Arsenal are finally learning the title-winning formula. Win you’re playing below par.
Against Olympiakos this past week, the Gunners were anything but fluent, but still, thanks to Lukas Podolski, Gervinho and Aaron Ramsey, same away with what looked like a fluent 3-1 win.
The fact that Olympiakos took the lead only serves to show the increased mental strength of the Gunners.
It was Podolski’s fourth goal in eight games for his new club.
So what of Olivier Giroud? Arsene Wenger has infinite patience, that we know.
And if Roman Ambramovich can still bear with a misfiring Fernando Torres over at Chelsea, surely there is hope for Giroud – yet to score for the Gunners in the Premier League after being top-scorer in the French League for Montpellier.
Is it time for Wenger to grant Theo Walcott his wish and start him upfront, through the middle, with Lukas Podolski.
Gervinho seems more than content to play on the wing and Jenkinson is emerging as genuine wing-back.
Wenger and Walcott both have nothing to lose. If Walcott gets his wish he can prove to Wenger that his demands before he signs a new contract – a more central role – is worth considering.
If he flops, Wenger can send him on his way, in what already seems to be the most likely outcome.
The irony is that today’s opponents for Arsenal are West Ham – the kind of team Giroud was probably brought in to play against.
The Hammers are route, strong, tall and physical.
That Wenger might feed Theo to the Hammers to test his central striker credentials will be rough on the England striker.
Yet, West Ham are on a strong run of form and are looking increasingly like a genuine top 10 team.
In Vaz Te they have match-winners.
Giroud is certainly far from being a match winner. Time for Wenger to let Theo prove he is one. Or let him go.