lack of touch (conversion rate profligacy), I’m definitely excited to see how his decidedly strong hold-up skills might yet mesh in combination with Alexis and Welbeck at the same time.

    Time and injury, of course, will tell all, and AW the experimenter (rather than AW the purported stubborn) will be tasked to find a coherent way through the wealth of potential (not a laundry list of names, dear Walter) at his disposal.

    (Then again, maybe Akpom is the developing embryonic monster-hitman who is finding “it” as we speak. I know nothing about his show of conversion rate and goal mouth clinicality, but perhaps others who closely follow his game could weigh in and opine?).

  • bob

    “And the best finisher in the league with Podolski.”
    What is to be done, in your current view on this? (C’mon: That’s why we pay you the da big bucks. 🙂

  • Nicky

    Yeah, I was a bit surprised at that.
    Especially as Walter doesn’t drink.
    Too many chips, perhaps?

  • WalterBroeckx


    show my the money first 🙂

    I was referring to a headline I saw last week passing on my computer screen that based on minutes played Podolski was the best finisher this season. But to be honest I don’t know if this was real or not but just wanted to throw it in to stir some discussion. That worked for now didn’t it 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    I once said to one of my sons when we played West Ham (his favourite opponent) that when Podolski is swinging the whole team is swinging. The problem is that at when Podolski isn’t swinging he is oh so absent.
    When he plays for 90 minutes he tends to slow us down most of the time I feel. Most of the time he plays the ball backwards.
    Problem is when you put the ball in front of his left foot around the penalty area he can be lethal. A very difficult case….

  • Will

    Anyone else see Chambers as a new Petit?

  • Will

    As for Podolski, he would be a starter for me every time.

  • Pete

    @Bob – Giroud is not the saviour… he is a very naughty boy (to misquote Monty Python and with apologies to Mrs G – I just couldn’t resist!).

  • jweeraga

    If we’re not going to win the EPL, i hope Arsene concentrates on the ECL and also retain our FA cup. We can come at Mourinho next season.To win the ECL would be really big, but first, we need all our players back.

  • Kirman

    United’s back line was Valencia – McNair – Blackett – Smalling – Shaw/Young. Let’s face it, they were there for the taking. They have not won an away match all season. Arsenal fathomed one gilt-edged chance for all their possession. The rest required decent finishing, which was conspicuous by its absence until Olivier Giroud’s injury time belter. Ultimately though, the Wilshere chance aside, Wenger’s team failed to outwit a very inexperienced defence. Because they played their usual possession football and were easy to defend against. There was not enough variation, in spite of the best efforts of the likes of Alexis and Oxlade-Chamberlain to make things happen.It was pointed out to me in the build-up to the game how much more effective Arsenal’s English contingent are looking when they play under the tutelage of Roy Hodgson and get some actual coaching and tactics. Arsène Wenger just tells them to express themselves. However, football is a results game. Arsenal have beaten United once in their last 15 meetings, and won four Premier League matches this season, all against teams currently in the bottom seven. One win every calendar month.