by Tony Attwood
Actually it was me that was in total meltdown as in the original version I wrote something, changed it, wrote something else and totally screwed up what I was saying about Messsi, Barcelona and Real Madrid (the last bit of which I then cut). Excuses are there many, but the key point was that I rushed and didn’t go back and check. Many apologies. I fully admit to utter incompetence, not to say stupidity. I’ve changed it now (the article that is, not my incompetence. That will undoubtedly be on display once again in the very near future).
There was a magical moment on BT Sprout’s live commentary of the Preston game yesterday evening. Gabriel had gone off with blood all over his face, and Arsenal were thus obviously down to ten men – one of those being a central defender.
Quickly they re-arranged themselves, sacrificing the attacking side of the game to enable them to get through to half time at just 1-0 down.
Such a situation obviously put pressure on Maitland-Niles who was feeling the pressure anyway, and as a rookie defender had been singled out as the route Preston should use to get through the back line of Arsenal. Maitland-Niles is no Bellerin, but then at this stage in his career Bellerin was no Bellerin, and he took a few games like this to show his strengths and extraordinary abilities. M-N may well be en route for doing the same.
So there we are, one goal down, one man down, and a youngster who has played a full season for Ipswich Town, but not for a Premier League club.
It was at this moment that the Sprout’s Resident Scoucer (SRS) (it could be Steve McManaman but I really can’t tell one from the other) launched into his standard anti-Arsenal tirade. The essence of it was that Arsenal’s defence really didn’t know what day it was in that they had a young player in Maitland-Niles who was being left all on his own and given no support, while what he really needed was help from the more experienced professionals. He gave an example from an event that had just happened – while Arsenal had 10 men.
What the SRS failed to remember (it had after all been two minutes before) was that Arsenal had lost a defender and were playing with ten men. There was no one spare to help Maitland Niles out.
Now we often measure animals by their attention span – in a goldfish (famed for its lack of attention) the span is said to be about nine seconds – which is why most goldfish are quite content to swim in a moderately small tank – by the time they have got around, they have forgotten about the features they left behind nine seconds before.
However there is some excuse for the SRS, because a new study has suggested that many people today have become so taken over by digital technology (I of course use a quill pen and parchment so its no problem for me) that they now have the attention span of less than a goldfish, and this is clearly the case for the SRS (Sprout Resident Scoucer I should remind you, in case you have lost track – I did last mention that a couple of hundred words ago, and I know how time flies).
Anyway the SRS raved on and on about the appalling way the Arsenal defence were playing in not supporting the kid, and then half time came along and the studio was undoubtedly full of grown men saying “Kalm Down Kalm Down Kalm Down”.
After that it was rather fun, on the pitch if not in terms of the commentary, leading up to the moment when Giroud scored.
Giroud has now got nine this season as far as I recall (six in the league, two in Europe, and one in the FA Cup, plus three assists in the league) and has been scoring once every 73 minutes that he is on the pitch in the league. If we look at the top 20 scorers in the league we find Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are the only clubs with three players in the list (which because of the number of players equal on the same number of goals is actually a list of 23 rather than 20. Honest I am not having a digital goldfish moment).
Chelsea have two, as do Swansea, the Manchester clubs have one each, in common with Sunderland and Everton and the like.
|1.||Diego Costa||Chelsea FC||14 (0)|
|2.||Zlatan Ibrahimović||Manchester United||13 (1)|
|Alexis Sánchez||Arsenal FC||13 (0)|
|4.||Kun Agüero||Manchester City||11 (3)|
|Jermain Defoe||Sunderland AFC||11 (5)|
|Romelu Lukaku||Everton FC||11 (0)|
|7.||Dele Alli||Tottenham Hotspur||10 (0)|
|Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||10 (3)|
|9.||Eden Hazard||Chelsea FC||9 (2)|
|Sadio Mané||Liverpool FC||9 (0)|
|11.||Michail Antonio||West Ham United||8 (0)|
|Christian Benteke||Crystal Palace||8 (2)|
|Theo Walcott||Arsenal FC||8 (0)|
|14.||Adam Lallana||Liverpool FC||7 (0)|
|Salomón Rondón||West Bromwich Albion||7 (0)|
|Robert Snodgrass||Hull City||7 (2)|
|17.||Charlie Austin||Southampton FC||6 (2)|
|Leroy Fer||Swansea City||6 (0)|
|Olivier Giroud||Arsenal FC||6 (0)|
|Llorente||Swansea City||6 (0)|
|Roberto Firmino||Liverpool FC||6 (0)|
|Heung-min Son||Tottenham Hotspur||6 (0)|
|Callum Wilson||AFC Bournemouth||6 (3)|
Having several players who can score is of course a huge bonus because it covers the club against injury and loss of form, and I think we should, at this moment, in the kalmness of a Sunday morning, reflect on the things that have been said about Giroud.
“The last and biggest reason we should get rid of him is because he can‘t score”. AFC4Life.
“Why Olivier Giroud is a big problem for Arsenal” JustArsenal.
“Olivier Giroud turns into a wandering wardrobe” The Guardian
“Olivier Giroud does not give us an ariel threat” Reddit
“This is just sad, can‘t believe we even have to consider this joke of a striker as an option.” Goonersworld
“Olivier Giroud was rated at just TWO out of ten by French paper L’Equipe”. Daily Mirror. Actually I went looking for this but couldn’t find it; the Mirror couldn’t have made up could they?
Of course not everyone has been this way inclined. Full credit to Arseblog for “Why Arsenal can win the title with Olivier Giroud”.
But overall let us not forget…
|UEFA Champions League||2(2)||227||2||–||–||1||1.3||59|
- SpG is shots per goal. PS% is pass rate
- So he has started six games this season
In all he has started six games and scored nine goals. Mind you, Lucas Perez has played a part in 11 Arsenal goals this season (six goals, five assists). He’s actually only started six games. Maybe it is time to deride him as well.
Untold Arsenal: Preston v Arsenal
New from the Arsenal History Society – all the player histories indexed. The AHS player histories tend to be more detailed than those on the official Arsenal site – especially for players from the early part of Arsenal’s history. Now we are undertaking the huge task of indexing the main articles. Players with surnames A to K have been linked to their main articles and about 50% of L to Z is now complete. We are continuing the task day by day.