Giroud – Defining Ambition? Theo & Other Euro2012 Thoughts
So Arsenal have signed Olivier Giroud. Well, when I say signed, I mean the contract has not been signed. Nor has a medical taken place. And the club has not paid Montepellier anything. And they have not confirmed it. Still, France Football say it is agreed and surely they have not relied upon the Sporting Director of Borussia Monchengladbach for their information, have they?
Giroud is quoted previously as having said that he wants to play in England but for a French manager. With Laurent Blanc apparently in the running for the Tottenham job, it is presumptuous to believe Giroud wants to sign for Arsenal; until it is confirmed anyway. His signature would be a clear indication that Chamakh or / and Bendtner have no future at the club – the phrasing in that sentence is deliberate since I think one of them might be held onto as third ranked central striker; used in Capital One Cup ties, for example.
That will still lead to the club being berated for perceived ineffective use of their financial resources but is not necessarily the case. We have seen how injuries can decimate certain positions during the course of the season and is it wise to rely on van Persie, Giroud and Podolski. Just kidding, that strength in depth is exactly what the club needs. It allows Arsène to use Afobe for example, in the domestic cups and for the youngster to develop out of the limelight, assuming he is not loaned out for the season.
If one of the two were to stay, personally I would rather it is Bendtner; confidence is not an issue with the Dane whereas the Moroccan appears utterly bereft of that quality; hardly surprising when you consider the turbulent time he has suffered at the club. I know it is of his own making to a certain extent but it seems he did not truly appreciate the importance of a fit Robin van Persie to the squad.
The Dutchman and Theo Walcott will presumably be the next two people on the club’s agenda, if Giroud is signed. Retaining their services is paramount now for stability. Signings bring van Persie more into focus. We are told that he wants the club to show ambition; it is a vile little term to use. How do you quantify that? Signings? Attempting to sign someone? It is essentially a cop-out. For example, if Arsenal sign Giroud and M’vila, that would signal that they have identified flaws in the squad and rectified them. It shows ambition, wanting to challenge. But what if they are not the players he wanted Arsenal to sign? It does not show a lack of ambition, simply that his judgement is different from that of the manager.
Yesterday’s Sky Sports Transfer Centre told us, “Sky Sports understands a number of clubs are tussling to sign Walsall midfielder Lee Beevers” . I like that concept; not the Beevers bit but each transfer being a good old-fashioned tussle. It is high time that transfers were resolved in the wrestling ring. Each CEO of the interested clubs would be forced into winning by either two falls or a submission.
I can’t imagine that Ivan would be much good in this situation so KSE would need to move him to Chief Operating Officer and appoint Alisher Usmanov at CEO. It is more of a logical reason for his appointment than any other I have seen; they are all based on wishful thinking. Stop arguing about cash injections, just put the Uzbek in the ring with Rossell, Abramovich or Perez. I’d put money on Usmanov’s Big Daddy Splash or him getting Mansour pinned, with the City chief shouting, “Not the ears, not the ears” – ask your parents, kids – to emerge as a winner.
Croatia 0 – 1 Spain
Italy 2 – 0 Republic of Ireland
No great surprises in last night’s game, except that the paucity of Spain’s performance did not entirely merit victory. They did not deserve to lose but Croatia were, I thought, good for a point. They have done the minimum necessary to qualify for the quarter-finals where they will meet England, Ukraine or France. Italy meanwhile were their usual selves. Negotiating the group phase without setting it alight and suddenly opening up a semi-final place for they are capable of beating England, France and Ukraine. Equally, they are capable of imploding, losing spectacularly badly. The usual football contradiction.
It will be interesting to see which England team turns up against the co-hosts this evening. Roy Hodgson has already made it clear that unless Theo Walcott is fit, he will not start. That rare outbreak of commonsense from an England manager is welcome but also suggests to me that Walcott is unlikely to be in the first XI. As an impact substitute, he has done well; good enough in most circumstances for a place at the expense of Ashley Young, whose form has been less than impressive. Personally, I would drop Milner as well, giving Oxlade-Chamberlain the wide left berth.
Walcott’s biggest problem is Glen Johnson. His defensive positioning when England have the ball is suspect and I believe that is why the workmanlike Milner is selected ahead of Theo. Nothing can be done about it until Johnson matures or most likely, England find a decent right back. As much as you may dislike Ashley Cole, he is exactly the sort of defender that Oxlade-Chamberlain needs; experienced and constantly working in tandem with the youngster to help him settle in the side.
England can still progress as group winners; they have to hope that either France lose or fail to win by a sufficiently big margin to negate any goal difference that England may accrue. Presuming of course, that England win. Ukraine have had a mixed bag; they played well to win against Sweden but were poor against France. The Swedish result in hindsight was unsurprising given their form in the tournament which has been less than distinctly average. England have been the good, the bad and the ugly which is before we talk about Wayne Rooney’s 1920s throwback hairstyle. Actually we won’t bother with that at all.
Posted on June 19, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Euro2012, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 467 Comments.