Olivier Giroud is a very good player or he wouldn’t be at Arsenal. It is really that simple. Now whether he is of the required level to be the first choice striker could be up to debate but then again it is the manager’s call….and thank the Lord we have one of the best ever in the business sitting in our dugout. The problem with Giroud is that some days he has brilliant games, some other days he has average games and then on some rare occasions frustrating-please-get-him-off ones. You know, like every other football player on earth. But all that is beside the point, I’m not “defending” Giroud here- whatever that actually means. Let’s talk about what I’ve come to call “The Giroud treatment”.
On the days Giroud has a bad game, that performance is taken to be his “usual level” and the general opinion on whether or not he’s a good or bad player is taken usually using that game as the sample. Take Giroud vs Besiktas. To be fair, that’s probably his worst game for us. Is it coincidence that his worst games are the same games where our midfield is totally disconnected from him and he’s isolated? Giroud is still building his match fitness but the Giroud treatment allows for us to disregard the fitness and the fact that he was isolated and get at him. It’s happened with Arteta before. Remember the New York Redbulls friendly? Arteta had been injured in preseason training and played his first game in 3 months against NYRB. He’s 32, of course he was going to be off the pace seeing as he clearly wasn’t fit. Twitter used this as a reason to justify us “needing a beast world class DM” (“world class DM” because Mascherano, Martinez and Busquets are available and Arsene’s like yeah no) because “this is how bad Arteta is now his legs have gone”. Fast forward 2 weeks later, a much fitter Arteta has a great game vs Manchester City in the Community Shield final.
The Giroud treatment is interesting. “He’s not among the best in his position”. “He could be upgraded”. “There are many better in his position”. It is interesting because every other position in our team bar maybe Ozil’s could be upgraded. A while back two of my faves on twitter- @mrctbear and @positiveadi were talking about how good Santi is as a player. I decided to experiment the Giroud treatment on cute little fan favourite Santi. I used the exact things people use against Giroud. Santi is slow. Santi isn’t world class. Santi plays on the left in our team and there are many better in his position so he isn’t good enough for us. Nice, isn’t it? More- Gibbs is a very good player and he’s underrated. He’s not world class; there are better LBs than Gibbs so surely he too isn’t good enough to start for us? Debuchy too is a good player. He certainly isn’t world class; there are better RBs than him, isn’t it wrong for him to play for Arsenal? You could go through the team with that “logic”.
Imagine twitter if the Giroud treatment is applied to every player on game day…..where every bad touch or wrong decision is greeted with “FFS X”. Maybe someone should volunteer to do it with a random Arsenal player who isn’t Giroud in our next game so we all see how ridiculous it looks. We should also find derogatory nicknames for these players. Giroud is a donkey or a lamp post, isn’t he? Think I’ve seen him referred to as a log of wood too. Cool. Maybe also go the extra mile by sending the abuse to his twitter account too. It seems it helps players raise their confidence- it helped with Santos, Denilson and Djourou for example.
There are better strikers than Giroud and there are worse ones. What is crazy is how many try to act like Giroud is lucky to be a professional footballer and isn’t good enough to be playing in a top 10 EPL team much less a top 4 one. Now that is nonsense. I understand the obsession with “world class” players but you’re never going to have a team with just “world class” players. If you think Giroud isn’t good enough to be at Arsenal, then you’re saying Gibbs, Debuchy, Cazorla, Wilshere, Mertesacker etc aren’t good enough too. These are players who aren’t world class but are 1, 2 levels below that elite group. They are needed in the team.
I know many will read this and somehow find it to mean I’m saying I wouldn’t take another CF, a better one. I would but then Arsene has said Sanchez will play as a CF so that’s Sanchez-Giroud-Sanogo as CFs with Theo and Campbell able to play there too... Giroud certainly shouldn’t be first choice….for the whole season. He’ll be tired in 2 months doing that FOR US for the second season running. All I’m saying is we either apply the Giroud treatment to every player in the squad (actually that’s a silly thing to do) or stop singling out Giroud when we play bad. That’s bullying….and he’s our player. Maybe don’t go over the top too when he does have a bad game.