Is Olivier Giroud the best striker in the Premier League? Probably not, as most would pick Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez ahead of the Arsenal target man. But is he good enough to finish on top of the scoring charts? Probably, considering he’s Arsenal’s only legitimate scoring threat up front, without anyone to replace him.
At the moment, Giroud is tied for second in the Premier League with 4 goals, one behind Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool. At the end of the season, it won’t be surprising to see Robin van Persie (so far with 3) and Luis Suarez (already with 2) battling it out for the top scorer award which Van Persie has won these last couple of years.
However, Giroud doesn’t share his goals with anyone. There is Aaron Ramsey who has been sensational so far, but his goals won’t be keeping up coming at this pace most likely. The same goes for Yaya Toure, and probably for Christian Benteke, who simply plays on a weaker team.
Van Persie? He has Wayne Rooney taking a big chunk of the work load, also scoring three goals so far, and having a big say in set pieces that come from certain angles. Suarez plays next to Daniel Sturridge, and Suarez might also be the least selfish player among the league’s best forwards.
Giroud? A top scorer? Golden boot? It’s hard to imagine him being that prolific after last season, in which he had plenty of frustrating moments which usually involve him missing a comfortable opportunity. Giroud is very strong in the air and has excellent positioning, but his focus in the box was lacking last season. He ended up scoring 11 league goals in 34 matches, 24 of them starts.
This season it’s different. Arsenal have more firepower behind him, or at least more talent, which makes it a bit more comfortable for him to find openings and shed off pesky markers. It’s also about his own personal growth. Giroud seems a bit quicker than before, maybe taking off a pound or two, not losing his strength but looking a lot looser and agile in the box. As long as no injury comes along the way to bother his progress, this might turn out to be one huge year for the mostly criticized player from last season.