Arsenal can’t win the title with Giroud – Really??

Arsenal’s centre forward issue – Part 2: A European perspective by JS

The accepted opinion appears to be that we cannot win the Premier League with Giroud leading the line. I am not looking to change anyone’s mind on this emotional subject. But for those of you who can perhaps broaden this out a little and see what title winning teams around Europe have been doing for the past 5 seasons, and also acknowledge the shift in emphasis with many teams relying more now on goal-scoring potency from wide forwards, wingers, second strikers and attacking midfielders then I think the debate is a little more subtle than the “cut and paste a £40M “guaranteed 25 goal” centre forward with no possible downside” proposition. It is important you keep reminding yourself that I am talking about CENTRE FORWARDS ONLY. So don’t think Tevez – think Llorente or Morata. Don’t think Aguero – think Dzeko etc etc etc.

I have taken a wider look at the centre forward role across all the major leagues in Europe. Specifically, I reviewed the centre forward statistics for the winners of 12 European leagues over the last five years (namely the top level leagues in England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, Holland, Belgium, Greece and Poland). As with the previous article I decided that removing the penalty goals from individual totals was the fairest way to ensure comparisons are valid.

The main question I was trying to find an answer to was whether it is essential to have a 25 goal centre forward to win a top European league? What immediately became plain was how different teams operate different systems and as a consequence there is clearly varying degrees of reliance on high scoring centre forwards. Whilst I am not offering these as absolute rules, it appears that generally teams with more goalscoring potency in wide areas “make do” with more modest totals for their centre forwards (think Barcelona or Real Madrid for the obvious examples – and before you say anything, the likes of Benzema, Villa and Suarez have all had goal returns less than 20 in La Liga winning teams in the last 5 years). Is this an indication of centre forwards doing something more subtle to help get there wide forwards on to the score sheet?

Also teams without multiple significant goal threats from out wide often have prolific second strikers playing behind the centre forwards (think Tevez at Juventus behind Llorente or Morata, or Aguero behind Dzeko at City in their title winning years). And then there are more defensive teams with relatively little goal potency elsewhere on the field who rely to a very significant extent on the goal returns from their lone centre forward (think Costa at Chelsea last year, aside from Hazard they could not rely on goals from too many other sources other than the centre forward position, or Atletico in 2014 strangely enough with Costa again, or Martinez at Porto (admittedly not quite so defence minded) in 2013 where no other player got in to double figures).

Without further judgement, here are some summary facts arising from the stats:

1) The goal returns for the twelve 2014-15 league winners for each team’s recognised centre forwards were (excluding penalties) in the order of the countries listed above; 19, 16, 18, 8*, 11, 19, 12, 15, 20, 9, 14 and 10. Not one league winner had a centre forward scoring more than 20 goals from open play. (*Juventus split their CF role between Llorente and Morata who got 7 and 8 respectively – there are other examples of the centre forward role being split but this was the most notable). Even if you include penalties, the highest scoring centre forwards were de Jong (PSV) and Lima (Benfica) with 22 each.

2) In 2014 the highest centre forward return excluding penalties for a title winning side was 22 (Costa) and the only other player over 20 goals was Ibrahimovic with 21.

3) Overall, Juventus were interesting with 4 successive Serie A titles with 16 goals as their highest centre forward return in the four seasons (with Llorente, Morata, Vucinic and Matri). Bayern’s three titles did not include a 20+ goal centre forward. And although they had only one La Liga title in the 5 years in question, Benzema’s yearly return of 15, 21, 11, 17 and 15 looks very “Giroud-esque”.

2) Looking at the 5 year picture, if you want to be generous and include penalties then only 6 of the 60 league winning teams (ie: 10%) had a 25+ goal centre forward. If you want to be less generous and exclude penalties then this drops to just 2 teams (3.3%) (Ibrahimovic at PSG in 2013 with 26 and Yilmaz at Galatasaray in 2012 with 27). The comparable stats for title winning teams with 21-25 goal centre forwards are 8 (13.3%) both including and excluding penalties. The number of title winning teams with 17-20 goal (including penalties) centre forwards is 9 (15%) or 10 (16.7%) without penalties. Surprisingly, and frankly I was shocked, over 60% of the title winning teams in the past 5 years have had their designated/main centre forward scoring 16 or less goals (either with or without penalties).

As a footnote, we can clearly see that many of the most prolific scorers in Europe last year (and for many years previously) have not been centre forwards. They have been attacking midfielders, wingers, second forwards etc. Think Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, Tevez, Aguero, Menez, Greizman, Meier, Robben, Depay, Aubameyang, Alexis (thought I would sneak that in) etc etc etc. Only 6 of the top 14 scorers in La Liga last season were recognised centre forwards. Similarly only 5 of the Bundesliga top 13 scorers were centre forwards (and some of those played multiple roles eg: Lewandowski frequently playing wide right). 7 of the top 12 Premier League scorers were centre forwards (although one of them spent the majority of his season in a deeper role, Rooney). Our Alexis was the 4th highest goalscorer in La Liga in his last season at Barca and the 4th highest (with goals from open play) in PL last season………hello, news flash…… we have a world class goalscorer in our ranks! He has to be included in any discussion about our goalscoring ability – too often the discussion revolves around Giroud only. And what about Theo? If he played a season at RW/RAM would anyone bet against him getting 15 league goals?

So, is there a coaching template in circulation that says that the best chance of winning a league is with an unselfish goal-every-other-game centre forward, a fully paid up team player, who perhaps has a more subtle task than many casual observers would recognise, who has no great ego to take penalties to build up his personal tally, and who is able to unlock the goal-scoring threat from his perhaps more talented/potent team mates??

That we cannot possibly win the league with OG is an enticingly simple idea. But come on, give it your best shot, if nearly 2/3 of the last 60 European League titles have gone to teams with a centre forward scoring 16 or less goals from open play then how can you be SO sure?


Tags Benzema Costa Martinez


  1. I personally think we’re sound at center forward. Nothing really wrong with Giroud, just need to rotate him with Walcott depending on the opposing team’s defence imo both can do well when they’re facing the right opposition! Giroud needs to be sold before we sign a new center forward.

    1. Giroud is a good striker,not world class but just below the world class level. What worries me is Theo,I’m not sure he can be a reliable center forward. Welbeck is not there yet but I think he should be used in the cf position more often. We have giroud and welbeck, we need a top striker if we are to win the bpl. Giroud and welbeck won’t be enough.but I think Wenger won’t sign a striker cuz he thinks we got giroud,Theo and danny. Sad but true,I’m 100% sure we won’t get a big name striker. We might and just might end up getting a winger which would be good, if we don’t I would like to see the ox and Theo on right wing.

    2. Any striker worth his money would consistently score 30 plus goal every season , playing for arsenal .
      What the writer has conveniently ignored is that arsenal is set up to play total attacking football with over 90% of our matches , typically played in the opponents half.
      With the sheer amount of creativity coming from our midfielders, scoring 30 plus goal is expected from an above average striker at arsenal .
      Only Barcelona beats arsenal at playing this kind of possession and attacking football .
      Giroud is simply not good enough. We need an upgrade . In fact Peter Cech is a “nice to have ” addition.
      A top striker is a “must have” if we are going to challenge for the title.

    1. @KickAssFan……u did well even reading the article…..i struggled to read the TitLe L()L

  2. Yes we cannot win the EPL AND UCL exclusively with him.We need a top striker without any doubt.Cavani or Higuaio or Bacca : any one of them.

  3. We can finish 3rd and 4th with Giroud but not 1st

    Two Girouds maybe

    Welbeck is not as good as Giroud
    Also we can’t expect Alexis, Walcott and Giroud to always be playing.

    So get at the very minimum a CF capable of 25 League goals per season. Giroud is capable of 20 if fit.

    Alternatively, play Walcott at CF and get a top winger like Reus, sterling, Greizmann, draxler

  4. If your going to look at stats of strikers then goals per minute is a more important stat than anything else. Giroud has improved every season he’s been at the club despite all the criticism. The abuse he’s had would have broke a weaker man and the fact he’s improved despite people constantly telling him he’s not good enough makes me believe he can carry on improving. His goal tally has been pretty consistent and his goals per minute ratio last season was up there with some of the best. Some strikers have inconsistent seasons and Giroud seems to always score plenty of goals every season. He scored 17 goals in his first season and he’s improved all aspects of his game massively since then so I think he could easily score 25+ goals next season.

    Having said all that I’m not Object to another striker coming in this summer if someone can come in and be a big improvement on Giroud then brilliant. But genuinely there aren’t that many massive improvement on Giroud. He deserves some respect and I think he’ll play a big role in the team whatever happens next season. I personally would like to see a versatile forward join this summer someone who can play as a striker and as a wide forward (right side). As I’ve said before Aubameyang would be perfect and give us plenty of attacking options.

    Also in my time as an arsenal fan only 2 strikers have better scoreing records than Giroud after 3 seasons. Wright & Henry. Not bad to say he’s out scored the likes of Anelka & Van persie.

        1. I thought it to be well said and well written myself. However there was one thing I thought a little off. Anelka and Van P. Anelka only had one breakout season before being sold, and Van P could not make the starting line up til a good number of seasons. A comparison over first three seasons may be advantageous towards Oli. And when you consider Wrighty Bergkamp around for a young Anelka to compete and all the players Persie had competing well even more advanageous as Giroud has had a free run alone.

  5. nice article…but in England things are always different…centre forwards win tittles in england…
    verdict.:you need a proven goal scorer in England to win EPL…Rooney did it for manu..van persie for manutd,aguero for man city, drogba for Chelsea and suares almost did it for Liverpool.

    1. I think the article was talking about recognised centre forwards. Dzeko played CF for most of City’s 2 PL title campaigns and scored in the mid-teens. Dzeko should be compared to Giroud and maybe Alexis to Aguero.

      Chelsea’s greatest ever team 2004-6 won the title twice with Drogba scoring 10 and 12 goals respectively. Lampard was their top scorer. Granted, the 2010 Chelsea relied on a high scoring Drogba but certainly more than one way to do it.

      United won it twice with Cantona as top scorer with 15 and 18 goals. Also won it with their RW outscoring their CF in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Bergkamp outscored our CFs (Anelka and Wright) with 16 to win 1998 title.

      In the 23 times a player has scored 25 or more PL in the league’s history only 8 times has that player received a league title winner’s medal.

      There is clearly more ways of winning the PL than relying on a centre forward.

  6. Why is everybody ok with cech benching the Very impressve ospina, but why is it hard convncing us that we need a better strike to bench giroud…fYI we all love giroud and ospina

      1. I don’t think anyone would complain if we signed a player who was a genuine improvement to Giroud. The argument is more the fact that Girouds contribution to the team is as good as anyone’s else in our team and people’s idea of an improvement is varied for instance people have been saying we need Martinez I don’t think he’s any better than Giroud all things considered. People seem to forget we also have the likes of Alexis and Walcott that puts our goal treat up there with the best teams. Obviously not Barca & Madrid because we don’t have a 50 goal a season player like Messi or Ronaldo. There aren’t players like that in the market so we need more players who can all contribute so I say one more goals scoring versatile forward. Giround is an important player and will be next season that’s why I support him and will continue to support him I’m not saying he’s the best player ever and I’m not saying we can’t do better but better isn’t that easy to find.

        1. Giroud misses easy goals, Giroud rarely creates something out of nothing.

          We are an attacking team, we are constantly around the 20 yard box of the opposition.

          We need a player of higher quality to make sure that the easy ones are scored and to make sure that the spectacular ones are created.

          We do need those extra 5-6 goals a year from our striker.

    1. I for one dont have a problema with a suoerbe striker coming.
      My issue is with phrases like “a 30 goal striker will win us the league”…this articles shows stats: hardly ever a 30 goals a season striker is born and smeetimes even those strikers (Henry some seasons and RvP in one) didnt win the leagues they were playing in.
      Check even the Top scorers of UCL.

      Let a wonderful striker come and score goals. Let us not be fooled by the fact that he alone will win us the league.

      (by the way I d loe Ospina to take the bench but apparently he is leaving because Wojo is ome row BS something)

  7. In my opinion Giroud should not be the main man leading our front line but that is not because of the total goals scored. For me the debate about potential strikers should not be the amount of scored goals from open play but instead of the contribution of strikers can offer.

    What Giroud is offering the team is his strength and teamwork abillity but sometimes we need a different kind of striker as Girouds play can become predictable. Giroud will almost always want a one-two touch combination instead of running with the ball himself.

    A more mobile/unpredictable striker with quick feets is needed to break teams down that are very compact. Sometimes Giroud can be very isolated up front but that is because he dont always move away from his position alot as he expect to be a “hold up” station for the players. Rarely he will drag the defenders away from their position with his runs. He will rather fight with the defenders.

    All in all we need a diffrent kind of striker. A striker who will score as much as Giroud or more.

  8. finding a top 25+ goals a season c/f is quite hard atm they aren’t two a penny these days. unfortunately barca, bayern and real + psg have monopolized the majority of the best ones around. then if we are lucky we might be able to find one from the next level down, or up and coming players who hopefully hit the ground running and get the goals we need, that is the unfortunate truth we have to face, we will have to fight it out with man u and others for these players and hope we can get someone in early. unless wenger has heard something only he knows on the grapevine about a top end c/f and he acts quickly on it.

  9. Typical wenger, after hours of negotiations, he signed Petr Cech for 10.9m rather than the suspected 11m. He saved the 100k for the kid. Wouldn’t be surprised if Harvard called him and asked to teach business xD

      1. the guy is a transfer wizard, i bet he could stop the euro and the dollar from collapsing and create financial utopia. if he wanted to with his eyes closed and both hands tied behind his back lol. and still have time to create a new line of zips for his new jacket range. + make a new bank note with his face on one side and a cannon on the other and make it our transfer cash.

      2. Has anyone been paying attention to liverpool in the transfer market? They have put together a very good technical team and i am sure there primary target is champions league and with what they have if Man United and Arsenal Dont improve one will not be playing champions League next season.

        1. Milner and Firmino will improve them Also with Origi comeing back. Also it looks like there after a few more players. There other signings to me look more like decent squad players. Ings might get in if Sturridge is still injured. I don’t think there title contender buys but it could push them back into the top 4.

          Was looking the other day at Rodgers record at Liverpool in the transfer market before this summer 24 players bought 205 million spent. He’s wasted some right money I think he’s a very good coach but can’t spot top talent at all he got the best out of the players Liverpool had and a couple of decent buys in Sturridge, Coutinho and I rate lallana, Can and a couple of others might come good but I’d say 3/4 of the money he’s spent is wasted. For that reason I wouldn’t worry about Liverpool.

        2. People thought the smae last year and year before last! The problem there is Brendan, he destroyes the players there. If you think Wenger is bad on playing wrong tactics and players out of position, then you didn’t see too much of Rogers management. I dont worry about Looserpool at all.

  10. Nice Article…..Can Arsenal win the league with Giroud leading the attack? Yes. Can Arsenal win the league with Giroud leading the attack? No……

    It all depends on how Giroud and the team performs. If He continues to improve as He does every season’, then we can win the league with Sanchez, walcott and other midfielders scoring goals…

    Football is a team game…. I wonder why Giroud gets the stick a lot from us and some pundits. I personally want another striker that offer something different to Giroud but that doesn’t mean I’ll sell Him. Keep Him, add another one and mix things up..Hopefully, He performs better next season..

    Off Topic: Hoping we close the deal on Petr Cech on or before Friday. We all want to see him holding the jersey.

  11. Some good analysis there but can you compare top scorers in the Italian league Vs the English one? In general are the overall goals per game the same or is it easier to score in Italy due to the game being more open?

    Also, I’m not sure if the question should be changed from do we need Giroud to score 25 goals in order to win the league to do we simply need a better player up front than Giroud (regardless of how many he scores?).

    I think Giroud will probably net around 20 PL goals in a season which is a perfectly acceptable tally. But in order to win the league we probably need to add about 20 more goals into the goals for column. If Giroud isn’t the man to provide a significant chunk of those goals than we are relying on the likes of Alexis to have another storming season and our right winger (be it Theo, Santi or Jack) to have a big increase in output which is probably unreasonable.

    We don’t have to upgrade Giroud but if we start him as our main striker then we need a significant upgrade on the right wing. We have to change one or the other in order to win the league or CL.

  12. we should have the finances to pay for a really greet /cf as cech is coming in at a bargain(the monies from the f.a cup win £4million + sales of ospina £3.2 million +poldoski £2.1million £9.3 million + club chucking in £1.6 million +wages released) levels up the cech buy, leaving wenger with pretty much a healthy budget to work with to get in d/m and c/f aprox £60-70 million at a guess. £40million+ c/f and £20 million d/m – c/h hybrid should see us majorly improve the squad as a whole. lets get spending arsene!

  13. I’m sure Arsenal can win the league with Giroud but only if they buy Reus to compete in the right wing and Schneiderlin to compete with Coquelin.

  14. Well van pussy scored thirty goals for us…i bet we would have finished 7th or 8th that season with giroud upfront
    He also had 27 the nxt czon at manure..
    Suarez had 30 before he went to barca playing behind sturrige
    Drogba got 27 in his last good season at chelsea…

    What am i saying…if you have a 15goal a czon center-forward, then you need a 30+goals winger or attacking midfielder…
    If you have a 30goal center-forward, then you need an assist king attacking midfielder or winger…
    In short, someone in the team will have to score 30 or more goals…. or Park the blue bus which is unethical
    What arsenal have is assist kings so what we definately need is a 30goal center-forward eg cavani, benzema(when played regularly) etc

    1. Why ignore Alexis? Not exactly a goal-scoring slouch, 4th in La Liga in his last season and 4th in PL last year. Have you looked at Benzema’s league goal stats – almost identical to Giroud, how is he suddenly going to morph in to a 30 league goal CF?

  15. See this is part of a growing problem in a statistic centred analysis only. It gives objective data without context. I think everyone knows that both Theo and Giroud will net a good return of goals, the problem is more specifically when he scores and the number of chances he misses.

    Both Giroud and Walcott tend to score in bursts over the course of a season. Getting a brace here and there then going on a dry patch. Moreover Giroud will invariably miss key chances that would either put us in the lead or kill off opposition and that is my biggest query against him.

    In addition with respect to the analysis of the CF role and teams with potent attacking threats the systems they play are vastly different to that of Arsenal. In your list you cited Aguero, Suarez and Tevez when they are out and out no. 9s for ther respective teams.

    Those teams also play with a front 3 as opposed to a lone CF making taking the brunt of the responsibilities. It’s fine comparing Giroud to Suarez in this sense but Barcelona’s front 3 alone scored between them 122 goals.

    2/3 of the last 16 European titles went to a team with a CF scoring less than 16 goals but in the last 10 seasons what was the tally of respective EPL champion’s goal threats as well as their CFs alone?
    2014 – 2015 = Costa – 20, Hazard – 14, Remy – 7
    2013 – 2014 = Aguero – 17, Toure – 20, Dzeko – 17
    2012 – 2013 = Van Persie – 26, Rooney – 12, Hernandez – 10
    2011 – 2012 = Aguero – 23, Dzeko – 14, Balotelli – 13
    2010 – 2011 = Berbatov – 21, Hernandez – 12, Rooney – 11
    2009 – 2010 = Drogba – 29, Lampard – 22, Malouda – 12
    2008 – 2009 = Ronaldo – 18, Rooney – 12, Berbatov – 9
    2007 – 2008 = Ronaldo – 31, Tevez – 14, Rooney – 12
    2006 – 2007 = Ronaldo – 17, Rooney – 14, Saha – 8
    2005 – 2006 = Lampard – 16, Drogba – 12, Crespo – 10

    In only 1 season has a team operating with a lone CF won the league with that CF scoring less than 20 goals and that was Mourinho’s 2006 Chelsea that operated with a 4 3 3 with Drogba, Malouda and Kalou as the trident usually winning by 1 – 0 strangleholds on games.

    6 of the remaining 9 were won with 2 forwards playing up top. The final 3, both Chelsea teams and a United team had their lone forwards scoring 20, 29 and 26 goals respectively.

    The last 10 seasons may not have had forwards scoring more than 20 goals in many cases but in most of those cases they were acting in a partnership of 2 and not acting as a lone forward.

    1. In what world is Alexis not “acting in a partnership” with Giroud? He is our second striker.

      If Aguero and Tevez are “out and out No.9s” what are the two guys in front of them doing, typically Dzeko and Llorente? Are you telling me there is system/formation with 2 centre forwards? Because if you are I have never seen it.

      You say “in only 1 season has a team operating with a lone CF won the league with that CF scoring less than 20 goals and that was Mourinho’s 2006 Chelsea” – are you sure? You list 30 players and there are only four centre forwards amongst them with >20 goals.

  16. This long article full of statistics makes for difficult reading but what I saw in all this is that games are won by joint effort not single individuals. We are not talking lawn tennis or cricket but football where all players must contribute simultaneously. You can’t isolate a few individuals and attribute winning to them. Is Ronaldo a centre forward? What of Messi, Hazard, Alexis etc. The question should have been “Does Arsenal have enough firepower within it to win the title? Don’t just look at one individual. We have Walcott, Welbeck, Sanchez, Oxlade, Ozil, Cazorla etc who all can score goals as well as Wilshere who has now added goals to his game. What is the big debate then? With or without Giroud’s goals Arsenal can still win the title. What many people forget is that many of our forwards are young and capable of improving all the time. How old is Welbeck, Oxlade, Wilshere and almost all the forward line? As they gain more experience so will they acquire better skills and score more goals. The business of one individual scoring loads of goals and winning the trophy almost singly may not always apply. Football is a team sport. You need all areas to be fully functional right from goal keeper through back line, midfield up to wingers and forwards to win a trophy not one individual. Even Thierry Henry who is our scoring legend was not doing it singly. We had Bergkamp, Ljumberg, Pires, Witord, Kanu all contributing goals. Let us, therefore, not become so obsessed with a single individual but the team.

  17. The problem with Giroud is not the amount of goals he scores,it is those that he misses.We create so many goal scoring opportunities but convert so few,and that is why we need a more clinical finisher.Against Monaco at home, Giroud missed FIVE glorious opportunities to score and cost us a spot in the quarters.Against Man utd away,he missed 3 wonderful opportunities to win us the game.We need someone who can finish off the many chances we create,simple as that

    1. I am not going to argue that.
      But many, many great sttrikers miss chances. I remember even our own King Henry and one of the things i LOVED about him was that look in his eyes,not desperate, not sad, not happy, just a look that said…i missed this one but i will score son and that he never gave up,

  18. it its true…we need 2 world class strikers to provide competition and cover…

    if we only sign 1….and that striker gets injured….it would cost us as Giroud is not good enough…

  19. A very well researched and written article!! Much appreciated J.S. It’s a shame many of the comments on here clearly didn’t read what you were trying to point out.
    I find it very interesting the evolution of the secondary forwards and movement away from traditional wingers. IMO we have two of the most dangerous supporting scorers in the league in Sanchez and Theo, and Ramsey’s late runs are a thing of beauty when he’s playing in his deeper role. I also feel Cazorla was extremely unlucky this season from a goal-scoring perspective.. A victim of constant world-class saves and the woodwork..
    What Giroud does as well as anyone is provide that lynch pin at the top of the box for other creatives to bounce off, run one two’s and quickly alter the triangles and pockets of space for others to exploit. Him and Theo were just starting to build a great relationship on the pitch assisting each other regularly. I hope that bond on the pitch can be re-found and produce.
    It’s all well and good to say ‘(insert name) will score X goals for us’ but why kind of impact will that have on the rest of the teams chances or the tactics that have been working so beautifully?
    I absolutely feel we could use one more classy attacker, but I’m personally hoping it’s someone versatile enough to play anywhere across the front three.

    1. @Josh37
      similar to what I said in the earlier article, we need someone to fit inbetween what Giroud has to offer and what Walcott has to offer and also to cover the one or other if and when suspensions or injury comes in to play. I also think that if we had a top notch player in that middle spot then we may also have the added advantage of forcing both these players to “up their games” to the standard whereby we CAN win the EPL and or the CL with either one leading the line. IMO currently neither have that ability but that’s not to say they wont. My personal thought on both is that they are good at what they do but is being good good enough and something in my gut tells me that as it stands neither is the player that can win us the trophies we want. Giroud for the fact that despite coming off the blocks quickly after his injury he was inconsistent when it counted the most. The was injury bound for the best part of the season but again I just feel that he is yet to be the clinical “pull the trigger now” striker that he could be as well as being somewhat more frail. Theo’s final touch is sometimes wonderful and at other times idiotic and indecisive and that’s what worries me. I also feel that Theo more than OG thinks he’s better than he currently is and that can be a dangerous mind-set. However I wouldn’t advocate selling or benching either but I would encourage having them less comfortable in their positions to see what they can really do when they are up against it.
      To my mind it boils down to this
      1)Injuries are GOING to happen……….need another striker to cover
      2) Suspensions are going to happen………another strikers allows us another dimension and the ability to adapt our tactics against different sides
      3) Players will have bad runs….another striker allows cover and provides competition to keep players competitive
      4) Players personalities and dynamics are varies …another striker could gel the front line together and infuse new idea’s as well as new options around sticking that ball into the net at crucial moments (as Sanchez has injected a winning mentality into the team.)
      All of the above arguments I would use as to why we also need another DM to add to Coquellin.
      I think the answer to the articles question is WE COULD win the EPL with Giroud leading the line, but we are unlikely to with the current dynamic and when taking into account the afore mentioned things that could go wromg we are far less likely to.
      why take the chance when for the first time in ten years we have a squad that CAN challenge the best that Europe has to offer and not add to the squad? when but for a few additions we could really be there and rejuvenate the clubs reputation in the eyes of the footballing world.

  20. Thanks JS for that wonderful article.
    I have been trying to get the samee point here in the comments sections with short comments and stats, but yours definitely is a work of research well done.
    I am no confident that this will convince people, you will get a lot of “stats are BS” and nonsense like that.
    I hope I am wrong thugh and that your article make people come to senses.
    after all we all have one thing in common…we want our beloved club to lift as many trophies as can be lifted in the upcoming season.

  21. I’d look at getting either Cavani to replace Giroud, or stick with Giroud and get Reus on the wing so we get more goals from elsewhere. Reus and Cavani are in our price range, convincing them to come would be the difficult part.

    We can win the league with Giroud, it will just be more difficult than Chelsea/City winning the league with Costa/Aguero, and we will need more goals from elsewhere.

    The thing that we do have that neither Chelsea nor Man City have is Alexis Sanchez – a goalscoring winger. Hazard can be argued to be, but he doesn’t score as many as Alexis, and some are penalties. Man City certainly don’t have a goalscorer out wide though.

    Man City do have David Silva and Yaya Toure that chip in with goals from midfield though. Ramsey is a midfield goalscorer, but other than him we don’t have another reliable source of midfield goals. Cazorla’s goals are mostly penalties and Özil only scores everysooften.

    So to me, we either need a CF/ST that will bag more goals than Giroud has managed, or we need another source of goals in our attack, and the obvious position is the right wing, though Alexis could be moved back to the right if we opted for a left sided player.

    I’ve said the two players that I think would solve this issue for us, but the thing that sticks out at me is Theo Walcott. 20 goals in a season a couple years back before he got his injury – could he be the solution? And on the right or as a striker? Then there’s Oxlade-Chamberlain. A great player but needs to score more, would bringing in another winger spoil his chances? Not to mention Welbeck..

    1. Theo can be as dangerous a scoring threat (not as dangerous a player, scoring threat) as Sanchez when on form.
      If you class Silva as a midfield scoring threat surely Santi gets a shout. And Jack

    2. IMO Welbeck works hard and has a great attitude BUT I don’t think he’s ever going develop into hat ruthless finisher. He’s not the guy that will actually take the shot that finishes the opposition. He seems to loose his bottle in front of goal more often than not an that’s not the sign of a future great. I don’t dislike the kid in anyway but I think it telling that MAN united sold him or the relatively low price of 6 million and lets be honest hate them or not, (I do) even with Fergie in the boardroom that was a decision that was NOT taken lightly, they obviously saw no real threat In selling him to u, I know he effectively knocked them out of the FA cup but I feel with him those moments will be rare.

  22. I LOVE this article. It explodes the myth that we somehow need to buy a striker and all our problems are solved.

    Football is much more than that, as this article suggest very strongly.

    Life ain’t a computer game or a fantasy football league.

    Well written and thought provoking. 🙂

  23. Aubumeyang would fit the bill perfectly, can play anywhere of the forward positions and brings plenty of goals, can play with or replace Giroud

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