Olivier Giroud is much maligned by a huge section of the Arsenal fanbase, but is the criticism he gets fair? The short answer is no, as the stats show that the Frenchman has actually been the second best striker in the Premier League over the last three seasons (via the Metro).
With the exception of Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, Giroud has scored more goals than any other striker in the Premier League since 2013/14. Whatever his shortcomings and whichever way you look at it, that is impressive.
The HFB certainly has his issues, with his lack of pace an obvious one. He isn’t always at his best, and when he’s off his game we noticeably struggle. Nobody is saying he’s the best striker around, but the criticism he gets is undoubtedly a little harsh.
Giroud has scored an impressive 38 goals since the 2013/14 season, with Aguero ahead of him on 50. The Argentine is obviously streaks ahead of Giroud, understandably so as he’s one of the world’s best finishers in a team that creates a huge number of chances. But look at the players Giroud is ahead of.
Obviously you’ve got the likes of Luis Suarez who left the league (and would unquestionably have bettered Giroud’s tally if he remained in the country), but Giroud has outscored ex-Chelsea man Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge, and Tottenham’s Harry Kane to name a few.
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As we’ve said, Giroud is not without his faults. He certainly isn’t up there with the best finishers in the world, and he’s not about to go racing past any defenders. The 29-year-old brings other qualities to the table though, regardless of whether some Arsenal fans want to admit it.
His movement is more often than not outstanding, and his runs regularly create space for his teammates. His strength, hold up play, heading, and all the other skills you want in a target man are also superb, evidenced by the fact that he’s scored more headers than any other player in the Premier League.
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Do we need a new striker? Yes. But does Giroud deserve to be lambasted at every turn? No he doesn’t. He’s got a solid and reliable goalscoring record, and is currently our top scorer this season in the Premier League.