After Sunday’s 1-0 defeat against Chelsea FC at Emirates stadium, Wenger suffered another blow at the hands of the former Arsenal star Thierry Henry, who was nothing less than critical of Giroud’s 22nd-minute substitution.
Giroud was substituted for Gabriel after Per Mertesacker was handed out a red card for an aggressive tackle at Diego Costa, who later hit the winner against a ten-man Arsenal FC.
This substitution was a mistake according to Henry, who felt Wenger should have kept Giroud on the field and sent Joel Campbell off.
The ex-Arsenal FC legend holds the opinion that if Giroud would’ve stayed and Campbell was substituted, the club would’ve had Ozil on the left, Walcott on the right and Giroud up front, forming a well-organised setup.
Defending his decision, Wenger stated after the game that he wanted to keep pace on the field and hence decided to keep Campbell and Walcott and substitute the Frenchman.
“When Theo stayed and Olivier Giroud went off, we all thought it was because he wanted to go in behind and attack and be higher up the field on the counter. It’s easy to talk when you’re here [in the studio] watching the game with no pressure. You have to take a decision in 15 seconds, but I think you could have had the two guys staying on the field.” Henry was quoted as saying by Skysports.
What do the stats suggest?
So far in this season, Olivier Giroud has found the back of the net on 12 occasions in 17 Premier League starts, which is a considerably higher tally when compared to Joel Campbell’s 2 goals in 9 starts.
Thierry Henry does have a statistical approach to his criticism of the 22nd-minute substitution, as Giroud has a proven track record of scoring goals with a total tally of 18 in 24 starts in all competitions.