Will starting Giroud this evening do more harm than good?

By Avenell Dave

Shoud he play or should he watch?

That's the question we'll have to wait until later this evening to find out with Arsene Wenger giving little away about the fate of Olivier Giroud ahead of the League Cup game against Coventry City.

If strikers are all about confidence, Giroud should start this evening.

Against a struggling Coventry side who have just appointed a new manager and are in disarray after falling into the third tier of English football, it should be a comfortable night for the Frenchman to find his scoring boots.

But is it really the best policy for Giroud to play in such a game?

Watching him so far this season, he hasn't done a whole lot wrong. He's had a couple of decent chances that he didn't take but that apart, his overall play has been fine.

And there are so many risks if he plays tonight.

It will turn into the 'let's help Olivier score' show, with players doing their best to set him up chances.

If he does score, how valuable is it against a team 60-odd places below us in the ladder?

If he fails, the media pressure, which is already unreasonable, will continue to grow.

It doesn't help that VanPurseStrings is scoring regularly, of course, even though I remain convin ced that Giroud will score more than the Dutchman by the season's end.

He's also an important member of the squad, the only striker apart from Lukas Podolski (unless Theo Walcott gets his way) so if he gets injured by a clumsy tackle, we're streched just as we're gaining momentum.

From all intents and purposes it looks as if he will start this evening so let's hope he gets a goal or two and comes off with 55 miinutes gone.

This is actually a game for fringe players such as Arshavin and Santos to blow away some of the cobwebs and help use their experience to sweep aside our visitors.

I've put Chamakh in the team but it would be interesting to see Walcott in the centre to see how well he really can do in the middle.

I'm so conflicted about him. He does it for us in big games and I have a fear he'll do well somewhere else if he leaves us.

But it's fair to say he's never really fulfilled his potential and while contracts remain unsigned, the uncertainty surrounding him will probably not povoke the most supportive response from fans.

So let's see a decent, profesional performance tonight.

And no sympathy appearances for a Frenchman who needs the time to show what Wenger saw in him when he signed him in the summer.

Addict XI 



Yennaris Djourou Miquel Santos

Eisfeld Coquelin Frimpong 

Walcott Chamakh Arshavin