Since arriving at Arsenal in the summer, Olivier Giroud has undoubtedly become one of my favourite players in recent years to have played for the club.
There is so much to admire the big Frenchman for, especially after the abuse he has received from different corners of the game.
Even before he had pulled on an Arsenal top, Giroud was being mocked by rival supports who labelled him as a ‘poor replacement’ for Robin van Persie, and being a ‘donkey’.
How Giroud has gone on to prove them wrong.
Like many new foreign players who come to England, Giroud struggled to adapt in his first few games in the Premier League, and even that is a little harsh on the striker. The 26-year-old never really put in a bad performance, and showed so much to prove that he wasn’t going to mimic the Gunners tenure of flop Marouane Chamakh.
Giroud finished as the top scorer in France last season as he helped guide Montpellier HSC to the Ligue 1 title, a couple of years after competing in the lower divisions with Laurent Koscielny, and you don’t achieve accolades like that through luck.
He has shown with his movement that he is a very clever player, and since he found the back of the net for the first time, Giroud has got better and better as the games have gone on. He is on a red-hot streak at the moment, netting on a regular basis but also contributing a number of assists for teammates.
As well as being good on the floor, Giroud also provides a plan b for Arsenal and possesses a superb heading ability as we witnessed in the draw with Fulham. When things aren’t going right for Arsene Wenger’s side, playing a ball in the air in the direction of Giroud is almost guaranteed to lead to an opportunity.
He set up both goals in Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over his former club, and the praise he got from his old employers after the match certainly suggests that we have a special player at the Emirates Stadium.
Perhaps the main thing that you can commend the Frenchman on is his personality. Giroud seems like a genuinely down-to-earth, nice guy and after coming from the lower divisions in France, certainly doesn’t have a big ego. He didn’t let all the haters get to him at the start of his Arsenal career, and has since gone on to silence his critics, proving that the right attitude can get you places in football (Are you listening Emmanuel Adebayor?).
So ahead of our game at the weekend, I say bravo to you Mr. Giroud, keep up the good work and I’m sure you will do just fine during your time in North London.