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Has Olivier Giroud replaced Robin Van Persie?

Apr 16, 2013, 11:05 AM EDT

Arsenal's Giroud reacts with team-mates Gibbs and Podolski after missing a scoring chance during their English Premier League soccer match in London

When Robin Van Persie left Arsenal for Manchester United last summer, an understandable void was left in the Dutchman’s absence.

His replacement, Olivier Giroud, has scored 17 goals so far this season and provided 13 assists as well. But has his first season been a success? And has he proved he’s the man to replace Van Persie?

Those statistics would suggest he has settled into life in the Premier League very well, but the truth is that he’s nowhere near the level of Van Persie. In fairness to the 26-year-old not many are, but as soon as he made his debut at The Emirates, there was just something unconvincing about the Frenchman.

Firstly, he is not an Arsenal kind of player whatsoever. In the Arsene Wenger era, Arsenal’s strikers have all been fast, technical and lethal in front of goal: from Nicolas Anelka to Thierry Henry right through to Van Persie. Giroud is simply not that kind of player. He lacks pace, does not have much guile and misses a lot of chances in games.

In a lot of ways he is just a French version of Andy Carroll. That is not actually meant as a criticism, it just means he has his limitations as a soccer player. He is excellent in the air, has an underrated left foot and does have the knack of scoring some important goals; he’s just not right for Arsenal.


If Wenger wants his side to start competing for Premier League and Champions League honours again he has to buy a striker superior to Giroud. He is a player who get you 15 to 20 goals a season, which for a top team isn’t spectacular, and he is a good squad player to bring on in games to hold the ball up and help out defensively from corners.

Giroud is a likeable player who works hard for the team, but he is most certainly not the solution for Arsenal in terms of replacing their former hero.

  1. goonah4life - Apr 16, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Seriously, could you hate on Arsenal any more? Why don’t you just wave a Man United flag on all your posts?

  2. mianfr - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    At the end of the day, a goal is a goal, and I really don’t think Arsenal’s midfield is spectacular to the point where his results are merely an accumulation of chances and completely devoid of skill. Cazorla helps a lot, but his presence alone doesn’t make this automatic for strikers.

    I’m not even remotely a Giroud fan and I thought this was a bit harsh.

  3. Henry Jackson - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    I’m not a Man Utd fan I can assure you ‘goonah4life’, I just don’t rate Giroud that’s all. I like his effort and willingness for the team but he won’t take Arsenal to where they want to be.

  4. mrstev - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    I’m with HJ. I love Giroud…just not for Arsenal. He works his ass off and yes, his hold-up play is good (for whatever that’s worth). But at Arsenal, we’ve come to expect something more…Bergkamp, Henry, Van Persie. Admittedly tough shoes to fill. But still Giroud somehow can’t seem to consistently come up big in the big moments. Hopefully, that can still change.

  5. krycek84 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Let more than 1 year to Giroud.

    He has a specific background, not retain by his trained club, he goes from Level 3 to best scorer on Level 2.

    He needs then only two years to become the best scorer in Ligue 1.

    This year is his adaptation year, he scores only 1 goal in the first 10 weeks as a proof

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