By Walter Broeckx
I have seen a snide remark on Untold this weekend before the Newcastle match from a person who said that we should stop embarrassing ourselves by comparing Giroud with Thierry Henry. And maybe he was right. Maybe we should stop doing that. Because it might put a too big pressure on Giroud to live up with the one and only Thierry Henry.
There was only one TH and Giroud is no TH, will never be one just because he is a completely different type of player. Giroud is not that fast speedy gonzalez that TH was in his best days. Giroud is the big striker who can use his body in order to put some weight and pressure on the defenders of the other team.
If you ask most people who the best striker is in the PL this season and the name of Diego Costa will come up more than once. He is the leading top scorer at the moment I write this.
So in order to compare Giroud with anyone….why not compare him with Diego Costa? Hell yeah, why not. Just do it, and so I did. Data is from websites that hold those statistics so I hope they are accurate as I take their data as correct.
Diego Costa in all competitions:
Olivier Giroud in all competitions:
So the cold numbers are that it takes super striker Diego Costa 125 minutes to score a goal and “second string striker” Giroud only 87 minutes. Yes that is on average a goal every match when Giroud can start and finish a match. Not bad for a striker for which some of our own supporters go completely overboard when he misses a few chances. What about you Claude?
These numbers mean that Diego Costa needs 37 more minutes to score a goal than Giroud. Let that sink in for a minute. That is almost an entire half of a football match.
And if we add the assists in the mix we see that Diego Costa has a goal contribution every 108 minutes. And Giroud is involved in a goal by either scoring himself of giving an assist every 74 minutes. That is a difference of 34 minutes or Costa needing more than half an hour to do what Giroud did in 74 minutes.
Not bad for a ‘not that good striker’ as some refer to him.
In fact how much did the three months we had to play without him (when his leg was broken at the start of the season) have a negative impact on our league position? Just imagine having him around the whole season!
Now I must admit there is one player who has a slightly better record. Harry Kane has a goal every 84 minutes so far this season. BUT… in his goals there are two penalties and if we exclude them as Giroud doesn’t take penalties the time Kane needs to score an outfield goal goes up to 91 minutes. And the total goal contribution of Kane including penalties and assists is a goal contribution every 76 minutes and the goal contribution from Giroud as can be seen in the table is 74 minutes.
So I’m not saying Giroud is as good as Thierry Henry or ever will be (not that I wouldn’t wish Giroud to break all the TH records apart from running fast).
But what I am saying is that Giroud is a damn good striker to have around. A striker that has a better statistic record than Costa and even Kane. Only his injury has prevented him from being at the same total level as they are.
I think if we had had a fully fit Giroud all season we would be very, very close to Chelsea. And even not mentioning a full fit Özil.
So for all those Giroud haters I would say give the boy a rest when he misses a chance next time. Why don’t you do what the home support did when after the Monaco match he missed his first chance and the crowd started singing his name. And the rewarded with a goal a bit later.
Get off his back and just start supporting him because he sure gives us not only goals but his work in the build up to goals is also vastly underrated, his holding up play is great and let us not forget his defensive contribution when defending free kicks and corners is also very important and valuable.
No, Giroud is no Henry. But he sure can put his foot next to those strikers who make the headlines in the PL and I got a feeling there is more to come from him this season.
Anniversaries – the good and the bad…
22 March 1986: With the club having failed to win any of its last eight games Don Howe resigned as manager 10 years to the day after Bertie Mee. Steve Burtenshaw took over but the run continued to ten games, during which Arsenal scored just one goal.
22 March 2005: The start of Lehmann’s record of 853 minutes without conceding a goal in the Champions League.
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