What is the point of Olivier Giroud?

By Avenell Dave

I’m beginning to wonder what it would take to please some Arsenal fans.

We are top of the league and continuing to win even when freescoring Manchester City, build on oil billions, are chasing on our heels.

We are sometimes superb (Tottenham in FA Cup), sometimes it is too easy (Aston Villa away) and sometimes we are struggling to find third gear but still end up winning (Fulham).

There is a lot of doubt both within the fanbase and general football fans, media and pundits that we can go the distance.

City are sweeping aside all before them with a panache that we used to be known for. And we have a terrible record against clubs in the top four.

But we are currently top and even if we end up slipping off the top at the end of the season, we have left ourselves in with a chance more than halfway through the season.

Some say it's the hope that kills you but I'd say it's worse to see a side under-performing and not in the hunt for trophies rather than being at the top and living in the assumption that failure will still occur. Let's think positive!

Yes, we could do with another defender and a striker, and sometimes we rely on the increasingly robust and resolute defence to keep us in games that a few years ago we would invariably have lost.

But let’s not forget, we are top of the league!

Much has been said since the win over Fulham about the contributions of Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud.

For me, Ozil, while he is certainly not playing to his own high standards, has still not had a bad season.

He is playing a part on goals scored, he has scored a few himself and the time will come when he starts to take the Premier League by the scruff of the neck and shows people who he is rated as one of the best in the world.

He’s not had a bad first season by all accounts but then again, after a slow start, neither did Giroud last year.

The Frenchman started well this time around but while his goals have dried up a little, his influence on the game has not.

Yes, of course it would be nice to have someone like an Ian Wright or a Thierry Henry to make things happen out of nowhere but everyone is after those players and we cannot compete with the sugar daddy clubs right now despite our increased income.

But Giroud is a perfect foil for the formation we have and the type of midfielders we employ.

Ozil, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ramsey and even Arteta and the Ox all need someone big and strong who can shield the ball and bring others into play.

While I would love the likes of Aguero at the club, you wonder how he would do without a powerful foil alongside him.

Strikers can be judged on goals and in that respect, there is room for improvement from Giroud.

But he works incredibly hard for the team and without his flicks and hold-ups, I doubt we would be where we are.

Finally, a word for Lee Probert.

I’ve criticised referees for most of the season and rightly so, because they have been awful.

But Probert was very good on Saturday. He didn’t look to make himself the centre of attention or wave undeserved yellow cards, he let the game flow and used common sense. If only every referee performed like he did.