The Frenchman left Chelsea for AC Milan not too long ago, while he might have achieve a lot with the London clubs during his stay in England where he won FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield Cup, Europa League and lastly, Champions League to cap his time in London.
The soon to be 35-year-old Frenchman will be remember for his time London and Arsenal to be precise – as he wooed to alleviate the hole left by the former Arsenal Skipper who left to win Premier League medal with Manchester United what was the Ferguson last in charge of the team that dominated the league to a stupendous margin winning thirteen in the Premier League first twenty-two campaigns.
However, one of the thing that the classical point man brought to Arsenal will be rue for a long time after his departure to the West London Club.
To the most of the Gunners’ fans across the globe – losing Giroud in the summer that the North London club acquired Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was a good transaction, at least for the major part of the season as the new Gunners start striker would be coming with pace, skill and eye for goals.
But not so many envisioned the importance of Olivier Giroud in Arsenal attacking build-up’s play and his relevance in winning multiple ball for the Fly Emirate stadium outfit to build their attack.
Even when he was outstanding or having an average game altogether, many fans have sectionalized him apart in praise – though, he might not have been an orthodox striker that can do everything from scoring, dribbling, flick and flairs and whatsoever make the sport so interesting, but the former Montpellier striker is good at supporting his team while gently building up his stat according to his pace and capacity.
In short, his importance could be felt when many reminisce on how Olivier Giroud spearheaded a great comeback for Arsenal as he set up Alexis Sanchez’s header for first goal and Lucas Perez volley for the second before taking matter to his hand, while he handed Arsenal their third goal of the night to mark one of the Premier League greatest comebacks as everything happened in less than 20 minutes left to play against Bournemouth on Premier League match day 20 of the 2016-17 season.
In fact, the World Cup winner had made so many impressive effort to earmark his importance to the North London club on many occasions and beyond his goal, the former Arsenal striker will be remember for so many things in which just few are going to be talk about in this article.
One of the most iconic and the height at any Arsenal player will be winning a global award in a decade – Olivier Giroud won the Puskas award for the best goal of the year, while he saw off his counterpart from Venezuala’s star and captain, Deyna Castellanos and South African goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke to scoop the award in 2017.
However, what the most fans of Arsenal will remember is not the award the former Arsenal star striker won but the goal and the manner at which it came bye.
In a goal that epitomized a great team work and effort from all attacking spree started with Lucas Perez interception that led to Giroud involvement with back flick passes to Granit Xhaka that led to counter attack but the beauty of the goal was just about the back heel scorpion kick but the effort that began immediately the striker with not much pace began to sprint ahead to join up the counter after the ball had fell in the side of Alexis Sanchez.
However, the France international was able to catch the Alexis Sanchez cross with his back heel despite running a little bit ahead of the ball to produce a fascinating goal that would stay for a very long time in the memory of the North London club’s faithful for a longer period of time.
Although, the goal was a one man show but the effort of every member of the team on field cannot be summarize alone as to which similar goal was score by Henrikh Mkhitaryan just a week prior to Giroud’s Puskas award winning goal, but the difference in that goal could easily be seen from the effort the Frenchman brought to the goal and the manner at which he executed the goal gave more importance to it.
His way of terrorizing the average team
After the loss of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United side, in 2012, it took Arsene Wenger some defeat to realize he need some reinforcement to establish his top four finish – so many would have believed that the France international was traded to Arsenal to fill the void left by the departed Gunners skipper, however, the Frenchman came with a new wave of dynamism to Arsenal.
Van Persie on the hand to any team is goal threat and a terror against structure of defense irrespective of their caliber and status and one the accusation libel against the incoming striker that replaces the Dutchman was that he always manage to saves his best for the middling and weaker teams. In fact, Olivier Giroud who often hypothetically became a spectator against the big guns in the league and beyond glows against the average teams at the least, that, the now AC Milan striker always find a way to redeemed himself against the average teams and the struggling team to find his consistency for the North London club.
Moreover, big player shine on the biggest occasions and on some instances, the Champions League winner often provide the prologue of greatness in a sequential form that mostly rescue the Arsene Wenger’s team from a precarious gesture and to establish his dominance against the big guns, Giroud have always find consistent against Liverpool and spurs while he represent Arsenal – but his potency has always been at its peak whenever he face the average and struggling team.
Club of 100 goals scorer under Arsene Wenger
Olivier Giroud might not be a potent striker like the legendary Thierry Henry, Ian Wright and so many other greats that have had their fair share of wearing the famous red and white badge of the North London club.
But, the Frenchman would however be remember in the caliber of the caliber of the proven goal scorers that have represent Arsenal under the reign of the French tactician.
In his five and a half season, Olivier Giroud found the back of the net on 105 occasions to establish himself as one the great player that have been nurtured by Arsene Wenger in his time at Arsenal.
So many star players have emanated or graced the teaching of Arsene Wenger, not too many have the liberty to be among the top scorer for Arsenal despite having the likes of Thomas Rosicky, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Emmanuel Adebayo, Nicolas Anelka, Samir Nasri and Jose Antonio Reyes among many other star player that have to be in the league of player that have failed to score more than 100 goals for Arsenal under Wenger, but with ease, the World Cup winner find himself among the elite that have the luxury of scoring more goal for the North London club under the guidance of the “professor” as the like of Thierry Henry, Ian Wright, Robin Van Persie, Dennis Bergkamp and Theo Walcott. For this, the Frenchman has proven himself as one of the club best signings in recent times.
An executioner of striker basic role
Been in a striker in a modern world where every player have to contribute to the team play, build in strength, pace, assist and make sure to get the goals themselves. Olivier Giroud is known not to be a pacey player and he decently compensated well for this with his physicality and on-air presence while he always won many balls for the Gunners to set the team’s attacking tempo.
However, all those are minor influence of the former Chelsea striker. Giroud is a striker that strike hard his basic role to his brain and mind while he always strife to get his job done perfectly and judging by his conversion rate from the deliveries he had in his time at the Emirate stadium at near the post, symbolize how near perfect an executioner he is at his basic role of been a terror in the near post.
To emphasize on his role as a striker – Michael Owen, whom was one the most prolific goal scorer in Premier League in his time at Liverpool was certain on the basic role of any strike is to place himself well in the penalty-box and Olivier Giroud have always been an absolute wonderful striker in this realm and perhaps he would always be remembered by the fans for his telepathic near post understanding.
Olivier Giroud might not have a perfect replacement for Robin Van Persie, but he is a decent footballer that learn his way with decency and his ability to sacrifice for his team makes his worth even bigger than his role. No wonder, Frank Lampard at Chelsea eulogize the presence of the Frenchman despite the former Blues boss fraternizing with his youthful policy.
Though, Giroud wasn’t the best of the striker in the world football like Van Persie of Aubameyang that came to replace him, but when a game plan is been played to his strength, he always deliver and make most of the deliveries that comes his way.
Maybe what every Gunners fans was expecting of him was to become more like Van Persie or Dortmund’s Aubameyang but Olivier Giroud will always be himself which is well reflected in his World Cup winning team though he never scored in the tournament but his worth to the team gave the likes of Mbappe to run and Griezmann to find a pocket space to explore. Sadly, it after he left that many would realize his worth to the team.
Though, he had little time at the Emirate stadium’s club and his time was rocked with injuries, but there are some memories Giroud left behind that would be embedded in the heart of the fans forever. If only he could have come twenty year sooner, when the game play in such era are to his strength, he could have well be on per with the like of Ian Wright or Thierry Henry.