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Too early for The Olivier Awards?

Interesting player Giroud. I'm not yet sure what to make of him. Seemingly a player with neither the oft sublime finesse of a van Persie or the athleticism of a Henry but showing some rather different characteristics that could still prove very effective. He has a rather upright running style which gives the impression that his legs are little too short for his body but he gets across the ground well enough.

Wenger signed Giroud as a 'target man' type of forward which is rather different from the way he had utilised either RvP or Henry. A few months back he said of the player 'Giroud is good when he plays completely on the offside line. Sometimes when he doesn't get the ball enough he wants to come deep. That is not his game. When he is a target man and uses his link-up play, he is fantastic because he can win in the air, he can score with his feet and can be a complete striker.'

I tend to think of a target man as simply the focus for long ball tactics but Giroud seems to be showing a little more subtlety than that though his height and heading ability does give that option. What he's also showing is a determination to attack the ball in the box with a vigour I haven't seen for a while. It's a role I imagine Wenger anticipated Chamakh might have fulfilled but Giroud's willingness to throw himself at almost anything to get any part of a foot or head on the ball maybe displays either greater self confidence or just greater ambition. His brace against West Ham, the first the result of a good run, quick thinking and a smart volley attacking a corner at the near post, has brought his tally for the season so far to 11 goals though he hasn't been an automatic pick. There's a bit more to his game as his 9 assists demonstrate, a couple of which came about from a delightful 'Sand Wedge' type chipped pass, side on or with his back to goal, which also enabled Podolski to assist in Cazorla's goal against the Hammers. The same chipped pass brought thunderous scoring volleys from Gibbs and Podolski in earlier games.

Wenger admitted recently that he had also considered Demba Ba along with Giroud as very similar players but opted for the Montpelier forward. As he would have known about the £7m release clause in Ba's contract that Chelsea took advantage of, he must have seen more value in Olivier when paying a reported £10m for him. A decision that also belies the complaint from some supporters that Wenger always goes for the cheaper option.

It's still not quite clear how Wenger sees the forward line deployed most successfully. Poldolski played the first game of the season as the central striker and both Gervinho and Walcott have been used there. I suspect that it will still take a while for the preferred format to be determined but Giroud is staking a good claim to play the lead role. He believes he's the man for the job telling Arsenal Player 'It is good thing to reach this number but I want to keep going and score more goals'

'I know my team-mates very well, so I feel really good in games. I have scored 11 goals and I have nine assists but I know I can do more.'

Have we got a song for him yet or is it too early for that?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday January 25 2013

Time: 11:02AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I love Giroud. He's a completely different type of player than we're used to, but his talents are plain to see. He is just a nuisance, I bet he's nightmare to play against. He works so hard and as you say his determination is first rate. I still don't know which is the better of the 3 top summer signings. Cazorla has gone off the boil a bit recently but he's still amazing. Podolski is certainly proving his worth and Giroud is tip top.

PS - Yes, we've got the "Hey Jude" Giroud chant.
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25/01/2013 11:18:00

I'm getting thoroughly sick of that chant.
Wyn Mills
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25/01/2013 11:22:00

It's better than nothing. We've got too many chants for players we hate, and not enough for players we love/ Giroud himself said he loves the chant and it makes him want to "die on the field for the club". So it serves it's purpose.
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25/01/2013 11:23:00

Oh yeah. I'd forgot that chant. I must have mentally blocked it out but we do need some positive songs.
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25/01/2013 11:27:00

Fair enough. It just seems a little over-used. Every decent touch or slight is greeted by waves of it.
Wyn Mills
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25/01/2013 11:27:00

Watching Giroud's first goal I wondered how much of that move had been rehearsed. Short corner from Walcott apparently destined for the head of Merts, who runs away dragging his marker, and in comes Giroud...bang.
Wyn Mills
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25/01/2013 11:30:00

I like him, wish he could've stuck that sitter home against Sunderland though. I think he's a good player, although I think i'd like to see him work the width of the penalty box and no more though, his link up play isn't too bad, he has to learn how to be a bit of a tougher ******** though, i'd love to see him bully centre backs more - he's got the physicality for it. Hopefully we'll see more of that going forward. His finishing isn't too bad but it's not exactly clinical yet, hopefully that'll come along as well.
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25/01/2013 11:38:00

Giroud's looking like a good player. The trick is for him to do it continuously, of course. But he's been hard-working from day one, and some of his assists have been fantastic; he's shown a great touch and understanding.

Giroud's got his Beatles tune, Santi's got his (White Stripes?) tune - what does Poldi get?
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25/01/2013 11:39:00

This team has what it takes to put out a decent run of results. Come on boys.
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25/01/2013 11:40:00

Daminao - Lukas has two of RvP's old chants. "He scores when he wants ...." and "Lukas Podolski *clap clap clap clap clap*".
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25/01/2013 11:45:00

Ah, yes, "He scores when he wants ...."... I love Lukas...
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25/01/2013 11:49:00

I think there's definitely encouragement to be taken from Giroud. He needs to be a tad more clinical. In that respect he reminds me a lot of Adebayor when he first arrived. I think Wenger compared him to Alan Smith today and if he keeps working, he can definitely become that kind of striker. Hopefully the free scoring, pre Ian Wright Smudger.
Little Dutch
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25/01/2013 13:12:00

Not sure that Ollie G was more expensive than Demba Ba, Ba had extra agents' fees attached, according to Gunnerblog. But who cares? I think he's a fantastic player and I agree with all that you say about him. By the end of this season we're going to be seeing the OG of Wednesday night much more often. Theo said that in training he finishes chances like the one he missed against Chelsea. @ Wyn Mills - the corner routine looked rehearsed to me as well - Merts took one defender away and Ollie ran into the space while all the attention was on Per. @ damiano_tommassi - God knows we all love Lukas! He's our only player I would say is a matchwinner now (though some others have potential) because he takes responsibility. Another fantastic player.
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25/01/2013 13:15:00

I like the "Hey Jude" chant, especially as it seems to bring out the best in Giroud. He appears to be the sort of guy who is passionate about his contributions and puts pressure on himself deliberately (with comments as this), for whatever reason. He pays attention to his goals/assists stats too and this can only be a good thing. He will be immense next season, if he continues to get his chances.
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25/01/2013 16:30:00

I thought that first goal was the result of a rehearsed move, as well. We should have more of such variations to our set pieces to create some unpredictability.
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25/01/2013 16:34:00

That was definitely a set piece 'off the training ground'. A good one too. It shows pundits the main problem with man marking at corners and would never have worked if they had been defending zones. This of course will never be mentioned by a pundit as they're all of the age of man marking.
No 10
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25/01/2013 18:08:00

Theo's delivery at corners has been very good too. Often they dip and swing into exactly the right area but all our players seem to be lining up at the near post. More work has to be done on attacking set pieces. We get so many corners at the moment that even one goal in 10-15 corners would make a real difference.
No 10
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25/01/2013 18:12:00

I like Giroud. He looks like a real team player and for him to be playing a this level only a five months into his Arsenal and PL career is very promising. For 10m you get 20 goals (scored & created) by Feb is good value and, although Ba had a £7.5 release clause there was a reported signing on fee up to £7m and about £5m agent fee. Ba to Chelsea, according to a couple of papers, had a fee of £21m!!
No 10
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25/01/2013 18:21:00

When we signed the three of them it was Podolski I was most excited about. I assumed he would play in the vacant Van persie spot and I thought that a good replacement. I'd like to see him play at CF a few more times but I am really starting to like the idea of Theo, Poldi & OG, three strikers (disagree over Theo will you?) playing as a front three. They are all team players with 11,10,9 assists respectively yet all very different players if played as the central CF. Once again I think Podolski is doing very well in his first year in the PL.
No 10
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25/01/2013 18:39:00

Me again. I personally like the song for Giroud. It's original and positive. Positivity makes a massive difference to the team...just look at Chelsea.
No 10
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25/01/2013 18:42:00

Wyn Mills, that corner was not rehearsed. We have no plan on corners. He turned another average Walcott corner into a goal and well done to him. Did you actually think Walcott could aim for someone when crossing?
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25/01/2013 20:57:00

When you watch the celebration, you feel they were happy that something came off. The movement is what was rehearsed, not Theo's aiming;-) When Per moved inside, he took two defenders with him while Giroud ran towards the same place he moved from. If that wasn't rehearsed, then it was ingenious and worth a repeat, every game till we're found out. We need variations.
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25/01/2013 21:15:00

Will, i wasn't totally sure at first, but the more i see it the more orchestrated it looks. Given that one of Giroud's strengths is his poaching at close range (youtube some of his montpelier goals) I would be surprised if we weren't taking full advantage of this. It would be easier for Walcott to play it short to the near post than long, that's for sure.
Wyn Mills
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26/01/2013 00:48:00

The only thing he needs to work on is his finishing, especially in the big games. He misses far too many chances but that will hopefully improve with time. In the West Ham game, he won a few headers from the goal kick but no one was following up the knock downs initially, till Theo and Cazorla wisened up, and we actually looked dangerous when that happened. The team need to play to his strengths as well.
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26/01/2013 06:29:00

I'm sure that there would have been agents fees and signing on fees involved in Ba's transfer but that probably applies to some extent to all transfers including Giroud's. Even though Walcott's new contract didn't involve a transfer of clubs reportedly there was a signing on fee and I guess his agents would have had their costs paid by someone. The AST calculated that Arsenal paid Henry £10m for signing his last contract with the club. That's another reason why headline figures on net transfer spend can be misleading though on that basis Wenger didn't take the apparently cheaper option.
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26/01/2013 09:07:00

Hi Amos, I'm sure there are all manner of variables that can be applied to final net transfer figures, but when the club publish impressive annual profit results one can understand why many would question why we're not setting our sights higher with a signature purchase, especially when a large proportion of those profits are based on signature player sales. Time will tell whether Giroud is the success we all hope he'll be. I really hope he is. He's a typical Wenger buy in not being quite world class, but with the potential to be so in the right team and with the right coaching. We've had our fair share of Chamakhs, Adebayors and Bendtners. We need another Henry or RvP now.
Wyn Mills
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26/01/2013 16:01:00

Right on cue the big man smashes it in!
Wyn Mills
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26/01/2013 16:18:00

'lo Wyn, quite right to focus on profits rather than net transfer spend but how can we sell signature players if we never buy signature players? Perhaps we have already bought signature players but don't know it yet?
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26/01/2013 17:00:00

You have to give him the dues. Wenger is good at buying potential and making it world class. But for every Giroud there's a Chamakh. Perhaps we have bought a future signature player in Giroud. It's a little too early to tell, although the signs are good after today's performance. When he smashes those in against Utd or Chelsea we can all start dishing out the awards and accolades.
Wyn Mills
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26/01/2013 17:19:00


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