Much debate when discussing the best team for Arsenal surrounds who should start as the main striker. With Danny Welbeck still injured the two options that Arsene Wenger has to pick from is either Theo Walcott or Olivier Giroud. Arguments could be made for both players especially with their two different playing styles.
Theo Walcott is known for his pace and his ability to get in behind defences. For the last number of years the injuries that have hampered Walcott seems to have deterred his development in terms of playing that lone striker role. With the Arsenal style they will always have support for their lone striker so whoever plays this position will not be isolated for too long or for long periods of the game. For what Walcott brings to the team he also lacks. His frame and stature doesn’t allow him to hold the ball up very effectively or to trouble defences physically, also on top of that Walcott is not a top finisher. His ability in front of goal has got better and when squared one on one with a goalkeeper you would fancy him to score, however his goal to chance ratio is not very effective. The most effective argument for Walcott would be his contribution in terms of Ozil and Sanchez as these two players look to be involved more so in the games Walcott plays there. Four goals so far this season is a decent return however with the chances it should be more.
Olivier Giroud has been an easy target of criticism for both experts and fans in recent years for Arsenal. For what Giroud lacks in pace he adds with height, aerial presence and strength. In his three years at the club the goals Giroud has scored has been impressive, seventeen in his first season, twenty-two the following season and last season nineteen. His instincts in front of goal would certainly give Giroud the edge, as he really scores all types of goals. The lack of pace will always come out as the Frenchman’s biggest criticism, but also his link up with Ozil and Sanchez is not as effective as what Ozil, Sanchez and Walcott has proved to be. The physicality of Giroud gives defenders a harder in a battle; however he would be an easier striker to mark as he will not always run in behind them. Alternatively speaking he becomes a top target to play back to front quicker, so different plans for different players.
Ultimately as long as Sanchez is scoring goals and in form with Ozil whoever is playing as the lone striker may not become relevant. Exploiting teams away from home with Walcott’s pace would be a great way to counter on teams, while at home play Giroud to link play together and open teams up. The number one striker position is up for grabs at Arsenal but Walcott and Giroud both need to score more goals this season to make a real case to leading the line.
So Arsenal fans who do you want Giroud or Walcott??