Mesut Özil has been piling on the assists this season, and has been nothing short of outstanding since day one. Olivier Giroud splits opinion among Arsenal fans, but he’s stepped up and has been scoring regularly in the absence of Theo Walcott, profiting from the form his German teammate has been displaying.
In fact, the blossoming partnership between the two players is actually the best in the Premier League, with Özil assisting Giroud five times so far this season.
Mesut Özil to Olivier Giroud: Is the most common assist to goalscorer combination (5) in the PL this season pic.twitter.com/1qwkFnh0LW
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) November 24, 2015
Giroud and Özil share one thing in common, and that’s that both players are often used as scapegoats at Arsenal. The French forward takes a huge amount of criticism for any number of things, with the fact that he isn’t a Thierry Henry or a Robin van Persie meaning fans often slate him. He has an excellent goals return and offers a huge amount to the team, yet he’s consistently judged for his shortcomings rather than his qualities.
Özil took plenty of flak too when he first arrived at the club, with his style leading many to incorrectly label him lazy and lethargic. Whenever we lost it seemed to be because Özil wasn’t performing to his best or Giroud wasn’t good enough to lead the line, which is grossly unfair.
They’ve both been superb this season though, and while Giroud is still a divisive figure, Özil is finally getting the recognition he deserves.
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One of the main reasons Giroud was criticised so much in the past was his lack of pace, with many insisting he was unable to take advantage of Özil’s vision. These stats blow that theory out of the water though, proving that Giroud benefits hugely from the playmaker’s pinpoint crosses into the box just as much as anyone.
We’ve regularly seen Giroud break free of his marker to head home a Mesut Özil cross, and we’re likely to continue seeing it as the season goes on.
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Özil has shown no signs of slowing down his assist rate, and has even been adding goals to his game. He’s looked far more confident this campaign, and is proving he’s among the best in the Premier League.