Will Giroud ever live up to van Persie comparisons?

By Avenell Dave

When Ian Wright left Arsenal in the early days of Arsene Wenger's days, we had a young forward coming through caled Nicolas Anelka.

When the surly striker left for Real Madrid, Thierry Henry was signed after a disappointing spell at Juventus and slipped in rather seamlessly.

When he himself left, we have Adebaywhore and Robin van Persie, who had been patiently waiting in the wings for his chance. 

As my neighbour at Emirates reminded me last week, there was a time when French international Sylvain Wiltord was our fourth choice striker.

At that time, we had Henry, Bergkamp, Kanu, Jeffers and Wiltord and when van Persie joined us, we were still very strong in attack.

Arsene Wenger could now argue that he has three top class strikers in Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott.

Us Addicts may see it differently given taht the German and Englishman are both played wide more often than not and even when played centrally, Walcott looks far better cutting in from the wing.

Olivier Giroud, who started the season slowly by comparison to the Dutchman he replaced, has long convinced me that he is a quality player.

Even when his little flicks don;t come off, it strikes me as the sort of things Henry would have tried in his pomp, only for his team mates to be one step behind him instead of on the same wavelength.

That's not to say that Giroud is in Henry's class, but his two goals on Saturday against a resolute Brighton side underline to me the range of his talents.

He fired in one from the edge of the area into the top corner and the other was a brilliant piece of control followed by a deft finish.

He's in good form at the moment but he already has 13 goals and nine assists, which, if the season was to end now, would still be a decent return in his first season - and two goals more than van Persie registered in a far stronger Arsenal team when he first joined.

The problem with some fans is that they don't know how to let go - van Persie plays for another team now and no amount of pining or bitterness will bring him back. He's dead to me.

Giroud is a different type of player and certainly hasn't yet got into the groove of being a match winner capable of scoring goals out of nothing in tight matches.

But we shouldn't expect that of any player - even Bergkamp took time to find his feet and as far as a first season goes, this is better than fair to middling from Giroud.

I never thought Brighton would be a pushover and despite some comedy defending, well done to the boys for making sure we didn't need a replay.

As we've seen with the Ch*vs, Spuds and Scousers this weekend, it's easy to slip up against lower league opposition.

We have to focus on winning our next two home matches now - against teams who have beaten us in recent years and yet who we are totally capable of taking maximum points against.

Liverpool should at least be tired after their game against Oldham and we have to take advantage.

It would be easy to lament our ridiculous defending, the hapless performance by Santos (who I have previously backed) and the worrying lack of authority shown by Wojciech Szczesny.

But we're in the hat for the fifth round and a tie against Blackburn. That's all that matters in the Cup.