Olivier Giroud did a good job during Arsenal’s 2-0 loss against Spurs… a good job at masquerading as an inanimate object, that is.
The initial decision to start Giroud in the North London Derby seemed an odd one.
The 30-year-old played 83 minutes in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City last Sunday, was rested mostly against Leicester midweek, and returned against Spurs.
From the perspective of squad rotation, it made sense. From a tactical point of view for this particular match, it did not.
Believe it or not, the big guy was actually on the pitch for 81 minutes.
You may not have seen him, since the camera only picked him up when the person operating it wanted to check whether Oli was still breathing.
Olivier Giroud completed 7 passes in the second half vs. Spurs.
3 were from kick off. pic.twitter.com/FnUA5aaZ0t
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 30, 2017
The France international managed a grand total of 39 touches and completed just three out of eight passes in the final third.
He also only had two shots on goal, one of which was on target.
Just one look at his heatmap compared to Harry Kane’s demonstrates how superior the Spurs striker’s positioning was compared to Oli’s.
Was it his fault that he was barely involved in one of the biggest games of Arsenal’s season?
Obviously, it was pretty difficult to get service to the big guy, since Spurs had Arsenal completely penned back in their own half. You could argue that this was why he was camped in the centre of the pitch, waiting for Arsenal to manage to push back and feed him the ball.
However, there were instances in which the striker should have been busting a gut to get into the thick of the action and he just looked as if he was wading through treacle or, alternatively, he looked as if he was just going for a casual stroll up.
While he can’t help being slow, he could at least attempt to look as if he’s trying.
I’m usually a huge fan of Giroud and often think he gets disregarded as merely a big lump. A big object to kick balls at.
Against Spurs, a rock would have done more.
Stats via WhoScored, Squawka and FourFourTwo’s Statszone app.