Arsene Wenger had some warm words of praise and support for Olivier Giroud yesterday, after the French striker changed the game at Everton for Arsenal and powered in an injury time headed equaliser. The boss suggested that the Gunners do not need any more strikers and that he expects the big man to improve again and be a key figure for us this season. But is the Prof right?
Well I thought I would do a little statistical research using the comparison stats page on Squawka.com. I picked the player that some rumours suggested Wenger was after, Edinson Cavani, as a comparison, along with the Man City striker Edin Dzeko, to give a Premier League comparison as well as the three being somewhat similar as players. And because Giroud played a few more league games than the other two, I set it to give an average score per game.
Then I picked nine different stats, including goals scored, shooting accuracy, assists, chances created, key passes, duels won, aerial duels, shots taken and overall attacking score. All three come fairly close in most categories, but you will be surprised to hear that Giroud was the best in four of the nine, with Cavani on three and Dzeko on two. Giroud’s were chances created, assists, key passes and aerial duels won.
You may not be surprised to hear that he was third in goals scored, shot accuracy and shots per game, but not by very much at all. So Giroud is better at linking up with his team mates and helping to create goals which, when you consider that he did not have Walcott, Podoslki, Ramsey or Chamberlain around him for large parts of last season, should be even more important for the Gunners this season.
So he only scored 0.44 goals per game with Dzeko at 0.52 and Cavani 0.53 and his shot accuracy was 43 percent compared to 45 and 46. But he provided 0.22 assists compared to 0.07 and 0.03. He made 0.81 key passes compared to 0.7 and 0.55 and he created 1.03 chances compared to 0.77 and 0.58. Those numbers really tell a story and do we really care who puts the ball in the net? As long as it goes in and Giroud’s stats show that he is just as important, if not more, than Dzeko and Cavani to his team.
Now what do you make of that Gooners?