Having started the last three Premier League games on the bench, it’s clear that Olivier Giroud’s status as first choice centre-forward for Arsenal is under real threat.
Theo Walcott got the nod in the league, and has scored twice so far this season, while the Frenchman blew his chance of staking a claim with a soft sending off in Zagreb.
However, Arsene Wenger has backed the former Montpellier man to show his quality and react to the disappointment he must be feeling.
“With Olivier Giroud it is a competition with Walcott,” the manager told Arsenal Player. “When one plays people always ask, ‘Why did you not play the other one?’
“When you have two top-level strikers, some games Giroud plays and some games Walcott plays. Nobody anymore can play 60 games per season.
“What we want to do is make the right decision for the right game. Giroud is a guy who has a positive attitude, who is ready to have a go.”
It remains to be seen who will start at White Hart Lane tomorrow night, but the feeling is Giroud, level with Walcott on 2 goals this season, will be the man with the England international kept in reserve with Saturday’s trip to Leicester in mind.
And with the Capital One Cup a competition in which young blood has often been used, tomorrow night’s team is likely to be an experienced one with some rotation, simply because the young players who might have got a chance are gaining experience elsewhere.
“At the moment the youth-team players, many of whom are ready to play for us, are away on loan,” said Wenger.
“The next players who have the talent are not completely ready to play at that level. With the difficulty of the opponent as well, you do not want to throw them into a game where they look out of place.
“There are no fringe players, there is only a first-team squad. It is an opportunity for Arsenal to win an important game and for the players who play for the club to defend our club and qualify.”
Let’s hope we see a reaction to the last two games.