Giroud’s mending my heart

Posted: November 18, 2012 in Arsenal

After having had my heart broken by some Dutch bloke who used to captain us, Giroud, along with his mate Cazorla, has started picking up the broken pieces and putting my heart back together.

After Giroud’s start at Arsenal, I never thought I’d be praising him. His missed chances were too much for my heart to muster, this led to increasing frustration building up. I never once doubted his ability, I just thought he was a poor replacement for such a prolific and enigmatic player in Robin Van Persie. Giroud’s beginning to show the whole of the Premier League what he’s really about; he isn’t a lousy striker who waits for chances and sits in the box, he roams around and involves our ‘wingers’ in the game. He’s starting to provide us with some of the magic which saw him finish as Ligue 1’s top scorer last season. For a player of his stature, one would be forgiven to think he’d lack technicality and mobility; he doesn’t.

Olivier Giroud, as of writing this, has scored five goals in his last five games for Arsenal – a superb feat considering he only found the net twice in thirteen appearances. Not only are his goals a talking point, his movement to get into his goalscoring positions is second to none; not to mention his knack for dropping deep and getting some flick-ons and knock-downs in order to involve his team-mates into the game.

What he adds to the overall game is more than what we bargained for. As mentioned previously, he’s deadly when it comes to getting into the right positions, sticking the ball in the back of the net and involving his team-mates into the game. He also tends to be on defensive duty quite effectively whenever opposing teams step-up for attacking set-pieces. I remember Adebayor, in his Arsenal days, heading every ball out of the box and into safety; Giroud does the exact same. It’s always great having an extra bit of physical presence when needs be, considering how diminutive some of our players are: Cazorla, Arteta, Walcott, Wilshere, Gibbs.

Last season for Montpellier, Giroud only scored ONE header in the league. ONE HEADER. How? We’ve seen how deadly he is with the ball at his feet, let alone on his head. It fills me with joy to see an Arsenal player scoring headers of the highest quality. The way he guides the ball and directs it really is a joy to behold.

Giroud adds a whole new dimension to Arsenal’s style of play. Whilst he’s very good at reading the passes and releasing them, he also uses his stature to great ability. As seen against Tottenham (5-2) for Cazorla’s goal, Szczesny punted a long-ball forward which saw Giroud come deep to flick the ball forward; his header granted him a pre-assist as Walcott threaded Podolski through who found the Cazorla for Arsenal’s fourth goal. A very rare form of build-up play for Arsenal in the shape of a punt forward and a flick-on; very reminiscent of Didier Drogba in his Chelsea days.

Heavily criticised when he first joined, he’s now becoming a fans’ favourite. Some may still have reserved judgement on Giroud, or some may be like myself and absolutely love him. One of the reasons he’s stuck out, for me personally, is his determination to get a good run of form going; his head hasn’t dropped since he joined Arsenal. His anger and frustration whenever he fails to score is truly fantastic considering the fact that most players at his level would struggle to care if they missed or not, as long as they’re racking in their £50-100k a week, it’s fine. Not only does he show pure emotion whenever he scores, he’s always the first player to run to the goalscorer (apart from him, obviously) and start punching the air in absolute ecstasy. His attachment to the fans, and vice versa, is growing every week.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Giroud grab 20+ goals in all competitions this season. His form doesn’t look like ending any time soon and as long as Cazorla’s sprinkles of gold dust stay intact, Giroud will be provided with mouth-watering assists. Should he keep fit, December’s fixtures will be a prospect that any in-form striker will be dying to play in: Swansea (H), Olympiacos (A), West Brom (H), Bradford (A), Reading (A), Wigan (A) West Ham (H) and Newcastle (H) – plenty of winnable games for Arsenal should they keep their heads up and not suffer from complacency. Giroud’s currently mustered seven goals and I’m going to stick my head out and say he’ll bag seven/eight more before the turn of the year.

I really hope that Giroud keeps looking forward from here on out and doesn’t think back to his torrid start. Could he be our Didier Drogba? Maybe it’s too early to say. I just want him to be that striker who gets 20+ a season and genuinely loves the club.


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