There have been so many criticisms and debates since Olivier Girourd’s arrival at the Emirates. Questions like “Is Olivier Giroud good enough?”“Can Arsenal win the title with him?”“How good is he exactly?” heard time and time again since the Frenchman signed for the Gunners just after Euro 2012.And when people like Thierry Henry step in with a strong opinion, claiming Arsenal cannot win the league with Olivier Giroud, it enflames the debate even more.
And the answer for the questions above is: Yes. Olivier Girourd is a very good striker. This season, Giroud has scored 19 goals in 36 games in all competitions for Arsenal, after missing the first three months of the current campaign with a foot injury.
Even before starting his career in Arsenal, Giroud had showed a remarkable achievements. In his second season in Tours, he was the division’s top scorer with 21 goals. Giroud was again the top scorer with 21 goals in the 2011–12 season, giving the club their first ever Ligue 1 title. He then moved to Arsenal for an estimated £9.6 million in 2012.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is so keen on him. In his first campaign for Premier League side, Giroud earned a place in the Premier League team of the week. In the fourth round of the FA Cup in 2013, he continued his goal-scoring form and earned him a Man of the Match. Giroud finished his first campaign in Arsenal with 17 goals and 11 assists in 47 appearances.
Giroud is a team player, uncharacteristic of a striker’s role, which by definition is very selfish. He plays mostly with his back to goal, flicking balls, playing a one-two, using his strength to hold the ball up front for his team to move higher on the pitch. Diego Costa or Sergio Aguero play with the goal in front of them.
There is also proof that he is improving his performances in big games, the ones that matter. In the past, he was accused of not converting against big teams. This season though, he has scored against Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool twice. Let’s see the big names have done during the 2014/2015 campaign. Costa, only scored against Arsenal and Liverpool; Van Persie only against Chelsea and Liverpool; Rooney against nobody. Only Aguero has done better than Giroud who scored on the games against Arsenal, Liverpool and three against Man United.
Here, people have been harsh on Giroud, Henry included, since the beginning and he deserves a bit more credit and respect.