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Giroud: good enough for Arsenal? Cazorla leaving for Madrid!

“Form like this could make Giroud an Arsenal legend” 

So it says in the Daily Telegraph today, and I wondered where they got that notion from.  Surely not Untold.  For since the S Robson, P Morgan, the black flaggers and the anti-arsenal Arsenal in general started attacking Arsenal, we have been comparing Olivier Giroud with Thierry Henry.

Just to see if Giroud really is as bad as the negativists have said, I like to keep a little eye on the two men’s progress.  So far Olivier Giroud has scored 34 league goals in 69 league starts.  Thierry Henry got to 34 league goals in 66 league starts.  Fairly close, but undoubtedly not close enough for the aaa.

And the result yesterday was the Telegraph doing one of its things where it suggests that it was never the media who were on Giroud’s back but us silly people who sit in the ground.   “Some fans are still unconvinced” they announced which is a bit like saying “Some journalists are still down the pub.”   True, but so obvious it is hardly worth mentioning.

Still they have said it, and yes indeed not all the trolls have shut up.  On Soccer SMA (a web site) last week there was a “fan” saying “Sure don’t need Giroud, just not good enough” and another commenting “thank God Giroud is on bench”.  Actually those were the only comments it got to an article that had the word CONFIRMED in capitals at the start of the headline.  Hey ho.

But it is not all good news after our cruise into the next round.  Apparently “Santi Cazorla has agreed personal terms on a return to Spain with Atletico Madrid, according to reports in Cope.es

(But not to worry we are going to buy James Milner on a Bosman, according to the Daily Mirror).

Of course the report is in the “seen at the airport” style of reporting, and he’s not going – certainly not when in this form, captaining the club, and playing in a team with Ozil, and Alexis.   Indeed if you look at his travails over the years you’ll see just how this is the peak of his career.

Years Team Lge games Goals
2003–2004 Villarreal B 40 4
2003–2006 Villarreal 54 2
2006–2007 Recreativo 34 7
2007–2011 Villarreal 127 23
2011–2012 Málaga 38 9
2012– Arsenal 93 22

Interesting to remember that when he was bought the purchase was seen to be of no interest, since at the time  Málaga had been deserted by their benefactor who had troubles elsewhere, and Santi was seen as just a cast off.   Just like Monreal.

Of course when it comes to knocking talent and success, the aaa is still lacking a lot.  In Spain the league table is

Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1 23 19 0 4 72 22 +50 57
2 23 18 2 3 67 13 +54 56
3 23 16 2 5 47 22 +25 50
4 23 14 5 4 41 20 +21 47

So in the Madrid press letters are arriving saying that Ancelotti is  “running out of credit”.  Real Mad might have financial issues lurking but that is not the cause of the worry, nor is winning the European Cup again last summer, nor being top of the league.

The fact is that Cristiano Ronaldo had a birthday party after Real Mad were beaten 4-0 by Atlético on Saturday. Nothing untoward happened, but someone produced a party hat and that was the national news the next day.  Forget that the Spanish economy has collapsed, that Real Mad are still embroiled in the land exchange issue with the local council and that the European Commission is about to pounce.  Nope, they found a party hat.  Supporters protested outside the training ground.

Sami Khedira and James Rodriguez were fined for being at the party while injured.

And Spain has yet more turmoil.  The president of Espanyol has said that if the rules on sharing TV revenue in Spain are not changed soon (as the government has said it would do) the club will “stop the league”.

An interesting threat.

But let me finish where I started, if I may.  Just consider a few of the players who we have in our squad at the moment, apart from Giroud and Cazorla.

Héctor Bellerín will never be included in the list of transfers, but his performances this season have been terrific for a 19 year old in his first full season.  He can play a great game, has pace, has the demeanor we like to see in an Arsenal player and has eight years to go before he reaches his peak.

Laurent Koscielny described by Arsene Wenger as the best deal he has done in recent times.   £8.45m he cost – and look at the performances he has put in even when carrying an injury.

Nacho Monreal came from Malaga with Santi C. and cost around £8m – but of late has become that one thing you want more than anything in a defender.  Dependable.  That £8m looks a fabulous deal.

Francis Coquelin    The “Nobody saw this coming” man, except as I have now announced 25 times, Untold did.  Another free transfer, as it were.  Another Wenger triumph (not to mention a good bit of talent spotting at this end).

Alexis Sánchez    Not a word need be said

Mesut Özil   I got the usual load of abuse when I suggested that he was coming back to his best, but I still say that.  Watching him close up in the second half yesterday I saw once again that magical ability he has.  There is no space.  Nowhere to turn.  Two or three players are on him.  He turns and puts in the perfect pass to put another Arsenal man into a perfect position.  And he does it again and again again.

Untold Arsenal

26 comments to Giroud: good enough for Arsenal? Cazorla leaving for Madrid!

  • Will

    Can’t see Santi leaving.

  • Pete

    Re Ozil, I was watching him closely as well. What he is fantastic at is finding space. He will go to both touchlines, he will move past the striker, he will drop back to the centre backs – but he only needs a few meters and that is enough for him to slot that killer pass. He can also hold the ball under pressure (as you allude to Tony) while waiting for the right pass to present itself.

    More broadly, I have always said that Wenger’s greatest attribute is his ability to develop players (or, more churlishly given the usual dip in performance from players that move away, to play sustainably above their usual level). Therefore relatively unheralded players such as Koscielny – easily now the best French centre back, compared to the £40mm(?) 4th choice Mangala at Man C – are just delivering week after week. This is also a side effect of his long tenure where he is happy to invest time and effort in players for the longer term whereas the rapid turnover at most clubs see them focus only on the short term.

    The list of players that Wenger has significantly improved is enormous.

    It was also great to see the players enjoying themselves yesterday. The combinations going forward where just jaw-dropping at times. Boro’ are not a bad team but we hardly gave them a kick.

  • Gooner S

    @Tony

    Sometimes Arsenal fans should be be grateful for what we have and enjoy it. Lets see where it can take us and enjoy the ride. Ozil is as graceful and elegant an Arsenal player as I’ve ever seen. I love watching him play. Arsenal fans should appreciate him for what he is not what he isn’t. Monreal has been playing well all season… all season, even when at centre back. Giroud’s record speaks for itself. They aren’t the star signings that people crave though. The Cazorla story gets people to click a link… me included. It’s all media led. Click bait on blogs and web sites.

  • bob mac

    I suppose at present values between La Liga and the PL ………….

    ……….if Di Maria is worth £65 million………….

    ……….Santi MUST be worth around £300 million.

    Bring your cheque book Inter.

  • Pete

    Bob – Trouble is, Santi is 30 and Di Maria is not! Unsure how much longer Santi has on his contract but why on earth would he move when is playing in the form of his life and he has such fantastic players to play with? From a personal point of view, I don’t think he comes from Madrid anyway.

    We have a tough run coming up so need to get the remaining injured back fit and in form as rapidly as possible: Wilshere,Ramsey, Arteta, Ox, Debuchy (and not forgetting Diaby although now fear that will never happen).

    I also echo Gooner S – let’s just be grateful and enjoy.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think Santi recently signed an extension until 2017. We would be insane to sell him, unless there were personal reasons for returning to Spain, he seems a bit too happy and content for such issues to be playing on his mind. A contender for POTY, though the media machine will make sure a Spurs striker gets that!

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    We all know the boss will try to strengthens his squad after the season is closed. He will buy top quality players and sells some players he doesn’t need any more. So, the issue of the boss signing James Milner on the bosman can wait to see if it will come to fruition. From now till the end of the season, I prefer to concentrate on Arsenal games and take one game at a time to pundit on it ahead and after the game.

  • Gooneress No1

    Watching Arsenal yesterday was an utter joy.

    ‘Journalist’ if I can call them that are not paid to see the inherent value of human beings, unless it’s part of their script.

    Fortunately we have Arsene Wenger who can and does.

  • Ben

    I didn’t even bother reading the cazola story because I know there is no truth in it, as for giroud, he continues to improve but I don’t think he will ever get to Henrys level. Am very impressed with ozil, though every now and then he shows his lazy side

  • gouresh

    Santi is turning 30 and we all know that AW does not give long term contracts. I fear the worst. I hope that AW makes an exception in this case, I really hope he does.

  • AL

    Don’t believe the nonsense in these rags, designed to unsettle our brilliant form. Last week it was Sanchez, this week Santi and Giroud. Given the stunning form Ozilhas come back in I bet it won’t be long before he’s being linked with a return to Spain. By the way, just wanted to repeat that his movement yesterday was just a joy to watch. I think him and Santi are going to cause many teams a lot of headaches. Let’s hope they both stay fit, well, hope the pgmob offer them some protection.

    Well done Tony for making .com again.

  • Gouresh, that business of the 30+ thing was always exaggerated, and never a consistent policy. Remember Bergkamp – Wenger kept on extending his contract as long as he wanted to stay.

    Just look at the age of Rosicky and several others in the squad. It always was just media nonsense. A bit like calling Highbury “The Library”. Someone did it once and everyone else lept in.

  • Will

    Like calling someone an AAA when you don’t agree with their opinion.

  • AL

    The only difference being AAA is justified 🙂

  • Goonermikey

    @ Will

    Disagreeing with the AAA is not about what UA thinks of their opinion, it’s about facts and the AAA don’t use any to support their inane ramblings.

    I/we are happy to hear another point of view, well argued, support with evidence etc But just saying [insert name] is shit, [insert name] should leave, or we need to sign [insert name] without a shread of logical thought or consideration of the numerous dynamics involved is just ridiculous.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Myth busted, Steve Bould does work on the defence after all!
    http://www.arsenal.com/news/features/20150216/gibbs-how-we-helped-gabriel-understand

  • I never once said Giroud wasnt good enough

    last season however he was over used to such a degree that he was physically shot and himself publically begged wenger for another (which he didnt get) striker..

    The only reason some of the more intellectually challenged of arsenal fans think that giroud is crap is that he isnt multi dimensional. What he does do he does very very well, but when the game cries out for someone with more pace then girouds weaknesses become vastly magnified and because last season we didnt have anyone to replace him with , coupled with the fact he was over tired, that led many to question him. Now he has more support we are seeing the result

  • Gord

    That Al Kass Youth (U17) tournament ended yesterday. I had the first set of games after the round robin last time. Here are those same two games, plus the finish.

    20150209
    13 Schalke 04 6 – 4 Vissel Kobe Penalties
    14 Juventus 0 – 2 Athletico Madrid
    20150210
    15 Arsenal 1 – 0 River Plate
    16 AC Milan 3 – 0 Aspire Academy
    20150211
    17 Aspire Int 0 – 4 PSG
    18 Sao Paulo 3 – 2 Real Madrid
    20150212
    19 Aspire Academy 2 – 3 Real Madrid
    20 River Plate 5 – 2 Aspire Int Penalties
    20150213
    21 AC Milan 0 – 5 Sao Paulo
    22 Arsenal 1 – 2 PSG
    20150214
    23 Aspire Academy 1 – 4 Aspire Int
    24 Real Madrid 3 – 4 River Plate
    20150215
    25 AC Milan 2 – 4 Arsenal
    26 Sao Paulo 4 – 3 PSG Penalties

    Apparently, PSG won the tournament (Arsenal coming in 3rd), in which case I think that last result should be 3-4, not 4-3. Winning prize money (to PSG) was $70,000.

    http://internationalcup.alkass.net/

  • Gord

    In a news article about Solihull Moors, there is this tidbit at the end:

    > * Meanwhile, the 11-to-16-years-old Moors’ disabled team is also looking forward to next Tuesday when they leave The Autotech Stadium at 7am to travel by coach to Arsenal’s Emirates complex to take part in a tournament which will include The Gunners’ disabled squad.

    > Afterwards the team will meet several of the Arsenal Premier League outfit, including members of the management team.

    > The tournament will feature eight-man teams and the Moors squad includes players with learning difficulties, cerebral palsy and Down’s Syndrome.

    Does anyone know anything about this Arsenal Disabled team?

  • Pat

    New video on Arsenal.com – the 19-move, 11-person whole team first goal yesterday.

    Up the Gunners!

  • nicky

    Walter guessed correctly that we would meet Middlesboro in the FA Cup. Can he pull our next opponent out of his magic hat? Before tonight’s draw that is. 😉

  • DESNJ

    Comparing goals vs games for Giroud and Henry does not give the whole picture. Even in the early years at AFC, Henry created many assists for others and often created chances/goals for himself completely out of the blue. Giroud typically scores by finishing off team efforts but he also holds up the ball well as other players come forward. Not saying that Giroud is a bad player – he’s an asset and improving but a different player with a different contribution to that of Henry.

  • ThomB

    To say that the Cazorla transfer to Arsenal was “seen to be of no interest” is completly untrue. The player and his arrival was lauded by many including legend and ex colleague Bobby Pires. In fact, most headlines were about how much of a bargain we got because Malaga needed the cash desperately or it was curtains for them.

    Great to see Giroud answering his critics in the best possible way and long may it continue.

  • ljb

    Hes not going says the above article re Cazorla.Hmm I can remember when this site said the same about cesc,nasi and RvP He is Spanish after all.One thing I would say is that Athleti have an aging defence (juanfran,Miranda,Godin ) and an aging captain in Gabi.Given that Santiago will be 31 I can’t see them getting another player over 30,not if they really want to compete with Real and Barca.They need to be getting their squad age down.Doubt if they could pay more than us anyway.

  • Sukebe

    @will 1:31

    Go cry in yer own room..