A defence of our much maligned target man
Good morning my lovelies, and welcome to another episode of my ramblings, sponsored as ever by your patient understanding of my meandering nonsensical ponderings.
My my we’re a bunch of reactionary ninnies. All that positivity and good will from pre-season and the great start to the recruitment campaign is gone. It’s made off like a fart in a tornado, slipped up like a Scouser title charge, and disappeared with a poof, much like Tottenham Hotspur and their yearly claim over North London.
Anyway, let’s move on from the finger pointing to some more finger pointing.
What the hell is it with Arsenal Fans and our incessant need to vilify Monsieur Olivier Giroud? The man is a lightning rod for everything that is wrong with the team when the team plays badly, and anathema to all the plaudits handed out after a good Arsenal performance. If what we find on Twitter and in the ether that is the Online World of Arsenal can be believed, we have periods of great play in spite of him, and have terrible games because of him.
That’s just not on.
My thoughts on the matter is that Giroud is a very, very good striker, albeit a somewhat one-dimensional one. His insane ability to work with others is detrimental to him ever having to create things for himself. The reason that he never really dances past a couple of defenders and slides home a winner is because he’s never had to at Montpellier and was never asked to in this team. Our play is centered around the tiny combinations of the players in and around the penalty box, jinking this way and that and picking the moment (and the man of that moment) to feed in a scoring position. He does this outstandingly well, and anyone who claims he’s shit on account of him not fitting a particular archetype of striker is, quite honestly, wasting their time watching Arsenal. That’s not how we’re going to play with him in the team, nor should we.
You don’t try and race 100m with a fat man, you take that man sumo-wrestling.
Trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole is going to result in nothing but a battered thumb and language that’d make any self-respecting lady blush.
The addendum to that, however, is that I have noticed that our much maligned striker has been adding a little of the spectacular to his repertoire. He had a stupendous strike against Manchester City not two weeks ago, ended the season with a number of lovely finishes and who can forget this touch and control?
Now, I’m not saying to anyone to treat the man as the next Thierry Henry. He is not. He isn’t the kind of player to make too many headlines (bedroom dalliances aside of course) and you’re not going to hear about any £50 million pound bids for his services at all, ever.
He is, however, the best striker we have and the man we need to perform. He’s surrounded by a team that has been attuned to working with him, and he is being supported with players like Alexis Sanchez and the returning Theo Walcott. His understanding of the movement of the players around him is superb and he was instrumental in our form and placement up until February last year.
Granted, he was instrumental in the dropping of places too. That culpability can however be leveled at the injuries to Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil AND Walcott, the complete lack of adequate striking support, and every other player on that pitch.
I’m not going to go into the calls for Mario Balotelli to replace him other than to say that I don’t think he’s the striker we need. If we’re looking for someone to convert the chances our creative players are crafting every game, Mario is not that man.
Finally, a request. Let’s wait until after we’ve secured Champions League qualification until we start flinging vitriol, faeces and expletives the way of the club.
Never forget, if reaction drove the clubs spending policy, we’d have Scotty Parker and Shane Long as Gunners.
As always, keep it classy Arsenal fans.
I’m a passionate Arsenal fan in South Africa with a penchant for the expletive and a driving need to vilify stupidity, incompetence and reactionary fact-calling at every opportunity.
I’ve been supporting Arsenal for nigh on 10 years now from my far-removed vantage at the tip of Southern Africa, and my life is all the better for it.
My heroes include Abou Diaby (for kicking John Terry square in the face, accomplishing something we’ve all dreamed of doing), Arsene Wenger (for the gift of the amazing football he’s given us over the last 20 years consistently enough for us to feel entitled to it), and every one of the Gooners singing their hearts out on match-day, no matter the performance (I’ll join them some day).