Breaking Down Olivier Giroud's 1st Season in the Premier League with Arsenal

James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage on April 20, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Olivier Giroud's red card against Fulham means his Premier League season is all but over. He will be eligible for the final game against Newcastle, but there is no guarantee he will start that match.

Giroud will look back on the season with a degree of satisfaction. After the dubious goals committee awarded him a debatable strike against Norwich, his tally rose to 17 goals for the season, and 11 of those strikes have been in the Premier League.

That’s 11 Premier League goals from 24 starts. That’s just a goal shy of the reasonable target of notching a goal every two games. It’s a tally that brings him level with more strikers with higher price tags and greater experience of English football, like Sergio Aguero and Jermain Defoe.

However, Giroud’s finishing has also disappointed at times. There have been notable misses, particularly in the home matches with Chelsea and Everton, which have cost Arsenal dearly.

According to, his shooting accuracy is just 49 percent. 

By comparison, his Arsenal teammate, Theo Walcott, who has also amassed 11 Premier League goals, has hit the target with 60 percent of his shots. Lukas Podolski, meanwhile, has tested the goalkeeper with 57 percent of his efforts.

Of Arsenal’s available forwards, only Gervinho (36 percent) has more wayward shooting than Giroud. That particular statistic won’t surprise Arsenal fans, who have torn their hair out watching the Ivorian this season.

If Giroud is to retain his place as Arsenal’s first-choice centre-forward next season, it’s vital that his finishing improves. 

However, scoring goals is only part of what Giroud offers the side. tells us he has three assists in the Premier League, alongside a very impressive four in the Champions League. As a target man, Giroud has a responsibility to link with Arsenal’s wide forwards, and it seems he is managing that well.

As the season has worn on, Giroud has steadily increased the number of chances he creates per game, suggesting he is developing an increasingly effective understanding with the players around him.

Unusually for a striker, Giroud has also become an important defensive component of the Arsenal side. His power in the air makes him a useful shield at set pieces, and as the season has worn on, his fulfillment of his defensive duties has increased.

Arsene Wenger has suggested we may see the best of Giroud next season. The steady improvement in his statistics would suggest that could well be the case—especially if he is able to add some composure in front of goal.