Should Arsenal bring back Giroud for Newcastle?

Olivier Giroud is available for Arsenal’s final match of the season at Newcastle United following suspension.

The big problem that Arsene Wenger now has is whether to inject the Frenchman back into the team for what is literally the biggest game of Arsenal’s season and a match which could see them secure Champions League football for next year.

His record of 11 goals and five assists in the league this season is certainly some form of justification for Wenger to bring him back to replace Lukas Podolski through the centre of the attack.

There could be spells in this game where Arsenal are under pressure and need to counter attack and the option for the side to hit the ball long to Giroud for him to hold up.

However, the common view certainly seems to be that if it’s not broken, don’t try and fix it.

Podolski certainly deserves the chance to lead the attack again following his brace against Wigan Athletic earlier in the week, showing he’s done nothing wrong in the central striker role.

It may also be a bit naïve to break up the current attacking partnership he’s forged with Theo Walcott because Walcott has also been scoring goals, in three consecutive matches to be precise.

The stakes are too high for Wenger to take too much of a gamble and the sensible approach has to be to go with the players who are right in form and give Arsenal the best chance of getting over the line.

The only reason to bring back Giroud seems to be a tactical one and the fact he’s missed the last three games is justification to leave him on the bench through a lack of match fitness.

It’s not the time to make cut throat decisions axing players in form for someone coming back from a short spell out, who clearly won’t be as sharp as any of the other players in the team.

Giroud’s red card away at Fulham may have been harsh but that’s the price he pays for an example of poor discipline which has cost him his place in the side.

There are also possible repercussions for Wenger if he moves Podolski out of that central role when he doesn’t really have any need to.

The German has been linked away from the club this summer with Juventus one of the giant teams interested in signing him.

It’s not only important for the team that Wenger gives him another chance to lead the attack, it’s also important for the striker’s future because it will just add to the doubt he already has if he’s axed in favour of Giroud.

If this was earlier in the season it may be a different story, but it’s not and Arsenal’s top four place is on the line.

Do you want to see Giroud back in the starting team? Should Wenger leave things as they are?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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