Arsene Wenger has praised Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud after their decisive contributions in the 3-1 win over West Ham last night.
Responding to being taken off at Wembley on Saturday, the German scored two while Giroud – the subject of intense criticism lately – scored perhaps his best ever Arsenal goal to put the Gunners ahead on the night.
Speaking to the press afterwards, the Arsenal manager said, “When the team went through a bad patch with a lack of confidence, because some results went against us, the first to suffer are the strikers in a period like that, so you have to slowly rebuild that with results and with resilience.
“Olivier is a great guy with a great mentality. He has gone through a difficult period, as you know, and I think it affected his game for a while and his confidence.
“You could see that he was refreshed tonight and that he was up for it. At half-time he came in, he was very very down because he missed a great chance in the first half, but he responded very well in the second half because he’s mentally a strong guy.”
And Wenger revealed that he’s been tempted to revert to a more old-fashioned system with two strikers, rather than asking Giroud to continue to plough a lone furrow up top.
“I am tempted but I have so many offensive players, who all want to go in the middle, and Lukas is the only one who is really a wide player.
“I played him centre forward a few times and I felt he came a lot to the ball, more like an off-striker than a target striker. But he is a fantastic finisher because he has unbelievable power and a very short backlift. So the one you want to have a chance is him.”
It would be something of a risk changing the system at this point of the season, especially with Ozil and Ramsey back to add that bit extra, but maybe in the longer-term it’s something we could consider.