Arsenal might have had a week to forget in Europe, but they continue to do what is needed in the Premier League - win matches. It’s happened again today (Saturday) with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle.
The Gunners have been described as ‘flat-track bullies’ after recent victories over West Ham, QPR and Everton domestically. And, quite frankly, who cares.
Arsene Wenger’s side are doing what they need to do right now, winning football matches against sides they should beat. They were under pressure towards the end of the clash at St James’ Park, but dug deep and held on for victory.
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But hold on they did, and it was the goals of Olivier Giroud which put them in a position to make it six consecutive wins in the league. They remain third, just one point behind Manchester City and only four points behind Chelsea. Jose Mourinho’s side do have three games in hand, however.
Whilst the title might be just out of reach this season, the performances of the French striker should really offer encouragement to supporters at the Emirates Stadium.
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Since February 15th, the Gunners have benefited from nine goals in nine games from Giroud in all competitions. Ironically, his poor performance in the first leg of the defeat to AS Monaco is included in that streak.
That could have been a defining moment in Giroud’s career at Arsenal. Not just this season, but his whole career in England.
Hard work rewarded
The 28-year-old has clearly gone back to the training ground and started working hard. And things are now starting to happen - against the Toon, one went in off his thigh and the other was a textbook header.
Two goals, four minutes, game won.
Giroud has, on occasion, struggled to convince the Arsenal fans that he is the man to lead the line for the club moving forward. Wenger is regularly linked with big-name strikers in transfer windows.
However, this sort of form and application is what wins over the hearts and minds of the paying public. It might sound like politics, but it’s important to have the supporters on your side - just ask Gareth Bale at Real Madrid.
The reception Giroud received at the final whistle shows that he is now their main man, with a consistency that’s even better than Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Whilst he might not have the same skill level as those two playmakers, he does have the eye for goal that could make him an Arsenal hero of the future.
What do you think Arsenal fans - is Olivier Giroud the main man for years to come or should Wenger sign another striker?