You’d have to look back to the Arsenal–Southampton match on Nov. 23 to find the last time Olivier Giroud was on the score sheet. The Frenchman had been in fine form for the Gunners, scoring 10 goals in the first 19 matches. However, over the past seven matches, Giroud has only been able to add an assist to his season stats.
That all changed in Arsenal’s final match of 2013. The Gunners faced a tricky trip to St. James’ Park to face Newcastle United with the goal of returning back atop the table following Manchester City’s win a day earlier vaulting the Citizens into the top spot. In what was a gritty, hard-fought match, Arsenal emerged victorious by a score of 1-0 thanks to none other than Giroud.
Theo Walcott and Giroud linked up to give the Gunners the three points needed to top the table just before the New Year. Giroud’s return to scoring gives the Gunners that goal scoring presence they’ve lacked over the past month. It also relieves some of the pressure put onto the midfielders to produce goals, as well as the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger to use Nicklas Bendtner in the hopes of scoring a needed goal.
With Aaron Ramsey sidelined for a short period of time and Mesut Ozil out for a couple of matches, Giroud’s return to form is crucial at this point of the season. The winter transfer window is opening in a matter of days and even though Giroud looks to have ended his scoring drought, Wenger must still consider purchasing a striker to properly back up or help alleviate the scoring burden resting on the French striker’s shoulders.