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Good riddance to Giroud’s grimace

OPINION: Arsenal fans won’t miss striker’s reaction that told them how close he had been to scoring

02 February, 2018 — By Richard Osley

Olivier Giroud has left the Gunners for Chelsea

ARSENAL fans were celebrating the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil signing a new contract this week.

Granted these were developments which raised the mood after the league capitulation to Swansea, but the really happy news for me, the fist-pump moment of the week, was the confirmation that Olivier Giroud has left the club. And to Chelsea, a team which used to have killer strikers like Eto’o, Drogba and Costa. Have fun, Chelsea fans, with Monsieur Olivier Giroud.

I really cannot understand the revisionism of the last few days, where Arsenal fans have been getting weepy-eyed about his departure.

Amazingly some of them are the same supporters who winced every time he headed a corner straight at a goalkeeper. We all winced, while he did his smiling-grimace to tell us how close he had been to scoring.

His goals so often came in matches where victories were already assured or against teams that would have been beaten whoever was on the scoresheet.

What is for sure is that you never thought big rivals, as they lined up in the matchday tunnel against Arsenal, felt terrified at the thought of facing Giroud.

Truth is, whenever he had a goal chance, you always felt it was only 50/50 at best that the ball would go in. And all this from a player who is first choice for France at international level.

One of the worst moments of last season was the week after Giroud’s scorpion kick goal against Crystal Palace: Arsenal came back from 3-0 down at Bournemouth with Giroud scoring the equaliser. Rather than run back with the ball and rush the remaining couple of minutes to try to find a winner, he – and you could see Alexis Sanchez’s fury at this – ran over to the

Gunners fans to wallow in his greatness, and pointed at his scorpion foot. Yes, it was this foot which scored a scorpion kick goal, which may or may not have been a fluke anyway.

It felt as though because he showed such loyalty to Arsene Wenger – at a time when others deserted – he was given an unending loyalty in return by the manager. But there is being a guy who loves the club and does his best, even if it’s not quite good enough – and then there’s happily joining Chelsea.

This week, still yet to kick a ball for his new club, he was patting the Chelsea club crest lovingly, on a social media video. Just consider how ready he was to join a fierce London rival. Can you ever imagine Henry or Bergkamp doing that? So welcome Pierre-Emerick, hello Mesut, but Olivier, it was time you were on your way.

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