I am not sure there has been a player at Arsenal in recent history that is less appreciated than French striker Olivier Giroud. On Thursday night the experienced forward scored his hundredth goal for Arsenal in a 4-2 Europa League victory at BATE Borisov.
Giroud’s century of goals for the Gunners came in 238 games for the club, which means he took the same amount of time that former Arsenal striker Robin van Persie did to reach the milestone.
After the game, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger praised his compatriot and is quoted by the Evening Standard as saying: “I just congratulated him for his remarkable achievement. He is in good company, when you look at the number of goals he’s scored.
“It’s a remarkable achievement. I congratulated him for that remarkable achievement.”
Giroud never really loved by Arsenal fans
Olivier Giroud cost Arsenal £12million to sign from Montpellier, which by today’s standards is some bargain. For a player to score a hundred goals for any club is an achievement these days, as players do not tend to remain at clubs for very long.
However, Arsenal fans have never seemed to love Giroud. Gunners fans have always seemed to be looking for an upgrade, or a world-class striker to replace the striker.
The accusation thrown at the striker is that he does not do it in big games. However, to be fair to the striker many of his teammates have disappeared in big games in his time at the club. He is not alone in producing poor displays in so-called ‘big games’.
Giroud now just a backup
It seems Arsenal fans now have their upgrade on Giroud in the shape of compatriot Alexandre Lacazette, who is now undisputed first-choice striker with the London club. Giroud is now restricted to substitute appearances and starts in the cup.
The 30-year-old is likely to return to the Gunners bench for their home game against Brighton on Sunday, which is a game that Giroud is 4/6 to score in if of course he actually makes it onto the field.
Wouldn’t be a major surprise if he moves in January
Giroud’s Arsenal future was reportedly in doubt in the summer, after the arrival of Lacazette at the north London club. The likes of Everton, West Ham and Marseille were all linked with moves for the striker.
However, he decided to stay with the Gunners. The decision has meant very little first team football for the striker this season. He must be frustrated by spending the majority of his time on the substitute’s bench.
For me, it would not be a major surprise if he decides he wants to leave the club in the January transfer window. It would be a shame for Arsenal, as he is a very useful player, but maybe for the sake of his career, he needs to move on.
Does Olivier Giroud get the credit he deserves at Arsenal?