Football fans can be an impatient bunch. One game without a goal and suddenly that’s the trend that’ll continue throughout the season. It’s the way it works. Olivier Giroud has failed to score in his first 3 games for Arsenal.
That means he’s useless, a waste of money and won’t ever score for the Arsenal. He’s just like that Henry bloke; he never scored in his first eight, and now he’s a 30-something striker playing in the states. He has done nothing of note, right? Robin van Persie was the best thing to ever happen to Arsenal and losing him is a massive mistake because he’s the only striker to ever score for the gunners, ever.
Of course, I’m being sarcastic. But the way people bang on you’d think Giroud was the only striker to take time to settle. It took van Persie 7 seasons to settle with injuries and finally show his brilliance – and he was given that time. Can we not give Olivier time? Joining a club like Arsenal from an inferior league will always be difficult. The pressure would presumably be intense and with the onus being on you to score (and replace 30-goal Judas) that will only multiply. Think about it. Playing up front as the lone striker isn’t the easiest position to help you settle. You’re always eager to impress but sometimes it can be hard as you may not receive the right service, feel isolated and not be involved in the game much in terms of possession.
Olivier Giroud hasn’t been heavily involved with the ball, but he has played a massive part with his off ball movement. Case in point: Lukas Podolski’s 1st goal for the club. Lukas received the ball, laid it off to Santi and as Cazorla progressed with the ball Giroud drifted to the right bringing his marker with him, thereby creating space for Podolski to take advantage of, receiving the ball and slotting it into the bottom corner to put the Arsenal 1 up. His movement for the chances he missed was also excellent. He bent his runs to allow himself space but unfortunately couldn’t convert. You may wonder how long his movement will excuse his lack of goals, and obviously you cannot continue to make excuses, but he’s still in his settling stage and at the moment, he’s showing promise – something that can be built on.
He scored 25 goals last season for eventual Ligue 1 Champions, and Arsenal’s Champions League Group Stage adversaries, Montpellier, so to say he ‘does not know where the goal is’ is stupid. Each player is different and he looks to be a player who’ll start firing soon. Maybe he’ll follow some Arsenal legends and end his “drought” against newly-promoted Southampton? King Titi, God Dennis, Ian Wright! Wright! Wright! and that Dutch bloke who left recently all scored their first Arsenal league goals against the Saints. And guess who we play next (after the pointless international friendlies)? Yep, we play Southampton. It would be nice to see him score and shut a few people up.
During the Stoke game the fans of that lot were reminding the gunners’ fans of their former striker by signing his name and teasing Olivier when he did not score. In that game he attempted some audacious efforts: a scissor-kick from a corner which bounced over the bar, and a long-range lob that hit the roof of the net. He’s only had 2 clear-cut chances. The one at home to Sunderland after a great pass from Cazorla and the other against Liverpool in a similar fashion, except it was Diaby’s brilliance which assisted the chance.
Because of these misses he has been lambasted and singled out which I find amusing. For people who claim to love the sport so much it’s amusing how little they know (or how much they ignore). First of all, the chance against Sunderland wasn’t as easy people say it was. He was on the turn, ball slightly behind him, and it was his weaker foot; similar to the miss vs Liverpool, just that was on his stronger foot. I don’t dispute he perhaps should’ve done better but both misses can be excused as they were not easier to miss. Many have said that Robin van Persie may have converted those chances and while that may (or may not) be true, you can’t use that as a bullet to fire at Giroud. Would Robin score from 1-yard out in the Champions League, 3-0 up and needing 1 more goal? van Persie might have scored where Giroud didn’t, but Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright, Ted Drake, Cliff Bastin and so on might have scored too. The point is, players come and go and a players’ departure should not be used to attack a recent arrival.
Giroud’s shown promise. His movement off the ball is superb and he’s physically up for the battle – as proven against arguably the most physical side, Stoke – so he has the qualities to settle into the Premier League and Arsenal. He may not be the quickest but speed of the brain can sometimes be quicker than speed of the body so I have no worries about him – yet. I started this post by saying ‘Football fans can be an impatient bunch’ and that’s true. We want everything now or yesterday. We forget not every player is going to hit the ground running; every player is different; some past legends took time to score, and we demand it all now with a cherry on top and a cup of tea on the side (or coffee; I’m not discriminative!)
I think Giroud will be a great striking option for Arsenal. The only worry is depth. There’s not many strikers at the club and he won’t be able to play every game, and that may add pressure but we’ll have to wait and see. Remember: Henry didn’t score in his 1st eight and Bastin didn’t score in his 1st five, and they’re 2 of our top 3 all-time goalscorers so relax, keep calm and look at this photo – via Arsenal.com
Y’see – players don’t always score on their debut so give Giroud time. Thanks for reading.