Football

Giroud still has doubters despite good form.

Arsenal have to win the league for Olivier Giroud to win over the critics

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He may have already scored six goals in December and helped send Arsenal into the last 16 of the Champions League, but Olivier Giroud might never win over his doubters.

He's a bit like Marmite - you either love him or you hate him. Sometimes Arsenal supporters switch between the two and it's hard to be angry with them for doing so.

The French forward scored his 50th goal for the north London club against Aston Villa - quicker than Gunners legend Dennis Bergkamp - yet he will always be frustrating for the fans.

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Unless of course they win the title this year.

Inconsistent

Giroud doesn't always help himself. Nor do the Arsenal fans. His hat-trick against Olympiakos sent the Gunners through, but why didn't he score the goals earlier in the competition in the first place to ease the nerves?

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It seems that people have forgotten he was sent off in the first match against Dinamo Zagreb, which probably ended up costing them the game.

The score at the time was 1-0 to the Croatian side, but Giroud's dismissal left Arsene Wenger's side playing with ten men for an hour.

The red card was arguably quite harsh, but there is no excuses for Giroud to get involved in silly incidents when he was already shown a yellow.

That meant the former Montpellier striker would be suspended for the home match against Olympiakos, a game which his physical presence could have helped defend some of the Greek side's testing set pieces.

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Nevertheless, Giroud returned off the bench against Bayern Munich a few weeks later and scored the decisive goal to get the European campaign back on track, and Arsenal fans love him again. How quickly things can change.

That sparked an impressive goalscoring run, but then was equally infuriating in the north London derby, in which he missed two glorious chances to take all three points.

Of course he can't score every game, and every now and then a striker will have an off day. Unfortunately for Giroud, his off days become too frequent.

Slows the play

Another reason why the Frenchman may never win over the fans, is because Giroud often slows down Arsenal's play.

Although Mesut Ozil has adapted well to the Arsenal forward recently, you still get the feeling, parts of the German's game are restricted.

He has less time on the ball because the opposition can push up against Giroud knowing he won't run in behind. You can see the qualities Ozil possesses when Theo Walcott starts up front, which gives the former Real Madrid player time on the ball.

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Plan B striker has become plan A

A lot of teams in the Premier League like to have a big forward option. When it's not your day, it's easier to pump the ball up to the big guy and hope he nods it into the net.

The problem that Arsenal have by not signing a forward with pace, is that Giroud, who should be a plan B striker to come off the bench, has become plan A.

Wenger can't rely on Walcott to be fit, and for some reason he didn't want to sign a forward who has pace and could rely on.

This is why it angers Arsenal fans. Most of the time they're not angry at Giroud, they're angry at the fact that he is their plan A striker and that Wenger didn't sign an ideal forward.

It's not Giroud's fault he isn't a few inches smaller and as quick as Walcott, that just isn't his game. He is one of the best strikers in the world at what he does, and his goal record proves it.

However, it's unlikely he will ever win over the Arsenal fans because his style alone may not win the Gunners the league title.

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If Wenger had a striker with pace and consistency - like Pierre-Emmerick Aubameyang for Borussia Dortmund at the moment - Giroud may well have been a fan favourite.

He could come off the bench like he did against Bayern and make a brilliant impact. He's a tremendous asset from set pieces and can help break teams down who try and park the bus.

Unfortunately for Giroud and Arsenal fans you can't rely on him being the number one striker for a whole season.

Even so, with the league struggling for quality, they might win the title with Giroud as their main man. Does that still make him the ideal option? Probably not in the long-term.

Arsenal fans: Do you love Giroud or would you rather an alternative forward? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!

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Topics:
Arsenal
Thierry Henry
Premier League
Football
UEFA Champions League

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