They may not have scored on their respective Emirates debuts, but Arsene Wenger believes both Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud will be vital to Arsenal’s success this season.
While the German often dropped deep to tidily link-up play, his failure to finagle any fine opportunities in the final third, coupled with replacement Giroud’s wayward effort from the Gunners only clear-cut chance, left supporters nervously pining after the ruthlessness of the unnamed one who supposedly did the goal thing whenever he fancied.
Speaking to Arsenal.com after the match, the boss dissected Podolski’s contribution against Sunderland and hinted at room for long-term improvements.
“I see him as a centre forward but he has some work to do, to change his game a little bit, make runs in behind to protect the ball and move around the box.
“When you come from a wide position, it is not easy to do that. But he will get there. He is a fantastic finisher, but had no real opportunity [against Sunderland].
“I will have to watch the game again and see what he did when we had the ball. I will have to study it.”
Eager to take the pressure off both Podolski and Giroud by playing down comparisons with the unnamed one who supposedly did the goal thing whenever he fancied, Wenger continued:
“You cannot conclude on one game, but we knew before we started [that it would be difficult to replace Van Persie’s goals].
“Podolski and Giroud together scored 40 last year, so we have a credit of three, but unfortunately it does not work like that.”
Judging by Giroud’s own comments after the match it looks as though Wenger has conveyed exactly the same sentiment to the player as he has to the press.
Staying positive, despite 60,000 people chewing the cud over his shanked shot, Giroud urged patience from supporters. While flashing a winning smile and flexing a glossy bicep, he told the Mirror:
“The coach [Wenger] told me that I had more time but added that I had not to worry about it.
“If I had been on my left foot, I probably would have taken more time. It was on the right foot… I’ll have to work my right foot!
“This could have been the dream start. In Montpellier, I did not score for my first game. So I’m not worried. I think, here, I will get plenty of chances and I will score.
“People are clever enough to know that Robin took a lot of space here. His last season was wonderful. But before that, he took time to settle. So I’m just asking people to be a little patient with me.”
We’re happy to be a little patient Olivier, so long as you’re playing the sexy doctor. Arseblog News realises that last sentence makes next to no sense…