Arsenal FC: Why Hating on Olivier Giroud Is Irrational

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentApril 4, 2013

Arsenal FC: Why Hating on Olivier Giroud Is Irrational

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    Arsenal’s French international striker Olivier Giroud has become an easy target for criticism.

    This article will tell you why hating on Giroud is irrational.

    From The Telegraph:

    Telegraph Sport first revealed Arsenal’s interest in Giroud in April, with Wenger asking Gilles Grimandi, his chief scout in France, to compile a report on a player who finished the season as the leading scorer in the French league.

    “He has a very good physical presence and is exceptional in the air, with a great work ethic,” said Wenger.

    Arsenal will pay Montpellier £12 million for Giroud, 25, who yesterday signed a four-year contract which is worth around £60,000-a-week.

Unjust Olivier Giroud Criticism

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    You should always be critical of your own players, but within the bounds of good sense.

    If neutrals were trawling through tweets about Olivier Giroud going goalless (again), you couldn't blame them for jumping on the bandwagon in painting him as the French Fernando Torres.

    Giroud SUCKS! Where is OLX when we need it? SELL HIM!

    — Des' Sagwe (@Des_Sagwe) February 9, 2013

    Olivier Giroud is muck! Iv given him time, useless buy outta Wenger....

    — Sina Keisler (@sina7089) March 2, 2013

    Olivier giroud is such a joke. Mediocre being

    — Femi (@Kkfemi) March 16, 2013

    Are Arsenal in a win-now mentality like Manchester United, Manchester City or Chelsea? No.

    Exercise some patience. Giroud has the package to become a world-class forward for the Gunners.

    Some of the opinions against Arsenal's No. 12 are beyond flawed.

     

    Olivier Giroud is no Robin van Persie

    That is, the same RVP that took eight agonisingly long seasons to play out one full campaign.

    If you were willing to wait with Robin, do the same with Giroud.

     

    Olivier Giroud chokes in front of goal

    From Arsenal.com:

    He came off the bench for his debut against Leicester and threatened the North Bank regulars with his scattergun shooting.

    He took nine games to open his Arsenal account but a brace against Derby announced his arrival as a decent finisher.

    Within a few years he was regarded as the best striker in the world.

    The North Bank could stop ducking and start celebrating.

    We all know it's a description of the greatest Gunner ever—Thierry Henry.

    He is an example of how you can go from zero to hero.

    Olivier's shots per league goal (9.4) is wayward, but it's in the same ballpark as Jermain Defoe (10.4) and Carlos Tévez (8.5).

    The two aforementioned players are seasoned Premier League forwards. Giroud, on the other hand, went from being the man at Montpellier to Arsenal. He isn't even guaranteed a starting gig every week with the North London club.

    Just look at Olivier's history and you'll see a familiar pattern—he takes time to acclimatise to a new environment.

    The Frenchman exponentially improved in his second season with Tours and Montpellier.

     

    Olivier Giroud isn't a game-changer

    Don't downplay what Olivier brings just because he doesn't glide past players like Luis Suárez or persistently pop up in the right place at the right time like Michu.

    Giroud leads the team in aerial duels won per game (3.9) and his four assists in the UEFA Champions League suggest he can replicate his all-round displays from Ligue 1 in the Premier League.

    He is a complete forward like a certain Ivorian.

Olivier Giroud Is Arsenal's Didier Drogba

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    Didier Drogba was a late-bloomer when he rose to Ligue 1 stardom, before making an ambitious move to England.

    Sound familiar?

    It's also Olivier Giroud's story.

    What the Arsenal forward is experiencing right now is what Didier endured in his first season as a Chelsea footballer.

    He spent portions of the campaign watching Eidur Gudjohnsen play, despite being the reigning Ligue 1 player of the year.

    Oh, and to add further debate amongst Chelsea supporters, former Blues great Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink outscored (13) the Ivorian (10) in the league for an attack-minded Middlesbrough side.

    Drogba was unfairly targeted even though he offered an extra dimension for José Mourinho (via The Star Online; September 16, 2004):

    Mourinho has put his reputation on the line.

    British newspapers dubbed him arrogant after he praised his own coaching abilities and told them he deserved respect for winning the Champions League.

    They also criticised his £24 million signing of Marseille striker Didier Drogba as a waste of money.

    Reflecting on his time with CFC, Drogba emphasised how important José Mourinho was (via James Riach at The Guardian): "He [Mourinho] did a lot of things for me during that moment where I had a lot of critics. He was supporting me and helping me. He signed me for Chelsea and did everything."

    If Arsène Wenger has Giroud's back (which Le Professeur probably does), the former Montpellier striker will be able to turn things around à la Drogba.

    But mark my words, Olivier Giroud is starting to look more and more like a good looking Didier Drogba. Even got the diving bit right haha.

    — Ranaditya Alief (@Ranaditya) January 30, 2013

    So, the next time you think about lambasting Olivier as a useless forward, think about the following points.

    1. He scored against UEFA Champions League favourites Bayern Munich and FIFA World Cup/Euro champions Spain.

    2. Olivier has more league goals (10) than Sergio Agüero (9), Bas Dost (8), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (7), Nikica Jelavic (7) and Papiss Cissé (7).

    3. Giroud's four Champions League assists is better than Lionel Messi (3) and Cristiano Ronaldo (1).

     

    Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.comFox Soccer and Squawka.com.