He struts and poses like a man more suited to a catwalk than a football pitch. However, in spite of this, the Frenchman has a lot to offer Arsenal’s beautiful game.
Olivier Giroud is a magnet for criticism; he follows a long line of truly great Arsenal centre forwards, although he’s performs like Alan Smith rather than Thierry Henry, much to the disappointment of Gunners supporters.
This is no bad thing though, like Smith before him, Giroud is very apt at holding the ball up with his back turned to goal.
The Frenchman is also capable in the air and has a fearsome left-foot. Nonetheless his most rewarding attribute is his work rate; he works tirelessly on the pitch and makes his surrounding teammates look better as a result. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez become better players when Giroud is in the team.
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So what’s the catch with this 6ft 4inch striker? Well he’s often criticized for spurning a lot of good chances for club and country; he is not a natural goal-scorer by any means.
But before you call him the French Emilie Heskey it’s worth checking out his goal per game ratio, which works out at one goal every other game since he joined Arsenal in 2012 – now that’s pretty respectable.
Furthermore, Giroud is a first choice striker for France, he has even kept Karim Benzema out of the team on occasion, and this is a team that can boast of strikers like Alexandre Lacazette and Anthony Martial.
It’s a similar story at Arsenal, as well. Arsene Wenger clearly prefers the Frenchman over Theo Walcott, and for good reason. Giroud is far more of a team player and caters much more to Arsenal’s style of play, which has a strong emphasis on build-up play.
So why do supporters criticize Giroud so much? An article in The Metro has suggested that handsome men often struggle career wise because their good looks are too intimidating to other men.
Perhaps supporters are jealous of Giroud, although David Beckham hasn’t suffered from the same sort of discrimination, and after doing a little more research there are many articles that completely contradict the one in The Metro.
For example, there’s an article in The Telegraph that talks about how persuasive a good-looking man can be over his average-looking competitors.
However, with that being said, the real reason Arsenal and France supporters resent Giroud so much is due the wealth of striking talent they have had over the years. Arsenal fans have been spoilt with the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie.
Just because Giroud isn’t a world-class individual striker doesn’t mean he can’t be a part of a world-class team. If the Gunners continue to scapegoat him then they just might alienate one of their team’s most valuable assets.