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The curious case of Olivier Giroud



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Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry recently said that Arsenal need to sign four new players this summer if they are to challenge for the Premier League title next season. 

“Arsenal need to buy four players, they need that spine,” the Frenchman told Sky Sports.

“They need a goalkeeper, they still need a centre back, they still need a holding midfielder and, I’m afraid, they need a top, top-quality striker in order to win this league again.”

Henry was specifically harsh on Arsenal striker Giroud. The French striker has scored 18 goals this season, despite missing few months of action through injury, but Henry does not believe that he is the right man to lead Arsenal to their first league title since 2004. 

He said: “I think Giroud is doing extremely well. But can you win the league with him? I wouldn’t think so.

“He does a job, and he does it ever so well, but you can’t win the league.”

Giroud divides opinion among the pundits more than any other Arsenal player. Critics tend to jump on his shoulders when he is not playing well and surprisingly are not appreciative of his talents when he is scoring goals and winning matches for his team.

Make no mistake, Giroud is not a 30-goals-per-season striker. However, he brings a lot more to the game with his strong physical presence and excellent positional awareness. The problem is Giroud doesn’t give the impression of being a high profile striker but he always maintains a steady performance.

It is easy to make someone a scapegoat and say that he won’t win you the league, but questions should be asked whether the team itself is ready for the title challenge? Arsenal have shown signs of developing into a good team that can mount a serious title challenge next season but they are far from the finished product yet.

Giroud is a good player but certainly not a world class striker. He rarely produces moments of genius that lifts the moral of the team. Great modern day strikers like Suarez, Aguero, Tevez et al, have single handedly taken their respective clubs to a different level, but same cannot be said about the Arsenal striker. He is definitely good enough for Arsenal but doubts remain whether he is good enough to win Arsenal the league.