By a rather smug Tony Attwood
Untold is a web site that takes sides. A web site that presents a case. A web site that quite often gets things horribly wrong. But a web site that by and large sticks to its ground.
As with the last post – the one about Spanish clubs being guilty of child trafficking.
And indeed you might recall that over the past couple of years it is a web site that has run the story that Giroud is comparable in terms of goal scoring to Henry.
Cue raucous laughter and a fair amount of on-line abuse.
But lo! Behold! And one might almost say Liverpool! (except that is so yesterday, you wouldn’t.)
But wait. What is this? What, indeed is this???
“He will never be a 20-goal-a-season striker, they claimed. A flat-track bully, they said. Does not score important goals, they jibed.”
Yep that is the Daily Telegraph, ally of the aaa, now taking the whatnot out of the aaa, and indeed itself.
“Criticism of Olivier Giroud has been widespread. A lot of it has been justified. The fans’ clamour for a new superstar striker to take them to Premier League glory persists – Edinson Cavani appears to be this month’s Karim Benzema – but perhaps they can now look closer to home.”
And wow, yes even the Home for Retired Colonels is now admitting it.
“Giroud has grown and matured into a formidable force as Arsenal’s main striker, a point underlined by his exceptional performance against Liverpool on Wednesday, to the extent that Wenger’s decision not to spend big on another striker in the last couple of transfer windows appears rather shrewder than it did at the time.”
Well, shrewder than the right-wing anti-European, Union Flag-waving hard core zealots of the Telegraph suggested anyway.
Let us consider (and you might want to sit down for this), the statistics…
Giroud has of course had a tougher time of it than Henry. Thierry, master of all things that he was, had a team built around him. We bought Pires to be his foil, the man who would saunter into the centre as Thierry strolled off to the left wing. (Actually if you were at Highbury at the time, do you remember the abuse Henry got for doing that in his first season?)
Giroud has suffered in his goal scoring in two ways. One is the injuries, and the being dropped as first choice in his third season, and the other is playing in a team with two more equal goalscorers (Alexis and himself) rather than Henry and Pires.
And I must admit I never really meant to say that Giroud and Henry were equals – they are of course very different types of player. But their stats are quite interesting nonetheless.
The great Arsenal teams of the early Wengerian period were built around Henry. The current team is built around Ozil. There is thus a huge difference in what is expected of the centre forward, so allowances must be made, but the Goal Average figures in the red column make a worthy comparison.
Indeed some of the replacements suggested by the wild and whacky media and their aaa allies actually had worse stats than Giroud making it clear that the argument was, “if Wenger signed him he’s crap.”
So now even the Telegraph admits that Giroud is “having his most prolific European campaign, while four goals for France made 2015 his best year internationally.”
Indeed the old men’s paper is getting quite excitable these days, thundering that,
So far this season his ratio of minutes per league goal is better than in any previous season at Arsenal, and is also superior to that of Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid and the Premier League’s top scorers Jamie Vardy and Romelu Lukaku, having been given much less game time.
They then kindly supply an Olivier Giroud – Minutes per Premier League goal chart, which is awfully decent of the old buffers.
|Mins per goal|
His conversion rate and shooting accuracy are also on the up. And one stat that doesn’t show up here is the fact that he is the perfect foil for Mesut Ozil what with him being the recipient of six assists, duly tucked away into the goal.
He has 11 goals in his last 11 appearances away from home in all competitions, and apart from knocking in a couple against Liverpool! he scored against Bayern. OK we lost that one so maybe not so important, but what about the hat-trick at Olympiakos; nothing unimportant there. To say he does not score important goals is plain daft.
At home, he has hit goals against Bayern, Manchester City and Everton, amongst others.
So the new argument thrown against him is that he doesn’t score important goals – aside from in the Greek match. But the Telegraph do actually do a serious bit of work on this and have come up with a table I didn’t have. It is the goals scored and how many points have been won as a result. You might be interested in the name at the foot of the chart.
The reason Giroud is behind Vardy et al is because of who else is in the team and who can tuck away goals. Try this table…
Arsenal Top Scorers
We have seven players with 3 goals plus. Compare this with Leicester with whom we share the top of the league
|5||Nine other players||1|
Four players with 3 or more.
We are evolving an interesting style and approach – and one that is considered a lot safer (in terms of possible injuries) than having just two players who knock in all the goals.
So, to sum up a rather nice day, Untold’s coverage of Barcelona’s child scandal case and our predictions about Real Madrid have actually come to pass. Indeed our predictions about the Barcelona appeals were right too. (Which is interesting because at one stage when I was trying hard to find out exactly what the nature of the Barcelona appeal to CAS said, I was roundly attacked by a number of correspondents who basically told me CAS had already heard the case and instantly awarded the matter to Barcelona. It just goes to show how far people will go to defend certain teams).
Thus in one day – Real Mad join Barcelona in the punishment suite, and the Telegraph agrees that actually, Giroud is a rather decent goal scorer.
To finish, here’s what was said in the past by various people who clearly know it all when it comes to football…
I’d keep Welbz and get rid of Giroud
He is too arrogant to change course and Arsenal must get rid of him
28 Jan 2013 – Many a time the fickle fans urged Wenger to get rid of that piece of …..
- 14 January 2008: The launch of the short lived Arsenal TV as part of Setanta Sports It was ultimately replaced with an online service. It closed on 7 August 2009 as Setanta was liquidated. It was replaced by BT Sport, but without Arsenal TV.
- 14 January 2015: Benik Afobe sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers for £2m. He never played for Arsenal but had multiple loans including 22 league games for MK Dons where he scored 19 goals in 30 league and cup games. He scored 8 in his first 14 matches for Wolverhampton and in January 2016 moved to Bournemouth for £12m.
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