Punt of the Week - Gameweek 11 - Would be Giroud not to

After my successful punt earlier in the season on an Arsenal forward, I have returned to what I know and picked a frontman from the Gunners. I’m trying not to curse my luck here as I reside in the 1.0% that currently own Giroud, but his fixtures ahead plot a strong path to success if the Frenchman can reproduce his European form in the Premier League.

The Potential

Arsenal’s fixtures over the next ten gameweeks are as strong as any and Giroud will be leading the line and hoping to end his quite dismal form thus far. The next ten fixtures look like FUL, TOT, avl, eve, SWA, WBA, rdg, wig, WHU, NEW and sot. With only a trip to Goodison looking to derail Wenger’s men from marching towards the top four, on paper Arsenal could well be the form side up to and beyond the festive period.

A point to note: Arsenal host Fulham this weekend, who have not fared well against Arsenal away from home, and have failed to beat them in their last 26 visits across town.

The imminent return of Theo Walcott will provide some much needed support for Giroud as he will hope to emulate his goal against Schalke in midweek on a much more regular basis. Giroud is capable of returning a double digit score as he showed against West Ham at Upton Park back in gameweek 7 with a goal and an assist in a 12-point return.

Gametime looks assured having played the last 4 full 90 minutes and Wenger saying he was signed as RVP’s replacement. This can only mean more game time and we’ll hopefully start to see some return on that big investment from the board.

Priced at 8.4m, if he starts to get points that price could really rocket, and with injury concerns about Ba, gametime for Defoe and poor fixtures for Berbatov, Giroud could really steal the show on a budget if you are brave enough to pick him?

The Risk

With every transfer there’s risk, and with this punt it’s no different. Giroud has definitely not hit the ground running and has found the Premier League tough to adapt to, his points total confirms that. With only a solitary goal and a single assist to his name so far and all achieved in a single game, this is not what’s expected from the Arsenal frontline and there’s surely pressure on him to start delivering.

His average position in games is worrying as he tends to come far too deep in play to receive the ball and then to dictate play at the sharp end where he should be. This also could be detrimental to Santi Cazorla, who has stuttered through the season up to this point.

The Verdict

An Arsenal forward under 8.5m who is guaranteed 90 minutes in most matches, is that really a gamble? Of course! Giroud’s form has been worrying but I think there are signs of him improving. He was unlucky at Old Trafford, hitting the post, scored in midweek and the return of Theo will help supply the balls into him. If you sign players on form then he’s not for you. If you sign players with good fixtures and are willing to take a risk to get to the top then Oliver Giroud could be your man. I will definitely be cheering him on come the weekend!