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12th Mar 2017

Michael Owen called out for his analysis of Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud

"Make up your mind!"

Darragh Murphy

Michael Owen doesn’t get away with much.

All it takes is one slip of the tongue or contradictory piece of analysis for supporters to jump all over him and that’s just what took place on Saturday evening.

Owen was on punditry duty for BT Sport for Arsenal’s FA Cup quarter-final at home to non-league outfit Lincoln City.

The Gunners ran out 5-0 winners, turning on the after-burners in the second half, but one aspect of Arsene Wenger’s strategy frustrated Owen.

Owen was not happy with the sight of centre-forward Olivier Giroud in the starting XI as he suggested that Lincoln would be accustomed to defending against a “big target man” like the French international.

“I am a fan of [Olivier] Giroud but I am not sure he should be playing this game,” Owen said.

“He is the type of striker that Lincoln come up against all the time, the big target man in their league.

“I would have played a smaller, quicker player, maybe Alexis [Sanchez] up front, or [Alex] Iwobi out wide, or play [Mesut] Ozil, something like that.”

Giroud ultimately scored his side’s second of the game but, before that, Owen seemed to have a change of heart and claimed that Giroud actually wasn’t a traditional big target man.

“He’s a big man but he doesn’t play a big man’s game, he doesn’t knock people about, he’s more into flicks and touches and getting into the box as opposed to being a big target man.”

The contradiction didn’t go unnoticed.