How much is there still to come from late developer Oliver Giroud?

Giroud has often disappointed many Arsenal fans this season.

Giroud: will he once again improve significantly during a second season at a club?!

I like Oliver Giroud. He works hard, plays with passion, is a late developer and combines a strong ego with the willingness to sacrifice himself for the greater good of the team. He is not born with natural composure, something which only the very best strikers possess (Van Basten, Henry, Bergkamp, Messi etc). Giroud will always have to rely of his key strengths: stamina, hunger, power, decent technique and team play.

I reckon Arsene prefers his central striker to be a team player. Somebody who is happy to do the most unnatural thing for a striker: playing with his back towards the opposition’s goal for large parts of the game, and sacrificing himself for the team. He tried it with Chamakh and the Moroccan played his role a lot better than many have given him credit for. Before he was unceremoniously dumped for the recovered Van Judas, after Christmas a few seasons ago, Arsenal managed to score 2.4 goals per game: many goals came from our midfielders, and our 4-5-1, with the likes of Fabregas and Nasri enjoying themselves as they never did before,  worked a treat.

Van Judas is a far better striker than Chamakh and Giroud: no argument there. But the problem with such a prolific striker is  that slowly but steadily more or less all attacking play is narrowed down to the one and sharpest arrow. This quickly results in both an overreliance on that top striker and a reduction of goals per game. On average, Arsenal never got above 2.0 goals per game when the grey-haired broody woman led the line, which is not really enough to win the league.

I reckon Arsenal made progress last season by spreading the goals between all our attackers, and  there is good reason to believe Giroud’s claim today, that more and better is to come from him, Pod and Cazorla, next season. I have no doubt there is more to come from Cazorla and a fit Podolski, but what about the Frenchman?

Ollie is a late developer and it looks like, every time, he needs a season to settle in at a new club, after which he makes a steep improvement. At Tours he went from 9 to 21 league goals in his second season, and at Montpellier he went from 12 to 21 league goals. If he could go from 11 league goals to 20+ next season, he will have done really well.

Moving from the French Alps to rural French towns and cities will not have been too taxing on him, but playing and living in cosmopolitan London and for a top European team, is a different ball game. All his overeagerness is not going to compensate for this instantly.

But, as  per the start of the post, he has the characteristics to spur himself on and push himself to the top, and I reckon he will make that ‘second season improvement’ once again. His success should not just be measured through his goals and assists though; it is just as important to judge him on all the work he does to allow others to shine.

Written by: TotalArsenal.

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77 Responses to How much is there still to come from late developer Oliver Giroud?

  1. ProudGooner says:

    With out a doubt TA there is much more to come, a good article
    When you think also Arsenal style of play, it’s fair to say it could well take a season to get used to it, he will improve a lot i think, he has it all tall, strong, full of effort.
    He now knows all his team mates and they style he has a really good left foot, he could of had 25 goals last season he almost seemed to try to hard, its like you say the composure , but he will master this at AFC Wenger will drill it in him.
    I like him and i believe no ,matter who we sign they won’t just take his position, he will give his all for it, That year’s experience can only improve him. You can just see and from what he say’s he really appricate’s being at AFC his worked hard to get there..

  2. Mjc says:

    I’ve had this argument many times – Giroud is I think a brilliantly intelligent striker, and he will score 20+ goals next year. Thank your for being the first blogger in many months to state his stats.

  3. gregarious13 says:

    True he needs time to develop his Premier League experience, no doubt his assists were instrumental in our campaign last season and he will look to build on that. However I feel if we sign a striker (Higuain, Rooney, Benteke, Jovetic) Giroud will be dropped, similar to Chamakh and RVP.

  4. AJS73 says:

    I agree. Does a lot of work for the team. Sharing the goals around is never a bad thing. Doesn`t matter how many he gets if he lays on goals for others. I like him.

  5. AFC says:

    TA, top post on Giroud. 🙂

    Over reliance on one player to score the majority of goals for a team is a bad thing. Bale at Spurs is an example of this and if they really want to improve, get into the CL and finish above us they should sell Bale if Real come calling with a huge fee. Invest the fee in 2 attacking players and two defensive players and you never know they might actually finish above us. Not that I want them to. 😀

    I think Giroud will score at least 15 goals in the PL next season and they will be important goals. I think Wenger will not sign a no.9 but a no.10 or player who can play in all of the attacking positions as I said in the last post.

  6. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, thank you for another interesting article. I do agree that OG has a place in this squad and that he does have some endearing qualities. It’s also a benefit to distribute the scoring load to make our attack more unpredictable, but with him in the line-up, our attack/strategy not only becomes the very thing we are trying to avoid (predictability in long balls and trying to cross into the box), but we also become worse as a result of his lack of skill and finishing up front.

    In-depth look at Giroud’s stats:

    Minutes per goal – 198
    Shooting accuracy – 43%
    Chance Conversion – 13%
    Shots – 107
    Shots on Target – 38
    Shots off Target – 50
    Shots Blocked – 19
    Clear Cut Chances – 20
    Clear Cut Chances missed – 16
    Passing Accuracy – 64%
    Final Third Passing Accuracy – 52%
    Total Aerial Duels won – 56% (190)
    Chances created – 23 (1.2 per 90 mins)
    Dispossessed – 41 (2.1 times per 90 mins)
    Loss of Possession – 53 (2.7 times per 90 mins)
    Dribble Success – 25%
    Points per game With/Without player – 1.6/3.0

    Maybe if Giroud could play with his back to goal he’d actually have some more use. The fact is he’s pretty useless with the ball at his feet and is an awful passer. Statistically speaking, we are actually a much better team without OG in the line-up (3 points per game when he is not playing).

    Can he improve? Sure, in fact, of course he can. Are we going to be a better team with him leading the line as our lone ST? Hell no, we’ll continue to toil in mediocrity no matter who we have around him because he’s an average starting striker, but a quality substitute one.

  7. Dylan says:

    I have a lot of faith in Ollie. He will come good for us. That being said, I still want a least one more striker at the club. 😉

  8. weedonald says:

    Excellent once again TA. All the moaners who call him rubbish and a poor buy should take some lessons from your post. I believe he and Podolski will do even better next season and IF Wenger brings in a third option (a tested striker who can finish and can provide assists as well) then we can expect Giroud,Podolski,Walcott,Cazorla and perhaps even Gervinho to flourish once again.

  9. weedonald says:

    HH… interesting and revealing analysis but there is a certain plus that Giroud can bring to AFC, once he improves his passing and shooting. I agree that he is a better impact substitute than a starting striker and that is why we need a real striker to join us oiver the summer.

  10. Highbury Harmony says:

    All agreed Wee. I value OG’s positive qualities and what they bring to our squad, but in no way should we be depending on him to be our starting ST. He’s the ideal super sub as more set pieces are given later in games and he can enter a game relatively unmarked, opposed to when he starts where it’s easier for teams to take him out of the game.

  11. Stonroy says:

    Personally I feel he doesn’t have the balance and agility to be a top striker… He’s more of a plonker who’s gotten where he is because he works extremely hard.

  12. Gerry says:

    Mjc – You said the very thing that I thought TA missed out – Intelligence

    TA – Great post, just what Giro needs to read, if he can get past all the negative ones, including stats, HH?

    He has intelligence to be self critical which is very important if he is to progress.

    Most important of all, what was missing from his game was support. Too easy to surround him whenever the ball was aimed in his direction. Apart from the DM, players linked with the club are creative midfielders and strikers, and I believe that whoever comes in will benefit him, rather than sideline to super sub status?

    While Santi is great at most things he does, his type of play is better suited when there is more than one option up front? Getting the right support to take defenders away from Giro will be key. Ox will be that player in the not too distant future, but for now he possible does not have the presence to draw more than one defender away? Higuain on the other hand would certainly fit the bill. Podolski also would benefit, however all three lack pace. Great on the turn, but no real pace to break into the box. This is why I think there will another front line/AM player on the list to do the job while the likes of Ox and Eisfeld develop?

    Add these extra ingredients and Giro will be seen in a far better light?



  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all 🙂

    Thanks for comments overnight and apologies for commenting so little over the last few days.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    ProudG 🙂

    You wrote: ‘I like him and i believe no ,matter who we sign they won’t just take his position, he will give his all for it, That year’s experience can only improve him. You can just see and from what he say’s he really appricate’s being at AFC his worked hard to get there..’

    Spot on. Even if we sign a more established striker, Ollie will not give up and fight for his place; it might even do him good, as the less attention is on him the better he might become.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Mjc – thanks for pointing out his intelligence. I had that incorporated in ‘team play’ but it is important to state it seperately.

    Gregarious – I don’t think he would be dropped instantly but get a fair chance to fight for his place, but there is indeed a risk he would move to the bench eventually. As an impact sub he could still do really well next season though.

  17. TotalArsenal says:


    ‘Doesn`t matter how many he gets if he lays on goals for others.’

    Spot on, and yet this is such a hard thing to accept for a striker as these contributions are often hard to measure, except for assists. To balance his (much needed) striker ego with team sacrifice must be such a hard thing to do, especially as most fans will mainly, if not only, value the hard (one dimensional) stats.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Spurs finishing above us….. AFC… you are in a charitable mood my friend, hahaha 😛

    Like you I don’t believe in Wenger signing another top striker this summer, but then The Guardian reported yesterday that Arsene really wants Higuain to reinvigorate our attack (and they usually have a close link with Arsenal….).

    It would still surprise me though.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HH,

    The stats, unsurprisingly, are not great. There is no reason though to believe he will not improve in most, if not all, areas next season, and your final conclusion could easily be turn out to be wrong. I agree he needs to improve his ‘back towards the goal’ link-up play, and I am sure he will.

    The bit that you and I seem to differ on is his ability to improve significantly again in his second season, and I admit I base that on gut feeling. He’ll come good and you will finally have something to hold back in your friends faces, hahaha 🙂

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Dylan, WeeD

    I am hoping for a very good nr.10 rather than another nr.9, but it looks like Arsene is indeed keen to add quality in the latter. But whatever happens, I reckon Ollie will add and improve the team further next season.

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry 🙂

    Once again, a fine comment and all agreed.

    The partnership between Ollie and Cazorla could/should also improve further next season, but I reckon that somebody like Jovetic, Rooney, Cesc in the hole would instantly improve the whole team and Ollie would turn out a very productive player.

  22. TotalArsenal says:


    He is a lot better technically than you think. Once he balances out his overeagerness with a bit more composure, he’ll start becoming a lot more productive.

  23. TotalArsenal says:



    Agreed, his first season was not too bad given the circumstances.

  24. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning, TA, 🙂

    A very nicely postulated Post about one of my favourite players.

    There are more skillful players, there are faster players, there are players with more panache, but one thing, above all else, endears Giro to me and that is his guts, determination and willingness to put all his might and effort into playing his best for the team.

    He willingly chases down hopeless causes, he ploughs a lonely furrow up front, and, to be candid, he often does not get the support a big, strong CF like him deserves.

    He is AOK with me, because he brings something to the team that by example many others can learn from him.

  25. alexgunners says:

    Good Evening to all.

    Great article and I believe that OG’s numbers will be better next season. It is a big step up to the EPL but he has the fire to chase the game defensively as well. He does need some fine tuning and hopefully will make it. In saying that, we do need more fire power up front and someone who is a more clinical finisher.

    Without a doubt, the spread of goals were better this season. Now imagine what it would be like if we had a similar output from our current players and another striker who could add more goals, i believe that we would be in a much better position.

    OG is a team player and that is the kind of player that we need but as a lone striker it is hard to see us improving much from our finishing position of last season

  26. @babakrdaemi says:

    I agree. I expect podolski, santi, theo, the ox and jack to improve as well. However, chelsea and city will be significantly improved far more than arsenal.

    Lets hope we make additions to support girod et al. He cant win us a title. I know that.

    Come on the gunners

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Aaah great to see both Alex and Red Arse on BK again! 🙂

    And both have responded with very balanced comments with which I can only agree, except for Alex’s final paragraph perhaps. I will do a separate post at one point to show that even without a new striker the team is likely to score more goals / win more games next season.

    Alex, hope your wife’s pregnancy is going okay!

    Redders, hope you are feeling okay and things are improving for you again. You have been missed by many. 🙂

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair point babakrdaemi – I am sure we will see a new signing up-front but it might not be another nr.9 type of player.

  29. alexgunners says:

    Hi TA,

    All is going well thanks. Just been working in country Victoria so I have not had the time to even get on the net. I am going out for dinner and I certainly will be back shortly.
    Great to be back

  30. Red Arse says:


    I don’t want to sound like a wuzz, especially as I do not know what the reasons are, but I am becoming worried that once again, from the reports we read, that AW seems to be stopping transfer deals because the clubs’ valuations are 1 or 2 million pounds apart.

    I hope I am worrying unnecessarily, but the comment from Gazidis that ‘we will be in the market early, and very actively’ does not seem to be the case.

    Of course, the TW does not open until the 1st July, so I am probably being too impatient. 😀

  31. mA says:

    thank you TA for appreciating this man and all his contribution to this team

    Ollie is far better than he is given credit for. A closer look at his stats may not be pleasing for the eye, and this is where a number of ‘supporters’ get on his back. Nonetheless, i recommend any doubting ‘supporter’ to watch him closely when he is playing. First, his work rate and willingness is comparable to none. Secondly, he utilizes his strengths magically including heading, holding up play when under pressure, defending when needed and using the channels to pull away the defenders. Such valuable attributes are likely to go unnoticed because they do not help Giroud in a direct manner (i.e scoring lots of goals).

    There is no question as to whether or not proper football should be for teamplayers. In fact we witnessed a few instances when the team struggled without Giroud upfront. All that said, he can (and will) improve on his shooting accuracy and use of right-foot. He always has powerful shots and when carefully aimed can rip it up. As the article says, his over-eagerness will decrease. Go Ollie…Go…

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to hear that, Alex, and hope you’ve enjoyed your meal. 🙂

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Fully agreed, RA.

    Could it even be that Gazidis is putting some pressure on Arsene to make decision and dare to spend.

    What does opening of the TW even mean? I guess it means players can only join a new club from the opening date, but can nevertheless be bought before that… 😕

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers that man whose initials do NOT stand for Mike Arteta hahaha! 😛

    Yes his attributes do often go unnoticed, but he, Ramsey and Koz do tremendous amounts of hard work that make our team tick. We just need to add a bit of real quality in the spine and we’ll go places again! 🙂

  35. Highbury Harmony says:

    RA, so nice to see you back on BK! 😀

  36. 17highburyterrace says:

    Another good one TA and (Na-Na-Na Nanana Na-Na) Giroud is a real figure of controversy. To me he seems serviceable enough in a certain way but I can see those who would like to have him as “Strictly plan B.” Again, I think it’s a conflict between growing (improving) the team in an organic, incremental manner vs. remaking it entirely (in a fantasy style) so as to compete with the teams ahead of us.

    Ollie runs poorly, rushes his shots and has a disturbing tendency to lean back and blast towards row Z on his favorite (left) foot. At least he tries to shoot with his right foot and often makes contact and gets the ball towards the target. For a guy his size his heading skills are very undeveloped and could be an area for huge improvement. Overall, however, I don’t really see the big goal totals unless we make some changes in the line-up around him. Theo, Poldolski and Santi–in that order of selfishness, are looking first for their own shot and want to pass to the big guy as a last resort.

    He got better as the season went on at looking for the pass (or 1-2, esp. with Santi) but you can almost see what he’s thinking by his body language (ahead of the play) and this is the factor that, I fear, will keep him from ever becoming the “world class” striker that everybody hopes he will become. That said, when he gets his big body moving (at set pieces and against teams who push up and try to play against us, or as a target for Szsc route 1 kicks…) he is more than a handful and, awkward as he looks, he gets body parts on the ball (or close) more than you’d expect. Paired with scary-quick Theo this can be a pressure relieving tactic that yields a quick goal now and again. What’s with the injury faking? The OMG, I’m-really-hurt, hand-waving from the ground wastes time. One day he WILL actually get injured and nobody will believe him (nor Wenger…) and we’ll all assume he’ll jump off the stretcher or… that the manager has dropped him… Somebody needs to have a chat with him on this account…

    Similarly, while it’s nice to think that everybody can improve and that the goal distribution will continue and that everybody will get 5 more and we’ll suddenly be right there with enough goals to win the league (as an offense-first team)… I think it’s a dream… Unless we get a super-effective, dream-quality #10… I really don’t mean to be all gloom and doom but Cesc ain’t coming back, nor is Jack healthy enough nor otherwise ready to do that job. (Sicky and Ox are too old and too young and, I fear, just not good enough….) Likewise, with Higuain stories lingering (simply because nothing else is happening…) I also think it’s a dream to say that OG will be OK if we were to bring in a top striker. It’s possible that the Higuain stuff is all smoke and that we could get Jovetic (even if stories on him have completely flat-lined) but it doesn’t seem good that we seem to be everybody’s 2nd choice (behind Juve). All told, I think the next week or so will be very quiet and things need to settle out in Madrid, Paris and Turin–and across town in Fulham (Chelsea), before we get an inkling as to what’s really happening. I don’t like that the narrative seems to be that we’re bargain hunters AND the last resort for players if they can’t find a move to a (true) top club….Still, I guess I shouldn’t get too down until the torture window is officially open….

    Finally, I’d like to ask TA about the match at Norwich this past November (I think). Wasn’t OG “leading” the line that night (or very dark afternoon) and weren’t we incredibly ineffective? I think that was during the period when we were so bad that I couldn’t bring myself to make the walk down to Paddy’s (in Granada) and I would try to watch the matches on a stream. All I can recall is that we lost 1-nil while hardly creating a chance and that had no real “plan b” for changing things once they scored and the bus got truly parked….

    Cheers in advance and sorry for the long post (and bad attitude)….

  37. Highbury Harmony says:

    RA, I’ve been going on forever how it makes 0 sense for AW to haggle over 1 or 2 million, then sign an inferior talent for 3-4 million less (i.e. Podolski over Reus). It’s not impatience so much as the fact that the better players are already being scooped up and we are once again on the outside looking in, when trying to improve our squad.

    What many on here don’t realize is that internal improvements will only take you so far; other clubs ahead and behind us will also internally improve, but if they bring in better outside additions as well, they’ll likely get ahead of us. A full season of Lloris, a healthy Dembele, Sandro, BAE and Kaboul is somewhat intimidating.

  38. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht excellent comment mate and I agree with everything you just said. The OG lovers have gone to a ridiculous extent to try and go against the grain of the OG haters/doubters, by somehow believing there will be a significant change to his game.

    We’re not talking about goals and assists, which I think will improve (3 assists is nothing to write home about anyway in the EPL), but I’m talking about his awful balance, the fact he can’t do anything when trying to use his right foot, his passing, his final third passing, his dribbling, his lack of pace, how he affects our offense’s predictability etc. etc.

  39. Highbury Harmony says:





  40. Highbury Harmony says:

    Here is what the bookies are saying about potential transfers, posted on uksports yahoo (FWIW):

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    HH, as negative as you might read my comment (and it was, to balance out the OG dreamers…) I think there’s some real upside to the guy and his effectiveness when he wasn’t thinking about shooting was pretty remarkable. Maybe it’s better to say that he was unexpectedly good when he played as the (world’s most ungainly) False 9…

    Against teams that think they can beat us (which, I hate to say, is a growing group…), Ollie, if he just keeps moving, can make things happen. Just by running he got that early goal in Munich (for example)…

    If, however, we can get off to a better start (in terms of winning games early in the season AND starting games with the hand-brake off…) teams will start parking it against us. In these matches, Ollie, I think, would be most effective just using his body and looking for 1-2s with the other attackers and thinking “shot” only when those don’t come off. Too many plays die with his more aggressive (goal oriented) efforts…. Balls out of play (and time down on the floor faking injury) only shorten the matches for the teams who are hoping for a point or playing defense first (and hoping for something on the break)….Again, Norwich away, as I recall, put these issues in the glaring spotlight….

    Overall, I’m with TA in that the problem isn’t really with Giroud. The work rate is priceless and a better #10 is really the key. Getting a better defensive midfielder who could shield the back 4 might (italics) be enough as well. It might (italics again) free up the rest of our offense (midfielders and full-backs) and reward our hard working forwards. If Giroud is working (and not scowling at Theo, et. al.) and others respond in kind, good things can (italics, for the final time…) happen…

  42. Highbury Harmony says:

    17ht, I disagree with you then. Overall, it’s ok to value his work rate and his ability to give into team play and collective responsibility, but he is just as selfish as the rest of the players in the squad and will not hesitate to take a shot from 50 yards out on a counter attack where we outnumber the opposition or late in a game when we are on the fast break and are only leading 1-0.

    Playing with OG in our starting line-up only hurts our team, we actually have won more points without him as a starter. He has a use, but it’s as a substitute.

  43. Highbury Harmony says:

    His decision making is decidedly poor, his conversion % is awful, his shot accuracy is hilarious, his skill on the ball is a complete joke and the amount of time he turns over the ball whether it be a bad pass, horrible shot or is dispossessed is alarming.

  44. Hello TA,fellow gooners

    Another FINE post, do you do it????????

    All agreed about his socks off 4 the team and is always more than ready 2 lay on some assists 4 his team mates..and some pretty decent one’s..(Ipod- Montpellier; Gibbo-Swansea)..we definitely expect further improvement nxt season

    As you pointed it out, one thing is REALLY holding him back in becoming not only a valuable team player but a TOP striker…over eagerness…i clearly remember that Sunderland game,first game of the season..Santi MAGNIFICENTLY put him thru by DELIGHTFULLY curving open Sunderland’s defense..i’m pretty sure even I would have buried that chance..but he put it wide..2 points gone!!!..composure comes with time so lets hope he develops into a better player and most importantly,a lethal striker.

    I genuinely believe ALL gooners want him 2 succeed coz boy does he REALLY want 2 excel 4 us..with more composure and a year’s experience in the epl, he should be much better nxt season..don’t know what the addition of a (better) striker would mean 2 his development but i fully expect 20+ goals from him nxt season..good player and valuable asset 2 the team 4 his work ethic…CHIM CHIM GIROUD!!!!!!

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    HH, that is quite a list (from the bookies)–They seem poised to make A LOT of money…How can I get into THAT business? Are there actually any BKers who are making these sorts of bets? Is this the new form of religious tithing (paying money to back your prayers)?….

    Agree or disagree (and I think we actually agree quite a bit–it’s complicated 😆 ) we have to lay our real hopes on making key purchases that enhance what we’ve already got. The other element is being absolutely ruthless in evaluating what that is….What are we attempting to build upon?….

    The fact of the matter is that, once we cleared our schedule (of those pesky cup competitions…), we got the results we needed down the stretch. That’s a great thing but nobody should forget that those matches came against the already safe, the already relegated and the already champions. Yes, on extra rest we did the deed against (FA cup winners) Wigan, who were trying to run with us….If (italics) we could have beaten Everton (at home) or (less than fully motivated) United (at home) or gotten a result at Spurs, it all would’ve been a lot easier and less dramatic. The fact that we couldn’t, for me, is a worry that lingers….

    The question is: how do we build on that (reality)? How do we do better earlier in the season and give ourselves the breathing room to go deeper in the cups? How do we win the matches we need to win and take points from the good teams in their stadiums–and in our less than fully supportive home arena? The answer, I fear (and as we saw during the run-in)…is negative football. Defense first, dominate at set pieces, give our shaky young keeper route 1 options. Giroud helps quite a bit if this is our plan. If, however, we aspire to something more bootiful, more (traditionally) Wengerish, then he may not be our guy. Baby steps is the way forward so more Ollie seems on the platter…

    So, HH, I have deep respect for the statistical approach (and for guys like you who can play the ruthless fantasy football at a “world class” level…no bookie bets for you I would guess-haha…) but reality dictates that Arsenal will improve slowly, if we improve at all–and you’re dead right about there being some good talent further up the Seven Sisters… Losing their best player (and maybe their manager) might take them down a peg, however…so that’s not my real worry. Improving Arsenal in a significant manner just seems really difficult, money in the bank notwithstanding, and (given today’s headlines at least…) I don’t really see the (clear) path forward…

    Luckily, I’m not in charge… 😀

  46. AFC says:

    17ht and HH, good to see you guys having yet another Giroud debate. 😀

    Personally, I think a striker is needed but for me, in order of priority I think we need a DM with PRESENCE, AM/SS/no.10, young versatile defender and then striker. I say this because I do not see us getting Higuain and if I honest I do not see Wenger forking out to bring in a quality striker in the excess of 20 mill.

  47. AFC says:

    Fellaini has performed at his best in the SS/AM role so I feel Wenger is not putting him at the top of our midfield options.

  48. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good comment KG…. Giroud IS a crowd favorite and it was good that people got off his back for costing us those early points. Still, I wonder about him as the guy we need up front in the tighter matches, esp. if teams let us have the ball. I think we can expect Pellegrini to be more attacking at City, Moyes and Mourinho may be pretty content letting us have the ball and trying to kill us on the break…

    I need TA (or others) to help dig me out of the hole I’m sinking into about our football. Unless we change our personnel in MF I just don’t see us able to play anything pretty. Fellaini for me, even though he’s far from a great player with the ball at his feet, is the signing we need. More defense, more presence at set pieces, etc. We need to get the job done at the back with fewer bodies so that we can commit those extra guys (already on our roster) when we go forward. It’s absurd to pay 22 million pounds (or more) for the Fro, but that would be my call. The funny thing about him, I think, is that he could do a lot of the same things that Giroud does for us if we played him further forward….

  49. Red Arse says:

    Well, the close season is a dull place to be, especially having only pretty poor rumours to feed off — but I must say reading the comments between HH and 17ht are worth the visit to BK in and of themselves.

    What particularly tickles my funny bone, is when one or the other agrees or disagrees with the other one, only to find out they agree/disagree in inverse ratio.

    Good stuff, and please keep it up, guys. 😀

    HH, I never really left BK, or my friend TA, (I read all the excellent Posts and most of the comments) it was just that I needed a little sabbatical for personal reasons. 🙂

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    AFC, I didn’t see your comments when I pressed the “post” button….Spot on, however….

    Yeah, I actually think HH and I are pretty much in agreement about Ollie, but he’s always up for a fight. Don’t mess with me in the morning–or after a match where we’ve looked like sh+t– 😆

    Fellaini, to me seems perfect in that I really don’t think AW wants to see his midfielders locked into “positions.” Like I’ve said, I think we’ve gotten incredibly lucky with Arteta’s fitness and that we cannot afford to count on it. Use him with the Fro as a double pivot in the tougher matches and Ramsey and the Fro for the home matches against the lesser teams. The idea of PM4, Giroud and the Fro at set pieces (not too mention Koscielny or Vermaelen) is really appealing….

    It might not be the prettiest football, but it might be awfully effective. Lord help us if Mourinho gets him (as a huge step up from Obi Mikel or David Luiz as their DM)….

  51. AFC says:

    I would rather Wenger buy a quality DM than an average striker because he does not want to pay the going rate.

    I would like to see this happen:

    GK- Cesar in and Fabianski and Mannone out

    DF- Young versatile defender around the age of 22-25 at the same level as Jones, Smalling, Evans and Santos, Squillaci and Johan out

    MF- Denilson already gone I believe, so he’s out. DM in. Gervinho out if we can get Nani for under 10 million likes reports have said. (I think it will never happen though. Hope I am wrong.)

    ST- Chamakh, Bendtner out and new CF/ST in.

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey RA, any comments on (WTF) is going on in Monaco… The paddock gate seems open once again…

  53. Red Arse says:

    I am not against Fellaini joining the Arsenal, tho’ I have my doubts that it will happen, it’s just that a really nice dude I know, who has a basic flaw, because he supports Everton, told me that he, and many of his like minded friends, thought that until last season Fellatio was a waste of space.

    The trouble is that players like Sideshow Bob get a good season under their belt, and then the fans get unrealistic expectations for the following season, and are distinctly unimpressed when the player does not meet those expectations.

    That’s fine by me, if he stays at Everton (or goes to Chelsea) but I would be underwhelmed if that happened after we had signed him.

    Anyway, it falls into the category of an unsourced transfer rumour — we will see. 🙂

  54. AFC says:

    17ht, how do you think this would work out. No new strikers in, Fellaini and DM in. Play Fellaini behind Walcott (we would still have Giroud if needed) with DM and Arteta holding?

  55. AFC says:

    RA, good to see you back. 🙂

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    Re: Fellaini, the same maybe could be said about Vermaelen and the troubles he had this season. As a loose cannon (undisciplined) CB popping up for key goals now and again, all is good….As a captain who looks like a Stag-Hart in the headlights, not so much….

    RA, Any rumours (or is it rumors?–you’re an American living in London, correct?) that tickle your fancy?….

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    AFC, no no, read my comment above about playing Fro + Arteta in some matches, Fro + Ramsey in others…. He’s a “midfielder” (mostly a DM, if we must) not a second striker–except, of course, at set pieces….

    Uh, oh, family waking up, time to pull some espressos for my wife–and maybe another one for me… 😉 😈 😆

  58. AFC says:

    17ht, Fellaini and Arteta with Arteta being rotated for Ramsey would be a good move. 🙂

  59. Red Arse says:


    The Monaco transfer situation is crazy at the moment — and I am reluctant to get back into FFP etc — but the only logical explanation for what is going on [and this without knowing the facts] is that there is a three season ‘allowable losses’ covering the interim period leading up to the full implementation of FFP.

    Monaco may even have made ‘allowable profits’ during this period, and are now using the ‘averaging’ of the relevant 3 year period to absorb the losses inherent in the transfer shenanigans and the concomitant salaries during this transfer window.

    In addition, it might turn out that their Russian owner may have put a very nice commercial deal on the table to boost their revenue streams, a la City and their Arab owners, and IF so it will be interesting to see what UEFA (Platini) do about that.

    Who knows?

  60. Red Arse says:

    Hi AFC, 🙂

    I won’t be around too much, for a while, but TA cannot get rid of me too easily!! 😀

  61. VCC says:

    Hi Redders, how are you Amigo.

  62. James Bond says:

    trying to remember most of the goals from a not so good memory then only one goal stands out as a strikers goal, the one against Brighton ? rest of them were either headers, set up on a plate or one poached

    i like many believe that OG is best used as a striker or in a 4-4-2…

    since all the negatives have been discussed rather extensively by most posters above me, i’ll look at the positives…

    – sure he lacks pace for a striker but what he lacks in pace can be made up by intelligence and smart finishing/turns/movements e.t.c i believe if anyone can fine tune his skills and abilities to transform him into a better ST and player then it’s AW…

    – sure he may look like Ramsey in disguise at times on the pitch with his woeful decision making at times (i remember one instance where we were trying desperately to hold onto a 1-0 lead in the dying seconds of the game, he is the option to kill the game off but instead chooses to take a shot at goal which ends up in the crowd)….and the camera zooms in on AW who goes “WTF was that with his hands up in the air fuming” 🙂

    – he tries hard to impress and deliver the goods but i feel too hard hence it shows….next season after a good pre-season he’s have a better understanding of his role and the team mates will develop a better understanding with his movements, he doesn’t necessarily have to be our plan b as long as he can improve his game reading and make those runs, not just to take players away from him but also to be a threat himself .

    – let’s be honest, he can’t be more wasteful than that next season, surely ? yep, as he can only improve .

    – he performs his defensive duties rather well, by that i mean clearing corners, fk’s away e.t.c he’s a hindrance for the opposition in both the boxes, his presence there is essential.

    – he needs to stop sulking like a cry baby every time things don’t go his way and needs to mature in that aspect for me, too much moaning to the ref’s, get your head down lad and get on with it next season.

    not a disaster of a first season in england for OG that’s for sure and he has helped this team in more ways than one given the situation we were in at the start of the season.

  63. Red Arse says:

    Howdy, VCC. 🙂

    Are the Arsenal youngsters in your avatar related to you. They certainly look cute! 🙂

    How are you keeping Vickers? Not having too much trouble with Starsky and Hutch, aka Glicster and Troublesome Terry, I hope! 😀

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    RA, thanks for that very good explanation…It makes sense to me and gives me a good guide going forward trying to find out the deeper scoop…

    Like I say, I anticipate a quiet week and our various “stories” dying on the vine. The Guardian Story entitled “Wenger Would Break Transfer Record to Sign Higuain” has zero actual news in it but has floated to the the top of their web-page. It is factually “true” but is right up there with Gazidis saying we “could” (i.e., have enough money to) sign Rooney. Pah-leeze….

    In essence it (all) suggests that Arsenal need to do better work managing their PR. Wrap up a (record-breaking) deal, announce it, and then work out the details at your leisure. These are life and death matters to Gooners trying to weigh out the value of their hard-earned 1500 (or is it 2000….) quid. Easier times for us long-distance “TV-Internet supporters”…. On that note, will I be working in the garden today or watching Brazil-Japan in the Confed thing?….

    In fact, I’m thinking of planting some potatoes that sprouted on me at the back of the pantry….This time next year I could be frying up some chips, yes sir…maybe we should be talking about that…. :rolly eyes: ….

  65. Red Arse says:


    Watch out for those rolly eyed potatoes, they could be full of viruses!! Never more will you have frites (french fries) emerging from your fertile (Spanish?) soil!!

    I cannot remember if it was you or HH who asked me — anyway, I am a Yank, based in the UK, but I have lived in England/Europe/Australia at different times, especially in my youth — and I am more cosmopolitan than American nowadays! 😀

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha, RA, I was in Spain in the fall (autumn?) but now I’m back in the mountains of California…I grew up in Berkeley, CA, which should tell you much of the story…. I too aspire to be more worldly than your average Gringo…

    Are you in London? 17 Highbury Terrace (the upper part of Highbury Fields) was where we got some free housing when my wife had a teaching exchange at London University (Bloomsbury)….

    OK, that settles it, I should watch some footie (and maybe some US Open golf) and do some additional research on the potatoes….

  67. Admir says:

    Hello, people!

    Nice one, TA. I’m glad you mentioned how Chamakh did well at the start and how things changed when Van Judas returned. I wouldn’t compare Giroud and Chamakh though – the former had a slow start but then imposed himself as a decent player while the latter suffered from some sort of premature ejaculation as he unloaded what he had in first four months of his spell (remember, he has been Wenger’s reinforcement who reached 10 goals in his debut season faster than any other player Wenger signed) and then burned out.

    Giroud has problems with pace and I think that problem causes all the problems regarding composure and finishing in big matches. The biggest problem regarding his stats is the fact he rarely scored goals. In Premiership, he scored 11 goals but in three occasions (West Ham 5:1, Newcastle 7:3, Fulham 3:3) he scored a brace. That means he scored in just eight matches out of 34 he played in (that means he scored on less then 25 percent of the matches).

    Also, he has a giant pen…I mean, ego 😀 and hunger for goals. He took some long shots that made even Arsene Wenger jump of his bench and yell at him (I think lip-readers would detect words French words for “bagette”, “shove” and “arse”). The example JB mentioned is, I think, the match against Sunderland away where we were defending 1:0 lead while being reduced to ten men due to Jenkinson’s red card. The other example is away match against Bayern. He took a long shot that ended about a mile over the bar around 60th minute and it seems that one was totally against what Wenger asked players for.

    His best spells were the ones when he was fed with balls by Walcott.

  68. jnyc says:

    TA, great subject for discussion. Im glad to see alot of people agreeing with me, that we love his hard work and effort, but definitely would be a great second choice striker. Just not good enough to depend on for us.
    if people think that we should or would continue with him as our main striker, let me ask you this:
    do u want to truly challenge for titles ? Would city, united, chelsea, even other teams go with Giroud as their first choice striker?
    thats why alot of us are asking for better this window. Remember, we sold the leagues best striker.
    not to compare unfairly, but its a big downgrade in quality, even though i love the goal sharing in the squad.


    Evening all, and fine post TA

    First of all, great to see Redders back posting. Trust your well.

    Know what your saying TA that Giroud is a team player and that is the main reason why Arsene likes him. In an era were many clubs only play with one up, is it a desire to play a striker with power and hold up play?

    Giroud should ultimately be judged for what he gives the team in the future, so i reserve judgement on the guy.

    To be fair, his performances have been of a culture shock to the Highbury faithful. Arsenals main striker is a reversion back to a type of a player we have not seen since the days of Alan Smith, and needs some getting used to.

    There were times i watched him this season, and i know Vics and Cornwall agree, that he was statuesque in his movement, and provided no threat in getting behind. The guy comes alive in the box. His physical power means he can sore and create goals.

    This is not a critiscism of Giroud, but i would like to see the Club have more options up there. The big French man is and will be an invulable player for our future, but like everybody else, let him fight for his place.

  70. ProudGooner says:

    Kenyon Gooner,
    Hello i was at that first match of the season (v Sunderland) sitting level with the 18 yard box, sweating like a mad man i think it was touching 30c that day.I remember the pass from Santi and everyone rising waiting for Giroud to slide it home, sadly he missed. I left disapointed that day but Sunderland defended really well, but he should have scored.
    I still stand by our new boy though, i believe he has it, see the first post on my thoughts on him.
    Also i would like to throw this name back in the hat, a name we were linked heavierly with early on in the season, that name is Klas Jan Huntelar , that guy has what we need to add to our fire power. I hope Wenger still has a bid for him.

  71. ProudGooner says:

    I like the Alan Smith comparasion , Alan smith was great for us but OG is better , but the point was the style change , he is awesome with his headers but a massive change from van Judus for sure. We always have Theo as well though and its fair to say he has manned up and his time seems to have come.He has become very important to us.

  72. VCC says:

    I’m certainly in the minority on OG. He is not for me. Hope he proves me wrong in the coming season.

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow, some very fine comments throughout the day. Many thanks guys! 🙂

    I still have family visiting and so little time to blog properly, but I just would like to say that 17HT has been laser sharp with his comments today. Seldom have I read a more balanced and complete analysis of what Giroud is bringing to the table for us. Top stuff. 🙂

    For me the key dilemma remains that we can improve on Giroud up-front and yet not score more goals/win more points overall. Very few strikers can play the ‘holding forward’ position and mix selfishness with team sacrifice really well. I have no doubt that Wenger wants such a striker and yet many of us want another Van Judas up-front. Let’s see what will happen during the TW.

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers TA… and your point is well taken. The real question is whether or not Giroud truly is a “team” player. It’s not team play to indulge in the time wasting. This off season would be a great moment to shelve the (ridiculous) injury-faking. It’s one thing to ride the referee and to give your teammates a bit of grief now and again, but that stuff doesn’t help unless we’re sitting on a lead… (I don’t really blame him too much for the 40 yarder at Sunderland, as I recall he only had Ramsey ahead of him, running in quicksand, as always….)

    It could be argued that Higuain has shown some outstanding professionalism in his role as 2nd fiddle to Benzema and might slot in nicely as a team guy himself… From the bits I read, he’s got his heart set on Juventus, but needs to have a chat with Ancelloti once PSG release him to coach at RM… I think it’s just paper talk, but, as always, WTF do I know….

    Finally, I think Admir makes a great point about Giroud being a bit of a flat track bully…I think if he and Walcott, and to a lesser extent Poldolski, could “work it out,” all three of them might be able to spread the goals (again) enough so that they’re ALL selected and play (at least) a bit for their national teams in Brazil. Will it being a WC year make the teamwork better or worse?….The key to national selection is being a key player on a successful team, but do those guys realize it in that split second decision between shooting and passing?…

    On that same note. Brazil #1, Julius Caesar, (“Et tu, Sir Chesney?”….) kept a clean sheet vs Japan today….

    Sign him up(?)….

  75. James Bond says:

    signing up Cesar should be a no brainer, top notch goalie who can only add to our current team…he’s quality and an upgrade from what we have at arsenal at the moment and will only help the youngsters get better.

    doesn’t put a dent as such on our transfer kitty or wages, just let one of fabianski / mannone go (i doubt if fabianksi would want to stay either if he is to challenge for that top spot in the national team ).

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha 17, you always tell us about his injury faking! 😛

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