It is safe to say that Olivier Giroud has not been having the best of times of late.
Ten games without a goal, missing important chances at crucial times, it wasn’t a case of when Giroud would score again, but if.
It’s at times like these when you need a stroke of luck, a fluke, a double deflection, anything that will end the streak.
Enter David Meyler.
Meyler didn’t so much gift Giroud the perfect opportunity to end his two-month hoodoo, as wrap it up, tie a ribbon to it, before adding a card congratulating the Frenchman on the birth of his second child.
It was the daddy of all cock-ups by the defender, a through-ball masquerading as a back-pass that Giroud promptly tucked under the goalkeeper’s legs.
Before the goal, Giroud appeared tentative and unengaged, showing the classic traits of a striker desperately short of confidence.
After scoring, he looked like an entirely different player, producing far more of the hold-up play that is his trademark, which in turn led to Joel Campbell having more influence in the game as he continually fed of Giroud’s flicks.
His second goal was another example of luck going his way, but the Giroud of previous weeks wouldn’t have had the confidence to bet on running to the far post instead of showing to the near post and try to pass the scoring chance onto someone else.
The gamble, with the help of a deflected cross from Theo Walcott, paid off, and he was in the perfect position to apply the finish.
It’s goals like these that he will get no credit for because it is perceived that he should finish those anyway, yet he is criticised specifically for not scoring those sort of chances.
Confidence can be a cruel and unpredictable mistress, and now that she and Giroud have been re-introduced, the chances that he hasn’t been taking lately should hopefully start going in.
It’s also nice to see a response by Giroud to the performance of Danny Welbeck at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
He is no longer the default starting striker at the club, and any demonstrations by him to prove that this should change over the coming months will be extremely welcome.