Posted on June 24, 2015 by ADMIN

The search for a striker that COULD score 25 goals for Arsenal?

Arsenal’s centre forward issue. Part 1: The mythical “25 goal” man ..by JS

There appears a significant majority of fans who have decided Giroud needs to be sold/replaced if there is to be any chance at all of Arsenal winning the Premier League in the forseeable future. It is a simple proposition – it is impossible to win the PL with OG as our starting centre forward. Many of the pundits and much of the media are on the bandwagon along with ex-players and indeed (depending how you interpret their words) some of the current squad as well. Furthermore he should be upgraded with, to use the common jargon on here – the “guaranteed 25 goal striker”, a player with pace and guile who “can make something out of nothing”. Whilst not everyone makes it clear what precisely they mean when they talk about a “25 goal striker” (all comps or just league?) this text only refers to the rarer beast, the 25 league goal man.

I wanted to look at a few issues. What we could expect from a top name centre forward if we replaced Giroud, and secondly (in Part 2 to follow) what the most successful teams in Europe can tell us about the role of the centre forward and how much reliance they place on their centre forwards.

I should say this article is not intended to be a Giroud apologist piece so the “lamp post” and “donkey” brigade can rest easy. I am not in denial about the relative weaknesses of Giroud and fully accept there are better centre forwards out there. What I am not sure about however is precisely how much better these others are, for some it is a matter of night and day and instant success to follow on immediately, but for my part I am not so sure.

First off, if we are genuinely looking for the “something out of nothing” centre forward then we need to discount penalty goals to ensure we are making a fair comparison. All the guys mentioned below except one are regular penalty takers. Presumably we are not looking to spend £35-50M on someone who can take penalties – we want someone to make that bit of difference in the big games and get more goals from open-play than OG is capable of. There are plenty of bizzare claims and expectations about what this star centre forward would bring to the Arsenal party. Even saw someone last night claim on here that Lukaku would get 30 league goals for us! So what do recent goal stats for these big stars tell us?

I looked at the average goal returns for 6 of the most commonly mentioned big name/massive reputation “true” centre forwards; Cavani (albeit not operating in that role at present), Benzema, Higuain, Falcao, Martinez and Ibrahimovic. These returns were based on the last 5 seasons (except Martinez where I could not find his Mexican league numbers and his average is based on only 3 seasons). I did not make any allowances for injury or lack of playing time – in the larger scheme of things not being available should properly disadvantage your figures – afterall we are not interested in an injury prone crock are we?

Only Benzema has no penalties in his goal returns for the last 5 years. The others have scored the following number of penalties in the last 5 seasons, in descending order: Ibrahomvic 30 (penalties), Cavani (20), Falcao (16), Higuain (8), Martinez (6). Only once in 5 years have any of these players exceeded 25 league goals from open play (Ibrahimovic with 26 in 2013). The next highest total was 22 achieved once each by EC, KB and GH. Perhaps the most revealing stat in terms of what we could reasonably expect is the average number of league goals per season from open play: Cavani 18, Benzema 16, Higuain 16, Martinez 20, Falcao 13 and Ibrahimovic 17. Falcao’s return is low due to his last 2 seasons and his form/injury problem but even so he never exceeded 20 in the 3 seasons previous to that. The stand-out figure is for Jackson Martinez – is he really that much better than the other five? No, I do not think so – he is just on a 3 season hot-streak in the poorest of the leagues included.

I’ve managed to convince myself that the guaranteed 25 league goal centre forward is something a lot rarer and more elusive than many imagine. The 25 goal centre forward without penalties is pretty much a dead beast. I’d go further, the guaranteed 20 league goal (no penalties) centre forward is rare enough. Parting thought, Thierry Henry without penalties managed 25 once and averaged (I’ll be generous and call it 7.5 seasons rather than the 8 because he only played intermittently in his last season) 20 goals a season.

So my question is this, how many extra “something out of nothing” goals are going to come our way with a £30-50M investment in a new centre forward? Possibly, if the law of averages is to be obeyed, between 2 and 4 looks to be answer if the recent goal records of other top CFs mentioned above are any sort of clue. Of course any of the above named could restore themselves to former glories and blitz the PL with 25 goals in their first season but on balance you would not want to be forced to bet your house on it. This of course also does not take in to consideration any of the many possible downsides eg: would Martinez as our centre forward have any adverse effect on the goalscoring capability of others like Alexis or Ramsey? If Cech happens then £10M to perhaps concede 2-4 less goals (not forgetting less conceded goals carries as much weight as additional goals scored) appears top value and a no-brainer compared to these £30-50M centre forward investments.

In Part 2 I will offer a suggestion, together with some evidence, that actually the archetypal successful teams in Europe rely far less on massive goal returns from their centre forwards than many might imagine.

JS

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75 thoughts on “The search for a striker that COULD score 25 goals for Arsenal?

  1. gulla0

    That is a smart article….a relief from the everyday transfer rumors…..

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 95 Thumb down 3

    1. supertuur

      I could not agree more. Finally some sensible article. In my opinion we are better served finding a top class Centre Back, a leader. I would love to see Hummels come to the Emirates. It is £30 mil better spend.

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 3

      1. Jimbeam

        I agree that we need a world class Centre Back, but and this is a big but. The 4 goals a better Striker can score per league season might be the difference between winning and coming in 3rd.
        If all goals are winners thats 8 extra points more than ties.
        So yes if 50 million buys us the ability to win the league then its worth it.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Champagne Charlie

    You can analyze and change the parameters of judgement in every case to suit a certain narrative, but a spade is always in the end a spade. Giroud is NOT in the top bracket of ST’s capable of scoring 25+ goals in a season (his career numbers tell us as much no matter what criteria you omit) and, perhaps more crucially, engineering moments that can win games single-handedly.

    Ibra, Cavani, Jackson, and Higuain are comfortably better than Giroud (to say jackson has been on a 3 year hot streak was the weirdest thing I’ve read in some time too btw). Falcao needs to prove himself post injury but he’s a mile better when performing to his level. So derive all the data and conclusions you like about how many league goals a ST brings etc and bust myths about 25 goal men etc but still the point remains…..Giroud is not among the Elite ST’s in world football and Arsenal could easily upgrade this summer.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 26 Thumb down 41

    1. NK

      You might be right about Giroud not being an “elite” striker, but the point of the article seems to make is, is it worth spending 50-70 mil pounds to bring in that elite striker when it might only amont in a net plus of five goals per season. Even when RVP scored 37 goals for us, we finished only 3rd– just like this past year. Of course, if we could have added a 37-goal scorer to the squad we had last year, we’d have won the BPL and reached the CL semi finals (at least).

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 4

      1. No Giroud, I'm happy

        50-70 mil striker might win you crucial games in EPL and CL … If we got that one we won’t be knocked out every time from 16-round of the CL, we might have taken the chances that we had against Utd and Chelsea …
        With this type of thinking we lost our title the season before when we were top of the league and I genuinely believe we lost that to City because we did not add striker as a main reason …

        Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 21

        1. supertuur

          We need to focus on our defense and have a real leaders in our squad.

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

      2. Champagne Charlie

        You mean the season we had almunia, andre santos, Song as a DM, Gervinho in the first 11 and jack/theo/Ox/Rambo were 3/4 years more inexperienced…..just where would we have finished without RVP’s 37 goals?

        You then make my point in saying we would likely have won the league last season with a ST capable of such feats. 50-70mil is a cool made up number but Jackson just went for 25mil and Cavani went for 45mil two seasons ago at the peak of his hype.

        The point of the article is to try and downplay the significance of having a top class ST, suggesting it’s as you say just a 4/5 goal improvement on average. Well if those 5 goals were winner that’s an extra 10 points right away.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

        1. Jimbeam

          Yes Charlie you are right. Tht’s 10 points we cant get with an average striker. This team is good enough to win the EPL with Cech and Cavani.

          If Cavani is able to win this team 5-6 extra points a season and Cech can do the same then end of story, it’s worth the money.

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    2. josh37

      Game-winning moments occur whether someone else hands it to you on a plate, you dribble the entire team, or score from 1 yard or 40. Giroud produced crucial goals this season.
      Higuain finished with 16 goals in the league, Giroud 14. (i’ll leave it at that and not mention penalties or Giroud’s three month stint on the sidelines. Oh whoops! I just did! Silly me!)

      If Giroud’s Arsenal highlight reels were on youtube for any other club than ours, or put up his numbers for another team, a lot of fans would be calling for him. I personally hope he continues to divide fans opinions. I get the feeling he constantly wants to prove others wrong.. And will.

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 3

      1. Champagne Charlie

        Right, goals are game-winning moments….clearly nobody doubts that. But you can’t see the difference between having a ST capable of needing no help to get a goal and one that can only function if supplied?

        Higuain scored 18 league goals actually, and I won’t mention he scored 29 in all comps and 10assists which is something Giroud has never managed in his career, or that he’s supplied by hamsik/mertens/Insigne vs Alexis/Ozil/Cazorla….I won’t mention any of that, I’ll just let you genuinely believe they’re comparable as ST’s.

        Yea Girouds numbers are godly….97 league apps 41 goals the last 3 seasons. Benteke has managed 42 goals in 88 apps in the same league, same time frame…..for Villa.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

    3. Budd

      You did not read the whole article, did you? It does not state Giroud is better than the strikers you mentioned.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

      1. Champagne Charlie

        I read the article thanks. I never said it stated such, I merely responded to it by saying now amount of number crunching can detract from the fact Giroud can be significantly upgraded this summer. If you say 5 goals isn’t significant I’ll say it”s 10 extra points….or that the “on average” element hides the above average return players like Higuain/Cavani are capable of while Giroud is not.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  3. NK

    Awesome article– I really like these “moneyball” approaches. We’ve got two (maybe three) players who should give us 20 goals each next year (Sanchez, Giroud, and maybe Walcott– who banged 21 in 2012-2013), so where do we go from there? Concentrate on getting more goals from Rambo, Jack, Santi & Mesut?

    I gotta admit, I was feeling down today seeing LFC nabbing Firmino. Of course they’re going to sell off Sterling to pay for him, but Ings and Firmino can be potent. Then again, they just might amount to nothing more than next year’s versions of Balotelli & Lambert. Given how Rodgers shuffles his lineup, he’ll probably slot Firmino at right back by mid-season and hand over the striking duties to Skrtel when Ings flames out and Sturridge tears another muscle or two.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 1

    1. supertuur

      Liverpool will buy 6-7 players this season like they have done in the past. The press will write again that Liverpool will have done amazing transfer business. It will take ages for them to all gel into a good team. They have hardly any home growns so squad will not be deep with talented players. They will play far away Europa league games which will be a drain. Can’t see a top 4 finish coming.

      Spurs might be buying only 3-4 players I can see them end above Liverpool. Still no top 4 for them.

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  4. FFFanatic

    Very nice article. I agree with everything said here.

    Food for thought though – how many penalties do these other strikers win? And would considering assist stats also be worthwhile? Just to round out the stats for contributions to goals I’d like to see that.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

  5. Hafiz Rahman

    Its weird that people aim only a 25 goal striker…why not go for a 30 goal striker

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 17

    1. supertuur

      Good aim, there are only 2 of those available. Ronaldo & Messi. Neither will come to Arsenal. You need to find the young talent that can do this in years to come. We have signed Vlad Dragomir today, maybe he will do it.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  6. Samij

    Ur are right in ur analyses but i still think we need a top striker to assist Giroud if we really want to win something Bigger than FA cup. Mancity av Aguero & dgeko, chelshit av costa and remy , manure av Rooney & RVp.. What do we av?

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

    1. No Giroud, I'm happy

      Correction:
      Not to assist Giroud, to bench Giroud is correct …

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

    2. Ziich

      Dzeko,bony,jovetic scored 11 goals
      Remy and drogba scored 11
      Rvp falcao scored 14
      Walcott and welbeck scored 9
      In all competitions arsenal and Chelsea scored 109 goals this season.
      First and foremost we need to reduce/eliminate defensive frailties by adding another dm. That in addition to the signing of Cech will go a long way to win us those points we seem to always throw away.
      After that you can then go and spend 30-50 million on a striker that would give you 3-5 more goals per season on average when compared to Giroud.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  7. No Giroud, I'm happy

    Very nice article … My take on the article is that the quality of a striker is not only about the goals scored from open play, there are other factors like:

    1. The importance of the goals scored (i.e against which defense quality, score consistency “not score hatrick in one game and go drought for the next four games” and so on)…
    2. Show against top teams not going to hide and only make it against weaker teams…
    3. Fear factor, I bet the feeling when you play against Aguero or Suarez is not comparable when you play against handy Giroud (for example), this fear factor may result in defenders making errors…
    4. Team dependency… top striker may come up with something when the rest of his teammates having off day, and that may lift the other teammates’ morale …
    5. Making something out of nothing…
    6. Easiness to play along with … you guys might noticed that sometimes ozil and sanchez got frustrated with Giroud lack of football technique (I saw it in a couple of times) …

    So it’s not all about stats …

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 3

    1. supertuur

      I am sure STADNA the company that Arsenal bought in 2013 and has found us Gabriel, has all these and even more details. Wenger will use these when he looks at what Striker to buy.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

        1. supertuur

          Apparently STATDNA uses Digital Divide Data a company which employs over 500 disabled people in Cambodia & Laos. They analyse games for up to 40 hours to get very advanced statistical data.

          Quote from Guardian:

          “The workers watch footage of matches from around the world, and they code them in the most meticulous fashion. They look beyond a mere assist, for example, and examine whether the pass has enabled the goalscorer to shoot without breaking stride. Did it put the chance on the striker’s favoured foot? Was the goalkeeper properly positioned?

          The numbers are a long way from being simple. The depth is extraordinary and every last detail is assigned a score, from which a comprehensive picture of players and, in turn, teams can be built.”

          Trust me Arsenal understands Moneyball and use metrics to full extend.

          Did you know that Arsenal scored most goals from free kicks in the EPL last season. This is something they have improved massively.

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  8. 007

    Good piece. BUT….

    My personal views are Arsenal has always been known to be a club with great strikers and most of our success has come while we have a talisman at the top. From days of the Wrights, Titi, Kanu, hell even RVP (Though trophies where had to come but we played beautiful football). We were spoiled with WC strikers its the reason I still miss those standard at the club. If a 15 goal striker at R. Madrid, Bayern or Barca works it doesn’t apply to our team aswell (Barca and RM have 1 attacking player who bangs in 50 goals a season alone and Bayern has 2 to 3 attacking players who bang in 15 each or so and we don’t have such to cover for our misfiring ST during those tricky games).

    OG, Theo, Welbz are okay strikers / wingers but we have watched too many games where we could all see that if we had a better CF we would have banged in more goals and won. Even the great Titi, OG himself, other players in our team and other team coaches have seen this gap, when OG has a bad game we become so predictable and put pressure on our midfield to win the game. We have seen how Sergio, Costa, Kane (not to say his WC yet), Suarez, Ibra etc have made a huge difference in there teams and moments of brilliance.

    I demand for that too.

    If Arsene is in the market for a WC ST I will fully support him on this and other funs/pundits/haters who are for this.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

    1. Budd

      Well, don’t forget the incredible misses from Sanchez against Swansea, Sunderland or Monaco. Everyone have good and bad days.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    2. supertuur

      Last season we lost due to the bad start, injuries, lack of CDM & CB.

      * Giroud injured, Walcott injured, hasty bought Welbeck needed to be integrated.
      * Ozil injured
      * CDM due to injuries of Arteta, Wilshere we stumbled on Coquelin.
      * CB – we used makeshift CBs in Monreal & Debuchy, they have learned these skills now. CB hole plugged in Winter Transfer.

      These season will be better as we have a full fit squad.
      * Giroud, Walcott can fight it out for striker position. Welbeck is more integrated into Arsenal.
      * Top class goalkeeper in Cech will lead to fewer points lost.
      * Team is in harmony and the few acquisitions we buy (max 3) will enable us to integrate them easily.

      After Cech, a good CDM and a leader of CB will make us EPL tittle contenders.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  9. Gundam

    When Henry played there was loads more talent in the world of Football. The Italians, French, Gemans, Brazillians, just to name a few had amazing players. Compare them to today’s lot and the gap is huge. Last years WC was one of the least impressive WC’s talent wise. If Henry played today he would tear it up even more. He could be a 25 goal striker in this day and age.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

    1. No Giroud, I'm happy

      No, today games have more tactics involved … defenders are more organized (maybe be less aggressive), DM’s are more disciplined, full backs are well covered …

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  10. Gavana

    It is 10.9m pounds and 3yrs 100,000 a week for the services of Cech!
    He it is bloody expensive!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    1. RWRW

      That totals 14.5m for services of a true World Class player. Cant be anything but overjoyed

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  11. Invincibles49

    Mesut needs to step up now and contribute with 10-12 goals a season as well. His passing game and intelligence is beyond the shadow a doubt, but if he wants to be labelled a top top quality MF, he needs to bang in goals as well.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 1

    1. No Giroud, I'm happy

      That can be said about Cazorla … Ozil is purely a playmaker, he will look for the pass when he has a clear shot opportunity … that’s Ozil, he is not Cazorla …

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

      1. Invincibles49

        The difference is the intent. Even when there is an opportunity to shoot/score Ozil prefers to pass. We can admire that in a sense that he is not selfish. But this could also be viewed in terms of low confidence that he has in front of the goal. For a playing style like that of Arsenal where Midfielders have so much freedom to go forward and change positions you cant say he cant score 10-12 goals a season if he shows the intent to do so. Cazorla generally plays deeper than Ozil and still he comes out with more goals than him because he is not shy of taking a shot on the goal himself, something Ozil does very often.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

      2. true goon

        Ozil plays no10 he must score more,you cannot play no10 an only be a playmaker,Cazorla needs to score more but he plays a deeper true play makers role

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. butters

    jackson martinez just signed for Athletico Madrid, so who is this striker Wenger is looking for? or is it Wellington Silva?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

    1. supertuur

      Wellington could be our next Coquelin. A player loaned out and stumbled upon and become very useful for the team. Only time will tell.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  13. No Giroud, I'm happy

    Let’s be honest with ourselves here, if we are going to play against teams playing deep with top class defenders like the one of chelsea-Mourinho or RM-Mourinho, who is going to break that defense? Giroud?
    I can only see Sanchez and maybe Ox are capable of doing that … The like of cazorla, Ozil are playmakers, they cannot drift forward with the ball …

    So yes, we are in a big need for a top class striker even an upgrade for what we have is welcomed … Going with the same Giroud/Welback/Theo is dangerous (though I didn’t give up on Welback, but I won’t gamble)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

    1. supertuur

      Did Chelsea win the EPL because of Costa and Hazard or did they win because of the Courtois, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicuetta, Ivanovic and Matic.

      Stop focusing on the 20-25 goal striker that is not available and build a rock solid defense.

      Cech is the start.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

      1. Ozzy AFC

        They won it due to BOTH aspects we need THREE players and we nearly have one of those , the other two are a DM and a striker to either compliment OG or make him up his game to keep his position. not to replace him but improve him.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

        1. Ozzy AFC

          Wellbeck??? a good squad player …will NEVER EVER BE A WC STRIKER..NOT EVER!!!

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  14. Arsenal1Again

    Giroud FITS the team.

    His team-mates like him and are comfortable with him. I like Giroud a lot. To me he is a carbon copy of Alan Smith.

    Welbeck was given most of the first half of the season to make his stake as first choice striker. At the end of this period a rusty Giroud returning from injury regularly scored again from the off.

    Giroud is physically strong, tall and heavy-set. This makes him valuable in many scenarios. The other strikers being mentioned are light-weight, they keep falling over and rarely contribute with set-pieces like Giroud.

    When Giroud was out at the start of last season we missed him.

    We had a slim chance to catch Chelsea at the end of the season but like Wenger pointed out, our poor start of the season made the hill too steep to climb. By poor start he meant – he meant Giroud being missing.

    To put this argument to bed, here is all you need to know. Alexis Sanchez during his last season at Barcelona was the third highest goalscorer in La Liga. Third only to Messi and Ronalo.

    Benzema played as a striker for Real Madrid in the same league during that season and finished behind a Winger who played in the same team as Messi. That Winger now plays for Arsenal.

    How many of these AMAZING strikers impressed you in the World Cup? Exactly.

    As for saying the World Cup is a different stage than league football, it’s true. But it is also true only 2 out of 10 strikers who were top scorers in other leagues continue the same form in the English Premier League. 2 out of 10 are average and the other 6 out of 10 simply cannot handle it. It’s pot luck. The EPL is extremely physical compared to other leagues and namby pamby SUPERSTAR prima donna players HATE it. In the first half of his first season Bobby P wanted a transfer. When factoring all the names of players who will be better than Giroud, consider what is written in this paragraph along with their absence in the World Cup. …. and Giroud was good in the WC.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

    1. No Giroud, I'm happy

      Giroud is average at best, no matter you are trying to polish him …
      physically strong, tall and heavy-set with other little to non football qualities are a qualities for wrestlers not footballers … who is better than Giroud? Benteke for example (not saying go and sign him) have the same quality of Giroud with higher standard and other football qualities as well …

      Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 17

  15. NY_Gunner

    I think our problem is not to find a 25/30 goal striker. We have already proven we can create goals. We just weren’t clinical enough in front of goal. Our forwards have been making keepers earn their crust all season.
    I’m gonna pull a number out of my back pocket and guess that at least a good 55% of our shots on target should have been clear goals, if we were clinical enough.
    I worry more about us conceding goals as easily as we have been. Because it doesn’t matter how many you score, if the opposing teams are scoring more on you…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    1. Ozzy AFC

      @NY_Gunner
      Ive always been an advocate for buying in a proven striker, and while that does not mean that I feel Olivier Giroud is rubbish or that I feel he should be side-lined permanently, I do feel however that his position needs to reinforced with a striker who can if called upon scor 25 to 30 goals a season. A)to give Giroud a reason to push himself harder and improve his game, and B) to cover for when Giroud style of play is not up to scratch or does not suit the opposition or he is injured. Now there are many who state that Theo is the player to do this, and here I have disagree. I feel Theo is a skilful and talented player as I do with Giroud BUT again I don’t think Theo is versatile or Physical enough to be THAT player we need. If nothing else he is rather brittle and can we really afford to take a chance that two players with opposing skillsets CAN work together when what we really need is a player with skills and attributes that are somewhere in the middle of the two.
      Its clear to me that while Giroud and Theo MAY have the potential to be the finished article at some stage they are BOTH a way off of it right now and as a club that have finally started to get the recipe right and the injury list to a minimum can we really afford to sit around and wait to see if they will become what we hope? IMO I feel that neither will improve much further than they have and this means that we MUST get in a player that hits the middle ground and who is a proven player, it takes the weight off of both Theo and OG while allowing them the space to show what they can really do. The article hits the nail on the head when it asks if the current crop of available strikers are THAT much better than what we already have on that note I have to say IMO no they are not!!! BUT if they are only slightly better then we need one to allow us another ten goals a season and also cover for any eventuality I.e injuries ect. Those on this site that will Thumb this comment down and shout that Theo and OG are currently the best we can hope for and are the finished article should ask them selves two questions, 1)If they are why did we not progress further in the champions league?? and 2) if they are the finished article why are no other teams sniffing around them with idea’s of buying them? the results speak for themselves and we finished 3rd this season when we should have finished 2nd and maybe could have finished 1st but for a few tweaks and improvements. as a footnote to this DONT mention Wellbeck because as much as I admire his workrate he WILLNEVER be the finished article as a striker and to my mind I can really see no future in considering him a potential as he wont be. IMO

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. josh37

    18 goals while missing three months of the season………..
    14 league goals as opposed to Higuain’s 16
    (Cough… Penalties.. Cough!) (Serie A’s reaaaally competitive and not top heavy at all!!)

    #iBelieveInOlivierGiroud

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

    1. Ozzy AFC

      @Josh37
      Fair point but this is why we need that other striker, in case of injuries, in case of a drop in form, in case of suspension ect.
      and before you say Theo (we’ve already had this discussion in previous posts) what happens if both are injured at the same time long term as was the case this season past ?. why risk it for want of spending money that’s already allocated to the war chest?.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  17. mark

    I LOVE this article. It speaks SENSE. The mythical ‘top drawer’ striker doesn’t really exist. Therefore, for all the naysayers (who won’t change their opinion) Giroud IS up there in a group of consistently very good strikers.

    Look forward to part 2 🙂

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  18. Galway Gooner

    Interesting piece but I think you are selecting your data to fit your argument.

    In the last 4 seasons in the PL the Golden Boot has been won by players at 4 different clubs and each time they scored more than 25 goals in a season. Why were Augero, Suarez or RVP selected as part of the sample group?

    All three players (RVP twice) cost well within the £30-£50m price range you are talking about.

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    1. Budd

      Not really, RvP was around 30 after one season with Arsenal and the flopped once SAF retired. Suarez upped his game by joining Messi and Neymar while Aguero scored less than 25 goals a season from open action all his life.

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      1. Galway Gooner

        RVP had two seasons as the PL top scorer, once with us and once with the other lot. You can argue that the £24m they paid was high risk for a 28-29 year old with a questionable injury record but he won them the league, without a doubt his goals were the main reasons United won it. That is what top strikers do.
        Suarez scored 23 PL goals the season before so I’m not sure what the Barca move has to do with it anything?
        Augero is a consistently lethal striker, he isn’t even City’s main penalty taker (plus he’s pretty poor at taking them).

        Again you are discounting examples purely because they do not suit your argument.
        All three of these strikers (which account for the last 4 seasons worth of Golden Boot winners) are way ahead of Giroud in terms of quality and output. And all 4 cost their respective clubs well within the £30m-£50m bracket you are looking at.
        So why not use them as the yardstick to measure Giroud?

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    2. jonestown1

      I think it is because the article looked at centre forwards we have been linked with or could feasibly get. Aguero and Suarez as good as “unavailable” and Aguero not a true CF, more often played as one of two up front.

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  19. davidnz

    25 goal striker solves all 🙂
    Chelsea 73
    Man C. 83
    Arsenal 71
    So City scored ten more than Chelsea but….
    2 seasons ago Liverpool scored 101 but …
    Kane score 30 goals last term Spurs um …
    Remember when RVP scored 37 for us but…
    Last summer Arsenal bought a 25 goal striker Sanchez but…

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  20. quantic dream

    very very well written article. the author has done some pretty good research. id like to read more of these type of articles on here.

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  21. Ozzy AFC

    Top Notch strikers ARE a rarity now, far more than they were in the golden days of Thierry Henry ET AL. however they DO still exist albeit in a much rarer form, and this makes them more expensive that Arsenal and more specifically the fans of Arsenal are used to spending, we discuss if this one is worth that or if that one is worth this, well, why are we concerned whith what the club spends on a striker and if they are worth it ect?? the club WONT break the bank they wont bankrupt them selves by buying in Bale ect BUT they should go out and spend the money they have allocated and spend it to the last penny, if we have 70 million to spend FACKIN SPEND IT!!!!!!!! stop looking for the cheaper alternative or the less than satisfactory option. this proposed 70 million has been budgeted for and wont destroy the club if its spent so do it!!! and challenge and win and recoup the money in the branding and the money we could amass for winning the EPL or…god forbid the CL

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  22. awesome gunners

    This is my reasoning. Im not looking for a 25 goals a season strikers. Im looking for a game changer. Lets have articles on that… What players out there are actually game changers. If we are really honest with ourselves then I would say there is a definite place for Giroud in the Arsenal FC side but in the last 3 years he has lost us more points than he has won us.

    Thats the difference in a good and great striker. Henry WON us games. He changed football matches when things were looking bad for us. Im looking for someone like that. Alexis was doing that at the beginning of the season.

    So lets change the Article. Instead of saying 25+ goal scorer a season lets say Game changing Strikers. In the last few seasons we have seen a few. Suarez, Messi, Falcoa, Higuan, Ronaldo, Augero, RVP….. Game changing players in the last 3 years.

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  23. fred cowardly

    Van Pursestrings was our last 30 goals striker. He won the most goals award in his final season with us and the season after when United won the title (actually we gave them the title by selling them Van Payslip)

    I’m hoping us getting Cech (hopefully) will be Chelsea giving us a missing part of the puzzle.

    That’s the kind of CF we need. Just out and out beast of a scorer. That’s another part of the puzzle

    I’m of a strong belief that these three will help us win the PL title
    1. Cech
    2. Top CF
    3. Top DM

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  24. samuel@justarsenal.com

    Were penalties and free kicks goals included in the 19 goals Olivier Giroud scored for Arsenal last season in all competitions? Wouldn’t Giroud’s efforts at goal scoring be complemented if the Boss plays Walcott and Welbeck in rotation at center forwad where the trio could guarantee Arsenal 45 EPL goals and 60 goals in all competitions, if he set that as the benchmark for them to accomplish next season? Would the Boss signs Aubameyang to complement Jack Wilshere’s trying at the right wing whose combined 2 men goals and the envisage Sanchez’s goals could raise the level of goals scored by Arsenal forwards next season? Would the signing of William Calvaho to complement the work of Coquelin, strengthened the Holding role in the Arsenal team? Who is the top quality left back the Boss will sign to instill more discipline into Arsenal LB defending? Will Arsenal not sell Podolski, Campbell and most likely Ospina to supplement their transfer budget? Only time can tell. Let’s wait to see as we hope for the best.

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  25. supertuur

    You can spend money on getting more goals scored or less goals conceded. Where is our money better spend.

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    1. NY_Gunner

      @supertuur
      Exactly. We have enough firepower and creativity up front. Our forwards just need to be more at finishing. But, as long as Per and Gibbs are in our back 4, our defense will “always” be fragile…

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  26. Ozzy AFC

    @supertuur
    Why not spend on both now that we have it?? surely an additional striker can only be a good thing??

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  27. Galway Gooner

    Giroud’s Arsenal career is about 0.4 goals per game.
    Top strikers hit 0.6-0.7 goals per game (Henry was 0.68).

    Nothing in Giroud’s form at any stage in his career has suggested that he is capable of stepping up to the mark to reach the top level.
    Giroud is an excellent option to have and he will (and has!) proved very effective against 80% of the teams we come up against. But in the really big games he wouldn’t fill you with confidence.

    Would you rather face Real Madrid in the CL final with Giroud or one of RVP, Suarez or Augero up front?

    If the answer isn’t Giroud than we should be looking at an upgrade.

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    1. NY_Gunner

      @galway gooner
      When facing Real M, we would need a better back 4. Our forwards would be more than enough to take it to them…

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    2. jonestown1

      If you at career league goals then only Messi and Ronaldo are comfortably over 0.7. Suarez is just over 0.6. Everyone else is close to 0.5 or less. Aguero is almost exactly 0.5. Take penalties out of their tallies then these stats drop dramatically – Henry becomes a 0.59 striker. Truth is once you take LM, CR and LS out of the equation you can put nearly every other striker out there in the 0.4 – 0.5 range for league goals with the best in that range getting 10 goals more than the bottom of the range forward over 100 league matches ie: just over 3 extra a season.

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  28. mark

    We need a balanced team that is for sure, and whether that means a striker ‘upgrade’ or not we still need a team that can defend and attack with fluidity and the right level of skill and aggression.

    It’s not ALL about strikers – a point which I think underlies this article, and value for money wise I would rather have 3-4 midfielders that contribute goals than 1 star striker, because when your star striker hits a bad patch or never reaches form you are fecked. Ideally I would like the perfect team obviously.. 😉

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