How bad was Giroud?

During the season, many people expressed… disappointment… over the performance of Olivier Giroud.  Now that the season is over, this seems like a good topic for a poll.

giroud frustrated

Everyone knows the Liverpool duo, Suarez and Sturridge, head the Premier League Top Scorers list. How poor was Arsenal’s main, and virtually sole central forward, as compared to the remaining big names in the league?  Close the newspaper.  Do not search online.  Time for a little quiz.

I wonder how the replies are distributed.  The answers are:  Aguero +1, Dzeko +0, Negredo -7, Rooney +1, RvP -4, Hazard -2.

Here’s how to rate yourself:

  • None correct:  You must hate Giroud because of his good looks.  Try to be more objective next season.
  • Up to three correct:  Sorry, work on your football attention span over the summer.  Use the World Cup, for example, to hone your skill.
  • At least four correct:  Congratulations!  You are a keen observer of the great game.  May you use your talent constructively.
  • All correct:  You have a terrible crush on Giroud.  Take a number, and wait in the lobby with the other drooling fans.

Giroud badge

One might object to the use of Aguero in the comparison, because he was out for long stretches of the season.  The same might be said about RvP, but in his case, his health history is part of the story.  Indeed, Giroud’s durability was a big plus.  At the start of the season, many people pointed out that Arsenal would be in trouble, were Giroud to be injured.  Fortunately, that theory was never fully tested because, despite the work load, injuries never kept Giroud out for long.

One might also note that Giroud’s shot conversion rate (*) was only 14%, which puts him near the bottom of this ranking (along with Negredo and Oscar).  However, the lauded Suarez, who converted at 17%, was not much more efficient.  If both took 100 shots, Suarez would score three more goals than Giroud.  Suarez goal total is so much higher because he shot about 60% more than Giroud did.  In other words, quantity and slightly better quality made that large difference.

That comparison aside, how frustrated we fans all have been to see Giroud waste clear cut chances?  Could he improve this aspect of his game?  He did not demonstrate anything better in his two seasons with Montpellier, prior to joining Arsenal.  Then, his shot conversion rate was also about 14%.  In fact, in the 2011-12 season, when he topped the Ligue 1 scoring table with 21 goals, his shot conversion rate was slightly lower at 13%.  He just shot a whole lot more that season.

Will Giroud get to shoot much more than the 112 shots he took this season?  That seems unlikely.  In an Arsenal team that shares the ball and has multiple attacking players, Giroud would not be asked to take most of the shots.

Here’s hoping he can improve his efficiency.  Giroud isn’t the best, but his bottom line number is not that bad.

TwentyTwelve

(*) I define shot conversion rate as: goals / (shots on target + off target + blocked).  The most efficient scorer was Yaya Toure at 31%; he got 20 goals from 64 shots!  The worst was Oscar at 11%; he got only 8 goals from 70 shots.

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147 Responses to How bad was Giroud?

  1. arnie says:

    ha ha ha, TT. Brilliant. :) I got none correct, but I am not a Giro-hater. In fact, might even have a little bit of crush on him.

    Certainly good enough. Could be better, but you could say that with anyone, could you not?

    Most importantly, he stayed on his feet all season, and despite bearing the brunt of opposition mercenary action. :) COYG.

  2. arnie says:

    FIRST, and now Second as well. :)

  3. BD says:

    How many sitters did he miss at Man City?
    Can’t remember a worse first choice centre forward for Arsenal. Can you?

  4. Rasp says:

    Very clever and entertaining post TT, that must have taken a lot of research.

    There are several things you can say about Giroud and they’re all good. He works tirelessly. He is strong and resilient. He’s a team player. He maximises his natural ability. It is his goals that have helped us achieve CL football again next year. In the light of these, I think he should be exempt from criticism.

    This does’t mean that the squad wouldn’t benefit from another different type of striker in addition to Ollie.

    But for the time being we should all just say, thanks Ollie you did a grand job. P.S. keep it in your pants in future :lol:

  5. Rasp says:

    BD do you remember TH14 missing a sitter in the CL final? – all strikers miss opportunities they should score.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha TT, brilliant stuff.

    You know how we like a poll, and we got six of the little blighters.

    Absolutely love the wording on your “how to rate yourself” conclusions :-) :-)

    I am a big fan of Ollie and what he brings to the side, but firmly believe he is the kind of back-up/Plan B option that all title winning sides need.

    Also, I don’t think we’ll ever see the best of Mesut until we have a speedier CF.

    My conclusion is, keep him, but add a Grade A’er.

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooops, hadn’t seen Arnie’s “Ha ha TT, brilliant” intro. :-)

  8. lance says:

    No matter how much research you do it cannot hide the fact that watching Giroud live shows how weak he is and out of his depth at arsenal. he is not quick enough physically and mentally therefore making our midfield magicians looks very average..he is a real embarrasment to our team and together with arteta are the main reason why everybody knew we would not win the league…

  9. GOONERKAM says:

    Very nice post . OG is a tidy player. Needs more focus and less extramarital interdigitation. By and by , have the Republicans taken over and control the earth yet? Oops, sorry. Reptilians.

  10. GOONERKAM says:

    I had a mancrush on PETIT. I’m not proud.

  11. evonne says:

    Fantastic post!!
    I got many wrong but in the right way, ie the opposition scored more than I gave them credit for. I don’t have a crush on Ollie, I do think that he is not a centre forward, but his work and commitment cannot be dissed. He sort of grows on me.

    GK – :)

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “I had a mancrush on PETIT. I’m not proud” ROLF

  13. RedMJ says:

    Great fun TT. I think OG never gets the credit he deserves but that goes for the whole club too given the way it is run in a world where the only thing that seems to matter (to the journos and plastic fans) is how much you can spend and how fast.

    On a slightly different subject (but kinda related), I am really hoping that the Gooner fans can “boss” the atmosphere at Wembley on Saturday. Against Birmingham on that fateful day there seemed to be a real air of complacency and “we only need to turn up to win” attitude amongst the fans and from where I was stood, the blue noses easily out performed us. In my slightly paranoid world, can’t help thinking that such a vibe finds its way on to the pitch or at best doesn’t help lift the team to greater things.

    Finally, are any regular AA’ers going on Saturday and are you planning to meet for light refreshments someplace beforehand?

  14. arnie says:

    ha ha, Micky, brilliant. :) great men think alike … and all that. :razz:

  15. Rasp says:

    Hi RedMJ, most of us have been unlucky in the ballot to get tickets. Micky is going because he has suckered up to some old boy from Devon :P and I think chary has blagged a ticket. Some of us are going to watch the game at The Emirates.

  16. TwentyTwelve says:

    Thanks, all.

    BD & lance, his “sitter” misses bother me as well. However, in the Tactical Column on arseblog, which I unfortunately read after submitting this post, Anam Hassan wrote this about our (current) favorite player:

    “Aaron Ramsey’s rise confirms the idea that finishing, if not a learned skill, is an acquired skill.”

    In the prior season, Ramsey shot 46 times in 36 appearances for a grand return of one goal, an atrociously low 2% conversion rate. At the time, many Arsenal fans were also disappointed with Ramsey, with some even saying he shouldn’t play, etc. In this season, in which he was out for much of the season, he shot 50 times in 23 appearances, scoring 10 goals. That’s an impressive conversion rate of 20%. To compare, Podolski, whom many people rate as a deadly finisher, also has a 20% conversion rate.

    Wenger had this to say about Ramsey’s transformation:

    “I always thought he would score goals if he improved his technical quality. When you watched the games, you saw him always in good positions in the box. And when he got the chances, he missed sometimes… a short (?) first touch. He has improved tremendously on that, and that’s why he scores goals.”

    (Starting from 00:37 on http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-last-season-crucial-for-ramsey)

    Would it be so with Giroud? Looking at it another way, the sitters he’s missing means that he’s getting into good positions in the box. As arseblog puts it, can he now acquire the finishing skill?

  17. GOONERKAM says:

    I’ll be watching the cup final at the pub. With 200+ crazy ass gooners. If you listen hard enough you will hear our singing across the pond.
    Morning MICKY.

  18. kelsey says:

    If I am going to be absolutely honest I got them all right…..to be continued :)

  19. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all. great work TT
    Needless to say didn’t even know how many Oli scored let alone the others.

    Giroud has been a bit of a glich to me, and i don’t mean that in a bad way,He seems awkward and also a bit one sided, A hair style like his makes me think that he doesn’t like heading, but the header he got the other day was breathtaking.

    Now that’s what i mean about him, slow as a cart horse, but has moments where your glad he’s there.

    I have times where i watch him and i want kick the ball for him, as i feel it will end up at the corner post or in row z but another day i wonder how this lopsided player has actually scored a blinder.

    As my score in your poll suggests, i am not much of a stat’s man, but i know what i like to watch, i like speed and athleticism i like to feel confident about our striker. I have to admit that he doesn’t float my boat, but he does score goals.

    What would i do, Got to be quite honest, i am in a quandary about this striker, I want a CF with pace i want to see him slip defences and sprint away i want to see goals flying in and i want excitement.

    Oliver seems to score everywhere, on and off the field of play, Really, i feel we have all known guys like him, but have you ever trusted them..

  20. LBG says:

    Four out of six for me. A cracking idea for a post TT, and comments from such as lance, added to polls on radio asking Arsenal callers to name their worst players of the season – several indicating Giroud and Arteta – prove I must be watching in a different time continuum!!!

  21. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp

    Chas, Ant and 26 are all going as well.

    And for your information, 26 did bigger sucking up than me :-)

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    TT

    That’s a very interesting article on how Arsene saw Aaron’s development.

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GoonerKam

    Where in the US are you?

  24. ai-zed says:

    TT good one to help some that berate our HFB.2.0 incessantly. Had friends who absolutely lost it when man city got negredo & the tiny tots got soldado (rhyme much?) but looking back at the season’s end can’t really see what much we would have gained except more bodies in the squad. I really like OG12, he’s a kind of player that seems to me to be in a great deal of awareness of his limitations but tries to maximise his gifts. A closer look at our recent 5 game winning streak will show how much involvement he has in the goals we scored (I observed a new connection between he & Ramsey; 2 of podolski’s goals came from an OG12 pull out to Rambo with Rambo laying off for Lucas, and then the assist for THAT volley). Certain players bring out the best in certain other players, here’s hoping Rambo, theo, ozil, & santi stay fit most of next season

  25. 26may1989 says:

    That was fun, TT, thanks.

    BD, you ask if we can remember a worse first choice centre forward for Arsenal than Giroud. Lee Chapman certainly comes to mind. Kevin Campbell as well. Alan Sunderland wasn’t exactly a footballing genius either.

  26. LBG says:

    I’m lucky enough to be going as well, making only the Arse/Newcastle double clincher being the only Wembley/Millennium final I have missed since ’61.

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, LBG, I think that record of yours has safely put us all in our places :-)

    Very impressive record. Wow.

  28. BD says:

    Twenty Twelve, Aaron Ramsey’s dud season came after a desperate injury. (jack will be back too) .
    Rasp, do you have to go back to the CL final for a TH miss. Any one can miss, I thought the twerp at Spurs was the worst for missing sitters, but OG is pure slapstick.
    I notice no one can recall a worse first choice centre forward for the gunners. BD

  29. chas says:

    Cheers, TT.
    When I saw the headline, I wondered what this sort of post was doing on AA. Once I’d got home and actually read it, I was pleased it painted OG in a relatively good light.

    I got all of the answers wrong as I went for between -2 to -7 for each one and got Negredo and bsr the wrong way round. Hazard’s stats from midfield are good, aren’t they?

  30. chas says:

    LBG
    Did you have man flu in 1998?

  31. Arthur Schopenhauer says:

    I read this statistical analysis on Arsenal’s season and the effectiveness of our midfielders:

    http://thebigripple.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/arsenals-midfield-strength-201314-aka_7047.html

    I thought it was really interesting and explained exactly what happened this season. I would love to know what the more experienced people on this blog think about it.

    I did not write it.

  32. LBG says:

    Thanks Micky. In the old days it was all about collecting tokens. Now, as proved by the number of AA followers who didnt get one this time, it’s all about luck! Unless of course you follow the ARSE all round the country, like Chas and Ant, and justifably get your credits. We will cheer them on for the rest.

  33. 26may1989 says:

    Ummmm, BD, 11:58?

  34. chas says:

    BD
    So you didn’t bother to read the comment at 11:58 naming Lee Chapman, Kevin Campbell and Alan Sunderland?
    How about John Hartson, as well. He was shit.

  35. LBG says:

    No Chas. ‘Working in France’. Have a fine write up of the day though!

  36. ai-zed says:

    talking of worse strikers than giroud, was chamack better?

  37. Vinay says:

    I got Hazard wrong, rest all right yeahhhh.

    Worse striker than him? come on thats harsh, he has been very good. He was never going to be the great striker we hoped for but thats not his fault, thats our over the top expectations.

    He has had a better second season than his first which in itself is testimony to his betterment. This was the same guy who were praying not to get injured in december , so now saying he is very bad is disparity.

    For me he is as good as costa, i really do not think so Costa is any different than Giroud, both have similar traits and weakness and i believe Giroud brings more in his link up play than costa would.

    In the end, for Giroud to be even more successful we either play 4-4-2 or have a DB10 kind of a role for Ozil/Ramsey who can play behind him and provide him the opportunity to be even more effective.

  38. Rasp says:

    …. Francis Jeffers??

  39. chas says:

    I’d say he was better than Charlie Nicholas and Tony Woodcock, too.
    So in actual fact, only Henry, Wright and Smith may have been considered better. (I don’t include that manc twat for obvious reasons)

  40. chas says:

    He said ‘first choice’, Rasp, otherwise the list is endless. :)

  41. BD says:

    Chas, you’ve made my point. Ian Wright was the main man, but John Hartson was different class to OG.
    Of the other 3, (ancient history) arguably neither KC or AS were the main striker, and to say Ian Chapman was worse than OG, you’ve found one. BD

  42. Rasp says:

    I agree, the list of who was better than Giroud is much shorter than those who were not as good. I don’t think Wiltord scored as many goals as Giroud this season – but I could be wrong.

    Boa Morte?

  43. chas says:

    Ian Chapman – hahahahahahaha.

  44. chas says:

    Fabian Caballero?

  45. TwentyTwelve says:

    Micky,

    You might like this press conference, which was conducted two days before that other interview.

    “Honestly, I didn’t expect him [Ramsey] to score so many goals. He’s especially improved in his passing, his technical quality. He was always in good positions in the box, but scoring is a bit cyclical. You have periods when it goes in and others when it doesn’t. For me the most important thing is the quality of his game.”

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-on-victory-ramsey-and-marseille

    This was back in mid September, and Wenger seemed to play down the scoring aspect of Ramsey’s game. Perhaps he was fearing a dry spell, which if it came early, would damage Ramsey’s confidence. Happily that dry spell is slow in coming, and may it never does. Even the injury layoff did not affect his scoring.

    The experience with Ramsey makes me think that Giroud, who have many good qualities along with the obvious short coming, could surprise us.

  46. Rasp says:

    Hartson better than Giroud …. you’re having a giraffe

  47. chas says:

    Julio Baptista?

  48. chas says:

    Kaba Diawara – I’ll never forgive him.

  49. Rasp says:

    That little Spanish fella who won the Europa cup last night

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    26M.

    Alan Sunderland may not have been the greatest or most gifted Arsenal striker but this goal made him an Arsenal legend,
    ……………………………………………………………………………

    Sunderland’s most famous moment came in the 1979 FA Cup Final; Arsenal had gone 2–0 up against Manchester United, with goals from Brian Talbot and Frank Stapleton, and looked set for victory with only five minutes remaining. However, United scored twice in three minutes, with goals from Gordon McQueen and Sammy McIlroy, and extra time loomed. In the very last minute of the match, however, Arsenal pushed forward in a desperate counter-attack; Liam Brady fed Graham Rix on the left wing, and his cross was converted by Sunderland at the far post to make the score 3–2, and win Arsenal the cup.

  51. LBG says:

    BD – What’s wrong with ancient history! John Radford, Ray Kennedy, Alan Skirton?

  52. BD says:

    Ray Kennedy was brilliant.

  53. RA says:

    Reyes, Rasp.

    I guessed all the answers and flukily got them all right. And that is not modesty – they were guesses.

    In my opinion, too many people are far too hard on Giro.

    Admittedly he is not fast – but guys his size are not generally noted for speed, but he is all heart and chases the ball down, even when they are lost causes.

    He has very little support in the ‘speed’ stakes with Theo and Oxo being injured for much of the season, and no one else having much pace either.

    Compare that with Suarez for example. He has two very quick and tricky players in Sturridge and Sterling playing alongside him and he feeds off the uncertainty in the opposition defences they create.

    I bet if you looked at Suarez’s goal scoring in his first two or three years at the ‘Pool, I think his scoring stats were not that much better than Giro’s, if at all.

    Bring in a speedy winger this summer, and hopefully Theo won’t keep breaking down next season and I think Giro will get better and better.

    Go Giro!! :-)

  54. Rasp says:

    Thanks redders, I knew :lol: I wasn’t too pleased when the little Spanish fella decided he was homesick because the big English bullies kept kicking him, you’re supposed to put your body on the line if you wear the shirt.

  55. GunnerN5 says:

    Lest we forget these are Arsenal’s 100 plus goal scorers, a rare breed indeed – only 16 players in our entire history.

    Thierry HENRY 228
    Ian WRIGHT 185
    Cliff BASTIN 178
    John RADFORD 149
    Jimmy BRAIN 139
    Ted DRAKE 139
    Doug LISHMAN 137
    Robin VAN PERSIE 132
    Joe HULME 125
    David JACK 124
    Dennis BERGKAMP 120
    Reg LEWIS 118
    Alan SMITH 115
    Jack LAMBERT 109
    Frank STAPLETON 108
    David HERD 107

  56. chas says:

    Kennedy 212 appearances 71 goals = 0.33 goals a game

    Giroud 97 appearances 39 goals = 0.40 goals a game

  57. chas says:

    Talking of the Europa Cup.
    Did you notice that on Benfica’s second penalty the Sevilla goalkeeper was about 2 yards of his line when the ball was kicked?
    A referee and two of those assistant thingies and none of them saw a thing. Disgraceful.

  58. TwentyTwelve says:

    Chas,

    Yes, Hazard scoring stats were good from midfield, and although I did not include him in the poll, Yaya Toure stats were even better!

    The surprising thing is that Hazard led Chelsea in scoring with 14. Eto’o being nearest to him, only had 9. Torres and Ba were even more woeful, with 5 each. (Perhaps I should have used them in the poll instead of Hazard :) )

    Yet with such a poor group of strikers, Chelsea scored slightly more league goals (71) than Arsenal (68). Even being so unproductive, Torres and Ba are still a big step above Arsenal’s Bendtner and Sanogo. :(

  59. RedMJ says:

    Clive Allan who was so bad he never played a game for us

  60. Rasp says:

    I did like Davor Suker, he had a great approach to the game. 22 appearances, 8 goals (according to wiki) Why did he leave so soon?

  61. eldergooner says:

    What do you expect Rasp @1.05 from a bloke who wears tights – in Spain – when playing his football ? Cringe making . What a nino mimoso (spoilt brat) he looks.
    Great post TT. I am a big Ollie fan -gives his all – and just wait until he gets going next season !!

  62. chas says:

    TT
    Why you didn’t use Eto’o did occur to me. But I suppose Mourinho had already told us he was rubbish. :)

  63. chas says:

    What exactly are the ref and his assistants doing (there’s another one out of shot on the goal line this side)?

    Though I’m sure that GIE will say that that’s perfectly fair. :)

  64. chas says:

    Right last one before I bore everyone stupid.
    Have a look at the pen. It’s at 1:50 or thereabouts.
    He’s so far off his line, it’s ludicrous.

  65. TwentyTwelve says:

    Great point, RA. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a source to do the comparison you suggested.

    By the way, Suarez conversion rate for the 2012-13 season was only 12%, yet he scored 23 goals. Again that is due to the number of shots he took. Amazingly, Suarez also consistently creates many chances. Sorry for asking an ignorant question, does every Liverpool attack go through Suarez?

    Chas, yes, I should have, but I was trying to retain a modicum of fairness :) Really, if one were to compare forwards only, Giroud production this season isn’t that bad.

  66. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Brilliant TT

    Never looking at stats, I admit to getting them all wrong.

    Giroud is a hero. All season long hes played the lone man up front with courage and determination. You can tell he is a good player by the fact he scores goals using all parts of his anatomy. Shinning them, rear ending them. He even scored against west brom with his nose. Though I admit, judging on the size of his hooter he should be a 50 goal a season man.

    The only thing that disturbs me TT, is this is a man were a photo went public showing him indulging a self inflicted wedgie. What kind of geezer does that?

    Ive lost count the amount of times I had to flee from a street gang who take great delight in wedging me. And ime not talking about school days, this is a gang of kids who hand around at the canal end of my street. They have even gone to the effort to work out my going and arriving times to and from work. I also fear that the delight they get from wedging me will eventually result in them posting a 24 hour lookout outside my house.

    Yet Giroud done it to himself? Strange man.

  67. TwentyTwelve says:

    Please, someone help me. I cannot stop rolling on the floor after reading Terry 1:43.

  68. godlikemonolith says:

    You should have added ‘goals created’ as well….as i ma sure Giroud matched up fairly well.

  69. sean potter says:

    thats a great post.i got 3 rght…i wouldnt say i have seen a worse first choice striker bt thats not to mean am a giro hater,i actualy like his work rate and defensive ability when it comes to set pieces.

  70. sean potter says:

    Terry,thats realy funny.find a way to get them off your back.

  71. Girouds record against the bottom 15 teams in the PL is more than sufficient to be an Arsenal striker. The issue we have at the moment though is our record against the top 4 sides in the PL, and that is where Girouds goals dry up. We need a striker who can perform against the big guns, and unfortunately Giroud is not that man. Its not all his fault, as im sure he wouldve played better were our top players fit, but ultimately hes failed against the better sides. I would like him to stay at the club as he is a good player, but if him staying means we dont buy a top class striker who can win us the big games, then he can leave.

    Its a tough juggling act between getting a world class striker and having a back up who can come in and do the business when called upon, but thats why managers command such big contracts, because they can find a solution.

  72. Bayonne Jean says:

    Would find it interesting if there were some way to include a striker’s assists, pre-assists, and runs to open up space that leads to goals/assists, and Giroud would show a whole lot better than the large majority of first choice strikers. Strker’s effectiveness isn’t only the province of the shot (goals scored; shots taken; efficiency), particularly in the way AW sets things up.

    All these other measures underscore what a ridiculous season Suarez had, as he had to be off the charts in all of them.

    Would prioritise the signing of a defensive midfielder, as even in the Norwich match, Arteta was getting turned easily on more than a few occasions, which against top competition can prove to be fatal. That doesn’t mean dispensing with Arteta, but to me that’s the most glaring area for upgrade.

  73. jnyc says:

    TT interesting post. I love Girouds hard work. I have the man crush too. But hes not nearly good enough. Low conversion rate, and cant create his own shot to save his life .

    Suarez for example makes something from nothing, and breaks through parked bus type defenses, with scrambling and chaos he creates where our great passing just keeps getting disrupted.

    As Micky said, we need a striker to take advantage of Ozils skills, Oliies not the guy.

    Watching sundays match, I’d encourage people to re watch,,, girouds passing was immaculate, as good as ive seen, and his normal low passing percentage is because he attempts intricate passes, so many in and around the opponents box against parked buses, so off course that will be low percentage. But hes is great in that regard. I just want him to get the credit he deserves, before I say –
    — hes not good enough to be Arsenals #1 striker. Sorry to say. I would take any one of the names you compared him to, I think they would do much better for us.

  74. kelsey says:

    The definition of what is a classic striker has changed and there are several opinions on this and teams play in different formations.

    The record book doesn’t lie and 16 PL goals this season is a more than fair return for a player who IMO isn’t a natural striker.

    As FGG just said in his opening paragraph his return of goals against the top sides is pretty awful.3 goals in 12 matches against the others in the top 7.

    It is amazing that he has gone through the season uninjured,as he is definitely as strong as an Ox and in fact even our last game against Norwich he battled away and was instrumental with the lofted chip for Ramsey to score.
    On the down side his ball control isn’t great,neither his heading but above all he lacks pace to either beat the last man or appears to be a yard slow in reaching to a ball which in all probability would be a goal ,and often in a tight game where one goal would decide a game we need a better option.
    Of course he has value to the team but I am not sure about his natural ability at the top end of the game is good enough..

  75. JM says:

    How’s Romelu Lukaku’s league season (& statistics) on loan with Everton? He should be thereabouts with what Giroud has done as lone striker.

    In the big 5 European leagues this season, I could only think of 3 players, in the lone forward position, who are thereabouts:
    (1) Stefan Kiessling (Leverkusen)
    (2) Mario Mandzukic (Bayern)
    (3) Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG)

  76. TwentyTwelve says:

    Monolith, good suggestion. I cannot work out how to fit it in, however. The polldaddy format is too unwieldy. As it is, the article became excessively long, and somewhat tiresome to the reader, judging by the decreasing number of total replies for each poll. If there were something more concise, one might fit more in.

    FGG, that’s the thing. Liverpool aside, no club had strikers that scored significantly more than Giroud, even Man City. They had more contributing strikers, though! And they had significant contributions from other positions as well.

    For Arsenal, it was only Giroud, then a drop off to the injury hampered Ramsey and infrequently played Podolski. Then another drop to the rest of the contributors.

    jnyc, certainly Aguero is a class above, and the bottom line number surely would have demonstrated that if he got to play more this season. I am not sure about Dzeko. Would he provide like Giroud does? His numbers do not show it. Negredo? Hard to say because this is his first season. I don’t want to talk about the ManU blokes. Hazard plays a different position.

    kelsey, Suarez did not excel in scoring against big opponents either. He scored six against the top 7, but none against the six matches against Man City, Chelsea, or Arsenal (! yes not even in that 5-1 win.) And of that six, he scored half of them against Spurs, whom someone mentioned earlier would make anyone world class ;)

  77. TwentyTwelve says:

    kelsey, although I agree with the rest :)

    JM, Lukaku scored 15, one less than Giroud did. His conversion rate wasn’t much better (15% vs 14%).

  78. Big Raddy says:

    TT. Interesting and well researched post.

    I love OG and think in difficult circumstances he had a fine season.

    Is he good enough to be our main striker? Not sure – it depends upon our style of play. If he is a back to goal CF bringing MF’s into play then he is an expert, however as an out and out finisher we could find better.

    I think back to JW’s goal vs Norwich. OG showed intelligence and a level of finesse and awareness few strikers could copy.

    To the miscreant who suggested Radford was a poor CF (LBG ) – see me outside.

  79. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Fine spot. Dreadful refereeing.

    Oh, and the banter this morning had me laughing all day.

  80. RA says:

    Kelsey,

    Whoa! Stop! Hold your horses!

    — “The definition of what is a classic striker has changed”

    Yee Gods — I don’t even know what the original definition of what makes a classic striker, and now you are changing it!

    So start at the beginning and tell us what that definition is, please.

  81. RA says:

    Chas/Raddy

    And the GK moved for the 2nd penalty ‘miss’ too, and simply plopped on the ball. I use that term in the context of a body falling with the force of gravity to snaffle a slow moving ball. :-)

    I do not know the name of the guy who took it, but it looked like Ozil Mk2 with the slow approach, hesitation and then slow roll into the corner.

    Getting back to the original point, the refereeing standards in the CL leave a lot to be desired, and how the first save was not disallowed is inexplicable and, as you say, a disgrace.

  82. GOONERKAM says:

    MIKEYDIDIT89
    Los Angeles, mate. Home of the crazy ass LA GOONERS.

  83. kelsey says:

    You are not old enough to remember RA ;)

  84. TwentyTwelve says:

    By the way, kelsey, you might be generous to Giroud? I think he scored only one goal against the top 7, and that too, was against Spurs.

  85. kelsey says:

    The last time I remember traditional twin strikers working together was Kennedy and Radford and before that Crawford and Phillips in the title winning team of Ipswich (Alf Ramsey as manager).

    These players predominently worked together mainly in the centre of the pitch and not making darting runs down the flanks.

    Football changed,diets,training method,boots,different formations were used more and more and a lighter ball which makes a huge difference .

    I agree the lone striker role is a bloody hard job, but is our game really based on even having a lone striker ?.

    I still maintain that Wenger likes to buy attacking players who can play in a couple of different positions,which suits some but not others.

    That is fine but they have to have the intelligence and ability to do that.There again some can others can’t.

  86. TwentyTwelve says:

    Following up on RA 12:59, here are Suarez’s goal numbers. (Not enough info to calc conversion rate.)

    Season, Goals, Appearances
    10-11, 4, 13
    11-12, 11, 31
    12-13, 23, 33
    13-14, 33, 33

  87. TwentyTwelve says:

    Oops, that should be “13-14, 31, 33″.

  88. RA says:

    That is a good point, Kelsey;

    — “is our game really based on even having a lone striker?”

    The straight forward answer is that we have a striker but AW will tell you that the team attack as one, and defend as one.

    However, Barcelona have played for years without really having a striker, instead relying on their gifted midfield, including Messi, Iniesta etc to do the lion’s share of the goal scoring.

    It does seem that Arsene has modelled Arsenal on that system too, to a certain extent, with interchangeability being the order of the day. (Giroud spends as much time out on the wing as anywhere, rather like the brilliant Thierry).

    It will be interesting to see how we are set up next season after all the transfer shenanigans have been sorted out.

  89. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    The classic old time of striker was back in the days when players really stuck to their 11 designated positions, with a forward consisting of five players. an outside right and left and inside right and left and a center forward.

    The center forward was considered to be the “striker” and a great example would have been Bobby Smith of Spurs and England. He had a bull-dozing shoulder charging style and could score with both feet and was a wonderful header of the ball, and he played with the old all leather football. He seldom drifted out of position and spent very little time being bothered with defensive responsibilities. He scored 208 goals in 317 games for Spurs and 13 in 15 for England.

    Here is a description that I copied and pasted.

    England.Bustling buccaneer or crude, uncomely battering ram? Both descriptions of the Tottenham Hotspur and England centre-forward Bobby Smith might carry persuasive weight with those who saw the beefy, rampaging spearhead in his early 1960s prime, but arguably the truth was rather more complimentary than either of them. While hardly renowned for his delicacy, and though his on-field demeanour ran a vast gamut between tempestuous aggression and flat-footed indolence, the ebullient Smith could treat a football with unexpected subtlety and his positioning, when he was on his game, was sharply intelligent.

    Those underrated attributes apart, he merited vast credit for his sheer bravery, often taking the pitch with severely swollen ankles, the legacy of past conflicts. Smith soaked up constant punishment, but he was willing to dish it out, too, frequently creating physical mayhem on which more artistic colleagues capitalised heavily.

    The shame was, pf course, that he played for Spurs – an unforgivable error in judgement.

  90. RA says:

    Well done, TT, it bears out what I said with an improving goal scoring ratio as he gained experience with Pool’s style of play.

    There is no reason to think the same improvements could not happen to Giro, if he gets the appropriate back up from Theo or another pacey winger.

    Anyway, well done, again, for digging the info out! :-)

  91. Bayonne Jean says:

    Re the keeper moving on PKs: if you recall from the semifinal shootout, Fabianski did move forward off his line to stop the second PK. Prior to the third, the referee had a word with him, and on the next attempts he didn’t move up…..coincidence?

    How those Benfica PKs weren’t retaken, with the extra officials in place with nothing else to do, was a travesty. My view on those extra officials is this: Platini acceded to the demand to put them there, but has probably explicitly instructed them to not do anything. That way he can say, “See, I said they weren’t needed, and after years of having them, we can see that there is no effect of having them present, so why don’t we get rid of them!” Typical UEFA.

  92. Its not all about Giroud though. Its just as important to have the right players around the striker.

    Mandzukic – Ribery/Robben
    Benzema – Ronaldo/Bale

    Giroud – Walcott/Cazorla

    If we got a pacey LW and Theo was fit then i imagine Girouds goal tally would improve very quickly.

  93. RA says:

    Thank you for that, GN5.

    As a result of your welcome explanation, I googled Bobby Smith and the stand out fact for me, is that, as you said, he was a bustling, no nonsense aggressive centre forward who dished out some physical pain, but he was only 5′ 9″ and weighed just 12 1/2 stone soaking wet!

    I could have put him in my pocket! :-)

  94. kelsey says:

    GN5
    exactly what I meant but you have defined it more clearly.

    RA
    yes to a degree AW has modelled the style of play at Barca but until a few years ago they played with Ibramovich who definitely was a lone striker but had the supoort of a number of attacking midfield players.

    This is were guys like Ramsey will score a lot more goals and a number will be assists from Giroud.

    Now if Santi and Ozil and even Jack could up their goal tally we most probably wouldn’t need to buy another CF

  95. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    He would have created mayhem in your pocket and I cannot begin to describe the pain he would have inflicted on you.

  96. kelsey says:

    I purposely omitted Walcott as he is in a different category.

  97. RA says:

    Hiya, FGG,

    It seems you agree with my 12:59, responded to by TT @ 5:54, and my 5:59. :-)

    The more of us who are prepared to give Giro a chance, the better!

  98. RA says:

    GN5, :-)

  99. TwentyTwelve says:

    FGG 6:08, agreed. Kelsey at 6:12 too. And of course RA 5:59 as well.

    Now don’t say I am being a typical optimistic, agreeing AAer. These folks just make sense. :D

  100. GunnerN5 says:

    For what its worth I really like Giroud.

    His assets are vastly underrated and to consider him as a striker is misleading as I believe he brings far more to the team than just goal scoring,for instance – just consider his deft flick over the defense to set up our goal at Norwich.

    His runs off of the ball often take defenders out of their position leaving us with space to score also his endurance is to be applauded – especially in this day and age when a sniffle puts players out for a month. His set up play and clever touches simply go unnoticed.

    Whereas last season Ramsey was the “supporters” whipping boy this season its Giroud.

    its not his issue that we need a striker.

  101. TwentyTwelve says:

    RA, actually it could also be that Liverpool style has changed. Didn’t they have Andy Carroll and a different manager two years ago? Many factors could have contributed to him not being exceptional his first two seasons, and blossoming since. Hard for me to say.

    Your point about the benefits of pacy players sounds right though.

  102. RA,

    If we are going to go with Giroud then we need someone like Remy or Vela who can offer something different but will not necessarily demand a first team place. Also, in Vela’s case, he could play multiple positions and therefore its easier to rotate and get him game time.

    Only problem with this strategy is it may not make us good enough in the big games where we have struggled. Having said that, if we improve our LW and CM positions too, then actually that may be enough to challenge. If we keep clean sheets then maybe we dont need loads of goals against the top teams.

  103. Adrian says:

    Seems extremely likely that we’ll be seeing Vela in our colors next season, so maybe that could just be what we need to get the best out of Giroud.

  104. arnie says:

    Chas: if possible, can you get a matchday programme for me, please? :)

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Good Morning,

    Lovely day here and a Bank Holiday.

    Today is Store Bede Day (just thought you might like to know).

    It means the great prayer day and came about because back in the 17thC there were many holidays taken during the year for prayer days and this affected the economy of the country. So the King decided it would be better if Danes devoted a straight 24 hours to pray and cancelled all the other holidays!

    No workers rights in the days of Yore!

  106. chas says:

    arnie
    They’re selling them at the screening, apparently.
    Much better if you get one there as then you’ve got a chance of getting it home without it being folded in half, dog-eared, smeared with kebab and gently reeking of beer. :)
    (I was only kidding asking DidIt yesterday as £10 for some player photos and half a magazine of advertisements isn’t my cup of tea)

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A PINT OF CIDER AND A PACKET OF SCRATCHINGS, PLEASE

  108. chas says:

  109. chas says:

    Caps lock bust again??????

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy

    I take it that’s the Venerable Bede. Don’t think so, so I’m guessing your King was a fan.

    Chas

    Undecided as to what colour to wear tomorrow :-)

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    No, just shouting. The service in here can be dreadful sometimes :-)

  112. chas says:

    #WearRedToWembley

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Your boozer tomorrow. Is it possible to shout abuse at a mate over the fence, or is it completely screened off?

    In other words, say hello while on our way to get a drink in second class somewhere :-)

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ohhhh Chaaaas

    That is the best visual so far by such a long way

  115. Big Raddy says:

    chas 6.57. How did you get that photo of Mrs Raddy?

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh God, I kid you not, when clearing stuff ready to move, I found that record.

    12″ Single. (I was given it, I promise)

  117. chas says:

    Micky

    Aerial view of the Green Man below.
    They block off these entrances in yellow. And they’ll be over 3000 gooners in the pub grounds.

    Text me and I/we will pop out for an hour.

  118. chas says:

    BR 7:07, Terry sold it to me.

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A ten minute “hello” will do, before Ron wants a wee :-)

  120. chas says:

    Did you find all your 1989 newspapers? Were they intact?

  121. chas says:

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    Just texted you pics of single. Can give it to you tomorrow, as it doesn’t matter about kebab stains :-)
    I’m even in the crowd scene on the back, so a nice memento of your best mate :-)

  123. chas says:

    Micky
    Haha, the ‘best mate’ bit.
    I doubt a 12 inch would make it through the day, so perhaps another trip.

  124. arnie says:

    cheers, Chas. £10 on a piece of memorablia makes sense for me, given that I/we go to games sparingly, and in any case getting down to London costs a fortune in comparison. :)

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha indeed.
    Let’s get one thing straight. While Arsenal qualify for the Champions League, I, and nobody else, is your bezzie and as such get priority over CL away tickets.
    I hope I’ve made myself crystal clear?

    I can send you the record if that helps :-)

  126. chas says:

    arnie

    If there are any famous peeps at the screening, I’d try to get my matchday poster signed and dated. That’d do me.
    Get peaches and evonne to sign it – they’re famous. :)

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:

    arnie,
    text me if they’ve run out. Peaches has my number. I can get you one as I won’t be dribbling beer and leaking kebabs :-)

  128. arnie says:

    motining all. oh dear, terrible headache. morning after is always bad. :sad:

  129. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne

    Yellow ribbons on?

  130. arnie says:

    ha ha, Chas. ;) Thanks, Micky, will do. :)

  131. evonne says:

    yes Micky, nothing else on yet, but the ribbon’s on. It is a bit skimpy, as I have to give half to Peaches

    Very, very , very excited!!

    I am exchanging today, but who cares? Tomorrow’s more important. Have you moved yet DidIt?

  132. chas says:

    This is my favourite tweeter name by a distance. :)

  133. evonne says:

    Yes Micky, nothing else on yet, but the ribbon firmly in place

    I am very, very, very excited!! I am exchanging today, but who cares? The game is all I can think of. Have you moved yet DidIt?

  134. chas says:

    Good luck with the exchange.

    Tie a yellow ribbon round the……………….

  135. chas says:

    I never actually sat in the lower tier East or West Stand Highbury.
    Didn’t realise it was like this.
    (it’s the Wigan game so ‘gay Paree’)

  136. Gööner In Exile says:

    Very very late to the post but TT that is pure quality postage sir.

    The question is probably does Suarez make more chances for himself than Giroud hence the higher shots? Probably, but I’d be interested in a comparison of assists.

  137. Yellow ribbon adorning severely hampered by fractured shoulder but very excited never the less.

  138. chas says:

    How’s the physio going? :)

  139. Rasp says:

    Morning all ………

    …….. New post ……..

  140. TwentyTwelve says:

    Thank you very much, GiE.

    That’s a good question. It could be that Suarez finds ways to create shots, but a total of 181 shots is still amazingly higher than anyone else on my list. The others are all around 110 to 100 shots: Giroud, Bony, Dzeko, Rooney, Sturridge, Lukaku. The season prior to this, he shot even more, 187!

    Am not sure what stats quantifies shots created, vs shots from a direct pass. I’m relying on Squaka and WhoScored, neither of which goes into this detail (that I could discover anyway.)

    One point which came to me after I suggested that Giroud would not have the chance to shoot more than he does now because such is how Arsenal play: were Suarez to come to Arsenal, would he be under the same restriction? Remember that his conversion rate is not that much higher than Giroud’s (17% vs 14%) If both were restricted to around 100 shots, he would only score three more than Giroud. So far, his scoring game relies on him taking more shots. (Wonder what our infamously unsupportive supporters would say if they start seeing all those shots that come to naught!)

    On the other hand, Suarez had 12 assists from 87 chances created, while Giroud had 8 assists from 37 chances created. Giroud’s higher percentage of assists/chances created might speaks well for Giroud’s teammates. Would more of those chances Suarez created become assists if he were to play for Arsenal? Unfortunately we’ll probably never know.

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