Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud was criticised for missing a gilt-edged chance in the 1-1 draw against fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur on the weekend, but was given backing by manager Arsene Wenger and former Arsenal legend Ian Wright, both of whom believe the French international is harshly treated considering how good he’s been in the Premier League.
Why Olivier Giroud deserves adulation
Giroud has been full of goals this season, scoring when coming off the bench in games, and finding the back of net in games he was starting in. He dethroned previous first-choice striker Theo Walcott on merit, and has now taken his chance to shine with both hands. Scoring six Premier League goals in as many starts this season, while bagging two goals in the Champions League, the tall forward is enjoying a real rich vein of form.
It goes unsaid just how good a striker Giroud has been since making the move from French Ligue 1 side Montpellier in 2012, with the experienced front man going from strength to strength under Wenger’s tutelage. He scored the 2000th goal of the manager’s long reign with Arsenal, the opener in a 3-0 win against Swansea City at the end of October, and has been among the most prolific scorers in the division for the last three years.
Where does Giroud ranks among the rest?
Only Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Luis Suarez (then of Liverpool), Romelu Lukaku (Everton) and Robin Van Persie (then of Man Utd) have scored more goals in the Premier League than Giroud since he joined Arsenal, which puts the striker among great company. Wenger was heavily criticised for signing the 29-year-old after a lukewarm debut season, but now such faith has been vindicated.
Despite his brilliant form this season, not everyone has been impressed with Giroud. Often guilty of a lack of movement, while having only a modest goal sum compared to his predecessors in an Arsenal shirt, many believe the Frenchman isn’t good enough for a side that want to win the title, something Sky Sports pundit and former Arsenal legend Thierry Henry previously alluded to. But considering the names he’s up against for goals in the last three years in the Premier League, Giroud has proven his worth as one of the division’s best striker.
A target man-like threat in the air, proficient at near post finishes with his first touch, while being unselfish to bring others into play, Giroud certainly has his strengths in the Arsenal side. He’s in fine form this season, while his Gunners squad are enjoying a lofty second place in the table. But does he get enough credit for his contributions?