Arsenal have had one of the best starts to the season in recent seasons and are just one point off the leaders Chelsea. A large part of the early success was down to the form of French striker Olivier Giroud, who started the campaign running. On the other hand we have Manchester City’s Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo who has managed to find his feet and created a nice understanding with strike partner Sergio Aguero since his summer move from Sevilla.
Giroud had a tough last season in the Premier League where he managed to find the back of the net a meager 11 times in 34 appearances. However in the opening rounds of this season, Giroud looked like a transformed man, finding the back of the net on a consistent basis. In fact he scored in the first four games of the season. Since then however, the goals have been less frequent- he has managed to score 12 goals in 25 appearances this season.
Negredo on the other had arrived from La Liga with the reputation of a physically dominating striker, and so far has formed a very good partnership with Aguero- the Argentine is the brain while the Spaniard is the brawn. While he hasn’t been prolific, his has found the back of the net fairly regularly and has scored 9 goals in 24 appearances.
On the face of it, Giroud’s numbers seem much better, but if we consider the minutes played by each player, the Spaniard is marginally ahead of the Frenchman. Giroud has scored his 12 goals in 2056 minutes of football, i.e. he averages a goal every 171 minutes. Negredo on the other hand has scored his 9 goals in 1509 minutes of football, i.e. he averages a goal every 168 minutes. While both numbers are not outstanding, they are pretty decent considering that it’s almost a goal every other game.
In terms of the total number of shots attempted, Giroud is third in the league with 74 attempts, but only 41% of them have been on target with a 19% conversion ratio. Negredo meanwhile has attempted 61 shots with 50% accuracy and an 18% conversion rate. Converting these figures we have the following numbers- Giroud attempts a shot every 28 minutes while Negredo attempts a shot every 25 minutes.
While Giroud had won plaudits early in the season with his involvement in buildup play, the numbers actually favor Negredo yet again. Even though Giroud has made 7 assists so far, 4 more than Negredo, he is quite some way behind in terms of creating chances. Negredo has created 24 chances this season, or a chance every 63 minutes compared to Giroud’s 27 chances or a chance every 76 minutes.
Overall, the numbers may be similar, but Negredo outscores Giroud in all the key parameters as far as a striker is concerned. On top of that, if we consider the fact that Giroud is the only striker for Arsenal and has been the focal point of the attack while Negredo has overshadowed by Aguero, it only enhances his performance.
stats are compiled using squawka