Five ways Podolski is better than Giroud for Arsenal

Mertesacker Podolski Giroud

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has finally been given two starts in a row by manager Arsene Wenger this season and has scored four goals in those two games.

1) Goals

Lukas Podolski has scored 8 goals in 17 Premier League appearances this season compared to Olivier Giroud’s 14 goals in 33 appearances. Giroud has made 33 starts to Podolski’s 11 starts and played 90 minutes on 19 occasions, compared to Podolski’s three full 90-minute appearances. Podolski averages a goal every 112 minutes to Giroud’s one every 202 minutes.

2) Finishing

That greater goal per minute ratio is likely down to Podolski’s superior finishing technique and accuracy.

The Germany international has an overall shot accuracy of 73% compared to the Frenchman’s 40% which is an enormous difference in efficiency in front of goal.

Less than half of Giroud’s attempts on goal even trouble the keeper compared to Podolski’s near two-thirds of shots, which hit the target.

3) Possession

Meanwhile, Giroud’s ability to hold up the ball is surely one the reasons he has been charged with leading the line ahead of Podolski this term but, nonetheless, his tendency to lose possession is a concern.

Giroud has one of the lowest pass-completion rates of the entire playing squad this term at Arsenal, with 69% compared to Podolski’s 88% which is about level with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere this term.

4) Pace

It can be a little frustrating watching Giroud chase a ball against a defender. He rarely wins a footrace in the Premier League and without Theo Walcott for much of this season, Arsenal have lacked that threat of a ball over the top for a forward to run onto, catching the opposition playing a high-line or even just counter-attacking with genuine danger on the break.

Podolski is nowhere near as fast as Walcott, but he still provides more width and speed on the opposite flank and often bursts into space to devastating affect.

5) Focus

I have watched Giroud complain to referees a lot this season. He lets centre-backs get the better of him, gets frustrated and then complains on the floor, which I have not seen Podolski do this term.

It may be due to the fact that Podolski has been granted less opportunity and so when he does get on the pitch, he has not got time to waste complaining; he wants to score as many goals as possible and prove himself ahead of the World Cup this summer. Podolski’s focus and attention is always on the ball and often I see Giroud distracted all too easily.

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