It’s hard putting a finger on what is keeping Olivier Giroud from being a world class striker, but there’s something missing. Even these acrobatic goals and impressive performances in the penalty box from time to time aren’t going to convince anyone he’s the answer to all of the problems Arsenal have been trying to fix over the years.
Friendly matches aren’t an indication for anything, especially when it isn’t the starting lineup playing for the team. But Arsenal haven’t brought anyone of note during the offseason, and despite Arsene’s Wenger confidence in his team’s capability in winning the title or bringing a big name player, it seems like the same played who finished fourth last season will be entrusted with the mission of doing better this year.
Prognosis? It’s going to take more than what they have right now to climb over that 4th place ceiling they’ve been encountering recently. Goals from Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny are nice, but not trustworthy. Giroud can find himself failing to find the net for eight straight matches even while he keeps getting comfortable chances inside the box. Koscielny might be Arsenal’s best defensive player, but that doesn’t mean he makes their defense good enough to seem like a confident, lockdown kind of unit.
Giroud is a phenomenal athlete. Excellent in the air, very strong on his feet and his upper body. He’s hard to mark one on one, and yet his lack of focus in front of the goal and his decision making when the best option is to shoot can be extremely frustrating for those watching from the side. However, he is capable of spectaculr goals, like his overhead kick to beat Pepe Reina.
Koscileny is of the same ilk. Incredible in the air, especially on offense. Physically, there should be no reason he isn’t one of the best centre backs in the world. He is relatively fast, he good technique with the ball at his feet and a fantastic tackler. However, his decision making on defense isn’t always top notch, which can lead to some embarrassing moments penalty kicks and sending offs.
This is the best Arsenal have to offer, sadly, despite all the money sitting there waiting to be spent on a quality player. I’m pretty sure Wenger has his sights set on more than just one striker or one kind of player. His team is far from complete all over the pitch. But the radio silence can be worrying at times. Most big transfers begin making waves through the rumor-line before they’re complete. There’s absolutely nothing right now about Arsenal, except for Luis Suarez.
Giroud is a good striker to have, but not as your leading man, not when your aspiration are to be a major factor in the Champions League and the Premier League title race. His 10-15 goals a season won’t cut it on their own, while Lukas Podolski is far from the player he used to be for Koln or the national team, and Theo Walcott isn’t going to get his chance as a striker while Wenger is around.