Olivier Giroud was talking about the necessity of Arsenal holding on to their best players, as well as investing in new ones. The striker also revealed that there was a possibility of him going to the German giants Bayern Munich before he agreed to come to the Emirates. Despite not being very highly regarded by many Arsenal fans, I think that Giroud has shown enough in his debut season to be able to count himself as one of those players that the Gunners must hold on to.
Let’s be honest, Giroud was never going to be able to replace Robin van Persie in his first season in England, and they are different types of player anyway. What he has done is led the line, allowing Arsenal to threaten from all over the front line and bringing the midfield into play as well. It’s no coincidence that Arsenal have shared the goals around a number of players this season rather than relying on just one man.
Having said that, his own figures are pretty decent. His well taken goal against Reading yesterday was his 16th of the season. Considering he started slowly in a new league that’s not bad, and he has provided 13 assists as well which underlines the way he links up with his team mates. To put it into perspective, the great Dennis Bergkamp managed 16 goals and 10 assists in his first season as a Gunner, and he was an established world class player. Van Persie took five seasons to score more, while Wenger’s previous attempts to use a big, powerful striker with Bendtner and Chamakh have not been nearly as successful.
Giroud has shown that he can handle pressure, work hard, adapt his game and score with his head and his feet as well as linking up well and setting up his fellow Gunners. I think we will see much more of him next season.