Yeah, I do, I admit I was cherry picking with the Theo thing and that it’s got nothing to do with your broader points. I just think slighting the one thing Theo does quite well, even exceptionally well, smells of guilt by association (in this case, with the other parts of his game).
I wouldn’t put Agüero’s movement above Theo’s, for instance. Maybe van Persie’s but then again van Persie was just a tremendous player, it’s possible that we overrate a harder to grasp or quantify thing like off the ball movement because the player is just so good.
As for Giroud vs. Lacazette I don’t even think it comes down to movement either, really. Lacazette is just better in pretty much everything-- better finisher, better link up/combination player, better dribbler (without being really a good dribbler), better at finding a shot for himself, processes the game faster, more agile, etc. I think Giroud’s movement is actually rather good, aside from in 13-14 or other periods in his time with us when dropped way too deep/tried to participate way too much in build-up, but he’s just simply not as good/as talented a footballer as Lacazette.
I do agree with the point about better players benefitting more from having really intelligent/top players around them, but that is really a simple point to that comes down to the old rule, the good players benefit most from being surrounded by other good players, as being ‘intelligent’ and good is really the same thing in most cases, except for extreme ones like Mertesacker’s (and even in his case he’s still pretty good despite being such an extreme case of physical attributes offsetting the fact that he’s good/intelligent). (<-- I’m digressing a bit here, but this dualism of quality and intelligence that you see often in discussions about football is something that bothers me a bit, for me the word ‘quality’ or ‘class’ has intelligence as the major component of its definition, even for the players–Messi being the paradigm example–who don’t fit our classic conceptions of intelligence, in the cerebral sense )