BBC pundit explains why Arsenal's Olivier Giroud is not in the bracket of top strikers

Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud has become the subject of great debate among pundits and observers.

Former player Jason Roberts feels Olivier Giroud is a level below the very top strikers, telling BBC Radio Five Live how the Arsenal man struggles against better opposition.

The France international highlighted just how important he is for the Gunners, netting a hat-trick during his side’s 3-0 Champions League victory over Olympiakos in Greece last week.

Giroud’s goal in the ensuing victory over Aston Villa on Sunday takes his season tally to 14 strikes in all competitions, yet Roberts feels he is still a level behind the so-called top strikers.

“The key difference [between Giroud and other top strikers] is the goals against top opposition. Giroud’s record against the top four isn't very good. I don't think he's the one who decides the big games,” the former Wigan Athletic man explained.

Many have questioned the former Montpellier striker in regards to whether Arsenal can really challenge for the title with him in the team, and the simple answer is yes.

The Gunners currently sit top of the Premier League table, and Giroud is very much a part of that.

The 29-year-old may not be blessed with pace, or be able to dazzle opponents with amazing skill, yet he offers other key attributes such as superb link-up play, aerial ability and of course a genuine goal threat.

Giroud has scored against Manchester City, Liverpool and Bayern Munich in 2015 and notched his side’s fourth during their FA Cup success in May, proving he can do it on the big stage.

Having both Giroud and Theo Walcott gives Arsene Wenger plenty of options up front, and both players will be vital in the club’s bid to win the Premier League title this season.

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