Arsenal reality check: Podolski with, not for RVP

Giroud misses sitter as Gunners draw with Sunderland

The spectre of Robin Van Persie claimed its first victim – Olivier Giroud.

Presented with an open goal, one of the strikers brought in to replace Van Persie, crumbled under the pressure and skied the ball, when it was easier to score.

Arsenal saw many of the jigsaw pieces fall in to place – only it seemed like it was on the wrong board.

It is early in the season, however, the reality that Lukas Podolski was needed with Van Persie, not in place of him, will haunt the Gunners.

As Sunderland hung in for a brave draw, Arsene Wenger can take many positives from the game.

The re-invention Gervinho, by some distance the best player on the pitch.

The smooth passing of Santi Cazorla clearly banishing the Cesc Fabregas hang over.

The return of Mikel Arteta, who along with Abu Diaby, more than made up for the missing Alex Song.

However, on the flip side, Theo Walcott impressed but did not score – on old tale at the Emirates.

Arsenal have a promising side – but on this evidence, not one that is likely to win a trophy.

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