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July 2021

Olivier Giroud: a player for next season?

By Tony Attwood

According to them what knows, we have already signed Lukas Podolski.  According to the press Mr Wenger has to sign another centre forward in order to convince Robin van Persie that he must stay.  Some speak of Junior Hoilett, but others say Giles Grimandi (a man with considerable influence on matters as the chief scout in France) is watching Olivier Giroud. who plays for Montpellier Hérault SC

He is big, physical and with a lot of heading skill, but Montpellier has only had him for two seasons.

Now a key part in all this is the Montpellier Hérault SC club.  The club have never won the league, and their honours list is winning the cup twice (1929 and 1990) and the Intertoto cup in 1999.  They also won the precursor of the league cup once.

Now look at the league table

Movement Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1 Position identique   Montpellier Hérault SC 29 18 6 5 53 27 +26 60
2 Position identique Paris Saint-Germain 30 17 9 4 54 32 +22 60
3 Position identique LOSC Lille Métropole 30 15 11 4 55 32 +23 56
4 Progression au classement Olympique Lyonnais 30 15 5 10 47 37 +10 50

If you know your French league you will know that PSG is the Man City of France, and Lyon were the last giants – but have had many changes.  They are managed by Remi Garde, ex of Arsenal.

Our target (seemingly) is the leading scorer in France, with 18 goals.

So the question is will Montpellier, having had their one great season of fame, break up the side?   Will they be able to resist a huge offer for their top player who is also France’s vision of the future (he scored his first international goal in France’s 2-1 win over Germany at the end of February).

Montpellier have already had offers – including one from Newcastle U which is reported to have had the response from the club’s owner Louis Nicollin. “Newcastle? They are too small for him.”

Mind you the same guy also said Arsenal would have to pay €50 million – which is the old problem – when Arsenal is on the scene the prices go up, and then of course along comes Man City to pay whatever insane price is left.   And when that game starts either Arsenal know the players wants to come, or else it is all a blind because we want someone else.

On the other hand if  Marouane Chamakh, Nicklas Bendtner, Carlos Vela and Ju-Young Park all move on, we will have some spare space.

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Olivier Giroud spent six years at Grenoble’s youth academy before signing as a pro at 19.  He made his professional debut at in 2005/6 and in the following season joined the first team permanently.
He then spent 2007/8 on loan in division 3, but upon returning to Grenoble he was deemed surplus to requirements and joined Tours in Division 2 and ended the season with 27 total appearances and 14 goals.

In the next season he scored 16 goals before the transfer window in January when he moved to Montpellier for €2 million and was then loaned back to Tours until the end of the season.  He end the season with 42 appearances and 24 goals and was the top league scorer.

At Montpellier the club reached the League Cup final but lost to Marseille.

Unusually he has not played for any French youth teams before being called up for the French full squad in November last year.

So there you are – quite a late developer, a goal scorer, playing for a small club that is top of the league, with a manager who adds zeros to player prices, just for the hell of it.

But here is one thing I would add.  Just take a look at the last five matches…  Thi is not the amazing style of a club pounding for the title.  It might well be that the pressure is too much for Montpellier, and the club and player may both agree that it is time to take the money and run.

Montpellier Hérault SC 1 – 0 AS Saint-Etienne
Gazelec Ajaccio 1 – 0 Montpellier Hérault SC
AS Nancy Lorraine 1 – 0 Montpellier Hérault SC
Montpellier Hérault SC 3 – 0 SM Caen
Dijon FCO 1 – 1 Montpellier Hérault SC

49 comments to Olivier Giroud: a player for next season?

  • GiantGooner

    The real question to me on Giraud is whether he is really much more than an immobile target-man. Some things I’ve read (I have not watched any Montpellier games so I have no personal opinion) suggest that Younes Belhanda’s creativity has driven the goalscoring at the club and Giraud has merely been in the right place at the right time to poach the goals. Of course Arsenal has plenty of talented creaters and could use a poacher.

    The larger question, of course, is why a talented goal scorer would want to move to Arsenal to compete with Podolski for the honor of backing up Van Persie on the rare occasions Arsene chooses to rest him. I would think Afobe or Campbell are more likely to be our 3rd choice center forward next year.

  • Maverick

    Not sure if we will go for him for the simple reason Javier Perez is adamant that we have secured Matais Suarez on a pre-contract and should arrive in the summer unless there is work permit problems. If that happens maybe then i could see us going for him. I just cant see Wenger wanting to buy Podolski, Suarez and Giroud with also RVP. How will all of them play?

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  • Reub

    I heckle Giangooner that Joel Campell and Afobe are hot 4 next prospect year’s contention back up 4 RVP. Dont 4get Walcot may b made a central 4ward player.


  • lee

    For the record – no deal has been done for Suarez and way out of Arsenal’s price range.

  • Maverick

    @Lee, Javier is adamant on this and has usually been quite accurate he doesn’t work on rumours he works on solid stuff. What are your scources, i cannor say for SURE he is coming, but can you say for sure he is not and from who?

  • GiantGooner

    Reub, I’m not quite sure what you’re saying. I think that next year’s back up for Van Persie will be Podolski, just based on the kind of reporting that has been around that deal. The question is who is third choice, i.e. plays in the Carling Cup and thats it barring injuries. This is Arsenal and Arsene loves to give his prospects a chance. I don’t think it would be at all out of character for Arsene to let those two compete for third choice.

  • Wooby

    Don’t see this happening. Giroud sounds like Chamakh Part II. If we do indeed sign Podolski, we’ll have he, RVP and Ox capable of being the front man. Afobe will be fine as 4th on the depth chart.

    I am much more keen on the possibility of capturing M’Vila to add more cover in the middle of the pitch, although I doubt we will land him. By opening his mouth, he’s basically inviting City to come in with a crazy bid.

  • zdzis

    From what I’ve seen (not much, but still) and from his statistics, Giroud looks very much like a French Fernando Llorente. Apparently, he may not have the silky skills, but the drive and eye for the goal (or for a well-placed pass to a teammate waiting to hack it in) are definitely there. The fact that he leads the goalscorers table in a league that boasts at least 3 sources of possible goalscoring records (PSG with Pastore & Gameiro, OL with Gomis & Lopez, OM with A. Ayew & Remy) and adds quite a few assists to boot while playing for a shock title contender shows that he means business. Whether or not he would fit in at Arsenal is a matter of debate. I wouldn’t call him “Chamakh II,” but he’s definitely closer to the Moroccan than our beloved RVP in style of play. I think we would benefit more from signing someone less heavy, someone capable of playing on the wings or behind the striker if need be.
    As for the asking price itself, it’s ridiculous and it really looks like the guy simply doesn’t want Arsenal to get him. At almost 26, Giroud is reaching the peak of his powers; his contract runs out in 2 years. This kind of price tag is conceivable when you’re dealing with an incomparable star (think Messi, who else, but RVP will also fit the bill when he signs a contract extension post-season) or a young, but already polished incomparable talent (think Raul at 21, and in awhile perhaps also Wilshere and Chamberlain), but not a rising star at 25 or more…

  • Davi

    Wooby – Chamakh never had a great scoring record, even before he joined us, and France is a very strong league defensively, with few goals scored in total, compared to the PL. Note that the mean goals scored for the top 4 in that table is something like 53, but in the PL it’s more like 67 (albeit with 1 game played extra) – so whoever is the top scorer in France, is doing a good job.

  • Let Wenger sign who he knows is better backup for our legend RVP. Not all those rumors in the papers

  • El Tel

    What if Giroud is the replacement for RVP if Robin takes the cash and runs? I don’t want to see RVP go but if He does then I reckon a big powerful striker with pace either side would be an awesome prospect.


    Maybe it’s a back up plan if The RVP offer goes wrong.

  • El Tel

    Same thing regarding Suarez, maybe Theo doesn’t sign his offer and is replaced by Suarez too.

    There are so many different options.

    I love the work you Guys do on Referees as I personally have been under the impression there is dirty business going on with them as far back as the George Graham era.

    I would love for it to be proven one day that the Mancs have been buying favours and see those dodgy title wins scrapped.

  • El Tel

    I would personally love to see RVP play wide like He has done for Holland.

    How about this.

    Podolski, Big CF, RVP


  • Wooby

    @El Tel, I don’t think you will see RVP out wide or in the hole any time soon. My belief is that Wenger moved him to CF to reduce the amount of running he has to do. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s been able to play more games since 2009 (when he was moved to CF).

  • Damien Luu

    @El Tel: Holland’s coach will move RVP into the CF role soon. Do you know how much time it has taken and how much work Arsene had to do to make him playing that effective in that role?

    @Wooby: If that’s what you think about M’Vila, why do you want him to ever join us? To become another na$ri?

    And call me an obsessed guy but I hate anyone bearing the name Suarez 😉

  • critic


    Way off ur observation. RVP plays everwhere and i bet there are few strikers that run so much as RVP.

    Only painful thing regarding RVP is that whenever there is a right sided corner i don’t see him in the box. The man still lacks awareness. He goes to defend may be? Since vermalean comes on to attack. Any way, he has to improve that part of his game and live up to the “one man team hype”.

  • critic

    *by RHS corner i meant sagna side of corner..

  • critic

    *sagna side facing opposition…

  • nicky

    At the risk of preaching heresy, I wonder whether Wenger is or should be planning for the departure of Van Persie. Despite his almost celestial performances this season, IMO he is still not quite the two-footed striker that Arsenal need. Harsh as that will sound, I feel that as time goes by, we might do better via
    judicious buying of top class forwards who are not so left-sided.
    Am I alone in having these sneaky misgivings?

  • critic


    RVP isn’t just a player for arsenal. He has become the face of arsenal. Selling RVP will be a good decision financially but it will cripple the emotional support around the club. Mind it, things would have been different if Arsenal had won a trophy or two in past years.

    If RVP is a one footed player then who in ur opinion is a two footed player? Podolski, that people are going gaga over is a more one footed player.

    I don’t think RVP is gonna have another season like this again.

  • Shard

    I agree with critic. Selling RVP is not an option. Besides. One footed? He’s scored some wonderful goals with his ‘wrong’ foot. If the planning is there, it should only be as a planning for any eventuality, rather than the plan being to sell him. In any case, we do need a good backup to him.

  • Wooby

    @Critic, you are correct – RVP runs a lot more than the average striker. What I was suggesting was the amount RVP would have to run as a second striker (“10”) or winger vs as main striker (“9”) is different. The amount of running that is reduced may not be much per game but when you have to play as many games as he does for club and country, every little bit helps. I do believe that the Holland National coach has already made RVP a CF (“9”).

    I do agree with you that RVP has become the face of our club and if he goes, would leave a tremendous void from an emotional perspective.

    @Damien, thanks for the reminder about na$ri, I had flushed him out of my memory. 😉

    I suggested M’Vila vis-a-vis Giroud is if (and it’s a big if), Wenger decides to spend big, I’d rather he not spend it on a forward as I believe we have enough depth in that area. Having M’Vila go after a season or two (a la na$ri or Adebayor) may be frustrating/disappointing, but if those seasons give time for Frimpong/Coquelin to develop into first-teamers as well as help convince RVP to stay, I’m all for it.

  • nicky

    @ critic,
    Much obliged by your constructive viewpoint. I half expected some abusive comment!
    What worries me is that, like you, I feel that Van Persie has peaked with this season.
    @ Shard,
    Agreed he has scored well with his right boot, but so often he appears not to have confidence to use it when the occasion demands.

    All I’m saying is I have this unpleasant feeling that we are seeing the best we will ever see of our Captain.

  • Shard


    That’s fair enough considering he’ll be 30 when his current contract ends. So if we give him a 5 year bumper new deal, he’ll be earning say 120k per week till he’s 34.. Not the best use of money. critic said, he is the face of Arsenal, he’s the talisman. Selling him now would be a psychological blow which would cost a lot more than the money we’re paying him. Plus having someone like Robin even when he’s older will bring something to the team.

  • nicky

    Point taken.
    I had completely overlooked the psychological aspect insofar as team and fans are concerned. Do you think that this “special relationship” existed before this season?

  • Shard

    With Robin? Probably not, because he hadn’t stayed fit enough to have as meaningful a contribution. Cesc took the higher star billing anyway.

  • RedGooner

    Not sure I believe the story to be honest especially with all the talk on Polodski.
    Arsenal surely wont change the style of play with one true striker up front and I cant see us been able off load as many players as people seem to think we can.
    Then take into account the mvilla and belgium centre back stories when did we go out and pay that sort of money in a season without loosing several stars.

  • ed


    i wouldn’t begrudge RVP 120k a week when he is 35! he has done enough this year to earn it! we’re not a 1 man team, but without him this year, we would probably be closer to mid-table. if we get into the champions league for next year, thats already the 20m that we owe him.

    it probably would not be the best use of money, but i think in this day and age of football, it would be great to reward him for loyalty. just like dennis bergkamp in his later years… didnt play every game, but when he came on, he could produce enough magic to earn his money.

  • ed

    i think we need an enforcer in midfield and a striker who can also play wide this summer.

    i know our midfield is quite fluid, but there are also games where we needed that vieira or keane type player to just keep players focused, go in with full blooded tackles and get the crowd going. Song is good, but he seems a little passive at times and loses concentration defensively too easily… if frimpong gets fit he could be a replacement, but after his injury, i think he hasnt gained the experience that arsene probably wanted before hes put in the first team.

    i think in defence, we are settled barring injuries… and in attack, the wide positions should be fine with the OX and possibly ryo returning.

  • Toby

    You all are reading too much into this non-story. Arsenal seem to announce deals In a timely manner. The fact that there has not been any announcement on the Podolski deal means that those in the marble halls (does the Emirates have marble halls?) are simply using this French chappie as leverage to strike a better deal with zie germans. Anyone want to wager I’m wrong?

  • zdzis

    It’s also likely there might be A transfer of A striker, and the Giroud story is meant to reduce the demads for that particular player.

  • i think it is time we bought a strong holding midfielder like vieria hence we need m’vila more than another striker. Its time for wenger to sell the bench warmers ( chamakh ,bendtener eg) and spend some money.
    team next year : szceney gibbs vermaelan koscielny vertohogen wilshire ramsey mvila walcott RVP podolski

  • Benson

    I’ve watched Olivier G, he’s a ‘snipper’ bt i’ll prefere we release Bentner, Chamakh, Park and bring Vella, Hoillet, Podolski, Campbell and Afobe. I also want to observe that many of us ar nt seeing what i cn see in Diaby. If u go back to d 4/4 triller with Newcasle U(1st 15min), d last game agains Liverpool etc, u’ll see what he cn do as a siting defencieve m’fielder. He shields d deffence so well, releases the attackers quicker and cn shoot. He’s also more skilful than Song who score lower in all bt injury. His only prob is that he gets confuzd when he moves up. If Diaby, Jack, Frimpong and Coqueline ar all fit, we dnt need M’villa. We also 4get Eastmond who is a massive player n will b ready in 3yrs to take over frm Song n Diaby. Hail Gooners

  • Benson

    EasyGooner i dnt agree with ur replacing Sagna with Von… I also want to say that Sczezny/Fambiaski, Gibbs/Brasilian, Vamerlene/Lauren, Von…/Jurou, Sagna/Yenaris, Jack/Coqueline, Diaby/Song, Arteta/Ramsey, Gervinho/OX, Rvp/Pod, Theo/Hoillet will b a very good first team for nxt sezn

  • Hares bonchancho

    People seem to be forgetting that van Persie can play anywhere across the front and podzol ski can play the rolls of the left winger the front man or the man who plays just behind the stricker and I would like to add that, that is van persie’s actual roll he was supposed to be a Dennis bergkamp 2.0 so to speak, so if we sign girould he can play as the target man rvp can play as the centre forward with podolski on the left and Walcott on the right and with rotation players like the ox and gervinho won’t be left out so really we should sign either girould or Suarez with Campbell or afobe waiting to fill in for carling cup games and if anyone gets injured

  • Cheun Boye

    We honestly don’t need another striker is nicklas Bentder comes back, if not we need a prodigy like Rodrigo or Mathias Suarez, the main problem is at the back, we need a left sided defender, and Jan Vertoyen fit the bill, Mvilla will add steel in the middle and Montinovo is a bonus

  • bob

    Play chess all we want, but what if no one wants to buy our deadwood at anything near “fair” market value? What’s the Plan B, then? Can they be de-activated and AFC take the loss. What’s the problem with absorbing a loss and subtracting them from the squad IF, as seems to be advertised, there’s a lot of money in AFC coffers (how much of course is not knowable, by design).

    RvP is a synergy of values. His presence alone will attract other quality who wish to play with him – including “the next RvP,” so to speak. There are so many value-added “intangibles”: the merchandising aspect (face of the franchise, brand recognition, jersey sales), his emotional impact on fans (including pricey ticket sales), his emotional impact on fellow players who thrive under his captaincy [witness chronic glowing interview comments], his international reputation, etc. etc. So many layers to his knock-on value, much if not all of which can be “justified” as well spent (for the accountants among us who demand such justification like their money), even IF he is now in his best season. As for that, he’d be even better if he had better service than we are currently mustering; and, as a decoy, he’d be of further value if/when we get another formidable striker as backup/complement so we can again compete in multiple competitions without burning out RvP. It’s madness to consider losing him.

  • bob

    Chuen Boye,
    To be honest (your word), we don’t need and shouldn’t want Bendtner back. (Plus I’m sure the feeling is mutual.) While he was patiently brought back in from a brutal injury, he bites the hand that fed and nurtured him. Do you not recall this? Bendtner is a legend in his own mind. A second-rate talent with a lot of ego-driven baggage. And we do need another clinical-quality striker for a host of reasons, starting with wanting a return to multi-cup competition (which will burn out and/or injure any one player, let alone one over 30).

  • bob

    Hares bonchancho,
    I could guess your affinity for Campbell, but by what evidence do you have the confidence to just slide him into the mix as if he’s of proven value as yet?

  • soni

    I ‘m really enjoyin all of uuuuuu………..

  • critic


    RVP won’t stay for 120k per week. It has to be around the region of 160-200k for 3 years. At 32 arsenal can re think their strategy of whether to hold him or sell him.

    But 120k is too low, that’s about what torres earns at chelsea without doing anything.

    Arsenal will have to break the salary cap to keep RVP and by 2014 there will be new breakaway sponsorship deals at arsenal.

  • critic

    Look guys in my humble and honest opinion Podolski is too old to come to arsenal. I mean 26?? Walcott would have been abused 8 seasons in a row by the time he reaches 26. There will be just not enough time to abuse podolski at emirates.

    And what’s up with this constant medical that Podolski is going through?? I bet arsenal are trying to get him cloned. That way cloned version can be raise arsenal way, ready to hear groans and moans everytime he miscontrols the ball or misplaces his pass. That part is very important to be an arsenal player.

  • Shard


    Are you RVP’s agent? How do you know what he’ll stay for? 120k will be breaking the salary cap I think. Plus reportedly the signing on fee of 5m is separate. Not that I necessarily believe the reported figures. But I doubt Arsenal can offer 150k and above. In any case, I’m not really going to speculate about it. The 120k was just an estimate to give the idea that it may not be the most efficient use of money in purely monetary terms, but RVP’s value demands we stretch our usual moderation. Everything in moderation. Even moderation, right? If Arsenal can and want to pay as much as you say, that’s up to the club. They know their budgets. We don’t.

  • Mav

    If rvp does leave it will be either barca or madrid he then become a Thierry Henry who will take his spot Matias,Walcott,chamberlain,
    Chamack,Del Piero,hoilet,Podolski,Giroud,
    Hazard Zlatan Ibrahimovic arsenal don’t at the talented players like Pierre emerick Aubameyang(saint-eittenne striker)or El sharaawi(ac milan midfielder)

  • Gord

    Arsenal publishes little about wages or transfer fees, and yet we have so many experts here. 🙂

    If you would like a light-hearted personnel article, the Mirror has a short article about Arsenal players doing a project with the English National Ballet.

    But ballet dancers are every much athletes as football players. And athletes of any persuasion can learn from athletes of another persuasion.

  • goonergerry

    Arsenal have been very lucky so far this season that RVP has played as many games as he has. If he makes it to the Euros unscathed a spell out next season is inevitable.Even with him staying, I dont believe that we have had the strength of squad to sustain progress in 4 competitions and if there are several departures then we will need to buy more than one striker- and Giroud would offer us something we dont have at present – taking into account Campbell and Afobe.
    Could Giroud be a success in the EPL- i.e in a faster, more physically intensive and competitive league? Possibly.

  • Valentin

    Vertonghen wants to join us, however unless Miquel is farmed out and we suffer the same loss of both left backs I cannot see the interest in him. Arsene Wenger would never play him as a defensive midfield player. In the EPL that would be suicidal and asking from red card. You do not want to tempt the already anti-Arsenal referees.

    Giroud is a completely different player than Chamakh. Giroud is much more mobile and much more goal oriented. When through on goal, Giround first intinct would be to shoot, Chamack would be to pass. IMHO Olivier Giround is well managed would be great success in the EPL. Despite that I still do not think that we are after him, I believe that we are after his teammate Belhanda. People got confused because they saw the Grimster at a lot of Montpellier games and straight away assumed that as a French striker (and everybody knew that Arsenal were after a striker) that’s who Gilles came to see. Arsene Wenger in his Eurosport column made some complimentary comments on Belhanda. As he is the kind of young mobile player maker, that rumour is credible.

    M’Vila has gone off the boil this season, however it make sense as there is a chance that this time Cameroon will qualify for the ACN. That would mean Alex Song disappearing for 2 months during the busiest period of the season. Frimpong may go again on loan as he had been injured for the second season in a row. Having just Coquelin as Song’s back up/replacement would be risky. Whoever talk about Eastmond think of the Craig Eastmond of two years ago. He had been injured a lot, had trouble with the police and had not played very well since his latest return from injury. He is not a credible option to play in the first team. He is likely to go on loan at a Championship or League 1 club. I personnally think that he will end up at a lower league club. Until he wakes up his career that was initially full of promise will peter out the same way than not so smart and not so hard-working previous Arsenal next best thing: David Bentley, Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Arturo Lupoli, Ryan Smith.

    Benik Afobe may spend the next season with Reading. That would be beneficial to both Benik, Reading and Arsenal. He would be mor elikely to feature there than staying at Arsenal for the Carling Cup and the odd dead rubber game.

    Now a full Costa Rica international, Joel Campbell should get a working permit. Despite being left footed, he tend to play on the right side of the front three. We could a front three made of three left footed: Podolsky, Van Persie, Campbell.

    Javier Perez tend to have real information regarding transfer, however even he admit that Matthias Suarez work permit issue is an obstacle for him to join us. Also I think that with the real possibility of Podolsky joining us, the Suarez proposition is now much less tempting that he once was.

    RVP’s importance to Arsenal is more than just on the pitch. It is inside the club (for the teammates) but also outside. What does it say for a club like Arsenal if you keep losing your best player and captain two seasons in row. I also think that RVP act a glue within the team. He is a much better captain that Cesc. Everybody knows that he is happy at Arsenal and that he has no ultimate dream of joining another club like Cesc had with Barcelona. he organise get together. He is also available to the youngster. Benik Afobe, Nico Yennaris (whose season is over after an injury), Ozyakup have all mentionned how great and influential he had been for them.

  • Ckovu Srb.

    i’m not big fan of arsenal, but, i’m fan of Montpellier and i have watched lot of MHSC games this seasson…. Younes Belhanda, is good playmaker, with good creativity and atractive dribles….but engine of the leading team in FL1, is Giroud for sure… Honestly, i’ve never watch player of his type, he showing a tottaly diferent style of play, of the typical target man strikers, has a brilliant positioning in front of goal, and have one of the highest two-foot jump in football world…BRILLIANT COMBINATION! 1,92 cm height man is so speedy, instead his physical measures…He has a perfect acrobatic abilities, too… Lot of overhead kicks, bicycle kicks, high jumps and more…He is real “killer” in front of goal, cold blooded and has a mm precision in situations one-on-one with the goalkeeper… you can watch him tomorow against valencienes, to see that all i’ve said is true.