Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith believes Olivier Giroud warrants a starting role in Arsene Wenger’s side after scoring a late winner yesterday afternoon against West Brom.
It was in fact the 30-year-old’s first Premier League start this season having been dropped to the bench by Wenger in favour of Alexis Sanchez leading the line.
But Smith reckons the French forward showed enough in yesterday’s game at the Emirates to keep his place in the team for Sunday’s match against London rivals Crystal Palace.
Speaking to talkSPORT, as reported by the Daily Star, Smith said:
‘He’s chipped in with a few important goals. He won’t be happy with not playing regularly.
‘It’s important for the players who aren’t playing to have a good attitude and Olivier has a good attitude.
‘Sanchez has started from day one and has done very little to force Arsene Wenger from changing anything.
‘It’s horses for courses, sometimes he (Wenger) might fancy Giroud is a good option to have to go direct.’
He finished off by saying:
‘Having scored now it will be interesting to see what team he picks and see if he keeps his place, because he warrants it.’
Did Giroud do enough to warrant a place in the starting line-up against Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day? I believe so. In fact, I have been calling on Giroud to start more games than he has done this season – how that was his first in the Premier League is quite beyond me to be honest.
Like Smith says, the France international offers something different to Arsenal’s attack and this is needed during the season.
It would be a shame to see him not start against Crystal Palace, but this will more than likely depend on whether Walcott will be fit for selection by then – if he is, then I reckon Giroud will be back on the bench.