If we look just below the top top top quality strikers, Giroud should be put at that level. Whether another player can do a better job is certainly subject to opinion and can be debated. However, over the past two seasons, slowly but surely, Giroud is changing the perception of people about him. Forget the always-moaners. Most Arsenal fans seem to wonder about Giroud and Sanchez playing together. Many hacks grudgingly talk about Sanchez playing with Giroud and earlier in the summer talked about a strike partner/cover for Giroud. Compare this with the view of Giroud by the general public and the press to two seasons ago, even last season.
I would argue that Giroud is an improvement on Judas for the team. During Judas’s best and final season with us, he scored 37 goals in all competitions. The next higher goal scorer was Walcott at 11 goals and then Arteta at 6. In the next season (2012/13), Walcott scored 21 goals, Giroud 17, Podolski 16, Cazorla 12. We also scored 10 more goals than when Judas was here. Last season our top scorers were Giroud with 22 goals, Ramsey with 16, Podolski with 12 and Ozil and Cazorla with 7 each. It is obvious that the goals are now shared across the forward line and the midfield, making it harder to neutralise us. However, also consider that Giroud did not have Walcott to play with, Ramsey was injured for months, and so was Podolski. Now look at the statistics again. When you have a star striker, the ball is attracted to him, but take him out of the game (either through shadowing or a la Bussaca) and you are suddenly looking at a team having to adjust. Giroud is perfect for Arsenal midfielders to run onto to his delicate, oh so soft passes that take out defenses. Our wide forwards benefit from Giroud suddenly pulling wide and taking one or two reluctant defenders with him. Giroud is a vital cog in the ever moving, ever shifting fluidity that is the Arsenal midfield and forward line.
If someone, says Giroud doesnt have pace or cannot dribble past three players like Suarez. Tell them, Suarez cannot win the ball with his back to goal with a defender kneeing him and no foul being given every single time. If they say give the ball to Suarez and he will score a goal. After the obligatory diving and biting jokes, tell them Giroud will win a physical duel without playing ugly, pass the ball perfectly to a wide forward or defender, then play a neat one two with the midfield and will make an assist of the season. Tell them Giroud will be there when at crunch time, you need somebody to do something for a goal, like against Reading, against Dortmund, against Bayern and most recently in the FA cup. Lastly, tell them to expect more screamers from Giroud now that he has got that first one away.
Here is to Giroud and co terrorising defenses this season!
By Sensational Arsenal @Madras_Periyar