It’s no secret Olivier Giroud has had anything but a warm reception this season at Arsenal.
After his summer move from Montpellier where he led the French side to a league title and a Champions League spot while finishing the league the top scorer, many considered his relatively low transfer fee to be a steal for Arsenal. Giroud started off slowly, not scoring his first goal in an Arsenal shirt until the end of September and not scoring his first league goal until October. For a player that was supposed to fill the void of Robin van Persie, he wasn’t doing a great job.
But Giroud eventually hit his stride, scoring more, showing better chemistry with his teammates, and just looking more comfortable in the league. But yet there were still questions about him, and rightfully so. Many questioned his finishing ability, although having notched 16 goals in an Arsenal shirt so far this season he had missed more chances than many would have liked to see. But still, Giroud was producing, more-so than another big name signing, Lukas Podolski. Still, it seems Podolski is more of a fan favorite than Giroud, who is an easy target to pick on for not scoring more goals this season because of how prolific he was last season at Montpellier.
Giroud himself pointed out a great fact — he is producing better than Robin van Persie did in his first season with Arsenal.
Giroud seems to fall in and out of favor with Arsenal fans week in and week out, but personally I like the modelesque Frenchman. I think he provides a great goalscoring option when he is fed the ball in areas he excels at scoring in such as in the air or in the box. If you give Giroud the ball outside the box and try to let him produce a goal, he will struggle. But give him a chance to put it in on a one time strike then you have a great chance of scoring.
Giroud hasn’t flopped this season, but he hasn’t sparkled. He is having a solid season, but maybe the high expectations surrounding his arrival because of last season still haven’t worn off. For France, that’s a different question, as he is relegated to the bench in favor of — he who can’t seem to score for his country — Karim Benzema.
Giroud however is a great piece for Arsenal, and will continue to be for future seasons. His finishing needs some work, but for what Arsenal needed, a scorer who will put in double digit goals, he was the right guy for the team. Was his play style the best fit for the teams ball domination play style? Probably not. But he has figured out how to play that style and he is thriving in it. There’s still a chance for him to reach the 20 goal mark on the season, will we still be skeptical of him then?