It is being reported that Oliver Giroud is about to sign an extension to his current deal at Arsenal. Signed in 2012 from Montpellier after he helped the club to win their first Ligue 1 title by scoring 25 league goals. He is expected to sign a 2 year extension to the deal he is currently on at the Emirates.
Since his arrival at the Emirates as a replacement for Robin Van Persie, he has split opinions within the fan base. And who can blame them after they have over years been treated to the sublime nature and verve of strikers in the mode of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Nwankwo Kanu, Robin Van Persie and Ian Wright. To now be treated to a player who lacks pace to beat an opponent has not gone down well with some. And the fact he has gone missing in several big games over the past seasons has made him unpopular amongst some fans.
Together with his knack for missing crucial chances in big games just like in the last two seasons at Stamford Bridge when he had the opportunity of giving Arsenal the lead, but missed.
Despite all these, he comes at a time when he has led the attack on his own, and he happens to be the first target man striker that Arsene Wenger has bought during his time at the club. Looking at his statistics, his goal return has not fared bad. But some will say statistics are damn lies as it does not give the overall picture of a player’s true ability. Yet, there are instances where such data cannot be swept under the carpet.
In his first season at the club, he scored 17 goals, with 11 coming in the league, and 21 goals last season with 16 in the league. But, his struggle in big games continues.
Although his shortcomings have been well documented, his rather indispensability to Arsenal’s style of play stems from the fact that the team is rather unbalanced in the middle in terms of the height of the players. He provides a platform for the team to defend it lines in a set piece, which the midfield cannot do. Though, it must be said that the Frenchman reduces the ability of the team to play at a high tempo due to his lumbering nature. It comes as no surprise than one of Arsenal’s best performance last season came without the Frenchman. The match against Spurs in the FA cup third round that was played at a high tempo. It must be said that his struggles latter on last season was as a result of being played into the ground without a competent back up.
With every pointer that the club will bring in a new striker, it will be interesting to see how Wenger choose to use him in the coming season. His future will defend much on whether the new striker will be a replacement or whether he will be used to complement Giroud’s place. Yet from all stand point, the Frenchman should not be the first choice in a club the status of Arsenal. He is a second striker at best due his limited abilities.