Monday, October 3, 2022

Why Arsenal CAN win the title with Olivier Giroud

After half of his fourth season at Arsenal being completed, surely the amount of articles about Olivier Giroud’s “to be or not to be” has now reached an apex that can only be met by apathy and exasperation. Despite double-figure goal scoring in all four seasons, Arsenal’s main man somehow cannot escape scrutiny, criticism and a constant comparison with the reverie that we’ve come to know as the “Top Quality Striker”.

This towering image of a striker that – year after year – scores loads of goals, provides heaps of assists for his teammates and infantilises opposition defences week in and week out, all the way to domestic and European prosperity. Conquering hearts and minds for decades, the “Top Quality Striker” is what all teams dream of and what all fans will always compare their players with. However, assuming that this utopian figure of a footballer is our ideal choice as a striker; how far off are we in reality?

By now, we’re all quite familiar with Thierry Henry’s comments about Arsenal being unable to win the league with Olivier Giroud up front, comments that he backtracked on less than a month later. But was anyone surprised? Yet another “expert” (and I use that term loosely) using Giroud as a doormat, tarnishing his hard work on the pitch and influencing millions of fans that gobble up their judgements like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Giroud has somehow become an easy target.

This summer’s transfer window proved to be the last straw on my proverbial camel’s back, when literally any striker that had scored a goal in their career was hailed as a better option than the French donkey at Arsenal. I was sick of hearing how the acquisition of the latest flavour of the month player would suddenly transform Arsenal FC to the next Roman Empire. But what is it that makes Giroud such an easy target? How come he’s never enough? Even this season, with 10 goals scored after half the season gone by (1230 mins played, 0.73 goals per 90 mins), it seems like he’s not even close to matching the TQS (Top Quality Striker) criteria.

In this spreadsheet, I have compared Giroud with more or less all the other strikers that fans wanted to see him be replaced with. Some of them were excluded due to not even playing enough this season, such as Jackson Martinez, Alvaro Morata, Mario Balotelli, Loïc Remy and Fernando Llorente. Other players have been eliminated due to how unrealistic it would be for a rival to sell their top striker to us, or players that are out of our reach financially, such as Sergio Agüero and Robert Lewandowski. I have only compared these players for the first half of this season, so it might not be decisive statistics, but I felt like I needed to correlate their numbers anyway to gain some sort of a perspective.

My comparison wasn’t as telling as I had thought. I learned that Karim Benzema is one of few players with consistently good stats and it also reaffirmed my belief that Higuain could possibly be our TQS, even though last season’s Giroud had better numbers than last season’s Higuain.

But what are these numbers really telling us?

It’s definitely not painting a clear picture of each player. Giroud is so far only leading on three fronts: Headed goals, goals from set pieces and goals from crossed free kicks. Despite that, he has scored 10 goals in 1230 mins, compared to Cavani’s 10 goals in 1268 mins and Diego Costa’s 5 goals in 1268 mins. The number of shots he takes per 90 mins is only trumped by Benzema and Higuain, and he’s only outdone by Benteke and Mandzukic in terms of aerial duels won. So he’s not exactly showing consistently top-ranking numbers, but who is? Higuain is having a Vardy-like season in Italy and Benzema is once again proving to be one of Europe’s most consistent strikers, but other than that…what? Who is coming close to our absurd TQS requirements? There were brief, quixotic rumours about Robert Lewandowski coming to Arsenal in the summer, but not even he runs away from the rest in terms of equating numbers.

So these statistics can be defined as somewhat arbitrary in our hunt for the TQS that we so desperately need (apparently). Because that’s our only chance of winning the league, right? A TQS that demolishes anything that comes in his way, scores a million goals and wins his team the league title as the top scorer in the league.

Actually, if we look back at last year’s football season, none of the top scorers in the Top 5 European leagues won the league title.

  • In England, Sergio Agüero was the top scorer when Chelsea won the title.
  • In Spain, Cristiano Ronaldo was the top scorer when Barcelona won the title.
  • In Germany, Alexander Meier was the top scorer when Bayern München won the title.
  • In Italy, Luca Toni and Mauro Icardi were the top scorers when Juventus won the title.
  • In France, Alexandre Lacazette was the top scorer when PSG won the title.

There are other factors that you can correlate between the main strikers for the teams that have won the league in the Top 5 European leagues in the past seasons and they are far more important than purely scoring goals and being your league’s top goal scorer.

First of all, they’re all consistent in their goal scoring.

Table1

With the exception of the anomaly that is Leo Messi and a substandard last season at Manchester City for Carlos Tevez, we can see that the title winning strikers all follow their goal scoring patterns with pretty decent consistency.

Table 2

The anomaly in this scenario is clearly Sergio Agüero, who we all know is a fantastic striker, but has a troubling injury record.

Other than that, all four strikers show their consistency, with our Frenchman doing his best to keep up. But I dare say that he’s not the incompetent buffoon in front of goal as he often is portrayed as.

The second important factor for the strikers is what players they have around them. Being serviced by technical and efficient players behind and around you is key and time has surely taught us that no striker wins the league singlehandedly, not even Messi.

Okay, maybe Messi, but you get my point.

Table 3

For the 2014/15 season, the main strikers of each title-winning team had at least three key players behind them that not only served them with vital passes and plays, but the team as a whole. These numbers can portray different scenarios: either the style of play for each team is so vastly different that these so-called key players aren’t as vital for the eventual goal scoring as one might think, or maybe the main strikers of the teams pull a pretty heavy load themselves. That case can definitely be argued for in the cases of Barcelona and Paris St Germain.

I, however, believe that the involvement of the three main key players is extremely important to consider when discussing and comparing strikers, especially in the Premier League.

Table4

Arsenal’s three main key players last season were Santi Cazorla, Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez. All three were heavily involved in basically every Arsenal attack and are thus a pivotal part of Arsenal’s goal scoring.

With those three players totalling the highest numbers, the spotlight is immediately cast on the main man: Olivier Giroud. Connections can be made to his shot accuracy, which last season was 50%, compared to Lacazette’s 67% and Higuain’s 59%, and continues to be 50% this season. However, the three key players around him are stepping up their game. The number of key passes per 90 mins total between them is now 8.04 halfway through the season and to add to that, Mesut Özil is likely to break Thierry Henry’s assist record of 20 assists in one season. How many of those assists will have lead to Olivier Giroud goals come May?

Giroud himself is showing a remarkable consistency in his game. His goals per 90 mins, shot accuracy and pass completion halfway through this season are identical with what they were at the end of last season. His main improvement seems to be in his holdup play, where he’s already known for his outstanding strength and efficiency. Higher numbers in aerial duels won, successful take ons and total duels won shows how he fights harder than ever before and compared with Benzema and Higuain, he tops their numbers.

The third factor I consider to be essential is whether or not the striker is effectively part of the team’s spine or not.

Now, this one is quite abstract and open to interpretation. I’m sure people will be split on this and argue ad infinitum, but I’d like to throw my name into the hat and say that Giroud is most definitely part of our team’s spine and he’s doing a great job at it. His contribution to Arsenal’s play is immense and stretches beyond the number of goals scored.

In the past couple of seasons, the team has cultured a strong backbone of experienced, hardworking players and no one has been more suitable to be the leading man up front in that spine than Giroud. I’d like to even argue the fact that Olivier is more part of our current team’s spine than Robin van Persie ever was, no matter how many goals he scored. His 30 league goals in 38 games during his last season at Arsenal was mightily impressive and was rightfully hailed by fans around the world, but van Persie’s acrimonious departure from the club left behind a burden that any professional striker would’ve struggled to handle.

Despite never reaching the goal-scoring heights of RvP so far, Giroud is doing a steady job. After van Persie’s last season with Arsenal, he went on to score 26 goals in 38 games for Manchester United and helping them on to the title. So why didn’t he help Arsenal to win the title the season before? Factor two and factor three: lack of potent support from the key players in the team and the inability of being the spearhead in the so desperately needed spine in the Arsenal team. Actually, that last one might not be so much down to him as the rest of the team, since he went on to perfectly gel in to a strong and efficient Manchester United squad, where he wasn’t the lone and shining star anymore – he was part of a collective, a forceful collective that was acutely needed at Arsenal.

However, Robin van Persie would’ve never won the Premier League with Arsenal if he had stayed anyway. Factors two and three were already missing, but what about factor one: his consistency? We all know how much he struggled with injuries, but during his 8 years at Arsenal, he still managed to string together at least 22 games in 6 of those seasons. In those 6 seasons, his goals/game ratio came to 0.46, whereas if you look at Giroud’s four seasons, his ratio currently stands at 0.47 goals/game. Not much of a difference, you might think, but Giroud is getting better – and so are his teammates.

Hence bringing forth the importance of having a strong spine in your team and that’s where I’d like to argue the fact that Giroud is a fantastic striker to have in your team’s spine. Having a TQS should be less of a priority for a top-level team such as Arsenal than having a dependable, experienced and solid spine, which we now have.

Comparing the backbone of today’s team with the squad of the 2011/12 season, our centre backs in Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are vastly more experienced and more comfortable playing together; our key players have changed from the struggling Gervinho, Arshavin and Alex Song to the amazing trio of Santi Cazorla, Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez; but what’s even more important is that we now have one of the best goalkeepers in the world playing week in and week out. Add to that an ever so consistent striker, that couldn’t react to criticism and a lack of form better than he has, and you’ve got yourself a team that has every ingredient for a title winning team. Keep in mind that we’re not talking about a financially comfortable mega brand of a club, such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Bayern München, Real Madrid and Barcelona. If we were to win the league this season, it would be a god damned miracle, but we’re slowly but surely shaking off the deadweight that has held us down over the past couple of seasons, we’re building a squad that looks stronger than it has in years and the team possesses a stability which we fans have desperately called for over the past decade.

Arsenal finishing the first half of the season as league leaders isn’t anything new to us and not many of us are counting our chickens before they’ve hatched, but this year is something out of the ordinary. Chelsea has done us all a huge favour and eliminated themselves from the title race early; the drama filled Manchester United boat is slowly but steadily rocking in the table below us and surely there’s no one that actually thinks that Leicester is going to keep fighting come May? So what stands in our way isn’t whether our striker is “good enough” for our team or

So what stands in our way isn’t whether our striker is “good enough” for our team or not, what stands in the team’s way is the team itself.

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This article was written for Arseblog News by Nima Safai. You can follow him on Twitter here.
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Michael

We definitely can win it with Giroud, Ramsey, Walcott, Alexis, Ozil, Cech…

sixteen swans over ainola

… Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin, and yes, Mertesacker and Gabriel

The best centreback in the premier league and two of the best full backs. Despite Southampton away, we still have one of the meanest defences around. And once Coquelin and Cazorla return that’ll only get strengthened.

Stuart_Ten

Superb, thank you.
Can frustrate sometimes, but a big fan of Oli, and really, his numbers stand up pretty damn well.

Geogheganj

Giroud is also being played week-in, week-out without any rotation so the figures include periods when he is very tired. His stats when fresh (first 6/7 games back from injury for example) would be sensational I imagine. Quite underrated imho

Harsh

well, yeah. i am a fan of giroud, but the best players in the world are/have to be used to playing week in week out, and keep performing consistently.

Mr. White

With him and Walcott rotating, yes. Not only him. Giroud’s bum boys are gonna thumb down but he’s not at level of strikers we’ve had in the past. Such a limited player.

Papyrus

Am sorry, but what article were you reading? The writer clearly points out that Giroud is not as prolific at goals as compared to Van Persie and others. Which I agree, as many others. But “such a limited player” comment should be re-assessed. Team dynamics and Arsenal’s style of play makes Giroud invaluable to us!
If anything is “limited”, it would be your perspective on the entire structure of Arsene’s/Arsenal team philosophy.

Mr. White

You think I got time to read that big ass article haha. The fact that blogs had to type this big a article to get his point across proves he isn’t the man. Can Ozil win us the prem? Yes. Sanchez? Yes. Cech? Yes. No question about it so no need for an article on it but blogs being the biggest fan of Giroud felt the need to emphasise the point. You could do the same article about Walcott who’s got better stats than Giroud but I’m sure blogs wouldn’t bother about that.

arseblog

I didn’t write this piece, so your entire comment is pointless. Well done.

CountLeaf

fucking gif generation kids. go find some memes.

Rontombontom

If you can’t take in an argument because of its length, that doesn’t say anything about the argument, it says something about you…

Arsepedant

So basically you are disagreeing with something you couldn’t be bothered to read, and not only that, but anyone who subsequently disagrees witih you is a “bum boy”.

And here I thought I had already seen every possible level of stupidity in the world. Silly me.

Does your daddy know you’re using his computer?

Merson's grin

Sometimes I read comments on here and think “Who ties your shoelaces?”

arseblog

“bum boys”, really?

Purr Mertesacker

If the only criteria for judging a player is “level of player we’ve had in the past”, I’m afraid none in the present squad will be good enough (barring cech and the oz). However, times change, strategies change, and what we require from a player changes. The whole point of this article was to add some objectivity to the subjective debate that surrounds Oli- which you’ve dismissed offhand. Unfair to Giroud and to the person who’s written this solid solid piece.

Mizog

I love arseblog but this was a painful read!!

David C

completely disagree! I thought it was extremely well written, but I’m from North America and we are very used to statistical analysis in sports.

For instance, in baseball they have stats for almost everything!

Paul254

Thank you i enjoyed that

Steven

You crunch the quantitative numbers you have brilliantly but there are other stats that might be more revealing, such as number of runs, types of goal (Giroud specialises in first touch goals which suggests he can’t make chances for himself etc.) and our overall pattern of play when he is in the side. For me, it is clear that Ozil and Sanchez are our best players and Giroud is not the striker to get the best out of them. Stylistically, we need an Anelka type – someone who will not only link smoothly but make runs and create space. Giroud… Read more »

Papyrus

Except this isn’t 1998-2005. It’s 2016! And his goals are precious for both club and country. Funny you said that. The same mid-fielders go about praising Giroud; mentioning his abilities and the way in which he makes the team rhythm tick when he plays. Who said you ask? Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere (Check out the Norwich tiki-taka goal)… You stereotyped a lot in your comment. But the reality on the ground speaks a different story! Truth is, an injured Giroud is a weak Arsenal team. When he came back, we grew stronger. Even when Ozil and Cazorla were present. And as… Read more »

Trez

But they never praise him for being clinical and ruthless now, do they?

Nico

Nobody got time for that!

ClockEndRider

Quite right. It’s much preferable to repeat the likes of myriad talentless journos like Piers Moron, innit?

arseblog

Yet you had enough time to leave an unnecessary and fatuous comment

Cliff Bastin

Just imagine if Giroud was world class.

(tongue in cheek)

(in case anyone didn’t get that from reading text)

Burak

Mate, haven’t you heard? No one has time to read text, and they’re furious that you’ve written it. Please do try to keep up.

AntiSpud

Cavani 28? Not a chance

chambers

Great Analysis. Made loads of sense. Many of the players arsenal fans say are better than Giroud aren’t really better or arent significantly better. I think it is a little bit of a stereotypical stuff where we are more used to sleeker strikers or a bit of not appreciating enough of what one has. Truth is, the grass isnt necessarily greener across the road. Who in the EPL has cummulatively scored more EPL goals than Giroud in the last 3 seasons? Life’s is about what you have not what you lack. Giroud is what we have and I am respecting… Read more »

Fin

I believe only Aguero, Suarez and, correct me if I am wrong, Lukaku? Ollie is a fantastic player. Just needs some help is all. On the subject of him I personally think we should have a look at Lukaku as a long term option, because I think he’s only going to get better and better.

Heroldgoon

Such articles require a night read when you lie to yourself that you are gonna get a shut eye because you have to go work early the next morning. That is until you open Arseblog.

sanogo's missed kick

It’s funny, reading the article leaves me feeling that the author is conceding to the notion that Olivier isn’t a ‘TQS’, but looking at the spreadsheet and general data, he statistically is. He’s strong in certain areas and week in others, which can be said for any player especially the ones he’s compared too (I love Higuain but the man takes some suspect pens). For me, the problems Giroud faces is two-fold. The first being the pedigree of striker we’ve been spoilt with over the years, Henry, Bergkhamp, Wright etc. whose styles were either more dynamic or technically astute. However,… Read more »

Stillmatic

Basically this.
Author starts by fighting the notion that Giroud isn’t a TQS, then provides evidence that kinda backs up he idea that Giroud isn’t a TQS.

But the key evidence was that recently the leagues that have teams with the top scorers haven’t usually won the league, so that gives us hope.q

Stillmatic

I wish I could delete my comment, haha.

Oberon

Completely agree it’s been going on since Fabregas left and probably even before that. It’s noticeable in the commentary and punditry we are held to a standard higher than any other team. Unless we dominate every single second of a match and we are even lambasted when we win yet others are lauded for digging out those type of victories.

neutral

Maybe Arsenal are not regarded because, with a few league games last year aside, we consistently lose, lose badly, to the big boys (Chelsea, United, Bayern, Barca, etc). Don’t let those almost went through second leg ties in the CL fool you, we get hammered in the first game and then manage a plucky almost come back when the other team has relaxed and assumed (correctly) they they will go through.

sanogo's missed kick

This year will be the furthest City have ever been in the Champs League, Barca, Real, Bayern and Dortmund have all received thrashings from each other in recent years of the Champs League. Chelsea are fighting relegation (lol), United have been destroyed by us and if we’re talking about massive defeats of the past were beaten 6-1 by City under Fergie. Teams lose people! Unless we’re talking about the invincibles. However, very few (if any) have consistently maintained the quality to be called one of Europe’s elite year in year out. I get that it’s repetitive and even annoying but… Read more »

Mabiribobi

Dude you deserve all the thumbs up in the world and then some more!

GGGA

There are so much wins and awesomeness in this comment it should be given infinite likes. One of the, if not the best comment I’ve read on this side for a long time, apart from rambling Pete’s. I mean no one can top that.

Stillmatic

” In those 6 seasons, his goals/game ratio came to 0.46, whereas if you look at Giroud’s four seasons, his ratio currently stands at 0.47 goals/game. Not much of a difference” Bit misleading there, mate. Not only was Van P younger and thus needing more development, but he spent the majority of those times as wither a winger or a no.10. In fact, that stat of yours actually shows just how prolific Van P always was. Chances are, if we had used him as a no.9 from the start, his ratio would be even better. And as you said, chances… Read more »

Andy Mack

“that Giroud is great but just a league below the top class.”
Does that make him the best that’s actually available at the moment?

MTZ

Probably, yes, but it doesn’t change the fact that the unavailable players will make it more likely for their current clubs to win stuff.

Andy Mack

Fair point.
Hopefully we’ll have our own ‘unavailable’ TQS in the near future and we can laugh when the hacks suggest $iteh, leicester, liverpoo or Newcastle are about to put an offer in….

Trez

Probably, but lets not act like Wenger didn’t blow a chance to sign Suarez and Higuain who are both upgrades on him.

arseblog

You can’t blow a chance to sign somebody if the other club won’t sell despite you bidding over his release clause.

As for Higuain, I was very much behind the idea of signing him, but again the deal was done, the price went up £10m and off he went elsewhere.

Trez

That’s because we dithered as usual and waited till napoli sold Cavani which was really not a smart thing to do. We should’ve offered 25m from the onset, not haggle around 23m.
Besides, that 40 +1 wasn’t the smartest thing we’ve ever done.

Swish

And yet in dithering on those players, we were able to get Ozil 2 months later, with an ironclad offer and had it all tied up before anyone had noticed.

Trezy

Nope, not surprised at all. Higuain has always been a better striker than Giroud and I stand by that. His stats at Madrid prove this and only people with ulterior motives thought he wouldn’t be an upgrade over Giroud.

Andy Mack

In most other leagues their numbers aren’t a real showing of their class as so many of their games are real ‘push overs’. The PL has much more depth towards the bottom of the table. Villa wouldn’t be bottom in France, Spain or Germany (and probably Italy). So you have to say 50% of their goals are comparatively easy goals. In the PL it’s probably less than 20% that are easy goals. HFBs probably one of the very the best ‘team player’ CF around at the moment but not the best finisher. He misses plenty but in many cases the… Read more »

Trez

By “second rate leagues”, i hope you aren’t classing the La Liga as one.
Are you one of the people who think the EPL is “tougher” because of the way Real and Barca dominate the la liga?

Andy Mack

La Liga has two of the worlds top teams and a between 1 and 3 good teams (very good even) depending on the season but the rest are absolute deadwood. How they don’t have more games where RM or Barca score 10 goals can only be because their team get board. When they finally spread their TV money round better, only then will La Liga become a real 1st rate league rather than a 2nd rate league with 2/3/etc top teams.
The PL has much more depth (villa would be mid-table’ish in La Liga).

A Yank in King Arsene's West Stand

Great read! The teams with money can afford luxury strikers, but we need OG to put in a shift and he does. He’s definitely part of our spine. Slightly OT, but the “can’t win the league with Giroud” thing always bugs me – he’s literally won an effing league! I know Ligue 1 is not the PL, but it’s at least a more variable and competitive league than the Bundesliga and La Liga. People act like he’s shit, and I know well his many flaws, but it’s not like he’s this chronic, massive flop. He led his last team to… Read more »

Jamie

Totally agree. I love the guy naturally, but I was annoyed at Henry when he criticised Giroud to be honest. Why did he feel the need to do that publicly? I think that was a mistake, everyone makes mistakes. It might have had a positive effect on Giroud in hindsight, perhaps spurring him on. But I’d rather have Giroud over any other striker in the premier league right now, with the exception of maybe Lukaku, who looks bloody brilliant to me. Costa is a bastard, Rooney haha, Benteke ain’t doing it, Sturridge and Aguero injured all the time. We’ve got… Read more »

Jamie

To be fair, Aguero is a genius. Obviously I’d take him at Arsenal in a mad parallel universe where that might actually happen

Papyrus

Lukaku is actually underrated in much the same way Giroud is. But in a team like ours, he can really deliver plenty of goals. He is a genuine fighter, strong in the air and quick.
Wait, am I talking about DAT Guy? They sure have similarities. Welbz could sure improve on his end product though… I think we have a good team when everyone’s fit!

Jamie

I really miss dat guy!

God is Bergkamp, Bergkamp is God

I agree, when he returns he certainly will be Wel-comed-beck… *reaches for coat*

Fin

Very very very good. Kudos to you Sir!

Rontombontom

Giroud specifically said in an interview that Henry’s comments spurred him on, so in the end effect I think it was a plus. I think Henry’s only mistake was to suggest that Giroud can only be replaced rather than be improved. Meanwhile, Özil likely made the same criticism behind the scenes (as indicated by his comment that his assists skyrocketed largely because the strikers now convert his passes) but Giroud told nothing about that as motivation. Also, think of the Real Madrid example: fans there often pick on a player and even boo him, but in the recent cases of… Read more »

Jamie

“If we were to win the league this season, it would be a god damned miracle”

Not a miracle! Look at Athletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in recent times, comparable teams to Arsenal. It can be done, I’ve got more hope this year than I’ve had for a long time.

Mike

Our title hopes depend on us not bottling it. The players are good enough. Just. All about how we handle the difficult away games we’ve got left.

Oberon

There were some salient points but as soon as you started talking about Van persie not being the spine you lost the plot. Yeah he was a mega twat for going to Man U but to say we were better with Giroud is rubbish, he was the best player in the league! ‘So why didn’t he help Arsenal to win the title the season before? Factor two and factor three: lack of potent support from the key players in the team and the inability of being the spearhead in the so desperately needed spine in the Arsenal team.’ – Seriously… Read more »

chidi mbabie

If we were to win the league this season, it’s because we’re the best.period.

MTZ

While these statistics are interesting, excluding the unavailable is incorrect, as they’re the ones our opposition happen to have. Whether or not it’s realistic for us to buy them is irrelevant; the only relevant question is whether or not we can beat teams fielding the likes of Aguero over time unless we also have strikers of similar quality. The answer is.. perhaps. We can always hope for is some sort of fluke, similar to Atletico Madrid winning the Primera Division ahead of both Real Madrid and Barcelona. It won’t happen often, but it will happen. This season could very well… Read more »

An Enthusiastic Gooner

well but you should take into consideration that Atletico, after winning the league @ 13/14 season and reaching the final of champions league (only mins away from claiming the trophy), were essentially picked apart by Chelsea… 3 of their starting eleven, i.e. Diego Costa, Thibaut Courtois, and Felipe Luis had left Vincente Calderon for Stamford Bridge following their triumph, whereby Barca signed the most lethal striker available at that time, i.e. Luis Suarez following their relatively unsuccessful 13 14 campaign…. Gosh, Atletico Madrid even had to contemplate whether to play Courtois against chelsea that season (i.e. uefa champ league semi-final,… Read more »

Arun Satyarth

Why are we comparing the stats of Giroud(assisted by the Assist King, Ramsey, Cazorla etc) with Jackson Martinez(assisted by god knows who). Maybe Jackson Martinez might have scored 20 by now.
My point is not to bring in Martinez. but that these stats hold no weight….

MannyG

Or Martinez could have completely flopped with our technical players providing him. You’re arguing hypotheticals, a bit silly really. The point of the matter is, Martinez has been a complete flop ever since he’s gone to Atletico..

Andy Mack

Martinez only has 5 other good teams to play against. He should be knocking them in Left Right and Centre…. But he’s not.
Lies, Damn Lies and statistics…. but it’s interesting never the less.

assistantref

I think the lack of Giroud love from some people is really a lot simpler than people make it out to be. It’s not about stats or anything. It’s about the fact that Giroud, despite being an excellent player, is not the sort of striker who can make chances for himself. He relies on others. Compare that to our previous striking greats, almost all of whom were adept at creating chances for themselves. When people are saying he’s not like Henry what they are really saying is not so much a comment on his stats as a comment on how… Read more »

Naija Gunner

What an article!

Naija Gunner

Giroud might not be everyone ‘s TQS but he’s trying is best so lets all help him achieve the status of a TQS by supporting the hard working HFB so he can scores a million goals in a season and win us trophies

xanat

Okey. HFB is TQS. Period.

FactMaster

It’s simple:
Giroud : 2 FA Cups
Messi: 0 FA Cup

Giroud > Messi

Wenger in and out

I agree with everything that was said on this article except for Van Persoe not winning the league with Arsenal.
That Mfking A.hole gifted ManU 26 goals.
I strongly believe if we had him that season even with just 20 of those goals we could have won the league.
I hope the Judas is still on a wheel chair in turkey.

Ty

I think people forget how many assists Giroud provides for teammates as well. Add his assists to the mix and he participated in about 30 goals last year, that’s not a bad return for a player.

Trez

If RVP had the support Giroud has had over the last 3 seasons, i think we’d have won the league at least once. Put Giroud in the 2011-12 season and we most likely would’ve fallen off the top 4. Giroud goal tally in the league for the last 3 seasons are: 11, 16, 14. That has been/is not good enough to win the league. That doesn’t make him TQS like most people on here think. Fact is Giroud is a decent striker, nothing more, nothing less. Anyone who thinks “having a TQS should be less of a priority for a… Read more »

Proops

Really good post. Said what needed to be said and hopefully informed those of us who are ready to listen.
You can’t do much about the others.

Rontombontom

I’m less convinced by your arguments, but my final conclusion is something similar. From your stats, it’s obvious that Arsenal currently has the best key players in Europe, unlike the other strikers you compare Giroud to. Chance conversion is key. For me it’s obvious that had the team a striker the other teams with weaker key players have, Arsenal would easily dominate everyone in England and be level with Barça and Bayern, not having to wait for an off chance like Atletico. But does that matter in practice? There are two other factors. One is that what I see in… Read more »

Mustrum Ridcully

Spot on!

Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

Excellent article. We were once criticized for having a myriad of small CAM type players. Giroud brings a huge physical and aerial plus to the team. Players like him and Sanchez with his stamina and refusal to be intimidated are more difficult to neutralize than a team fieding three or four CAM type players. In addition, we now have Mesut Ozil, who operates like an unusual CAM, with his technical precision and his incredible vision. Lewandowski or Aguerro could operate well in the system, but they are not for sale. Benzema or Higuain may only bring minimal to moderate improvement… Read more »

Rob Fuller

Giroud is TQS in my opinion. Love the article, love the player and certainly wish some people would get of the guys back. What matters most is that he feels the love at the ground whether home or away and I’m sure he does. I do hope he goes on to surpass 20+ goals this season, shuts the doubters up once and for all and helps win the title to boot. We deserve it, we’ve done it the hard way, no sugar daddy, most neutrals (doscounting the dreamers who would love to see Leicester hold on to win it) would… Read more »

Andy

I’ve seen some proper essays here.

I wake up everyday thinking Arsenal can win the league. Very little changes my opinion. Until it is mathematically impossible I won’t stop believing it is going to happen.

Stats? Fuck the stats! The boys will get the job done.

Martin Finley

No matter how you look at it Giroud will never create his own chance with skill, he will never threathen space with pace and he will never create space for others by drawing away defenders with clever runs. I dont think it is a coincidence Girouds best spell in an Arsenal shirt comes on the back of Mesut Özil finding top form. Giroud is very dependent on service and cant do much with the ball if he does not have a clear shot on goal except hold it up and flick it on which he does rather well. His fancy… Read more »

Vinod

If arsenal are to win against Barcalona next month in the Champions league, then Giroud will have a big part to play in it. Right now, their two weakest links are Dani Alves and Mascherano. Oli can easily bully Mascherano. Walcott can be dangerous too because they defend so high up. So I can see us playing on the counter but with Giroud holding the ball up like he does so well. If we get it right, we can give their defense a hard time. Their attack however, is a whole other issue.

Kg today

We have to give credit to our supporting cast. The 128 days season our form dipped when ozil was out and when ramsey was out. There was also that time we played crap when giroud was injured for a while. This season we have been immunne to injuries and thats the most impressive thing for me. As for big money. Chelsea have big money. City have big money but they arent winning like they should. We beat them. United have big money. We beat them. Cohesion trumps big money every day of the work. That all said id love for… Read more »

Robert

We’ve been immune to injury? Doesn’t feel like it! Cazorla and Coquelin as long term absences are big misses.

At one time we had all our right hand side options injured, Walcott, Welbeck, Ox, and Alexis

Plus Rosicky and Arteta being missing all season pretty much

If we can be immune in second half of season and currently injured players come back on time, I reckon we’ll storm the league

Dark Hei

I disagree.

Our TQS is quite clearly Walcott.

Gooner1886

Interesting that u didn’t include Aubameryang… A player we are linked with and could be a realistic transfer target, but I suppose that would of embarrassed giroud a bit too much.

I think one of the most telling statistics is the shot accuracy. Giroud at 50% is not good and even more so considering most of his shots are inside the box…

To me that that demonstrates what most gooners already know; giroud completely misses too many chances.

Andy Mack

I like him a lot and would be happy if we got him, despite the chance of him being dragged off every 2 years for the ACN. However this is the first season he’s really shown something special. His stats for last season and before aren’t anything special.

Unyoke the Ox

Doesn’t giroud have 2 assists? The flick for Mesut and the header for Kos.

CJ Zinc

On the issue of Giroud….He is a decent, hard working striker and even the ‘dissenters’ will agree on this. But the stats fail to reveal the extent to which the ball comes through to him during the course of a game. We have the best midfield in the country by some distance (look at Ozil’s assists), the ball is coming through time after time and Giroud sometimes gets on the end of it, but not often enough. Speed of thought and speed across the pitch are crucial for any striker, neither of which he has. He is a good, solid… Read more »

Bob Flannigon

I think it requires further analysis of whether Giroud’s impact as part of the team’s spine actually results in Arsenal scoring more goals. I think Giroud is decent but I can’t shake off the feeling that any striker playing for Arsenal should be scoring 25-30 league goals AS WELL AS having an additional impact of the team (as you’ve described).

If you put Thierry into this team he’d have impact and score a crazy amount of goals. We should always be on the lookout for that level of quality!

AS

Such a well crafted article, thank you! A player doesn’t make a team, a team makes a player. I’d much rather have a striker who is consistently working his butt off, fitting in, contributing to the team play and most importantly: making the team play better, than a guy who scores a goal per game but doesn’t do much more. Giroud is so important, bringing qualities the team lacks (heading, strength, hold up-play) up front, giving Arsenal that important another option, while also scoring goals on a regular basis. I honestly think the critique comes mostly from these so labelled… Read more »

Gooner1886

The 3 players nominated for world player of the year all have pace… But that’s just a coincidence, pace is indeed over rated lol

Gooner1886

I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating for all the giroud fan boys… If we were to sell him right now, how many of the ‘big teams’ home and abroad would be interested?

Probably none and that should really tell you about how good he actually is. He’s good but nowhere near world class, as he also proves for France when he plays.

Seems wenger agrees as he as been seeking a top striker for about 3 years now.

Bob Flannigon

If you’re brutally honest his market value is approaching £20M and nothing more.

Giroud does better when he has competition- we should have taken a punt on Dzeko!

Trez

20m?? You must be joking. Giroud turns 30 on sept and has never scored more than 20 in the league.
No way he’s worth 20m. I’d say 13-15m at best. He’d only be worth 20m if he was British or if a club as dumb as newcastle were interested. No foreign club is spending that much on him.

Arctic Marauder

This argument was long overdue, but the longer the wait,the bigger the pleasure. Good read. Thanks a lot!

Ali

Very interesting read. He’s a player I can’t help but admire because he squeezes every last drop out of himself, he works for the team, he’s highly intelligent, physical, and plays a big part in what brings the best out of our jewels – Özil and Sanchez. I also think when Jack gets back they will play off each other nicely as that wonder goal against Norwich last season or before was a testament to. Yet having said all that there’s no telling how much further Arsenal could improve if we bought a so-called ‘TQS.’ There are more skilful, more… Read more »

Scott

I would totally agree with you. Giroud is a solid striker, like a wall the guys ping the ball to and get back as they run passed. I would say though, he gets understandably very tired and we really need someone to take some of the game time.

I’d love to see Lukaku get signed, that would be great. He’s the same as Giroud in many ways but imagine the defences face when you take off Giroud for Lukaku at the 70th or so minute. Epic!

Charles

Like Arsene said” when you’ve been eating caviar for long it’s hard to appreciate tuna”We all need to understand we can’t have Thierry back and so we should appreciate olly for what he brings to the team. I would still go for Lukaku in the summer I think he’s worth it

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