It’s A Season Which Doesn’t Make Sense, So Why Can’t Olivier Giroud Be The Star Of It?
Olivier Giroud has spent pretty much all of his Arsenal career being told what he isn’t, rather than what he is.
As he knows by now, the Frenchman ‘isn’t a Karim Benzema’ – something which only Karim Benzema is, obviously – but what he is is a very, very good forward who has now become just the seventh man to score at least 50 Premier League goals for Arsenal, as well as a man with 11 goals in his last 14 appearances – including that Champions League hat-trick in midweek.
Yet people made their minds up about Giroud a long time ago, and there always seems to be a ‘yeah, but…’ whenever discussing his performances.
But this is a ‘yeah, but’ season.
Giroud is showing excellent quality when leading the line for the Gunners, and he’s now taken on the extra responsibility of taking penalties.
In this of all campaigns, there is absolutely no reason why he can’t fire Arsenal to the title.
Aaron Ramsey Could Prove Steven Gerrard Right
Eyebrows were raised when Steven Gerrard branded Aaron Ramsey as ‘the best attacking midfielder in the Premier League when played centrally’ on BT Sport’s Champions League coverage in midweek, but you can certainly see what the Liverpool icon likes about the Welshman.
Ramsey’s goal – which scraped a knife down any hopes that Villa had of getting back into the game – had more than a hint of an early-20s Gerrard about it, as the Welshman won the ball with a perfectly-timed challenge midway inside his own half before driving forward and profiting from Mesut Ozil’s now near-legendary selfnessness.
Maybe Stevie G had a point.
Alan Hutton Has Become A Liability For A Club Which Can’t Afford One
His comedic own goal against Watford in Aston Villa’s previous home game was bad enough, but Alan Hutton again showed that he really has no place in a relegation battle with his clumsy attempt to stop Theo Walcott entering the penalty area in the opening stages.
It was a penalty kick, regardless of any initial confusion, and it again showed up Hutton at this level.
Remi Garde has injuries which is making team selection difficult, but surely he has someone better than the Scotsman?
It Would Be An Incredible Achievement If Remi Garde Turned This Around
Six points from 16 games, no win in 15, eight points from safety, seemingly no hope of survival.
Whichever way you look at it, the numbers don’t make pretty reading for Aston Villa, and if Garde was to keep them up given the hand he’s been dealt then it really would be one of the more remarkable stories in Premier League history.
Villa are a proud club, and one of the stalwarts of this division.
They improved in the second half, but right now they look to be joining Sunderland 2002/03 (19 points) and Derby County 2007/08 (11 points) in the division’s hall of shame.
We’ll Find Out More About Arsenal Next Monday
So Arsenal go top for a day at least ahead of Leciester’s clash with Chelsea on Monday, but we’ll find out a lot more about the Gunners next week.
That is when Manchester City come to the Emirates Stadium for one of the highlights of the Christmas programme, and the winner of that clash will be able to look the other in the eye and perhaps rightly claim favouritism as this bizarre title race enters the New Year.
This was a fairly chilly stroll in the (Villa) Park for the Gunners, but Monday won’t be.
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