To Giroud, Or Not To Giroud…That Is The Question

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    Updated: August 14, 2014
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    These are interesting times at Arsenal FC. Interesting because they are new times but also old times. I know that last sentence seemed like some sort of reach on a vague paradox but it’s kind of the truth. I say the times at Arsenal right now are new because during the Dark Ages (9 year trophy drought) the club was used to mediocrity and indecision and selling players; and an overall dark cloud hung over the club. But since the FA Cup win, the club feels like pre-trophy drought Arsenal; and it’s a lot of fun to be a supporter again.

    During the dark ages the supporters of the club were split down the middle debate on legendary manager Arsene Wenger’s time with the club. There were the supporters who were “WengerOut” and wanted Lord knows who to take over as manager if Wenger got sacked. Then there were people like me who knew the club was going through financial hardship with the building of the Emirates stadium, and that’s why Wenger couldn’t go out and purchase big name players. Well things have changed and the “Wenger Out” people have changed their tune drastically, luckily for everyone.

    And now the consensus is Wenger is back to being title-winning Wenger of old. But there’s a new split in the Arsenal ranks and this time it revolves around another Frenchman, Olivier Giroud. The amount of vitriol that Giroud gets from Arsenal supporters is something to behold. But the question is, is it truly justified?

     

    Oliver Giroud, The Bottlers Bottler?….

     

    Now, in order for me to properly debate this I have to be neutral for the time being and look at both sides. I can see why a lot of our supporters despise Olivier Giroud. I think the biggest reason is the Wenger factor. Wenger loves proving people wrong on his transfers and Olivier Giroud seems to be the latest in that line of players. Wenger wants to prove to the world that Giroud is a top-class striker which means two things. First, Giroud is going to get massive game time and starts this upcoming season, and I’ve already told my friends they better get used to this.

    Second, if Wenger has that much faith in Giroud, he’ll be damned if he puts that much faith in another transfer for huge money. Just this week I saw that there were rumours of Edison Cavani coming to Arsenal from PSG in France.

    I couldn’t help but laugh at the notion of that. Cavani would cost the Gooners £50 million and would demand wages in the region of £300 per week. What? For him? Listen, I rate Cavani just as much as the next person but that’s a lot of money for unproven premier league talent. But this is similar to earlier in the summer when the club was linked with Mario Balotelli. Those rumors were rampant during the first few weeks of the World Cup, then the rumors disappeared into thin air. Wenger was never in for Balo in my opinion.

    It was just people trying to put fire to the idea to maybe make Wenger consider it. He never did and that was that. This Cavani thing is similar. For that transfer fee and those wages he might as well go after Radamel Falcao who I believe is the best pure striker on Earth. But that’s another striker I just don’t see coming. Which takes us back to square one, Giroud as our main striker. The problem with Giroud is that he is such an anomaly on the pitch. He’s inconsistent and his gaffes at easy chances are pretty comical. Here are a few examples of why the supporters despise Giroud:

     

    Exhibit A (My Word):

     

     

    Exhibit B (sigh):

     

    And Exhibit C (lmfao):

     

    Yeah, good times. It’s ok to laugh at these now, but when they happen in critical games against our rivals then it’s not so much fun. Giroud’s technical ability on the ball doesn’t match that of the Arsenal midfield and there lies the problem. Every Arsenal midfielder providing service to Giroud is technically gifted so they put the ball in places that a great striker will be able to do damage. But so many times the ball gets lost under Giroud’s feet or he just messes the entire build up completely because he is not fast enough to keep up or he misses easy tap-ins like the videos above show. Not good. 

    And there’s Giroud’s goal tally against rival Big 4 clubs from last season. Giroud did not register a single goal against Manchester City, Liverpool or Chelsea, and those are the matches that Top-Classes strikers must shine in. These reasons are why so many Arsenal supporters rather Giroud come off the bench and Wenger buy another striker. But this raises another question. Is Giroud really that bad?

     

    Olivier Giroud, The Man, The Myth, The…Goal Poacher?…

     

    In all competitions for Arsenal last season Olivier Giroud scored 22 goals. That’s not a bad tally for a striker that’s supposedly so terrible is it? Of course he could score more, but 22 goals is not a bad haul by any stretch of the imagination. Giroud is tall and is good in the air. Arsenal’s midfield is very tiny and the tallest people other than Giroud are the two centerbacks Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

    But in build up plays from the back the centerbacks can’t be asked to get all the way into the box which leaves it up to Giroud. Giroud may miss some very easy chances but he converts some absolutely beautiful goals that seem to come out of virtually nowhere. Just look at this Community Shield goal against Man City that dropped the jaws of football fans around the globe. And the ball wasn’t deflected, it was just that good of a strike: 

    Between his height, his ability to get open in the box for tap in opportunities, and his decent passing ability, Giroud isn’t as terrible as people say he is. Is he has good as King Thierry Henry and Robin Van Persie whom he replaced, absolutely not. But he’s also not Nicklas Bendtner either. And I think the addition of Alexis Sanchez and Joel Campbell will put the pressure on Giroud to perform at a higher level.

    And lets not forget young YaYa Sanogo is also waiting in the wings waiting to take his opportunity if Giroud isn’t up to snuff. If Wenger buys another striker I am all for it, but I don’t see that happening with a more glaring need at defensive midfielder, and Arsene’s love for Giroud. We need to get behind Giroud as a club and let him know that the fans support him. Giroud is going to prove a lot of people wrong this season and surpass his goal tally from the last campaign. So sing along with me mates, “Na na na na na na na…na na na…GIIIIIIOURD”

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