Olivier Giroud

If you ask Olivier Giroud, you’ll find out he doesn’t understand where all the criticism for his debut season in England is coming from. In his opinion, he’s done quite well on his debut season with Arsenal, despite not putting up scoring numbers some expected of him, replacing someone who’s quite irreplaceable like Robin Van Persie.

Those who thought Giroud was going to swiftly take over the place of the top scorer in the Premier League were very wrong. The French international isn’t one of those players with a golden touch in the box. His most impressive seasons before scoring 21 goals and leading Montpellier to the Ligue 1 title in 2011-2012 were with Istres and Tours. Giroud hasn’t played top-flight football until two seasons ago, and the French league is quite different from England.

Giroud has scored 11 league goals in 33 appearances, 17 in 46 matches in all competitions. There’s no doubt there’s more to him than just scoring goals. He’s an intelligent player in the box, who is very hard to mark for an entire match due to his movement and physicality. He’s good in the air and knows how to hold up possession, and has pretty decent vision as well. But a success? Maybe if Arsenal reach the Champions League, but finishing fifth or below will be followed by outrage at everyone deemed responsible for the failure, including Giroud.

I replaced Van Persie and when you arrive at a big club like that, they are very demanding towards you. The criticism has not always been deserved, but they push you on. I’ve scored 17 goals and had 11 assists – that is better than Henry and Drogba in their first seasons. This is the quality I have. I have got better with this team and this staff. It is another level. I want to continue to improve.

Drogba scored 16 goals on his first season in England with Chelsea, but the Blues won the title. Thierry Henry scored 26 goals with 11 assists on his debut season with the gunners and went on to break every scoring record for the club while playing only eight seasons. Giroud has his facts a little bit wrong, and quite a high opinion of himself.