Despite being much maligned by, it seems, most fanbases, I must say I found it satisfying to see Olivier Giroud get his Euro2016 tournament underway, last night in Paris.
We all know his limitations. We all know that an over-reliance on him has cost us over recent years, but what his goal and performance showed to me, was a player who is very useful and definitely has a role to play at Arsenal.
It kind of made me wonder whether the reason Arsène isn’t after a clear first choice striker in going after Vardy, is because he wants that competition, so he can keep players like Giroud motivated. I totally get that by the way. After all, we have plenty of examples of good players who, through lack of game time, simply haven’t been able to replicate their initial good form.
Take Marouene Chamakh, for example, who has just been released from Palace. When he joined us, we knew he was a deputy, but I always felt the role he played whilst he was a regular in the team when he first arrived was a good one. He held the ball up enough, got on the score sheet a few times and in the absence of the injured Dutch Bloke, was a very capable deputy. But as soon as that guy returned, he became a clear reserve and as such, never really got any game time to find any rhythm. The result was that when he did play, he looked seven shades of useless, so as a deputy he was no longer needed at the club.
That’s where I think Arsène wants to go by trying to sign Vardy. He doesn’t want a megabucks signing that means Giroud never plays, then if the megabucks player gets inured, we rely on a completely busted Giroud who’s confidence is at rock bottom, because he hasn’t had any game time. Giroud showed last night for France that he could lead their line, so I think Arsène wants to keep him believing he will still play many games next season as first choice striker, which is why Vardy makes so much sense.
Of course, if all the noises about him wanting to stay are true, it does put the manager in a bit of a predicament. Who does he go after if he wants a mobile player, clinical, who is also at a level in which it keeps somebody like Giroud competitive? Or does he change his position and spend big on a first choice? I suspect that is doubtful. Which is why I think Arsenal have said they’re happy to wait. It’s a dangerous PR game though. If Vardy does reject,the backlash from the crazies online will be massive, especially if there isn’t a Plan B ready and waiting to be instantly acted upon. Literally the second a rejection is confirmed, the club will need to act swiftly, which I think they will if I’m honest. They’ve already shown their intent. Now it’s just a case of reeling in their targets as quickly as possible.
A quick word for Koscielny too, who I thought had a solid game, surely showing Deschamps that any decisions he’s made historically where he chose Sahko over Koscielny were as stupid and reckless as the Liverpool player is himself.
So we’re underway with the Euro’s and now we have the chance to see Xhaka in competition football for the first time since he signed (I’m not including friendlies). If I’m honest it’s the only reason I’m bothering to tune in this afternoon to watch that. Then we’ve got the delights of Eng-ger-land later, whose ‘fans’ are already starting to show some true colours by starting fights, it seems. Makes you proud to be British, doesn’t it (not)?
At least we might see Wilshere do his thing. And hey, maybe we can observe Vardy a little bit closer, on the off chance he does take a dream move to the greatest football club on the planet.
As for England’s opponents Russia, I’m afraid no Arshavin, no party.
Catch you tomorrow.