The Sun are running an article which has a headline that screams “HERO TO ZERO Bournemouth 3 Arsenal 3: Fans blast Olivier Giroud’s scorpion celebration for wasting time,” so I wondered what was really going on?
I’d turned everything off after the game, knowing full well that I had to get up today to talk about a match everyone would rather just forget happened.
Could fans *really* have turned on the man who rescued a point in embarrassing circumstances? The man who not only scored the equaliser but assisted BOTH Arsenal’s other goals?
The answer, sadly, was ‘yes’…but that’s only half the story.
Some fans complain about everything and anything.
This is not news.
After Giroud’s scorpion celebration, which came in the second minute of six minutes added time, some couldn’t believe that he’d wasted what they saw as an eternity when he should have grabbed the ball and headed straight back to the centre circle.
Let’s ignore the fact that Michael Oliver actually blew for full time after 95 minutes and 55 seconds, 5 seconds earlier than the ‘minimum’ six minutes that were to be played.
Let’s ignore that he didn’t add on the required 30 seconds for Giroud’s goal.
Let’s just look at how the timings stand up.
91.05 Giroud scores
91.17 Giroud’s celebration is over, he has removed himself from the Arsenal crowd and is heading back for a restart
91.27 Giroud is back in Arsenal’s half for the restart
92.00 Game is restarted by Bournemouth
As you can see from the timings above, there were actually 55 seconds in which there was no football that should have been added on at the end of the game. Giroud wasted around 12 of those, Bournemouth 33 in dandering back after the equaliser when Giroud was ready. Michael Oliver added none of them on and even blew five seconds EARLY.
Some have said that the fact he chose to celebrate was the problem, not the time it took.
That his first instinct, they say, was to celebrate rather than get the ball back to the middle and try to get a winner is the real problem here. But let’s be realistic. This was a game Arsenal were getting battered in and, for the longest time, looked like they weren’t even going to get a shot on target, let alone claw back the three goals needed to at least rescue a point.
Should Arsenal players be ‘happy’ at scoring a third to equalise against Bournemouth in the 92nd minute? Probably not, but they are allowed to be relieved and it does seem rather churlish to berate Giroud for this.
On a night when Arsenal scored three goals, Olivier Giroud scored one and set up the other two, are we really going to let the 12 seconds he enjoyed himself be the narrative here?