Written by Pat
Oliver Giroud is a striker who is more often criticised much more than he is praised no matter what he does for both club and country. It is quite difficult to name another player who has had to consistently prove a point at every given time not only to the fans but also manager.
Last season, the Frenchman was made the villain for Arsenal’s failed title chase after going more than 10 league games without a goal , yet the same fans forget he ended the season on a high having scored 24 goals in 53 for the North London club in all competitions. At 30, Giroud is in his prime and has consistently delivered for Arsenal this season scoring four goals in nine games (all competitions), despite starting only one of those games.
This season, the bookmakers and fans, can put their monies where their hearts are because Arsene Wenger has preferred a more mobile, quicker and skillful Alexis Sanchez upfront in a new set up that has seen the Gunners become more fluid and difficult to defend against.
Sanchez has delivered with goals and assists, coupled with his rich understanding with Mesut Ozil, who plays slightly behind the Chilean. Yet, this has failed to deliver for the team in certain games, with Giroud coming from the bench to score against Sunderland and Manchester United last weekend.
It is baffling that the striker has been so maligned when one considers his 60 goals in 140 league games for Arsenal, despite playing most times with his back to goal. With Giroud in the team, Arsenal are armed with a second option, as the midfielders whip in crosses for the striker to attack or nod down for team mates to shoot. One top quality attribute of the striker is his heading, which is top class and of devastating effect as he has the ability to out jump most defenders in the league. With this quality attribute, Wenger is able to go for up balls when Sanchez and the rest are unable to unlock difficult and organised defences just like in the game against Sunderland.
Despite having to spend most of his time on the bench, the striker hasn’t been heady about the issue by attacking his manager or team mates, instead the former Montpellier forward appears to be doing his talking on the pitch.
This is not to say that he is now the first choice at Arsenal, but it must be noted that though he is not a starting player, Giroud is as important as the regular starters at the club judging from his massive and understated impact from the bench.
For now he might not be a legend, but Giroud is gradually writing his name in gold in north London considering his impact this season as Arsenal lie fourth, three points behind leaders Chelsea.