With the signing of Chilean star Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, the club has finally taken some action in addressing a key defect with the campaign last season which was playing with only one recognized forward at the club. Giroud started brilliantly but it wasn’t unexpected that the physical and mental strain of carrying the scoring burden alone began to tell on his game.
Fact is Giroud played too many games, and especially considering how Arsenal play with just the one striker upfront, it meant Giroud had to do a lot of running to get involved with the play. Most fans were disappointed with his performances but his stats actually show he had an above average season.
Alexis Sanchez joining the club and Joel Campbell returning has now afforded the manager the option of either playing a real quality player close to Giroud in a 4-4-2 arrangement or giving Giroud a rest in a few games.
The real question though is how many strikers are required to compete on all fronts in a top quality club. Manchester City won the league last season with Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Negredo all contributing their share and they still had Jovetic to spare.
A breakdown of strikers in the clubs expected to challenge for major trophies in England this season
|Chelsea||Man United||Liverpool||Arsenal||Manchester City|
|Diego Costa||Robin Van Persie||Daniel Sturridge||Olivier Giroud||Sergio Aguero|
|Fernando Torres||Wayne Rooney||Ricky Lambert||Alexis Sanchez||Stephan Jovetic|
|Didier Drogba||Danny Welbeck||Origi||Yaya Sanogo||Edin Dzeko|
All indications are that Liverpool and Chelsea have not finished their business in acquiring players for their striker departments. Arsenal, United and City seem to have concluded in that aspect especially with Arsene Wenger confirming that Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo need games to improve and he looks to giving them those games at Arsenal.
Considering the opposition, can Arsenal compete without any new acquisition in the striking department? I think we can. It helps to have a striker at your club that can score at least 25 goals in a season leading your line but it is even more important to have all your forwards and midfielders share the goal scoring burden so your performance is not overly reliant on one person performing.
Arsene and Arsenal need to ensure they work a rotation and competition policy that keeps all the players on their toes competing for places in the squad. Strikers thrive on instinct and confidence and having a striker that hasn’t played in a while get into the pitch when your regular established forward is out injured is a huge risk as he would need some time to get into his stride.
Football games are won and lost by how many goals you score and how many you concede and even though the quality on paper for the Arsenal squad might not match that of Man City, in the long run it might not be the only determinant if we fail to win any silverware.
Alexis has work to do to justify his signing and Wenger naturally would not expect him to hit the ground running as he hasn’t even had a proper pre-season but one would assume with expected competition from Yaya and Joel, both who have broken their Arsenal duck in the Emirates Cup, Giroud and Alexis would up their games and have premiership goalkeepers worried.