Olivier Giroud was at times a very frustrating player to watch. He had(has) some obvious flaws in his game that will drive you mad, but on the flip side he has the ability to things few people in the world can do at the same level.
He was a good player for an extended period of time for Arsenal and should be appreciated for that. He came in at the same time as Robin van Persie left and while he ended his career with a very good scoring record he never had the ability to be the type of striker that elevated a good team into a title winning team.
Here is on the striker radar for his Arsenal Career (League only)
Giroud was a classic target man striker who missed being considered a legendary player by being born about 15-20 years too late.
He did really well getting shots for himself but was never quite at the elite level. He was really good at bringing in his teammates with those wall passes and flicks, but after a few years defenders learned that trick and it became a little too predictable with his inability to beat his defender.
He also had a knack for finding the craziest ways to finish the most difficult chances and at the same time fluffing some easy open net opportunities but this probably had something to do with being crazy one footed.
All of this is just the case of him being a good player but never that great player. His good qualities could never quite compensate for his short comings in pressing, movement and general buildup play.
Ultimately he was probably best as a “plan b” type of striker at a top club which he finally settled into at the end of his Arsenal stint and looks to like he will continue during his time at Chelsea.
Giroud had a lot of memorable moments with the club, including winning 3 FA Cups, and should be remembered fondly for his contributions to ending the silverware drought.
To help remember him, here are his top 5 goals for Arsenal by xG:
Au revoir, Olivier. You’ll be missed.
This post originally ran on The Short Fuse