Olivier Giroud gets a lot of stick from fans and pundits, but I still can’t seem to figure out why. He may not be the flashiest of strikers, nor does he have the pace of Theo Walcott, but he gets things done.
He’s not that guy who is going to get the ball in the midfield and take on one or two defenders. That’s not him. What you will get from the Frenchman is the ability to hold up play, linking up with his midfielders, and he can stick the ball in the back of the net. Obviously he’s had his moments of missed opportunities, most recently the chance he had against Liverpool, but what world-class striker hasn’t or doesn’t miss those opportunities from time to time?
While they are professionals, they are also human. When you’re at work doing your job that you do everyday just like these guys, don’t you occasionally mess something up? If you replied no to that answer, you my friend are full of shit!
This season, Giroud has made 19 appearances for Arsenal between the Premier League and UEFA Champions League, and he’s found the back of the net 17 times. I don’t want to ruin the party for all the Giroud haters out there, but there aren’t many strikers who can manage a 0.9 goals per match average between two of the world’s most prestigious competitions. Don’t believe me?
Just for the sake of comparison, check out the list below.
- Gonzalo Higuain (Averages 1 Goal Per Match)
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Averages 1.1 Goals Per Match)
- Luis Suarez (Averages 0.9 Goals Per Match)
- Robert Lewandowski (Averages 1.1 Goals Per Match)
- Neymar (Averages 0.8 Goals Per Match)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Averages 1 Goal Per Match)
- Karim Benzema (Averages 1.1 Goals Per Match)
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Averages 0.9 Goals Per Match)
There you have a list of eight offensive players in the world, with the ones who are missing averaging less than 0.8, and statistically we can see that Olivier Giroud fits right in. And in his defense, one could argue that none of the players mentioned above play in a league that is as competitive from top to bottom as the Premier League…. Just saying!
Either way, there are some guys not on that list that pundits are always talking about. One that comes to mind is Harry Kane who everyone thought was the next Alan Shearer. Pump the brakes people, what has he done this year? I told a few friends and colleagues that Harry Kane wouldn’t repeat his form from last season, and sure enough, he’s averaging 0.5 goals this season between the Premier League and the Europa League. He’s still young and could turn out to be a great player, but I’m a firm believer that last season was a fluke and he won’t repeat those numbers.
Want me to throw out another name? How about Jamie Vardy. Yes he’s been fantastic and his story should inspire many up and coming footballers, but he is averaging 0.7 goals per match. Oh, here’s another one… How about that guy, ugh what’s his name… Anthony Martial. I remember one of his first goals for Manchester United, the match commentator was comparing him to Thierry Henry and how similar they played. Excuse me sir, do not ever compare Martial to Henry again, please and thank you! Want to know how many goals he’s averaging across both competitions? Well, even if you didn’t want to know, he’s averaging a blistering 0.3 goals per match. Bloody hell that’s impressive.
Moral of the story here is that although Giroud isn’t going to amaze you with tricks and flicks like Ronaldo or Neymar will, more often than not, he’s going to do his job. He’s been doing it all season, and he proved it once again at Anfield. His first goal could be credited to some sh*t goalkeeping by Mignolet, but credit to Oli for putting himself in that position. His second goal was just a piece of magic. Twisting and turning, eventually burying it in the ol’ onion bag as Tommy would say.
While he can’t completely silence all his critics, he can let his performances on the pitch do all the talking for him. Get another one on Sunday please!