Tag Archives: Olivier Giroud

5 Players That Need To Leave Arsenal To Boost Their World Cup Chances

The World Cup is just over a year away and numerous players will be thinking about their futures as they look to give themselves the best possible chance of representing their national sides. 

It’s no different at Arsenal and these five players should definitely seek a summer transfer to put themselves back in a running for their nation’s squads for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Jack Wilshere

The midfield ace has spent this season on-loan with Bournemouth and has made it clear he will not extend his deal with Arsenal unless he gets first-team assurances. As he rapidly approaches the final 12 months of his deal, it seems increasingly likely Wilshere will leave.

Having fallen out of favour in the England set-up, Wilshere needs regular football and Arsenal can’t offer that- as they already have the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka, Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla.

If Wilshere doesn’t move this summer, and doesn’t get first-team football at Arsenal, the chances of him making England’s World Cup squad are very slim.

Player Ratings: AFC Bournemouth 3-3 Arsenal

These are Fresh Football’s ratings for Arsenal’s away clash versus Bournemouth in the Premier League.

Bournemouth

Artur Boruc – 5.5

Rarely brought directly into action by Arsenal, the ex-Celtic stopper had little chance in stopping the efforts that did hit the target.

Simon Francis – 6.5

A solid performance that was later blemished by a red card for a late tackle on Aaron Ramsey.

Steve Cook – 6.5

Reliable for the most part, but his performance faltered as Lucas and Alexis Sanchez joined Giroud centrally.

Charlie Daniels – 8

An excellent first half, and game in general, coupled with a goal that could’ve sent Bournemouth on their way to a historic victory in the Premier League era.

Junior Stanislas – 7

Worked the channels well and threatened Čech’s goal on a few occasions. A real handful.

Dan Gosling – 7

Another lung-bursting performance from the box-to-box midfielder, although Gosling is sure to look back on his left footed effort in the latter stages of the game that could’ve regained Bournemouth’s lead.

Harry Arter – 7

The industrious midfielder didn’t disappoint, with his pressing proving priceless in rocking Arsenal to their core in the first half.

Ryan Fraser – 9

Direct and explosive, Fraser dug Bournemouth out from Arsenal’s spells of possession on the counter en route to scoring the Cherries’ third of the night. A constant threat out on the left flank that proved to be a huge bonus to the Gunners’ once he limped off.

Joshua King – 6

Plenty of industry provided from the man partnering Callum Wilson in attack, supporting counter-attacks and back-tracking at every given opportunity to help out his team.

Callum Wilson – 6.5

Claimed good ground in behind Arsenal’s defence with regularity. Overall, it was a good performance, more noteworthy for his work rate than anything else.

Subs:

Andrew Surman – 5.5

Came on to regain some control in the second half, which worked initially prior to Bournemouth amplifying the score line to 3-0, but the deep-lying midfielder and his team were caught retreated in their own half for far too long after Fraser’s goal.

Adam Smith – N/A

Brad Smith – N/A

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Arsenal

Petr Čech – 4.5

Question marks have begun rounding the veteran goalkeeper in recent weeks, and the former Chelsea man was again partially culpable in a game that saw Fraser score with a cheeky finish through his legs at the near-post.

Héctor Bellerín – 4

Among his worst performances in an Arsenal shirt, as all three of Bournemouth’s goals originated from Bellerín’s right flank.

Shkodran Mustafi – 4.5

There was a real lack of synergy in the backline awaiting Mustafi in his return to the first team. Often naïve in possession and made to look silly by the in-form Fraser, the German can at least polish up his invincibility record following Olivier Giroud’s late equaliser.

Laurent Koscielny – 4.5

Left chasing shadows for the best part of the game, with it being unclear whether his early substitution was related to any knock picked up in battle.

Nacho Monreal – 4.5

The 30-year-old has made steady progress on his form in recent weeks, but the likes of Stanislas looked adamant to bring Monreal back to square one, with varied success.

Francis Coquelin – 3.5

Struggled to impose himself early on versus Bournemouth’s pressing game and an injury midway through the first half robbed him the time to rectify that order.

Granit Xhaka – 5.5

His general play was decent, and Xhaka can even claim the assist from Giroud’s equaliser, but the penalty given away in the 20th minute does little to clear up his erratic image, meanwhile proving to be costly to his team.

Aaron Ramsey – 5

Fashioned a few half-chances for himself going forwards, but, clearly, he’s no Mesut Özil.

Alex Iwobi – 4

Nothing in this one from Iwobi, who might well be feeling the effects of two games in three days. Offered the rare hope for an Arsenal goal in the first half, but struck the ball wide.

Alexis Sanchez – 6

A very fiery version of Alexis Sanchez was on show again, as the Chilean dug deep to follow-up Giroud’s flick-on and kick-start Arsenal’s comeback in the 70th minute.

Olivier Giroud – 6.5

Even underperforming, Giroud came up big when it mattered most, assisting Sanchez for Arsenal’s first of the night and grabbing the headlines for himself with a late equaliser. Yet another clutch moment for the Frenchman this season.

Subs:

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6

Not so inspirational going forwards, but Oxlade-Chamberlain did come up with a crucial 11th hour intervention on Fraser, as the Scot eyed up his second of the night one-on-one with Čech.

Lucas Perez – 6

Noteworthy in most build-ups late on and the proud owner of the goal of the night, driving in a left-footed volley from an acute angle.

Gabriel Paulista – 5.5

Steadied the ship a little at the back, though a deeper block from the home side made sweeping up possession a lot easier the Brazilian, but Gabriel was on hand to support the Gunners’ aerial threat that eventually earned them two goals.

No Excuses: 3 Top Strikers Arsenal Could And Should Sign This Month

If you’re wondering if you’ve read this piece, or something not too dissimilar before, it’s probably because you have. Last year, the season before that and, most likely, the other two seasons that followed since Robin van Persie’s controversial move to Manchester United in 2012.

Arsenal’s hunt for a top striker has entered its fourth year and with the lack of genuine high quality candidates available being coupled with the fact that some of the more popular names to be associated with Arsenal in the off-season have already found new clubs, you wouldn’t bet against the Gunners eventually looking to fill the void left by Van Persie with, well, the man himself.

There are a still a few candidates out there for Arsenal to look at, however, before the thought of a comeback begins to creep into one’s mind definitively. Here are three strikers that could calm the fans’ cravings for an elite goal-getter:

1 – Alexandre Lacazette

Club: Olympique Lyonnais
Nation: France
Age: 25




Lately, not a day goes by where the potential link-up between Arsenal and Alexandre Lacazette isn’t talked about in the papers. With the rumours comes Olympique Lyonnais’ president Jean-Michel Aulas, a seasoned professional when it comes to the transfer market. If reports in France are to be trusted, even the “irreplaceable” Lacazette has a price to his name and he’s there for the taking should Arsenal believe he’s good enough.

Despite toning down his appetite for goal in this past year, 54 goals and 12 assists in his last 84 appearances might suggest that he is, at the very least, worthy of the north Londoners’ attention. In the past two seasons, that’s 12 goals more than the often-maligned Olivier Giroud, who’s appeared 90 times for the Gunners in the past two seasons.

Averaging just over 0.6 goals a game, only the then Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a better ratio in Ligue 1 last season than a “below-par” Lacazette, who initially felt the full effects of Nabil Fekir’s injury, his Lyon strike partner, when scoring just six league goals from August to December.

Of those in Ligue 1 to have started consistently as a striker, only Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani and Diego Rolan from Girondins Bordeaux managed to top Lacazette’s passing accuracy (78%), averaging 30.15 passes per game.

Closer to home, despite doubling Lacazette’s number of assists amassed during last season, Giroud trails his compatriot in both passing accuracy and the number of successful passes – 569 to 792 – pointing towards a greater involvement from Arsenal’s centre forward position should Lacazette arrive at the Emirates Stadium.

Acquiring the 25-year-old is sure to leave its mark on Arsenal’s transfer kitty, but with the Lyon man visibly quicker and more likely to fashion his own chances in comparison the Gunners’ number 12, Lacazette would at least offer Wenger a potentially decisive alternative to what’s often been Giroud’s one-man show over the past four years. With the stakes being as high as they are in the Premier League this season, providing answers and alternative methods through squad depth and differing player profiles becomes paramount to those vying for success.

Higuain vs. Giroud: How Olivier Ranks Up Against Europe’s Deadliest Striker

The transfer market is in full flow and the usual transfer rumours are flying about including the inevitable ‘Julian Draxler to Arsenal’, but one that really has caught the eye of the Gunners faithful is the prospect of signing Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli.

Arsenal came very close to securing the Argentinean’s signature in 2013 before opting to target Luis Suarez, to then end up with nobody, Higuain went on to sign for Napoli where he has found astonishing form scoring 71 goals in 94 appearances.

No offer has been made by the Gunners and the reported fee asking price is £80million.

The Naples hit-man found fine form last season scoring 36 goals in Serie A finishing the as the league’s top goalscorer. The former Real Madrid man would cost Arsenal a club record fee that would certainly exceed the £42.5million the Gunners paid for Mesut Ozil in 2013.

The potential signing of Higuain has led to speculation in Italy regarding the future of current Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud, suggesting he could be used as part of player plus cash deal.

Giroud’s agent didn’t deny the speculation as expected and even suggested Giroud would enjoy playing for the Italian club. Mickael Manuello said: “There is no fear in Olivier going to Napoli, it is a magnificent city.

“In Campania, my client would lead a wonderful life, not to mention that the type of game orchestrated by Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri could enhance the quality of a centre-forward like him.”

He added: “At the moment, Giroud is an Arsenal player. If he was asked to leave, then we would evaluate our options.”

However desperate Arsenal are for a new striker, swapping their only fit natural striker for another does not make sense, they need to add numbers in that position, to add competition but selling one and buying one does not fix the issues that the Gunners have.

Arsenal and their faithful have been crying out for an Henry-esque striker for many years, a player that could take on three players, nutmeg the fourth and embarrass the goalkeeper in the process, the days when Dennis Bergkamp would make defenders look silly after elegantly bringing the ball into his stride before clinically finishing anything that comes his way. They need to bring back that fear to the club, a fear that clubs are worried about playing the Arsenal, but they have become anything but that. A striker like Higuain would certainly bring that label with him, and we take a look at exactly why.

Higuain brings many things to his game, one thing that stands out about the striker is his finishing, his deadly eye for goal and coolness in key areas has seen him become one of Europe’s most clinical finishers for many years.

Standing at  6ft, he is able to look after himself and is prepared for the physical side of the game, and will defend from the front which is perfect for a modern day number 9.

There is no doubt Higuain is a natural striker, but his technical ability to also build up play and put through killer passes makes him versatile to the playing style on the day. He can score all types of goals, headers, tap-ins and even extraordinary acrobatic attempts.

A deadly offensive threat on the counter attack, using his pace in the final third to create himself a goal-scoring chance is another sublime trait of the Argentine’s game, his playing style has seen him likened to Hernan Crespo.

The 28-year-old has been phenomenal consistently for many years, this is shown by scoring 71 goals in 190 appearances for Real Madrid and carrying on his form for Napoli and also Argentina.

Higuain has come under strong scrutiny in major tournaments for Argentina, he was branded a “big game bottler” after missing sitters in the 2014 World Cup final against Germany, and the Copa America 2016 final against Chile. I view this as very disrespectful, one of the deadliest strikers in Europe has done enough to be known as a great, not a big game bottler.

His style of play is very much suited to the Premier League, he likes to dribble, execute long balls and likes to tackle, he has all the attributes to be a massive success in England, we take a look at how he compares with Giroud.

Giroud has come under strong criticism for many years, this is mainly due to inconsistent performances and being deemed to go missing during parts of the season, however, I do feel he is under appreciated by Arsenal fans and even other fanbases, he cost the Gunners just £12million and has gone on to score 57 goals in 135 league appearances.

The prolific goal scoring machine Higuain has just come off one of his best personal seasons in his career whilst Giroud has come off the back of a good personal season too, finishing as Arsenal’s top goalscorer. Despite a decent campaign, Giroud is thoroughly outshone by Higuain who scored 1.09 goals per 90 minutes last season, this shows why he is thought of as one of Europe’s best. Giroud managed just 0.59 goals after going through a very bad dry spell which saw him not find the net for several weeks.

Both are playing predominantly as strikers, but both show they have much more attributes to their game than just scoring goals, Higuain created 1.55 chances per 90 with Giroud once again trailing on 1.33.

One thing Giroud is superb at is his hold up play and ability to bring others into play, which is why he thrives playing for France alongside Antoine Griezmann. This is proven in his 0.22 assists per 90 last season, which is far superior to Higuain (0.06).

Killer balls, another aspect to Higuain’s game, shows once again why he’d be a sublime addition to the Gunners squad, managing 1.49 key passes with Giroud behind, but with a still impressive score of 1.11.

Juventus seem to have entered the race to sign Higuain and the player himself rejected £800,000 a week to play in China. With the influx of money coming into Arsenal from the TV rights and league position they will not be priced out of any deal and can offer him massive wages, which he would definitely demand. The born goalscorer is the perfect striker the club need, the player to take them to the next level, he will not only bring them success in the league but also in Europe.

Down to you Arsène.

‘We Need Better!’: Fans Unconvinced By Arsenal Striker

Arsenal fans have been split down the middle this week, with some supporting Olivier Giroud whilst others stated he is still not good enough, despite scoring his ninth goal in 13 appearances in all competitions yesterday.

Giroud scored the opening goal against Everton yesterday, as he bounced back from a horrific midweek performance against Monaco. However, he was guilty of misses a few chances and some are still not convinced he is the player to take Arsenal forward.

There’s no denying that Giroud’s record this season has been very good but some raise a good point- what if he scored those easier chances? Golden boot?

‘What A Shambles’: Arsenal Fans Disgusted With Loss To Monaco

Arsenal supporters had to endure an awful evening last night as they were destroyed by Monaco, who came away from the Emirates with a 3-1 victory after Arsenal failed to show up and perform.

In their most important game of the season, Arsenal were way below par and looked poor from the off. They failed to convert the attacking chances they made, whilst at the back it was sheer kamikaze defending- which ultimately cost them the game, as two goals were scored on the counter.

With Arsenal now facing a monumental task away from home, where they must score three goals, the Gunners are on the brink of another Round of 16 exit- with this year hurting more than most as many fans predicted an easy game.

Arsenal Fans Praise Striker’s Match-Winning Performance

Arsenal fans were treated to a terrific performance from striker Olivier Giroud yesterday, as the Frenchman scored both goals in a 2-0 FA Cup victory against Middlesbrough at the Emirates.

Giroud’s first goal was a brilliant team effort, which resulted in every player on the field touching the ball before the Frenchman fired home the opener. His second, however, was sheer magic as he executed a magnificent volley from a corner to double the lead.

That left Giroud with seven goals and four assists in 11 FA Cup matches and put the Gunners into the quarter-finals, which means they are now just one game away from returning to the stadium where they ended their nine-year trophy drought in May.