The international break is now over, and Arsenal will be hoping Olivier Giroud’s goal in France’s 3-2 victory over the Netherlands on Good Friday can help the striker return to form at club level.
The 29-year-old, who has lost his place in the Gunners’ starting line-up to Danny Welbeck in recent weeks, was on target for France last week as Didier Deschamps’ men continued their preparations for the European Championships in the summer.
And Arsene Wenger will now be hoping his forward can get back amongst the goals in the Premier League, with his form having waned since mid-January.
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A much needed goal
Despite struggling with his club, Giroud started the friendly against Danny Blind’s Netherlands alongside Atletico Madrid hitman Antoine Griezmann, and needed just 13 minutes to register his 14th goal for his country.
He was replaced by Andre-Pierre Gignac in the 73rd minute, and will have bolstered his chances of starting the opening game of the Euros against Romania when the tournament commences on June 10.
It could also establish himself as one of the best strikers at Deschamps’ disposal, particularly with Manchester United youngster Anthony Martial enjoying a fine debut campaign in English football.
Though there can be no doubting that Welbeck possesses plenty of qualities, Giroud is a different player altogether and, when fully fit and firing, ranks as one of the best strikers in the Premier League.
However, the Frenchman has been a far cry from his usual self over the last couple of months, and after missing a huge chance in Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat to Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium in March, found himself dropped for the visit to United five days later.
Giroud has hit 20 goals for the season but has struggled to force his way back into the side since, and is yet to score in the Premier League since he bagged a brace against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the 3-3 draw at Anfield back in January.
He did score twice as the Gunners eased past Championship side Hull City in the FA Cup earlier in March, but Wenger will now be hoping the forward’s goal for his country can spark a true revival in form.
A late Gunners charge?
With Giroud now having scored for his country, Gunners fans will be hoping he can help lead a late assault on the league title.
High-flying Leicester remain in pole position to lift the trophy for the first time, yet their inexperience in title races could yet mean they are prone to slip up and miss out on the prize. Arsenal need to keep up the pressure if such a situation is to occur.
Giroud must build on the goal against the Netherlands to oust Welbeck from the starting line-up. Failure to do so could mean another striker arrives in the summer and this could be the death knell of his Gunners career.
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