When Olivier Giroud joined Arsenal from Montpellier last summer, it was just the latest in a series of steps up the striker had taken in his football career. In his early days, when he was coming through the youth ranks at Grenoble in France, nobody had much optimism about the big striker becoming a star in the world of football, and he remembers the early setbacks that he had to fight against, and that seems to have given the French international the determination and desire to keep proving people wrong.
I know it is probably too early in the season to judge him properly, but with four goals in five games so far, Olivier Giroud has got off to a flying start and has got everybody talking about him. After another sublime finish from the big Frenchman gave the Gunners a great victory over Tottenham in the north London derby, is Giroud showing signs of becoming a world class striker?
When Olivier Giroud signed for Arsenal last summer, his arrival was not greatly anticipated by the fans, mainly because we had lost our captain and top scorer Robin van Persie to Manchester United. Although we were told that Giroud was not really meant to fill the Dutchman’s boots, it was hard not to compare the two.
It took Giroud around six weeks of the season to get off the mark in the Premier League, and the pressure was beginning to affect his confidence and all round play. In the end, his figures for the season were okay, and he provided a few assists and became an important part of the team, but it is safe to say that he has not replaced the Dutchman well enough for most Gooners, but I think he might just do so this season.
With all the Arsenal transfer rumours about at the minute, most fans are thinking more about which players will be coming in to the club, but we should not forget about the importance of stability and continuity. Arsenal have suffered greatly in recent years as Arsene Wenger has had to constantly rebuild the team following the departures of key players like Fabregas, Nasri and van Persie.
Arsene Wenger could be heading back to France again soon, to add another player to his decidedly Gallic Arsenal team. And after selling the Gunners their top scorer last summer, Montpellier could be set to lose another one of their stars. Younes Belhanda has practically begged somebody to come and sign him this summer, and he has been linked with Arsenal before.
The 23-year old Moroccan international was a key part in Montpellier’s historic title win, but the club has come nowhere near those heights again this season, finishing in ninth place and a massive 31 points behing the new champions PSG. Belhanda has played well for them, however, and has scored only one goal less than last year’s 13 this season.
The jury has been in deliberation all season about Olivier Giroud at Arsenal. Of course, the French international has been given some leeway by us Gooners, although not much by some, as it is his first season with the Gunners and we have seen players take time to get used to the English Premier League before.
Rub your eyes, Arsenal fans, pinch yourself and splash your face with cold water, then read the headline again. Is it still the same? Yes, and it is not April 1st, so what on Earth is going on? Maybe whoever wrote this story originally had shaky hands from the night before, or his dog barked as he was typing and he hit an extra zero, because 100 million euros is silly money for anybody, never mind Remy Cabella.
Montpellier have had a shocking follow up season the their historic title win last year. They finished ninth, a massive 28 points behind the champions PSG, and it seems to have affected the sanity of their deputy chairman, Laurent Nicollin.
Should Thomas Vermaelen be the Arsenal captain? by SS
My personal opinion is no. Vermaelen is obviously one of Arsenal’s biggest name defenders and he has been in the team for a fair few years now but I personally have never liked him. I have nothing personal against him, I have just never appreciated his defensive skill.
To me, it seems like Vermaelen has been injured for three quarters of his entire Arsenal career and when he does come back, he plays terribly. I can only honestly recall one season where I remember him playing consistently well without injury
Olivier Giroud has certainly had an interesting first season in the English Premier League since joining Arsenal from the French champions Montpellier. The French international has gone from hero to villain, and back again, a few times already. He has split opinion, not just with the Arsenal fans but with football reporters and commentators as well.
I feel sorry for him at the minute, because the unfair three match ban will probably mean that he will not reach 20 goals this season. The big striker has hit 20 for his two previous clubs and it would have been a real confidence boost for him to do it in his first season at Arsenal. He will get one chance, probably, in the last game of the season away to Newcastle, but he will need to get his first Gunners hat-trick to do so.
It may seem strange that Arsenal are being linked with a player who failed to impress at West Brom, but the Spanish midfielder Borja Valero has been a key figure in the success of the Serie A club Fiorentina this season. The 28-year old joined the Italian club from Villareal in the summer and has been a fixture in the Fiorentina side, scoring twice and setting up 10 goals in their race to qualify for the Champions League.
Why is Podolski so underused? by AH
It’s coming up to a year now since we first started to hear of Podolski being in contact with Arsenal after his previous club FC Koln allowed us to talk to the German International, and we were all filled with excitement. As signings go, Arsenal doesn’t purchase many ‘big name’ players but Podolski was certainly one of these rarities. The news of his signing seemed as if we were going to some serious spending in the summer, to build on the talent that we already had. Little did we know that Van Persie was then going to unhinge the whole progress and arguably leave us with a much worsened team, despite the strengthening in Podolski’s signing.
After losing three of the last four games, it is no wonder that Arsenal fans are unhappy and looking for somebody to blame. The defence has been the main target, mainly due to the soft nature of the goals that have been conceded, but the Gunners have been struggling at the other end as well. Olivier Giroud is coming under fire again, with some JustArsenal readers even commenting that they would prefer to have Bendtner back. Well it looks like they may soon get their wish.