Giroud v Lacazette
The £50m man against the old trusty horse. A friend of mine message me on Wednesday;
Lacazette scores two goals against Germany last night. Back on the bench on Saturday though I bet.
Giroud scored against Wales last Thursday. Back on the bench on Saturday I bet.
My point being that Olivier Giroud usually starts ahead of Alexandre Lacazette for his country.
Giroud and Lacazette are both very good strikers. But also both very different strikers.
Each players brings something different to the table. Giroud is class with his back to call, can hold the ball up, and is powerful in the box. He is not going to run clean through. He benefits when defences play deep,
Lacazette, meanwhile, is quicker, can spin in behind, and finds space in the box like the fox he is. His build up play is not the best, and he does struggle when teams defend deeper.
The key is playing the right man against the right team.
There is no point playing Olivier Giroud against Manchester City, who defend on the half way line. He would be more suited than Lacazette, however, playing against a side like Leicester, who tend to defend deep.
Against City, Wenger decided neither was his preferred striker and went for Alexis Sanchez instead. I understood the decision, that Wenger felt it would take individual magic to score a goal and Lacazette was his man. But we only started to look a threat when Lacazette came on.
So who is the best man to play against Spurs? Giroud or Lacazette?
Then thrown Danny Welbeck into the mix.
Sanchez and Ozil
Does Wenger stick with the contract rebels, the two best players in the team, or does he say to Mesut Ozil and/or Alexis Sanchez “lads, time for you to F off”.
It would be pretty pointless to do the latter. I see some on social media saying if they are not prepared to be part of our future, they should not be part of our present. In theory, I do understand this, but then we should have sold both in the summer.
If we are going to drop the pair now, we should have shipped them both out in August no matter if we had replacements lined up.
Not playing them now is denying ourselves of our best players and not getting a transfer fee for them.
Both seem to be going up and down with their moods. The pair were brilliant against Everton, but have then been awful against other sides.
Do you maybe go the mid-ground and only play one at a time?
Solve the Lacazette / Giroud conundrum by dropping Sanchez or Ozil and go 2 up top? Or push Ramsey higher up the field alongside one of them. Or even Wilshere.
Sanchez seems to have overtaken Ozil as peoples favourite to not play at the moment. His sulking at team mates is annoying people. But then he never went on international duty over the last two weeks, whilst Ozil played (and assisted brilliantly) in the 2-2 draw with France.
Alexis will be fresh.
Play the pair and they are in the mood, we win comfortably. If they are not in the mood, we might as well be playing with 9 men.
Another 2 weeks training under his belt, Jack Wilshere is getting stronger.
Against someone like Spurs, we need pride and passion. And he has that. But is he ready to be thrown in at the deep end in what is one of our biggest games of the season?
Tottenham’s strength is in the two men behind Harry Kane.
Dele Alli and Cristian Erickson run the show. They have goals and assists in them aplenty and, if given the freedom to operate between the defence and midfield, they are deadly – as Erickson showed midweek against Southern Ireland.
Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka have looked average defensively this season. Defending is not Jack’s strength, so would it really be improving things by playing him?
Maybe the better bet would be to play Francis Coquelin? Put him on a man marking job on Alli. Get him under Alli’s skin?
Or do we fight fire with fire, play Wilshere, and try and exploit the space Spurs leave between defence and midfield. The best form of defence is often attack.
Another option could be to go for a solid 3.
That would mean sacrificing one of Ozil and Sanchez, but is certainly an option.
Wenger certainly has a few selection headaches coming up for tomorrows game.
Get it right, and we win, get it wrong, and the pressure will increase further.