Olivier Giroud has been the subject of discussion among various arsenal fans with some giving him the vote of confidence and others questioning the striker’s ability to lead the gunners to the title. For a striker who racks up an impressive goal tally of 60 goals in all competitions since his £13 million move from Montpellier 3 years ago.
Giroud is a classic target man capable of holding up play and drawing others into the game. His link up play is certainly one of his greatest strengths with the ability to produce defense splitting flicks with his silky left foot. Despite all this, Olivier has been the center of criticism from fans and pundits and it’s easy to see why if you watch him rather than judge him by his numbers at the end of a game.
One thing you can’t take away from the French striker is the effort and commitment he puts into during the game. He has a brilliant engine and works hard for the team during both at both ends of the pitch be it attack or defense.
The key issue with Olivier Giroud’s play is his passing. He had an average pass accuracy of 68% last season (via squawka). An area he needs to work harder on if he is to avoid the criticism. One thing I have noticed with him is the way he usually passes the ball in his line of sight. He hardly takes a look around to find the best pass. He rarely tries to turn to face his opposition in a one-on-one situation to attempt a take-on. This can be seen from the he was able to complete only 7 take-ons last season at a completion rate of 38.89%.
Last but not the least is his shooting. Olivier Giroud took a total of 70 shots with an accuracy of 50%. He found the back of the net 12 times with shots from the opposition’s 18-yard area with only 2 goals coming from outside the box.
In short, judging Olivier Giroud by his game solely on his numbers isn’t fair. Neither is it also fair to judge him by watching him. He’s the type of striker that offers the team much more than goals. What he brings to the team is “teamwork” and “selflessness” and should be commended for that.