Thursday, 14 July 2016

Olivier Giroud: Really shite or misunderstood?

Hello all. In the recent week, after a near two year hiatus, I have been inspired to share my thoughts on the beautiful game once again. I didn’t even know where to begin so I figured Olivier Giroud would be a good start.

 These musings were inspired by two separate discussions I had with two Arsenal fans: one during France’s game against Germany; and the other during the Euros Final. I must confess I was supporting France on both occasions so I could have biased.

During the Germany game, I pointed out that – to me- Giroud hadn’t completed a pass with his feet by around the 40th min mark (NB: a successful kick off doesn’t count). He had also miscontrolled over half of the passes that came his way. Fancy that: a man who's paid millions of pounds a year to play football has such poor control. A Gallic Andy Carroll with a better haircut and better tattoos methinks.
 The Gunner fan was adamant I was hating… until he got a one on one chance with Neuer and managed to let Benedict Howedes, who was previously only known to be fleeter of foot than Per Mertasacker, chase him down. He didn’t even test the keeper. Said Arsenal fan then threw his hands in the air and Googled those Lacazzette and Higuan transfer rumors.


 ***Speaking of Higuan, instead of Argentines staging rallies to convince Messi to go back on his decision to retire from international soccer, they should protest and force Gonzalo to retire. I hold him personally responsible for Messi’s sorrow. Two missed one on ones with the keeper (against Germany at the WC and Chile this year) in three tense finals plus the back post miss in last year’s final against Chile is inexcusable. ***

 The second discussion was with a rather sophisticated Gooner. The type with all the stats, financial reports, advanced metrics and even delightful anecdotes about players’  personal lives. I broached the subject of just how shite Giroud is. We had the usual back and forth about how he scores goals which is after all a striker’s job (albeit most  as the 3rd and 4th in 4-0 wins or consolations in 5-2 drubbings).I asked what exactly it was that Giroud’s speciality is.. The usual..  This went on for a while until it was put to me that Giroud is among the Top 10 strikers.. in the WORLD!!! I was challenged to name 10 better strikers than him…

*** I wasn’t allowed to name Antoinne Griezmann due to his not being a “true striker”***

 So I quickly rattled off names.. Suarez, Ibra, Lewandowski, Aguero, Kane, Diego Costa, Benzema, HIGUAN… Then I stopped. No. Not because I couldn’t find a ninth one. No!! I was shocked I hadn’t approached the question in a more devilish way. So I did. I decided to limit my search to the Premier League. I posited that arguably every EPL club from last season had at least one striker better than Giroud. It was a bit presumptuous of me but well.. it was after midnight. As you go through the list below, don’t think statistics. Just consider that Arsenal create a glut of chances every game and consider the individual’s quality, then imagine him playing for Arsene Wenger. It goes without saying that one has the ignore compatibility issues in such hypothetical situations. An example being that while Diego Costa would be incompatible with Wenger, I doubt anyone has qualms about who the better striker, between him and Giroud is. So here are the EPL strikers I believe to be better Olivier Giroud.

·         The asterix denotes a  case that I find arguable. In Rashford’s case, I believe it’s just a matter of time though.

·         Take note of the bottom six teams. Does anything leap out at you? What if Sunderland had started the season with Defoe instead of acquiring him in January?


Leicester – Jamie Vardy.  

Arsenal – case in point

Tottenham – Harry Kane

Man City – Sergio Aguero, Wilfried Bony

Man United – Rooney, Martial, Marcus Rashford*

Southampton – Graziano Pelle*

West Ham –  Diafra Sakho *

Liverpool – Daniel Sturridge

Stoke City – Peter Crouch*

Chelsea – Diego Costa

Everton – Romelu Lukaku

Swansea – Bafotembi Gomis*

Watford – Odion Ighalo

West Brom – Saido Berahino

Crystal Palace – N/A

Bournemouth – N/A

Sunderland – Jermaine Defoe

Newcastle –  N/A

Norwich City – N/A

Aston Villa - N/A
By the way, attempt to Google Olivier Giroud and the first three suggestions will be: "Olivier Giroud haircut", "Olivier Giroud hair", "Olivier beard" and finally "Olivier Giroud stats". In that exact order.
Thanks for reading. 

The opinions expressed above are purely satirical and as thus aren't meant to denigrate, discourage, annoy (**insert other pejoratives**) anyone's favorite teams, players or feelings.