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Arsenal have amassed 5 points in their 3 league games this season, with draws against Stoke and Sunderland and a victory versus Liverpool at Anfield.
When the quality in their team has shone through, it has done so predominantly through two new signings to the Emirates Stadium, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla. But these are only two players in the trio of summer signings made by Arsène Wenger. The missing man? Olivier Giroud.
Olivier Giroud comes to Arsenal on the back of former captain Robin Van Persie’s exit to rivals Manchester United. 2011-2012 was undoubtedly the best season in the Dutchman’s career, accumulating a total of 37 goals for Arsenal, propelling them to a 3rd place finish in the Premier League.
With a sense of frustration surrounding Arsenal fans regarding Van Persie’s departure – to one of their fiercest rivals no less; the Arsenal faithful are turning to Olivier Giroud to fill the huge void left by the departure of the high flying Dutchman. But the question on the lips of every Arsenal fan is: Is Giroud capable of that?
With each game, it seems that an increasing number of Arsenal fans believe that the answer to the aforementioned question is ‘no’. Over the past few years, Arsenal fans have seen their best players leave the club only to be replaced by players of less quality or, indeed, not to be replaced at all.
As a result of this, Arsenal fans are, understandably, worried that the same may be said for Giroud.
Having spurned a game-winning chance at the death on opening day versus Sunderland, and missing two great chances in the club’s victory against Liverpool; Arsenal fans are clearly worried that the big Frenchman may become ‘just another Chamakh’.
Admittedly, early signs do suggest that Giroud may not possess the goalscoring prowess of his predecessor. Sickened Arsenal fans have had to endure Van Persie’s emphatic start to his career as a Manchester United player, scoring 4 goals in his last 2 games.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom with regards to Giroud. The Frenchman scored a total of 25 goals in all competitions for former club Montpellier HSC last season, helping them to lift the French Ligue 1 for the first time in the history of the club.
Furthermore, Olivier Giroud has received a stamp of approval from Arsenal great Robert Pires, stating; “I have seen Giroud playing in France and he has the qualities you need in England. He is strong and he has good touch. He can be like Van Persie in my opinion.”
Even since moving to Arsenal, Giroud has shown the potential to be a quality striker through the use of intelligent movement which allows him to get beyond defenders and create goalscoring chances.
Another major positive for Arsenal is that the tall Frenchman offers them an aerial threat in their attacking unit which the club has not possessed in many years. Perhaps Giroud, a fully fledged French international, just needs time to adapt to the Premier League.
Regardless, Giroud’s search for his first Arsenal goal continues this Saturday at home to Southampton. Many optimistic Arsenal fans have noted that club legends Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp and the great Thierry Henry were all players who scored their first league goal for Arsenal versus Saturday’s opponents.
There is no guaranteeing that a goal in Saturday’s game would be a sign that Giroud will go on to be an Arsenal legend, however, it would most certainly do the confidence of the player, the manager and the fans a lot of good.
Arsenal fans know that, if they are to end their trophy drought this season, they will need the Frenchman to come up big for the club.
There is no two ways about it; the player must re-emulate the form shown last season for Montpellier soon if Arsenal is to mount a serious title challenge this season.
Whether or not Giroud will be the answer to the prayers of Arsenal fans worldwide remains to be seen but one thing is for certain; this season will be an emotional rollercoaster for the club and its fans.
Hey, like we’d have it any other way, folks.
Written by Gazza
Follow him on Twitter @GazzaIreland1
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