Blog by: Shayne
It’s safe to say that Olivier Giroud’s form was slightly hit-and-miss last season. The Frenchman finished the season with 17 goals and 11 assists, not bad at all considering it was his first season in England. But despite scoring a few goals, his ability was often questioned due to the fact that he appeared clumsy at times and seemed to fluff the simplest of chances.
Before coming to England, Giroud was considered one of the best target men in France. His stints at Ligue 1 clubs Tours and Montpellier saw him net a total of 77 goals in 4 seasons. Therefore, big things were expected of him when he made the move to the Emirates and he didn’t quite manage to live up to the expectations surrounding him. This season has been a different story though.
Giroud has started this season in flying form. He has already scored 5 times in all competitions and has firmly established himself as Arsenal’s first-choice striker. And he doesn’t look like stopping his good run of form any time soon.
The Frenchman has looked like a man on a mission. Not only has he been getting into good positions inside the box, his overall link-up and hold-up play has looked much better and that has definitely helped his form. Arsenal are a team who like to pass the ball and keep possession and therefore require a striker who can link up with the players behind him. He has also managed to cause defenders problems with his runs to the front post that are extremely hard to catch.
However, the fact that he has looked much better than he did last season shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. Giroud has always been the kind of player who takes time to settle in. A quick look at his goal scoring stats at Tours and Montpellier shows just that. In his first season at Tours, he scored 14 goals and his second season saw him improve that tally and find the back of the net 24 times. His form secured him a move to Montpellier and he once again scored 14 goals in his first season at the club. However, his second season at Montpellier saw him score 25 goals.
Many Arsenal fans weren’t convinced by Giroud in his first season but his current form shows that Arsene Wenger was right to keep faith in the Frenchman. The absence of any real competition for his starting position (Lukas Podolski is out with a long-term injury and neither Nicklas Bendtner nor Yaya Sanogo are currently good enough to start week in and week out) means he has been able to get plenty of game time and has managed to find his best form.
It’s safe to say that Olivier Giroud is currently one of the Premier League’s most in-form strikers and has managed to successfully establish himself at the Emirates. Whether or not he is one of the best strikers in the Premier League will be established by the end of the season, but one thing’s for sure; Giroud is most certainly good enough to play for a top club and not the ‘next Chamakh’ as some people thought he would be.