Olivier Giroud: Big Frenchman needs to up the ante to cement his Gooner status

Arsenal fans tend to be hostile sometimes. The frustration of not winning a silver-ware for eight years seems to be its toll on them. And when you criticize their players – you are dead meat.

Olivier Giroud, as I have said countless times, has struggled to replicate the form Robin Van Persie once displayed at Arsenal. He is nowhere near RVP’s class and quality, but he can be deadly if given enough space to fire and convert.

But then you ask, what space?

We have seen cases of Giroud having enough time, space, room to either make a forward pass or even take a shot, but the French man strangely opts for the ridiculous (spanking the ball on Robin Van Persie’s face).

In the West Brom game, after Giroud was sent off for what looked like a red card, the French man insisted “he slipped and went for the ball “. But in the way Sidwell was sent off, a red card for him was highly inevitable.

Arsenal fans on social networks didn’t hide their excitement on his dismissal.  In fact, a section of the supporters suggested Wenger shouldn’t appeal for the red card. During that spell on the sideline, Giroud will miss the Manchester United, QPR and Wigan matches.

Unfortunately, this same set of fans, when confronted on Giroud’s poor finishes, don’t waste time to remind you about his impressive stats “17 goals and 13 assists”. Then they console themselves by also, reminding you, that RVP in his first season at Arsenal couldn’t score as much as that. Furthermore, they also remind you that Giroud is the main striker in the team and the pressure is always on him to produce goals, so expecting too much from him on match-days is just plain selfish.

Yes, I can agree on the point that Giroud is the main striker in the club – not just an ordinary club, but a big club, and the pressure on him is always gigantic. But I believe it’s ostensibly a privilege for a player of his caliber, to start week in and out for a big club like Arsenal. So, is this privilege and honor in representing such a prestigious side enough reason for him to give away silly passes and waste decent attack opportunities,  when he could have created something useful.

Take for example the West Brom game: his only decent effort was in the 35th minute, when his low shot hit the bottom of the post and eventually went out for a goal kick. Other than that, he was poor and the red card summed up his poor performance. The fact is, the French international hasn’t been consistent enough and needs to up the ante if he wishes to succeed at such a top side, and avoid the destinies of flops just like in the cases of Chamakh and Park.

If Arsenal get a striker, a quality striker like Jovetic, in the summer, then the so-called main-man pressure is sure to be reduced, but his place in the starting-line up could be threatened.

Maybe when he is sitting on the bench, with the grim face, we could chant about his 17 goals and 13 assists – whilst Jovetic utilizes the opportunity he once wasted.


Written by @femi4arsenal

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Olivier Giroud: Big Frenchman Key to Arsenal’s Attack


With no obvious replacement yet again within the squad for Giroud, Arsenal have found themselves reliant on a single striker like last season when they were dependable on Robin Van Persie who shipped in the summer to rivals Manchester United for a fee of £24m. Olivier Giroud is a big, tall (6ft 3in), French striker who played for last season’s French champions Montpellier.

He netted 25 goals last season helping the club to a historic league triumph; their first ever. Arsenal will be short in strikers on January due to Gervinho going to AFCON, and it is understood that Wenger is ready to bring back Thierry Henry on loan from New York Red Bull for a third spell at the club which many fans see as a dubious move.

Any short terms deals leaves Arsenal in the similar position to the one they were last season. This time something similar is happening with Giroud. Giroud is a different animal to his predecessor and though he has a long way to go to reach the level he was last season with Montpellier. He’s the team’s one reliable and natural striker, and there is no replacement for him within the squad should find himself sidelined with an injury.

Podolski could have a go but it seems he is more suited at his normal role on left wing, while Walcott would like to have a shot but Wenger has denied the idea because he lack the faculties to lead the line.

It has become increasingly clear over the past weeks that Giroud is an important element in Arsenal’s attacking strategy. He showed that when he was playing his old club in the Champions League, where he pulled off a strong performance by racking up two assists for his collection. The first was a classic big-man knock-down where he hung up and nodded the ball down for Wilshere to slot his first goal since returning from a long term injury.

Then he found his inner Alex Song, and scooped a deft pass for Podolski to volley in with stirring ferocity.

Despite his slow start to the season, he has managed to score 7 goals in his 11 starts and assisting 6 in all competitions. His hold-up play, strength, excellent positioning and aerial prowess are his biggest assets, qualities that give opposition defences a hard time and something to think about, and another dimension and useful outlet for a side not known for its reliance on long balls and such.

So injuries to the likes of Giroud and Podolski, particularly the big Frenchman, would severely hamper the Gunners and might force Wenger and co. to go all out in convincing the incoming Henry to stay until the end of the season.


Written by Peter Tomi

Follow him on Twitter @GiroudFanPage

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