Arsenal nation will probably never give Olivier Giroud the respect and praise he deserves, but that won’t stop him from being a proven badass more times than not.
Arsenal hasn’t had a true worldy striker since Robin van Persie. They’ve tried a hodgepodge of pairings and trios and tried to make the most of a “team effort” but it’s never been as pretty or as tactful as what RVP or Thierry Henry did.
Through that post-RVP time, Olivier Giroud has been the unfortunate recipient of the most obvious observation known to man – that he is most certainly not RVP or Henry. Which, in most supporters estimates, means he isn’t good enough or, in the more extreme situations, that he sucks.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Giroud is the most underrated Gunner ever and arguably the most underrated striker ever. The No. 1 thing you want from a striker of any caliber, starting, or substitute, is the ability to score goals. Giroud scores goals. He will reside in the esteemed company of the 100 goal club when he is all said and done at Arsenal.
This season has seen Giroud drop into a bit part role. It’s not at all where he wanted to be at this point in his career, but I figured maybe this would be the turning point for the unwarranted criticism to wear off.
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Yet here he was getting a start in a physical game against Stoke City over Danny Welbeck, who has never been able to consistently score goals, and social media was abuzz with haters and naysayers, moaning about Giroud being the worst thing ever and how they hate him.
So Giroud did what he has done his entire career. He scored two goals in the face of criticism.
Giroud has been booed by everyone, Arsenal fans and French national fans alike, yet he is always ready to stuff it in their faces with a couple goals. People cry for Karim Benzema over him and he proves himself better. People cry for Welbeck over him and he proves himself better. Maybe the key to keeping Giroud who he is is that constant stream of unrelenting criticism. Which, if that’s the case, just ignore me and keep hating on the guy.
He may not be the greatest striker of all time, but he is certainly a great striker, and I refuse to accept anything less than that. He is a great target man, a great goal scorer, a solid passer. In my estimates, that makes him great at the position that he plays.
Giroud was the most efficient striker in the Premier League in terms of goals per minute, ranking in at over 100 minutes between goals. Given that he just scored two goals in 83 minutes, I’d say that he is well on pace to finishing the season as the undeniable most efficient striker in the Premier League.