With Just 1.3 PL Goals per Game Re-signing This Former Gunner Would Make Sense

Is it too late to re-sign Ollie Giroud?

Exactly 101 weeks ago, Oliver Giroud, L’Handsome, signed for the Chavs. We got Auba, Dortmund needed a replacement which they got from Chelsea and they wanted Giroud to fill the hole. OG worked well with Eden Hazard and played a pivotal role in the French national team that won the world cup in 2018. The move to the Chavs had worked out for him, even though he would rather have stayed at Arsenal by all accounts.

Wenger convinced him to make the move and Auba has been a success for us in terms of goals, so everybody should be happy, right?

Now he is even being linked with a ‘surprise’ move to the Catalonian gods of Barca to replace the shoulder muncher, who is out till the end of the season.

The point I tried to make for many years is that Giroud was a very important player for us. He had his limitations, just like his fellow world championship winning teammate, the BFG, but boy did he milk his qualities to the full and was he an asset to the team. I am really pleased to see that Ollie is getting the recognition for this from both Gooners and non-Gooners, and finishing his football career at Barcelona would surely be the icing on the club-cake?!

He made others better, more effective players by giving them options and making space for them. Very few attackers were better than him in finding the balance between playing with his back towards goal to enable others time and space with the ball, and yet scoring enough goals himself in the team set-up. Now look at Laca: he is trying hard to play with his back towards goal, for which he does not really have the body mass, but his goals have dried out. It really is an art and an unthankful role to play and OG12 simply excelled in it.

Ollie made Ozil and Sanchez the stars of the show without much appreciation it seems, especially from the Chilean firecracker.

Sanchez scored 8 goals in 20 Arsenal matches in the first half of the 2017-18 season; after that he managed just 5 in 45 games for Manchester United (in 1.5 season). MU did not have an Ozil, but they also did not have a Giroud to make space for him and connect with (although Lukaku could have been such a player, he was not used like that).

Over the last two seasons, Ozil’s assists have dried up. He is still our king of the key pass but very few are leading to goals these days, and it was all quite different when he was working with both Giroud and Alexis.

Many Gooners wanted an improvement on Giroud and they finally thought they got one when Auba signed.

However, we should be concerned about our lack of goals and dependency on Auba. PEA is the superior attacker to Giroud as his personal stats show, but there is more to football than individual goal tallies. Have we become too dependent on Auba? Our goals have dried up this season that is for sure and Auba is our only prolific striker, especially in the PL.

In 5.5 seasons Giroud managed to play a whopping 253 games for us,  46 games on average per season. He scored 105 goals, an average of 19 goals per season. OG was a work horse and his lack of athleticism and raw speed – to which the British football fans are totally addicted – never made him a favourite for all, but boy was he important to the team.

The biggest question to ask is have we actually become better as a team in terms of scoring goals since Giroud left and Auba arrived? GunnerN5 kindly did some statistical analysis for us and it turns out we have gone backwards: in the ‘Giroud era’ Arsenal scored on average 1.87 PL goals per game (in OG’s last two seasons at the home of football it was even higher at 1.99!). In the ‘Auba era’ it is just 1.63 goals per game (with just 1.33 goals per game this season).

Could Ollie return? Should he return to Arsenal for one or two seasons?

It is not inconceivable but looking for a similar type would probably make more sense. Having an attacker who can play with their back to the goal suits Arsenal’s passing game, and it looks like Arteta is very keen on it. We surely need to do something up-front as the goals have dried up this season, and although we are playing much better football under Arteta, it is vital that we start to turn draws into wins by getting our goal per game average back to the 1.9/2 mark.

So, it may not be a stupid move at all to re-sign Ollie for 18 months and I am sure he would jump at the opportunity.

By TotalArsenal.

 

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46 Responses to With Just 1.3 PL Goals per Game Re-signing This Former Gunner Would Make Sense

  1. allezkev says:

    Interesting post Total, it’s a shame that Deschamps interfered where he had no right to, because Giroud only left Arsenal because his international spot was under pressure, so if the ‘water carrier’ hadn’t stuck his nose in I’m sure OG12 might have stayed?

    And we might have won the Europa Cup…

    I wonder how much encouragement, if any, that people at Arsenal May have given to Brentford following their reported £5m bid for Foloran Balogun?

    I was amazed that we sold them Dom Thompson last summer, but under Raul our Academy is as much about raising revenue as it is about developing players for our team, so no smoke without fire?

  2. allezkev says:

    No work for me today Total, but it’s been busy since Christmas, tanks for asking, driving in London has become a nightmare, with restrictions and road closures.
    How are things for you up in SNP land?

  3. GunnerN5 says:

    A very interesting post Total, Ollie was/is a workhorse and was most definitely under appreciated by the fan base, however it’s a skill that is fully appreciated by his managers.. He has an uncanny ability to make runs that move the defense around to make space for his teams attackers.

    Try as he might Lacazette does not seem to possess that same skill set and cannot replicate Ollie’s moves – or is it that his team mates don’t pick up on his movement quick enough?

    Frankly I cannot figure out a reason why we have totally collapsed this season, the EPL stats are truly alarming –
    Emery 2018/19 – W21, D7, L10, GF73, GA51, Pts70, Pts% 61.4
    Emery 2019 – W4, D 6, L3, GF16, GA17, Pts18, Pts% 46.15
    Freddie 2019 – W1, D2, L2, GF8, GA10, Pts5. Pts% 33.33
    Mikel 2019 – W1, D4, L1, GF8. GA7, Pts7. Pts% 38.89

    The most likely possibility is that the players simply became disenchanted under Emery and it’s taking a long time for them to regain their commitment.

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Kev, it seemed a big price to pay at the time and yes Deschamps did not help at all.

    I didn’t know Balogun could be leaving? Not seen much of him but people do seem to rate him. What’s your verdict?

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Kev, taxi drivers here in Edinburgh also complain constantly re the traffic and council roadworks. It is an absolute mess. I do as much as possible by foot, bike or bus!

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks GN5, I think your last sentence sums it up nicely.

  7. allezkev says:

    Balogun is a very promising player with a good eye for a goal Total, I’m fairly sure that he won’t be sold, but you never really know how players are viewed by those inside the club.
    Or how the club view a players representatives?

    We have Martinelli, we have Nketiah and we have John Jules, so Balogun is going to have a bit of a job getting a game, especially if we retain Lacazette and Aubameyang?
    I remember when Andy Cole was trying to breakthrough, he had Kevin Campbell, Alan Smith, Paul Merson and Ian Wright in front of him, so George Graham made a decision to sell him with a sell on clause inserted as he had very little chance of getting a game at Arsenal at that time.

    It could also be that the club have offered him a new contract and he’s stalling (I’m guessing here) so maybe the club is thinking it’s prudent to sell him rather than let him leave for a peppercorn fee?

    I don’t know any of this, but I just wondered why Brentford should have bid for him unless they had an impression that Arsenal would sell, because he’s a good player and we don’t usually sell our good players to smaller clubs for no reason?

  8. allezkev says:

    Then again, maybe Brentford were just chancing their arm…

    I hope we keep him.

    Total, I get the feeling that Councils are deliberately making it impossible to get across town and are forcing people onto public transport, which obviously benefits them and makes them look ‘right on’ with the Green lobby. It’s all politics…

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Good stuff, Kev. I guess £5m pays for a lot of youth academy stuff and that ‘department’ will have to balance the books too… But like I hope Balogun makes it at Arsenal, even if it was just for the name! 🙂

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    I do feel for the taxi drivers here, Kev. Edinburgh has a relatively small centre and a few roadworks totally mess things up. There is a great bus system here but they are also dead slow due to traffic congestion, roadworks etc.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    A few weeks ago I asked my dad who he believed are the best Dutch footballers ever. His answer was: Cruijff, Van Hanegem (nickname De Kromme – the bend one) and Rob Resenbrink. Today, sadly, the third one died. He is famous for his shot on the post late on in the World Cup final v Argentina in 1978. I remember that moment well even though I was still a young boy.

    https://nos.nl/artikel/2320237-rob-rensenbrink-veel-meer-dan-het-schot-op-de-paal.html

  12. jw1 says:

    Per your comments on ads last post TA– from one who has made a good living in advertising and marketing? Good on you for what you do. Always felt your place is an oasis. And thanks too.

    Would ask though– if there would be consideration to add the ability to rich text edit/add images to the comments boxes?

    jw1

  13. jw1 says:

    On this topic TA– I’m probably as big a fan of OG as you.
    To heck with the fact that he went to Chelsea. All a means to an end of becoming a World Cup winner. Who of us might not sell a part of his footballing soul (career) for the chance? I’d welcome him back with open arms.

    The question then is who goes? Or who gets pushed down the order?
    Auba is here till Summer at the least. Lacazette– may wish to leave then too. Nketiah just got promoted. OG as ‘plan B’ and a true hold-up man is tempting.

    Would you sign OG now? Bring him in– and sell Laca now?
    Don’t think Arteta dares put Martinelli back on the bench once Auba returns. Marti and Saka have been pretty darn good together on the left flank– both in attack and defending length of pitch. Then, the numbers have shown that Auba may be our most improved non-defender defensively since Arteta came on. Quite the conundrum.

    Who loses their squad spot for OG? Sell on two. Buy one?
    Six days left shoppers! 🛒🛍

    jw1

  14. jw1 says:

    Then– I’d like to post a comment I’d had ready– to reply to HT’s comment last post on CBs– which I’d been in mid-composition– discovered I’d not yet hit ‘Submit’. So I finished that one for his enjoyment/rebuttal:

    Interesting stat from Tuesday’s match HT– in relation to the perceived need for a CB with some height. The odds were with Chelsea to score in just that fashion– a header.
    The Blues took 17 corners. Abraham, Batshuayi, and Hudson-Odoi all took good headed shots– where Leno was in the right-place for each.

    Have to chuckle about the ‘whom’ part of which CB do Raul&Co look for? Doesn’t matter what low-cost player you mention– someone will tut-tut back. Last January– I felt we should take a £1M- flyer on Johnnie Evans. “Tut-tut!” Evans has anchored Leicester’s defense this season– as the Foxes have given third fewest goals in the PL.

    I’d like very much like if we offered Norwich a premium for Tyrone Mings. He’d be one for the future to pair with William Saliba next season. But, in January, it’s a short-term injury-fix situation. PL experience a requisite. West Ham’s Winston Reid looks the only name at a decent price– that might be given up.

    Then– in the blink of an eye and out of the blue the name of Pablo Mari bobs up. And up. Arsenal are on the verge of signing Flamengo (Brasil; Edu!) center half Pablo Mari on a season-long loan with an option to buy. Pablo stands 6’3″. Once signed with City (Arteta!) and loaned the very next day.

    Tad more info:
    http://7amkickoff.com/index.php/2020/01/25/who-in-the-world-is-pablo-mari-villar/

    jw1

  15. allezkev says:

    For me it’s Cruyff, Neeskins and Bergkamp.

  16. njk84sg says:

    It is the same in Singapore.. the road closures and road works during peak hours kills everyone.

    I feel for you Kev. Driving in that condition daily is no mean feat.

    Having been falling down the pecking order at the Chavs Ollie will want to find pastures new, and if we wants to come back we are more than welcome to have him instead of Laca. That in turn will put less pressure on Laca and maybe he will perform better?

  17. jw1 says:

    Can commiserate Kev. Was a courier back in the ’80s in Houston metro area. Independent contractor. Great money– but the hardest work I’d ever done at a stretch. Had a route carrying bank boxes and insurance company docs that was almost 350-400mi each weekday. Nearly 500k miles over 5+ years. Major highways were only 4-lanes and under construction much of the time. Would wear down a Toyota 4×4 every 18 months or so. Twelve hours or more every day. Sometimes Saturdays. Then I’d play Ultimate 4 days a week too.

    Look back every so often and wonder– ‘who was that guy?’

    jw1

  18. jw1 says:

    ESPN on Pablo Mari’s play at Flamengo:

    ‘The 26-year-old was signed from Manchester City, who had parked him on loan at Deportivo La Coruna. Given City’s defensive problems this year, they could have made a mistake letting him go, because he has been a vital part of the Jorge Jesus jigsaw. Without his capacity to play in and organize a high line, the team would be stretched out and vulnerable, with a gaping hole in front of the defence. The steadiness of the Spaniard allows the two veteran full-backs, Rafinha and Filipe Luis, to spend more time in the opponent’s half than in their own, constructing the play from the back.’

    All of that sounds quite City-like.

    jw1

  19. PE says:

    TA ….. had a lot of respect for Giroud. He was the best in the air. Loved his box knock downs and flicks. But he’s not what we need now with Auba, Laca, Marti and Nketiah whom I feel should have been sent on loan. And Giroud now at 33 might not be what he used to be. We’d live on fond memories.

  20. PE says:

    Kev … you speak with quiet but gripping authority. I love it. 🙏

  21. PE says:

    TA …. I thought Van Basten should pop up in the top three though his career ended early due to injury. Marco’s career ending injury was very influential in FIFA’s clamp down on ‘dangerous’ play. Before the clamp down the sliding tackle from the back had the stands on their feet.

  22. PE says:

    TA … A MAIL IN YOUR BOX. CHEERS.

  23. pbarany says:

    Before the Giroud decision, we have to ask (ourselves), if the club can salvage this season.
    My heart bleeds for saying, but I am not talking about finishing top4, but finishing top6. The former is unfortunately utopian, while the latter is only ambitious. Or shall we just say that this season is wasted, focus on the FA and EL cups to reach an unlikely yet rewarding silverware and focus on youth development in the rest of the season?

    Giroud – and his headers – could be an improvement on the #9 position (as with 2 quality wingers we are making more crosses from the flanks), but as long as we don’t lose a striker this is not an area that cries for strengthening. If we lose Lacazette than again it is a dilemma to replace him with Ollie (who is third choice CF behind 2 Chelsea players whom I wouldn’t put in an Arsenal XI) or give the minutes to Nketiah to get experience against PL level defenders.

  24. goonereris says:

    My word, TA. Sometimes, you just pull out a tear-jerker from out of nowhere and get us all sentimental, reminiscing about how it used to be; those stats by GN5 have not helped either. Nostalgic stuff!

    I feel Giroud suffered from being the “replacement” for Robin van Persie, who had just gone a whole season without injuries and scored 30 goals (or so), putting all of the potential we knew he had on display for all to see, not least of whom was Sir Alex Ferguson, who reportedly called and pleaded profusely with Wenger for his services. As Wenger said at the time, he had told his staff at Arsenal “I think Fergie will retire at the end of the season”. So, when the goal scoring mantle fell on Olivier Giroud, it was not unexpected that he was always going to be compared with van Persie. It took him about two seasons for fans to start to appreciate his other qualities.

    Ollie has serious limitations as a striker at a club with the history of (strikers at) Arsenal, but it takes a keen eye and good manager to know he comes with ‘benefits’ that are rare for team work and balance. I defended him no end when certain other Arsenal fans vilified him for his lack of space and quick footwork. I recall I referred them to his goal contribution and how other forwards fed off his sacrifice, all to no (or little) avail. When he was to depart for Chelsea, one friend was in disbelief (till we checked his stats) that he had scored anywhere near 100 goals for us, not to talk of 105. But that is the level to which the man went to make it less about him and more about the team, that it is easy to forget he scored a lot.

    Now, as for returning, I am afraid that ship may have sailed. We have re-adjusted our style to suit what we have now and it just needs to be given time to start to work again, after Emery’s negative influence. Bringing him back will be romantic, but may not be feasible as a team will require a whole pre-season summer’s worth of training time to re-learn playing to his strengths (and I may be wrong), especially as Alexis and Ozil (Rosicky, Ramsey and Theo too) who flanked him were special players at the time.

    It may be best to allow him go enjoy the last years of his playing days in picturesque Milan, the global capital of fashion and designs. His wife did allude to preference for Paris, a city with similar traits, after all.

  25. goonereris says:

    ..lack of pace**

  26. pbarany says:

    Regarding the Academy forwards there are good news and bad news.
    The good news is that Aubameyang will turn 31 this summer and Lacazette will turn in a few months. So by the time the youngsters gain the experience necessary to plain in the top flight there could be new openings.

    Nketiah and Balogun “threaten” the position of Lacazette. They are really good in their game, scoring loads of goals in U18 and U23 level as well as in youth international games. In my not expert and subjective opinion Balogun is more skilled in creating the chance for himself, while Nketiah (who is 2 years older) has insane positioning skills. He is the tap-in king.

    The bad news concern John-Jules and Greenwood (turned 18 today). They are not classic center forwards, more like secondary strikers – like Thomas Müller, Joao Felix or Paolo Dybala. This is bad news because Arsenal – at the moment – does not have a system in place that would utilize secondary strikers. So either we (Arteta) develops tactics for alternative line-ups, or we sell them at some point because it doesn’t make much sense to use them in positions which don’t really suit their strengths. (Well, contradicting myself: putting Auba to the flank did work out quite well, even though he is not a winger.)

    So the main question will be this: which scenario will our young forwards follow?
    1) Wait patiently in the academy, use their chances and turn out valuable first team players (Bellerin, AMN, Martinez)
    2) Their ego get the better of them and leave the club at a young age due to lack of first team minutes (Malen, McGuane, Amaechi)
    3) Go on loan for a few seasons. but fail to break through, and ultimately leave (Asano, Bramall, Silva)
    4) Wait for their chances in the first team, but cannot live up to the expectations, pursue a professional career at a lighter league (Akpom, Sanogo, Ajayi)
    5) Don’t live up to the expectation at Arsenal, but after leaving and getting regular minutes they flourish and turn up success stories (Gnabry, Jeff RA)

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Ahh some good overnight and early morning comments! 🙂

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks JW, I don’t think wordpress allows for those functions, but the IT side of the blog is not my strength.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    that is a good question, JW. I reckon nobody needs to go as yet, but selling one of Auba or Laca would make sense. They are both good players and we need to keep one of them for their experience, but we could do with a different type of CF, whether that is OG for a short period or somebody else I don’t know.

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Kev, Neeskens really is liked by British football fans; over the years many have mentioned the other Johan to me. I’d struggle to pick just three: Bergkamp and Cruijff would have to be in it, as my nr1 criterium is ‘football genius and joy’ and they both brought this. After that it is hard: I loved Rijkaard and Edgar Davids for their midfield power and intelligence; Van Basten was so allround when it came to scoring goals and so technically gifted; Neeskens had such drive and aggression; Koeman was such a foxie, clever player; Robben was sometimes simply unplayable, Gullit was such a powerful athlete who could do anything you would hope for in a football player etc etc..

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    84, I think Laca would find it hard if OG were to return.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    JW, I think we all sometimes ask that question..’Who was that guy’? I bet you have fond memories of that time as per many interesting experiences…? 🙂

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Pablo Mari…. I don’t know him at all but if Arteta believes in him it could be interesting…

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi PE, thanks for the post.

    Re our attackers, IF Arteta wants to play with a CF with his back towards goal, who do you believe is most suitable for this from our current options?

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Same question for you, Pb. Yes we have good strikers but do they fit in Arteta’s plans?

    Re the season, three wins in a row will get us close to the Chavs’ fourth place. Arteta is building up a head of steam and sooner or later it will click. TBH, I don’t care too much where we will finish this season but am mainly focussed on the quality of our football and the associated journey with this.

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Fab comment, Eris. I reckon Giroud would slot in straightaway, given the way Laca has been playing recently. He would not be played constantly but alternate with Laca I would imagine. Like you, I think it is unlikely though.

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Pb, that is a great comment and should really be put into a post for discussion later this week. Would you like to elaborate a bit on it and send it then to me? Just a thought.

  38. LE GALL says:

    hi ta,
    i’ve just read about robbie rensenbrink
    he was 11 years older than me, and was a great idol of my childhood – teenage years
    i was flanky, played on a wing, and i still blush when i think of the number of times i made an utter fool of myself trying to copycat some of his tricks
    he was a genuine artist, a mercurial presence that sometimes … mesut reminds me of
    but for all the admiration i have for our german genius, i don’t think he will be a match for robbie, in my football fan’s memories
    for robbie belonged in the true aristocracy of the game, the players who are BOTH creators and serial-scorers (he sure could score a winner in march-april-may games)
    this is a very sad day for the beautiful game

  39. njk84sg says:

    TA, i have seen his brilliant performance against Liv via Youtube. Apparently he is tall and with a killer of a left foot like Xhaka. I would say he is Xhaka number 2, but it is just one match and it doesn’t mean anything.

    Maybe he can be part of a greater pairing between Luiz and him. Sok and Holding is the second CB pairing.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Well LeGallos, that is a beautiful tribute to RR. I was too young to really remember his football, so thanks for sharing.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers 84, we are desperate for a good left-footed CB.

  42. allezkev says:

    Morning fellas, yeah 84, it’s worldwide mate, traffic congestion and stupid local politicians.
    I was also a courier for about 9 months back in the late 1980’s JW, on a Honda 70 m/c so traffic wasn’t really an issue, but I wouldn’t want to do it now…

  43. jw1 says:

    Kev– yeah I rode m/c’s for 10 years or so (in the city)– right around that same time.
    I’ll leave it at: ‘We’re both lucky to be here today!’ 😎

    jw1

  44. pbarany says:

    TA, I honestly think Lacazette is great “with his back towards goal”. His hold-up play improved a lot since he joined Arsenal, and he is a strong, muscular player that bullies a central defender – sometimes even 2. His work-rate and effectiveness doesn’t translate into goals or assist, but him occupying the defenders opens up opportunities for the wingers. He is not such an aerial threat as Giroud (to be frank, hardly anybody is), but he is a fine attacker ESPECIALLY with his back towards goal.

    Regarding the status of Academy forwards… I was considering a post on the theory of substitutions, but that can wait. I’ll be happy to expand on the Academy career paths in a few days.

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Great thanks PB.

    Re Laca, I see him struggling with holding on to the ball and winning the individual duels with the defenders. So he is not just inferior to Giroud in the air and in terms of goals. But I too rate his workrate and desire and don’t find him ineffective.

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