There is no denying that Olivier Giroud is going through a torrid time on the pitch, a situation which culminated in him being sent off during Arsenal’s 2-0 loss away to Dinamo Zagreb.
This season Wenger is determined that Theo Walcott is best suited to be the focal point of Arsenal’s attack in a bid to increase the pace in Arsenal’s counterattacking ability, relegating Giroud to the bench. While Walcott has good movement and knows how to time his runs well, he is hardly what you would call prolific although he is definitely improving his finishing.
Despite Walcott’s brave attempts at leading the line, and without questioning Wenger’s tactics, I would want to concentrate on Giroud.
Giroud is a strong character and there is no doubt he will bounce back from his slump but he will need to recover sooner rather than later because despite what any fan might feel about him, he has one trait, one ability that is crucial to Arsenal…his hold up play.
It is not a coincidence that Arsenal’s goals dried up ever since Giroud’s loss of confidence. There is a school of thought when Giroud plays, Arsenal lack pace and thus become more predictable. This argument holds water but that might not necessarily be a bad thing. While Arsenal might take a more measured approach with Giroud leading the line, I would hardly call it predictable as Giroud’s ability to bring midfielders into play gives different players the chance to score.
Giroud’s forte is holding off tough defenders while laying off the ball for players making a run from midfield, something that he excels at tremendously. I cannot stress how important his contributions have been to creating chances to score. He might not be prolific but with the attributes he brings to the table, he doesn’t need to be. He is a very important team player who needs to realize his worth to the team.