Scoring a brace on Sunday against Middlesbrough, Olivier Giroud loves the FA Cup.
His goals in the fifth round of this year’s competition took his tally to seven, with four assists, in the 11 FA Cup games he’s played in.
Despite missing three months of the season this campaign with a broken ankle, Giroud has 10 goals from 12 starts and three assists. Last season he scored 22 and created 12 – more than Roberto Soldado has managed in both his seasons with Tottenham.
Still people say Arsenal should buy a striker.
Arriving at Arsenal the summer before Soldado signed for Spurs, it was the Arsenal man who had to contend with coverage that called him a flop while the Spurs man, who cost double the money, was given a free ride in the press, a decision that seems to make even less sense with every passing week.
There’s enough in his goalscoring record alone to question those who criticise the Frenchman heavily but that isn’t all there is to his game by some distance.
One of our best players when it comes to defending set pieces, his absence can often be felt at both ends of the pitch.
Then there’s his hold up play, his little dinks around the corner and his hassling and harrying of defenders and goalkeepers, as he shows a knack of lulling keepers into thinking they have more time than they actually do when he’s around.
Speaking after the game, Arsene Wenger was asked if the Frenchman’s importance was underestimated, which was nice of the journalist given we planned this piece at halftime.
“I believe that he is a different player today than the guy who arrived here for two reasons.
“One, he understands what top-level football demands, works with a great concentration in training and he has improved tremendously on his mobility, his technical quality and of course his body is very strong.
“He uses it very well.”
I suppose we should be grateful.
As long as people continue to underrate and undervalue the handsome one, the longer Arsenal fans can enjoy having him at the club without some Spanish annoyance trying to sign him.