Olivier Giroud Must Be Consistent for Arsenal to Make Title Push


Arsenal, coming off a nervy win away at Crystal Palace, will look to take three points again this Monday, this time against Liverpool at the Emirates.

Arsenal have much to prove against the so-called “big club” currently standing in 3rd place, and the Gunners will most likely not take the points if their big man up top cannot provide enough for the North Londoners. That man is Olivier Giroud, and he, along with his side, has much to prove this Monday and during the rest of the season.

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Olivier Giroud joined Arsenal in the summer of 2012. In the 2012/13 EPL season, the Frenchman netted 11 times for Arsenal. The next campaign, Giroud tallied 16 EPL goals. Finally, last season the Frenchman, who was out injured for a long three months, scored 14 goals in the Prem and was a standout performer that notably helped Arsenal to a well-renowned 3rd place finish in the league (all stats per espnfc.us).

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Thus, the consistency over the course of Giroud’s past three seasons seems to be there, but the Frenchman does receive significant criticism, as many are willing to point out that he is not good enough considering Arsenal’s crucial need for more goals.

Meanwhile, the big man does have solid standards to live up to this year. Plus, with endless amounts of striker-signing rumors falling through for Arsenal, it seems as if the Frenchman will remain the first choice center forward in North London, and unless Arsene Wenger does sign a purportedly “world class” striker this window, Giroud must be consistent for the remainder of this season; moreover, that consistency must show itself now.

To make a genuine push for the title come May, clubs must be able to beat, not only draw, the “big sides.” That means scoring goals, not just playing solid defense, is essential for title challengers.

This is where Olivier Giroud comes in. The Frenchman plays one position for the Gunners – up top at striker – so most of the pressure to put the ball in the back of the net consistently, even against “big sides,” rightly so falls on Giroud’s shoulders. He must be able to come through when Arsenal need him most, which is in the games against other arguable title challengers – like in the one this Monday – who have the strongest back lines.

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So, Giroud must find ways to open up Liverpool’s defense on Monday, and – if the need is there given the outcome of his teammates’ shots on goal – to score.

The time is now, too, and that cannot be stressed enough. Though in general Olivier performed surprisingly well in the “big games” against title contenders last year, Giroud has been known to go missing or severely underperform in some (refer to the UCL Monaco first leg match last spring).

Meanwhile, the Frenchman has had time to prove himself given the three years he has spent as Arsenal’s number one forward. Giroud needs to be a consistently threatening asset to Arsenal’s attack throughout this whole season if Arsenal is going to make a genuine push for the title. After all, would Manchester City still be (debatable) title favorites if the side didn’t have their, of recent, 30-goal-per-season striker, Sergio Aguero?

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The time is now for Giroud to not only step up against Liverpool in a “big game” next week, but to also prove himself a consistent aspect in Arsenal’s attack throughout this season. After all, the Gunners need an in-form striker to fend off other title challengers and make a push for their long-awaited EPL title.

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