In April the Telegraph ran
Thierry Henry hits out at Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil
following from their February story
Olivier Giroud is a flat-track bully
With a goal every 88 minutes, he is scoring more frequently than any other player this season. Since the last international break – during which he scored twice in a 2-1 win over Denmark – Giroud has hit three goals in 200 minutes of Premier League action.
Now, well, err, yes. I know that. What surprises me is that they know it too. They might add that he has scored seven in his last six. Two for France, five for Arsenal.
He is finding the target with 58 per cent of his shots and scoring with 23 per cent – both of those rates compare favourably with a certain Sergio Aguero. Giroud is also scoring every 42.5 touches of the ball, an incredible rate that highlights his current lethal streak given how much Arsenal tend to dominate possession. They have touched the ball more times than any other team this season – nearly 800 times per game.
But surely, there must be some dig, some negativity, something that says that he has eaten his grandmother and hunted whales in Japan.
The Frenchman works brilliantly in Arsenal’s set-up. There are few strikers around who hold the ball up as well as Giroud, and his link play is crucial to bringing the likes of Ozil, Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey into the game with their runs from midfield.
It is, I must admit, fairly amazing stuff after all that has gone before. But it goes even further as the writer claims, “
They suggest that the movement of Theo to the centre forward spot has pushed Giroud harder. Both players scored in the cup final, Giroud lost his place to Theo, and now is back fighting.
In fact they make another key point. Giroud plays well with Ozil.
The two have combined as the best assist-to-goal combination the Premier League has seen this season, with 4 goals.
If we take a look at the best assist-goalscorer combinations in the Premier League this season we see Ozil-Giroud top of the list, and Ozil Sanchez in 3rd spot. We are, it seems, doing better than anyone else in this category as in every other.
Of course the little bloggettas and their chums always try to find some way to work around figures like this. A popular one is that Giroud can’t score against the better teams. That would suggest that Bayern are a crummy team then. A team against whom he has scored two in two, the second of which was quite utterly stunning.
So, amazingly, the Telegraph is backing off from the old notion that Wenger should sign a striker. What they actually say is, “Wenger was pilloried for failing to sign another striker.” What they should say is “Wenger was pilloried for failing to sign another striker by us and the copycat sites that follow us.”
It was ever thus.
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