Arsenal fans have been known to jump on a players back in a bad spell of form and it’s largely because we expect so much more from players and a team that should be achieving more than it does in reality. One of those players who has largely fallen short of expectation in the eyes of many Gunners, is Arsenal’s striker Olivier Giroud.
Giroud to be fair is not quite as bad as some make him out to be. Sure he can be frustrating with his fancy flicks in front of goal and his inconsistency levels are out of this world. However on his day he has proven that he can lead the line for Arsenal. The Frenchman does score on average 20 plus goals a season and he has spent large parts of the past two seasons with injures. With this in mind, Giroud is valuable to Arsenal and 20 plus goals in all competitions isn’t the worst. But of course we do expect more from a player who is supposed to be winning us the title with his goals.
I’ve always maintained that Giroud does have a place in this Arsenal squad, his strengths are valuable to the team, he just doesn’t have the quality or consistency to be the club’s main striker. Giroud should be a bench/ rotational player at Arsenal, a plan B, not a plan A and Wenger can change that this summer. Giroud should definitely not be binned however and it seems that Arsenal and France legend Thierry Henry agrees about his compatriot.
Thierry Henry said this week: “I’ve said it many times – Giroud is very good at what he does. He’s a very good player but he needs to play with someone.
Giroud, with his back to goal, is very good; you saw the goal against Ireland when Giroud flicked on and [Antoine] Griezmann scored. He can’t turn and outpace anyone, Giroud, but in Griezmann he has a guy he can feed. It’s a great partnership. They share the workload of scoring goals. I never doubted what he can do but I think he’s better with someone alongside him.
Everyone has always said that Arsenal need another striker but that doesn’t mean Giroud has to drop to the bench. He should play with someone because he has all the attributes. I’ve said before, I would have loved to have played with him.”
Titi may not agree about Giroud dropping to the bench as he seems to think that all Giroud needs is a partner up front, but I can’t see Wenger switching to a 442 kind of formation. This is because with the amount of midfielders we have, as well as Ozil not being so effective on the wing. What Henry does agree on though is that to get the most out of Giroud at Arsenal, we need to play to his strengths. That means not trying to play the ball to his feet far away from goal, as he can’t beat a defender with pace, but instead feeding him on the edge of the box. Also playing balls into the box for him to header would play to his strengths, as Giroud is one of the strongest headers of the ball in the Premier League.
Giroud can be utilised at Arsenal to an effective standard, we just have to play to his strengths and not expect him be consistent throughout the whole season if he is going to be our main striker. It is so important Wenger looks elsewhere for another striker to lead the line for Arsenal next season, someone who has different striking qualities to Giroud. Luckily for Arsene Wenger, we seem to have been linked to a fair few of these players this summer.