Saturday, August 20, 2022

Admit It Arsenal Fans! You Missed This Striker In The Clash Against Middlesbrough

Must Read
Prasoon Sur
Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.

Humans suffer from the tendency of under-appreciating the things they have at their disposal many a time and Arsenal fans are absolutely alike. The evidential lack of support towards their club striker Olivier Giroud (rather, the disrespect he needs to undergo) isn’t unknown and despite adding a lot of excitable ingredients to Arsenal’s attack up front, it is his frailties and demerits that generally steal the limelight.

So far this season, Arsenal’s attacking setup have demolished almost everything that has come in their way. The brilliant exchanges of the ball and fluid movements in the buildup have been rattling the opponents with sheer perfection more often than not. The case, however, has been different when the opponents had opted to sit deep and flood the midfield, recent couple of examples being Burnley and Middlesbrough.

Laurent Koscielny’s goal (courtesy of his arm) was needed in the dying seconds of extra time at the Turf Moor to salvage all three points against a disciplined defence. When Arsenal locked horns with Middlesbrough, there wasn’t any last minute drama and a flashback of the entire game gave us the thought the scene could have been different had a player played his part. Giroud was out owing to a foot injury and his absence seemed to have been very costly to the Gunners.

Middlesbrough packed bodies, stood resilient at the back and were too stubborn to concede. There was a clear dearth of physical presence in the box to threaten Ben Gibson and Daniel Ayala. Arsène Wenger’s men toiled but failed to create chances worth taking a note, as the unavailability of a poacher inside the box implied that the crosses barely came and when they arrived, they were easily shooed away by the Middlesbrough defence. Giroud’s influence could have been handy, at least as a Plan B.

The Frenchman has shown it time and again as to how deadly he can be with the ball coming into the box, and also the way he works out precise trajectories for the goals from the edge of the box. Despite having 75% of the possession, the frustrating afternoon on Saturday can be related to the lack of player who could play with his back towards the goal and invite the midfielders to surge forward. This was indeed the point of major concern for Wenger.

The naivety in breaking defence was the onus Alexis Sánchez failed to cater to. Mostly, what the Chilean does is that he pulls out opponents’ defenders and allows the midfielders to chip in. The scenario that was witnessed was that Aitor Karanka eliminated the space between the midfield and the defence, as well as the space behind the defence and this urged Sánchez to move deeper. Consequently, Middlesbrough defenders weren’t distracted and there weren’t much of flicks which Giroud generally offers.

Arsenal’s no. 12’s immense physical presence comes as a boon against sides which generally sit deep and absorb what comes to them. Of course, Alexis can leap very well, magnetise the defenders and create chances but that cannot be compared to the overall aerial threat and physicality Giroud has on his tray. To say that the 30-year-old has no future at the Emirates Stadium sounds pretty ridiculous at the moment and Arsenal can still rely on him in games like these.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Follow Our Tweets On Twitter

Latest News

Postecoglou To Make Changes? | Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Hearts

High-flying Celtic will be back in action on Sunday afternoon following last weekend's stellar 5-0 victory against Kilmarnock. Ange...

More Articles Like This