It is not often a goal-scorer says his club should sign someone else to do that job, for fear of losing their place.
But Olivier Giroud did just that last week, telling French publication Le Parisien it was “necessary” for Arsenal to sign another frontman.
In so doing he revealed it isn’t just the fans frustrated with the goings on at the Emirates. The players are raising their eyebrows, too.
“It’s necessary for the club to recruit another striker,” Giroud said. “It may change the play one day, especially if it’s a high-profile signing.
“It’s useless lamenting this though. I know what I have to do and what I’m capable of.”
In truth it seemed less like a player pleading with his club to bring in a new face, more an acceptance that it was inevitable. But that word “necessary” could have been more than just a comment on the team’s need.
He may not have meant it, but a new arrival could also be necessary to give Giroud the competition he needs to perform consistently, rather than scoring final or consolation goals but doing little in between, as has been the case so far this season.
There is no doubt the Frenchman has talent. He is a natural goal-scorer, as his time at previous clubs Tours and Montpellier showed.
The 72 goals he scored in the four seasons prior to his move to the Emirates speak volumes. And his 17 for the Gunners in his debut season is easily forgotten in the scramble for new arrivals.
There is an argument to be had that in Giroud and Lukas Podolski, Wenger already has the strikers to compete for major trophies. And while another would be welcomed, it is not as necessary as reports and quotes would have us believe…if Wenger put his faith in the German international.
This afternoon, Giroud will again spearhead an Arsenal frontline buoyed by the midweek victory in Turkey.
It will not be an easy game against Fulham. But it will be one Giroud should influence.
It is time he steps up and performs to his ability. If he does, the Gunners could still be set for a successful season; provided Wenger starts making the right decisions regarding the players he has and the players that would improve the team.
Do you have faith in Giroud to be a top striker for Arsenal? And should Podolski play alongside him?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald