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October 2016
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Benzema: the real extraordinary truth. You might want to sit down first – it is NOT a spoof

By Tony Attwood

I don’t claim to be a fount of all knowledge, but in publishing Untold Arsenal with its audience of 1 million page views a month I do feel the need to keep up.  And when the Benzema story first broke I felt a certain amount of unease.  I felt, surely this is wrong.  Surely everyone knows…

So I went and checked, and yes, what I thought was true, turned out to be true.

But that made me think: hang on, if Untold, which doesn’t pay its writers, can find this out, why can’t the journalists?

And then a more worrying thought occurred.  Maybe they have known all along, but have decided to keep quiet because the running of the endless rumours that Benzema was coming to Arsenal was in fact a way of hyping up their readership.

But as by then the story had been running wildly for a few days I began to wonder why.  I mean, surely all these journalists working for top newspapers must be paid a fair amount of money to check the facts and get things right?

So is it actually true that in the world of football, none of the journalists in any of the English national press actually does check the facts?  Or were they deliberately suppressing the facts about Benzema, and no one else bothered to check?

Neither thought is particularly comforting, any more than the big poster that currently resides in the Untold office: “If it is in the press, then you know it’s not true”.

In the end, I decided to wait and see if the press did reveal the facts, and if you follow Untold you will know that we have been reporting on what the blogettas and the press have been saying about Benzema through the articles by that old chum to the aristocracy, Sir Hardly Anyone.

The origin of my initial checking came when it struck me that no one really asks, “is Benzy better than Giroud?”  I mean Mr Wenger has endlessly says he is not dealing for Benzema which suggests Mr W thinks Mr B isn’t the upgrade the media toddlers claim we need. And the press is endlessly talking up Benzy, but, as the poster notes, they are never correct.  So could they be trying to sell us a pup rather than a Mercedes.  [Mercedes – Benz – geddit?]

So I took a look at the stats – the stats that these journos must have access to, if little old Untold does.

Let’s consider Mr B’s goal scoring record against that of Giroud.  In the following table I am only considering league goals in case anyone starts arguing that Charity Shield doesn’t count, or FA Cup goals are easier to score against little teams.  I have marked Giroud in red for any reader who having followed the press thinks that we have already signed the other guy.

Season Benzema played Benzema goals  Giroud played Giroud goals
2012/13 30 11 34 11
2013/14 35 17 36 16
2014/15 29 15 27 14
94 43 97 41

So yes we can see that Benzema has played three fewer games and scored two more league goals over a three year period.  Does that make him that much better?   A fraction, but enough to spend £40m on, given that it always takes these players a year to settle in.

Also if we are looking at percentages, in terms of goals per game, last season Benzema was WORSE than Giroud.  0.5185% for Giroud 0.5172 for Benzy.   On that basis, by a whisker Benzy is a downgrade.

Although of course the “bring in a striker” campaign will run on and on, simply because it fills up column inches.

“Now is the time for Wenger to be truly bold,” is what I read in one paper – but that rather seems to bypass the fact that the player may not want to have to deal with the English press, the English weather, the English obsession with playing during Christmas, the English tax regime, or indeed as the above table shows not that much better than what we have got…

And all that is before the question of whether his current employers want him to go, and whether he would fit with the rest of the team.

So if you want to know why we have not bought Benzy, it is because as a goal scorer he is not any better than Giroud.





55 comments to Benzema: the real extraordinary truth. You might want to sit down first – it is NOT a spoof

  • john

    It is true Giroud is good but he hardly fought for ball a forward inside 9 or 18 still pass ball instead of committing defender for possible foul so there is need for good quality striker. thanks

  • jayramfootball

    What about the other analysis of the players abilities? Is it only goals that count for a striker?
    What about link play, drawing defenders away from wingers and mifielders joining the attack, creating chances and goals…
    You could use this logic to say Alan Shearer was better than Thierry Henry – would you?

    Giroud doesn’t get criticised that often for his goal scoring record – though he seems to miss a lot of chances. Most would accept it is OK, but not great. I don’t think Benzema is the answer either – mainly because I dont like some of the stories about him off the field.

  • Nigel Benson

    Couldn’t read beyond the first line. It’s font, Tony. Font of all knowledge. And obviously you can’t…

  • Mako

    I noticed you never brought up anything about assists. Everyone knows the Madrid team us built around getting the maximum from Ronaldo and the unselfishness of Benzema over the years has contributed to this scoring stat you brought up. Pretty suresay for example if he stayed at Lyon his scoring stats would be so far better than Giroud’s it wouldn’t be funny.

    And to finish the article with
    So if you want to know why we have not bought Benzy, it is because as a goal scorer he is not any better than Giroud.

    Even though you pointed out that he scored more is a bit like why. Benzema is better anybody can see it

  • Tony
    It isn`t just this season that Benzema has been touted for us , but quite a few seasons now.
    I have never understood why we wanted to buy him.
    As jayramfootball points out, it isn`t only goals that count. It is the linkplay and drawing defenders also that count and he is a big strong lad who can take care of himself making chances for the other players
    This is all part of Arsenal style, take Giroud out of the equation and the team style has to change
    Of course having written your article, the next thing will be that we sign Benzema !!!

    But, also not just in football but Politics, Economics, Social affairs, so many journalists write nonsense, `cause that`s what Joe Public wants

  • Carl Shadbolt

    I like the points you put to your argument regards to Benzy and Giourd as the figures show that neither are pure out and out goal getters… But the one things you have not mentioned is that Benzy assists smash Giourd by a country mile…and for me this is what Benzy would bring to the Arsenal. Giourd for all the good work he does just hasn’t got that zroom zroom about him. He hold the ball well but his distribution is not at all good. Ok OK he isn’t the worst for assists but he isn’t the best either. The style of play Arsenal adhere to needs a target man that can hold and brings others into play and be able to find that elusive of passes( the eye of a needle pass as we have got to know it by). The things that made Henry so good was the players around him Bergkamp could find him without henry having to break his stride and then you had Pires how knew all about the eye of the needle passing… This in turn helped him score the amount he did. The question has to asked have we got these players in our ranks now. I think we have but they are not being used to their strengths. Just look at it this way Ramsey has to sit back to help Coquelin and if it is not him it’s Santi now seriously why would anyone play Santi or Ramsey as deep midfielders is beyond me.. and if they are not available its arteta !! the problem we have is we need cover for our defensive mid. This is not something new Song needed cover too. So i ask you what do we really need to help our style of play. A holding midfielder with a little more in the locker.. And in comes Wilshere perfect holding mid likes to get stuck in has that eye of a needle pass has the ability to carry the ball out and come come in late on a attack and has a good shot. Proves everytime he plays for england that Holding mid is his fav position and with his ability he gets forward many times and shoots from outside the box when necessary. If you ask me this man has it all and some he is our Paul Scholes.. Wenger needs to see what this lad can bring to the party in holding mid seriously would free upo players no end. and teams would look at the team sheet week in week out and think hang on they have Wilshere… as for the debate of the strikers with our style of play it is not needed to have a prolific scorer but someone that can find that pass…

  • jayramfootball

    Perhaps it would be more interesting to write something about Giroud’s contribution to the team with some proper analysis.
    The constant berating of the media (well deserved as it is) is not really necessary. By spending all your time, Tony, decrying what the media write why not offer a point of view on Giroud based on something tangible?

    The ‘bringing in a striker’ campaign is simply because many believe Giroud is not good enough. A comparion showing ‘0.5185% for Giroud 0.5172 for Benzy’ for goals per game is hardly going to convince the Giroud doubters that he is good enough after all.

    For example:

    In their respective leagues last year:
    Goals scored Benzema wins ever so slightly but Giroud has a better goals per game percentage (just about)… this is where you stopped.

    Benzema successful passes 621 to 515 for Giroud
    Pass completion 79% Benzema to Girouds 68%
    Key Passes 34 Benzema, 25 Giroud
    Assists 10 Benzema, 3 Giroud
    Chances created 44 Benzema, 28 Giroud
    Duels won (arial and on the groud) 49% Benzema 46% Giroud

    Giroud wins in intercepting the ball – 6 to 3
    But also made key defensive errors, 2 to benzema’s 0 (probably because Giroud is more likely to defend – a good thing)

    Giroud is also more likely to score from a header – no surprise there. 4 goals to 2 from Benzema

    Whilst the stats above show Benzema is far more prolific than Giroud, it of course takes a lot more analysis to compare 2 players directly like this.

    I am just emphasising the point that your article tells us nothing about Benzema vs Giroud and certainly does not work as an effective way of chastising the media for not looking at this comparison.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Nigel, Tony suffers form dyslexia and the occasional typo sneaks in.How ever I challenged your challenge on Tony–please read this cut and paste from the Oxford dictionaries blog:

    Next we asked whether you would write fount of knowledge or font of knowledge when referring to a wise person. This is another choice where both options seem to make some sense. A fount is an alternative term for fountain which first appears in the 16th century as a back-formation based on the equivalent mount and mountain. A fountain, of course, is the source of a desirable entity (water) and this inspired the figurative use of a fount of knowledge. A font, on the other hand, is the receptacle used for holding water for baptism – which would collocate with the idea of wisdom being imparted. Coincidentally, it also derives from the word fountain, but via the Latin equivalent font-em.

    fount of knowledge

    The standard accepted form is fount of knowledge, and this was also the term chosen by the majority of voters in our poll (67%) despite the Oxford English Corpus suggesting that font of knowledge is now the more common form. Evidently our readers have all drunk from the knowledge fountain, and know which version is the longest-standing.


    It’s about time someone put it out there what is obvious. It’s as if because someone is exspensive and plays fro RM, they must be better, or what we need. As someone who has watched La Liga for years, has watched many Madrid matches (not only in the Champions League), and has watched France for even longer, in watching Benzema is flalttering to deceive, and he misses a lot more goals then Giroud, and does not have the latter’s defensive, not to say, hold up abilities. He is marginally quicker, but not decisively so. I really do not know what the big fuss is, and I believe it would be a mistake to bring him in, for, as Wenger says, he would add nothing (or very little to) what the Giunner’s have already. Good, timely analysis, providing some valuable data.

  • stephen

    giru can not play in baca ,real or bayern as 1st choice striker n yet we will face them in uefa. instead of that analysis,ask urself what wenger wants to accomplish;if 4th position trophy,giru is excellent. you might as yourself if chelsea,city,man u and the rest of the pwck r reinforcing,why not arsenal. the problem with arsenal is a coach and a board that won’t invest because they lack ambition. how can a team like westham that is barely assembled on 120mn pounds pound arsenal?

  • Samrat Jha

    Benzema has another advantage over Giroud. Ronaldo and bale takes the defenders away and still… not into the 30’s?

  • Samrat Jha


  • I’ll go with fount. It’s tradition.

  • TailGunner

    It’s “fount of knowledge”. Always has been & always will be.

  • OlegYch

    I rather like Benzema and think he is a better player overall then Oli, after all he has Ronaldo to combine with and is more experienced
    but whether he is a better striker – i doubt, you would never see Giroud-level headers and one touch finishes
    nevermind the stats though, comparing players from different teams in different leagues is meaningless

  • Gord

    I don’t know if this is well known, but one of our loanees is scoring goals. Actually two of them, as I think m ost know that Akpom now has 2. But in a friendly against Umm Salal (a team from Qatar), Yaya Sanogo scored a hat trick, and is the current leading scorer for Ajax.

  • OlegYch

    Gord: Toral just scored as well

  • geekaybee

    I don’t know how old TailGunner is, but I am 74 years young……. It has always been ‘font’.

  • TailGunner

    Actually I think both are correct. Also, there’s a “fount of wisdom”
    You don’t really want to know my age do you?

  • Rich

    Not with you on this one.

    I need a compelling explanation as to why one good player is better than another good player yet has the same stats, and I believe I have it.

    Why have Bale’s scoring stats dropped since joining Real, at the same time as his goal-scoring rate for Wales has markedly improved? Why did Suarez’s goal-scoring rate drop last year despite him looking an even better player once the rust was gone?

    It’s something I’ve been thinking about since back in the days Mcmanaman made his Real move. Very quickly he made a huge change to his game, to take on much less, and do what he had to do to be a success there. He saw it wouldn’t work if he tried to be the main man as he was for Liverpool. Even Beckham got it that he simply couldn’t shoot as much as he used to. They weren’t kings there and they were never going to be.

    Benzema’s different, obviously, he’s a striker, but it’s the exact same phenomenon, cranked up to 11 because Real at this time have Ronaldo.

    Benzema would be the striking king here, free to take on anything he wished to, after, that is, an initial period where you establish your kingly credentials to teammates and fans.

    Think back to Gerrard and Lampard- how many times did they attempt four,five, six efforts before finally getting one (or, in later years for Gerrard in particular, not). All people with the best goal-scoring records first earn the right- by progressively doing better and better- to take on anything they please. Ronaldo changes the rules at Real. He’s like a Portuguese, manicured Highlander.

    Can’t prove this of course, not unless Real do let a fellow leave who is totally adapted to getting his 20-odd goals at the same time as being happy to be subordinate to the King and, as it happens, very good and better each year at supplying the king.

    They’d be nuts to, but I had my fingers crossed their new player lust would come to the fore and they’d do it anyway

  • Gord

    I guess the Dutch press were running a story, but apparently the brother of the manager of Ajax (who coaches the youth team) isn’t impressed Sanogo. Hopefully Yaya can change his mind. Ajax was dumped out of Champion’s League by Rapid Vienna.

    AS Roma doesn’t start playing until next weekend?

    Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Hammers. Jenkinson (the country music fan) started today, got a yellow on his first foul, fouled someone again towards end of game, and had a shot.

    Gnabry did not make the bench or starting 11 for WBrom.

    Maitland-Niles started, and was subbed off at 74. He fouled once, was fouled once, 1 offside and 3 assists.

    Crowley started on the bench, came on for second half.

    And Toral had 2 fouls to go with his goal.

    The big loanee game is tomorrow, where Hayden and Akpom at Hull, possibly come up against Martinez at Wolves (and former Gunner Afobe).

  • Mako the whole point was the link between “Arsenal need a new centre forward” which has been played out in the media, and this one player. Few people are talking about having another player who can provide more assists.

  • John, although I don’t agree with you, that is a sensible debate that can be had. The point of this article is about Benzema.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Interesting point Rich (paraphrasing)”if RM let Benzema go.” At the moment Wengers being lynched verbally in many swamp blogs for not having signed him, but what if a) RM dont want him to go and b) he doesn’t even want to leave not much Wenger can do, presuming thats the case. In a way the assumption is that all the rumours are true…if its only been a wind up/click bait then some people have been hooked. Does anyone know for sure?

  • Samrat Jha

    Kenneth Widmerpool
    plus the fact that there is no love lost between the two. Benzema last year quite clearly said that he was no Giroud understudy. Are people already selling Giroud?

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Samrat Jha, I think a lot of the swamp bloggers would love to sell Giroud, and Wenger, and in fact the rest of the team, they dont really seem to rate anyone.
    Sometimes I wonder whether the Invincibles have been Bunyanised in peoples minds to the affect that it will be a the bench mark for all their time. Such is the fantasy of memory( its nearly always false).

  • Samrat Jha

    Kenneth Widmerpool
    I think we scored only two less goals last season than the invincibles. So no problem with striking department it would seem.

  • Samrat Jha

    Actually I think people want to gloat about having big names. They must have some ways of assigning points to them. They also serve the club who sit and play computer games.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Samrat Jha–interesting fact! Sad thing is Palace will be picking up on the bad vibe, its pretty important the lads keep a cool head tomorrow, even if they go one nil down.Im sure the team have picked up on everything anyway and want to play well.At least if they wil the lads will shit the naysayers up for a week!

  • Stuart

    The reason they look on paron paper is down to the fact ronaldo is reals Henry everything goes through him and mr B just gets the scraps

  • Samrat Jha

    If change be the order of the day and especially if clubs like Arsenal can be bought and sold let’s not be content with buying Benzema (whether he is available or not) only but take it a bit far down the road. Sure Cech can be sold. Bring Jenkinson instead to play as a golie. Twitter says he has more clean sheet than Cech. He MUST be good.

  • Gord

    Followup on the loanees, I didn’t notice it, but apparently Jenkinson is following in the footsteps of Lansbury. I gather the WHam goalkeeper was dismissed in stoppage time, and Jenkinson donned the gloves. Of course, the medja has to find a zillion twit AAA types to twit some nonsense, which included Cech and Benzema crap.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Interesting analysis. Conclusion, Giroud is a handy forward, so is benzema, no idea where higuain and lewandowski fit into the scheme of things but they are probably good as well.
    If we did sign Benz, of course I would welcome him, but just cannot see it for so many reasons.
    But the press get their hits, they have a stick to beat Wenger with if he doesn’t sign Benz, despite never indicating he would, and they possibly unsettle Giroud and Danny W as well. Win win for the media whores.
    Still think there is a signing left in the summer, but probably one nobody has yet mentioned!

  • Rebo Ehwan

    You did not tell us how many CLEAR goal-scoring opportunities either of them missed over the years. This is where Girioud’s problem is. Arsenal has the best attacking midfield in the PL but lacks a clinical finisher, otherwise we would have been champions last season.

  • Gord

    Something of vaguely football significance. The 2014-2015 EPL football season involved 525 games (EPL, LC, EL, CL and FA). The trivia associated with this, is that across those 525 games there were 2 back pass incidents.

    OT: Origins – Font, Fount or Fountain

    We live in an encyclopaedia, no sense arguing origins when they can be researched.

    Nobody on Untold is old enough to have lived at the time this phrase came into being.

    Someone who had studied things a little, was sure it originated in the 17th Century (about 1690) in some specific book.

    > The quote is from ‘An Essay Concerning Human Understanding’ by the philosopher, John Locke, published in 1690. And the “proper” quote is actually “fountain of all knowledge”. And nominally refers to God.

    And then someone pointed out John of Damascus, who was born in 676 or 676.

    From the Orthodox Research Institute:

    > … Let us now treat the matter of his “Fons Scientiae” or Fountain of Knowledge.

    > The “Fons Scientiae” is actually a group of three works, each complete in itself, but forming together an encyclopedia of Christian theology. They are: (1) “Capita Philosophica” or Heads of Philosophy, (2) “De Haeresibus Liber” or Summary of Heresies, (3) and “Expositio accurata Fedei Orthodoxae” or An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith.

    I would assume that Fons Scientiae is Latin. Someone translating those Latin documents into English, called them Fountain of Knowledge. It seems Fons is a source of something. Origin of FOUNT from Latin font-, which is the stem of fons.

    It would seem that font, fount and fountain are equally correct, they all go back to the same original Latin word. And the inspiration for the term comes from Christianity.

  • geekaybee

    TailGunner…. No….I think the score is 1-1.

  • Pete

    In the France national team both Benzema and Giroud have starts. Without checking I think Benzema is more frequent than Giroud – but Giroud certainly has his share.

    Therefore, in the eyes of the French manager at least, there is not much between them. Only significant difference really is age – but a really bad idea to play 40m+ for a 27 year old as very little resale value.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Personally, think we need to get Welbeck back, fit and firing. He has a lot of potential, pacy, helps defend, great work ethic.
    Wenger can improve such a player, make him more prolific to share the burden with OG.
    Just not convinced we need benzema, unless someone is leaving, but Wenger knows best on this one.
    Can actually see benzema at Utd as part of the de gea deal, looks like they will not get Ramos so Benz may well do.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Has anyone considered that Benzema may benefit from playing with Ronaldo and Bale at RM?

  • Mit Singh

    C’mon guys… Just ask yourself one little question, would Giroud make it into the starting line up at real Madrid? Benzema has done it for years…. Real Madrid is a team that gets rid of mediocre players fairly quickly but benzema has been first choice for years… So those thinking benzema really isn’t an upgrade on giroud, think again

  • omgarsenal

    Fons Scientiae ,when literally translated means either the basis of knowing or knowledge, or the base of education or learning,depending on the context. In Tony’s case it is a rather unsubtle reference to humility and honest opinion of his actual expertise in some matters.
    There are a few issues with the Benzema fable;

    1)Is he even available?
    2)Would he want to come to the home of Football, even with Wenger in charge?
    3)Would he perform to our standards after playing with a team chock full of superstars in a 3 team league versus the hit and run EPL?
    4)His overall contribution to Real is great BUT as someone has pointed out already, he has a superb group of world-class players in a system where he has a very narrow and tightly controlled role to play. How would he adapt to Wenger’s more free-flowing style?
    5)We have Walcott,Giroud, Wellbeck, the Ox, and Sanchez capable of playing as attackers, who would he displace?
    6)He would be very expensive and require a high compensation package which could potentially imbalance the other players and certainly cause concern if he didn’t work out…so why take that risk?

    for me its a non starter and I am sure Wenger , who knows this player very well, agrees. Arsene will have something or someone up his sleeve, IF he intends to bring someone in before the window closes…and we can be 99% sure we will be surprised.

  • Gord


    Thanks for the Latin help. 🙂

    It is always so nice to see stuff from la pequeña mierda in the news (which could be entirely wrong, as Google Translate could have mangled my intent). He obviously doesn’t have enough to do. He has pissed off his medical staff, and I hope they all quit on him. He is playing ManCity, and still finds time to insult Wenger.

    Oh well, time to go to sleep and play SVG (Scalabale Vector Graphics) games tomorrow.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I have supported the French Football National Team for decades, and there are many of us (including me) who prefer OMG (Olivier Motherf***ing Giroud over Benzema. Giroud always gives 100% effort while Benzema seems at times to go missing. The stats for Benzema are not so good. Let me explain. Take the La Liga minutes played by Benzema (2312) and the percent of goals and assists (15 + 10 / 118) and you realize that he only contributed to 25/118 in 2312/3420 minutes. In comparison, Giroud played 1867 minutes with 14 goals and 3 assists out of 71 goals for Arsenal or you could say that Giroud contributed to 17/71 in only 1867/3420 minutes.
    Do the math and you see that OMG is better statistically. If both were to play the whole 3420 minutes of a season, Giroud would be a far better option that Benzema.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    When Montpellier beat Paris Qatari Bullies to the title, I was one of those gloating that the one player who really made a difference. I am not sure Benzema has ever singlehanndedly done anything of that caliber. By the way, Montpellier winning the French title in this era dominated by Paris, Lyon, Marseille, and Lille, is akin to Southanpton or Everton winning the Prem.

  • Pete

    Ray – thanks for following up on my hunch.

    I think the conclusion is that Benzema is, at best, a marginal upgrade and therefore not worth anywhere close to the fee touted.

    Lewandoski would be more of an upgrade. Don’t know about Cavani.

    Not considering Aguero, Costa, Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez as clearly unavailable.

    Who else is there? Higuain has seriously disappointed every time I have seen him play. Atrocious for Argentina in World Cup.

  • Al

    I think Ray sums it up nicely, Giroud single handedly won his team the French league. And that’s not something to be sniffed at, where there are two of the richest clubs in the world. Imo they’re two different players with different styles, but there is little difference between them to say one is much better than the other one. They could be useful when we play different teams; Giroud might do well against physical sides like stoke, etc. because of his physical presence. While Benzema might be better against attacking sides like Liverpool, City, etc. because of his pace.

    I would go with Welbeck, as Mandy said. He’s a like a cross between the two (presence and pace), has got age on his side, and once he starts getting more games down his preferred middle route he’s going to be great for us.

  • TailGunner

    I’ll agree with those that are promoting Welbeck. Get him scoring a few ( and gaining confidence) and he has the potential to be our “new Henry”.

  • dieter

    Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Looks like memories grow sweeter with time… There was no such thing as “Paris Qatari Bullies” in season 2011-12. The only present players from that era are Salvatore Sirigu and Javier Pastore. And ftr PSG last won the title in 1994 before The Sheikhs took over.

    Nobody dominated Ligue 1 for half a decade after Lyon’s 7-year reign ended in 2008. Since then Bordeaux, Marseille, Lille and Montpellier were crowned champions respectively. Those were really good times – bearing in mind that Le Championnat wasn’t one of the top-4 leagues in Europe (and still isn’t). So to say that Montpellier winning the French title is akin to Soton or Everton winning The Prem is – well – pretty romantic.

    I see your point, but there has to be better ways to promote Olivier Giroud. With all due respect.

  • Oladoke, Paul Olufemi

    It’s like you don’t know Arsene Wenger. His denial that he wasn’t gonna sign Benzema doesn’t mean he is not involved in him. That was how he denied and denied until we saw Lucas Podolski in Arsenal shirt. In this particular case the player also joined him to play the game. Until I don’t see the player in Arsenal shirt I will not believe what he said. He doesn’t like people getting in the way of a player he’s going to sign. The attitudes of other clubs in this respect is monumental- what can we say about Chris Smalling, Juan Mata, Ronaldo, Eden Hazard and one of the current CBs of Chelsea? Once they know that Arsene is after one particular player and he is hesitant to pay the requisite price, they go behind him to negotiate and buy the player; their thinking is that once Wenger is going for the player he must be spectacular. Even as I don’t like the idea of Benzema, I think Wenger is after him. But I prefer him to a Cavani who is already 28. It will surprise me if he goes ahead and sign Cavani having let the opportunity to sign Jackson Martinez pass who is currently more prolific than Cavani and Benzema put together. To him I also prefer Lacazette. I’m not happy how Arsenal quickly sold Benik Afobe, he would have come good. The day we go for him again we will pay top dollar for the player. The current thinking of Le Prof is that those youngsters will come up and it is true. He isn’t likely to buy any player anyway, his hope is on Chuba Akpom as a new revelation, Isaac Hayden as a defensive midfielder. So that they may not say he isn’t doing anything in the transfer market, he will continue to say he’s looking for the right player at the right price, those two things rarely go togethern I’m sure he is not happy that the window is still open. Arsene Wenger is a coach and I doff my hat for him. He likes to develop his own stars not always buying but things don’t always go like that in modern football, he must have a mix of growing and buying players

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Sweet goal by Giroud.
    Told you so…

  • Olaadoke, I think you might like to read our pieces on Vapour Transfers where we have covered much of what you say, and agree with you. The issue here was about one particular player and his ability to be an improvement on Giroud.

  • Boyd

    Tony Attwood, you Sir are a joy to read. Giroud is my choice, and he will get plenty backup from Welbeck and Walcott, not to mention the youngsters Wenger has loaned out to gain them experience. This stupid window must close. Enough!! The buy and buy brigade are supporting the wrong team, Arsenal and Arsene are not shopaholics. Arsenal is both a football club and a football academy, the latter being a crucial aspect of our DNA. Truth is, there isn’t much between us ( read true gooners) and City or Chelski. Had Giroud, Walcott, Ramsey, Ozil and Kos stayed fit last season the gap between us and the big spenders could have been marginal. Don’t forget we almost beat City to second spot last season, and the season before that, we sat on top of the league table for longer periods than our nearest rivals. This teams needs no more stirring, that will spoil the broth. The key now is practise and more practise, working together, combinations and jellying, I have no doubt our chances of winning the league is as good as any of our competitors. That is why Mourinho is trembling!

    Again well done Sir, great write up!

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    So this thread is probably nearly done, but tonight I was baited by the Metro(yes that bastion of superb quality)and a headline that was basically stats driven saying why Arsenal should be in the market for Benzema, and apart from bitching about the games the great stato “Orbinho” was quoted thus:

    “Arsenal have fired in the most attempts at goal so far this season (42) and scored with just two.”

    He was quoted the other day as Arsenal letting in the most goals last season from free kicks.I wanted to verify this and searched around and couldn’t and was wondering if he actually counts them all and collates the figures going along?
    So I wondered if the above quote was verifiable, so I checked on the Premier league website, believing that they of all people should have the correct stats for games.
    According to the PL website total shots v West Ham =14
    v Palace =13

    yet the BBC says Arsenal had 20 shots v Palace
    and 22 v West Ham
    I noticed the BBC likes a good bitch against the Arsenal too, probably due to the fact that they had a different idea of what BFG meant.Poor old BBC WALOFW.

    BBC V PL?

  • Jambug

    Tony Attwood

    Very good article.

    A bit late to this but been away. I have been a vociferous supporter of Giroud, and if you recall it landed me in deep water with some when commenting in an article of yours back in July entitled:

    ‘This is the most complete and flexible squad in the history of Arsenal’

    I also supported Giroud back in May in an article by Walter entitled:

    ‘Was Thierry right or wrong? Or both?’

    Anyway here are some of the statistics I posted, with some related comments, that I think entirely supports your preposition that Benzema (and others) are not the ‘upgrade’ on Giroud some would have us believe.

    From Tonys article back in July:


    July 25, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Season 2014 2015, all competitions:

    Giroud..Played 36 scored 19 = 1 goal every 1.89 games.

    Lewandowski..Played 49 scored 25 = 1 goal every 1.96 games.

    Benzama..Played 46 scored 22 = 1 goal every 2.09 games.

    League only:

    Lewandowski..Played 31 scored 17 = 1 goal every 1.82 games.

    Giroud..Played 27 scored 14 = 1 goal every 1.92 games.

    Benzema..Played 29 scored 15 = 1 goal every 1.93 games.

    Girouds stats stack up pretty well against both Lewendowski and Benzemas, especially as Giroud is by all accounts playing in the ‘toughest’ League in the World.

    Add to that Lewendowski and Benzema play for 2 of the best teams in the World.


    Are either of those an improvement on Giroud? Statistics suggest not.

    Are they worth having to supplement the squad? Well certainly I would say yes.

    Can you ever have too many top strikers? Well possibly, but I would welcome another top striker with open arms.

    Are either of them worth the £40/£50 Million we would surely have to pay? Possibly.

    But should we pay ‘whatever it takes’ no matter how much? Certainly not.

    Are there better strikers out there than Giroud? Of course. Ronaldo, Messi etc., we all know who they are, and they are all either too expensive and or not for sale and or wouldn’t choose to come to us anyway.

    In conclusion.

    Off course there are better strikers than Giroud but could we get them. Highly unlikely.

    Are there strikers of similar, slightly worse, slightly better quality that could improve the squad? definitely.

    Is Giroud so bad, as some suggest, that we have no chance of challenging with him as our lead striker? Of course not, and the statistics, and what I see with my own eyes, prove that.


    July 25, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Here is Girouds record in the PL against the top sides, Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool and Spurs.

    Date…Opponents….Venue…Scored out of.

    10-8 V Man City CS……1 of 3

    13-9 V Man City PL/H….Injured

    27-9 V Spurs PL/H…….Injured

    5-10 V Chelsea/A……..Injured

    22-11 V Man Utd/H…….1 of 2

    21-12 V Liverpool/A…..1 of 2

    18-1 V Man City/A…….1 of 2

    7-3 V Spurs/A………..DNS

    4-4 V Liverpool/H…….1 of 4

    26-4 V Chelesea/H…….DNS

    17-5 V Man Utd/A……..DNS

    He played once against Chelsea at home and Did Not Score.

    He played twice against City in the CS and away and scored 2, 1 in each game.

    He played twice against Utd and scored once at home.

    He played twice against Liverpool, home and away and scored 1 in each.

    He played once against spurs away and Did Not Score.


    He scored 2 against City.

    He scored 1 against Utd

    He scored 2 against Liverpool.

    He only Did Not Score (DNS) in 3 of the 8 games he played against the top sides, Chelsea at home, Man Utd Away, and Spurs Away.

    I contest to claim those statistics to be a BAD record against the top sides is in gracious in the extreme.

    And these relating to Walters article in May:


    May 8, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    GIROUD, a World Class striker, and here are the statistics to prove it.

    Here are Arsenal statistics prior to his re appearance in the Manchester United game:

    Pl = 12
    Wo = 4
    Dr = 5
    Lo = 3
    Pt = 17

    Win Ratio = 1 in 3.0 Matches

    Goals per = 1.58 Per Match

    Post his appearance in the Manchester United Game:

    Pl = 22
    Wo = 17
    Dr = 2
    Lo = 3
    Pt = 50

    Win ratio = 1 in 1.3 Matches

    Goals per = 2.27 Per Match

    -Post Girouds return, we more than DOUBLED our win ratio and almost increased our scoring by as much as a goal per game.

    Now how does he compare to some other PL scorers?

    To give a pretty good indicator I thought I would use goals scored per minute on the pitch.

    The stats show: Mins Pld/Goals(pens)/Per Min/Per Min Ex Pens.

    Costa……1960 19(0) = 103, 103

    Aguero…..2270 22(4) = 103, 126

    Giroud…..1597 14(0) = 114, 114

    Kane…….2317 20(2) = 115, 128

    Silva……2391 11(0) = 217, 217

    Hazard…..3109 14(3) = 222, 282

    -When you exclude penalties, Giroud is the 2nd most efficient goal scorer in the PL behind Costa.

    In conclusion, when you look at how much we improved for his return to the side, and then look at how he compares to his peers it is simply ridiculous to question his ability.

    With that kind of ability to even suggest that Giroud is not good enough to lead our attack is quite simply ridiculous.


    May 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    After all that I forgot the goals scored and I also did points per game and got a couple mixed up cross referencing so here they are.


    Scored 19 Played 12 = 1.58 goals scored per game
    Played 12 Points 17 = 1.41 Points per game


    Scored 47 played 22 = 2.136 goals scored per game

    So an increase of over half a goal per game.

    Played 22 points 50 = 2.27 Points per Game

    And an increase here of nearly a point per game.

    Sorry about that.

    Makes it all a bit messy but it doesn’t change a thing about how everything gets better with Giroud in the team, and in particularly about how he out performs his peers that are constantly lorded as World Class.

    These are the 2 relevant articles.

    Note: But as I have said many times, I am not opposed to an ‘as well as’ but unless it’s a Messi or Ronaldo type, I am against an ‘Instead of’.

    Turning to,


    August 15, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Perhaps it would be more interesting to write something about Giroud’s contribution to the team with some proper analysis.
    The constant berating of the media (well deserved as it is) is not really necessary. By spending all your time, Tony, decrying what the media write why not offer a point of view on Giroud based on something tangible?

    Is all that tangible enough for you ?

    And as for this comment:

    “Giroud doesn’t get criticised that often for his goal scoring record – though he seems to miss a lot of chances.”

    Seems Giroud is not alone.

    So okay you produce some stats that show Benzema better, others show Giroud better, and that’s the point.

    What I think Tony, Myself, and others are railing against is the notion that Arsenal simply cant win the PL with Giroud, yet replacing him with Benzema makes us a shoe in, which is such an exageration when Benzema is clearly NOT the major upgrade, if one at all, on Giroud people, including yourself it seems, claim him to be.

    All evidence shows them to be at a very similar level.

  • jayramfootball


    I did not say that Benzema was the answer.

    To summarise my point I said this:

    “Whilst the stats above show Benzema is far more prolific than Giroud, it of course takes a lot more analysis to compare 2 players directly like this.

    I am just emphasising the point that your article tells us nothing about Benzema vs Giroud and certainly does not work as an effective way of chastising the media for not looking at this comparison.”

    Your post is comprehensive as an assessment but the OP has a headline to suggest there is some great truth to be revealed and when you read it. I viewed it as click bait after reading it.

    I don’t rate Benzema that highly, nor do I rate Giroud that highly.