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Olivier Giroud: The Perfect Foil

Olivier Giroud

Eden Hazard recently called Olivier Giroud “the world’s best target man” after a 4-1 win over Cardiff in the Premier League. But how accurate really is the Belgian about the World Cup-winner?

Olivier Giroud is the Perfect Foil


So far this season, the 32-year old has three assists and no goals in six league games. The eternal argument with Giroud is that his contribution goes far beyond goalscoring, he doesn’t have too shabby of a goalscoring record in any case.

It seems to have been forgotten that Olivier Giroud was part of a Montpellier team that shocked France by winning the French Ligue 1 in the 2011/12 season. Montpellier’s triumph was led by Giroud as he managed 21 goals and 12 assists in the league that year. It was the Leicester City title win as the south coast club had finished 14th the previous year.

For France as well, only the great Michel Platini and Thierry Henry better his goal tally of 32 for Les Blues. That is fantastic company to be in.

Another player who isn’t remembered as much for being a goalscorer than his overall ability on the ball is Dennis Bergkamp. For Arsenal, the Dutchman scored 105 goals in 394 games. Olivier Giroud managed the same number of goals in 253 games. It’s difficult to see where the goalscoring criticism comes from when he had a better record for Arsenal than even club-legend, Dennis Bergkamp.

‘Unjustly Criticised’

Giroud recently ended his international goal drought after scoring in a 2-1 Nations League win for France against the Netherlands.

The forward had gone the entirety of Les Bleus’ triumphant 2018 World Cup campaign without scoring. However, his national team manager, Didier Deschamps, says he never lost faith and praised him for his selflessness.

“I am very happy for Olivier Giroud,” the World Cup-winning manager said.

“He’s very helpful for us and he’s given us the win. He’s often unjustly criticised.

“He’s very important to the team. We need him,” he added.

‘Perfect Striker’

Despite his drought in the World Cup, the forward’s confidence in himself and Deschamps’ confidence in him never wavered. At 32, Olivier Giroud started all but the opening game in his country’s road to victory in Russia, playing an integral role in the way the French operated.

Eden Hazard’s laudation came when asked how much easier Giroud makes his job. The Chelsea talisman’s reply of “he is the world’s best target man” should go a long way to shutting the critics of his French teammate.

And when top-level managers like Didier Deschamps and Maurizio Sarri consider a 32-year old Olivier Giroud integral to the way they set up their teams, who are we to argue against?

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