Arsenal need a world class striker, Olivier Giroud isn’t at the same level as Luis Suárez or Lionel Messi and they would’ve finished his chances. These are things I heard and read on Tuesday evening.
I think it’s pretty clear that Giroud is not as good as Barcelona’s strikers. I also think it’s obvious by now that he is very very good and it is very very difficult to sign world class strikers. Apparently not to some fans.
The Frenchman missed a big chance to give Arsenal the lead in the first half, but held the ball up fairly well as his side struggled to get out of their own half. In the second half, as Arsenal took over, he was excellent.
Just a minute or so before Barcelona’s opener, the striker rose in the box to head down across goal and towards the bottom corner, only to be denied by a brilliant save from Marc-André ter Stegen. Hardly the Frenchman’s fault, so cried that he is a bottler or not good enough or ridiculous. Centimetres from the opener against Barcelona. That’s all football is, a game of fine margins, and a header slightly further to the left of a goalkeeper reacting a split second slower would’ve seen Giroud heralded as a hero.
As it was, Barcelona went down the other end and scored. But even then Giroud gave us chances. A header back across goal from a Mesut Özil free-kick was excellent but not met by anyone, a pass to Theo Walcott should’ve put the England man through on his right foot but he decided to run inside rather than outside, where he always goes. The ball trickled out of play.
The best part of all this is how Messrs Messi, Neymar and Suárez all fluffed their lines on Tuesday. Look, they’re better than Giroud, but one miss does not a striker make.
Neymar had an effort saved by Čech, Suárez flashed a header wide and hit the post, the Uruguayan and Messi ruined a big chance in the first half when passing to one another.
The point is, Giroud was good on Tuesday. He had a couple of chances – one you’d expect him to do better with, one brilliantly saved by the goalkeeper. He also could’ve fed Walcott in but, ultimately, there was a misunderstanding. Apparently two goals against Bayern Munich and one against Manchester City this season have not been enough to convince people Giroud can score against good teams. A hat-trick in Greece when Arsenal had to win haven’t made people realise he can deliver under pressure.
These things could happen so please stop judging footballers on one miss or one goal. The best strikeforce in the world showed that everyone misses, everyone makes mistakes, everyone can ruin attacks. Even the best players of all time. So let Giroud off once in a while, won’t you?