Olivier Giroud did not have his best game for Arsenal against Sunderland on Saturday, but he worked tirelessly and provided good link up play with Walcott and Cazorla and held the ball up well and allowed the midfield to get forward. He perhaps should have done better with a couple of chances, but he has come on in leaps and bounds since joining the Gunners in the summer.
I think that Arsene Wenger has finally found the big, powerful striker he has been looking for. In my opinion, the French international has everything he needs to be a success at Arsenal. He has shown himself to be much more useful to Arsenal than his predecessors Marouane Chamakh and Nicklas Bendtner, and I think a lot of this is due to his attitude.
Both Chamakh and Bendtner have shown that they have talent, but failed to produce it consistently. They both had problems with confidence, whether too much or not enough, and their careers spiraled downhill at the Emirates. Where Giroud is different is that he seems to accept that he will not always play for Arsenal, and when he does it may sometimes be a thankless task, as the Spanish passing game is not really suited to him.
Giroud has only started 16 Premier league games this season, but he has worked hard getting used to the English game, and has already got more goals and assists as Bendtner or Chamakh ever managed. Giroud may not have scored against Sunderland, but his contribution was vital and he always defends corners and free kicks well. For a player who is so good in the air, Giroud could easily have become frustrated at Arsenal. We attempted just seven crosses against Sunderland, and only one of those found it’s target, while Sunderland put in 47, 10 of which were successful.
What Giroud has done is try to adapt his game to fit in with the Arsenal style of play, and his 10 assists show that he has done this well. He doesn’t moan when the ball is not crossed to him, he drops deeper and helps with the build up. Wenger has been looking for a typically English centre forward for a while, and I think he has found the right one at last.