Arsenal have more than just one problem and frankly, Olivier Giroud isn’t the worst of them. Arsene Wenger trapped in a concept that hasn’t worked for years, ownership that wants profit over anything and a squad that simply isn’t good enough to reach the goals expected from the club, by fans or the front office.
Olivier Giroud, however, is the symptom. The argument over who is the one who refuses to spend will go on forever, but going back through media references, Arsenal seem to have made it clear every summer, that Arsene Wenger does have funds to spend on big names if he wants to. He just seems to believe in his own ability to spot and develop talent instead of purchasing the right players.
Tottenham weren’t the better team than Arsenal in the derby – they just made the most of the mistakes presented to them by Arsenal’s midfield, which obviously led to their defense crumbling in front of the speed & power of Gareth Bale and later Aaron Lennon. Playing with Mikel Arteta looked like a temporary fix earlier this season, but turns out to be a campaign long problem, among others.
Up front? Too many problems to count. Aaron Ramsey has been given a chance at every possible position this season, and while Wenger usually plays him out of it, he was where he should be in the derby. Just not as good as he should be. Santi Cazorla has his moments, but hasn’t been impressive in months, or consistent. Relying on Jack Wilshere again and again in a very crowded midfield won’t get Arsenal anywhere, despite all of the promise in the young man.
And we come to Giroud, who causes Theo Walcott to play on the wing, where he isn’t as happy as he can be, and in my opinion, not as effective as he can be.
So Wenger doesn’t want to purchase expensive, blatant talent. How about some wonderkids? Promise for the future? Fight hard for these? Nope. Olivier Giroud is just an OK striker who had one good season in Ligue 1. Not someone who seemed like he can lead a Champions League caliber team, but Wenger still spent an eight figure sum on him, because he felt that plugging a hole with Giroud will be good enough. Same goes for Lukas Podolski who has been disappointing for most of the season.
There’s no shame in losing to Tottenham these days, because Spurs are the better side, with more individual quality on the team, and a lot more ambition pouring from every hole and pore the club has. Arsenal might be a new team very soon, with new owners, possibly a lot more ambitious. Maybe we’re all wrong, and Wenger will be the one that’s right in a few seasons – football is heading in the wrong direction and only those willing to suffer now with limited spending budgets will come through stronger, or even survive.
And yet, it feels that for now, the only ones being hurt from his financial prudence and old-ways of thinking are his players, the fans, and Arsenal itself.