22 April 2013

Arsenal will appeal Giroud's red card

According to the official team site, the club is set to lodge an appeal against Giroud's red card in the closing minutes of Saturday's match with Fulham. The article is one sentence long and states that the FA will make its decision on Tuesday afternoon. I assume this is London time, so this American writer will have to wake up a bit early to catch the news. Here's the statement from arsenal.com:
Arsenal Football Club have lodged an appeal to the Football Association for the wrongful dismissal of Olivier Giroud during the Premier League match against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
An FA regulatory commission will hear the claim and make a verdict on Tuesday afternoon.
As I stated in my previous post, anyone who cheers his suspension as some kind of addition by subtraction is a bit nuts. He's not Robin Van Persie even if he was hired to fill the man's boots. He's been a decent if maddeningly inconsistent and profligate striker, but he's the only one on the squad who can play the role that he plays. It's not his fault that he's the only one who can effectively hold up play. This is simply not a strength for Walcott, Gervinho, or Podolski. He does seem to make others around him better through his willingness to create chances for others by creating that second-ball off a cross or corner or making a pass in the box for an uncoming team-mate, such as Podolski's strike against Norwich. In fact, if just a small handful of his passes in the box had been converted, we might be lauding him for leading the team in assists. After all, across all competitions, we've won 21, drawn 9, and lost 11 with him in the starting line-up. Not bad.
video

The red card was harsh, in my opinion, as Giroud was making a play on the ball and had his foot on the ball at the time of the foul. A biased fan might even argue that it was the defender's fault for running into Giroud. Check the video: Giroud's foot rolls over the ball and it appears that the defender clips Giroud's heel. I don't feel like I'm exaggerating, either.

Contrast that against Sidwell's red card in which he went in cleats up and got nothing but leg. It's possible that Giroud's red was issued in part as a sop to the home crowd, similar, now that I think about it, to Kompany's red card against us in January that "evened out" Koscielny's red in the 10th minute of that match. Kompany's was overturned on appeal, and that challenge was far worse in appearance and intent than Giroud's. Kompany, after all, managed to poke the ball but upended Wilshere in a way that looked awful at the time but not quite so bad on replay.

I'd say that Giroud has a fair-to-good chance of having this one overturned, and I sincerely hope he's available for Sunday's visit from Man U. How great would it be to see him return to the line-up and score one or two for us with Van Persie there watching?