Every sports team has its polarizing players. Players who usually are kind of fringe-y, who may not be superstars but who have their devoted followings for some unknown reason. These are players for whom there is no real rational discussion of skills, because any actual substantive discussion ultimately devolves into narrative and accusations of bias. In the world of baseball, think David Eckstein, Willie Bloomquist, etc.
Well, Arsenal have a player like that in their ranks - and no, it’s not Francis Coquelin. Well, not only Francis Coquelin. I’m talking about Olivier Giroud. He’s a very good player, albeit streaky, who for some reason many Arsenal fans think is not good enough to be the focus of Arsenal’s attack.
But then, he has a tournament like the one he’s currently having, and the world wakes up and goes “oh yeah, he’s really good!”. All of a sudden, they come out of the woodwork to say GIROUD FOR (INSERT TEAM HERE), despite the fact that just a week before, those same people wouldn’t have touched Giroud with a ten foot pole.
Well, guess what? He’s staying at Arsenal. “A number of clubs” started kicking the Frenchman’s tires, metaphorically, at the end of last season, but Arsenal have rightly decided to stick with him - and also to add another forward to compliment Giroud. They are reportedly “the only Premier League club” interested in Alexandre Lacazette, as well, and while they’re interested in Alvaro Morata, they’re not interested in his £65 million price tag.
So, as the kids say, haters to the left (do the kids still say that? I am an Old) - Giroud’s staying. And I’m thrilled.