Giroud has carried Arsenal’s striking burden single-handedly this season. He has done a terrific job: According to WhoScored, he has already scored seven goals and picked up five assists.
He likes that. He is a positive guy, he has a positive charisma. He has a good physical basic stamina, and guys who have a good stamina recover, and can repeat again.
However, regardless of what Giroud feels, he could do with some assistance. Teammate Laurent Koscielny recently observed that Giroud is displaying signs of fatigue.
It’d be no surprise if the forward was beginning to feel the strain. His efforts have been Herculean, but he’s not Superman. Including internationals, he has already taken part in more than 20 games this season. Sustaining that intensity in such a demanding position is impossible.
Walcott’s return will help, as the Englishman gives defences another problem to consider. At the moment, Giroud is the only player in the Arsenal XI prepared to push up and play right against the defensive line. Walcott will do that, and more—he also has the explosive pace required to run in behind.
Giroud should benefit from Walcott’s wing play. Walcott provides the kind of exemplary service on which the Frenchman thrives. In their last home game together, a pinpoint Walcott cross found a deft Giroud finish at the near post. Arsenal fans will hope to see more of that combination come Saturday.