It’s only a matter of time before Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud starts firing
Despite failing to find his scoring boots so far, Arsenal’s French striker has shown enough to suggest the goals will come
It hasn’t been an easy start to life in Arsenal’s colours for Olivier Giroud.
Bought from Montpellier in a reported £12m deal, the Frenchman has only managed to score once in eight appearances thus far, a goal against League One side Coventry City in the Capital One cup.
Although insisting that he is not the man to fill the void left by Robin van Persie, missed chances against Sunderland, Liverpool and most recently Chelsea, are indications that the weight of expectation is sitting heavily upon his shoulders.
“I try [to score], I try all I can,” he said. “Sometimes you need to keep the faith, to keep going. When you are a striker, sometimes it’s difficult. I don’t know why, but I do try to do the right thing.
“I think I’m a little unlucky. I’ll keep going and continue to work hard in training. People say to me, ‘the goal is coming soon, don’t worry, we trust you’ and it’s very important for me to feel the support of people and my team-mates.
“I don’t worry about the future. The goals are coming soon.”
But despite the lack of goals there are signs of real promise from the man who bagged 21 goals in Ligue 1 last season.
With good positional play and great movement off the ball, Giroud is showing the instinct of a good striker.
Often playing just in front of the back four, the 26-year-old – whilst lacking pace – is able to get in behind the defence with intelligent runs and an awareness of those around him.
And using Arsenal’s interchanging positional play and intelligent use of the ball to commit players, Giroud has been able to use his movement to exploit spaces in between defenders, creating goal scoring opportunities like those against Chelsea and Liverpool.
Standing at 6ft4 and powerfully built, Giroud also gives Arsenal a physical option up front. With great aerial presence, and the ability to hold-up and link-up play, Giroud provides Arsenal with a more direct focal point in attack.
Having been utilised as a lone striker in Montpellier’s 4-5-1 formation and now in Arsenal’s 4-3-3, Giroud will be accustomed to the role and will provide Arsenal’s wingers with a target in the box.
Like many players before him, Giroud just needs time to find his feet.
It is not easy to adapt to the physicality and pace of the Premier League. He may not be scoring freely yet, but it will be encouraging for Arsene Wenger to see that Giroud is at least getting himself into those goal scoring positions. All that is lacking now is that finishing touch.