Sad but true: Giroud is a big game flop. Here’s proof.

This is not an immediate overreaction to a disappointing result against a top club. (which sounds quite familiar, doesn’t it?) Instead, it’s frustration that can no longer be contained and must be released to prevent a heart attack. Arsenal’s desperate need to buy a new striker is so apparent that my American father, who knows absolutely nothing about football, could spot Olivier Giroud doesn’t get it done-at least in the big games.

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Opponents to the argument will say that the wrongly disallowed goal is the reason for the “unlucky” result. While Ramsey’s goal should’ve stood, clutching to an offsides misruling at home so early in the match is a desperate scapegoat. The glaring takeaway that Arsenal fans must realize is that Olivier cannot lead this team to a title challenge.

og 8Ironically, the overall team’s performance demonstrated the massive strides they have made with the acquisition of Cech and Coquelin’s emergence. The keeper proved any ridiculous claims that he was past his prime and Le Coq displayed, yet again, that he can be the defensive plug that Arsenal need. But the final piece to the spine fell short yet again in an important match. Giroud’s squandered chance 6 yards away from goal sparked a feeling that was all too recognized. Even if Benzema, Aguero, Cavani, Suarez, or Lewandoski spurns that chance, there is no way strikers of their magnitude miss opportunities like that throughout the season.

og 5Unfortunately, Giroud seems to provide these frustrating misses in big matches all the time. Furthermore, the misses proved not only to be costly for Olivier but all resulted in either disappointing losses or draws. Giroud’s first costly miss in a big match was on his first appearance against Stoke (while not against a big club, still a big moment personally as it was his first start for the club) After being played in by a beautiful ball from Santi Cazorla, Giroud, alone with the keeper, missed wide, and a chance to win, from 8 yards out.

That same year, Olivier missed a chance to even the score-line against United, but failed to finish. In continuation of his inaugural season with the Gunners, Olivier missed a header that would have been the leading goal at home against Manchester City. The next example was, as Sky Sports says, “a glorious opportunity to open the scoring” when Arsenal lost at Stamford Bridge to Chelsea 2-1. Finally, to conclude the 2012/13 season Giroud missed another chance from point blank range in the home leg against Bayern. The “should-have-been” goal would have leveled the score 2-2 and surely changed the momentum of the tie.

og 4Perhaps berating Giroud’s misses in big games for his first season at a club as big as Arsenal is a bit harsh. While he was the leading goal-scorer in Ligue 1 the year before his arrival, Olivier’s jump from a club like Montpellier to Arsenal, added along with him being the following act to RVP, is a rather big step. However, these big game misses never went away. The following season, the Frenchman “was guilty of a hat-trick of misses within 5 minutes,” according to Sky Sports again, in the 6-3 defeat to City. I then witnessed (for my only game ever at the Emirates) him missing a chance to grab all 3 points in a last-minute winner against Chelsea at Christmas. These examples of Olivier failing to finish proved extra costly as it dashed away any hope of a legitimate title challenge that season.

Arsenal's Olivier GiroudWhile last season Giroud displayed his improved finishing, his multiple missed sitters was the reason for the club’s 6th consecutive Round of 16 exit in the Champions League. Additionally, if Theo didn’t equalize in the away match against United, Giroud would have been condemned for his inability to put the ball in the back of the net when it counts.

OG 1It is important to remember that these examples of Giroud’s poor finishing in big games do not classify him as a bad striker. His goals in against Bayern, Monaco, Reading (in the crazy League Cup match a few years back), and in the North Derby, coupled with his 42 premier league goals in 100 appearances proves he has been a good buy for Arsenal Football Club. But these matches, with the exception of the North London Derby and last season’s away trip to Manchester City, are examples that have no pressure attached. In other words, the away ties in the Champions League were already lost as the team had nothing to lose in both games. There simply wasn’t going to be any scrutiny if Giroud didn’t score in those matches. In fact, the only big game against a big club that Giroud scored was away at Manchester City last season. But that makes sense to have that return from a striker who cost only 13 million pounds.og 2

Prior to the beginning of the season, John Terry and pundits said Petr Cech is worth 15 points to a football club. Yesterday’s performance proved his worth. But with the missed chances, those 15 points might as well be 9 with Giroud as the number 9. If Arsenal wants to win the league this season, they must get a striker better than Giroud. The age of big clubs finding “diamonds in the rough” is effectively over. If a club wants a big player, they must spend big; because otherwise it will be another year of frustrating results.


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12 Responses to Sad but true: Giroud is a big game flop. Here’s proof.

  1. Bliss August 25, 2015 at 8:03 am #

    Wenger needs to address the Giroud situation or he needs to go. Everybody strengthening apart from we sort it out Wenger or go

  2. Victor Thompson August 25, 2015 at 8:32 am #

    I have to agree with you Ryan,

    Thiery Henry says exactly the same thing. I like Giroud. He tries his best and his results are adequate for a club with top 4 ambitions, but if we aspire to winning the Premiership, he will never provide the extra threat that a top 2 club requires.

    Last night he was abysmal. In truth, he did not even produce nuisance value. I would like to hear an explanation as to why he went to ground when he could have stayed on his feet. He was taking the shot which Mignolet saved right at the end of the game. The replay showed that he was already falling before he was tackled and it looked suspiciously as if he dived and tried to score at the same time and achieved neither.

    That cost us the 2 points we would have had if he had simply concentrated on scoring.

    Victor Thompson

    • USArsenal August 25, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

      I agree with you Victor. His pedigree and ability would make him resemble the perfect second striker for all the other big clubs with strikers in the “world class” tier (or at least a tier ahead of ours).

      As for his golden missed chance against Mignolet,I believe he slipped since he didn’t look around for a call. He just genuinely knew he didn’t’t put away a huge opportunity. Unfortunately, as the article reads, it’s not the first time 😉

      • Victor Thompson August 25, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

        Hi USArsenal,

        I thought it was a genuine slip too but I watched the replay after the match and it was clear that he buckled before the boot reached him in the tackle and he knew he had botched it. I think he continued with his effort to score to avoid being booked for diving. That is why he did not look for the foul.

        The ball was on his favoured left foot. He is a big strong man and he should have blasted it.

        Just an aside here: Three weeks and three games into the season and LIverpool have been gifted 5 points by referees!

        Victor Thompson

  3. greg August 25, 2015 at 9:20 am #

    The funniest is you have no point that someone else would have done better. Your words are based on IF we had a better striker, IF, IF and IF, yet there is no insurance that can clearly state that someone else would do the job better. Yesterday’s flop were called Ramsey, Cazorla and Sanchez who clearly went missing, Özil gone awol 1 half and played well if it’s the right word for another.

    Yesterday’s game was a dismissal performance for at least 7 players and only Cech, Gabriel, Coquelin and Bellerin deserve some credits. You said that it is not because of yesterday’s game you wrote this, but it’s actually what you do, nothing else, briging haters together. Very disapointed article for a blog I often read.

  4. Victor Thompson August 25, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Hi Greg,

    I find it hard to understand your reasoning. I agree with you in your choice of who deserved credit in the game.

    In this instance, the blog was specific to Giroud as were my comments. Whoever similar comments would relate to, if there is going to be any consideration of a better player it has to involve a “What if” situation. A critique of the player concerned must involve a comparison with a prospective alternative and consequently the reasoning which leads “What if Joe Bloggs had been in his place and should we consider buying him?”

    Are you saying that we should never contemplate a replacement who we consider to be better than the subject player? If that is the case, there would never be any improvement.

    Victor Thompson

  5. feoooo August 25, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    He scored in all (but 1 or 2) big games last season, and poor choice of pictures, shows that the post is largely agenda driven, we have a few big game flops, starting with our star man, Mesut.

    • Batmandela August 25, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

      The pictures were just there to support the basic premise. They weren’t chosen by the author – they were chosen by me. Let’s face it – we get to see the sad Ollie face way more than we’d like to. Do a search on google image for Giroud miss and you’ll see what I mean…

    • USArsenal August 25, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

      To comment on Giroud scoring in the big matches last season- he did exactly what I wrote when saying he scored goals when the pressure was off. His goal against United at home was in the 91st minute as consolation when the match was over at 2-1. His goal in Monaco did not amend his errors in the first tie (when there was expectation to win vs no expectation in a miracle attempt in the second leg). He did not score against Chelsea. The only game that I believe he truly deserves recognition for his goal was against City.

      As for your second comment on Mesut, I feel because of the position Giroud plays he deserves the blame, and, conversely, the praise based on the results. That’s football isn’t? Strikers and forwards get all the praise because they normally score the goals to win games. And when they don’t, or in this, case miss the countless opportunities that I provided they deserve to be blamed. Mesut’s statistical success is largely based on someone’s ability to finish a chance that he has created. (not saying Mesut doesn’t falter in big games sometimes)

  6. Benjamin August 25, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    It is a fair point to say Giroud missed his chances against LFC this term, although he only had a few, there were a couple of misses he should have buried. Giroud wasn’t the only one to miss good chances on the night. Scapegoating him seems just as easy as scapegoating the linesman.

    Saying that he goes missing in big games is unfair. Off the top of my head was the tie goal at Everton and the only goal against Man Utd at home last season.

    I am not saying he shouldn’t do better, he should. I just disagree that he won’t. I also think he needs better competition for his spot, but Arsenal are a team built to find goals across the team, not from one singular option .

    • USArsenal August 25, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

      Thanks for the read Benjamin. I don’t consider Everton a big game as they aren’t challenging for the title or the top 4 (and frankly have never been a big game). The goal against United was merely consolation as it happened in the 91st minute. Match was dead. If you can give me other examples to counter what I supplied then I will agree with you. Until then, he has a track record of missing big chances in big matches throughout his tenure with the club


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