Former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand doesn’t understand why Olivier Giroud gets so much criticism, and spoke highly of the French forward during our 3-3 draw against Liverpool on Wednesday night.
Speaking on BT Sport, the Man United legend claimed Giroud’s goalscoring was never in question (not sure every Arsenal fan would agree with him there), and it was merely a few other facets of his game that prevented him from being top class (via the Express).
He did suggest that the Arsenal man was “the best” in the Premier League in one area though, and that’s attacking the ball in the box.
Giroud makes fantastic runs off the ball, and his near post run is arguably better than any player in the Premier League. He’s well known for turning crosses in at the near post utilising deft flicks with the outside of his boot, and has a real knack for finding space in the box. Obviously this is what you expect from your striker, but as Ferdinand says, it’s something Giroud excels at.
Despite an excellent goalscoring record, you don’t necessarily associate Giroud with clinical finishing. He often scores goals you wouldn’t expect him to, yet misses the simple chances you think any player could score. While his two goals against Liverpool secured us a point in the 3-3 draw, you could (very harshly) argue that his ridiculous miss in the first half contributed to us not getting all three points. The 29-year-old somehow missed from a few yards out after Theo Walcott fizzed a cross in, striking the ball with his heel and seeing it painfully bounce back into play to be cleared.
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Regardless though, Ferdinand is right when he says Giroud is one of the best in the Premier League, and despite the criticism he gets he is a quality striker.
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He brings a huge amount to the team, and goals are just are small part of his game. It is strange that he gets such criticism, although it’s probably largely down to his style of play not being quite as exciting as a Luis Suarez or a Sergio Aguero type player.