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Giroud, the goal a game man for all the top matches?

By Walter Broeckx

When Arsenal bought Giroud a few seasons ago many people were not convinced that he would be a good player for us. And we all have seen the abuse whenever he didn’t score. Or scored enough. Because an Arsenal player that misses a chance is for some just not good enough. I think they compare each player to the Henry of his top years and well not many forwards will come close to that.

And if we would remember history as it really was we should also mention that TH missed some chances. I still feel that if Henry had been on top of his game in the CL final we would and should have won it. He had the chance to put us 0-2 in front but he missed. And that gave Barcelona the chance to keep believing in a comeback. I don’t want to suggest Henry was not a top player because of his misses in that match but it is an example of the fact that even the best miss chances.  That’s part of football. Forwards will miss chances. Be they named Henry or Giroud.

I know Tony has, as a real historian, written a few articles showing that Giroud, in his first two seasons, was close to Henry in his first two seasons.  In short Giroud in his first season had 24 starts in the PL and scored 11 goals and Henry had 31 and 16 goals. In his second season Giroud had 36 starts in the PL and scored 16 goals and Henry had 35 starts and scored 17 goals.

Now I am not saying that Giroud is another Henry as he is clearly not. But all in all in his first two seasons at Arsenal both players had records that are not far apart from each other.  It was only in his third season that Henry began to show how world class he had become under Wenger.

Alas for Giroud it was in this season (his third) that he got a serious injury for the first time. A broken leg sustained in the dying seconds at Everton and as a result he missed a few months out. But he came back at an incredible speed and is now back on the pitch. Maybe not really at his best as is normal after a long injury spell but making good progress it seems.

Let us look at his numbers so far this season. He had 4 starts in the PL so far this season and 4 times he came on as a sub. And in those games he scored 5 goals. And if we add the other matches with importance to this we see that he started 5 matches and came on as a sub 5 times. And in those matches he scored 6 goals.

If we count the minutes he has been on the pitch in the PL he scores a goal every 81 minutes. And if we add the CL qualification round and the Community shield we see that he scores every 90 minutes. So that seems to be a player who can score one goal per match!

Not bad for a player that has got his share of abuse by the fickle part of our supporters over the last seasons.

And let me add that his game is not just about goal scoring but also about making movements to create space for runners to run in to. To hold on to the ball and lay it off to team mates and bring them in to play. And let us also not forget that he is important in defending corners.

And then there is one other thing I like to mention about Giroud this year. Because whenever Tony brought up his numbers of his first two seasons some said: oh well but he only scores against the small teams. And yet again he seems to have moved on this season. Because if we analyse his goals a bit more we see some interesting developments.

He came on in the CS and scored an amazing goal against Manchester City to completely cut off the legs of a Manchester City come back. Just before his injury he scored at Everton. One of the teams that tried to overtake us for 4th place in the last seasons and maybe this time around.

And then he also scored a goal against Manchester United. And added two good goals against Newcastle. The team who was team of the month, had the manager of the month, had just beaten the new invincibles that would be Chelsea. Still thankful for that by the way. As it is the record I would hate to lose.

And now he added a goal at Liverpool. A goal that could have brought us the 3 points but it didn’t in the end. But goals against City, Everton, United, Newcastle and Liverpool for Giroud this season is now saying that he seems to have stepped up and is now also scoring goals against the better teams or the top teams.

But now with Giroud we have a player who seems to be capable of scoring once per match this season it is a real shame that we lost him for so long with his broken leg. An injury some even blamed Wenger for. Amazingly as it was clearly from a kick of Distin (not on purpose I must add) that he suffered his injury.

So let us hope that Giroud can continue his fine form of scoring but also can find his assists back. And I think that Ramsey is one of the ideal players to profit from Giroud his lay offs. If we now can integrate Özil and Theo to our attack we should have the answer to all and every way the other teams try to defend against us.

Footnote:

There have only been a few players who have actually managed to score a goal a game through a season – or better.  The greatest of them all I think was in 1934/5 – the year in which Ted Drake scored  42 goals in 41 league games.  In 1946/7 Reg Lewis got a staggering 29 goals in 28 games.  There are a few more, but I’m at work and the reference library is at home.  Tony.

Untold: the index and stuff

39 comments to Giroud, the goal a game man for all the top matches?

  • Barry Lycett

    Great analysis on Giroud. He generally holds the ball up well for the team and for a big guy has a deft touch. Worth checking how many assists he had in Ramsey’s goals last season (e.g. Cup Final winner).
    When Theo is back, with Alexis moving to left, and Ramsey back, we should see an increased goal tally

  • Pete

    The thought of a front five of Giroud, Alexis, Theo, Ozil and Ramsey is mouth-watering. Four top goalscorers and Ozil to provide the assists! Then the likes of Santi, Welbeck, the Ox and Wilshere to come in – and Podolski and others behind them.

    If/when we get our first XI on the pitch we will be staggeringly good. It would be like Christmas…!

  • Emmanuel Assian

    Good analysis for Giroud, I think he can do more better than that when other attacker come back from injuries.

  • off topic,i have heard in rumours that barcelona wants to take Ozil in exchange of Suarez?? Hmmm that wont be a bad deal or it will ??

  • Today i was watching back a few games we have lost and won and what i have found out is unbelievable ,i love the Arsenal but we have to rectify one person and that is mertesacker because i could not believe my eyes when a center half like him and a german ducking from the ball being shot at his side??? I can not see robert huth or sami hyypia or tony adams or william gallas or rigobert song the list is endless chickening out like that. If you look at the swansea game,stoke game,man city game,liverpool game,chelsea game i mean you cannot believe it,i think this comes out because koscielny used to do the donkey work so he was not isolated but now try and watch those games you see for yourself .Mertesacker is good but i think he needs a breather , i thought the professor goes through every game when it ends just wondering why he has not seen this? May be he has but he has no alternative but hopefully it wont take long as it took him to see that Almunia was a liability.
    So if we need to win any trophy this season we need to give some breather to some players,we don’t want to have them burnt for we have a long way to go.

  • john

    Sorry, but I am disappointed at the reference to Almunia as a “liability”.

    He may not have been as consistent as Seaman or Lehmann, but he was a good keeper, who could be outstanding on occasions. (MU and Barcelona in ECL first legs, plus numerous crucial penalty saves). He suffered as a result of the media-led fashionable nonsense that we always needed a better keeper. Fabianski and Sczcesny were also vilified at times in a similar way and have both proved their critics wrong.

  • dan

    Giroud is class.

  • john

    Szczesny

  • bob mac

    Giroud is an ‘old fashioned’ centre forward.

    Comparisons have to be made like with like, so any comparison with Thierry is a none starter.

    Giroud happens to be an excellent centre forward, which helps to reinforce the view that Arsene knows exactly what he is doing both tactically and on player recruitment.

    Which other club has such a diversity of highly accomplished attacking options which allow for a massive variety of styles and tactics.

  • bob mac

    @kampalagun

    re Ozil/Suarez.

    Are you as crazy as the biter/diver, or what.

  • Kampala how very dare you !

  • Gord

    Bah rumours. There were things in the news about mvilla, or however you spell it. He’s been getting mentioned for how long now? 2 years? 3?

    Sorry, I don’t want a vampire. And I’ve just about eaten an entire head of garlic in the last 3 days, which should help keep him away.

    Anyone cooking an out of the ordinary meal in the next day or two? I’ve heard rumours about some kind of holiday. Judo Day? Karate Day? Kendo Day?

    🙂

  • porter

    It’s a shame that this article praising his goals comes immediately after his careless lay off led to Liverpool’s first goal. At times he tries to play too quickly , in a quick passing team his abilities are not always suited to one touch football. He has many attributes and I do think the team is better balanced with him in it .His height is an asset at set pieces and corners but then he needs to be getting upfield as soon as we have good possession .

  • bob

    “Because an Arsenal player that misses a chance is for some just not good enough.”
    Walter,
    While liking your piece, I feel that this “missing a chance” remark is revisionist nonsense. I’ll try a bit of historical correction (not to slate Giroud, but to address your polemics): Some people like me on UA were down on Giroud because of his yes,terrible conversion rate; including several well documented howlers. (Btw, if you can disprove the conversion rate stats/perception, then please do so. I’d gladly bow to that demonstration and eat my words with a smile.) Indeed, it’s the lack of clinicality that brought down skepticism on him – pretty much until recently.

    Again, last season, those of us who focused on his profligacy hoped out loud that AW would bring in another striker as a Complement to Giroud (not as a “replacement” for him — as some tribalists hereabouts would keep caricaturing it; as if such a hope itself was proof of an AAAist heresy.) Well, AW did exactly that – brought in a complement; and he and Giroud and Welbeck have been making all the right sounds about their hoped-for and now growing complementarity.

    Also, let’s be more honest: Giroud’s being our main scorer last season had a wee something to do with the raft of others’ injuries and lack of other scoring alternatives (as in perhaps our only scorer) in a predictable offense;, so yep, Giroud took more shots than our others; and so, (setting aside the poor conversion rate,) he produced more goals.

    Right now, Giroud is in the proverbial rich vein of form with plenty of good energy and becoming more and more productive. More of his shots (the last header and his Liverpool goal) more clinical. Impressive those two (as was the brilliant service). I’m really happy for him and for us that Giroud seems to be becoming consistent in a way that people like me did not think him capable. Long may it last.

  • Alex

    that what characterize wenger from other “specialists”
    he can see things in young players, and, what’s more impotent he help this talent grow.

    mour or pellegrini don’t give a f..ck about it.
    they need to win thing here and now.

  • Alex

    important of course…)))

  • @John I’m sorry i used the word liability @gord you made me spill my wine on my would be Xmas shirt ha ha ha ha you are funny@shoot sorry if it irritates you just rumors.

  • Seriously guys had the Prof bought balotelli what would have happened in the press!?! oh my gash it could be the end of the world, but because liverfall bought him it was okay ‘ I hear in rumours that the second vampire (Suarez)bite was castigated by a very rich guy betting £3m for Suarez to bite again!?!

  • Alex

    KampalaGun
    that was exactly what morons from arsenalHATEtv wants
    bring balotelli in!
    he will win us things

  • Will

    The one thing a lot of people don’t see with Giroud is his speed of thought. He see’s spaces and runs before the runners and his deft flicks into the smallest spaces are first class.

    I agree, having Theo and Alexis running off him and Ozil in the hole is going to be scary for a lot of defences.

  • Micheal Ram

    If you notice immediately how Giroud closed down Liverpool defenders and GK at the same time, shows you that he is still the first choice forward for Arsenal. The amount of immediate and fast games played by Welbeck, Sanchez, Debuchy and Chambers will only make them better players next season, especially when the coming summer is empty off FIFA bullshit. Nevertheless, Flamini is getting more games and getting better, Ozil, Walcott and Diaby will return and save Arsenal.

  • TommieGun

    Thanks for the article. For me it’s easy – Giroud is my current favorite Arsenal player. I was completly devestated when he got injured, and was very happy that he returned earlier than expected.

    Giroud is a class of his own not just because he scores goals – but because he is, in my very humble and unprofessional opinion, the one player (if one can be isolated) who made the difference for us last season. The fact the he is so good in holding up and linking play, actually playing like a center in basketball, is what enabled our “rotational midfield” – and enabled so many goals coming from that section.

    I think that his absence has caused us great hardships in the beginning of the season, because a lot of our system was built around him. Remember trying to go from a very distinctive 4-3-3 to a more fluid 4-1-2-2-1? Which didn’t really work? I think it has a lot to do with that, and now we have to re-learn to play with him (Sanchez mostly).

    He might not be the fastest, but his technique and reading of the game is superb.

    Keep up the good work Ollie !

  • Nick Lee

    Giroud is an hard working decent centre forward nothing more nothing less.He isn’t the class you need to get to the next level and wouldn’t get near the team of our so called top 4 rivals.Shows how far we have regressed as a club and certainly isnt in the same league as Henry,Aguero,costa or van persie.

  • Will

    Oh dear.

  • porter

    Have you watched the build up to Liverpool’s first goal Will ? Speed of thought and deft flicks maybe but not on the edge of his own penalty area please.

  • Pete

    But Nick – the evidence (season on season PL points) suggests that we have PROgressed as a club, recent blip notwithstanding.

  • Jammy J

    @Nick – why do you feel the need to come on here and criticize everything Arsenal? Its make me wonder about a person mindset who feels the need to do that. Try and get some enjoyment out of life sometime, aye?

  • para

    I hope the injured players are taking in the new strengthening routines in training. I wish to see this team with all players fit for a season, or at least with minor injuries.

  • A fine piece again, Walter. Giroud is imo better than we’ve seen so far, and will prove to be a class act in the long run. I will not be surprised if he hits double figures very quickly, especially as he will have our better players to rumble with, very soon.

    But why are some guys unafraid of just shooting their lips off at other people’s work? Why can’t some find some joy in what we have at Arsenal? Giroud is an excellent player and will become a legend at this club in years to come. Mark my words.

  • Gord

    I’ve found 4 predictions for each game on Mixed Martial Arts Day. Found another 2 per club.

    Chel-WHam: 2-1 2-1 2-0 2-1 2-0 2-0

    People are sure Chelsea will win and score 2 doing so.

    Burn-Liver: 2-2 1-2 0-2 1-3 1-1 1-3

    Nobody thinks Burnsley will keep a clean sheet, and most expect Liverpool to win.

    CP-South: 1-1 0-2 1-1 1-1 1-1 1-1

    The only thing common, is that Crystal Palace will get scored on. Most expect a 1-1 tie.

    Evr-Stoke: 2-0 1-1 2-1 2-2 2-0 1-1

    Everton will score, and the game may be a tie or win for Everton.

    Lei-Spurs: 0-1 1-3 1-1 2-1 0-2 1-1

    Leicester will not keep a clean sheet.

    ManU-New: 3-2 3-1 2-0 3-0 3-0 3-0

    ManU will win, scoring 2 or 3.

    Sund-Hull: 1-1 1-1 2-1 2-0 1-0 1-0

    Sunderland will score, they could either win or tie.

    Swan-AV: 1-0 2-2 2-0 1-1 2-0 2-1

    Swansea will score, they could either win or tie.

    WBrom-ManC: 1-2 0-2 0-2 2-3 1-3 0-2

    ManCity will win, scoring 2 or more.

    Ars-QPR: 2-0 1-0 3-0 1-1 3-0 4-0

    Arsenal will score, and they will probably win.

    I’m kind of a grinch, so I will pass on season’s greetings and wishes for a good future.

    I also like cooking. Where I live (western Canada), the typical Christmas meal is turkey. So, I am making turkey (I’m the cook).

    What is the typical Christmas meal where you are, and what is your family doing?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Gord – What’s in the stuffing ?
    Here at the in-laws , am expecting biryani /tomato rice , fried chicken , mutton curry and ,hopefully , it all to be washed down with some fine wine !
    MERRY CHRISTMAS !

  • Gord

    @Brickfields

    Stuffing is probably boring. I made bread cubes by drying bread slices after I poured virgin olive oil that had many garlic cloves in it, on them. Onions and celery. Fresh “poultry” herbs. Dampen with chicken broth, and warm up. As I am brining the turkey, it doesn’t make sense to actually stuff the turkey. I made a loaf of bread with multigrain (wheat) flour, dark rye, teff and sprouted quinoa today. Teff sure darkens a bread.

    How do pair a wine with biryani, fried chicken and mutton curry? You are getting lots of variety.

  • TommieGun

    @ Gord (and Brickfields) – exactly what I was about to ask. In any event, for me pairing wine with asian cuisine/flavors is always tricky.

    I’m roasting a beautiful cut of sirloin (with half of the fat left on top), had it marinated for 24 hours in a mixture of mustard, a simple bordeaux, ground black pepper, garlic, rosemary and honey.

    The gravy is basically brandy reduction.

    I’m also making olive-oil sprinkled roasted roots and bulbs: potatoes, sweet potatoes, beetroot, cauliflower, butternut squash and leek.

    Leaf salad with goat cheese, apples and pecans.

    And some Pesquera to wash it down.

  • Gord

    I had made my brine (with sea salt) too salty, and had to dilute it (with hot water). It took until 12:30 (local time) for it to cool down enough to consider starting to brine the bird. I added a tablespoon or so of nutmeg, bring it up to maybe 1.5 tablespoons of nutmeg before adding the bird. As the bird still had some surface ice and our kitchen sink is about 10C, I didn’t think I needed to go outside and get any snow to keep the brine cool. I finished making up the stuffing this morning with poultry herbs, chicken stock, pre-cooked bacon, the neck, heart and liver, and stuck it in the oven. I rinsed the bird a few times, loosened the skin, dried it off, set it into the roaster on top of 4 potato halves (to keep it out of the drippings, at least for a while), put some crubled bacon under the skin and in the cavity, poured in the remaining chicken stock, and set it next to the stuffing. I am about to turn the temperature down, to let the natural enzymes tenderize meat more.

    Sounds like both Brickfields and Tommie Gun have a nice meal planned.

    Part of the reason to turn the temp down, is to give me time to clear some neighbours driveways, we probably got 5cm of snow over night.

    Enjoy the wonderful food people, and the company if you have company over.

  • Gord

    TommyGun, I am guessing a Pesquera is a red wine from Spain? I am not a wine person, but I think the dark reds probably go well with beef (or buffalo).

    Brickfields. To make champagne or sparkling wine, a second fermentation is necessary. I am going to guess a rose’ that was completely fermented (no residual sugar) that has a fairly high acidity. And the second fermentation was not carried to completion, so that there is residual sugar left. But how to turn that description into a particular wine, I haven’t a clue.

  • TommieGun

    @ Gord – if you are going to make your own sparkling wine – WOW!
    If talking about champagne in particular – most wines coming from that region are mostly or all pinot noir. The varieties are usually a mix of pinot with chardonnay. Blanc de Blancs are exclusively from chardonnay, and are not dry enough for me.

  • Nick Lee

    Jammy
    Nick – why do you feel the need to come on here and criticize everything Arsenal? Its make me wonder about a person mindset who feels the need to do that. Try and get some enjoyment out of life sometime, aye? So what should i do tell lies about giroud and say he is a clinical centre forward who when he gets one chance he scores.That he would get a game at any club.That he can score 30 goals a season and will leed us to glory..No.Now get in the real world.

  • Porter

    Did himself no favours today .Still 2 steps forward 1step back as they say.