Your stomach voices its displeasure at the current barren nature of its contents. The waves of hunger shudder through you and coax you into a restaurant which offers a plethora of sandwich options and an inviting aroma which only exacerbates your yearning for food.
You approach the counter and ingredients meet your wanting gaze. Spices, meats, spiced meats, crisp greens, ripe tomatoes – your stomach only serves to dizzy your clarity when looking upon your choices.
The sandwich assistant greets you warmly and asks you what you would like. Your look – which is a mix of bewilderment and wanting – is enough of a hint for the kind employee to coax you through the options.
” In terms of bread, you could go for the conventional but comforting white, or the granary which is the healthy option, perhaps the focaccia if you fancy something a little different? If I was pushed though, I would go for the baguette. It is freshly baked and is adaptable to any given sandwich topping. ”
Baguette it is then.
” Ok then, that’s a good start. So, any idea what you want in there? You could go for a crunchy salad, maybe drop some herbed chicken strips in there? Or maybe the Italian route, with meatballs and a juicy marinara sauce? How’s about the classic BLT? If I had to offer an opinion though, I would recommend the baked ham, which is so succulent you could cut it with a chopstick, and maybe throw a few pickles in there? ”
Your mouth watering is answer enough.
” Finally, you have a tantalising amount of condiment options. Ketchup, Mayonnaise, herbs and seasonings, you could go a little left-field and daub your sandwich with some fruity relish? I do have to put forward my choice though, which is perfect for you. This Dijon mustard will rock your tastebuds to their core. ”
You wait patiently as he wraps this tasty concoction and you can sink your teeth into it. You grab the prepped baguette and head for a quiet spot.
The first bite sends you on a carpet ride of delectableness. Every single choice that was made is responsible for the pleasure your mouth is experiencing. It is an excellent set of assets that currently dance on your tongue. Some of these ingredients are much maligned, overlooked by the majority for something a little racier, a little different. Despite being some of the tastiest parts of a sandwich that you could muster, they are scoffed at.
You are eating the Olivier Giroud sandwich.
Before you stop reading this article due to the preposterous comparison, did you know that since our chiselled Frenchman made his bow for our club, there is no other player – bar Sergio Aguero – in the Premier League who has scored more goals?
How can this be? He is wasteful, his finishing is inaccurate, his lack of mobility is obvious. Well, only Odiom Ighallo, Ryhad Mahrez and top scorer Jamie Vardy have scored more than his current tally at the time of writing.
*His shot accuracy this season is 60%. This sounds a little sparse, but when it is higher than Chilean whizz Alexis Sanchez ( 58% ) and the same as Theo Walcott ( 60% ), then it isn’t to be belittled.
What of the other strengths needed to be considered a top striker in the Premier League? What about aerial duels? Giroud boasts a success rate of over half of all the aerial duels he has contested, which dwarfs Diego Costa’s miniscule success rate.
So, to summarise, Olivier has an enviable goals record, is one of the strongest players in the air amongst his peers, and his link-up play is far better than other players in his position ( my opinion only, though 19 assists since he joined isn’t disappointing ).
And yet, we continue to see headlines and critique like this in regards to Giroud and his abilities. He is perceived to be profligate, an extravagant flick of the boot in the box rather than the required laces first approach. His appearance does him no favours either, every brush of his heavily coiffured hair is met with derision and fans the flames of critique that he spends more time gesticulating and complaining, rather than positioning himself in the box where the ball can find him to maximum effect.
An oft-used weapon to beat Giroud is his insistence on drifting wide. The striker who is meant to capitalise on the vision of Ozil and Cazorla should not be on the flank and attempting to kick-start a move, especially when the culmination of such a move is usually the striker slotting away a chance in the box.
19 goals last season – sans three months through an ankle injury – suggests that his positioning is less of an issue than we thought.
What is the true testament – nay, the finest ingredient that makes Olivier Giroud – is his mentality. Losing his place to Theo Walcott early this season, despite his herculean efforts mentioned above , would have crumbled many others but the Gaul knuckled down and said nothing when all he could muster in playing time was a string of substitute appearances. Limited minutes should result in a lack of confidence, which in turn would normally have a knock-on effect in terms of goal return. Not Giroud. He has maintained throughout that he will fight for his place and he adores life at The Emirates. An admirable approach when your future could be put into doubt by way of lack of playing time and lack of confidence in your abilities.
Giroud is the sandwich we all didn’t realise we wanted. Whilst we all munch on cosmopolitan sandwiches with avocado in them, Giroud is the sandwich that has all the qualities we were looking for.