Olivier Giroud gave a rather forgettable performance against Liverpool.
During the first half, the France international only attempted four passes in the final third with only one being successful. That was less than the goalkeepers.
He completed 16/24 passes in total – 67% – with just 3/9 coming in the final third. Although the big guy’s hardly a passmaster, his average pass accuracy in the Premier League is 72%.
As you can see from his heatmap, the striker’s positioning was all over the place. Although this was partly down to Arsenal not being able to get in Liverpool’s box the entire first half, his lack of direction is worrying considering he seemed to be wandering around with no real involvement, good OR bad.
Giroud’s passmap tells a similar story.
So, what was going on? As I previously mentioned, although he’s hardly Mesut Ozil, Giroud is at least usually useful when it comes to hold-up play and considering he started he was obviously supposed to be heavily involved from the get-go. He appeared to be struggling with a potential injury in the first half so perhaps he was too nervous to fully commit but if this was the case, he shouldn’t have remained on the pitch until the 74th minute.
Elsewhere, Giroud recovered the ball twice, made a block, made three clearances and won just 2/7 aerial duels – poor considering he has an average success rate of 53% in the air.
Does he need more playing time? The 30-year-old hasn’t played a full 90 minutes in the Premier League since Bournemouth away in January. Or, just like the rest of the squad, does Giroud simply not care anymore?
The apathy the majority of the players seem to be feeling directly reflects how the fans feel. The difference is, however, that, as fans, we choose to stick this out and we’re not getting paid £100,000+ a week to do it.
Sources: Transfermarkt, Statszone, Squawka, Whoscored.