With nine Premier League games, and hopefully two more wins in the FA cup, left for Arsenal to play this season, thoughts of the fans are bound to turn to the summer transfer window and our hopes of challenging for the title next season. Another early Champions League exit has also got people questioning what Arsene Wenger needs to do to get the improvement we all want.
A few TV and media pundits have suggested that one of the problems we have is that Olivier Giroud is just not good enough a centre forward if a team has ambitions of real glory and it seems like quite a few Arsenal fans are still not convinced by the Frenchman. Well I am here to tell you different and to provide clear evidence that Giroud can fire Arsenal to the Premier League title and lead us further in Europe.
Looking at this season and how the Gunners have fared when Giroud was injured and since he came back, there is a stark difference. I have ignored the first three games of the season against Crystal Palace, Besiktas and Everton as Giroud was not fully fit and did not start, even though he did come on and score an equaliser against Everton.
The big man then missed 10 EPL games, including the Man United defeat when he came on and scored that superb goal, and six cup games. Since he came back the big man has been available for 17 EPL games and eight cup games. I am not just looking at goals and assists because we all know that Giroud does a lot for the team and we are different when he leads the line.
Our record when Giroud was injured was 13 league points at an average of 1.3 per game and we scored 16 league goals at an average of 1.6 per game. Our cup record was three wins, one draw and two losses with 1.83 goals per game again.
Since his return we have taken 40 EPL points at an average of 2.35 per game while scoring 36 goals at an average of 2.21 per game. Our cup record has been seven wins from eight with 18 goals at an average of 2.25 per game.
Taking our league points per game as a guide, Arsenal with Giroud would finish this season with 89 points and without him our total would be 49. Need I say more? Okay, last season 89 points would have put us three points clear of Man City at the top while 49 would have seen us finish in 10th or 11th. And from the looks of things 89 points would be enough to win it again this year.
And for those who point to the fact that Giroud is in good form since his return and was not as good last year, I would point to the fact that his record, both at Arsenal and all his previous clubs, shows that he improves every single season. Now do you agree that Giroud is not the problem and Arsenal can achieve glory with him up front?