Want to know how quickly you can go from hero to villain in football? Just ask Olivier Giroud. The big French striker was the man in form for the Gunners prior to the AS Monaco game on Wednesday. However, the Champions League clash was far from the forward’s finest game, with Giroud being guilty of missing several clearcut chances.
Arsene Wenger eventually hauled off the former Montpellier ace around the hour-mark as the boos echoed around the Emirates stadium. Due to that, there was genuine debate as to whether Giroud would be in the starting line-up to face Everton.
Le Professeur remained faithful to his striker and he was repaid with the French international scoring a few minutes before half-time to ease the tensions that were still around following the midweek embarrassment.
Can Giroud carry the mantle for Arsenal in front of goal? Of course he can! And here is why!
The Frenchman bagged his 50th Arsenal goal in the recent 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in the Premier League. Giroud has reached the milestone quicker than Didier Drogba managed for Chelsea, Wayne Rooney for Manchester United and Robin van Persie for the Gunners.
That is quite the calibre of player to be ahead of and having bagged his 51st goal for the north London side against Everton today, the former Montpellier ace doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon.
The first time you see Giroud, you assume he is a good old-fashioned centre-forward with an aerial presence and the ability to rough up the opposition defenders; he does offer that but he is also capable of so much more.
The French international’s consolation strike in the 2-1 defeat against Manchester United earlier in the season deserved to win any game. The quick thinking and exquisite finish to kill off Middlesbrough in the FA Cup Fifth Round tie was something you’d have only thought possible from someone like Santi Cazorla or Mesut Ozil.
Despite pointless rumours, Arsenal are never going to go out and sign someone like Edinson Cavani – at least why Arsene Wenger is still running things at the Emirates.
The Gunners do have a lot of attacking options but no one who can carry the goalscoring mantle – even Alexis Sanchez’s explosive start to life in north London has stalled. Theo Walcott is still not up to full fitness, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doesn’t score enough, Danny Welbeck will never be more than a 10-goals-a-season striker whilst Aaron Ramsey’s goalscoring exploits of last season appear to be a positive blip in form rather than a mainstay.
Giroud remains Arsenal’s best bet at a 30-goals-a-season striker.