Olivier Giroud will have a say in Arsenal’s Title Run
So there we were watching that glorious first goal, thinking Arsenal were going to have their way with Sunderland. Then Martin Atkinson, being Martin Atkinson decide to show us clearly what a class A twat he really is.
Moments after denying Arsenal a clear cut penalty after Sanchez was pulled down in the box, he awards one to Sunderland. Why? Well, he denied the first penalty because he truly hates us (kidding – sort of) and he awarded Sunderland one because – well it was one.
After Defoe nailed the penalty kick, you’d be hard pressed to find an Arsenal fan who wasn’t concerned we weren’t going to piss this one away. I was definitely one of them.
Then in the 69th minute, Wenger pulled the trigger on a substitution to try and hopefully change things up. Again, the cynical Arsenal would in their best Rocket J Squirrel (of Rocky & Bullwinkle fame) voice cry “but that trick never works.” That’s when in all his Leonidis-beared glory Oliver Giroud entered the field of play.
Then as only GQ Giroud could do, he turned the game over. He scored a wonderful half volley on his first touch and not to be out done scored a looping header on his second touch. Wham Bam, thank you ma’am.
It was a microcosm of what makes fans of Giroud – like me see the benefit of having the hulking tabloid model of footballer in this squad. When he is there and on form – Giroud can have an impact.
Now, I am not an idiot (actually that depends on who you ask), I do know that Giroud has his faults. The amount of sitters the man has missed is enough to drive even his wife to scream at the TV at him.
Here’s a simple fact though, if Arsenal are going to challenge for the title and hopefully win it – Olivier Giroud will have an important role in helping with that.
As we witnessed on Saturday he adds a different dimension to the game. When we are being forced out wide and our passing can’t penetrate two banks of 4 – Giroud has the strength to play off of the shoulder of most center backs and win headers – usually resulting in goals.
He also possess great movement and awareness in the box. His trademark near post flick a testament to that. Even when he doesn’t score, his movement draws attention of multiple defenders which can open up space for others to operate.
It doesn’t matter who the opponent is Giroud’s ability is such that he can score against big and small opponents. He’s managed to score against, City, United, Liverpool, Bayern and last season’s title winners Leicester. Regardless of the occasion the Frenchman shows up for it.
But his critics focus in on one thing – scoring and like I said early the big beared oaf can miss ‘em like the best of ‘em. However, that’s such one dimensional thinking. There are other attributes that make him an asset to any team.
He possesses a vast skill set. No speed is not one of them but given his strengths its not what you really want from him. But he is a beast to play against if you are a CB due to his size and strength. He’s got an amazing first touch and he can offer up the gentlest of passes as if he were a world-class German number 10.
Maybe what makes him better than a lot of critics give him credit for is his fighting spirit. This is a guy who is constantly maligned in the press and by a swathe of his own supporters. Yet, each time he takes to the field he never takes a minute off.
This guy continues to come back and continues to show his detractors why they are wrong about it. He’s never going to be Sergio Aguero or Alexis Sanchez. He doesn’t have to be and he shouldn’t be expected to be.
What we should expect is that he is the bull in a china shop target man we need when things aren’t going right. He can deliver on that time and time again and offer up a variation to our new attack.
We’ve been blessed with some amazing forwards. Some dynamic players have graced the spot the Olivier Giroud does and it has always seemed unfair to measure him against that when he isn’t those players and shouldn’t be used similarly to those players.
Arsenal need options. He is an option and probably one of the best in the league if you look at all bench’s in the league. He likely will spend more time as a super sub this season than a starter. But even when he does start he is going to have an impact.
For Arsenal to win the title – they need him to have that impact.
Giroud’s First Goal:
Giroud’s Second Goal: