This season, a lot of our failures have been laid at the feet of Olivier Giroud. Now I am not his biggest fan. I have openly expressed my views in previous blogs. His lack of individual brilliance. His play acting. His moaning. His shagging. His inability to out jump Danny Rose. He is a frustrating player at times. But is some of the criticism aimed at him too much?
Olivier Giroud is our current top scorer, with 19 goals in all competitions. A fairly modest return. Our so you would think. Below is a table of every player who has scored over 10 goals in a single season for Arsenal since 2006:
Now Olivier Giroud currently sits 7th on the list. In Arsenal’s remaining 9 (potential 10) remaining games, if Giroud were to score another 3 goals, it would mean that only twice has another player gone on to score more goals in a single season then him – Van Persie in 11/12 and Adebayor in 07/08. So is Giroud, or is perceived lack of goal scoring ability, the problem?
The answer is clearly no.
The problem lies in those around him. The following is how many players in said seasons have scored 10 or more goals:
2006-07 – 5
2007-08 – 3
2008-09 – 3
2009-10 – 4
2010-11 – 5
2011-12 – 2
2012-13 – 4
2013-14 – 2
To have just 2 players so far score 10 or more goals is quite frankly poor. Especially when one of those players is Aaron Ramsey, who has not bee seen since Santa Clause kidnapped him. The only previous season since 2006 that we had just 2 goal scorers with over 10 goals was also the year when Robin Van Persie hit 37. The team was built around him.
The problem is not that Giroud does not score enough, it is that those around him are not scoring enough. With Walcott injured, Cazorla goal shy, Podolski inconsistent, Sanogo non-existent, the goal scoring duty has fallen to Giroud, and he simply is not a 37 goal a season man.
The blame for this obviously falls to Arsene Wenger. He, like the rest of us, should have seen that Giroud needed help, and his failure to buy another striker is becoming our downfall.
When I look at Nicklas Bendtner, he appears on the list twice, scoring 12 and 15 goals. How important could they have been this season? Whilst I am not saying he should have played more, what happened to him to make him fall so much? With Wenger not fancying him, who did Wenger plan would score Bendtner’s 10+ goals?
What has happened to Podolski? What has happened to Cazorla? Both scored 10+ goals last year. This year they have become shadow’s of the players. We are struggling for goals. We have scored 29 less than Liverpool. 24 less than Manchester City. Goals win games, and we, as a team, are not scoring enough.
Olivier Giroud, however, is doing his part. He is being let down by those around him. Let down by his manager.
So before the Manchester City game, and during it, do not criticse Olivier Giroud. Have a go at his team mates who are not scoring enough. Have a go at Arsene Wenger who failed to buy another striker. Leave Giroud alone. He is not the problem.